“Please! You have to come with me. Screw the humans. Come with me and I can give you asylum. Hailey, please. Come with me.”
“I cannot, dear Ann.” No one had ever called her Ann. Hailey was the only person ever to call her that and when she did, she was serious. “If I leave with you, they will hunt my family, my friends and they will stop to no avail until they find me. I wish I could, dear friend. I wish I could live longer than fifteen. The trial is tomorrow. Will you be there?”
“I will not watch my best friend be put to death.”
“Please, Annie. I will feel at ease if you’re there.”
“You have your family and yet you choose me to watch you die.” Annie said quietly.
“You are my truest friend and I trust no one else. Will you be there tomorrow?” Hailey asked.
“I will be there.” Annie said quietly. “Let us just have one more night together.” Hailey laid down in the bed as Annie lay with her. They held hands and talked to each other almost all night wondering about the future and what it would be like. How many more people would be killed until the humans realized they were being idiots. They were scared. It’s understandable, but still stupid.
“Before I go to trial, I want to give you something.” Hailey got off of the bed and went into the trunk and pulled out a spell book. “This belonged to my grandmother. If anyone finds it, they will put my whole family on trial for witchcraft in which they will also be hung. I know if I give it to you, it will be in good hands. You’ll always have a piece of me.” Annie grabbed Hailey and pulled her into a hug.
“I will miss you so much.” Annie sobbed.
“I will come back, dear Ann. In the next life, keep your eye out for me. Your soul will recognize me in a second and once that happens, all my memories from this life will flood back. I’ve already done the spell.”
“Please come and find me once you’re reborn, Hailey.”
“By the gods and goddesses watching over us, I promise you I will find you.” They laid back down and fell asleep. When they woke up, they were still holding hands. Annie enchanted her bag so she could fit more stuff in it than the actual space. She put the spell book in her bag.
“Hailey, come dear. We must get you ready.” Annie helped her out of bed and helped her get dressed.
“I’m scared, Ann.” Hailey whispered.
“I will be right there. I promise you I will not leave.” There was a banging at the door. Annie and Hailey hugged one last time before she went to open the door. Surprisingly, it was Devon, a guard who had been kind to Annie and Hailey during the trials. He was just as sad that Hailey was being put on trial, but felt it would be better if he were the one to take her there.
“She wouldn’t go with you, would she, Annie?” Devon asked.
“I tried. She refused.”
“Come, Devon, let us go.” Hailey had known leaving with Annie was an option. She had even pondered it, but she knew the consequences of leaving without a trace; it would make her family look just as guilty and like she had told Annie, they would be hung as well. She walked out the door with Devon as Annie got herself ready for the trial. Annie then proceeded to walk over to the courthouse; she guessed she could call it that. It was tiny, almost like a mini-house but enough to fill the town and sure enough, almost the whole village was there.
“BURN THE WITCH!”
“HANG HER!” Annie grit her teeth to prevent herself from saying anything so she wouldn’t fall under suspicion.
“Hailey Manderson, you have been charged with witchcraft. The people have spoken and you will be hung for your actions. Guards, please take her outside.” That’s all there was to a trial. It was never innocent until proven guilty. Annie wouldn’t even really consider it a trial. Girls, younger than Annie, would go in, be found guilty, and hung. These girls had lives to live. Hailey had a life to live and she was about to lose it due to humans and their constant fear of change. With a sigh of pure frustration, Annie followed the crowd outside and watched as they brought Hailey up to the noose. As the executioner put the cover over Hailey’s head and fit the noose on her, Annie could feel Hailey’s regret. She knew that she should’ve gone with her but instead was now paying for it with her life. Annie didn’t want to see this part and was sure Hailey could sense Annie’s fear. She had her first real friend in what seemed like forever, only to have her for a short period of time, and she was now losing her due to false accusations. Hailey spoke into Annie’s mind, easing her fear. “Don’t fret, Ann. I will be back someday. I promise.”
Tears began to fall down Annie’s face as they seemed to be ready to release the door under Hailey’s feet. She was so tempted, so unbelievably tempted to compel these humans to forget anything and everything having to do with witches, but that would expose her. Anything and everything was forming in her mind as a way to get Hailey out of there as soon as possible, but a perfect plan never came. The trap door was released, and Hailey fell under. She could hear her neck snap the second it happened. As much as she wanted to break down, a public hanging was not the place to do it. Her eyes were fixated on her best friends limp body. She could’ve been saved. She could’ve been saved. That thought constantly wandered through Annie’s mind. The survivors guilt would be with her for the rest of her days – or until Hailey made it back. She would never die, she’s immortal, so she would just have to wait until she was reborn.
After the crowd dispersed seemingly satisfied, Annie went back to Hailey’s house just to spend one more night there. Just to feel her presence one more time. She laid down on her bed and cried herself to sleep. She had so much pent up anger inside of her. The one true friend she ever had was gone. She didn’t know how long she was going to have to wait until she found Hailey again. She didn’t even know if she would ever see Hailey again. She could’ve been saved. How those words would haunt her in the years to come. Annie shut it out temporarily as she cuddled with a stuffed bear that Hailey’d had ever since toddlerhood and soon fell asleep. During her sleep, Hailey came to her in a dream. Where they were, she didn’t know and frankly, she didn’t care. She was glad to see her best friend one last time. It would help her cope in the years to come. It looked like a garden filled with loads of flowers. Hailey came out of the shadows.
“Hailey! You’re okay!” Annie smiled through her tears.
“That I am, Annie.” She hugged Annie tightly.
“Where are we?” Annie asked.
“I’m not too sure. In my mind, I imagined somewhere peaceful and this is where we ended up.”
“Did you make it to Heaven?”
“God welcomed me with open arms. You have nothing to worry about. I will find you, Annie. I keep my promises.”
“Please find me soon. I don’t know how long I will be able to last without you. Once you find me, I will make an elixir with the spell book you gave me so you can stay with me forever.”
“That sounds lovely. I would love to spend eternity with my one true friend.” Annie smiled and hugged her one more time.
“I must go. Although, I must tell you one important thing. Let the anger go,” Annie was flabbergasted at the comment, so much so that no words were coming out of her mouth. “Your anger is so justified, Annie, but there is no use to pin it on these people. Like you said, they’re scared. They will be until they feel the threat is gone. Leave Salem. I promise you things will get better as time goes by. It may not seem like it, but it will and just remember, I’m always right here.” Hailey pointed to Annie’s heart and she soon was fading into nothing. All the sudden, Annie woke up smiling. She gathered some of Hailey’s belongings and planned to leave that morning. She went to Devon’s house to say her goodbyes.
“You must leave, right?”
“There’s nothing keeping me here, now. I have to leave this dreadful place before they find out who I really am and why I am not aging.”
“I understand. I will miss you, Annie.” Devon said with pure sorrow.
“As I will miss you also.” She hugged Devon and went on her way.
She never returned to Salem, Massachusetts after that.