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Change the Past to Change the Future
“Are you sure you want to do this. You know people will begin to call you a nutty scientist. All these do-dads make it harder to put this plastic make up in the right places.” said Syxx as she worked on the white feathered angel wings.
“Yes, I’m sure. No, I’m not nutty. I need these do-dads to make the wings move correctly and the make up to make these wings look as real as possible,” said Morgan, the witty scientist’s apprentice.
“Well, I’m done. Please, just be careful. If things become intense just come back no matter what, okay? And as soon as you get back call me. I’ll be at the movie studio,” said Syxx as she placed all her things back in her case.
“Yes, I will. What movie are you working on now?” asked Morgan.
“My favorite kind of movie, a horror film. I know I’ll make all those undead things look fabulously grotesque,” said Syxx with a wide smile.
“I have no doubts about that. You’re the best movie make up artist I know ,well, at least your mom is,” said Morgan with a sly smirk.
“Please be careful, Morgan,” said Syxx with a kind and worried face.
“Yes, I promise I will just don’t tell Dr. Freddrin I touched his machine,” said Morgan.
“I won’t tell the mad scientist a thing,” replied Syxx jokingly.
Morgan tip-toed around the messy lab and spotted the time machine in the far right corner of the room. This was the only part of the room that wasn’t in disarray. It was just like Dr. Freddrin to leave his lab untidy except for the spot in his lab that was for his latest experiment or invention. Morgan’s job was to clean up her neighbor’s laboratory without touching the orderly part of the lab. Morgan imagined herself as the apprentice often. She obviously got carried away too far this time by her imagination. She would go back in time and repair it all. But for now she would save lives only in 1692 just as she read in English class. She would clean the lab when she got back, of course. She set the dials and put in the information she needed into the time machine just as she had seen Dr. Freddrin do it several times before while she was “cleaning.”
“Let me see. Do I have it all? Here are the books, the pictures, the small lie detector with a petite gas generator, extra gallon of gas, my trench coat, wings attached, and the time machine remote. I’m all set to go,” said Morgan, apprentice extraordinaire.
She fearfully walked to the time machine. As she pushed the buttons and moved the dials, the machine hissed and hummed as it started. She put on her trench coat to hide her wings, checked all the dials on the machine one more time, picked up her suitcases, took a deep breath, and walked through the time machine portal. After a few seconds of roller coaster feelings in her stomach, she tried to ignore the dizzy feeling, opened her eyes slowly, and looked around. In front of her was a roughly made building that looked like a church. She grabbed the time machine remote out of her pocket and read it.
“I’m sooo clever. I’m here in Salem in the summer of 1692. I’m sooo ready to be a scientist,” she said proudly. But soon after that pride turned to fear when she heard angry voices coming from the church.
“Witch, witch, witch, witch…,” said the voices in the church.
“Well, here goes everything,” Morgan said with fear. She walked to the door with her head held high. As the door creaked open, she walked in rapidly toward the front of the townspeople. She heard the people whispering to each other, some even called her a witch who was sent by the devil to rescue the accused witch. Morgan thought to herself that these religious crazies would be difficult to convince, but she had to try. She arrived at the front of the church and glanced swiftly at the information on the time machine remote. According to the remote, the man seated at the altar behind the table was William Stoughton, the judge of the witch trials in Salem; and next to him sat a weeping woman named Bridget Bishop, the first person to be hanged during the witch trials.
Morgan spoke in largest cruelest voice she could create, “People of Salem, listen to me carefully for all your lives may depend on it.” She slung her trench coat off to reveal white feathered angel wings. Some townspeople began to pray, some began to shriek, others spoke to each other, and
some even fainted.
After he got his senses together, William Stoughton began to call for order by banging his tiny hammer on the table over and over.
When things became still, Morgan continued her speech as she had rehearsed it at home with Syxx her best friend, “I am an angel from heaven here to stop the tragedies that lie ahead. You all will greatly sin in the eyes of God if you proceed in this manner. Many innocent people will die.” People began to be unruly again, but Morgan knew what to do. She frightened them by flapping her wings, making an infuriated face, rising from the ground, and coming back to the ground using a miniature remote control that fit into her little hands to control the wings. This was another of Dr. Freddrin’s inventions. He made it for one of Morgan’s Halloween costumes.
As they gawked with mouths and eyes wide open, Morgan pointed her finger and spoke again, “You there! William Stoughton will judge her, Bridget Bishop, to be a witch on the words of one man. You all will watch as she is hanged.” Morgan continued to name the one girl who began it all, Betty Parris. She named her partners in crime: Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Abigail Williams, and other teenage girls who joined in telling tall tales of witches. She named others that were already accused of being a witch and those who would die by the end of this summer like, Tituba, Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Elizabeth Howe, and the list went on and on.
Those who were named screeched in terror. The people of the town questioned how this angel knew all this. William Stoughton finally spoke, “You are no angel! You are a witch disguised as an angel to set all these witches free. The devil told all these names!”
Morgan became enraged and said, “It is that mind set that made you all see what is not really there. You cry, witch. And that is all it takes to accuse and kill your friends and neighbors. On the words of silly girls and jealous men, you set all your evidence. Now, you mock a messenger of God sent to protect you all from Hell. William, for a God fearing man you put more power in the hands of the devil by stating that he knows all and sees all. No,. Mr. Stoughton that is God’s power. I know who is lying and who is telling the truth because God has told me all that has taken place here and will take place. What you are doing here will affect other towns, cities, and villages. They will kill innocent people as well. Future generations will reason like you and ruin the name of God. I have brought many things for you to see that God has allowed me to bring to you. Will you all listen to me or will you give power to the devil to further make your hearts sin?”
The townspeople shook their heads, yes. Morgan knew that speaking to them in religious language would cause them to listen.
Morgan sought to convince even more by bringing out the lie detector. “God knows who tells the truth and who lies. I know who tells the truth and who lies because I am His servant. You all do not know these things so God has given me this machine of the future that will help you see who is lying and who is truthful. I will ask yes or no questions and if the truth is told nothing will happen, but if a lie is told this circle here will light like a red candle.”
“First I call on William Stoughton. Come and be judged,” said Morgan.
He gradually glanced around and understood that his people wanted him to take the test of the angel. He rose and went to the chair that Bridget Bishop sat in before.
“I will ask you your name, then I will ask you if you live in Salem. You will answer the truth. I will ask you these questions again, but this time you will lie,” said Morgan with a confident attitude. “Is your name William Stoughton?” asked Morgan. William Stoughton said, “Yes.” “Do you live in Salem?” asked Morgan. William Stoughton said, “Yes.” Nothing happened with both answers; the red light stayed off. “Is your name William Stoughton?” asked Morgan again. William Stoughton said, “No.” “Do you live in Salem?” asked Morgan again. William Stoughton said, “No.” This time the red light flashed again and again until Morgan turned it off. She added a minor sound effect to shock them into believing it all. She pressed a button that Dr. Freddrin has placed in the lie detector to make fun of whoever lied to him. The sound of thunder clanged through the church. People shouted that God was angry at William’s lies. Next, Morgan put all the members who were in good standing among Salem’s townspeople. They were all given the same questions as William.
Bridget Bishop was next. “Is your name Bridget Bishop?” asked Morgan. Bridget said, “Yes.” “Do you own the local house of prostitution?” asked Morgan. Bridget said, “Yes.” Nothing happened, everything was quiet. Morgan asked, “Are you a witch?” Bridget said, “No.” “Did you visit that man at night at his bed and torture him, then transform into a cat?” Bridget said, “No.” Nothing, no red light.
“This woman is innocent in the eyes of God and now in your eyes as well,” said Morgan in a wily voice. Morgan did this with all the jailed townspeople convicted of being a witch with the same outcome.
“Now, you! Betty Parris. Come forth and be judged,” said Morgan with an frigid tone. She walked at a snail’s pace, began to whimper, and sat in the chair. “Is your name Betty Parris?” asked Morgan. Betty Parris said, “Yes.” “Do you live in Salem?” asked Morgan. Betty Parris said, “Yes.” Nothing happened with both answers; the red light stayed off. “Did you falsely accuse Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne of being witches?” asked Morgan with a big smile. Betty Parris just sat there crying for a few seconds before she said, “No.” The red light went on and the thunder sounded. She began to panic.
Morgan said angrily, “Silence, child! You will answer my questions! And be careful of God‘s wrath.” Betty was stunned, sat there, and just gazed at the angel. “Did you make up all those stories of witches, the devil, and spells?” asked Morgan harshly. Betty glanced at her family, friends, and neighbors who now saw her as a fibber. But she still said, “No.” The red light went on and the thunder sounded. She wept again and slammed hands over her ears. The thunder ceased and Morgan asked another question, “Did Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Abigail Williams, and other girls mirror your strange behavior such as cursing, screaming, and rolling on the floor?” asked Morgan. The willful girl still said, “No.” The red light went on and the thunder bellowed. Morgan yelled above Betty’s cries, “You walk a dangerous path, my child. Be careful of your answers. All know who you are now. They won’t believe your lies anymore. Did you and the young girls I named before spread and invent witch tales?” said Morgan. Betty rang her hands round and round. She just sat there and sniveled. About three minutes later people began to demand an answer from her. They yelled at her to tell the truth. She finally screamed, “Yes, Yes, Yes!” The crowd hushed, there was no red light from the lie detector, and there was no crash of thunder.
“Now that you all know what God knows maybe you all will reflect on what part all of you had in these lies as well. You all will sit silently and look at these pictures of the tombstones that would be made if you do not stop this lunacy,” said Morgan as she displayed the pictures of the headstones from the memorial cemetery honoring the victims of the witch trials in 1992. Some closed their eyes, some stared in disbelief as they saw their names, and others prayed it would not happen.
Morgan continued spreading their guilt around by reading pieces of history books about the witch trials of Salem and around the country. Morgan read about how people were slaughtered. Some were hung, some were drowned, some were pressed to death, and others were burned alive. Morgan also read how they were seen in the future by the people of the future. They were seen as plotters and murderers of innocent people. They were seen as evil and mislead. Morgan read for about thirty minutes and then looked up at the people. They seem changed and tired. Morgan thought that her work here was done, finally.
“I leave you all with this. Leave these witch hunts behind and live your lives as God’s people. Do not stray from God anymore for I am your last and only warning. Learn from my lessons. Heed my warnings or all is lost!” Morgan said in a scary tone as she pressed the remote button and disappeared from their sight.
There was that roller coaster feeling in her stomach again. She opened her eyes and saw Dr. Freddrin with an irritated face. Morgan won’t be going back in time any time soon.