Prologue: Dreaming of Death
They fill my nights
and haunt my days

I try and try
but they're always too far away

They bleed and scream
and my mind won't let me free

No matter how I try
They still always die

They come to me
and continue to plea

It always ends the same
why can't they let me be

-- Cassie Reynolds


Cassie Reynolds lay curled in her bed, by all appearances peacefully sleeping like any twelve-year-old should. But looks could be deceiving, as her small body began to twitch and jerk, for Cassie's sleep was far from tranquil. Just as they always did these days, the nightmares began as she fell deeper into sleep. It was unnatural - no normal child her age should ever have to experience the things she saw and the places that she visited while dreaming.

Cassie never knew how she ended up here. She could see everything through his eyes that he did. But she could never stop him, no matter how hard she tried. It made no sense to her.

Why was she the one that had to see all this?

How was she connected to this man?

These were the questions that had been running through her mind ever since moving to Sunnydale. Cassie still didn't have answers, though. She just hoped that they would catch this killer soon, so these dreams would stop.

As she watched through his eyes this time, Cassie noticed he was nearing Sunnydale Middle School. She couldn't fathom what he would be doing there.

Was he going after someone she knew this time?

Would she have to watch as he killed someone who meant something to her?

He started to move then and she watched as Andrew Wells came into sight.

Cassie tried to scream out and warn him that the killer was there, but of course, he couldn't hear her. She was just a silent observer to all of this and could never change what happened. But, instead of approaching Andrew, the killer ducked behind a car, and Cassie felt the weight of worry lift off her chest. Her friend was okay and she, herself, could kill Andrew later for scaring her like that.

The killer started moving again. He managed to enter the school through a window whose lock was rusty and broken. Helpless to do anything else, Cassie could only watch as he skulked through the halls. He stuck close to the few shadows that filled the school this close to sundown. As he slinked down the gloomy hall, Cassie tried to take in as much as possible. If she couldn't save this person, then at least she would be able to tell the cops what had happened.

The killer stopped again and stood in an alcove located just off of an exit door. Cassie knew just where that exit was located, she'd seen it while in school just three days before. It was where 'Miss Thing' Missy and her temporary boyfriend had been smooching. The secluded nook provided cover so that no one walking down the hall would see you until you were right on top of them.

Cassie knew that it would mean death for whoever the killer waited for.

It didn't take long until Cassie could hear the sound of heels tapping across the hall floors. She wanted to close her eyes but that wasn't possible - she had learned that a long time ago. So she waited for the inevitable, the death of whoever was in these halls.

The killer moved so quickly that Cassie almost missed the face of his newest victim. She only caught a glimpse of the woman but instantly knew who it was.

Cassie woke with an ear-piercing scream.

"NO! BUFFY!"