the sacrifice

chapter 1- picking the consort

All I could feel was my heart, beating faster than it ever had before. The day of the sacrifice had come, and it was my turn to cast my name now that I had turned 18. It was a short selection this year, only 27 women, including myself. “Jane, your turn.” I looked up and saw Proctor Louis watching me, waiting for me to approach the table. A chill ran up my back, only now had I realized how many eyes were on me. Although it was a rather cold morning, no one would dare sleep in and miss the sacrifice. I desperately tried to meet eyes with my mother or sister, but I couldn’t find them in the crowd of onlookers.

“Jane, approach the table, it’s your turn, dear.” Proctress Isabel beckoned me to approach with her hand. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. A bump from behind sent me forward, “Let’s get this over with!” the girl behind me said as she pushed me forward. ‘Yes, the sooner this is done the better,’ I thought. I grabbed the quill, scrawled my name onto the scrap of parchment, folded it carefully, then dropped it in the bowl. “You’re done, Jane. Go be with your family now.” Said Proctor Louis.

All I could do was look at him in the eyes and hope he saw how much I didn’t want this. Maybe he would take pity on me and pick another name if mine comes up, however unlikely that was, it gave me a moment of peace. I found my mother and sister near where the line of women had begun. “Oh Jane, why are you worried? This is a great day, and you should be excited!” said my mother. She looked at me with genuine excitement at the prospect of having me be sacrificed. The chill returned, stronger this time. “Cmon Jane, I wasn’t chosen so you shouldn’t be worried. I’m sure it will be one of the Prescot’s or Tadleys’ children,” said my sister, Eli. At that, my mother rapped my sister on the wrist with the back of her hand. “You should be praying that your sister is chosen, not hoping for the fortune of another family!” said mother.

‘Fortune, yes, fortune for them, misfortune for me,’ I thought. As we talked, the remaining women must have finished casting their names into the bowl. “It’s time to draw this year’s sacrifice. Everyone, before we begin, let us pray for the those that cast their names and good fortune and good harvest for them and the town,” said Proctor Louis. At that, the crowd’s volume dropped, and I lowered my head to pray as everyone else was. ‘Please, I know you want this to happen, but don’t pick me. I don’t want this. You deserve someone who wants this. Please don’t choose me, please,’ I prayed. Proctor Louis, noting heads beginning to rise, began the sacrifice.

“Will the 27 women please return to the center of the square,” said Proctor Louis. I hugged my mother and sister and returned to the table. “Now, we all know why we are here this morning. This sacrifice, this essential practice of our entire society, earns us the favor and love of the harvest. Without the harvest, we wouldn’t be gathered here today for this sacred practice. We would be animals, packs of inhuman gatherers, looking deserately for our next meal lest we starve to death and be consumed by wicked vultures. No, that’s not our destiny. That’s not what we were meant to achieve in our lives. With this sacrifice, we strive for our true purpose. To reap what we sow, year in and year out, and trust in the soil that we till that it will provide for our family a thousand generations from now. The peace of mind that the harvest provides is ensured by the sacrifice that must be carried out. And so, here we are today, and here is the sacrifice, the consort of the harvest,” at that, Proctor Louis reached into the bowl and took a sliver of parchment between his finger and thumb. He unfolded the parchment, “Jane Godwell, the harvest needs you, we need you. Please, step forward and accept this joyful responsibility.” The chill overpowered me, ran up my spine to the base of my skull. An intense sensation overpowered my senses, I couldn’t move, a sort-of metallic smell arrived and then shifted into an electric feeling travelled across my face. I felt flush, the world began to spin, weightless. Why me? My knees gave out, I fell back and felt darkness envelope me.
2 chapters, created 4 years , updated 4 years
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Comments

Akwolfgrl13 4 years
Looks awesome
Jazzman 4 years
So exquisitely written. Wonderfully crafted.A joy to read.
You flip flopped Your and You're at the beginning of chapter two.If you can fix it that would be Awesome.
Terrific Story
Hubbert2995 4 years
Continue the story please