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             KINGFISHERVERSARY / HALLOWEEN BONUS 2013                           Take me home, delicious heart.



PART 2 of 4

Art by Christopher Shelton and Kelly Martin

Written by Kelly Martin




Christelle's dorm room still had a faint smell of burnt popcorn, even after the girls had opened all the windows and doors until they were shivering. Despite the snack disaster, things were going pretty well at the sleep over. It totally was a sleep over too, and they were old enough to not even care that it sounded juvenile. Plus now the sleepovers were parent free, and they could buy their own booze. 

The night had passed, and then the day... Christelle was still working on her dress, and the party was in only a few hours. Scylla and Kang were relaxing to their fullest ability, watching Christelle sewing and cutting and sewing again and accruing various fiber art related injuries.

      "It looks fine. Gawd." Kang stifled a yawn.

      "No way, I still haven't reinforced the seams. It's gotta look couture as fuck. Especially after all this work."

Scylla sighed, "There's probably gonna be like, hundreds of people there. I seriously doubt anyone's gonna be examining the seams. Unless they're trying to figure out how to rip them open amirite?" 

      "That's the thing," Christelle smiled, "there'll be hundreds of people at the party but not at the after-party! This guy at The Ossuary said all it takes to get in is to look stylish. Auberon only picks the people who look super high fashion, and I'm gonna be one of 'em! This will be a perfect replica of a piece from Jareth Flint's Fall/Winter collection."

      "I thought the phrase was knock-off..." Kang muttered as she picked lint balls off Scylla's PJs.

      "Is it really worth the trouble?" Scylla asked, "So you'll get to meet that old weirdo and what, everyone gets to bone him or something?"

      "Oh my god Scylla! Don't be crass."

      "I'm not sorry.  It's my way."

      "I just want to know what it's like, I heard that guy talking and he made it sound so elegant. I don't wanna like, do him, but Auberon is so interesting and mysterious. I've only seen him like one time, but he knows everyone and he just seems so charismatic. It's not just him, but... y'know."


   "Yeah, he is pretty interesting," Kang admitted, "I heard he's part of some long line of nobles and that's how he's got that big church to live in. I wanna live in an old cathedral, that's so dope. I bet there's a big underground crypt with dead monks and shit."

      "If I-- *when I* get into the after-party, I'll get to see the other parts of the place I bet. Auberon personally entertains his guests!"

Scylla made an obscene gesture, "Personally entertains their genitals perhaps."

      "Tch, whatever. I'm getting in there and it's gonna rule."

      "Do you think we can even get in to the regular party? Are we even invited?"

      "Of course, everyone's invited!"




       "Okay, honestly, I found it on the ground outside The Ossuary. 'All humans welcome', isn't that charming? He's trying to be so inclusive. The guy said the last party was amazing and chic and like, the most exciting thing that had ever happened to him."

      "Auberon must give out free cocaine."

      "Well maybe, but I'm sure there's even more interesting things to see, I'm sure! So are you with me guys?"

      "Er... I got like, a movie to watch tomorrow and..."

      "Yeeeeah I think I gotta catch up on You Drive Me Crazy so good luck with that. I'll help button you up when you're done I guess."



       "Alright, you'll regret it when I make the society pages!"




It was down to the last minute, It would've been done faster but her hands grew sluggish with fatigue and she kept dropping important tools. The other two got some takeout, watched some TV, did their nails, played Monkey Adventure Allstars, redid their nails, smoked a bowl, took a nap and changed their clothes.

She just wouldn't have time to reinforce those seams after all, the dress only had to last a night so it should be fine. She could fix it next time. All that mattered was she looked hot and totally on trend.

      "I think the overdone look is just not hot this season," Scylla said as she dabbed black nail polish on her scuffed boots.

Christelle rolled her eyes, "Like you'd even know about that! You've had those boots since high school."

      "Hey, they keep my feet dry, for the most part. Anyway hon, you look cute but we just don't want to see you disappointed if you don't get in. Promise us you'll have fun anyway?"

      "Tch. You're supposed to help me reach my full potential! That's what you're here for!"

Kang was standing by the door, shaking her keys in her pockets. "I thought we were for holding your hair back when you were barfing from cafeteria pizza in 7th grade..."

      "You two really know how to make a girl feel loved."



      "Hey, not too shabby."

Even Kang was a little impressed by the huge cathedral. It wasn't hard at all to get in, everyone just waltzed in the door, no one was even there to attend it. Christelle was glad that the classy ambience wasn't being ruined by a shitty DJ pumping jams from ten years ago. Someone played an organ somewhere, but it was drowned out almost entirely by the chatter of the crowd.

      "Alright fools," Kang said as genially as she was capable of, "I'm going to look for food and if it's all some weirdo gourmet shit I'm going home."

Scylla gave Christelle a sensitive look, "Are you sure you don't want to just hang out with me, I can find us some hot guys...?"

      "That never turns out well for me. I always get stuck with some creeper and have to take a taxi home. Um, but thanks for the offer I guess."

      "Ooookay, well you're a big girl. Say hi to Lord Greybeard and don't forget to use a condom. Nobles have all kind of fucked up genes, you don't want any of that."





Christelle wandered around through the huge cathedral as it rapidly filled with more and more strange people. She had figured she'd look for the stylish people, the kind of people you'd imagine hanging out with nobles. But now that she was here, it was like the world was filled with exotic aristocrats and she was just in a Autumnal costume.

She noticed a strangely familiar face who returned her gaze. He stood with a classy woman and his clothes were simple, but very well put together and perfectly tailored. Well, maybe they could swap sewing tips bare minimum.




      "Nice outfit," the man said with a friendly expression, "I can't quite tell, it's rather dark in here, looks like Jareth Flint."

      "Yes it does. I mean, it is. Hi. You look really familiar."

      "Ah, I don't hear that one very often outside industry conventions! Don't tell me you read that article in City Arts what... last year?"

      "Oh my god! Let me think..."

      "Sorry, I don't have all night. Edgar Stella. Assistant to Giac Bebe. I think I was pretending to cut some fabric or whatever would look more interesting than answering phones for an old man."

      "I totally was going to guess that! It's the, uh, hair."

      "Uh huh."

      "Sooo, you know Auberon?"

      "Do you?!" the man widened his eyes in excitement.

      "Er... well, not really."

      "Oh," he visibly refrained from deflating too badly, "Well... this sounds silly, but I've heard he has these after-parties where you can actually meet him one on one. I'm really dying to talk with him, he's an absolute guru on the whole Medieval-Boho look. I don't suppose you'd know any way we could get on the list?"

      "The list?"

      "Yes, that fellow over there seemed to be gathering people but said you needed to be on the 'approved list.'"

      "Ah, I see. Yes, I will have a word with... that fellow."





 Christelle had hardly even approached the aloof young man before he waved a hand in her general direction.

      "No no, you need to be on the approved list. I'm so sorry."

He didn't actually sound sorry.

      "What list?"

      "Yes, everyone must play coy. Understand that we have our standards," he looked her up and down like he was examining a mysterious carpet stain.

      "What standards? Do you even--"

The man turned abruptly and walked into the crowd.

It's high school yearbook club all over again.

Christelle casually walked behind him, observing. He strolled about, seemingly at random, and when he came upon a particular tall, lithesome young person, he touched them on the elbow and whispered to them. The young ones in question looked a bit surprised, and followed.

Approved list my ass! He's just picking out the hotties. Man, I'm not a hottie? Psh! Fuck that. Auberon's not supposed to care about that, it's the inside that counts and shit. And your clothes.

The man gathered a sizeable entourage, and they convened near a back entrance. Several more beauties waited eagerly at the curtains. Everyone was half a foot taller than Christelle at least, and probably the same weight. While not great for the self esteem, they provided good cover, and she slipped among them as they were led past the velvet curtains.




       "I will alert Lord Greyburn to your presence. Please enjoy this sumptuous banquet and Auberon will be with you shortly."

The lovely group talked quietly and exuberantly. It seemed many of them had no idea who Auberon was, which pissed Christelle off to no end. Total looksism!

The hall behind the curtain was rough hewn and poorly lit. Large stone floors and damp stone walls made the place feel very Monkey Adventure 2.


The snotty man showed them to a very dim room. A large banquet table stretched off into the distance, lined with several chairs. Christelle started to panic, what if she didn't have a seat? She'd be outed as an imposter! To her relief, several of the beauties had turned back, perhaps put off by the spooky atmosphere. What wieners.

The table was indeed replete with dishes of food which were difficult to make out in the dark. The rest of the room had a bizarre, dank feel, like they were in a disused wine cellar.

Or a crypt for dead monks... Ew.

Someone seemed to be already sitting at the head of the table. A young man who had moved to sit closer to that end was visibly startled, and then laughed a little too loud.


     "Haha, I thought it was real!"

He held his chest and wore a terrified smile. People chuckled nervously. A life-size skeleton was painted a jolly red, and strapped to a chair at the head of the table. It did look pretty real.

Christelle was amused. That's so Auberon.










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    October 31st, 2013
     By:  Christopher

Shocking news, horror webcomic fans! The Stiff is on the internet once more. Observe, if NSFW violence and horror is your thing. If it isn't, what are you doing here? In other things, I'd like to remind you NANOWRIMO STARTS TOMORROES AIEEEE!! So get your novel on, or just check out what we're doing over here, or what's up on the official website here.

Merry Third Kingfisherversary to one and all! There's one last installment of this story to come on November 1st, AKA: Dia de los Muertos. And what do you know, dear readers? It's the page where people are gonna die...

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