Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tauy Creek Digest #15: Burn the Witch

It was shocking that they were able to get her, tied and helpless, onto the cross. Chants of "Burn the witch" echoed through the stadium. Attendees who had left hours ago, raced back to witness history in the making. The crowd of people passed the cross over their heads toward the center of the stadium where wood and paper had been placed, ready for the burning. The witch, part stoic, part humored, shouted out the fallacy of their platform but her screams fell on deaf ears, which it had for the better part of the last decade. You couldn't reason with these people. They had decided that she guilty, that she was a witch, and should be burned.

Her trial was done in absentia, off the cuff, and performed by a rotund lawyer more suited to be a circus ringmaster than a legal scholar or a judge. The jury consisted of a stadium filled with people who hated her but were routinely considered her peers. The self-proclaimed judge shouted out claims of illegal activity with the crowd following each claim with "Guilty" whether or not she was or not. The claims had already been decided but this crowd didn't care. They wanted someone to be punished for what had happened.

The cross, with the woman still bound, was placed upright on the pyre, chants still echoing. She continued to be stoic, continued to be reasonable, but she was drowned out by cheers, applause, and chants. It was such a surreal moment for the people watching. How could this be happening? How did this get out of hand? Why such the hatred and fear?

Several torches were now being passed around and, one at a time, they were thrown on the pyre. The flame grew up the paper and wood and licked the bottom of the cross. Soon, the fire made it's way up. It lapped at her feet, which tried to kick away but were tightly bound. The fire spread up the back of the cross and then in an amazing spectacle, her entire lit into flames. A bloodcurdling scream erupted from her and the applause grew thunderous. Soon she was silent and they watched, for hours, while she burned.

The smoldering embers of the pyre, cross, and woman remained in the stadium after everyone had left for the night. The woman, clothes completely burned off, her skin either melted or completely missing exposing bone, some strands of hair still clung to the now-burnt skull. Her binds had burned off and she had fallen into the fire but she was still alive. She slowly pushed herself up and into a sitting position. She walked, staggering and stumbling, across the stadium floor and to the outside. The warm air singed her burnt skin but the pain would pass. She would also catch her bearings soon and, except for the skin and hair, be back to normal in time.

She got back into the groove fairly quickly. She had hid out for the next week trying to make what was left of her body presentable. Luckily, she had a team that could help her do that. Before she knew it, it was her turn at the stadium but nobody knew what would happen. She had went up in flames. Everybody in the world saw that. A well-dressed man stood on stage in front of a crowd of thousands similar to those that had tried to end her. These people were rooting for her. Despite everything thrown at her, these people still considered her a better option than the orange-faced subhuman the others had chosen.

The well-dressed man spoke for nearly five minutes before introducing her onto the stage. "I am pleased to introduce, for the first time, the nominee and future President of these United States..." he shouted her name and she came out. She came out to thunderous and echoing applause. They had tried to stop her at any cost but she wasn't giving up without a fight.

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