This is a joke chapter I made based on a gift I received in Worst Gift Ever Exchange. This isn’t canon to Not My Circus (although maybe I’ll reference it in a future chapter or something)
If this seems like it’s lower quality/more nonsensical than a regular chapter… that’s cause it is lol
Chapter -1: The World’s Most Handsome Man
Keith’s footsteps were light as he bounded through the long field of grass. He had never run so fast in his life—he never had to, because he had never faced a danger so great. As sparkles and supersonic waves hurled in his direction, he dodged them cartoonishly with impossible gymnastics that he hadn’t been able to do before his mutations. The attacks just barely missed him as he stretched and rolled out of the way.
In the background of it all, he could hear two songs that he had never heard before; one was whimsical and about arcade cabinets, and the other was more somber and was about stardust. But there was a noticeable difference in quality—the former was melodic, like a siren’s song, while the latter was very off-tune. They played at the same time, but if Keith focused on one of them, then the other song would be magically blocked from his hearing.
But since he was only focused on running away, he heard both simultaneously.
He didn’t really know why he was here, who was chasing him, or how he had gotten into this situation; a plot as crazy as this was something you only see in fever dreams. But he knew one thing: for sure he had to run.
For a moment, he looked back to see how far he was from his pursuers. But his efforts remained fruitless, for he smashed right into a conveniently placed brick wall.
As he looked up and spat grass out of his mouth, he saw little stars floating above his head—and the giant Keith-shaped hole in the wall. These cartoon physics were something that he’d never get used to.
His chasers were looming over him, their faces concealed in shadow. But he could sense their wide grins even in the darkness.
He slowly inched away from them. “Who are you?” he huffed, all out of breath, “What do you want from me?”
They both came into the light, and he gasped—maybe it was fear, or maybe it was confusion. Looming over him were two unusual creatures: The first was an orange fuzzy worm with fake draconic whiskers and wings. The second was a green sparkly ghost with a glowing halo. For a moment, they didn’t speak; in that silence, a million questions ran through Keith’s mind, with most of them starting with “What the heck?”
The worm spoke first. “I’m Wormie,” said the worm, her voice soft and musical.
“And I’m Ghostie,” said the ghost, his voice loud and ethereal.
Keith slowly stood up, trying to comprehend this. He had never seen either of them before, and yet he got a sense of deja vu while looking at them.
“What do you want from me?” he asked desperately.
Wormie did not answer his question. Instead, she twisted her worm body and created a small supersonic wave; when he really looked at it, though, it was actually just a flash of light with no actual force. “Keith, you are the world’s most perfect man!” she said.
His brows furrowed. He knew that already, but to hear it from this wannabe dragon was weird and confusing.
Ghostie picked up where Wormie left off. “Yeah! We’ve heard all of your stories, and we’re simply charmed! Like how you fought the giant wyvern, or how you traveled to Ponyland and saved them from war!”
For someone who broke the laws of reality purely by existing, breaking the fourth wall was too much for his brain. “What… stories?” he stuttered. “When did I… when did you…” These weren’t merely stories, but things he lived through… right? And as far as he knew, he hadn’t saved any ponies… yet. And how had they known about all of these things? Were they… watching him?
And, most of all: how did they know who he was in the first place? That was something he couldn’t figure out.
Ghostie leaned over to Wormie and whispered. “Oh, that part of the story hasn’t happened yet.”
“I told you not to spoil it!” Wormie replied, her brows furrowed. Well, actually, a pair of comically large angry eyebrows just materialized above her googly eyes, which was much funnier.
Before Keith could question this situation any further, Ghostie cleared his throat. “Anyghost, we have fought and turmoiled for ages over who shall be yours!” He spoke and floated around theatrically, summoning sparkles for dramatic effect. But his use of “anyghost” instead of “anyway” was cringey—who would ever say something like that?
Wormie continued, twisting her body in a similar dramatic manner. “So, we have decided to… have a sing-off! Each of us has sung a cover of our favorite songs to woo your heart!”
This whole conversation was very cringy and slightly uncomfortable, but he had no idea how to get out of it—and he also wanted to see how it would end.
Ghostie summoned a huge flash of sparkles, and suddenly two vinyl albums were floating above him and his friend. “So, which song did you like better?”
Keith leaned in closer to look at the covers. He had never heard of the albums or the artists. But the titles were in English, so they had to be from Earth—perhaps they were from an alternate version of Earth where angel-ghosts and dragon-worms existed.
He looked in Ghostie’s direction first. The album was called So Much (for) Stardust by an artist called Fall Out Boy—they must have been some underground band that very few people knew about. As he looked at the dog on the cover, he was surprised to find that he could hear Ghostie’s song again. It was like some magical speaker was playing through his head as he looked at the cover. Ghostie’s singing was scratchy and off-tune, but his voice might have sounded better if he was singing in some other genre.
Then, Keith moved on to Wormie. This album cover was mysterious, with a man and his cat dissolving into red smoke while their eyes glowed ominously. It was called Spirit Phone and was by an artist called Lemon Demon—he must have been some world-renowned artist who had his music played on top 40's radio stations. Just like with Ghostie, he could hear Wormie’s singing. Her voice was melodic and beautiful, but as he listened to it intently, Keith noticed that it felt a little flat in terms of emotion.
Keith put his hand on his chin as his thoughts ran. Ghostie’s singing wasn’t that great, but there was clearly a lot of effort put into it. Wormie’s singing was amazing, but she didn’t have enough emotion. But, most of all, he asked himself why he was even weighing his options at all—how these strange creatures knew who he was, or how they knew about things that hadn’t happened yet.
He had to think quickly—which was something he was all too good at.
He let out a breath as he made his final decision. “I think…”
Wormie and Ghostie leaned forward in anticipation.
“...that there’s one teeny-tiny, itty-bitty problem that you haven’t thought about.”
The two creatures looked at each other, confused.
Keith pointed to Wormie, then Ghostie, then himself. “You’re a worm… and you’re a ghost… and I’m a human.”
There was a pause. “I don’t follow,” said Ghostie.
“Umm, actually, that’s three problems!” Wormie interjected.
Keith held his hands up. “My point is, neither of you have hands! How would you, say, hold my hand while walking through a park? Or eat spaghetti on dinner dates?” He put his hands on his hips, pretending that this was a solid argument and not something he’d come up with on the spot.
The two looked at each other again, this time the realization setting in. Keith was surprised that they had fallen for such an obvious lie. They argued among themselves, which gave Keith the perfect opportunity to sneak away…
That was, until he heard a portal open and saw confetti explode everywhere. He brushed it out of his face and hair puffs, and looked up to see another strange sight. Above everyone’s heads was another ghost, but he looked totally different from Ghostie; he had a small child-like body and a big bald head. He was flying around Ghostie as he flaunted a big sign that read “Congrats on the new boyfriend!” in comic sans font.
Ghostie groaned. “Too soon, Casper, too soon.” Keith got the impression that he was some annoying relative that Ghostie was embarrassed to be related to.
Keith didn’t think this situation could get any more bizarre—or any funnier. He had to hold in his laughter as he slowly stepped away. Wormie and Ghostie seemed to forget that Keith was even there; they were too preoccupied with this new, more annoying ghost.
As Keith tip-toed away from this weird assortment of creatures, he could hear little piano notes with every step he took. But that was just a consequence of being a living cartoon character. And when he could no longer see the worm and the two ghosts, all he could wonder was: how was he going to get out of this field?