Sacrifice

The horrible bird was beginning to burn. Neither priest nor deacon headed its haunting cries. The task was set before them. Symbolic, ritualistic and ever so real, expected of them, day after day hour after hour, year after year. The horrible birds be damned. Be boiled. Be sacrificed.

The townspeople had long ago left off coming. Oh yes, in the past they came-came to see the terrible, torrid boiling and burning. The people knew the thing had to be done, but they turned their backs, refusing to watch. The townspeople refusing to come was not a good thing, not good at all. The priest and deacon knew it as well as the horrible birds. Something was going to happen. Yes, sooner or later something very bad was going to happen.

The horrible bird, burning and boiling in the pot, screaming out its haunting cries, was heard at last, not by its tormentors, but by others. Heard by others not unlike itself, no less horrible, yet free. Those horrible winged warriors came descending, descending and biting-biting, screeching, pinching, pecking and gnawing.

Falling upon their knees, the priest and deacon went down, in bloody puddles-bloody puddles, streaming and settling. The boiling pot was overturned upon them and fiery splashes grew blisters over their faces and limbs-every inch not covered.

From away and down below, from the sky in thundering darkness a bellowing roar encompassed all. Accompanying the sound came a ghastly laughing and a trembling of the earth. All the while the winged things continued pecking-pecking, gnawing and biting the dying bodies of the priest and deacon.

Now the townspeople came running, running and watching. Watching to see the turning, the turning of the horrible happening, the horrible happening that all knew was coming. This was the day for the change, yes the change of the sacrifice.

 

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