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Gone

by Icie Wildes

     I breathe the wind. Bittersweet. Can you taste it? The stain of hatred, of horror, of heaven is sprinkled in its fingers. The wind is a strange creature. Innocent in its ignorance as it manoeuvres through the crowd. Perhaps it means to comfort me, save me as it tugs at the rope searing my wrists. Asking the bonds to release me. Foolish wind.

     There is no salvation here.

     Salem was meant to be God's land, but the devil reigns. So they say. The melodies of perversion sing into the air, wrapping around my neck like a jagged rope. Call me evil, call me good. Call me witch, call me wicked. It makes no difference.

     I am still better than you.

     She stands above me. My fate. They call her Gallows, but this is too simple a name for a mighty woman. She is saviour and destroyer. The latter belongs to me. The former belongs to them. I smile, because what else is a woman to do when all eyes are on her? A little one screams, hiding in her mother's skirts. The sun itches my scalp, the cracks in my lips burning, my skin bleeding from pokes and pricks.

     They call me spell caster, witch, devil, but if I was these, would I be here? Logic is not their strong suit, I know. They toss suspected witches into the water and if they float, they are of the devil. If they sink, they are of God. Why would you worship a god who lets you drown?

   These thoughts do little good now. It's all right, really. Today is a good day to die, if I must. The wind is soft, the sun is bright, the smell is pleasant, and the floor is gone.

 

 

This version of the story is a revision.

Original Published in Print in Brushfire Literature and Arts (2013)

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