I fire another stone. It pelts her on the forehead where the skin now wears thin. She bobs in the water, is submerged for a second or two and resurfaces, wildly. And my heart plummets back into the depths of me.
I hear screams and claims for the souls of children from the waterside. A hunk of timber is launched by someone I recognise but cannot name. It misses her by only a few inches. The culprit is restrained.
She is floundering in the water but death is yet far away. I pick up my sling shot. I load in a stone. I fire. The shot connects and appalling damage is done. My heart flutters a little but there’s more work to do. She is alive still.
Another wave of cries. Another wind of confidence. These asses of men, braying for their cruel justice. They won’t be satisfied until she is nothing but cooling cinders.
“You see?” shouts one man (in fact, her accuser). “A witch! She does not sink! Her soul belongs to Satan himself! WITCH!”
I wipe my face on my dress. The mud and tears have mingled but I care not a mite for the preservation of the fabrics. My position is hidden, up here on the hillock, surrounded by thick heather. But my slingshot has a broad range. I begin to load the largest, sharpest piece of shot I have.
I raise the contraption and take careful aim; her sorry face in my sights. This will be the final stroke. This time I cannot fail.
For she is my sister and I am only trying to help her.