Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday's Words ...

Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast. This month, prompts can be found here: Elephant's Child. Essentially the goal is to encourage us to write. Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What we do with those prompts is up to us: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, using all or some, or ignoring them.

(Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States this month, and I have a special connection to those first pilgrims. My great-great-etc-great-grandfather,George Soule, came over on the Mayflower as an indentured servant and kept the log on the Mayflower. So this month my words will be drawn by my imagination of what it must have been like for those early immigrants who did not face as much political whoo-ha as immigrants do today.)

Image Source:
Ellie shifted in the stocks to try to get more comfortable in the agonizing cold.  Sleet had been falling for hours and she shivered uncontrollably.  The whipping she'd suffered had laid bare her back, tearing at her dress, and none of the council had attempted to cover her up when the rains had started.  While the cold was almost unbearable, it at least numbed the wounds and welts on her back.

Accusing John Doane of murder had been her attempt to clear the name of her late husband, John Billington, who had been hung for the dramatic killing of John Newcomen in 1630.  She knew he had died an innocent man when she made the discovery that her husband had been sleeping with Doane's wife the very day of Newcomen's murder, but she'd been unable to prove it at the trial.  Now their surviving boy, Francis, would forever be burdened with being the son of a murderer.

"Typical arse, Doane is," she muttered under her breath.

She wished she had a sip of the distinct elderflowers ale she'd made in the summer to warm her.  A noise behind her startled her thoughts.

"Oo's there?"

"Don't matter oo' I is.  I has an offer fer ye that might'n help ye t' clear ye 'usban's name"

The voice sounded familiar, but just the thought of who it might be was completely zany.

"Ann? 'is you, 'hore?"

Ellie heard a gasp, then a rustle of fabric as the person rushed away without saying anything more.  She sighed and shifted again, the anger that now coursed through her stimulating her blood to warm her just a bit.  How dare the very woman her late husband was having an affair with come forward to clear his name!


  1. But of course she would. I suspect she cared about him too.
    Another intriguing use of the words Cindi. Thank you.

  2. A very gripping story Cindi, the lead up with the information of your ancestor coming over on the Mayflower made the story even more interesting to me.
    You did really good with the words and the story itself can be the beginning of several more. Well done.

    1. Thank you, Jimmy. The real kicker is that the story line is partially based on actual historical facts. Elinor Billington did spend time in the stocks for slandering John Doane. Doane was married to a woman named Ana, but the affair is fiction (as far as I know anyway) John Billington was in fact hung for the murder of John Newcomen, and claimed before his hanging that he was an innocent man even though there was bad blood between the two men.


Thanks for stopping by and catching my words!