When I was younger, around the year 1987, there was a show called The Frightful Fables of Fickle Faye. The show was aired on a local channel in Central Florida, channel 17 if I remember correctly. The show was meant to be a miniseries around Halloween time for children.
My uncle, Markus Buskirk, was a producer in the early stages of creating the show. He told me that the show would use puppets to portray scary stories for children, and that the first episode would air on October 3rd, and the season finale would air on Halloween afternoon, the end of the episode marking the time the children would go outside to trick-or-treat. Being a seven-year-old girl at the time, the show seemed interesting enough, so I waited as patiently as I could for October 3rd to come around.
On the afternoon the show would air, I sat on the floor of the living room in front of the television, watching commercials for toys, sidewalk chalk, restaurants, and hotels as I waited for the show to start. The theme began, the words “The Frightful Fables of Fickle Faye” appearing on the screen in dripping green letters as a loud, ominous piano music played in the background. The music cut off as a small puppet with black and white stockings covering the yellowish skin on her legs. She wore Mary Jane shoes, a dark blue skirt, and a fuzzy purple sweater walked into a dusty room with puppets resembling spiders and black cats with glowing eyes lurking in the background. The puppet, who must have been Faye, was trembling, her bright pink pigtails bobbing slightly.
“H-Hello, everyone,” she stuttered in a high-pitched voice, “m-my name is F-Faye, and I’m v-very f-f-frightened! T-tonight, I’d like to t-tell you a st-story. One v-very dark n-night, I was w-walking with my b-brother and three of our f-friends…”
The episode chronicled Faye, her twin brother Fabian, and three of their friends, Amy, Myla, and Damien walking into a dark, haunted forest. The group encountered things like ghosts, witches, and monsters as they attempted to make their way through the forest and back home.
The episode ended with Faye and Fabian in their shared bedroom, Fabian looking down at Faye from the top bunk saying “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it, Faye?”Faye, who was under her covers shaking, squeaked “N-no, not at all F-Fabian!”
The episode was enough for me to want to watch the next one, so the next few weeks, I watched, loyal to the new show. The show grew darker and darker with every new episode, Faye’s attitudes toward her brother, friends, and the situations they were presented with fluctuating wildly.
But the last episode was truly horrid, and no doubt the reason for the cancellation of the show.
The theme started playing, but something was off. The piano music was playing backwards, now more ominous than before, and the usually green letters were now blood red. Faye walked onscreen, her head turned away. Her clothes were torn and bloodstained, her skin in the same condition. She was trembling, but not in her usual, comical way. It was more like a seizure. When she turned toward the camera, I noticed a major difference. Her usual painted-on eyes had been hollowed out and replaced with glass taxidermy eyes, looking freakishly realistic on the small, beaten puppet.
“Hello, everybody. My name is Faye, and I’m not frightened anymore. This time, it’s your turn to be the frightened one,” she said, glaring at the camera, her usual comical stutter gone. “So now, I’m here to tell you the most frightening fable yet.”
The screen cut to black for about ten seconds, then back to the room from the opening of every episode. Amy, Myla, Damian, and Fabian had now joined Faye. Faye looked around at the other four puppets, then said “I’ll be back in a minute.” The camera followed Faye to a poorly lit kitchen where she dug through the drawers as if looking for something specific. “Ah!” She exclaimed as she opened a drawer, pulling out a long butcher’s knife. My eyes widened in shock at the item Faye now held in her hands. The puppet ran back to the main room, where she sat abnormally close to Amy. Faye smiled for a moment before taking the knife and cutting off the arm of her friend, laughing maliciously as Amy screamed in terror. The other puppets started running, but to no avail. Faye had caught up with them and one by one, began to dismember her friends, saving Fabian for last. The body parts of the other puppets that I had come to know and love lay strewn about the floor,stuffing hanging out of the detached limbs. Even a small felted heart lay on the floor, the camera zooming in on it for a moment before Faye stomped on it, making blood squeeze through the material onto the floor of the dusty room. Fabian was huddled under a large piano, begging Faye to spare his life.
“Not a chance, Fabian. You’ve always been the one to hurt me, the one to scare me all the time. The tables have turned, brother,” She said coldly as she proceeded to cut his arms and legs off. “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it, Fabian?”
“N-not at all, F-Faye,” Fabian stuttered, fearing for his life, as Faye took the knife, lodging it into Fabian’s skull.
“Trick-or-treat, kids!” Faye yelled happily as the end credits started to roll.
I did love that show as a kid, up until that last episode. My uncle Markus never was the same after this. If you find any information on this show, please, tell me.