This is our truth, tell us yours
ANA is slumped down amongst the pillows on her bed. Her back is turned to VERA.
VERA: It’s wrong to leave a story unfinished Ana, even if only you and I know it.
So the maid was imprisoned in the old gaol, and the gaoler tormented her with tales of how the people loved to see witches hung, then their bodies cut open and dismembered, preferably while they were just conscious so that the crowd could believe that the screams were the devil departing.
The gaoler tormented the maid with the offer that if she would submit to him, he would tie the noose so that she was dead before he took the knife to her. The maid knew that she was at the brink, that these moments could decide everything, but she also knew that the gaoler was a fool, lost in his fantasy of her body.
ANA: Oh god, no, please, I never want to choose again.
VERA: The maid said exactly that prayer, that she never wished to make choices again, but she knew that had one last choice to make. So she bargained with the gaoler, as she knew she must, and she reminded him of how he had all the power. How could she trust him? She twisted her hands in her hair, and pleaded with him to persuade her.
She knew how she appeared to him, and she knew that he believed her. So she kept her nerve, until he brought a rope and showed her the knots. As she smiled and batted her eyelashes at him he became more obsessed with her beauty and her promise, and he capered on and off a stool, showing her how the box and the scaffold would work in the morning.She felt no shame lifting her slirt above her knees, no guilt in persuading him to show her how the noose would fit against his neck, and when the moment came, lust in his eyes and delight in his smile, as she kicked the stool away and let him dangle from his own noose, her only thoughts were for his keys, his purse, his cloak and her escape.
ANA: How did you know, how could you know?
VERA: All the silly maids think they’re the first and only, and all the old maids know they are links in a chain and keepers of secrets. Rest, ANA, and make the choice to be yourself.
The camera draws back and out, and we see a van drawing away from the back of the hospital. Standing by the junction is John the Busker, singing, off key ‘Sloop John B’, repeating the chorus about wanting to go home.