One by one, the executioner bends their necks over a block. He swings his axe. Each time, with a crunching sound, the head falls from the body and blood spurts and splashes. The crowd cheers with each successful chop. The smell of blood and filth fills the air. The executioner’s helpers heap wood and sticks around the bodies. Prayers are said. The fire starts, burns. They toss the bodies and heads into the flames. The crowd cheers with approval, then sings a hymn. 

Later, the executioner would gather the ashes to scatter them in the river. More witches have arrived and are waiting to be killed.


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