Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Dark Dragon
Season 2 , Episode 6
Air date July 24, 1993
Written by Alison Lea Bingeman
Directed by D.J. MacHale
Episode guide
The Tale of the Dream Machine
The Tale of the Frozen Ghost

The Tale of the Dark Dragon is the Sixth episode of the Second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Nineteenth episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That evening for the Midnight Society's meeting, Gary walks in and see it's quiet and calm. Gary calls for his friends but no one answers and all he can see is the light emitting from the campfire. Suddenly he is startled by a popping sound, and finds a popped yellow balloon on the ground. Then he finds a small pink balloon floating around and he thinking it's a joke calls out very funny guys! Then suddenly his friends come out happily telling him "Surprise, Happy Birthday!" throwing all sorts of streamers and other party items. Gary is thrilled and tells his friends that he can't believe that they remembered.

Kristen, happily asks him how could they ever forget? Frank says he only reminded them a zillion times. Betty Ann, amused by Frank's comment tells him Gary did not and that they would never forget his birthday. Kiki tells Gary that David even has a special story for him. Gary, excited asks, "really"? They then all sit down. David, tells Gary that he knows how much he likes magic, so he made up a story and borrowed one of Gary's characters. Gary's excited to know asks which one, David just tells him to sit down and he'll find out.

David takes the storyteller's chair, and explains that his story is indeed about magic. The kind Gary likes, the kind that dazzles and amazes but is still strangely real. The magic in his story is more intense, the kind that comes from incantations or elixirs. A magic that comes from inside of us, a magic that can be used for good, or incredible evil. David submits his approval for The Midnight's Society, calling his story "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" and begins his story.


David, tells the story. The story begins inside a High School library. We first see an average teenage girl named Mariah, placing a book back onto the shelf. Then she sits down at a table as her friend comes in. Her friend is named Keith Saunders and he is a sweet young man who gives her a surprise. The surprise is that his dad made some chocolate covered blueberries, and he decided to give some to her. The gesture really touches her heart and she asks him if he's going to the upcoming school dance that Friday. Keith says no claiming he's not a dancer more of sit and watch guy.

However, now the school's head athlete, Gary Marsh comes prancing into the library with his friend kicking around a hacky sack. Gary is a very friendly and civilized person and speaks very nicely to Keith. Also Gary points out his girlfriend sitting a few tables away. Gary tells his friend he's upset because they had a fight, she claiming he takes her for granted and isn't speaking to him. Then on his way out, he kicks the hacky sack around and tosses it to Keith. This almost lands on the floor near Keith's leg brace. Gary then politely apologizes to Keith and leaves with his friend.

Keith had recently been involved in a very serious car accident. Keith's leg was badly injured to the point in which he needed to wear a leg brace, and forever walk with a limp. Also the accident took a real effect on his pride, feelings, confidence and self esteem and his general out look on life. Then on Gary's way out he accidentally bumps into a beautiful blonde girl named Shelly Bergman, who happens to be Gary's girlfriend. When this happened she dropped her books to the floor. Keith cordially bent over to pick them up for her and apologized for what happened. Shelly really appreciated his help. Next he asked Shelly if she was going to the dance on Friday. She told him not if Gary is still being a pain. Keith offers to go with her if she needs someone. When Keith tells her this, from a distant we can see Mariah looking jealous when she overhears them. Shelly smiles at him and tells him that he is sweet.

After school, Keith along with many students from his school and peers hang out at a local restaurant called "The Charcoal Pit" where you can get meals such as burgers and fries, and hot dogs etc. Just before Shelly comes inside she sees Keith and knocks on the window to him. Keith is about to greet and talk to her when she comes inside. Until her boyfriend Gary calls out to her and they share a nice hug. Keith sulks sitting down eating his french fries and looking through his magazine. Then he comes across an eye catching advertisement. The advertisement is for Sardo's Magic Shop. The promotional item is a potion that claims it can bring out the best in yourself. Keith Intrigued and curious by the advertisement goes to the magic shop to check it out.

Keith goes over to Sardo's Magic shop, and asks if Mr. Sourdough is here. Sardo comes out telling the right way to say his name which is Sardo no Mr. and accent on the do. Keith explains to him that he's come to buy the potion. Sardo doesn't know which one at first. so Keith tells him the potion that brings out the best in people. Sardo hands him a small golden potion vial with a built in drop dabber. Then he tells him it's his number one seller which is a likely embellishment to con Keith into buying it.

Sardo tells him it's very powerful and to only take one drop at a time. Sardo first wants $40 for the potion. Keith is shocked and doesn't want to pay that much. Sardo then tells him $35 but he's losing on the deal. Keith still bummed out by the high price, saying "I'm just the same" and prepares to leave. Sardo feeling bad for him asks him how much he has and Keith pays him $20 and Sardo accepts since money is money. Before leaving The Magic Shop, Keith find Sardo's routine rabbit Harold in a cage. Noticing how scruffy and shaggy it looks he tests a drop on it. A second later the rabbit becomes a beautiful well groomed and proper kept rabbit. Keith pleased by what happened is convinced the potion works and leaves. However on his way out Harold the rabbit has a bad side effect and starts smoking and turns into a demon like creature and screeches, terrifying Sardo.

When Keith get's home he carefully tests the potion and takes one drop. At first Keith clutches in excruciating pain falling to the floor. Next he gets back up and his hair is waved back and his leg is all healed like new. He gets dressed in blue jeans, and a leather jacket and  runs over to the Charcoal Pit restaurant. When he gets there he speaks with Shelly. Shelly and her friends think he very attractive. He introduces himself with an alias going by K.C. pretending to be his own cousin and they talk for a while.

The next morning Keith wakes up and his potion dose has worn off and he's back to his old self again with his injured leg and everything. However when looking in the mirror, he sees he has grown a few scales on his chest. This side effect result terrified him, so he covers up wearing a turtleneck sweater. When joined for the walk to school by Mariah she wants to know who the guy she saw leaving his house the other day was but he refuses to tell her and insists they just walk to school. When they get to school Shelly tells Keith that his cousin K.C. is great and, wonders if he will be at the charcoal pit after school. Keith tells her if you want him to be. Mariah curiously asks him why he never told her about his cousin, he just tells her he's not from around here.

That night when Keith and his dad are having a nice dinner together, he is asked how his geometry test went. He tells his dad he failed it. His dad is surprised to hear that he failed a test, and possibly thinks his focus is down because he is still very upset about the recent car accident injury. he just tells his dad a bit rudely that he is fine it was because the test was very hard. Then when reaching for a bowl of potatoes he notices his right hand getting very hairy and some scales have appeared on it he's leaves the table in a panic saying he has homework.

Keith now terrified about his side effects, immediately suspects it's from the potion and throws it into the trash and covers his hand wearing a glove. Then when Shelly phones asking to speak to K.C. he speaks to her in his K.C. voice, but when she invites him over to visit he retrieves the potion and takes another drop. Later that night as K.C. we see that he and Shelly had a great time hanging out that night. Then he asks Shelly to go to the dance with him, Shelly is not too sure because she still has feelings for Gary and he hasn't asked her yet. K.C. says he is asking her and she agrees to go with him to the dance and they both seem very excited.

When Keith wakes up the next morning, with the dose worn off as himself again. His side effects have worsened and now he has bruised eyes, thick facial hair and sharp fangs. That afternoon Mariah goes to the charcoal pit to speak to Shelly to ask her is she's seen Keith, since he wasn't in school that day. Shelly tells her no. Mariah suspecting it's him in disguise somehow asks her is she seen his cousin K.C. Shelly feeling slightly love-struck tells her she hasn't but she'll be seeing him that night at the dance. When hearing this Mariah runs off with Shelly and her friends teasing her for having a crush on Keith.

Sardo carefully inspects Keith's side effects. Keith asks Sardo what happened to the other people who took it. Sardo finally reveals there were no others and he's the first one to actually take the potion. Sardo looks through his magic book and tells him the reason he is having these side effects is because in order for the potion to bring out the best in someone, one must fight the dark dragon within. The dark dragon is possibly the build up of ones negative feelings and self respect for themselves. Sardo doesn't know what the dark dragon is but he shows Keith a mirror and tells him he might be about to find out.

Next at the charcoal pit we see Gary trying to ask Shelly to the dance. Annoyed he didn't ask her long before, she tells him no and that she is going with someone else. Gary is shocked and hurt when he hears this as Shelly storms off. Keith runs home wearing the hood on a hooded sweater and hides in his room. Mariah concerned when she sees him run inside in a hurry knocks on the door. Keith does not answer, Mariah then find Keith's secret house key hiding spot, and let's herself in and knocks on his bedroom door. 

Keith collapses for a moment in excruciating pain, and begins transforming rapidly. Keith's face is getting tight and scale like, and pale and very wrinkled. His nose has begun to have just two open black slits and his eyes are bruised all around. Mariah knocks on his bedroom door wanting to talk to him because she knows something is wrong and she wants to help. Keith tells her in an echoing voice that no one can help him now and upsettingly he tells her to go away. Mariah upsettingly does.

That night at the dance Keith dressed up, goes to his locker when his hooded sweater. Mariah who followed him watches him from afar and watches him transform into the handsome K.C. when he takes the drop of potion. K.C. now happily enters the dance and meets up with Shelly. Shelly now has second thoughts about not going with Gary is sort of reluctant to be with K.C. but tries the date out anyways. Meanwhile Mariah breaks into Keith's locker and swipes the vial of potion. Mariah dangerously drinks the whole bottle.

K.C. is having a wonderful time dancing with Shelly telling her it could be the happiest moment of his life. Then when Gary is nominated for best athlete in the school he dedicates his award to Shelly Bergman and tells her she has the first choice in his heart and would give anything for her to dance the next dance with him. Shelly smiles with tears of joy and happily agrees leaving K.C. heartbroken but apologizes to him.

Just as K.C. is about to take off, this gorgeous brown haired woman in a white dress enters the dance and begins dancing with K.C. Mariah confirms to him it's her and she knows he is Keith. She too admits that she too has a lack of confidence in her self esteem, because she isn't pretty like Shelly and if he wants a pretty girl now he can have one. Mariah then confesses her love to Keith telling him she loves him. Then suddenly Mariah begins to feel very sick and they go outside for some air.

Mariah reveals to him she drank the whole potion because she did it for him, and she begins to rapidly transform into a dark dragon demon. Keith taking responsibility for his actions, tells her he is sorry and that it should be him not her. This is because he didn't want to himself anymore, because ever since the car accident it's never been the same and people stare at his leg brace and he hates himself. Mariah tells him that she doesn't hate him at all. Keith is so upset now and he hugs her, begging her not to go. Then he cries tears like they're straight from his heart that drip upon her shoulder.

Suddenly they're both back to normal just like before. Possibly because since he was willing to sacrifice himself to save his friend, a sign of love defeated the dark dragon. A sign that shows if you have love you are accepted no matter what way you are. Perhaps this was too much for the potion to handle. Mariah not really remembering what happened asks him what's going on. Keith now feels better about himself for finding someone who loves him for just the way he is. Keith then says he thinks he's defeated the dark dragon. Which has been in him ever since the car accident. The potion did exactly as it said it would, which was bring out the best in him. Suddenly a teacher finds them and asks them what they're doing outside in the hall. Keith just happily tells the teacher he's just taking his girl to the dance, and they both happily smile at one another and go back to the dance.


As the story ends David says the end, and then turns off to Gary and tells him Happy Birthday. Then Gary and everyone smiles and they all wish Gary a happy birthday.

  • Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (the book Mariah puts on the shelf in the beginning).
  • This was the only time a Midnight Society member (Gary) was shown celebrating a birthday.
  • One of twenty-one episodes where the Midnight Society didn't leave and douse the fire with the water-bucket (the last shot was of Gary after David told a story in honor of his birthday).
  • This is the only time Sardo's name is mispronounced in a different way (rather than addressed with an unaccented "Sardo", Keith misreads his ad and asks for "Mr. Sourdo".)
  • This was the only time where a storyteller other than Gary or his brother Tucker told a story involving the character Sardo (it was Sardo's second appearance, and the first since his apparent doom in "The Tale of the Super Specs" - David's story referenced Gary's usual storytelling, including the character, for Gary's birthday. This may also explain the minor character named Gary who appeared in it).
  • Sardo's second appearance. His next appearance would be in the "The Tale of the Carved Stone".
  • Eleanor Noble who portrayed Shelly Bergman, would reappear again many years later as the genie Belle in the series revival's episode "The Tale of the Time Trap".
  • At the time Eleanor Noble was only 13. Yet she portrayed the role of a mature high school senior.