I want to write a sequel to The Crucible.
And as much as writing that out makes my head swim deliriously with images of Crucible Twocible: The Zoocible Musibal, wherein Puritan farmer and cephalopod John Proctopuss pleads his case to Judge Hogthorne and Deputy Governor Hamforth via the jazzy refrain of "I Have Made a Bell of My Honor (I Have Known Her, Sir, I Have Known Her)" that the accusations of Webigail Williams are naught but a whore's vengeance, this is not exactly what I mean.
It wouldn't really be a sequel at all, in that it wouldn't even be the same medium, let alone genre; additionally, it wouldn't follow the same "continuity" of the play--that is to say, it would ignore the historical re-imaginings of Miller's play and introduce a whole set of historical fabrications of its own.
It would only be a sequel in the sense that it would be set some years after the events widely known through the play, and feature minor characters from history that appear in the play (minor as they must be: all the major players were killed). The title as I have it now is Witchfinder Herrick, and it follows the adventures of the marshal of Salem village several years after the events of 1692.
In reality, little is known of Marshal Herrick except that he died as a very young man a few years after the trials. Taking some cues from the play, I would assert that Herrick instead utilized that most valuable of literary devices: the faked death. After which, he takes up a series of assumed identities posing as a witchfinder, but in reality leading an underground railroad of convicted "witches," trying to alleviate the guilt he feels at failing to act to save the lives of John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Giles Corey, etc.
His primary adversary in this venture would be Witchfinder Ezekiel Cheever, the former tailor who enlisted as a clerk of the court, and rather than feeling guilt at the great loss of life in his village, swelled with such zeal for witch trials that he now travels the colonies, scouring for witches. In a way, Herrick's main goal is to undermine all of Cheever's progress.
Herrick's main supporter would be the defrocked (so to speak) Reverend John Hale, former chief witchfinder of the Massachusetts colony, who has left the church in utter despair of what he has witnessed. He hides in the shadows, having trained Herrick to appear like a witchfinder successfully.
Also appearing in the story: Satan?
This story would be my second take at entering the world in my head that I refer to as "Old Weird America," after the failed first pass that was Big Salt Lick. If I can finish this one, I might take another stab at BSL, even though as I found out recently my notes on that book are woefully incomplete, and I seem to have forgotten most of the plot. Second pass is a charm?
I know I said I'd mention the concept of me vs. abject poverty this time, but I felt like writing about this instead. Maybe next time, valued friends and enemies.