How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth till meaningless
Sharpen them with lies
-‘How to Fight Loneliness’
The grass had that late evening crispiness: the caught in the netherworld effect that comes with the dew and a full moon. The scene would have perhaps appeared magical to those who generally did not venture out late in the evening, but its bewitching charm had worn off for Buffy Summers. She strode through the cemetery, dissuading the night chill with a black leather jacket over a casual v-neck tee and mini-skirt combination, a decidedly grumpy aura surrounding her.
'Another Saturday night bites the dust,' she grumbled aloud. 'If only the creatures of the night would bite dust instead of humans, maybe I'd be able to have a little fun, for once.'
Her plans to go to the Bronze with Willow and Xander to see the band Wilco had fallen through with a decidedly loud thud when Giles had interrupted her study break with his usual note of caution, 'You mustn’t forget your duty, Buffy. Your work comes before play.'
'As if I could forget,' Buffy muttered, 'I'm only reminded every day. You are the chosen one. The one who must slay the vampires and scourge the world of all evil. Once, just once, I'd like to hear Giles say, 'Buffy why don't you take the night off and go to the mall'!'
She paused beside the north wall and gave the graveyard a once over. Maybe she would take another round and go to the Bronze anyway. Vampires frequented the Bronze, with its dark corners and hordes of young fresh blood, nearly as much as they frequented the cemetery. She could perform her sacred duty and catch the last half of the concert. She swung around, following the maintenance road for a while before slipping between a couple of mausoleums and heading out across the center of the cemetery. About half way across the grounds, she noticed a tiny sparkling light, almost as if a star had lost track of its home and decided to take up residence between two headstones. Buffy paused a moment, did a quick visual sweep, and then headed straight towards the lost star.
She could see that that star was really a flame bouncing up and down inside a glass lantern. Halting, she looked around again, her senses alert. This was the sort of thing that would be a trap for a slayer, and she was not about to be stupid enough to fall victim to some vampire's idea of Saturday night entertainment. Seeing nothing, she stepped up to the grave. Beside the headstone was a wire holder that held a small lantern, no larger than her smallest jar of holy water, lit by a candle.
'Somebody couldn't bear to go to sleep without their nightlight?' She questioned aloud.
The flame flickered in response. Buffy looked around again. Seeing nothing, she stepped in front of the gravestone and peered at the inscription. Nothing stuck out as particularly unusual about the names on the headstone, so she turned and headed back towards the cemetery gates. She'd tell Giles about it tomorrow. Tonight she was going to party at the Bronze.
The sound of a page turning broke the utter silence of the Sunnydale High library. The loan occupant of the high school picked up his cuppa, took a sip of lukewarm coffee, and made a face.
'I suppose I've been sitting here longer than I thought,' Giles murmured, tipping back in his chair so he could see through the window to the clock on the wall. After noting the time, he turned back to the leather bound book and continued making notes on a scrap of paper.
The full moon nearest All Saint's Day designates the festival of Leollyas, an ancient order of vampyrs that reached its peak near the late tenth and early eleventh centuries Anno Domini.
Among the prophecies revered by this order was that of a pure human being who would kill a slayer.
The order fell out of favour toward the end of the late eleventh century. However, the teachings of Leollyas remained and certain vampyrs continued to study and revere the prophecies.
According to Leonardo Battiste Giollinni, a watcher of the early fifteenth century, his slayer was killed in 1456, by what appeared at first glance to be a vampyr. On closer examination, the killer was discovered to be a pure human, one of the order of Benedict. Upon being questioned, Gianno Michelangaleno, the Benedictine monk who had murdered the slayer, claimed that he had no memory of the actual murder. Various memory spells and incantations were performed by the Watcher’s Councils in Venice, Versailles, and Lincolnshire, all to no avail. Gianno was released to a hidden location in southern France where he lived, guarded by certain French members of the Watcher's Council, for the rest of his known life.
Since then, the legend has laid buried and forgotten in old texts, with rare mentions in the Watchers' diaries, until the discovery of one of Leollyas’s ancient manuscripts towards the later part of the nineteenth century by William Nicholas Benton III.
A partial manuscript, this writing contains directions for the ritual of Leollyas: an apocalyptic ceremony that requires the blood of Gianno. As the manuscript is only partial, it may be assumed that it is not the blood of Gianno but rather of one of his offspring that is required for the fulfilment of the prophecy, and that the ritual itself may take place only if a full manuscript is found. In the event of the ritual occurring, it must take place on the night of the full moon that falls directly before All Saint's Day, three years before the turning of the next century.
'Oh dear,' Giles raised his head and looked at the clock again. 'That's tonight.' He stood and grabbed the tweed blazer from the back of his chair. 'I'd best find Buffy.'