Author's Note: Madeline does not own Generation Dead.

But she wishes she owned Takayuki's pants.

Colette signed onto the computer at the library to check her emails; maybe Peeble or Gee had sent her some.

No dice on that count, but she did see an email from Slydellco. She pondered this for a moment, asking herself what Skip could possibly want with her. Surly he wouldn't want her as a model—she was not nearly as pretty or half as alive as other possible candidates.

Besides, it's illegal to be a zombie.

She saw that the subject line read "You've Won!" with a smiley face tagged next to it.

She clicked it open, and it read:

Congratulations, Colette!

You've won the raffle for the prototype Slydellco-brand bubblegum! Keep checking your mail box, because soon you'll be receiving the first-ever pack of Slydellco's new product, "Bubble of Breath" bubblegum! Once you receive your bubblegum, we ask that you try it and let us know what you think—a total hit or a complete miss. Thank you in advance!

-Slydellco Corporation

Colette stared blankly at the screen—I won something?, she thought, I never win anything.

Surely, it must be a mistake. But it said "Congratulations Colette," right there in the header. So, it must really be her who won. Weird.

She quickly realized that it was just a pack of gum she won—nothing special. Not that the undead really have much need for gum. They can't taste it, and some must have serious difficulty chewing it (she imagined Takayuki trying to chew gum—the image of him sticking it in his mouth, only to have it fall out of his cheek a second later, was partly hilarious yet wholly disturbing).

As all these thoughts danced around her head, she noticed a small laugh-like sound escape her lips. She covered her mouth with her hand, although not really covering the twitching at the edges of her lips. She signed out of the computer and walked to the back of the library, where Dom, Bee, and DeCayce were talking in hushed tones about some new song they were writing.

Dom walked to his mail box and pulled out a manila-colored folder.

The Skeleton Crew (plus Colette) were passing through Dom and Bee's hometown and decided to stay with Dom and his family for a few days. It was his address Colette entered on the raffle page.

He handed the folder to Colette and asked why she was so eager for bubblegum. Neither he nor Bee were rather fond of it, and DeCayce didn't even bother thinking about trying to eat anything.

"I've never…won a…raffle before. I…want to enjoy…every….last minute of this…feeling." Colette hugged the folder close to her and shuffled as fast as she could inside. Once alone, she pulled the pack out of the folder and slid her fingernail under the perforated tab. She pulled open the top, plucked out a long, flat stick of gum, and unwrapped it. The gum itself was green and chalky, and when Colette put it in her mouth, she began to taste it.


She could taste the gum, for some reason. She tried placing her finger on the flavor, but couldn't quite get it. She didn't remember ever eating anything with that exact flavor. It was good though.

Very good.