Aftershocks: Dark Carnival Pt. 1

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 Oyth but they weally wanted that Pennywise guy but he didn’t go to Hell,” Batty Boop said. “Pwetty dumb if you ask me.”

“No!” Killjoy yelled, shaking liking a maniac. “I mean what’s the progress of our plan?!”

“Plan good!” 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. As long as dragged that girl back with them, they could do whatever they wanted.

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