The villagers bayed and cheered as the balance rose. Once more the figure strapped to the other end disappeared beneath the duckweed covered surface.
The breath wouldn't last, the accused thought in resignation. This was the seventh time. Each submergence had been longer than the last. More taxing than the last. Or maybe it just felt that way? Whichever, this was the one, the unfortunate accused knew. The scant time above the pond's surface was barely enough to take even the shortest breath, never mind a lung full. This was the one. Would the Hellfires await?
Hellfire! That was it!
In the murky green depths, The Sign was made with fingers tied beneath the worn smooth wooden balance. Suddenly, the gloomy, pressing cold was replaced with a fierce light and an even fiercer heat. A deep breath was inhaled, taking in fire and sulfur and brimstone. The balance beneath hurtled skywards as internal organs blazed.
Those most curious at the pond's edge had already been flash burned when the water boiled instantaneously into steam. The rest were frozen in shock and incredulousness. The witch was catapulted into the evening sky, the rope bonds had dissolved into ash. The exhalation of Hell from the witch's lungs rained down on the remaining villagers, immolating them where they stood, transfixed and now aflame.
As the charring flesh crawled back on itself, the consciousness inhabiting the body translocated in vain. Desperately searching for a suitable host.
Fortunately, the 'Tower was down during the inversion...