Tastes Like Brains
by Paul Liadis
note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2008. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.
“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.
“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.