Sarah wasn't surprised when her family sent her out as a maid. At 18 she had grown old into her maidenhood and still had no marital prospects-in part due to the dearth of men in the village and partially because Sarah herself was considered quite queer compared to the other girls. Her father had loved her and she had stayed at home to help nurse him until he passed on to glory, but now that he had entered the kingdom, her mother could not afford to keep her in the home. She quickly started looking for a proper maid posting for her.
Sarah was surprised that her mother had arranged for her to serve Goody Hulbrit, but with so few opportunities in the village, she may have well been her best prospect. Goody Hulbrit was a bit queer herself. She had been a widow for 3 long years and had not yet remarried. Her late husband had been older and wealthy and had left her a great deal of property, even despite the fact that she had never managed to give him any children.
In another town, Goody Hulbrit may have even raised suspicions of being a witch. After all, at the age of thirty and one she still appeared to be youthful and gay. Her body suggested a certain...ampleness and fertility that her conservative clothing barely hid. One would be tempted to suspect witchcraft was behind her attributes. However, in this village with few men, she was instead considered godly- both for her kind manners and for her generous contributions to the local church. The men of the town had their hands full running things and, for the most part, seemed to leave Goody Hulbrit alone to pursue her own matters.
Sarah had always felt...drawn to Goody Hulbrit. She reasoned now that this may have been the draw of the Lord towards her godly destiny. Sarah was committed to being humble and true in her faith. She prayed in gratitude to the Lord for his mercy on her and her family in allowing her to gain such a propitious position.
Sarah began working and living at the Hulbrit house. Like she had been taught, Sarah was a hard and dedicated worker. She cooked and cleaned and scrubbed and helped with the animals. Goody Hulbrit was wealthy but also not one to be idle and was often right there with Sarah, joining in with the work. Because of this, they often engaged in conversation throughout the day. Sarah began to feel more that she was a friend rather than an employer- one that was older and sometimes strict but never unfair. Goody Hulbrit even gave Sarah her own room in the house- the first time she had ever had a place of privacy.
It was not until it fully bloomed a few months later than Sarah realized what wickedness had been growing in her heart. Sarah helped Goody Hulbrit dress and bathe and of course had appreciated the gift of beauty the Lord had given her- but as time went on she began to feel strangely about it. She searched herself for an understandable jealousy but found none inside. It felt less like the coldness of jealousy and more like- a warmth. A heat. The strange feeling persisted and seemed to grow every day.
She also had strange feelings when Goody Hulbrit teased her and told her what to do. Early into her stay she had found Goody Hulbrit’s old poppets in a drawer in her room and asked her about it. Her employer had teased her about this and started calling her “poppet” as a nickname. “Poppet, prepare the fire!” she would say. “Poppet, help me prepare this stew for dinner!” Sarah would blush every time she was teased or commanded so directly- and this seemed to make Goody Hulbrit wish to tease and command her more. And all that teasing just made the heat-feeling inside Sarah grow.
But- despite these things- it wasn’t until the dark dream that Sarah realized how deeply she had unintentionally sunk into sin. In her dream, she had gathered bathwater for her employer and had stood by to assist her as needed- like she usually did. However, in the dream, Goody Hulbrit slowly started to command more touches. First, she requested a thorough scrub of her bottom. Sarah complied, reasoning that this was hard for her mistress to reach. Then- she had instructed Sarah on a special regime for cleaning her breasts. In the dream, Sarah has rubbed and squeezed and fondled Goody Hulbrit’s breast at her precise commands. Finally, Goody Hulbrit had advised Sarah that she was dirty betwixt her legs and could only be cleaned by Sarah’s tongue. Sarah began to lower herself and...
Sarah woke up suddenly. Her body was all aglow and flush. She felt earthy and dirty and sinful. She knew that Satan had lured her into unnatural temptation and desires.
She was deeply ashamed of herself- both for her own sin and the way that she might shame Goody Hulbrit with her lust. She committed to regain her righteousness.
So, Sarah set on a path of repentance. She got on her knees and prayed constantly between chores. She excused herself from helping her mistress bathe and instead frequently submerged herself in cold water. She worked even harder, exhausting herself so much that conversation with Goody Hulbrit became almost impossible. She even would find little ways to scratch and injure and harm herself when lustful thoughts of Goody Hulbrit came to her mind.
Goody Hulbrit began to look at her with sadder and sadder eyes. She stopped her teasing entirely and commanded Sarah to eat food and get rest. Sarah would reluctantly agree, but only perform these actions minimally.
One night, she called Sarah into her bedroom.
There was a pillow on the floor by the fire. Goody Hulbrit pointed over to it.
“Kneel!” she said strictly.
Sarah, always the good and faithful servant, did as she was told.
Goody Hulbrit lowered herself so she was in front of her. “Sarah- what has bedeviled thee?” she asked, patiently. “You behave so strangely from the morn to the night. What troubles you?”
Sarah denied anything being wrong. But after Goody Hulbrit begged and pleaded, she finally admitted to her wickedness and lust. She threw herself on the floor, begging the Goodwife’s forgiveness.
Her mistress’s face softened at this. “Ah- Sarah. This is not a sin.” She explained to Sarah that such love was not forbidden by the Bible and read to her the story of Ruth and Naomi. She explained that God would not allow such feelings were they unnatural.
Sarah was not convinced. Goody Hulbrit was kind but Sarah knew absolutely that she was damned. She took to her bed.
Over the next week, she did not speak unless she needed to. She worked until she passed out in the evening and refused food. Her complexion became pale and drawn. She prayed to the Lord to take her in her wickedness the way he had taken her father and spare Goody Hulbrit her evil presence.
Finally, frustrated, Goody Hulbrit called her into her room again.
Sarah dutifully complied, once again kneeling when commanded.
Goody Hulbrit began kindly. “Young Sarah, I know you have confessed much to me. So I have a confession for you as well. This is one I did not wish to tell so early, but I’ll not deceive you any longer.”
She brought out a poppet. It was a simple one, like the ones Sarah had found in her room, but with some notable differences. The eyes were blue, a shade that almost matched Sarah’s own. It wore a garment similar to Sarah’s simple gray. It also appeared to have a lock of Sarah’s own hair at the top of it’s head.
“A...poppet?” Sarah asked, mystified.
“Aye,” stated Goody Hulbrit. “Your poppet. You see, young Sarah- I’m a witch”
Sarah’s eyes flew wide with shock! Her mistress? A witch?
Goody Hulbrit nodded. “Indeed, I’m a witch. And I have been bewitching you with this poppet for the last month or so into my will. So- that’s why you’ve been feeling enchanted and overcome. And why you’re so obedient and hardworking. You’re under my spell. Do you see?”
Sarah did have to admit it made a lot of sense. “But- how did you…?”
“Aye, you wish to see how such magic is accomplished? Then just let yourself stare at the poppet, girl. And pay attention to my words. You may already be starting to feel a kinship with it.”
Sarah did. Now that Goody Hulbrit was describing it, she was beginning to feel small and weak like the poppet. Goody Hulbrit stroked the poppet in a lulling manner and she could feel herself being lulled as well. She remembered a trick her father had shown her where he would tuck a chicken’s head under its’ wing and the chicken would go still and senseless. She felt like Goody Hulbrit was doing the same thing to her with her motions and her words.
As she stroked, Goody Hulbrit was explaining the nature of her magic- how she was connecting Sarah to the poppet and how she could control Sarah in this way. How Sarah was helpless to follow the poppet due to enchantment. How Sarah was not to blame for any wickedness of thought or actions she was having- she was just a godly, good girl helplessly under the control of the dark magicks she was under. Sarah was not able to quite keep up with the words- they slipped away from her in her enchantment- but she knew that what her mistress was saying was absolutely true.
To demonstrate, Goody Hulbrit presented Sarah with some bread. She also put a grain of flour in the poppet’s hand. Then, slowly, she had the poppet pretend to “eat” the flour.
Sarah felt herself helplessly picking up and eating some of the bread. Goody Hulbrit’s magic was strong indeed. She all of a sudden felt incredibly hungry and devoured all the bread presented. Goody Hulbrit smiled, encouraging her eating and talking about what a good bewitched poppet she was for her.
After this, Goody Hulbritt told Sarah that she would let her feel less enchanted. The enchantment would continue of course- Sarah could know that whenever she was called poppet she was being enchanted to obey her mistress. But for now, Sarah could come back to herself and feel more awake and aware.
The goodwife snapped her fingers to break Sarah’s spell.
“So, Sarah,” she said after a moment “do ye understand?”
“You have bewitched me,” she replied, mystified.
“Aye,” replied her mistress, “You are under my power. And I’ll keep you safe and only have you act on the wickednesses that are of benefit to me. So you’re not to blame in the eyes of God for your desires or your actions, do you understand? I’ll take those on my own soul.”
Sarah nodded. “But goodwife, it grieves me that you are so damned.”
Goody Hulbritt smiled at her. “I’ll keep my own council with God and the devil, sweet Sarah. You’re not to worry your pretty head about it, poppet.”
Sarah found herself nodding in agreement, the worry suddenly vanishing from her mind.
It was replaced by another one.
A wicked one.
A delicious, wicked one.
She felt the wickedness of the smile that spread across her face. It felt like eating honey.
“Goody Hulbritt,” she asked. “You have bewitched me into sinful desires but...I am afraid I know not what wickedness two women may engage in when they lie together. Can you teach me?”
Goody Hulbritt’s sly smile matched her own. “Aye, poppet. Come here and we’ll go a’bed. I’ll happily educate you in such ways.”
Sarah found that she enjoyed sin very much indeed.