Tru winced as she fought back the tears that came to her eyes, the little blonde bitch who twisted her arm into a position Tru was sure it should not able to go, was a hell of a lot stronger than she looked. As she was dragged around by her arm Tru caught sight of Luc as he scrambled to his feet after being hurled bodily across the parking lot, he readied himself to renew his attack on the cheerleader and her pervert boyfriend.
“Okay everybody,” Tru saw the one eyed pervert step into her field of view, he held up both his hands in a placatory gesture. “Let’s all calm down and be reasonable…Faith let go of the Faith-a-like.”
It was only after Tru had had her arm released that she realised ‘One Eye’ was talking about her.
“Faith-a-like?” Tru asked rubbing her arm and going to stand next to Luc.
“You’ve got my face.” The cheerleader moved to stand next to One Eye.
“Huh?” Luc and Tru looked at each other, these people were obviously insane, Tru laughed to herself, that was what people often said about her.
“I don’t normally look like this.” The Cheerleader took hold of One Eye’s arm and looked up into his face.
“Before we go any further,” One Eye looked directly at Tru, “Are you the girl who relives days?”
“Who me?” Tru tried to sound confused which was easy, and innocent which was several degrees harder.
“Your brother Harrison explained.” One Eye smiled at Tru, “Are you evil?”
“Tru! What the hell are they talking about?” Luc stepped away from everyone as if they carried some dreadful disease.
“Okay, yes I am,” admitted Tru, “And no I’m not.”
“If you’re lying I’ll slay you where you stand.” Warned the cheerleader.
“Time for introductions,” One Eye stepped forward and held out his hand, “I’m Xander, and this bundle of cuteness is Faith.” He dodged a half hearted punch from Faith, “You must be Tru and I’m guessing that’s your boyfriend Luc.”
Reluctantly Tru and Luc shook hands with Xander, Faith did not offer to shake, she just watched Tru and Luc suspiciously.
“HHHEEEEEEL…!” The scream cut off abruptly in mid ‘help’, came from the cabin occupied by Willow and Kennedy.
“That’s Harrison!” Tru started to move towards the cabin.
“Yeah,” Xander jogged after her, “We had him tied up in there,” Xander paused at the look on Tru’s face, “It’s a hobby!” He shrugged, “Let Faith go first.”
Not only a pervert but a coward as well, thought Tru as Faith shot passed her and smashed the door off its hinges. Tru stumbled into the cabin a second after Faith had cleared the door. The first thing she saw was Lindsay screaming silently tied to a chair, Harrison, also tied to a chair lay unconscious on the floor.
“You bastards!” Tru screamed as she rushed to Harrison’s side, it was only then that she saw the redhead sitting in a pool of blood in the bathroom doorway, “Oh my god!”
Xander arrived in the cabin a second later followed by Luc.
“Christ, Will!!!” Xander crossed the room in three long steps and collapsed on the floor next to Willow’s body.
Luc untied Lindsay from her chair; she pointed frantically towards the rear of the cabin, trying to speak but no sound escaped her lips.
Faith desperately looked around the cabin, “KENNEDY!”
Lindsay pointed to the back of the cabin once more tears of frustration running down her cheeks, no one was paying her any attention. She picked up the chair she had been sitting on and smashed it against the floor. That got her everyone’s attention, Lindsay looked directly at Faith somehow sensing that she was the right person to speak to. She pointed to the fire escape and very carefully mouthed the words, ‘Out the back’.
Kennedy found herself being half dragged half carried by the hair, she was pulled roughly deeper into the woods, and to think everyone had thought this Kevin guy was an innocent victim that needed saving…he was so going to die. Kennedy stumbled and was brought up short by Kevin who yanked hard on her hair, she yelped as she hit her injured arm against a tree.
Trying to protect her stomach with her uninjured arm and keep her injured arm from further damage Kennedy realised they had come to a halt in some sort of clearing. Kevin let go of her hair as she knelt in front of him. She glanced around herself, she knew a sacrificial altar when she saw one and she was looking at one right now!
“DARK LORD!” Shouted Kevin as he advanced to where Kennedy knelt, “I send to thee your most desired sacrifice!”
He took hold of Kennedy’s hair again and forced her head back to expose her throat as he raised his knife ready to bring it slashing down. For a moment Kennedy gazed up into his eyes and all she could see was Kirk’s leering face, she felt the familiar paralysis pass over her body. But the imminence of death has a habit of concentrating the mind. With a great effort Kennedy pulled one of her legs from under her and swept it around knocking Kevin off his feet.
Kevin hit the floor with a surprised grunt, Kennedy crawled on all fours across the clearing until she came to a tree. With the aid of the tree trunk Kennedy started to climb to her feet. Unfortunately Kevin was faster, being unencumbered by eight months of pregnancy he bounced to his feet and leaped across the clearing at Kennedy holding his knife high ready to strike.
Sensing the attack Kennedy turned in time to see Kevin fly through the air towards her, she brought up her good arm and backhanded him across the side of the head knocking him to the ground, but not before receiving a long shallow cut on her uninjured arm. Given a moments rest Kennedy dragged herself back to her feet and turned to face her tormentor.
Kevin rolled to a stop against a tree, he shook his head to clear it, snatched up his knife from where he had dropped it moments before and stood up.
“Right bitch,” Kevin panted as he advanced on Kennedy again, “I was going to make it quick. But now I’m gonna kill you and I’m gonna do it slow…real slow.”
The stone hit him on the side of the head making a sound like a coconut being smashed open by a hammer.
Buffy bounced from tree to tree as she tried to push her way through the forest. She had heard the yelp of pain and fear only moments before and somehow she knew it had to be Kennedy. The sound of a desperate fight came to her ears as she pushed herself on heedless of the branches that clawed at her and cut her hands and face.
She tripped on a root and fell sprawling headlong between the trees. Pushing herself up on to her hands and knees she looked between the tree trunks to see Kennedy standing with her back against a tree blood dripping from her arms, her dress ripped and filthy. Buffy saw the man crouch in the middle of the clearing she saw the glint of steel in his hand.
“NOOOO!” She screamed.
Her fingers dug into the forest floor and closed around a smooth, round stone. Buffy wrenched it from the ground pulled back her arm and threw it with all her strength and skill. The stone flew straight and true and hit the man on the side of the head with a resounding ‘Crack!’ that echoed through the trees.
Faith burst into the clearing just as the stone hit Kevin. He stumbled back into her arms. As quick as a striking snake Faith’s hands and arms locked around his neck. Faith tightened her hold, there was a sound like a branch being broken and Kevin fell dead at Faith’s feet.
“Faith!” Gasped Kennedy a smile of relief slowly spreading across her face.
Buffy burst out of the trees and stumbled to a halt in the clearing.
“Ken!” She wheezed, “Are you okay?” Her gaze drifted over to where Faith stood “Who…?”
“Faith,” Kennedy explained simply, “It’s along story…later.”
“Kennedy…” Faith looked from Kennedy to Buffy, “You better come quick… it’s Willow.”
Buffy sat in the back of the ambulance and tried to tell herself that the tears forming in her eyes were because the antiseptic being dabbed on her many cuts and grazes stung. She sniffed back her tears as another body was loaded into the back of a coroner’s vehicle the doors closed and driven away. She caught sight of Kennedy on a gurney, a blanket up to her chin and an oxygen mask over her nose and mouth, she was loaded into the back of another ambulance. The paramedics had had to give Kennedy a mild sedative when she had become hysterical after seeing Willow. It had taken both Faith and Buffy to hold Kennedy down so the medic could inject her.
Poor Willow, Buffy’s best friend, her skin so white even her freckles had faded away to almost nothing. Lying still in the back of yet another ambulance while the medics frantically tried to stabilise her, the doors had been slammed shut and the ambulance had shot off down the road before Buffy had had a chance to ask after her friend. Her eyes blurred as she watched Xander talk to the sheriff while keeping him well away from any of the Slayers. Xander the consummate story teller who would spin a believable yarn about what had happened over the last twelve hours. She was sure once he had finished no blame would be attached to anyone but the truly guilty and everyone would be able to go back to their normal lives without a stain on their character.
Stains on their souls, however, were a different matter.
Tru sat on the steps outside one of cabins and tried to piece together what had gone wrong. Why had she been called to help Kevin who was so utterly evil that any person in there right minds would have rejoiced at his death? She had overheard one of the deputies say that Kevin had trophies in his room from at least ten other murders. The butcher’s bill from today had been bad enough.
Kevin had murdered his own sister, four other staff members and two guests. There was the redheaded woman who her friends called ‘Willow’ and her poor pregnant girlfriend. Tru hoped that they’d recover but she had seen the looks on the paramedic’s faces as they put the redhead in the back of the ambulance; it did not look good.
Her gaze drifted to where Xander Harris stood talking to the local Sheriff, his charm offensive had deflected the Sheriff’s attention away from all of the survivors and any of their questionable actions had been put down to misunderstandings.
The walking wounded, Lindsay and Harrison, had been taken to hospital. They wanted to check Harrison for concussion and then there was Lindsay’s ‘hysterical voice loss’. Tru smiled to herself - that alone would probably save Harrison and Lindsay’s relationship. Her relationship with Luc on the other hand was on the danger list. A shadow crossed Tru’s face, and she looked up to she Luc standing in front of her, he sat down next to her.
“That Harris guy has the gift of the gab,” Luc made himself comfortable, “The Sheriff has arranged for a local garage to send spare tyres up here. With any luck we should be away from here before night fall. We’ll need to come back to give evidence at the coroner’s court. Other than that we’re home free.” Luc paused as he watched the hustle and bustle in the parking lot die down. “Some weekend huh?”
“Look,” Sighed Tru, “I screwed up.”
“No,” Luc shook his head, “You did what you could, I just don’t understand why you couldn’t confide in me tell me what you thought was going on.”
“I was trying to protect you,” Replied Tru sadly. She didn’t need to relive a day to know what was coming next.
“I don’t need you to protect me,” Explained Luc. “I never did. What I needed was for you to let me in.” He looked away from her and shook his head again, “To be part of your life…But now…God, after all this?”
“Luc please,” Tru turned to him and tried to make him look at her, “It won’t happen again.”
“It will,” Luc smiled resignedly, “Maybe not in the same way, but it will. Because we’re going round in circles here Tru, we’re running into the same problem over and over again. I just…I just don’t think one more chance is gonna change that.”
Luc stood up and looked down at Tru, “I’ll call you when the jeep’s fixed and we can go home.”
One Week Later.
Seattle City Morgue.
“All I wanted was two days, Davis,” Tru sat in the bearded ME’s office, “Two lousy days away from this job and this thing that I do. But, no, I couldn’t even have that. It followed me and it cost me Luc because I couldn’t tell him the truth.”
“You have a calling, Tru.”
Tru laughed mirthlessly.
“Look,” Davis leaned across his desk towards Tru, “You were chosen for a reason. Whoever gave you this gift knew what they were doing. They saw the same things in you that I see. Strength, compassion, conviction. Curse or calling, love it or hate it, you are the right person for the job.”
A Farm in the American Midwest.
Buffy climbed out of the Council Range Rover and straightened the smart business suit she was wearing. She hated having to wear smart clothes because it usually meant that a Slayer had died and she had to go to a funeral and tell a pack of lies to some grieving family; try to explain to them how and why their beloved daughter had died without letting too much slip of her real life. She really wished that all her Slayers were orphans or her organisation could let all the families in on the secret of the Slayers… but they could not risk that.
“Wait for me here.” Buffy told her driver; the man, an ex-cop, nodded his head in understanding.
She looked up at the big farm house and around the farm yard, these people were not rich, they worked hard for what little they had and now she had to tell them their only daughter was dead. Well, not that, the authorities would have told the parents how Tammy had stolen several vehicles before crashing a police car into a water filled quarry and drowning. Thankfully the Pinetops Sheriff had stated that Tammy had deliberately swerved to avoid those school kids and that had led to the crash. Her parents would be able to draw a little comfort from that.
Without realising it Buffy found herself at the front door. She had kept back from the funeral service and then waited till all the guests had left Tammy’s parent’s home. There should be no one but family left in the house. Buffy raised her hand and knocked loudly on the door. She waited until she heard the sound of footsteps from within.
The door slowly opened to reveal a tall thin woman in early middle age. She was dressed in a rather faded black dress, her greying hair pulled back from her face, her eyes red from crying. ‘Please don’t let me start crying’, thought Buffy as she wished she believed in all those Goddesses and Gods that Willow and Kennedy did.
“Mrs Anderson?” Buffy asked having found her voice, the woman nodded.
A middle-aged man, obviously the husband and four or five tall strapping young men, all clones of their parents loomed into view in the dark hallway. Buffy took a deep breath and began.
“You don’t know me, my name is Buffy Summers, although I didn’t know your daughter for long, I’d like to think we were friends. If I may I’d like to come in and tell you how extraordinary and brave your daughter was.”
Kennedy wheeled herself along the hospital corridor, the cut on her right arm was healed leaving only a faint scare to join all the others on her body. The deeper wound on her left upper arm still had a dressing on it but other than that it did not bother her. She skidded around a corner then picked up speed as she shot down the long straight corridors, nurses and interns jumped out of her way. With a screech of tyres she came to a halt outside a private room, she pivoted towards the door and then pushed her way through with a clatter.
“Hi there, sweetheart,” Kennedy came to a rest next to Willow’s bed, “You still trying to convince people you’re injured?”
Willow smiled down at Kennedy from her bed, although she had a lot more colour in her cheeks she still did not look one-hundred percent.
“I happen to know,” Continued Kennedy before Willow had a chance to answer, “That there’ve been Slayers lining up so you can do your ‘Healing Mojo Thing’.” Then more seriously she went on, “Everybody loves you and wants you back…especially me.” Kennedy reached out and took Willow’s hand, “So when can you come home?”
“Doc Zimmerman says I can go home tomorrow,” Willow paused, it still hurt her to breath too deeply, “As long as I’m careful and can keep up the ‘special treatments’.”
“Cool,” Kennedy held Willow’s hand against her face. “It’s all going wrong, Will, without you what with Tammy and everything.” Kennedy tried to smile, “No one’s been putting things back in the right place and we’re running out of cookies…and…and Tara won’t go to sleep in her own bed she keeps coming into ours, and-and don’t ever leave me Will, I don’t know what to do by myself.”
“You’d get by,” Willow stroked Kennedy’s cheek, “Now tell me, how are you feeling?”
Kennedy considered this question before replying.
“You know,” She smiled into Willow’s eyes, “I really think I’m going to be fine again.”
The verse at the beginning of Chapter One is an adaptation of a verse from a song called; ‘I Was Only Nineteen’ written by John Shuman.
Real lyrics here; http://www.hotkey.net.au/~marshalle/only19/only19.htm
Music Video here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gmgwx77osw
‘Tru Calling’ script from; http://www.twiztv.com/scripts/trucalling/
Finally this is the music video that gave me the idea, watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmuI6WOIaGI
Authors Note: In the original timeline it was Kevin's sister who killed Kevin (if I remember correctly) of course this doesn't matter because it never happened...if you see what I mean.
The final Seattle Slayers story will appear towards the end of November.