on October 4, 2011 by BunnyHugger in Events, News, Comments (0)

Sinister Parade Leads Investigators to ‘Crossroads Carnival’

On August 24, with just two days remaining before the start of the SpinDizzy World’s Fair, a group of concerned citizens set out to try to retrieve the Edgeworld Crown. The Crown, symbol of the Fair, had been found to be missing. Its disappearance coincided with the presentation of a silent film in which members of the audience were encouraged to participate in a story about stealing a crown from a wicked king. Several SpinDizzy residents, including Roofus_roo, Featherwing, Xeroth, Zenkuro, Fuzzy, Austin, BunnyHugger, Lizzie, Skyler, Findra, and Martin went to investigate the mists outside Edgeworld Park for clues. They soon encountered a series of floats and wagons that they had to traverse in order to reach the front of the parade. Each offered a unique peril, but the heroes survived them all and made their way to the grounds of the Crossroads Carnival.

The first was a traditional circus animal wagon, containing a lion, his name given on the wagon as “Titan, the King of Beasts.” Tritonia, sea lion (known from one of the Carnival’s posters), caused the bars of the wagon to disappear, and Titan to leap out and menace the crowd. Only when Lizzie, Chitter, and BunnyHugger made gestures of respect to the “King” did he seem pacified and return to his wagon.

The next float carried a huge theater organ operated by a large compressor, with a snake, known from posters as Sylvester Koil, wrapped around them both. Pulling the float was a group of glitter-painted horses with fake horns attached to their foreheads, and surrounding it was a group of tall men breathing fire with the aid of props, their skin tattooed with a scale pattern. The snake organist asked for requests, and several people replied by requesting the return of the Crown. Hissing, Sylvester replied that the request was denied. Fuzzy then requested Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, which Sylvester stated approval of. As various musical pieces were played, the fire-breathers punctuated the performances with jets of fire that singed the adventurers. Eventually after taunting and menacing the crowd repeatedly, Sylvester and his float moved on.

The third float consisted of two platforms and a rope stretching between them, strangely enough with an impossible chasm beneath it. The back wall of the float was covered in posters with silhouettes in the shape of the various species present, with bullseyes on their chests. Each poster had three bullet holes: two suggesting earrings, something held in the hand, or another accessory, and one right between the imagined eyes. The float bore an inscription: “The clever rabbit has three holes. A clever walker will have three targets if they want no holes.”

Fuzzy crossed first, holding up a discarded playing card he had found, and after that was quickly shot through by an unseen markswoman, added two scraps of poster he scavenged. The three targets were hit, leaving him unscathed. Others followed suit, carrying three items to serve as targets. BunnyHugger, unable to find a less important target to use, was forced to tear up the Sternlook.muf scroll she has shown such pride in and use its scraps. Martin, nonanthropomorphic sea lion, was unable to grip the rope to cross, so Skyler attached a cluster of balloons to him to float him over. Three of the balloons were shot, leaving him floating lower and lower, but he made the crossing successfully, as did others.

The last part of the parade was two much less showy cars, seemingly not part of the main parade at all. One resembled a livestock car such as might take animals to a slaughterhouse, and the other was a black, iron prison. In the livestock car was a slender, graceful, but weary unicorn with a chipped horn. In the prison car was a dragon bound in heavy chains, with labored breathing and sickly smoke curling from its mouth. Alongside the dragon sat a raccoon, known from a poster as Erik Tembrin, also bound in chains. Several of the heroes expressed dismay and astonishment at the poor health and obvious mistreatment of the magical beasts. Erik explained wearily that the trouble with having real magic beasts is that when the audience looks into their eyes, they can see the creatures’ true misery at being captive, and it makes the children cry. A pony dressed up as a unicorn, however, is joyful at this elevation of its status. The unicorn and dragon were therefore retired, according to Erik.

As Erik spoke, BunnyHugger became enraged and began splintering through the unicorn’s trailer with her teeth. Zenkuro and Xeroth took up the cause and assisted her in freeing both creatures. Martin helped the weak unicorn to stand, and the dragon also eventually rose wearily and disappeared into the mist. Erik’s evident weariness, similar to the animals’, inspired Fuzzy to offer to kill him mercifully, but Erik explained it would not be successful. Fuzzy replied, “I won’t try then, no need to inflict unnecessary pain.”

The parade eventually led the adventurers to a gate, with an arch over it reading “THE CROSSROADS CARNIVAL” and underneath, “Welcome Honoured Guests to the Royal Coronation!” Beyond it was an open field, and even stranger things to come.

(To be continued.)


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