Abigail Williams

November 7, 2012
By Rachel_B GOLD, Malverne, New York
Rachel_B GOLD, Malverne, New York
12 articles 2 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light."
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

My name is Abigail Williams and I am seventeen years of age. Some people may think I am a selfish, mean and intimidating girl but for one to understand all of my ways and whims, one must first hear about my past and what a horrible one it was.
When I was only a young girl, I lived with my parents in a village where Indians resided in close proximity. One cold winter night my father did not come home for supper, forcing my mother and me to eat our supper alone. My mother busied herself about the kitchen, worrying because my father was a hot-tempered man, often getting into arguments with other townsmen. The other day, I had overheard him tell my mother about a confrontation he had with some Indian men in town, and I knew that was what my mother was thinking of at that moment. We went to bed alone and, as my mother drifted off into a troubled sleep, I lay awake thinking about my dear father. Such a determined man he was, never settling for less than what he wanted, and not stopping until he received it. He thought I was the most beautiful girl in the world; he always showed me off to his friends and I was adored by every one of them. But the part of my father that I favored most was his unyielding love for me. I lay smiling to myself when I heard a loud crash and bang from the front room. Then I heard voices; my father’s I recognized, but there were others that I did not. I heard my father scream “No, no!! They aren’t in there!!” This woke my mother who quickly shielded me by positioning herself on the bed between me and the door. Angrily, the door to the bedroom flew open then, and over my mother’s shoulder I saw them. Two men with muscular arms, dark hair and olive skin stormed roughly into the room. A third followed, holding my father by the hair and his arms behind his back. My father and I locked eyes, and I knew nothing good was to come of this. The proceeding events happened so quickly I could hardly believe my eyes. The Indian holding my father forced him down onto the bed next to my mother who was already being held down by one of the other men. Unintelligible words were uttered before I heard final cries escape my dear parents’ mouths. One of the Indians lifted, what looked to be an ax, and violently smashed it into my mother’s and then my father’s heads on the pillow right next to mine! I was frozen with fear. I began to hear the voices of the villagers outside our house, and the Indians must have heard them too because that was when they rushed out of the room, leaving the bloodied bodies of my parents lying next to me. It is a wonder how they never saw my small frame curled up silently on the edge of that bed, tears running down my cheeks.
My uncle, Samuel Parris, took me in after that. Even after years of living with him, I would not allow myself to become close to my uncle because I did not want to go through the pain of losing another loved one. However, as the years passed, my desire to be loved got the best of me and I opened up my heart and allowed my uncle and my little cousin, Betty, in. My uncle was a Reverend who was very passionate about his work, so when he was called to Salem to become a Pastor, we all moved with him. Upon our arrival in Salem, I was perceived as promiscuous because I was fifteen and unwed. I regularly felt the ladies’ envious stares every time I walked down the road and I overheard their whispers about my unclear past when I entered the parlor. The desirous looks of boys, and even some grown men, were becoming increasingly vulgar, so in an effort to protect me, my uncle arranged for me to work as a servant to the Proctor family.
John and Elizabeth Proctor treated me well, but soon I noticed John looking at me with the coveting eyes that I had often seen since I had become a young lady. I knew he found me attractive but since he was married I thought nothing of it -- at first. Throughout the first year of my service, John had become increasingly friendly toward me. He would take breaks from his work on the farm to watch me work, and some days he would even sit with me and talk. We had the most interesting conversations. Then, Elizabeth fell ill. Because she was bedridden, my work load doubled and I toiled for long hours every day. It was during this time that John began to outwardly express his affections for me. I was stunned! But I was certain that he must be in love with me; for what other reason would he have for saying such sweet and loving words to me while he was married? I fell in love with him quickly and deeply. Soon thereafter, we shared our first of many nights together. John was such a kind and good man; he made me feel like more than just a beautiful young girl -- he made me feel truly special and loved. For the first time since my parents died, I felt loved and wanted and not just someone’s obligation or slave. However, our time together began to dwindle once Elizabeth’s health improved -- much to my dismay. Elizabeth was still very weak and it became necessary for John to take care of her. I felt jealousy burn like fire in my veins whenever I saw the two of them together. John was mine and no one else’s. I knew in my heart that he loved me yet. I believe Elizabeth, as she returned to better health, became increasingly suspicious of how close John and I had become until the day she told me that she was no longer in need of my services. I felt her hatred for me in her cold words and I loathed her for trying to keep John and me apart.
Subsequently, and just as I turned seventeen, I moved in with my uncle to help care for my cousin, Betty. While I worked for the Proctor’s I came to know two other servant girls in Salem, Mercy Lewis and Mary Warren. I could tell that they were threatened by me in the beginning, so I was friendly towards them and they followed my lead. By the time I left the Proctor’s, they had both become fiercely loyal to me. I enjoyed having this power over them; it made me feel important, although it was not as good as being loved by John Proctor. I thought fondly of him often, which fueled my strong envy and hatred for Elizabeth. Was there a way I could take her place in John’s home, and in his heart?
My uncle had a servant from Barbados called Tituba, and I discovered that she had some knowledge of witchcraft. She gave me the idea which would start everything. I asked Tituba if she knew a spell that could kill…she said she did. I told Mercy and Mary, as well as Betty and the child Mercy took care of, Ruth, to meet me in the woods one night to help me with a deed that I felt needed to be done. Tituba brought a kettle, placed it on the grass and began to add ingredients in order to concoct a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife. The girls and I danced around the kettle while chanting what Tituba told us to chant. Just as Tituba added a frog to her mixture, Uncle Parris jumped out of the bushes. We were all startled but Ruth and Betty, being the young girls that they were, fainted at the sight of him. Mercy quickly snatched her clothes off of the ground, and, with Mary’s help, took Ruth home. Tituba and I silently helped my uncle with Betty.
The next day, Betty still had not woken and people in the town were mumbling about witchcraft being the cause of it. I was not about to be accused of that, so I told my Uncle that Tituba was the one that conjured spirits and called upon the devil. She was only a slave, after all. Then, Reverend Hale asked me if I saw anyone with the devil. I would not have known what to say had I not been listening when Thomas Putnum suggested that Goody Osborn and Sarah Good were with the devil. I called out their names, as well as a few others, and the blame was once again off of my shoulders.
A week later, John asked me for a private meeting in the woods. I had waited so long to see him and I was certain that he could not keep himself away from me any longer. I thought it to be a friendly meeting but I was mistaken. Apparently, Elizabeth’s name was mentioned in court and John actually wanted me to clear it! I told him I would never clear the name of the woman who wanted me dead. Previous to this meeting, I sat next to Mary Warren in court as she stitched a poppet for Elizabeth and I saw an opportunity to do away with Elizabeth so John and I could be together, when Mary tucked her needle into the doll’s stomach. I realized I could easily have Elizabeth accused of practicing witchcraft by using her poppet! Cleverly, at dinner that same night, I pretended I was being repeatedly stabbed in the stomach by a needle – a needle I stuck there beforehand -- and I blamed it on Elizabeth Proctor. The poppet with the needle in its stomach was all the evidence that was needed to accuse her, so naturally she ended up in court. Since I knew I was the one John truly loved, as I left the woods I told him that I would only save him from himself. He looked at me like I was wild.

Some time later, I was called into court because Mary Warren had told the Proctor’s that we were all making this witchcraft nonsense up. I could not believe it! I thought Mary to be loyal yet she dared defy me?! I would not be charged for perjury, so I kept our secret going by telling Judge Danforth how I was hurt by Elizabeth and that all of Mary’s words were outright lies. John was in court then, and I could tell that he saw through my lies, so I became more dramatic. I knew the other girls would follow my lead when I said I saw I Mary’s spirit up in the rafters, and they did just that. We put on such a convincing show, that even Mary herself believed she was sending her spirit upon us! If she accused me of lying then she would certainly pay for it. But true to her character, clever Mary redirected the accusations by condemning John. How ironic, John of all people, but I kept silent. I embraced Mary when she came to me weeping, but I would not save John. Why should I when he refused to leave his wife for me? Let him suffer; let Elizabeth suffer like I have so many times!

I learned that John was set to hang the next day, and I must say that the news did sadden me. I could not comprehend how Elizabeth could let her own husband die; if John allowed me to be his wife I would have saved him. There was nothing left in Salem for me then. The town feared me because I accused so many of witchcraft, so I took some money from Uncle Parris, and Mercy and I left the town. We travelled until we came to the town where we are currently are living. It is a small town, where the news of the Salem witch trials has yet to arrive. Unfortunately, Mercy and I are not getting on very well. Money is scarce and I have developed a sickness that I cannot seem to get rid of. It might well be that I will not recover, so I have taken some time to reminisce about my life. If I do die, then at least I will be with John once more, in a place where there are no hypocrites, and where we can finally be together.

The author's comments:
I wrote this about the character Abigail Williams from the play "The Crucible"

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