The Burning: A Modern Witch Story
By Nomar Knight
Kegani had just finished cleaning a cowshed when she heard the shaman’s deep voice behind her. “Witch, you must die!”
She turned to see men and women waiting behind the shaman. Each person glared at her.
“What are you talking about?”
Her question infuriated the shaman. “Bring her!”
Two of the men grabbed Kegani by her arms and attempted to drag her out of the cowshed. The feisty woman managed to kick one in his knee and bolted through the door only to be met by the others. She stopped when spotting a ten-year-old boy.
With lips trembling, she raised her hand to defend herself. The boy slung a rock, striking the side of her head. The others joined in on the stoning while chanting a chorus of “The witch must die!”
She screamed, finding momentary relief upon hearing the shaman’s order. “Enough!”
In spite of the spinning terrain, she tried to rise only to fall back to the ground. She tasted her own blood as rivulets entered through the corner of her open mouth. Kegani struggled for breath.
“Tie her up!” The shaman led the hostile crowd to a nearby oak tree. Two men lifted Kegani and dragged her through the sharpened stones, slamming her back against the tree.
Through heavy breaths, Kegani said, “I have done nothing. Why do you call me a witch?”
The shaman drew close to the battered woman until his nose touched hers. “You gave Leilani a potion. She’s very sick and may not live through the day. Witchcraft is not tolerated in this tribe.”
“No, you’re mistaken. I did no such thing.”
When the shaman stepped back, she saw one of the men carrying a lit torch. She also spotted the boy tossing a rock in the air, his lips curling into a sly smile.
She screamed when another man doused gasoline on twigs and over her body.
As the shaman chanted a spell to ward off evil, she recalled that Leilani had vowed to steal what was most precious to her. Leilani wanted to marry Kegani’s fiancé.
The shaman said, “Leilani managed to tell her mother that you gave her a potion because of your jealousy.” He took the torch and lit the twigs that were below her feet. Flames quickly consumed her dress.
“No!” Kegani’s screams eventually faded with the rising sun.
As Kegani’s soul travelled to the next realm, she couldn’t help but wonder how it was possible for anyone to get killed for being an alleged witch, even in these modern times.
Author’s Note: as with many of my stories, this story was inspired by real events. Check out the link to the CNN report here.
© Copyright Nomar Knight 2012. All rights reserved.
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