Aftershocks: Dark Carnival

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Aftershocks: Dark Carnival

Post by WolfofWords »

(This is the fifth installment of a fanfiction piece that I work on every October. It stars Lydia from Beetlejuice as a high schooler. It also stars a high school girl named Nancy who is the mostly human daughter of Freddy Krueger. There is also a mysterious a middle school-aged kid named Rob who is somehow connected to the Winchesters of Supernatural. They face off against various demons who are villains from my favorite horror movies.)

Lydia, Nancy, and Rob were all lounging in the bunker. Lydia was elbow deep in a stack of books, lost in thought. Rob was on a laptop, scrolling through news sites constantly. Nancy was bored so she was playing on her phone and playing some music. Lydia had welcomed the music as she was good at multi-tasking. Rob, on the other hand, had complained. When he had been overruled, he put on some big headphones and grumbled a bit. The girls did not take it very seriously, Rob had long since given up on being a pint-sized authority and was now fully partnered with the two teen girls. They were really meshing as a team. The witch, the demon daughter, and the angel boy.

A vase on the table in front of Lydia started to shake, vibrate, and wobble. Lydia looked up casually but Rob got tense and threw off his headphones.

"What is that?!" Rob asked, shouting the question. He stood up.

"Calm down, Rob," Lydia said. She reached for the vase. Nancy had already sat up and was hugging her knees. "It's a little present from Dorothy that Sabrina left here. I finally got it to work."

"Ah, a witch trick." Rob asked, calming down now that he saw that the girls were not panicked. "What is it, though?"

"It's a sort of trouble detector," Lydia said, cradling the vase. "Dorothy called a Weather Vane, Sabrina calls it a Dark Detector. It tracks dangerous magic or magic used for dark purposes. It's not a perfect system but it's better than nothing."

"It means our peacetime is over," Nancy said softly. "We have to get back in the saddle." She sounded so sad that Nancy patted her shoulder.

"Finally!" Rob said with a smile. "Does that Trouble Tracker have another step? I mean, it's nice to know there's trouble but it's not very helpful."

"Yes," Lydia said and she reached into the vase and drew out some powder and tossed it toward a map of the city hanging on the wall. "Reveal!" she shouted. The powder stuck to the map in a wide pattern but slowly started to consolidate around the downtown area.

"What is it?" Nancy asked, staring at the point on the map.

"The magic doesn't go that far," Lydia said. "We have to actually get out and investigate. It could be anything."

"It's always demons," Nancy said. "They've made it clear that they want me. He wants me."

"It's not going to happen, Nance," Lydia said. "but it could be something subtle like Jack and Charles or something more blatant like West or Ley. We just have to find what does not belong."

Rob was looking at his computer again. "News alerts have us covered," he said. "It wasn't there a few minutes ago but there's a huge circus tent that went up at the fairgrounds. Ads have started to play online. We have a Dark Carnival situation."

"What's a Dark Carnival situation and is it what I am afraid it is?" Lydia asked.

"Yeah," Rob said. "It's kind of like an evil circus. They're pretty common. Sometimes called a Circus of Fear. They always suck."

"Why do they always suck?" Nancy asked, confused. "I like carnivals. I like circuses. How bad could they make it? What's so bad about circuses?"

"Clowns, Nance," Lydia said.

"I hate clowns," Lydia and Rob said in unison before looking at each other.

"Clowns aren't so bad," Nancy said. "I think they're funny."

"I definitely don't," Rob said. "but that's why they're dangerous. Everybody thinks what they do is innocent fun until it's too late. Clown ghosts, clown demons, clown monsters. All horrible."

"Alright," Nancy said. "I'm on board with hating on ghosts, demons, and monsters. What do we do?"

"We get ready for showtime," Lydia said. "and then we bring down the curtain."


"I want a progress report!" Killjoy yelled out. He was pacing inside of the trailer behind the main tent. He was his usual grumpy self, his hands itching to shed some human blood.

"Well, they sent us up here to Oyrth but they weally wanted that Pennywise guy but he didn't go to Hell," Batty Boop said. "Go figure."

"No!" Killjoy yelled, shaking like a maniac. "I mean what's the progress of our plan?!"

"Plizan gizood!" Punchy said.

Killjoy leaned against a table and looked into the mirror and shook his head and sighed. "Very descriptive, Punchy," he said.

"Don't take it poysonally, Punchy," Batty said, patting the big man on the shoulder. "He's just nervous because he hasn't performed for such a big audience before."

"I had a wildly popular web show!" Killjoy shouted.

"Did you, though?" Batty asked. "Did you really?"

Killjoy grunted. "Where's Freakshow and our newest recruit?"

"Freakshow and Stitches aw putting the finishing touches on everything with all of the zombie clowns." Batty said. "The plan is fine, baby. Relax. It's not gonna go like the last time we had a mission from Hell."

"You had to remind me of the one who got away!" Killjoy yelled.

"Punchy, will you go outside while I calm down our glowious leadew?" Batty asked with a smile.

Punchy left the trailer and kept moving when he started hearing the most hideous of noises. He wondered when he would get to start tearing teens apart again.
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Re: Aftershocks: Dark Carnival

Post by WolfofWords »

The three of them arrived at the fairgrounds and looked up at a large tent that had appeared only two hours previously. They had taken the time to gather their weapons and get ready for whatever or whoever they would be facing. They had faced a handful of threats together but who knew what the future might hold? Lydia had recently enchanted a baseball bat which she had gotten pretty good at wielding. She had inscribed runes on its surface and then she had applied a finish to protect the writing. When she had reconnected with Dorothy and her friends, she had also reconnected with her mystical training. She was trying to embrace that. It was silly to handicap herself considering all of the threats they were facing lately.

Rob had a shotgun slung over his shoulder and a makeshift scabbard that held his angel blade. Lydia was still not entirely sure what Rob was. The first night they met she had seen him grow a glowing set of wings amid an explosion. He kept talking about family but he had not elaborated on them but she knew that they hunted monsters. Rob had somehow inherited a bunker from them. There were books on all manner of creatures and she kept seeing the word "hunter" everywhere as if that had a specific meaning. Lydia had worried that he might object to Nancy now knowing about her demon heritage. He had never once backed down from his support of Nancy.

Nancy was wearing her familiar striped sweater that changed shape based on her mood. It usually got baggier and looser as she got more nervous so she could hide inside of it. At her most confident, it could become a t-shirt. It was currently only a slightly loose-knit sweater. Her hands were balled into fists but Lydia had seen those hands form into vicious claws. She had seen Nancy do inhuman things. With her own history with he who literally should not be named, she should have been repulsed but she loved her friend even more. Despite the demon heritage, Nancy was so vulnerable but she was still defying the forces of Hell. Lydia could never walk away from that. They were in this together.

A heavily painted female clown stepped out of the tent. She had green hair and a curious design painted on her belly that looked like a vertical mouth with sharp pointed teeth. She also had a smirk on her face.

"Oh look!" the clown said. "It's little miss daddy issues."

"Go to Hell," Lydia said. She looked over and saw Nancy tensing in anger.

"Oh we awe going back but not without you little demon missy," the demon said. "Come with me and you won't get huwt."

"Get ready for a fight, clown," Nancy said, her look fierce.

"The name's Batty Boop, pintsize," Batty said. "You awe a little eawly but we *awe* weady for you. Step right up!"

The three adventurers charged forward, Nancy at the front with claws extending from her hands. Batty laughed and disappeared in a shower of confetti. The three looked around and then entered the tent. They were immediately met with a blinding spotlight and they all had to adjust for a moment. As soon as they did, the spotlight went off which absolutely ruined their night vision.

"Welcome welcome ladies, gents, and pipsqueaks to the greatest circus on Earth or in Hell, Killjoy's Psycho Circus!" a voice rang out. "Nancy! You have won an all-expenses-paid trip to Hell! The rest of you get a lovely parting gift of death. I think we'll kill a whole bunch of people before we leave town. What do you think?"

"Come down here and fight us!" Rob yelled out.

"Hmm no I don't think I'll do that," Killjoy said. "I think you should say hello to my friends instead!"

A large shape moved through the darkness and hit Nancy like a bus, sending her sprawling. A spotlight hit the shape and revealed a large hobo clown with comically big boxing gloves. He advanced on the girl with a grunt. As Lydia moved to stop Punchy with her bat, she was cut off by the sudden appearance of Batty Boop. Batty almost sliced into Lydia with a nasty-looking sword. Rob turned to face the last figure which was an odd mime conjoined with what looked to be a robot baby. The baby detached itself and leaped at Rob who was forced to wrestle it to the ground. The three of them were forced to struggle with the three killer clowns. The laughter of Killjoy could be heard from somewhere up above.

Nancy made it to her feet just as Punchy swung down at her. She dodged to the side and had to keep dodging his brutal strikes as she shook off the earlier blow. She was so angry all of a sudden and she wanted so badly to hit back. She balled her fist up and jumped into the air and landed a heavy punch right on Punchy's chin, sending him stumbling backward. She punched him again and again and finally wound up and hit him with an uppercut. She punched him so hard that her fist went through his jaw and out through the back of his head. Punchy exploded into confetti.

Lydia dodged wild sword swipes from Batty, the sword clanging off of her baseball bat. Lydia hung in there as Batty got more and more sloppy. The demon clown was not used to prolonged fights. She was more used to seduction and surprise attacks against more helpless prey. Still, she was definitely giving Lydia a lot of trouble. With a tongue foreign from Earth, Lydia lit the runes on her bat. Lightning arced from the bat through the sword and into Batty's body. She fell to her knees smoking. Lydia tried to think of a pun on Batty's name and using a bat but just swung for the fences. Batty's head and then her body exploded into confetti.

Rob wrestled with the little machine as it gnashed its teeth and tried to strike at him. Eventually, he was able to grab his angel blade and stabbed the little baby in an explosion of confetti. The mime swung downward with a pickaxe but Rob rolled away. He recovered his shotgun and one shot sent the mime to an otherwise silent death.
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Re: Aftershocks: Dark Carnival

Post by WolfofWords »

Nancy stood seething and breathing hard in her anger with her fists clenched. Lydia moved to her side and gently touched her arm and Nancy calmed down a little bit. Rob stepped up to her other side and gave her a little nod. She nodded back.

"Killjoy!" Nancy shouted out. "If you're working for my dad, we have a problem. Come out here!"

"No no, you little shits," Killjoy shouted out through the PA system. "I still don't think I am going to do that. Not when I still have people to fight for me. I pick my spots."

"Show yourself, clown!" Lydia called out. "We want to get this over with."

"Unless you're a coward," Rob said with a smirk. This set off some grumbled curses over the PA system. Obviously, they had touched a nerve.

This was when a spotlight went on and in the middle of the pool of light stood the most pathetic, rotten-looking clown that any of the three had seen. They all instantly recoiled from him as he had a sinister air to him. He only had one eye and the missing one looked like it had been stabbed with a bladed weapon. Everything about him looked disheveled or injured, unlike the bright-painted clowns they had just dispatched. He was calmly smoking a cigarette. This thing had a completely dirty feel to it rather than the flashy, dangerous feel of the others.

"Who are you?" Nancy asked, all of them tensing up again. They knew that even the most pathetic looking demon could still be a threat.

"The name's Stitches," Stitches said in a Scottish accent. "I'm about to rain on your parade." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a flower and put it on his lapel. The flower suddenly erupted with a geyser of water that the three barely dodged. Stitches adjusted aim to follow them and ended up hitting Nancy who was nearly washed away. She dug her claws into the ground and held on tight. She tried to turn her head so she did not swallow all of the water.

"Stop it!" Rob shouted and fired his shotgun, the ironshot and salt mix pelting Stitches on his right side. Stitches looked annoyed at best.

"Quit it," Stitches said calmly and gestured at Roy and a noisemaker shot out and somehow knocked Rob off of his feet.

Lydia muttered a few words and threw a fireball at Stitches. At the last moment, Stitches pulled out a red-stained umbrella and used it to block the fireball.

"Cool off!" Stitches growled angrily but the geyser of water died down as he turned toward Lydia. A blade sprang from the point of the umbrella and he advanced on Lydia with extra menace. Nancy was still struggling to her feet, belching water onto the ground. Stitches swiped and stabbed at Lydia who had to scramble backward. She used her baseball bat to deflect some of the shots. The situation was dire.

"Stop!" Nancy managed to get out. "It's me you want. It's me that my father wants." She started to struggle to her feet. She was soaked to the bone but she was still staring daggers at Stitches which only seemed to amuse the clown. He laughed and walked a few steps toward Nancy.

"That's true enough," Stitches said. "but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun first. Hell does not really like your friends here. The three of you have been a pain in the arse and Hell will be glad to be rid of both of them before we drag you home to daddy."

"Come get me then," Nancy said, getting to her feet. "Come and get me already."

Stitches started to walk toward her in earnest, spurred on by her taunting. At that point, Rob attacked on Stitches' blindside and stabbed him in his empty socket. Stitches cried out and screamed and then started laughing.

"Third time is not the charm, boy," Stitches says. "I've been stabbed before."

"Not with an angel blade," Rob said and smiled. Stitches' smile faded and he suddenly cracked like an eggshell and collapsed into nothing.

Lydia moved to hug Nancy. "Are you alright?" she asked.

Nancy nodded. "I'm just tired and very, very angry," she said. "I want to go home."

"We're almost done," Lydia said. "One to go."
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Re: Aftershocks: Dark Carnival

Post by WolfofWords »

Frustrated laughter rang out over the public address system. "You know what? I shouldn't have left all of this to my idiot friends," Killjoy said. "I'm motherfucking Killjoy. Time to get my hands dirty." A spotlight went on and a twisted-looking clown jumped down from somewhere and landed hard on his feet. He was carrying a huge hammer which grew as he flexed it. He chuckled.

"Finally," Lydia said. "We were getting tired of your voice."

"Ha ha," Killjoy said with a withering glare. "You're so funny. I'm gonna have so much fun squashing your skull, killing a couple dozen people, and then dragging little Nancy back to Hell with me."

"We keep hearing that same line," Nancy said. "You're not getting an opening night and my dad is going to be disappointed again. I hope he punishes you."

"Big words," Killjoy said. "It's hammer time!" He raised the hammer high and brought it down and it shook the Earth beneath their feet. The three struggled to keep their footing as Killjoy lunged forward. He suddenly disappeared midstep. He reappeared behind them and Rob fired his shotgun into the clown point-blank. Killjoy shrugged off the blow and laughed. He seemed to concentrate and his cheeks slowly filled with something.

"Run!" Lydia said and the three scrambled for cover.

Killjoy started to spray shotgun shot from his mouth, the pellets slamming into everything in the immediate area. Everybody had managed to find cover and barely avoided being maimed by their own ordinance. Killjoy laughed again and stalked toward them with his hammer. He swiped the hammer and smashed apart the cart that Lydia was hiding behind.

"Time to make some goth juice," Killjoy said with a chuckle. "You know who is going to be so jealous." He raised the hammer.

"Hey Killjoy?" Lydia said with a smile.

"What?" Killjoy asked, frustrated.

"Ice to meet you," she said with a gesture.

Ice quickly formed under Killjoy's feet and he started to slip and slide uncontrollably, finding it hard to keep his balance but not falling.

"That was terrible!" Killjoy said. "Leave the jokes to me, kid."

The ice spread out in a line. Rob ran at Killjoy and shoved him as hard as he could, making the clown slide along the ice. Killjoy picked up speed and slammed right into Nancy's outstretched claws. She was grinning happily. He was instantly impaled but did not die. Instead, he started to squirm and try to get himself free. Just as Nancy withdrew her claws, Rob hit the back of Killjoy's right knee and sent the clown sprawling to the ground.

"You're the joke," Rob said. " and nobody's laughing."

As Killjoy writhed on the ground, Nancy grabbed up Killjoy's hammer and held it out to Rob with a smile. Rob nodded and took it and raised it over his head. His invisible angel wings flashed into existence for a moment and then he brought the hammer down with a vengeance on Killjoy's head. Nancy actually laughed and jumped up onto the hammer, driving it harder into the clown who vanished in a burst of confetti and hellfire.

The tent started to fall apart around them without Killjoy to hold it all together. The three of them ran toward the exit in a sprint and were left catching their breath in an empty parking lot.

"See?" Nancy said. "I told you clowns are funny." The other two shook their heads but had to give Nancy a smile in return.

* * *

Killjoy landed in Hell and clutched his head.

"The worst headache I've ever had," Killjoy said. "Outside of that one hangover back in clown college."

"Can't you do anything wight?" Batty asked. "Now we'we stuck hewe again."

"Lay off, Batty," Killjoy said. "Can't you see I'm tired? I don't need nagging. Let's just lay low so the King doesn't get on our case."

"You guys really screwed up," a voice said from the shadows. "If you wanted Showtime, you should have gone with the master."

"B.." Batty started to say before Killjoy clamped his hand over her mouth.

"You don't work well with others," Killjoy growled. "and you're not a clown."

Betelgeuse laughed. "I'm not a clown," he agreed. "I'm the main event. My turn is coming and I'll show you all what the ghost with the most can do."

End... For Now
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