Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #7: The Cursed Sisters, Part 6

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The buzz of voices around them grew so loud, and her partner seemed so tense, that Linnetta squeezed her eyes shut, wishing herself anywhere else.

“Whoever that one is, she’s gone too far,” he said quietly, and she forced her eyes open and found the cause of the commotion: at the top of the stairs, a newcomer in a black and orange gown. “This must be unbearable for you,” he continued. “Or do you know her?”

“I don’t,” she said uneasily. “It’s someone’s idea of a joke…”

“Perhaps,” he replied. “Or perhaps not.”

As they were talking, the strange women Linnetta had been trying not to notice all night had gathered at the base of the stairs; the other revelers had given the five of them a wide berth, and they stood motionless, staring out at the dance floor.

“I think you do know who she is,” her partner continued. “I think you’ve known each of them since you saw the third one; possibly the second.”

“No,” she said, shaking her head. Wisps of hair fell out of her updo, sticking to her face. “It must be some kind of joke. A trick, to try to scare everybody.”

“I’m afraid not.”

“But how? How is it even possible that they’re…?”

“They have made their own pacts,” he answered lightly. “There are other powers than those you have dealt with, you know.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Liar,” he replied, with an indulgent smile. “I know all about the bargain you made… Almost all, anyways. Was it that you were already sick, and you traded their lives for your own? Or was your illness part of the ruse, so you could avoid suspicion?”

“I — I could never do such a thing,” Linnetta whispered, but it was unconvincing even to her.

“And so you were able to possess them, and manufacture their deaths one by one. But Georgiana has been seeking her revenge ever since the night you directed her off that cliff. Did you think she could let such a thing rest, even in death?”

Linnetta turned reflexively towards the woman in the black spangled dress, and her eyes were so captivating that she didn’t even realize the queen of the ball was being announced. Her partner had to give her a little push towards the center of the dance floor; a crown was placed on her head and everyone started applauding. She smiled graciously and waved, but faltered when she saw her sisters. Why had no one else noticed they had taken their masks off? While everyone else was clapping, they stood motionless, their hands linked, their faces mangled and ghastly; the only face she could bear to look at was Lenora’s, bloodless and as pale as her gown. Panicking, Linnetta turned back to her dance partner, and while he still wore his mask there seemed to be no difference between it and the skin beneath. He reached for her hand; the embroidery on the cuff of his sleeve pulsed as if stitched with blood vessels, and the bright lining of her gown was setting her skin on fire.


I hope you enjoyed my little Halloween story… In the end it really was just an excuse to do some creepy masquerade gowns, but it was fun to write too. Thanks to my husband Brian for brainstorming the original idea with me and editing it.

No thanks to Brian for writing a Python script to vote automatically for fairies 20 times. That’s right, the proper fairy vote count ought to be whatever-it-is-minus-nineteen… That means it looks like literary characters get next week, probably, since I doubt he’s going to try a stunt like that again.

You know I had to do this poll… vote for your favorite masquerade costume!

62 thoughts on “Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #7: The Cursed Sisters, Part 6

  1. Oh, those dresses were awesome! Now I’ve got to figure out all the symbolism… I was wondering about the vines on the blue dress, and I get it now!

    As for the literary characters, I have a suggestion! Interview With the Vampire! There are only two main female characters, one of whom appears 5, but you could pull it off.

  2. I was thinking of drawing a custom masquerade gown for the first one to tell me how they all died… I’m not sure I’m that ambitious though :P

  3. This one is definitely my favorite! My sister printed it for me and brought it upstairs, and my jaw dropped. Of course I had to come read the story, which I had pretty much figured out. Yay me XD
    Shame on Brian for rigging the poll. Although secretly I may be happy about it >.>

  4. cool! neat story i didn’t figure out they were all her sisters till the end though, im really slow, i liked the green one best!

  5. This was wonderful! I loved every minute of it and the dresses!!!!The last was the best I think because it made a statement so visually. Thank you for this Halloween treat!

  6. For literary character I would suggest Eustacia from Thomas Hardy’s “The Return of the Native”. There is some kind of play that she partakes as Turkey King (or maybe something else, I don’t quite remember) although she is a woman. Well, I just thought of it because of the masquerade theme.

  7. Your dresses this week have all been gorgeous, but I like the first and the last of the sisters dresses the best. I pretty much figured out they were her sisters after the third gown (they all had the same scary mask), but I had no idea she was the one who killed them. Nice story.
    As for the literary characters, could you draw something from Harry Potter, The Golden Compass or Memoirs of a Geisha?

  8. I did figure out how they all died!

    Georgiana fell off a cliff in the night, thus the stars on her dress.
    Ginevra was poisoned, so her dress is green.
    Celestine was in a boating accident, so her dress is blue with “seaweed.”
    Lenora must have either slit her wrists or stabbed herself, so her dress looks like she’s losing blood…
    And Emmeline died in a fire.

    I love this little story, it’s so creepy and has a nice twist at the end… I love it. And I’m looking forward to the literary costumes!

  9. I am counting on faeries winning next week- but I will be sad if we miss Final Fantasy. But still, faeries have to make it! AAH! I’m torn!

  10. Yep, Taylor, you’ve got it more or less. The idea was to go from subtle to, well, died in a fire :)

    Martine, if I had had just a touch more energy I really should have done different masks for all of them, but… each dress took so long! Ah well :)

  11. Hi! I love these dresses, the are SSSOOOOOOOOOO exquisite! But I’m still a little confused; why did Linnetta betray her sisters? And who was her dance partner? How did they come back to life? HELP!

  12. Sorry Em, I’ve not quite had the motivation… but that also ties in to working this weekend and otherwise being busy :) No work tomorrow, so I bet I’ll draw something.

    Hannah, glad you like them! I kind of left the story open-ended… I thought of two reasons for her betrayal: one, she had a sort of ‘fairest of them all’ sort of complex and didn’t want competition, or two, she was supposed to die from her illness and agreed to take their lives instead. I read the other six sisters as having made an old-fashioned deal with the Devil, and I think that’s who she was dancing with.

    But in the end it was mostly an fairy-tale-ish excuse to draw some strange dresses, so if you thought differently you may be right, too.

  13. Do you have an idea of who Linetta made a bargain with? Or will you leave us to imagine and ponder?? Yeah, I know I have dramatic word choice sometimes.

  14. Your images are amazing! Do you hand draw? or use a drawing program? You are inspiring me to try some paper dolls! I LOVE drawing, especially dresses. I haven’t added any of my drawingd to my blog yet, but after seeing your blog, I think I will! Thank you soooooo much for sharing.

  15. Good question, Celestina… For my purposes it doesn’t have to be really important, some random mystic or witch. I always figured that she was misled, though, and was actually making her deal with the Devil, who then turned around and turned one soul into seven by offering her sisters revenge. Just how I think about it though.

    Sarah, thank you! I draw them by hand with colored pencils, and use Photoshop sometimes to do minor cleanup (erasing stray lines and marks, but not much else). Good luck with your drawings :)

  16. hi i love the new doll and dresses that u have made i ws wondering if u have ever made a ginger haird doll befor?

  17. i know it is still the halloween week and you are probably working on literary dresses, but i have a request. Even though halloween is nearly over i would like it if you could draw some darker, eviler, tim burtonized i guess, versions of fairy tale outfits. I would like it better if you didn’t take some disney version dresses and add tears, but more of an original design with some key objects. And not just rips in the dress and stuff, but more of a story gone wrong…you know what i mean??? Srry if this is asking to much but i would really like to see the dresses, and i’m just not that good of an artist for this.

  18. Oh and if you did do this could you do a darker version of red riding hood first…I’m going to be a dead red riding hood for halloween and for some reason i have become partial with the story…

  19. That was a great comparison… Tim Burton! Oh, wouldn’t a Sally dress have been great. From the Nightmare Before Christmas?

  20. I’m sad that there aren’t any dresses this week, but it’s giving me a great opportunity to look back at old dresses that I didn’t get to see

  21. i hope you draw some dresses soon liana, i really love ur artistic ability! these dresses are soooo cool!!
    man, i wish i could draw this good

    until later,
    aquamarine strikes again! <3

  22. Alright this is the last question I have about the cursed sisters! Did Linnetta posses her sisters, kind of like a voodoo doctor to kill them, i.e. force Georgiana to walk off the cliff, Lenora to bleed herself to death, etc.?

  23. Sorry I’ve been slacking off, everyone… I’ll try to draw something tomorrow before work…

    I think that’s right, Hannah – that’s why they were all getting headaches. At least, something like that is what I was intending :)

  24. I wish I had a fax machine or something so I could do something like this… I just have to deal with short stories.

  25. I sent a link to your website to my friend, and she flipped. She printed it out, and then showed it to her mother. I have a feeling you have another follower now. Does that sound freaky?

  26. Your dresses seem perfect to center on a card. I think that I may use one for my friends birthday cards, if that’s alright

  27. All of my friends are now totally obsessed with your drawings!
    They are printing just about everything you’ve drawn since 2005!

  28. cool
    i want to print out all the dresses, but i don’t have any ink…heh
    i hope you get inspiration soon!

    until later,
    aquamarine strikes again! <3

  29. I have a friend who would want to have a november dress as well. Well… she wouldn’t want to but that’s all part of the Plan (hehe)

  30. Aquamarine, Celestina, I’m sorry… I keep thinking I really should get back to them, but I’ve been really grumpy about paperdolls lately. I’ve had two separate incidents of my art being really blatantly stolen lately, and it makes me feel bad about everything, I guess :/ Especially the most recent one, which I have a feeling isn’t going to go away easily and it makes me upset. I don’t know :/

  31. That’s horrible! Its not that hard to ask for simple permission to use and give credit. Its just plain indecent to take credit for someones work.

  32. I don’t really understand it… What personality trait is that? dishonesty, cruelty… Why… When will I stop making dots…

  33. That’s utterly vile!
    Which pieces were stolen? are they from here?
    If so we can all put up links in our blogs etc telling people to come and see your original work and beware imitators.

  34. it is horrible that people are nasty enough to steal your art — the BAS*****… please don’t let this ruin your creativity, though… because you do bring a lot of happiness to peoples…

  35. Was it a typical viewer? Like someone who leaves comments? It’s hard to believe. On a change of note, happy Thanksgiving

  36. why r people so stupid these days?
    and i’m really sad
    i hope that this doesn’t last……i really miss the dresses

    great job liana!!
    i’m always proud of ur work, no matter what!

  37. People who steal from artists are insanely jealous of the talent and creativity that the artists have and they DO NOT. Please don’t let thieves ruin your creative flow. I know that I can speak for a lot of people when I say we miss your work and hope to see more soon. Please:)

  38. Is this website and all your stuff copyrighted? If it is, then sue their butts off! I can’t believe they’d do something like that!

    Liana, what you do is beautiful. It’s a one of it’s kind, and I hope you continue it soon – I actually discovered it on polyvore and fell in love with it. I think the piece was this one: http://www.polyvore.com/sweet_music/set?id=12515598. I was so depressed when I learned this was a paper doll website because I desperately wanted that dress!

    I’ve been coming back everyday since this last submission to see if anything knew it up. I hope this doesn’t get you down; although, I think a lot of us would like a bit more details (if it’s alright) and wish you the best of luck with your problems!


  39. Whenever I see your the beautiful gowns you draw part of my brain starts wondering how to make them out of actual fabric. Of course, then I see this – which is simply marvellous – and am pretty much doomed.

    With regards to all the art theft, my condolences and the internet is not a friendly place sometimes when it comes to credits. I hasten to add that were I to take heavy inspiration from your work, I would ask permission first (I suppose you could read this comment as a gauging of opinion in that direction).

  40. i lurve your dresses. like i get the paper doll stuff but every time i see a dress i wanna get some fabric and sew! (p.s. idk how ta sew so you inspire me THAT MUCH) :B <- nerdy lol "da names bucky" !!! keep it up. p.s. you should get these designed made into REAL dresses. id bet most ppl that go on here would by like 5 million.

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