H. M. L. Swann
Day 42: Fire
300 Days of Writing
Day 42 Fire:
She was burnt at the stake, but what the townsfolk remember most, more than the smell of burning flesh, or the dark pluming smoke, was the smile she wore, even while the flames licked at her hair and ate away at her scalp.
He had built the pyre, helped anyway. It was his duty as one of the God-fearing men of their community to purge their land of sin. There was no other way, he reminded himself as he watched her dress catch fire. Guilt burrowed deep in his gut as the flames grew higher.
Her smile was unnerving because it was only in her eyes. Her mouth was set in a firm line. Slight twitches of pain flickered across her expression. Synapses and nerve reflexes exposed that she felt pain.
Her steel-colored eyes were mild, warm, pleasant, seductive. He tried to look away, afraid she would cast a spell on him as she burned, one that would make him fall in love with her. One that would make him never have sons. One that would make his eldest daughter turn into a witch herself.
He blinked and looked away only to look again. There was a magnetism to her. He was drawn to her, and she seemed to never look away from him.
Fear ignited something within him, some memory or story from his childhood, a fairytale of the workings of fire magic.
“Stop!” he shouted, but it was too late, her skin was blackened and blistered. Smoke rose around her, a thick dark mist encapsulating her spirit.
He knew she would never be gone. She would never leave him. Not now. Not after the fire had her, had him, had them both.