"Zombie attack."

"Really?"

"Yeah, there's a whole colony of 'em out Sacramento. Military's been keeping 'em penned in. Just hopped the fence at the wrong time. What about you?"

"Oh, you know, eldritch spirits seeking revenge from beyond the grave. The usual stuff."

"Revenge for what?"

"I'm not really sure. I mean, the main thing about ghostly cryptic messages is that they are, in fact, cryptic. Something must have annoyed the buggers, though."

"Bleeding walls and the lot?"

"Insects, mostly. Spiders, locusts, very biblical. Actually ran out into traffic, trying to get away."

"Is that how you...?"

"Yup. Big eighteen-wheeler. It was bugs, lights, splat."

"Ew."

"Not a mess I would want to clean up, no."

"Still, could be worse."

"True, true."

"You could have gotten up afterwards."

"You didn't..."

"One minute I'm running for my-"

"Running?"

"Okay, strolling. But it was a brisk stroll."

"Right."

"So I was strolling-"

"Briskly."

"-strolling briskly for my life and the next thing I'm groaning and lurching down the highway. I tell you, brains are not all they're cracked up to be."

"I never really considered it."

"Slimey and tasteless. Maybe with a little melted butter, some salt, have a nice fry-up. But raw, no thank you."

"Huh."

"It's no live being a zombie."

"Obviously."

"Yeah, well, obviously."

"So what happened?"

"Oh, the same thing that always happens. Some hero comes along and shoots you in the noggin or bashes you with a bat. Tell you the truth, I lurched a bit slower whenever heroes were around."

"I never got a hero. All I got was a priest and he was bonkers."

"It's the celery. Makes 'em crazy."

"What's celery got to do with it?"

"You know, what with 'em repressi ng their natural urges."

" For celery? It's a nice snack with peanut butter, but I certainly wouldn't-"

"Wait, what's the thing with no sex?"

"Celibacy."

"Oh, yeah. That."

"Well, that's a relief. Granted, Father Harry was a bit mad about his tomatoes. Always squeezing thems and crackling."

"There you go. Classic undersexed lunacy. I wouldn't let an exorcist within ten feet of me. It's just asking for a possession."

"Don't even speak of it. Three times for me, and you know, you just know, you're going to wake up in a mess of pea soup. Not to mention the muscle cramps."

"Bad, was they?"

"I can't count the number of strained ligaments I've had. I just don't understand. You borrow someone's body, you treat it with respect. Return it better than you left it."

"Take it in for dry-cleaning, like."

"Exactly! Demons! It's like they were raised in a barn."

"Uh, Hell, actually."

"And that excuses them? Manners is manners for everybody. My gram used to say that. Fine old woman. Eaten by a werewolf."

"That so?"

"Yeah. 'Course it was my grandfather, but I always knew he felt bad about it. Every year he'd leave a nice bouquet on Gram's grave. Fancy ones too, not those half-dead cheapies you get at the grocery store. He was a real gentleman."

"Except when there was full moon."

"You couldn't blame him for that."

"'Suppose not."

"Nice of them to throw a mixer for us special circumstances."

"Yeah, they do it every decade or so, let the new folks know they're not alone."

"I appreciate it."

"Yeah. Take my neighbor. Killed in a hit-and-run. Very tragical and all that, but does he understand the varying complexities in the fabric of reality?"

"Doubtful."

"I tell one story about the horde and suddenly I'm banned for afterlife from the summer barbeque."

"People just don't understand."

"You got that right."

"So, who's that guy in the cloak? The one who keeps sneering at everybody."

"Where?"

"By the bar."

"Oh, that's Irwin."

"He's got plastic fangs."

"Well, he was killed by a vampire, see?"

"If he's a vampire, then why's he got fake teeth?"

"'Cause he's an idiot. Wanted to be a fanger, but ended up a corpse. Thinks his shit don't stink 'cause he was someone's liquid steak."

"Huh. Fancy another drink?"

"Sure, mate, my treat this time."

"It's an open bar."

"That so? Then I'll get the next round too."

"Are all zombies this cheap or is it just you?"

"Stuff it, ghost-boy. And snag a us bowl of peanuts."