I came to Salem not too long after the panic began. Of course I wasn't one to believe in witches or other such evils. I was going to stay as far from the conflict as I could. That was the plan anyway.
Seeing as I had come to Salem alone, I did not have many options for living quarters. I wound up staying on the street the first night. No one would take me in. Upon waking up the next morning I was greeted not with the sun, but with the shadow of a woman who was standing over me.
"You poor thing," she said in lieu of an introduction. "Let me take you home and get you cleaned up."
She held her hand out to me. Still not knowing who she was, I was wary. I ended up taking it. There was something in me that felt like I could trust her, but maybe the need for someone to rescue me was greater in that moment. Regardless, I went with her, hand in hand down the street. There were people who looked, gawked really, but this woman paid them no mind whatsoever. I just put my head down and continued walking obediently at her side.
We were stopped once on the way to wherever it was that she was taking me. That is when I learned her identity. Her name was Mary. From what I could glean from the conversation it seemed that her surname might be Sibley. Sibley was a well known name in this town, that much I knew. Perhaps it wasn't such a bad thing to have let this woman rescue me.
She did drop my hand during the time we had stopped. I guess by now she had figured I wasn't likely to run off. When the conversation had run its course I was surprised to find her take my hand again. "Come, dear," she said. "We're nearly there."
When we did arrive at our destination she fulfilled her promise of letting me get cleaned up. After I had, she offered me a new dress, which I was grateful for. I was glad for her kindness, without it I may have spent the rest of my life on the streets of Salem.
It only became clear to me after a week of her hospitality what her true intentions for me were. She came to my bedside one night, took me by the hand and into the woods. There she told me she was an Essex witch. So much for avoiding the witch panic. At this point she took both of my hands in hers and even though she had just admitted to me that she was a witch, I felt connected to her.
"I'm glad I found you. You're exactly the one I need to complete the grand rite. I need a witch that's stronger than even Tituba. I believe you're it."
"I'm, but, I'm not a witch," I stuttered.
"You are, dear. Your powers simply have not revealed themselves. They soon will. I'm going to draw them out of you."
Before I could continue with any more questions she crashed our lips together. Despite the roughness of the kiss, her lips were the softest things I have ever felt. As her taste lingered on my mouth I felt the magic she had spoke of. It felt like raw power. I couldn't properly explain it if I tried. I had thought magic would be terrible, something to fear, but it felt good. It felt like it belonged in me. And, maybe, that connection I feel to Mary, makes me belong to her.