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PG-18 Abigail's Crucible (rated m for violence, horrific scenes, language, adult and suggestive themes. Reader discretion advised)

Skull Tooth

"When life is precious, death is paramount."
A family returning from the pool found themselves thirsty. They forgot to purchase drinks at the snack bar before they left; a father taking the opportunity to send his eleven year old daughter to the vending machine around the corner to fetch them some drinks. The father and mother only wished for a bottle of water- refusing the tap water after being so spoiled on filtered for so long. Buying water by the bulk at the store instead of drinking from the two at home led them to buying a new fridge with the filtered water and ice dispenser to save a buck or two. Her brother, only three years younger than her, beckoned for a soda and she felt the urge for one herself. They had grown tired of water every day; if they were on vacation, they would treat it as such.

With a ten dollar bill in her clutches, she took way to the vending machines around the corner to their room and popped the dollar in. Even with the money, when she pressed the button, nothing came tumbling out. She attempted a few more times, but the message kept displaying "insufficient funds." She tried the coin return, but it would seem the machine was hungry and devoured the money. This was asinine and knew her father would be displeased to find his money was swallowed; still, she would lead way back to the room. Every step, however, seemed to grow further and further away from the turn when she tried. Moments later the darkness itself felt starved for it ate the lights and left her in a darkness. Her heartbeat picked up pace and her breath was sporadic as the walls around her seemed to trap her in a claustrophobia. She hated tight spaces, ever since Molly at school trapped her in the janitor closet. She screamed bloody murder and pounded against the door in manic for what seemed like hours before the bars to her hellish prison was ripped open by the principal.

"Abigail, are you okay?" His worry tone falling silent when she collapsed into his arms in a pool of tears. It was a nightmare inducing experience she's yet to fully recover from. Even With Molly expelled for her maltreatment exposed in interviews with other students, Abigail still poked her head around corners before continuing on.

Abigail extended her arms out in front of her to find herself at a door. The hallway she just preoccupied was stolen by an unseen force and she was now thrown into a broom closet of sorts. She could not see anything in front of her and her vision was not settling on the darkness to make any contents out. Somehow, in her venture, she had stumbled into a closet; or was she dreaming? Had she climbed into her bed and fetched sleep without her knowing? There was no way. She was sure her father really had given her money and she was at the malfunctioning vending machine. Had her mind finally broke after the many night terrors and hours of therapy she underwent to strip her mind of the disturbance Molly had overwhelmed her with? Was she suffering a schizophrenic episode, blending reality with thoughts?

The walls felt like thick cement as she pressed up against them and a faint dropping of water behind her everywhere she turned stayed with her every waking moment. She tried the door- the latch would not budge. Trapped like a dog in a box as if the voices had her barred in her head again; voices the walls keeping her in a straight jacket with no escape. Hardly breathe, heart thumping against her sternum, ready to claw its way out and run for safety. She might have been okay after Molly's encounter, but it followed her like a shadow; like everything else in her life she was a victim of fear. Crippled she was at the thought she might be trapped for good this time. Still; could not just rot inside this cell block, she had to at least try and call for help.

"Hello?! Is anybody out there?!" An answer in silence; it held no savior to come and whisk her away from captivity and led to more pounding on the door. It echoed so loudly, someone was sure to hear.

Nothing, nonetheless; a scream at the top of her lungs seemed to wreak only despair. Had she tripped on her way and fell to the depths of hell? Would the Devil soon beseech her with fingers to prey upon her limbs and flesh? An never-ending suffering of dismemberment for sins she had committed? Had she even committed such sins deserving of the beast himself? Her parents were judgemental assholes and loved to spread their hate to their children, but Abigail chose to walk her own path. Her brother, however, was different; their parents had infected him and he allowed it in. It poured into his veins and won him some very scary friends. She feared he'd grow into another Molly and trap a poor soul in another broom closet; maybe the same one. Would he taunt the school with his aura? Would others cower beneath his feet like a god and worship him on a pedestal with pictures of his face on every wall? Shrines of the masses surrounding him that fed his arrogance like an all-you-can-eat buffet; it would be the death of her.

Her pounding on the door grew louder as panic filled her lungs and adrenaline pierced her heart. She wanted out! This was horrifying- trapped in a dark room with walls that felt were closing in on her. The oxygen was being ripped from her; entrapment a prison where the walls would begin their rants at any second. "Just kill yourself, Abigail. You know you want to.."

"Please! Somebody! Anybody!" Free her from this and she'll grovel at their feet until her last days. She'll speak stories of their heroism and name them along with all the other legends. More and more pounding banged the door until a hatch finally clicked. Finally! A light filled the room through a crack and the dying darkness bequeathed the room with light. Oh thank go- where was the hotel? The red carpet floors and caramel walls were no longer present.

Wood walls and a floor to match encompassed her; paintings hung on the wall and tall windows layered throughout. Light from the sun beamed in and filled her with dread. Unfamiliar faces surrounding her sitting in pews; their eyes shared one destination- Her. Cold stares lacing her veins with ice and pinned her to the ground where she stood. Why are these people staring at me? Despite their penance glares being the first obscenity she took note of, their old clothing was next on her list. Dressed up in dresses and wool clothing- like she stepped into a time capsule and warped back to the 1800s. Where the hell was she? The men had short or bald hair and all the women pulled their hair back into buns, shoes shined; any smudges absent.

She slowly stepped from the closet and noticed their glances following her. She was glued to their hues with anger so devastating, she thought she a thief. What caught her attention above all this was a man at an alter who glared at her with such disdain; she sunk to the floor like stones pulling her underneath the Earth. Behind him stood a statue of a crucified Jesus with white eyes. Why were they white? They looked so evil; had this been the work of the devil?

"Abigail Stenton, you're accused of witchcraft, what say you in your defense?"

What? Witchcraft? She was unfamiliar with the accusations flying her way. How was she charged with witchcraft?


Confused and frightened; she wanted to leave; wanted to run. As much as she disagreed with her family, they were all she wanted. Take her back to her room and tuck her in for the night, or wake her from this horrid dream she had found herself trapped in. This was not happening; this could not be happening; no way she took a wrong, ending up here- something was very wrong. She was only eleven; what could she had done to possess such a fate?

"You dare mock us before our Jesus Christ?" His voice held no humor in its soul- it was out for blood. "You'll pay for your wretched treachery, sorceress!"

"Burn her!" Called out a familiar voice. Her eyes trailed to a girl of the same age; blue eyes and pink and white dress. Her blonde hair was braided and pulled into a stiff ponytail. Molly?

"Yes, burn her!" Her mother had now stood with Molly; fierce blaze in her eyes. "She's bewitched me from birth; I always knew she was a little devil!"

What was her mother doing here? Did her father and brother join her in the crowd? She knew not for the faces of dark countenance shadowed the features as they stared forward. They were statues of grotesque

"Burn the witch! Burn the witch! Burn the witch!" The crowd had joined simultaneously to condemn her to flames.

What had she done to deserve such denial from the heavenly lights? How had she succumbed to such a fate? The air around her was stale on her tongue and the smell in her nostrils was the worst she's ever been acquainted to. This was a monstrous fate she tumbled across; if she made it out alive, she'd be plagued with many nightmares.

"Burn her! Burn her! Burn her!" Everyone continued. Condemned was she to the obscene; the walls of reality were crumbling around her.

Tears struck her face with the force of waterfalls and dropped to the ground. This was beyond hell; she knew not what to call this, but she was no longer at home.

"SILENCE!!!" A chilling echo roaring; cutting the words from the crowd's ranting laws. "Your crimes of witchcraft are not alone; you have many accusations standing against you, fiend!"

"Buh buh but I haven't done anything!" Pleading in vain; she was damned before this began.

"Again with your mockery! You think us fools, witch! We know of you, child and we're no more ignorant than you are clever!"

What was happening? Her nervous system inherited such a shake her knees could buckle any given second. Cave in on herself and beneath the ground where she was threatened to rest for the rest of her days. This man only grew angrier when she denied the claims, but how could she not? She was not this monster he claimed; how could she? She was innocent.

"You've claimed a saint, but we know of your sins! You've wrongfully accused many in your attempts; a fowl game you've played, harlot!"

What was going on? Why was she here? Judgement day came for the wrong person person; it was misguided in its assumption.

"You convicted many to the stake, your last was Molly Thompson!" His finger pointed to the still standing Molly who had vicious spewing from her vision. "The albatross has enlightened us and you'll pay for your transgressions!"

But Molly was an evil girl; she had trapped her in that closet for no rhyme nor reason. Was it really, though?

"You tricked a poor defenseless girl while you played innocent! You cannot fool us any longer with your tripe!"

The ball of spikes rolled down her throat and into the pit of her gut, splattering on impact and sending a shockwave through her limbs. The wick to her fear had been ignited and it exploded; there was no stopping this.

"Poor Molly was believed to be a devil, but it is you who are in fact the demon! Your crimes against our people will not go unpunished!"

"But-" his hand slamming on the altar had sliced her words.


A ton of bricks split her in two and froze her to the spot. Had she heard him right? Two males took possession of her arms and began dragging her back. Her feet scuffed the floor with her screams "PLEASE! PLEASE! I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!!"

Her mother watched her coming face-to-face with the full circle. Abigail was powerless against the two men forcing her against will to carry out a sentence she was dumbfounded to. This had to be some sick nightmare; some horrid schizophrenic outburst, but it felt so real. There was no sympathy uttered in the looks of her mother- she was stone-cold.

"And I allowed myself to love you…"

Abigail was bound to a wooden pike by ropes; straw at her feet. Everyone had gathered to watch her skin ripple from her body; the hand of God smack her to the depths of the underworld where Satan would tear her limb from limb. The man stepped forth with a torch; he was a monster in the face.

"You've come to face your crimes, demon! Hold your tongue, it holds no power here!"

"Puh please, let me go…" the tears were strong and weakened her breathing. How the sobbing courses through and wreaked havoc on her soul.

Her pleas fell on no ears save her own; they believed themselves enlightened.

"I now carry out your sentence and lead in this prayer," menacing tones sprouting from his throat. "Our Father in heaven; hallowed be thy name, cut the cord to Abigail's game. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done and maketh it so she's cast into the sun."

She fought the restraints with every fiber in her bones- unanswered. "PLEASE! LET ME GO!"

"Forgive us our trespasses, but not the one who trespassed against us, for we knew not of betrayal, but wish to seek justice!" His voice raised to drown her out. They would not befall to such claims of her pitiful innocence. "She's led us to temptation and delivered evil; she's accused of being in league with the devil."

The ropes grew tighter the more she struggled- pinning her to the wood even more.

"Whatever you want; I'll do anything you want… just let me goo."

Frail was she in these moments; there was no saviour coming for her. She thought to accept this death, but fear had her fighting until the final breath foolishly took presence to be burnt away by the flames of captivity.

"For thine is the kingdom! The power! And the glory! Our one and true savior in this fateful story! THY SANCTUM WILLl LIVE ON FOREVER AND EVER!!" Tension was growing as was the volume in his voice only to come to a sudden halt. The wind whistled a song as silence took precedence for the lingering moment until "while her soul rots in the fire; destined to burn," finished his prayer and the torch was tossed to the ground.

The spark was the brightest light she had seen that day and grew her eyes to the size of golf balls when it revealed she was trapped to face the life of the fire reaching upward with claws to nip at her feet. Her ankles were bound and called for only endurance; she would not escape. The teeth of the flames eventually coiled around her feet before cycloning up her thighs and singeing her clothes instantly until only her naked body was left. Pins and needles clawed from deep within; for a moment she was floating on that stake- was only a moment until the blisters and boils devastated her with sheer agony.

"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" Involuntary; however inevitable was her reaction as the blood in her veins turned acidic; devouring her as much on the inside as the fire swallowed her out.

The pale colours shadowed to an eventual blackness spawning with the imminent demise of the poor little thing. She fought so deliciously against Satan's flames- with little to no reward, unfortunately. She would not come out on top and as the fire blazed her life away and the smoke drowned her lungs, her screams to would die and only the cacchination of flames remained, like a million pops over and over again. To save the last few minutes of her life, she caught a glimpse of the invisible crowd and amidst them only one figure stood with no transparency. There, where the others had watched her wither, was a male of unsavory fortitude. Eyes of a never-ending white and a grin drooling over the horrific barbecue twisting the intestines of any sane being forced to watch it wreck this little girl. It watched with hunger as her soul melted away and only her charred remains falling to the ground when the bindings gave way to the heat. Soot and ash spreading when the corpse met the ground.