Burn, Witch

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The heat was too much. She stubbornly refused to make a sound. The smoke was making her eyes water, and she hoped they didn't think she was crying.

The fire burned brighter as a log burst. Sparks fly in the breeze. The flames reached their target at last. The smoke thickens as fabric catches. The heat is yet more intense. But she must bear it.

The pain has begun. It burns, like a thousand needles peeling away the skin. The smell of burning meat reaches her nostrils. Amidst the pain she wonders if she will be sick. Then the fire spreads higher, and she can contain herself no more. She screams.

The roar of the fire is deafening, her screams blocking all other sound. But as the flames part briefly like a curtain, she can see their cheers and laughter. She wants to shout, to curse them, but cannot.

She cannot yell, cannot scream. The smoke is too thick. She finds herself coughing, unable to stop. her chest feels heavy, as though she is being compressed. She continues to struggle to breathe. The heat is intense, the flames searing, but all other sensation seems distant as her body struggles to find the oxygen it so desperately needs.

Her lungs find the atmosphere lacking. She begins to choke uncontrollably. The flames are lessening, but the heat is higher than ever. She tries to look up at the sky, but all is black. With one last attempt, a ragged sucking in of air and smoke, she drops, hanging only by the ropes that bind her.

It is done, but the fire rages on.