Spike stopped reading and started laughing.
Xander was such a prat, scared to kiss a beauty like Anya, let alone shag her proper. He’d had an open invitation
and he was too much of a git to attend the party. How had their relationship ever moved forward? Anya must have
pushed it forward. Of course Anya had pushed it forward. Xander had never had the capability to be a leader.
But Anya, there was a leader.
Spike couldn’t believe how much he
was enjoying reading about Anya’s past. He was becoming engrossed, even though he basically knew the story.
Much like a soap opera, when you could guess where the plot was headed, you found yourself watching day after day. Hmm…wonder
what’s been going on with Passions? he thought as he found where he had left off.
Knowledge and Memory of Generations
I waited by the phone for what seemed like
an eternity. Xander never called me back. Jerk. I suppose I should have been prepared for his inaction,
after all men are stupid.
Nonetheless, I went to school hoping to
speak to him, thinking maybe he had lost my phone number. I didn’t see him until the day we took our history final.
Unfortunately, we had no time to talk. For some odd reason, Mr. Miller chose that time to hover around, suppressing
any form of communication.
I really did not understand why school
was in session. After all, we had finished all the required coursework. Now we just waited for graduation, set
for the next day. I went to class despite its pointlessness. I perked up when I heard we would be playing “Hangman.”
I thought it would include some form of torture and death. I was disappointed when Mr. Miller started drawing on the
chalkboard. Humans had no sense of what was good entertainment. As usual, Xander arrived after the tardy bell
After Xander sat down in the desk next
to me, I turned to him. “I was wondering, maybe if you’re free this weekend, maybe we could do some entertaining
“Would that be along the lines of
you telling me about all the men you destroyed back in your demon days? ‘Cause pencil me in.” At first I
thought he was serious and I immediately started flipping through my mental catalogue of best vengeances, then I realized
he was being sarcastic.
“Well, we could do something you
like,” I suggested. “We could watch sports of some kind.”
“Men like sports. I’m sure
of it,” I continued, remembering all the times I had been summoned to destroy some man who was neglecting his woman
in favor of watching a pointless skirmish that did not end in the annihilation of a culture. It was an easy vengeance:
I would turn the man into a football or a baseball bat or a golf ball.
“Yes. Men like sports. Men
watch the action movie; they eat of the beef, and enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand years of avenging our wrongs
and that’s all you’ve learned?"
“I’m trying, okay?” I
said, hurt at his implication that I hadn’t learned anything in a thousand years. Was he implying that as a woman I
was incapable of being educated?
Xander’s explanation made me realized
I had misunderstood why he was so hesitant in making plans with me. He told me he didn’t expect to live to see
the next weekend. Then I kind of freaked when he told me why.
Apparently, this quiet little town I had
been ungracefully thrust into was going to be the site of an Ascension. My first thought was to run out of the
classroom and get on the first flight out of there.
You see, I had witnessed demonic ascension
before. Eight-hundred years earlier, a sorcerer had reached ascension by merging with the demon Lo-Hash. It destroyed
the village within hours. It was by far one of the most destructive events I’d ever encountered. I explained
all of this to Xander and he forcibly dragged me to the library, where the slayer and all her of buddies were trying to find
a way to stop the ascension. I repeated what had happened, pausing to answer inane questions about the nature of demons.
I was appalled that these people knew so little and yet they were supposed to be fighting for humanity.
They told me what little they knew about
this ascension and I told them that it couldn’t be Lo-Hash. They continued to bombard me with questions and then
the doors swung open and the mayor walked in.
The mayor’s demeanor was intriguing.
In the little time I was around him, I was able to clue in on a few things. He seemed like the kind of man who wouldn’t
hurt a fly, the nice next door neighbor who was always helping out the community, the man at the grocery store who let you
cut in line in front of him. Harmless. However, I knew that kind of man was often the most malevolent of all.
You never knew what to expect of him and when he got mad, he was likely to smother his wife, chop her into bits and leave
her in a refrigerator. The neighbors would be on the news saying how they just couldn’t believe that he would
hurt a fly. A shiver ran down my back and I knew my first instinct was correct. I needed to get out of there.
After much posturing between the Watcher
and the mayor, the mayor finally left. I took the opportunity to leave myself. Xander stopped me.
“Anya, wait!” he said urgently.
“Where are you going?”
I stopped and told him that I was getting
out of there as quickly as possible. He asked me to stay and help. Help? Me? It wasn’t in me
to help. I’d been a demon for so long, that the idea of helping a human was foreign to me. I knew
I had one chance to live and that it didn’t involve hanging around aiding in poorly planned strategies.I hurried to my apartment and I thumbed through the yellow pages until I found what I was looking
for. I needed a car and driver and I needed them quickly. I called the limousine company and asked that a car
be sent to my house. The lady on the other end told me that they wouldn’t have a car until later that evening.
That would only give me a half a day to get as far from Sunnydale as possible. I consented, remembering that travel
was much quicker than the last time I had been human. I quickly packed the belongings I thought were necessary, including,
for some reason, my prom dress and the cap and gown I had just picked up that morning. I waited for the sun to go down,
unable to settle my feelings of impending doom.
At 7:15, I grabbed my luggage and went
outside to wait. I waited for twenty minutes for the car to pull up. Finally, the limo arrived and the driver
asked where I wanted to go. Until this point, I hadn’t really thought about that. My only thought was anywhere
but here. I told him to take me to Los Angeles, figuring I would be able to get a flight from there to anywhere in the
world. He seemed to find it a little odd for someone to hire a limo to go that far, but when I gave him all the cash
I had on me, he seemed to change his mind. Now, when I think about that day, I kick myself. I could have paid
for a cab with less than half that amount of money.
As the limo drove by the school, my stomach
started hurting. I thought about leaving Xander and started to cry. I made the driver turn around and take me
back to the school. I quickly exited the car and went inside.
I found Xander in one of the darkened hallways.
“What are you doing here?”
he asked me. “I thought you’d be in Aruba by now.”
“I’m packed. My car’s
right outside,” I said. “I thought you could come with me.”
“Come with you? You mean that?”
“Why not? We could just get in the
car and drive,” I explained. “No one would miss us.” When he didn’t respond, I continued,
“We could take turns driving. Keep each other awake.” At this point I was lying, because first, I didn’t
know how to drive and second, I didn’t have a car of my own. If it took lying or stealing or even, bleah, driving,
I didn’t want to leave him here. “You’re going to die if you stay here.”
“I guess I might,” was his
“When I think that something could
happen to you, it feels bad inside, like I might vomit.” That was the first time I had expressed any kind of feelings
to a member of the opposite sex. He still refused.
When I asked why, he told me he needed
to help his friends. I told him he wasn’t going to be any help, anyway, and he made a move like he was going to
leave. “Fine!” I shouted. “I hope you die.”
As he started walking past me I asked,
“Aren't we gonna kiss?”
I should have known at that point that
my feelings were going to be my undoing in the end. These damn emotions that humans have cause them to act in ways that
are the exact opposite of what they should do. I stood there for a moment, contemplating what to do now. I didn’t
want to leave Xander, but I knew I needed to get out of there. I suppressed every emotion that was boiling up within
me and got back into the car and headed to LA.
A couple of hours later, the limo pulled
into LAX. Now that I was at the airport, I had to make a decision. Where would be the farthest place on Earth
from Sunnydale? I went to the gift shop and studied the globe. After close study, the best I could come up with
I went to the ticket agent and asked for
a ticket on the fastest plane the hell out of here. She didn’t seem particularly concerned by my vehemence, so
I thought about giving her the “Big Demon Headed This Way” warning, and then she threw me by saying she would
need to see my passport. Damn. I didn’t have a passport. I was told I couldn’t travel out of
the country without one. I asked for a ticket to New York, figuring that that would be next best shot. Perhaps
I could find passage from New York on a boat to Europe and then head to Africa. Then the lady asked for my driver’s
license. I didn’t have one of those either. I was screwed. I left the airport hauling a trunk, two
suitcases and a carry-on, not knowing what my next move was.
Why were these humans so big on the identification?
I really didn’t understand, and, actually, still don’t. Why can’t one’s name be their identification?
For centuries, the mere mention of my name caused fear and panic. But those times were past, as I was quickly learning.
I stopped at an ATM machine and withdrew
some money and then went outside to find a taxi. I asked the cab driver how I could get across this country without
identification. He told me that the bus would probably my best bet. Then we were on our way to the bus station.
Now, I’ve visited a few hell dimensions
in my life, but I don’t believe there are any worse than the bus station. Sulfur and brimstone had nothing on
the odd assortment of odors I found in that cesspool. Body odor and the smell of various bodily fluids filled the air
as I made my way to the ticket window.
“I need to go to New York,”
I said to the ticket lady.
She looked me up and down and asked, “Honey,
do you realize how long it will take to get to New York by bus?”
“I imagine it would be faster than
riding on a horse,” I answered, getting more and more irritated at the difficulties I was having.
She chuckled, which I found interesting,
since I hadn’t attempted a joke. After a few moments of pecking around on the computer, she told me it would take
approximately two days and nineteen hours. She also told me that I would have to change busses four times. I purchased
my tickets and left on the first bus.
With three days to put between me and the
Hellmouth, the bus should stay ahead of whatever demon was being ascended. As with most ascensions, the demon would
eat everything around it, rest, move on to the next closest place, eat, rest and move on. California was a large state.
It would take the mayor a long time to cut a swath across the rest of the country.
The bus made stops in such fascinating
places as Buckeye, Arizona and Pecos, Texas. At the third stop in Dallas, I made my first transfer. I exited the
bus and stretched my legs. I had been on the same bus in the same seat for a day and a half. It felt like my legs
had been trapped in cement as I stood up and started walking. My bladder was full and I desperately needed to find the
During the trip, I did make one tentative
visit to the facilities on board, but when I opened the sights and smells almost knocked me out, and the cleanliness of the
tiny room left much to be desired. I had seen battlefields that were less gory. I breathed in a breath of fresh
air, before closing the tiny door and locking it. As I forced myself to ignore my surroundings I had a fleeting thought.
Maybe the ascension would have been a better place to be.
I entered the second bus station of my
life and was shocked to see that it was an exact duplicate of the one I had left in LA. It had to be a vengeance spell
that caused all bus stations to look and smell alike.
After taking care of my urinary problems
I went to the “café” and ordered something called biscuits and gravy. I was given a plate with two rocks
covered in some greenish-grey goo. My hunger beat out my gag reflex and I ate it all.
Once I had eaten, I felt a little better,
but the pain in my stomach returned, and I thought about Xander as I boarded a different bus for the second leg of my journey.
I knew that the ascension had taken place. There was no stopping such a powerful embodiment. I decided to pick
up a newspaper at the next transfer to find out what had happened.
Eight hours later I was in Memphis.
Ah, Memphis. I had spent some time there during my vengeance days, hanging out with Elvis, the king of the Wantorbi
clan. He was a pacific demon, but could he throw a party. When he’d gone into deep hibernation, the
demon community had mourned.
I transferred buses again, making sure
to grab a paper. I began the third leg of my journey, searching the paper for references to odd occurrences in California.
I found several, but none that pertained to the ascension. Slayer or no, there couldn’t have possibly been a way
for Xander’s friends to stop it. Maybe the news just hadn’t made it that far.
After twelve hours, one last transfer in
Cleveland, followed by ten more hours, I arrived in New York. I found my way to the Parker Meridian, where I knew Rosie
O’Donnell’s guests stayed. I got stares from the bellboys, the concierge and the front desk clerk.
What must I look like? I thought. I held my head up and asked for a room, which was given to me without any problems,
once I handed over my credit card.
I went up to my room and turned the TV
on to one of those 24-hour news channels to find out what had happened to Xander. In the bathroom, I looked at myself
in the mirror and was shocked by what I saw. Had D’Hoffran finally come to his senses and given my back my powers?
I put my hands to my face, unable to contain my joy. But as I felt my face, I realized I had just accumulated three
days worth of dirt and grime. I grabbed a washcloth, wetted it and began to wash. Having a lack of success, I took off
my clothes and got in the shower.
I let the warm water beat down on me for
several minutes, letting the spray massage my neck, my back, my legs. I grabbed the shampoo and worked up a good lather.
Using the hotel-supplied soap, I began lathering up my body, scrubbing to get rid of three days worth of funk. After I rinsed
off, I turned off the water, grabbed a fluffy pink towel and dried myself. I wrapped the towel around my hair and put
on a robe.
I stared at the mirror again, this time
peering deep into my own eyes. I was amazed at how, even though I looked 18, my eyes held the knowledge and memory of