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Origins of a Slayer

"My parents shared a love like no other
Even though they were sister and brother
Although they're related
Each other they dated
And then they both fucked their own mother"

"Pearl, there are reasons why your parents dumped you in care, other than them being brother and sister", says a short bleached blonde.

"Yer, I could come from a long line of short-sighted chicken worriers who, mistaking me for a boy, got shot of me because they were afraid of one cock too many in the hen house", Pearl answers back.

"Oh, you're so pigging gross", the blonde moans.

"You want gross. I'll give you sodding gross, Jaye", says the obnoxious five foot six she-vixen with black hair, as she notices a caterpillar on a nearby bush. She instantly plucks the caterpillar from the bush and puts it in her mouth and starts chewing.

"Errgggh", comes the exclamation from Jaye.

A few brief seconds later Pearl spits the semi-chewed caterpillar out.

"It was green, I hate it when they're not ripe", Pearl answers.

Jaye: "You'll put anything in your mouth".

"Yer, but it doesn't guarantee I'll swallow", Pearl responds.

And with that the two girls laugh as they proceeded down the road towards the pub.

Two men stand in the shadows opposite the street corner where the 'Natterjack's Rest" public house is situated.

"Are you sure that thing is the slayer?" Questions the youngest of the two voyeurs.

"Yes, Alex, that 'thing' as you call her is indeed a slayer. Or will be once you have trained her. We have been keeping our eyes on her since she was born", replies an elderly gentleman in his mid-to-late 60s.

"But she is so ... so vulgar", Alex adds, amazed at how 'she' could be responsible for the fate of mankind.

"That may be so, but she is a slayer .... and it is your job to make her aware of that", adds the old man. "Now listen Alex, you have been specifically chosen to educate her. You are one of our most gifted watchers. It is unheard of to send someone out into the field at 18, but this is a job that we believe you are uniquely suited for. This is your duty. What you have studied all these years for".

Turning to look straight into Alex's eyes, the old man continues, "Failure is not an option, you realise that? If you fail, people will die, including that girl .... do you want that?"

Alex just shakes his head from side to side. Never before had the gravity of his destiny been made so clear. "But, Sir, if I approach that girl and tell her she is a vampire slayer, she's likely ... well ... likely to turn violent"

"Just watch her for now, Alex. You will know when the time is right to make contact", the old man concludes.

He pats Alex on the back, "Good luck my boy", and he walks away leaving Alex to ponder what lies ahead of him.

Part Two

It is just approaching midnight as Pearl and Jaye stagger out of the pub. As the two girls turn right to head down the street back to their squat, Pearl grabs her stomach and moans loudly.

"Pearl, you okay?", inquires her friend.

"I think I'm gonna puke", Pearl replies.

"Well, don't do it in my direction for fuck's sake" her concerned friend jokingly responds.

A shabbily dressed twentysomething steps out from a nearby shop doorway. "Hey blondie, I've got something to take your friend's mind off wanting to throw up".

"No thanks, we've had our needledick quota for this month", comes Jaye's ascerbic response.

A second male steps up positioning himself behind the two teenagers. "That's not what he had in mind sweetheart".

"Well, did you two tossers have this in mind?", shouts Pearl, as she pulls a large knife from its resting place and swipes at the nearest of the two assailants.

"Ooooh, little girl wants to play rough", shabby-guy retorts, "Well we can do rough". And with that the two assailants reveal their true selves ... vampires.

At this Jaye screams and receives a backhander for her trouble.

Pearl lunges with the knife, managing to slash one of the vamps across the arm.

"Bitch!" exclaims the vampire as the blade slices into his undead flesh. "Grab her", he orders to his accomplice.

Pearl: "Jaye! Run! Get out of here!"

Jaye: "But, Pearl?"

"Go ..... Just Fucking Go!" As Pearl screams this at her departing friend, she is bundled to the ground. "Ummphh".

Looking down at his victim-to-be, the vampire speaks. "Now, you foul-mouthed little gutterslut, I think it's time you learned the true order of things". He looks to his friend, "What do you think, enough here for two?"

"She cut my arm. The bitch cut my bastard arm", the injured vampire replies. "Make it hurt".

As he finishes talking a figure comes bounding across the road and hurls himself at the demon, sending the wounded vampire flying.

The vampire pinning Pearl to the ground looks over to witness the commotion, giving Pearl the opportunity to push him off her. And in so doing she bounces back to her feet and makes a dash for the knife which had previously been knocked out of her hands.

Meanwhile, her rescuer is having a battle of his own. As he and the wounded vampire struggle he brings a wooden stake out of his jacket. Realising that this interloper knows of the vampire breed, the wounded attacker takes a pace back. But the rescuer is now on the offensive and seizing the advantage forces the stake into his enemy's chest. A sudden screech and the vampire explodes into a particle cloud.

With Pearl now armed, she continues to stab at her attacker. Slashing at the vampire, he stumbles back. She makes one more thrust and jams the blade deep into his shoulder.

"Arrrgggghhhhh", screams the vampire. Grabbing the knife the vampire pulls it out, leaving a gaping wound to pour forth it's off-colour liquid. "Now I am really pissed off", snarls the vampire.

Alex shouts across at the girl, "You can't stop him with that. You'll have to use this". And Alex tosses the stake to the would-be slayer.

As the vampire moves forward, knife in hand, Pearl catches the airborne stake and thrusts it into the vampires chest.

The demon looks down at the stake, "Bugger" he says and then he too goes the way of his friend, covering Pearl in dust.

Alex comes across to the teenage girl, "Are you okay? He didn't bite you did he?" he asks as he picks the stake up off the ground.

"What-what the hell just happened?" demands Pearl.

"I'm Alex ... and you're welcome", Alex adds as he places the stake back in his coat pocket.

"Er, thank you. What just happened?" Pearl enquires again.

"You were attacked by vampires, and .... well we killed them", Alex replies with total indifference.

"Vampires ... of course ...", Pearl pauses, "Are you out of your fucking tree?", she shouts, "Do I look retarded to you?" and she pushes Alex out of the way and storms off down the road.

"No you don't look retarded" Alex calls after her, "You look like a vampire slayer ..... just like your mother".

As Alex says those words Pearl stops dead in her tracks. She stands in the street rigid. As if frozen in time.

A couple of minutes pass and then, suddenly, she comes back to life. She turns immediately back in the direction of the young Watcher and runs straight for him. Charging him to the ground she straddles him, pinning his arms with her knees. She then gently eases both her hands around his throat. "What do you mean 'just like your mother'? What do you know about me mother?"

"I don't know much", Alex replies as he struggles fruitlessly to free himself.

"What do you know about me mother?" Pearl demands as her grip tightens on his throat.

"I swear, I don't know much .... but I know her name and I have some pages from her diaries", Alex manages to whisper as his need for air increases.

Pearl releases her grip on his throat and removes herself from him.

Alex remains on the ground for a few seconds, gulping down the cool night air. As he finally feels strong enough to pick himself up, he rises and dusts himself down.

"So you know her name? Do you know why the bitch dumped me in sodding care as well?", Pearl asks angrily.

"She didn't dump you Pearl ... She died giving birth to you", came the gentle reply as Alex moved closer to the angry teenager.

"So you say. But what about my father? Where was he? Bet the bastard knocked her up and then pissed off?", Pearl spits out, as she endeavours to remain angry and thereby unaffected by the revelations being made.

"Your father is dead too. He died as he tried to protect your mother", Alex pauses as he witnesses the shrew begin to become more vulnerable as his words impact.

"Your father and mother were the victims of a vicious attack. With your father killed, they then went after your mother. What they did would have killed a normal woman, but not her. She fought on to stay alive, despite her injuries ... and do you know why?" asks Alex.

"Cos she was a vampire slayer", comes Pearl's sarcastic reply.

"No. Because she was eight months pregnant with you at the time", Alex answers bruskly.

"She fought to stay alive ... even with all her wounds and injuries. When she arrived at the hospital, there was very little they could do for her, but they could save you. An emergency caesarean section was needed to deliver you. Even in her weakened state, the operation had to be performed. But she got to see you, she got to see the daughter she loved. Her little Pearl". Pausing Alex notices tears forming in the young slayer's eyes.

"And as her life ebbed from her body, you were handed to her. She looked upon you with all the joy and misery of the world in one gaze. The joy of a mother looking upon her newborn child ... and the misery of a mother knowing that she will never she her child again, as she herself prepares to embrace death. And at that moment she uttered her final words ...."

"She's beautiful. She has her father's eyes".

"So, her name, what was her name?", Pearl beseeches.

"Your mother was called Buffy .... Buffy Summers. Your father was known as Angel". Alex moves closer to Pearl, taking some sheets of paper out of his jacket's inside pocket. "Not much was saved after her death, but these pages were salvaged from her diaries". Alex hands the dog-eared sheets to the quiet girl in front of him.

Shaking, the young girl reaches out and takes the sheets.

"Some of these pages are over two decades old. In it you will see what good people your mother and father were". Alex pauses, "and", he reaches inside his jacket again and this time pulls out an envelope, "this letter was written to you by your mother".

Handing it to the dumbstruck girl, Alex continues, "It is addressed to you Pearl ... from your mother. It was written five days before she and your father were murdered ... It's unopened ... no one has read it".

Pearl begins to cry, though with a quick sniff she tries to check the tears.

"It's alright Pearl, I guess you need some time alone". Alex takes his coat off and puts it around the teenager. "I'll walk you home and you can read the letter in private ... in your own time".

Pearl slowly leads the way as Alex matches her steps.

The journey back to the squat takes fifteen minutes, and in all that time not a word is spoken. As they finally reach the squat Pearl takes the coat off and returns it to Alex.

"If it's alright with you, I'll pop by tomorrow ... about six in the evening okay?", asks Alex.

Pearl just nods.

"I'm sure by then you'll have a whole raft of questions you want to ask ...and if I have the answers I will gladly give them to you". With those parting words, Alex turns to leave.

Pearl heads indoors.

Part Three

As Pearl enters the squat she is greeted by Jaye.

"Thank God, you're alright", her friend exclaims as she hugs Pearl. "I was so worried. Who were those freaks?"

"They were vamp-er-junkies. Just some whacked out junkies", Pearl answers as she turns to head into her room. "I'm feeling totally knackered, I'm going to sleep so ... um ... I'll see you in the morning, okay?"

"Okay then ... see you in the morning", Jaye responds, still unsure of what transpired earlier that night.

Pearl enters her room and shuts the door behind her. Taking a box of matches from beside the mattress which serves as her bed, she lights a single candle. As the light from the candle starts to permeate the darkness of the room, she takes the collection of pages and the letter and places them on the mattress. Stealing herself, she takes a deep breath...unsure whether to proceed she pauses momentarily.

"Do I really want to do this?" Pearl murmurs to herself.

As if to get the pain over and done with, she rips open the faded grubby white envelope which carries her name on it in dull ornate script. She hesitates and finally releases the letter from it's prison of some fifteen years and unfolds it. She begins to read it out loud in a soft, gentle whisper .....

"My dearest darling Pearl,

Your father and I keep counting the days to your birth. Just 32 days to go.

Your father has finally got the crib finished. He's been working on it every spare moment he has had since we found out you were going to be born. You would have thought all the time he has had to learn woodworking he'd have been able to put one together without any effort at all. But no, he has been coming in every night with fresh cuts and bruises. Even your grandfather has had a go at helping him, but he is definitely not suited for it.

Of course, mom got all misty eyed when the crib was finally brought into the house. The whole being a grandmother thing took her some time to come to terms with. She is definitely not old enough to be a grandmother, or at least that is what she told us. But once she became accustomed to the idea she went into a full-on knitting-frenzy. You won't need to buy any clothes until you're about 42.

Rupert, on the other hand, loved the idea of being a grandfather. Of course, he's always dressed like a grandfather anyway, so it isn't much of a change for him.

I've also got to apologise for all those CDs that he has made you listen to. His theories on Greenhousing (or did he call it Glasshousing?) have no doubt been as exciting for you as they were for me. All those CDs you were forced to listen to. CDs of Latin, German, Japanese, French and Chinese. All the countless hours on physics, chemistry, advanced mathematics, quantum mechanics and Egyptology. Let alone the opera and classical music you were subjected to. Though I did manage to stop him playing his Bay City Rollers CDs, so you have something to thank me for.

There's also someone who is really looking forward to seeing you. He's really excited about being an uncle, and he's been bragging at pre-school all about the little niece he's getting, called Pearl. Of course, his main concern at the moment is when you will be old enough to play soccer, but you'll get to meet him when you're born. And given the way you've been kicking the last few days, I'd reckon you're going to give him one heck of a game.

Oh my darling little Pearl, we are so looking forward to seeing you. Your father and I are so happy. The day we found out I was pregnant with you was the happiest day of our lives. Your father has been walking around grinning like a Cheshire cat ever since.

I think I can hear your father calling. He and your grandfather are going out on patrol tonight, and I know he wants to say goodnight to you before they head off.

You know everything is going to be perfect for you. You have a whole family here who loves you dearly.

Love Mom".

As Pearl reads the final two words, the tears begin to pour forth. She had managed to stave off the tears until now, but 'Love Mom' was just too much and the tears come rushing down her face, forming black and purple trails as her mascara runs.

Pearl rubs her eyes and sniffs. She sits on the mattress and gives voice to a series of questions which race into her head.

"So, I had a mother and father?"

"A mother and father who loved me?"

"A family who loved me?"

"But who killed them?"

"What killed them?"

Pearl reaches for the assorted diary pages which Alex had handed her earlier that night and begins to read them. Silent now, as she drinks in each and every syllable ... every word that was written by her mother.

Several hours later:

Pearl looks across at the candle which, having provided the light to read and re-read the diary pages and letter, has almost melted away.

Taking a small plastic bag, she places all these priceless pieces of her heritage into it, folds it over and places it under the mattress.

She drags a couple of blankets over herself and turns to extinguish the light.

In the dark, Pearl begins to think out loud ....

"I had a mum. I really had a mum. And a dad. A dad who never even got to see me.

It can't be real. Vampires, Slayers, Watchers, Demons? It's a trick, a lie.

But tonight I saw it with my own eyes. A wooden stake through the heart and, whoosh, a cloud of dust.

So if there are vampires ... Then I had a mother ... And if I had a mother, then the bastards murdered her.

Alex called me a vampire slayer, like my mother ... my mother Buffy Summers.

She said on that page from her diary that she was the slayer ... that into each generation a slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a chosen one, one born with the strength and skill to fight the vampires.

And she had a Watcher, someone to provide her with guidance. To offer help and support. To train her.

Maybe that's this Alex bloke. Though he's a bit young for that lark.

But if I'm a slayer I can make them pay ... I can make them all fucking pay. Every damn one of them.

I had a family. I had parents who loved me. And they took them away from me. They gave me fifteen years of shit. A life without anyone. Stuck in care. Stuck here in pigging England, when I should have been growing up in sunny California.

Those vampire bastards, they will all pay. They will suffer for what they did to me ... to my mother and father.

Six o'clock this evening I will tell that Alex I want in. That I'm up for this vampire slayer gig".

Pearl shivers and pulls the blankets closer too her.

"Yesterday I was a no one. A non-person.

But today, I have a past. I have a history. I have an identity and .... I have a reason to live ... I am the chosen one.

Happy fifteenth birthday".

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