An original teleplay written for
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
INT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM
The setting is in an urban high school;
the class is ethnically mixed,
but predominantly black.
is querying her students.
And you Letishia?
What would you like to be when you grow up?
I'd like to be scientist.
I'm going to be a fireman,
like my father.
And how about you,
And how about me what?
Do you have any plans for a career?
Hadn't though much about it.
what are you going to be when you grow up?
INT CLASSROOM AT SUNNYDALE HIGH
I would like to introduce Miss Stevens.
She is the Principal of PS 209,
the elementary school just east of the railroad tracks.
She has an opportunity I think that some of you will be interested in.
a black woman in her early fifties,
stands up to address the class.
I don't see any familiar faces,
so I don't think that any of you went to my school.
had you recognized me,
you'd probably be one foot out the door by now.
There is laughter around the class.
I'm known to be quite a disciplinarian.
the kids call me something else.
But you have to be tough with these kids;
they too rarely have discipline at home.
And it hurts them in school.
That's where you can help.
We need after-school tutoring for these children.
Many of them,
sometimes just their mom,
don't get home until six or seven o'clock.
These kids could really use some help tutoring after school,
with their math,
maybe just having someone there who cares.
I'll pass around a sign up sheet and contact all those who are interested.
I thank you for your time.
Miss Stevens hands a clipboard to Buffy,
who is seated in the front row.
She then gives a slight bow of her head and leaves the class.
Buffy begins to write her name immediately.
Cordelia can't hold back a comment.
That's just what you need to round out your loser friends,
A couple of ten-year old basketcases to take to the prom!
ignoring the comment,
hands the clipboard to Cordelia.
All right students,
this is a great chance to help some kids who haven't been as fortunate as yourselves ...
Cordelia is about to pass the clipboard right along,
I suppose that the hours would count toward your volunteer requirement for graduation.
But upon hearing that last comment,
Cordelia realizes that she should sign up.
Glaring at Buffy,
she does so.
You get the basketcases,
okay Mother Theresa?
INT PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE
The scene is the inside of Miss Stevens' office.
The walls are decorated,
although the room is bare.
Seated around her desk are Cordelia,
Cordelia is clearly not happy to be here.
Thank you all again for signing up.
We're happy to take help from wherever its offered.
I've gone through the forms you filled out for me and have taken the liberty of assigning each of you to one of our students,
according to mutual interests.
What I have here are the student's transcripts and teacher commentary,
so that you can know what you're getting into.
Miss Stevens pulls out a small pile of folders.
I've matched you up with Violet.
Very precocious girl,
scores very high on the aptitude tests,
but the other children make fun of her.
You will have to be very considerate of her because she's new to the school,
and not quite sure yet how she fits in.
I've paired you with young Bobby.
and could use extra help in his English studies.
don't let him know I told you this,
seems to have a little thing for his teacher,
the pains of unrequited young love.
I've got you with Tiffany.
She's really filled with energy,
but sometimes has a little trouble focusing on her studies.
I'll trust you to crack the whip.
After looking at your form,
I came to understand that ...
is very important in your life,
so I've assigned you to Noah.
He's the most popular kid in the school.
Cordelia suddenly looks relieved.
the popular kids are usually the troublemakers,
and our little Noah is no exception.
He goofs off in all of his classes,
and is failing everything.
Everything except math.
His teacher says that he has a mind for mathematics like nothing she's ever seen.
First kid in class to memorize his multiplication tables,
also the only child I see in my office on a regular basis.
He gets sent up here so frequently that we're practically family.
Miss Stevens leans forward over her desk.
The kind of family that you really don't look forward to seeing,
if you know what I mean.
INT HALLWAY OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
It is 3 o'clock,
and when the class bell rings,
the hallway fills with children,
aged eight to twelve.
no older than eleven,
dressed in all the latest athletic fad clothing and swaggering with confidence,
is surrounded by other children as he exits the classroom.
They keep on peppering him with questions,
about whether or not he is going to "play" today.
He remains quiet.
The group suddenly runs into the legs of Miss Stevens.
All scatter except NOAH,
who looks up at the principal.
So what did I do this time?
you should be grateful I haven't found out yet.
I'm just here to introduce you to your new tutor.
Cordelia here is going to helping you in those topics where you have difficulty.
you know the list.
Noah takes a long look at Cordelia,
Another boy passes him and asks:
are you goin' to play today,
Noah looks at his friend,
then at Cordelia.
today I think I'll,
hit the books.
Buffy is sitting with a rather bookish looking girl in an empty classroom.
I don't know what there is for me to do!
Buffy picks up some of the books lying on the desk.
You don't have any trouble with the social studies,
you mastered fractions,
and you could diagram three sentences before I could even take out my pen!
So what's going on with you in school?
Don't be silly.
It's got to be something.
said that you're new here.
How do you like it?
I hate it.
The other kids make fun of me because of my glasses.
They make fun of me because of the way I speak.
They make fun of me when I answer questions in class.
What about at lunch time?
What about the kids you eat lunch with?
There aren't any.
I eat alone.
It's not so bad.
I usually just read a book.
I know how it feels.
What are you reading now?
I don't think I should tell you.
Because you'll think it's funny.
You have to promise not to laugh.
Violet reaches into her backpack an pulls out a very old looking book.
It's about witches,
I found it in my Grandma's attic.
you promised not to laugh!
I wasn't going to laugh.
I was just going to say that,
if you're interested,
I know a little about witches and vampires and ...
Maybe if we're done doing homework,
I could tell you a few ...
Violet smiles broadly.
EXT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Young children swarm out of the school building as the three o'clock bell rings,
and about 20-30 surround one side of a Volkswagon bus that has parked across the street.
The van has enormous dice painted on the side.
The camera pans around to reveal a withered and wretched old man who,
through a lengthwise opening in the side of the bus,
is talking to the children.
who shall it be?
Who feels lucky today?
some little girl might even get herself a pony!
Who's that going to be?
Three to one ...
A pony for three to one.
there's going to be one very lucky girl going home tonight.
You can't lose with three to one,
now can you?
A girl steps forward from the mass of kids,
but clearly excited.
She is otherwise physically plain,
but has very striking eyes.
The old man reaches out a skeletal hand with long fingernails and grasps her wrist.
we have a taker!
What a wise little girl!
She's going to go home with a pony ...
if she's lucky ...
what shall we play for?
The camera fades out on a shot of her,
taken from within the van.
we notice her striking eyes.
BACK AT THE HIGH SCHOOL
and Xander are sitting outside during lunch at their high school,
talking about their tutoring experiences.
And so then,
out of nowhere,
she pulls out this book on vampires and witches!
It was wild.
I had never seen anything like it in the library.
She said it was from Haiti,
that her grandmother had had it in the attic.
She seemed really interested in it,
so I told her a few stories of my own.
How could you do that?
You told a ten year old girl that you slay vampires as an after-school hobby?
Don't be silly.
I told her stories about some fictional girl named Muffy who ...
slays vampires as an after-school hobby.
At least you got some work done.
All I could get Bobby to do was draw some pictures.
Then he just kept on talking about Mrs.
He's got this little schoolboy crush on her!
It's so cute!
it sounds like you two are having a lot more fun that me.
I went to meet the girl I'm tutoring,
I went to meet her after school,
but she didn't show.
Then Miss Stevens came out and apologized.
Says that the girl didn't come to school today.
And that they weren't going to expect her come in for a few weeks.
She's gone blind.
The scene is set in a room where TIFFANY is lying in bed,
her eyes pointed to the ceiling.
We recognize her as the girl from the earlier scene with the van.
By her side is her mother,
holding her hand and talking softly.
Xander enters the room
Your son let me in.
Miss Stevens sent me over ...
I'm supposed to help Tiffany with her studies when she's feeling better ...
How can the girl study?
She woke up two days ago blind as a bat!
Couldn't see a thing,
and now Miss Stevens wants me to worry about her studies?
you can tell her from me that ...
I didn't mean any disrespect.
I just want to let you know that I'm here to tutor her when she's feeling better,
so she doesn't,
Fall behin… Honey,
my child woke up two days ago screaming,
because she couldn't see a blessed thing.
Now she's just been lying here,
not moving at all,
just going on and on about how she wants her pony.
And I don't know if you've taken a good look around,
I ain't got no hay and I ain't got no stable,
just one blind daughter mumbling about her pony.
You can tell Miss Stevens that when my daughter can count the fingers in front of her face,
that's when she'll need a tutor.
she just needs her mother!
The camera moves until it is directly above Tiffany,
She is prone,
only her lips are moving.
Her eyeballs are completely white.
Buffy and Violet are again sitting together,
Violet is drawing.
was Tiffany a friend of yours?
Violet scowls at Buffy
I forgot I was dealing with the Lone Ranger here.
did you know Tiffany?
she was pretty nice to me when I first came here.
But lately she was avoiding me.
She started getting stuff.
So her parents were buying things for her.
Were you jealous?
That's not it!
It wasn't parent stuff.
It was kid stuff.
the kinds of things that a kid would buy if she had all the money herself.
So she had a big allowance?
it was ....
What is it?
I shouldn't tell you.
if you can't tell me,
I know one little girl who's not going to hear any more stories about Muffy the Vampire Slayer ...
She started going to the van after school.
Now I know that I shouldn't be telling you this.
Don't you want to hear about the time that ...
Muffy the Vampire Slayer met a girl so unpopular that she had actually turned invisible?
I don't know that much about it.
I just know that there's a van parked right out on the street every day after school.
All the popular kids go there.
You know that Noah?
He's new to school this year too.
He was unpopular like me at first.
We'd eat together.
And then I started seeing him more and more going to the van after school.
He started dressing differently,
wearing expensive shoes and clothes,
taking all his friends to the arcade,
letting everyone ride these bikes he buys ...
Everyone likes him,
they think he's so cool.
It scares me though,
so I don't go near it.
He scares me too.
Do you think it's drugs?
I don't know.
None of the other kids ever talk to me about it.
I could go over there and check it out,
but I think it's real creepy,
so I always make sure to avoid it on my way home.
I don't think I will.
I was just going to tell you another story about Muffy.
EXT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The scene is once again at the van.
There are about 15 kids swarmed around one side of it.
Noah is clearly the closest to the side where the man speaks to the children.
There is a good deal of yelling and excitement.
Buffy approaches just as Noah is rolling up the sleeve of his jacket and offering it to the man in the van.
swearing to herself,
runs and tackles Noah to the ground to keep him from (she assumes) being injected with some sort of drug.
The old man in the van starts to laugh.
and walks toward the van.
Noah starts to get up himself.
That was whacked out ...
what the hell do you think you're doing to these kids?
Get away from here!
The old man,
instead of driving away,
just continues to laugh.
I don't know what's wrong with my selling candy,
A little sugar never hurt anybody.
our little friend here was just extending his arm for a delicious bag of M&M's.
Here you go,
Do you like candy,
Maybe it's time for you to have a Snickers.
Help you relax.
I'm with the weird old man,
you're being totally mental.
What are you doing here?
You're supposed to be a mentor to Noah?
But you're just sitting here watching him get injected?
Would you quit living in like,
a Spike Lee movie?
Noah was just taking me to meet his friend here.
Buffy looks back to the old man,
who affords a tooth-less grin.
Buffy notices a pair of dice on the ledge by the man's hand,
shudders and grabs hold of Cordelia's arm to lead her away from the van.
you can't be this naive!
Something is going on with this van.
And if it's drugs,
then it's your job to make sure that Noah doesn't go anywhere near it!
is that a new necklace you're wearing?
INT BUFFY'S HOUSE
Buffy is sitting at the table with her family.
The phone rings.
Mother picks it up,
and after saying hello,
resigns the phone to Buffy.
You've got to come over here.
Something seriously weird is going on.
What is it?
You know Bobby,
the boy I'm tutoring?
I went to see him today after school,
for our fourth session together.
But it didn't go very well.
He had forgotten everything.
Buffy is relieved.
you can't expect kids to remember everything!
What was he having trouble with?
He had no idea who I was.
INT BUFFY'S ROOM
and Buffy are sitting on and around the bed.
I met him on the school steps after class,
but he just had no idea who I was.
He responded to his name,
but then just looked at me blankly.
He asked me if I was Mrs Jones.
Jones … the teacher he has a crush on?
And Tiffany wanted to know about her pony ...
What was that?
When I went to go talk to Tiffany's mom,
she mentioned that her daughter kept on mumbling about a pony.
Was this before or after she threw you out on your ear for being an insensitive clod?
is there any way that we can talk to Tiffany?
There's no way I'm going back into that house.
do you get along with Bobby's parents?
I think so,
we've talked on the phone a few times.
His parents were really concerned about his schoolwork.
Has anyone had dinner yet?
There's something going on.
I think that that man in the van is using these kids as drug runners.
Their school might be on the other side of the tracks,
but this is still Sunnydale,
So you guys think I'm over-reacting?
Willow and Xander both nod vigorously.
how about this,
Why don't I invite you two over for dinner?
Willow and Xander readily assent.
I'll order it.
While we're waiting,
why don't you go pick up Bobby?
I'd sure like to meet him!
Xander and Willow look at each other and sigh.
INT BUFFY'S HOUSE
The doorbell rings.
It is Willow and BOBBY,
a boy of about nine or ten years,
by her side.
He seems a little "spaced",
but is very polite.
Buffy extends her hand.
my name is Buffy.
This is Xander.
Do you like pizza?
I'm not sure.
What is it?
Willow looks at him with exasperation.
It is apparent that she's been hearing him say that quite a bit this evening.
What's on it?
You're okay with onions,
Bobby looks up at Willow,
then back to Buffy.
Are you Mrs.
Can we get married now?
Why don't we ...
move into the kitchen and get some plates ready for the pizza?
As they turn to go to the kitchen,
Buffy puts her hand on Bobby's head.
have you been having fun with Willow,
Have you been learning a lot?
Having fun with who?
Buffy shoots a troubled glance at Willow and Xander.
The foursome walk the rest of the way to the kitchen in silence.
Buffy picks up Bobby and sits him on the counter.
How has school been for you this year?
I'm not sure.
The last couple of days have been all right,
do you ever go after school with the other kids,
and go that van that's parked outside?
the doorbell rings.
Bobby cocks his head in curiosity.
I'll get it.
That must be the pizza guy.
Is he Mrs.
Xander is finally exasperated.
We're not going to learn anything here,
Willow re-enters the kitchen,
the pizza box perched on her fingertips.
With a flair,
she throws it upon the counter,
right next where Bobby is sitting.
Bobby nonchalantly turns his head to look at the pizza box.
Emblazoned on the top are the words "Dice Pizza" and a picture of two large,
Bobby begins to scream uncontrollably at the top of his lungs.
Buffy turns to Xander.
I think we just learned something.
INT MISS STEVEN'S OFFICE
Buffy is seated across from Miss Stevens.
And I don't know if it's drugs or what it is,
but I think these things that have been happening,
I think they're related to that old man in the van.
I knew I should have done something about him long ago!
You said that Bobby started screaming when he saw the dice?
That does it!
I'm calling the police.
He's not going to get to any more of these children!
INT BUFFY'S HOUSE,
The phone rings and Buffy picks it up.
It is Miss Stevens.
I'm sorry to bother you at home,
but I wanted you to be the first to know.
The police raided the van today shortly after our meeting.
They took that ...
peddler to prison.
They searched him and his van.
They couldn't find any trace of drugs.
They're going let him out tomorrow,
and I know he's just going to go right back to it.
I want you to talk to Violet.
Make sure that she never goes near there.
The same goes for you,
just stay away.
And I want you to talk to Cordelia.
I can't seem to get through to that girl at all.
I think that Noah is really tied up in this whole thing,
and it scares me.
He's a good kid,
Do what you can to keep him away from that van.
I'll let you know if anything happens.
I'll do what I can,
Buffy hangs up the phone then leans against the wall and slumps down.
The phone rings again.
Buffy rushes to pick it up,
How are you doing?
How's studying for the big test coming along?
It's not bad ...
You are coming over to help like you said you would,
aren't you Buffy?
Buffy glances at her watch and curses under her breath.
I'll be there,
I'll be there in fifteen minutes.
Buffy hangs up the phone and runs toward the door.
I've got to run out!
I'll be back in a while!
INT VIOLET'S HOUSE
Violet is in her pajamas in bed.
Buffy is seated on the floor,
telling her a story.
So then Muffy said,
'But I won't let you take her to the fifth circle of Hades,
for I am a Vampire Slayer,
and am sworn to stand in your way' which didn't make the arch-demon very happy,
so he spread his wings,
as far as they would go,
and his teeth glimmered in the moonlight as he laughed at her fate.
And then ...
what am I doing?
I thought you were going to study for your big exam!
I can't just sit here and tell you scary stories all night.
But I've studied all night!
Stay for a little longer,
Violet's eyes light up when she looks over to her night-table and sees her book of vampires taken from her Grandmother's attic.
Let me read to you for a while Buffy!
I found this really scary part of the book!
It's all about kids!
Buffy adjusts her sitting position,
as if settling in for a good story.
This is the 13th chapter of the book.
It's about the Soul Catcher.
[reading] And whenever the village would throw a carnival,
or other festival,
there would be sightings of the Soul Catcher.
He was said to only prey on children,
and he always managed to evade adults.
Usually an old or decrepit man,
the SoulCatcher was said to prize children for the things they had that he had lost long ago:
but most of all,
The SoulCatcher would lure children to his booth at the festivities with promises of sweets or toys.
it is rumored,
liked games of chance,
The SoulCatcher would play one of these games with the children.
If the child won,
he would deliver on his promise of the goods.
But if that child lost,
he would take something far more valuable;
he would take a piece of that child.
Violet looks up from her book,
but Buffy has disappeared.
Giles is sitting in the library reading when Buffy,
and Willow enter.
what did you find?
It's always nice to see the New World make a contribution to the accumulated store of evil and troublemakers.
What do you mean?
Buffy's 'SoulCatcher' that she told me about last night.
At about 10:30 PM,
if I recall,
is entirely a New World phenomenon.
Most of my expertise,
and my books,
focus on the demons and haunts of the Old World.
It's almost refreshing to come across something from the other side of the Atlantic.
Why do you say 'almost'?
or 'Huapoloko' as the natives called him,
is a particularly nefarious fellow.
He lures children,
his victims are always under 12,
into games of chance.
He will promise them something:
a new toy,
a baby brother,
you name it,
and then set the odds for them to win it.
Maybe two to one,
three to one,
ten to one.
The better the odds of the child winning,
the less valuable their prize will be.
The SoulCatcher then rolls dice,
to see if the child wins.
But if the child doesn't win?
the unfortunate result.
apparently before rolling,
the child agrees to wager something intangible.
It could be as dramatic as their voice or eyesight,
or as insignificant as the memory of their first kiss.
Willow shoots a glance at Xander,
then turns back to Giles.
The SoulCatcher then grasps the child's forearm,
and from that bond,
he is able to able to exact his winnings.
But that doesn't make any sense!
Buffy said that the van has been going to the school for at least the last six months,
but Tiffany was the first kid to lose a bet?
are you saying that the only two kids who can't gamble are the one's that we tutored?
Perhaps you should have spent some more time with statistics.
Alexander asks a pertinent question.
One that troubled me for most of the night.
let me ask you.
If you needed to extract a gambling debt from somebody,
but you needed to make sure that no one would ever find out,
what would you do?
Make the debt invisible?
That's it exactly.
But that's ridiculous!
How can you lose your voice with no one noticing?
How is no one going to notice you walking around without any eyeballs in their sockets?
What if he took something no one could see?
Which is exactly what he does.
Giles opens one of the books near him to a page with a woodcut drawing.
Cuerna del Pato.
The first European settlement in what is now the Dominican Republic.
The settlers took scrupulous records,
Giles produces another book
when somebody died.
I went through these death records last night and I discovered something quite unsettling.
I discovered that in Cuerna del Pato,
unlike many settlements in North America in the same time period,
The crops never failed,
the natives never attacked,
and the inhabitants never fell ill.
That sounds like a success story.
Why didn't we ever learn about it in school?
I haven't told you the whole history.
I went through this record of deaths,
and I discovered why you never heard of Cuerna del Pato.
Among the first generation of children,
all those who were under twelve years old when they were brought to the colony,
or those who were born there,
not a single one lived to see their thirtieth year.
But people were always dying early back then.
But not in this settlement.
There was not a single death recorded among any of the adults who emigrated tol Cuerna de Pato.
Only among the children who grew up there.
How did they die?
Any number of ways.
A slipped axe head while chopping timber.
A sudden disease.
A wild animal.
Quite a few,
died while trying to flee the island.
There are numerous instances of children in their late twenties perishing on hastily constructed rafts and boats.
With no younger generation,
the colony withered.
The young people died trying to escape from their debts.
So what you're saying is that these children gambled away their adulthood in order to have good crops and not catch a cold?
That makes no sense!
The mortality rates in some of those settlements went as high as 90 percent,
Let me give you another example.
Would you like ten dollars today,
or one hundred next week?
That's not a very hard choice.
Well then let me stir the pot.
What if I told you that you had a terrible disease and that you probably wouldn't live 'till Friday.
would you like the ten dollars today,
or the hundred next Monday?
Xander gives a slight grunt and nods.
It's something that economists call inter-temporal discount.
What something you have now is worth in the future.
So what you're saying is that those children didn't even expect it to make it through the winter,
and that ...
the possibility of dying at 30 sure beats the probability of dying tomorrow.
But I don't see what this has to do with the elementary school!
Look at these kids that you're tutoring.
Their peers bring guns to the classroom;
they pass drunkards on the way to school;
they all know people in prison;
there are few good jobs in their communities.
These kids aren't stupid.
They're not worried about how they're going to spend their retirement,
they're worried about how they're going to make it to the three o'clock bell.
in technical terms,
a very high discount on the future.
And they found someone who was willing to deal.
Someone who was willing to trade their future for a pony,
or the love of a teacher,
or just popularity.
But why has he moved past just taking their old age?
Why did he take Bobby's memories?
And Tiffany's eyes?
That brings us to the last entry for SoulCatcher in this tome.
[reading] The SoulCatcher will not be satisfied in only collecting the years of adulthood from its prey,
eventually it will grow more bold in its bets,
and offer odds on things that are unique to a child:
the ability to see the world as a child sees the world;
a collection of childhood memories,
or the most prized bet of the SoulCatcher,
the very childhood itself.
Buffy is again approaching the van,
this time with an intent to confront the SoulCatcher.
She approaches the open side of the van.
it looks like I have a visitor.
Do you want to play,
I don't want to play.
I want you to give back everything you've taken.
Are you sure?
Are you sure that you don't want to play a little ...
The SoulCatcher reaches his hand out of the van to grasp Buffy's arm.
Buffy grabs his arm,
twists and pulls the SoulCatcher out of the van onto the grass beside the sidewalk.
Instead of screaming in pain,
the SoulCatcher starts to giggle.
who looks like he would break in half with the slightest touch,
bounces right back up after having been thrown to the ground.
Buffy looks confused.
Those little kids.
Bones just made out of rubber,
I tell you.
Buffy moves in to kick the SoulCatcher in the head.
He nimbly performs several cartwheels to get away.
You can thank Cathy for that one!
She was a gymnast for ten years.
Buffy throws a punch at the SoulCatcher,
which he catches in his hand mid-air.
Don't think that I didn't see that one coming!
I've got some sharp eyesight,
What was her name?
With one hand occupied,
Buffy throws her full weight against the SoulCatcher,
who falls to the ground,
Buffy's full weight bearing down on him.
She pulls a stake out of her back pocket,
which she prepares to drive through his skull.
Before you do something so drastic,
let me tell you what my favorite thing that I've ever won over the years.
And what would that be?
The voice of a little girl.
The SoulCatcher starts screaming in the voice of an eight year old girl.
Somebody please get her off me!
realizing that people are starting to look and come to the scene,
decides a quick getaway would be better than trying to explain what's going on.
She gets off the SoulCatcher and runs away.
The SoulCatcher gets up and brushes himself off.
Still speaking in the voice of an eight year old girl,
Cordelia and Noah are seated in the middle of the room.
They are going over math drills.
They are wearing matching tri-color (red,
and green) leather jackets.
Buffy is standing in the doorway,
Seven times five?
Sixty-four divided by eight?
Twenty percent of 80?
The remainder of 96 divided by seven?
So why are you failing all your other classes,
but are unstoppable in math?
Practice doing what?
Practice betting your life away?
What are you doing here?
Did you and Miss Bookworm lose your membership at the library?
I'm sorry Cordelia,
I didn't even think to mention.
that you two are wearing matching leather jackets.
Aren't they fresh?
Noah got them for us.
He says that his uncle is an importer and ...
pulls a chair up to the table where she and Noah are sitting.
when are you going to die,
You're talkin' crazy.
I'm not going to die.
and Tiffany's not blind and Bobby never lost his memory!
But I'm not ever going to lose.
I don't ever take the sucker bets.
I know the good odds.
You've already lost,
Maybe not your hearing,
or your vision,
but for as long as you've been playing,
I'm sure you've lost.
when do you kick it?
That doesn't leave you much time to wager.
they've come to expect a lot from you,
with the presents that you're always giving away.
Cordelia cuddles herself in her leather coat.
You play much longer,
and you're going to have to start putting other things up for wager.
What's it going to be?
Noah suddenly pushes himself from the table gets out of his chair.
Whatever it takes to be popular.
Noah leaves the room.
You hear that Buffy?
The rest of us want something more than just checking out the cemetery with some werido friends.
You should listen to Noah.
He's really good with numbers.
And his is almost up.
Buffy leaves the classroom to follow Noah.
EXT CITY STREETS
Buffy follows Noah out of the school,
into the city streets,
where night has fallen.
Insert show's quota of Buffy running around in revealing mini-skirt.
Buffy eventually loses track of Noah,
but finds herself close to Violet's house.
She decides to pay her a visit.
INT VIOLET'S ROOM,
TWO STORY HOUSE
Violet is sitting at her desk,
who has scaled a tree and is now on the roof,
peers in through the window.
Violet looks around,
I don't have much time to talk ...
do you still have that book with all of the stuff about the SoulCatcher?
It's right around here ...
Why do you need it?
Why are you in such a hurry?
Why are you sitting on my roof?
I always love a touch of the dramatic.
I've got to keep an eye out for Noah.
Violet produces the book.
Does it say anything in there about how someone goes about ...
how someone would ...
how they could ...
VOICE FROM OFFSCREEN
kill a SoulCatcher?
Both Buffy and Violet look surprisingly at the doorway,
where Miss Stevens is standing.
Buffy looks very confused.
Violet's parents wanted her to get away from her old school,
they figured she needed a fresh start.
So they sent her out here to live with me.
But there is a rule around this house that extends to that school.
STEVENS AND VIOLET
Violet receives no special treatment.
I probably treat her harder than any of the other kids in that school.
Violet rolls her eyes.
Miss Stevens' attention turns back to Buffy.
it seems we miscalculated.
How do you mean?
Something makes you think that our friend in that van is a SoulCatcher?
It would explain an awful lot.
How do you know so much?
Let's just say that I'm not the first in my family to be in charge of hundreds of screaming little devils.
But enough about my parents.
Do you know where the SoulCatcher is?
Noah ran out of his tutoring session ...
You call fluff-talk from that airhead tutoring?
I just humored that Cordelia girl as long as she kept Noah out of trouble.
it didn't last long.
He ran out after I confronted him.
I'm really worried that he's going to make a bet that he can't win.
It's worth worrying about,
So what makes you think that you have what it takes to bring this thing down?
Let's call it 'related job experience'.
I just came by to find out if there were any special instructions on,
you know ...
Buffy makes several motions illustrating killing,
maiming and torture.
there's special instructions all right.
you need the blood of a dozen virgin turtle doves raised in total darkness.
Boil that for three days,
saving the last drop to place on your tongue as you dance circles naked in the moonlight,
chanting "omoway sowlcatcha" riding on the back of a wild boar.
And if that doesn't work?
I don't know what to tell you.
My parents never told me about a SoulCatcher actually being caught.
The only thing I know is that the things he takes,
he keeps in his dice.
That's where all his power is.
But if you're going to take him on,
you have to be careful.
if the SoulCatcher sees you coming,
he's liable to grab hold of you and take something.
What can he take?
Anything he wants.
You've got to get him when he's occupied with something else.
Buffy crouches down to prepare to jump off the roof.
Miss Stevens turns to Violet.
Pray for that girl.
EXT CITY STREETS
More gratuitous shots of Buffy traversing city streets at night in skimpy clothing.
near the corner of an abandoned playground,
Buffy sees the distinctive van with the painted dice on the side.
There is light pouring out of the far side of the truck,
the only bright light for blocks.
An occasional siren is heard.
Buffy runs in for a closer look.
Noah is just rolling up his sleeve and extending his arm.
He sees Buffy.
Don't even start with me,
What's the difference between going at age 25 or twenty?
It's not any different than you deciding to die at two hundred or two hundred and fifty!
Ain't no difference.
If I can help myself now,
why are you trying to stop me?
Because I know you're better than that.
You've got a quick mind;
that's why you play the game so well;
but you've gone too far Noah.
You've got to stop.
We can still help.
You don't care about helping me!
None of you do!
This is all just school credit to you people!
Cross over the railroad tracks and get credits to graduate!
I don't need your fake concern here,
I've got a life to lead.
Buffy circles around so that she is standing aside Noah,
in front of the van.
My fake concern,
what are you betting here?
I'm betting to get all those years of my life back.
Betting that against checking out the day I turn sixteen.
So what kind of odds did you take?
One to one.
Buffy takes a deep breath,
turns to SoulCatcher in the van,
and extends her arm.
I'll take that bet,
and I'll take those odds.
My life for his.
Noah is shocked,
The SoulCatcher leans out of the bus,
his gnarled head coming into view.
You're a slayer,
The SoulCatcher begins to laugh.
Well then let's at least make this an interesting bet.
instead of a couple of years of ...
let's wager something ...
What have you got in mind?
I'll take you up on the years of his life.
I think I've got too many of them anyway.
But if you lose,
I want something that distinctly belongs to a slayer.
I want ...
I want everything that makes you good and pure.
And I want it on one to one odds.
You got it.
Buffy extends her arm again.
The SoulCatcher wraps his long,
skeletal fingers around it and picks up the dice that lie on the shelf between them.
He is just about to roll ...
Don't take that bet!
I'll make a different bet.
An even better bet.
One you can't refuse.
The SoulCatcher turns his attention back to Noah.
are you prepared to bet that you think I can't refuse?
What you've wanted this whole time.
The whole thing.
No more waiting until I'm sixteen crap.
I'll wager my whole childhood,
if you let go of her arm.
The SoulCatcher does let go of Buffy's arm and once again grabs on to Noah's.
Odds or evens?
While Buffy watches in horror,
the SoulCatcher rolls the dice.
It comes up four,
one of the numbers that Noah bet against.
The SoulCatcher tenses his grip on Noah's arm,
prepared to absorb Noah's childhood.
Buffy screams at Noah,
With his free hand,
Noah quickly throws the dice to Buffy,
who catches them and casts them full speed at the head of the SoulCatcher.
They embed themselves in his skull and start to glow brightly,
emitting smoke as they do so.
The screaming of hundreds of children is heard as their souls reap vengeance through the embedded dice.
The SoulCatcher releases Noah's arm and tries to pick the dice out of his head,
but it is clear that they are stuck.
The screams of the children get louder and louder until the SoulCatcher finally collapses over the side of the van,
Noah and Buffy are breathless.
I don't get it.
You lost the bet.
But nothing happened.
It was a sucker bet.
What do you mean?
My father walked out on us when I was six,
my mother got arrested when I was nine.
I was the oldest,
so when it came to looking out for my brothers and sisters,
that was my job since I could crawl.
He wanted my childhood;
what was there to take?
serves him right taking a bet like that.
So you ready to get out of here?
Noah begins to cross the street.
you don't look both ways?
What do I have to worry about?
I'm not checking out 'til I turn twenty-three.
I guess I should go get those dice,
Noah nods slowly.
I think you should go get those dice.
The camera zooms out as Buffy works on prying the dice out of the SoulCatcher's steaming,
Noah stands by,
like a nurse,
handing her tools to make it easier:
Buffy is heard mumbling at her task.
and Xander are all sitting around talking.
Buffy is wearing Noah's tri-color leather jacket.
in order to find the spell to release the spirits from the dice,
Giles had to make some new friends around town.
Visited some of those used bookstores,
He said if he ever has to smell jasmine incense again,
that it would be too soon.
It's good for him to get out.
What if we run into another New World creep?
like the ToothCatcher,
or the EyebrowPlucker,
or maybe even the dreaded FootTickler!
I'm being serious here!
We got it all worked out this time.
Noah even gave me his leather jacket.
And he said that if I ever needed a math tutor ...
I went to tutor Bobby last night.
He's doing much better.
Got his memory back.
Still spooked by the whole thing though.
Refuses to eat pizza ever again.
Jones says she was flattered by the attention,
They put Bobby in the other class.
I can relate.
Blankwell finally let me go talk to Tiffany again,
but she said I am under no circumstances ever to mention a pony .
Cordelia walks by in her tri-color leather jacket.
Seeing that Buffy is wearing the matching one,
Cordelia strips it off in disgust and throws it on the ground.
Willow rushes to pick it up and put it on.
It better be.
He wagered five years of his life for it.
return to the Life of Jos