Stewart Ramsey was having an absolutely horrible day. He had failed his economics midterm, caught his girlfriend making out with one of his fraternity brothers, and received a call from his mother to inform him that his golden retriever, Kibbles, had died. Even his stereotypically handsome looks and winsome demeanor had failed to charm a rent extension out of his landlady.
And now . . . he was tied to a pole and about to become lunch meat for a pack of startling creatures. No sooner had he walked out of his last class of the evening when the unearthly monsters had descended on him from the undergrowth beside the sidewalk, pinioned his arms to his sides, and informed him with total sincerity that he should feel honored to be chosen as the human sacrifice for "The Ceremony of Aquip Dur'kothil", whatever-the-heck that meant.
All but one of his frightening kidnappers had disfigured foreheads and inhuman yellow eyes, and the leader was just . . . bizarre, a white ram's head where a human face should be. It was like the goat professor out of Wicked, but less "Ba-a-a-a-a-ad" and more "Ooh, this human specimen looks tasty." Previously, Stewart had heard some astonishing and improbable explanations for the strange goings-on in Sunnydale, but he'd never believed them until now, witnessing these . . . they could only be demons . . . growling and prancing around him.
As if his situation could not possibly get any worse, at midnight when the moon crested the sky above the cemetery, the gaggle of fiends suddenly began to sing over him in crystal-clear, deep voices about how they would carve out his guts and stir-fry them as an offering to Aquip Dur'kothil, Archdemon of Zungothmashel. Though momentarily shocked that their voices had altered from the former guttural, ghoulish snarls, Stewart almost immediately found an urge to sing welling up inside his own chest, propelled by feelings of helplessness and desperation.
Just when the goat-headed monster lifted his crooked staff in preparation to begin some dire, musical incantation, another voice – a self-assured, female voice – reached Stewart's ears from across the moonlit cemetery.
"Every single night, the same arrangement / I go out and fight the fight
Still I always feel this strange estrangement / Nothing here is real. Nothing here is right.
I've been making shows of trading blows / Just hoping no one knows / that I've been
Going through the motions / Walking through the part
Nothing seems to penetrate my heart . . ."
Though he could not see the source of the lovely voice, Stewart now heard the sounds of fists meeting flesh; whether human or demon, he could not be sure. Then there was a strange magical hissing, like ghostly steam being let out of a kettle. Curious, Stewart turned his head as much as he could toward the inexplicable sounds . . . and caught a glimpse of the most beautiful young woman his twenty-two-year-old eyes had ever seen.
Dressed in jeans and a black leather jacket, the girl was posed in a fighting stance, holding a piece of wood that resembled a tent stake. Dusty smoke swirled around her feet, and Stewart realized that at least one of the monsters was missing from the pack. Had this beautiful angel with buoyant blond hair defeated it, somehow turned it to dust?
"I was always brave and kind of righteous / Now I find I'm wavering . . ."
The heroine continued singing even as one of the demons rushed at her, retaliating with a punch that sent her pitching onto her back. The monsters struck up what appeared to be a more intimidating version of a barbershop quartet, but within seconds the gorgeous, petite blond had leapt back onto her feet, carved through the remaining creatures, and hacked through Stewart's ropes in one swift stroke, all the while still singing.
"Will I stay this way forever? / Sleepwalk through my life's endeavor?"
His soul spilling over with gratitude, Stewart broke out in a confident tenor voice, keeping perfect rhythm with his rescuer's melody.
"How can I repay y-?"
"Whatever," the beautiful blond girl interrupted, not even glancing toward him. She continued singing seamlessly as she strolled through the graveyard as though it was familiar hunting grounds for her.
"I don't want to be / Going through the motions / Losing all my drive . . ."
Stewart forlornly watched her go, utter rejection stifling any remaining show tunes in his throat.