Title: Carnival of Doom
Warnings: There’s gonna be some blood.
Disclaimer: SWAT Kats are copyright to Hanna-Barbera and then the carnival kats, Frost and Sapphire, and all other names that look unfamiliar belong to me.
Notes: I got inspired while listening to “The Greatest Show Unearthed” by Creature Feature.
The lieutenant of the Enforcers walked down the hallways with a grim face. Her black fur was matted down with sweat and her silvery hair was pulled back in a pony tail. She knocked on the door of the commander’s.
“Come in,” a voice came from inside.
She entered and shut the door behind her. The black haired she-kat in front of her was searching through papers. The skyline of the city was growing dark as the night fell.
“There were no leads at the search today,” the black she-kat sighed as she leaned on the desk.
“I can’t believe it,” Commander Felina Feral rested her head in her hands. “There have been ten disappearances since Sunday, and it’s Friday and there’s no leads.”
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Lieutenant Sage Clawson shook her head.
“There’s just one thing all the disappearances have in common,” Commander Feral looked out of her window into the distance. “And, it’s leaving late Saturday night.”
“The carnival,” Lieutenant Clawson whispered.
* * * *
Jake, Chance, Frost, Sapphire, and Kit walked through the large carnival. There were screams from the rides, and the smell of popcorn and cotton candy wafted through the air. There was a huge tent in the middle of the carnival. It was red and white striped with a live elephant on the outside.
“Have you ever been to a three ringed circus?” Jake asked Frost.
“No.” Frost wrapped her arm around her husband’s. “Heck, I’ve never been to a carnival.”
“What the heck did you do back in Egypt then?” Chance asked as his son and wife flanked his sides.
“We had lion fights.” Frost ran her finger across the scar on her left eye. “Got caught in the middle of one.”
“So, you wanna go see a circus?” Jake asked as a smirk spread across his face.
“Let me think.” Frost put her finger on her forehead. “Duh! Yes, I wanna go see it!”
“Alright! Come on then.” Kit ran ahead with Chance and Sapphire on his tail.
There were just enough seats up on the top row for all five of them to sit. There were lights on the rafters that put out enough light to see the huge three rings in the middle. One huge pole stretched all the way up to the center top of the tent. Two shorter poles were on each of its sides.
“This is so cool!” Frost giggled. She was like a little kitten.
“I wonder who it is this year.” Jake stared at the props in the rings. “I don’t think it’s the same guy this year.”
“I don’t think any one could beat him.” Kit was nearly bouncing off his seat.
“Well we’ll see,” Chance said as he wrapped his arm around his son to keep him still.
The lights went out and it was pitch black. Everyone went quiet, so it was dead silent. Then the speakers came to life even though the lights were still off.
“Ladies and gentlekats,” a she-kat’s voice came over the speakers. “Boys and girls, this will be one circus you’ll never forget.”
“Wow, they’ve got a female ringmaster this year,” Jake snickered as the she-kat continued.
“There is a ghastly concoction of fantasy, delight, and wonder in this circus,” the she-kat announced.
A single spotlight came on the she-kat. She was on a wire in mid-air with a microphone in one hand and a whip in the other. Her fur was a rusty orange color and her hair was a blue-green color.
The spotlight on her went off and two spotlights came on. They pointed at the ground where two she-kats on white horses ran around the outer circles. One of the she-kats had brown fur with long bright orange hair. The other she-kat was a calico with short dark metallic blue hair. The horses had red, blue, and black designs painted on them. Their white manes and tails were tipped with red.
A third spotlight came on in the middle ring. A lion was running right through the ring towards the audience. All the spotlights went out and then a shrieking roar of the lion sounded.
“Welcome to the greatest show unearthed!” the she-kat yowled from where she balanced.
Loud music came over the speakers as the lights came back on to show the two she-kats standing on top of the lion as it ran around the middle ring. The two horses stood on the outside of the middle ring. The two she-kats jumped off the lion and ran over to their horses. They jumped up onto their backs and herded the lion back to a cage in the back of the middle ring.
The ringmaster appeared in the middle ring riding a little black miniature pony. The music stopped, and she held the microphone up to her mouth.
“Hello, I’m Shelia,” the she-kat purred. She pointed to the brown she-kat. “That’s Jackie and her stallion, Casper.” She pointed to the calico she-kat. “And, that’s Jenny and her mare, June.”
“This is already better than last year,” Kit whispered to his mom.
The rusty orange she-kat looked down at her horse. Her knees were on the ground. She looked back up with a surprised look on her face.
“Who here thinks that this is my horse?” she asked.
Everybody shook their heads no.
“You’re right!” She stood up and the small horse took off between her legs. “This is my horse.”
The music came back on. A horse raced out from one of the outer rings and into the middle ring. It was gray with red, blue, and black designs painted on it. Its gray mane and tail were tipped with red. It lowered its head as it got closer to Shelia. She grabbed its mane and hauled herself up on to the horse’s back without the horse stopping. The music stopped.
“This is my mare, Nightshade.” Shelia raised her hand with the whip up into the air.
Jackie and Jenny rode their horses towards the back of the ring. They jumped off of their horses and looked back at Shelia.
“Release the lion!” Shelia turned her horse around so her back was towards the audience.
Jackie mouthed some words to the rusty orange she-kat. Shelia’s excited face turned to worry.
“What do you mean he’s gone?!” she yowled. She looked over her shoulder at the stunned audience. “Oops, wasn’t suppose to say that out loud, was I?”
Jackie and Jenny both shook their heads. They hopped back on their horses and rode out into the outer rings.
Frost was watching with a smile as the two she-kats rode their horses all around the rings. Then, something a dusty golden color appeared in the aisle next to her. It was the lion.
“Whoa, Jake, look.” Frost elbowed Jake and pointed towards the lion.
Jake smiled as the lion took off down the aisle back into the rings.
“Ah there you are!” Shelia’s horse followed the lion back to the cage. “He’s my little escape artist.”
The lion turned around and ran out into the middle of the ring. He balanced himself on two legs and roared. The audience whistled and clapped their hands. The lion turned towards Shelia and Nightshade. He got back down on all fours and charged at them.
“Simba, you naughty little lion.” Shelia pulled back on Nightshade’s mane.
Nightshade reared up as Simba got closer. The lion sidestepped and ran behind Shelia and her horse. He ran back to his cage and sat down like a perfectly trained pet.
“Okay, enough fooling around.” Shelia looked up towards the audience. “Let’s get something more exciting going!”
Jackie and Jenny rode their horses out of the rings and disappeared into the darkness of the unlit part of the tent. The lights went out again, and a single spotlight came on in the middle ring.
“This is Peanut, our bull elephant.” Shelia made Nightshade step out of the middle ring.
The huge elephant had purple silks draped over his head like a royal elephant. Jackie and Jenny sat on top of Peanut’s tusks. The two she-kats hooked mini microphones around their ears so the audience could hear them. They waved at the audience as Peanut raised his head up so the two she-kats could get on to his head.
“Jenny, what do you think of this elephant?” Jackie asked as she stood on top of Peanut’s head.
“I think he’s big,” Jenny answered as she stood on top of the elephant’s back.
“And smelly,” Jackie added as she pinched her nose.
“At least he doesn’t have bad breath.” Jenny jumped off of Peanut and walked up to his head.
“Lucky for him.” Jackie crossed her arms as she looked down at Peanut from where she stood. “My breath has smelled terrible even though I’ve been brushing my teeth.”
“That’s because Peanut’s been using your toothbrush.” Jenny laughed as Peanut raised up a purple toothbrush with his trunk.
“Ew, gross!” Jackie stuck out her tongue.
The audience laughed as Peanut handed Jackie her toothbrush.
After a few more lines with the elephant, Jackie and Jenny rode him back into the dark part of the tent. Then Shelia had all three rings going. In one of the outer rings Jenny was doing acrobatics with a chimp. In the other outer ring Jackie was doing tricks with two huge grizzly bears. And, in the center ring Shelia was doing trick riding with about five different horses.
“This is so much better than what we had back in Egypt,” Frost whispered to Jake.
“Usually, at the end of the show they have some type of freak or something come out,” Jake whispered back.
“Alright,” Shelia stood on top of a white horse with red and orange paintings on it. “Now, it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for.”
All the lights dimmed and steam appeared on the floor. Two full grown mares pulled a classic circus wagon. One was white with gray and orange paintings while the other was white with purple, blue, and orange paintings. Two small foals, a colt and a filly, walked in front of them with bullwhips in their mouths. The colt was black with a patchy paint design of yellow and blue while his fluffy mane and tail were a dark red. The filly was white with the paint design of the colors reversed on the other side of her body. She had paint designs of orange, purple, red, and blue while her fluffy mane and tail were dark red.
“This is two of our mares.” Shelia pointed to the white, gray, and orange mare. “That’s Smoky and her colt, Patch.” She then pointed to the white, purple, blue, and orange mare. “And, that’s Onyx and her filly, Mis-match.”
The two mares stopped in the middle ring. Jackie and Jenny walked over to them. Patch and Mismatch dropped the bullwhips into their hands as they walked past. Jackie grabbed one side of the drape as Jenny grabbed the other. They pulled it off.
The audience gasped. Inside the cage was a white horse with blue, purple, red, and black designs painted on it and a dark blue mane and tail. The tail had fiery red tips on the end of it. But, the tail is what was different. It wasn’t a horse’s tail but looked more like a lion’s tail, just longer and bigger. And the horse’s eyes were pitch black, yet you could see emotion in them. There were sadness, rage, and something else in there.
“This is our freak, Firefall.” Shelia raised her hand to the cage.
Firefall snorted and stuck his head through the bars of the cage.
To be continued…
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