Funny stories in under 500 words.


“Throw some more rocks on it you sons of bitches!”

The sons of bitches heaped more rocks on the door that pressed on the chest of the prostrate George Whitworth, the first person condemned for witchcraft in colonial Hale, Connecticut.

The inhabitants of Hale had watched for decades as other local communities flourished, leaving tiny Hale behind as some forgotten backwater, where even the hostile Indian tribes didn’t bother to send their braves to fight the settlers. To spark commerce, the merchants sent a delegation to Salem, Massachusetts to investigate what that village had done correctly in drawing attention to itself.

Though by the late fall of 1692, Salem had begun to wrap up its witch trials. Hysteria and civic pride still permeated that colony, so the Hale delegates still had plenty to study, soon returning home refreshed with ideas and swag like witch tee shirts and bobble-heads. To capitalize on this open market, Hale would have its own witch hunt and witch trials.

The scouts searched for suitable judges, hearty men who felt no compunction against condemning innocent, helpless people to a miserable death. They felt very confident about enlisting little league coaches, having the most experience in the matter. High school cheerleaders were recruited as screaming, afflicted young accusers. Their ability to whine had brought the villagers to murder before, even without the intrigue of black magic. Finally and most importantly, they needed a witch, which brings us to George Whitworth. He was old and nasty, and even his two Chihuahuas hated him. At his trial, Whitworth disrespected the judges and called his accusers “bimbos” and “gum-chewers,” leading to a quick condemnation to die by being pressed to death by rocks.

By the time set for the execution, the whole witch thing had become passé. Nobody had even touched the merch! So midway through the dumping of rocks on the miserable Whitworth, his executioners, seized by ennui, walked home or sailed to Boston for a weekend getaway. The Great Hale Witch Trials had ended.

George Whitworth wriggled himself free, then demanded a pardon from the royal governor. This was quickly granted as the whole witch thing had become an embarrassment. Freed and protected from further prosecution by double jeopardy, George deposited piles of rocks and stones into his pants pockets and jumped on his broom to fly around Hale pelting his neighbors with missiles.

So witches, or more properly warlocks, existed. Who knew? And there was nothing the town of Hale could do about it. Town Elder Enoch Bell left his barn to watch Whitworth dive-bombing around town, and wiped his forehead with his sleeve, exclaiming, “I’ll be damned!”

Returning to his barn, the stern Puritan Bell began formulating new ways to draw business into Hale, settling on apple sales. Either that or strippers.

This story was written by Donald Hubbard. He has written six books, one of which was profiled on Regis and Kelly, one was a Boston Globe bestseller and Amazon (category) top ten, and another book went into a second edition. He was also inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as an author in 2015, and a chapter from one of his books was published in the on-line edition of Notre Dame Magazine.


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