Are Your Neighbors Undead?
by Kerrelyn Sparks

How well do you know your neighbors? I know a few of my neighbors very well. Their children play with my children. They always show up for the New Year's Eve block party and shoot fireworks in the street (yes, we still do fireworks in Katy, Texas). In fact, these people will show up for any party where there's food and booze.

Unfortunately, there are a few neighbors who are so noisy you wish they were undead: the guy who's favorite hobby is running a chainsaw every weekend (yes, we have chainsaws in Texas); the teenager who cruises the streets with the bass booming loud enough to shake your windows; and the kid down the street who's learning (not) to play an electric guitar in his garage.

Then, there are the others. You know who I'm talking about. The neighbors nobody sees. Maybe they're shy. Maybe they're elderly. Maybe they're homebound. Maybe, they're UNDEAD...

How can you tell if you have the Undead living next door? And if you do, is it politically correct to label them as such? After all, you don't want the whole neighborhood sharpening their stakes and loading their shotguns with silver shells (yes, we have shotguns in Texas. I reckon they saw them off with those chainsaws...)

For educational purposes only, I will discuss a few clues that will help you determine if your neighbor is Undead. If you discover that your neighbor is indeed Undead, I would urge you to show compassion and not kill him. He's already died once. And I doubt it gets any easier with practice.

Now here are your instructions:

1. Approach the house during the day. Is it unearthly quiet? Is there a sign at the door that says "Don't ring the bell. Day sleepers inside"? This is a big clue. They're either working the night shift or they're Undead.

2. If they answer the door during the day, then chances are they are alive. Don't let them see your shotgun, as this might cause them some alarm. If they don't answer the door during the day, then they might be Undead. Proceed to step 3.

3. Approach the house carefully at night after supper. (You don't want them to be hungry when they meet you). Bring a homemade dessert with you as a welcoming present. (If you are in Texas, I recommend a pecan pie or peach cobbler). If they invite you in for some dessert, and you see them actually eat, then they are not Undead. If they invite you in, but neglect to eat any of the dessert, then they might be Undead (or possibly, Yankees).

4. While you're in their house, take a look around. Are they using a coffin as a coffee table? Is their pantry empty? Is the refrigerator filled with nothing but bottles of red wine? At this point, you are correct to assume those bottles are NOT filled with wine. Tell them you left the iron on and get out of there!

5. Maybe their house looks normal, but you're still suspicious. Take a good look at the neighbors. Is their skin very pale? Do they dress all in black? Do they speak with a Transylvanian accent or use antique phrases like pray tell and sirrah? If any of them is sporting a black silk cape, tell them you need to leave immediately. You left some garlic roasting in the oven.

6. While you're in their house, ask to use the restroom. If there is no mirror in their bathroom, tell them you need to leave immediately. You left some cheesy garlic fries in the microwave.

7. And finally, the biggest clue of all. If at any time, their eyes begin to glow red, tell them you need to leave immediately. You left some wooden stakes out where the children might find them.

If you discover you are living next door to the Undead, don't panic! As long as they drink that bottled blood in their refrigerator, they should present no danger to you and your family.

For more information regarding the Undead, please refer to my latest book, THE UNDEAD NEXT DOOR. And please visit me at www.kerrelynsparks.com!

Be brave, be bold, be batty!!

Kerrelyn Sparks

11 Comments:

Blogger Kim Lenox said:

Kerrelyn,

You know I was already suspicious about a number of my neighbors. This confirms my fears.

I'll be back after I bust apart a few of my kitchen chairs and do a little sharpening.

9:03 AM  

Blogger Kimberly Frost said:

Kerrelyn,

Your advice has created a startling revelation for me regarding a strange house within the 610 loop in Houston.

It's located in a very affluent neighborhood and is quite large, but matches nothing on the block. The siding is charcoal gray, as is the roof. It's nearly devoid of windows, and the few that are present are darkly tinted. The overall shape is something akin to a parking structure, but without the possibility of the customary crossbreeze you might find in one.

The owner is rumored to be a plastic surgeon, but clearly a person whose whole livelihood depends on the aesthetic appeal of his work would not choose to live in such a creepy and off-putting place under normal circumstances.

After reading your post, I realized, of course, that the house is clearly an over-sized coffin, and the surgeon is not insane, simply undead.

Thank you for clearing up the mystery.

Kimber

P.S. I loved The Undead Next Door. Everyone should read it!

Also I'd like to cast my vote for Fidelia as best supporting character in a humorous paranormal. I hope she'll consider cameos in future Love At Stakes books.

9:44 AM  

Blogger Colleen Thompson said:

I have a neighbor who washes his car, takes walk, and mows the lawn only after dark. Only upon the rarest of occasions have we seen his car absent from the driveway, yet his recycle box is always filled (only) with scores of empty Diet Coke cans.

I'm beginning to wonder about the real contents of those cans...

10:28 AM  

Blogger Christie Craig said:

Oh my, I think I have some undead living next door, Kerry!

Scary thing is that I don't want to know what they think about me.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Christie Craig

11:04 AM  

Blogger Erika said:

Thanks for the laugh, Kerry!

11:26 AM  

Anonymous Kerrelyn Sparks said:

Oh my gosh, there are more of them out there than I thought!!

Hmm, I hope they buy books!

Thanks for coming by to visit!

Kerrelyn

12:27 PM  

Anonymous beeker said:

My husband requested that I cut back on any book with vampires until I got over being suspicious of neighbors and any man with slicked back hair. This is a funny list.

4:29 PM  

Anonymous Shannon said:

This book looks really good! I'm considering doing a book review on it.

5:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I always enjoy books about Texas and by Texas authors, so when I discovered there were undead living in the foothills of Texas, how could I pass it up?! I really enjoyed the book Kerry, and I can't wait for Ian's story.

5:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hmm.... Well I haven't technically gotten to read the books yet but they funny. And this makes me fairly suspicious of my friends.... Me, myself, and I too.

6:22 PM  

Blogger April said:

I am so thrilled I came across this blog! I love romances, especially ones about vampires or werewolves. Thanks for sharing. I will have to check this book out.

12:53 AM  

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