Father Conrad stood before the front doors of his parish church, Our Lady of Tyn, looking out across the Old Town Square. The sun was bright and warm, much like yesterday morning when the crowd set out for the old witch’s house across the river. The ancient stone of the old Romanesque church, which had presided there over the square for almost two-hundred–and-fifty years, glowed warmly in the morning light.
“But the Charles Bridge was meant to be more than simply the longest or most important bridge in Europe. Though it was those things as well. Charles IV built it to be a masterpiece of occult artistry and workmanship.”
“He did?” Magdalena was astounded.
“Yes, Charles IV meant his precious stone bridge to be the mightiest bulwark against any of the powers that might attack his city,” George explained.
Fire surged up into the air and they [the townsfolk] stumbled back, anxious to avoid being caught in the conflagration themselves. Through the smoke and fire, [the witch] saw another boy, a little slower than the rest, also dart up to the stake empty-handed and look around, blinking. He had nothing to throw on the fire. From the Prologue:
Fen’ka was herded across the town square. The sun hung low in the late afternoon sky, its slanting rays quickly obscured by thunderclouds gathering as the wind began to blow, scattering the dead leaves of autumn across the cobblestones. The crowd around her jeered and taunted as they pulled and pushed her towards the waiting stake.
“Witch!” they shouted. “Try to hurt us now!” some cried. “You’re getting what you deserve!” screamed others. Men, women, children – they all wanted to touch her, to scream at her, and dart away before she could retaliate. “Witch!”