She watched them prepare to burn her alive. They were in a frenzy to put an end to her softly spoken observations, and the clear-seeing of her gaze as she looked upon them. She had held them spell-bound with her words for so long, it came as a shock when the truth of those words began to cut like the sharpest sword, cutting into ego, and slicing away lies beheld as truth for so long.
Her voice rang out across the clearing, reminding them of how they had searched so hard for the magic of life, only to recoil at its power when they found it within themselves, scrambling frantically to destroy it, or at least cover it up-forever out of sight if not mind. They winced, and hunched into themselves defensively as she asked them what they loved the most about their lives. Was there anything that called to them; gave them joy? Did the heart inside them beat in excitement for anything? What did their eyes behold that left them in awe of the world? What made their souls tremble with ecstasy?
They stacked the wood around her feet as she stood calmly before them, tied roughly to the stake in the center of their world. Nobody would meet her eyes, but she saw their reactions as her words struck home over and over again, and she would not be silent. She would not turn away from them now, even when their every action conspired to send her into the darkness she was safe from, but would be their prison if they refused to listen; if they refused to awaken from their slumber.
“You think to send me into the Abyss, ‘the regions of Hell conceived of as a bottomless pit’. I know that you do this because I am the whisper that screams to your heart, the light of awareness that hurts your eyes, the fire of purpose that causes you discomfort, and the finger that points to the frightening power of your own heart. I know you are afraid of all you are capable of, but to ignore this truth of you is to sentence yourself to the very hell you wish upon me.
I am the Life you look out upon, your fingers pressed enviously upon the glass of the window, seeing freedom, and never touching it with your own hands. I am the Integrity you lost to ‘blend in’ with the crowd, I am the wild, the bold, the fearless, and the joyful part of you that will always remain silent if you do not heed me now. I am the Word Sorceress, the Sword of Truth, the Light of your Soul, the Way to Joy. I am the very best of you, do you really seek to destroy me to blend into the world of today?”
As she spoke, many listened, many held back, some were even brave enough to try to stop the few whose minds were locked into public perceptions, and acceptable behaviors. But the frightened were many, and the torches in hand reached desperately forward to light the lies stacked around her. As the flames fed greedily on the rebuttals, accusations, and denials, she closed her eyes and whispered into the flames that grew in intensity.
“May these words rise on my breath, above the lies that burn.
May every tear that falls from me be just a lesson learned.
And as I dance upon the flames, my spirit turned to smoke,
Let every heart I long to save believe the words I spoke.
At last, when fire lights my heart, as it is wont to do,
May that illumination be the Truth that leads them through.
Remind those who would disregard the Soul they hold inside
That Hell is here on earth disguised as Life they once denied.”
The crowd grew silent as the crackle of the flames grew louder. There was silence and sobbing, sorrow and joy in that clearing as she disintegrated into smoke and flame, the flame of her sparking in the hearts of those hungry, and the smoke choking the perpetually dissatisfied.
As the smoke cleared, all eyes were caught by the figure of a small girl, heart yet untarnished by world or ego. She seemed to shine from within as she walked slowly to the edge of the fire and picked up the Sword of Truth the Sorceress had dropped in her burning. There was total silence, not even a birdsong, as she looked at everyone and smiled sweetly, turning to walk into the forest alone, the heavy sword cutting a path in the dirt as the tip drug behind her.
And those who were not amazed, were envious.