Being unfocused one
morning, I asked Bloodclaim LiveJournal readers for inspiration items.
Something from childhood, a scent, and a color.
Xander made it half way down the block
before he realized Spike was no longer beside him. He turned to see Spike
staring into the display window of an antique store window. Xander trotted back
to join the vampire.
“What’s up, Spike?”
Spike pointed to a little tin toy on a shelf. It was a bear balancing a ball on
the end of its nose. The paint was mostly gone and a piece of ribbon around its
neck dangled a price tag. “I had one of those.”
“Yeah? What’s it do?”
Spike tilted his head, not looking away from the toy. His hand raised,
unnoticed, to press against the glass. “The ball was a shiny emerald green.
You turn the key and the ball will spin, and the bear will wobble like it's
trying to keep it in the air.”
“Neat,” Xander said, not impressed and puzzled over this rare melancholy
“I don’t have anything from my childhood, Xander. The house where I grew up
is long gone. Bombed during the war.”
“Gee, that bites.” He stood close beside Spike and stared at the little toy,
trying to imagine Spike as a little blonde kid and utterly failing. “I don’t
have much at all from when I was little, ‘cept maybe… my blankie.” Xander
mumbled this last.
“Why’s that? Lose it in a move?” Spike turned his head to look at his
reluctant patrol partner.
Xander shrugged, wondering why he was sharing so much with the bleached menace.
“My dad. When I turned fifteen, he said I wasn’t acting enough like a man.
While I was at school, he took all my… stuff and burned it.”
“That sucks,” Spike said, taking a last look at the toy before drawing
himself up. “Right. Let’s go find something to kill.”
Xander just stood, now staring at a dusty transformer on a lower shelf. “I’m
not in the mood, now.”
“Then let’s blow this patrol thing and go to the pier. The wind’s been
shifting and I swear I can smell the cotton candy from here.”
Xander looked closely at Spike. “You so can not.”
“Maybe.” Spike clapped him on the back and swung off down the street with
long strides. Xander hurried to catch up after a last look at the toys.
After a couple of blocks of companionable silence, Spike spoke up. “So widdle
Xandie’s still got his blankie.”
“Yarggh!” Xander replied.