Watchers Council – Dining Room – Same Time
Everyone in the room turned to see Xander enter, and Andrew again used a proper voice to announce, “May I present Colonel Mustard.”
Xander looked around the room. “Where’s Becca?” he asked.
“She helps run a party for the local orphanage on Halloween each year,” Giles answered.
“Oh, that’s sweet,” Willow answered.
“Guys,” Andrew sighed frustrated. “In character, remember?”
“Sorry, forgot,” Willow remarked as she looked down at her high, compacted bosom. “Must be this outfit. It’s cutting off the flow of blood to my brain.”
Giles blushed and looked away, taking a drink of his brandy.
“Now then,” Andrew told the group. “Mr. Boddy will be joining us a bit later, so until that time please see to the information we’ve provided for you, but don’t open your boxes yet. I’m going to go to the kitchen and check on our menu this evening.”
With that, Andrew left the room, and everyone began to thumb through their scripts.
“Mrs. Blanche White?” Faith said. “Blanche? I’m named after one of the Golden Girls?”
Rowena choked slightly on her drink, making everyone look over at her. “Thank you very much,” she said triumphantly. “Blanche is a ridiculous name for anyone born in the last century.”
“Huh?” Faith asked.
“My first name is Blanche, which, you can see, is why I go by Rowena,” she replied. “Pretentious, my ass,” she muttered.
“What’s the story on Mrs. Blanche Rowena White?” Robin asked, winking at Rowena before he looked over Faith’s shoulder to see her script.
Faith cleared her throat and read. “Mrs. White raised Mr. Boddy, but was a cold, abusive woman, in contrast to her socialite ways. Since he has no children or siblings, Mrs. White is set to inherit his fortune, but they’ve had a falling out recently and he has threatened to change his will and expose her for the monster she is.”
“You greedy bitch,” Willow teased.
Faith just chuckled.
“What’s yours say?” Xander asked, nodding toward Willow.
“Ooh, Miss Scarlet is an actress, and revenge is her motive. Mr. Boddy cost me the part of a lifetime by calling in a favor to a movie director to have his girlfriend cast instead of me. Says here he also has information on me about using the casting couch for my many projects.”
“Sleazy cutthroat world of Hollywood, huh?” Xander asked. “Let’s see…why I do him in…ah, to prevent an awful truth about my military career from coming to light. I’ve always loved bragging about my war exploits, hence the plans to publish a book. But what if none of my stories were true at all, and Boddy planned to expose me?”
“I say it’s you,” Rowena teased. “Case closed. Let’s all go home.”
“Not so fast,” Willow replied. “What’s your M.O.?” she asked, nodding to Rowena’s script.
“Let’s see…To prevent being arrested for being a ‘black widow’ serial murderer. She married well and killed all her husbands for their money. The last man worked for a company called Bridgelight Productions, and Mr. Boddy claims to have proof of the murders.” She paused and looked over to Giles. “I think we all know who he is.”
“Yes, Professor Plum,” he sighed and began to read. “Born to a proper Bostonian father and an elegant English mother, Peter Plum spent the first few years of his life in Cairo, Egypt. Plum’s father and his business partner found a treasure map, started using it and even found a little treasure, but then the father died. Plum wanted to pick up where his father left off. He tracked down the partner, leading to a fight to the death, which Plum won but Boddy has proof of. And Mr. Green?”
Robin flipped the page and read, “To prevent being arrested for Mr. Boddy’s uncle’s murder. Mr. Green is a criminal hiding under the guise of religion. He and Mr. Boddy’s uncle had made many deals, very few of them legitimate. One of their deals went sour. Mr. Green killed him, making it look like an accidental drowning.”
“Boy,” Willow sighed. “A religious man more dangerous than Jerry Falwell or Reverend Fred Phelps. Who’da thunk it?”
Andrew and Tracey entered the room, wheeling in a cart. “If you would all take your proper seats, we’ll see that dinner is served,” he told them.
The group inspected the place settings and began to sit down at their assigned seats. Xander pulled out Willow’s chair in a gentlemanly fashion and allowed her to sit down. He lingered over her for a moment, until she realized he was looking down her dress and slapped him on the leg.
“Sorry, got distracted,” he said mischievously, as he took a seat next to her.
Rowena, having seen the exchange, shot daggers at a smiling Willow, which made the witch pick up her water glass to take a nervous drink.
“Now,” Andrew announced. “As our cook serves our feast tonight, allow me to bring in our last guest.”
With that, Andrew walked to the door, and they all watched as Brell walked inside, waving to everyone.
“Hey Brell,” the majority shouted out, making Andrew scowl. “Sorry, in character,” they all collectively answered.
Andrew handed Brell a piece of paper and he began to read in choppy English. “I am Mr. Boddy. I am here this…” Brell stopped and pointed at his paper.
“Evening,” Andrew said softly, helping him.
“Evening to talk of our business. On the table are boxes. Please open the box in front of you now.” After he finished, he handed the paper back to Andrew, as everyone opened the boxes in front of them.
Willow opened her box to see a rope. Rowena pulled out a candlestick. Xander found he had a revolver. Robin possessed a lead pipe. Faith’s box contained a knife, and Giles’s had a wrench.
As the group examined their gifts, Andrew handed Brell another piece of paper to read.
“You see you have weapons,” Brell went on. “I say you use them. The…bu…the butler plans to…”
“Expose,” Andrew helped again.
“Expose you, but with me your secret is safe. Take these weapons now and kill the man that would smear your good name all over town.”
Andrew patted Brell on the back for a job well done, and Brell walked over to the light switch, turning it off and sending the room into utter darkness.
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Same Time
Marsha stood over a green concoction in the cauldron from the Coven Room. She looked at a book, chanting in what sounded like bad Latin. She reached over and added an ingredient to the cauldron, making a mist rise in the air throughout the room. Looking at the steam, she began to grin slyly.
Watchers Council – Dining Room – Same Time
In the totally pitch-black room, the sounds of both someone being hit by something heavy and a gunshot rang out, followed by a scream. Quickly the lights came on to reveal Andrew standing by the switch, looking shocked, while Brell lay on the floor. The entire room seemed to freeze for a moment and then look at each other, dropping the items they held in their hands.
“Oh my god,” Andrew said, looking at Xander. “You really shot him.”
“I didn’t,” Xander answered. “Someone tried to take the gun, and it went off.”
“Oh please, Colonel Mustard. An experienced military man doesn’t know how to hold a gun?” Rowena accused, as Giles bent down to examine Brell.
“You were the one standing next to me, Mrs. Peacock. And murder is right up your alley, is it not, ma’am?” Xander answered, sounding more like a soldier than himself.
“He’s dead. But there’s no bullet hole,” Giles told them. “He wasn’t shot.”
“This can’t be happening. He was like a son to me, and I like a mother to him,” Faith asked, bordering on hysteria and sounding very proper.
“Like Joan Crawford,” Willow remarked to Robin with a roll of her eyes.
“At least Crawford could act, unlike you,” Xander muttered toward Willow.
“I did the very best I could with him,” Faith argued with Willow.
“Yeah, when it came to beating him, and obviously you saved your best for last,” Willow said flippantly, as she pointed to the body.
“I didn’t kill him!” Faith argued. “Besides, I had the knife. You can’t beat someone with a knife, now can you? But you, you might have choked him. You had the rope and the motive.”
“We all had a motive,” Robin answered. “I, however, am completely innocent of this crime,” he added soundly.
“You’re awfully confident, Mr. Green,” Giles remarked, looking over at Robin suspiciously.
“Too confident,” Andrew replied, folding one arm across his chest and using his other hand to stroke his chin in thought.
Robin appeared shocked. “I realize that two wrongs do not make a right. Any of his misdeeds will be judged by the Lord, I assure you, Professor Plum.”
“Like hell,” Willow answered with a chuckle. “Religion is just the poor man’s excuse to believe things will be right someday, for all the crap life throws at them.”
“Crap like losing the part of a lifetime, perhaps?” Giles asked.
“Yes! I mean no,” Willow answered quickly.
“What about that?” Faith asked. “He cost you your career-making role. Sounds like something to kill for…to me, anyway.”
“To you, yes, because you’re a greedy, hateful, bitter woman,” Willow answered. “I, on the other hand, have learned to overcome and adapt.”
“That means only independent films will take her,” Xander said in an aside to Faith, who gave a chuckle.
“That is not true!” Willow defended harshly.
“Oh yeah?” Faith asked. “Your last major film, and I use the word ‘major’ liberally, was Revenge of Zombie Land.”
“It was not!” Willow answered sharply. In a smaller voice she added, “It was Return to Zombie Land.” Faith chuckled, and Willow grew defensive again. “But that’s not the point! The point is I didn’t kill him!”
“The fact remains the same,” Andrew told them all. “Someone here did it, and we need to discover who, before more people suffer the same fate.”
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Same Time
From the snack table on the other side of the room, Skye, Dawn and Jeff nervously watched Mia and Kennedy, waiting for a sign that it was okay to return to the card game. As Dawn and Jeff grazed on chips and dip, Skye popped cheese cubes into her mouth.
When they saw the two slayers kiss, the three snackers let out a relieved breath. Dawn smiled at Skye and then at Jeff.
“Come on,” she said. “I think it’s safe to go back in the water.”
With a giggle and a hand on the arm of each of her companions, Dawn moved forward. Jeff moved with her, but Skye held back.
“You go on ahead,” she told them, as she held up an empty platter. “We’re outta cheese. I’m gonna make a run to the kitchen.”
Skye stepped past Dawn and Jeff and headed for the rec room door.
With a puzzled frown, Dawn watched Skye go. Then she felt Jeff tug her arm.
“Come on,” he said. “Let’s go check on the love birds.”
Watchers Council – Dining Room – Moments Later
Giles turned to Andrew. “Is anyone else in the house?”
“Yes, the staff that oversees the mansion,” he answered.
“Perhaps one of them did it,” Robin said, with a snap of his fingers. “We should search the house.”
“What?” Faith, Willow and Rowena said at once.
“It’s the only way,” Robin answered. “We need to find out who’s here and who did this.”
“I remember one night in a small town just south of Baghdad,” Xander told them. “We entered this three-story building. My men were pretty nervous, but as I told them, it needed to be done. The only thing to fear is fear itself, ladies.”
“And death apparently,” Willow said, waving to the body. “Thanks, FDR, but if you can put the ego in check for a second, let’s think about what that means. We split up, it increases the chances the killer will kill us.”
“Spoken like a killer,” Faith remarked.
“Takes one to know one,” Rowena countered.
“Sticking up for her, are you?” Faith said, closing the distance between Rowena and herself.
Rowena and Willow glanced at each other, before Rowena turned back to face Faith. Before she could reply, a rumble of thunder and crack of lightning lit up the room simultaneously, before submerging it into darkness.
“Get her away from me,” Faith screamed, moving into Robin’s arms.
“Oh, for crying out loud. Calm down,” Willow sighed. “Are there any candles in here? Anything at all?”
“No,” Andrew answered. “There might be some in the pantry…if I remember where that is.”
“You’re the butler, and you don’t know?” Giles asked.
Andrew suddenly looked nervous, and the group began to close in on him. “I, uh, I’m just not sure right now, is all.”
“Who are you, exactly?” Xander asked, as he pushed him into a chair. “I’ve got ways of making you talk.”
“As do I,” Faith added.
“Probably involves wire hangers,” Rowena muttered to Willow, who snorted in response. Faith shot her an unappreciative look.
“Don’t hurt me,” Andrew said, as he cowered into the chair.
“Are you the butler or not?” Giles asked.
“I’m the head of the kitchen,” Andrew told them. “That’s all.”
“Oh, this is pointless,” Willow sighed, starting to walk toward the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Robin asked.
“Where do you think?” she countered. “We need to find some source of light. Besides, I’m safer out there than I am in here.”
After she left, everyone looked at each other. They all bolted toward the door in their haste to get away from each other.
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Moments Later
“Marsha? You in here?” Skye called out, as she looked around the dark room. She walked to the island and set down the empty cheese platter. She found Willow’s cauldron, with the Latin book next to it. She pursed her lips a moment and then shrugged before going to the refrigerator.
“It’s you,” Skye heard someone hiss from the shadows.
She turned around and suddenly her eyes went wide. “What are you doing in here?” she asked.
She never got an answer. Instead a hand struck out quickly and sliced. Skye reached up to her neck, as blood began to trickle through her fingers.
End of Act Two