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The Account of Acathla
Acathla the demon came forth to swallow the world. He was killed by a virtuous knight, who pierced his heart before he could draw a breath to perform the act. Acathla turned to stone, as demons sometimes do, and was buried where neither man nor demon would ever want to look.
…Unless, of course, you're putting up low rent housing,
Angel to Spike, Season Two, 'Becoming'
Unknown Time, Unknown Place
Xander was laying on the ground when he first managed to break through the barriers of his subconscious, his arms and legs spread eagle and the bloody sword still laying by his side.
A quick look made it obvious that the blood had long since dried.
Picking himself up slowly, he cried in pain at the shock that ran through his wrist when he attempted to use it to prop himself up, dropping his body back to the ground with a thump- he had forgotten about it completely, and it even seemed that the cast had come off at some point or other, though he couldn't be sure when. Broken and splintered as he passed through time and god knows what else.
He blinked a few times, his back on the ground, the sun above him was spitting rays of sunlight right into his face, but he quickly adjusted to the pain as his eyes let themselves accept the level of lighting. Taking a moment to look around, he saw virtually nothing. It seemed to him that he was surrounded by tall grass, maybe as tall as his waist would have been had he been standing. It was course, like northern beach grass, and would probably cut bare skin after too much contact. It was a far cry off from the regular old garden grass he had come to know and hate mowing.
The wind blew, making the grass around him move slightly, rustling as the blades dragged across each other; he shivered. It was a cool wind, and it blew right across his chest…
With a start he realized that like his cast, most of his clothing had disappeared. must have been during that fate thing, he considered to himself, remembering everything that had happened during his time in limbo, Probably not the best place to bring a carry-on bag.
His shirt was gone, but his pants had managed to remain on him- probably due to the belt that he had owned for as long as he could remember. One shoe was missing, though both socks were still on him. One had pooled around his ankle, but he was going to be grateful for whatever he got.
Last he could remember, he was supposed to be in hell right now.
Sitting up he looked above the tall grass, and still saw nothing any more helpful. The grass seemed to go on forever, on hills and slopes, and there wasn't a tree or rock to capture his wandering eyes.
Slowly, holding his still pounding head, and his throbbing wrist, he stood up. He stopped for a moment, seeing the sword still laying beside him, and picked it up. The blood had long since dried and had begun to chip off at his touch. He began to walk. Not in any particular direction, but with no idea where he was, and with no near sources of water or food, he really didn't have much of a choice in the matter.
As Xander walked on, he could have sworn he had heard whispering… but it had only been the wind in the grass, playing tricks on his mind as he continued to trek on.
After the majority of the headache disappeared, he had taken stock of himself. He was covered in blood from the fight, both his own and Giles'; against the blood his skin looked just tad too pale for the hot sun above him. The hot sun that was still beating down without mercy on his back.
He had found a cut on the side of his head, however shallow, that he figured must have been caused when he had been dumped… wherever here was. It had been beating blood steadily for some time apparently, though it had stopped before he awoke.
His bent wrist, unfortunately bending in a very unnatural position, had turned an ugly shade of blue, purple, and worse yet… green. He would have used wood to splint it, knowledge he had gained during his stint as Army Man, but without any trees growing around him, or beaches for the wood to wash up on, there really wasn't anything he could do but hope to come across a hospital. Something that seemed less and less likely with every blistering step.
He had long since taken off his pants, opting for his boxers in the heat, and used the pant leggings themselves to wrap his feet so they wouldn't get any worse off on the sharp rocks and grass. He had been particularly grateful for them when he had found himself going through a field of prickly plants. They had looked like those small purple thistle that he knew grew some places, but they were far larger, and had a reddish hue to them as well. (1)
He felt sick. To his stomach, his mind, everything. Everywhere.
When he had jumped through that portal, it was with the knowledge that the world would be saved. He wasn't thinking about the consequences to his own body and mind. He hadn't thought on it for a second…
He had thought a hellish dimension would be one filled with rocks jutting out of the dead ground, fire spitting up from hole's that reached down right to the centre of the earth, and dead things… torturing, creatures, monsters, riddicule. He had though it would be more… frankly, hellish.
This though, was worse. Not knowing if he was the only living thing out there. Not knowing if there was any water around for miles and miles. Not knowing if he could survive here… He had no friends to help him, no enemies to kill him, and no family to mooch off of.
It was just him.
"Damn it," he muttered under his breath as the wind picked up again, "and here I was thinking that the Hellmouth was bad."
It was cooling, which was a grateful respite from the heat on his back, but continuous so that it almost became chilling. With one part of him turned towards the wind, and one part of him turned towards the sun, he felt like he was both melting and freezing at the same time. And only that little tiny part of him, in the very centre, got the best of both worlds.
Ducking down into the grass to wait until the wind felt it had done it's job, he sat. The grass around him whistled, only making the feeling of absolute loneliness worse, but he continued to sit anyway. He needed the break badly; and so he sat his sword beside him.
And eventually, accidentally, fell asleep.
(1) The plant in context would be a Musk Thistle, or Carduus nutanus. These plants are huge, and can reach above and beyond seven feet in height. Xander wouldn't know what it is, because they are native to Asia and Europe. For more information, visit http: