Tastes Like Brains – My Contest Entry

OK, my entry for the Whispers Short Fiction Contest over at Clarity of Night is now up. Mine is entry #17. I’m going to post it here. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. If you like it, feel free to leave me comments here and/or over there.

whispersrs.jpg
Photo by Jason Evans

Tastes Like Brains

“What do you think brains taste like?” said Matthew, glancing over his shoulder. “I’d imagine they’re a bit salty.”

“Ugh,” said Shannon, wondering as she stumbled who had replaced her feet with cinder blocks. “Don’t wanna know.”

“You’d get used to it, eventually,” continued Matthew. “Eat enough of them and they probably start to taste like chicken.”

Shannon sat with a thud beneath the leafless White Ash overlooking an abandoned farmhouse. “I need a rest,” she said, ignoring him.

“Get up,” said Matthew, immediately regretting his tone.

“Just a few moments,” said Shannon, resting her forehead on the knees of her dirt stained jeans. They had been on the run for days, with little sleep, food, or water, unable to elude their slow moving tormentors. It was maddening.

Matthew looked down the hill toward the farmhouse. If only he had picked a restaurant in the city, rather than that rustic diner in the middle of nowhere, and if only he hadn’t dropped his car keys when the whole mess started, they would be home by now, safe and warm.

Soon, Matthew saw their approach. Hundreds, maybe thousands, stumbling up the gray, decaying grass, their dead, mournful eyes fixed in his direction. “Promise me something,” he said, taking hold of Shannon’s petite, strong hand, lifting her to her feet.

“What?”

“Promise me if they get you first, you’ll be the one to eat my brain, not them.”

“Tastes like chicken, right?” said Shannon, forcing a smile as they ran once more.

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21 thoughts on “Tastes Like Brains – My Contest Entry

  1. Thank you so much Diane! I don’t know where this one came from exactly. I had the first line a week ago when I was thinking about that vampire story. I saved it in a .txt file just in case I could use it sometime. The rest just flowed from looking at the picture.

    Thanks again for reading, and I’m really glad you liked it.

  2. I didn’t realize that was you! Which shows how brain dead I am (see no zombie will want to eat my brain! ;o) ) because I recognized your name but didn’t make the connection. How lame am I? But I loved it! I know I have a macabre sense of humor, but I laughed out loud reading it because it had such a wry, dark humor that really got me. Great job!

  3. I really enjoyed this. I actually laughed at the end. Not sure why, but something about my enjoyment of the cleverness, unexpectedness, I think.

  4. Neil – thank you for the compliment and thanks for reading!

    Ello – I saw your comment over there and thought maybe you didn’t know it was me, which isn’t a bad thing I guess. I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for reading!

    writinggb – thank you. I’m glad you laughed at the last line, that was intended. Thank you so much for the compliments.

  5. For some weird reason I stayed up ridiculously late last night and read your entry around midnight. (generally I go to bed before 10 pm)
    So, I read and had nightmares.
    I dreamt that there were zombies all over the place. They avoided the sunlight, but our shelter was getting small and somehow the doors were getting locked, I don’t remember, but somehow we were shut out of a safe place.
    And the Sun was setting…
    It was really frightening!

    I think this flows nicely!
    And can give the readers goosebumps.

    (Re: my entry – I have only came up with one tiny idea this very morning (24 Feb).
    I hope I can work it out.)

  6. Absolute Vanilla – thank you so much. that is very high praise. i really appreciate it. i look forward to reading your entry when I get the chance

    SzélsőFa – sorry you had that nightmare, that sounds really intense. that sounds like an interesting continuation of the story though. my wife read this last night too and i was worried she would have nightmares as well. she didn’t, though.

  7. Your wife was luckier, then!

    Well, I wrote my entry this morning and sent it to Jason.
    It will be soon up, I suppose.
    Also, I have published Parts 1,2,3 to Chris Eldin’s contest.
    (You might want to catch up with that, too.)

  8. This is wicked, Writer. I’m a huge sucker for zombie stories, and you really delivered with this one. I always enjoy it when the writer focuses on how regular people would react in these situations, rather than trying to focus on the gore and zombies themselves.

    I’ve been avoiding other entries until I finished mine, and I just sent it in so I popped over here. I’m glad I waited, as I probably would have trashed mine after reading this. 🙂

  9. Pingback: The Genesis of an Idea « The Struggling Writer

  10. Just wanted to say that I did read this, and I liked it as much as I am able to like something that involves zombies, and the notion of having one’s brain eaten.
    I like the way you handled the idea, weaving it nicely into this setting, and I felt the comic touches worked well (not pulling one out of the story, or believability), but still I prefer to not place myself in a situation, or with characters in a situation, where we are running for our lives, and wondering who will eat whose brain first, and how salty that chicken flavor might be. 🙂
    Now everytime I see that beautiful tree, the branches make me thinks of a brain.

  11. Taffiny – I appreciate the comments. I guess it was kinda gross. I was just going for the laugh I guess 🙂

    If it helps, in my mind they did somehow escape in the end without eating each other’s brains or anything else.

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