Mia's Fate
By phoenix_don@yahoo.com

It was early in the morning of a dull autumn day. The sun might have risen a few hours ago, but it still was very cold. Huge dark clouds hung over the South of the town, but above the sun cast its light on the wet earth - there will be no rain in the next couple of hours and the excecution can proceed as planed. A small crowd of people has gathered on the execution hill a few hundred yards outside the city. Some talk, while others just watch quietly the preparation at the place was a young girl will soon die a horrible death.

"What has poor Mia done to deserve this?" One middle aged woman asked, her exhalations creating a small cloud in front of her face that soon disappears. Mia was a whore, working in the only brothel of the town, a very beautiful lively girl to whom more than one man in the town has lost his heart.

"She has attacked one of her 'customers' and was sentenced to death by the so called court." the man beside her answered in low voice to ensure the soldiers had no chance to hear him.

"But how come a whore is sentenced to death when she attacks someone?"

"Aye, this is really uncommon, normally nothing would happen, or it would be over with a few public beatings, but this case is different. She has attacked and seriously hurt one high-ranking soldier of the royal army, I believe a captain. This act is as if she has attacked the king or queen themselves and is considered the same as high treason and for this there is only one punishment." he rubs his hands together to keep them warm and continued "The soldier she attacked also accused her of being a witch and being possessed by a demon. How else could such a small girl she beat up a man a head taller than her and nearly double in weight. There was some laughter in the courtroom, but the judge remained hard. Also some of other soldier bore witness against her, saying she used dark magic on their purses and left gold and one even swears he has seen her fly on a broom around the city. The judge, the leader of the army, found Mia guilty of sorcery and high treason and sentenced her to be burned alive."

Of course it was far from true, the young girl was as innocent as a whore can be. She was just a poor girl who had fallen into a sinister trap. The occupation Soldiers just needed someone to be made into an example and Mia was the person they had chosen for this position. When the townspeople see this girl die in agony in the flames they will think twice before speaking against, or even raising their hands against the occupation forces.

"That is horrible," the woman said in a low voice.

The man looked around, but the soldiers who did the preparation were to far away to hear them "I know, but there is nothing we can do", he held her warm hand within his and fell silent again.

The soldiers had finished setting the stake deep into the muddy earth. It was a fresh cut trunk of a tree from the nearby forest, with a diameter a little less than a foot and around 6 feet high. One of them tried to shake it, but it didn't move an inch. Satisfied the leader mounted his horse and rode into the city to give word that the preparations were complete.

More and more people gathered on the hill. Everyone in the occupied town, from a simple farmer to the former mayor of the town, was held there to watch this execution, to let Mia's fate be a warning to all of then - Men, Woman and Children. Most of the watchers were driven by fear what might happen when they did not follow the orders.

"They test the stake to make sure it will hold when the witch will pull and haul against her bonds" one of the other watchers explained to his neighbor. "I hope that beauty will burn long, not choke after a few minutes because some drunk executioner use mostly green wood," the other answered - Then they laughed together. Some simply enjoy the torment and suffering of others, or were glad to have a few hours to skip their daily grind of hard labor.

Some musicians begin to play their instruments and a few traders offer their goods and food to anyone willing to pay, but most people were not hungry. The hill was now crowded with hundreds of people, it looked like everyone has followed the order to witness the burning of Mia. Some higher-ranking soldiers of the occupation army took place in the old and weathered royal box that was not used for some years. One of them has claw marks in his face and wears a bandage around his head, surely the one Mia had attacked and now for which she had to pay a high price. The stake was surrounded by a circle of more than two dozen soldiers with spears in their arms, nearly one hindered others arrayed for full combat, armed with crossbows and swords waited around the old royal box, ready to strike down any uprising as soon as it begins.

"There she comes!" a young woman shouts and points in the direction of the city. A small donkey cart, escorted by 3 soldiers, moves slowly along the road into the direction of the hill, a lonely girl sits on her knees in the back. After all that has happened to her in the last days Mia still looks pretty. When standing she is a little more than 5 feet tall, her long blonde hair frames her fair face and falls downwards over her shoulder, nearly reaching her small breasts. Mias hands were tied together in front of her, she holds them in an attempt to cover her breasts, and because this rope is the only piece of clothing she is allowed to wear. To make her last moments even more humiliating, the occupation soldiers have decided to let her go to her death nude. Some prudish men and women gasp and shield their eyes or look away from the girl, but most of the eyes follow her on her way towards the hill. Silent tears run down her face. She was shivering, partly because of the terrible cold, and partly because of fear of what will happen to her when the cart stops.

"Ye don't have to shiver sweetie, it will soon be warm enough" one of the occupation soldiers yells as the cart passes him. "Yeah, burn the bitch, aw, witch I mean!" The hill filled with roars of laughter, not only from the soldiers. Some of the townsfolk also begin to fall in: "Roast her slowly", "Burn witch burn!" they scream.

Suddenly a boy leaped out of the crowd, a long knife in his hand, sprinting towards the cart. "Mia!" he yells. The surprised soldier in front of the cart stumbled back and gripped his sword, but too late, the boy was already past him. For a heartbeat a spark of hope enlightened Mias face, she knew him, it was her little brother, but when he pointed the knife at her heart she realized what he was about to do. Still grateful Mia let her tied hands sink and closed her eyes, waiting for the stab. The short pain when the cold metal penetrates her skin slips through her ribs and then it will be over. But there was no stab, instead a cry and something wet and warm hits her face.

When she opens her eyes again the boy is lying in the mud, red blood pulsing out of his throat. "No, Robert, no!" Mia cries, but her brother can't hear her anymore; he is dead. Killed by the soldier standing over him, sword in his hand. "Ye have killed him! Thee murderer! Murderer!" she shouted and made an attempt to stand up - faster than she ever imagined the soldier turned around to her, his left hand shoots forward and hits her hard in the face. Everything turns black and Mia fell inside the cart. When she opens her eyes again the right side of her face throbs with pain and slowly swells. The cart was still in motion. When she finally managed to sit up she could see it was now surrounded by guards and close to its destination. The shouts from the crowd have stopped and silently watch the girl. Then the cart stops.

The guards pull Mia roughly down from the cart. Her bare feet sink into the muddy earth, as she is half pulled, half dragged to the stake. She tries to resist but is far too weak. When she arrives at the pole soldiers push her hard against it. The rough bark feels more than uncomfortable. One of the soldiers unsheathes his dagger and cuts the bindings on her hands, Mia at once tries to cover her pubic, but the guards tear her arms away and pull them back behind the stake and tie them with a small rope together again. "No please, release me, don't do it" she begs. But the soldiers continue their cruel work with much skill.

While two of the soldiers still hold her a third kneels down and begins to sling another rope around her ankles, she can feel his warm breath as he makes the knots. Mias body is shaking as she realizes the fate she will soon meet, more tears run down her cheeks and still she begs the soldiers, but they do not listen and continue the binding. A thick manila rope is slung first around her legs, just under her dense pubic hair, then around her waist. Finally the soldiers sling a black chain around her chest. The cold iron feels very uncomfortable and its cold links bite in her soft flesh just under her breasts and pushed them slightly upwards.

As the guards begin to test the bindings, Mia looks around woefully. The royal box is less than 10 yards in front of her, there he sits, and the swine she had pushed away when he tried to take her with force. He grins at her when he notices her look in his direction. Hundreds of other people have gathered in front of her, on most of the faces of the people she can see pity and compassion, even so with some of the soldiers, but also she sees some with hatred and even lust.

Out of one corner of her eye she can see a cart, loaded with dry wood arriving. More tears run down her face, but she has stopped trying to beg them, she now knows it is the end. She moans as one of the guards touches her breasts and another grubs through her pubic hair, but she can’t move an inch. She fells as helpless as she looks. "Leave her alone," says one of the soldiers, she tries to look at him, but he refuses to look her in her eyes. He takes a wet cloth and gently removes the dried blood on her face and also cools her swollen face a bit "I am sorry" he whispers then turns back and disappears in the line of the other soldiers.

The two soldiers who tested the bindings move to the cart with the dry wood and began to pile it around Mias feet. They are carefully sorted - thick branches in the center, and thinner in the outer areas. Soon her pyre is piled up as high as her knees. The cart still has a lot of wood inside, but the soldiers stop. Mia isn't even granted the mercy of a huge pyre to shorten her suffering. "Such a waste" one of them says as he turns back and leaves. Every eye is on the nude girl tied to the stake, but Mia never felt more alone.

The soldier who killed her brother and hit her in the face slings an oil soaked rag around a branch and sets fire to it with a flint stone and steel. Mias heart beats more and more quickly, she looks around in panic but no one will come to her help. Please, give me strength and make it end fast she prays to the goddess. The leader of the army climbs from the royal box and steps in front of the pyre and announce with loud voice "Mia the whore, daughter of the whore Talitha. You have been found guilty for the crimes of high treason and witchcraft and sentenced to burn until nothing remains but ashes. Do you have anything to say?"

"Please, don't burn me, I did not intend to hurt him, it was an accident, I just wanted to push him away, he tried to rape me! I am not a witch!" Even before speaking Mia knew that it wouldn't save her. "May the gods have mercy on yer soul" he says, and then nods to the soldier with the torch.

"No, please, don't do it ... no" she begs, but without hesitation his torch touches the outer side of the pyre and the last sign of hope vanishes from Mias face. The dry wood takes the fire immediately, the soldier draws the torch back and leaves a small flame not bigger than a fist, slowly growing as it licks upwards through the dry branches. Small clouds of smoke rise, but dissolve after a few inches. He circles around the pyre and ignites it in several other places, then lets the torch fell down to the earth, his work is done.

"Here comes hotter kisses than any of yer lovers gave ye," an ugly woman screams toward her. The fire has risen up to her knees, encircling her completely, but is still not touching her. Mia squirms in panic against the bonds, but can't move more than a few inches to either side; the rough rope scrubs her soft white skin as she tries. "Please, release me, I haven't done anything, I beg ye. Help me!" She yells in panic. There is still time to extinguish the flames and release her, but her pleas are in vain. The cold autumn morning was forgotten, first it was pleasant warmth like a summer day, but within a few seconds it became unbearable heat. Sweat gathers in drops on Mia's forehead and runs down her body as the flames slowly feed their way towards her.

Nothing is to hear beside the pleas of the condemned girl and the crackling of the fire closing his cruel grip around her. Her nude sweaty body shines inside the flames as if covered with oil, as the fire casts its light against it. "No, help me" she begs while her body still writhes in vain against the bindings. The ropes cut into her wrists and small drops of blood run down, sizzling in the flames that grow more and more. Thin pillars of bluegrey smoke rises and wraping arround Mias body like silk, replacing her pleas with a long cough. Every breath Mia takes hurts in her lungs but it is not enough to make her dizzy. Finally a small breeze carries the smoke away from her, once again leaving her nude body covered with nothing but the ropes, chain and a few spots of soot. She feels the heat blistering her legs and sear her pubic hair. "Help meeeeaaaaaaaaa!!" her words shifting to an inaudible moaning. Not long after the fire reach her.

The first touch is a feeling as if thousands of hot needles stabing into her feets and then pull the flesh from her bones, slowly moving up her legs. A horrible, non-ending scream escapes her mouth. Some people from the crowd silently took a few steps back. Mias soft white skin reddened slightly where the fire has touched her longer as the hungry flames creep upwards. Then they igniting her pubic hair and the orange flames blaze over her stomach. Mia's voice tries to cast words out, a final plea to end her suffering, to throw more wood in the fire, but the rising agony only lets more wordless screams escape her mouth. Not able to watch anymore a woman buries her face in the chest of a man near to her. He slings an arm around her head and holds her tight, but still keep his eyes on Mia. Other couples hold their hands tightly. The ugly woman grins at Mia, her tongue slowly licking over her lips as she watches the desperate struggles of the girl.

The fire continues to do its destructive work, accompanied by the screams of the young whore. As planed it did not rise higher than her bellybutton. Everything under her waist turns slowly into an unrecognizable broken piece of black flesh. Her lower legs are hidden inside the burning wood, but surely won't look better if they are still intact. Her stomach is a mix of and red black flesh covered with blisters and partly charred flesh. Her chest and breasts are covered with soot, but still sink and rise when her lungs inhale the hot air to keep her alive. On her once beautiful face there remains only a twisted grimace of pain and terror, her past lively and cheerful blue eyes look emptily into the air, her long blonde hair has melted in the heat and sticks to her face. Everything blurs around her; her eyes can't focus anymore. She hears nothing besides screams that seem to come from far away.

She is dying; soon it will be over. Her cries of pain turn into a weak moaning and then her head sinks forward. Nothing can be heard beside the crackle of burning wood and the roaring fire that still consumes the remains of the girl.

"She has fainted!" one of soldiers observed "Pour some water over her to wake her up" another suggested. But the townsfolk cry, "No, make an end of it", "Stop it, she has suffered enough", then they begin to float to the cart with the firewood. The soldiers ready their weapons and look for the royal box, but after a second of consideration the leader shakes his head slowly, the well-trained soldiers understand. It is enough; he has made an example the townspeople will not forget. There is no need to extend the torment of the poor girl.

The soldiers retreat a bit and the crowd begins to throw more and more firewood on the roaring fire. When the faggots hit the burning wood, the flames dampen down for a short moment, leaving an unblocked view of Mia's body. She is unconscious but still alive, her chest moves slowly up and down. After 2 or 3 breaths the fire has grown to its old size, touching her stomach, licking her breasts and after a few heartbeats igniting her hair. Like an orange crown the dance flames lambently in a playful manner on her head. Mias complete body is now embraced in the fire, slowly turning from white to red and black, her skin cracking open, becoming an unrecognizable black piece of flesh. After a few minutes the chains that still hold the remains of her corpse to the stake glow in a hot white against the blackness of her body and the stake.

Mia the whore, the witch, the traitor; Mia the once beautiful girl who has done nothing ill, is dead. Some people go back to their daily work, others stay and watch the burning fire with the stake and its occupant slowly felling apart. After 3 hours the fire has burned down to embers, nothing remains but the charred pole, a black chain and pile of gray ashes that is soon scattered by the wind.