I was in school the other day, walking and reading. I haven’t done that in ages—I use my Kindle’s text-to-speech feature when I walk—but the scene I was reading was affecting me so much that I couldn’t stop looking at the words. They told the story of a little girl who screamed after her mother, who had been accused of Witchcraft and arrested. The arrest was not what made the little girl cry; she wept because the lawman who arrested her mother decided to hang the family witch dog that had tried to protect its human friend. When the little girl defended the dog, she too was accused of being a witch—a thing of evil—and arrested with her mother. She was six.
I stopped at the bottom of the set of stairs that led to the school library, and I cried. I was weeping while people walked to my left and right. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and looked back. It was one of my classmates.
“Are you okay,” she looked really concerned.
I was choking on tears, so I just looked from my Kindle to her face, and continued crying.
She looked at my Kindle and read a few lines. “You are not crying because of a novel,” she pushed me playfully. “You are such a trip!”
We walked to the library, and I took a few moments to pull myself together. Then I told her that Witch Hunt by Devin O’Branagan had brought up the initial tears, but it was not what kept me crying. I wept because of the real stories I’ve always wished were JUST witchy fiction. I wept for mothers who have lost custody of their children after her husbands’ families accused them of Witchcraft. I wept for priests who were shot in the back for the sin of defending fathers, mothers, sons daughters… accused of Witchcraft. I wept for the ones who have been burned, beaten, stoned, killed… by hateful narrow-minded so called humans who hide behind the religious shields of ignorance.
Witch Hunt made me cry three times: out of fiery rage, out of joy, and out of pure sadness. This is one of those novels that proves “fiction can touch real issues in ways reality never can.” But I wish, I wish, I wish… it could, don’t you?
"Witch Burning" by Granat Olga