The Butcher and The Witch

Art by Patrick Driscoll

By Erica Gilman


The tree was ripped out through my chest, all the veins inside on fire from everything that I felt– everything that I feel. It slithered out through my palms and into the ground, embedding me under the dirt, burying me under the rocks, creating a cairn out of my misery.

I wait to be uncovered and resurrected, for them to forget my name but not the legend of who she became. I have loved like Zora and will rise like Sylvia, I breathe across my hand and a cloud of ash christens the graves. I am not so much revengeful but more avenging.

How many bleed under the crescent moon, wishing they were once again full? How many more before the sun rises, only to set again? This coven grows every night.

I have a debt that needs repayment, a body that needs rekindling. Roll your spine in parchment and tie it with ribbon, for I will come for the wishbone you took from me. Wrap your ribcage in layers of peach paper and set it on your doorstep, for I will come for repentance.

I was young and unguarded but it means nothing now, now I am only the one who feels the fire amidst the chanting. There will be no more burned at the stake for what they wore, there will be no more witch hunts when the devil steps on the stand.

I will confess to nothing. I will burn you before you tear down another tree.

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