His last place in the world
I could not watch, but it was required for all peasants to watch every trialed death. I wanted to scream out, "Dear God please save this poor man!" but we could not speak while trialed deaths happened. We were required to stay silent, to stay obedient. Obedient as we watched the very people we grew up with died by being burned at stake. The judges figured that if we protested we were one of them. One of the "unholy ones", "devil's children" they liked to call them. The list went on.
The only unholy beings in this village were the judges. They were killing of anyone that defied them. If it was not possible to pay their outrageous taxes, they test you if you are a witch. And you're always guilty.
This man was my best friend. He just turned 16 last week and he was too poor to pay his first tax, he just went through his hunt of manhood a month ago. The tradition used to be that he would not have to pay tax for one year. But the judges moved in and took away the tradition. He wasn't even wealthy enough to pay for our marriage. We lived together despite his poorness. We were just getting by on stale bread and dirty water. But we survived. He was taken away from me, and sentenced to death.
Now they light the brush on fire, it slowly grew up the heap and slowly inched its way up the stake where William was bound. His blue eyes staring straight into mine. As to say, this shall not be your burden. Do not speak. There was a small wind blowing, making a soft whistle above the silent town circle. His blonde hair was buffeted and tossed gently as the crackle of the fire made noises like the hearth back at the cottage.
"Any wisdom you have demon?" One of the judges challenged. This was something that no one had ever dare answer. William turned his head to the judge.
"Yes you monster." William replied glaring. "You run this land through fear. You destroy people's dreams to build your profit. With your taxes, and your laws. You resemble demons more than I do." The judges looked at William in shock. "You are spawn of devil. And evil is your mother. You take away my life and others with it. My only wish for you is not that you have a good day, but that your first born children shall be as deformed physically as you are mentally. So every maiden cries out 'Dear god what is that monster.' And you will see how hated you really are. You will blame yourself and die, and burn in the darkest pits of hell, where no one will hear you scream.
"People hear me today, for I am innocent." The flames arose with every word he said. "My death will only follow with more, but instead of innocent," he paused, the flames just flicking his boot. He stared to continue, staring at every one of the judges, "They shall be you, and we will burn you at a post in this same spot, and people will remember how it started, with one person, rising up against the rest. It's a pity that you took so long to find someone who noticed what you really are." He flinched as the tongues began to reach to his legs, "I'm sure you'll get along in the forever burning pits with your god forsaken inmates." He grew silent, and finished his speech, "I shall let you watch me burn, but I know, that I am no demon. I know that I am no unholy man. I know that I won't be getting on the same road as you." He stopped. His head flew back, as to look at the sky, "God save me as you shall save these people!" He bellowed to the sky. He looked back toward me with a smile, and he mouthed the words, "I'll be back for you someday."
He closed his eyes and then fell silent again, knowing that we were all watching the death of a friend. The flames started to take away at his knees, but yet he lay silent. Perhaps he was already dead. I do not know, I didn't want to know. William had been taken away from me in every way possible.
The next night I locked my door, I did not eat, drink or sleep. I only mourned for the death of my friend. I again remembered his prophecy, I then made a decision, I shall bring the common-folk to glory and bring down the judges, even if it meant my death. I shall be the one William spoke of as he died on the burning post. And the judges shall pay for my misery.