Trouble In Bath
Notes: This is an alternative version of
Story four, White Magic.
slowly through the newspaper clippings. He’d been gathering them for weeks now;
pile after pile of print adorned his already cluttered desk. Curled like a
luxuriant fur scarf around his neck, Aristotle wound around the back of his
chair and rubbed a cold nose on the Englishman’s neck.
humming against the windows of his study and it was getting darker by the
minute. Suspecting that a thunderstorm was going to put in an appearance, Giles
reached across to turn on the desk lamp, and sat for a moment re-reading the
most recent paper clipping under the soft yellow glow. It was getting more
regular. Far too regular for comfort, in fact.
The door swung
open and Buffy walked in. She looked tired and irritable, and Giles knew that
it was the strain of looking after the slayers that was getting to her. The
girls simply would not stay in line, and as far as they were concerned, Buffy was
just a supply teacher. Giles glanced up again as behind her, Angel slid
discreetly in to the room as well, shutting the door with a gentle snap, and
went to stand sentry in the darkened corner.
“What you got,
Giles?” Buffy asked, pushing a strand of blonde hair behind her ear.
“Ah. A kind of
mission, you could call it. I dare say you could both do with an activity to
keep you busy?”
it is. If it gets us away from the other girls for a while, sure.”
This is something the two of you can handle.” Giles leaned forward to get away
from Aristotle’s distracting nudges, and handed the topmost clipping to the
vampire slayer. “In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been following reports of a
disturbance at the spa in Bath. Bath’s not too far from here. As you know, I
have a flat there, in fact.”
What kind of a disturbance?”
exactly sure, to be frank.” Giles took off his glasses and wiped them absently on
his jacket. “The place has been practically deserted. Nobody dares enter the
have seen this thing,” Buffy replied, pacing the study. “What are we dealing
with here, Giles? A demon, a ghost, what?”
poltergeist,” Giles suggested, glancing at Angel for a moment, “Or a demon. As
to which it is, I’m not quite sure.
the papers, it started about a fortnight ago. A couple were bathing when they
started hearing strange noises. Clanking pipes, slamming doors, that sort of
thing. It sounds like poltergeist activity, but ghosts generally involve moving
as well. There’s been no word of things flying around.”
Buffy rubbed her temple as she attempted to get her head around the mystery.
“Has anyone been hurt?”
yes. A young man was drowned in the water two days ago. It seems that something
was holding him under the water.”
don’t kill people, right? Demon?”
“So it would
appear.” Perplexed, Giles stroked Aristotle, and was rewarded by the cat
hurling himself at the back of Giles’ head.
Angel, we should go in and sort this out, “ Buffy commanded, taking control as
usual. “Giles, where exactly are we headed?”
“I can drive
you down, Buffy. I need to visit my flat, in fact, anyway. And the girls, being
teenagers, won’t be up for at least another five hours.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
It was so dark
outside by now that Angel could make it in to the car without bursting in to
flames, and they set off for Bath without incident. Angel sat squashed in the
back, staring out the window while Buffy sat up front with Giles. Giles was
explaining their course of action. Angel, not really listening, watched the
rain flood down the windows, and gave an inward sigh as the car sped across the
Bath, and parking close to the famous spa, Giles extracted his best broadswords
from the back and handed them to Buffy and Angel.
“Now, be careful.
This thing, whatever it may be, is immensely dangerous.”
“Oh, you know
me, Giles,” Buffy gave him a small smile. “Careful careful… man the Giles
mobile while we’re gone?”
The slayer and
the vampire turned and approached the spa. It was open so they walked inside.
There was a guy sitting behind the desk, looking lonely and scared, and when he
saw their swords he jumped up.
right. We’re not going to hurt anyone,” Buffy said quickly, putting the sword
down. “We’re here about the disturbances?”
“You can’t be
thinking of going down there,” the man whimpered, pointing at the steps, “It’s
suicide down there. I didn’t want to be here but the thing doesn’t come up here
– at least, it hasn’t yet – I told the boss it was mad to be here, it’s not
like anyone will want to spa with a monster, but he said –“
“Do you know
what it is?” Buffy cut him off hastily. “Have you seen it?”
young man nodded. “It’s a mutant…” he whispered, shaking. “It’s horrible. It
came after me – I just managed to slam the door on it –“
We’re going to get rid of it. What’s your name?”
muttered. “James Ripla.”
Just stay up here. We’ll be back soon.”
Buffy retrieved her sword and marched determinedly down the stairs, Angel
“This is no
place for him to be,” Angel commented.
Whatever this thing is, it’s gonna be bad, Angel. He was scared witless.”
The tall vampire
nodded. There was a locked door at the bottom of the steps and as they
approached it, something slammed in to it from the other side and the whole
door rattled. Buffy instinctively grabbed Angel’s hand.
looked down, then quickly pulled her hand away. Annoyed with herself, she
strode forward with renewed confidence. “Let’s just get this finished, Angel.
Let’s face this thing and kicks it’s evil ass.”
and Angel seized the lock on the door and pulled. It cracked away from the
door. They stood there waiting as the door opened.
And as the
door slowly swung open, something massive loomed from the darkness.
facing a gigantic rubber duck.
a giggle. “Did you bring any bread, Angel?”
Notes: This was an April Fools story. Yes, it’s a joke :p