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The Tale of the Vacant Lot

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The Tale of the Vacant Lot
Season 5, Episode 10
Eplogo62
Air date January 27, 1996
Written by Gerald Wexler
Directed by Lorette LeBlanc
Episode guide
Previous
The Tale of the Unexpected Visitor
Next
The Tale of a Door Unlocked
The Tale of the Vacant Lot, is the Tenth episode of the Fifth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and the Sixty-Second episode in total.

Intro

That night, Kiki has organized a little show and tell. she and everyone else is showing an item that is very special to them. Gary goes first, he has an autographed picture of Harry Houdini. Sam, shows them a valuable bracelet that belonged to her Great Grandmother. Tucker. shows them a rare Hank Aaron rookie card. Betty Ann shows them an old book of hers, it's "The poems of Edgar Allen Poe" written in the 1800s. Stig's turn comes up and nervously he says he didn't bring anything.

Gary asks him why not, he defensively says that he just didn't and this is lame, which turns them off by his rudeness. Betty Ann asks Kiki what she brought, She brought an old snow globe, Tucker rudely asks what is special about it. She says her father gave to her when she was two and it's been near her bed ever since. She asked them all to bring the most valuable thing they owned. Tucker rude again says the snow globe isn't worth anything, in her defence Kiki tells him that it might not be valuable to him but there are different kinds of value.

Kiki then asks them all if they would every trade their prized possession and defensively they all say no. Tucker says it would depend on what he was trading it for. Kiki asks him what if he was trading for his life. Hearing this Tucker is serious and silent. Kiki explains that everything has value and everything has a price. Kiki says in her story, you have to make sure that the price you pay, doesn't turn out to be more than you bargained for. Hearing this her friends look intrigued and curious.

Kiki, throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while she submits her story for approval of The Midnight Society. She calls her story. "The Tale of the Vacant Lot", and begins her story.

Story

Kiki, tells the story. The story begins during girls track team tryouts. A pretty young brunette teenager named Sue Simpson has just done an incredible long jump and the coach compliments her on a job well done. Next Sue's best friend Catherine Crawley takes her turn to do one, but doesn't jump very far, falling face first in the sand. The coach helps her up and tells her to keep trying, Sue tells her nice try and she'll get it next time. Catherine who doubts her plain average self, is discouraged to find out she made it number 4 out 5 on long jump. Catherine's little sister Joyce gives her encouragement saying that she can still make the team and long jump is just not her thing.

Then on the way out, the boys soccer team is practicing, when the handsome team captain Eric (who Catherine has a crush on) accidentally kicks the ball at her. He apologizes and she throws it back to him. Then on the way home, Catherine is tutoring Joyce with geography questions to which she is having a lot of trouble with. Joyce remembers she forgot her books at school. So she runs back to get them, telling Catherine she will meet her at home.

Suddenly the sky turns gray and a powerful windstorm begins, blowing off Catherine's hat. She runs after it to a nearby vacant lot. Then much to her surprise, the vacant lot now has an outdoor store that appeared from nowhere. Catherine, curious and intrigued goes inside to look around. She's greeted by the store owner, who is wearing black robes and a masked hood almost like a ninja (though she isn't). The store owner, tells her she can have whatever she wants. Catherine is nervous and about to leave, when the store owner offers her a special pair of running shoes. She introduces herself as Marie and tells her she knows what it's like to be average and wants to help her.

Looking at the shoes Catherine considers it, but tells her she has no money. Marie offers a trade, she has a collection of beautiful valuable rings that she wears on her hands. Catherine is repulsed and turned off by Marie's disfigured, scab and rash covered hands. Catherine, says she can't bare to give it away, because it was a gift from her grandfather. Marie instead asks for something that means nothing to her. Catherine has no clue what it could be, and Marie says since if it has no value she won't even miss it. Marie encourages her that she'll be the best runner with the shoes on. Catherine agrees and slowly takes them. Then a gust of wind blows with Marie laughing, next thing the store is gone.

The next day, Catherine, does indeed run better and faster than everyone else, making it to first place. The coach is so impressed with her, she even considers making her the team captain. Sue compliments her on a job well done, asking her how she improved so soon. Catherine seems pleasant at first, then suddenly her attitude becomes nasty and she insults and talks down to sue. She rudely tells Sue that she's fast and She's slow and tells Sue she isn't as special as she though and coldly leaves with Sue feeling insulted.

When Catherine and Joyce get home, she agrees to help Joyce with her homework. Then looking in the mirror, she notices a brown lesion on her right cheek. She's startled and screams, getting Joyce's attention who asks her what's wrong. She asks Joyce if she can see the lesion on her face, Joyce has no idea what she means, because it appears to be gone. Catherine then shakes it off thinking it was in her head.

The next day at School, Catherine is getting stuff from her locker, and accidentally bumps her locker door into Eric who is passing by. Eric is fine, commenting that they keep running into each other. Also he mentions he saw her running the other day and compliments how good she is. He tells they will see a lot of each other out there, since he's on the soccer team. Eric isn't officially dating anyone and Catherine is just about to ask him out. Then Heather, comes by asking him if they're still on for tonight. He smiles saying absolutely. They leave with Heather giveing Catherine a look as if to say he's mine back off!

Catherine feeling bad about herself, runs over to the vacant lot, and fortunately the store is back again. Marie greets her telling her she hopes she'll find what she wants and it's all free. Marie aggressively grabs Catherine by the wrist, telling her she still wants the ring. Catherine says no,  because it means to much to her, and she never even takes it off. Marie once again says that she'll just take something that means nothing to her. Catherine thinking it over for a few seconds,is confused what Marie means, claiming she didn't take anything before. Marie tells her: oh you think so, and asks her if they shall make the trade. Catherine shakes her head nodding. Then a little gust of wind blows as Marie is laughing. The store disappears again. and Catherine is now dressed in beautiful expensive clothing.

Later that evening, Catherine is helping Joyce with her homework. she's patient at first having Joyce try her best guessing the answers. Suddenly Catherine becomes mean and nasty, telling her she's just stupid and she's tutoring an idiot. Then tells her to help herself and leave her alone; Joyce seems very hurt and upset. She can hear Marie laughing in the background and in her mirrors reflection she is covered with lesions and rashes all over face. After seeing this she smashes her mirror and ignores it.

The next day at school, Catherine meets Sue and another girl. Sue though insulted by her the other day, doesn't seem to be mad at her. They're excited, because they're going to buy tickets for a concert. For a band called The Blasters which is pretty much sold out now. Catherine Is disappointed hearing they can only get two tickets. She tells them to go and have fun without her. She's about to apologize to Sue, when Marie appears in the hallway. Seeing Marie, she says never mind and runs off.

She goes to the bathroom and look in the mirror to make sure the lesion isn't back again (it isn't).  Marie appears telling her she can give her anything she wants. Then gives Catherine a free makeover and does her hair. Marie then takes off her face mask showing Catherine that the bottom of her face is covered in rashes, sores and covered with lesions and scabs. Marie warns her that she was once beautiful too. Seeing this Catherine backs away scared, realizing the same thing might happened to her too. Marie offers her two last tickets to The Blasters for free. Catherine, knowing she's had enough stuff and that her friends wanted them first, abruptly tells her no and then runs off.

Running away and not looking, she bumps into Eric again. Eric says it's third time they've bumped into each other, Also he tells her that he likes how she seems to be wherever he turns now. Hearing this Catherine smiles and realizes he does like her. Giving it a thought, the two Tickets appear in her hand. She asks Eric to go with her to the concert. He is thrilled and gratefully accepts to go with her. That night, getting ready for the date, she complains that she has nothing to wear. Joyce tells her what she is already wearing looks fine, rudely she tells her that Eric has already seen her in it. Suddenly Catherine decides to go to the vacant lot again. When asked where she is going she rudely tells Joyce to mind her own business.

Joyce followed Catherine to store, watches as Catherine quickly grabs a handful of clothes for free. She asks Marie if she wants to make a trade. Marie tells her there is no need, because she is about to get exactly what she wants. Back at home Catherine is all dressed really nicely. Then Joyce comes in, she rudely tells her to knock first. Looking at Joyce, she's now wearing expensive and valuable clothes, and had a makeover and her hair done. Joyce is now nasty and cold too, telling her that she knows all about Marie giving her free stuff and now it's her turn to get what she wants too.

Worried, Catherine tells her it's not free and to give it back. Joyce tells her she always has and always will be selfish. So now it's her turn to get what she wants and tells her to enjoy her date. In the background Marie can be heard laughing again. She turns her cracked mirror around and looks at it. Marie appears, and asks her if she have everything she wants now. Marie says that now she does now. Suddenly Marie disappears saying that everything comes with a price. Catherine's face and hands break out into to a huge rash, with big painful lesions, sores and blisters. Her mom tells her Eric has arrived but she calls down saying she isn't ready yet. She runs into Joyce's room and finds her crying. The same thing has just happened to Joyce too, seems she took so much so soon.

Catherine runs back to the store at the vacant lot, and tries to return everything. She calls out that she just wants everything to be like it was before. Marie unmasked comes out saying it's too late, to Catherine's surprise Marie is beautiful again, her face and hands look like polished marble. She asks Marie what happened, Marie tells her that she went through the same thing she did. She wasn't happy with who she was either. Then out of nowhere she found this store, who had a strange woman who gave her everything she wanted..for a price. She didn't know what she was giving up till it was too late, and ignored the warning signs when she looked at herself in the mirror.

Confused she tells Marie, that she claimed that she just wanted things that didn't mean anything to her. Marie tells her she wanted the one thing Catherine thought had no value and she got it , she took her life! Now Catherine has been cursed by her own greed. Now all Catherine has to do is run a store and find a greedy girl who feels sorry for herself and sell Catherine everything she wants, and that in exchange the girl will give Catherine her life. Catherine asks her to spare Joyce, feeling that she deserves this but Joyce doesn't. She offers Marie her ring in exchange for Joyce being spared. Marie promises to spare her and laughs feeling victorious and gratefully accepts the ring that she's been wanting all along. However, after putting the ring on, suddenly the curse returns to her and comes back with a vengeance. Marie gets cursed by her own greed worse than before, and her hands and face are disfigured again worse than before.

Catherine decided to give up her most prized possession in a selfless act to save her sister. This was more than enough to return the curse back to Marie, who is nothing more than truly selfish. Suddenly the wind blows Marie away, along with the whole store. Joyce runs back to her and they're both back to normal . She tells her that Marie is gone. and she was too greedy and just wanted too much.  All she wants are the things that matter. Finding her ring on the ground, she decides to give it to Joyce. When they get home Eric is still waiting for her, and she apologizes for being so late. Then she tells him she lost the tickets, but Eric isn't mad at all. He just wants to get to know her and they hold hands and go for a walk.

Ending

Kiki playing with her snow globe happily smiles and says the end. Gary declares their meeting closed and puts out the campfire. Everyone heads for home, Betty Ann leaves with Kiki, and Gary Leaves with Sam asking her if she enjoyed the story. Stig is about to leave when Tucker asks him why he didn't bring anything. Defensively once again he tells he that he just didn't. Tucker tells him that he said he was going to. Feeling disappointed he said that everyone else brought really cool stuff, and his was so stupid he didn't bother showing it.

Tucker curious asks what is is, Stig asks him not to laugh and shows him a picture of his pet goldfish and says name is Moby. Seeing this Tucker thinks it's hilarious that his most valuable thing is nothing more than a fish. Stig says not to tell them because they might think he's a geek. Then Tucker laughs and yells "Hey guys, wait till you see this" and runs off to show them. Stig is really mad says that he's dead and runs after him.

  • Kiki's last story.
  • Andrew Walker who portayed Eric, would later appeared in the show again in the series revival. He next appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Secret Admirer", as Bucky.
  • Emily Hampshire who portrayed Eric's date Heather, previously appeared in the show before. She first appeared in the episode "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure: Part 1" as Sandy.

  • Jean Marie Barnwell as Catherine Crawley
  • Erin Hicock as Marie
  • Aloka McLean as Joyce Crawley
  • Erin Simms as Sue Simpson
  • Andrew Walker as Eric
  •  Gillian Ferrabee as The Track Coach
  •  Emily Hampshire as Heather
  • Rachel Naimi as the Girl who bought tickets with Sue
  • Jude Beny as Mom/Mrs. Crawley

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