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Happy Purim, Willow

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This story is No. 5 in the series "The Jewish Willow stories". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Crossover with the Biblical Book of Esther (really) - Willow and the Scoobies fight the historical villain Haman who has seized control of the Initiative.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > ReligiousSamJamesFR1324,307041,24716 Feb 0416 Feb 04Yes

Happy Purim, Willow II

Willow took another bite of potato salad. She could hardly believe it. She was picnicking with Haman, the bad guy from the Jewish holiday of Purim, summoned by black magic as the "most hated evil." Haman looked extremely uncomfortable, squatting on Buffy's blanket next to Riley, who knew him only as the Initiative's Colonel Haman. The man from the past wore his triangular hat, which reminded Willow of something she had once seen at a revolutionary war reenactment. His mustache was thick and curled, like the villain of an old fashioned movie serial. And his half smile concealed something deadly. Generations of Jews were correct. This clearly was a wicked, wicked man.

"This is delicious," the oblivious Riley told Buffy. "I never dreamed you were such a good cook."

"My mother's recipe," Buffy said honestly. 'Of course,' she thought to herself, 'since Mom did the cooking.'

"So, Buffy, I understand you wanted to meet me." Haman extruded an oily charm. Willow coughed into her hand.

"Yes," Buffy replied carefully. "I wanted to talk to you and Riley about your new campaign," Then she whispered to Willow, "You brought the crib notes?" Willow passed her a copy of the Book of Esther with a bookmark in the appropriate place.

After glancing at the page, Buffy turned her head and looked earnestly at Riley, "Riley, help save my life. An evil man wants to kill me and all my friends." Willow scrunched up her face at Buffy's melodrama but Riley leaped to attention.

"Who would dare do this to you?" Riley all but shouted. "No one will hurt you while I'm here to save you." Willow was rapidly coming to the conclusion that the two deserved each other, but was uncertain as to whether this was good or not.

"Riley, the enemy is Haman there. He has a plot to kill everyone tainted with magic, Slayer, witch, werewolf, or whatever."

Haman was amused. "Down soldier boy," he said, his eyes glinted with power.

Haman was doing something to Riley's will, Willow could sense it. But then it was gone. Haman turned to Buffy and said, "Of course I am," in his deep voice. "It is the mission of the Initiative to destroy all magic. I will take in and absorb all the power in this town and then use my soldier minions to take total control everywhere." He turned to Buffy. "And I certainly wouldn't miss your power." He leaned his face into Willow's and cupped her head in his hands. "Or your magics, Jewess. You have the beauty of Queen Esther herself, but I am far more powerful than I was back then, and you have no Mordechai to save you now." He made a gesture with his hand.

Willow recognized the whirl of Riley's stun weapon a second before it hit Buffy. The Slayer had only time to utter, "Riiiley!" with the sound of utter despair and betrayal. Her plan depended on Riley taking the role of the King and saving her people. Unfortunately, perhaps because he was not Jewish, Riley had never read the script. Willow had time only to mumble a quick shielding spell before she became the next target and blacked out.

When Willow woke up she recognized the vast cavern from Buffy's descriptions. She was being held prisoner in the Initiative's secret underground base. There were cages everywhere with demons, vampires, Scooby gang members, Tara, other demons. Realizing what she was seeing, Willow looked again. Anya, Giles, Buffy, Tara, even Xander were all caged.

"Xander?" she croaked.

The jokester shrugged. "Well, I wouldn't let them take Anya without a fight so I guess they thought I fought like a demon." Knowing that he had no magic, the Initiative put him in a cell with simple iron bars. That gave him the opportunity for a bit of mischief; he was flying paper airplanes into other cells. Willow smiled. She knew she could always count on him.

Buffy stood up. Her cell was clearly specially reinforced glass. Willow waved to get her attention and then mimed looking in her waistband. Buffy's face just showed puzzlement. Willow pointed to the equivalent spot on her own body and then to Buffy. Buffy still looked confused. Willow sighed. She just had to hope the Slayer would eventually figure it out.

Beyond the cages, the men of the Initiative, including Riley, had assembled before Haman who was giving orders, probably for whatever ritual would enable him to siphon off their powers. Willow glanced at her watch. The timing could not have been any better if she had known the Initiative's schedule. Which, of course, was the first thing the hacker had checked.

The loudspeakers throughout the Initiative HQ went off, not with the voice of an officer barking commands, but the sweet song of children singing.

Oh, once there was a wicked, wicked man,
and Haman was his name, Sir.
He would have murdered all the Jews,
Though they were not to blame, Sir."

Willow smiled watching Haman fume and the Initiative members running around trying to figure out what was happening. She reached into her pocket, unfolded her own piece of paper, waved it into the air to get everyone's attention and yelled, "Number five on your songsheet!"

"Oh tonight we'll merry merry be
Oh tonight we'll merry merry be
Oh tonight we'll merry merry be
And nash some hamantashen."

The various monsters, demons, and creatures unfolded the paper airplanes Xander had tossed and discovered the words to the song they were hearing. Unsure if this was some sort of strange spell, they sang along.

"And Esther was a lovely Queen
Of King Ahashverosh.
When Haman said he'd kill us all,
Oh my, how he did scare us..."

"Chorus," Willow yelled. Everyone was singing along, no one was in tune, and some of the monsters were just croaking. But Willow could feel the power building.

"But Mordecai her cousin bold,
said, 'What a dreadful Chutzpa,'
'If guns were but invented now,
This Haman I would shoot, Sir!'"

By now, even Buffy had found the piece of paper Willow had tucked into her waistband during the picnic and was singing along.

"In spite of Haman's awful plan
And the scare he gave us
Esther was so brave and strong
She knew just how to save us."

Even in the middle of singing for their lives, Willow could not help but notice that Tara had an excellent voice. "I think I want to hear more of her," and flushed.

"When Esther speaking to the King,
Of Haman's plot, did mention,
"Ah, ha," said he,
"Oh, no he won't
I'll spoil his bad intention."

Willow thought to herself that Giles had been partially wrong. Purim was not just about hating those who tried murdering the Jews but laughing at all those who oppressed the Jews throughout history. 'Pharaoh, Haman, Torquemada, Hitler are all gone, but we're still here to laugh at them.'

Some of the Initiative soldiers were beginning to laugh at the humorous song. Unable to override Willow's broadcast of the recorded children's service they were trying to disconnect the wires feeding power to the speakers. But there was nothing they could do about the chorus of demons in the actual cavern.

"The guest of honor he shall be,
This clever Mr. Smarty,
And high above us he will swing,
At a little hanging party."

Haman was screaming while the monsters joined the children's voices in a strange perversion of harmony. But Willow noticed that he seemed a little smaller than before.

"Of all his cruel and unkind ways
This little joke did cure him.
And don't forget we owe him thanks
For this jolly feast of Purim."

"I'm eating your hat, I'm eating your hat," yelled Xander. He took a hamantashen pastry from the basket Willow had given him as shalach manos (Purim gifts of food) positioned it so that from his perspective it completely covered the real Haman's hat, and took a bite. "Delicious."

Willow felt a tingle of excitement. The mockery was having an effect. Turned into a laughing stock, Haman could not maintain his power. In fact, he was having difficulty maintaining his form.

"Song 12!" Willow yelled.

"Oh Haman was a high and mighty bluff,
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago.
He ordered Mordechai to take his derby off
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago."

"So we sing, So we sing,
So we sing and raise a row.
For Haman he was swinging
While Mordechai was singing
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago."

By now the lone Jew in the Initiative was singing along and Xander was throwing more of the song sheets that Willow had gave him. Some of the Initiative members were picking them up and joining in.

"But Mordechai sang and laughed in his face
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago.
So Haman swore he'd exterminate his race
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago."

"CHORUS," yelled Willow

"Oh Esther was a timid little maid
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago.
But Mordechai told her she needn't be afraid
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago."

"CHORUS Again," yelled Willow

Haman had definitely shrunk. And Riley, struggling to overcome a mental fog, had his weapon pointed right at him.

"So she went to the king and she gave him a smile
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago.
The king he liked her manner and her style
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago."

"CHORUS once more," yelled Willow

"Ahasuerus was a Jolly little king
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago.
He ordered Haman to take a little swing
In Shu Shu Shushan long ago."

Finally breaking free of Haman's spell, Riley fired his gun. By this time, Haman was just the size of a child himself and could do nothing but scream as the energy of the weapon propelled him out of this dimension forever.

The recording of children's voices continued with other Purim songs, but recognizing that the danger was over, everyone in the underground base had stopped singing. The Initiative soldiers were arguing amongst themselves but Riley took charge. "Men, we were suckered," he admitted. "We are not here to do evil in the name of good or capture the innocent while saying we're just looking for the guilty. That wicked man tricked us into doing his dirty work. Well he's clearly the villain here, so let's free those he wanted jailed."

Forrest started to object but Willow yelled, "Hey, we freed you from his spell. Now it's your turn to free us. Besides," she said in a firm voice. "After Purim comes the Jewish holiday of Passover when we say, Let My People Go!" And they did.


After analyzing the events that had taken place at the Initiative's base, the half-demon cyborg Adam launched an Internet search for Jewish songs that included the terms, Adam or robot. But he was completely unaware that Willow, having read her Avram Davidson, was practicing how to write the name of God in clay on the foreheads of golems.


The End.

Happy Purim everyone.


NOTE FOR NON-JEWS: On Purim, there is a custom of having children perform a Purimspiel, a very humerous retelling of the Esther story with lots of contemporary jokes. This story is intended as a Buffy version of the Purimspiel. In other words, it was intended to be funny which is why I made Buffy well a little bit more Valley Girl than usual.

I don't think my other Jewish holiday stories count as crossovers although this one does (hey, it's about a character from a book coming into Sunnydale). But they can be found at my site.

The End

You have reached the end of "Happy Purim, Willow". This story is complete.

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