"Depart, impious foe! I spit upon your face.
Release this child of God, or taste the acid kiss.
The Lord Himself commands, so drink and stay your vice.
Why brazenly refuse, and gag and claw and toss?
Resist, and suffer more: – despair the nail's caress,
and tremble, demon, fear: – bewail the hammer's force.
For you the fire awaits, as through the skull I pierce.
I cast you out – begone!
At last, the ravings cease."
And Pastor counts the cash while Hellish hosts rejoice.
© Anthony Baverstock
Child witches in the Congo
Author's note: As isolated cases these would be harrowing enough, but it is horrifying to think that they are simply instances of an increasingly prevalent phenomenon, and that while children in North America and Britain dress up as witches to play trick-or-treat, many in Africa are branded as such for real with dire consequences.
Anthony Baverstock is from Colchester, reputed home of Humpty-Dumpty.