But is it Really Art?

Chapter 8

Dawn's first class after lunch period was History. Amanda was not present. When classes ended for the day, Dawn went to her locker, which was within sight of Amanda's locker. Amanda was not there. Dawn asked around. Nobody had seen Amanda after lunch period ended.

Dawn arrived home about a half hour later. She climbed up onto the unoccupied porch, and went through the front door into the Summers' house.

Buffy was in the living room watching the TV with Spike. Wide World of Hellish Sports was being broadcast on the Demon Network, Channel 666. On screen a dozen demon sword women with horns on their heads, fought to the death while wearing only their sneakers.

Buffy asked, "So how was school today Dawn?"

"Same as usual." The girl spoke haltingly. "It's just that...I hope you won't get angry...But I...I warned Amanda that she was among the potential slayers."

Spike and Buffy turned their attention from the TV to Dawn.

Spike repeated, "You warned her? Are you sure that was wise little Bint?"

"She's told me she was going into hiding Spike. I'm sure she's getting as far away from Sunnydale as she can get, as fast as possible. She's a smart girl. I'm sure she'll have enough sense not to ever come back."

Buffy asked, "Are you really sure about that, or are you guessing?"

"Well she told me that she knew exactly where she'd be going to hide. She wasn't gonna tell me, to make sure that I wouldn't tell you."

"Dawn." Spike said, "If Amanda already knew where to hide, that means she was already prepared to become the Slayer, before you warned her."

Buffy said, "She might already be empowered."

"The last thing that Amanda said to me," Dawn told her sister, "was that if the new Slayer has been empowered, you had better hope that the new Slayer isn't her, Buffy."

Spike said, "Your classmate has a Slayer's attitude already, Niblet."

"But that doesn't mean she is the Slayer."

"Slayer or not," Buffy said, "her attitude makes her dangerous. Would you have any idea where she might be hiding?"

"No." She told them, "But if she is the next Slayer, shouldn't we just wait for the spiders to find her?"

Spike asked, "Spiders again?"

Dawn nodded, "If they kill her, then I can't be held responsible for it, in any way; or can I?"

Buffy sighed, "Dawn. I know these last few weeks have been very challenging for you."

"'Challenging' is the word for it."

"But life in Sunnydale as it is now would be much easier for you, if you became a vampire yourself."

Dawn shouted, "You said you'd never let that happen to me!"

"Oh I won't, but if you choose to become one of us on your own, I won't try to stop you. You know that football player you had a crush on, R.J? Well, I've heard that he's now enrolled in the night classes. You might want to try out for the undead cheerleaders squad."

"Forget it!" The girl screamed, "That's never going to happen!"

The girl rushed out of the living room, and out through the screen door onto the front porch. She was about to hurry down the steps, when she froze.

Thousands of two inch long, black hairy spiders were spread out all over the front lawn and the front walk. Some crawled slowly back and forth across the porch steps, and others were already crawling around the wooden planks of the porch itself, surrounding the Sunnydale High School Sophomore.

"Buffy!" She bellowed, "You can forget about Amanda! I know who the new Slayer is!”

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