Falisar Square by Matthew D. Laing

Falisar Square

She’s a sinister evil wretch, putrid and rotting. Tangled and matted
locks flowing from a beaded head with eyes too close; a colour too deep.
Dirt and filth pluming into the humid air as she traverses worn stone
into Falisar square- drawing gazes and childish murmur. Fibrous roped noose
fastened to a cart of angry oxen , two that is. Whip crackles against her pale,
yet coal covered back leaving gashes and scars flowing streams of scarlet.

She does not scream.
The woman they call Witch is from Southgale; north of here,
in the woods-dark and substantial, some say enchanted.
I watch mystified, yet disgusted. A presence of evil going against God,
our Lord, our Saviour, the Cross. I picture a black forged cauldron
bubbling over the sides: a brew of sinister concoction;
of poison; of pagan proportions;
steaming and vile.

I edge near Billy and push forward into the mass of bystanders.
The smell is intense and profound: of earth; of sweat;
of bread and watered ale; of vomit.
Armed guards with spears and halberds guard the wooden platform-
the crest of our king; the flag of our nation rests behind, red and white.
She is approaching. People throw rotten veg at her as she walks;
sounds of the whip cracking amongst screams and cries of disgust,
the thud of cabbage exploding against her left shoulder.

She now stands tied to the stake,
but- then, a child runs up to the guards crying:
“My sister, my sister! She aint no Witch!”
the ginger child pleads as the guard ignores him and shoves him aside.
Relentlessly the child continues:
“She’s only sixteen! She’s playing in the woods is all!”
and another guard picks up the child and carries him off. A torch
is thrust into a pile of dried hay, and a flame ignites,
licking the toes of the Witch.

She does not scream.
She stares at me with judging eyes.
She vanishes.


Matthew D. Laing is new to writing fiction and poetry for submission, but has been dabbling in the realms of fiction for most of his life. He is a huge history fan, especially towards historical folklore, and attended the University of Ottawa for history and political science. Presently, he has one poem accepted and on queue with Bewildering Stories.

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