To Condemn the Dead

A witch hunter burns in the stake when he is accused of witchcraft. A witch saves him and embarks him in the road to Deliverance and in an attempt to redeem his sanity. He will discover that the invisible and intangible world is more than what it seems.

To condemn the dead

Adryan

“Burn the witch!” is all I can hear around me. I open my eyes slowly, my eyelids heavy as lead. A blurry haze meets my weary eyes; I try focusing tehm through the blur before me, only to distinguish dark figures looming around me. I shift into a sitting position, my hands move around me as if my sense of touch is trying to compensate my lack of clear vision. A cold metallic surface meets my hands, it is smooth and thick. More whispers and outcries are directed at me, burning and piercing my sensible ears.

“Shut up!” I roar. My hands instinctively reach in front of me trying to get hold of the people disturbing my thoughts. Thick, round metal bars meet my fingers. I wrap my hands around the bars feeling like a caged animal. I try pulling them apart, pushing them away, but everything is useless.

“He is possessed!” a woman shriek, I see her body being haul away from me by two burly looking men with spears. Pain runs through my body as I feel a cold, sharp tip graze the side of my right thigh, I hear myself scream in agony as my hand closes around the bloody abrasion. My cries are quickly subdue by the general laughter and continuous shouting around me.

I rest my head upon the cold surface, whining like a defeated animal subjugated by a mob of hunters. Ironical. Sense seeps to my mind and I acknowledge my fate. Suddenly, the throng stops and the cage is set on the ground. We are in a plaza, with a wooden structure in the middle of it with vast amount of kindling ready to be burn, it is a stake.

“Burn the witch!”

“I am not a witch!” I bellow from the cage, my face burning with anger.

“Liar,” the man with the bloody spear sneers angrily, “we know witches are able to change their bodies. You have fooled us long enough.”

The door of the cage opens; four powerful hands seize my arms and lug me out with great force. I am thrown to the dusty and filthy ground, a mouthful of dirt flavors my mouth.

“Stand up and walk with the sliver of honor the lot of you filthy blood possess,” a villager kicks me on the side.

I yelp as I fell once again on the ground, panting for breath, trying to ignore the ripples of pain in my body. Slowly, I rise from the ground, staggering and swaying a couple of times. The women around me take some steps back, but the men shove me around like a rag doll.

“Enough playing!” the voice of the mayor rings on my ears. “The witch has to die; this show only delays her death!”

“I am not a witch!” I seethe; trying to find my balance, an impossibility considering my body is weak and had been poorly fed during the time of my captivity.

Two guards seize me again and drag me to the stake. They tie me with thick ropes, binding me to the wooden structure. The ropes are rough against my skin, digging deep into it. I dare not wriggle further, in fear that the ropes might rip my skin away.

Grease, oil, and animal fat are splash on me by the villagers. I open my eyes with difficulty, a thick layer of fat covering my face; I cough grimy grease out of my mouth and squint through the viscous liquid. The sun is just creeping from behind the hills and through the sheets of cloud.

Perfect time to die, is all I can think of. A torch is brought and then the crackling symphony of wood follows shortly, the smell of burning wood reaches my body, then of flesh. I scream as the flames reached my bare feet, a scorching sensation burning me. I scream and shout, while the mob burst in shouts for the fire to grow stronger and consume me completely. They are expecting the doors of hell to open and pull me in.

I bite my lips to silence the screams but it does not lessen the pain. The less pain I show the less entertained they’d be. I cannot give them the satisfaction of enjoying my death. Tears cloud my eyes due to the smog.  I scan the crowd and everywhere I turn my gaze, they are jeering and taunting. How many times had I witnessed those same expressions but from a different perspective? I always watched the fire consume someone else, never me, as is the case now.

There is only one person who watches the scene with silence, a piercing silence, intense as her cold blue eyes. She is cloak in black but I can see her pale face under the hood.  A smile of sympathy crosses her face and her eyes soften for some instants.

Suddenly I feel all sound being drain from my mind, this must be what dying feels like, I conclude. Then her voice lures my thoughts from wandering towards the underworld.

“You would like to be saved, would you not?” I hear her ask in a cold, dead voice.

I stare at her, forcing a smile, “as if I could.”

“You are a sinner, everybody deserves a second chance. I can lead you through the way to redemption.”

“I am not a witch,” I found myself repeating for what might be the last time.

She closes her eyes and lowers her head. The next thing I knew, she is within inches of my face and nothing exists anymore, not even pain. I feel numb. She looks up at me through the long, thick eyelashes framing her beautiful and captivating eyes. “But I am,” she whispers and then everything goes black. She hears my heart whisper words I wouldn’t dare speak.

The End

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