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By takeastand All Rights Reserved ©


Chapter 1

It was dark, cold and raining outside. The wind howled through paper-thin gaps in doors and windows, the muffled sound of tree branches crashing to the ground joining it. Rain pelted on the roofs, seeping through the thatched roofs and into people’s homes. In other words, it was a regular winter’s night in the small town of Salem and in a basement tucked away from prying eyes sat three people. Two were children, young girls, and the third was an old, wrinkled woman with dark skin and a mad look in her eyes. She was in the middle of retelling an old tale that had graced her tongue hundreds of times before. Two of the children looked terrified, huddled next to the other two who were listening on in awe, soaking up the old hag’s words.

“Abigail, I’m scared.” One of the girls- the youngest- whimpered, pressing her face against another, older girl, “what if these stories are true?”

The elder laughed silently. “Don’t be silly, Elizabeth, they’re only stories.”

“Don’t call me Elizabeth. It’s Betty, and you know it.” Betty frowned, peering at the old hag (who was muttering to herself and giggling every now and then) cautiously. “Papa will be wondering where we are. Abi, why don’t we ever tell Papa where we go?”

Abigail frowned. “Because he’s not my Father, and you know he wouldn’t let me take you anywhere. I like spending time with you.”

Betty let her eyes wander as Abigail spoke, eventually landing on the hag, who was still muttering to herself. The hag seemed to feel Betty’s eyes on her and she snapped her head up, yellowed eyes glinting harshly.

“Tituba will tell you one more story!” She cackled, “Then young ladies may leave.”

Betty shrunk back, scared. She still wasn’t used to Tituba’s unexpectedness. Even after months of visiting her every week with Abigail to hear the same story of demons and sex and terrifying creatures that possessed you and killed you, she wasn’t used to it. It still scared her- all of it, but it pleased Abigail, and it meant she was away from her Father’s prying eyes, and so she dealt with it, even though she had nightmares every night they went.

And so she listened for another hour more, as Tituba prattled on with more tales of spirits and demons and witches, especially the ones that had been burned here.

And somewhere, not far away from the dark basement, Sarah Good walked away from another doorstep, muttering curses under her breath, and Sarah Osborne was lying in her bed, having previously watched her own children leave her, ten years after her husband did.

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Deleted User: You put a lot of effort into this story, and in some places the detail is lovely. The beginning is really good. There is a lot of good detail in the first paragraphs. I get a good feel for his confusion.But I am lost in the back story. I have no idea where this is going. Perhaps mention someone y...

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

Resting-Madness: I've been in love that strongly, that I could see myself in the same situation as Surgio. The slow crawl of desperation was well depicted, I could feel myself leaning close to the screen, like he and I were conspiring together on how to construct this Frankenstein of Adela. And that's written thr...

Caitlin E. Jones: This is actually my second time reading through "Black Dog", and it never ceases to impress! The wealth of research and beautiful description alone are worth a read, never mind the really gripping drama that plays out between the characters. The world-building feels organic, the plot has just rig...

MischiefPersonified: There is no other title to give this review. This was the most beautiful, heartbreaking, tragic story I have ever read. I will admit I cried multiple times over the course of this story and cheered (when the occasion called for it) There is so much character development throughout the entire stor...

Girl on Fire: Great story, line Alex!!!It really has a edge on it. It put me on edge with its thrill. Can't wait to read the rest.!!!

Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.

Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...

cicheah: Very well-knit story which sustains one's interest from beginning to end. Most enjoyable and a pleasure to read.

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Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.

Alex Rushmer: I really love your writing style in this story. Usually the whole narration from a journal sort of thing doesn't work for me, but you really pull it off here. I like the main character's blatant way of putting things. I think that it lends a lot to his character and to the story. You tell it like...

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