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“Sarah Grace Hobbs, you have been found guilty of the most heinous crime of witchcraft. The sentence of this court is that you shall be taken from here unto a place of execution, where you shall be hanged from the neck until you be dead. May God have mercy on your soul.”

Sarah spat on the floor. “That’s what I think of your God and his mercy! Who can believe in a merciful God that would watch this travesty of justice?!”

The guards moved to restrain her, but she broke free of their grip and shouted louder.

“Tis you who needs mercy,” she yelled. “You’ll not look so smug when you reach the Gates to be judged yourselves! You so-called devout men dare to stand in judgment of me and pretend that it is in the name of God and his glory, and not in the name of your own indulgent greed? You’ll be judged, you mark my words! Your time is not so far away!”

Three men grabbed her and dragged her from the court, still screaming and cursing. It was said later that she cursed until the moment they pushed her from the drop, and it was only the hangman’s rope that stilled her tongue.

Hobbs Farm was left ownerless, and the land was parcelled off for sale. The farmhouse itself, along with a few acres, was bought by the judge who had sentenced its last occupant; the rest of the land was bought by the prosecutor.

They enjoyed their purchase for a little less than a month. On the night of the full moon, both were found naked and dead in the wheat field, their faces distorted with terror.

It was said that the voice of Sarah Grace Hobbs was heard on the wind, laughing as they were carried away.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The 3WW prompts this week were Devout, Indulgent and Smug.)

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