Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
“The Little Maid at the Door” by Mary Wilkins Freeman
Card picked: A Ten
Joseph Bayley and his wife Ann ride from Salem to vote in the election in Boston. Though the scenery around them is beautiful, they are only caught up in their own fear. The Proctors have been arrested for witchcraft and the couple must ride by the Proctor’s house. Every single thing in the woods incites panic. Was that a goat in the bushes or the Black Beast of Satan? And those yellow birds? Maybe they were just yellow birds or maybe they were Goody Proctor’s familiars gone to report to Satan himself about two innocents riding through the woods! This section of the story is told mainly in dialog and that really amps up the feeling of paranoia.
As they pass the Proctor’s house, Joseph thinks he sees Goodman Proctor and Goody Proctor, who are currently in jail. Ann only sees a little maid at the door of the house, who looks like their dead daughter Susanna. They ride past, unmolested, but Ann contrives a way to go back to the cottage. Is the little girl the ghost of their daughter? Or maybe an image contrived by Satan to woo Ann from her husband? Surely, it couldn’t be young Abigail Proctor left to fend for herself after her mother, father, and sister were taken away…
About the Author: An educated woman, Mary Wilkins Freeman produced dozens of short stories in the in the late 1800s and early 1900s, many of which combine the domestic and the supernatural.