Eric heard a cracking noise, like something was breaking. And the noise was coming from the grave right in front of him. He saw the earth move, being pushed up. A hand shot through the earth and something crawled from beneath the ground.
Eric’s eyes widened when he saw a slight creature with shoulder length red hair, magnificent green eyes and pale skin. She had gracious hands… even if they were dirty.
Willow had trouble seeing. Everything was spinning. She finally put her two feet on the ground and not underneath it. She looked down. [What was I doing in a tomb anyway?] Then, something caught her eyes. There was something engrave on the stone. It was her name.
Willow froze. “No! I’m not dead! It can’t be! I don’t remember dying!” A voice from behing her startled her.
“You are. Just like I am. You’ll remember soon enough.”
Willow tried to clear her eyes. There was a man in front of her. He was wearing black clothes and had dark hair. She gasped when she saw his face. It was white. He had painted his lips black as well as his eyes. The redhead was surprised by his appearance but she wasn’t that blind. He was gorgeous.
She startled when something flew by her head. There, standing on the tombstone was a crow.
Suddenly, her brain was assaulted by images. She cried out in pain, holding her head between her hands, desparatly trying to push out the memories from coming back. It was like a never ending spliting headache. She fell down on her knees, tears falling down her face.
She was walking through the park, heading to the dorm, walking quickly, not having a stake or cross with her. She hoped that she wouldn’t have a run in with a vampire... except Spike that is. He couldn’t hurt her.
In front of her, she saw three frat boys laughing like there was no tomorrow. They each had a bottle of liquor in their hands. [Great. Drunk frat boys ahead.] She recognize one. He looked straight at her. [Riley? What the hell is he doing here?] She saw him point her, talking to his friends.
Willow didn’t like the look in their eyes. They started walking toward her. One grabbed her arms as she tried to walk past them. “Let me go!” She struggled to get free of him. The guy was completly drunk and that worried Willow.
Riley took a step next to her. “But Willow, we want to have fun.” She whimpered as he grabbed her breast. “Do you want to have fun? Not that it matters.”
The redhead struggled, kicking and screaming as they pulled her on the ground. One after the other, they took her, sometimes brutally, sometimes not. After a couple of times of being slapped or punched for moving, Willow stopped resisting. She just waited for the pain to end, not even screaming anymore, too lost in her own world of pain and humiliation.
When they were finished, she just lay still, not bothering to move... not that she could anyway. It hurt just to *think* about moving her legs. Her teary eyes widened when a friend of Riley, an Iniatiative member, crouched before her and put his hands around her neck. He squeezed and laughed at her panicked expression. She tried to move away, but he was too strong. Her lungs were burning. She desperatly opened her mouth hoping to get the much needed oxygen. With a supreme effort, she dug her nails hard in the hands of the man. He screamed and let go of her.
She coughed a couple of time before jumping on her feet. Willow broke into a run. She ran as far as the campus before she was tackled in a tree. Her head spinning, she tried to regain her balance. When she was finally steady, she saw Riley come toward her, a knife in his hand. “That was not nice Willow. You’ll have to be punished.” With that, he plunged the knife into her stomach.
It took a couple of seconds for Willow’s brain to analyse the pain. She looked down and saw the knife stuck in her. She pulled it out, hissing. She let it fall to the ground and looked at her bloody hands, fascinated by her own blood, the symbol of her imminent death.
Slowly losing strenght, she fell on her knees. Through her haze of pain, she saw the laughing forms of the three men. Black framed her vision. She fell on her back and closed her eyes as she slipped into unconsciousness, to not be awaken again.
Willow let an anguish scream fall from her lips. Heavy sobs wracked her tiny body. She felt comforting arms surround her. She gripped the waist of the only creature like her, a walking dead and not in the meaning of vampire. She cried for all she had lost, for all she now remembered. She had been repeatidly raped and beaten, then almost strangled to end being stabbed with a knife. She had been murdered by the boyfriend of her once best friend. She was dead.
Eric held the sobbing, trembling young woman in his arms. He gently held her as he stood up, pulling her in his arms. She clung to him as if he was her life preserver. As he walked toward the cript where he had woken, he felt her sobs stop. She was just holding him, her head comfortably laying on his shoulder.
Eric entered in the cript and put her on a tomb. He tried to close the door. When he came back to the redhead, she was sitting on the edge of the tomb, her legs swung in the air. She finally looked at him. “Why am I back?”
“Two days ago, I was woken like you by a crow after one year of being dead. My fiance had been raped and killed as I had been shooted then thrown out by a window. I had the mission to destroy the four men that did it. I took all my pain and shoved it in a corner of my brain, forgetting about it as I extracted my vengence with a cold rage. I finally did it and I was supposed to go back to eternal sleep when I was called again. I awoke in this cript and I walked until a crow flew by me and stopped on a tombstone. Your grave.”
She sat still in silence for a moment, thinking about what he had told her, pain still laying in his voice when he talked about his fiance. “So, my job would be to take revenge on the three guys that did it.”
Eric walked to the redhead and sat down next to her. “Tell me.”
Willow moved closer to him and put her head on his shoulder as she told him her death. When she was finished, she watched in wonder as she saw his hand crisping into a fist.
Brown eyes met green ones. “We will get them, Willow. I promess.” He smiled gently at her.
“I’m not sure. I couldn’t *escape* from them the last time. How am I suppose to *kill* them now?”
“Willow, look at me. You’re dead. You can’t die again.” He let the words sink in her. Realization dawned on her face at the knowledge that she couldn’t die again. “Now sleep. Let the day nurse your wounds.” He lay down, bringing her to his chest. When he felt her steady breathing rythm, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.