Watching Her Burn

The smell of the villagers’ burning torches is a pungent aroma that is as offensive to my nostrils as it is a vile and disgusting reminder of its purpose. They had encircled Eunice, wrapping her in their cold stares and a dense feeling of disdain that permeated the very air around the stake. Eunice is bundled tight atop the pile of wood. Pastor McGovern steps forward, his brow perspiring from the proximity to his crackling torch.

“Regrets?” he asks.

Eunice turns her gaze to me. Directly at me.

“None,” she says with a voice as smooth as glass.

She holds her chin up, finding solace among the stars. I watch in awe. Her face is solid stone as McGovern lights the pile. Despite the horror of the event, I watch. I simply can’t pull my eyes away. I watch as my friend, my mentor, Eunice, burns for being a witch.

When they discover me—when they finally drag me kicking and screaming from my home—will I face the heat and the pain and the death with such strength, with such determination?

She doesn’t even scream.

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