“Amateur Night…”

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.buffyrebecca.com/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon,
Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire
Slayer series

Summary:  William tells a Halloween tale from his less-soulful days
where Spike was, shall we say, a somewhat more reluctant reluctant
hero…

***

“Well, I was dead, to begin with…You have to believe I was still dead
in those days…As far as the soul goes…Or there can be nothing freakin’
wonderful in this one…”

Fine…Sigh…

“Right then…As I said, I was dead in the spiritual as well as
technical sense…And as mad a killer as you’d ever prefer not to meet…”

Yeah…

“Though there was nothin’ on me threadswise…For the period, I mean…The
early 1980s…My last trip to the States before my quest back to
Humanity, more or less…”

And you were 90 something then?...

“Lets see…” thoughtful scratch… “1859, 1983 so 122 that April 17th and
since it was early summer…122. Yeah…And extremely presentable regardless…”

Ok…You in a leisure suit…

“Christ, no…My duster…Poor Nikki’s that is…A very great and brave
lady…”

Ok…Wave of hand…

“Hey, a little respect…She would have had me if she’d not had her eye
on her kid half the time…I don’t mind a little humor at my expense but
that girl merits better…” stern eye…

Sorry…

“She never did get the rep she should’ve…Nothing against the other
girls, but she took out some of the best and never got proper credit…
I’m not accusing the Council of Watchers of prejudice but still…”

You should write her biography…

“That better not be a joke…” frown… “Not that I claim the talent…”

Ok, I’m sorry…She was a great heroine…

“Few like her…And raised a fine boy…”

So?...

“So…There I was in the Big Apple, NYC…New York, New York…Though not
its best days…Pre-Guiliani, you know…Times Square was not the lovely
and entertaining center it is now…The city was in a bit of decline mode…”

All alone in NYC in 1981?...

“Uh…Well…Not exactly…Alone…”

Nutburger?...

“I’ve told you not to call Aunt Drusilla that…She couldn’t help what
her demon was…”

She’s not exactly a lot better now…

“She wears an old style nun’s habit and talks to her doll on occasion…
But she wouldn’t rip your head off for the world….Believe you me that
is a lot better…”

Right…So this is a horror story in NYC?...The Muppets Take You On?...

“We weren’t able to stay in town that weekend…Dru had made a little
bit of a ruckus and I thought it best to head out of town for a bit…
Some quiet upstate place…”

“See, she’d come into some bus tickets and accommodations in the
course of her evening…”

NYC…1981…City Bus Terminal…

“Are you absolutely sure you’re ok, miss?...” the worried police
officer eyed his charge, taken in hand after the horrifying events in
Times Square that evening…Glancing at her equally concerned blonde
boyfriend in somewhat odd coat…

A coat that might merit a few sneering remarks had it been necessary
to bring the two down to the station…But given the completeness of the
wrap-up of the gruesome events, lateness of the evening, and the
girl’s anxious request that she and her boyfriend and fellow camp
counselor not miss their bus, that last that evening to their job’s
location at Camp Grenadi on Shadowdale Lake…And their promise to be
instantly available for any further questions that might come up…

And given the cut-and-dried status of affairs…The maniac lying dead in
a blood of her blood, the butchered victims clearly killed by the ax
she’d wielded…Hopped up on drugs, the coroner was certain…Look at that
wild-eyed expression and the blood running from her…The officer had
seen no practical gain in making the two miss their chance to get back
to their normal lives as soon as possible…

And of course the kiddies…As the young man had noted…

One mustn’t leave the kiddies short-staffed…It could spoil the whole
camp experience...And the kids were so looking forward to meeting the
two British exchange students coming to counsel them for the summer…

Yeah, in the interests of good international relations as well…Best to
let them get on their way…Particularly after such a horrible introduction to New York…

He walked with them though the terminal to where a sign noted that the
chartered bus for Camp Grenadi was waiting…Several folks with
clipboards taking tally of those boarding…One harassed-looking middle-
aged lady caught sight of them and scurried their way…

“Well…There we are…” the officer nodded… “Officer Francis Stein,
ma’am…” he noted to the woman who was eyeing them all… “Here are your
counselors…Mr. Dunlap and Miss…?”

“Uh…” Dru hit a blank, forgetting the name she’d read off the papers
lifted from two of the victims…Whose planned destination seemed like a
perfect place to suit an upset Spike’s insistence on “getting the hell
out of the limelight for a few days”.

“Sinclair?...” the woman scanned a list… “Edith Sinclair?...”

Oooh…Dru couldn’t resist cooing a bit…Edith…She’d not seen the full
first name, just the E…

What could be more lovely than to be Miss Edith…Sinclair….For a few
days…

“Yes…” she nodded eagerly…

“This is such a terrible tragedy…Thank God you two escaped any harm…
Mary Maddox…” the woman offered a hand which Dru shook with
enthusiasm…

Very nice lady…To name me after Miss Edith…

“We’re quite all right…” Spike noted politely…Accepting the proffered
hand…

Hmmn…Not too bad…Might want to see if country living fattens her up at
all, first…

“Philip Dunlap…” he added…Politely…Smiling warmly…

“The one problem though is…” he sighed…Pulling out a small travel case…
Blood-spatter on the leather causing a grimace on Ms. Maddox’s face
and several calls of interest and glee from a few of the campers boarding…

Whoa…

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry…Forgot in the excitement…” Spike hastily put
the case down… “I suppose you’ll need that as evidence in any case…”
he turned to officer Stein…

“It would be best…But you can keep your papers…”

“Thanks, but anyway…The one problem is…A few things got lost in the
excitement…Including, I’m afraid…Our passports…”

“I don’t think that will be a problem…” Ms. Maddox shook her head…
“You can have them replaced and new copies delivered to the camp…”

“Wonderful…” Spike beamed… “After all, we wouldn’t have wanted to miss
our time with the kiddies for the world…”

Narrow look from one child already seated on the bus…Dru sensing
something, looking over…

A wan-looking child…Regarding her and Spike with shrewd and appraising
eyes…

Oh, my…She blinked…A vision coming over her…

A masked face approaching…Strange, strange mask...Covering the face
but not cloth or solid metal like the Man in the Iron Mask…Holes all
through it…A drab gray shirt…He raised a machete…Was that a maggot
coming through one of the holes?...And…

What is that strange music playing…?

Frightened children in beds near by screaming…Oddly, not at her but to her…

Beseeching her for help?...No…She blinked…

Beseeching Spike for help?...

Hmmn…An apparently dead and bloodily lovely body on the floor but not
done in their style…Rather messily hacked up…

Very odd…

“Dr…Edith?...Anything the matter, love…?”

Hmmn?...
***

“Amateur Night…”

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.buffyrebecca.com/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon,
Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire
Slayer series

Summary:  William tells a Halloween tale from his less-soulful days
where Spike was, shall we say, a somewhat more reluctant hero…

***

Part II…

“Dru?...”

Hmmn…?

“Let me hold the little one a moment…” Spike carefully took the
sleeping young infant, six-month-old daughter of an adult counselor
from Dru’s embrace…

“I wasn’t…” she frowned…

“Dru…I know that look…”

“I said I wasn’t…I’m quite full from the train station…”

“Lets just get to Camp Whatever without a massacre, dear heart…”

“She’s such a lovely dolly…”

“Dru…You said you would behave…Now do we have to stop and get off or…”

“My name is Edith, Philip…” she said, archly… “And I believe you’re
going to injure the poor child holding her that way…” she eyed the
infant slung over his arm, rather like a sack…

Or, perhaps a corpse being dragged home…

“Right, then…Thanks…” he pulled the child into his arms…

“We should have children one day, Phil…” Dru/Edith noted…

He blinked at her…

“Unless you’re afraid of commitment…?”

“Uh-huh…” he sighed…

“Are you all right?...” a friendly voice inquired…He turned to see the
young woman, Sheila, whose child he held… “I think I can take her now,
the kids are settled…”

“Sure…” he handed the infant to her outstretched arms…

“She’s a lovely little girl…” Dru/Edith smiled to her…

“That she is…” Sheila nodded, carefully taking the aisle seat across
from them… “Thanks for keeping an eye on her…”

“Delighted…” Spike nodded back…

“She sleeps so soundly…Like one of…” Dru/Edith began…

“….God’s little angels…” she finished, avoiding Spike’s stare…

“Not like her mom, that’s for sure…” Sheila noted…Gently cooing to the
child in her arms…

“Insomnia?...” Spike asked, politely…

“More like…Bad dreams…” Sheila sighed… “Since I was a girl…”

“Really…” Edith/Dru perked, looking over Spike to eye the woman…

Spike rolling eyes…

“I have that problem sometimes…Since I was…A girl…too, long ago…”

“Mmn…” Sheila shook her head… “These were pretty bad dreams…”

“Were…?” Dru/Edith asked… “And they’ve stopped?...”

“Since a few years ago…Yeah…” Sheila nodded…

“When it all ended…And I met Wilhelmina’s dad…”

“Oh…Was it hormonal…?” Dru/Edith asked…

Spike turning to look back at a sudden sensation, caught the wan-eyed
blonde girl looking at him…He smiled and nodded…She just staring…

***
About  one am, upstate New York…Heavy rain, flashes of lightening on a
large lake as the bus entered the grounds under a cheery “Camp
Grenadi” sign…

A weary Ms. Maddox led the group off the bus to a series of rustic but
clean and rather attractively designed cottage/cabins, equipped with
small porches…

“Welcome to Shadowdale Lake…” she announced… “Forgive the rain….” She
sighed at the downpour in the night… “Last group from New York…” she
noted to several figures emerging from various cabins…

“We’re all set for them…” one young woman replied…She eyed Spike as he
came over, lugging a couple of the children’s trunks…He caught a
glimpse of her, a petite brunette in “Camp Grenadi” t-shirt and
shorts, the T-shirt bearing a nametag, “Miranda”…

“Just bring the kids and their things to cabins C-F over there…Their
beds are ready…” she pointed…Spike nodded, waving up several of the
children, boys and girls about seven to thirteen in age…They followed
him and two other adult counselors toward the cabins indicated,
splitting off, the rain pelting them…Sheila with her daughter came
over to where “Edith” and Ms Maddox now stood under the awning of
cabin B…

“Ms. Toomey, you and Wilhelmina are here in cottage B…Edith, you and
Mr. Dunlap have cottage A…Over there…” Ms. Maddox noted… “Ummn…As I
told you in my letters we have no problems with couples but I do hope
you’ll be discreet…”

“Certainly…” Dru/Edith nodded, with understanding look… “And it’s very
kind of you to let us stay together…”  Sheila winking at her…

“We’re very glad to have you…The children will be so excited when they
learn they will have Mr. Dunlap to give them lessons in literature and
folklore…Such a promising young poet/writer to mentor them…”

“Really…” Dru/Edith nodded…

A demon god surely exists…

“I know he will be only too eager on his part…”

Lord, not a month of “To Cicely” to adoring adolescent girls who won’t
care if it sucks so long as they can stare at his pretty eyes…

“Well, I must be getting to bed and I’m sure you two are exhausted…
Good night, dear…Sheila…I’m in the administrative cottage down the
road if you need me…We’ll be starting at eight but don’t rush it, the
others can get the children started and you can do your crafts and
storytelling for the young ones at 9:30 and Edith, your singing
classes begin at ten…”

“Yes, indeed…Well…A very good night to you, Ms. Maddox…”

“So…” Sheila smiled at “Edith”… “ ‘Promising’…?  Is he any good?...”

“You’ve not read him?...”

“Nope…Sorry…But if you have anything of his…?”

Have to let him read it first…Dru/Edith thought…

“Probably but I’ll have to dig it out of our bags…Perhaps tomorrow?...”

“Sure…Gotta get this one off to bed anyway…Maybe we can over our
lesson plans together tomorrow?...”

“Maybe…” Dru/Edith nodded, bright smile… “Good night…” she stepped off
the porch… “Pleasanter dreams and for the little one…”

“Thanks…They’ve been ok the last few…” Sheila grinned, holding her
child’s hand as she held her, waving it to Dru/Edith…  “Say g’night,
Willow…”

Dru/Edith paused… “Promising…As in we hope…” she grinned back at
Sheila…Starting to cross over to her cottage…

Heavy crash of thunder…Then a savage bolt of lightning struck the lake…

Both women screaming as a figure sudden appeared out of the darkness,
just to Dru/Edith’s side, holding a match which it applied to a
lantern…

Dru/Edith tensing to defensive posture then relaxing as she sensed
only human…

Old, rather dried-up and unappetizing human at that…

“Edith?!...” Sheila cried…

“It’s all right…Just a man…” Dru/Edith turned to see the old man in
his raincoat holding his lantern to see her better…

“Best get out of this, miss…” he said… “Bad night to be about…Bad night…”

Spike and several counselors were now hurrying their way, last of the
luggage unloaded, kiddies safely ensconced in their cots…

“Hey, Joe…” Miranda, following Spike, called to the old man… “How’s
the ferry…?”

“Went down tonight, miss…Like lead…” the old man sighed…Rubbing hands
after setting down the lantern… “I tole em it was a bad night to leave
it out on the lake…”

“They’ll have to raise it...Again…” a male counselor, Jerry by nametag
grumbled…

“We use it to get to the north coast…” Miranda explained to Spike…
“The road to the south’ll probably be out by morning and we’ll be
stuck here without it…Good thing you guys came out tonight…With the
supplies and all…”

“Luck of the damned…” Spike smiled…

“Bad night…Hasn’t been like this since…” the old man paused…Shaking
head…

“Joe…Keep it for my class…” Sheila told him, mischievous look…

“Joe is my class star every year…” she explained to Dru/Edith… “Tells
the best stories, they really don’t need me except to supervise a little…”

“I’ll not tell…” Dru/Edith smiled…

“Not since He last showed…” Joe sighed…

“Joe…” Jerry chuckled… “You should do that in movies…”

“Well, I’m gonna say g’night…” Sheila noted… Turning with Wilhelmina
in her arms…

“I think we’d better all get off to bed…” Spike noted… “See you all in
the morning, if we can manage the jet lag…”

Well, if the rain lets up that might work the first day…Dru/Edith
thought…

“Good night, Phil…Edith…” various calls…

“Awfully nice bunch of people…” Dru/Edith noted… “So we aren’t killing
them?...”

“Not if we want a few quiet days, love…Now you did promise to behave…
And I understand there’s a nice little country hospital just across
the lake, complete with blood-bank…I mentioned I was concerned about
your rare blood type and they assured me the little place is quite
advanced and well-stocked…I’ll pay them a visit after everyone’s off
to bed…This should be the perfect night for it…”

“Oh, it’s quite all right, Philip…” she smiled benignly… “I rather
enjoy talking to them…We get so little chance for real conversation
with people these days…”

“That’s fine, then…”

“You have literature class in the morning…I think we have a copy of
your work in your suitcase…” she beamed…

He blinking at her…

Bad night…Joe sighed to himself as he made his way back to his own
shack near the lake…

Bad, bad night…He grimly observed a massive lightning bolt strike the
center of the lake where the mostly metal ferry had sunk…

Just in the spot where…

Yep…Bad night…

***


“Amateur Night…”

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.buffyrebecca.com/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon,
Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire
Slayer series

Summary:  William tells a Halloween tale from his less-soulful days
where Spike was, shall we say, a somewhat more reluctant reluctant
hero…

Part III….

Day had dawned, delightfully grim and miserable…Rain continuing in
sheets, not a sign of sun…

Spike was up at six, relishing a chance to experience a little Nature…
Tearing off a raccoon’s head in the quiet stillness of a forest
clearing…Just a little spice to top off the bagged blood…

Rather lovely place at that…He tossed the body into the lake…

Strange though…Dru’d had more odd dreams last night…Nervous about his
swim he supposed…And it had been a bit strange…Seemed like the lake
had almost been electrified by that lightning…

Lucky not to be glowing in the dark…He teased himself…

Well, alls well that dies…And rather shapin’ up to be a nice little
rest cure here…Even a chance to pass as a poet again for a lark…Not a
terribly bad one either, judging by the work…

Rather sorry I’d not had a chance to talk with ole Phil before Dru
tore him and poor Edie to shreds as we strolled to Times Square
together…But she was very hungry after that long flight in from
England what with the delays at Heathrow and all…

Wonder if those idiot cops have put together that the poor train
conductress didn’t go mad and start hacking about with ax yet…?

Well, hardly likely they’d attribute it to a nice couple like Edith
and me…Unless they do manage to find remains to id…Teeth or something
like that…

Well, worry about that when the time comes…For now, enjoy the first
vacation we’ve had since Romania in 1894…

Dru/Edith banged at Sheila’s door…Howling cries from within the
cottage…Joined shortly by a child’s terrified cries…

“Sheila?!...Are you…?”

Oops…Must remember not to power up to full strength these days…She
eyed the broken lock…

“Oh…” Sheila was sitting up in her bed…Trembling…

“Sheila?...Sorry I kicked the door, I thought you might be ill or
Wilhelmina…” Dru/Edith came toward her…

“Stay back…” Sheila stared at her…

Uh-oh…

The woman in bed blinked…Oh…

“Sorry, Edith…I thought…Oh, Wilhelmina…” Sheila got out of bed
hurriedly, rushing to the child’s crib bed…

Taking her up, soothing her…

“More dreams?...” Dru/Edith asked as Wilhelmina quieted…

“Yeah…” Sheila sighed…Putting the child back down on her bed…

“And I was in them…” Dru/Edith cautiously…

“I dunno…Someone who looked a little like you, I guess…” Sheila shook
her head…

“Who frightened you…?”

“Not as much as Him…” Sheila said, slowly…

“Philip?...Sheila, I assure you…”

“Oh, no…No, honey…I’m sorry…” Sheila smiled… “I mean…Him…The one I’ve
seen since I was a little girl…The one I thought was gone, for good,
at last…” she sat down…Tensing…As Dru/Edith, relaxing a bit herself,
eyed her…

“Ferdy…” Sheila shook her head… “Back again, after all these years…
Just when I thought I was free of him for good…”

“Who?...”

“Ferdy…A ghost…A myth from some of my stories…Half made up, half more
or less true…” Sheila looked up at Dru/Edith…

“A madman who haunts the dreams of children…Now that he can’t harm
them physically anymore…At least, harm them physically with his own
hands…”

Sounds like that fellow I dated once when Angelus took Spike hunting
in Siberia in the late 1880s…Dru/Edith thought…

“Back where I came from…” Sheila stood up, pacing… “Everyone in town
knew the story…Ferdy Kuger…The gas station attendant accused of
abusing young girls…The court let him go, some of the parents got
together and blew him up in his own gas station…And then, after I
started having dreams about him…I made up a story that he was living
in my dreams…And more and more…”

“He started to live in them?...”

“Yes…” Sheila stared at her… “How did you…?”

“I used to have dreams like that…When I was…Young…” Dru/Edith
nodded…“It was terrible until I finally faced my fears…”

“It wasn’t just the dreams, though…” Sheila shook her head… “Things
started happening in town…Other children who’d heard my stories
started having dreams too…And then…Accidents…Terrible, horrible
accidents started happening…Some folks even thought some of them were…
Suicides…Even…”

“Murders?...”

“Yeah…But there was no way…The victims were always alone and only a
few could have been suicides…Most…No one could have killed themselves
that way…Heads through ceilings…”

“I have…Heard of that…” Dru/Edith noted… “Probably a severe fit…
Epilepsy…”

“It was Ferdy…I’m sure of it…Brought back by my dreams and stories…
Haunting anyone who heard my stories…”


I wonder then you still make a living as a storyteller, Dru/Edith
politely refrained from noting…

Well…I think that highly unlikely…”  I think that’s what Edith would
say…Though actually my Miss Edith would probably…

“I’ve never told those stories again… I never will…But I’m afraid he
may find a way out of my mind and into others again…He never harms me…
He needs me to project him, somehow…” Sheila stopped…Looking
desperately at Dru/Edith…

“Perhaps I could help you, Sheila…” Dru/Edith noted… “A sort of
clairvoyance runs in my family…Just as I’m sure it must run in yours…
Perhaps I could share your dream, which is so like my own…And help you
end it…”

“No…He might come to live in you too…Even if he doesn’t hurt you, he
might reach other children…”

“Not through me…” Dru/Edith eyed her…

***

“Hey…” a voice called to Spike as he rambled back toward the cottage
area…

“You oughta have a raincoat on a day like this…” the young woman
approaching in rain hat and poncho stopped before him, hands on hips…

Bit weary-looking…About twenty-seven, he guessed…

“Agnes…I do the cookin’ here…I’m from the village across to the
north…”

Charming quaint place…I slogged through it on my way to the hospital
last night to loot the blood-bank, he considered saying jokingly but
settled for an “Oh…” and nod…

“You the guy from England?...”

“As accused but not here to reclaim the colonies….” he grinned to her…

“Guess you’re used to rain, then…Hope you like it, you’ll be seeing a
lot this summer…”

“I prefer it, actually….Ummn….I’m afraid poor Edith and I are a bit
light-sensitive…Those misty Brit Isles, you know…” Spike noted…

“Well, you come to the right place…” the girl sighed… “Never stops
raining here on Shadowdale Lake after April…All summer long…Every day
without fail…”

“Every day…?”

(Hey?...Sidelong look…

“What?...” Will looked at the frowning face…

Rain, every day?...Isn’t that kinda?...

“Convenient…?”

Hokey’s, the word…

“Well, that’s the way it was, it’s in the almanac or the weather
annals, I’m sure…”

Hard stare…

“Fine…Sue me…And don’t interrupt…”)

“Yep…The weather guys are always writin’ it up…Can’t believe they put
a kids’ camp here…”

“Well, lucky Edith and I being from a land of perpetual fog and rain…”

“It’s a part of the legend…” the girl wiped her nose a bit with dirty
rag…Smoothing hair under her hat as Spike gave her another friendly
smile…

God, the best thing to come this way in five years and he has to have
a girlfriend…

Still, she seems the pale and refined type…Maybe she’ll catch her
death…Or maybe he’ll prefer a little American in his diet…Smile
returned to Spike’s own…

Or maybe…

She’ll have one of those “accidents”…Like in the old man’s stories…

“Legend?...”

“Well, it gets the tourists riled…” she grinned again…

“Do tell, if you don’t mind showing me the way back to the camp…”

“Delighted…”

***

"There's a legend around here…A killer buried, but not dead…A curse on
Shadowdale Lake, a death curse. Micah Vooyers' curse. They say he died
as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some
have even tried to stop him... No one can..." The old man in his
seafaring gear eyed the rapt children gathered round the fire in the
main cottage classroom, their eyes bulging a bit…

“Sir…That is hardly a proper story for young children…” Dru/Edith
frowned…

“Better now than at midnight…” Sheila smiled…Winking at her…

“They get antsy this time of day without something strong to hold
their attention…” she eyed her companion… “It’s not the story I was
talking about this morning…”

“Still very frightening for the young…” Dru/Edith shook her head…

“Maybe you’re right…” Sheila sighed… “ Joe, I think we’ve had enough
of the spooks from the lake for one day, how’s about a sea story…?”

“Without seamonsters…” Dru/Edith added…

***


“Dominique, -nique, -nique,
S'en allait tout simplement,
Routier pauvre et chantant.
En tous chemins, en tous lieux
Il ne parl' que du bon Dieu,
Il ne parl' que du bon Dieu…”

Spike at door, staring blankly at a Dru chanting her song merrily,
surrounded by a group of enraptured…Though non-hypnotically…Young
children…

Sheila waving him in…

“She’s fantasic…Sounds just like the nun I used to see singing that
song on PBS years ago…”

I remember that nun…And I see Dru remembered her pretty well too…

One wan-faced girl apart from the group staring at him…As she had on
the bus…

The faintest of smiles…He went to her as Sheila dealt with several
children presenting their written stories to her

“Not a singer are we…?” he asked kindly…

“No…” the girl shook head gravely… “Not for her…”

“My Edith’s a very nice lady…You don’t like her…?”

The girl ignored the question and eyed him…Full in the eyes…

“I’d sing for you…” she said simply…

“Thank you…I’d like to hear it…”

“Not here…It’s only for you…”

“I think it would be best to do it here…Maybe when the others
finish…?”

“When most of them leave…It’s for you…Like it was for me…”

“Something your mom sings for you?...”

She eyed him, saying nothing…

“Well…I promise I’ll hear it when you’re ready…”

“Please…You must…” she replied…

“ I will…” he nodded, a little startled at the intensity of his own
answer…

Maybe best to watch it with this dear sweet nibs…Don’t want to louse
things up too soon…

Song finished, clapping…He looked at Dru who seemed a bit overwhelmed…

“Edith…You all right?...” he called to her…Eyeing her carefully…

“Fine…” she nodded… “A bit tired…”

“It’s almost time for Phil to hold his class…” Sheila came over to
her… “Why don’t you take a break and go lie down at your place?…You
look all in…But you were great…” beaming smile… “Practically the nun
herself…”

“I was going to be…” Dru/Edith looked at her… “But then…He came…”

“Phil?...Whoa…” Sheila grinned over to Spike now pulling out papers,
trying to remember what he’d read of the deceased Philip’s works in
the wee hours…

“No…My He…Like your Ferdy…But His name was Angelus…”

“Sounds religious…And He lived in your dreams…?” Sheila, intent now…

“Until He took form and…” Dru/Edith paused…Spike had come over

“You can catch my pearls tomorrow, love…” he eyed her… “You need to
catch up on that sleep…”

“Yes…” she nodded… “I think I will…”

“I’ll do you proud, girl…And it was great as Miss Sheila says…” he
smiled at her…Heading back to his table and papers…Several teens
entering the room now…

“We’ll talk more later…” Dru/Edith noted to Sheila, pausing at the
door…Who nodded…

The little solemn blonde girl stood by Spike’s table…He caught sight
of her…

“Ah, now’s the time for us, is it?...” he smiled at her…

“No…Not yet, William…” she replied…To his shocked stare…

“But I do want to sing for you…” she said… Starting…

***

“Joe?...” Counselor Jerry, brown-haired, rather muscular, dark-eyed,
wearing light rain coat, was standing by the lake shore, near Joe’s
shack…Calling…

Hmmn…He caught sight of a note on the shack door…Story class, back at
eleven…

Right…So much for help in rowing across the lake…He looked for one of
the camp rowboats…

But, with phones to the mainland out…Either it’s row today or no ferry
for days…

And besides…Man cannot survive in summer camp without batteries for
DVD player…And a few condoms…

Ah…He grabbed the boat on its low trailer and pulled it to the lake,
unhooking it…

Miserable day but at least no lightning…And everyone on Shadowdale
Lake has rowed it in rain…

He got the boat in the water…Hmmn…Fish passed my leg…

Damn…Oars…He pulled the boat back to the shore…Ran up to find the oars
where they always were, under Joe’s shack…

He returned and hopped in…Pushing away…

Hmmn…Dang, what’s blocking me…He turned to face…

Whistling sound in the air…Sound of stifled scream…

Spattering sound, followed by gurgling as the rains fell into a pool of
red on the water and the boat, with body, seemed to be pulled out onto
the lake by invisible force…
***

“I know that song…Used to know it…” he stared at the grave little
girl…

“I know…” she replied…

“My name’s…”

“Philip…They told me…” she nodded… “But William’s better…”

“I see…”

“There’s not much time…Did you like it?...”

“Yes…” he nodded… “I always loved singing it…”

“I know…” she smiled wanly…

“What’s your name, love…?”

“Elisabeth…” she smiled… “This time…I have to go…”

“Will I see you later?...”

“Always…” she nodded… “I will always come back to you…”

He stared at her as she left him…Turning to face the group before him…

“Ummn…Well…Hello…I’m Philip Dunlap…Before we consider the nature of
poetry…Why don’t we hear a few examples of what many consider first-
rate poetry and some that appeals to a more select audience…Or may not
appeal at all…”

“Even…An audience of one…” he pulled out a shelf of pages…Clearing
throat…

“Midnight descends in raven’s-coloured clothes…” he began…

  ***

Evening…Just after sunset…

“Quite a day…And come to speak of it, the first day we’ve been out all
day…Since…?” he eyed Dru…

“Never…” she shook her head…

“Strange…I don’t think I’ve had such a time as this in quite a while…”
he looked at her…

“Disturbs me, a little…”

“Do you want to go?...” Dru eyed him…

“You don’t?...”

“I don’t know…” she shook her head… “I feel as if we should…Take what
we want…And go…”

“But…”

“But…I don’t want to go…Yet…”

“There are stories…” he paused… “Legends…That if one spends too much
time with humans…Not abusing them…”

“I’ve heard some like that…”

“Probably poppycock…Like the tales of the demon god guarding the Well
of Souls in Africa…”

“You said we should wait…Let things settle…We do seem to be safe
here…”

Perhaps…But I wonder…He thought…Safe, a relative term sometimes…

Does seem this vacation’s doing wonders for Dru’s thought processes
though…

“Well, lets turn in…It’s been a long…Oddly enough, real…Day…”

“Of course it might be sunny tomorrow…” Dru noted…

“Cross it when it comes, girl…”

“What did she want?...” Dru asked…

“What?...”

“The little girl…”

“To sing me a song…”

“Oh…” a slight note of menace….

“Just a child’s game, love…”

“Of course…”

“And your new friend, Miss Sheila…”

“She has bad dreams…I think I can help her…”

“Dru…?” he looked at her…

Help?...

“Edith…” Dru/Edith corrected…Archly…

***

Several hours later…

Faint sound like a distant cry…

“William…?” Dru…Yanking at him…

“What?...”

“I heard a cry, outside…”

“Someone stubbed his toe in the rain…Go back to sleep…”

Bang…He sat up…

“Something’s hit the house…” he sighed… “I’ll check the damage…”

Just call me dutiful employee Phil…He went to the window…Nothing on
the ground outside…

Hmmn…Ceiling’s undamaged…He went to the door…

“No…” Dru/Edith hissed… “Don’t go outside…”

“What?...”

 “I’m telling you there’s someone outside…” Dru/Edith insisted…
Nervously eyeing the door…

“Yes…One of our idiot fellow counselors trying to spook the kids and
us…”  He went to the door…Opening…

“Spike!...”

“Look…Nothing…” he stepped out on the porch…Coming back inside…Closing
door…

“Dru…Edith, sometimes I think your clairvoyance is nothing but a
little inner girl’s fancy…”

Figure of dead counselor, Miranda by nametag, fell before the closed
door, hanging on rope, head hacked off, dropping to ground separately…

“What was that?...” Dru/Edith stared…

“What?...It’s the country, there are animals…Dru, love, come to bed…
We’ve got to get used to these hours if we plan to stay a few weeks…”

“Maybe stayin’ here’s not a good thing, Phil…Spike…”

“What?...Why?...Dru, unless you’ve heard tell of a Slayer hanging
about…And I’ve not sensed one among all the ladies here…What could
possibly…”

Dru screams as a figure crashes through the window…Smashing through
the wall as well…

“Jesus…Lovely…” Spike frowns, staring at the figure now erect…In drab
gray shirt, with battered white plastic hockey mask on face…Wielding a
machete…

“Uh, Edith?...Would you leave us alone just a minute…?” he turned to
Dru…

“You talk to him…” she nodded, grabbing her robe… “I’ll go see if the
children are all right…”

The figure turning to confront her…Raising machete…

“Outside, you…” Spike grabbed the figure from behind, turning him to
the opening in the wall and tossing him through as Dru/Edith headed out…

“Edith…” he turned back to her, cautious tone…Finger wagging…

“Totally Edith…” Dru/Edith nodded…Arch look…Exiting…

“Tell him though if he does that again I’ll deal with him…And you owe
me an apology, Philip…” call from door as she left…

Oh…Oooh…She eyed Miranda’s headless corpse, dangling from rope…

Well, mustn’t let the children view such horror…

And of course waste not, want not…She grabbed the head with its
terrified staring eyes from the ground and holding it in one arm, dragged the                                                          body with her free hand into the woods…

Hmmn…Spike headed out the opening in the wall to the clearing outside
the cabin where the figure was now back on its feet…Turning to face him…

What the hell is up with that weird music?...He looked about…

“Now see here…Micah or whatever you call yerself now, lad…” Spike eyed
the approaching figure in hockey mask…

Lord, the things Hell spews up these days…Look at those clothes…Have a
little self-respect, lad…

I pray he’d not a vampire…Like to think most of us manage to show a
little taste and consideration in our appearance in public…

“I couldn’t care less what you’re about, son…I’m Undead and rather of
the Evil persuasion myself…”

Bloody machete raised…

“If you’d like to slice and dice the whole camp, I’m happy to sit back
and watch… But…”

Hard slash…Caught in mid-air…

“I’m talking to you, lad…” grabbing machete and tossing it aside…

“As I say…Just don’t come…”

The figure grabbing him and tossing him aside…

He got to his feet, frowning…Dusting off coat…

“I see…You want to play…Just what are you, lad…?”

The figure was searching the grass, clearly seeking its weapon…

“Micah Vooyers of legend?...”

The figure turned, standing erect, machete recovered…

“Just to be sportin’…I should tell you, that won’t do much except get
me a tad pissed…” Spike eyed the machete… “Unless you’re exceptionally
good at the slicing-and-dicing…And I know a few demon docs who could
sew me back…”

Whoa…He ducked as the machete flew his way, finally coming to rest
deep inside a tree…

“This mean it’s my turn?...” he smiled…Rising to full…Hmmn, still a
foot shorter, oh well…Height…

He took face and charged…

The figure standing…He caught sight of eyes blinking at him through
the eye holes…Smiling as he crashed into the figure who went down…

“You were expectin’ some nancy boy?...” he addressed the fallen figure
now struggling under him…

“Maggots got yer tongue, I see…” he noted as several emerged from what
should have been the mouth hole…

The figure forced itself erect, now grabbing Spike by the neck, as
Spike hung on with both hands…

“Can’t breathe…” he gasped…Legs failing as the figure held him now,
several inches above the ground…

“Fortunately…I don’t have to…” he grinned, ramming the figure in the
head and ripping the mask off and to the ground with one hand while
holding on to the figure’s chest with the other…

“If you really want to lead, please…” he smiled, eyeing the maggot-
riddled but still astonished-looking rotted face staring at him…

Ah, that faint whiff of fear….Alls not brain-dead in the lad, he
thought…

“Haven’t met others of the Evil team before, friend?...” he asked…
Ramming the figure in its distorted, somewhat rotted head with his own
again…

Lord, that was a mistake…He sighed…

God knows what else he’s carrying on that head…Lice at the very least…

The figure released the neck grip and with both hands threw him off
and back against a large tree, which partly broke at the impact,
tottering a bit…

“You know that’s company property and I work here…” Spike looked up at
the damaged tree…

The figure, having recovered its mask, put it back on and headed for
the tree where its weapon was buried…

“This is getting dull, friend…” Spike rose to his feet… “And as I say,
while I don’t care if you’re here to cut up literally…I would prefer
not to have a camp full of shrieking kiddies not able to get to sleep
all night…I’ll have you know I’ve changed my sleeping pattern for the
job’s sake…”

The figure was pulling on its machete…Struggling a bit…

“Need a hand…?” Spike had appeared suddenly at its side…Pulling the
machete out with a vicious tug…

The figure dropping back a bit…Clearly a tad startled…

“Beginning to believe me, eh?...” Spike nodded… “Well, it’s been fun
but I have poetry class in the am with the older kids…”

He thrust the machete into the figure’s side…

A low moan emerging from the mask…He pulled the machete out…A mixture
of greenish pus and black goo emerged from the gaping wound…

“Shoe on the other foot, eh?...Not so fun when on the receiving
end?...Look, son…I’ve no idea nor do I care what sort of curse or
prophesy or bad spell or hormonal imbalance is responsible for your
behavior but if you want to get on with me, you’ll behave yourself and
stop crashing into people’s bedrooms…Especially mine…”

The figure backed away…

“In fact, Micah…Or whatever your name is…I’d prefer if you laid off
all these hijinks whilst I and my lady friend are in residence…We’re
on vacation and I’d rather it not be spoiled by frantic searches and
hordes of police…Do we understand each other?...” he eyed the figure…

The figure eyed the machete on the ground…

“Here…” he tossed the machete which was caught…

“Anywhere but Shadowdale Lake for the next few weeks, kid…” he nodded
to the figure, now slowly backing away… “Go and discover America…”

Hope he got the message…Spike watched the figure moving faster down
the path…

“Special” Undead people…Lord…He sighed…

*“Amateur Night…”

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.buffyrebecca.com/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon,
Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire
Slayer series

Summary:  William tells a Halloween tale from his less-soulful days
where Spike was, shall we say, a somewhat more reluctant reluctant
hero…

Part IV….

“Anything wrong?...” a worried Sheila found Dru/Edith at the first
childrens cottage, C… “I heard some banging and thought I’d better
check…”

“So did I…” Dru/Edith nodded… “Wi…Philip is out checking…”

Sheila knocked at the door… “Hey…”

The door opened to reveal Sally, a red-haired teen counselor in Camp
Grenadi t-shirt and shorts… Hey…

“What’s up, guys?...”

“Heard some noises…You ok…”

“Right as this stuff…” Sally pointed to the rain…

“Is Miranda with you guys?...She was supposed to be with me here
tonight…She never showed…And Joe went off by rowboat to town…

“You’re alone here?...” Dru/Edith asked…Peering past the girl…

“The others are just down the hill in D and E and you guys up there…
But I was expectin’ Miranda…I hope she didn’t go off with Joe…”

“Probably the logical explanation…” Dru/Edith noted… “Perhaps we
should stay with you…If Sheila wants to bring Wilhelmina over…Now…”
she eyed Sheila…

“That’s probably best…” Sheila nodded…

“OK..” Sally shrugged… “Though everything’s hunky-dory here…”

“Back in a sec…” Sheila noted…

“May I come in…?” Dru/Edith asked… “You are the mistress of the
house…” she smiled…

“Whoa…Sure…” Sally grinned, bowing with a little sweep… “Do come in…”

***

“Everything all right?...” Spike had found Sheila carrying Wilhelmina
to Cottage C…

“Edith and I were checking on C…Only Sally was in charge…Miranda and
Joe are off somewhere…We’d heard some banging and figured we’d best
stay with them…”

“Good idea…I’ll come with you, then check out the other cottages…”

“I’m sure nothing’s wrong…” Sheila eyed him…

“Better safe than…” he began…

A figure in their way, out of the night…Sheila screamed…

“Joe…God damn it, don’t do that…” she frowned at the old man who
seemed agitated…

“There’s been a terrible accident…” he said, voice quavering…

***
“Tell me, Sally…” Dru/Edith looked round… “Does that quiet girl…The
blonde one…Sleep here?...”

“You mean the shy one?...What’s her name?...” Sally pondered…

“Yes…Think, Sally but don’t disturb the children…What’s her name?...”
Dru/Edith peered into the girl’s face… “Listen carefully, Sally and
think…You know the girl’s name…”

“Yes…” Sally said, quietly… “Her name’s Elisabeth…Elisabeth…She’s a
little strange, that one…”

“What’s her last name, Sally…You know it…And where does she sleep?...”

Ummn… “Addams…” Sally pondered… “Her name is Elisabeth Addams…”

Addams?...Dru/Edith stared… “Addams…Are you sure, sweetheart…?”

“Yes…”

“Where is Elisabeth Addams?...”

“Don’t know…Not here…” Sally, blankly…

“Think Sally…”

“Cottage E…Maybe…”

“Fine…Go to bed, Sally…I told you to go to bed and that what’s you
did…” Dru/Edith intoned…

“There’s a good girl…” she patted the girl absent-mindedly…

Addams…

I thought there was something…

Knock at door…

Lovely…

“Coming…Please be quiet…” she hurried over…

“Philip, Sheila…Something wrong…?”

“Joe found the rowboat washed up on the shore…Jerry’s body was in it…”
Sheila began…Putting the child in her arms, Wilhelmina, down on the
nearest empty bed…Spike pausing at the doorway…

“Tell him to come in out of the rain…” Dru/Edith gave a mock frown at
Spike as he entered on Sheila’s invitation…

“Oh, I’m sorry…About the boy…Did he…?”

“No…He was murdered…Edith, Joe couldn’t find…His head…”

What the hell is it with that music again?…Spike fumed…

“Oh…How horrible…”

“Joe’s gone to get Ms. Maddox…We’d better check the other cottages…”

“Absolutely…” Dru/Edith nodded…

“I’ll go…” Spike noted… “You ladies stay here…”

“Our hero…” Dru/Edith wryly grinned at Sheila…

“Still, it makes sense I guess…Go on dear…” she nodded to Spike who
smiled and headed off…

My God…Did I just volunteer to save…Possibly…Two cottages full of
tasty Nibbletts?..He blinked…

My God…Dru/Edith sighed…Did I just send William to meet with the soul
of his lost lover?...

***
Drusilla…Dru…Silla…A voice…Whispering…

I can help you…

“Edith?...” Sheila stared at her friend’s staring face… “Anything…?”

“I don’t know…” Dru/Edith shook her head…

***

“So, alls well…?” Spike smiled at Agnes who was assisting with
supervision of Cottage D…He having been invited in with no little
eagerness…

“Mike’s here, Gloria’s here…I’m here…Every night…” Agnes smiled at
him…

“Thanks…But right now I want to look over at Cottage E…If you lot hear
or see anything, move to Cottage C…In fact, be ready to go when I get
back, understand?...But don’t let the place until I’m back…”

“Sure…”Agnes nodded…Mike, a tall, bulky blonde gent now awake, coming
over to them…

“Want me to go with you?...” he asked…

“No, thanks…I’ll just get them up and bring them back…Best if you give
Aggie here a little support…”

“Come back…” Agnes smiled…

“That I will…With a room full of kiddies…” he nodded…

***

Cottage E…

He knocked…Nothing…

Another knock… “Hello…”

Phew…Fumble of doorknob…

“What’s up?...” Eddie, a brown-haired teen counselor…Rather attractive
to the ladies in a skiny sixteen-year old way…

“Eddie…” Mumbled call…

“Moving night…” Spike told him… “Pack up the kids and we’re heading
for D, then C…”

“Phil?...” Angela, a tall, willowy Asian woman in early twenties eyed
him…Obviously just engaged in affairs of the heart with Eddie…

“Time to go love…Wakie, wakie for the kiddies…Bit of a minor emergency…
I’m serious, love…”

Get going…He looked into her eyes and she nodded and turned, hurrying
for the beds…

“Man, you’re crampin’ my style here…” Eddie hissing, slight whine…

“A thousand pards, my friend…But we’ve had a strange occurrence…A
fatal one…”

“You’re shitting me…Like in the movies…?”

“Only with real gore and a real nut case with fully functional
equipment…” Spike noted…

Hmmn…

“Lemme grab a pair of shorts and get the guys up…” Eddie nodded…

“Grand…Where’s Elisabeth…I saw on the schedule she sleeps here…”

“Angie’s gettin’ her….Be right back…” Eddie hopped out of bed and
headed for the boys bunks…Hitting the posts of the wooden beds… “Hey

guys!....Up and at em!...”

***


“Amateur Night…”

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.buffyrebecca.com/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon,
Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire
Slayer series

Summary:  William tells a Halloween tale from his less-soulful days
where Spike was, shall we say, a somewhat more reluctant reluctant
hero…

Part V….

How?...Dru/Edith whispered into the void…

“How?...” echo…

“Very amusing…How can you help me…?”

“I can help you destroy the one you hate…Free yourself from her
forever…”

Who are you…?

“Edith…” Sheila patted her…

“You wanted to face this creature and stop him for good…” Dru/Edith
looked at her sharply, startling her…

“Are you willing to do that?...With me?...”

“What?...”

“Your creature is behind this, in part…And if you want to stop him,
unmask him…Only I can help you…”

“You?...How?...”

“Look at me, Sheila…Be in my eyes…”

“Edith…”

“Be in my eyes and lose yourself there…Sleep…Be at peace…”

“No…”

“Trust me, Sheila…I’m your friend…Sleep and I will sleep with you…
Carry me with you, Sheila..To where He is…”

***
“Angela…?” Spike moved down the row of beds…Girls section…

“Go down to the front door where Eddie is…” he told several girls now
waking in their beds…

“Get now…” he commanded…Continuing on…

“Elisabeth…” he called… “Angela…?”

Whoops…He felt a foot sticking out from a bed into the row space
where he was cautiously strolling…

A bloody foot…With sneaker…

And nothing but a foot and ankle he realized…Pulling it off the bed…

“Sorry, love…” he sighed…

“All right, asshole…” he peered down the row of beds… “You’ve had
your fun…Now it’s time to go back to Hell…”

***

“Where are you…?” Sheila’s voice…Disembodied at present…

“Here…” Dru called…No Edith in her now…

Sheila took form but shifted to gas again, then solid….

“Well done…Friend…” A harsh chuckle…

“Come now and see what I’ll do for you…”

***

Cute…Spike eyed Angela’s flayed remains…Hung from the back wall…

For a feeble-brained killing machine the boy has a flair…It couldn’t
be easy to do such a job with a machete…

“Micah…Lets get this over with…” he called…

“William…” Elisabeth’s voice…

He turned paler than physically possible…

“Go away…” she called…

***
“He’s not much as to brains, but he does have a certain near-
indestructibility…” the voice told Dru as she and Sheila moved
cautiously to see the figures appearing before them in a dreamlike
void…

Spike facing a tall figure in mask, wielding a machete…The figure
holding a gravely silent little girl with his other hand…

“Phil…” Sheila called…

“Can’t hear you…” the voice, chuckling… “Besides you’ve been
misinformed…”

“Ferdy?...Is that you?...”Sheila cried… “Edith, help me…”

“Oh…More disappointment, kiddo…You picked the wrong friends on this
one…”

A cloud…Smoke…A figure of burned, torn flesh in drab street clothes…
An old-fashioned gas station attendant’s cap perched on head… “Ferdy’s
Supe…” still legible on the front…Before the burned section…

“Ferdy…” Sheila glared… “You’re nothing but my imagination…”

“Au contraire, mon amie…” the burned corpse sneered… “You gave me a
door…A window, perhaps…Back to the world…But I am myself…I am the
man…The one and only…”

“Let them go, Ferdy…”

“Or you’ll do…What?...Sweetheart?...Not like me anymore?...”

“Edith, help me…Concentrate…”

“Help me Edith, help me…Auntie M, Auntie M…” Ferdy took on the image
of Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West… “Oh…What a world,
what a world…To think that a good little girl like you could destroy
my beautiful wickedness…”

But… “News flash…” he puffed into smoke…And reappeared in his
original form…

“You can’t, bitch...And the foul thing you’ve chosen to call your
friend…Heh, heh, ha…Let me introduce you properly…Sheila…Meet the
vampress Drusilla…Famed killer of thousands…Destroyer of souls, etc,
etc, etc…My new ally…”

“What?...” Sheila stared…

“Game over…” Ferdy smiled… “Hey, Micah…Kill the little bitch…And show
our friend the vampire the door to Hell…” he called into the void where William                                                                                and Micah and Elisabeth stood…

“What?...” he looked at Sheila… “Oh right…Forgot to mention that Phil…
Love that name…Is a vampire too…William the Bloody by name…Lets have
a seat and watch the show…My money’s on him, after my lumpen friend
deals with dear Drusilla’s little nemesis…”

Seats materialized…Sheila forced into hers…Dru remaining on her feet…

***

“Let her go, lad…Don’t make me show you a new level of agonizing
destruction…” Spike frowned…

“It’s not the right time, William…” Elisabeth sighed… “Don’t let him
destroy you…It’s not your fault…”

“Slow and plodding hatchet boy isn’t destroying anything…”

“Not him…” she shook her head as Micah, rather nervously, pulled his
machete up…

“I’ve not shown you a tenth of what I can do to you, garbage sack…”

“Him…” Elisabeth pointed out a misty figure of a head now taking form…

 
“What’s that?...”Sheila gasped…She looked at Dru...

“Who’s that…Who are you?...“You said you’d help me…Were you
lying?...What are you doing?...”

Dru…Sighed…Long look…

“I’m many things…Bad things and, perhaps, still, buried in that, some
good…But I’m not a liar…I’ll help you…”

Snarl in the air…

“Bitch…Betray me?!...You’ll know what suffering is…”

Angelus’ face appeared before them…As it did, along with Ferdy’s
before Spike, Micah, and Elisabeth…

“That’s not…” Sheila shook her head…

“No…”Dru nodded… “He’s mine…”

***

“Why if it isn’t Uncle Tom in disembodied mist…” Spike eyed the
floating head…

“No soul here, Spike…” Angelus sneered…

“Well, here to pay a call from Hell?...I’m flattered, grand-dad…Just
a mo, will ya?...”

He edged carefully toward Micah, who had raised machete higher but
was holding position…

Eddie and two children now came down from behind Spike… “Hey what’s…”

Whoa…Eddie eyed Micah…The machete…Elisabeth…And still mounted on the
wall behind, Angela…

“Get out…” Spike commanded without turning round…

Hint taken, he noted, to sound of running feet, screams…

“Speaking of Uncle Tom’s, you suddenly seem to have taken up the
human-saving profession…” Angelus noted…

Slam of door in the distance…Faint screams…

“Strictly temporary and personal…I’m on vacation…” Spike noted,
continuing to edge forward…

“I’ve other matters to attend…Finish her, you stupid moron!...”
Angelus’ head hovered in front of Micah…And disappeared…

Machete dropped to the ground…Micah held Elisabeth in both hands…
Raising her off the floor…

Spike charged…Knocking them all to the ground…Sinking fangs into
Micah’s right arm…Or what was left of it…

Oh, God…Bwwwr…What is that?...Spike spit out the bile and pus he’d
swallowed…

Howl from Micah…Elisabeth rolling out of his grasp…He shook Spike
loose from his arm…Spike shoved Elisabeth back toward the beds on the
left…Go…He hissed…

“Kill her you idiot!...” Ferdy appeared before Micah, yelling…

“And who are you, asshole…?” Spike looked up at him…

“Your worst nightmare…” Ferdy sneered…

“Oh, please…I’ve eaten things worse than you…”he sniffed… “Well,
looks like rotting crap but no smell…And from the lack of help you give
Mongo here I’d say you’re non-corporeal…So go blow…” he blew a
powerful breath at Ferdy, dispersing him…

Micah had recovered his machete and was striding down the aisle,
looking for Elisabeth…He raised beds, Spike rose to face him…

“Elisabeth, go for the front…I’ll see to tall, slow-witted, and lumbering here…                                      Elisabeth…” he turned…As Micah gave a surprising burst of speed and charged at him…

Thwack!...The machete went deep into his shoulder…

“Now, you’ve gone and pissed me off…” he turned round, pulling the
blade out…Slashing at Micah who tried to back off…

Sound of tearing flesh…Gurgle of oozing pus…

Spike clutched his arm…Slashing again with machete…This time badly
cutting the right thigh…Micah grabbing at said machete…Spike viciously
pulling back through to land a hard blow on the right side of the
chest…More pus and black liquid oozed out…

“Grrr…God damn you, you brain-dead gomer!...” Ferdy had reappeared…
“Kill the girl, kill, kill, kill…”

“Need to find her first, mate…” Amateurs, Spike rolled his eyes…

***

“Just what do want, Angelus…?” Dru frowned… “You must know I can’t
restore you…I have no power over Angel’s curse…”

“You have no power at all here…” Angelus’ head sneered… “But if we
return to the as you call it, real world…”

She found herself in Cottage C again, a sleeping Sheila next to her
in one of the beds…

“Just do what you do best, daughter…Take this miserable weak human
and make her strong…Give yourself a sister…A better lover than that fool
Spike if you wish…Please your father and his good friend here…”
Angelus smiled…

“Let her soul watch in torment at the acts of her demon…” Ferdy
joined in, sneering…Holes in his burned cheeks allowing smoke to issue from
his burned lungs… “Why should you suffer alone?…Let her see herself
for the monster she is within, like me…Like us all…”

Hmmn…Dru pondered, eyeing the sleeping Sheila…

“She knows all, now Dru…” Angelus, silkily… “Your friend?...Will she
care for you when she wakes, knowing now what you are…?  Take her,
daughter…”

“Take her, take her…” Ferdy intoned…

“Be quiet, sir …” Dru glared at him… “I’ll decide who and when I
take…She’s not for me, just now…”

“I’m on vacation…”

“NO!!!...” Ferdy rushed at her…She waved his cloud off…He reassembled
just past her, fuming…

“For some reason…Just for today…” Dru eyed the sleeping Sheila… “I
shall hope…Perhaps one day…She’ll pity me…At least the poor trapped
Bad One…In any case leave her be…”

“There is still Cicely, Dru…” Angelus desperately switched gears…

“No! No! No!...” Ferdy ranted… “We have a deal, Angelus…!!”

“Get out, Ferdy…” Angelus waved and Ferdy dispersed, muttering
curses… “I’ll be…”

Amateurs…Angelus sighed…

“Now as to business…”

***

Micah staggering, looking for Spike or Elisabeth…

“Hey…” Spike appeared in front of him, suddenly…Materializing out of
smoke…

“I don’t normally like to do the Dracula nonsense with the vapor
illusion…” he smiled… “But with you…Who’d would bother with sportin’
rules…” he shoved his thumbs into Micah’s eye sockets or what stood
in for them…

Micah howling with pain and anger…

“Out vile jelly!...” Spike cried…Micah taking him by the two hands
and lifting him off the floor, trying to slam his body into the wooden
wall…

“I tole you, you can lead if you want..”Spike grinned and put his
hands on Micah’s neck, twisting… “But I insist we try to keep to the
beat…”

Twisting again as Micah tried to throw him loose….Failing, he put his
hands round Spike’s neck…Pulling…

Elisabeth rolled out from under the bed nearest Spike and Micah, a
wood slat in her little hand…

“A Slayer, Dru…”Angelus intoned as he and Dru watched, again from the
dream realm… “Look at her there…She always was…She never released him
to you...She planned to steal him from you…Only the help of her own
Council and her incompetence prevented her from stopping you, killing
you…”

“What does it matter now?...She’s only a child now…” Dru sighed…

“A child who will be a woman one day…Who, when she fails this time,
will be back and more powerful than ever within days…You have the
chance to change your destiny Drusilla…From inevitable doom and
loneliness to triumph…”

“By defeating a ten year old?...In front of William?...”

“Don’t be a fool, daughter…” Angelus sneered… “You know the way…Help
us show him the way…Leave her soul trapped forever…Like yours…”

Elisabeth slammed the slat into Micah’s side as he struggled to pull
Spike’s head off before Spike could return the compliment…Micah
groaned, losing his grip..Spike’s left hand came up under Micah’s
mask, tearing it off and exposing the destroyed face and empty eye
sockets…Micah put one hand to face…

Groaning howl…With other hand pulling out the slat, charging for the
wall, trying to keep Spike in front…Spike got feet on the floor and
heaved the creature up on his back…

He looked round to see Elisabeth sprawled on the floor…Gasping…The
slat in her chest…

“Ah, ha, ha…” Ferdy reappeared above Spike, pointing at him…

“There…We have our chance, Dru…” Angelus exultant… “Tell him to do
it…And destroy her…!”

“He won’t, Father…But it’s his choice…” she sighed… “I couldn’t help
if I wanted to…”

“Tell him you’ll let him save her…You’ll help him…!!” Angelus
shrieked… “This is our chance to destroy the greatest Slayer
forever!!!...”

Spike heaved Micah again and brought his arms down hard over his
back…Sound of tearing flesh and snapping bone…Screaming now from Micah…
Both legs torn from their sockets, arms following…

He set the writhing torso and head on the floor…Twisted the head to
face him…

“See you in Hell…But not for some considerable time, rot head…”
Twisting the head off and throwing it out the window…Where it sailed
on to reach the lake…

He raced to Elisabeth…

“Girl…” he whispered…

“It’s not time…William…” she replied, gasping… “But don’t believe
them…I’ll come…”

She went limp in his arms…

“Take her, you fool!!...” Ferdy appeared in front of him… “You can
save her!!..”

Spike stared at the thing before him…Putting Elisabeth down…

“I said…Go, blow…!” he blew a mighty breath that blew Ferdy to thin
clouds of dust…

***

“You’re a fool, Drusilla…Always were…” Angelus frowned… “I could have
ended it forever for you…Right here, right now…Destroy them both,
William and Cicely…I thought you’d found the strength at last…Now the
dark one will haunt you forever…Forever waiting to appear out of any corner…And the
Slayer will take him back from you…While I watch and laugh…”

“From Hell?...” Dru sighed… “I’ll join you all there soon enough…For
now, it amuses me to say…FU, Father…”

“Damn it, watch your tongue, when speaking to your father, girl…
Bitch…Whore…You wanted this existence, you chose it…Eternal damnation…                                           You chose it…”

“Always the double standard…Whatever makes you unhappy, father…” Dru
noted…“Any messages for Angel?...”

“Tell him his parents curse the day he was conceived…The day he was
born…”

“If I see him…I’ll tell him…” she smiled… “Goodbye, sire…”

“Curse you all…Curse you all…” he faded… “Curse…You…All…”

***

A dark windowless room in a place of roaring flames…

“Welcome to Hell, Ferdy…Forever…” Sheila eyed the terrified figure…

She eyed Drusilla beside her… “Thank you…”

“With pleasure…” Dru nodded… “We’ll be gone when you wake…But
whatever happened this weekend…Don’t believe it means anything good has risen
in me or William…Stay away and leave us to God…And the Slayer…”

“One day, in Heaven, maybe…” Sheila eyed her…

“I’m sure my soul would love to know you…And your daughter…” Dru nodded…

***

 “Well…” Spike eyed Drusilla as she emerged from Cottage C…

The rain was tapering…He pointed out… Might be best to consider
moving on…

“I’d like to go back to Europe, Spike…Far from here…”

“She’s dead you know…” he looked her in the face…

“I don’t even know if…”

“You know…” she frowned…

“Thanks for not killing her then…” he nodded… “Or anything else…”

“Perhaps I will, one day…When it matters…” she eyed him…

“No skin off my nose, as they say…” he shrugged… “She’d surely only
want to beg my forgiveness or some crap like that…Feels bad about
1880…No skin off my nose…” he looked away…

“Of course…” Dru nodded…

“What’s that…?” he looked at the pen she held in her hand…She showed
it to him…

Just a souvenir she noted…

“Sheila W. Rosenberg?...” he eyed her…

“Her new name…When she marries next month…”

“I wonder what the W’s for…”

“Wilhelmina…” Dru smiled…


***

And that’s it?...Stern look…

“The End…For then…”

W….For Auntie Willow?...The boy eyed his adoptive father…

“When Willow was born she was named for her mother’s best friend, a
cousin, since the middle name was her mom’s favorite name for…”

And she rescued Aunt Dru’s soul from torment and led it to rebirth as
Tara…?

“A few doors opened that week…I’d guess our souls found a wee crack
to help out…”

And…?

“Reborn a few days later as Buffy Anne Summers…At least I’ve come to
believe that…”

But…Elisabeth knew…

“She knew it wasn’t time…Just yet…So maybe the PTBs gave her a little
more advanced knowledge…Or Cicely fought for it, to warn me…”

And now?...Dad?...She let you die, she didn’t try to find your soul…
It’s been nearly 13 years…And now she calls out of the blue?…You
really think she’s…?  Young William Walthrop Jr. eyed his adoptive
father…Decked in suit…

“We’ll see…” William smiled…

Door knock…

Hmmn…

Jesus, I know I’ve heard that music before…

“Will, wait in your bedroom a moment…” he eyed his boy who went, with
reluctance…

Slowly moving to the door…

“That better not be you, Micah…” he pulled the door open…

“What?...” Buffy in dress, hair-styled standing on his front step,
stared at him…

Heh, heh, heh…Ferdy’s disembodied laugh on the wind…

Amateurs, Will rolled his eyes…

***