8.Willow and Kennedy’s Apartment.
“Okay,” Willow walked over to stand in front of Amy, “we’re gonna take a stab at getting you home and our friend back.”
“Yeah,” Amy stood up and looked a Willow sceptically, “what are you going to do? Open a portal right here in this room?”
“Yeah,” Willow nodded her head, “something like that.”
Leading a rather cowed Amy into the middle of the room, Willow stopped to explain what was going to happen.
“Look people,” she called to get their attention, “I’m gonna open a portal in the kitchen doorway there, so I want you to all keep well back.”
“Let’s get some weapons,” Faith nudged Kennedy, “just in case, y’know?”
Nodding her agreement, Kennedy put down her teapot and led Faith to where her weapons here kept in the hall closet.
“Dawn,” Willow continued, “you hold the spell book, Giles you be ready to light the offerings and Amy,” Willow turned to look at the increasingly down cast woman by her side, “I’ll need you to hold my hand and think about your proper body, okay?”
“Should I chant, ‘there’s no place like home’ and click my heels together?”
“Only if you think it’ll help,” Willow observed dryly, “okay everybody, places.”
Buffy, Faith and Kennedy stood to one side of the room clutching swords and axes; Kennedy couldn’t help thinking that maybe she should have removed any surviving keep-sakes from the room before Willow got started. Too late now she sighed; Dawn held the spell book open as Willow started to say the words. Giles began to light the bowls of herbs and minerals that had been placed in a pattern around Willow’s feet.
“There’s no place like home,” Amy muttered under her breath.
As Willow came to the end of her spell a wall of what looked like water appeared in the kitchen doorway, Amy sighed miserably. How could she have fooled herself into thinking that she could have taken on a witch like Willow Rosenberg? There was no way she could have opened a portal like that, of course it would be even more impressive if she actually ended up in her own body again and the little lost slayer got home again.
“Go!” Willow pushed Amy gently towards the portal.0=0=0=0Violet
“We’re fucked, man!” Rochelle cried as she swapped an empty clip for a full one.
Cut off from any escape, Violet had to admit the woman was probably right. Pumping round after round into the zombie horde, Violet couldn’t see any way out. They’d tried to get to the rear of the store in the hopes of finding a loading bay or something. All they’d found was another crowd of zombies smashing their way into the building from the rear. The beleaguered threesome had taken refuge in an office to one side of the loading bay.
There was no way out and the zombies would eventually break in when they inevitably ran out of ammunition and all because Violet had wanted some shoes. Firing a burst into the zombies that packed the doorway, Violet looked around desperately hoping to see something she’d missed before, but she hadn’t. This was it, they were in a dead end and they might as well turn their weapons on themselves and end it right now. Perhaps there were times when there were no alternatives, times when a slayer, whatever she did, just had to fight until she died.
“Fuck ‘em!” Violet fired into the zombies once more; being a slayer had been fun while it lasted.
The stuff she’d done, the friends she’d made, she’d have never done anything half as worthwhile back in her old life; now it was time to pay the bill. Firing again and again, Violet noticed Rochelle throw her empty gun at the advancing horde and pull out a pistol to fire into the loathsome creatures. Coach was using the butt of his rifle as a club now it was empty. Firing once more, Violet looked down, the AK had run dry and there were no more full magazines left in her harness. This, as they say, was it…0=0=0=0Willow and Kennedy’s Apartment.
Watching Amy/Violet stumble through Willow’s portal, Dawn was shocked to see her friend reappear almost immediately and fall to the floor.
“VI?” Dawn rushed to her friend’s side.
“NO!” screamed Violet looking around the room wildly, “I’ve got to go back! I can’t leave them there…”
Jumping on the distressed slayer, Kennedy and Faith prevented her from jumping back through the portal. Faith grabbed hold of the assault rifle and pulled it from Violet’s hands. Automatically she removed the magazine from the weapon and pulled back the bolt to make sure it was empty before leaning it against the wall.
“I’ve got to go back!” Violet sobbed as Kennedy held her in her arms and looked up helplessly at Dawn.
Kneeling down beside Violet, Dawn took her from Kennedy and wrapped her arms around her friend.
“Ssh, ssh,” she soothed as she rocked the weeping girl back and forth, “you’re safe now.”0=0=0=0Amy.
Finding herself on the floor of a room that stank of blood and gun smoke, Amy looked up to find Zombie like things climbing through the door and window. She saw the slavering horrors coming towards her, she saw two normal looking people battling hopelessly against the creatures with empty guns. As one of the rotting misbegotten monsters reached for Amy she screamed, but only for a split-second, until she remembered who and what she was. Holding up her hand palm towards the monster about to bite into her, Amy said words of power and laughed with relief.
A line of incredibly bright light reached out to the first zombie and hit it on the forehead. In an instant the zombie stood frozen in place light escaping from its eyes and mouth. More beams of light burst from the zombies head to hit the misbegotten creatures that shambled in its wake; they too came to a halt, light pouring from their mouths and eyes as more beams of light spread to the rest of the zombie horde. By the time the fifth set of zombies had been hit by the light the first ones were turning to dust and disintegrating; very soon only ash blew on the breeze where moments before the zombie horde had stood. Amy clambered to her feet and watched as the two people in the room with her stared at her in wide eyed wonder.
“Vi?” gasped the girl, “W-what happened?”
“Vi’s gone home,” Amy smiled to herself, this looked like it could be fun, “Amy’s back in town, now who the hell are you?”0=0=0=0Willow and Kennedy’s Apartment.
“Um, Willow,” Giles came up behind Willow, they both looked at the portal that stubbornly refused to go away, “don’t you think you should switch it off? I mean eventually you’re going to want to use your kitchen again.”
“Can’t,” Willow whispered out of the side of her mouth, “it should have disappeared once Vi got back.” She glanced over her shoulder to where Dawn was fussing over her friend while Kennedy looked rather angrily at the blood and gore that had stained the carpet. “Maybe it’ll go away by itself?”
Giles frowned; he was beginning to think that perhaps this wasn’t their portal.
“You know,” Giles leaned closer to Willow so they could speak without anyone else hearing, “this could be a natural portal.”
“A what?” Willow frowned at Giles.
“Yes,” Giles nodded his head, “they’re more common than you think, though I’ve never actually seen one…they’re supposed to be responsible for several famous historical disappearances.”
“Like?” Willow raised a sceptical eyebrow.
“Oh, the crew of the Mary Celeste,” Giles was about to say more when he noticed Faith and Buffy standing a little too close to the portal. “Buffy, Faith,” he called as he saw the two senior slayers walk up to the portal to examine it; although what they expected to find he didn’t know, “don’t get too close it might…”
Too late, there was a sound like water draining down a plug hole, a cry of alarm from Buffy and Faith as they sort of stretched and disappeared into the portal.
“Bloody hell!!!” exclaimed Giles, “Willow! Get them back…QUICK!”
Before Willow could do anything there was a loud *POP!* and the portal vanished.
Willow and Giles turned to look at one another.
“Bugger!” they said in unison. THE END?Look out for *Through a Wormhole Darkly* the next story in the ‘Grim up North’ series.