The battered glassmaker was forced to march barefoot on hot cobblestone. People watched him suffer on the sides of the street. A whip lashed and broke his skin and made him bleed.

They came to a special square. It was used to hang the guilty and criminal. The battered glassmaker, bloody and weakened, was pushed into the searing pavement. There were gallows standing before him, but it was not for him, he was going to treated with something special. He was dragged by stout men to be tied to a stake. A man in black robes with a leatherbound tome took center stage and did a religious speech. The battered glassmaker didn't bother to listen. It was stale and pungent; it would hurt him more if he'd listen. He had come to terms with his punishment.

In the distance, a glint of happiness was seen in the middle of a sea of sorrow. It was the purple speckled salamander waving to the glassmaker. It sat in the gutters of the house opposite to the stake. It endured the searing sun and metal so it may see the glassmaker for the last time.

The salamander had a feeling that this was somehow partly its fault. It visited the glassmaker in his cell the other night, and he was very weak, barely conscious, barely breathing, and barely living. It bore weight in its heart.

The man in black robes finished his speech and the stake was set aflame. There were cheers from the crowd, and screams from the glassmaker. The salamander winced as the fire went ablaze. It wished it could run to the pyre and consume the flames, but it knew that was an unwise action. The salamander could only watch teary-eyed from far away.

The glassmaker's body was soon thoroughly burned to ash. There was nary a bone or chunk of flesh spared from the flames, all that was left ash. A smoking pile of ash, embers, and charcoal was soon only what's left. The crowd soon dispersed and the square was soon devoid of people. It was a pocket of space near the outskirts after all.

Noone had yet come to clean the litter left behind. The salamander came down from roofs to the smoking pile to pay its respects to the soul of the recently burnt man.

The wind blew lazily, lightly blowing the dirt and dust off the pavement. It was fair and mellow day. No wonder they chose this day to burn an accused witch.

The salamander finished its respects before someone were to notice of its presence in the square. As the salamander was about to go, something shifted from under the ashes. The salamander grew curious and dug under the ash.

The salamander saw a small critter in the ashes. It was another legendary salamander, just like itself. It was ashy green with a triangular head. It eyes were big compared to its head, bulging in its sockets. Its skin was moist and rough. It had many hooks made of hardened skin around its head. It reminded the salamander back when it was still young.

The little green salamander stirred, and opened its big yellow eyes. The little one mewled at the sight of the salamander. The salamander felt pity and adopted the little one. It carried the little one on its back, careful not to drop the soft slippery salamander.

[The End.]

A note from Felix Helixihare

Don't let this chapter fool you. There's still an extra coming tomorrow.

Also, a sequel was in works although only Act/Book 1 is completed and Book 2 is currently in limbo.

About the author

Felix Helixihare

Bio: I am a Filipino writer. I write primarily in English as a hobby. I used to do art, but found it inconvenient to draw on my phone. I started publishing my stories on Wattpad and still continue to do so.

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