The Hunter Series - Penelope

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Chapter 5


Later the same day.

I went out for a walk to clear my head. The conflict between my heart and my head tore me apart. I was wondering what to do for the best. There was a part of me that knew leaving the hunters was what I should do, for the sake of my life and family.

Mum seemed adamant after the conversation earlier to not mention anything about witches to anyone. If the hunters still believed the rules of their lineage, then I would become a target. I wouldn’t have told them anyway. Why start unnecessary trouble? Especially when they haven’t figured out I’m a witch in the years I’ve known them.

When I lifted my head from staring at the pavement; I found myself standing at the entrance to the pier. I hadn’t realised my feet had taken me here. The images of the gun flashed in my mind and then the pool of blood. It made me shudder and I shook it from my mind. There was police tape around the doors Atlantis. It made me wonder if they would reopen for business any time soon.

Sitting on an old bench, I brought out my sketch pad from my bag. The papers whipped wildly in the wind. As I held the corner down with my free hand, I began to doodle little pointy hats and symbols. It crossed my mind what kind of magic I would be able to do. Would I be able to make the wind stop if I tried? Even though it was only a thought, it seemed the wind was able to hear those thoughts and it slowly died down. If I could control the wind with just my thoughts - what else am I capable of? It was an intriguing question, one I was a little too eager to find out. However, in the chilly breeze came a warning. A whisper brushing passed my ears in the wind. It made me shift nervously on the bench.

Beware…

It was a voice that made my gut hurt, but not physical pain. Every fibre of my being told me to listen to whoever was warning me. Even though I scanned my surroundings a couple of times, there was nothing out of the ordinary. A couple walking their dogs. There were children running around playing.

Something didn’t feel right. The warning kept me on the edge of my seat, ready for anything. The hairs on the back of my neck raised. Someone was watching me.

That's it. I'm out of here.

I picked up my sketch pad and headed to the exit with my head down. Suddenly, someone bumps into me and my pad slips out of my hands and into a puddle.

“I am so sorry!” said a familiar voice.

Whilst I picked up my ruined artwork, I didn't bother to look who bashed into me. My sketch pad wasn’t salvageable. The ink from some of the pieces had spread to the pencil drawings. It was like my heart being ripped from my chest. Then, thrown in the puddles until it twitched itself to death.

“I am so very sorry,” The familiar voice repeated again. He bent down to pick up some of the scattered papers before they blew away. Then, handed them back to me. Isaac had a pained expression. All I wanted to do was cry.

“They’re ruined,” I said in shock.

“Penelope, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin your drawings. Can you save any of it?”

“It doesn’t matter. Where did you go yesterday? You left so abruptly.”

“I needed to clear my head.” He said and shifted his feet.

I frowned at him. “You’re lying to me, again.”

“How do you know that?”

“If I told you, you’d stop doing it. Now, tell me the truth. You were going to tell me more about this Peter guy before you got weird and left.”

“I left because I saw Eleanor. That is her name, right?”

“How do you know her?”

“That doesn’t matter. She’s not a good person. You should be careful around her.”

“My well being isn’t your concern. Please tell me about Peter and why I had a gut feeling to hide he knew you from the police. Or why Peter wanted something from you to begin with. Why did he have to kill that woman?”

“Peter needs professional help. He’s a messed up kid. I told you about his sister. He’s not been the same since her death.”

“What’s Enukeador?” I questioned him and he took a step back, a little stunned. Obviously, I knew the answer.

“I’m sorry?” He said with a confused face.

“He mentioned a place called Enukeador.”

“It sounds made up to me.”

“That’s funny because you’re lying again. Is his sister alive? What are you hiding?”

“Penelope, I would advice you to stop talking right now.” He said. He pressed his finger on my lips, then whispered. “This isn’t the place you want to be talking about this matter.”

I whacked his hand away.

“I will find out. One way or another.”

When I turned to leave he grabbed my hand. “Penelope, I understand if this is the path you wish to take but let me warn you. You will find things out you won’t want to know.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I can’t stop you if you choose to follow your heart. Whether the answers you seek, are what you want to hear, is another matter.”


When the morning of Saturday 19th March arrived, I went downstairs to a parcel addressed to me. It was a hardback sketch pad with thick special paper. Clearly more expensive than my old one. There wasn't a note of to say who it came from, but it was obvious who had sent the present. I smiled and thought of Isaac. He was a mysterious stranger who I couldn’t shake from my thoughts. Even his warning didn’t bother me too much. There were answers I needed to know. There wasn't anything that could stop me finding them.

Mum was in her favourite recliner chair in the living room. A cup of tea in one hand, the remote in the other. She was flickering through the channels until she decided to watch ‘The Wright Show’.

“You’re watching this, again?” I groaned but jestful. Mum greeted me with her usual warm smile.

“Good morning to you too. What happened yesterday? You came back in a strange mood.”

“Nothing really, just bit upset.”

“What happened?” She said concerned, then tapped on the sofa’s armchair. “Come sit, tell me all about it.”

I sat down, picked up a cushion and held it close. “Bumped into Isaac from the pier and dropped all my artwork into a puddle.”

“Who?” Mum interjected before I could say anything else.

“The one who interviewed me. You know, before all the terrible things happened.” I answered.

Even without mentioning his name made my blood pump a little faster. The way his smile made me feel and how calming his voice sounded. He was also very sexy.

“I was in a rush and wasn’t looking where I was going. He bumped into me and my pad dropped into the puddle. He must have felt bad because this arrived this morning.” I said, showing her the new pad.

“That’s sweet he replaced it for you.”

“Yeah.” I said distantly.

“You’ve been through a lot lately. Take things one day at a time.” Mum smiled at me and gave me a hug.

“Do you ever just feel differently about life? Sometimes I feel void, like my whole body is numb, shielding me pain. For a long time I didn’t feel anything. That’s when hunting vampires was easiest. I didn’t have any emotions to distract me but the way I feel now, is different. Dianne Murphy wasn’t a vampire. I know I didn’t kill her but I wish I could have saved her.”

“Honey, it’s normal to feel like this,” Mum said softly, stroking my back to comfort me. “You have to remember you did everything you could to save her… I believe you were there for a reason. Maybe not to save her but to save those other innocent people. They would have died too. I’m so proud of you… It’s understandable to feel this way after seeing someone die. It makes you human. You can’t let this stop you living your life. You have to find a way to pick yourself up and carry on.”

A little while later...

Mum made us some tea and a jam sandwich. It did make me feel slightly better being able to talk to her about the issues going on with me. It enlightened me to accept the emotions I’m feeling and to learn how to control them. We spent the rest of the day cleaning the house while mum told me about witchcraft. It pulled me from the black hole I had fallen into. It was time to focus on becoming a witch. To help people instead of killing vampires. When we had cleared the coffee table, mum brought out a black cloth with a white pentagram in the middle. A candle was placed on each of the points. Then sat opposite each other on cushions. Mum closed her eyes and almost instantly the candles began to burn.

“Wow!” I was gob-smacked. “That is so cool.”

“Now, before you receive your powers you should know that you are part of a circle. They are the same age as you and they’ve been wanting you meet you properly for a long time. You already know them from school. If things had been different, the five of you would have stayed friends but you went your separate ways. Now its time to reunite you with your friends, they will help guide you.”

The living room door opened and four people walked through.

Sophie Wadesworth, an ash blonde haired girl with a big smile had been my best friend at school. We haven’t spoken since the second year of college when I dropped out. Sophie looked taller than the last time I had seen her, her hair cropped to a short bob.

Toby Morris came through behind Sophie. He used to hang round in our little group of friends sometimes. He used to be quite stodgy but now he has shed a lot of weight. He had a rough brown beard, wearing a motorcyclist leather jacket and holding the helmet under his arm.

Kristy Greyland strut in after and she seemed like the same spoiled girl at school. She smiled an over the top fake smile at me. It didn’t surprise me as her mother, Margaret, comes over to our house to spend time with mum. They both talk like the universe owes them something. Kristy grew her hair to her hips, it was straight and fire red. She also had lost a few pounds and looked really good. I felt a pang of jealousy but kept that thought to myself.

Then lastly, Oliver Littlewood came through the door. Oliver had moved away to London after school and went to live with his grandparents. It was surprising to see how much he has changed over the years, he’s a little more chubbier around the face but it didn’t make him look fat, since he was so tall. He still kept himself clean shaven and had neat hair On his arms were sleeve tattoos.

“Hey Penelope,” Sophie said.

“Hey,” Toby chimed in.

“Hiya!” Kristy smiled.

“Alright.” Oliver said.

In a way I was really happy to see them. There was a smile on my face but inside there was a niggling feeling I couldn't put my finger on. It was a sinking feeling in my gut. Then the memories came flooding back from my school days. All those memories I tried to block hit me like a brick in the face.

“Hi guys.” I said.

“They’re here because they’re witches too. All five of you were born to be part of this circle. You all need to remember that your magic is stronger together.”

“How come you never said anything?” I mostly said to Sophie. She avoided my eye contact.

“Our parents told us we couldn’t say anything because you weren’t ready to complete the circle.” Kristy butt in. “But you are now and we all can be friends again!”

“Kristy, shut up.” I snapped. Kristy’s eyes widened and she took a step back. I surprised her and for the first time in a long time, she listened. “You all just expect me to forget the things you did to me or act like it never happened. So we can what exactly? Be friends again? To be part of this witch circle and play stupid hocus pocus tricks?”

“We were kids, Penelope. Kids do stupid things but we’ve all grown up since then. You should let it go, holding onto grudges doesn’t do anyone any good.” Oliver argued.

“That’s rich coming from you. How would you even begin to understand the lasting effects? I still have nightmares. Every time I think of that time in my life, I become a depressive mess. It feels like I’m reliving it over and over again. Why do you think I had to go to a counsellor? It wasn’t just because my brother died. I had you lot bullying me everyday and for what? Because I wasn’t a witch like you guys? Is that how you justify it?” I raged at him but the tears spill and run down my face. “You have the audacity to come here and act like my torment was nothing. What gives you that right? What I felt everyday was real and what I still feel is real! You have no right to trivialize it!”

Then I felt the most intense power burning from my core. I raised my hand towards his throat and tightened my grip, stopping Oliver’s ability to breathe. He scrambled for air and trying to pull off the invisible snare on his neck. Though his efforts were futile. Their voices of despair cried for me to stop but the power felt good.

Why would I let it go?

It was only when my mum stood in front of me to shake my shoulders, causing me to lose eye contact, I realised what I was doing. Oliver dropped to the floor, gasping for air.

“Penelope snap out of it!” Mum shrieked. “What are you doing?”

It took me a few seconds to process what I had done. They all looked at me in horror, their faces twisted in disgust. Even mum looked scared of what I was capable of and that upset me the most.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered, then ran out the house.

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