I'm not stupid, you know.

Yes, I'm quite aware of the shambling, the decay, the mostly-incoherent moans. Being dead completely wrecks your nervous system. It doesn't mean I'm a moron.

Look, I have no real idea why I do the things I do. I certainly had no plans on getting a chunk bitten out of my arm by a dead cop, I had no plans of getting infected by some awful undead virus, or of dying and coming back to pseudo-life with an uncontrollable hunger for human flesh. If I'd made plans for this, maybe I could've told you how all this works, how I can still move around even though I'm dead, how I can continue thinking normally but can't talk worth a damn.

I can't even ask the other guys. I'm sure they can think normally, too, but I can't understand a damn thing they say. "Brains" this and "Brains" that. I'm not sure if that's irony or not, but it would certainly make me laugh bitterly if I could laugh anymore.

So obviously, there are things with rigor mortis and flesh rot that make it harder to move. I got an infestation of cockroaches running through my legs and goddamn maggots all over the inside of my torso, and if I move too fast, I might fall down, break bones, lose some more muscle mass. You gotta be careful. And I'm lucky to be able to talk at all -- lots of us lose our throats early, and without a throat, you got no voice box.

So why no tool usage? Surely, if my brain is working correctly, it'd be the simplest thing in the world to pick up a knife, a bat, a goddamn gun, and eat like a king, right? Grab a ladder out of the toolshed and climb into the attic window after they've barricaded all the downstairs doors? Throw a torch into the house and catch 'em as they rush out?

Tool usage don't work so good anymore. I mean, I'm making my plans, ya know? This time, I'm gonna check under the welcome mat, or along the top of the door frame, find the spare key, and freak 'em out good when I unlock the door. I got it all worked out.

But then, ya catch a little whiff of live human, and you don't give a damn about plans anymore. Hunger overwhelms everything. All you wanna do is pound on the door, push out the glass, pull down the planks. Fuck the plans, fuck the tools, just gimme the goddamn brains, just gimme the goddamn brains, just GIMME THE GODDAMN BRAINS!

Shit. Sorry. Just thinking about 'em makes me lose control a little. You got no idea what hunger's really all about, man, no idea at all.

But we were gonna tell stories about brains, right?

See, brains are special. Old-school meat -- hamburgers, steaks, KFC, and all that -- loses its taste when you're dead. There's just no appeal in eating stuff that's already dead, like all the spices disappear after the body cools. Even a live person isn't all that tasty, but dammit, you gotta have the flesh. You just can't fucking resist, you can't stop yourself. I used to try so hard to stop. I mean, I was a civilized man, I was a thinking man, why would I want to eat someone like that? Didn't matter. I wanted it, I wanted it so bad. Just had to eat, didn't matter if it was fun, didn't matter if it was a smorgasbord of culinary delight.

Ya gotta eat. And screaming human is all you can get most days.

But brains are special. They have serious taste. Don't know how to describe it -- like the best fried chicken in the world, combined with the perfect barbecue, combined with meat-lovers pizza or ice cream or whatever else you loved to eat, combined with a quarter-ton of weapons-grade heroin. They're awesome. Everyone wants them. Brains are just so delicious, so succulent, so, so GIMME THE GODDAMN BRAINS!

Oh god. Sorry, sorry.

The problem is, the brains are inside the skull. It's damn hard to bite through the skull. We never think to use tools to crack the skull open. And by the time you've got the skin chewed off and the eyes swallowed and the tongue torn out and you've managed to crack the skull open on the concrete, usually the body has cooled down to room temperature and all the taste vanishes.

Everyone wants the brains. No one can ever get to the brains. You see the appeal, I'm sure. Supply and demand, simple economics.

Blah, blah, blah, get to the story. Okay, I'm tagging along with a bunch of other dead cohorts, and we find a little out-of-the-way cabin, with a lady holed up inside. Easy meal? Hell, no. She had the yard booby-trapped, she had the door booby-trapped, she had the cabin itself booby-trapped. And she fought like hell. Took out at least a dozen of us before we brought her down.

I got there late and thought for sure I'd missed out on lunch, but while everyone else was focused on eviscerating her, I noticed the cellar door was ajar, made it downstairs...

And found her little baby boy.

Babies have softer skulls, with a nice easy-open soft spot.

Mmmmm, baby brains...

And his mom was pissed, when she finally got back on her feet. Sorry, lady, the early bird gets the worm.


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