As a special on the Salem witch
trials concluded, Myrna turned off the TV and turned to her
granddaughter. "To bed now, Melissa! It's past 11:00 and
Halloween or not, you need to get some sleep. I can't believe
you're not nodding off already after all that walking you did at the
Melissa continued to stare at the blank TV screen. "Gramma?"
"Is it true that one of our great-great-great grandmas or aunts or
something was a witch?"
Myrna shook her head. "Cousin. And she was no witch!"
"But she was accused?" Melissa watched, astonished, as her
grandmother nodded. "Who was she? Tell me her story,
Gramma. Please," she begged.
Myrna glanced at the clock.
"I won't sleep at all now because I'm curious!" Melissa cried.
Her grandmother laughed. "Since you're so persistent... But
then you're going to bed right after."
"Of course, Gramma." Immensely excited, Melissa followed her
grandma out of the room and up the stairs to a packed storage
room. "What's up here?"
Myrna opened drawers and surveyed book cases. "A book. It's
actually a copy of a copy. The original was falling apart and so
in the 50s your great-grandfather had a copy made and I made a copy
from that. It's bound in red and about an inch and a half thi...
ah ha!" She snapped up a book from out of a basket and carried it
back down the stairs with Melissa at her heels. Reclaiming her
seat on the couch, she indicated for her granddaughter to sit beside
her. She handed her the book.
"'The Journal of Nathan Wilkins,'" she read. "I thought you said
the accused witch was a she?"
"She was. Her name was Hope Lewis. Nathan was her
betrothed. Hope was hung before they could be married. It's
been a long time since I read this journal but it seems to me he tells
her story pretty exhaustively. I think he even illustrated
it." Myrna took the book from Melissa for a moment and flipped to
a page. "This is Hope."
Melissa stared in awe at her beautiful ancestress with her sweet
smile. She thumbed through some more pages, searching for more
drawings. "And this must be Nathan? Wow! He's pretty
The woman stared at the drawing in shock. She recognized him
immediately. Andrew. The man in the blue tunic. The
man from her vision. "N-no... Here, look." Shaking,
she pointed to a handwritten caption. "'Andrew, angel of mercy.'"
"Nathan thought so. I'm trying to remember..." Myrna
brought her hand to her head as dizziness set in.
"Gramma, you look pale." Melissa hugged her. "Maybe we
should go to sleep and talk about this tomorrow."
Myrna's kissed the girl's hair. "No, I'm fine. I've only
remembered something... a man I met at the Faire. He was also
named Andrew and I was very worried about him. I tried to warn a
friend of his to watch out for him but I'm not sure she believed
me." She didn't want
to alarm the child by revealing her suspicion that it was that very
Andrew she had seen and reached out to.
"Well, maybe we should pray for him," the girl suggested.
Her grandmother beamed at her. "I'd like that." They joined
hands and bowed their heads. "Heavenly Father, please watch over
Andrew. Protect him from harm, surround him with loving friends,
and... bring him home."
"Amen," Melissa finished just before a yawn snuck out. She
stretched. "Maybe I do want to go to bed."
Myrna smiled. "I think that sounds like an excellent idea.
We can talk about this tomorrow," she suggested, setting the book on a
Melissa trotted off to get ready for bed as Myrna tidied up.
After tucking the girl in and wishing her good night, the woman
returned to the living room and picked up the book. She read
Nathan's words, long into the night, and reacquainted herself with
Hope's story. When she was finished, she found herself staring at
the drawing of Andrew. She traced the lines of his face,
imagining him comforting the frightened girl before her death and
encouraging her grieving father and fiance. She wondered if it
could truly be him who had wandered into her tent. The
resemblance was so strong and the man had such an aura of warmth and
peace about him, even flustered as he was by her attentions.
He had seemed angelic... And the blonde woman's absolute
rejection of any idea of him proposing... was it because she knew who
and what he was? And if that Andrew was an angel... Myrna
remembered her vision, the details of it still so crisp in her
mind. She bowed her head and prayed again for him, all the while
struggling with one question: what was going to happen to turn the
smiling, stunning young man she'd watch depart the Faire surrounded by
friends into the solitary, hurting wreck in her vision?