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Sarei waits in a cold cell for her inquisitors to return with the torture that she no longer believes has any bearing on guilt or innocence. Is she a witch? Will she burn just as her mother and so many before her? Will she end her suffering and damn her soul by embracing the Mother and doing as she has been told to be. Or will the caress of ash and cinder bring them all to their knees?

(This story was previously published in 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories (Barnes and Noble Books, USA, 1995) in a slightly different form.)

CC Geddes is the dark alter ego of a Reno-based writer whose credits include more than a dozen short stories, two poems, a few essays, a bunch of ghostwritten nonfiction books, more than 300 nonfiction articles, and a big bunch of editing (magazines, short stories, and books). She is a publisher at Lucky Bat Books and runs Flying Hand Writing Services, both designed to empower writers to tell their stories in their own ways.

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