A Summer In Salem

A Summer In Salem

A Story by RayLynn

Salem 

1665


Today is the day of my wedding. I am to be married to the man whose father owns the farm beside ours. I am not familiar with this man. He is 12 years my senior and grew into a strong young man before I was even conceived. I have only ever once complained to my mother about this arrangement. She was not the least bit understanding of my frustrations. I was firmly told that my place in the house is to marry a man with whom I can build a family and a living. 

I stare into the mirror before and see the pain hidden behind my hazel eyes. I only pray that my husband to be will not be able to see as far into me. Today is the day my life will change. As of tonight, I will never again sleep alone in a bed. I will never again labor in my father’s house nor care for my younger brothers while my mother is preparing the evening meal nor spend each morning with my favorite milk cows in our barn. All that is familiar will be taken away with a single vow this afternoon; a vow to serve and remain loyal to my husband until death.

My mother enters the room and approaches to rest her hands on my shoulders. She pulls back an unruly piece of my hair and tucks it in nicely with a clip. 

“It is time Susanna.” 

I sigh deeply as I cast one more glance at my reflection.

“Yes mother.” I rise and face the woman who has cared for me for 22 years. 

She holds her arm out for me and I tentatively rest my hand there, unsure of what is awaiting me outside the door.

“Your father is waiting to walk you down the aisle. Step carefully as to not ruin your dress.” We step into the church and my mother hands me off to my father. “You are the strongest young woman I know, Susanna. May you be blessed and happy in home and in marriage.”

She kisses my forehead as my father takes me by the arm. The pianist begins playing a march and we make our way down the aisle. 

Samuel stands before the minister, waiting for me. He is a foot taller than me with deep brown eyes and the beginnings of silver strands in his hair. Beside him stand two of his brothers, dressed splendidly in their suits. It is not often that we dress well in our farm town. The sole place we present ourselves so well is in the church. Occasions such as this warrant the extra effort.

It seems only seconds have passed before I am standing before Samuel and my father has taken his place seated beside my mother. Samuel takes both my hands and the minister begins to read the words of God from our Holy Bible. I try not to look into his eyes. I cannot bear the shame I feel for not wanting to take Samuel as my husband. It is not proper for women to question the order of things here. I cannot help but wonder what may lie in store for me if I were not trapped in such a situation. Of course I love my mother and I admire her for the work she has done in her lifetime, but I want something different than birthing children and tending gardens for my life. I know many young women I grew up with who have died in childbirth and I fear that my life may be terminated early for the same reasons. This man standing before me will undoubtedly expect that I bear and rear his children and will seek to impregnate me as soon as we have our farm established. 

“Susanna?”

I perk up at my name. The minister is speaking to me. 

“Yes Father?”

“Please repeat after me, my dear. ‘I, Susanna, take you, Samuel, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.’”

“I, Susanna, take you, Samuel, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” I repeat.

“Samuel, please repeat after me. ‘I, Samuel, take you, Susanna, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.’”

“I, Samuel, take you, Susanna, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” Samuel repeats.

“You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide. I now pronounce you husband and wife. Amen.”

Samuel leans forward to kiss me and I reluctantly meet him part way. I hear our family and friends cheer in the background as he takes my hand and we make our way out of the church. 

This is it. The beginning of the rest of my life. I take a breath and brace myself for it.

© 2019 RayLynn


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Well, that's about the last thing I expected to do today. Becoming a farmgirl in the 17th century and marrying an older gentleman wasn't anywhere on my itinerary.

But hell, having done it, I'm feeling alright.

Which is all just to say that the way you approached this was startlingly effective. There are a lot of good writers on this website, and in your local bookstore, but very few from either camp have the power to really make me believe I'm a 17th century farmgirl.

It's so intimate. Just this quiet moment, here we are, going through the motions.

Remarkably restrained, from a writing perspective, not forcing the issue, not really telling the reader what to think. You just stuck me in the moment and let me feel what a 17th century farmgirl might.

So, I'll add that to my resume. Thanks.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Hey, I'm interested! I like this. I have a short attention span for crummy writing, but this is good!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't know what to say this is new so. It was very well written a lot of detail I could see the girl and her dismay as I read. great job.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I was passing through and stopped right here. Salem interests me always. The story is lovely as told by the girl getting married and seeing a new life of subservience start. Nice work.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love stories set in a bygone era. This is a well written story about a girl who thinks for herself in those times. Appreciated a lot.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

tough life is still going on today,loved the story

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

very good this is supposed to be a 17th century storyline about witches and about her marrying Samuel.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

genocide

1 Year Ago

she wanted to be something more than a wife
RayLynn

1 Year Ago

Yes! Later in the story, she is accused of being a witch and it centers on her coping with and fight.. read more
Well, that's about the last thing I expected to do today. Becoming a farmgirl in the 17th century and marrying an older gentleman wasn't anywhere on my itinerary.

But hell, having done it, I'm feeling alright.

Which is all just to say that the way you approached this was startlingly effective. There are a lot of good writers on this website, and in your local bookstore, but very few from either camp have the power to really make me believe I'm a 17th century farmgirl.

It's so intimate. Just this quiet moment, here we are, going through the motions.

Remarkably restrained, from a writing perspective, not forcing the issue, not really telling the reader what to think. You just stuck me in the moment and let me feel what a 17th century farmgirl might.

So, I'll add that to my resume. Thanks.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 14, 2019
Last Updated on November 14, 2019
Tags: salem, witch, witch trials

Author

RayLynn
RayLynn

Superior, WI



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