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A Birthday Party for R.L. Stine

Brenna Clarke Gray

Staff Writer

Part muppet and part college faculty member, Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature while simultaneously holding two cats named Chaucer and Swift. It's a juggling act. Raised in small-town Ontario, Brenna has since been transported by school to the Atlantic provinces and by work to the Vancouver area, where she now lives with her stylish cyclist/webgeek husband and the aforementioned cats. When not posing by day as a forserious academic, she can be found painting her nails and watching Degrassi (through the critical lens of awesomeness). She posts about graphic narratives at Graphixia, and occasionally she remembers to update her own blog, Not That Kind of Doctor. Blog: Not That Kind of Doctor Twitter: @brennacgray

Did you hear? Did you? Today is R.L. Stine’s birthday! So exciting. Here at Book Riot, we decided to throw a birthday party fit for the Papa Bear of creepy teen slasher lit. Let’s face it: he is the genre in so many ways. Here’s what you might encounter at a Stine-a-licious birthday bash.

Oh my god! Hi! Welcome! You’re here for Bobby’s birthday party, right? Cool! So so totally cool. Did you have any trouble finding parking? Yeah, there are a lot of wrecked cars on the lawn. A lot of them are haunted by the souls of the damned or whatever. You remember that guy who tried to murder his kid’s babysitter, right? He’s out there. You can totally say hi later if you’re not too weirded out.

Go ahead and put your coat in the closet — what? Oh, yeah, there probably is a body hanging in there. The Stines are kind of weird… Don’t even worry about it, though, just give him a nudge. See? He’s totally dead. Can’t hurt you. Unless he comes back to life, in which case — you know what? Let’s just get out of the foyer and see what’s happening in the living room.

You can put the present you brought on that table there. Sweet of you to bring something! And it looks nice. It’s not seeping blood like these other packages are, and it’s nice to have a gift on the table that isn’t making muffled screaming noises. I don’t know what Bobby had on his birthday list, but there is some weird stuff on that table. Oh, yeah, no, I wouldn’t look under it. It’s not so much the bodies that weird me out around here but the severed limbs. Uh huh. Yeah.

What’s that? Oh, thirsty! Yes, there’s lots of stuff in the kitchen. You know what, though, I’d stick to sealed cans and bottles around here. I’ve been getting a weird vibe from a lot of these guests, and I’m 80% sure the punch is either poisoned or like made of blood or whatever. But there’s Sprite in the fridge so maybe just have some of that. I’ll be in the backyard if you want to join me.

Oh, yeah, the band. They’re great, huh? Real 50s sound. That’s because they’re kids from the local high school who died in 1958. No, I think they could play instruments before they died. They were like in band or something and I don’t remember the details but something something tragic accident something. Whatever, they totally rock, right? The retro vibe is cool and I love the way they dress like they’re from an Archie comic. Oh yeah, definitely I wouldn’t get too near the stage. It is really hard to get ectoplasm out of suede and your shoes are too super cute to ruin.

So what do you want to do while we wait for Bobby to get here? We can watch the zombie cheerleaders do their thing if you want — I swear they are actually way better now than before that virus made all the blonde girls at school into the undead. Or else there’s a pretty amazing game of Crazy-8s going on in the family room, but I’m pretty sure the winner is going to get murdered so I figured I’d sit it out. Do you ever think about how weird it is that so many teenagers die in mysterious circumstances within a pretty tight radius of Bobby’s house? Nah, me neither.

Oh my god, Bobby’s totally here! Let’s go inside and sing Happy Birthday! Huh, what’s this weird fog coming in from the woods out back. Smells like I’m feeling pretty sleepy…

Happy Birthday, R.L. Stine!