A Burning [Louise Madison's Hear Ye Challenge]

by Valley Fey/Pinprick
originally published at 03:42PM on Monday, May 05, 2008

MIDDAY BURNING , MIDDAY BURNING !” the town crier, a young man, called from atop his guard tower. He disappeared into the shade of the covered walkway along the top of the town wall. “Witches,” he spat, “glad to be rid of ‘em, we be.” He crossed himself and ambled back to the watchtower.

Airini stood next to the pyre, her hands bound, hair hanging in front of her face in dingy ropes. “We was just foolin’, is all!” Her friend, Margret nodded, dirt smeared across her face from the prison cell they’d shared for a week. “We en’t really witches, we was just playin’ and-” the pyre lighter gave her a stern look, and she quieted.

The two girls, found in the woods only a few months before, had tried to summon spirits in the night only a week ago. The old washerwoman heard them trying love spells, too. They were led to the top of the pyre, tied to a huge stake, and the tinder was lit.

“There will be no burning today.” Airini crowed. The two girls began to change shape and flew into the air, cackling like birds.




  • from Louise Madison:

    Very intriging, indeed. Unexpected twist at the end, I like how you took the challenge. Thanks for entering!

  • from Mistress Elsha Hawk:

    Well, that was a change! I enjoyed that! It’s an amusing take in that they were actually real witches and they got away, opposing the many who were burned and really weren’t witches. Nice happy ending.

  • from Jenunique:

    Very nice turn of events! Funny how she tried the “innocence” plea.

  • from THX 0477:

    Fun. I like the last ditch effort to avoid revealing their true abilities. Really does beg the question if all those women really burned were witches, why didn’t they save themselves? Frightened men do foolish things, don’t they.