Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight.   Posted by The Keeper of Secrets.Group: 0
trahernwithglasses
 player, 101 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Fri 25 May 2018
at 14:39
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 21):

Clarke sat in the armchair. He was cleanly shaven, his hair washed and spectacles polished. Next to him sat his briefcase packed full of odds and ends that he might need. He had a lock pick kit in there, sketch pad, his ancient books of incantations, a passport and anything else that might save him from the looming shadows.

His revolver sat in his lap. He had meant to put it away, to be ready when Mike came to pick him up for the university, but it sat in his hands. It was 10 years old now but showed little signs of wear. He had cleaned and oiled it every weekend. Now he did it every night.

He wanted to put it away, he needed to put it away but as the sun reflected into the room, he found he couldn't. It was too much a part of him now. A reminder of the price he'd had to pay for all of his sins.

He sat, waiting, for the knock on the door.
Jrodimus
 player, 123 posts
Mon 28 May 2018
at 10:52
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 22):

Mike navigated the familiar streets of Arkham with ease despite the pull on the truck's alignment. He felt reinvigorated. Perhaps due to being in familiar territory after a long few days in no man's land, and perhaps due to seeing Shelly again. In any case, he was a man on a mission, and having an urgent sense of purpose made him nostalgic for the days in the war. When despite the hours of boredom mixed with terror, there was a sense of purpose to any given mission.

As he turned a corner to head towards Clarke's home, his mind drifted to the events of the past few days. First, there was the strange letter from Jack which was sent to the three of them. Then followed by the fact that his father had received word that he had died in Europe. But there was no body. After considering what they had found out from the priest, it made sense to conclude that Jack had faked his own death to escape the continent. That, however, didn't seem to work as this weird occult group was still after the stone.

So where was Jack? It was possible that he was indeed dead. That the cult had gotten to him and was merely seeking out the stone now. The father had said that he left the stone with Henessy and was perhaps trying to throw his pursuers off its trail.

Would be something to see that old bastard again. Though I'm not sure I want to.

But there were still more questions to be answered. If Jack was alive, where was he? And why did he choose to contact them and get them in this mess. Furthermore, who was the hooded figure who warned him at the Roadhouse and he hit at the intersection earlier that day? And the biggest question of them all, what the hell was the stone and what horrors and powers was it ultimately capable of?

Though Mike didn't get any peace of mind, thinking through the events did help make sense of them in some way. There was something else...there had to be. Too many threads and possibilities.

He was still mulling over the possibilities and oddities when he pulled over in front of Clarke's residence. He stepped out of the truck and as the sun was setting at his back knocked on the door.
trahernwithglasses
 player, 102 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Thu 31 May 2018
at 13:41
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 23):

Clarke slid the gun into his holster and stood up. He brushed down one of his few remaining tattered suits and walked to the door. He could sense Mike's weight behind it. The tiredness of a man that simply wanted to work hard and live ordinarily.

"But these are not ordinary times," Lara said. She had the younger Zoe in a head grip. His ex-lover was trying to squirm her way out, her breathing raspy and inconsistent.

Clarke opened the door and pushed it far enough that he couldn't see them in the alcove.

"Mike," he said. "Prompt as usual. Shall I get my things? Or would you like to come in for tea?"
Jrodimus
 player, 124 posts
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 11:30
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 24):

Mike checked his watch and noting the time said, "I suppose we have some time for a cup of tea."

He noticed Clarke's red eyed weary looked seemed no different than before. His eyes still flickered towards something unseen, as if his attention was getting dragged away from the present. He stepped in to the doorway and said, "We haven't had time to catch up since everything started with," he gestured to nothing in particular, "Well this whole mess. You keeping up well since you got back?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 103 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Thu 2 Aug 2018
at 13:22
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 25):

Clarke opened the door wide. "Please come in," he said. "Take a seat in the living room." He pointed to the space on the left. Two worn chairs and a low table filled the tiny space. The lacy curtains showed their age, their whiteness long gone and a faint brown had interwoven with the fabric. A small cupboard, with some cracked pottery sat just beneath the long window pointing out to the front yard.

Lara and Zoe still struggled, he could hear them bang against the door even though they were phantoms. Zoe screamed, as if her hair was being plucked from her head thread by thread.

"I'll," Clarke winced as he realised he had been standing in front of an open door too long, "get the tea. What kind do you like?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 104 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Fri 3 Aug 2018
at 22:44
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 26):

Although, Mike seemed a little reluctant to enter the cottage, Clarke carried on. He turned and walked to the kitchen. It was straight down the hall on the right. Lara and Zoe flickered in front of him as if they were teleporting. Lara kept her hold on Zoe even though her muscles seemed to buldge under the strain.
trahernwithglasses
 player, 105 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Sat 4 Aug 2018
at 13:26
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 27):

Light shone through the three-holed lace curtains. They were things Clarke promised he'd replace it next time he got paid. Then next time he had money. And now sometime before he died.

Which felt a lot sooner than he wanted.

He ran his hand over the the tiled kitchen, the cracks clearly showing its age of something before the start of the century. The metal sink, they only thing he had been forced to refurbish, looked out of place. It was shiny to start, and smooth. It irked him. He hadn't paid for a modern house.

Opening up the second cupboard, he pulled out his kettle. Again stainless. A sign of the times. He turned on the taps and filled it to the brim, far more than two cups but he didn't know how many he should make. Mike's body had felt heavy, the air around him weighed down. This conversation could get really long.

He put the kettle on the stove. It clicked with a screech. He wasn't sure if Mike had come in yet, but he hoped he had. The weather was unusually warm for the season. At least inside had shade.

The drawer with the matches didn't open the first time he pulled it. It stayed firm so he yanked it again and it came. The inside was a mess, full of odds and sods that belonged in a kitchen but didn't. Like the five screws he had collected and nine bottle tops. The packet of red matches was under them, a little worn but still intact.

He took them out and set them on the side of the bench. With a knob turn, he heard the gas start to flow. After a couple of seconds, he lit the match and put it next to the element. It lit up, the flame flickering and heating the metal.


The flickering brought back memories.
trahernwithglasses
 player, 106 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Sun 5 Aug 2018
at 13:20
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 28):

EGYPT: Sometime 1919

Frank W. Enderson was slumped against the truck. He had a self-rolled cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Ash had spilled from it and was making more stains on his blue overalls. Even though it was night, he wore a cap that a newsboy might wear. It was slumped low over his eyes. Although he was awake, from Clarke's position it was difficult to tell because the man's left eye was barely a slit now. Shrapnel out of Gallipoli was how he'd explained it.

"Not a fan of these raids mate," Frank said. "We go tits up out here, might as well have died in the war."

Clarke unfolded the telegram he had received from his commander. "Meet contact. Kafr El Hubi. Q7. Second house, N. Knock 4. Bring Gold."

"There are no tits out here," Clarke reminded Frank.

"Bloody shame that. Could do with a good pair."

The kettle strung over the fire whistled, indicating it had boiled. Frank picked it up and poured the water into his metal cup. He want back to his position, resting against the truck. His face now was mostly hidden in shadow. "Wouldn't have some milk over there yank?"

"No," Clarke said, putting the telegram away.

"Who'd have known? Thought you were all a bunch of softies. Couldn't go a night without some of those classic comforts. Haven't you got some sort of electric washer now? Your women can't turn a handle for a bit cause they're too busy dancing to jazz and some shit?"

Clarke curled his hand into a fist. The man's face was impassive. The only thing changing was the glow around his cigarette butt as it wore further down.

"I'm sure the Gatsby's have many things I don't," Clarke said.

"Guess they would." Frank extinguished his cigarette on the sand. He cradled his cup. "Not much difference between here and home. Know we're not supposed to talk about that and all, but the twang probably gives away where I'm from. Can't be helped mate, born and raised out in these dunes. Don't get to sound sophisticated."

Frank tapped the side of the cup, a metal ring on his third finger made a clinking noise in the stillness of the dunes. "What I'm saying is if there's some type of sacrifice to be made for that book you keep pawing through, I'll do it. Dying here be like getting smacked by a big red at home. Slightly different sky, but clear all the same."

"There's no ritual sacrifice," Clarke said, as calmly as he could. Why Occidentals believed everyone else's culture rested on ritual sacrifice and death to gods he didn't understand. Especially as Abraham had almost murdered his first born for a voice in his head.

"Nah, mate, you got it wrong." Frank leaned in. His worn face, one in its late thirties with scars a plenty, hovered above the flames. "Ritual or not, there's always a sacrifice if the thing's precious. And this thing here, it's plenty precious. Got the brass run around calling in favours. They plucked me out of hell itself for this jaunt so you better know, I'm ready for my part. 50/50 is how I see it. Maybe I get to die under the ole Southern, maybe out here under these odd constellations. But sand is in my skin. You got it?"

"I'm here to make sure it doesn't get to that," Clarke said, dropping sand on the fire. The stars shone at him. He was a long way from the new life he'd promised Zoe under that other night sky.

Frank slurped his tea in the dark. "Goddamn yanks," Clarke heard him half mumble, "so damn confident."

The next time they sat around a fire, a house was burning.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:34, Sun 05 Aug 2018.

trahernwithglasses
 player, 107 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Tue 7 Aug 2018
at 04:58
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 29):

Clarke heard the whistle of the kettle. He ran his left arm up his right. The burn marks had long faded but sometimes at night he could still feel a stinging sensation. The military doctor had told him it was so psycho-something over and then had asked a lot of questions about his father. He had refused to answer any of them.

He took the kettle off the heat and put it on one of the other elements to cool. Turning the knob for the gas, he heard a click. His stove didn't click.
Jrodimus
 player, 125 posts
Tue 7 Aug 2018
at 14:27
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 30):

Mike followed Clarke into the house and took a seat in the living room where Clarke had directed him to. He sat on the couch, eyed an ash tray on the table among newspapers and Arabic language sheets of paper that appeared to be torn out of a book or something. Probably the Quran or some other holy text, though Clarke didn't seem as religious as he used to be. Mike fished a smoke out of his pocket, "You mind if I smoke?" When Clarke didn't respond from the kitchen where Mike could hear him shuffling about and cleaning up. When Clarke didn't reply Mike went ahead and lit it anyways as he dragged the ash tray closer to him.

Gotta' be there for a reason.

Mike took a long drag off the Lucky Strike, unsure of where to start. It'd been a long time. Maybe too long. The good old days before the war a distant memory.

"How you been holding up these past few days? When you were in Africa did you ever hear of or see anything like this?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 108 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Tue 7 Aug 2018
at 15:50
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 31):

Zoe was holding a worn revolver. Something fancy, perhaps from the 1800s. One of those show pistols an aficionado pretends they shot once.

Her face was bruised, her lip nicked and her left arm had a cut all the way down it. Her apparition was bleeding on Clarke's floor. "You can't throw me away. I AM ZOE!"

She held the gun at Clarke's head, the barrel feeling cold when they touched. Despite the sensation, Clarke ignored her. He pulled out two cups and a bag of ground tea. Opening one of the top drawers, he rattled around until he found two strainers and propped them on the lids of the cups. After adding some of the tea into them, he carefully poured the water.

Mike's question, "When you were in Africa did you ever hear or see anything like this?" echoed into the kitchen. It startled Zoe, for a second, her gun moving away from Clarke's face. In an instant, a bloodied Lara crash tackled her into the kitchen's wall. Clarke heard the sound of them breaking the tiles, but saw no damage.

He kept pouring the boiled water.

"Not really my line of work Mike," he shouted back. "The brass liked me to smooth over their thefts of national treasures, not fight mystical demons."

This message was last edited by the player at 15:58, Tue 07 Aug 2018.

Jrodimus
 player, 126 posts
Tue 7 Aug 2018
at 16:03
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 32):

"Aye, I suppose not." Mike chuckled as he exhaled acrid smoke through his nostrils. "In any case, you didn't really answer my question. How are you holding up? I mean...it's been years. And I think these past few days have been harder then any of us would care to admit. Hell, I haven't seen you since France."
trahernwithglasses
 player, 109 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Tue 7 Aug 2018
at 22:21
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 33):

Clarke let the tea sit for a little as he thought over his answer. How was he? Suicidal? Tired? Normal for 40 year old veteran?

How much did Mike know and how much did he want to tell him? How much could he tell them before it all became too much?

"The war wasn't what they promised us," he said. "I didn't get my parade after all that blood. You get yours?"
Jrodimus
 player, 127 posts
Wed 8 Aug 2018
at 03:49
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 34):

Mike took a drag off his cigarette, "No, man. It was  wholesale slaughter and murder for what? For mud and rock. They promised glory and we got a lifetime of sleepless nights." He was surprised at how long how had kept these thoughts inside and how easily they fell out now in the presence of an estranged old friend and comrade. "I don't know if you heard or noticed when you saw him in France, but the war changed Jack - hell it changed all of us. But something happened to him there and something dark and mad crawled up into him. I don't know if he's the same man, if he's even alive. The war changed us. It changed him. It changed me. And it changed you, didn't it?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 110 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Thu 9 Aug 2018
at 05:04
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 35):

Clarke put the two cups on a tray along with a bottle of milk from the fridge. He walked into the lounge. Mike was sitting in the same chair Clarke had almost finished what the war had started.

"Blood and mud should be a book title," he said. He laid the tray on the small side table. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his pack of cigarettes. Tapping one twice on the pack, he flicked a lighter out of his sleeve - an old sleight of hand trick - and drew back.

"Spent a lot of time getting away from the front when I got stateside, things no man has any right to know. No person, at least. But could never go far enough."

He sat in the chair next to Mike, slumped more like it. "You remember that old hymnal, 'Ain't no mountain?', my life's akin to that."

He turned and smiled, in a sad way, "But you made it, didn't you Mike? Got settled with Shelly, have a house and a business. Who would have thought you would have become the most respectful out of all of us?"

This message was last edited by the player at 05:39, Thu 09 Aug 2018.

The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 183 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Thu 9 Aug 2018
at 09:17
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 36):

Mike
"Who would have thought you would have become the most respectful out of all of us?" A strained silence fills the air between the two old friends, if they could be called that anymore. Clarke's small twitches and fidgets shouldn't have bothered Mike but they did. John Boy fidgeted like a puppet getting its strings yanked if someone so much as even mentioned the police. Mike couldn't put his finger on it but it was almost like Clarke was seeing things that weren't there....

To buy time, he took a long drag from his cigarette. The dim cherry raced towards his fingers, leaving a long piece of ash in its place. He reached over to tap his cigarette into the ashtray but paused as a cockroach skittered across the surface of the side table. It was so black it was almost obsidian. A visceral urge to smash it rose within Mike but in moments the roach disappeared over the edge of the table. The urge passed only to be replaced with gooseflesh.

Clarke
Mike didn't seem to have a reply ready but that didn't matter. That's why Clarke had asked the question. He couldn't see Zoe or Lara, but he could hear them shouting obscenities at each other in another room. Fine with letting the silence stretch, Clarke reached over for the bottle of milk to pour himself a cup. As he lifted the bottle, a cockroach raced out from underneath. It was as black as night...

"I don't like bugs...." says a small voice behind Clarke.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:21, Thu 09 Aug 2018.

Jrodimus
 player, 128 posts
Thu 9 Aug 2018
at 10:35
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 37):

Mike shivered as the cockroach raced under the table. Disgusting creatures.

Clarke's reply had caught him off guard. He wasn't expecting such curt resentment from someone he once called a friend. He scratched his beard as he recovered from the riposte.

"Well, I'm not sure if bootlegging is a respectable career choice but it pays the bills. Though it's true, without Shel I probably wouldn't even be here. She is my rock, if you will. An anchor." He took a drag off his cigarette and leaned forward to stub out the lucky strike. He locked eyes with Clarke and asked with genuine concern, "I seem to remember you talked about a woman in France. What happened to her?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 111 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Thu 9 Aug 2018
at 11:47
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 38):

Clarke scratched his chin, and continued to fidget. He didn't look back, his eyes stayed straight on as if nothing had happened. After all, he didn't like bugs either. Especially dark ones with hypnotizing colours.

"Are you seeing this roach too?" he asked Mike. "I have issues with reality sometimes. Can't quite get a hold on it these days."
Jrodimus
 player, 129 posts
Thu 9 Aug 2018
at 15:24
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 39):

Mike noticed the deflection, he knew he hit a sensitive spot and Clarke was avoiding the topic. Something happened to her and possibly to him.

"Yeah, I saw it." He remembered the repulsion and urge to smash the wretched creature on the table. Mike slapped his legs in good humour, "You don't exactly keep the cleanest house. Let's go meet Byron and head to the rendezvous. What do you say?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 112 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Thu 9 Aug 2018
at 23:01
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 40):

Clarke extinguished his cigarette and took a long sip of his tea. He stared at the scuttling roach, it's blackness all consuming but also oddly shiny. Once they walked out that door, everything started again.

"I once went looking for an Egyptian sundial, a lieutenant wanted it for his ... research. It was a simple thing, black like the night sky which glittered in the darkest rooms. Ancient technology is what they had called it. We all went looking. Lara, the driver, Ahmed, Carlos, Michael, Jessica, Peter, Khaled. And we kept looking until there was only two of us left."

He made a move to squish the cockroach but it scuttled away. "Jack's gone Mike. Whatever this stone is or isn't, it's another sundial. Everyone is going to die, and if we're very fortunate and very smart then it will be quick. That's what happens when you step out that door."
Jrodimus
 player, 130 posts
Fri 10 Aug 2018
at 03:37
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 41):

Mike empathized with Clarke's fear. Hell, he wanted to go home and get into bed for a few days and emerge to the smell of Shelly cooking some bacon and brewing a big pot of coffee. But he knew in his gut that it was impossible now. Something had been set in motion that had spiraled far beyond any of their control.

Mike stood and motioned to the box containing the stone, "That may be true. Hell its a damn fact. But I know that this cult will stop at nothing to get that stone. Whatever it is, I get the feeling their not interested in making stone soup with it. And they will come for it. They will come for us. I'd rather do something than sitting around waiting for them to decide. I say we decide and we fight."

Mike took a step towards the door, "if the war taught us anything, it's that we're good at fighting. Probably the only thing we're good at."

He turned and looked at his old friend, "You coming, Clarke?"
trahernwithglasses
 player, 113 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Sat 11 Aug 2018
at 13:05
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 42):

Clarke flicked a card through his fingers. It didn't make it halfway before he couldn't sustain the concentration to keep it going. The card floated down to the ground. It was the Jack of Spades.

He stood up and dusted off his jacket. "This isn't fighting Mike," he said. "This is assisted suicide." He picked up his bag and headed to the door. "So let us go and meet the dark void that calls itself hell."

This message was last edited by the player at 17:19, Sat 11 Aug 2018.

novissimo
 player, 58 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 03:03
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 21):

Byron finishes reading the catalogue entry and the creepy hand scrawled poem.

Wide eyed, he turns the page, then turns it back. The next entry is an unrelated article about Jersey devil sightings.

He procured his issues of Tobin spirit guide second hand, often from flea markets, and then previous owners did God knows what to them.

Given the recent occurrences this poem is probably more than just serendipitous

"Salem witch trials, eh?" Byron murmurs.

He gets up from his tiny worn study desk and heads to the bedroom. At the end of the bed is an old army foot locker. He takes a key from underneath the footlocker and proceeds to open it. It creaks as he does.

Inside is where he stores volumes of Hurlbert's Magic and Alchemy Almanac, dated to the mid 18th century and a bit more rare and valuable than 20 year old copies of Tobin's Spirit guide.

Dated from a time when the colonies were getting to be a bit more anarchic, the Almanac gives such supernatural advice as to when best to plant crops based on astrological conditions, the best uses for mandrake root juice and how to reverse Bermudan voodoo curses.

Byron skims through the indexes of his limited set of Almanac copies to see if there is an entry on the Salem witch trials.
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 184 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 09:41
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to novissimo (msg # 44):

Skimming though the index, Byron finds but one listing for the Salem Witch Trials, which leads him to the following entry:

quote:
A “witchcraft craze” rippled through Europe from the 1300s to the end of the 1600s. Many practicing Christians, and those of other religions, had a strong belief that the Devil could give certain people known as witches the power to harm others in return for their loyalty. Tens of thousands of supposed witches—mostly women—were executed. Though the Salem trials came on just as the European craze was winding down, local circumstances explain their onset.

In 1689, English rulers William and Mary started a war with France in the American colonies. Known as King William’s War, it ravaged regions of upstate New York, Nova Scotia and Quebec, sending refugees into the county of Essex and, specifically, Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The displaced people created a strain on Salem’s resources. This aggravated the existing rivalry between families with ties to the wealth in the area and those who still depended on agriculture. Controversy also brewed over Reverend Samuel Parris, who became Salem Village’s first ordained minister in 1689, and was very disliked due to his strick adherence to scripture.
In January of 1692, Reverend Parris’ daughter Elizabeth, age 9, and niece Abigail Williams, age 11, started having “fits.” They screamed, threw things, uttered peculiar sounds and contorted themselves into strange positions, and a local doctor blamed the supernatural. Another girl, Ann Putnam, age 11, experienced similar episodes. On February 29, under pressure from magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne, the girls blamed three women for afflicting them: Tituba, the Parris’ Caribbean slave; Sarah Good, a homeless beggar; and Sarah Osborne, an elderly impoverished woman.

All three women were brought before the local magistrates and interrogated for several days, starting on March 1, 1692. Osborne claimed innocence, as did Good. But Tituba confessed, “The Devil came to me and bid me serve him.” She described elaborate images of black dogs, red cats, yellow birds and a “black man” who wanted her to sign his book. She admitted that she signed the book and said there were several other witches looking to destroy the Puritans. All three women were put in jail.


While the rest goes on to explain the post-trial investigations, one section catches Byron’s eye. It was an accounting of the conditions inside the jail where the witches were held by one of the jailors. He describes it as follows:

“I told Justice Stoughton I didn’t want to work another night shift but he said that god made demands of the strong…. Feels like the lord has been demanding a lot lately. I hate being around these witches. They plead and cry as if they weren’t foul on the inside. Dirty filthy hands reaching for me as I walk by. I wish I could just plug up my ears and ignore them. One in particular makes my skin crawl, the negress that belongs to the Parris family. She’s the only one who admitted guilt so we have her in a separate cell. But she doesn’t eat or drink. She just sits in the middle of her cell clutching a stone and muttering under her breath. I couldn’t hear what she was saying at first but when I finally got the courage to get as close as I dared I could just make out the words. She just repeated the same thing over and over:

I, Tituba, an Indian and a slave, am stronger than the captain with his sword, am richer than the merchant with his money, am wiser than the scholar with his boos, is mightier than ministers and magistrates, with all the fear and reverence that attend them. For I can fill their bones with aches and pains, can make them cough with asthma, shake with palsy, can make their daughters see and talk with ghosts, or fall into delirium and convulsions. I have the Evil Eye, and Evil Hand. A touch from me and they are weak with pain, a look from me and they consume and die. The death of cattle and the blight of corn, the shipwreck, the tornado, and the fire, these are my doings, and they know it not. Thus I work vengeance on mine enemies. Who, while they call me a slave, are slaves to me…

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:46, Tue 14 Aug 2018.

trahernwithglasses
 player, 114 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Fri 17 Aug 2018
at 00:08
Tuesday, Afternoon, June 17th 1924: Hiding in Plain Sight
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 45):

Clarke got in Mike's truck and waited. His heart had slowed to a steady rhythm but his knuckles and hands were still white. It took all he had to keep them steady.