Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Shadow Over Hellmouth
Written by Mark Moore
"Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Based on the Episode Written by Joss Whedon
Author's note: I'm a longtime Buffy fan, having watched it from its beginning on The WB to its end on UPN. This fic is a rewrite of the series, a slimmed-down, streamlined, remixed retelling of the Buffy saga.
This isn't a completely unrecognizable update or modernization of the series. The original time setting is retained. The characters are still recognizably the characters (with some differences!). Without giving too much away, I've toned down the campiness and witticism (I attended high school just before the series aired; teens are not that witty), amped up the Lovecraftian horror, and brought the characters down to Earth.
Each chapter will consist of anywhere from one to a few scenes, so it'll take a while for each individual story to conclude. I'm releasing it this way to have more frequent updates. I do plan to do the entire series (Goddess willing), so come along for the ride; there might just be some surprises in store.
The following story is copyright © 2021 by Mark Moore.
She had been having the nightmares a lot recently. They were always the same: an underground lair of some kind, a cemetery, visions of vampires, other demons, and various events and artifacts.
Buffy Summers woke up with a start. "Fuck!"
"Buffy?" her mother called from out in the hallway.
Buffy sat up in bed. "I'm up, Mom!"
"Don't wanna be late for your first day!"
Buffy sighed. "No. Wouldn't want that."
Joyce Summers pulled up in front of Sunnydale High School in her Jeep. "Okay!"
Buffy unfastened her seatbelt, opened the passenger door, and got out of the Jeep.
"Have a good time. I know you're gonna make friends right away; just think positive." Joyce gave Buffy a thumbs-up.
Buffy looked through the open car door and gave her mother a quick nod. She turned to go and closed the door behind her.
Buffy looked back at her mom.
"Try not to get kicked out?"
Buffy faced the school and let out a deep breath. Joyce drove off.
Soon, Buffy walked into the main office. There was a receptionist sitting at the desk.
Buffy walked up to the desk. "Excuse me, I'm Buffy Summers, the new transfer student."
"Oh, yes, of course." The woman picked up the phone receiver and called the principal's office.
"The new transfer student's here."
"Send her in."
She hung up. "You can go in."
"Thanks." Buffy walked over to Principal Flutie's office and opened the door. She walked into the office and closed the door behind her. "Hi."
Principal Flutie gestured at the chair in front of his desk. "Have a seat."
Buffy sat down. She noticed he had her school records.
He walked around the desk to his chair as he looked them over. "Buffy Summers, sophomore, late of Hemery High in Los Angeles." He sat down in his chair. "So what happened?"
Buffy didn't know how to start.
"Why'd you hit your gym teacher?"
"He was being a bully."
"Is that your excuse?"
"No." Buffy paused and sighed. "My parents had recently gotten divorced. The judge split up the kids. My mom got me, and my dad got my sister. I was so angry. I'm still angry. That stupid gym teacher just made himself the perfect target. That's all."
"I see." He paused in thought for a while. "Welcome to Sunnydale! A clean slate, Buffy, that's what you get here. What's past is past."
"Thank you, sir."
"Buffy, don't worry; try to relax. We want to service your needs and help you to respect our needs. If you need help, we have an excellent guidance counselor."
"Do you have your schedule?"
"Yeah, my mom picked it up for me already."
"Okay, well, good luck. I'll see you around."
Buffy nodded, stood up, and walked over to the door.
Buffy exited the main office. She opened her bookbag and rummaged through it as she walked into the hall right in front of a girl. The girl bumped into her, making her lose her grip on the bag and spill its contents.
"Oh! Sorry!" Buffy cried.
Buffy looked down at the mess. "Shit..." She squatted down and started picking up her stuff.
The girl squatted down next to her and helped her gather her things. "Let me help you."
Buffy looked at the girl and smiled. "Thanks."
Buffy thought the girl was very beautiful; she had long blonde hair and blue eyes.
"I don't know you, do I?" the girl asked.
"I'm Buffy. I'm new."
The girl smiled. "I'm Tara."
They finished gathering up everything.
Buffy put her items back in her bag and smiled. "Thanks."
"Any time. I'll see you around."
"Great!" Buffy exclaimed, perhaps too enthusiastically.
They stood up.
"It was nice to meet you." Buffy turned and started walking down the hall.
In World History class, Buffy was half-listening to the teacher talk about the Black Death and taking notes. A beautiful girl was seated next to her and also taking notes; she had long brown hair and dark brown eyes.
"If you'll look at the map on page 63, you can trace the spread of the disease into Rome, and then north..."
Buffy didn't have a book and looked around for help. The girl noticed and shared her book.
Buffy smiled. "Thanks."
The bell rang. The other students got up to leave.
"No homework. Finish reading the chapter by tomorrow."
The girl smiled at Buffy. "Hi! I'm Cordelia." She offered her hand.
Buffy accepted it. "I'm Buffy."
"If you're looking for a textbook of your very own, there's probably a few in the library. You can borrow one until you get a permanent copy."
"Oh, great, thanks."
They stood up.
"Where would that be?" Buffy asked her.
"I'll show you, come on."
They walked out of the classroom.
"So you're from Hemery, right? In L.A.?" Cordelia asked.
"Oh, I would kill to live in L.A.; that close to that many shoes?"
Buffy had to laugh at the absurdity of that statement.
"Well, you'll be okay here. If you hang with me and mine, you'll be accepted in no time. Of course, we do have to test your coolness factor. You're from L.A., so you can skip the written, but let's see. Vamp nail polish."
"Exactly! So over. James Spader."
Buffy was confused. "That's an actor, right?"
Cordelia was displeased and made a face. "Ooh, yikes! Frappuccinos."
"I'm not into coffee."
"I'll pretend I didn't hear that. John Tesh."
"Who?" Buffy asked.
"That's the right attitude! You passed!"
Buffy forced a smile. "Oh, goody!"
They turned toward a drinking fountain. Tara was there. She straightened up and saw them coming.
"Willow! Nice jeans! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears."
Tara stared at her in annoyance. "The name's Tara, and my dad picked it out."
"No wonder you're such a guy magnet."
Tara frowned at her. "Fuck you."
"Oh, I bet you'd like that, but I'm not a dyke. Are you done?"
Tara looked at the fountain and then back at Cordelia. She turned and left without a word.
Buffy watched her go. "That was horrible of you."
"You wanna fit in here, the first rule is: know your losers." Cordelia took a drink from the fountain.
"She's not a loser. She's nice...and sweet...and kind."
Cordelia rolled her eyes. Tara walked through the door at the end of the hall and looked back at them before disappearing from sight.
Buffy and Cordelia continued their walk to the library.
"And if you're not too swamped with catching up, you should come by the Bronze tonight."
"The Bronze. It's the only club worth going to around here. They let anybody in, but it's still the scene. It's in the bad part of town."
They stopped outside the library doors.
"About a half-block from the good part of town." Cordelia laughed. "We don't have a whole lot of town here. But, um, you should show!"
"Well, I'll try." Buffy looked toward the library. "Uh, thanks."
"Good. So, um, I'll see you in gym, and you can tell me absolutely everything there is to know about you." Cordelia waved and walked off.
Buffy waved back. "Great!" She looked away. "Oh, that sounds like fun."
She went into the library and looked around. It looked deserted.
"Hello? Is anybody here?" Buffy called.
She looked on the counter and saw a newspaper with a picture that's been circled. The caption above the picture read 'Local Boys Still Missing'. Someone came up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder. She spun around, startled.
"Ooh!" Buffy exhaled. "Anybody's here!"
It was an older man with short black hair, blue eyes, and glasses.
"Can I help you?"
And he was British.
"I was looking for some, well, books. I'm new."
"Good call! Guess I'm the only new kid, huh?"
"I'm Mr. Giles. The librarian. I was told you were coming." He headed around behind the counter.
"Great! So, um, I'm gonna need Perspectives on 20th Century-"
"I know what you're after!" With a big grin on his face, he pulled out a large old book with the word VAMPYR written in gold leaf on the front cover.
Buffy looked up at him with an uneasy gaze. "That's not what I'm looking for."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm way sure."
Giles was confused. "My mistake." He put the book back behind the counter.
Buffy quickly walked out of the library.