Beauty Effulgent

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Anya's Story

Chapter Index


Part Two  


Spike stopped reading for a moment, reflecting on what he had just read.  He thought that he had known Anya, known the way she thought, but now reading her experiences, he discovered he hadn’t begun to scratch the surface.  The two of them, Spike and Anya, had had moments of closeness, both being outcasts from others like them, but she had remained somewhat of an enigma to him and the group. Xander, of course, had known her the best, but had he really gotten her?  Had anyone?  When he’d seen the manuscript the first time, he’d thought it would fun finding out what the “wacky neighbor” character of the Scoobies had thought, but he realized that there was something deeper than her sharp tongue and sarcastic remarks.  Whoa!  Now he was getting all sentimental.  That wouldn’t do. 


Spike started thumbing through the pages, seeing if he could find out what she had included about him.  He scanned the page, looking for references to him.  Eventually he found the part he was looking for.  “Spike and I had sex.  Xander found out and got all puffed up.”  Spike kept reading, but quickly saw there was no more mention of it.  He dropped the manuscript into the waste basket.


“Bollocks,” he said to no one in particular.  He couldn’t believe that that was all she had to say about that event.  It was a mistake, they both admitted later, but for a short time, they had each found comfort with each other.  And hard table and hidden cameras aside, it had been pretty bloody fantastic.


Spike got up from the chair and headed toward the door.  He stood in the threshold and realized how painful that time must have been for Anya.  Perhaps she just couldn’t put the feelings on paper.  He went back to the waste bin and retrieved the manuscript.  Spike sat back down and went back to where he had left off…






Damned to Be a Human and Die


The possibility of spending one day in a human jail, considering the horror of their secondary education system, was enough for make me go on with this charade.  I started attending school daily, wanting to avoid another encounter with that reject from Munchkinland.  It was a daily reminder of how far I had fallen. 


I had three classes with Cordelia: English, algebra and chemistry.  Her constant babbling grated on my nerves.  She would go on and on about how cute the librarian’s new assistant was and I would listen, bored to tears.  Occasionally we would go to the Bronze, the local teenage hangout, and she would be surrounded by these incredibly annoying men.  I really had no use for the lot of them.  It was a constant effort on my part to keep up the appearance of being her friend, although that seemed to be the one thing I had in common with the others.


All of my classes were so monotonous and boring.  Algebra was the worst, because there was no rhyme or reason to it that I could find.  Imaginary numbers, quadratic equations, the value of x?  What did it mean and why should I care?


In Mr. Miller’s history class, I had to put up with seeing Cordy’s ex, Xander, every day.  Sitting next to me, he would stare at my breasts when he thought I wasn’t looking.  Listening to the lectures about the “history” of this infant country would often put me to sleep.   I was history.  I’d been around 1120 years and could have taught the class.  Besides, I knew why history seemed to repeat itself.  It was one of the first vengeance spells, performed by D’Hoffryn himself. 


I was successful in one class, however: art.  The teacher would analyze my dark, disturbed paintings and comment on what insight I had into the human psyche.  I was just painting my memories: vengeances and all the destruction that came with them.  It was somewhat therapeutic, I think.  It was really the only time I was somewhat happy.


After about two and a half months of wading through this dull existence, I finally worked up my courage to go to D’Hoffryn to plead my case.  I made my way to the cemetery and opened the portal to Ahashmaharr.  Once there, I entered D’Hoffryn’s temple and was granted an audience with him.


“Anyanka,” he said, “it has been some time since you last visited the temple of D’Hoffryn.”


“I come in penance to the great Lord D’Hoffryn,” I began, kneeling before his towering figure.  “Your lowly servant pleads that you may forgive her for her failures and once again raise her to be as she was.”


D’Hoffryn stood lost in thought.  “You have failed me, Anyanka.  Your punishment has been justly delivered.  Go now and return to your mortal life.”


“But, D’Hoffryn…” I pleaded.


D’Hoffryn’s voice became resolute. “Do not ask me again.”


Surprised that he wouldn’t even give me the chance to explain, I stammered, “But… But I…”


“Your powers were a gift of the lower beings,” he interrupted. “You have proved unworthy of them.”


Trying to explain I answered, “I was robbed of them.”


“By your carelessness.”


My carelessness?! I thought.  How could I have known?  That was the question I had asked myself for two and a half months and I had figured out that it was not my fault.  It was the fault of Cordelia and Giles and Buffy. 


I needed to convince D’Hoffryn, so I decided to take another tack. “For a thousand years, I wielded the powers of the Wish.  I brought ruin to the heads of unfaithful men.  I brought forth destruction and chaos for the pleasure of the lower beings.  I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe.”  I paused, trying to see a reaction from D’Hoffryn.  Continuing, I said, “And now I’m stuck at Sunnydale High.  Mortal. Child.  And I’m flunking math.”


D’Hoffryn waved me off.  “This is no concern of ours.  You will live out your mortal life and die.”


In a last ditch effort, I decided I wasn’t above begging with everything that I was.  “Give me another chance.  You can fold the fabric of time.  Send me back to that place and I’ll change it.  I won’t fail again.”


“Your time is passed,” he replied.


“Do you have any idea how boring twelfth graders are?” I asked, knowing full well that he didn’t care.  “I’m getting my power center back.  And if you won’t help me, then, by the pestilent gods, I will find someone who will.”


D’Hoffryn turned his back and left without saying a word. 




I returned to the mortal plane, now set on what I must do.  I needed a witch or a sorcerer, but where did one find one?  I had seen a magic store in downtown Sunnydale before and decided it was my best bet. 


I entered the magic shop and was immediately comfortable for the first time on this plane.  As a vengeance demon, I really had no use for external means of magic because of my power center, but at one point in my life, I had been a fledgling spell-caster myself.  I looked around the store and saw that there was nobody there.  I found that curious.  I went to a bookshelf and poured through the volumes of spell books.  I was leafing through a book about temporal folds when I heard a bell ring.  I turned toward the noise and saw a teenage boy with blue-black hair and a dog collar enter.  He looked around and went toward the display of herbs.  I continued looking and stumbled upon an incantation to Eryishon.  I took some time to commit the incantation to memory.  I would need herbs, sand, bones and chicken feet and, crap, a secondary. 


I called to the boy. “Hey! Boy! Are you a sorcerer?”


“Um…well…” he stammered, his face turning red. “Kinda.”


“What’s your name, Kinda-Sorcerer?”




“Well, Michael, I need a secondary for a spell I’m working on.  Ordinarily I would not ask for a man’s help, but here I am…”


“I don’t know,” Michael said.  “Right now, I’m a little busy trying to de-rat my friend Amy.”  He thought for a moment.  “You know who might help you?  Willow Rosenberg.  She’s always looking for opportunities to practice.  I, however, am thinking of quitting.”


“Willow Rosenberg,” I repeated. I knew who she was, but we had never spoken.  In the alternate universe of my making, she had been the Master’s right hand.  In this reality, however, she was a mewling, pathetic creature.   “You can go now.”  I said to Michael and started looking for the ingredients I needed.


After I left the magic shop, I made my way to the school.  I’d skipped out of going to school because I had been pretty confident I could talk D’Hoffryn into taking me back.  I caught up with Willow and introduced myself.  I told her that I had a spell I needed help with and she was immediately interested. 


We met after school in a classroom and formed a circle.  During art class that day, I had used my time to paint my necklace on a plate, hoping that the paint would be dry for the ritual.  Willow had the chicken’s feet that I had forgotten to purchase. 


I told her that we were going to try to retrieve a family heirloom that had been lost.  We’d call upon Eryishon, who would create a temporal fold.  All we’d have to do then was pour the sacred sand on the representation and the necklace would be brought forth.


We began the incantation, poured the sand and, wouldn’t you know it, visions of the alternate universe filled our minds.  It proved too much for Willow to handle and she pulled her hands away from me.  Hoping that the spell had somehow completed itself, I searched in vain for the necklace.


“What was that?” the wee Wiccan asked.  “That was a little blacker than I like my arts.” What a wimp.  If she ever planned to truly be a powerful witch, she would have to delve into even darker places.  I wanted to try the spell again, but Willow refused to do it.  I tried to use kind words to encourage her, but she got up and left muttering something about doing homework.  Frustrated, I broke the plate. 


I thought about trying to find someone else to do the spell with me, but that would mean I’d have to deal with people and I had had enough of that for one day.  I went home and tried to come up with another plan.  When I was failed to do that, I realized that I needed a distraction.  I decided go to the Bronze and watch for couples who were fighting.  I may not have been able to exact vengeance, but I could at least revel in their misery.


I wandered the bar, but was not able to immediately find any squabbling, so I went to the bar and ordered a beer.  The bartender asked for my ID, which I found ironic, since the only ID I’d ever needed was my amulet. 


Frustrated, I blurted out, “I’m eleven hundred twenty years old.  Just give me a frickin’ beer.”  He asked for my ID again.  I gave up and ordered a Coke.


I was nursing my coke, feeling sorry for myself (God, human emotions can be such a pain in the ass) when a group of vampires entered.  This might be interesting, I thought, as I tried to get a clear view.  A few moments later, the door opened and two more vampires entered, followed by Willow.


Willow?  What the hell was she doing with a bunch of vampires?  And then I became really intrigued, when I realized it wasn’t this universe’s Willow, but the Willow from the reality that held my power source.  I watched as this alternate Willow had a little fun with a non-descript girl for all to see.  She then proceeded to confront a man on the stage.  I suddenly realized what had happened. The spell we had done must have brought the vampire Willow into this reality.  Hope filled me as I realized that this might be my chance to get my power source back.


I walked up to the vampire and explained to her what was going on and we worked out a temporary alliance.  I told her she needed to find this universe’s Willow, who was the only one who could send us back.  She left her minions in a holding pattern and went to search for her counterpart.


And so we waited for her return.  The vampires became restless, but were apparently more afraid of Willow than they were hungry. 


The vampire Willow returned alone.  Where was her double? When I asked her where the girl was, she matter-of-factly responded with, “I killed her.”  I was stunned.  “And sucked her blood, as we vampires do.”


What an idiot!  I’d told her we needed this Willow in order to be sent back and she killed her?!  Then she started babbling about how this universe’s Willow was all weak and accommodating.  Blah, blah, blah…  I agreed with what she was saying, but sometimes to get what you want you have to put up with irritating humans.


Something seemed a little off with her.  First, she had killed her only way to return home.  Secondly, she was sending her minions outside for no apparent reason. And then she told her vampires that she didn’t feel like killing any more.  A vampire who didn’t want to kill?!!  That was like a man who didn’t like sex.  When she said that they should let the humans go, I knew that this could not be a vampire.  This was the human Willow.  It was such a flimsy disguise, I should have noticed it much earlier, but for some reason, living in Sunnydale tended to make humans take things at face value.  She started screaming, and in came the Slayer and her friends.


A fight ensued and I realized it was my cue to leave.  I was trying to find a way out, when human Willow stopped me and punched me in the face.  I lost consciousness.  When I woke up, Buffy and her followers had dusted the vampires, gotten the people to safety and captured vampire Willow.


Under duress, I was forced to explain everything about the alternate dimension.  The Watcher realized they had to take the vampire back to the factory to send her back.  Because I had accidentally summoned her, I had to participate as well.


“Don’t you try any tricks,” the meddlesome Watcher said to me.


“I don’t need tricks,” I answered. “When I get my powers back, you will all grovel before me.”


And then something happened that I hadn’t experienced in centuries, the Willows mocked me by rolling their eyes.  Little did I know that mocking newly-human Anya would eventually become a favorite pastime of this group.  By the pestilent gods, how I hated humans.


With the vampire gone, the Watcher finally let me leave. 


I went home, lit some candles and took a bubble bath.  As I lay there, I accepted for the first time that I was damned, damned to be a human and die.

Part 3

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