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Check Out This Sky

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I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Twister. They belong to Joss Whedon and Michael Crichton (I think).




Check Out This Sky


As the dirt sifts itself between my fingers, I can’t help but reflect on what made me into the man I am today.


I was born in a pathetic little one-Starbucks town that barely rates a mention when one describes the Los Angeles area. My parents were equally pathetic drunks that barely deserve their titles. I had only two friends of real consequence when I was growing up. Their names were Willow Rosenberg and Jesse McNally. They were my best friends.


That’s right. They were. Note the past tense? Jesse is gone. His life was snuffed by a cheap floozy of a vamp, back when I was still new to the concept. It still galls me to this day that he’s gone, but at least I know that he’s resting in peace. Goodness knows I wound out helping him into the final sleep personally. Willow was more painful, in a way. She hates me now. The Fluke was bad enough, but when combined with the revelation of the Big Lie, all of my Sunnydale friendships crumbled to dust as surely as Jesse did. Is it rather pathetic to anyone but me that the one who by all rights, should have been angriest, took it the best of the lot?


The Big Lie made certain that my road trip was destined to be one way. Buffy and Willow didn’t want me back after what they perceived I had done to them. It doesn’t matter really. That was a lifetime ago. I changed my name legally to get rid of the taint of the Harris name and I haven’t looked back since.


It was a couple of years later that I met the people that would change the course of my life. I had been carjacked and left naked in a field of corn. To this day I’ve never found out what happened to my car, my clothes or the thief. All I can really remember is that they left me my case of Jack. I’m not sure why they did it, but maybe they were feeling merciful. Suffice it to say I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and I started to get royally hammered.


That’s the moment when my life changed. It wasn’t until later that I learned that the part of the country I was in was called Tornado Alley. I was never into the whole weather thing growing up and I hadn’t studied up. Now, you’d think that being naked, in a cornfield, with only one bottle of Jack remaining would be pretty terrifying when a tornado spirals out of the sky to say hello. Obviously anyone thinking that has never met a tornado while they are completely snookered. I thought it was hilarious. I even offered it my last bottle of Jack. Not too sure where that ever wound up.


Anyway, as I stared muzzily into the face of a pretty fierce tornado, I became aware that I was being watched by a group of storm chasers. I was being watched by Jo. I don’t suppose it would surprise anyone to know that Jo, Dusty, Rabbit and all the rest of them never let me forget that incident. I personally believe they just need to get some new stories.


That was the day I found my calling. I’ve always had an eye for things other people miss. Just ask the Judge, if he ever manages to pull himself together again. He certainly understood it in his last seconds. My ability to see what is beneath the surface really awakened when I met that first tornado. I could understand how a storm thinks in a way that frustrated the hell out of Jonas Miller back in the day.


That was years ago. I’ve come a long way since that wide-eyed, drunken kid who was left naked in a corn field. I’m a storm chaser now, the proud husband of Jo Harding.


My name was once Xander Harris, but you can call me Bill. Only Dusty can call me the Extreme… People ask me, even today, why I do what I do. They can never understand the adrenaline rush and the edge-of-your-seat danger that is so integral in my life. I can’t blame them. They’ve never hunted the night. After that, a storm is exciting. It’s certainly nothing to fear.


But if you ever get bored of your monotonous desk jobs and want to live on the edge with me, come and check out this sky… She’s really talking…