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Final Instructions

This was written for the Dead Letter Challenge.

The basic premise?
Kill a character. And then write one letter from them, after their death.

Here's mine:

Final Instructions

Dear Katherine,

Hopefully you decided to open this letter before reading the morning newspaper. I congratulate you on your excellent prioritising. Now please put down the letter, and open the newspaper instead.

The relevant article is on page 39. Underneath the speculations about Mimi Thorne’s pregnancy, you should see the title “Three Unidentified Bodies Found In Alley”.

This would be the results of the scout party I took out last night.

As it turns out, we didn’t manage to find the two Trolhke Narish demons that have been roaming the streets. Instead, we found fifteen of them. And as they have an unusual defense mechanism we hadn’t anticipated, all three of us were killed before we could call for backup.

Unfortunately, as my secretary you’ll have the task of informing the relevant people, organising the funerals, dealing with the condolence cards, and rearranging everyone’s schedules. You have my sympathies.

I expect you’ll get a lot of help with the funeral, at least. Most of it given in the form of very firm opinions about what absolutely must be done to make it the way I’d want it – and every opinion completely contradicting everyone else’s.
Don’t let them overrule you completely, and if you must follow someone’s wishes, go with Buffy’s.
I personally have only one request: Please make sure that the service includes at least one song by The Rolling Stones.

And now, as always, I have a list of things that need to be dealt with:

Useful Information
There is currently a book on my coffee table. You should find it still open to the page on Trolhke Narish demons, with an incomplete translation written on the notepad beside it. The words I was unable to translate should read “poisonous darts from their teeth”. Please fill that in correctly.

One thing that the book does not mention is that the Trolhke Narish seem very sensitive to movement directly behind them, and any attempts to surprise them from the rear will probably end with your entire scout party being killed before you can call for backup. When the group of vengeful Slayers set out on a retaliatory mission this evening, please advise them to attack from the sides – that might be more successful.

I was expecting three packages to be delivered this afternoon. One will be the Prussian throwing daggers Lauren has been requesting. Give them to her, and remind her that they shouldn’t be used indoors.

The second will be the present we discussed. Please hide it in the usual place, preferably before she arrives for the funeral.

The third should be a case of assorted spirits and liqueurs from Winers and Diners Monthly. Present it to Faith with my compliments, and let her know that if she wants them to keep being delivered after April, she’ll have to renew the subscription.

Buffy Summers
You’ve done a remarkable job of not noticing this, but no doubt you’re aware that Buffy and I have had some rather lively discussions over the past month.

Please find some way to let her know that, despite some initial misgivings, I really was happy about her current relationship.
I still maintain my earlier opinions about its somewhat unconventional nature – but then, she’s fairly unconventional herself. And I have loved seeing her happy again.

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T TELL HER ABOUT THIS LETTER. She’d be annoyed that I hadn’t written to her directly, upset that I’d written at all, and she’d probably try to have Willow set up some kind of regular correspondence system.

Training Programmes
There are five new Slayers transferring from Canada next month. Tell Faith I’m sure she’ll train them to the best possible standard, and I have every confidence in her.

Megan Bishop has been expressing an interest in projectile weaponry. Please tell Kennedy that I asked her to achieve at least 3rd-level proficiency in sword fighting before beginning this new area of study.

Let Faith know that Shonarra Fallos is perpetually late to training and to patrols, but she’ll do anything if you bribe her with strawberry milkshakes.

Dawn Summers
When you have finished with this letter, Katherine, please put it inside my desk, second drawer down, about two-thirds of the way through the pile.
Close the drawer, but don’t use the key – I don’t want the lock damaged when she breaks into it.

My Dearest Dawn,
Thank you for not upsetting the very carefully ordered stacks of paper on my desk while you were trying to find this letter. If you did upset them, please return them to their correct positions before you leave my office.
You’ll be glad to know that I bought your birthday present early, and it is currently hidden in n’lortye gapisth Cne’Trot mes’f Nyanull loksorre. If you can’t translate that, you haven’t been studying nearly hard enough this semester. Check your Fuller’s Compendium, and try again.
Take care of Buffy for me. And remember – I like the world with you in it much better than the other versions.
With love from Giles.

Phonecall From Seattle
I was expecting a phonecall from a Mrs Sackefry some time this week. Please send her in Vi’s direction – she knows the particulars.

I’d like to leave the contents of my library jointly to Xander and Andrew. They can divide it however they choose.
There is one set of books, though, that goes solely to Xander. You will find them on the top shelf of the bookcase next to the couch. There are nine in total, and they are labelled “Watchers Diaries – the Sunnydale Years”. Tell him I thought he’d find them amusing, and that he is on no account to speak any Latin in their presence, because they’re the original editions.

My electric kettle is set to automatically turn on at 10 o’clock every morning. You should probably unplug it before it boils dry.

A Message
As far as informing people of my death goes, you can carry that out any way you feel like. But there is one call I would like you to make yourself – before she hears about it by any other means.
Please ring Willow Rosenberg as soon as possible. You may have to talk fast.

Tell her that what happens in Paraguay should stay in Paraguay, and that I don’t want her taking on Osiris more than twice – at least not on my account – but that I appreciate the offer.
Then please read this sentence to her over the phone:
“Remember, we all are who we are – and it seems that not even death can change that.”

Any other secretary would probably be gasping at the extent of this list by now, but with your expert touch I’m sure you’ll handle it superbly.
Nevertheless, you will be glad to hear that we’ve reached the end, and I have nothing more to ask.

Thank you for your excellent work, for handling the ridiculous mass of tasks with which I’m always presenting you with such poise, and for making sure that I took time to eat a decent lunch even when I was caught up in an exciting volume.
It has been an honour to work with you.

In appreciation,
Rupert Giles



The Mezzanine

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