It was nearing midnight, a swirling storm of screaming silver saturated the Putnam’s house, as furious as the devil himself. Each gust of wind testing every nail, lock and screw that held the house together. The wind hammered and pushed its way through every crack that was torn in the house and down the chimney to snuff the lone candle glistening in the bedroom. A crack in the window let in the snowy gale that billowed outside. This icy path flew towards Ann Putnam and nipped at her knees that were kneeling in prayer. At that moment, a chill froze Ann’s blood and made her heart turn cold - the fear of a mother who would again rock a lifeless baby in her arms. Ann shook this notion and continued her prayers, hopeful that this time the Lord would allow her to bear a child. Ann’s prayers were not heavenly bound as a sudden echo of knuckles sprang through the door disrupting her thoughts. Thomas Putnam stumbled his way through the dark to open the front door, relieved at the sight of the midwife as he could finally leave his wife’s side. Rebecca Nurse appeared at the bedroom door and smiled at a pained Ann.
“The baby be ready to come?”
Ann now surrounded by an arc of brilliant gold when all else appeared black, lay back on the bed with Rebecca Nurse by her side. Ann was not so fearful in the company of the flames that danced around her. She knew that God was present and would support her through whatever darkness may come before her. As Rebecca Nurse gently felt Ann’s stomach, Ann felt a great kick inside of her and wailed. Rebecca, now directly in front of Ann spoke with words as sweet as honey,
“Focus on me, not the pain”.
Ann tried to do as she was told. She observed Rebecca’s face, withered with a mass of wrinkles beneath her hair so white that it now seemed to glow. Ann’s heart ached as she looked at each line. Every wrinkle told a tale of laughter and joy that Rebecca had shared with her own children. Ann thought of her own face, the only tale it told was of a broken, childless woman. She...