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Taming the Muse

398 - Requiem - Giles as Big Bad (working title) - dragon's phoenix - BtVS

Taming the Muse


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398 - Requiem - Giles as Big Bad (working title) - dragon's phoenix - BtVS

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Taming the Muse
Title: Giles as Big Bad is my working title; I don't know what I'll actually call it
Fandom: BtVS
Prompt: 398 - Requiem
Warnings: Blood, gore, visions of death
Rating: I'm going with PG-13
Summary: Giles is the big bad of season 1. This is the first scene of the work, setting up how Giles becomes evil.
Notes: Originally this first scene was going to be the ritual to Eyghon, but the prompt of requiem put Randall's funeral into my mind. Does this work as a beginning scene?

Discarnate demons may embody themselves, anchor themselves to the physical plane by one of two methods. The first and more common method is to possess a human body. The most common example of this is vampirism. There are no known instances of possession in which the human memories do not remain intact although it remains a theoretical possibility.

The second method in which a discarnate demon may anchor itself into the human plane is more subtle and hence more dangerous. Because there are no obvious physical changes, it is almost impossible to detect allowing the demon in question, if it is embodied in an astute host, free reign in the human realm. In this method a psychic bond is created between the demon and a human host. The demon itself remains embodied, if one can use that word, in a non-material plane but this connection, this psychic bond, remains as a persistent influence upon the human host. The demon is, in effect, always in the back of the host's mind, whispering directly into his thoughts.

The ancient rites that could create such a bond are always associated with degenerate subsets of society, outcasts from the greater social norm, sometimes tribes living in isolation, sometimes bohemians, wild youth living in the lower depths of the greater inner cities.

  • from a lecture on Advanced Demonology, Watcher's Council Lecture Series

The heavy stone walls of the church made it seem more fort than temple of God. Perhaps that was as it should be. Rupert needed shelter although he didn't expect to find it here. He found a seat at the back of the church without stopping to sign the registry. His clothes, the tweed he'd put back on after he'd returned to the Council, wouldn't raise a second glance. There was nothing to identify him, but he knew that Randall's parents wouldn't appreciate his presence even if they didn't know he was their son's killer. Or perhaps their son's savior. There had been no chance of bringing back Randall, not after Eyghon had taken him over. Rupert's had thought he'd left the Council behind him but when the demon had run free, Rupert's duty had been clear. Kill before the demon could.

Mozart's Requiem played in the background as the church filled. Rupert was possibly the only one who could see the parallels. A gifted young man, misunderstood by his parents, who had died tragically and far too young. Rupert would rather have been surrounded by silence, but the choice wasn't his. Rupert wondered briefly who had selected the music. Certainly Randall's working-class parents wouldn't have, but perhaps that was a decision made by the priest, a kindness, not forcing more choices on the grieving family.

The mother and father came in. With her head turned toward her husband, Rupert couldn't see more of the mother than a babushka covering her head and what was likely her best coat. The father's eyes were red from crying but he looked more furious and dazed than sad. Rupert had seen a bullfight once. The bull, wounded by a half-dozen lances, had tried and failed to rise. Rupert saw that same look on the old man's face, not an acceptance of impossible odds, but a hopeless raging in the face of them.

After the parents were seated, between one blink of an eye and the next, the walls were covered in blood and gore. Randall's mother had fallen onto her husband, the slash in her throat exposed. Hers was the only identifiable corpse. Body parts had been strewn everywhere but the viscera lay so thick that no one else could be identified. Rupert's hands clenched the back edge of the pew before him. If I run screaming from this funeral, they'll find me, they'll tie me to Randall's death, and they'll kill me. You'll lose your only anchor to this world.

Rupert heard laughter in the back of his mind. The corpses were still there but at least they were full bodies again, bodies broken and slashed and running with blood, but bodies that acted like people, engaging in the service and acting out the motions of their faith as a panacea to their grief. The demon had played this game with him before, controlling what he saw, heard, smelled. At least this time Rupert stopped himself from gagging on the coppery scent of blood. The blood and corpses were an illusion but an illusion so real that it took all of Rupert's will to sit there and appear calm.

As soon as the service ended, Rupert raised himself up and out of the church, walking quickly away between the flowing waters of the Thames to his left and the industrial parks to his right. He walked five blocks and across a bridge before he stopped, leaning heavily against a chain link fence. Rupert looked down at his hands, expecting them to be dripping with gore, but that was one illusion Eyghon had never given him. But it wouldn't be an illusion, not quite. Randall's blood had been on his hands for three weeks. The police, searching for the killer, had held the body that long. Presumably releasing it meant the trail had run dry.

Eyghon spoke in the back of Rupert's mind. My priest. The demon hadn't just taken over Randall, it had anchored itself in Rupert's mind as well. Rupert had tried a half-dozen rituals over the course of three days, but nothing had loosened Eyghon's grasp on his mind. When Rupert had fled to the Council, he'd meant to turn himself in, to tell them Eyghon was trapped in his mind. Surely the full weight of the Council could find a way to banish the demon.

But then Rupert had remembered rumors, gossip, tales of Watchers who'd been polluted by demons. The more ordinary demons, such as vampires, were killed straight out, but any human, even a Watcher, corrupted by an exotic demon, that person would be kept, caged, and studied. The Council knew of this type of psychic bond but had never had a living example to study.

Rupert's hands gripped the fence, the woven wire fencing cold against his hands. “I could still tell them about you,” he snarled at the demon. “It is my duty.” He'd taken the afternoon off but the Council never closed. He could go now.

They would keep him alive as long as they could to study the link, and they would dissect him after he was dead to see if the bond had changed him physically.

Tomorrow,” he said. “First thing.”

Eyghon laughed in the back of his mind.

  • OOOH! I like the start of this and am eagerly awaiting more.

    • I'm still working on the first draft. I'm currently writing "out of mind; out of sight", which will be the last chapter of season 1. I want to work out what's going to happen in season 2 and then I'll start working on my final draft of season 1 so I can start posting.

      And to think, I thought I'd be posting by the end of December! *shakes head*
  • (no subject) - pickamix
    • Wow, thanks.

      For the description of Randall's father, which led to the idea of the bull and that bit you quoted, I was thinking of the funeral scene - and specifically the father - from Four Weddings and a Funeral. The expression on that actor's face has stayed with me. He looked like he'd been crying but there was this anger there as well. Yeah, I still can't get over how amazing that was.

      I wish I understood how my writing has gotten better recently. I have been doing Franklin writing exercises recently but not as often as I should to see improvement and with essays rather than fiction. It began with his reading a Spectator article and making brief notes on the meaning of each sentence; a few days later he would take up the notes and try to express the meaning of each sentence in his own words. When done, he compared his essay with the original, “discovered some of my faults, and corrected them.” These exercises are just as tedious as you'd imagine. *sigh*

      I personally credit (although I might be mistaken) writing drabbles for a couple of years with my improvement.Getting the stories down to 100 words (or at least trying to since I don't always succeed) forced me to think about my word choices. I not only wrote drabbles but I also took the prompt and tried to use it as a metaphor in the drabble.

      Part of the credit has to go to the prompt of requiem. If I hadn't been thinking of that I would have left the first scene for this story in the Eyghon ritual.

      Floyd Skloot is an amazing writer who had an illness that damaged his brain. He does have an advantage over you in that he had an M.A. and was probably a writer before this happened, but what I'm trying to get to here is "have hope."

      As for absorbing writing skills, how about an analysis exercise? I'm currently taking one of MIT's free courses, The Creative Spark. I don't have access to the professor's lectures or feedback, but I know what the lectures were about and have the readings (I managed to find all but one) and assignments. One that could work with fiction is this: when you're reading a story that you particularly like, look for what draws you into the story, for what makes you want to keep reading.

      *hugs and love*
  • Very, very nice work. First, I loved how you started off with the lecture excerpt. I was written perfectly to give that feel of cold academia, but it also gave a great sense of foreboding for what was to come. Then with the young Giles trying to remain anonyms at the funeral and the description of the loved ones in their grief. It was wonderfully insightful. And the shift to the illusion Eyghon presented him was so jarring, it was perfect.

    I will be waiting to see how you age Giles with this struggle in his mind, and how you weave it into his becoming the Slayer's Watcher.

    excellent start!
    • Thanks. The lecture is also new in the second draft. I felt that the reader needed more of an explanation. I'll actually be jumping Giles in age. The story moves pretty quickly to him as the Watcher. I still need to work out how much Eyghon is in his head. I don't want them bickering back and forth through the whole storyline. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that yet.

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