Willow landed on soft ground with a thump. She was dressed as she had been in the bathroom, wearing comfortable jeans and a t-shirt. She was barefoot and without a jacket. Willow stood, dusting off her bum as she looked around.
She was in the middle of a forest. There was no sign of civilization anywhere. For all she knew, she was in the middle of France. She sighed to herself. “Well, looks like I’m not in Kansas anymore. Might as well just pick a direction.” Instead, Willow summoned up a guiding spell, the same one she used back in the a haunted frat house in college. A tiny green light appeared in front of her. “Take me to the nearest help.” The light moved off, weaving through the trees in a definite direction.
Willow followed, keeping pace with the greenness, dodging tree branches, cursing when she stepped on sharp rocks. It was painful and slow. The sky slowly dimmed, but not with night. Rain clouds formed overhead, before dumping what seemed like half of the Atlantic Ocean on her. Willow found a comfortable seat on the ground, putting up a shield around her to keep her as dry as possible. The little greenness stayed with her, waiting for her to follow again. The rain tapered off, and Willow got up, grumpier than earlier.
The light led her to the edge of a ravine, where she found the remnants of a road. It was packed gravel and dirt, but it was better than the leafy forest floor. Willow sighed to herself, throughly tired, her feet in pain from numerous scrapes and cuts, her clothing wet from the dripping trees. She followed the light, humming “We’re Off to See the Wizard”
At the end of the broken road, Willow found am equally dilapidated house. It looked like it had once been a very nice place, Victorian, but nice. Now it was run down. “Wonder where the wizard is?” Willow looked at the little greenness. “Are you sure?” It disappeared. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
Willow limped to the door, now completely exhausted form the combination of her barefoot romp through the forest, and the magics she had worked. For lack of a better thing to do, she knocked on the front door.
A rather tough looking man opened the door. Suddenly, Willow had no idea what to do. She couldn’t tell him what really happened, could she? Damn. “Umm... Hi? I seem to be lost. I don’t know where I am or how I got here. Please tell me you speak English?”
He raised an eyebrow at her, then looked her up and down, taking in the bare and bloody feet, the sopping wet clothing that clung to her body, the dirt, the shivering. She was a pitiful sight to see. He felt moved to take pity on her, but the Masters would not like it. But he couldn’t very well turn her away could he? But it might have been best to do so, God knows he didn’t want to bring another poor sod into the same mess as him. “Come in. Were you stuck out in the rain storm?”
She let out a breath, grateful that he knew English. She knew some Demon languages, French, and a handful of dead tongues like Latin and ancient Sumerian. She had a feeling he might not know those ones. “Yeah, I was. Umm... as weird as this is going to sound, what country am I in?” She looked up at him with a goofy kind of grin, one that said, I’m not insane, just confused, help me please?
His eyebrows shot up again. “This is New Mexico state, America. The nearest city is Albuquerque. Does that help?” He was getting a bit confused. She didn’t know what country she was in? The next question astonished him further.
“Umm... what is the date? Including the year?” She looked down at her feet, hoping he didn’t think she was a basket case.
“July 7th, 2005.”
‘Okay, same date, different state. I can deal with that.’ She looked up at him, giving her best, ‘I’m harmless’ look. “My name is Willow. I didn’t escape from a mental institute, I’m just really lost. A person I don’t know pretty much kidnapped me and dumped me off here.” It was close to the truth, she just left out the part about the culprit being a Velroc demon.
“Look, Willow. My name is Gallus. I don’t know how you got here, but you can’t stay here. I’m not alone in this place, I have some...friends with me. They wouldn’t take well to you being here. I will give you what help I can, but then you must leave, for your own safety, okay?” He looked very nervous.
Willow took a moment to look him up and down. He was tall, somewhere around 6'1" or 6'2". His chest and arms were impressive, his brown hair short and jelled into spikes. He was wearing a pair of dress slacks and a button up shirt, nicely tucked in. It was then that she noticed the gun in the waistband of his pants.
Willow swallows convulsively, her eyes popping just a bit. She unconsciously took a step back form him. “Yeah s-sure. I’d appreciate any help.” Suddenly she was dying to get out of the place. She had a feeling that anyone that could make this man scared was somebody she definitely didn’t want to meet.
Willow couldn’t look him in the eye anymore. Previously, she had been nervous, wondering if he would help her, now Willow wanted to just get out of there. She looked anywhere but at the man in front of her, the scary, muscular, gun-toting man. It was then that Willow made another observation. There was a body in the room next door. She could just see head and shoulders of a girl, lying just inside the doorway. Her neck was torn out, like a vampire bite.
‘Oh shit. Damn that guiding light. It never does what I want it to. How the fuck am I going to get myself out of this mess? I hope none of them are up yet. Who the hell is this guy then?’ The man turned a bit, following her line of sight.
‘Damn. Now I can’t let her go. Double damn. They’re probably going to kill her.’ He grabbed her before she could bolt for the door, throwing her over his shoulder. “I had hoped nothing like this would have happened. I had truly meant to help you then send you on your way. Now you can’t go. I hope you understand.” He walked past the room, down a hallway to what looked like a kitchen, then down into the basement. There were cells all lined up against the wall.
“Oh, I understand alright you bloody bastard! You work for them don’t you? Vampires? Shit head.” Her fists pounded into his back, not having a lot of success.
He set her down in a cell, locking the door on his way out. “I’m sorry about this, really I am. But they would do things to me... bad things, if they found out I had let you go. I’m sorry. I hope you have a quick death.” The he walked out. It was only twenty minutes until night, and he needed to get rid of the body she had seen.