Tardis

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Party Kill Accelerator! was the fifth story in the Iris Wildthyme anthology The Panda Book of Horror. It was written by Blair Bidmead and introduced his recurring characters Theo Possible and "Kelsey".

Plot[]

On the cusp of night and day, Iris Wildthyme and Panda trundle their way through thick, grey, mud, following directions written on the back of a cigarette packet to the Zona Oscura Festival. They arrive at their destination, with a doorman granting them access, and giving them VIP lanyards.

Panda, fed up with the mud and the walking, insists that they purchase drinks. So they head to Madame Moiré's Burlesque Escapade, and as Iris fails to explain to Panda about why Jimmy the Mandrill invited them in the first place, he is captivated by a rotund stripper, Ms Carmen Tranquil. Iris leaves Panda to show his affection to Carmen and she heads to the VIP tent.

Meanwhile, the doorman realises that he hasn't eaten for longer than he could remember. Upon this revelation, he dissolves.

After a while of walking, Iris finds a place to sit down, meeting Derek and Mavis. Talking to them, they reveal that they've been exactly where they are for as long as they could remember in order to enjoy every performance of The All-Star Dance Company. Mavis suddenly accuses Iris of knowing her husband previously, startling Iris. Concurrently, where the doorman dissolved, a new entity forms, the Beast, and it violently charges into the festival in order to devour and feed. Panda gets acquainted with Carmen, and Iris then resumes her journey to the other side of the festival.

Panda and Carmen then hear screaming until its silenced by roaring of the Beast, as the Beast tears apart all sorts of individuals. The duo run away.

Iris tries to use her "whatchamacallit", but as it gives off odd readings, she assumes it's clutching due to being wet. She heads inside a tent to dry it off, encountering an audience of robots, cyborgs, and outdated Servo Furnishings. They're watching a display of Poeticnology, being performed by a simple fax machine. In one corner of the tent, a cyborg burns its mouth with a blow-torch, and Iris asks it to let her use the tool.

Kelsey drives a quad-bike behind the tents, bumping into Panda and Carmen. Upon asking what they're running from, Kelsey drives off in the direction of the Beast.

The cyborg explains to Iris that he didn't exist before she arrived, but she's preoccupied with other matters, leaving the cyborg, and its existence ceases.

Kelsey finds the Beast tearing and eating the wings of a small troubadour at a stone circle, and it introduces itself.

At the VIP tent, Iris sees the biggest mirrorball that she had ever seen, and she asks an octopus-like creature who is in charge. It replies, telling her about Theo Possible.

The Beast finds Panda and Carmen, and Carmen traps the Beast under the metal shutter, making Panda reluctantly search for help. Panda arrives at the VIP tent where Iris is trying to get Theo's attention. The Beast arrives, bring Carmen with him, and the Beast reveals Iris never made it to the party.

The previous night, Iris had intended to go out, but had instead spent the night with Panda watching David Attenborough. In the tape, there was a remnant of an old advert, from which an idea of the Beast lodged in Iris' subconscious. Kelsey realises that they're aren't in the material world, which the Beast, or rather Jimmy the Mandrill, confirms.

Panda goes to grab Carmen's hand, be she flings him backwards, sending him crashing into Theo's DJ booth. Standing up, he goes to leave, not before explaining that the Zona Oscura is situated between conceptual and material planes, a haven for lost ideas, born from the biomass that is the mud. Jimmy threatens to eat Iris, as the more people he eats, the more real he becomes. Facing her imminent fate as Jimmy's dinner, Iris sings her swan sing with Theo, which was a momentous event that went down in history. The tremendous performance even distracts Jimmy, who gets crushed along with Carmen by the giant mirror ball, which Kelsey loosened from the ceiling.

Making their way outside to the car park, Theo gives Kelsey his box of records as she departs with a group of goths in a Volvo. Theo departs on a London Underground train that arrived next to the bus, and as the duo enter the bus, Panda finds a white business card inside his sowester that repels the dirt on his paws. It reads, "S. Stratton of Ealing, Bespoke Tailoring of Exceptional Resilience".

Characters[]

(In order of appearance)

Referenced only[]

References[]

  • The previous night, when it was believed Iris had left Panda to go to a party, Panda watched David Attenborough.
  • The historical performance of Iris' involved her singing "Je Ne Regret Rien" in a dub reggae style.

Food and drink[]

Medicine[]

  • Ron dissolves like Alka Seltzer.

Individuals[]

  • Panda compares Carmen's performance to when Salome received the head of John the Baptist. He then adds that he would decapitate a bus full of biblical figures just to stimulate Carmen.

Technology[]

  • The cyborg has a "mass of USB cables sprouting from its head".

Music[]

  • In the VIP tent, Theo plays a combination of George Formby's "Chinese Laundry Blues" alongside "monotonous Pincer-Movement music" that is played in Martian clubs.

Anatomy[]

Notes[]

"Iris threw Panda a vindicated smile."

  • To promote the story and anthology, Bidmead shared an excerpt of the story accompanied by an exclusive illustration of Iris and Panda standing in the drizzle outside the Zona Oscura Festival.[1]

Continuity[]

Footnotes[]

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