The stillness in the air meant only one thing, there was a witch trial afoot and, if the people of Hamenmed, Maryland were lucky, possibly an old fashioned caged drowning.
Mary Stimple put on the attire required by law to be worn to trial. A strange loophole found that stitching “I’M GUILTY OF BEING A WITCH” was well within the rights of the seamstress if she deemed the situation appropriate for such action.
Mary, despite the unshaved, uninhibited life she lead, was considered to be the finest maiden by all the men in Hamenmed and the surrounding towns of Shempertville and those lowly souls living in the rotten egg smelling city of Omelet.
Because of her looks most of the women preferred to call Mary by her nickname, Slut. Mary didn’t mind the name and wore it proudly in the clothes that she ordered from the seamstress who stitched “Slut” into the back with the number 69 as if it were a sports team’s jersey.
The ladies of Hamenmed were quite amused by the seamstresses attempt to humiliate Mary and would often huck pickles at Mary when she walked about the small town. Mary was hardly lonely though and often found herself in the company of many men who found the number 69 alluring. Couple that with the name slut and you would swear in the warm summer breeze the faint smell of rotten egg got stronger, which it did because those disgusting Omeleters somehow scaled the muddy wall constructed purposely to keep them out of Hamenmed.
One last look in the mirror and then Mary was tied into her corset. Making the situation all that much worse for Mary, the corset built a kind of shelf that put her breasts on display like Mrs. Elmer’s delicious apple pie at 5 pm. Even worse, right below her breasts was “I’M GUILTY OF BEING A WITCH,” only the women in the town remember seeing it.
All 16 people that lived in the town found their seats in the bakery that turned into a courthouse at 5:05 pm. After they all finished Mrs. Elmer’s apple pie the trial began.
“Judge, can we please start the trial?” Shouted Phillis.
“I breast my case.” The judge said.
“That doesn’t make any sense. You do understand that one, the trial didn’t even start and, possibly more importantly, two, you’re the goddamn judge, not her lawyer, right?!”
“Yes,” the judge then cleared his throat, “let’s get this over with.”
Phillis stands up and she is holding a rolled up piece of paper. She approaches the counter that serves as the judge’s desk and hands it to him. The judge takes it, unrolls it and scan its contents.
“Today we bring forth charges of sluttery? C’mon guys you can’t be serious. Sluttery? What the hell is sluttery? Is that a word? Sluttery?”
“She’s a common slut!” Shouted Mildred.
“Yeah a flirtatious Filly!” Added Esther.
“She’s got amazing boobs!” Yelled Wendy.
Everyone turned to Wendy. She shrugs her shoulders, “yeah, she’s a big ol’ slut!” Wendy makes eye contact with Mary, “sorry, honey! Mommy still loves you!”
Exacerbated the judge laments into reading the charges once more. “Today we bring forth charges of sluttery compelled onto Miss Mary Mack by way of – you HAVE to be kidding me – witchcraft.”
“She’s a witch!” The seamstress shrieked at the top of her lungs. “It says it right there on her shirt!”
“You stitched this shirt!” Mary stood up and yelled.
“See! Witchcraft! Her boobs all out and we all know the law says the defendant cannot speak during the trial.” The seamstress argued.
“Unfortunately this is true, Mary, you cannot speak during your trial. For some reason there is a law that says only witches need to defend themselves on the stand.”
The judge stands and addresses the town’s people.
“The people of Hamenmed please raise your hand if you find the defendant guilty of witchcraft, keeping in mind, of course, this will lead to a sentence of caged drowning which will act as her appeal to this verdict.”
All 8 women raise their hands giving them majority vote. All the men were too fixated on the defendant to even notice a trial has happened.
“Well I guess that’s what we get when we have a law that says there needs to always be at least one more woman than man in this town. Let’s set up the cage.” The judge stated.
Everyone fled the bakery/courthouse and made the 100-yard walk to the cliff.
The tattered cage hung three feet above the ground built with saturated sticks strung together with leftover leather straps and rope.
“The slut needs hel -”
Mildred was cut off by the men volunteering their help and over-eagerly grabbing Mary, lifting her off the ground and into the monstrosity of the cage that should have been retired as soon as it was built.
The cage was swung out over the cliff. Mary sat there blankly staring into the distance with a certain malaise reserved for zoo animals stashed away behind glass walls.
“Any last words?” The judge asked.
“You know it’s low tide, right?”
The cage was slowly lowered the thirty feet and entered the water. The entire town peered down from their ivory tower and their eyes laid on an image they couldn’t believe. The cage sat safely with only a wash of water flowing through it barely covering Mary’s feet.
“WITCH! WITCH! WITCH! WITCH!” The women chanted.