I watch as they place the wood carefully and add a flame, faces lit by the glow, as embers lift gently on the breeze and the smell of pine fills the air.
I feel the warmth on my skin as the fire grows, the two girls on either side of me wail and moan, drowning out the soft crackle of the wood.
The townspeople are on their knees praying to some god they believe allows this act of brutality.
As the flames reach around my body, I feel power swell in my gut. It won’t be long now.
I hear the girls beside me gurgle as they plead. The crackling of the wood now mixed with the sizzling of their skin. The stench rising amongst small sparks.
As I feel the ropes around my body burn and drop away, I slowly step down from my pyre and walk through the flames to stand before the prostrate mass, naked as my creator intended.
Imagine their shock as I lift my arms and call the fire behind me. It engulfs them before they even know what’s happened. Their words to their god becoming screams for mercy. Why do they look so surprised? Did not they think me a witch?
As I reach the forest, I feel the coolness caress my skin where their feeble flames were only moments earlier. I walk slowly towards town. There are more who will pay for tonight’s comedy.
(c) Amy Hutton