"Uh … do you want to be a bloody zombie or an un-bloody zombie?" Jensen Beach High School student Brooke Witherow seriously asked Echo Tantillo, 12.
"A bloody zombie," Tantillo replied, with equal seriousness.
Witherow went to work, darkening the area under Tantillo's eyes with black eye shadow and adding "blood."
Transforming into a zombie takes work.
And, frankly, the couple dozen teens and tweens who came to the zombie cafe at Cummings Library in Palm City Friday evening are too cute to pass for undead creatures. But they like to pretend.
"They're ugly, and they eat brains," Leia Raush, 11, described the creatures she likes to talk about with tomboyish friends.
"How their skin always falls off, and their limbs come off," said Leia's pal, Echo Tantillo, 12.
The Martin County library event encouraged summer reading. Some teens argued in literature and life, zombies are the new vampires.
"Zombies are just a unique, weird thing, like a lot of teenagers view themselves," said Witherow.
The t(w)eens say because of TV shows, movies and books, zombie fever has been reborn.
Zombie books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is a New York Times Bestseller, helped usher in the rise of the zombies.
"The whole gothic aspect of it. It's dark. I like that," said Samantha Knight, a Jensen Beach High School senior.
There was zombie cupcake decorating, zombie food and zombie target practice ... in case there's a zombie apocalypse, of course.
"It's just something that no other generation has really put their stamp on," said Witherow.
Through zombies, the kids claim a pop culture phenomenon that's unique but accepted. And doesn't every teen want to be just that?