Loretta trembled softly as she sat down on a bench in the field. A carnival was in town, and her twin sister, Stella, obviously wanting to see it, took her with her, hoping that they'd both have a good time. Stella was now over at a cotton candy stand, getting cotton candy for both of them. She was having a good time.
Loretta, on the other hand, wasn't having a good time, except there was one thing that she didn't like about the carnival. It was the clowns. She didn't like the clowns because she was coulrophobic. She had always been afraid of clowns for as long as she could remember. They were the reason why she never went to a carnival in her life.
Well, there was the one time that she went to a carnival with Stella and their father. She had gotten separated from them both and had been wondering around the carnival, looking for them. She was scared, which was to be expected from a little girl of six years old. In her wondering, she met a couple of clowns. She became outright scared of them on sight. When they took notice of her, they came over, which terrified her even more. They did try to make her happy, but she just kept crying and stepped back from them whenever they came closer. Finally, she ran away.
When Stella and their father found her, she was all alone, sitting on the ground, crying. Their father hugged her and picked her up, carrying her back home. She never told them about what happened to her, so they never knew that she had met a couple of clowns and had been frightened by them.
That was years ago. Now Loretta was twenty-one. She and her sister had almost been turned into vampires by Brauner, but Jonathon and Charlotte had saved them before going on to defeat Dracula. After that, she and Stella had met the ghost of their father. She promised Stella that she would become stronger.
While she had been able to get over almost being turned into a vampire, she had never gotten over her coulrophobia.
As Loretta once again thought of that time she had gotten lost at that one carnival and met those clowns, she was startled when she felt someone call her name. She looked up to see Stella standing in front of her, holding two cones with cotton candy in them; one cone in each hand.
"Loretta, are you okay? You look a little nervous." Stella said, showing her concern for her younger twin sister.
Loretta shook her head in an attempt to forget all about that one time at the carnival. "I'm fine, Stella." she said as she sighed. "I'm just a little tired, that's all."
Stella sat down next to her and handed one of the cones to her. They began eating it as they watched the night sky together, gazing upon all of the stars that were out.
"Hey Loretta, don't you ever feel that we aren't alone in this universe?" Stella suddenly asked.
"What do you mean? Are you talking about some other world or something?" Loretta asked in confusion.
"Yeah, kind of. I'm thinking about this because of everything that goes on that we- our family- is involved in. Like, what if Heaven and Hell are two different worlds that are like this one?" Stella explained as she finished her cotton candy.
Loretta pondered what Stella said for a minute. "I'm not sure. I've never really thought about that before. But if Heaven and Hell were two different worlds like this one, then I'd say that Heaven would be the best world out of all three worlds and Hell would be the worst. Our world would be between them." she said as she also finished her cotton candy.
"That's true." Stella said as they both got up and walked over to a garbage can to throw out the empty cones.
When they did, they heard an announcement from nearby. "Attention everyone!" the announcer began. "It's time for the main attraction of the carnival!"
Upon hearing that, Stella started to get excited. "Oh, it's starting! Come on, Loretta! Let's go see it!" she said as she began to pull Loretta along towards the huge tent at the center of the field.
Loretta started to get more and more nervous as Stella pulled her closer and closer to the tent. She knew that clowns would be there. However, she didn't want to just say no to Stella. She had to try and think of something to get herself out of going inside; as well as coming up with some kind of plan to get herself out of the tent should it be too late.
She was indeed too late. Stella had already pulled her inside and found seats for both of them before the show began.
For about half an hour, Loretta sat uncomfortably in her seat; unable to do much of anything. She was already coulrophobic, and she certainly didn't want to become claustrophobic. It was then that an idea came to her.
"Hey, Stella? Do you want some popcorn?" she asked, making sure to smile to hide her fear.
"Sure. Get some for both of us, okay?" Stella said, not looking over to Loretta as she was mesmerized by the act that was going on at the moment. This gave Loretta all the time she needed to get away.
A few minutes later, she was standing outside the tent, sighing as she crossed her arms and looked down at the ground. She couldn't forgive herself for lying to her own twin sister, yet, what else could she do? As she stood there, she silently prayed that Stella would somehow understand how she felt.
Suddenly, she heard a noise from behind a nearby tent, causing memories of her traumatic experience at a carnival to resurface once again. Slowly, she backed away from the source of the noise, looking around for somewhere to hide while waiting to make an escape. As she frantically turned her head around from side to side, her eyes caught a glimpse of a shadow of a head of someone. As the head came into closer view, she was surprised to see who- or rather, what- he was.
"A vampire!" she thought as the vampire picked up a somewhat heavy box with ease and took it back with him behind the tent.
Putting aside her coulrophobia, Loretta started tailing the vampire as he weaved between tent after tent after tent, carrying the box, leading her to some unknown destination.
"I have to kill this vampire. I have to. I promised Stella that I would become stronger so that she wouldn't have to worry about. I can't let my fear get a hold of me." she thought as she stealthily followed the vampire, hoping that he hadn't caught her scent. She was lucky that he didn't, as the wind was blowing from the direction he was heading in, meaning that she had a chance of killing him without him knowing that she was there, maybe until it was too late for him.
He disappeared into a huge black tent, carrying the box inside with him. Loretta followed him inside, careful to not make any noise so as to alert the vampire. As she entered the somewhat sinister tent, she could barely make out the shadow of the vampire behind a curtain. Walking over, ever so silently, Loretta hid behind the curtain and waited to make her move. She peered passed the curtain to get a good look at him.
The vampire was dressed in a red cloak, with a jacket of the same color covering his entire torso. Like all vampires, his face was pale. As Loretta looked him over, her eyes moved down to scan the rest of his body, but as they did, they suddenly stopped before they were on the vampire's knees. At the bottom of the red jacket, bells hung from strings attached to small flaps of the jacket.
It was at that moment that Loretta suddenly felt herself back away in fear from the vampire. A vampire he was, but at the same time, he was also her worst nightmare: a clown.
As Loretta continued to back away silently, so as to not make any noise in her escape, she tripped over something and stumbled into something else, knocking over another thing.
"Hm? What was that?" the vampire hissed, not in annoyance, but in amusement. He started to walk around the curtain while placing a mask on his face, covering his eyes and his nose, only revealing his mouth. He came around the corner of the curtain and looked around, not seeing anything.
Loretta was lucky to have found a hiding place under a table, but was unlucky at the same time to have chosen a table inside the tent. She held both of her hands to her mouth to keep herself from breathing or making a sound, both of which would reveal her presence and position to the vampire. She had hoped that he would just forget about what he heard and go back to whatever he was doing, giving her an opportunity to escape.
She listened carefully for any noise the vampire would make; such as footsteps or speaking. However, what she heard was the vampire speaking, although he sounded closer then she thought.
"Don't think I can't…" he started to say.
Suddenly, his head came down from above the table, putting his face close to hers.
Terrified, Loretta screamed and tried to back away as quickly as she could, but the vampire jumped back and landed behind her, grabbing her from behind as she kept screaming.
"A human! I haven't seen a human in quite a while, and I've been traveling with humans! Guess I've been paying too much attention to 'it'!" he exclaimed as he pulled her behind some curtains, heading deeper into the tent. He set her down in a chair and quickly set up a little tea set, pouring some tea for her and setting it in front of her.
Loretta was most definitely afraid to even take a sip of the vampire's tea, as it could have been drugged. She just let it sit there, while she trembled in the vampire's presence.
The vampire pulled out a little pocket watch and looked at it. "Yep! Been a long time since I saw a human! It's such a lot of work taking care of Rhan-Tegoth. Wouldn't you agree?" he said as he got right in Loretta's face, waiting for an answer. Frightened, Loretta nodded slowly, hoping to stay on the vampire's good side long enough to try and make him not want to bite her and drink her blood.
"Oh, but you wouldn't know of Rhan-Tegoth, wouldn't you? Would you like to see a picture of 'it'? Here, I'll show you." the vampire continued as he pulled a photo out of a pocket in his jacket and placed it face down in front of her.
Loretta continued to tremble, but she managed to take the photo from the table. Terrified by what could have been in the picture, Loretta hesitated to turn it around, but with a shaking hand, she managed to flip it around. What she saw in that photo brought much horror to her, causing her to drop the photo and jump out the seat screaming.
"It's been a lot of trouble getting 'it' you know. I practically had to steal 'it' when the place was going to be shut down. But I managed to get it through the mirror." the vampire explained as he pulled something heavy into the room. What he pulled in was covered by a large black cloak. "And now to prove that Rhan-Tegoth is real, I'll show you 'it' in all 'it's' glory!" he exclaimed as he pulled off the cloak, revealing what it was covering.
Loretta hadn't known of anything else that had frightened her more than clowns. With a scream of horror, she ran blindly out of the tent, stumbling over various things on her way back to the tent where Stella was.
As soon as she got to there, she saw Stella outside of the tent; evidently, the show was over, as other people started exiting the tent. When Stella saw her, she ran over with a worried look on her face. "Loretta, what happened to you? You look so pale! I was so worried about you!" she said as she helped Loretta, who was still shaken from what she saw.
"I just…ran into a vampire…that's all." Loretta said with a trembling voice.
"A vampire! It didn't bite you, did it?" Stella asked as she began to check Loretta's neck for puncture marks, getting relieved when she saw none.
"No, Stella, he didn't. But I'm fine now. The vampire is gone." Loretta said as she began walking towards the exit of the circus.
She could never tell Stella what she had seen in that tent with the vampire, and she'd always have nightmares about it. That thing that was in the tent which the vampire had pulled out didn't look like any sculpture that anyone could make; it looked as if it was covered in wax.
I'd like to thank you for reading this one-shot of mine. This is the only Castlevania fanfic I have in mind at the time; I might make more, but I haven't thought about making more, but we'll see what the future brings on whether or not I will make more.
As for the vampire, he's wearing the Harlequin Cloak with the Harlequin Mask, one (both the cloak and the mask are two separate parts of the cloak, but they still make up the one cloak) of my author's resources for my fanfics. The Harlequin Cloak is the cloak that Paranoia wears in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
My author's resources are things or places from other sources that I'm planning on using in my fanfics. If you want more information about them, check out the author's notes at the bottom of the first chapter of The Stakes of Purgatory: Strike of the Lion, which is the first fanfic in my The Stakes of Purgatory series.
Disclaimer: I don't own Castlevania, it's owned by Konami. The Horror in the Museum isn't owned by me, it's owned by Hazel Heald and H.P. Lovecraft (Lovecraft ghostwrote the story for Heald).