CW: Gore, death, mutilation, depictions of assault, violence
The Governor's hands shake with delight as he scribbles onto the slab of paper the plans for the new Church. His little piece of charcoal barely suffices for the massive plans shaping in that pinhead of his.
He stays up until the break of dawn, a streak of sunlight floods into the musty wooden room. Daylight dancing across the finished architectural plans.
The Governor clasps his hands together, a shy smile forming across his small face, "At last, the people of my town can praise our fine Heavenly Father."
He scratches his stubble, then rolls the paper delicately. Wouldn't want to destroy his precious markings. As his feet find the mud that lingers outside of his luxurious home, he notices a strong metallic icky smell that makes him shudder.
"What in God's name is that?" He turns his head left, then right, then left again where he notices a faint red painted onto the tall grayish grasses.
He sighs bitterly, then begins to follow the red into the large field of tall grasses. As he walks, despising the stench, he notices he steps onto something mushy, like the mud outside his home. He looks down, and yelps. A dead cat, with its insides on the outside, lays before him. A footprint shown in the middle of its diaphragm.
He looks ahead, trying to ignore the vivid image of the dead cat. He notices a group of girls dancing around in the forest. His eyebrows knit together in distress, whatever could this be?
He approaches the girls, and says, "What the hell is going on here?"
They look at him with black eyes and merely reply, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8-9.
The Governor groans and throws his hands up in the air, recognizing each of the girls easily. Polly Shepard, Maisie Williams, and their ringleader, Talia Smith.
The citizens of the Church always looked down on these girls and their families, they were at the bottom of the social status of course, who could bear to be associated with them? But The Governor always had a dreadful feeling around these girls, his stomach twisted and spun, his heart pumped blood at a notorious rate. He rubbed his temples delicately, then stared at each of the black-eyed girls, "If you three spawns of Satan are practicing the devil's teachings, then you'll all be hung. Thou shall not practice that of the devil on my premises."
"Governor, you worry we are practicing the wishes of the devil?!" Polly rolls her eyes mischievously, then adjusts the bonnet atop her head, "How could that be?"
"We are well-minded Church-followers, sir, hast the people of our town rotted your brain, Governor?" Peeps Maisie, she wraps a strand of golden hair around her slim finger, the Governor's heart rate palpitates, not because he is frightened, but because of the beauty of this young girl. Maisie must feel the Governor's clear attraction towards her because she immediately stares at the mud before them.
"Governor, you shouldn't be fearful." Talia waves her hands in front of her in defense, "Don't be frightened."
A devilish smile lingers on Talia's face before the Governor turns his body and faces back towards the village. He hears the little giggles of the girls, and he turns his head slightly to face them, but finds nothing. They are gone. The Governor clears her throat, and begins to preoccupy his mind with the architectural plans.
"What the hell?" Peter scoffs, he rubs his eyes meticulously, then stares at his younger sister Maisie with shifty brown eyes.
"Peter don't be frightened" She reaches out to her older brother, but he flinches.
"You're a devil! Satan's incarnate you...y-you..." He trails off shaking his head, the feeling of the warm stinging blood dripping down his back envelopes him into his own fever dream.
Maisie traces the mysterious symbol with the tip of her finger. Peter feels goosebumps rise as he acknowledges his sister's cold fingertips etching his back.
"I did not commit this terrible act, 'fore I do not practice the teachings of the devil, dear brother." Maisie retorts, her sweet voice gives Peter a toothache.
"Where the hell did it come from then?!" Peter seethes sarcastically, the back of his hand meets Maisie's face, she finds herself on the ground.
"Brother, I do not know of your sins, but perhaps the devil is taking you away because of your acts." Maisie rubs her hand against the wood below them, then looks up at her brother with blue eyes, "You mustn't be afraid."
Peter scowls then stands in front of his reflection, and turns his head to the left to stare at his own bare back, a bright, glowing pentacle stares right back at him.
"Yes and Doctor Joseph was so scared he near threw up into the well."
"I heard that Peter is now the Devil's host."
"Best watch out for those troublesome Willams and all those other rats."
The hens cluck as the ladies run their mouths. Talia grips her basket tighter as she overhears the town gossip. As she plucks eggs and rests them into her wicker basket, she hears approaching footsteps behind her, and notices she is cornered in the hen house. She turns around and is met with Henry and Charles, the righteous boys.
"I heard you and your little Satan worshippers are carving into our mates." Henry says, jabbing his oily finger into Talia's chest.
Charles takes a bite out of a yellow apple, chews it up in his mouth, this spits it out at Talia. She flinches, letting the chum fly past her.
"I do not practice the teachings of the devil, for I only worship one God." She points her finger upwards, the boys begin to whoop with laughter.
"She says she isn't a devil worshipper? How amusing." Charles scoffs, Talia can smell the sweetness of the apple.
Henry grabs her arm abruptly, Talia becomes panicked. He licks her arm slowly, his dark eyes cut through Talia, the saliva resonates upon her bare arm. Charles grabs her by the waist and whispers in her ear, "Begone, devil."
Polly hears the screams loudly in her head, bouncing back and forth and around, playing double-dutch in her brain.
She drops the basket of yellow apples, and begins to run out of the sour-smelling orchard.
"Polly where are you going?!" Her father yells after her, but she is being pulled towards something.
When she stands in front of the hen house, she notices Maisie beside her, their black eyes study the hen house, then they enter it.
Henry has his hands holding Talia's face as Charles holds her arms behind her back. They arrived just in time before Henry and Charles could proceed in their terrible crimes.
"Look, the other devils have come to play." Charles sneers.
Those were his last words.
"They're devil's! All of them!" Cries the Governor, the cold lifeless hands of the righteous boys clutched in his, "Everything is changing!"
He stares at the peculiar pentacle deeply carved into the boys. Their eyes are missing from their sockets, blood slithers from the eye's beholder's onto the pointy grass.
The mob had clustered the girls into their circle of hate. Shouting insults and the Priest reciting samples from the Bible over the wave of noise, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7.
Each of the girls study the mob insightfully, black eyes intertwine with their natural God-given eyes, the devil has forever taken them. The Governor begins to quiet them down, urging them to listen to what he has to say, "These girls have been nothing but trouble!" He nods to the obeying crowd, and nods to the Priest.
The Priest then reads directly from his hefty Bible, "But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Luke 11:20.
The rope rubs against Talia's neck, she distributes weight between one leg to another, the hollow wooden boards under her squeak with delight. The Gallows had been waiting for them.
"Because of the use of Satanism and disrespect to our Heavenly Father, and the murders of the righteous boys, Polly Shepard, Maisie Williams, and..." The Governor's voice cracks, "Talia Smith have been sentenced to...d-death!"
There is no hesitation as the boards under them are removed, and the snapping noise vibrates the Earth below them. The sound made the people feel satisfied, yet an acrid scent punched their noses and an acidic feeling remained in their stomachs. The three girl's families whooped with glee, except for Polly's father, he looked upset, but still a shimmer of glee swirled in his eyes. They had received the perfect gift, their wretched daughters had been removed from their beloved town, no more witchcraft or devil-worshipping. What a delectable gift. What a tasty treat. A meaningful ending. A match drawn in the darkness.
At last, The Governor's town was free of darkness, that was his gift. Building the Church was now the only thing on his mind.
That night, the bodies of three young girls swung with the cold breeze.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11