I told them what they were doing was wrong. That it was immoral. Only evil people would look kindly on their actions. But they wouldn’t listen to me - the town “religious crier” as they said. Well it’s not my fault that I had morals, that I read the Good Book, that I didn’t lay down for every man, woman or beast that crossed my path. No Caradoc and I raised our family in decency and goodness. My two boys, Winston and Hamilton, Caradoc and myself suffered endless ridicule because we were wholesome. They wouldn’t stop until every family was torn apart. Until every child was corrupted. Until every mind was confused about what was up and what was down. No one wanted to hear that they were being manipulated by the wickedest existence known to man and God. No instead they were so proud of their sins. They touted from the rooftops how confused they were and scoffed when offered help to regain their sanity. Sadly, my voice was too little to get over the chorus of chanting at the town center that evening. I stood on the blackened charcoal street that had been preserved as a warning of what happened to the town’s witches long ago, and I told them they needed to repent. I looked the town whore, Pus and her John, Clyde in the eyes and told them to repent for their indecency, their immorality, their wicked ways. Instead of falling to their knees and praying for forgiveness, the whole mob at once, like a murder of crows, turned on me and all I saw was blackness. Pus set fire to my hair and my clothes. They backed up and watched my flesh melt from my bones, laughing as my scorched body lay twitching. Then they turned and marched down to my house. They pulled my children from their beds and did the same to them. Lastly, they asked Caradoc to renounce his beliefs and he refused and told them to repent so they struck a match on him as well. My whole family was destroyed that night. We would never renounce our God and even still I look down at them and pray for their souls. Pray that they have a day of reckoning. Pray that they can look themselves in the mirror and not cry from their shame. I am happy to be set free. Free from the wicked and the evil in that town. Hamilton and Winston are safe now. They can no longer take them away from me. They are with me for eternity. I’m watching and waiting as the town gets worse and worse, overrun with disgusting, horrid behavior, because one day they may become pillars of salt and I’ll be forever thankful when that day comes. When the evilness leaves this place. I’ll be sad for those that did not see the light. That didn’t care enough about themselves to turn from their selfish behaviors, to see that loving yourself and being selfish are two different things. For those who can’t think for themselves, the ones who rush to follow, just like the ones who watched me burn because they were too afraid to help me because it would be them next and when you have no concept of right and wrong there’s no eternal outlook that you can fathom. And once you realize there is, burning in hell is too overwhelming to imagine so they sat back and watched me and my family burn instead. To hell with them!
Jill Trade is married and the mother of three active boys, so she spends a lot of time at playgrounds imagining poetry, which she said she recently rediscovered. Her background includes training in meat cutting, which may influence her imagination.