*Part Five of my “Poppy McLain” stories. This is my favorite one in the series. This story mentions “Nightmare Hill” and “Leona”, which are also from my story “Eloise-The demented doll”. Yes, that’s where the story is connected to. The main character, Poppy, is going to get married. Her last name will be changed from “McLain” to “Verosisca”. (VER-OH-SIS-CA). To my knowledge, I made up this last name. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*
I slip into my wedding dress. It is a black and gray tulle ombré. I had to get one specially fitted for me..because..well..I am..pregnant.
I mean, babies are wonderful. Me and Derek are excited. But why can't they be born in an easier, better way?! My stomach hurts like never before.
But I should stop complaining. I’m going to get married! I could give birth to a beautiful baby any day.
I walk down the aisle, my family and my friend Ashley watching. My wedding has everything I’ve ever wanted, from the black roses and gray gauze curtains to the hauntingly beautiful man waiting for me.
After what seems like forever, I finally meet Derek’s endless white eyes.
It’s so nice that he was able to bring me the church wedding I always wanted. I know that he’s a vampire and that staying in a church might kill him (I can see his hands burning a little bit, thankfully not too much), but this was so unexpected of him!
I appreciate it.
“I, Derek Verosisca, take you, Poppy McLain, for my lawful wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”
These days will last forever, since we are both immortal.
Days that I am willing to spend with him, for the rest of our eternal lives.
“I, Poppy McLain, take you, Derek Verosisca, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”
We share a kiss underneath the imposing ceiling of the ancient cathedral.
Suddenly, my stomach has this sickening, aching feeling, like it would burst open at the prick of a needle and that an explosion of blood will come out.
I kneel over to the ground, screaming like a madwoman. I wish that my screaming stopped, then everyone won’t be worried.
But I can’t help it. It hurts so bad.
Derek rushes to my side, forgetting about his own pain. I smile at him, so he can feel calmer, but it doesn’t quite do the trick.
He carries me in his arms and the world blurs all around me.
I wake up in a stretcher, being pulled away by doctors. I’m in a hospital yet again.
It appears, however, that there was no time to change me into a hospital gown, as I am still in my wedding dress.
The doctors have taken me to what looks like the same room I was in last time. Maybe it isn’t the same room, since all rooms in hospitals look the same. Why am I thinking this? I have a child to birth!
Derek stands next to me, holding my hand. He’s not supposed to be here, but he must have managed to hypnotize the doctors into letting him. It’s comforting to hold his completely dead hand.
I push as hard as I can. I want this horrendous process to end. The doctor has told me to push harder. Can’t he understand that I’m doing my best?
Finally, finally, the baby gets pulled out.
"What gender is the baby?" I ask, because in the chaos of setting up the wedding and worrying about Chloe finding us, I have completely forgotten what gender was revealed in the ultrasound.
He smiles at us and declares:
"It's a beautiful, charming..baby..creature...thing. Oh my..ew..Oh dear..oh my god.."
Well! What a completely unprofessional reaction! And to think that he witnessed how much I was wheezing and gasping in the bed! Shouldn’t he ought to be a little kinder to me?
His finger is bleeding. I can smell it. I can sense that it is his finger, because the scent of blood is minuscule and insignificant. Derek has smelled it too, I can tell from how he clenches my hand.
The child bit his finger.
He screams and runs away. It shouldn’t hurt that much. I mean, it’s just one small bite. I won’t lodge a complaint, though. It’s not his fault he has to deal with an inhuman baby.
Wait..there was a loud thunk on the ground when he ran off.
Did he drop my baby?
Did he drop my child?
I feel less sympathy for him now.
"Is it dead?" I ask Derek, hoping that the worst doesn’t come true.
He picks it up.
"The baby isn't dead." He says.
The baby bites his finger. My racing heart calms down. Of course the child is alive, it’s half siren and half vampire. It’s inhuman. It wouldn’t die or get scarred from being dropped in the ground like a human baby. It would survive. What was I thinking?
Derek brings the baby to me. It has curly black hair and soft, light brown skin, like me. It has big, dark brown doll eyes, also like me. But it also has Derek’s long, eldritch nails and our lovely sharp teeth. Our, not his, because he only has fangs. I have a row of pointed choppers and so does this child.
This is the most wonderful baby I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
"What was that doctor talking about? This child is beautiful." I say.
"I don't know. But he left these files behind. It tells us the baby's gender." He brings me the files. They must have been from the last time we went for a visit regarding my ultrasound.
I open them.
I had just given birth to an amazing girl!
“What shall we name her?" I ask him, holding her to my chest. I will never let anyone hurt her ever again.
“I know! Carmen. It means song. This child is like a song on our soul." Derek smiles, showing me his glorious fangs that could break the flesh of anyone.
"It's perfect." I say to my husband. My husband, no less!
Time has passed since then. Carmen is now four years old. Me and Derek will never age. At least, not on the outside.
I’m taking Carmen home from school. Her hand clasps mine lovingly. She’s got spirit in how she skips on the sidewalk. I can’t help but smile a little.
Suddenly, she looks up at me with this strange excitement in her eyes and starts speaking really fast. I don’t understand a word she’s saying. She’s speaking too fast.
"What? What is it, Carmen?" I ask.
"Oh Mommy, my friend told me about this mysterious place called "Nightmare Hill" and she said it was cursed and that there is this strange circus that looks for..how do you say it? Super..nat..umm?.."
"Supernatural." I say.
What an odd thing for a human child to say at a preschool, no less.
"..That looks for supernatural beings and locks them up and uses them for amusement. Mommy, we're going to Nightmare Hill and we are supernatural creatures! What if we get locked up?! What if they beat us and we die and oh no..." She looks like she‘s about to cry. Her eyes are becoming inky black, the color of her and Derek’s tears.
Come to think of it, that human friend of hers told a boatload of lies and fairytales. Sometimes I wish I could eat her organs for her terrible behavior. Or maybe Derek could suck her blood. Or maybe Carmen could use her powers to get back at her.
But we can't do that. That would be child murder.
So instead, I do the next best thing.
“Sweetheart, don't listen to her. She just wants to scare you. She doesn't know how powerful you really are. No circus is going to lock us up." I say. The things you have to explain to children!
"Okay.." She says in a small voice.
Today’s the day!
Today is the first day of summer break!
It’s time to get ready for Nightmare Hill!
Derek has been driving for hours, but finally, we have arrived at a gothic-esque, old school, one horse town, starkly different from our suburban, ordinary neighborhood where at least you get sight of one or two people.
Derek stops the car in front of an abandoned boutique called:"Eloise's boutique". We all get out of the car, the sunlight streaming on our bodies.
We’re not the least bit bothered by it. Sunlight doesn’t affect us.
"I wonder who lives in that mansion." I remark, for there is a mansion next to the boutique. It seems to touch the blue sky.
“How should I know?” Derek shrugs.
“I’m just asking. That’s all.”
"What are we going to do? Can we drink blood? I'm thirsty. Can I get pets? I want to pet something. Can I eat animal organs? I'm hungry. Can I go to the bathroom? I want to use the toilet. Can I get a new toy? I want to play with something. Can we go watch a movie? I want to watch a movie. Can I become an actress? My friend says that if you want to be an actress, all you have to do is stomp your feet and you become an actress. Can I..."
Carmen goes on and on with the questions. I’m getting a headache and I’m certain that Derek is too.
"One question at a time, child." Derek says as gently as he can.
"Okay..Can I drink and eat something?" She asks.
“Sure." I hand her a bottle of blood and a zip block bag of animal organs.
She eats her food and drinks the blood too quickly for my liking, but I don’t comment.
We start walking away from the boutique and on the sidewalk.
I wish we would at least pass by some life form. I thought that going here would be quaint, that the name was just misleading, but really, now I want us all to go home.
I don’t say a word. Derek has been wanting to come here a long time. He wants a perfect family vacation.
"Thank you. Can I go to the bathroom?" Carmen asks.
I turn to Derek, unsure of what to do. I have no idea if there is a restroom here, because we seem to be the only living souls around.
He smiles at Carmen.
Not that smile. He’s given me that stupid smile all too long and now he’s doing it to her.
“Well Carmen, if you really need to use the bathroom, do it in the bushes. That’s how people used to do it, back in my day-“
“Daddy, no! That’s gross! Mommy, do something!”
She looks to me for reassurance. Derek shrugs and walks alongside us, as if he hadn’t suggested that Carmen use the bushes as a restroom.
“I’m sorry sweetie, but he’s telling the truth. You should have gone to the bathroom beforehand.”
“I didn’t feel like going then!”
“Well, here’s a bush right now. I’ll dig a hole for you and then you can use it.”
“But I don’t want germs!”
“I have wipes.”
Carmen and I walk up to the bush, where I’ll dig the hole for her. Derek has walked into a deserted general store, admiring the items.
So far, this vacation is not relaxing!
"Carmen, you're not getting a pet or a new toy. We are not going to watch a movie and that is not how you become an actress." I say, holding Carmen’s hand. She finished using the bathroom and is skipping alongside me, holding my hand, like how she did that day I took her home from school. Derek holds her other hand.
We have no idea what to do. We rented one of the houses in Nightmare Hill, but we don’t feel like resting just yet. Maybe we can find something fun to do.
We see a circus ahead of us. It’s a little rundown. The wrought iron gates declare that it is called:"NIGHTMARE HILL CIRCUS."
I know Carmen’s friend said something about an evil circus, but I doubt that this is an evil circus. Kids like to exaggerate things and make stuff up. Maybe this is just a circus that needs a little love.
Before we can make a decision, a man in a ringmaster suit steps out of the gates and pulls me and Derek’s arms. Carmen runs after us.
“Welcome, welcome, to the place of fun! Our original owner, Leona, died. So I took over the job. I think you'll be perfect for the circus." He says. He kind of reminds me of Van Death, with his uncanny enthusiasm.
"I don't like the way he said perfect." Derek whispers in my ear.
"I know, let's get out of here." I say. I think that Derek is through with this vacation. We’ll have to make it up to the person we rented the house from somehow (Maybe give her some of Derek’s money. He has practically a million dollars. It wouldn’t kill him to give her money.) but for now, we’re just leaving.
We’re just about to leave when suddenly, the man kneels down to Carmen’s level.
"I bet you want to go to the circus, little girl. I bet you want to see something cool. Do you want to come with me?" He asks. He smiles a crocodile smile at her. Carmen stares at him bitterly.
"Leave me alone." She says.
"That’s it. You're coming with me, you little brat." He snarls, grabbing her arm. She kicks her legs in the air and tries to break from his grip.
We try pulling Carmen away, but he’s much stronger than us and walks away, dragging our screaming daughter.
There’s nothing we can do but follow them.
That’s the only thing to do.
We run after them.
We have reached Carmen in this cage that could fit a family of five, but before we can leave with her, the man locks us in.
He knows we’re supernatural.
I don’t know how, but he does.
I guess that friend of Carmen's was right about one thing.
We are trapped, hopelessly trapped.
"Looks like you're trapped again." A familiar voice says.
We turn around.
The voice belongs to Arachne, who saved us some years ago from a terrible science lab.
Now, the spider-human hybrid is trapped, just like us. Only she’s in a much bigger cage, since she is ten feet tall.
Carmen gawks at how big she is. She must be amazed at the sight. I would be too, if I were her age.
We also see two more familiar faces in the cages across from us, next to Arachne’s cage. Ashley, my best friend who just so happens to be a witch and Chole, our witch enemy who tried to kill us on multiple occasions.
It’s funny seeing her locked up now.
There are also some unfamiliar faces in the cages that are next to us.
There is a young girl with ginger red hair, deep green eyes and freckles spotting her face. She is tall and is wearing a gorgeous black lace dress. She introduces herself to us as Victoria and shows us her even taller sister, Veronica.
Veronica has long, black hair and gray eyes. She dresses in slightly more modern clothing, unlike Victoria. But like Victoria, her clothes are dark and moody.
They are both vampires, like Derek. They have never separated.
Next, there is a young woman with long, grayish-greenish hair. She has yellow eyes and solid black scales all over her shimmering silver body. She has gorgeous leathery, gray wings that have a hint of envy green. She wears envy green, medieval style armor, too.
Her name is Kaida and she is a dragon woman. She says that she can breathe fire, just like a real dragon.
The last sight breaks my heart the most.
There are three children who are around Carmen's age. One is a little girl with long brown hair and a blue cloak. Her name is Bronte and she is a witch whose special power is to summon a storm.
The other is a little boy who had long lashes, big eyes and curly hair. He looks perfect. A little too perfect. His name is Damien and he is a porcelain doll. That explains why he looks so perfect. He says that he used to be a regular porcelain doll before things changed. We don’t press him for more details.
The last is a little pale girl with long black hair and yellow eyes. Her name is Delilah and she, like Derek, Carmen, Victoria, and Veronica, is a vampire.
Those are all of the other people in prison. The poor, dear children break my heart the most. No one deserves to be here, but the children, especially the children, don’t.
"Why are we here?" Carmen asks, still not understanding the gravity of the situation. Bless her innocent heart, about to be tainted by this one moment.
If we ever get out of here, that is. There is the possibility that something could kill us or cause us eternal pain.
"It's simple. That man wants to torture supernatural creatures, like us. He wants to make our lives a living hell. He doesn't like anyone different than him." Victoria answers calmly. Too calmly. How long was she kept here?
Unfortunately, it is as simple and painful as that. I wish it weren’t true, but it is.
We will never be free again.
After awhile, the man appears again, to give us some kind of a speech, perhaps. I don’t care. I don’t care anymore. There’s nothing we can do now, not a thing.
"Now listen, you ugly things, you're going to perform for me so I can get my money. I have a whole crowd waiting for you freaks and you better be good. If you don't perform-"
But I interrupt him, tired of hearing his annoying, god awful voice.
"What if we don't want to perform? What if we want to leave you and your messed-up circus behind?”
I’m not having this. I’m not doing anything for this man. Not a thing. I’d rather rot in this cage then get out and do silly little tricks for hopeless schmucks.
"If you don't perform, then the little freaks suffer. Do I make myself clear, fish girl?" The man snarls.
He points to the three children and moves his finger to my daughter, who shrinks away from his finger. She doesn’t like him one bit.
Fine then, if he’s going to be that way. I’ll do it.
For the kids.
I do not appreciate the nickname. He called me "fish girl" because I’m a siren. I know that much. I want to beat him up, but I choose not to.
There are more important things to worry about than name-calling.
Derek speaks up.
“You will not, by any means, hurt the children. Oh, and you will most certainly not talk to my wife that way. Because.you.will.pay."
The man laughs. I really hate his laugh. Really, I do. He’s even worse than Van Death.
“You're passionate freaks, but you're going to need that passion to perform for me. All of you will perform for me." The man flicks his gaze to all of us.
"Whether you like it or not." He adds, as if we weren’t frightened enough.
He walks away.
People crowd around the circus. They are greedily chomping on popcorn and corn dogs and other ugly, greasy, unhealthy things. These are the kind of people who thought seeing others suffer was amusing. I can tell from that fiendish gleam in their eyes.
The man appears to them all, from the curtains.
Was everybody hiding in the shadows, waiting for him to snatch us away? Was this why not a soul emerged from the darkness?
Was this why?
“Hello, Good citizens of Nightmare Hill! Tis' I, the great and amazing Hunter! But you can call me Hunt, dear audience. You live in a world of the ordinary..but underneath the shadows..are the weirdest..ugliest..most peculiar creatures you will have ever seen. I advise you to stand back and hold tight to your children. Now, without further ado, let's bring out the freaks!" Hunter shouts.
Everyone is miserable.Nobody wants to perform for them. But what can we do? The children locked up here will be in danger if we don’t perform.
So we have to do it.
"The first thing I'll bring out is...the dangerous spider woman creature, ARACHNE! Is she a spider? Is she a woman? Nobody knows! What I do know is THAT SHE CAME FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL! SHE WAS A DANGEROUS DEMON..UNTIL I CAUGHT HER AND TAMED HER! Now, HERE SHE IS!" Hunter screams, somehow louder than my screams from when I gave birth to Carmen.
Depths of hell? Dangerous demon? These are all ridiculous lies. Anyone with common sense would know that.
But Arachne comes out and weaves a beautiful web. Of course, everyone laughs or shivers under her presence. Not one soul sees the sorrow in her eyes. All she’s doing is weaving a web. She could crush them all with her legs, including the spoiled, screeching banshees Hunter boldly called children.
But she doesn’t. She only weaves a web that could be used as a tapestry.
"Alright, alright. Settle down now. Next, we are bringing out…the most feared witches of all time. They have powers that you and I can't explain. What I do know is that they are the spawn of the devil. Here are the most evil and dangerous witches of them all...ASHLEY AND CHLOE!"
Ashley and Chloe come out. They perform their spells for the ungrateful audience. Hunter keeps warning everyone of how “evil” they are.
"Oh, but that's not all. I'm sure your families are quite fine and stable .But not this one. A vampire-siren family, this family is terrible…”
Hunter beckons us to come forward from the shadows. We step out into the glaring lights. We show them our powers, oh, but how terrible and lost my family must feel!
One by one, he beckons forth the others. Each person is more miserable than the next. But nobody cares. They just want something to laugh at, to vent out their stress. I can tell.
Carmen hugs me.
"Mommy, we're all going to die, aren't we? Hunter is going to kill us. Either that or we'll be trapped here..forever..and ever...and ever. Mommy, I don't want to be trapped here! I want to go home! I hate this place! I hate it! I hate it! I HATE IT!"
Instead of almost crying, she cries fully this time, inky black tears dripping from her little brown, gaunt face. The other children cry with her. Their cries are so piercing. I’m sure everyone can hear them. Still, no one does a thing. Everyone just hoots and hollers and screeches and screams, like monsters, like demons.
But not me. This isn’t going to happen. Absolutely not!
I’m not afraid anymore. I have to stop this. I can’t wait for someone to save me this time.
I’ll do whatever it takes to find a way for all of us to escape!
No matter what happens.
When the circus finally closes and we are all locked up again, I open my mouth and say:
"Listen, everyone. I have a plan. But would you be so kind as to let me tell it?"
"What makes you think it will work?" Kaida asks. I thought that there would be more opposition, but apparently not. Apparently they are all desperate to get out of here.
"Oh, I know it will work. Trust me." I say much more confidently than I’m feeling.
Everyone looks skeptical. Ah, there’s the opposition. It’s in all of their faces, even the children, including Carmen.
Even my own daughter has lost faith.
“Wait, but didn't he say he'd kill the children if we ever had a plan?" Victoria gestures to the little witch girl Bronte, the vampire girl Delilah, the porcelain boy Damien, and my daughter, Carmen.
"Well, that's why we're doing it at night. By the time he comes to the circus, everything will be gone. So will you let me say the plan?" I ask.
They nod their heads. Good. This plan better work.
"Well, Chole and Ashley can use a spell to get rid of these chains. Victoria and Veronica will rip our cages to bits. Arachne will make a web over the cages and chains, so that everyone thinks that spiders made a nest here and that we didn't escape. Kaida will burn the circus down and Bronte will make a storm to stop any passerby from checking the scene out in case the web isn't enough. Delilah, Derek, me and Carmen will use our powers to make the ground like quicksand for anyone who wants to peep at what is happening. You, Damien...stay close to Bronte. Please." I plead. Damien can’t do anything. He is a porcelain boy. Porcelain can easily break.
Everyone nods. They understand the plan.
"Okay, let's do this thing." I say.
I hope that this works. This has to work. It must work. I’ve been thinking it over when we were all locked away for the night.
If this doesn’t work, then I don’t know what else to do.
Ashley and Chole undo our chains with a spell. Victoria and Veronica break the cages. (Vampires are very strong, even if they don’t look like they are) Arachne makes a web over the mess. Kaida burns the circus up. Bronte creates a storm. It’s all working, every last bit of it.
Me, Derek, Carmen, and Delilah make the ground like quicksand, for those who dare enter. The vampires have channeled my power and we are making the dirt of the circus quicksand for those who come here when they shouldn’t. We won’t sink. I made every single one of us immune to it.
Everyone else joins us. We’re about to run, but-
“HA! If I can't have all of you, then I'll take one of you!" A shrill voice screams.
We turn around.
Standing before us is the sinking, wet, flaming Hunter. Somehow he has survived through all of our attacks and is holding Bronte by the neck. He is going to sink her in quicksand. Bronte is very powerful, no doubt, but she’s helpless this time, in his grip.
I see Carmen in her. She’s screaming like how Carmen screamed when he grabbed her. I can’t move. Derek is trying to pull me away. He’s mumbling nonsense about us not being able to save her and that bad things happen, but I can’t move.
Bronte is going to die.
"NO!" Damien cries out, rushing forward. In the midst of the chaos, we forgot about him.
My legs start moving again. I feel like they’re sinking to the ground, but that’s impossible, since I made myself immune to the quicksand.
He’s too fast for me.
Damien throws himself on Hunter, desperate to save Bronte. I catch up with him and pull her out of Hunter’s grip.
I try pulling on Damien, but Hunter wouldn't let him go.
"If someone is going to come down with me, then it's you, porcelain boy." He snarls.
I pull as hard as I can. Everyone else has made it to the other side, including Bronte. Damien struggles under the pressure. I won’t let him go. I’m going to save him. I’ll save him, goddamn it!
“YOU'RE PULLING TOO HARD!" Bronte shouts, her voice cracking. I am pulling too hard. Some of his porcelain face has broken apart. His eyes stare up at me, glistening with tears.
It’s too late. He sinks to the ground with Hunter. His little porcelain pieces and shreds of cloth are all that is left of him.
Bronte runs to the bits and pieces of Damien, her best friend, her very own Ashley and cries. The ground has ceased being quicksand. Everyone else joins us.
I failed. I failed to save him. I promised that I would save everyone and I ended up losing him.
Finally, Bronte looks at all of us, tears staining her face.
"He’s dead." She chokes out, showing us the little shards.
"I used to have a family, like you, Carmen. But this family wasn't supernatural. They were humans. They didn't want me. They hated me. One day, I found Damien. He was alone too. We stayed with each other forever. We always stuck together, even when Hunter wanted us to hurt each other. Now he's...he's...gone." Bronte sobs brokenly again. Delilah and Carmen hug her tightly.
I can’t believe that I failed her.
I let Bronte hold Damien's broken pieces for a bit, then I tell her to run with us, away from the circus.
“I want to do something first.” She says, dried tears on her face.
“Okay then.” I nod.
Bronte buries Damien's pieces in the ground. She stared at the spot, not moving. We have to leave soon. We can’t risk someone finding us-
“Let me out! Don’t leave me here!”
It’s coming from the ground. It’s coming from the dirt.
Bronte viciously digs up the spot where she buried him, the screams getting louder and louder.
I can’t believe it.
Damien is alive, good as new.
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