WonderfulA little sample from Damian's Witch-Hunters 7The year is 1661. In the God-fearing Scots burgh of Dundoom, a great terror is troubling the goodly folk, rumours are rampant. A party of grim-faced men has arrived, hot and dusty from their day’s ride from Edinburgh. The Elders of the Kirk are summoned to the Session. Aye, the tales are true – would God they were not! The Evil One is at play among the giddy young women of the town, the Commission for Witch-Finding must begin its work tonight...
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“See, my friend. We are privileged! Who would have thought that the first one they’d send down to us would be young Mistress Katerin Balcommy, the Bailie’s own daughter! She doesn’t look so high and haughty stretched out naked on the rack, does she now?”
“Aye, Willeum. I always thought dear Katerin must have the devil in her ... the way she looked down on every’un … expecting every’un to bow and scrape and kiss her arse, like she did. She had this coming. Easy to imagine that folks were lining up to denounce her soon’s they heard about the Kirk Session here in Dundoom.”
“Ah yes, time for a little confession, then, dear Mistress. I’ll be a turning the wheel on yer rack a few notches, while Duky here gives ye a taste or two of the hot iron!”
“Noooooooooooooooo. Please, no. I’m no witch! You both know me, and … owwwwwwwwwwwww …. You both know what’ll happen when the Baillie hears of this! You’ll both pay dearly, that I can guarantee.”
“Go ahead, Duky. Pay no attention to her complaints or threats. She’s ours to break in any way we please. Noo jist haud on! – take your time. Keep our highborn mistress guessing where the heat of the iron will sear her fair skin next … will it be on her teats, on her sweet little flat belly, or deep between her thighs? She dinnae ken! … She won't know ... that’s half the terror of it!”
“My God, no! ….. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Stop! Please! Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh … not down there! Stop! Father, help me!”
“Confess! Confess now, Mistress Katerin. Do it now, or I shall have to turn the wheel again. I promise it will hurt. The rack is unforgiving. Say the word, or else!”
“No! I won’t and I can’t, and you’ll get yours one day for this, Willeum Bannerman! Soon’s word gets out!”
“Stretch, her Willeum! Gie it laldy! Put yourself into it! Turn the wheel! Let’s hear her joints pop!”
“Noooooooooooo … My Gawd! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”
Again wonderful chaptervery well written Eulalia and BarbariaAnd another taster, from my contribution:
“Ye ken the procedure, Libby Baxter,” said the Witchfinder quietly as I entered that dreadful place again.
Aye, I kent the procedure – and now I knew better than to resist. Off with my poor ragged shift, up onto the Rack. I looked at the ankle-irons, they were set wide apart this time. I glanced at the Witchfinder, he was staring expectantly at my naked thighs. I spread my legs wide, a sick sense of what was to come gripped my woman-parts as I exposed them to his gaze.
Click, click, the metal bit tight around my aching ankles. I lay back, stretching my arms in anticipation. Soon my wrists are tied tight, painfully tight, they’re sore from yesterday’s chafing.
“Aye, Maister, I am a witch.”
I am, why should I deny it?
“But let God be my witness...aaaargh!”
A sharp tug tore my arms and muscles, weakened by the last night’s torture.
“Ye dare tak the name of the Almighty in vain, you vessel o’ rank evil?”
He frowns across my trembling flesh.
“Torturer, prepare the needles....”
I glimpse the bald tormentor fiddling with some instruments in the flames of the brazier, a hot metallic smoke filled my mouth and nostrils, I was panting in pain....
“Maister, this wretch is sorry – but I hae done na evil, I promise you....”
He was looking, with a faint smirk on his lips, towards the glowing metal.
“The littlest instruments can be most efficacious, can’t they, Master Tulidef?”
The Torturer chuckled.
“Pray continue with your tale, Mistress Baxter, it will amuse us, while the needles are warming.”
“M-maister,” I gasped again, “What little powers I have, I’ve only ever used them for good...”
The Witchfinder snorted. The chamber was growing hellishly hot, my body was glistening with sweat, I could see the flames flickering on the vaulted roof above me, my tortured mind was telling me they were fiends. Desperately I forced out words,
“I’ve never... never had any dealins wi’ the Evil One, Maister... never... any gifts this sinner possesses are from Go.....oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh!”
“Blasphemy!” yelled the Witchfinder, as pain tore through my body once again, with even crueller strength.
“Proceed with the pricking, Master Tulidef and Master Blinseill.”
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