Fuller's Fantastic Fun-Lover's Funhouse
rating: +20+x

Having been sitting up front, Victor was one of the last to exit the Big Top after the afternoon show had concluded. He inspected himself thoroughly, making sure there were no pieces of Human viscera still clinging anywhere on his person. There were some blood stains of course, but if anyone asked he was hoping he could pass those off for food stains.

Casting his gaze now to the sprawling Circus before him, he couldn’t say it was any more inviting than it had been on his first visit. The colours were too bright, the smell of the cotton candy too strong, and the never ending music from the calliope was too seductive. He was wondering if seeing the Big Top show might be enough to appease his hosts, and if he could sneak off without offending them.

He lurched forward as a small person jumped onto his back and covered his eyes with their hands.

“Guess who?” they asked gleefully.

“Hello Lolly,” Victor replied, recognizing the young Clown’s effervescent voice immediately.

“No fair, you peeked,” she accused playfully, hopping back to the ground. “I’m so glad you came back! What’d you think of the show? Was I amazing?”

“I can honestly say I’ve never seen a magician pull her assistant out of a hat before.”

“It’s even harder than it looks. That hat stinks of bunny poop.”

“If I had to offer any criticism though, the, ah…lynching, before the final act was a bit much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care for the GOC either and I recognize the threat they pose to your community but…”

“No, no, I see what you’re saying. We may have gotten a bit carried away. Even us converted Clowns still have a bit of mean streak we have to keep in check. Rough sex or a round at the Hack-A-Mole table is usually enough for Icky and me to get our aggression out, but we still lose our tempers every now and then.
“Oh! Icky wants to know how the plans for the caper’s going. She’s really looking forward to getting Virtuoso back.”

“That’s progressing as expected. I have the site layout with me so you can pick your entrance point. The containment cell is soundproofed, so you won't be able to use your Kaleidoscope to get in there since it needs your calliopes to work, but you shouldn't have a problem getting into an adjacent room. The wing is low security so there are no guards inside and our operative is working on ensuring he’ll be able to get the security systems down. Once he's got a date and time we'll let you know.
"One detail of our original agreement has changed, however; Mr. Marshall has actually personally requested a slight adjustment to your payment.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just that Mr. Marshall thought that your anomalous means of transport would actually be of more value to us than anything you could steal from the Foundation. More specifically, have you ever been to an interdimensional marketplace known as the Utterly Bazaar?”

“Yeah, tons of times.”

“Mr. Marshall would like you to escort me there so that I can do an assessment and also possibly acquire any products that I think we’d be able to move. Does that work for you?”

“Oh sure! We go there all the time anyway. It’d be no problem to have you tagging along.”

“Perfect. We shouldn’t have any problems then. If, ah, you need to get back to work I don’t want to keep you.”

“Nope, you’re my work today!” she announced excitedly. “I usually work the crowd in between shows, but Icky said that today I should be your personal attendant to make sure you don’t miss anything the Circus has to offer!”

“That’s…so kind of you. Thank you,” he said with a forced smile.

“Come on, we’ve got a lot to do,” she said, taking his hand and dragging him into the throng of striped tents and caravans. “Do you want to go to the midway first? You could win me an enormous prize and make Icky super jealous!”

“That really doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.”

“Yeah, maybe not. No offense, but every booth operator we have would mark you as a sucker. Well, you’re our VIP, so you should choose where we go. There’s the Menagerie of Mayhem, Den of Freaks, Hall of Humans Extraordinaire…”

“Step right up, Step right up. Come and behold the wonders and horrors that lie within Fuller's Fantastic Fun-lover’s Funhouse!” a man in a pinstripe suit announced loudly.

“The Funhouse! Yes yes yes! We should go to the Funhouse. Come on!”

She grabbed hold of his hand again and pulled him over to a whimsically painted caravan with a large sign reading ‘HERMAN FULLER PROUDLY PRESENTS THE FANTASTIC FUN-LOVER’S FUNHOUSE!’

“Hey there Lollipop, who’s the young fella you’ve got with ya?” the pinstripe-suited man asked. Though well-dressed, he still looked more or less like what Victor thought of when he pictured a carny. He had a weathered face with a dark grey beard and greasy hair in a ponytail. His smile made it clear he wasn’t a Clown, since his teeth were off-colour, crooked and riddled with silver fillings.

“This is Victor Chan. He’s from Emcee D and he’s our VIP guest today,” Lolly introduced him. “Victor, this is Alfie. He looks after all of the Circus’s Fun-lovers, which is a very important job. Without the Fun-lovers, we wouldn’t be able to have any Clowns or cotton candy. Can you imagine a circus without Clowns and cotton candy?”

“Fun-lovers? That’s what you call those… milking creatures, right?” Victor asked nervously.

“How do you know about Fun-lovers?” Lolly asked.

“From the same source that told us about the Utterly Bazaar. He said that once a couple of Clowns were there with a Fun-lover that ended up getting loose.”

Lolly threw her head back and laughed.

“Yeah, we were laughing about that for weeks. They never let Pius or Eugene in again after that. But yes, this is where we keep the Fun-lovers. It’s kind of like a barn or a kennel or something. Keeps them out of trouble anyway. But you don’t have anything to worry about. Manny got fed up with Morty’s antics a while ago and sent him back home. We don’t keep Fun-lovers as crazy as that around anymore. Just come in with me and you’ll see that they’re awesome.”

“What do we do in there? Is it like a petting zoo?”

“No, but we have a petting zoo! Do you want to see the petting zoo?”

“Don’t see the petting zoo,” Alfie said with a solemn shake of his head. “It’s for kids, and the best thing they got there is the Obama Llama we got from that delivery service, though it has been an especially big hit ever since the election. Son, of all the sensational spectacles this Circus has to offer, none can compare to the existential experience that is Fuller’s Fabulously Fantastic Fun-lovers’ Funhouse.”

Victor groaned uneasily, which was perhaps an under-reaction considering he was being asked to step into a confined space with an unknown number of extradimensional monstrosities of unclear abilities and intent.

“And you’ve been in here before?” he asked Lolly.

“Loads of times. I’ve been coming in here since I was a kid, and kids come in here all the time as long they’re over four feet tall. You’ll love it, and I promise nothing bad will happen.”

Though Victor still found Herman Fuller’s Circus as disquieting as its name intended, he had no reason to doubt Lolly’s sincerity.

“Alright then. Let’s see some Fun-lovers,” he agreed. Lolly jumped up and down, excitedly clapping her hands.

“You won’t be disappointed, son,” Alfie smiled, unhooking the red velvet rope to allow them access to the caravan. “Normally I escort groups through the Funhouse personally, but I think Lolly can handle giving you a private tour. Just don’t wander off though.”

“Wait, what? What do you mean by 'wander off'?” Victor asked as he stood by the front door with Lolly’s arm wrapped around his.

“You’ll see when you get in there,” Alfie replied, placing his hand on a lever. “Oh, and watch that first step…”

He pulled the lever and a trap door opened underneath them, dropping them down a chute. Over the screams of Victor and the laughter of Lolly he could be heard to shout “…it’s a doozy!”

The chute zigged and zagged like a tube slide at a water park, and at one point Victor swore he was actually moving up. After nearly a minute they were finally deposited inside a ball pit of fuzzy, warm and possibly breathing furballs.

As Victor tried to pull his way out of the ball pit, Lolly was of course giggling hysterically as she frolicked in the hirsute hole.

“Furball fight!” she shouted, throwing the furry projectiles at Victor as quickly as she could pick them up. They were too soft and light to hurt him, but with each impact they made a sort of distressed squeaking sound that was somewhat unnerving.

Victor pulled himself out of the pit and onto the floor. He stayed there on his hands and knees for a moment, trying to regain his composure. After a few deep breaths, he looked up to assess his surroundings.

“Holy shit.”

“I know. It’s awesome, right?”

“I have a sudden urge to quote Doctor Who.”

The interior of the Funhouse was enormous, probably bigger than any man-made structure in existence. It felt like he could see for miles in every direction, though for some reason he was having a hard time judging distance. The ceiling (or was it the sky?) was covered in constantly changing fractal patterns that bathed the surreal landscape in a soft, shifting glow. The ground itself appeared to be made of Play-Doh, slowing undulating with shapes and sculptures emerging from it in the distance. Groves of twisty pipe cleaner trees dotted the landscape, and rivers of iridescent paint meandered through the quixotic realm.

“Is it really bigger on the inside or did we teleport?” Victor asked, rising to his feet.

“It’s a pocket dimension; a whole itty-bitty universe that we can take on tour with us!” she replied enthusiastically, hopping out of the pit.

“Is it always like this?”

“No! That’s the awesome part! In here the Fun-lovers are gods with complete control over time, space, matter, even the laws of physics! One time they lowered the speed of light down to under ten miles an hour, and you could feel relativistic effects just from walking around! Then this other time…”

She was interrupted by two creatures dropping down from the ceiling. They bounced up and down like Super Balls for a bit before finally coming to a rest. They were both translucent black organ sacks a few feet across. One was held up by spider legs, the other by tentacles. Victor cautiously retreated behind Lolly, hoping that she could deal with them.

“Ripley! Bailey! What’s the matter with you? We have a guest! Make yourselves decent!”

The two creatures dipped their bodies, possibly a bow of deference, and with a quick shimmer they assumed tall humanoid forms clad in pinstripe suits in the same style Alfie had been wearing. Each also wore a carnival mask over its seemingly blank face. The first, Ripley, wore a feminine mask with a subdued expression, while Bailey wore a man’s face with a bulbous nose and wide smile. The two beings took lanky, alien strides over to their friend and her guest, examining him with swiftly swivelling heads.

“Ripley and Bailey, huh?” Victor asked.

“Yeah, Icky said that Fuller liked to name Fun-lovers after rivals and enemies of his,” Lolly replied. “He was not the kind of guy you wanted to piss off. I bet there’s no one in all the worlds happier about Barnum and Bailey’s Circus going under than Herman Fuller. Not that Icky and Manny aren’t happy about it; less competition for us and all.
“Ripley, Bailey, this is Victor. He’s our VIP guest so I need you to show him an extra special time.”

The Fun-lovers started making chittering noises at each other. Their tone sounded confused, maybe irritated. Ripley lowered her head and sighed, then turned to face Lolly.

“Grownups are no fun,” she said in a raspy voice. “Look how scared he is. Children see the wonder of this place, appreciate the magic that grownups would rather lock away in a tiny cell. I’m not doing a tour without any kids.”

“Me neither,” Bailey agreed, nodding like an actual bobblehead.

“Excuse me?” Lolly asked angrily, placing her hands on her hips.

“I don’t want to be a bother. Why don’t we just wait until the next tour group comes along and we can join them?”

“No! You’re a VIP guest; that means you get VIP treatment!” Lolly said, stomping her foot petulantly.

“And we’re Fun-lovers, which means we love fun,” Bailey said. “If something’s not fun for us, we’re not interested.”

“You wouldn’t want our Milk to go sour, now would you?” Ripley asked in a vaguely threatening tone. "You know how corrosive sour Milk can get."

“Your Milk’s not going to go sour from giving one boring tour, you’re just making excuses!” Lolly accused. “I have a very important job today showing our VIP guest the Circus and you are making me look foolish!”

“You’re a Clown,” Ripley said in a deadpan voice.

“I am the assistant Ringmaster…”

“ ‘To the’,” Bailey interjected.

“You guys get NBC in here?” Victor asked, more confused than ever.

“I am the Ringmaster’s assistant and playmate and I demand to be treated with respect! You will take me and my VIP guest on a private tour of the Funhouse, or I will be telling Manny about how disrespectful you were to one of our business partners. You know how important client relations are to Manny, so he’s not going to be happy about this, and how do you think Icky will react when I tell her you made her little Lollipop cry?”

“You’re not…” Ripley began, only to see that Lolly was pouting and her eyes were watering, and she was one wrong word away from bursting into tears. “Oh alright. One private tour for the VIP guest coming up.”

With a flourish of her hand, a horse-drawn sleigh made of Play-Doh arose from the ground. “Hop in.”

“Thank you,” Lolly said, grabbing Victor by the hand and pulling him into the sleigh.

“Maybe we can still find a way to have a little fun with this guy along the way?” Bailey whispered to his companion.

“Maybe,” she nodded in reply. Bailey sat up in the box to drive the sleigh, while Ripley rode in the passenger compartment with the others.

“I’m sorry you had to see me like that,” Lolly said to Victor, dabbing her tears with a clown hankie. “Can I get some Milk, please? You guys really killed my buzz.”

Ripley produced an empty milk bottle with a snap of her fingers.

“Vicky, you might want to look away,” she warned. Victor happily obliged, having no great curiosity as to how Fun-lovers were milked. “There you are, Lolly. Doesn’t get any fresher than that.”

“Thank you,” she said, snatching the bottle eagerly and chugging down its contents.

“Hey go easy on that. I’m not milking you if you drink too much,” Ripley cautioned.

“Woo!” Lolly screamed after she stopped to take a breath. “That is liquid happiness. I’m better now, I feel like myself again. So what’s our first stop?”

“Hmmm. How about a round of miniature golf? You business types tend to like the full sized version, don’t you? What do you say? It will give you a chance to work on your putt.”

“Oh, please please please please please say yes!” Lolly pleaded. “I love miniature golf!”

“Mini golf sounds great,” Victor agreed.

“To the putting greens then! Mush!” Bailey shouted.

“We’re not dogs!” one of the clay horses objected.

“Well, giddy up then. Just move!” he said with a crack of the reins. The sleigh sped off through the hills of pastel coloured putty, though to Victor it seemed that the landscape was rushing past them as he felt no inertia and his perspective became completely warped, fractals and Play-Doh all blurring together into one unintelligible panorama.

Just as Victor thought he was about to pass out the vista in front of him settled down into something coherent. He was at what appeared to be an ordinary mini-golf course. The sleigh was gone, and he and Lolly were now seated upon two ponies.

“Where did Ripley and Bailey and go?” he asked confused.

“We’re right here,” was the reply straight from the horse’s mouth.

“Oh. You’re ponies now. But why are we riding you?”

“To play golf. Duh,” Lolly replied. Gripping her club she screamed “FORE!” and her steed charged forward. When she struck her bright pink ball it went flying at an impossible speed, bouncing off of every obstacle at just the right angle to ensure it hit the next one, and Victor wondered if it would ever hit the ground.

“Miniature polo. Interesting,” he remarked.

“It’s the sport of very small kings,” Bailey informed him.

The golf ball whizzed by them a few more times leaving a hot pink contrail as it went, bouncing off a miniature Eiffel tower, pinwheel bladed windmill, and a (live) purple giraffe with a corkscrew neck until it finally ended up in the 1st hole.

“Hole in one!” Lolly shouted victoriously, a blue ball materializing on the tee. “Your turn Victor.”

“I’ll try, but I’ve never actually golfed like this before,” he replied. He snapped Bailey’s reins and he charged towards the ball.

“They can take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom, though logically if we were dead we’d lose all agency making death the most effective form of suppressing one’s freedom so never mind!” Bailey shouted.

Victor swung his club as best as he was able, and to his surprise he actually hit the ball. It shot around the course just as Lolly's had, eventually landing in the hole with a satisfying 'plunk'.

“Hole in one!” Lolly shouted.

“Does it always end up in the hole, no matter how you hit it?” he asked.

“Of course silly, that’s what makes it fun. Everyone’s a winner!”

“Bailey dear, I do believe I detect a hint of dissatisfaction in our VIP's tone,” Ripley said.

"No, I…"

"I believe you're right Ripley. We can't have a VIP guest leaving our Funhouse unsatisfied. Why don't you take us somewhere more challenging."

"Wait, I didn't…"

“With pleasure,” she agreed. With a twitch of her snout, the landscaped transformed into a long treadmill moving at top speed. She and Bailey broke into a full gallop to stay in place, swerving and jumping and ducking to avoid the plethora of obstacles that was coming at them.

“What is this?” Victor asked, clinging onto Bailey for dear life.

“It’s the Red Queen Obstacle Course!” Lolly replied, who was now riding side saddle and twirling a parasol. “You have to do a lot of running to stay in one place.”

“How do you win if you can only run in place?”

“You don’t win per se. You just don’t lose for as long as you can,” Bailey replied.

“What happens if you lose?” Victor asked.

“That,” Ripley replied, gesturing behind her with her head. Victor looked behind to see a giant, somewhat Dr.Seuss-like catfish at the end of the treadmill, its gaping maw ready to swallow them should they slacken their pace.

Victor turned his head forward to see if there was any way off the treadmill, but he couldn’t see anything beyond the obstacles rushing towards them. The obstacles were, of course, non-standard, consisting mostly of large appliances and furniture, as well as at least one Boeing 747 they narrowly managed to duck under.

“At least it wasn’t a United flight? Am I right? SWIVEL CHAIR!” Bailey asked as he gracefully avoided the oncoming office fixture.

“Bailey, we’ve talked about the topical humour. We’re not doing a stand-up routine,” Ripley chastised him. “Just stick to the jokes about the food. STACKED WASHER/DRYER COMBO!”

“Lolly, can’t you do something to get us out of here?” Victor pleaded.

“Well I’m not as powerful as a Fun-lover, but my magic is unusually strong in here. GRAND PIANO!” she replied. “I could wish us out of here…but what I’d really like is some bubble gum, so I wish for that!”

At her command a large gumball machine materialized a fair ways in front of them, smashing upon hitting the treadmill and sending thousands of gumballs rolling towards them.

“Oh Caramel Corn!” Bailey cursed as both he and Ripley were unable to avoid tripping on the confectioneries. They both fell to the ground and were immediately swept down towards the waiting orifice of the catfish. “Curse you, Lolly! Your oral fixation has killed us all!”

Victor screamed as he was swallowed by the monstrous fish, and he continued to scream when he found himself falling down a vine covered shaft crisscrossed with rope bridges. He was still screaming when he passed the last bridge where Ripley and Bailey were seated comfortably in their humanoid forms sipping tea. He screamed when Bailey grabbed his ankle and his arm stretched out like a bungee cord, he screamed when he saw he was falling towards a lake infested with crocodiles, he really screamed when one of the crocodiles leapt out of the water and tried to eat him, and he even screamed when Bailey’s bungee arm snapped him back up and safely deposited him on the bridge next to Lolly, who was literally ROTFLMAO.

“You’re welcome,” Bailey said nonchalantly as Victor laid hyperventilating before him. “As I was saying, if we can just get Manny to invest in some ultra-pasteurization equipment then we can keep Milk for months instead of days, no one has to drink that powdered crap anymore, and we can sell the surplus.”

“What the hell was that!” Victor demanded, rising to his feet. “I almost died!”

“Victor, they’re just teasing you,” Lolly said through her snickers as she rose to her feet. “I told you everything in here is under their control, and they would never let anything bad happen to a guest, would you now?”

“Of course not,” Bailey replied. “Manny would send us back home if were to let any misfortune befall any of our visitors.”

“Then again, he can’t send too many of us away because then he wouldn’t have enough Milk, so we’re not completely without bargaining power,” Ripley said. “Maybe enough to ask for a new chew toy now and again?”

“Don’t listen to her. Even if they actually wanted to, I take my job as your attendant very seriously and would never let anything happen to our VIP guest.”

“Lolly, I believe you. I do, but I am not having a fun time. Please, I would like to leave,” Victor requested.

“All right,” Lolly let out a disappointed side. “Bailey, can you keyhole us straight to the exit?”

“Oh, I’m sorry Lolly but you know the fine print as well as anyone: Do not exit until the ride has come to a complete stop.”

“Leaving now would be like jumping out of a roller coaster,” Ripley explained. “It would be hilariously ironic if you were to let your irrational fear of a carnival ride drive you to plunge to your death, now wouldn’t it?”

“Then what’s the quickest way out?” Victor demanded.

“Well below is the splash pad, and if you go through that you’ll pass through Ripley’s Aquarium on the way to the milking room which has an emergency exit,” Bailey said thoughtfully. “Though I doubt you’ll like that since you have to cross the aquarium in a paddle boat and it is full of sea monsters.”

“I made them all myself, believe it or not,” Ripley said proudly.

“No, I think you’d be better off going up through the 3D Jungle Labyrinth.”

Victor looked up to see that the countless levels of rope bridges and ladders did form a dauntingly labyrinthine design.

“How long will that take?” he asked exhaustedly.

“Not long enough when you’re having fun,” Bailey replied. “But with your sourpuss attitude, it could very well take weeks.”

“Well then we’ll have to make it more fun, won’t we?” Ripley asked.

“Oh, let’s make it a race!” Lolly suggested. “Last one to the top is a Fun-lover’s moulted husk!”

“I have an even better idea; a rat race, to appeal to Mr. Corporate here!” Bailey decreed. With two quick claps a swarm of enormous, black, vicious rats spilt onto the bridge they were on, hissing and baring their jagged teeth at Victor.

“Climb.”

Victor and Lolly dashed for the nearest ladder, the onslaught of vermin snapping at their ankles. They clambered up the rungs as quickly as they could, but the rats proved capable of shimmying up the sides.

“That’s it Vicky, climb that corporate ladder! Fake it ’til you make it!”

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!” Ripley added. “Honestly, an off the rack suit? What was he thinking?”

Victor was the first to reach the second bridge and immediately ran for the first ladder he saw. He had to duck to avoid a tire, log and an orangutan swinging by on vines, but he made it to ladder safely. Just as he was about to grab it, it was yanked out of his reach.

“No!” he looked around desperately for another ladder, only to see it dangling a few meters away. He leapt for it, but it was again cruelly yanked back up at the last second. And so was the third one, and the fourth. And the fifth. “Lolly! Lolly, what do we do!”

“I think they made that very clear; have fun,” she told him. She pulled out a party horn and blew it, and the ladder gently lowered itself down and allowed her to grab hold of it. “Grab on.”

Victor wrapped his arms around her tightly and the ladder carried them several levels up to a bridge that was swinging back and forth like a gazebo swing.

“There. That should give us a bit of a head start.” A wooden plank burst in half as a rat smashed its head through from underneath. “Or not. Run!”

They sprinted off down the bridge and caught sight of a door near the end. “In there. Quick!”

Victor threw the door open and the two of them hurried inside, slamming the door behind them. Victor leaned his back against the door to catch his breath, giving him a proper view of the room he found himself in.

There was a fat Clown in a bishop’s hat tied to a chair surrounded by a group of deformed but seemingly animate sock puppets.

“Freaky Friday! Freaky Friday! Freaky Friday!” the puppets chanted rhythmically as they pumped their fists in unison.

“Ahhhh…”

“Please don’t tell my wife,” the Clown requested. Before either could respond a Fun-lover in its default form lowered itself down from the ceiling.

“Employees only!” it screeched, grabbing Victor with one of its many webbed hands and throwing him out the door.

“Victor!” Lolly screamed as she ran after him. Victor expected to be swarmed by rats immediately but instead was greeted with the serene music of a pan pipe. He looked up to see the instrument being played by Bailey, gracefully perched on the rope railing with all the rats entranced by his music.

“We tried our best Lolly, but even when we customize our attractions to his personal tastes he’s still not having fun,” Ripley said with a sad shake of her head. “So ungrateful. You’re lucky you got your Milk when you did because mine really is going to be sour now.
"There’s no point in going on like this; you’ll never reach the top by climbing.”

“So we’re just stuck here?” Victor asked.

“Not to worry little Vicky. The fastest way up is down.”

Ripley snapped her fingers, and for the four of them gravity reversed and they all fell upwards.

The bridges and vines all parted to allow the quartet to pass, and quickly gave way to the void of space. It was filled with enormous glow-in-the-dark stickers. They were mostly shaped like traditional stars arranged into circus themed constellations, but there were also some shooting stars, cratered moons, crescent moons, ringed planets and whirlpool galaxies. The sight was distracting enough that it took Victor nearly a full minute to realize that they weren’t moving.

“Why aren’t we falling anymore?” he asked.

“Because there’s no gravity in space obviously, and we usually have the inertia turned off as a safety precaution,” Ripley replied.

“Nobody panic. I can get us out of here,” Bailey assured them.

He reached into his pocket and pulled a bright red rocket kiddie ride large enough to accommodate all of them. Once he had everyone strapped in, he placed a firm grip on the steering wheel.

“Hold on to your lunches, because we’re going for the ride of our lives!” With a melodramatic gesture, he pressed the big red button on the dashboard. To his disappointment, all it did was flash the words INSERT COIN. “Oh. Does anyone have a quarter?”

“I have midway tokens,” Lolly replied.

“It doesn’t take tokens, it takes quarters,” Bailey replied. “What about you Vicky, you got any quarters?”

“I almost never use cash,” Victor replied.

“That figures, the rich guy doesn’t have a quarter when he needs it,” Ripley snorted. “I have a Canadian quarter from that show we did at Estevan.”

“A Canadian quarter is worse than nothing! It has the Queen of England on one side and a reindeer on the other! A frickin’ reindeer! Unless it’s Christmas at Buckingham Palace how the hell is anyone supposed to take that seriously? I need George Washington and a bald eagle or nothing!”

“Lolly said you were gods in here. Can’t you just make a quarter?”

“Currency created by divinities is still considered counterfeit otherwise gods would be bribing people to worship them all the time and there’d be massive inflation and economic collapse, did you fail basic theology and economics? GAWD!”

The four of them sat in silence for a moment, trying to think of a way out of their predicament.

“Oh! I know how to get us moving!” Ripley claimed. She snapped her fingers and in the distance appeared a fiery accretion disk orbiting a circular black abyss. The rocket immediately lurched towards it, the stars racing by at an ever increasing speed.

“A black hole! Good thinking Ripley! We’ll be out of here in no time,” Bailey said.

“But what happens when we reach the black hole?” Victor asked. Ripley and Bailey exchanged uneasy glances with each other.

“Sorry Vicky, we can’t hear you. There’s no sound in space. You’ve seen too many sci-fi movies,” Ripley said.

“Now now Ripley, one should never let something as inconsequential as the laws of physics get in the way of a good story,” Bailey asserted. “Matter of fact, let’s have some grand sound for our grand finale!”

At his command, an unseen orchestra began playing the 1812 overture, and the stars around them began bursting into fireworks with thunderous explosions in time with the music. The faster they went, the louder the sound became, and the stars and fireworks became infinitely stretched out as they finally passed the event horizon of the black hole.

“My stars, it’s full of God!”

The next thing Victor remembered he was standing in a drab wooden room next to Lolly, with Ripley and Bailey standing over near a fancy lever.

“Thank you for visiting Herman Fuller’s Fantastic Fun-Lover’s Funhouse. We hope you had a Fantastic, Fun-loving time,” Ripley said in an apathetic, monotone voice as she read the farewell speech off a cue card. “We hope you will always remember the special time you had here and that we will see you again some day. Please remember to rate, share and review Herman Fuller’s Circus of the Disquieting on Yelp, social media, and the SCP Database. Thank you for your patronage, and have a disquieting day.”

She pulled the lever, and once again a trap door opened up beneath them and dropped them down a chute. They travelled through it for about the same amount of time as the first one, emerging out of a slide behind the Funhouse and into a regular ball pit.

“Did that really just happen?” Victor asked, who was seriously considering the possibility that he was coming off a bad trip or otherwise losing his mind.

“I’m sorry, that didn’t turn out quite like I expected,” Lolly apologized, sheepishly casting her eyes to the ground. “They usually do behave themselves around the kids, but grownups alone can be a different story. I can tell you’re uncomfortable here, and I just wanted to show you why I love this Circus so much. It’s not just my home, it’s my paradise, and sometimes it hurts when other people don’t see it that way too. I know the Funhouse was a lot, and if it was too much you can go home. I won’t stop you.”

“I…” Victor began, but then seemed to change his mind. “Actually Lolly, can we go to the petting zoo and see the Obama Llama?”

A wide smile spread across her face, and she somehow changed her colour palette to match the red, white and blue of Obama’s iconic campaign poster.

“Yes we can.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License