The Witch Hunt Of Burnt Cake Island
"Why on Earth do they call it Burnt Cake Island?" Ms. Carl asked the travel agent.
"From the sea, the island looks like a cake whose base was burned. This is because instead of golden, the sand is black. The high round mesa in the middle of the island is composed of sheer golden colored cliffs, with black streaks in it. Should you choose to take our Deluxe Cruise Package you will see for yourself how closely it resembles its namesake."
"It does sound interesting. Please book it."
"We are approaching the island now, Ms. Carl." said the smiling purser to the attractive young brunette.
On the beautiful and unique tropical island, things were not as peaceful as they appeared. A town meeting was in progress. The decision would determine the future of the community for generations to come.
"They are a danger to the tourism industry, Mr. Deber. That big rundown shack is an eyesore, and so is the appearance of the witches who inhabit it... Not to mention the crazy women have scared off every tourist who arrives when there's an eclipse with their warnings of curses and evil spirits!"
"Thank you for your input, Mr. Reginald. Does anyone else have anything to add?"
"Yes Mr. Deber. All that Mr. Reginald said is true. But I think we should leave the witches alone. My Grandmother once told me that she watched a ceremony from among the bushes one night. She saw them control the weather. After that they invoked protective spirits to ward off destructive storms."
"Are you saying you want them to stay, Baker?" Mr. Reginald asked in a low, dangerous voice.
"Yes Mike, I think we should talk to them. Offer to help fix their home. Give them some spending money if they'll put their charms and such in the gift shops. I doubt that they are wearing tattered clothes by choice. And maybe we can close the island to visitors for the few days of the year which they feel should be spent focusing on the protection of the island. After all, we have never had a major storm, they all just pass by."
"NONSENSE!" roared Mike Reginald.
"Thank you, Mr. Baker. Is there anyone else who would like to speak?"
Silence reigned. The whistle alerting the community to the arrival of the cruise ship could be heard distinctly.
"Very well. All in favor of chartering a plane to Bermuda, and seeing the women off, with or without their consent, say aye."
Every voice in the building was raised, with the exception of Dan Baker's. He just sat there and shook his head. If they succeeded, he would be on that plane with the women. Things would not be pleasant on Burnt Cake Island for quite a while.
"Your island is lovely! Somehow I feel like I have come home." exclaimed Ms. Carl to the bellhop of the seaside resort.
"Thank you, ma'am."
"No need for ma'am, it's Sylvia." she gave him a genuinely friendly smile, then closed her door.
Meanwhile the townspeople from the meeting had gathered outside of the home of the women who they called witches due to their strange ways, and strong connection to the island.
Mr. Deber had the dubious honor of informing them. "Hello Mary, I have good news! Please come out for a second?"
"I can hear fine from here, Webster. What news do you have?"
"I told you, it's good. I would love to see your smiling face when you hear it."
"I ain't beautiful, but here's my face if you are so set on seeing it." said the elderly lady suspiciously.
The relationship between the town council and The Caretakers had never been friendly. Civil? At times. Unfortunately those times were few and far between.
"Mary, there's a charter plane belonging to the Bermuda Department Of Tourism sitting on the runway. It's a regular private jet, with all the trimmings! Champagne, caviar, the works. And they sent it here because they need you."
"They don't even know we exist."
"I recommended you. They need help to secure the island. Bermuda loses millions every year because of the storms. And this isn't even taking into account the loss of lives."
"I'm sorry but it's not that simple, Webster. Our power only works here. We are tied to this island."
"Can't you just try? Or teach someone who has ties to Bermuda?"
"Yes, we will go in a few days. The eclipse is tomorrow night. We won't leave until we have performed the ceremony."
"You can be back in plenty of time. The trip only takes a few minutes. And some of you might stay in Bermuda to perform the ceremony there?"
"No, for it to work they will need their own people to do it. And it could take months to teach them. If there are any with the ability. We will leave after we secure the island, no sooner." she said firmly.
"But why wait? You can be back in no time." said the councilman nervously. If he couldn't convince them to leave immediately, the rest of the council was going to take action.
Of course this was to be a one way flight. The plan was to trick the old witch and her group onto the plane. Once it landed they would be stranded, penniless. Travel was expensive. The Caretakers might never get back.
"Good day, Mr. Deber." said Mary in a professional tone as she shut the door and locked it.
Shaking his head sadly, Webster Deber returned to the town hall. This was not going to be pretty. There was no way to convince the most influential members of the council to work with the women. They had already paid for the jet even before the official vote. And they wanted The Caretakers off of the island immediately.
As evening began in earnest, the rundown shack began to light up. Eighteen women lived within the historical building which had been in Mary Jasper's family for generations.
Knock knock knock
"Mary, it's Webster again. My friends and I really must insist that you go to Bermuda now, as I discussed with you earlier. We aren't asking..."
The women peered out, and saw at least twenty men, and an equal number of women. Quickly they began to gather herbs and charms. Then they chanted something different from anything they had ever practiced.
The wind began to blow, gently at first. Then stronger. It formed a tornado, which picked up the entire group of would be witch hunters. The powerful whirlwind carried them high into the air, terrified.
Just when all hope seemed lost, it deposited them gently on top of the mesa. Which would present a whole new series of problems. Perhaps the biggest being that there was no way down except by air.
"Shall we go for a stroll, to clear our minds?" asked Mary. Everyone agreed.
"Hello, what a beautiful night!" exclaimed a young lady with brunette hair.
"Hello dear, is this your first time here?" asked Mary.
"Yes, but I feel like I have been here before. Like I have come home. My name is Sylvia, by the way."
"Try drawing these symbols in the sand, Sylvia."
As she did, the clouds around the moon took on the shapes of many different types of fish. The young heiress to the Carl Hotel fortune laughed. She truly had found her way home!
Images from the Canva gallery, and edited in Canva