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Goldfish Don’t Bounce

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This story is No. 3 in the series "My Name Is Legion". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Xander wasn’t all that happy about going to the carnival in the first place. There were sure to be clowns there. No. 3 of the My Name is Legion series. August Fic-A-Day 2011 entry.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Legion of Superheroes(Current Donor)ManchesterFR1311,656032,6513 Aug 113 Aug 11Yes
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.

Looking down from hundreds of feet high in the night sky, the plummeting young man saw the bright lights of the carnival below coming inexorably nearer.

This traveling show had mysteriously appeared on the outskirts of Sunnydale several days ago, setting up its game booths, sideshow tents, rides, and other attractions, and the citizens of this small California city had eagerly paid their way onto the grounds to enjoy cotton candy, walk through the Hall of Mirrors, and buy their very own caricature portrait (“Done in two minutes or your money back!”). Of course, being that this was the Hellmouth, every now and then, some carnival visitors had a tendency to overstay at the festivities. Like…forever. In an unmarked grave.

Rumors of this had brought the Scooby Gang in to investigate the place one night shortly before closing time, which resulted in these high-school students learning almost too late they were in deadly peril from the malevolent carnival employees, a good many of which were most decidedly not human. Trying to recover from their various terrifying experiences at the traveling outdoor show, Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Cordelia had scattered and were now desperately trying to find each other while fighting off demonic attackers.

Xander himself had been lurching around in the darkness among the living quarter tents, desperately holding his bulging stomach while trying not to be sick. Sometime during the last couple of hours here, he’d been the target of some kind of spell or enchantment that vastly increased his appetite and subtly urged him to give into gluttony. Not realizing he was acting under somebody’s -- or something’s -- influence, Xander had hit the refreshment stands like a tornado, emptying his wallet while shoveling down immense quantities of fried foods. Which he was gonna bring up any second now, if he didn’t have a chance to slow down and take a good breath--

As he gaspingly passed by the front door flaps of a tent, a scaled arm shot out from this, to grab the young man by his throat and pulling the teenager off his feet while yanking him inside the tent. Slammed down upon his back, Xander felt a clawed hand let go, as he stared up in horror at the dimly-lit monster smirking evilly down at him. Suddenly feeling a very odd sensation in his stomach, the high-school student then opened his mouth, but instead of puking all over himself, yelling for help, or anything else, Xander now let loose the most enormous belch of his entire life, causing the canvas walls of the tent to instantly bulge outwards.

Actually taking a step back from this mammoth eructation, the demon blinked in shock, only to glare at the insolent human. Rising up its hand possessing razor-sharp fingernails, the demon then savagely drove this deep into the chest of its latest prey, right after a shimmer of white light abruptly appeared over the prone human’s body. Now nearly nose-to-nose with its victim, the demon blinked again at seeing an entirely different person lying on the ground, who had the demon’s hand and entire forearm buried into his fleshy form, and didn’t seem all that concerned about this!

Instead, Xander grinned into the astonished demon’s ugly features, and the Sunnydale native made the certain inner body flexing which should have the proper effect… Sure enough, the demon’s arm was abruptly expelled out of Xander’s chest with such force that this limb smashed into the face of this creature of the night, instantly knocking out cold that demon. Ignoring his now-unconscious foe, Xander rolled over, and with some difficulty, he rose to his feet. Waddling out of the tent, which involved squeezing sideways through the entry flaps, Xander looked down at his new, extremely rotund body that now perfectly matched the form of the most genial member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. A wide grin split the face of Bouncing Boy, as he jovially announced to nobody in particular, “Okay, let’s bounce.”

A minute later, still descending from his initial bounce that had taken him far up into the night sky, Xander quickly scanned the area below him, and he at once noticed three girls sprinting along the center aisle of the carnival, known as the Midway. All of these young ladies were being pursued by the rest of the demonic cast of this traveling show, and right then and there, Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia found themselves trapped at the far end of the Midway, skidding to a stop in front of a small, rubberized, oddly-shaped structure. Whirling around, the Scooby Gang trio prepared to fight to the last, except at that exact moment, everyone there -- both human and demon -- froze at hearing from the night sky an exultant whoop from the very bottom of someone’s lungs: “YAHOOOOO!”

Xander hit the ground at the other end of the Midway, directly in front of a ring-toss game booth that involved the chance to acquire a prize by tossing one of several wooden rings onto an open-topped goldfish bowl filled with water while having one of these fish placidly swimming around in there. As a result of Xander landing with immense force next to this booth, it obeyed the laws of physics by rebounding a few inches off the ground. However, the laws of comedy then took over, when every single glass bowl on the booth table had their contents shoot straight up, with these perfect globules of water hanging in the air for a moment, and the goldfish inside goggling out at the view.

Right after that, unlike the others further in the back that safely returned into the bowls, the spheres of liquid along the front edge of the table instead fell to the ground, sending both water splashing everywhere and the goldfish smashing into the hard-packed dirt in front of the booth. Those poor little fishies were left gasping for air…until an instant later, these golden piscine creatures revealed their demonic origins by having their eyes turn glowing red and all of them also extruding a set of fanged jaws that any piranha would’ve envied. Gnashing their teeth as they flopped around, the stranded goldfish were clearly expressing their displeasure about not having the chance of being awarded as prizes to innocent Sunnydale children who had no idea what they were really bringing home.

All this was missed by Xander, who was already having more than enough fun, thank you. The precise moment he’d hit the ground, Bouncing Boy had used his powers of manipulating his expandable form, so that instead of rocketing back upwards, he’d diverted his momentum to start traveling horizontally instead with blinding speed, zooming along a few inches off the ground right up the Midway, and aimed directly at the horrified crowd of demons blocking his way.

About a hundred feet further on, Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia all gawked at seeing some totally tubby stranger heading in their direction while gleefully ricocheting off virtually every single monster in the process, as if imitating a really bizarre game of oversized billiards. From the horrible crunching noises created by every impact as entire skeletons shattered, not to mention seeing limp bodies flying in all directions, none of the demons would ever be getting up again after being walloped by a hurtling guy who had to tip the scales well over three hundred pounds…and who was now in a direct collision course with them!

The three girls simultaneously dove to the ground, at the same time learning the identity of their stout rescuer, as the guy zipping by overhead cheerfully declared, “Just call me Sunnydale Fats, ladies!”

Her chin digging into the dirt ground, Cordelia then disbelievingly looked over her shoulder at seeing that flying guy making a dead-on entrance into the small structure behind them, sailing right through the middle of the open entry space. The leader of Sunnydale High’s cheerleader squad then cautiously got back up on her feet, followed by Buffy and Willow, as this Scooby Gang trio now turned around to stare in disbelief at what was presently occurring in the miniature, colorfully-painted building created to look like a rubber castle.

This entire flexible edifice was now shaking and thrashing in all directions, with accompanying panicky shouts coming from inside, an indication that Xander was, shall we say, having a little trouble getting his body back under enough control to stop bouncing. It was at that point when Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia finally read the sign painted along the top of the front entrance to this structure:


The incredulous girls also at last noticed the sounds of cables twanging under immense strain, along with the wrenching noises of the guy-wire posts ripping loose from the ground that formerly anchored down the bounce house. Hastily backing up a few steps, the three dumbfounded young women halted in their tracks, as with an accompanying terrified “WHOAAAAA!” from Xander, the whole rubber structure just freed from its restraints then shot upwards with incredible speed, sailing high into the night skies, until it faded out of sight.

Having each of their heads tilted far back, the Scooby Gag trio continued to gaze fixedly upwards, until Cordelia managed to utter in a very faint voice, “Buffy, you get to be the one to tell Giles all about Xander’s latest Chaos magic manifestation from last Halloween. Me, I’m going home, and starting a new diet.”

Author’s Note: The title for this story was taken from one of Bart Simpson’s blackboard punishments at the beginning of an episode of the Simpsons show. I couldn’t resist using it, nor from actually putting that whole absurd situation into this tale. Oh, by the way, the setting of a demonic carnival isn’t from the canon BtVS tv series; rather, it’s a reworking of the Buffy novel Carnival of Souls.

The End

You have reached the end of "Goldfish Don’t Bounce". This story is complete.

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