Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or products named in this
story and make no profit from it.
Summary: A mysterious carnival appears on the outskirts of Sunnydale.
Despite the sudden disappearance of townspeople and pets, Xander is
intrigued and wants a closer look. What he gets is more than he could
This story is based on a suggested story idea from the lovely Mystic Oblivion.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the banners that put the perfect
visual to my words.
"You're awfully quiet tonight."
Buffy looked over at her best friend. They had been holding hands
as they pushed their way through the crowds toward the trinkets
and vendor booths so they didn't get separated.
Buffy knew Willow was right. From the moment they had arrived at this
horrible carnival of demons, she had been distracted and overwhelmed.
It had taken her over both physically and mentally. Unlike a science experiment
Giles had taught her from a book, in practice, it was an entirely different
Forcing a smile, she squeezed Willow's hand affectionately.
"Sorry. I have just never been to a carnival before and everything is
so exciting, I guess my mind is wandering."
Willow's brow wrinkled. She knew Buffy had lived in L.A. Surely she had
seen a carnival there. L.A. had everything, didn't it? Before she could
question her friend, Buffy stopped, dead in her tracks, jerking Willow with her.
"What? What are you looking at? Buffy?"
Without answering, Buffy released Willow's hand and moved off in another
direction, away from the necklaces, rings and t-shirts. She found herself
drawn by the power she felt emanating. The booth she sought sat, alone,
separated from the others.
It had a huge, colorful, painted sign out front that touted:
"Fortunes Told. Palms Read. Drusilla, The Dark Princess Knows
Buffy stood outside the rectangular, striped tent and swayed on her feet.
She had never felt such an evil power. It sent waves of electricity through
her body causing her fingers and toes to tingle and itch. Inhaling deeply,
she could almost taste it on the tip of her tongue. Bitter and metallic, her
nostrils flared trying to draw in and understand it.
"Hey! A fortune teller! Let's go see if she can tell us who we will marry."
Willow's chirpy voice bounced of the outer shell of Buffy's ear and fell
away. It was an unneeded invitation. Buffy couldn't have walked away if
she tried. Throwing back the flap of the tent, the girls walked in.
Together, Xander and Jesse moved on till their feet tripped the light
on the next booth. Looking in, both boys were surprised to see a square,
wire cage. Inside, pacing and snarling restlessly was a grey wolf.
The sign hanging over the top of the cage read "WEREWOLF"
Xander leaned closer.
"It's a werewolf."
Jesse rolled his eyes.
"It's a fucking wolf. Shit, they probably picked it up at the dog pound."
The wolf reacted immediately, snapping and slobbering in it's attempt to
break free of it's confine. It's yellow eyes stared at the two boys looming
"Shhh. I think it heard you. I think you pissed it off."
Jesse stared at his friend incredulously.
"Are you fucking kidding? The fucking mangy thing probably thinks we got
a milk bone for it. Watch this."
Leaning over, Jesse jerked off his shoe and reached actoss the barrier, smacking
it several times against the side of the wolf's cage. The confined animal
went wild, slamming it's body against the wire cage and howling.
Jesse whooped and laughed at the creature's fury.
"Stop it! Jesse! Stop it! Jesus Christ! Come on. I've had enough. We
need to go find the girls. We have to get them home before their curfew."
Jesse slipped his shoe back on and looked at the wolf with disdain.
"Yeah, this is lame. Let's go."
Before rushing toward the exit, Xander glanced back. The wolf had
stopped moving and now just stared at him, it's head tipped to the side
as though it were studying Xander and surprised at what he was seeing.
Xander swallowed and hurried away.
Buffy shoved aside the flap and they entered the tent. It was filled with colorful,
gauzy scarves that hung everywhere and swayed slightly as though there were
a constant breeze that blew in despite the fact that no air moved.
The only furniture inside was a square, wooden table and three chairs.
The table had a white, lace covering, a clear crystal ball and deck of tarot
cards fanned out. All the cards were face down but two. The death card
and the queen of swords.
The tent was divided into two sections with a curtain separation. The front
area in which they stood was unoccupied. Willow peered cautiously
towards the back room.
"Hellooooo? Anybody here?"
Immediately, the curtain was jerked back and a tall, thin, dark woman drifted
in. To Buffy, it was as if someone had shot pepper spray directly down her
throat. Her lungs burned and her eyes watered as the sensation turned to
Floating over, Dru smiled broadly and never took her eyes from Buffy's
as she took her seat at the table. The girls also sat and automatically, the
psychic began shuffling the tarot.
"Well, well, look who we have here. What do you want of me? You
already know your destiny."
Willow looked back and forth between the psychic and her friend. She
was confused, especially by the fact that Buffy apparently was not.
"Who are you?"
Like a tinkling bell, the psychics' laughter filled the tent.
"You know who I am and we know who you are. If you do as you wish,
you will destroy many lives. Lives of those you love will be lost as well.
Sometimes doing nothing is the right path."
Buffy jaw clenched.
"Doing nothing is not an option."
Drusilla stood, swaying and smiling.
"I know. Just remember, a kitten is not the best pet for everyone.
Sometimes a pet must choose its owner."
Willow threw both her hands in the air and shook her head.
With that, Dru waved her arms out stretched, allowing the scarves
to ghost over her fingers before she moved away, off into the back room.
The two girls sitting at the table were already forgotten.