The frosty air of an October night glows in fiery red. A baying bloodthirsty crowd gathers to the town jailhouse. Their pitchforks and torches raised in their white-knuckled hands. Their faces twist and contort in snarling fury. They hunger for death.
The structure of the gallows stand in the middle of the courtyard like a withered scarecrow, hauntingly guarding the realm between life and death. The executioner, face covered in his dark hood, is checking the knotted rope of the noose.
The mob stops as the few guards plead for them to stand back. They jeer impatiently.
The large oak doors of the jailhouse swing open with heavy creakiness. The condemned is marched out by an escort of guards, to their awaiting awful fate. The mob roar with fury at the poor wretched soul. They hurl insults, along with their rocks, and their rotten fruit and veg.
Alongside the armed escort, walks smugly the man responsible for this Friday night horrowshow. He is dressed in his Sunday best. A buckled hat on his head, and shiny buckled boots on his feet. His face is aged, withered and worn. His cheeks gaunt and skeletal, and his lips scarred by syphilis. He smirks proudly with a devilish grin to the maddening mob. He is the Witchfinder General.
The poor soul doomed to die today, is but a young woman. Her youthful beauty has been brutally ravaged and r
aped by the arduous torture subjected to her over many long, excruciating hours. The rags of her clothing have been torn and stripped, and now they barely cover any inch of her intimacy or dignity. The torn fabric is soaked in the filth, blood, and shit of her hellish nightmare. She has her hands shackled behind her back in heavy iron cuffs. The iron shackles on the ankles of her bare feet force her to shuffle slowly towards her dark fate.
“Pick up the pace!”
One guard yells at her, as he grabs her by her long frayed locks of blood-soaked hair to pull her. Her exhausted groan chokes out of her throat, as she stumbles over.
Without any hesitation, the guards grab her arms and drag her back up onto her shackled feet.
She wearily weeps, her bloodshot eyes too dried up to produce any more tears to shed, as she is marched up the creaky wooden steps of the gallows.
“Hang the bitch!”
One snarling voice from the crowd yells out.
“Kill the witch!”
“Hang the bitch! Kill the witch!”
The chant begins to gather momentum, as more and more angry voices join in with the gruesome chorus.
She is stopped in place above the trapdoor. She can barely stand after all the brutal v
iolence she’s endured, as the executioner ties the noose around her neck. Her shallow breathing becomes more strained as the constriction of the rope burns into her flesh. She stares out at the noisy baying crowd, as they continue to mock and insult her, and yell for her impending death. She recognises all of the angry snarling faces. They are the faces of her neighbours, her acquaintances, the local shop-owners and store-keepers, even family members. She sees her mother, alongside her father. She tries to call to them for help, but her frightened words get caught in her throat, as her mother hides her shamed face away into her father’s chest, while he stares angrily at her.
“Ladies and gentlemen, by the grace of God, we have gathered here today to witness the death of this filthy whore of Satan!”
The Witchfinder General announces as he stands proudly before the baying crowd.
“This wretched harlot has been found guilty of witchcraft by the honourable gentlemen of our fair and true court of laws. She has been sentenced to hang for her disgusting liaisoning with the devil himself, whom she shall surely burn in the fiery depths of Hell with!”
He continued to rile up the angry crowd, who were almost foaming at the mouth as they react with fiery passion to his every word.
“No! It’s all lies! I’m not a witch!”
She cried out tearlessly, but her voice was drowned out by the raucous noise of the bloodthirsty mob.
“Do not listen to this demon-bitch. She will try to brainwash all of you good people of God with her poisoned words. Trust me, she tried to drip her sick poison into my ears. But with God’s love inside of my heart, I was able to overcome her words, and soon she was confessing to me all the evil witchly things she does! Every word made by her forked tongue is of lies and moral decomposition, for she speaks for the devil! By the loving grace of God Almighty, we will see her hanged and sent back down to that hellish fiery pit from whence she came! For it is our Godly mercy and duty…”
He weaved his pretty, vile words to the baying crowd, who ate it all up.
She wept, as a single exhausted tear strained itself out from her weary dried-out eyes.
“Hang the bitch! Kill the witch! Hang the bitch! Kill the witch!”
The crowd loudly chanted with angry sneers.
The Witchfinder General grinned demonically, as he stepped aside.
“As you wish.”
The executioner placed his gloved hands onto the large wooden lever, as the local priest threw holy water into the blood-stained face of the young women.
“May God have mercy on your wretched soul.”
He prayed, and stepped back.
With a pull of the lever, and a loud thud, her body dropped through the trapdoor. Her dirt, blood and mud encrusted feet twitched, as her body rocked and swayed like a pendulum on the end of the rope. Her neck snapped. She hanged deathly silent.
The crowd erupted into cheers, hurling more vile insults at her lifeless body, and celebrated.
“Let this be the fate of all witches! But heed caution, good people, for even as we speak, more witches are out there hiding amongst you. They are talking to and confiding in the devil, planning and plotting the demise of the morally-virtuous Godly souls of our peoples, in this great young Godly nation. You have my word, I will not stop until every witch has suffered the same fate as this wretched b
east from hell!”
The Witchfinder General declared, to more cheers from the crowd, before everyone began to slowly disperse away from the area.
A lone figure from the crowd walked towards the gallows, as everyone else disappeared into the eerie cold night. A young field-working peasant. He bent down at the cold feet of the doomed. He fell to his knees and began to quietly weep.
“Monsters… They’re all monsters…!”
He quietly uttered in his grievance.
Another figure walked up beside him. The figure was covered by a large, dark, hooded cloak. They placed a hand of comfort onto his shoulder. He looked up at the face of the figure, which was covered in shadow.
“Why do you weep for this woman?”
The figure asked, the feminine tone of voice softly caressed inside the young man’s ear.
“She is.. Was.. My beloved… We were betrothed, to be wed come Spring.”
He sniffled, as he turned and pressed his lips to her cold lifeless feet.
“As you can see, monsters are indeed real.”
The figure spoke, her voice now sounded cold and harsh. She suddenly pulled a small blade from her waist, and sliced the third finger of the dead woman’s left hand off with one clean slash.
“What are you doing?!”
The man yelled and jumped back up to his feet in shock.
Without answering, the cloaked woman placed the finger into a small glass jar, and started adding bits of dried leafs with it.
“As if my beloved hasn’t been mutilated enough already!”
He angrily yelled, as he tried to snatch the jar from the cloaked woman. She pushed him back with a surprising amount of strength, enough to knock the man off his feet.
She hushed him sharply, as she poured a strange liquid elixir into the jar. She swirled it about, as the liquid turned from a pale blue colour into a reddish-brown.
“What are you doing?!”
He yelled, as he climbed back to his feet.
She snapped back at him. She stopped swirling the small glass jar, and without hesitation, she immediately gulped the concoction down in one go, leaving no trace inside of the now empty jar.
“AAGGHHH!! NO!! MY BELOVED!!”
The man cried out in shock, which quickly turned to anger.
“HOW DARE YOU SWALLOW MY BELOVED’S FINGER??!!”
He lashed out at her. He grabbed her cloak, and was suddenly sent flying backwards with a single effortless push.
“Do you not know what ‘quiet’ means?! Foolish man!”
The woman scolded him, before she suddenly started choking and gagging. She fell to her knees, clutching her throat, spluttering and cavorting as she writhed around on the dirt floor. With a strained groan, she suddenly fell over, silent and lifeless.
The man nervously looked around, and then, while still on his knees, approached the lifeless figure on the ground. He tentatively poked her shoulder to try and stir her.
“Ma-ma’am? Are… Are you alive?”
He removed her hood, and was startled by the beauty of her youthful looks. She looked just like a sleeping angel. Or, more accurately, a dead one, as her skin was very cold and deathly pale. Her lips were breathlessly blue. He placed a hand to her mouth and nose, checking for signs of breath. Nothing.
He climbed to his feet, and looked back over at his beloved’s corpse, which hung completely still from the gallows. He lamented being surrounded by death. He hung his head down, and reached down to touch the face of the strange dead woman by his feet.
He peered closer. He didn’t recognise her. He’s never seen her in town before. He wondered who she was. Suddenly her eyes opened. They were completely whitened out. She looked blind, and yet she stared right into his frightened eyes. She stared right into his soul. There was silence. He tried to stepped back, but she suddenly reached a hand up and grabbed the scruffy limp collar of his humble shirt. He was suddenly too scared to talk.
Her mouth stretched into a creepy grin, as she began to softly chuckle… Her chuckle became louder… She started laughing… Louder… Her laughter turned to cackling… Deranged cackling… She pulled on his collar, forcing his face uncomfortably closer to hers. Her white eyes were inches from his. Her loud cackling pierced his ears. He groaned and struggled to break free. She held on tight. Just as quick as it started, she suddenly stopped making any noise. Silence.
Suddenly, he broke free of her grasp, and fell over backwards onto his bum. He quickly kicked his feet to back away from her. He bashed backwards into the feet of his dead beloved, making her lifeless body swing once more. He screamed out, and hurried to his feet.
He only took his eyes off the strange cloaked woman for a second, but when he looked at her again, she was already up on her feet, staring creepily at him.
“What are you?!”
He yelled out at her.
“This town’s reckoning.”
She answered cryptically, and began to walk away. She walked as though she was gliding. Her steps were light yet swift.
“Wha-wha-what do you mean?”
His voice quivered as he rushed after her. He had to almost jog just to keep up with her. She didn’t answer.
The first civilian building they came across was a shop. She nodded her head at it, and it suddenly became enveloped in a fiery blaze. It didn’t take long for the occupants on the upper floor of the shop to start screaming in panic from their beds, as thick black smoke enveloped their surroundings. The woman just glided along to the building next to it. Once again, with just a nod at it, it erupted into fire. Then she moved to the next building, and once more, fire erupted inside with just a single nod of her head.
The screams collected and gathered into the cold night air. What was once silence, was now a cacophony of fiery crackling, and panicked screams of the people caught up in the roaring blazes.
Building by building, the woman glided by, setting them alight. The man chased after her, pleading for her to explain herself and stop. When the school building was set alight, he finally had enough and stood in front of her, trying to stop her from causing any more destruction.
“Everything must burn!”
She sneered at him, and effortlessly threw him aside with a swipe of her hand, as she continued her path of fiery damage.
When the sun finally rose hours later, the whole town was engulfed in flames. Many buildings had crumpled down in the fire. All that was left was death and destruction, and survivors either fighting the blaze, or evacuating to the outer-edges of the surrounding forest and farmlands of the outskirts of town.
The only building left untouched by the fire, was the mansion at the end of the town. The Witchfinder General’s home.
The cloaked woman had made it there, the young man still keeping up with her, though very much exhausted and ragged from a night of chasing after her.
A couple of armed guards tried to stop her, but she snapped their necks effortlessly with a simple touch of her bare hands to their flesh. The large door to the entrance of the mansion, exploded loudly into a shattering of large splinters with just a wave of her hand at it. She glided inside.
The Witchfinder General ran down the large stony steps in the middle of the large ornate hallway, in a state of undress. He brandished a musket in his hand, and a flintlock pistol in the other.
“What in holy blazes is going on?!”
He demanded to know, aiming his gun at her.
“You! You vile sack of evil horseshit! You have the blood of the innocents on your hands! Now your day of reckoning is upon you…”
She started to approach him.
With a loud bang, he discharged his musket at her. She just sneered, gliding slowly towards him. He threw his musket down, took aim with his pistol, and fired. She was unaffected.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?!”
He cried out in horror as he threw his emptied pistol at her, which only bounced off of her. He reached for the decorative sword hanging on the wall, and with a yell, charged at her.
His sword penetrated deep into her chest, but she was unfazed by it. He screamed in terror as she reached a hand for his bony throat. He let go of the sword’s hilt, and tripped up the stairs as he tried to run from her.
“What’s the matter? Afraid of a little ol’ witch? I thought you were a big tough man of God who hunts down and kills witches?”
She snickered as she grabbed his ankle, and with a loud snap, broke it in her bare hands. He howled in pain, and limped up the stairs, with her slowly chasing after him.
He hobbled to his bedroom, and grabbed another sword from under his bed. She entered the room, as he fell over his bed. The sword stuck in her chest suddenly disintegrated into thin air around her. The sword in the hand of the Witchfinder General shook with fear, as he pointed the sharp end of the blade towards her. She batted it away from him with a swipe of her fist, and hovered up onto the bed. She hovered over him. He felt himself being pinned down as she stood on top of him.
“Leave me be, witch!”
He cried out in fear, as he clutched the gold cross of his necklace and aimed it up at her. She was unaffected.
She reached for a small glass vial attached to her waist. She held it out over him, and removed the small cork from out of its top.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”
He began praying aloud, clutching more desperately at the cross around his neck, with his voice quivering and cracking with terror.
“Who are you praying to?”
She asked with a smirk.
“For You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me…”
He continued praying, as he shut his sunken eyes tight.
“There is no one else here with you. Just you, and your evil wretched sins bearing down forth upon you. If you want to pray to someone, pray to me!”
She sneered as she bore her teeth, and tipped her vial, pouring the clear liquid inside it, out over his face. He started to scream in ear-piercing agony, as his skin began to bubble and boil wherever his skin was wetted by the liquid.
She floated off the bed, and watched with a satisfied smile, as he grabbed at his head and began tearing at his own face. With his nails, he scratched and clawed, trying desperately to rip the pain off of his boiling skin, as he screamed, and yelled, and cried out in terrible brutal agony. Blood, gore, and viscera spewed around the bed from his face, as he desperately, derangedly, plucked his own eyeballs out of their bony sunken sockets. He tore his own face off, until he succumbed to the heavy blood-loss and agonising pain, and gargled his final breath, with a bubbled frothy vomit of blood.
“I hope he burns in hell, the sick inhuman monster.”
The young man spat on the Witchfinder General’s corpse, after taking in the stomach-churning sight.
The woman suddenly threw her cloak over the young man, and in a puff of black smoke, they both disappeared from sight. They poofed in place inside of a small humble hut, carved into the large trunk of a tree, out in the middle of the woods.
“Where are we?”
The man asked, having looked around at his new surroundings.
The woman smiled at him. She suddenly fell to her knees with a gasp. He rushed to grab and help her.
“All that magic… Takes it out of a girl.”
She humbly chuckled, with her energy depleted but her spirits high.
He tried to help her over to her little bed that was tucked away in the corner of the little tree hut, but she suddenly overpowered him, throwing him down onto the floor, as she clawed her way on top of him, and began to tear at his clothes.
“I thought you are weakened?”
He stammered as he tried to protest, to no avail.
She replied, while ripping his sweat-drenched shirt off of his chest,
“I must feast to regain my strength. Why else do you think I brought you back here with me?”
“But… But I… But my beloved…”
He continued to stammer, and protest, but finding himself inexplicably drawn in by her hungry lust. He was overpowered by her in more ways than one. He started to want it. He started to enjoy it. He closed his eyes and smiled as she tore away his patched field-work trousers.
“Mmmmmm… This will be a satisfactory feast, indeed…!”
She softly chuckled as she took him in her hand, opened her mouth, and began to feast upon his mortal flesh.
The gentle silence of the surrounding woods, was soon broken by the loud bloodcurdling screams… Of orgasmic pleasure! …And demonic cackling…