The Chrystal Heights carnival was set slightly away from Chrystal Heights proper. This kept the lights and the music from bothering the residents unduly. It also allowed those who wanted to go to the carnival unobserved by others to do so. It was an ordinary carnival in many respects, with rides, screaming children and a variety of games. Of course, it was also an unusual carnival in many ways, as one might expect from a carnival that traveled between Chrystal Heights and Darkview on a regular basis.
Many of the more unusual elements could be found in the southern section of the carnival. There wasn't as much traffic here. People tended to walk here with a purpose, as opposed to aimless wandering. Proprietors waited in tents for customers, rather than hawking passers-by. The lights and the music were still present, but they simply registered as background static. One might say it was a more functional arrangement in this part of the carnival, with less eye-candy.
Still, these areas were not without their wandering entertainers. At times a man on stilts could be seen strolling about the pathways, safely above the throng. Other times a satyr could be observed, his hooves digging cloves in the dirt road. Yet other times one might spot a woman, half angel, half demon, and the reaction garnered there was dependent on which side you happen to come across.
The wandering entertainer most often seen along the dark paths, however, was the Jester. He was short- not quite a midget, but if you said he was five feet tall he would likely doff his hat and thank you for your kindness. He wore a traditional jester's outfit, with baggy pants and even the belled cap, but he wore it as one might wear a business suit. He was quick with rhyme and wit, and even occasional song, as the mood might take him. He was a jester, but not a fool. His name, when he chose to share it, was Wellington.
"So, how about you donate to the cause of me and my friends having some fun today?"
This came from a dark-haired girl. She appeared to be about nineteen years old, athletically thin and wiry strong. Dangerously fast as well. That's why she was in charge.
The thin guy she was talking to tried to answer, but he couldn't. Her fist was pressing into his throat. Of course, the two girls holding his arms didn't help, either. His glasses lay on the ground, broken.
"Speak up," said the girl. "I can't hear you."
"Urrrrrrk!" said the boy. One of the girls holding his arms released him, and with his free hand he pulled out his Velcro wallet and waved it.
The dark-haired girl took the wallet with her empty hand and pulled her fist from his throat. She opened the wallet and removed the money. She glanced at the I.D., then closed the wallet.
"Thanks, Barry. Your donation is gratefully accepted," she said. She tucked the money into her bra and tossed the wallet back to the boy, who stopped massaging his throat long enough to catch it. "Now move along. And remember, if you want to say anything about this to anybody, we know where you live."
Still rubbing his throat, the guy walked away.
The dark haired girl looked at her two henchmen. "There goes another satisfied customer," she said.
The blonde henchman laughed. "Are you sure, Valarie? I think he wet himself."
The dark-haired Valarie nodded. "Of course I'm sure, Janey. I could tell by the gratitude in his eyes. Right, Desiree?"
Desiree, the henchman with the mocha skin, smirked. The tall mulatto girl was quite pretty even dressed in street clothes, but it was obvious she could be beautiful if she decided to be. "Right, Val," she said.
They made their way down the street, on the lookout for more potential victims. They preferred this part of the carnival to any other. Less potentials, granted, but less official types as well. There was an edgy atmosphere back here, a breathless anticipation of dark excitement.
Valarie looked down the dirt path running between several brightly colored tents and paused. Then she elbowed the blond Janey. "Over there," she said.
Janey looked down the dirt path. "The clown?"
Valarie snorted. "Yes, ditz, the clown."
Desiree shifted nervously. "I don't know, Val. The carnies are really off-limits, you know?"
Valarie lifted an eyebrow. "You arguing with me, Des? You want to be boss instead of me?"
Desiree was silent for a moment, then lowered her eyes. "No. Sorry. I just meant, maybe it wasn't a great idea, that's all. If you wanna do it, though, it's fine with me."
Valarie nodded. "I'm glad we have your permission. How about you, Janey? You think it's a bad idea too?"
The blonde girl shook her head. "No, Val, if you want to do it, I'm fine with it."
Valarie looked down the path once more, then smiled. "Alright, then. Let's do it."
They moved down the dirt path towards the jester, spreading out as they did so. He appeared not to notice them until they had surrounded him. Valarie reached out and flicked one of the bells on his jaunty jester's cap.
"Hey, shortie," said Valarie. "How they hangin'?"
The jester gave a florid bow. "To the right, dear lady. Please, allow me to introduce myself. I am Wellington, a teller of tales, entertainer to kings and a bard for the ages."
"Yeah?" said Valarie. "That's great. We're Moe, Larry and Curly, and we're the kicker of asses. It's gonna be kind of hard to kick your ass 'cuz it's so close to the ground and all, but we're going to give it the ol' college try, alright? Alright."
Wellington took a step back from the predatory girls. "Now, ladies, surely there is no need to resort to fisticuffs? That is rather uncivilized and a night such as this would surely be better spent engaged in other pursuits."
The three girls took a step forward. Desiree pushed Wellington's shoulder.
Valarie smirked. "Oh, come on, now, what could be more entertaining than beating on a clown? Hey, Janey, when's the last time you got to beat on a clown?"
Janey pretended to consider the question. "Hmmm. Come to think of it, not since breakfast. How about you, Desiree?"
The young mulatto girl feigned a shudder. "I don't mess with clowns. They're *scary*." Desiree gave Wellington another shove.
Wellington looked offended. "Madame, please! I am a jester, an honorable profession and a position entailing some respect! Clown, indeed!"
Valarie chuckled. "Oh, did we hurt the clown's feelings?" She shoved Wellington backwards another step.
Wellington kept his balance. "Madame, I must suggest you and your lovely comrades not pursue this action. In fact, I must insist."
"Oh, no," said Valarie. "Are you going to tell us scary stories if we don't stop?"
"Omigod," said Janey, feigning fright. "He might make balloon animals at us!"
"Or even" said Desiree, jumping in, "*honk a horn*."
Wellington looked indignant. "Ladies, please! I endeavor you to-"
Valarie said, "Shut the fuck up," and drove her fist into the jester's nose.
Wellington stumbled back a step, his arms windmilling. He finally regained his balance as the three girls moved in to begin the beating in earnest.
Desiree was the tallest, and she quickly stepped up to pin the jester's arms, but she grabbed nothing but air as the short man ducked under her grasping hands and rolled away. He came to his feet and Janey, who was now the closest, grabbed the front of his tunic with both hands. Wellington grabbed Janey's wrists and leaped up, planting both feet on Janey's chest and pushing out. Wellington fell to the ground while Janey stumbled backwards before falling onto her bottom. Wellington then shoulder-sprung to his feet. Valarie stepped in and attempted to snatch at the little man's collar, but Wellington dropped into a crouch and whirled on one foot, kicking Valarie's feet out from underneath her. Valarie landed on her back with a thud as the jester cartwheeled away.
"Please, ladies," said the jester, "I implore you to desist! Nothing good can come of this for you. You'll find no easy victim here."
Valarie rolled to her feet, humiliated and furious. "Shut the hell up. You're a dead clown walking, you know that? Dead clown walking!" There were ominous *clicks*, and switchblades appeared in the girls' fists.
Wellington looked at the advancing trio dubiously and shook his head. "A shame, young lasses. It is far better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It is your misfortunes to have removed all doubt. Very well, then...have at thee!"
Valarie stepped in and slashed a criss-cross at the jester, but Wellington ducked to the side and then rolled past her. Wellington came to his feet, slapped Val on her bottom and then cart-wheeled away from the infuriated gang leader. Janey attempted an ineffectual stab at the nimble jester, but touched nothing but air. There was a flash of movement, and Janey suddenly realized she had been disarmed. Before she could make a move, however, Wellington was close, the blade flashing. Janey froze, closing her eyes instinctively. She held her breath for several heartbeats, then belatedly realized three things. The first was that, strangely enough, the switchblade was back in her hands. The second was that she wasn't bleeding at all. The third was that her top and bra were lying in tatters on the ground.
The blonde girl's eyes widened and she squealed at her unexpectedly topless state. Her arms crossed over her bare breasts reflexively. Wellington raised his eyebrows in a leer, then offered a florid bow. "No need to squeal, m'lady. They are lovely, indeed."
Desiree moved in, intent on stopping the jester, but the little man dropped to his hands and knees and scooted between Desiree's legs. He leaped to his feet, spun and yanked the girl's jeans straight down to her ankles. Desiree gasped as she realized she was standing in public in nothing but bright yellow panties. The mulatto girl bent over to pull her jeans up, but as soon as she was fully bent over, Wellington placed his foot on her rounded bottom and pushed. Off-balance, Desiree tumbled over, her jeans still around her ankles.
"And what light from yonder bottom breaks? It is the east, and her panties are the sun..." said Wellington, pausing for a moment to lean over and pat Desiree's pantied bottom. Then he scooted backwards as Valarie slashed at him.
Valarie's breath hissed through clenched teeth as her blade sliced through the air again and again. "Fuckin' clown. You're gonna be taking your balls home in your pocket." Her slashing blade flashed repeatedly. Then she felt a surge of exaltation as she felt her blade strike home.
Wellington looked at his forearm where the tip of Val's blade had nicked him. Blood flowed from the cut, although it did not appear to be overly deep. The jester stared for a moment, then lifted his head to look at Val.
"Ah, m'lady," said Wellington, his tone no longer as jovial. "That was the unkindest cut of all."
Val shuffled forward, holding her knife much like a key. "You haven't seen anything yet," she said. Janey and Desiree moved into flanking positions, Janey with an arm across her bare breasts.
"I died for Beauty; I died for Truth," said Wellington, "but I will not die for vile entertainment. A duel, then."
"Bring it, clown," said Valarie.
Wellington took two rapid steps forward and leaped towards Valarie. Caught by surprise, Val realized that the little jester had landed on her and he felt strangely weightless. His legs were wrapped around her waist and his hands held both her breasts firmly. She started to open her mouth to protest, but suddenly his lips were pressed firmly against hers in a heated kiss.
Valarie felt her hands drop to her sides. The kiss lasted for perhaps five seconds, but it felt like an hour. Then Wellington breathed into her ear, "A clown, my sweet? Nay, I am a jester." And then he was rolling away from her.
Valarie appeared still unable to move, so Janey and Desiree went after Wellington. The nimble jester was too fast for them to track, however. Then Janey shuffled in and tried to drive her blade into the little jester, but Wellington did a rapid back summersault and landed on Janey's back. His legs wrapped around Janey's waist from behind and his hand slid along her knife arm. Suddenly Janey's knife was slashing at Desiree, controlled from behind by Wellington. Desiree retreated to safety, attempting to circle around Janey so as to be able to get to the jester.
Janey was trying desperately to pull her arm free of Wellington. Too late she realized he had shifted somewhat and his hands were now cupping her bare breasts from behind. Janey gasped and dropped her blade to grasp his wrists, and that's when Wellington shifted once again and leaned over her shoulder. Janey turned her head just in time to receive a full kiss on the lips from the jester. Janey gasped yet again, and then her hands dropped to her sides, despite her topless state. Like Val, she appeared dazed.
Wellington stepped back and patted Janey on her bottom, then turned to face the oncoming Desiree. Desiree slashed at Wellington three times in quick succession, but seemed unable to touch the nimble jester. Then Wellington leaped and appeared to spin on the axis level with his waist. Then his hand dropped to the ground and his foot shot out. One rapid movement later, Desiree was laying flat on her back, her feet kicked out from underneath her, the breath knocked from her body. A moment later Wellington was leaning over her, and Desiree felt Wellington's lips against hers. Then she too was trapped inside her body.
Wellington stood and glanced at the three enraptured girls. Then he walked to Valarie and looked her up and down. Valarie remained apparently dazed. "I know you can hear me in there, my dear," said Wellington, "and I must say that wasn't very nice." He reached out and removed Valarie's t-shirt from her body. Then he wiped the blood from his forearm. "Clown, indeed," he said.
The jester took several steps away and then turned and faced the dazed girls. He extended his hands in front of him, spreading out his fingers. Then he pointed to Desiree, who was still lying on the ground, although her eyes were open. He said, "Come, now, dear, upsie-daisy," and he lifted his hand.
Desiree got to her feet with a jerky motion, as if someone had pulled her up by puppeteer strings. Then she turned and faced Wellington. She became motionless once again, but her eyes reflected shock.
"Very good, dear," said Wellington. "Now, let's give the three of you a test run, shall we, my sweets? Excellent. I am going to make you dance like the sweet flowers you are. Not only shall you dance, you shall remove your garments and allow this poor jester the vision of your bare delights."
Wellington began to manipulate his fingers much like a puppeteer, and then Valarie, Janey and Desiree began to dance. At first, they moved robotically, with jerky motions and little choreography. Then their movements began to smooth out and they began to take on a visible grace. They smiled and twirled on their toes. Then their hands began to slide their clothing off their bodies, until at last all three were fully naked. Wellington curled his fingers into fists and pulled them in opposite directions. "Freeze!" he said, and all three dancers stopped in mid-movement, rigid.
The jester walked around the three girls, patting their bottoms, running his hands over their rounded hips, running a finger along their jaw lines as they stood motionless on bare feet. Finally, he nodded.
"Yes, you three are lovely indeed," he said. "You will do quite well for what I have in mind. But first, some minor changes, my lovelies."
He walked to Desiree and ran his hands along the mulatto girl's bare mocha shoulders and over her bare belly. "Lovely," he murmured. Then he placed his hands over her breasts and concentrated. Her breasts began to swell under his cupped fingers. When he was apparently satisfied with their new size, Wellington reached forward and cupped the tall girl's sex. He concentrated a moment, then removed his hand. He turned his hand upside down and Desiree's dark pubic hair drifted to the ground. Then he stepped back, nodding at the girl's now smooth pussy, and walked behind the girl. The jester reached up and ran his fingers over her dark hair. "This is lovely," he said, "but we can make it even more so, can't we?" He concentrated, and Desiree's hair began to grow. It lengthened down her back to her waist before it stopped.
"Yes, you are indeed lovely," said Wellington. "In fact, I think you shall serve only me, my sweet. You shall be the mysterious dark girl with the veil, walking around with whispers of lace, your eyes pools of mystery. Your nights will be filled with the pleasures of satisfying me, young beauty. Desiree, you shall now be called Desire, the Beauty for the Beast."
Satisfied, he moved on to Janey. "Hmmm...I think I have just the thing for our golden-haired beauty," he said. Wellington cupped Janey's cheeks and concentrated once again. For a moment, nothing seemed to happen. Then a pair of pink and yellow butterfly wings began to unfold from Janey's back. They grew and expanded until they were fully formed, flapping gently in the breeze. "They are not strong enough to let you fly," he said, "but they are quite lovely." He removed his hands from her cheeks. Janey's cheeks were now covered with glitter, and her eyelashes were long and sensual.
"And you, young nymph," said Wellington, "will be one of our lovely wanderers. You will make your way up and down our dirt roads and visit, even encourage, our customers, and you will have sweet words for the workers as well, won't you, sweet nymph? Ah, yes, Janey, you will now be called Vixen, the wandering wood nymph. You will dress in tiny outfits of forest green, dancing about on your fairy-like bare feet, and, as the forest gives freely, so shall you."
Finished with Janey, Wellington turned his attention to Valarie. The gang leader was still unable to move, but her eyes were wide with shock and anxiousness. Wellington fixed Valarie with a stern stare.
"You," said Wellington, "are not a nice girl."
Wellington walked around Valarie several times. Finally, he stopped directly in front of Valarie once again. "No, you are definitely not a nice person. But we can change that. We can make you very sweet and giving. Giving of yourself and everything. Everybody will love what a sweet, giving person you'll be, little cupcake."
The jester reached up and slid a finger into Valarie's mouth. Valarie's lips wrapped tightly around that finger, but otherwise there was no further movement. Then Wellington began to concentrate.
At first there appeared to be no effect. Then Valarie's hair began to fade in color as it thickened and grew longer. Valarie's breasts began to swell and her waist began to shrink, even as her hips widened. Her bottom began to swell as well, and those lips wrapped tightly around Wellington's finger began to thicken into bee-stung loveliness. Her pubic hair dropped away softly and blew away with the wind. Valarie's eye color swirled and shifted to match the color of her hair, which was all colors and no color. Unthinkingly, Valarie's tightly wrapped lips began to slide up and down the jester's finger.
"And you, my sweet," said Wellington, "are now Cotton Candy, the wandering wet dream. You will also wander our dirt roads, searching for people to please. You will never turn anyone down, regardless of his or her desires, and you will offer yourself freely to everyone. As the carnival gives pleasure, so shall you."
Wellington held his hand out, then turned it over and moved it down, indicating that Valarie should bend over. To her mortification, Valarie found herself with her hands on her knees as she bent over to present her tight round ass for inspection by Wellington or anyone else who might be walking by.