The Canewdon Witch Trial
by Emma Bond
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© Copyright 2013 - Emma Bond - Used by permission
Storycodes: MF+/ff; costume; event; display; corset; bond; stocks; sponges; tickle; tease; public; halloween; cons; X
Ghoul-gle jpn
The Canewdon Witch Trial Emma Bond MF+/ff; costume; event; display; corset; bond; stocks; sponges; tickle; tease; public; halloween; cons; X

Saturday September 5th 2009

"Hey Mr. Oliver, are you doing anything here for Halloween?" Dan popped his head around the corner of the snug room we were sitting in to ask the pubs owner.

We were sitting in the snug of the Plough and Sail in Paglesham, having a few drinks with our friends Jane and Mike. We chose the pub as our local although Dan and I lived just outside of Canewdon, Essex, bordering on the Rivers Crouch to the north and the Roach to the south.

I am a history teacher for the local junior school, and I love the area, with its pubs and buildings that are several hundred years old. Most have links to the myths and legends of the area, and with smugglers evading Customs Duty men, by hiding their smuggled goods from France in the small creeks and inlets making up the area around here.

Mr. Oliver came round and sat with us wiping a newly washed beer glass as he talked.

"I haven't any plans to do much. I could put up a few decorations and have a fancy dress theme I suppose, but what with it being a Saturday, the parents will be out taking the kids trick or treating".

"So you aren't expecting much business then? That's a shame." Jane said curling a tress of her auburn bob around a manicured finger. In her other hand she was twirling the stem of her empty wine glass around on her beer mat, waiting for Mike to finish his pint of beer.

"I'll have some people in for evening supper, but I don't expect many to come out."

"What would you say, if we come up with a theme you liked and we all offer to help out for a few beers and a 40% of the profit donated to Southend hospital cancer ward. Would you do something?"

"You come up with something and I'll have a look, sure. There's still a month to get it advertised and banded about. I wouldn't want to go through the effort of setting it up and having no one turn up though. Now are you young buggers going to clear off so I can shut up shop? It's nearly midnight."

For the next week we sat and thought about what we could do to raise some cash for the Cancer ward. In the end, we were sitting in the Anchor at Canewdon chatting with "Big John" the landlord. It was "Big John" who came up with the idea.

"It's a pub right, so have a beer tasting event or a "Sausage and Cider" evening. I went to see a mate in Bishop Stortford a few weeks ago and they had one in the George. Lots of people turned up on the bank holiday, but the weather was good for a change." 

I was looking around the back of his bar and noticed the Witches as decorations. Now everyone knew about the Witch trials of the 16th and 17th Centuries, and how Mathew Hopkins burnt a lot of innocent people. So I made the suggestion.

"Why don't we also have a bonfire and burn the Canewdon Witch too?"

"Well you know those Canewdon witches, Ceci? They never were burnt. No! They were put in prison for a bit."

"I didn't know that John. I thought the Witchfinder General burnt them all."

Big John rubbed his hand through his spiky grey hair.
"Well the Canewdon Witches were about fifty years earlier." He went on. "The first one was in 1575 and she tried to heal a sick girl called Joanne Snow, who died. Rose Pye was her name. They accused her of Witchcraft and she got locked up. She died in Gaol in 1576, but was acquitted in Assizes in 1580! Can you believe it, hey? Still she had a roof over her head and some hot food, the poor cow. In 1585, the second Witch was called Cecily Maken. She couldn't find five people to vouch she wasn't one. More'en likely she wasn't well liked in the village, so they locked her up for five years hard labour. When she came back here in 1590, they tried her again, because she didn't repent her ways. That's why they Ex-communicated her."

Well now we had the plan, all we had to do is provide some entertainment. We decided on a Halloween fancy dress theme, a prize for the best Witch effigy that we could put on top of the bonfire, and then everyone could have a bit of a dance at a Halloween theme disco.

That weekend Dan and Mike went to the Plough to see Mr. Oliver. Five hours later I got a call from Dan who was rather drunk to come pick them up. They had been celebrating the good news we could go ahead. Mr. Oliver had agreed for us to run the event in the field he used as his summer overflow car park.

Over the next few weeks, we were all busy. The boys were in charge of the advertising and printed off a fantastic advertisement designed on the pc. We left them in charge of putting up fliers for the events in any shop or restaurant window that would take them, while Jane and I set off around the place to chat up the local store owners to give us things for the event for cost prices. When we were turned down a few times, Jane, the big tart, decided we should wear our most revealing blouses and shortest skirts and try again. Well that seemed to work a lot better.

We managed to hire a big outdoor tent cheap, and even persuaded the guy to come out and help us pitch it. As it was for charity he said he would throw in a dozen tables and chairs free as part of the donation. Jane gave him a big kiss on the cheek as we left the store.

I managed get a guy at the local paper shop in Ashingdon, the next village along from us, to give us some Fireworks at cost. His condition was we advertise his store on the evening so that he would get more customers for Bonfire night.

A few weeks before the event, Dan and Mike disappeared into Mike's garage and locked themselves away. Jane was keeping quiet about what they were doing, but she did reveal it was for entertaining the children and the teenagers while also raising some money too.

She said that Dan had shouted something through the locked garage door. "It was muffled so I didn't hear him properly but he said you were the entertainment or in charge of it, something like that." I thought no more of the matter, thinking great, I would have to baby sit some snotty nosed children and not be able to enjoy myself.

The Friday fortnight before Halloween, Jane and Mike came over after work. We ordered take out and we went through a list of things we needed to do. Adam, Mike's mate had agreed to cook the sausages on a barbeque hotplate. We rejected the more elaborate chilidog/sauerkraut servings in favour of sausages with fried onions served in hotdog rolls. He would also have a big pot of Mulled Wine brewing for those who weren't interested in the Cider.

Mr. Oliver had tracked down some decent ciders and had gone and collected them already. He sourced some lovely sausages from the farm down the road, of which he gave us a few to sample. All we needed to do was set up the stalls, erect the beer tent and build a bonfire. Dan and Mike were going to the local tip to pull out some wood to use, and we had a local guy that sold wood for all the log burning fires for the area. He was going to deliver a pile on the Saturday morning.  

"What about the stuff for your entertainment stalls?" I asked them. "What do I need to do for that?" 

"That’s sorted." replied Mike. "We will show you what needs to be done on the day. There's nothing to it really. We can show you the ropes on the day." He chuckled.

"So what are we going to wear then?" Jane asked. "I think we should all look and wear a costume from the period. If we are acting out the Canewdon Witch trials, the costumes from those times would be cool."  

"You girls could come as dairy maids or serving wenches, or Elizabethan ladies. We can come as an Elizabethan priest or a gentleman of the time. Can we get the costumes in time though? 

Ah for the power of the internet to solve all last minute purchases.

Saturday 31st October 2009

Finally the day came! I had bought pumpkins a few days before, so early on Halloween morning I sat in the kitchen hollowing out the insides ready for carving the faces on. It's not the job I relished, but Dan said I had the easy job. He, Mike, and Jane were meeting everyone else to erect the tent, set up the entertainment stalls and build the big bonfire. Dan had roped in a lot of his rugby mates to give a hand and to drink the cider. His club even donated £200 for the cancer ward. Mike and Jane were outside, picking him up. He kissed me on his way out and told me to meet him in the bar of the Plough and Sail at 12:30 as Mr. Oliver had a small bedroom for us to get changed in.

"Jane’s got the costumes, so I hope she hasn't lost the codpiece or I will be walking round pretty exposed!"

I laughed at the prospect. My lovely Dan played rugby for the local side and I have to admit it was the body that attracted me at first. It was our final year at University. I was a lusty lass at Uni, and that's where we first ran into each other. His team was on a massive drinks bender after they slaughtered another local side. He scored a try that day. I was in the Uni bar when they entered, in a rowdy and raucous mob.

His chat up line was for all the girls in the bar to give him a kiss for scoring the winning try. I told him I was game.

"It's not like you asked me for a blow job!"

The look on Dan's face was priceless. He was speechless and I saw a bright red blush form across his cheeks. I told him to put his drinks back on the bar and put my arms around his waist and drew him into me reaching up on tiptoes and planted a smacker on his lips. His lips tasted of cheap Bitter.

 "I hope you play better rugby than you kiss." I remarked. "That wasn't very passionate." I coolly walked off to the toilet thinking how shameless I had been leading him on. When I returned he was waiting at my table chatting with my friends. 

"Ah the wanderer returns. It appears I have done you a dis-service."

With that, he lent down and held his hand gently on the side of my face brushing my hair aside. Then he lent in and pulled me into his body and firmly kissed me. His fingers played with my hair and caressed my neck and ears and I went weak at the knees. The other hand was above the belt of my jeans and was stroking my lower back and I gasped as his tongue found its way into my mouth flicking lightly on my lips and my tongue.

"I trust that meets the good ladies satisfaction!"  And he bowed. Breathless I gasped that I was very satisfied and sat down with a bump on the chair. With his blue eyes twinkling, and a cheeky grin on his face, he said, "Now you will always remember this moment on our first date."

"Date? We haven't even been introduced?"

"Daniel, Dan Machin.There! That was easy. So where are you taking me tonight?"

"Cecilia, Ceci Adams. To get your stomach pumped?"

Dan laughed, and ran his hand through his thick brown hair. "You could be right there, Cecilia, Ceci Adams. Will you come and rescue me in an hour then?"


"No. I know you will. I’m cheeky, but you like me." He raised his hand to my head and gently pulled me into his face kissed me on the cheek. His hand lingered slightly on my ear. I shuddered with pleasure again.

For the next hour the girls I was with huddled up talking about how great a kisser he was; How could I be so blatant to kiss him in the first place?; What he was studying. He was expecting a first in business studies; what he was like as a person. Turned out everyone liked Dan. He wasn't a womaniser and he had a bloody fit body most of the Campus lusted after. Charming, with a cheeky smile that revealing cute dimples in his cheeks. That settled it, really! I waited until the hour was up and I walked over to his table. The guys were still being rowdy, chatting about girls, cars football and the latest computer games. Guys could be so predictable.

"Daniel-Dan, get your coat you've pulled big boy!"

One guy spluttered into his beer. The guy on Dan's right told me I had picked the wrong guy that he was much bigger, and his hand dropped to his crotch.

"That's probably true but I was talking about his brains. I hope you rugby players don’t all have funny shaped balls." I leant over and kissed Dan on the mouth. "Now let me show you how to really celebrate."

Dan was up and out of there like a shot. Twenty minutes later we were doing the horizontal Tango. We got married right after Uni, as soon as we had jobs, and have never been apart since. I smiled remembering the rest of the final year of Uni. We worked hard, and played hard too. I remembered back to those last six months of intense study, and the partying we did after the exams. There were a few stories I would rather keep hidden, as I grinned and carried on carving the pumpkins.

Midday I loaded the boot of the Mini with the pumpkins and set off. Dan and I share a Mini Cooper. I always wanted one, and Dan bought one for me. We should have gone for something bigger to put his big frame into, but he wanted me to have it. It was bright red and I loved to drive it. It's fairly nippy so didn't take long to get to Paglesham. I parked the car around the back of the Pub, near to the boatyard on the river front.

The spot always amazed me. A few hundred feet up river to my left, and buried under a hundred and fifty feet of mud and silt of the River Roach were the remains of HMS Beagle. The ship that took Darwin around the world and started him thinking about "The Origin of Species" was just a few rotting timbers lost in the mud.

I walked back to the pub wondering what it would have been like to have lived back in those times. My imagination was running wild. I entered the front door of the Plough to see Dan, Mike and Jane downing a swift half each.

"You're drinking? Then you must have set everything up already."

"We have." Said Jane, "All we need are some punters to come along at 1pm to start guzzling cider and we can start to fire up some sausages and make some money."

We tramped up the steep narrow staircase into the little bedroom Mr. Oliver let us use to change. We let the guys go in first. When they called us in, Dan was dressed in a long black priest garment with dog collar and wearing a wide brim felt hat. Mike was dressed as an Elizabethan gentleman in white hose and codpiece with a Silver quilted doublet jacket and thin frilly rough around his neck. Jane and I gasped. They both looked like they had been plucked out of the 1590's. We grabbed our phones and took some pictures of them. 

They went out to stand in the landing while we changed. Jane had chosen a lovely red Elizabethan dress and looked fantastic. I helped her to do up the eyelet buttons on the front. The tight waist, and the well fitted dress showed off her ample décolletage, and one couldn't help stare at her, when she slipped on a sting of pearls about her neck that dangled just above her breasts. I was looking forward to dressing up like her when she pulled my costume out of the bag. 

I looked at it and the disappointment must have showed on my face.

Jane looked apologetic. She said to me "Ceci, you are the entertainment. Dan asked me to toss a coin and I won fair and square. I had the choice of being the Witch or the Lady. You are going to play Cecily Maken the Witch and she would have dressed in those clothes you have there. Dan said you were alright about it." 

Begrudgingly I asked her what Dan wanted me to do as the Witch.

"You mean he hasn't told you? That's a bit mean, because he asked me to get these clothes for you. Sorry Ceci, I don't know what he’s got planned and Mike won’t say anything either!" 

I stripped off to my bra and knickers and stood in the long brown woolen skirt and pulled it up and buttoned the side. Then I slipped into the linen blouse.
"Dan said you shouldn't wear a bra Ceci. He said that milkmaids and serving wenches wouldn't have had bras."

I looked at her angrily now. "Dan what the bloody hell is going on." I shouted through the door. He and Mike came into the room, and Jane sat on the bed.

"You, as the Witch, will be paraded through the crowd. We are going to have a little trial, and then you will be placed at the stake for a bit. Mike, Mr. Oliver and I will do a little sketch, after which you will be taken down. You are going to judge the Witch effigies, the best one gets tied to the stake while the others are place on the top. We light the bonfire about 7:30ish and have some fireworks. Then we drink and party after. You like?" Dan asked.

I nodded. "That's sounds okay. But you could have told. . ." 

He interrupted me."Look. I wanted to keep it a surprise. We are going to accuse you of witchcraft. I want you to act like you are now. Surprised. Disappointed, and angry. It makes it more realistic." 

Dan piped up and said "It can’t be Dan or me. Cecily Maken was a woman. Dan tossed the coin and Jane won and got to choose fair and square. It is for charity Ceci." If looks could kill, Mike would be dead, so he carried on.
"Jane and I will take you to dinner to make up for this, I promise. We came up with an amazing little plot though, so just play along like you aren't a Witch."

Jane threw across to me the final part of my costume. It was a black under bust corset. Dan took it and twisted me around. He placed it under my tits and started to lace it up the back. He pulled it tight, and I gasped at how restrictive it was. 

He twisted me around to show me off in the mirror in the corner of the room. He placed the little milk maid bonnet on my head covering up my blond ponytail. I couldn't help but laugh at it. The corset made my waist tiny, which in turn made my tits look huge. Jane got her phone and took a few pictures of me and Dan cuddling, so I told them everything was okay and I would act along. 

Dan walked me outside and into the field on the other side of the road. It was Mr. Oliver's overflow car park in the summer and also used when Paglesham held its annual garden in bloom weekend. It's about three hundred foot long by about the same wide. Over on the left near the gate was the beer tent. Scattered about on the grass were a dozen or so tables and chairs, and in the tent itself a further couple of tables.

Dan said that when it got dark they would pull out the tables and chairs and use the inside of the tent as a bit of a disco. There were a couple of mini speakers on the bar with an IPod churning out music currently in the charts. Jane had put some Halloween themed music on it for later, that we could dance to along with a few other bits she thought would fit with the theme. There were clips from horror films, and some poems from Edgar Allen Poe that would add to the atmosphere, and plenty of Alice Cooper. 

Over to the back, was a wooden stake about twelve foot high and surrounded by wooden logs and old planks. Closer up the pile resting against the stake itself, were bundles of wooden faggots. These were just bundles of sticks about three feet in length tied into bundles resting against the stake. I was impressed.

"The Witch will be buried partly in the Faggots and shown to the crowd. Then we will burn her after she has been tried for witchcraft. You like?" Dan asked.

I looked around some more. The field was decked out in Twinkling fairy lights around the tent and along the side fences to provide lights latter in the evening. I noticed a yellow Bouncy Castle for the children and a few pub games. There was a Hoopla type game where you threw the hoop over an old Beer pump from six feet away. The prize for getting three out of five hoops over the beer pump was a free half pint of beer. Next to the hoopla stand was a bowling game where a wooden ball was rolled down a wooden track about ten feet away and you had to knock six pins down with two balls. All six was a free beer and your money back and five was a free half pint of beer.

Next to these were two other games but they were covered. I was about to peek under the covers when Dan pulled me away. "These are for the Witch trials so they are a surprise. No peeking!" 

"You and Mike made all these?" I asked and Dan nodded, and grinned.

"Some of the rugby guys are helping me out on these stalls. As its part of the Witch trials you get to go on them first, but then Mike Jane and I are having a go too, just to be fair. If we can rope in any other volunteers to have a go, we will. We should make a fair bit of cash on these considering its just some old bits of wood we got from the dump or the boys had laying around in their sheds and garages."

Now I was dying to find out what was under the covers, but Dan led me off to the bonfire.

I could see that they had taken the turf off the site as it was stacked under the trees in the corner of the field. It was a big fire and would throw out a lot of heat. There were some stakes hammered into the ground in front of the fire with some rope to act as a barrier to keep behind for safety. Behind the fire were some tubes to hold the rockets for our firework display. These were nailed to the back fence.

I spotted a hose nearby too. The guys had hosed down the wooden fence behind the fire and some of the land just behind the fence to the next field. They had even thought about fire safety incase a fire work caused a small fire or set something alight by mistake.

Dan pointed to the side of the fire where they would place the Witch effigies that the families would bring. There was a twenty five pound prize for the best Witch. The best was to be tied to the top of the stake so everyone could admire it before we set the bonfire alight.

1 o'clock came and went and a few people started to turn up. Just after 2, the event looked like it would be a success. A good number of people were enjoying themselves. The pumpkins I carved were placed on the gate posts as if to welcome the punters in. Several families had come and the kids were jumping around in the Bouncy Castle. A few had brought some witch effigies for the display, and a few of the kids were dressed up as little witches and ghouls.

Jane had given them all sweets or chocolate on their arrival. What with the sugary E numbers they were munching on, they were running about full of energy.

Dan pulled me aside and led me back to the Pub and the little room we had used to dress.

"It's time Ceci. This is the last time to back out. If you are okay being the Witch let’s get you ready. You won’t be able to use the toilet for the next few hours so better use it before we go out."

I did as he instructed and was very curious what Dan had planned.  

He stood up and walked behind me and pulled my wrists behind my back.

"Hey . . . what are you doing?"

"What it looks like Cecily Maken. I am accusing you of witchcraft and you will be led from here to stand trial."

He had tied my wrists behind my back fairly snug. It’s not like I hadn't been tied up by him before. We have a set of pink fluffy cuffs in the bedside table, but this was much more public. To be truthful, I was highly embarrassed with being tied up in public. 

Standing behind me, Dan pulled me close and cuddled me. He nuzzled my neck with his stubbly chin and kissed my neck. His hands stroked their way up my corseted stomach and found their way to my breasts. Dan started to play with my nipples tweaking them between his thumb and forefinger. He even pulled at the little bars I wore in my nipples. The Sod knew this turned me on. I leant back into his body; my hands found and stroked his cock through his priests robe feeling an instant reaction. 

"AH-HAH! Trying to seduce a priest to gain a lesser charge? Sorry, Ceci. That won’t work today."

Dan slipped a Hangman’s noose over my head and tightened it just enough to look tight, but loose enough to wriggle in. Then he pulled me to the door and started to lead me down the stairs to the pub.

There were several customers sitting around or standing at the bar. Dan led me tied, through the pub, proclaiming in a loud voice mimicking what the thought was Elizabethan dialect. "Here be Goodwife Cecily Maken of Canewdon. She be brought here today to stand trial for witchcraft."

"No. No. I am no Witch," I played along, "Who makes these foul allegations against me? Surely someone will vouch for me as a good and honest person?"

I looked around pleading with the customers. Several grinned. Some leered at me bound hands behind my back and standing in a tight corset as if my tits would pop out of my blouse.

"We will hold the trial out in yonder field and the good citizens of this parish will see what a foul Witch you be, Cecily Maken! You will face the trial by ordeal of all Witches"

I looked at him in puzzlement now. He hadn't mentioned any of this when I agreed.

He gave a gentle tug and led me out of the pub, holding the door open for me. Then he pulled me across the road into the field. Some of his rugby club started to geer at me as we walked through the gate, obviously orchestrated by Mike and Jane.

"Ladies and gentle folk, thank you for coming to our Witch trial. Here be Goodwife Cecily Maken of Canewdon. She be brought here today to stand trial for witchcraft. As asked in the Pub, I’ll ask once again here. Be there be anyone here that will vouch for this person and that she not be a Witch?"

"Put her on the fire Dan, it's getting a bit cold out here!" someone shouted at the back of the crowd who had gathered around us. 

"We need to try the Witch first, and then you can get the marshmallows out. So does anyone here know what we do to Witches?"

"We burn them." the crowd sang in unison. "Burn the witch."

"First we need to read out the charges. Cecily Maken, you be charged with Witchcraft. How do you plead?"

"Not guilty, Reverend Dan, the Witch burning man!" Dan looked at me with a grin.

"Can anyone here today tell me why you think Goodwife Maken be a Witch? Come now, someone must have an example?"

Mike shouted out "She turned Jane into a frog."

"And where is this Jane that is now a frog?"

"I am here Reverend Dan."

"But you are not a frog. You are a woman."

"I got better Reverend Dan. Burn the Witch." The crowd started to laugh at the Pythonesque sketch that was unfolding.

"Well that’s not good enough for me to send her to the stake. Michael will you uncover the first trial by ordeal please."

Mike traipsed over to one of the covers and pulled it off. There in all its glory was a large double Pillory that opened to allow ones hands and head to be placed in. Then it was locked. It would take two people side by side making them stoop and be exposed to the crowd.

"Ladies and gentle persons. Our first ordeal would have been to bind our Witch hand and foot and throw her into a pond. Mr. Oliver, where are you?" Dan shouted. "We are trying to conduct a witch trial here. Where's this pond of yours?"

"Sorry Daniel. I couldn’t get the JCB in to dig it. Seems the guys I asked are all busy putting cones up on the M25, or they are all standing about leaning on their shovels, with their arses hanging out of there trousers." The crowd roared with laughter.

"Okay we will have to come up with another plan. Witches are supposed to float, right, when we throw them into a pond. Now why is that?"

"They are good swimmers?" 

"They are ducks?" 

"They are made of wood?" 

"No ladies and gentlemen, it is because they don’t like water. True Witches dislike water so much, that it is this reason they are all green and smelly." Dan shouted.

The crowd laughed again.

"I say, that’s very French don’t you know!" One of the guys from the rugby club shouted from the back. Another laugh came from the crowd.

"Put her in the Pillory! And Jane, you can be put in there too for letting her turn you into a frog!"

While Dan untied my wrists and took off the noose, Mike grabbed Jane, and before we could protest, we were both locked in. We were stooped over and although we could wriggle our head a bit and move our hands, we couldn't pull them out of the holes. It would be a very uncomfortable ordeal if we were to be locked up for a long while.

"Ladies and gentleman. Our first trial a Witch must undergo is the water ordeal. You are also raising money for the Southend Cancer ward, so please be generous. Three sponges for a pound." Dan picked up a sponge from a bucket of water near to the pillory and moved to a mark on the floor about six feet away when he hurled the sponge at us. It caught me on the side of the head and hit the wooden pillory holding me down. The sponge exploded water over Jane and I, and we both screamed as the cold water hit us.

For the next hour Dan collected the money while we were pelted with sponges. When he let us go, we were cold and our hair was plastered to our scalps. Mike gave us a towel each and we dried ourselves off as best we could. I managed to stretch a little trying to get rid of a cricked neck and back the pillory had given me. Then Dan pounced and pulled my hands behind my back and tied them again.

"Hey!" I yelped, "This is becoming a bit of a habit with you!"

"We wouldn't want our Witch to get away before the trial has finished." He retorted.  

"Ladies and gentlemen, it seems both of these women have an aversion to sponge and water. It's not looking promising for you Goodwife Maken. And Jane are you sure you aren't a Witch too?"

"No Reverend Dan, It's just there wasn't any soap to wash properly"

"Righty-ho, but we will be keeping an eye on you Lady Jane!"

 "Michael. Please reveal the next ordeal." When Mike removed the cover, there was a double set of stocks. We sat on a bench and Mike locked Jane and I into the stocks.

"Ladies and gentle folk, the next ordeal is the tickle torture. If you please, Michael." Mike bent and pulled off our shoes and socks. My feet were cool in the late afternoon air and I wriggled my toes about. "Michael, please begin!" On command, his hands began to tickle Jane's and my feet without mercy. I was squirming on my little stool trying to get free form the fingers at my feet. 

Jane was crying with laughter, "HA HA HA. Please no more , AH HAH HAH HAH. I wasn't a frog honest HA HA HA , please let me go. HA HA HA" 
I was in as much hysterics as Jane. "Mike, please, no more. HA HA HA. Stop it. I am going to pee myself. HA HA HA."

"Ladies and gentle folk, if you wish to tickle the Witch yourself, please be generous and pledge a donation to the Cancer ward." For the next half an hour, it seemed everyone had lined up to tickle Jane and I. There were rough hands and gentle hands, but a woman about my age with longish fingernails used them to torture us both, with very fine strokes on the soles of our feet. I was deeply impressed at how evil her delicate touch had made me feel. It was erotic and torturous at the same time. Her blond hair was pulled back in a pony tail like mine and she was wearing a long red woolen coat and tight blue jeans tucked inside black flat calf boots. She even thanked us afterwards and said we were good sports for volunteering to raise some money this way. Little did she know that I didn't really have much choice.  

Some of the Rugby squad had dragged the coach away from his Cider and put him kicking and screaming into the Pillory. They were pelting him mercilessly in the name of charity. 

A group of teenagers then started to pelt us with the sponges too. Two of the older, leery bastards were aiming directly at the tops of our dresses, trying to get the sponges in between our cleavage. Jane tried to parry them off of both of us, but with my hands tied I was no help and several sponges got through her guard. Mike had a quiet word with some of the rugby guys who told them told them unless the kids apologised, their car would be turned upside down by the rugby team and they would have to walk home. That sorted out their high jinks.

When Dan came back to release me he had the towels at the ready again, and apologised to us. My blouse was soaked and I looked like I had been entered for a wet t-shirt competition. He helped me rub off most of the water but the top was cool and clammy on my chest.

He pulled me around and I felt the noose pulled over my head again, much to the drunken jeers of his team.

"You can’t get a girl without having to kidnap her Dan!" 

"You need to use more rope on that wild cat!" someone else called out.

Dan tightened the noose a little around my neck and them he paraded me around the field. He made me stop at all the groups standing about while he asked if I was innocent or guilty. Everyone asked said guilty.

With that I was marched to the bonfire. Mike was clearing away some of the wood for me to step up onto a box that was hidden beneath the wood. Once I was on the box, Dan climbed up after me and proceeded to lash my waist to the stake. He coiled more rope above and below my breasts so my pierced nipples could be seen through a very see through blouse. He placed a big black pointy hat on my head and tucked a Witches broom under my arm. I couldn't very well protest. He asked me if I would be alright and I nodded. He lent in and kissed me, before getting down.

"Ladies and gentle folk. Here be Goodwife Cecily Maken. The folk of these parts have witnessed her trial and have found her to be guilty of Witchcraft. She will be displayed here before Mr. Oliver our judge passes final sentence on her. Please eat drink and be merry and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Our fire will be lit at 7pm and shortly after we will have a short firework display for the children."  

 At that he walked off to the beer tent leaving me tied to the stake.

From up high I could see the field very well. Lots of people were eating the sausages, and drinking cider or the mulled wine. Adam the chef was a man possessed cooking away. I could see several of the rugby guys had finally let the coach out of the pillory and a couple of them were taking his place. 

Dan and Mike were eventually frogmarched out of the beer tent where they were locked into the stocks.  When the wet sponges were thrown at them, Dan started to take his Priest robe of and sat there bare chested as the sponges bounced off him, covering him in water. Bloody show off! But it did get a few of the ladies to come over and have a turn to throw sponges at him.

The hoopla game and the wooden bowls game were also going a roaring trade. I could see the guy’s aims were becoming more and more hopeless, as more cider was consumed. It was all for a good cause though and it raised a little smile in me.

When the children walked by I played the victim, pleading to be let go and that I wasn't a Witch. I tried to struggle to see if I could get the ropes off me and jump down, but Dan had done to good a job tying me up here. I knew that a real Witch would have been petrified, being minutes from a horrible death. My only terror was if I would fall off the stake. It started to play on my mind how many of the men and women that were tried, were really misunderstood simple folk who were found unjustly guilty and burnt. My mind reflected on Matthew Hopkins.

The self-proclaimed Witchfinder General had lied to people saying he had parliamentary proclamation to hunt Witches. This lie had allowed him to pick many people from Essex, Cambridgeshire and East Anglia. He accused and burnt them for Witchcraft. The travesty of justice was that he was paid by local parishes for every Witch he condemned. In his reign of terror, he would have amassed hundreds of thousands of pounds in today’s money, making him one of the richest men of the area. 

In my melancholy thoughts, I hadn't even realised that the sun was setting over the fields. It had been a lovely day. There hadn't been a cloud in the sky or any wind. It was starting to get cold as I could feel my nipples hardening against the wet blouse. It was also starting to get foggy, which added to the atmosphere. 

I hadn't realised quite how late it was. Mike and Dan were finally released and managed to make their way back to the bonfire. I guess it must have been about seven in the evening. The day seemed to have gone so fast.

The boys were joined by Mr. Oliver again.

"Ladies and gentle folk, thank you for coming to our charity event. From first impressions it seems we will be able to make a fairly sizable donation to the Southend cancer ward, so thank you for being so generous. Now down to business. Mr. Oliver. We have tried Goodwife Cecily Maken by trial by ordeal. She is adverse to water. She is ticklish like all Witches. She wears a pointy hat and carries a broom just like a Witch. And what's more, I can even reveal, having checked every inch of her body, several times I might add, for the mark of the Devil." The crowd laughed at his lurid comment. "I can reveal a tattoo of three small butterflies on the base of her spine. She has pierced ears as well as pierced nipples. Bars not loops, I might add. Now that was one hell of a drunken evening at Uni I can tell you. So it all comes down to you passing judgement on her." 

"Thank you Reverend Daniel. We have raised a fair bit of cash for the evening. I would like to say that all profits tonight will go to the Cancer ward. Now down to the Witch trial. I am afraid that due to the Health and Safety commission and those bloody European politicians, we are unable to burn our Witch. I have no other alternative but to excommunicate her and banish her from the village. Please take her down."

There was a laugh at the politician joke, and a big groan at the way the end of the trail worked out. I was still reeling from shock of Dan revealing to the world I had a small tattoo and pierced nipples. I literally fell off the box and into Dan's arms, as Mike untied the ropes that held me to the stake. 

"There is one final thing to do though." Dan shouted over the crowd. "Thanks to my beautiful wife Cecilia Machin for playing our Witch. She has been a good sport. I would like to ask her to choose the best Witch effigy to replace her at the stake."  He said, with a mischievous grin on his face," As she has lots of experience being a Witch!"

The crowd gave a small smattering of applause, while I thumped him in the shoulder and walked off to the back fence where the effigies of the Witches were laid out.

Basically, the Witches were made of pantyhose and old dark dresses that had been stuffed with paper and old rags to create a human shape. One caught my eye as it had long black wool sticking out of a pointy black hat with silver stars and moons painted on it. Underneath the woolen hair, I noticed had been combed out to make it more real, was a long pointy face made of Paper Mache. She had a purpley black pimple painted on the chin. She had a very long pointy nose, and the face was painted green and had evil red squinting eyes painted on her.

I was about to pin the 1st Place prize on the hat when a little girl pulled at my dress. She must have been about four years old.

"They aren't going to burn you are they?" She looked up at me with worried sorrowful eyes. I picked her up and cuddled her and explained they were letting me go. They wanted me to pick my replacement to go up on the stake. "That's good. You’re pretty!" 

I thanked her and asked her what her name was.
"Tillie." A woman's voice behind me replied.

"What a lovely name, Tillie. Did you and your mummy make this Witch?" I asked.

"Yes. She's not my mummy." She pouted. I looked at the woman. It was the same woman who had tickled me earlier. She was about my height.

"I adopted Tillie. The trouble is, she knows about it, and her mother wants to see her. She is a drug user. Tillie was in care six months before that before the courts decided adoption what was best for her. I adopted because I can't have my own."

I looked at Tillie. "You know, some mummies can't have their own children, Tillie. This makes you a very special girl, because . . ." I looked at the woman, and she said, "Charlotte."
"Because, Charlotte wants very much to be your Mummy. She loves you and wants to protect you. Do you want her to be your mummy, Tillie?"

Charlotte looked at me worried and I guessed she was a little miffed at me asking Tillie. Tillie nodded her approval.  

"Well I am a Witch, Tillie?" Tillie nodded. "There are good Witches and bad Witches. Most people don't understand and think we are all bad. Before I go, I am going to cast a little spell."  Tillie looked up at me with a look of wonder and awe in her face, so I smiled at her.

Charlotte was intrigued. She stared at me with an open mouth. I could sense her worrying.

"Now you have to promise me that you will always call Charlotte "Mummy". You must really want to be her daughter and love her as much as she loves you, otherwise the spell won’t work. Do you promise me, Tillie?"

Tillie nodded. "I promise. Cross my heart."

"Good. Hocus Pocus Fiddledee Dee, I cast this spell, so let it be!"

I gave Tillie the envelope for the 1st Prize envelope with £25 in it, and handed her back to Charlotte, who gave her the biggest hug.

Dan appeared from nowhere at my side and he picked up Tillie's Witch and carried it to the stake and tied her on. Then he and Mike carried the others over and placed them resting on top of the wooden faggots around the base of the stake. 

"I heard what you told that girl, that's why I love you."

"No Dan, you love me because I am amazing in bed. Everything else is your bonus." I laughed, but I was also really happy as Dan doesn't say the L word very often. 

He pulled me in close to cuddle me and I snuggled against him.  

"Okay John let's give them a surprise."

John lit a wooden torch and walked around the bonfire lighting it every few paces so the tinder caught and soon flames were shooting up from the base of the fire. Then he went off and handed out sparklers to everyone as they gathered around the fire. Suddenly there was a whoosh of Roman candles shooting out from behind the fire, which framed the Witch effigy at the stake, emphasising the hat with the stars and the green pointy chin face. Everyone started waving their sparklers about, as John started letting off the rockets and bangers to keep the crowd amused, and this gave me a chance to escape and be by myself for the first time for the afternoon.

The smell of the sausages frying and the smoke from the bonfire and the fireworks that were going off made me think of my own family fireworks parties as a small girl. I loved the Fall evenings. Autumn this year was really warm the leaves had only start to drop their leaves. It made up for the fact the summer had been a complete washout again.

I could hear my stomach growling so I walked over to Adam who gave me a big hotdog. I gave him a peck on the cheek as a thank you. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and I fancied a nice glass of Cider to wash it down.

Charlotte came over to me as I was standing in the Beer Tent ordering. "Thanks for saying that to Tillie." I smiled back and ordered another glass and passed it over and paid the bar lady. I looked around for her but she wasn’t there.

"She's with my husband looking at the fireworks. You must be parched. You were in the stocks and the pillory for most of the afternoon, and then dragged up and tied to the stake on the bonfire. I asked around and they say you organised it all."
I laughed. "Dan my evil bastard of a husband said I was in charge of the entertainment. I didn't realise I was the entertainment! I thought it would be a bonfire and a few fireworks with a Halloween disco for an hour. Dan's rugby club seems to have hijacked it and made it a massive booze up. I am Cecelia Machin, by the way. Ceci." I offered her my hand and she shook it.

"So what was it like being put in the Stocks Ceci?"

"Wet!" I laughed. "Those bloody teenagers were intent on throwing the water sponges at my tits."

Charlotte laughed. "Well you all took a turn in them which was good. Who's the big hunk who took his shirt off?"

"That's Dan. And he was showing off."

"Well I enjoyed the view and his shirt wasn't as wet as yours after." she laughed. "So what was it like to be tied up in front of everyone? I would be so embarrassed."

"I didn’t have much of a choice. Dan just said I was to play the Witch, and then I was trussed up and led around. I felt my ears turning red with embarrassment until I was in the Pillory. It then became a matter of surviving the sponges, and after that I didn't really notice as everyone had already seen me."

Charlotte was leaning back against the bar.  I could see her looking at the Stocks. "I think you really want to have a go, but maybe to embarrassed to ask, Charlotte?"

 "Well err, yes." She stuttered. "I've been fantasising about it since I saw them. I don’t want to be a target for the sponges though. It may scare Tillie."

"Finish your drink and we will go and have a look."

I walked Charlotte over to the Stocks which were empty now what with the firework display happening. Alice Coopers “Be My Frankenstein” Was blaring out from the beer tent but was drowned out with the loud bangs from the fireworks exploding overhead.

"Put your bum down on there and I'll put your legs through the holes."

Charlotte did as I asked and closed the stocks and used the peg to lock her in. 

"Are you going to tie my hands?"

It was my turn to stutter.

"If you wish me to." I was surprised when she nodded her approval. 

I had the bit of the rope in my skirt pocket from when Dan had released my hands, so I knelt and tied her hands loosely behind her back.

"There you are. How does it feel?"

Charlotte had closed her eyes."Wonderful."She murmured.

I knelt and asked her to keep her eyes closed and listen only to the sound of my voice as I whispered softly into her ear.

"You awake from a fitful sleep. You were turning and tossing in bed and you see you have kicked the covers off of you and are now laying naked on the bed. Your husband is beside you, unaware of anything, in a deep sleep.
The full moon lights your room when you are suddenly aware of a presence in the room.
"I am the shade of Cecily Maken."
A young blond woman stands before you in a foggy haze. You sit upright in panic but the ghost mumbles words you cannot hear. You are frozen to the spot unable to move so much as a finger. 
"When I asked my friends to vouch for me, you all denied me. I have tracked the relatives of those who tried me. You are the last alive. You will atone for your sins."
The shade mumbled more words, and you feel yourself pushed down on the bed by unseen hands. Rope appears and you feel your hands pulled and tied behind you. More ropes coil about your chest, both above and below your breasts. You feel the ropes pull tight.
You mummer in pleasure, as the ropes caress your body.
You realise the foot of the bed has changed into Stocks. The unseen hands pull you to them and your feet are shut and locked into the devise.
"I know you meant me no ill will, but you remained silent. I will not give you the horrible death l gave the others. Yours will be pleasurable as a mark of our family’s friendship that once was."
The shade mumbled some more words you could not make out and the unseen hands insert the long fat vibrator into your pussy. You gasp in pleasure at the intrusions. "For every orgasm you have, your life force will drain away. The more I take the easier it will be to orgasm. Soon your soul will join me in the hereafter."
The unseen hands roam your body, stroking and caressing your nipples and slowly working down to your pussy. You try to scream, to wake your husband, but a thick knotted cloth gag is forced between your lips muffling any sound you make. The vibrator whirs to life and a crotchrope ties around your waist and passes between your legs holding it in place. Unseen hands hold a wand vibrator against your clitoris while others stoke and pull at your breasts and stroke your body. You moan and thrust your hips against it to pleasure yourself.
You don’t care about death. You care only for the life you have this very second, for the pleasure that grips your body that you don’t ever want to stop, as the first of many orgasms ravage your body."

I sat and watched Charlotte for a few minutes without saying another word. I knew she was off in subspace and I didn't want to bring her down from where she was. It was only when the fireworks grew louder she open her eyes.

"My god, that was intense."

I leant in and untied her hands, and opened the Stocks.

"I think you may have done this before." she smiled at me. I helped her up. What to her felt like ages had only been a few minutes but I could tell she was flushed and had enjoyed her time in the Stocks.

"You can buy me a drink and I may reveal some of my secrets." I giggled.  

The time passed and Charlotte had to take Tillie home. She thanked me and we swapped Cell numbers. I made my way back to the others who were sitting around the fire as it died down. Everyone else had called it a day or were back inside the pub. We agreed to to clear the tables, bag up the litter and take the tent down in the morning. I was looking into the flames thinking how wonderful a real log fire was to look at. So much better than the crap on television because you could imagine what the shapes and patterns of the fire were making.

Jane remarked "I think we should be telling ghost stories while we wait for the fire to die down?"

"Oh god, you'll have us singing Kumbaya in a minute, and breaking out the marshmallows to toast." Dan laughed.

"Okay I'll have a go." Said Mike. "There was an old Scout campfire some we sang it went like this -
"Have you heard of the tales of Fred and all that happens when you are dead ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, aah, aah, aah, aah; Your eyes fall out and your head caves in ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, aah, aah, aah, aah"

Jane burst out laughing and started panting "Aah, Aah, Aah, oh god, oh yes, OH GOD, AAAAH!" Then she stopped and said "I'll have what she’s having!" quoting When Harry Met Sally. We all burst out laughing together.

Mike got up and walked to the beer tent "More Cider anyone. It's all been paid for and it’s just going to waste?" He poured another cider. "It's nearly all gone. We sold a bomb tonight, and all the sausages Adam cooked went quick too."

"I think it’s really good of Mr. Oliver to let us have all the profits tonight. I went and bought him a large scotch as a thank you present." Dan remarked. "Come on Cecil, you have been quiet all evening. Are you pissed at us for being the Witch?"

"What?" I said startled out of my thoughts. "What was that? Oh no. I was just thinking. It must have been horrid to be burnt like that in the olden days. So many people died because the people didn't understand that the hysteria was from mouldy flour, or they were too afraid to say anything about their friends, the accused, in case they were damned as a Witch too. Matthew Hopkins really was a murdering bastard. I hope he rots in hell."

"Hey that's not like you. You've help us make a lot of money to help people today." Dan sat beside me and put a hand around my waist, and I rested my head against his shoulder. 

"Just be thankful we are born in the twentieth century where we are free to what we like. We are educated, we have our health, and we have people who love and care about us. Now have a beer and then tell us a ghost story or one of those historical legends you love. Preferably, one that isn't about Witches."  

“Well there is a local legend around these parts about a Devil dog called the Black Shug .“

The End (or is it just the beginning?)



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