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The Horror Writers' Halloween Ball

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"You are not to look the master in the eye."
This article contains spoilers! Please, refrain yourself from reading its content if you haven't read Armageddon Outta Here.
The Horror Writers' Halloween Ball
The Horror Writers' Halloween Ball
Author Derek Landy
Cover Artist Tom Percival
Date Published 3rd July, 2014
Date Set In 1988
Publisher HarperCollins
No. of pages Unknown
ISBN ISBN-10: 000756211X

ISBN-13: 978-0007562114

Publication Order
Preceded by
Across a Dark Plain
Followed by
Friday Night Fights

The Horror Writers' Halloween Ball was a short story included in Armageddon-Outta-Here. It was released on the 3rd July 2014. [1].

Plot

Gordon Edgley has been invited to the famed horror writer Sebastian Fawkes' legendary, very exclusive, annual Halloween costume ball, and has brought Skulduggery along (dressed as Claude Raines' Invisible Man) thinking he'll enjoy it. All present are horror writers and Gordon is struggling with his Creature from the Black Lagoon costume, but it's not so bad when he runs into an old acquaintance, Susan DeWick , even if she's more charmed by Skulduggery. After Fawkes himself makes a speech, he approaches Gordon and effectively berates him and his first novel, Caterpillars, before departing.

As the night goes on, Gordon stops drinking for fear of his bladder betraying him and because he enjoys watching drunk writers making fools of themselves, before most of the crowd departs and Fawkes reveals a secret to those remaining: He has learned, from an empathy vampire named Argento, how to use symbols within his writing to drain life energy from readers to sustain his youth and virility, Argento sharing in the proftis for the books. Susan argues against this, and just as Argento begins to feed from her, he is interrupted by Skulduggery in the wings. Skulduggery is annoyed at how a good evening's gone sour for him, yet Argento thinks nothing of the skeleton's words until Skulduggery sets fire to his bandage disguise revealing his identity. While Argento flees from Skulduggery, Gordon attends to Susan before going after Fawkes. After they fight awkwardly for a few minutes, Skulduggery and Susan catch up to them, Gordon finally overpowering Fawkes somehow.

The Cleavers take Argento into custody and Sanctuary agents convince the guests that they just had a nice, if slightly boring, night and threaten those who knew the details of Fawkes and Argento's deal with gruesome deaths. Fawkes' career fails and Gordon talks Skulduggery into leaving Susan's memory of the night unaltered. They date for a few months before falling for different partners, but remain friends until Gordon's death. Before his death, Gordon continues to write stories based on the unseen world of sorcerers and accompanies Skulduggery on at least one more case, which ultimately and unfortunately isn't as interesting.

References

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