(A preview of some ghoulish giggles coming in 2017 (hopefully!).)

All it took was one mistake. That mistake came in the form of a raised tree root catching a shoe. Fleeing without focus proved to be the downfall of the footwear's owner. Trey Sherfale hit the dirt with a breath expelling thud. His fear was greater than any landing pain. But the root's grasp outranked fear. It took precious seconds for the young man to pull his foot free. And then it was too late.

Sounds of footsteps staggered closer as a shadow rose over Trey. His terror-wide eyes stared into the decayed face of one that no one wants to see - a zombie! The cranium captivated corpse opened its jaws wide as it reached for the screaming man's brown haired scalp.

"Roger!" Someone placed a rotting hand on the zombie's exposed shoulder joint. He cast an irritated glare at the intruder. Missing skin and failing muscle structure did little to hide Laura's disapproving expression. "Count Hearsehel promised a buffet at the party. Do you really want to waste your appetite now?"

Visions of sliced brain lobe and other savory cerebral snacks passed through Roger's consciousness. Maybe, he could wait... just a little longer. Living warmth from this human's shaking flesh tingled his outstretched fingers. He was so close right now! Roger looked from Laura to Trey and back again. Finally, he asked, "Just a nibble?"

Laura shook her head. She turned and shambled further into the woods.

Roger gave Trey one more ravenous look which sent shivers down his spine. Then the zombie trudged away, following his rotting-red haired friend.

Trey leaned back against the tree. As the nerves slowly worked their way through his body, his gaze drifted skywards. Being in the woods suddenly lost all appeal for this frightened soul. Seeing a large group of bats wasn't the scary part. It was the harpies and several variations of griffin hybrids with the bats that sent Trey's panic into action. He leapt to his quivering feet and raced for the nearest city.