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Neopedia : The Deserted Fairground

The Deserted Fairground "Hey everyone, gather 'round the campfire... it's spoooooky story time!" the Acara laughed.

"Oh brother, not again," a Lupe said, rolling his eyes. "You tell the WORST stories, Kiandra." The other campers nodded in agreement.

"Not this time, Traker! I've got a great story for you tonight. And it takes place, right over there."

The pets looked towards where she'd pointed. The black iron gates of the Deserted Fairground creaked in the wind.

The Acara continued. "Sidney told me all about what happened, why the fairground is deserted." Gasps and muttering erupted from the group. Kiandra took a flashlight and shone it under her chin to light her face. "And that's not the best part. Every Halloween-which happens to be tomorrow night, the fairground comes alive once more, for the few hours between sundown and midnight." More gasps followed.

"But why?" asked a young Aisha.

"To lure in fresh prey, of course."

"F-f-fresh p-prey?"

The Acara nodded. "As the legend goes, when they first started building the fairground, a mysterious figure approached the contractors. He told them these lands were cursed, home to outcasts and decrepit souls--a place unsafe for the living. Ignoring the hooded stranger, they continued to build.

They planned the grand opening for Halloween. It was an exciting night. Many pets dressed as circus sideshow performers. The bearded Kacheek, the six-armed Krawk... that's probably why no one noticed the stranger, under his hood, entering through the main gate. True mutated and twisted beings filtered slowly into the fairground, spreading out and biding their time. Everyone thought they were simply great costumes--completely unaware of the horror that was about to be unleashed. The laughter of the pets echoed long into the night, and as a special treat, for opening night, the fairground would stay open past its usual hours. As midnight tolled, the screams of excitement turned into blood-curdling screams of terror.

Confusion reigned supreme, as pets began fleeing. What they'd taken merely for costumed friends, had turned out to be a fatal mistake. The disfigured sideshow "freaks" began their rampage. Smashing through the booths and grounds, eyes glowing red, and screeching in terrible voices... ripping... and tearing... at those who did not flee their claws in time.

The horrified pets raced towards the front gate... the only entrance... and exit, to the fairground. Only the lucky few that had left the grounds just before midnight were spared though, for upon the tolling of the chimes of midnight, the black iron gates closed like the lid of a coffin, sealing the fate of those inside. The pets screamed and pressed against the dark gates, clawing for freedom like wild animals. Climbing over each other in a vain attempt to get beyond the unmoving gate, the once-merry revelers only managed to meet the horror of the razor sharp spires lining the top. Like beasts, the fairground freaks gorged themselves until the dawn.

When the sun rose, and the authorities came to investigate, nothing was left, but the broken wood and ripped fabric of the booths... and the wet earth behind the gates...

Kiandra flicked off the flashlight. "So that's what happened." The other pets looked startled, as if shaken from nightmare they'd all been imagining.

"Nice story, Kiandra... but I don't buy it," said the Lupe, trying to act as if the story hadn't scared him. The other pets, trying to also seem brave, agreed with him.

"Well then, why don't we all meet by the gates tomorrow evening?" the Acara suggested. "You'll see the fairground come alive again. We'll leave just before midnight, then stand outside to see if anything appears within the fairground."

"You've got it," Traker said. Several others nodded in agreement.

The next evening, the pets all gathered before the gates. As the sun dipped below the mountains beyond, dusk settled upon the valley. The Lupe haughtily looked at the Acara. "I don't see the fairground coming to life," he laughed, stepping forward over the threshold. His laughter turned into shocked silence, for the moment the group set foot upon the cursed grounds, they saw the unimaginable...

Roller coasters zoomed on tracks, bright, colourful lights decorated the midway, and the Ferris Wheel rotated to a happy tune. Aside from a lack of employees, it seemed exactly what it must have looked like on that fateful opening night. The pets, now excited, raced to enjoy the rides and free games, laughing and having a wonderful time. As the sky grew darker and darker, however, their memories of the story grew in the back of their minds. Shortly before midnight, they grouped together once again, to leave in safety.

"What time is it now, Traker?" Kiandra asked. The Lupe glanced at his watch.

"It's only 11:50, still plenty of time to make it out of here," he assured her.

After several more minutes, the pets were nearing the gates. Kiandra asked the time again nervously.

Traker sighed, "It's only been a few minutes, see? It's only eleven fif--" The Lupe froze, colour draining from his face. Horrified, Kiandra and her friends turned to the shaking Lupe. "I-I don't understand," he said, "my watch... it... stopped."

Ahead, the gates crashed together.