I could hear the screams echoing in my head. A hollow shrieking that seeped its way through the walls of my consciousness, saturating my thoughts with a shuddering scraping melody. I couldn't escape it. Sometimes in my sleep it would grate into me like a row of serrated teeth, gouging and grinding away at my peace, other times it would come at me like a hot searing blade plunged into my forehead shearing and scorching away the fabric of my sanity. It's not my fault. I didn't do anything. IT'S NOT MY FAULT D'YOU HEAR!
The voices won't leave me. It's like grease on your fingers; everything you touch becomes smeared in this sickening film. So everything that is near me is tainted by this horrific call. I am righteous and God will save me. I am righteous and He will deliver me. None of your sins shall colour my purity, none of you shall bring me down. No, none of you, none of you. Stop. Stop talking. Just leave me alone! Stop tormenting me! It was not my decision to make! I had no say in the matter! IT'S NOT MY FAULT!
She is crying, howling, begging in my head. Begging for what? I did what was right, I delivered her. I had no choice. I am a loyal servant to the Lord and He will be my salvation as He was hers. There was no alternative. No, it was right. It was just. It was justice. What do you mean for what crime? For your crimes, for your sins! No, you were a sinner! Don't look at me like that. Don't talk to me like that. Not those eyes! Stay away! I couldn't help it! She was guilty as you were! GUILTY I SAY! YOU HEAR ME! NOT MY FAULT! ...guilty... fault... justice... guilty. Guilty.
The men had come into my home at my invitation. I had let them in and guided their hands. My wife. My daughter. No trial for the wicked. The men took them for interrogation.Three days of interrogation. I stayed in the church and prayed for forgiveness. I was not associated with sinners. Not with those sinners. Not with them. Not them.
I couldn't bear it. I can't bear it. I can see them now. Tied to the stake, bruised and bloodied, the crowd baying for blood like sewer rats, like starving mongrel dogs. I can see the flames catching in the pyre, the oils poured over their bodies flaring into cleansing brilliance. I blessed them myself as they burned. I wished God would have mercy on their souls. But those eyes. Those terrible eyes. The way she gazed at me imploringly, trusting in me, loving me until the very end. The way she screamed as her flesh burned away, and how I shouted over those screams, speaking her final rites, the scriptures from the book of God. Oh God those eyes. It's right. Divine judgement. God's purpose. No, stop. Stop. STOP SCREAMING!
It is God's will... God's will... I cannot go against God. I cannot. It is right. It is right! No. No it is not right. No I cannot do this. God's will or no I cannot do this. God, why have you done this to me? God have you forsaken your loyal servant? God? God! Don't stare at my like that! Don't scream. Don't scream! Lord have mercy upon my soul.
The right Reverend John Smith took his own life having succumbed to insanity. His wife and daughter were both accused of witchcraft and he had them burned at the stake, administering the final rites himself. The sinful and the wicked never escape the eyes of God. The Reverend was a pious man, his sins shall be prayed for. Lord have his soul and have mercy. May he rest in peace.