Spike reminisced about his own time in Memphis with the Wantorbi clan. They were a little flamboyant for
his taste, but they did know how to throw a party. He racked his brain trying to remember if he’d ever seen Anya
at one of the King’s parties, but he just could not her picture there.
In fact, it was becoming
hard to picture her at all. It had been less than a year since her death, but as time passed her image had faded.
As he had been reading, he remembered aspects of the former demon, but could not put together a complete image. Did
she have blonde hair or red hair or was it dark? He seemed to recall all of these and more. Perhaps Wolfram and
Hart had in a picture of her he could refer back to just to make sure. Spike decided to check out the W&H demon
archives later and continued reading.
Hoppy Creatures from Hell
I knew that I needed to get out of the country. After attempting to book passage on some cruise ships, but
failing due to my lack of identification, I decided what had to be done. I made my way to the section of Manhattan where
I knew I would find what I needed.
I wandered the theatre
district, which attracted almost as many demons than the Hellmouth, until I came to the back door of the theatre where I hoped
my luck would change. I knocked. There was no answer. I knocked again and the door cracked open. I
peered inside trying to see who had opened the door.
“There is a show
in progress,” I heard a nasally voice say. “Use the front entrance.”
“I am Anyanka,
Vengeance Demon to Women Scorned,” I replied with as much fortitude as this human body would allow. “You will
grant me entrance.”
The door swung open
and suddenly I felt my knees begin to buckle as my legs were embraced by the Keeper of the Door.
have you been?” asked the demon I was now trying to dislodge from my lower extremities. “It has been years.”
I recognized the demon
immediately. His skin was a light shade of blue and his cyclopsian eye was red. “Parthoalock,” I knelt
to meet his two feet tall stature. “I’ve been trapped in my own personal hell dimension.”
“The one without
squirrels?” he asked, his single eye staring deeply into my own.
“No, Party,” I answered. “Sunnydale, California.”
“Ewww. California,” Party responded, disgust in his voice.
Parthoalock took my
hand and led me inside. It was dark, but the actors could be heard on stage. I was led past set decorations, props
and a rack of costumes. We arrived at our destination and Parthoalock opened the door. The room we were in was
crowded with demon actors staring at a row of lighted mirrors and reapplying their feline makeup.
Party pulled my arm
down, indicating that he needed me to kneel.
Once I was on his level
again, he whispered, “Rumor is you’ve been banished.”
I flushed. They knew in New York?! Of course, they knew, gossip like this traveled faster than the
plague. I took a moment to regain my composure. “It’s just a temporary setback. D’Hoffryn
will soon restore my powers and make me what I once was.” Before Party could respond, I asked, “So is he
Parthoalock answered. “You know, he’s always here.”
“Will you take
He nodded and led me
through a hallway that led to a dead end. Once we were there, Party quickly skittered away on his tendrils, leaving
“I seek an audience
with the Great One,” I said. A door appeared and I walked in.
There, with his back toward me, a man sat at an oak desk, desperately scratching away on pad. Besides the
desk, the only piece of furniture was a keyboard. There seemed to be a mountain of paper strewn throughout the place.
The man did not turn around, but instead began speaking to me in a quiet, raspy voice with a London accent.
“To what do I
owe the pleasure, Anyanka?” he asked.
need your help,” I said in supplication.
“Do you not see
how busy I am? We are soon closing one of the longest running musicals ever to grace a Broadway stage. I must
work that much more diligently in order to create a work of greater success.” His back remained to me and I did
not expect him to turn around.
“You have had
considerable successes on the stage. You are legendary. And you have it in your power to continue creating until
the end of time. You have revolutionized musical theatre.” I paused for a moment trying to think of more
flattery that might work on this man who had very little time for everyday life. “And I love the singing cats.”
The Composer turned
and stared at me for a moment. Slowly a grin filled his face and his blood-shot eyes began to twinkle. “Anyanka,
you’ve always known how to make me smile. Now, what can I do for you?”
“I am in need
of some identification. I’m doing some traveling, but am unable to enter another country without a passport.”
The Composer looked at me strangely.
“Since when does
a vengeance demon need identification?” he asked in genuine perplexity.
vengeance demon no more, Composer. My powers were stripped by a…a man.”
he said sympathetically, “I hadn’t heard. Been so wrapped up in all this…”
I said. “So…could you please find time to grant me this favor?”
The Composer thought
for a moment.
I stood there and remembered
when I’d met The Composer. He had been a struggling musician with no talent, married to a woman who had taunted
him every day for three years. D’Hoffryn had assigned him to me as a sort of experiment. D’Hoffryn
wanted to diversify vengeance, allow vengeance demons to multitask and not settle for one specialty. Kind of like a
general practitioner of pain and vengeance. He’d chosen me to be his guinea pig.
I granted the Composer’s
wish, but found the experience to be somewhat unfulfilling. I preferred to see the man on the receiving end of whatever
horrible deed the woman wished, but this was different. He’d wished that his wife would no longer be able to deride
him. It was an open invitation for me to do as I pleased.
Since this was my first
time to wreak vengeance on a woman, I wasn’t sure of my best course of action. I considered making her a deaf-mute.
I had thought about removing her mouth, but I finally decided on giving the Composer tremendous talent. He had been
thankful ever since.
His life was filled
with success. He had won award after award. His innovations changed musical theatre forever. And singers
on roller skates? Whatever.
“Anyanka, I will
always owe you a debt of gratitude,” the Composer said. “I will find the time to help you.”
Not only did the Composer create wild, innovative musicals, he was the best forger on the planet. “You will need
to provide me with a name and place of birth.”
After thinking for
a moment, I chose the middle names Christina and Emmanuella. I chose Christina for my old friend Christoria, the vengeance
demon for unwed mothers. I chose Emmanuella because I thought it was pretty. I already had the last name Jenkins
that I had used for my Sunnydale persona.
I thought about what to use as my place of human birth. California did not seem to be a place of origination, but
rather one of relocation and reinvention. However, Indiana sounded like a good, all-American state. I had rarely had
occasion to visit there, because Indianans just didn’t seem to call for much vengeance.
I told the Composer
where I was staying and he said he’d messenger the identification within the hour.
The next day I found myself in Cape Town, South Africa. After 15 hours, the plane had made a stop to allow
more passengers on their way to Johannesburg, where I was scheduled to change planes to get to Mozambique. However,
there were possible engine problems and we were told to disembark. After waiting around at the airport for hours, they
told us our flight was being canceled, but they were arranging a bus to take us the rest of the way. The thought of
another bus ride almost made me physically ill. Nevertheless, I decided my life was more important than any discomfort.
As the bus headed through the Karoo desert, I stared blankly out the window. Suddenly, a creature leapt from
behind a bush followed by another and yet another. It was dusk, so it was hard to make out what kind of creature it
was. I was straining my eyes when one of them leapt up and hit the window I was staring out. It was a foot tall
rabbit with a black stripe leading from the corner of its mouth across its cheek. It scared the bejesus out of me.
These hoppy creatures from Hell seemed to be everywhere! This stampede of rabbits, pursued by a sweet, little hyena
was attacking the bus we were on! They were able to jump three to four feet in the air. I closed my eyes and prayed
to the pestilent gods that the nightmare would soon be over.
Suddenly, I felt something
hit me in the face. My eyes opened wide and I screamed. There was a bunny with its front paws on either side of my face.
It must have come through the window. It nipped me on the nose and kicked me with its club-like back feet and hopped
toward the front of the bus. It couldn’t escape and the other passengers were getting up and causing a commotion.
A little heathen girl stepped on my hand as I leaned over to grab my bag to use as protection. Finally the driver punted
the horrible little creature out the door.
The nightmare over,
the bus took off again. I kept looking out the window, making sure no more of the vermin-infested creatures came near.
Once we arrived at the Johannesburg airport, I went to gift shop and searched for a book on Mozambique. I
searched the index and found information on rabbits in the country of my destination. I breathed a sigh of relief when
I found out that there was a shortage of those hoppy creatures with their twitchy noses and that they were having a problem
producing more. Thank the pestilent gods. I made my connection and finally landed in Maputo.
I was staying at the Holiday Inn Maputo on the beach and was bored out of my mind. Everyday, I would leave
my hotel room and walk to the newsstand. I’d purchase all the newspapers I could find from California, but never
did I find mention of the town of Sunnydale. I’d spend my nights at the hotel bar, drinking beer and then wandering
the deserted beach. I kept human contact at a minimum, which wasn’t difficult, since the Holiday Inn was the only
hotel on the beach.
One day, I’m not exactly sure how long I’d been in this country, while I was looking through the newspapers
at the newsstand; I came across something interesting in a paper I’d never noticed before. It was called the National
Informer. The headline read “Giant Snake Kills Principal.” I quickly paid for it and went up to
my room. The article said that the mayor of an undisclosed town in California had turned into a giant snake. It
had eaten the high school principal and ultimately had died in an explosion at the school.
Finally, I had found
what I’d spent so long searching for. Xander was safe. I could go back.
I made reservations
to return to the States and slept peacefully for the first time in months.
My return flights were
uneventful. In the restroom at the Sunnydale airport, I looked in the mirror and was surprised at how I looked.
During my time on the run, I really had paid no attention whatsoever as to how I looked. But now, I was on my way to
see Xander and I knew it would please him if my appearance was pleasant. My hair was matted and dull after days of air
travel and I had bags under my eyes. What I needed was a make over.
I went home to my apartment.
Home? Was that what that place was? I wondered. I showered and changed into a dress. I made my way to the hair
salon in downtown Sunnydale. I told them to make me pretty and the lady gave me a full make over. They helped
me get rid of those bags and I allowed them to dye my hair dark brown, very similar to the color Xander’s.
I then needed to find
Xander’s house. There were many Harrises in the phone book, so I went to each one asking for Xander. At
about the fifth house, I met a woman who was still wearing her housecoat. I found that odd, considering it was afternoon.
She had a glass in one hand filled with some liquid with a very putrescent smell.
“I need to speak
to Xander,” I said.
not here,” she told me. “He’s working for the librarian at the old high school.”
at the high school?” I asked.
lady said, getting somewhat irritated at me, “there is no high school. He’s at Mr. Giles’s house.”
I was about to ask
how to get there when she closed the door in my face. I had been to the librarian’s house once, when he summoned
me, but I really didn’t know how to get there on foot.
At a public telephone
near the Harris house, I was able to find the librarian’s address. Why was there only one Giles and a billion
All of this walking
around Sunnydale was making my new hair get in my face, so I dug in my purse for a barrette and pulled my bangs into it.
Satisfied with my appearance,
I walked up to the door and took a deep breath. Turning the knob, I found it was unlocked.
“You should lock
your door,” I said as I entered.
He made some rude comment
which I let go. “I need to talk to Xander,” I said expecting the tall, British man to leave. He didn’t,
so I took Xander outside.
our relationship going?” I asked. “What kind do we have and what are we progressing toward?” I have
always thought that being straightforward was the way to go. Why beat around the bush, when you can just say what you’re
thinking? For some reason, people take this as rudeness, but to me it was just common sense. It is a waste of
time to talk around a subject when you can just say what you mean.
“We have a relationship?”
I reminded him that
we had gone to the prom. Had he forgotten? Honestly, humans really don’t have much of a capacity for memory.
He blathered about that being our only date and reminded me of my past life as a vengeance demon. I didn’t
need to be reminded. I remembered centuries of my works.
stop thinking about you,” I said. “Sometimes, in my dreams, you’re all naked.”
He seemed really confused,
so I went on. “So I can assume a standing Friday night date and a mutual recognition of prom night as our dating
He told me that relationships
have to develop on their own, but he couldn’t explain how. I don’t think he knew, and ultimately he never
did figure it out.
I went home feeling
really confused. I had spent the last few months thinking only of him and forming a mutual relationship together.
Had he not thought of me in all that time? What could he possibly have been doing to not have time to think about me?
My human emotions had really become a part of me in the past year. I had all these feelings and wants and needs, but
I didn’t know if Xander did. Whenever I thought of Xander, my skin would become hot and I had these urges and