“Go and get the girl.”
At the sight of her, the women shouted their cries and catcalls.
“She makes men fall to their feet!” cried one.
“She sings the songs of the wicked!” shrieked another.
“She does the black magic!” still another persisted.
“It’s true because she has the red hair of the devil’s wife!” This from someone on the girl’s left.
“Yes, the devil’s wife!” This echoed from someone on the girl’s right.
“His filthy bride—a red-haired demon she is!”
They dragged her to the chair and then flocked around. The flames from the torches lurched and pitched, their crackling lights lengthening the shadows of the gathered into grotesque shapes. The oldest among them, Prudence, separated herself from the group. “We are all in agreement then?”
The women nodded, and then kneeled.
“Our red-haired sister, we are at your service.”
Behind the drape of her long red hair, the girl looked up and smiled.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. © ELIZABETH MICHAUD JOHN