Disclaimer: I do not own any of the
characters in this story and make no
money off them.
Summary: AU. Xander is a young man
living in an Amish community when he
finds himself confronted by the evil of a
STRONG WARNING: although done in a respectful
manner, this story deals with religious issues. If you
find that offensive DO NOT READ.
The day was absolutely glorious.
The sun shone bright and warm while a cool breeze
kept the temperature comfortable for a full day of
fence mending and field work.
Around noon Willow had come out and met them
with a pitcher of lemonade and some sandwiches.
Thin sliced ham in thick pieces of home bake bread.wrapped
in a white cloth napkin.
The three of them sat comfortably while the men
ate and talked of community issues. Jacob told his
children that they were expected to be at the
neighbors on Saturday next to help with the raising
of the barn.
Xander told his father he would need to take some
time that evening to sharpen the axe heads and ready
their tool boxes.
Willow was thrilled. A raising was a wonderful time to
prepare food and bake pies. Serving meals to the men as they
worked was only a small part of the women's day. The real joy
was in joining with the entire community for fellowship.
Then between providing the noon and evening meals
there were quilting boards set up, card tables to play
bridge, and just a blessed day of work and visiting.
Xander smiled as his sister babbled on.
"So tell me dear Sister, is it the quilting you are anxious
to see or is it Lucas Hocsteter that has you baking your
Willow's face immediately blushed as red as her hair.
Shaking her finger at her Brother she did her best to appear
"Xander! Father, are you going to let him speak to me so?"
Jacob sat back giving it a great deal of thought.
"You are very right, Daughter. Were your brother to tell a
lie I would punish him immediately."
With that he looked over at Xander and made no further move.
Jumping to her feet, Willow gathered together the
remnants of the lunch and the empty pitcher.
"Well, I can certainly see that you two have joined in
alliance against me. At least I know my Mother will
value my company."
Pretending to be offended, she huffed and walked off
to the sound of male laughter behind her.
Finally calming down Xander stood and collected his tools to
return to his work.
"Xander, sit with me a moment Son." Xander sat back down
and waited patiently to see what his Father had on his mind.
"Willow is 15 now and soon will have suitors coming to call.
You are much older. Why have you not made your commitment
to Anya Miller? All in the community know she saves
herself for you, but Eli Keener has also spoken to her father,
asking permission to call. It is expected of a man to take a
wife and start a family and farm of his own. What holds
you back, Son?"
Looking into his beloved Father's face, Xander wanted
desperately to tell him of all the questions and confusions he
had running through him. But he knew he wouldn't.
He had the weight of responsibility on his shoulders.
As the only son it was to him to have more sons.
Boys to help with the farming and carry on the family name.
Girls to make homes and nurture the next generation.
It was Gods mandate.
"I have been dragging my feet, Father. I'm not sure why,
but I will correct that right away. With your blessing I will
go see Miss Miller after church this Sunday and speak to
her Father. If her family is in agreement we will make
our engagement official."
Jacob jumped to his feet like a man half his true age and
pulled his son up with him. Grabbing him into a tight bear hug
Jacob slapped Xander on the back.
"It is good, Son. You will make her a good husband
and she will be a proper wife. Come now, let's finish this fence
and head home to tell your Mother."
Xander forced a smile and after returning the hug, resumed
the work at hand. The feeling settling in his stomach was nearly
the same as that he had felt upon seeing the eyes of the devil.
The day stretched late and Xander's calloused hands were
sore and blistered.
Collecting their tools they started for home just as the sun
was setting on the horizon.
"Come be quick. Your Mother will have supper waiting. You
know how grumpy she gets if her food sits cold."
Jacob chuckled. Xander watched him and wondered if
he would ever feel that kind of love for Anya.
He knew his parents love for each other was steadfast and
certainly blessed by God. He had always thought that feeling
would come naturally to him when he was with his intended.
Now he was not sure.
"You go ahead. I will be only a few minutes. I want to
check over the barn and put the cow to stall before I come in."
Jacob nodded and handed his tools to his Son.
Xander took all the equipment from his Father's hands
and headed for the barn. He would put up the tools and
make sure it was safe for Bessie, although he had to admit
he was feeling a little foolish now.
He had always been cursed with an active imagination,
but this was ridiculous.
Monster eyes and mysterious bites. Xander shoved open
the heavy wooden doors and stepped inside. Looking all
around he saw nothing out of place and shook his head
at his own childishness.
Going to the work bench he laid out the hammers, nails,
and propped the post hole digger up in the corner.
Turning to go, something on the floor caught his eye.
Kicking it with his foot, Xander jumped back shocked
when he realized what it was.
Two dead rats. Both with their heads torn from their
bodies and not a drop of blood on either.
Xander was terrified.
Suddenly he could feel the evil all around him.
It felt as though all the oxygen had been sucked out of
the air and if he didn't get out he would die.
Spike had been aware of Xander's approach
before he reached the door.
Quickly he had thrown the dead rat parts onto
the floor where he knew they couldn't be missed.
Giggling, he eagerly anticipated the reaction.
He wasn't disappointed.
He thought about waiting another day or so, but
patience was not a quality Spike had ever possessed either
dead or alive.
Silently he slithered in the darkness of the loft never
taking his eyes off the boy below him. When he reached
the far side he crouched and with little effort leaped off
and dropped the twelve feet to the floor of the barn
landing quietly behind the distracted human.