The next day, when Llewelyn stumbled his way up the back stairs and unlocked his room, he found an engraved invitation slipped under his door. “You are invited,” he read, “to the inaugural meeting of the Undead Society of Smokewood. All members must attend. Reception to follow.”

He balled up the invite and threw it away. “Oh please, you old stick-in-the-mud.”

Trotting down the stairs, with half a mind to steal another swig of the good stuff off of Elijah, Llewelyn was surprised to see that Silas had set out a feast. Candied spinal cord, chilled brains, and every last bottle of various bodily fluids that Silas had held in his private reserve hidden in the crypt. What’s more, Smathers the zombie was present, as was every other undead that Silas could rustle up: the ghoul sisters from Smokewood hills, the vampire rancher from the
Double O ranch, a feral zombie tied up with a rag in its mouth, and the stone-dead corpse of Zachariah’s granddad Eli, rented for the occasion for a fifty-cent discount on a Pining Away model casket.

“Please, join us, Llewelyn,” said Silas hoisting a goblet. “I’ve taken your advice and made the Undead Society far more egalitarian. All whose hearts no longer beat are now welcome, provided they are able to behave themselves.”

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