Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Tina Altman would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Beginning and The End

By Tina Altman All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Fantasy

Chapter 1

She looked at her hands – flesh blistering and bleeding.  The raw pain she felt made her eyes sting, causing salty tears to streak down her face.  A muffled whimpering was echoing off the walls of her deep cell.  She soon realised it was coming from her.

“I will never confess.” She half whispered to herself, as she gathered the strength to steadily pick herself up.

She shuffled across the filthy floor, jingling the chains which bound her feet.  A foreboding feeling came over her, as she made her way to the barred window which overlooked the town square.  Shafts of light touch touched her vacuous face as she viewed the spectacle unfolding before her.  The townspeople gathered in the square.  Peddlers set up stalls selling sweet bread and ale, while others set up viewing stands in front of the pyre.

She raised her hand and gently touched her carelessly shaven head.  The raven hair was no more.  Her body repulsed at the thoughts of those men touching her.  She wore her pain like a mask, but those emerald eyes still remained her most alluring feature.  To this grand beauty they had put flames to the soles of her feet and palms of her hands.  On the rack they had stretched her like toffee and whipped her naked back until it bled.

“No mater ”, she whispered, “I know where I go.”

Her thoughts were interrupted with the loud creaking sound of the cell door being unbolted and opened by the guards.  In walked Father Toulouse carrying a well worn copy of the Malleus Maleficarum – the inquisitors bible – under one arm.  In the other he carried a small black leather bag, much like the Parisian doctors carry.

“Bring me a small table and a stool.” he snapped at one of the guards, while narrowing his eyes in the direction of the woman.

“Do you wish to confess now Verity?”

“Confess to what?” she answered.

“You are a member of the Vaudois, are you not?  You meet with other heathens and practice your rituals.  You cavort with Satan, do you not?  You perform your Sabbaths to honour him.  Do you confess!”

“What are you trying to say, Father?” she said teasingly.

“That you’re a witch!” he shouted, the last word echoing off the damp walls.

“Oh!  Such accusations!”

She began to laugh madly, her voice ringing out and scraping the cell.

“You sacrificed that child.  You took the life right out of it and gave it to the Devil!”

With a sudden burst of anger Verity leapt forward and stood stock still, two feet from him, her eyes piercing his like a needle.

“I was trying to help Emlen give birth.  Unfortunately the child was stillborn.  There was nothing I could do.  There was nothing anyone could have done.”

“Lies, all lies.  You can’t be trusted.  It is written in the Bible.  The Apostle John was heard to say that women were the downfall of man.”

“Believe that, let it comfort you.  John was a woman hater, the same as yourself.  You want to oppress me because you fear me.  You fear what I know.”

“How dare you speak such abominations to me!  You are Satan’s spawn, so help me God you will be driven into the pits of hell where you belong.”

“Satan doesn’t exist, you created him along with your idealistic God.  You think we are all born with original sin – how pathetic!”

“Curb your tongue witch.  You will be thrust down into the eternal fires of hell soon enough.  Many have witnessed your bewitching powers.  We have signed documentation stating you practice the Black Arts.  This alone can send you to your death, for heresy is against God’s law.

The cell door creaked open once again and the guard brought in the table and stool.

“Place them in the middle of the room.” ordered Father Toulouse.

Verity backed away and wrapped her arms around herself in a protective manner.  Father Toulouse proceeded to empty the contents of his bag onto the table.  He took out a box of matches, a yellow candle, a candle holder engraved with tiny dancing angels, a small brass bell and a Bible.  His trembling hands lit the candle and placed it in the candle holder.  He picked up the copy of the Malleus Maleficarum turned to a marked page and began to read out loud.

“We exclude Verity Lore from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church, and we judge her condemned to the eternal fires with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as she will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church.”

With that he closed the book, rang the bell once and extinguished the candle by thrusting it down onto the ground.

“Let God’s will be done.”


(c) Tina Altman

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.

Satabda Chatterjee: Each and every charecter develops during the whole course of the journey and keeps secretly love for the princess . However the way that writter expressed each situatuons that the princess faced quite relevant and keeps the suspense always at the end of the chapter. . . .which makes the reader m...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

Jhiane Rabang: The story was so interesting. I loved how the story has plot twists that I can't expect. IT IS VERY HARD TO FIND A BOOK LIKE THIS so I suggest you read this book and I will tell you that it is worth every single second while you read this book. I can't wait to read the rest of the story.

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :D The character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

More Recommendations

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...

Megan King: This book is absolutely amazing, it kept me on my toes through the entire book. I hope there is a second book. I would 10 out of 10 recommend this for anyone who loves fantasy, action or romance because it is full of all three 💕

mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!

maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.