Three Fairy Tales
rating: +5+x

You approach a dilapidated, victorian style inn. Sleep heavy in your eyes, you decide to stay for the night. Greeted by the patron, you see xe are a fae from the depths of space.

"Good evening traveler."

You nod and wave.

"A room for the night?"

You nod again.

"For the night, I can provide a trade," xe pulls out a thick book. From your vantage point you see it's a list of names, "Name please."

You reach into your shirt and pull out an archaic, steel dog tag. Presenting it to the colour out of space, xe copies the name down.

Xe nods and asks, "Can I interest you in some entertainment before you retire for the night?"

Silence for a few moments; you slowly nod.

"Follow me please," xe ask. Xe leads you down a dark hallway and into a tidy study with a fireplace, "If you please," an inky tendril emerges from the void shaped rabbit and gestures to a chair. Xe takes a book from the shelf and takes xyr seat.

There is the sound of a book opening, pages crinkle, "Which story should I read first?" the inky blob asks. But before you can ask what stories xe have, xe says, "Oh! I got it. There's a nice, creepy one about faewolf."

You are unable to answer. For some reason you feel off and hollow. Something's missing. Why are you here again? You stare into the fire. It crackles softly, orange and red colors flow, and radiate warmth. Absentmindedly, you nod your head.

"Yes, yes, this is amongst my favorites too," the mass of bunny shadows says, and xe starts,

In the last three months there was a string of murders. The local and national news reported on the grim events. Every murder had happened near a full moon and were fae traveling alone at night.

The murderer was a fae out for vengeance. The media said.

The murderer was a druggie. The media said.

The murderer was a business fae who had finally cracked. The media said.

In hushed corners of the region an urban legend birthed.

The murderer was a faewolf.

Sera met up with Dian for a date at the theatre. It was overcast and the moon hid behind the thick clouds. The theater dated before the calamity, and after tremendous contributions from the community, it was restored to near its original splendor. The small town slowly built up a library of pre-calamity human films that the theatre shown every Friday evening. The theatre typically shown local movies and monster movies. However, there weren't a lot of monster movies from the present era to choose from.

"Hi Dian," Sera beamed when she saw Dian.

"Hey! I was worried you wouldn't be able to come!" Dian happily stated while she hugged Sera. She gave Sera a light smooch on her snout.

Sera blushed, "At first mom wasn't going to let me go, but since I'm not walking alone, she caved," she laughed.

Dian nodded and walked alongside Sera.

Outside the theatre Dian asked the ticket fae-enby, "Two for 'Theatre of the Living Humans'."

The ticket booth attendant nodded ver head and slid four tickets through the slot. Sera and Dian made their way to the theatre.

"When do you have to be home?" Dian asked, as they entered the theatre. The theatre was clean and eccentric.

"Nine o'clock," Sera sighed.

"I'll get you back on time safe and sound!" beamed Dian.

Sera blushed, and held Dian's paw as they walked to the room for "Theatre of the Living Humans".

After the movie, they stepped outside, and Sera looked up to the sky. The clouds had dispersed, and the moon was full, surrounded by a radiantly eerie halo.

Dian looked slightly nervous, "The sky looks clearer than I thought it would be."

"Are you worried about the lycanhuman?" Sera stifled a laugh. They headed off on the dirt path back to Sera's house.

"Well, the murderer yes," Dian shuffled nervously.

"I mean, same, but we'll be alright," Sera flashed Dian a toothy grin and held her paw. She smiled sincerely and blushed.

The clouds parted further and raw moonlight filtered down through the trees. Dian noticed the sudden illumination, "Oh no," she let go of Sera's hand, "Sera there's something that I have to tell you-"

Sera asked, "Oh? What's that?"

Patches of fur shed off of Dian, "Don't ask me why, but run."

Sera noticed the patches falling out, "Dian what's goi-"

"I SAID RUN!" Dian hunched over as her snout receded and the lower half of her body cracked while her legs changed.

Sera slowly backed away, "D-Dian, wh-what's happen-en-ing?"

Lurching back, Dian flashed Sera a menacing smile as her fangs fell out.

"Oh my gods," Sera whispered, "Dian…"

The changing creature roared in Dian's voice, "RUN!"

Sera took off in a sprint, and yelled, "I can help you! I love you!"

More snapping and grunts. A scream rang out and Sera heard something approach her quickly. She turned her head to see a tall, pale wolf-human. Its eyes full of rage and sunken into its flat face.

Tears welled in Sera's eyes. She felt cold, and shook wildly. While shaking, she tripped over a root. The wolf-human closed the space between Sera and it. It jumped onto Sera and wrestled with her.

"I'm sorry Dian!" Sera fought back. She clawed and bit but to no avail. The lycanhuman, although bloody and wounded, had enough stamina to pin Sera down. It choked her. The skin under Sera's fur went pale and blue as she ran out of oxygen. Dizzy, her vision darkened. She stopped struggling and went limp.

The lycanhuman stood and admired its work. It turned away and sprinted off into the woods.

Dian never returned home, and Sera’s ravaged body was found the next morning,

"-reports of that night would go on to say that it was foul play. A search was held for Dian, but she was never found," the space between the void finished reading, "Wasn't that a creepy story?" xe chuckles.

You remain silent. What could you say? It was cheesy? It sucked? You open your mouth to tell this to the darkness, but xe cut in, "Oh, I knew you'd like it. Very creepy indeed.

The infinite shapeshifting horror beams, "I've one more story for you dear traveler. This one is about a car at a pumpkin festival…"

The day of the parade was cool and misty. The downtown area was decorated with pumpkins, corn stalks, and faux-human mannequins. The widest road was blocked off for the parade of pre-calamity cars. Most of the cars were parked neatly along the street. Some battered and rusted. Some pieced and 'Frankenstein'd' together. A few looked as new as they were pre-calamity because some fortunate soul found an underground parking garage. From what little the monsters knew about the pre-calamity era, the cars were all mostly from the "20s". Today's main event of the festival was an auto show.

Judges walked and waddled to each car and spoke with its owner, taking down names, and inspecting the entries. Crowded around one car, the festival goers gawked. There was a clear circle 16 feet around the car made by the on-lookers. Some pale faced, some bursting with excitement and curiosity, no one dared to cross the invisible line around the peculiar car and owner. A judge approached the crowd. Xe squeezed through them, excusing xyrself and announcing that the crowd needed to disperse. At the front of the circle xe saw the car. A black 1971 Hurst Oldsmobile. Starry eyed xe knew who would win the show but as xyr eyes trailed downward xe disregarded xyr previous thought. If the event today was a costume contest the owner was a sure win. The owner of the car had the best human costume. His costume was more impressive than the car; xe let out a "Wow.".

Terror gripped xyr and xyr palms sweat. It was almost too convincing especially alongside such a rare find. Xe took in a deep breath and raised xyr foot. The monsters directly next to xyr looked at xyr in panic. The judge brought xyr foot back into the circle and reconsidered xyr thoughts. Xe felt compelled to not cross the circle. Xe shook xyr head and cracked xyr knuckles. Xe picked xyr foot up and stepped over the line. A cool breeze fluttered and the mists thickened.

Xe put on xyr best smile. Unfortunately, xyr face contorted and grimaced, "Hello I'm Ghut Ret; Judge Number 9," xe reached out xyr claw. The owner tentatively reached out his hand and shook the judge's claw.

"I'm Brad Bakerson," he flashed a confused smile.

Ghut wrote down Brad's name, "What are you entering into the show?" xe asked.

"A 1971 Hurst Oldsmobile," Brad beamed.

There were more questions Ghut was meant to ask but xe got the creepy notion that xe should leave. Xe handed Brad their number in the parade. Brad and the car gave xyr the heebie-jeebies, "Thank you for your submission Mr. Bakerson. And good luck!" xe waved and slowly walked backwards into the crowd.

Brad flashed a confused smile again and chuckled nervously, "If I had known that the festival was doing a costume contest I would've dressed up."

Ghut froze.

Brad continued, "The festival really went all in this year, huh?"

Ghut thought for a moment, gathering xyr thoughts. Xe must've misheard Brad.

"Yes, we did and th-thank you!" Ghut stuttered, turned around and hastily pushed through the crowd.

When it was time for the cars to parade down the road, monsters flocked the route, primarily around the judge's stand. Seating areas were packed 2 monsters to a seat if possible. There was a really good pre-calamity themed entry.

-with the best human costume! mutters floated above the crowd.

The typical entries paraded passed the stand. This year they added more solar panels to their cars. Clapping politely, the crowd was in anticipation to see the ancient car. As the car rolled passed the judges stand the crowd fell silent. Right out of found, human monster movies; the gasoline guzzling, tail-fin sporting, ancient car placed a spell over the crowd. Those closest to the street stepped back as the car passed. The owner, Brad, waved to the judges and crowd. He smiled nervously. The costume was almost too good and left the crowd both amazed and horrified. Brad drove by scaly and furry faces of shock, horror, curiosity and excitement. The only sound was the car's engine.

Mists rolled across the major intersection. As the car rolled into the mists, the car and Brad looked progressively more transparent. The crowd let out a cacophony of shock and awe. A few monsters ran off into the mists. They could not locate the car that had driven away.

When it came time to announce the winners, Ghut noticed the lack of Brad. Ghut announced the winners. Reading the announcement for first place, xe nauseously looked over the crowd, weirdly hoping to see Brad. "For first place and best in show goes to Brad Bakerson owner of the 1971 Hurst Oldsmobile. Everyone was silent and watched with panicked and excited eyes.

Ghut cleared xyr throat and repeated xyrself louder, "FOR FIRST PLACE AND BEST IN SHOW GOES TO BRAD BAKERSON OWNER OF THE 1971 HURST OLDSMOBILE!"


Brad Bakerson was absent.

The judges shrugged it off and the show continued. They congratulated the attending owners. The crowd dispersed eagerly back into the midways and carnival rides. They begged to forget the event. Later, the monsters who had seen the human and car denied that the event ever took place, and chalked the year's botched placements on mismanagement.

"Well wasn't that just a gruesome story?" the blackish space states sarcastically. You hear a pat, and assume xe closed xyr book, "I appreciate your ear," you move your eyes slowly to the void monster, xe remains facing the fire, "Good night dear traveler, and I wish you well on your ventures."

You take this as your cue to leave. Traversing down the long dark hallway, you place your hand on the cool doorknob and say to yourself, "How did I get here? Who am I? A traveler?" you open the door, "I remember where I'm going though and I'm halfway there."

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