There were no windows. The only light came when the door infrequently opened. The year is 1692 and the jail in Salem, Massachusetts held only those accused of witchcraft.
How I wish, I could capture some of that light. I Giles Corey sit here with my wife Martha in the very dark. We will soon be put to death. They say we are witches. If that be true, we would place a spell and be free but we can do no spells.
Eighteen days, I think if my mind still tells me which is day and night. They came for my wife. I demanded to know why and they told me about the books. I laughed and said she always reads strange books but they took her anyway. Abigail Hobbs, the skinny one with the eyes which look inward, testified against my wife.
They used my telling of the strange books as testimony against my wife, the pigs. I broke into the Court of Oyer and Terminer and demanded my words be understood as I intended them to be. They arrested me. Now we both wait for trial, but there will be no trail. This court is false and already has determined our guilt. They scraped two souls out of this black dungeon and offered them life for testimony. They traded their own souls for ours but the pigs will feast upon them as well.
I will lay here in my filth, eat the vermin off my body and drink my own piss until God takes me from this pit and puts me in His own. I will never stand for trial in front of those swine.
“How plead thee?” Not guilty you filthy piss artist “Are thou ready to stand trial?” If I answer anything at all the swine will twist the words. I will stand mum. “Are thou ready to stand trial?” I heard your oink the first time, pig. I will say nothing. “Are thou ready to stand trial?” I’m turning my lips inward to you. “Are thou ready to stand trial?” What idiots he’s yelling at me and the judge’s eyes are bulging out at me, I will remain tacit.
“Your Lords, the accused refuses to stand for trial. I ask for the order of Peine Forte et Dure.”” So granted.” “Bring the accused to the field next to the jail.” My place of death has been chosen. “Strip off his clothes.” What does he have in mind for my means of death? They do not hang a man naked. He has a board, there are rocks, am I to be pressed?
“Are thou ready to stand trial?” “Pile the rocks high so my death is quick.” I barked out at him. “You will beg for mercy, forgiveness and your trial, long before the last rock is lain.” The sheriff replied.
It is heavy but I yell,” more rocks.”
“Are thou ready to stand trial?” “More rocks.” I moaned. My breath is being crushed out but my resolve is strong. “More rocks” I hear. Who is it? Margaret? My wife? You died years ago. What are you doing here? Have I died? “No Giles, you are not dead. I have come to show you your death.” I see myself tied up and there are lashes on my back. ” I tied you up and the lashes are for the ones I endured from you every day of our loveless marriage. You made me suffer pain and now you will suffer like I suffered.”
“Are thou ready to stand trial?” “Tell them Giles, More Rocks.” “More Rocks.” I had said nothing but heard my voice. “Hello Corey, remember me?” Jacob Goodale.? “You cannot forget the man you murdered, can you Corey? This time Corey I am in charge and you will be the one to die, over and over and over and over again. Giles Corey you will never stop dying for all eternity.”
“Are thou ready to stand trial?” ” Let me answer for you, Giles. More rocks.” My tongue will not move, if only I can move my tongue I have lost my resolve and will stand for trial. Who is here now? Mary Bright, what harm came to you? I treated you as a wife needed to be treated and even had you buried in the church cemetery.
“I was never your wife. I was just your servant. I cooked, cleaned, waited on you, and obeyed your every order. You showed me no kindness, no tenderness, no passion, no lovemaking, no love. I was your whore. Your breath is almost gone. Your chest is close to being crushed. Soon the time will come when you will serve me.”
“Are thou ready to stand trial?” I can answer now, my tongue is free, but it will not move. Mary Bright let loose of my tongue. “No, dear Giles let me do one more act of service for you before you die. More rocks.”
How can their voices sound like mine? I do not want more rocks I want to stand trial. The weight is too much to bear. The pain of death too great. I will not die. I cannot die. My tongue is out of my mouth lying on the ground. I cannot pull it back in. If I can pull back my tongue I can tell them I want to stand trial. Here comes Benoni, my dear stepson, Martha’s son. He will show mercy to me.
“Sheriff, can you please put his tongue back into his mouth?” The sheriff took his staff and with it shoved Giles Corey’s tongue back into his mouth. The sheriff kept the end of the staff in the pressed man’s mouth while the stepson placed yet another heavy stone upon the pile.
Giles Corey died.