Author's Note: This is a Buffy/BSC cross-over
taking place about two years after "Chosen." In terms of the BSC
timeline, it takes place around book 60 (before Dawn leaves for the
first time), except catapulted forward in time.
Considering these are the girls who started 8th grade about 200 times, I figure that's okay.
Mallory, Slayer of the Vampyres
By Mallory Pike
It was the blackest part of night. The graveyard was covered in darknes. Dark with an inky blackness that blanketed it in darkest gloom. A low fog rolled over the land, and lo, the graves were at their scariest and their most mysterious.
Among the tombs stood Mallory Pike, slayer of the vampyres. Wooden stake in hand she stood poised over that most foul fiend of the night: a vampyre. "I shall send you back to Hell, most foul fiend of the night!" she cried, and drove the stake through his dry, shriveled heart. Once again, the slayer was victorious.
I, Mallory Pike, don't look much like a vampire slayer. After all, I'm your average 11 year old girl. I have red hair, which I hate, and glasses, which I also hate, and braces, which I hate most of all. I don't have long dancers legs, like my best friend Jessi, and I'm not even athletic like my other friend Kristy (although I did make the Stoneybrook Middle School archery team). In fact, I've always hated sports – I even sprained my ankle on purpose to get out of the school field day
Instead, I read lots of books, especially ones about horses, and I write whenever I can. My life's ambition is to be a children's book author and to write and illustrate my own books! Mallory, Slayer of the Vampyres isn't a children's book though; it's way too dark and scary for kids. That's okay. I feel a writer should be versatile. (Isn't that a cool word? It means "flexible." I learned it from my friend Claudia's sister. She's a real life genius!)
If I'm not reading or writing, chances are you can find me baby-sitting. I've always been responsible for my age because I'm the oldest of eight (yes, that's right, eight) children. A lot of people think my parents are freaky ultra-religious Catholics or something, but they're totally not. They just love kids, like me! Anyway, I baby-sit so much I'm even in a special baby-sitters club, but I'll tell you more about that in a little while.
First, I want to talk about the day everything changed for me. I didn't realize it yet, but this was the day I became something other than normal, boring, glasses-wearing Mallory Pike.
I guess I should start my story on the last Monday of the school year. I was at our final archery meet and I was dibbly excited. (Before I continue, you should know that dibbly is a word my friends and I made up. It's short for incredibly. We make up lots of words. Dibble, distant, and chilly all mean "cool," and stale is the opposite of "chilly.") Anyway, I'm not the best archer on the team, but I always have fun, even when I lose.
Today's meet took place at my very own Stoneybrook Middle School and we were competing against Stoneybrook Academy, which is a private school. In the field behind the school, hay targets were set up about ten feet away from where we were standing. As usual, some of the stupid boys like Alan Gray were watching us and shouting things like "Go back to the Ren Faire, geek." I don't know what that means. I can only assume they're jealous of my sort-of-boyfriend Ben Hobart. Mom says boys always tease you when they like you.
Usually, I'm lucky to hit the target, but today when I picked up my bow something felt different. I pulled back my bow farther than ever before, and let the arrow fly. Not only did I hit the target right in the center, I hit it so hard the arrow went straight through the hay! I was lucky no one was standing behind it, because they'd probably arrest me for assault or something. Creepy!
Anyway, everyone was impressed and I won first prize (although they wouldn't let me shoot anymore). I didn't have time to think about it, though, because it was almost 5:30 PM and I was going to be late for our Baby-Sitters Club meeting! I rode my bike all the way to Claudia's and fortunately I was super fast that day so I made it just as my watch hit 5:30. Thank God, because Kristy, our president, hates it when we're late. She even makes a point of keeping super sharp pencils that she can throw at us when she doesn't think we've hustled enough. And Kristy plays softball so those things hurt.
If I'm going to tell you about the Baby-Sitters Club I should start with Kristy, because without her, there wouldn't even be a club! Kristy had the idea one day when neither her nor her two older brothers could baby-sit her younger brother, David Michael. Kristy watched her mother call number after number with no luck. Then Kristy had a Great Idea (Kristy gets Great Ideas all the time; it's dibbly distant). What if, she thought, you could call one number and reach a lots of sitters? And so, the Baby-Sitters Club was born. We meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30-6:00. Parents call one number and they get seven experienced sitters who can sit for them. Needless to say, we're very popular.
Kristy, of course, is our president. She's perfect for the job because she likes to tell people what to do. She sits in a director's chair during meetings and puts a pencil behind her ear (she never throws that one). As I said earlier, Kristy is an athlete. She even couches a softball team for all the kids in the neighborhood who are too young or shy to play in the official tee ball league.
The last thing you should know about Kristy is that she's rich. Well, she's not rich; her stepfather Watson Brewer is. When Kristy's mom married Watson she moved from the upper middle class side of town where we all live to the rich side of town where Watson lives. It was quite an adjustment. Now, though, she gets along great with her stepfamily and is even her stepsiblings' favorite baby-sitter.
I had made it to the meeting so quickly that the only other people there when I arrived were Stacey and Claudia. Stacey and Claudia are best friends, and have been ever since Stacey's first day at Stoneybrook Middle School when she and Claudia were wearing the exact same (extremely trendy) outfit. Stacey is very sophisticated. She perms her hair, and she wears these extra-chilly outfits. That day, for instance, she was wearing a hot pink spandex miniskirt and a tight baby-tee that had 'New York is for Lovers" written on it in pink sequins. I'm always especially jealous of Stacey's earrings because I haven't been allowed to get my ears pierced yet. In one ear, she had a pair of lips that looked like they were about to kiss someone and in the other she had a tube of lipstick. Isn't that dibble?
As you can tell, Stacey is really into fashion, but guess what? She's also good at math! That's why she's our club treasurer.
The reason Stacey is so fashionable is that she's from New York City, which, as she always tells us, is the best city in the world. Naturally, this has taught her a lot of things that those of us from Stoneybrook haven't learned yet, like how to pronounce "filet mignon" and all kinds of things about boys. She's great to have around.
Stacey moved from New York to Stoneybrook after she was diagnosed with diabetes and her parents decided she should start over at a new school. This is really hard for Stacey because it means she can't eat any sweets and has to give herself shots several times a day (ick!). She moved back to New York for a while, but when her parents divorced and her mom decided to come back to Stoneybrook Stacey came back with her. We're all really glad she did, even though I know her parents' divorce was hard for her.
Claudia, Stacey's best friend, is totally fashionable too, but in a different way. Claudia is an artist. You can tell that from the way she dresses. While Stacey buys her clothes in the most super-fashionable shops (like Forever 21; I can't wait to be allowed to shop there someday), Claudia makes most of her clothes herself, or buys them at thrift stores. Today, for instance, Claudia was celebrating the upcoming vacation by dressing in a summer themed outfit. She couldn't wear a real bikini to school because of school dress codes (stale), so instead she worse a tight, flesh colored jump suit to make it look like she was naked and she painted a bikini on top of it! It was really skimpy, although not as skimpy as the one Stacey wore to Sea City last year, and since it didn't have to go in the water she had glued feathers, sequins, and summer memorabilia like watermelon seeds from last year's spitting contest all over it. On her feet she wore super colorful flip flops, and to make them more summery she glued entrance ticket stubs from the local pool all over them. On her head, she wore one of those baby-sized plastic flotation rings as a hat. On anyone else it would have looked weird, but on Claudia it was way cool.
Claudia was always the first one at BSC meetings, because we have the meetings at Claudia's house. She's the only one of us who has her own phone line. She's also a junk food addict so she always has plenty of snacks on hand. However, her parents are very strict so she has to hide them all over her room along with her Nancy Drew mysteries (her parents think she should be reading "quality" literature). Even though she eats lots of junk food, her skin is flawless.
Claudia may be a brilliant artist, but she has trouble in school. In fact, for a while we even thought that she might be special. But she got tested and everything, and she's totally okay. The hardest thing for Claudia is that, as I said earlier, her sister Janine is a genius. She always feels like she'll never be as successful as Janine in their parents' eyes.
Oh, and you should know that Claudia's Japanese. Her last name is Kishi and she has the beautiful almond shaped eyes.
The next two people to arrive at the meeting were Mary Anne and Dawn. They usually come together, because not only are they best friends, they're stepsisters! It was a dibbly romantic story – someday I may even have to write a book about it. Mary Anne's father Richard and Dawn's mother Sharon were high school sweethearts. But Sharon's family was wealthy and Richard's family wasn't, so her parents didn't approve. They broke up to go away to college and married other people – Richard stayed in Stoneybrook and had Mary Anne and Sharon moved to sunny California and had Dawn.
Isn't that the most tragic story ever? Fortunately, it has a happy ending. Mary Anne's mother died when she was just a baby and Dawn's parents got divorced. Sharon moved back to Stoneybrook, and voila! Love at first sight – again!
Now Mary Anne, Dawn, and their parents live in this distant old farm house that even has a secret passage. My brother Nicky likes to hide there sometimes when he needs to get away from the craziness of our family. Dawn is really into ghost stories, so having her very own secret passage is perfect for her.
Dawn grew up in California and is a classic California girl. She has loooooong blonde hair that's so light it's almost white and ocean blue eyes. She's also a total health food nut. She won't touch Claudia's junk food and half the time she won't eat meat either because she thinks it's gross, unhealthy, and exploitative. Dawn's really passionate about her causes and is always willing to share with the rest of us how we can be better people, which is just so dibble of her.
Even though they're sisters Mary Anne and Dawn are very different. Mary Anne is really shy and cries at the drop of a hat. Her dad is really strict, even stricter than my parents. Fortunately for Mary Anne he's loosened up some since marrying Shannon, because now Mary Anne is allowed to wear her hair short instead of long and in braids and she even has a boyfriend, Logan. Mary Anne is the first of us to have a real boyfriend, and she and Logan are just the best couple. Not only does he look like the totally dreamy actor Cam Geary, he's an associate member of the club (we call him when we're too busy to take on a job ourselves). A boy who baby-sits – we should all be so lucky!
Jessi was the last of us to arrive that day. She came running in right at the stroke of 5:30 and heaved a sigh of relief when she made it on time. None of us likes to disappoint Kristy, or risk a pencil in the eye. I've said a little about Jessi earlier. She's my best friend, and we have lots in common. We read the same books, both think our parents treat us like babies, and both have to wear glasses (although Jessi is lucky; hers are only for reading). But there are two ways we're not alike. First, Jessi is an incredible ballet dancer. She has legs almost as long as Dawn's hair and is really graceful. Second, Jessi is black. But she never lets that stop her! She's even been the lead in all of her ballet school's recitals.
Jessi and I are junior members of the BSC and that means we can only take jobs in the afternoon and on weekends. Since we're only 11 (all the other club members are 13) are parents won't let us sit at night yet, unless we're sitting for our own families.
That day, the BSC meeting started as usual. Claudia opened the window and pulled a bag of marshmallows down from the ledge. She tossed it to me and then grabbed some Hershey's bars from under her bed. The ants had gotten into them and she had to throw them away, which is too bad because Hershey's are my favorite. Dawn rolled her eyes.
"You know, the Native Americans often subsisted for days on ants alone. They're so much healthier than that chocolate," she said. I noticed she didn't pop an ant into her mouth; maybe she considered it "taking a life.". I opened the marshmallow bag, but I must have pulled too hard. It burst open and marshmallows went flying around the room. A lot of them landed on Claudia's latest art project.
"No problem!" she said. I just had the most dibble idea for a Candyland outfit!" She was telling us about her idea when the phone rang. Kristy answered.
"Hello, Baby-Sitter's Club. Thursday night? Just a moment Dr. Johannsen." When we get a call we take the information, discuss who can take the job, and then call our clients back.
"The Johanssen's need a sitter for Thursday night at 7PM," she barked. " Who's free?" Mary Anne, who's our secretary since she has really pretty handwriting, checked her appointment book.
"Well, I'm baby-sitting at the Pikes and you have a Crusher's practice, Kristy, and Claudia has an art class. That leaves Stacey and Dawn." Dawn let Stacey take it; she and Charlotte Johannsen are almost like sisters.
As you can see, scheduling sitting jobs is very complicated. But Mary Anne hasn't made a mistake once!
While we waited for the phone to ring again I told my friends that I had won first place at the archery tournament. They were so pleased their jaws dropped wide open and they couldn't even speak for a minute. The great thing about the BSC is that we're always able to share our successes and failures with each other. The phone range again, and this time Claudia jumped for it (we all like to answer the phone.)
"Hello. Baby-sitters Club." She was silent for a moment. "I'm sorry, sir. What did you say your daughter's name was? She likes what?" Claudia took his information, and then hung up.
"Mr. Wells just moved into the neighborhood and needs a sitter for his four year old daughter Illyria tomorrow afternoon. He says he heard one of us liked archery and he thinks his daughter would really enjoy a lesson."
It wasn't a surprise, really. The Baby-Sitters Club has such a great reputation that even the newest parents in town were likely to have heard all kinds of things about us. I was free so I volunteered to take the job immediately. Everyone else looked a bit skeptical at the thought of a four year old named Illyria who liked archery, but they weren't writers and didn't have my imagination. I bet Illyria would be just like the hero of a story. Maybe I could even write it myself. I couldn't wait to sit for my new charge.
The next day after school I looked at the piece of paper where I had written down Mr. Wells' address. Just like I had thought it said 461 Van Gliesen St.. I looked up at the house in front of me. I knew this job would be perfect fodder for a book, and I was right already. Mr. Wells and his daughter had moved into the old deserted house on the edge of town. There might even be real, live ghosts. Dawn would be so jealous.
I walked up to the house and rang the doorbell. Inside, I heard scuffling and a couple of bangs. Boy, Illyria must be a handful. Maybe I could introduce her to Jackie Rodowsky (he's another of our clients; we call him the "Walking Disaster" because he's so accident prone). Finally, the door swung open and a man appeared. He was short and ordinary looking, with brown hair and eyes. But he was wearing a cape! That was so cool! I was a bit nervous that I'd look like a geek, but I managed to say:
"Mr. Wells, I presume?" I read that in a book once and it always seemed like the perfect thing to say when you wanted to impress someone.
"Yes. Wells. Andrew Wells. Come in, my dear. Come in." Mr. Wells had such a deep and dramatic voice. I wondered if maybe Cam Geary would agree to play him in the film version of my novel. He swung his cape around him and walked into the house. I followed. Here, though, I stopped being nervous and excited and started being scared.
The house was empty. There wasn't any furniture at all, and it looked as deserted on the inside as it did on the outside. I imagined myself kidnapped or murdered and the BSC and my family distraught. I wondered if I'd get my picture on a milk carton.
"Mr. Wells," I asked, my voice trembling, "Can I meet Illyria now?"
"Of course, my dear, of course." He clapped his hands together, and called "Illyria, you can come out now." Were they playing hide and seek? This was certainly a perfect house for it.
A woman emerged from the shadows. I was so surprised I must have jumped three feet in the air. She was blue. Well, not really blue, but her brown hair had blue streaks and the coloring extended to her forehead as well. And she wore a tight, red, leather jump suit. She was definitely not four years old.
"This, my dear Mallory, is Illyria," Mr. Wells said, raising his hand towards her. I tried to run for the door, but Illyria had beat me to it and slammed it shut. Instinctively, I tried to get past her. My hands and feet were moving in ways I hadn't thought I knew. And I was strong. I kicked her in the chest, and she recoiled.
But Illyria was stronger. She grabbed hold of me and I kept struggling, but couldn't break free.
"You are not yet at the peak of your power, Mallory," Mr. Wells said in a deep voice, "but you have confirmed that you do indeed have potential." He stopped, and took a step or two nearer to me before continuing. "Mallory, you are a slayer. A slayer of the vampyres."