The waves of the Pacific Ocean crashed into the retaining wall that is on the shoreline of Shingle Bay as heavy rain drops fell down rapidly. Rain this time of the year within the gulf islands was not uncommon as the lush Pender Island was green year around. The trees always had leaves on them, even in November and December months, which for the rest of the country is cold and wintery.
Beyond the retaining wall on the bay was a giant house that was three stories high. The ocean views alone made the property a million dollar house, no question about it. On the top floor, there was a deck in which one could see Mayne Island, which is the closest island to Pender. The beauty of being in the gulf islands is that they are very isolated and remote. The sense of escaping the real world is very present on the islands. The dark storm clouds let out a crackle of thunder as the ocean continues to be rough in the storm.
Inside the house, Agatha Watkins looks at her guests with a devilish grin. She invited Penny and Jake Matthews over for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill them. Agatha has been living on Pender Island, in this very house, for close to one hundred years and cannot allow anyone to learn her deepest, darkest secret. Her guests, however, has seemingly uncovered her secret.
"We know exactly why you invited us over here this evening," Jake tells Agatha as he and his wife move into the large living room where a fire is roaring in the fireplace. "You want to stop us from exposing you for what you really are."
Agatha chuckles a little at the words her neighbour his speaking to her. Does he really think she doesn't have a way to stop him? "And what, exactly, do think I really am? I merely invited you over for some wine. It has been awhile since we've seen each other."
Penny moves up behind Jake, trying not to be scared of the woman that she has considered a neighbour and friend for some time now. The young couple have been married for a little over two years now. She graduated from UBC in Vancouver with a degree in education. She struggled to find a job, but found on Pender Island. This worked out ideally as Jake is a park ranger; he got position on the island as well. The couple ended up buying the house next door to Agatha's and they ended up becoming friends with her and her two children, Ambrose and Axel. Slowly, however, they started observing some very odd behaviour from the family. And now that the truth is though, Penny has been nothing but scared. She didn't think she believed in magic and voodoo, but the facts are the facts: Agatha nor her children are not human beings.
"Just stop playing these games," Penny finally speaks to Agatha, trying to sound brave. "We know that you're a witch! We know that you cast spells and practice magic! We know how evil you really are."
Agatha bursts into a hideous laugh that sends chills down the spines of Jake and Penny. Penny grabs on to Jake's arm as Agatha looks over at them and raises an eyebrow. "I've tried very hard to keep this a secret from everyone and I won't let anyone, especially the likes of you two, reveal my identity to anyone. Do you know what they do to witches if they are exposed?"
"I've heard about the Salem witch trials from many years ago," Penny nods back to Agatha as she had studied it in her schooling.
"Let me ask you both a question," Agatha says to Jake and Penny before she takes a sip of her red wine. "Why does it matter who or what I am? For the last couple of years, we have been friends. Why does anything have to change now that you own who I am? We have shared so many good times together since you've moved to Pender Island."
"Because you know that you've killed people!" Jake yells at her, not seeing a figure emerge at the top of the stairs. "We know what you've done to protect yourself and we can't allow you to do it anymore. This must end now!"
"It's our duty to tell the police everything we know," Penny backs up her husband's claim, as a bolt of bright lightning flashes across the black sky. "Don't you understand, Agatha? Don't you realize that this changes everything?"
Agatha sets her wine glass down and takes a deep breath. She knows exactly what she has to do next but she can't lie, she doesn't always like it. Still, after seeing so many of her friends and family members be tortured during the witch trials, she knows that she could never go through that nor could she subject her children to that. In a move that Jake and Penny could never describe to anyone, even if they tried, Agatha was suddenly standing behind them, like she moved through the air. "Boo," she says behind them, causing them to jump as she starts to cackle a laugh.
Jake turns around and looks at her. "How did you do that?" he demands to know, trying to hide his fear, as Penny clings to his arm as she vibrates a little. "Stop playing these games!"
"I'm a witch, remember?" she glares at him. "And you two were so very, very kind coming here to warn me about you exposing me."
"What are you going to do?" Penny asks her, trying not to sound scared.
"The only thing I can do…" Agatha says moving closer to them, as they start to slowly walk backwards. The couple continue to move backwards before they fall over the sofa, causing Penny to fall to the right and Jake to fall to the left.
Penny looks up in desperation as Jake makes a quick move to the door. "Jake!" Penny calls out as she watches Agatha look at the man trying to escape. She wants to cover her eyes but at the same time, she can't help but watch her husband's every move.
Agatha lifts her arms and suddenly three daggers start fly through the air. The first one cuts Jake in the leg. "Ahhh!" he says as he falls down and puts his hand on the back of his leg, seeing the red blood ooze on to his hand and spills on to the floor. Before he can look up, another dagger slices his arm. "Jesus Christ," he says in pain.
Penny looks at the last dagger that is still flying through the air. "Oh my God, no!" she screams as Jake looks over at her before the dagger lands right in his heart. Jake looks over at Penny and his eyes try to tell her something but his dead body slumps over as blood starts to trickle out of his mouth. "Jake! My God!" Penny screams as she stands up and looks at Agatha.
Agatha looks at Penny, who starts to cry. "Please Agatha, please don't kill me," Penny starts to plead to her former friend. "I promise you, I won't say anything to anyone. I promise you…you secret is safe with me," she continues to beg Agatha. "Let me go and see if my husband is okay! Jake, he needs me right now!"
Agatha shakes her head. "You had your chance Penny," she whispers back to her. "You both did. I never wanted any of this to happen…"
"It still doesn't have too," Penny replies to her as another tear falls down her cheek. "We can move on beyond all of this. We can…"
Agatha stops and looks at the woman begging for her life in front of her. For a brief moment, Agatha sees a different side of Penny than the one she has known the last couple of years. A side that is very humane, innocent and vulnerable. "Are you cold?" Agatha finally speaks again to Penny, who is shivering a little from the shock of everything that has happened.
"I'm in shock Agatha," she admits to her. "I see my husband laying in a pool of blood and you're a witch … I guess I am cold."
"Let me help you with that," Agatha says, her eyes zoning in on the roaring fire. A ball of fire emerges from the fireplace and moves across the room quickly. Penny's eyes open wider in horror as the fireball moves closer to her. Penny bolts and rushes to the patio door; she opens it and rushes outside into the pouring rain. Agatha and the ball of fire move slowly out the door, following Penny. Agatha arrives on the deck and sees Penny standing in the yard that overlooks the ocean. Penny looks up at Agatha and sees the ball of fire in the sky above the witch.
"Help me!" Penny screams, hoping that someone, anyone, will hear her pleads.
"There's no one to help you Penny," Agatha says as she looks at the wet woman begging for her life.
"Agatha," Penny replies to her, wiping her face from some rain drops. "Please…"
Agatha drops her arm quickly and the fireball moves from the sky towards Penny. The ball moves towards the woman and when it reaches her, it engulfs Penny in flames. The woman starts to scream as the flames rage on her body. She soon crumbles down and as the flames die down, all that's left is a blackened body laying the pouring rain.
Agatha looks at Penny before she slowly moves back into the house, her eyes immediately seeing Jake's dead body laying on the ground. She moves a piece of her jet black hair behind her ear and walks back over to the fire place mantel where she picks up her glass of wine and finishes the glass. She turns around when she hears a noise.
Coming down the stairs from the third floor is her son, Axel. The young man is pale as a ghost having witness his mother's deadly evening. Agatha looks at her son and realizes that he isn't impressed by what he saw. She moves up to him and puts her hand on his cheek, as tears fill his eyes.
"I'm sorry you had to see that," she says as she pulls him into a hug. "I'm so very sorry."
"I thought we were going to the Hope Bay café?" Agatha says to her son as she walks into the kitchen of their new house, seeing that he is making sandwich. Agatha knows that Axel is a moody young man, mostly because he is different than she is. While Agatha is a full blown witch, Axel is half human. After Agatha's marriage to Maverick Watkins dissolved, because he had an affair with Belinda Lenox, she found herself being courted by another man. She never let herself be wooed by humans before, but something about Dylan Saint made her weak in the knees. His piercing blue eyes still haunt her to this very day.
Still, the sex only happened once but it was one of the most amazing nights of Agatha's life. Dylan was a very experienced lover; he knew exactly how to please a woman and he found every spot that Agatha so desperately needed to be hit that night. Within a few weeks, Agatha learned that she was pregnant and hoped desperately that it was Maverick's baby. Of course, she knew right away that it was not. She always knew that her son would be different because he is half human but she never knew that he would be so … difficult. After he witnessed her killing Penny and Jake Matthews a few years earlier, she agreed to sell her beautiful house and move so he could try to put the memories out of his mind. She was trying to do everything that she could for her son, but nothing seemed to be good enough. She only wished she knew a way to make him realize that nothing else matter but keeping their identities a secret. No one could ever know that they are witches; the result would be far too disastrous. Everything she has ever done has been to protect her family.
Axel puts a piece of the squirrel into his mouth and looks up at his mother. "We can still go for lunch," he says to her with a slight grin. "I was just hungry now."
Ambrose, Agatha's daughter, quickly emerges in the kitchen as well, moving past her brother, and looking for something to nibble on. Agatha looks at her daughter and smiles at the sight of the woman she has become. Agatha had Ambrose while she was married to Maverick, so she is a true witch. It saddens Agatha that her daughter will probably never find a true romance because the witch population has been declining. Nothing will ever be as rapid, hopefully, as the Salem witch trials, but because so few people know about the witches, it's hard to keep the population going. Agatha wishes that somehow, someway, her daughter would find a husband, preferably one within their secret organization. First, however, Agatha wishes her daughter would be more confident to cast spells.
"Ambrose, would you like to come with us for lunch?" Agatha asks her daughter, as Ambrose turns around and looks at her brother and mother.
"I don't think so," she says back to them. "I was thinking of going to Poet's Cove and having a nice massage. The new masseuse they brought over this year is really quite good. And you know, I've been so stressed lately."
"Right, because living on an island with your mother is stressful," Axel laughs back to his, somewhat, diva sister.
"I think that will be a lovely afternoon," Agatha tells her daughter. "If you happen to stop for lunch, let me know what the menu is like. Apparently, they also got a new chef there."
"I will," Ambrose says as she comes and kisses her mother's cheek. "I'll see you two later."
"So, it looks like it will just be the two of us," Agatha tells her son, as their eyes lock.
Hope Bay is a small, quaint multi-retail space on the island, that overlooks Hope Bay. The spot is perfect for whale watching in the fall and summer when the orcas are doing their migration. One of the retail spots is the Hope Bay Café. While the first couple of years the restaurant went through its share of owners, the most recent owners have established a very known eatery on the island.
"I'm glad that we could get out of the house together today and enjoy the view and lunch together," Agatha says to Axel as they sit by the window with the view of the ocean. "It's my favorite time of the year, the summers here are so lovely."
Axel nods back to her as he takes a sip of his beer. "I know and I know that I've been rather distant with you since the move."
"Axel," Agatha says with a slight chuckle. "The move was 3 years ago. But I know that this has all been very difficult on you. I've had to do different…things," she says as their eyes lock. "Since the move, you know that."
Axel puts his head down, somewhat ashamed of the way he feels. In so many ways, he is the outsider in his own family because Agatha and Ambrose are true witches and Alex is half human. Not only that, but he really dislikes that his mother has killed to keep the secret that they are witches. He truly believes that there could be another way around this than killing people. It seems barbaric and unfair.
"I appreciate your patience with me," he admits back to her. "I know that I haven't been the easiest person to live with. It's just…"
"You don't have to explain yourself," she interrupts him. "Look, Axel, I know that you feel like you're different because you're half human but you have to know that your sister and I love you very much and you're still very much a part of this family."
"I know you mean that," he says back to her. "But I really wish so much of this could end, Mom."
Agatha arches her eyebrow before she takes a sip of her merlot. "What, exactly, do you wish could end, Axel?"
Axel looks back at her before he takes a bit of his calamari. "The …" he pauses and looks around to make sure that no one is close enough to hear what is about to say. "Killings. Everything changed for me the night the Matthews couple died."
Agatha sighs knowing that her son has too good of a heart not to care about the people that have died to ensure the secret is kept. What he doesn't realize, Agatha knows, is what happens to them if everyone learns the truth. The trials during the Salem witch hunt were the worst times for their kind; the few witches that did survive have really spread themselves thinly across the world. While some have connected, got married and reproduced, the overall population of witches is slowly dying. If anyone learned the truth and more witches were killed, the entire population could become extinct. Agatha is not only protecting herself, but she's protecting her family and the entire witch colony when she kills anyone that learns the truth.
"Axel, do you want to see me and your sister tortured before we are killed in front of you?" she asks him, point blank. "You would be spared because you're half of them … but your sister and I, we would be a dead in the blink of an eye. There's no way I can stop protecting ourselves. I can't do it."
"There are no but's in this conversation Axel," she cuts him off and finds her tone become more forceful. "After the trials in Salem, I moved here so I could be alone. I came here because I sought isolation. I found that. Pender Island is not overly populated, Axel. This is a perfect place for me to stay living until I die naturally. What happened to the Matthews doesn't have that often," she tells him knowing that she hasn't killed that often but when she has, she has never looked back. After all, it's either them or her, she believes.
Axel looks up at his mother and nods his head. "I just wish there was another way, Mom. I really do."
"I know you do so and believe me, if there was another way, I would have come up with it already. I just hope you know that we have to look out for ourselves. No one else will do it for us. I'm not only protecting myself, I'm protecting you and your sister as well," Agatha continues to explain to him.
Axel sighs heavily knowing that he can't say anything to change his mother's mind about the killing of people to keep their secret. He just hopes that no one else will ever learn the truth about who and what they are.
A few hours later, Agatha's car pulls up into the drive way of her former home. As soon as she sees the house, her mind is flooded of memories of the night in 2011 when she killed Jake and Penny Matthews because they learned the truth about her being a witch. That night changed her life forever, as that was the night Axel saw her kill for the first time. Since that night, he has been uneasy about killing to keep their identities a secret. Soon after that night, they moved out of the house and into their current house. While she loves her new home, it doesn't compare to this house; the ocean views make it a much more attractive property. She spent so much of her life in this house, she misses it.
Today, however, Agatha is showing the house to a new family that is interested in buying the property, which has been vacant since 2011. Agatha is only a real estate agent on the Island to keep up appearances; she has to make it look like she needs a job. However, she knows that she can't be an agent for ever because of her age.
As she steps out of the car, she looks around the property, which she knows so well. She misses being ocean front on Pender Island. She walks behind the large house and looks out at Shingle Bay. The bay is quite muddy while the tide is out, which it currently is. She always loved the wild life that could often been seen in the bay itself. Herrin's eating fish, ducks swimming, the odd harbour seal floating on top of the water basking in the sun. It is part of the island life she enjoys.
"There you are," a voice calls from behind Agatha, causing her to turn around.
She sees a middle aged couple, both of whom look very well put together. "You must be Mr. and Mrs. Blackmore," Agatha says, extending her hand to shake the man's hand.
"Thomas," he says shaking her hand back. "And this is my wife Cassandra. Our daughter Reagan is still out front."
"Pleasure to meet you both," Agatha says, observing the couple. Thomas is wearing a suit and tie while Cassandra is wearing a knee-length dress that looks expensive. The Louis Vuitton hand bag is also a sign that the couple has done very well for themselves. "I was just admiring the ocean view," she says to them. "It is one of the selling features of the house."
Cassandra moves beyond Agatha and looks out into the water. "It certainly is beautiful," she replies to the real estate agent. "It seems like it is pretty peaceful around here."
"It typically is," Agatha says back to her. "The island is the most under populated of all the gulf islands because we are the furthest away from Vancouver. That being said, it's the most quiet for the same purpose. Why don't we go inside and I can show you the rest of the house?"
"That would be lovely," Thomas says back to her, as he grabs Cassandra's hand and they begin to walk to the front of the house.
"So, are you thinking of relocating to Pender permantely?" Agatha asks them as the move to the front of the house. As they arrive, she sees a woman in her early twenties standing by the car. "Ah, you must be Reagan."
"I am yes," Reagan says back to Agatha, as they shake hands. "Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Watkins."
"Agatha, please dear," she smiles back to her.
"We are buying the house as a summer property," Thomas informs Agatha as they all move inside the grand house. "And for Reagan."
"You want to live here by yourself?" Agatha asks her, as they look at the living room. "Please notice, the large windows that also give you the ocean view."
Reagan looks out the window, taken back the beauty of the surroundings. "I'm studying at the UBC in journalism," she explains as she turns around and faces Agatha while Thomas and Cassandra move into the kitchen. "For my thesis paper, I thought it would be interesting to look into some of the murders that have happened on Pender Island. While I'm studying, Mom and Dad thought it would ideal for me to stay in a house they bought. They had been thinking about a summer home here anyways."
Agatha freezes when she realizes that the murders that will be investigated are the ones that she committed. In fact, Jake Matthews died in the exact spot that Reagan is standing. Agatha looks down at the floor and suddenly sees Jake's bloody body laying there again. She shakes her head quickly, needing the image to escape her. Suddenly, however, her ears can hear Penny's screams for help as she saw her dead husband before she burnt her to a crisp.
"Are you okay, Agatha?" Reagan asks, noticing that Agatha has turned pale.
"Oh, yes, I'm fine dear," she replies to her. "I just hope that you seek the answers of these murders. The police didn't seem to come up with anything other than a double suicide. It was a long time ago and the community has finally put the ordeal behind us."
Before Reagan can reply, Thomas and Cassandra emerge from the kitchen. "What do you think of the rest of the house?" Agatha asks them.
Cassandra smiles and looks up at her husband as they have made a decision. "I think we'll take it!"
"Perfect," Agatha smiles back to them, as she uneasily looks over at Reagan. "I'm sure you'll just love what this house has to offer."
--- "How was your massage?" Axel asks Ambrose as he pulls a beer out of the fridge and moves on to the deck of the house. The view isn't an ocean front of their new house but Axel likes looking into the wilderness of the island just as much. It's still very peaceful hearing all of the different birds chirping and the bees buzzing. He often will see deer as well, as they are the largest animal on the island. The large trees in their forested views must be thousands of years old.
Ambrose takes a sip of her gin and tonic and smiles at her half brother. "It was glorious. That new guy, I think his name is Levi, is amazing. He has good hands."
Axel arches his eyebrow. "Do you have a crush on this Levi?"
"No!" Ambrose smiles back to him, trying to tell herself that she doesn't have a crush on the man that rubs her back. "Even if I did, nothing would happen. He's a human, remember?"
"How could I forget?" Axel quickly replies to her, as he is always reminded that he is half human. "I'm reminded every fucking day of my life that I'm half human."
"Oh Axel," she says back to him before she takes another sip of her beverage. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean…"
"It's fine," he says waving his hand. "I shouldn't get so upset about it. I just don't know where I fit in with anything, that's all."
"You'll always be one of us, you know that," she tries to reassure him. "Plus, if you weren't one of us, who would make fun of my spells when they go wrong?"
Axel grins over at his sister. "Which is all the time Ambrose," he winks at her. "I don't remember the last time you created a spell that worked."
"That's so not fair!" she laughs back to him, trying not to take it personally. "I know I'm not Mom when it comes to doing spells, but I'd like to think I'm getting better."
"Mmmhmm, keep telling yourself that sis," he laughs back to her poking fun at his sister.
Agatha slowly walks up the stairs to the second level of the house, after she saw her children sitting on the deck enjoying the sun with some drinks in their hands. She is happy that the house sold to the Blackmore family but she also knows that with Reagan snooping around the murders on the island that she could be in danger of being uncovered. She doesn't understand why this is being dredged up now of all times.
As she reaches the top level of her house, she turns her shoulder to make sure Axel and Ambrose are still outside. She doesn't like anyone coming into her spell room; she needs to be alone when she casts a spell because she needs full concentration. Agatha has long been well known for her spell casting abilities; not every witch can cast spells as quickly and efficiently as Agatha can. Her daughter is a perfect example of that.
She opens the door and moves inside the room. The room is surrounded by bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling. There is a spell book for literally any occasion. In the center of the room, there is a podium, which will hold the book that Agatha is using open. Next to the podium is a large black caldron. She looks for a book on the shelf, and finally spots it on the topshelf. She snaps her finger and the book suddenly appears on the podium. She quickly flips through it until she finds the spell that she wants, getting a wicked grin on her face.
"This is perfect," she says as her eyes narrow in on the spell itself. "This will ensure that Reagan Blackmore is watched at all times. No one, and I mean, no one, will uncover the truth about me and family. I don't care what I have to do to keep my secret. I need to keep that girl at an arm's length."
"I'll be fine Dad," Reagan says into her cell phone as some movers place furniture into the house that the Blackmore's purchased. Thomas, being a high-profiled investor, had to get back to Vancouver quickly to complete more business. Cassandra was going to stay, but she is going to addition for the new "Real Housewives of Vancouver" revived TV show the following morning, meaning she had to get her hair and makeup done. "The movers are almost done with all of the furniture."
She can hear her father express some concern that she will be alone in the big house, on a remote island. "Daddy, listen to me for a moment," she finally cuts him off. "We discussed this in great detail before we bought the house. I need to live here while I finish my thesis statement. If anything happens, I will call you or take the next float plane back to Vancouver. Everything will be fine."
"Thank you for caring you," she smiles to him over the phone. "For dinner? I was thinking of going to the Hope Bay café," she informs him. "Tomorrow, I'll go get some groceries. It's just been a long enough day already."
"Yes, okay go to your meeting. Tell Mom I love her too," she says before she hangs up the phone. She sighs a little and realizes that while she is complaining that her father is over protective, she understands that it is because he loves her.
"Ms. Blackmore?" one of the movers calls out from the front door.
"Yes?" Reagan replies to him as she moves closer to the door.
"We are all done here," he says back to her. "Can we help you with anything else?"
"No, not at all," Reagan responds to him. "Thank you for everything."
Once the movers have left, Reagan looks around the house and feels overwhelmed by the fact that she is actually living on the island. When she first brought the idea up to her parents about moving to the island, they were very much strongly opposed to it because they didn't want her to be alone. She moves to the window and looks at the ocean in front of the house.
"There's nothing for them to worry about it," she says to herself, as she opens the door to the balcony and moves outside. The light breeze coming off the water caresses her skin as she sun hits her face a little. "Nothing could possibly go wrong on the island. Absolutely nothing."
While Reagan stands on the balcony, a figure opens a door to the basement. A bloody hand, grabs the handle and peers out looking at Reagan. Just as Reagan starts to turn around, the hand shuts the door and moves back downstairs.
Meanwhile, Agatha looks into her caldron and realizes that her spell has worked. She gets a wicked smile on her face. "Tell me everything that I will need to know about Reagan's investigation…"
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