Moral Mondays : Death of a witch

Bloodied sword on wooden floor

Image: Pixabay

 

The witch died today.

She threw incantations like dice, they said, her evil eye roving from King to beggar. Her hair was a raven’s wing, eyes inky pits, six fingers on one hand turned to claws by the Devil’s nod. I’d shivered in my bed, muttered a prayer to the Virgin to keep me.

As the sun blushed and the witch stumbled to a fresh made scaffold, I gawped through the scullery casement.

I saw naught but a woman – demure, mouth a ribbon of fear, slim fingers dancing. Still the sword swung, fell, raven hair tangling in splintered wood.

None shall touch her more.

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Inspired by Notina’s Moral Monday’s moral of the day – Look, don’t touch – which reminded me of Thomas Wyatt’s words written about Anne Boleyn –

Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am

Noli me tangere being Latin for Touch me not. It can be seen as a warning to Anne’s admirers that they could look all they wished, but ultimately, she belonged to husband, Henry VIII.

Ironic, since Anne met her fate in 1536 at the end of a French executioner’s sword, accused of incest, adultery and rumoured to have bewitched the king. She was also said to have six fingers on her right hand.

 

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17 thoughts on “Moral Mondays : Death of a witch

    1. Quite right, A.J and there is still some doubt as to whether Anne committed any adultery, or whether the entire case was trumped up by Henry VIII and his advisors so Henry would be free to remarry. He was betrothed to his next wife the day after Anne lost her head. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The intrigue! The betrayal! The arrogance! Reading and learninf about Henry VIII is very interesting, even if he was a deplorable man! You’re very welcome, I love reading stories like this ☺

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Deplorable is absolutely the right word – the man executed so many close friends over the years, it’s a wonder he had any left at the end of his life. But still people worked hard to gain his favour – astonishing. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading 🙂

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  1. Interesting take on the prompt! You had me convinced it was a “real” witch, too — fascinating how perceptions work, both in Anne Boleyn’s time and now.

    And how did I not catch on to the Moral Mondays prompts before now? Seems right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh this was awesome. I especially like “raven hair tangling in splintered wood.” This is why I asked you to read my thingy. It may be my favorite of yours. It’s brutal, mysterious, lyrical, well-crafted. Sheesh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Walt, that’s so wonderful of you. So appreciate you reading – and even more liking – my stories. Means alot. Hope your story goes well – it’s a corker. Do share a link when it gets published 🙂

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  3. My favorite show of all time is The Tudors so you already know I love this story! Your writing really transported me back to that time period, and your diction is so lyrical, I almost want to call this a poem. Great stuff!

    By the way, I think Anne was innocent. Ol’ Harry was just mad because he still didn’t have his precious son, which as science now tells us, was actually all his fault! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback Nortina really kind comments, thank you. The Tudor period is irresistable, isn’t it? All those strong women, all those mad men. Henry was definitely unfortunate when it came to legitimate children – his wives had many stillbirths and miscarriages between them, though he’s supposed to have fathered several illegitimate children who survived to adulthood. Always blamed the wives, though, of course. I never watched The Tudors, though I do think Jonathan Rhys Meyers is rather wonderful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the reason I loved that show so much. He played a very dashing King Henry. I always feel sorry for the wives. They were under so much pressure to give him a son, and the one who finally did died in childbirth. The irony of it all is that the heir who reign over England’s “Golden Age” was Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Elizabeth. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right. I don’t suppose when he died, Henry could have imagined his daughters would have reigned for longer and been more successful than his son and heir. Ironic that he strove so long to have sons and he gifted us one of the most famous queens in history.
        And Jonathan Rhys Meyers is lovely – nothing like Henry VIII, but lovely 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hooray, I thought of Anne Boleyn before I got to the end. Might be that Wolf Hall is still fresh on my mind even though it’s been months… Fab little story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sonya. Yes, Wolf Hall left a lasting impression on me too – both book (which I loved) and adaptation. Mark Rylance was stunning. Sad having to wait so long for the last book and adaptation, though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They are huge books with tons of research. A tougher task than a GoT, I’d bet – though I’m not going to say that to George RR Martin 🙂

        Like

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