SPECIAL NOTE – This is horror. If you don’t like horror, turn back now. As you are turning back, notice the guy in the dark, voluminous cape. Walk toward that guy.
Part V: A Tortured Soul
By Karen R. Sanderson
I can’t breathe – the putrid smoke from the other souls is wafting over me. My bruised and bloodied neck aches where the chains hold me, pinned. I’m waiting for my turn – the old man with the wooden matches is coming my way. My arms are pinned to my sides; I am contained like a statue in this wooden box. It is too close, cloying, like a coffin.
Moments ago I was freezing from the cold, my extremities tingling with frostbite, my body in fits of violent shivers. I turn my head and can see the old man at the container next to me. He’s crouched in front of the box, putting a match to the timbers and hay along its bottom. The air is getting hotter and more humid; I can hear human fluids popping and boiling.
I cannot abide the screeching and wailing and screaming from the other souls! And the stench of burning flesh feels as if it is melting into my eyeballs, into my nostrils, settling its dust on my tongue. I start to choke on oily smoke, gagging silently as it fills my lungs. My throat tightens involuntarily. I can hear the crackling of wood and the snapping of bones.
The old man is now standing in front of my box. I can see the top of his head and his wool-covered shoulders. The heat is so intense. The flames lick along and in between my toes; I can feel the fire making its way up my legs. And the incessant screaming! It is me – I am screaming. And the old man is grinning, orange flames reflected against his yellowed teeth.