Hands bound behind my back, I stood in line with the others. The line went down. Women and children being dragged away one by one, their tormented screams resonating from the courtyard. It would be me soon.
A child next to me started sobbing – it was too late for tears there was nothing more any of us could do. I couldn’t see my mother from here, she would most likely be somewhere in the throng of people piled into the town square. Papa had been taken to the cell in the town hall, he had tried to help me. There was no helping me, I could not escape this. I was resigned to my fate. If it would save my little sister then so be it.
The line grew ever shorter as time went on, it felt like I had been standing here for hours. I could hear the accusing townsfolk yelling their insults, condemning every one of us. They were fools.
The women in front of me now gone, men from the parish grabbed my arms, and pulled me forward, their rough hands bruised my skin. People from the crowd spat at my feet as I walked past them. I stared straight ahead. Obscene remarks being hurled at me from all directions.
I could see my mother in the crowd pushing past people to get to me. Stay back, please. My little sister clinging to her arm, her eyes boring into me, she looked grateful. My body was forced up against the pyre in the centre of the square. The word ‘witch’ rang in my ears. It was my turn.