BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. "Fish" by Jen LeMaire. The Land of Xanth created and populated by Piers Anthony; the Gourd's more surreal and less pun-heavy than mainland Xanth.

One of Jinni's Poetry Challenges asks for crossover stories inspired by Jen LeMaire's 1990 eight-line poem "Fish". Sounds fun. I guess I'll take the lines, found at sithspit dot com / jen / fish dot htm , one at a time.

In mid-air, Buffy had time to think: Gee, I really think that's liquid... I sure hope I don't bounce.

Then her above average dive, probably an 8.5, ended with her completely submerged in the white liquid.

She opened her eyes, but all she could see was white suffused with yellow from the sun's rays diffusing through the liquid.

She kicked her legs and swam. Her head broke the surface, but she was still completely covered in the foamy stuff. It plastered her hair back, covered her eyelids and generally made a mess of her clothes.

Panicking slightly, despite herself, she spluttered, winding up a mouthful of the stuff.

She spit out most of it, then, after taking the time to analyze the taste and texture, swallowed the rest.

"Hello? Hello?" she called. "Is this a commercial?"

When no one answered she thought to herself: I guess not, but that's the only thing that would make sense... Either that, or there's an immense colony of plants at the bottom of this lake oozing sugar... I mean who in their right mind would just leave a lake of marshmallow creme to bake in the sun?

She looked around, trying to get her bearings in the vast lake.

She shaded her eyes with a hand and stared up at the sun.

It waved back.

I stand corrected, she thought. Either this entire reality is insane, or I'm in a coma... Oh well.

Frowning, she grabbed hold of a passing graham cracker and began to kick her way to the distant shore.

She thought she was making surprising headway, even considering her Slayer strength, until she looked over her shoulder and realized that the far coast was getting nearer because the lake was getting smaller.

About ten seconds later, she was able to stand up on her feet and, carrying the graham cracker like a surfboard, wade out of the shallow pool.


She was standing in the backyard of a house. It looked like a S'More had exploded.

There was a gate to the side, apparently forged from molten chocolate. It was cool to the touch, but when she opened it she realized the the side that faced the front of the house was made entirely of licorice.

There was a rock candy garden in front of the house, an imposing edifice that smelled suspiciously of gingerbread.

The entire place looked like a diabetic's nightmarish version of suburbia. Right down to the powdered sugar snowflakes that began to drift down from the sky.

She looked up and immediately regretted it.

"Oh, my God... The sun has a bucket. And little arms. And..."

Seeing the impish look on the sun's face, she looked around for cover, but she could see none other than the house.

The dark sugar-pane windows eyed her ominously, but she was out of options. She opened the door and walked into the house, just as the sun upended the bucket and an immense powdered sugar snowdrift *WUMPH!* completely enveloped the house.

The house rattled and dust settled down from the rafters, but it was able to bear the added weight... However all outside light was completely cut off, leaving Buffy in the dark.

"You have a strange sort of power," Rack said, sniffing the Horseman closely, before going back a step in disgust. "Only it smells too much like sweat for my taste. What do you seek here? Energy? Favors?"

The Horseman considered this... He had, while wandering through town, felt a faint calling and stepped through an otherwise mundane alleyway to emerge in this odd-shaped waiting room.

Before he replied, he glanced over at the addicts sprawled in various places.

No, he shuddered faintly, as he spoke aloud. "I have all the power I need. What I lack is troops. Those who would willingly risk death if, at the end, they would be vastly rewarded by me as the new ruler of my homeland."

"I see, I could put you in touch with a band of M'Fashnik demons. They're pretty competent mercenaries, as long as they're convinced they'll get what they want..."

A brunette and a red-head stumbled out of the back-room, arm in arm, giggling so hard they could barely stand. Nearly tripping over their own feet they walked out the front door, flowers blooming on the cushions in their wake.

The Horseman, disgusted by this, made an excuse and left the dark place of business, without closing the deal...

Unable to see in the pitch black, Buffy stood still and listened to the faint scratching noise that seemed to be completely surrounding her.

Very gently and slowly, she reached forward, aiming for where the wall surely must have been, only to be blinded by an immense burst of light the instant her fingers made contact.

Blinking, she suddenly realized that all the walls and ceilings of the house were completely covered in crawling glowbugs. Their opening all of their wings at exactly the same second had been a shock, but once her eyes adjusted, she was able to see.

Choosing the corridor she felt was most likely to take her to the back door, in case she needed to escape, she began to explore the house.

It's not like I have anything better to do... I've got to get back to Sunnydale and mindless exploration might actually help...

As she walked through the house, she noticed that while there was constant light ahead of her, the glowbugs she passed closed their wings... Darkness followed at her heels.

In the hallway she came to an alcove set into the wall. She was surprised to see it was the first of many, all with plaques at the base as if the house was some sort of museum.

The first plaque read 'Lightning Bug' and, sure enough, there was a couple little yellow insects flying around inside. They were using a plant for target practice and she could swear she could hear little rolls of thunder.

As she walked down the hallway, she gazed in wonder at the gold bug, was filled by a warm and fuzzy feeling simply by looking at the love bug, but she was so disgusted she nearly threw up at the slimy and writhing intestinal bug.

The cute and soft bedbug waved its antenna at her, but she was getting annoyed at the puns, so she walked faster past, past the bugseed, past everything else, until she got to the last alcove.

The plaque read: BUGBEAR.

The space set into the wall was empty.

She heard growling in the shadows behind her.

She spun around, hitting the unseen figure behind her with the giant graham cracker she was still carrying.

She caught a glimpse of fur and feelers amid the immense cloud of dust as the cookie crumbled.

Coughing, she started to run forward, towards the door at the far end of the hallway.


A short sprint later, Buffy reached the back door of the house and flung it open.

She nearly fell forward, which probably would've been a bad idea.

There was no sign of the powdered snow on this side of the house, but the peaceful pool of marshmallow creme had been replaced with an evil-smelling lake of castor oil.

It was lapping at the doorstop beneath her feet.

Eeeeewwwww... she thought, looking around at the bloated vegetables and other things that had changed while she was in the house.

She considered turning around and facing the bugbear in the dark, but... when some horribly disfigured limb swiped at her back... she made up her mind and flung herself forward, into the thick liquid.