The big day had finally arrived. The day that my small island became fanatics over. The day they’d countdown like Christmas.
It was the day of the sacrifice to our beloved god.
I was one who didn’t believe. Didn’t enjoy the ritualised sacrifice moment of fire and wood carved masks. It was all past times that mainly the elders of the island took the most enjoyment.
We’d begin the day with the children singing away up and down the streets. There words forever haunted me, “oh the sky above is watching down and that will pick our sacrifice. Will it be me, or will it be you, the fire will choose it’s burning.”
Every year since being a child I’d hear it and even to this day I’d get shivers down my spine at the thought it’d be me.
The island elder head would send the town peaceman to lead everyone to the ceremony. We’d all have to go, there was no choice about it.
Everyone gathered in the open field ready to connect to the sacrificial moment, I always saw past this and imagined the freedom off the island, the distance between me and that but craving it every moment. To be away from this god forsaken land clasped at the ends of my imagination.
A wooden cage stood in the field, gathered with roses of different colours, these were always painted by the children in the time leading up to it. Men stood either side of the cage, three on each holding a stick on fire. The glowing amber ready to alight the cage.
It was the elder head who stood in his long traditional robes and would shout “gather mine a children, gather for ye shall be chosen.”
They’d run towards him, smiling and giggling not really knowing what was to come. He’d then hold out his arm at full length, pointing his withered finger along the group and ushered one, “ye be the renegade who will be lifted to the holy land.”
It was always the rebellious child of the island who’d be sacrificed or as I liked to say, be brutally murdered by a group of old people so they had one less problem child to deal with.
The child chosen still laughed, giggled and skipped away to their doom. They hoped in the cage and with a waive of the elder heads hand the men gathered with their flames and lit the cage.
The child clapped, still not knowing what was happening and the islanders joined in, waiving the small one farewell as the elder head ushered his wisdom words of the wise.
I stood there, the amber flames reflecting in my eyes and yet another tear rolling down my face at the thought of these savages getting away with another youthful murder just to satisfy their godlike needs.