So, let me get this straight. You’ve just walked into Heather’s mansion, where you KNOW the Ancient One is waiting for you, and not only is he totally punctual, he’s also holding Kayleigh as his prisoner. You’ve recently been informed that *apparently* you’re the only one who can kill the Big Bad, and for a weapon, you’ve been given a knife that is not only tiny but totally bedazzled.
HOW DID WE GO FROM THE CUTE NEW BOY IN CLASS TO APPROACHING CERTAIN DEATH? Crazy pills, that’s how.
As we near the final chapter (next week, y’all!), you’re approaching the Big Bad and deciding between these two options, which received the same number of votes. Way to be indecisive, you guys! Then again, I would probably be paralyzed with fear and unable to process any thoughts, let alone the two that it requires to make a decision, so, yeah. Will you…
A. try saying something like, “Hey, let her go, then I’ll come to you.”? Maybe somebody here has good negotiating skills (and you have that sword tucked away in your jacket pocket.)
B. shove Heather into the ancient ugly dude, in hopes that in the confusion, Kayleigh will be able to break free?
Let’s see if you can manage to do both options and, most importantly, STAY ALIVE!
Chapter 23: To Pray That Your Inner Slayer Actually Exists, Turn To Page 289
There, across the giant foyer (you never knew Heather was so loaded! This place is like a mansion!) is the Ancient One. And struggling in his arms is Kayleigh.
A great raspy voice speaks, “Give me the girl, or I’ll kill this one!” at the same time, one whispers in your mind, “Come to me…”
You try to force the voice out of your head by mentally browsing through your favorite Buffy comebacks. Seriously, if you were the Slayer, you would’ve already uttered, like, three extremely clever quips while staking the crap out of every vampire in the room AND looking totally fashionable to boot. Unfortunately, you don’t seem to possess the Slayer gene, which means A) the series finale was a load of shizz, and B) you are screwed.
After a few seconds, you manage to yell, “Let her go!” a line that is neither witty nor original. The Ancient One laughs anyway, and you suspect it’s not because he wants to make you feel better about your chances of professional Slayerhood. You turn to look for Jacob and Neil, but Heather’s face, brimming with victory, is suddenly the only thing you can see.
“Wow,” she says, her eyes bulging with mock enthusiasm. “Thank you SO MUCH for coming to my party! It wouldn’t have been the same without you. So, like, you already missed Spin the Bottle, but you’re just in time for our next game. So are you ready to put the ‘lose’ in ‘loser’?!!” She starts to giggle, and your mind is suddenly flooded with memories– spilled chocolate milk on yr shirt on the first day of fifth grade; the desperate love note you supposedly wrote to Finn in 8th grade; the “nerd!” yelled during the freshmen year award ceremony when you won Best English Student… all of those memories that end with the same giggle that’s currently echoing in your ears. Suddenly, you’re filled with rage, and it must be one of the main ingredients in that potion you took earlier because all of a sudden you’re feeling Very Very Powerful.
“Aw, thanks, Heather!” You look at her and grin. “Mind if I take my party favor now?” The words are barely out of your mouth as your fist makes contact with her face and sends her flying back towards the Ancient One. You’re suddenly in awe, not of your own badassery, but of how much THAT REALLY HURT YOUR HAND. HOLY CUSS. Thankfully, your attention is diverted by Heather’s impact on the Ancient One and his subsequent release of Kayleigh. You start to rush towards her, but Jacob beats you to it.
“Kayleigh!” He reaches out to drag her away from the Ancient One, and you see Kayleigh’s face light up with– wait, it’s not relief, it’s… “JACOB! NO!!” You scream, just as her hand darts out and plunges a knife into Jacob’s chest. Her momentum pushes them both to the floor, and you stand, frozen, unable to compute what your eyes are telling you. Kayleigh stabbed Jacob. Kayleigh stabbed Jacob. NO NO NO NO NO NO.
Someone grabs you by the shoulder, but you’re too dazed to even try swinging back. “Listen to me,” Grinnald grabs your face in both of his hands, his eyes boring into yours. “You must stay focused. Complete your task or we all die. Find the strength to see this through– find it in your blood.” His words pierce through the endless replay of Kayleigh stabbing Jacob, and you shake yourself. You look around the room and see Neil fighting not one but two seriously gross looking vampires (they must be the Guardians, otherwise Neil is gonna look terrible in his old age), and as you turn back towards Grinnald, you spot Heather’s angry (and, you’re pleased to note, slightly puffy on the right side) face looming over his left shoulder. “Watch out!” you shriek, and he spins around with distinctly-un-grandpa-like speed to fight off her gaping mou– WTF, Heather has fangs now?!!
Figuring Grinnald can fend for himself (seriously, the guy isn’t even ON the hill, let alone over it), you scan the room, not letting your gaze fall on Jacob because your concentration can’t afford to know if he’s alive or… you push the thought from your mind, just as you notice that, wow, Heather invited a LOT of people to this party! A lot of… really creepy, veiny looking people. Oh shit.
Two of them begin to advance towards you, but they quickly come to a halt as the Ancient One’s voice cuts through the air. “Where are your manners, child? Come to me so that we may be properly introduced.” There’s an insistent pressure on your mind, drawing you closer, as you turn to face him. You nervously twist Jacob’s ring on your finger and suddenly, the pressure is gone. Whoah, so Jacob wasn’t just trying to flirt when he gave you the ring! Jacob…
The Ancient One’s eyes narrow as a cunning smile spreads across his face. “Ahh, I see you’ve come into possession of the Kardach ring. It’s a nice little trinket, isn’t it?”
I’ll show you a little trinket, you think as you run your finger over the blade of the tiny sword in your pocket. You take two steps forward, your thoughts thundering through your mind like a train engine. You can do this. It’s just like that scene in Pulp Fiction. You visualize John Travolta and then realize WHO PICTURES JOHN TRAVOLTA RIGHT BEFORE THEY HAVE TO KILL SOMEONE? and quickly switch to Grinnald’s piercing eyes instead. “You must stay focused… It’s in your blood.” Wait a minute… did he mean that literally? Is there something actually in your blood? Could the potion still be active? Or are you over-analyzing this way too much (after all, you DID win the Best English Student award)?
You take another step forward and decide to:
A. stick with the original plan and get all stabby on the Old Dude?
B. let him start sucking yr blood and pray that Grinnald’s whole “it’s INSIDE of you!” thing wasn’t just an inspirational tactic?
C. pinch yourself because THIS HAS GOT TO BE A DREAM? Seriously, if it can happen to J.R., it can happen to you, right?! RIGHT?!