Fright Day: Witch House Chapters 11-15 from @kleffnotes

This is my third addition to the story I am working on focused on Ari and her research into Keziah, a woman who was prosecuted for being a witch. This new addition to the story is where it gets really good and builds up the relationship I want to focus on. You can check out chapters 1-10 here and then read on.

Eleven:

The days felt like they were passing exceptionally slowly until Thursday. All Ari could think about was her research project. While she tried to pay attention to other things she just felt her mind wandering and when she was in her room the rat that she’d started calling Jenkins would scurry around the room and had started curling up on or near her whenever she would sit or lay down. She’d even started waking up to find him sleeping on the pillow next to her head. He was beginning to grow on her and with no responses to her post she’d decided to let her roommates know that she officially had a new pet. They had a roommate meeting planned for Wednesday night and before she headed down she tucked Jenkins into the pocket of her sweatshirt and in her sternest voice she said, “You have to be on your best behavior this entire meeting okay little guy? When I tell them that you are living up here you can come out, but until then try and stay in the pouch and be as quiet as you can.”

Parker started the meeting and gave a quick run down of when they’d need to drop their checks off to Damon for Mrs. Smith, unless they were going to set something up for a deposit. Claudia broke down new chore assignments for the week, ze said the chart in the kitchen had been updated and that if anyone wanted to switch today was the day to do it. As always Becca closed out the meeting mentioning some of the dinners she’d be cooking in case anyone wanted to help pitch in for food costs. Then it was Ari’s turn. She normally just led a quick discussion about how everyone’s week was going and if there was anything they all need to be aware of like major study days or if they’d be out on certain nights. She normally didn’t have a lot to mention, but this time she started. “So, I have a sort of unexpected pet. I know I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but I found him and I thought he might be someone’s, but no one has responded to my post so I’ve decided to keep him.” Ari said that in basically one breathless lump and as soon as she finished she just stared at her roommates. Becca was the first to respond, “I mean that’s fine I guess, though what kind of pet is it? I mean since you said you found this thing I’m going with not a fish.”

“Sorry, don’t freak out, but he’s a rat. But I promise he’s docile and totally acts like a pet so I’m really sure he isn’t some sort of like weird wild animal. I brought him down so you could meet him. Come on out Jenkins.”

At the sound of his name Jenkins poked his head out of Ari’s sweatshirt, Claudia immediately made a sharp inhale sound. Everyone looked at zir and Parker asked, “Are you okay?”

“I am, just give me a sec, I didn’t expect the sweatshirt reveal. Totally fine, just have to breath for a sec.”

Ari was really worried that this meant that she wouldn’t be able to keep Jenkins, but once Claudia did some yoga style breathing ze came over and asked if ze could pet him. Ari said of course and for the next half hour they all passed Jenkins around and she was relieved to see that her roommate all seemed to like him. She was given the official seal of approval on her new pet and Parker even asked if they could sometimes hang out with him if Ari wasn’t home. With the meeting handled the roommates headed back to their own spaces and Ari congratulated Jenkins on doing such a great job. She rewarded him with a piece of what she had come to learn was his favorite snack, strawberry frosted pop-tarts.

For the rest of the night her focus was getting ready for her research project trip to see the court records. She had a notebook she’d been jotting things down in as well as a huge binder full of photocopied papers and internet printouts that all either mentioned Keziah or Walter. Though even with Walter being the focus of the paper, she had to admit more of the papers had Keziah’s name on them than his. The strange thing was that she couldn’t seem to find any good images of Keziah. She was holding out hope that maybe there was something in the court records, perhaps there had been someone who drew something up during the trial, but so far she hadn’t found anything. With her bag packed for the next day she tried to get some sleep.

Twelve:

By the time she made it to the court house, Ari had already had three cups of coffee and was starting to feel slightly more awake. She’d been so excited to finally read through the court documents that she’d barely slept. Jenkins had tried to curl up with her, but with all of her tossing and turning he had eventually gone to his drawer to actually get some sleep. There had been a short security line and Ari made it through very quickly with her note, though she wasn’t sure anyone could actually read what her professor had written. The clerk in the records department said that conveniently all of the Keziah documents had been compiled over the years by other researchers and that he’d be able to bring them over to Ari’s research cubicle. She could look them over for as long as she wanted, as long as she wrapped everything up by a little before 5 so that they could get everything put back and lock it all up. Ari promised to be done in plenty of time, it was only 9:30 am and she didn’t anticipate being here for more than a couple hours.

She was a bit shocked when the clerk brought her over three large cardboard boxes all labeled K.M. Paperwork: Compiled with a number out of 3.

“Your eyes look like saucers,” the clerk chuckled, “not all of this is court transcripts or even court paperwork. If you only want to look at court related things that is in box one, but the other two include additional materials researchers found and the third box has some things about Walter Gelman and that whole Lovecraft debacle in it since it is Keziah related. There are lists of contents inside the boxes to help you out. Let me know if you have any questions and don’t forget we close promptly at 5.”

“I definitely won’t forget that and thanks for bringing everything over.”

Just to be safe Ari set an alarm for 4:50 to make sure she was done in plenty of time to get everything back to the clerk, though she very much expected to be done long before that. The first box was exactly what the clerk had told her it would be, massive packets of paper that showed updated transcripts of the court case. One researcher had taken the time to type write the original records so that the historical documents could be stored in a safe location for their preservation. The typed record was title June 22nd 1692 Keziah Mason Trial. The next section listed all members of the town council and court that were present, though the only names Ari recognized were Keziah Mason, who was listed as the accussed, and Isaac Gestleman, who was listed as an officer of the court, which seemed like a vague way to describe someone.

After slogging through the more boring details she finally got to the point where Keziah’s official crimes were described. While witchcraft was the main charge the details of what constituted this behavior included not attended Sunday services, acting in a manner that did not fit her station, and leading other women of the town to commit acts of devilry. This was then expounded upon by the chief magistrate who argued that Keziah was not a godly woman and that merely not attending services was the smallest of her offences. She also had been seen in town actively working against men who made their livelihood through farming by selling her own crops to tradesmen for a lesser price. There were also mentions of her selling meat, which she had butchered herself, in town as well, which had caused issues for the local butcher. While many of the men could also butcher their own meat there were systems to ensure the town maintained a certain system where women could not be allowed to act against these set practices. Ari brushed this off as just sexism of the court, Keziah was working to make money and they didn’t like it, but as she began the next section something began to stand out to her.

The devilry that Keziah Mason had led other women in the town to committ was noted as her gravest offence. She would invite women of the town to her home, where no man lived, and she had been seen perfoming acts upon these women that went against the natural law. Women had testified to being lured to Keziah’s home with offers of help with issues of the female kind and they had found themselves being seduced by her. Keziah had not been allowed to speak and Ari was sure she wished she could in this moment. The magistrate continued on by saying one woman had been found in a state of undress being touched by Keziah in a room that smelled of strange herbs that could only be something she had learned directly from the Devil. He then accussed Keziah of being a witch and insisted that she must be made an example of for the sake of the town’s collective soul.

At this moment Keziah was allowed to speak and she began by saying what her accussers had seen in her home was no devilry, but instead a practice that was meant to help relieve the pain of the curse that beset women every month. She insisted she had merely been massaging the woman’s skin with oils that would help to relieve her pain. There had been other women in the village who had also come to her with similar ailments and she had also provided them the same messaging treatment. The smells had been soothing herbs that she had been boiling into a tea for the woman to drink after the massage. Any of the women who had spoken to the court had come for these same treatments and if they now said this had been done against their will then they had not spoken the truth either by their own choice or through the influence of others. Keziah continued to insist that nothing she had done had been unnatural and all she had done was try to help those who came to her.

After this speech by Keziah the name Isaac Gestleman appeared. He insisted he must be allowed to present to the court information that further proved Keziah’s guilt. He was then allowed to speak and what he shared involved his eldest daughter Ruth. Two weeks prior he argued that he had found his daughter with Keziah near the woods and what he had seen had made him fear for her very soul. Keziah had been holding Ruth’s hand tightly and he had watched as she bent her head and kissed Ruth’s lips. He had immediately confronted them and pulled Ruth away. Then he had taken her directly to the church to pray away the evil that had tempted her. He had told Keziah to stay away from Ruth and that whatever evil was within her he did not want touching his daughter. He did say Keziah had insisted nothing untoward had occured and that she had merely been saying goodbye to his daughter in a friendly way, but that it had merely been that an exchange between friends. He did not believe this and had spoken to Ruth who said that Keziah had forced her to stand still and allow her to touch her lips to hers. He knew this to be the truth as Ruth would never lie to him and that was what pushed him to inform the elders of Keziah and her evil nature.

The court did not allow Keziah to respond to these allegations and following Isaac’s words the judge then stated that based on the information presented before them that Keziah was sentenced to death by hanging for the crime of witchcraft. She was then removed from the room and taken back to her cell to await her death. Keziah was not mentioned again in the records until a note was made that Keziah Mason was hung on June 24th 1692 in the town center. Below that there was a small line that stated a rat had appeared at the gallows when Keziah was hung, but that it had been killed by a member of the court when it had walked toward the body of the deceased. As Ari continued to dig through the first box she found mention of Keziah’s home being destroyed to remove her wickedness from the town and then her body was buried within the confines of the plot.

The second box included a number of geographical maps and a few architectural diagrams that showed the Keziah plot having been divided in half, a portion of which appeared to be under The Manor based on some of the more recent diagrams she found, with the other portion having been paved over when the road was built. This box wasn’t really anything Ari was particularly interested in and she decided to move onto the final box. This one seemed to have the most diverse elements with there being photos of Walter Gelman, H.P. Lovecraft, and even a small novella with the story loosely based on Walter’s experiences inside it. She’d already read the story a few times, especially within the past couple of days to try and see if she found anything of note she wanted to try and research, but nothing had seemed to stand out, beyond the otherworldlyness of what Lovecraft had written. Ari thought she should probably focus on Walter Gelman, since he technically was the focus of her research paper, and she focused on reading through some of the newspaper articles from before and after the release of Lovecraft’s story. In the before pieces Walter sounded excited in his interviews about the fact that he would be the main focus of the story and he seemed to be gloating about the time he spent with Lovecraft. The later articles revealed a more sullen Walter who did not wish to discuss the story and often the pieces tied up with the reporter saying Walter refused to make no more comments and the final one said he had declined an interview and when contacted at home had refused to even open the front door. His obituary was exceptionally sad. It said he was survived by no family members and that there would be no service. It was noted that his lawyer had written this notice for the paper and would be taking any inquiries concerning the sale of the property and the contents left by the deceased. Ari felt bad for the man, but she wondered why he had been so fixated on the property. It didn’t seem like he had benefitted from being in the home and that as the years passed he had just stayed trapped there, letting everything else pass him by.

Thirteen:

Ari had taken a few minutes to stretch and rest her eyes a bit. The small print on some of the documents had started to strain her eyes. When she came back to her cubicle she began moving some of the paperwork back into the boxes, but as she moved a stack into the second box she felt something odd beneath her hand. This box had mostly been large maps and other bits of paperwork that hadn’t particularly stood out to her. What she felt though was a different texture, it felt like leather and when she pushed more of the papers away she could see a sort of medium sized book cover. What she lifted out was definitely a book and something about it seemed familiar. Ari couldn’t exactly put her finger on it, but she could almost swear she had seen it before. There were small straps wrapped around the cover that were keeping the book closed and she very delicately worked to undo the knots. With the final pull the straps fell away from the book and Ari was able to open the cover. The pages seemed older than anything else in this box, maybe someone had accidentally put this in here. She reminded herself to let the clerk know, but when she saw the first page she felt her heart sort of skip a beat. This couldn’t be right, this couldn’t be in here. In faint almost brown looking ink Ari could see the initial KM written in script on the lower left corner near the spine. There was a small sketch on the page of a woman’s profile in sillouhette. She could make out the delicate line of the nose and there were sweeping tendrils of hair that had been added to the image. The shape of the lips caught Ari, they somehow seemed soft even though this was just a drawing. She wished the image had eyes, but she was excited by the fact that this was very possibly an image of Keziah and the first one she had ever found at that.

Before she could get any farther in the book the alarm on her phone started chiming. It seemed impossible, but as she looked toward the window it was actually starting to get dark. She speedily packed everything up and got the boxes organized, then she threw her own notebook and papers back. While she didn’t want to leave the book here she was worried that someone would notice if it went missing. She tucked it back into the second box and decided she would wait to tell the clerk during a later visit. It felt like something she should keep secret, at least for now. Ari let the clerk know she was leaving and started to head home. On her walk she did make a brief detour to pick up some actual rat food for Jenkins, poor guy probably shouldn’t just keep eating human food, and she decided a nice tea from her now favorite cafe would be a perfect end of the research day treat for herself. When she walked into the cafe she was again pleasantly engulfed in the scent of roasted coffee beans. She’d become sort of friends with some of the baristas, it was on her way home and she had been indulging in grabbing something every day since she’d started classes.

“Hi Ari!” a happy voice shouted from out of sight, Ari waited to respond until she could see who was working and from the back she could see curly hair before she saw the face.

“Oh hi Marcus, how’s work been? Any wild orders?

Marcus loved to share the slightly bizarre concoctions some people ordered during his shifts and based on the laugh Ari knew she was in for a good one.

“This girl came in and basically ordered like a cup of sugar and pretended it was coffee. She wanted light roast with three pumps of vanilla, three pumps of carmel, four pumps of chocolate, french vanilla creamer, and whipped cream. If the caffeine doesn’t wake her up that sugar should do the trick.”

“I don’t think I could even survive a sip of that, I can barely handle any sugar in my coffee. Though this is going to be a surprise, I would actually like a tea. Anything with a fruity flavor works for me.”

“I’ve got you, just give me a couple minutes to snag some tea out of the back room and I’ll be right back. It’ll just be 3 dollars if you want to get that out for me. Thanks Ari!”

Throwing her bag onto the counter she started digging around for her wallet, it always seemed to sink to the bottom no matter what tricks she tried to keep it near the top. She kept feeling around for it and pulled her hand back suddenly, almost like something had bit her. Ari knew for a fact nothing leather was in this bag, her wallet was made of a plasticky material and anything else in her bag was just paper or plastic. What she had felt couldn’t have been there, but she could swear it was. Pulling the zipper farther down she could see a medium sized leather book with loosely tied straps around it. Ari could have sworn she had put this back in the box and yet in her bag was what she believed to be Keziah’s journal.

Fourteen:

Ari had decided to stay at the cafe and drink her tea, being around Marcus had helped her to calm her nerves a bit. In an attempt to keep the book out of her mind she chatted about his creative fiction project and anything that came to mind. Her ride home though she couldn’t stop coming back to the fact that she had been certain she had put the book in the second box before she left. She never would have taken something out of that room, she never would have. There had to be some sort of logical explanation, but she just couldn’t think of one. Parker and Becca were curled up on the couch watching what looked like a horror movie and Ari briefly said hi and that she needed to take a quick nap after all of her researching. Once she was in the attic she pulled the book out of her bag as gently as she could, though her hands were shaking with excitement and possiblyl a little bit of fear. Just holding the book in her room felt somehow risky, like someone would know it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Sitting down on the bed she slowly undid the knots she’d made and put them on her nightstand. She turned back to the page she had looked at with the sillhouette and again stared at the image. It was such a detailed silhoutte and Ari felt compelled to keep looking at it. As she stared her eyes began to feel heavy and her body seemed to sink into her mattress. The book slipped from her hands and she could hear a soft thump as it fell onto the bed beside her.

Ari found herself again in the room with the drying plants, this time though she could see someone at the table across from her. While she could not yet see the person’s face she was not afraid, she felt somehow completely at ease. As she made her way toward the person she began to stretch out her arm to touch the shoulder, but she stopped as they turned to face her. The face seemed new, but somehow familiar. It was in profile to her and what drew her in was the shape of the lips. They were lightly pursed and seemed so soft. The name Keziah seemed to slip out of her own lips before she could stop it and the lips curled softly into a sweet smile.

“Yes, I am Keziah,” she said quietly, “and you must be the Ari my dear Brown Jenkins has told me about.”

As she spoke, Keziah had turned fully toward Ari and had taken her hands in hers. They stood facing each other with their hands interlocked for a few moments as Ari tried to take in every aspect of Keziah’s face. The eyes that she had desperately wanted to know were lit with a sort of intelligent glint that was balanced with the warmth that seemed to eminate from her. The blueish green eyes that seemed to be gazing deeply into Ari’s eyes were flecked with gold. Ari could have continued to stare into those eyes for an eternity, but Keziah lightly broke the connection by moving her hands slightly.

“Come and sit with me, I am sure you have many questions for me.”

Ari followed Keziah to the bench near the table and the two sat with their knees lightly touching. Ari couldn’t seem to have the words to ask all of the questions that were filling her head. Keziah lightly chuckled, “I suppose it would be a bit hard to figure just what to ask first. We only have until you wake so perhaps we should start at the beginning and I will try my best to help you understand.”

“I was born in Essex to a recently widowed mother who while grieving the loss of her husband, still hoped to give me a life of bounty. My mother started a garden and began offering her services as a midwife and helping women in the village with ailments. As I grew she also trained me in these skills and I would assist her until she grew too old. I had spent my life helping the women of Essex and I continued this work even after my mother left this world. As I spent more time helping the women I began to see just how little the men of Essex cared for anyone else in their lives. If something did not benefit them they did not trust it and often spent time suppressing it. I did not wish to be a part of that constant drudgery and chose to never seek out male companionship, which led the men to further dislike me. My mother, having been married, had that as an identity that protected her. The more time I spent on the outskirts of Essex the more I began to realize that there were other women who felt repressed by everythinig around them. I would invite them to visit me and depending on what issues they were having I would try to help them with some of my mother’s remedies as well as some practices I had created over time. I believe I could have continued these meetings and living as I did if it had not been for my connection to Ruth. She felt so isolated in her home and she felt that she only had a brief period of freedom left before her father married her off to one of the eligible young men who was part of the church council. She began sneaking away to spend more time with me and asking me more about the work I did with the women who visited me. I shared some of my knowledge with her and we became friends. This slowly began to change and we found that we cared for each other in a deeper way and while we were careful to hide our growing closeness we did not know her father was following her. The brief kiss he saw provided him the catalyst to accuse me. The trial was rooted in his fear and hate of me. I knew I had to protect Ruth and while she had hoped to save me, I insisted she must keep our secret. When they sentenced me to death I prepared myself and bid the world goodbye, but what I did not expect was what occurred on that day. When I dropped from the gallows I did not die as I expected, but instead stayed in a strange state of inbetween for what felt like an eternity. During that window of time I felt as though I was outside of my body and I saw Brown Jenkins killed. He had been my constant companion, no matter how alone I was he had always been there, and in that state my grief seemed to manifest and I watched him return to life. I urged him as best I could to run and hide from the crowd and as he scurried away something happened in me. Anger, sorrow, pain, grief, and my lost love for Ruth all seemed to come together and I found myself channeling that energy toward Essex and it felt as though I was tying myself to the very land around me. Then I felt myself fade out of existence, but only for a moment.”

Ari reached out her hand and lightly wiped a tear from Keziah’s cheek. The woman in front of her seemed focused on her story, but Ari could see sadness clouding the bright eyes she was looking deeply into. Keziah was silent for a moment and then appeared to recenter herself and after a long breath she began talking again.

“I do not know how long I was part of the nothingness, but one day I seemed to wake up as though I had been in a deep sleep. I found myself standing in a room that I did not recognize, but there was a man sitting before me that I could have sworn was Isaac Gestleman. I felt a flood of emotions, though the first of which was anger. This had never been an emotion I had allowed to lead me, but in that moment I wanted to hurt that man who had brought about my death, had taken Ruth from my life, and had also killed my dear Brown Jenkins. That rage somehow seemed to come to life and I saw a strange violet light seemingly erupt from me. The man seemed startled and as he turned to look at me I realized he was not Isaac, but the resemblance was so close that I knew he must be of his lineage. I did not wish to punish this man for crimes he did not commit and tried to calm myself. This moment is what led the man I learned to be Walter to become fixated on the home and on my life. My return seemed to summon Brown Jenkins to me, which filled me with joy, but did not help Walter to move on from his newly created obsession. While Brown Jenkins tried to be discrete Walter continued to notice him and began setting traps and trying to find ways to kill the rat he insisted was plaguing him. One of his traps did catch the poor creature and I was able to use what small power I had to free him. What I did not realize that the energy I expelled to save Brown Jenkins from a second death appeared in a physical way. Again violet light appeared in the room and the brightness of it woke Walter from a deep sleep. From that moment on he insisted that he was being haunted by me. I had no idea why I was in this room and seemingly trapped there, but as time passed Walter became more and more insistent that I was trying to cause him harm. When he met that author he shared many things, mostly imagined events, that painted me as a dark and terrible creature that was focused on ruining his life. When the story was not what he hoped for and he resigned himself to a life isolated from others I found myself still tied to the home. I watched his decline and while his ancestor had done such terrible things, I tried to find a way to lift his spirits in some ways. I would try to exhude positive energy and in my work to try and alleviate some of his pain I began growing my own powers and energy. I eventually found that I could find the imprint of my former home that was attached to this new building. If I concentrated I could return to what I knew and eventually I could slip in between the present and my past. As Walter grew older and frailer I could sense his death was coming. On the night I knew he would be leaving this world I pushed myself to connect with him in his dreaming state. While he was first frightened, he allowed me to comfort him and tell him that I had never wished him harm. In those last moments I told him that he would now find peace and he passed into the light. I felt his soul leave the home, but I still felt attached to this home. With time I found ways to interact with Brown Jenkins and I watched as the home changed again. New people and new energy helped me to feel a closeness to others again, but it wasn’t until you moved into the attic that I realized something was changing. Another soul seemed to be appearing in what I had thought was place only I could inhabit. Brown Jenkins also began seeking you out, I could feel him searching and when you let him stay with you I felt a larger shift as though I was cementing a connection to this world that I had not felt in centuries. I think your soul called to me Ari and while I don’t know why yet I think there is something larger at work here.”

Keziah then stopped speaking and held Ari’s hands tightly, a silence seemed to stretch comfortably between them and what surprised Ari was the strong desire she felt to stay in this place. She tried to speak, but Keziah smiled lightly and moved her hand to cup the younger woman’s cheek.

“You are beginning to wake up in the real world, I will see you again and we will talk more when you return to dreams.”

In that moment the room began to fade and the last thing Ari remembered seeing were Keziah’s eyes as the sound of her alarm clock pulled her back into her own world.

Fifteen:

All Ari wanted to do was go back to sleep. She kept finding herself drifiting into daydreams about Keziah and being with her again, but she knew she couldn’t say wrapped up on a dream. While she thought many people would have brushed the experience off as a dream related to all the research she had been doing, but when she had been with Keziah it had felt like more than a dream. It had felt so real and what had been revealed had been so much more than Ari could ever have found while working on her project. With no classes on Friday, Ari had initially planned to spend some time with her roommates. Parker had said they would be free today and the two could do some exploring around town together, but now that she’d had that dream Ari really wanted to spend some time just reading through Keziah’s journal. She still didn’t understand how the book had made it into her backpack, but she felt like it had to have come to her for a reason. She threw on a hoody and some sweats and made her way downstairs to grab coffee and let Parker know she would be spending some time researching today and wouldn’t be able to hang out.

When she made it downstairs she was surprised by how quiet the house was. Normally when Parker was home they turned on music or the television and left it on while they did things in the kitchen. While she was grabbing a mug for coffee, Ari noticed Claudia curled up on the couch with a book. Unlike Parker, Claudia was more likely to put in earbuds or put on some sort of headphone while ze was in the common areas. After making a quick cup of coffee, Ari wrote out a quick note to Parker on the memo board on the fridge letting them know she would be working on school stuff today and then waved quietly at Claudia on her way to her room. She grabbed a blanket and curled up on her bed with Keziah’s book and she was pleased to see Jenkins had made his way onto her pillow and had fallen back to sleep with his nose tucked under his paw. Ari very delicately opened the book and traced the image of Keziah on the front page with her finger tip. While she wasn’t physically there Ari could feel a warmth around her, almost like Keziah was there with her.

The journal was sort of a combination of daily observations and remedies or treatments that Keziah was working on at the time. Sometimes these blended together into discussions of someone who had come to see Keziah and what she was trying to do in order to help the person. One of the entries that particularly fascinated Ari was tied to when Ruth first came to visit Keziah. As with many of the patient related write-ups Keziah began by writing the name and a brief description of why that person had come to her. She never included anything beyond the first name, Ari guessed this was in the event someone came upon her book to protect the women who came to her. Ruth’s first entry mentioned a constant stomach pain. No matter whether she ate or not her stomach felt as though it was churning. Keziah had made an herbal tea for her and she had sat with her while she drank her first cup. Ruth had said the pain had abated and Keziah offered to provide her with more tea to take home, but Ruth had insisted that she would not be able to make it at home. From then on, Ruth came to visit Keziah at least 4 times a week to sit with her and drink tea. During these meetings Keziah learned more about Ruth’s home life and as the weeks and months passed she began teaching her some of her remedies and practices. Ruth even stayed for some of her meetings with other women and it was as though Ruth was becoming her apprentice. The entries stopped before the trial and while Keziah wrote a great deal about Ruth there were also elements that appeared veiled for fear that her book would be found.

During her reading, Jenkins had made his way onto her lap, while he laid in a ball he would occassionally lift his head and nudge her hand so that she would pet him. Ari hadnt realized how late it had gotten until her stomach made a loud growling sound. She would definitely need to eat something before she kept working, though she found herself wondering more about Ruth and what had happened to her after Keziah’s death. A majority of the records for Essex County had been digitized so she hoped that there would be something about her.

End of part three

Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, and on my kleffnotes YouTube channel.

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