20 Seconds…

20 seconds.

20 seconds is all it takes for the body to slip into unconsciousness, after that my death will be easy.


“The Court is all in agreement! Martha Carrier has been found guilty of Sorcery and Witch craft in the city of Salem! Her punishment will be suited to the crime she has committed! Death by hanging!” cried Salems most acclaimed Witch Hunter.

I stood, hands tied, stripped to nothing, soaked from the lakes water, where they tried to make the shallow waters my grave.

I failed the test. I floated. I am now sentenced for the crime of inheritance. Pitiful.

Giving man power to take a life, that’s the real crime.

I stood, shivering. My hands clenched in fists to stop the shock from hitting my body. I heard those words, those 3 final words and in that moment, I ignored the ferocious shouts of the bigot witch slaying men and prepared myself for those dreaded 20 seconds.

Two brawny warm hands grab my shoulders, their heat flooding down my back. As they began to tug me to the righteous standing tree which stood behind me. Every step was exhausting. My knees rattled and the thud of my feet hitting the ground sent my spine stiff.

The shouting hateful voices began to blur, as I allowed a prayer to be quietly said from my purple trembling lips.

They turned me around, so I was faced with the burning torches and the face of those condemning me to death, and then as if to take away my last shred of dignity those men, those foul smelling, small minded animals began to spit at me as the noose was placed over my head.

In this moment I heard my mother. Standing in the same place where her life was unjustly taken, her voice her whispers kept me strong.

“Do not waste a tear my darling. Do not hold hatred in your heart, not to these men and not towards your children.”

I lifted my head to look at each man in the eye.

“Do not wish death upon these men, show forgiveness, for their blind sighted eyes have made them this way.” She whispered in my ear. “Believe that God will show mercy to you and soon you be with me. 20 seconds my darling Martha.”

I took one last breath of the fresh air and my last seconds begun.



I was pulled up quickly my final breath didn’t get a chance to reach my lungs before the rope grabbed onto my throat forcing the air out of me. Instinctively my legs began to kick trying to find ground, trying to find safety. I let out a squeak, wanting to call out, wanting help.

My body was stiff, shock consuming it and fighting to stay alive.



I am still kicking but every effort became slower, weaker. Taking bursts of breath was growing more painful by the second, the rope just got tighter and tighter. The rope just got tighter and tighter, as if it was a Boa Constrictors preparing for it’s feast.

I forced my mind to think not of the crushing feeling around my neck, not to think of the lingering burn that I began to feel in my chest, but of my husband; Thomas.

My beautiful husband, who I never got the chance to say goodbye too. I love him…

I thought of his eyes and the way his cheeks dimpled as he smiled. I thought of his soothing voice, telling me things will be okay, that we would get out of this mess. Look at me now Thomas I am a branded and murderous witch.

I hope you still love me too.



A pain shot through my spine and my body began to say it’s goodbye. My kicks and struggles were now helpless twitches. I couldn’t even feel my feet any more. The numbing began to spread up my body.

The scrutinising burning in my chest started to become too much to bare. I tried to cry out, but it was hopeless. I felt a tear sting my cheek as it rolled down my face. I feel so cold.

I will be the first women in Andover to die for this crime, but I won’t be the last. That brought no comfort.



My last few seconds were of my children. It wasn’t there fault. They were vulnerable and naïve. I thought of each one of my beautiful babies, my lasting memory of them will be their joy’s laughter as they chased each other around the garden. I remembered the warmth their bodies gave me as they ran in for an evening hug after dinner.

Josie, Brandon and Mary.

I love you all.

They bring me slight comfort as I began to feel my body going limp, and my eyes slowly began to close.

I want to try one more breath but I stop myself, this feeling… this feeling of my body finally resting was all I needed to feel. The pain had stopped, the burnning had stopped. The fould shouting from those bastard men, stopped. I was beginning to find peace.



In my last second, I feel my body lay on the ground. My body grows colder, but I feel warm… I feel at peace.

I force a small smile just enough to show them that their hatred will not be beaten.



This story was based upon the life of Martha Carrier.
Martha Carrier, aged 33, lived in Andover and was the wife of Thomas Carrier. Carrier was also the niece of outspoken opponent of the Salem Witch Trials, Reverend Francis Dane of Andover, and the sister of accused witch Mary Toothaker of Billerica.

Carrier was the first person in Andover accused during the Salem Witch Trials. She was accused by her neighbour Benjamin Abbot after the two had a dispute over land and Abbot immediately fell ill.

Her children were also accused and were coerced into testifying against her. Carrier was brought to trial on August 5 and executed on August 19, 1692.


Alias Captain James Hook

Captain James Hook, was never going to go down easily, and especially by a crocodile. He crawled out of the slimy creature’s belly, washed himself of and found himself shelter, away from the waters edge.

James looked down at the shinning hook attached to his sodden, scrawny arm and he breathed a sigh of relief. He was safe for now. He had fought to live another day, despite what he may have had that wretched child and his motley gang of juveniles believe. Pan thought he had fought his last battle, but not just yet.

His hook reflected off the moon light, leaving an opalescent glow on the cold dark walls of Skull Rock. His dark, sunken eyes peered out into the seas distance, a storm was coming, and he needed to rest. He had protection, not the most accommodating, but it was safe.

Skull Rock’s refuge battled against the roaring sea crashing against it, it’s interior cold, dark and eerie and yet he found some comfort knowing the sea, his beloved ocean was surrounding him. He felt protected; beside he was once Captain of the sea, Captain of the mighty Jolly Roger! The sea was his ally, the sky Pan’s.

As his eyes slowly closed his mind wondered to a time when he was content. Hard to believe, isn’t it? A notorious villain, living in a time with no fighting or no enemy.

He saw a girl, a fair skinned, raven haired beauty. Her eyes bright green, and they were peering down at a baby. A new born. She had a kind smile, as she sung a soft lullaby. He could hear her delicate voice so clearly.

Sitting by the fire was James gazing at them both. He was warm, he was peaceful.  He had a family, James, Ebony and their child Roger John Smith.


A gush of wind provoked the water to hit the stony surface, bringing Hook out of his reminiscing. He groaned. His serenity turning back to anger, that cold feeling he always felt, now beginning to manipulate him.

“Pan.” He hissed and stood, the flame of vengeance sparked. “I will get him back.”

The whole night Hook paced, like a fire eyed caged animal.

By morning he was making his way back to main land. Without his uniform and concealing his hook he easily blended into the crowd. He heard mutters and street gossip of sightings of the Jolly Roger flying over the Indian Plains and settling at Mermaid Lagoon.

“That’s where they’ll be.” He thought to himself.

It’s funny, in stories, the ones you read as children, you are told who are good and evil, and you never bat an eye lid. You never second guess. As kids we want to be told, of good and evil, to know who to trust and who to be wearier of. But we never look past the surface and wander why they are the way they are. I never second guessed.

James Hook could never stop thinking of the reason why, it haunted him in the light and dark, it sparked his reasons to keep fighting, even if history pinned him as the bad guy.

You see, Ebony fell gravely ill when Roger turned 7 years of age, her sudden death never left Hook’s side. Roger was left without a mother and Hook left with a feeling of despair, the only reminder of her was their child, their free spirited, Roger. Hook took up a job on a ship, it paid well, and it was a home for Roger to play and learn and hide –

“Hide? But daddy I’m brave.” Roger said stubbornly as a Hook tried to cover him with bed sheets.

“I know son, you are the bravest of them all. But he doesn’t allow children in Neverland.” Hook replied calmly.

You see, this is what the story you have all been told, never says, the part they always miss out. Peter Pan feeds of stories, new adventures told by children. The hope and excitement created just by the whisper of his name, Pan gains so much power. The faster he would be able to fly, the stronger and cleverer he got.

“Oh the cleverness of me.” He would say smugly

And so over many, many years, Pan would travel Neverland and venture out into the universe to find boys and girls that were curious, brave and loyal.

That’s why he took Roger.

They would live with Pan, live an ‘amazing’ life of fighting pirates and singing with mermaids. He would manipulate each Lost Boy into thinking he was the most magnificent of them all and then they would go off and tell stories of him to more children, back in our world.

Hook knew this, everyone in Neverland knew this, that’s why you never saw families on the main land of Neverland, and why adults were bitter and nasty. They hated Pan and the power he had. In a flash any child over the age of 5 could just be taken, brainwashed and never seen again.

This is why it had to be now. Hook had to get his child back. He fought too long and too hard with Pan. Pan was getting stronger by the second especially with that girl, Wendy, home and telling her stories of Pan, it was getting harder to stop him. But he needed to be stopped. Neverland needed to stop living in fear, and families could once again be whole.

As Hook lurked into the Lost Boys territory, he could hear chanting of victory and the smell of smoke flooded his senses. The anticipation, was exhausting but he had to wait, wait for Roger to be alone.

“You boy, go get more wood, and then when you are back be ready to feast!” Pan ordered to Roger. Hook took a deep breath, his stomach churning as Roger left and drew closer and closer to him. He was humming a song as he collected up dry wood, and Hook’s heart sank.

It was her lullaby.

He began to sing the words to Roger’s hum, softly at first but with every growing moment and the closer he got louder.

and now, little one, sleep tonight…” he ended gently standing right behind the innocent boy.

Roger turned sharply, dropping all the wood, he went to call out but Hook covered his mouth, softly hushing him.

“Don’t be frightened.”

“Hook.” The boy said fearfully, his breath catching “Peter says you were gone. Peter says..”

“Peter Pan, has lied Roger-“

“How do you know my name?” Roger stepped back, a twig cracking under foot.

“Roger – son…”

“Peter!” Roger went to run but Hook grabbed him bag pulling him to his chest and covering his mouth. Roger began to struggle trying to get out if his grip. Hook began to panic, he was desperate and wanted his son back.

“Your name is Roger John Smith. Your birthday is August 13th. Your mother’s name was Ebony, she died when you were only 2.” Roger tried to scream but it was muffled, Hook persisted “your favourite game to play is hide and seek. Your favourite colour is green, because it was like your mother’s eyes. You told me everyday you missed her…” Still Roger struggled “son please!” a tear streamed down his cheek, it burned his skin. One last attempt, one last idea to get his son back.

With a shaking voice he began to sing Ebony’s lullaby, it was slow it was soothing. The more he went on the more Roger calmed. As Hook felt him calm he began to let go, Roger’s eyes reflected in the moon light and he turned staring at his father.

“Daddy…” his broken voice whispered.

Hook stopped, and a small smile grew and he held out his arms “It’s me, son.”

“Daddy! Daddy!” The small child ran into his father’s embrace, as Hook collapsed to his knee’s squeezing his child close to his chest.

“Oh my beautiful, beautiful-“

Hook’s breath hitched in the back of his throat, as he felt a cold blade pierce his lung, he looked down, and saw his child holding a bloody dagger. Roger’s eyes wide and cold.

“Peter is going to be so proud, don’t you agree daddy?” the boy gave a sinister smile. “Oh the cleverness of me.”