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.
Jesse had sat along side his parents and baby sister in the James living room
and give Officer Werstler his very best Eddie Haskel.
In concert with his Mother, he had tisked and clucked at the confusing and
concerning news that the star of the Sunnydale football squad, Larry Fine
was apparently missing and had possibly met with foul play.
He avoided his Father's suspicious glances and he swore to the officer that
although he and his friends had briefly stopped in to check out the carnival,
none of them had seen the errant Mr. Fine.
He saw no reason to mention that he and Xander both though Larry was a
prick or that over the years they had both been up close and personal with
the business end of Larry's fists. Usually in exchange for their lunch money.
"I'm really sorry I can't be of more help, Officer, but since we were all on a
double date last night, we were more interested in seeing that our girlfriends
had a safe and pleasant evening. We did speak to some of our classmates,
but I am sure Larry was not one of them. I really wish I could be of more
Officer Werstler felt an overwhelming urge to gag.
"What was your date's name?"
Jesse stumbled on that one. He knew if it got back to Buffy that he had
named her she would probably kick his ass. Still, he could label it all a
misunderstanding. Maybe even work it around to his advantage.
"Buffy. Buffy Summers was my date. She's my.....um, girlfriend."
Every eyebrow in the James' household shot straight up as Jesse looked
from one to the next in a cautionary, don't challenge me, expression.
Dave Werstler jotted down a note to himself and closed his pad. He left
a business card and gave them the usual request that they call if they hear
anything. When he was gone, Jesse dropped down on to the sofa and,
with a whistle, grabbed up the remote and turned on a ball game.
The rest of Saturday afternoon was passed with a flurry of phone calls.
"Xan? Hi, It's Willow. Were the cops at your place?"
"Yeah, but I told him we didn't see anything. Did you see Larry last night?"
"No. Did you?"
"Hey, you want to come over tonight and we can rent a movie?"
"Um, no. I think something I ate last night turned on me. I'm going
to stay in and go to bed early. I call you tomorrow. K?"
"Oh, sure, I hope you fell better. Bye."
"Jesse? It's Buffy. You little creep. Did you tell the cops that you were
"What? NO! Damn Buff. We're buds. They must have misunderstood
when I told them we all went to the carnival together. Shoot. That hurts
my feelings that you think I would disrespect you like that."
"Oh, well, maybe I did overreact a bit. So, Larry is missing. You didn't
see him there did you?"
"Nope. Not a hair on his oversized melon head. Hey, I got an idea.
How about I come over to your place and we can talk about it. Maybe
stretch out on your bed and discuss what sort of evil could have befallen
our athletically inclined friend."
"Fuck you, Jesse."
"Shoot some hoops?"
"Buffy? Oh. My. God! It's Willow. Have you heard? Were the
cops at your house? They said Larry has disappeared. They said
he went to the carnival and just vanished. Poof!"
"I know. It's scary. They were here and got my Mom all freaked out."
"About the carnival?"
"No, about Jesse telling the cops I was his girlfriend."
"What? Wow, that is definitely on the wrong side. Did they say anything
about me or Xan? Do they think I'm his girlfriend?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Oh, well...good. Cause I wouldn't want anyone to think......"
"It will happen, Willow. One of these days Xander will wake up and look at you
with eyes of love. He will sweep you off your feet and carry you away."
"You really think so?"
"Sure I do."
"Hey, Buffy, speaking of Larry, you know I have been practicing my Wicca,
sort of on the covert. I'll bet I could do a locator spell and find him. Why don't
you come over tonight and we can give it a go?"
"Your wic...? Oh, right. Um, no, sorry. No can do. The parental unit has
me on lock down after the street lights come on till this Larry situation
is solved. And really, you shouldn't go out either. Just to be safe."
"Yeah, bummer on a Saturday night."
"Buffy? Hi. It's Xan."
"Hi. Just callin' to make sure you are o.k."
"Yeah, right as rain. You?"
"Any better and I'd be twins. Say, Buff, you didn't see anything odd last
night did you?"
"Nope. Well, I gotta go. See you tomorrow?"