Prompt Day #34: Arouse the life inside a statue
**Warning: this story contains adult subject matter and may be disturbing to some.
The Fate of the Soul
Where do souls really go when we die?
Some are not important enough to go anywhere and some go to great places that they’ve only imagined because they believe so strongly in the existence of such a place. Some, though simply must go on in one way or another because the world needs to remember them; to remember what they said or what they did when they still lived inside flesh.
For those souls there are many ways to stay. Some live on in books and speak their words only to those with ears that wish to hear. Some live in their art; telling stories to the hearts of those who wish to really see. Some are trapped by those unwilling to let them go. They are imprisoned in marble or alabaster or bronze.
Barnabas Sebastian Laughlin was a soul of the latter type. A life size bronze statue commemorating his time as judge of the village Hanover Lake, just west of Salem, Massachusetts from 1690-1702 was erected two years after his death in 1711. The village heralded him for saving the lives of dozens of young women who had been accused of witchcraft during the most frenzied witch hunt in America’s history. While their neighbors to the east executed twenty people and accused many more, Judge Laughlin personally questioned, examined and subsequently acquitted the many frightened girls brought to his court. The town lauded his common sense and his courage to stand up for these women when his peers gave in to the mass hysteria.
But in life, Barnabas Laughlin was not a good man and in death, his soul seethed with hatred. He watched girls strut by him in their short shorts and bosoms bouncing all firm and young. He wanted to touch them. He wanted to torture them, bite them and pinch them. He wanted to take them by the back of the head and guide them to his now permanently hard member. Oh how he hated the lack of control he now had over them. Sometimes, to ease the throbbing in his groin, he would try to remember back to the girls in his chambers.
The first one, just like all firsts, was the sweetest. Sarah Payne, thirteen years old, her womanhood just beginning to blossom. He could taste her fear and it was delicious. He remembered sitting her down and forcing her to answers his questions.
“Tell me, Sarah, does the devil come to thee at night?”
“Hath he suckled from your nipples?”
“No, Sir. I do not know that I hath ever seen the devil. “
“Show them, or I shall think you be lying to me.”
His soul smiled at this memory. The hesitancy with which she disrobed, how she kept her little head bowed. He felt the metal of his new being warm from the heat of his desire as he recalled the way her nipples felt like cold pebbles between his thumb and forefinger. She yipped like a pup when he twisted them.
“Hath the Devil put his seed in you, girl? Pray do not lie to me.”
“No, Sir. As I said, I do not know him!” She was shaking, almost crying, but trying oh so hard to be brave. He knew then he would have her, have her in some way. No, he knew he would have her in every way.
“Disrobe completely, then, so that I may examine you.” She obeyed and he took her. First he explored her with his fingers, and then he tasted her, and finally, he entered her.
He cursed the damn statue, his eternal prison. He wanted out. He wanted to taste flesh again. He wanted to see fear in a little girl’s eyes and know that he put it there. He wanted to have that control again.
“You shall not speak of this again. It was necessary that I examine thee completely. If you speak of what hast happened here, I shall find that you in fact be a witch as witches will speak of men in this way. Be thou a witch, Sarah Paine?”
“Dress yourself and be gone from mine office”
As time went by, he found he could do anything he wanted to the girls. He could beat them and tell them it was their punishment for behaving as a witch. He could go to church and sit in the pews, watching, choosing who he wanted next and soon enough; the girl would be accused of some such nefarious offense and sent to him for examination. He found the youngest ones to be so supple and sweet that soon no child was too young to be accused.
And now for the “good deeds” he’d done for the village daughters he was condemned to a fate worse than the hell he’d been expecting. Perhaps this was his hell. Frozen here with all his lust and desire still intact while little girls climbed his legs and sat on the lap of his statue and he could do nothing about the wantonness raging inside his metal exoskeleton. How he hated this village, how he wanted to hurt them all.
“Hello, can I have a moment of your time? I’m trying to get signatures for my petition to have this statue removed from the square. This man, Barnabas Laughlin was nothing more than a sadistic child molester.”
What was this? This young girl with pen and paper pacing back and forth in front of him telling his secrets? Had she been one of his young girls? How had she survived all this time outside?
“This book,” She held a small book wrapped in plastic “is the journal of a thirteen year old girl named Sarah Payne.”
The filthy little witch! He should have pressed her between stones until her tiny breasts stopped heaving.
“Allow me to read an excerpt from page 10; I have been accused a witch and today I submitted to an exam by Judge Laughlin. He hurt me and he put his seed into me and made me swear that I would not tell. I must not tell or I will be found guilty and hanged. I pray God forgives me and that Judge Laughlin’s seed does not take within my womb.. This is pedophilia, people! We cannot continue to glorify this monster!”
He felt his alloy shell heating up with his rage. It radiated from his soul which was nothing but white hot fury. The casting began to soften; he could almost move his arms. He gave into it, letting his consciousness go, feeding the flames with the memories he’d held onto all these centuries.
“Tear it down! Tear it down!”
Barnabas could barely hear the crowd chanting over the roaring inside his soul. He could no longer see the girl or those who had joined her because his rage-fire glowed so brightly. It was working though: there was movement now. Soon, he would have her and she would be punished. And then, he would find the little witch who could not keep her secrets and she would pay as well.
The statue was tilting with the pull of the crane. It was coming down. Sara Osgood smiled. She would stand in for her namesake and see that justice was done. She spent her summer with the history department excavating the site of the original village of Hanover Lake. She’d found the journal wrapped in a pillowcase and tucked behind a brick in what was likely a fruit cellar. She sat right down and read the entire thing, she was enthralled. When she reached the words Sarah had written about Judge Laughlin, she was sickened. She remembered climbing up on his lap as a child, just like every other child in the town had done growing up. Now, all she could think of was a creepy old man who had used the witch frenzy to his advantage and managed to come out a hero. She knew then and there that even the likeness of that predator had no business anywhere near children. It had to come down.
The roar was getting louder and the soul of the evil man felt the bottom drop out from under his bronze cell. He was free. He stretched out his arms and legs and had just enough time to throw his head back and laugh before he was devoured in the eternal fires of Hell.