Stand Still, Burn Bright*

100 words about effigies and Bonfire Night
photo by Pierre Dinger

We go through training camp together. The instructions are simply but with heads full of straw, we need them repeated throughout the day: Stand still, burn bright.

‘I’ve been thinking,’ says One. ‘Why should we not resist?’

‘You aren’t made to think. If they wanted a fight, they wouldn’t use us, so keep your mouth shut,’ replies Another. ‘Do as your told.’

The night we were made for is approaching.

‘Can you imagine standing still while you’re burned alive?’ asks One. ‘I’m not going to find out if I can.’

The two of us sneak outdoors, soaking ourselves with rain.

(*it should be burn brightly, of course, but sports commentators struggle with adverbs, how do you expect straw men to get it right?)

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