Tap-tap, tap-tap

At that abrupt, rhythmic sound of something being lightly rapped several times came from behind themselves, Spike the vampire and his minions walking down the deserted Sunnydale alley stopped dead in their tracks. Turning around simultaneously with every one of the other vampires and demons that presently made up his latest gang of monsters during this Halloween night in the California city, Spike found himself staring at the backs of his underlings, that a moment ago had been obediently following the British fiend during his so-far unsuccessful search for Buffy Summers, the Slayer. Now, his entire mob of bleedin' idiots was just standing there and gawking at something up ahead that the undead blond couldn't see because they were all blocking his line of sight!

Several moments later, after viciously kicking and shoving his way to the front of the crowd, Spike glared at the human there in the middle of the alley a few yards away, with this bloke calmly regarding both the irate vampire and the rest of his muttering gang, with this latter wrongdoers rubbing their latest bruises and giving Spike their own glares.

If that specific vampire had even bothered to notice these irked feelings currently borne by his followers, the former Englishman's only reaction would have been a curt, "Sod 'em all." Instead, Spike was otherwise preoccupied in suspiciously eyeing that bugger before him, who was making a good run tonight for being the most outlandish person the vampire had ever encountered in his decades of unlife.

Unperturbedly surveying his demonic audience, a mature man with, it must be admitted, rather goofy features, and also possessing straight, white, shoulder-length hair now stood there while wearing a truly peculiar costume. This person looked as if sometime in his past he'd robbed an upmarket jumble sale, making off with an elderly, formal black tuxedo suit which then appeared to have endured, at the very least, a serious cattle stampede, judging from the look of this ragged and tattered outfit.

This shabby set of clothing nevertheless managed to add to the air of unkempt gravitas assumed by the stranger, despite his baffling accouterments now displayed in the alley for all there to wonder at. In order, these objects consisted of a slim white stick clenched in the man's right hand, a music stand placed in front of himself holding a massive book straining to hold within itself its paper contents, and most bizarre of all, a small raised metal platform the man was presently standing upon, gently bouncing up and down all the while.

Spike and the rest of the demons naturally gawked at this latter object, with these creatures of darkness at once seeing how the man's scruffy shoes were strapped into fastenings that firmly held him onto the upper lid of the circular platform. The cover of this podium, to give that platform its proper name, sank and rose and tilted in every direction in response to the man's shifting of his weight, all accomplished by strong springs hidden inside the podium.

Tap-tap, tap-tap

Evidently feeling that it was time to begin, now that he'd captured his audience's attention by again striking his little stick against the music stand, the man then put a stern expression upon his elastic features, and in a single great swoop of his arms, he thrust his hands straight up in the air, with the baton of the conductor pointed directly at the slit of Sunnydale night sky between the roofs of the alley buildings. The conductor held his dramatic position for an awe-inspiring moment, and then with another exaggerated gesture, both arms came down in a melodramatic plunge of these limbs, as the outrageous conductor now began to passionately direct an imaginary orchestra in the alleyway.

Spike and most of the other demons had instinctively flinched away at first from the flailing arms of the evident lunatic in front of themselves, but as these monsters recovered and continued to watch the performance, they all began to develop slow grins upon their deformed faces, happily showing off their fangs in wide smiles, and actually beginning to laugh out loud at the sheer ridiculousness of what they were witnessing. Particularly when the reason for the odd podium then revealed itself.

His face showing nothing but his utter dedication to his art, the conductor now tilted himself far to the left, keeping his balance only because he was strapped to the podium, until the man was actually perpendicular to the alley floor. Continuing to twirl his baton in dainty circles, he frowned at several pretend orchestra members, who clearly needed intimate coaching in order to get with the program.

Accompanied by a roar of mirth from the demons, the conductor instantly curved his entire body up and sideways as the platform's cover moved under his shifting weight, ending with the man bowing forward over the music stand. Sending out his left hand to flip open the top of the book resting on this height-adjustable frame, the conductor then snatched at what was in this large, battered volume, as his body now speedily reared back, pulling after himself a single, twenty-foot-long sheet of paper from inside the book.

Sailing high into the air, the descending sheet of paper then draped itself entirely upon the unruffled conductor, who was still energetically gesturing away, as he then calmly held out a portion of the sheet covering his face, paying no attention to his delighted audience while this man intently read from this the music notations of the opera he was conducting at that moment. Even Spike was guffawing now, and this vampire's amusement only increased during the next few minutes when the conductor tried to return the sheet of paper back to the book on the music stand. This was accomplished only after a hard-fought battle with that stretched-out sheet of paper that in the end left it completely wrapped around both the book and the device for holding sheet music in place, as if these objects were intended to be a truly strange birthday present for someone.

Breathing deeply as he continued his musical endeavors, the conductor absently reached into his left pants pocket, at once causing a startled look to appear on his face, as he pulled out from there a big, shiny red apple. Giving a bemused shrug of acceptance over this unusual event, the conductor took a quick bite from the apple, and as he munched away to the demons' laughter produced by this newest gag, the man then tossed the apple over his left shoulder. Trying again, this time he pulled out a large human leg bone from his capacious pocket, bestowing upon this unexpected item a very alarmed look, with the bone being sent the same way as the apple, flung behind himself onto the alley floor.

A vastly entertained Spike was watching all this with as much pleasure as the rest of his gang, but when the conductor's left hand went into the man's large pockets for the third time, a flicker of disquiet abruptly altered the vampire's frame of mind. There seemed to be no actual reason that Spike could sense for this sudden change in his mood, but then, Spike had survived for over a century since being turned by paying attention to his hell-born instincts. So, when the conductor now pulled out from his left pocket a handful of white sticks identical to the baton held in his other hand that the man was using to signal the imaginary orchestra, Spike reacted at once.

This meant that when the conductor finished off his latest grand gesture, waving his right hand with blurring speed into Spike's direction that sent the hurled pointy wooden stick flying through the air at an impressive velocity directly towards the blond fiend, this English demon had already yanked a disposable minion in front of himself. That other hapless vampire promptly puffed into ashes after the sharpened baton plunged right into his chest.

Knowing his newfound enemy was already getting another deadly missile ready, Spike immediately dropped and rolled back into the confused crowd, screaming upwards at his startled underlings, "GET THE BUGGER!", as they unthinkingly stepped or leapt over his tumbling body, all while providing him with a shielding wall of demonic flesh.

A couple of busy moments later, a furious Spike got up onto his feet, and he stalked forward, past several ash heaps and already-dissolving corpses of non-vampiric demons. These latter creatures had in the main the cause of their deaths protruding from their eyes or other weak points of their bodies, where the thrown batons had sunk into nearly their full length. Grimly counting the remainder of his still-intact forces and coming up with the incredible conclusion that he'd lost at least a third of his gang in one fell swoop, the British vampire stopped just before at the spot in the alley where the reason for tonight's whole bloody disaster was pinned to the ground by four minions, each of these holding fast a limb of the utterly relaxed man acting as if he had no idea of what was going to be horribly done to him in the next few seconds.

Looking down at the alley floor where the conductor was interestedly staring back, Spike snarled at this man, "You're going to beg for death every single second until I'm done, you absolute wanker!"

Instead the look of sheer terror he'd truly expected as a result of his vile threat, Spike now received an entirely different reaction that set off alarm bells inside the vampire's mind.

The conductor actually…laughed.

As every one of Sunnydale's monsters clustered around the horizontal man on the alley floor stared in their mutual bewilderment at the chuckling man, they also heard from the conductor, "Oh, it's obvious to me that nobody else here is in show business! Because if you were, you'd all know the most important observation in our line of work: Namely, it's not really over until the fat lady sings!"


From behind the demons, the ground abruptly shook in time with every one of those immensely loud, reverberating sounds. Whirling around, Spike then totally froze in absolute shock, a reaction shared with all the other demons there, as these monsters gaped at what was now approaching down the alley towards themselves. It was easy enough to see this being, since she filled up every inch of the entire passageway.

Causing the buildings around herself to shudder and shake at each footstep, the advancing giantess was at least twenty feet tall, and judging by her broad bulk that spanned the whole width of the alley, this female in her white, full-length dress with attached iron breastplates the size of monster truck tires had to have a body weight measured in tons. The enormous spear carried upright in one beefy hand overtopped the immense woman by another ten feet, with this weapon more than big enough to be used as a spit for a full-grown ox and to then grill this beast over a fire to produce a beef kebab that would be devoured in a few bites by the mammoth female. As could be seen by the gigantic horns attached to the sides of the steel helmet the woman was currently wearing, this specific culinary event had likely been accomplished much earlier.

After one more step that brought herself up to the crowd of quailing demons, the giantess halted, but any momentary relief that this action might have brought to Spike and his gang was quickly ended by seeing the enraged expression suddenly appearing upon the colossal face that was looking right at where the conductor was being held captive.

Piercing blue eyes set in a beautiful (if fleshly) countenance glittered in awful wrath, and as she tilted her head back, her twin blonde braids thicker than any ship's anchor cable swung free. The woman opened her mouth, and she started drawing in a single, huge breath. As she continued inhaling, Spike felt both his bleached locks and loose parts of his clothing being pulled by the sudden suction, fluttering in the giantess' direction, with also trash scraps of loose paper from the alley floor also starting to drift upwards.

In addition, under the expansion of the woman's gargantuan chest, her breastplates began to creak and groan, showing the incredible strain being inflicted upon these innocent pieces of metal.

At last, there was no more room for even an additional molecule of air inside the giantess' lungs, and after a dramatic pause of a mere second that seemed to last for an eternity, this opera singer now produced, with all her singing prowess, a series of thunderous notes that culminated in one magnificent musical tone:


Around the entire city block, every glass object in existence, from the building windows to the smallest drinking glasses inside these structures, promptly shattered. With an expression of ultimate agony on his face, Spike started to protectively clap his hands over his supremely sensitive ears, only to stop in mid-motion when the opera singer then hit the exact vocal pitch that now targeted the specific vibrational frequency of each and all beings nearby in Sunnydale that were composed of demonic substance.

Like, say, a vampire.

In the alley, Spike instantly disintegrated into fine dust, with this termination of his existence being shared with the rest of his unholy forces, leaving the conductor still flat on his back among vampire ash and demonic goo. Ignoring all this to absorbedly listening to the giantess finish her triumphant aria, the conductor then wildly applauded in the ensuing silence, fervently calling out while doing this, "Bravo! Bravo! Well done, Madame Humperdinck!"

Nodding placidly in recognition of her superlative vocal talents provided tonight by the Chaos magic set in her attire, Harmony Kendall, who earlier had gleefully dressed up in her fat-suit costume from Ethan's Costume Shop as a clichéd Wagnerian opera singer, now watched as Xander Harris in his current form as the Mad Conductor from Cirque du Soleil carefully got up off the alley floor. Absently rubbing his hands together, the conductor looked around the passageway presently empty except for themselves. Tilting his head back to stare into his girlfriend's face far up above, the mature man chortled, "My mental guest is very, very happy about the recent events that took place here, Fräulein. In fact, he suggests that we perform an encore or several at someplace near…Crawford Street? Frankly, I don't see why not. Shall we be off, madame?"

A thoughtful look slowly crossed the broad features of the oversized woman, until she made her decision, to then be fondly expressed to her companion in a thick German accent: "Ja, ja. Chust remember, after ve come out to the strasse, that I haff no sidevays!"