The Mythology and Methodology of the SlayerA Story by Matt Shutler
For an assignment
Everyone thinks they know who I am and what I can do because they saw some valley girl save the world every week in a place called Sunnydale. A director hears whispers about my life and he thinks he has the right to put blonde hair on it and call it his own. The only problem? That’s not who I am, some demon fighter who lives on a portal to hell. Please.
God, I hate Buffy.
Well it’s time to set the record straight, fill you guys in on what being a Slayer really means. First off, there aren’t any vampires running around waiting for me to shove some wood through their chest. And there’s definitely not just one of me. I guess it’s better this way though, them not knowing who I really am, I mean They can have their fantasies, their demons, and their Chosen One, and I can have my life and my duty.
They did get a few things right though.
I do have the strength, the speed, and the responsibility. Oh yeah, and the dreams. Every night my head is bombarded with images: the past; the future; other realities? I’m not really sure to be honest, but they’re there. Last night I awoke in a cold sweat and shaking after a dream about a giant wave sweeping through Ann Arbor. Trees, cars, buildings, nothing stood its ground. But thing is, it was just so real. I could smell the brine of the ocean and feel the salt coarsely rubbing on my skin. Not quite a prophecy but not exactly dancing sugarplums. Either way, it comes with the job; one complete package. So I guess that’s another thing they got right, I definitely have the whole brooding-hero-thing down.
In my life, being the Slayer is about defending something important, something very precious to my team and myself. Not the world, but not something you’d turn your nose up to either though. But before I get into that and spill all my secrets, I’ll tell you a little about the organization I’m a part of, the ones who defend with me. If you still have Buffy on the brain, I guess they would be the Willows and Xanders, but there’s more of them. A lot more.
The Council is an organization of students, fighters, intellectuals, technicians, and anyone else who might be able to help protect our charge. Most are chosen, others seek us out, and some, like me, just stumble upon it. It exists in a complex array of cells scattered across the country connected through signs and actions only we can interpret. Jimmy Hoffa, he was one of us. Amelia Earhart, she was sent to transport documents across the globe. But the alumni that I’m most honored to follow in the footsteps of: James Dean. He was like me; he was the Slayer. And he did more for our cause than even I can comprehend right now. Basically, the Council is the best-kept secret that everyone knows about.
I remember when the scariest thing in my future was a midterm or figuring out what classes I still needed to take in order to graduate. Times were easier, but I was lost and I didn’t know who I was. After I had my heart broken by the one person I truly loved, I didn’t know how to act like who I was anymore. I went to classes, but I wasn’t complete; I could feel something pulling me, telling me that there was something more waiting for me. It’s always darkest before dawn and all that.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. My heroic adventure " okay, it’s not so heroic, but it would sound lame if I said something like “coincidental” or “completely by chance” adventure " of finding the Council and becoming the Slayer will be told another time. But what I will let you in on is a little bit more on why the Slayer exists in the first place. Why that person is I will have to wait. But don’t worry, it’s tale thrilling, you won’t mind the wait.
The Slayer. Me. One member is gifted with the strength to lead and the burden to carry the key. Honestly, it’s not too bad " wouldn’t you want super strength? Most of us don’t live very violent, short lives, but like I said, James was special, he took the Council farther than anyone. Every Slayer since his time " I’m the second " lives knowing that we too might have to sacrifice ourselves to fulfill our duty. We each wear the locket, the Slayers I mean. A small silver ornament etched with our fate: “Into each generation a Slayer is born. One in all the world born with the strength and skill to protect the key.” The locket itself is a twin, there’s another in the world, under fierce and constant protection. I don’t even know where it is. But the one around my neck is a constant reminder of what it unlocks and what that means for the world.
We exist to protect the locket with our lives because if it ever opens its mate, things in our world wouldn’t be so carefree anymore. And the thing is, what it opens is just a little box. I bet you were hoping that what we protect was some ancient treasure or book of secrets to life. Nope. It’s just a small, wooden box. It’s not even jewel encrusted, how lame is that? But what it lacks in presence it backs itself up with power. Inside it swirls a nexus of energy, a constant ebb and flow of power, strength, and fire. It’s the Slayer’s origin; you could think of it as an ancient power creating its own protector. If you don’t examine the situation too closely, it’s kind of poetic.
You may be asking yourself: it created a great source of good in the world through the Slayer and the Council, how bad can it be? Bad. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. There’s nothing intrinsically evil about it, just what can happen when its power leaks out and falls into the wrong hands. 911? That’s the result when those with less than admirable intentions capture the box’s released energy. It creates an unquenchable thirst and ambition to complete one’s goals. And what’s worse: it can gift those who are able to control it with the means to create their own power sources. Stories of this are probably what started scientists thinking about Cold Fusion. Pandora has nothing on this baby. So I protect it, day in and day out. Making sure no one finds the lockets and puts them together.
Now that I really look at it, maybe Joss Whedon didn’t so many things wrong after all. Regardless, at least you know a little more about the reality of being the Slayer now, even if you’re not sure what it all means yet.
So this is where I’m going to leave you. With fragments of the truth, pieces of a grand puzzle that you didn’t realize you were living through.
© 2010 Matt Shutler
Added on November 10, 2010
Last Updated on November 10, 2010
AboutHigh School writer, and Editor of our paper, The Cougar Crier. I seriously love writing, and lately I actually started writing poerty (something I never used to do). I'm planning on writing in college.. more..