Completely Innocent Member of High Society Attends a Fancy Dinner Party, by David Henne

Is there any gathering more decadent than the fancy dinner party? Where else can one discuss fancy issues of the day whilst indulging on the sweet fruits of sophistication, the tenderloins of privilege? Such worry-free fraternization for a truly carefree caste.

The shit was that?

Merely the light bulbs flickering. Certainly no reason for hysterics. After all, a smattering of hard rain never harmed anyone. Unless. Yes, unless

Oh, keep your wits about you, old boy! You’re among society’s elite. What sinister matter would undermine such a function? No sinister matter, that’s what.

Preposterous, to think an act of violence could disrupt a dinner party. It’s precisely what makes the dinner party fancy: freedom from the deranged, unfancy dregs of humanity.

Now pipe up and make a snooty observation before the group thinks you’ve gone batty.

“Dreadful weather, isn’t it?”

Dreadful weather? You’re not British! Oh nonchalance be damned, something foul is afoot.

Blast this dinner party. It grows more suspicious by the second, the more I think of it. There’s our enigmatic host for one, Sir T. Abbing IV, who has yet to make an appearance. I don’t believe any of us has even met the man, simply received his invitation via carrier pigeon.

What is his story? And why summon seven completely innocent members of high society to his stately manor on Stab Island? So many unanswered questions.

What was that? A gunshot!

Wait, no, it’s merely Abigail Goodsby requesting a lump of sugar for her tea. Yes, she’s clueless to our host’s identity as well. Seems as though all seven of us are in the dark:

  • Abigail Goodsby, the beautiful heiress
  • Antony Cerelli, the millionaire playboy
  • Dr. Catatonic Rape, the respected surgeon
  • Justice Bickerswick, the incorruptible, racist judge
  • Jeremy Crowley, the newspaper mogul whose faulty printing presses collapsed on those orphans
  • General Lee Awful
  • and myself, a respected literary critic with absolutely no ties to that dead mistress no one knows about.

What’s this? Someone’s collapsed!

Antony Cerelli has been murdered! Splayed out in a pile of his own—no, he’s getting up. Merely stumbled over A DISMEMBERED FIST! Wait, no, that’s just the table’s centerpiece: a marble sculpture of a fist clutching a steely knife. Must have gotten knocked over earlier.

Still, I can’t shake the feeling someone is watching us behind that portrait of the regal gentleman wielding a blow dart gun.

Oh, who am I trying to convince, none of this is right! Should have politely declined the dinner party request and countered with an invitation to brunch. No members of high society are ever systematically picked off during a fancy brunch party. Hardly any lethal cutlery to wield. No candlesticks to disappear during an outage and reappear in a torso.

What was that?

Just the butler, thank heavens. Carting in the main course—roasted boar.

Evidently the beast was slaughtered by seven gaping entry wounds to its massive husk. Each cut appears to have been made with meticulous intent, suggesting some ominous agendaaaaand there’s no vegetarian option.

Fucking perfect.

David Henne is a writer on Long Island, New York, whose work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Big Jewel, Johnny America, and Yankee Pot Roast. You can follow him on Twitter.

The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit, send an email to Brian Boone.

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