This delightfully non-PC album cover - and films such as the notorious Witchfinder General - were the inspiration for one of my stories, Inquisition. Here is an appetiser:
The churchyard was silent, as if the birds had been forbidden to sing. The grass felt cold and wet beneath the soles of my feet. Someone pushed me and I fell onto my knees, my skirts entangling my legs like a fishing net dragging me down.
The voice of the inquisitor was colder than the winter ground, empty, expressionless.
“Get up, I say. Devil’s spawn.”
But I’m not the offspring of Satan. I’m not a witch.
There was no point repeating the anguished pleas I’d uttered perhaps a thousand times over the past few days. He had made up his mind – I was guilty as charged – and my terrified beseeching simply slid off his inhuman face like water coursing over stone.
Powerful hands grasped me beneath my arms and pulled me to my feet. The inquisitor’s assistants, hapless, feckless men, too frightened to argue with the word of their master.
The gravestones seemed to converge upon me as I was pushed forward. Idly I tried to count them. It seemed as good a way to pass the time as any. They marched me to a horizontal grave and forced me to kneel upon the hard damp slab. The inquisitor opened his bible – and if ever an unholy man walked on the face of the earth it was he – and began to preach over me. His words rained like stinging hail upon my uncovered head. I recognized the sermon but not the spirit of the message. He was wrong. Wrong!
“I’m not a witch”, I murmured, my fight all but spent. My auburn hair (apparently a demonic mark) streamed over my naked shoulders and I cried out as one of the men grasped a handful and tugged my head back until I believed my neck would snap. He pressed his loathful face against mine and snarled “be quiet – listen to the master’s prayer or I’ll cut your pretty whore’s throat.”
A sharp blade appeared before my eyes and I could see their hateful reflections on the steel, pressing down upon me as deformed and dreadful as a brace of gargoyles. The dagger traced a path from my ear to my bodice then swiftly and savagely it sliced through the lacing of my dress. Vicious hands reached down and exposed my breasts to the chill December air.
“No! Please! No!”
My cries were ignored as the men proceeded to bind my wrists behind my back. Tears of humiliation pricked my eyes and I shuddered as harsh fingers explored my body.
“The slut has fine big titties, has she not?”
“Aye, that she has. And I reckon a sweet wet cunny to match.”
With that, one of the men grasped my skirts and threw them over my face. I sobbed helplessly as his wicked hands groped in the private place between my thighs. I tried to press my legs together but he was too strong for me and easily pried them apart.
“Come now, you whore. Let’s have no false modesty. Spread your thighs and let’s see what you’re made of.”
All the time the men were feasting upon me like wolves savaging a lamb, the inquisitor continued to preach, his chilly voice a distant monotonous sound. They had me spread wide, my legs pinned open to exhibit my nakedness. I was glad of the clothing that covered my face so I did not have to witness the horrible acts I felt them perform.
“Please stop! You’re hurting me!”
My pleading was muffled by my petticoat and as pointless as trying to stop the tide. One of the men straddled me and I flinched as he forced his swollen shaft deep inside me. Grunting like a pig, he took me hard and fast, seemingly finding great pleasure in communing with the “devil’s spawn”. I braced my feet against the low iron rail that surrounded the grave, trying to make my body as rigid and unyielding as possible. The more I tensed, the more my assailant panted and groaned, his enjoyment growing with my resistance. Finally he shouted in release and pulled out of me. I felt his juices dribbling down the inside of my thighs. Grubby hands reached beneath my skirts and found my mouth. I tried to bite the fingers that roughly pushed between my lips and tasted of dirt and sweat and my violated body.
“Take your teeth to me, would you, slut?”