The Finality of Spring Dawn
By: Timothy Law

"Confess, hag!" barked the village burgermeister. "Confess your sins that your soul may burn purely!"

Spring Dawn stared back, tied to the stake; wrists bound and strung up above her, the wood heaped around her naked feet had just begun to catch.

"I do not fear you," the young woman with wild, chestnut locks stated. Her eyes of emerald green showed no fear, just a calm strength. "I fear only that you have doomed this village to a fate worse than mine.

"Are you not a witch?" called one member of the crowd that had gathered, a woman named Beth whose toddler hid behind Beth's skirt.

Spring Dawn knew the woman, she and Beth had been kids growing up together. As the healer of the village Spring Dawn had helped bring that toddler into the world, Daf, her elder sister Sal and brother Dan also. So many of the kids large and small that were the future of this village all stood living and breathing thanks muchly to the helping assistance of Spring Dawn. The colors of their emotions glowed and shimmered around them, kids and adults alike. There were hews of confused orange and brown, frightened purples and the deep blues of sadness. Outlining the burgermeister Spring Dawn could clearly envisage multiple versions of the golden hew of righteousness, misplaced belief and falsely concocted faith.

"You lie to us, monster!"

As Burgermeister Matthew spat the words Spring Dawn's third eye witnessed his hew go fiery red. Anger and fury were the companions of doubt.

"I profess I am a practicer of the Wiccan faith, I follow the guidance of the spirit of the Mother," replied Spring Dawn, answering both Beth and Matthew.

"And yet you are no mother," another voice, this one Spring Dawn did not recognize.

Perhaps it was a spectator from another village. It was a true thrill this far from the city to see a burning.

Spring Dawn gasped as the heat of the flames licked her skin. She knew she would suffer and cry out in pain. Such was her fate for giving her life to this village of fools.

"I am mother of many, that with my help and knowledge much of this village has been helped into the world," stated Spring Dawn.

She could hear the disappointment in the crowd that her words were level, there was no stumble. As yet the witch showed no true sign of pain.

"Confess hag, the symbols on each house was you!" demanded the burgermeister, his anger remaining and stealing his focus.

"Yes!" hissed Spring Dawn, cursing inwardly as the searing of her skin caused the word to fly free.

She feared not her admittance, proud was the wiccan of the powerful protections she had been capable of even at a young age.

"Witch! Witch!" cried the village gleefully.

"Like Charlemagne and his paladins… I have been placed among you all… To drive away the darkness!" announced Spring Dawn between gritted teeth.

Her skin was bubbling and beginning to smell.

"Lies! Lies and blasphemy!" began Burgermeister Matthew, his chant then taken up by others in the village.

"Burn witch! Burn!" cried the village.

"I will burn and I will go…" began Spring Dawn.

There was a jeer and a cheer at this.

"But soon after you shall all follow me…"

"A curse!" cried Beth and like sheep the village took up the sentiment and drummed it into hysteria.

"Fools, listen to me as I breathe my last!" begged the witch as her white robe caught, the flames hungry.

"We need not listen to you, monster!"

Matthew's voice was strong but the certainty was lacking.

"You should and you must!" commanded Spring Dawn, rallying the last of her remaining efforts.

The village grew silent, the crackle of flame the only sound.

"My sigils will crumble and my protections will fall… Copy the signs and mark each door…"

There was strength in Spring Dawn's final words, fierceness in her passionate plea.

As she was finally overcome by the fumes and heat the witch shed a final tear. The bay of wolves could be heard far off. Doom was coming and none were ready. It was then and only then, at the very last, Spring Dawn noticed the black thinly veiled about Matthew and his wife. The Mistress of the Mountains, the eternal vampyr had marked the couple already. The fate of the village was already sealed, and it were not to be a slow but final death. It was to be a death eternal, the torture of immortality. Spring Dawn wept. There was nothing else she could do.

The End


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