Fantasy, Home

Burn the Witch

Higher and higher the flames rose, flickering orange and gold, heat licking at his feet; the promise of a slow and painful demise. Of course, what else was one to expect when they’re beaten black and blue and tied to a slab of wood amidst a massive pyre?

In the courtyard in the center of town, the people gather, voices rising in chant, spitting curses and condemning a man they had no right to question. A man they had trusted.

The man’s name was James; a kind man, always willing to help, who had offered nothing less than treasures and miracles to the townspeople. Beloved, this man had been, until  three wandering men had set themselves in his path, and destroyed his peace.

“Witch-boy.” They call him now. “Inhuman. Unholy deceiver!” The old and young alike, so many  who had cared for him who had called him friend and family. Why was it so easy to turn on an old friend at a mere strangers words?

Wood pressed against his bare back, exposing the swirling tattoos of crimson and black against pale skin that James had tried so hard to hide. Yet still, even as the flames rose, James said nothing, offered no plea or curse upon the townspeople.

“Witch-boy. Monster lord. Inhuman devil.” Spat the people he had grown to love.

James’ image wavered behind the thick black smoke, and he sighed, lungs unbothered by the ash and fire. Beneath his stock of red hair, green eyes watered, but the heat of his supposed doom was not to blame.

James sighed again, gaze flickering out among the crowd, narrowing upon the faces of the three men who had called out his magic, who had brought forth his execution. Wealthy, large, strong, they had probably killed many before him. He knew the gaze of a witch-hunter well.

The difference of course, was that unlike the screaming maidens and wild-born youths they had killed before; James was the real deal. And he was angry for this disturbance in his life.

With a gentle exhale, James put out the flames, a burst of power that knocked the entirety of the mob unconscious; except for the witch-hunters.

James rolled his shoulders, tattoos glistening in the moonlight. With a grin, he raised his arms, and snapped his fingers. The witch-hunters screamed and writhed under this small show of power, pulling a smirk from James’ lips as his emerald eyes flickered with sinister light.

The witch-boy howled with laughter as he set the hunters in his previous position, grinning from the now-risen crowd, as the men burned, condemned as witches themselves.

James cheered with his fellow townsmen, having rewritten their memories, and watched with no small amount of glee as the cruel hunters burned. The ghosts of their victims falling back into gentle oblivion as the men’s bones crackled under the heat, leaving nothing but ashen remains.

Hours later, when the fire had done it’s duty, only then did James leave the crowd, whistling a sweet tune as he marched home, his cloak billowing behind, content.

He begun whistling a tune as his approached his ransacked home, repairing the damage with a wave of his hand. Smiling, he stepped inside, ready to continue his work until the next hunters came. Ready to kill them just the same.

Really, when hunting real witches, one should be prepared for being condemned themselves. Magic was nothing to trifle with, and one should always be prepared to face the fire themselves.

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