The Curse

Author's note: This was written for the round robin "Axel's Arena" over at slayerfanfic, but I thought some people here might get a chuckle out of it too. I have a couple of others like these if anyone's interested.

(Sappy music plays. Picture fades in to show Beer Good sitting on a comfortably lit but not too bright stage with two arm chairs and a pack of Kleenex on a little table between them. Everything looks very... uh... think Dr Phil except less evil. Audience claps sympathetically.)

BEER GOOD: Hello folks, and welcome to the show. As we all know in the talk show business, true sobstories about hurt, addiction and illicit sex are what bring in the big bucks. So tonight, we have a very special guest. Ever since she first arrived in Sunnydale, many have speculated on what made Faith the hard, cynical yet very vulnerable and... if I may be allowed to use a medical term, "fucked-up" girl she is. Well, after tonight we need no longer wonder, because Faith has agreed to set the record straight once and for all and tell us about her childhood. Give her a warm hand, will you, folks?

(Faith walks on, unusually quiet, and sits down in the chair opposite Beer Good. Audience claps warmly.)

BEER GOOD: Thanks for coming, I know this is hard for you.

FAITH: Yeah, whatever. Let's just get it over with.

BEER GOOD: Perhaps you would like to tell us why you're here yourself.

FAITH: Sure. I've been reading some of these fanfics and... holy shit, people! I mean, some writers have me being gang-banged at 13 by a bunch of heroin-crazed... pitbulls or something. I figured I might as well tell you what really happened and at least get people to stop making shit up.

BEER GOOD: Yeah, like that's going to happen. But go ahead. You're among friends.

(Audience claps supportively. Someone yells "You go, girl!" and is promptly dragged outside by security and beaten to a bloody pulp for violation of the Ricki Lake Act.)

FAITH: Yeah. OK. Man, I can't believe I'm actually going to talk about this in front of millions of people.

BEER GOOD (checks ratings in monitor): Uh, yeah. Millions. Absolutely.

FAITH: So... uh... it started when I was, oh fuck... (tiny voice) Five. I was five.

(Audience gasps in horror. Faith is starting to look really distressed.)

BEER GOOD (puts his hand on her shoulder): It's OK, Faith. We all love you. Just let it out.

FAITH: Damn, look at this, I'm shaking like a leaf. (Swallows) OK, it was... um... God, I can't do this.

BEER GOOD: Sure you can. It'll all be better once you talk about it.

PRODUCER (in control booth): It damn well better be! Get to the good shit already, The Ghost Whisperer is kicking our ass in the ratings!

BEER GOOD: Start with who it was that hurt you.

FAITH: OK. I-it was... well... my dad had left my mom, and she had started drinking, and so her new boyfriend... Billy-Joe-Bob... he... (begins to cry)

(Audience gasps in even more horror. Some cries of outrage. A couple of guys immediately book a flight to Boston to kick the crap out of anyone who looks like his name might be Billy-Joe-Bob.)

BEER GOOD: He... beat you? Raped you? Got you hooked on drugs? Forced you to (gulp) watch the Bob Saget Christmas Special?

FAITH (shakes head, sobbing): H-him and... and my grandfather... they...

(Audience screams for blood. All over the country, old men are beaten up.)

FAITH: They... they took me to... to a...

BEER GOOD: An orgy? A crack house? A porn shoot? A David Hasselhoff concert? WHAT?

FAITH (breaks down completely, bawling her eyes out): A BALL GAME!

(Audience falls dead silent, looking very confused. On the monitor, the ratings plummet like a 16-ton weight.)

BEER GOOD: A... ball game.

FAITH: (nods, still crying.)

BEER GOOD: As in baseball.

FAITH: (hiccups something that might have been a "Yes". Eventually calms down enough to talk.) E-e-every Sunday... for ten years... w-we would go see the Boston Red Sox... and Billy-Joe-Bob would buy me ice cream and popcorn and... Grandpa kept talking about Babe Ruth and how the Sox were the greatest team ever and he was born the year they last won the World Series and his only dream was to see them win again... He waited for almost 80 years... A-and they kept... l-l-losing and losing and losing and... (starts to sob again)

BEER GOOD: Let me get this straight. This whole tough-girl thing you've got going is because a fucking baseball team didn't win the championship?

FAITH: I dropped out of high school to... oh God... help coach the kiddie league...

PRODUCER (in control booth): YOU'RE DEAD, BEER!

FAITH: Eventually I just gave up. Grandpa died holding on to Carl Yastrzemski's autograph, and I figured this world was just... evil. There was no hope for anything if the Sox could go 80 years without winning a World Series. It's wrong. And so I just said... fuck it. Fuck it all. I completely lost trust in humanity. I've never been to a game since.

(Everything is very very quiet. Last of the audience members leave.)

BEER GOOD: OK, so... uh... you must have felt great when they finally won?

FAITH: What are you talking about?

BEER GOOD: The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. You knew that, right?

FAITH (Turns pale as a ghost, gripping the armrests hard enough to break them): 2004?

BEER GOOD: Yep.

FAITH (with deadly calm): I was in Africa in 2004. Helped B stop some big ol' apocalypse. Didn't catch the news for weeks.

BEER GOOD: Really? Huh. Too bad you missed it. Who knows, it might be another 85 years before they win again. But hey, it's only a game, right? (Quickly ducks and runs backstage as Faith snaps, goes apeshit and starts tearing the studio apart, kicking down the walls, throwing the chairs around, smashing the cameras etc.)

FAITH: I'LL GET HER FOR THIS! OH, BUFFY, YOU ARE GOING TO PAY! HEAR THAT, GRANDPA? I'LL MAKE HER PAY FOR MAKING ME MISS THAT! I'LL MAKE YOU PROUD! LET'S GO RED SOX!

PRODUCER (in control booth): My set! My beautiful beautiful set! NooooooooooooOOOO!