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FICTION
Brian and I
Neil Clark

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Because Brian and I grew up together, the act of murdering him brutally reminded me of our childhood. His brain, spurting from the fissures of his skull. His eyes, popping out the sockets like lubed ping pong balls. The deep, gloopy reds seeping through my fingers and onto the handle of my axe. The cathartic hand-feel of his disembowelled flesh and his limp limbs, so utterly defenceless to my relentless maiming. It felt like I was having the very last word in all the arguments we’d ever had after every heated game of Call of Duty or Monopoly, or after that New Year’s Eve when we both liked the same girl and neither of us got to kiss her.  

His death rattle sounded just how he used to act it out in the school playground days, back when we used to play Cops & Robbers, Cowboys & Indians, Power Rangers, whatever. But things had gotten real now. Tainted by grown-up issues. Sullied by time and by skewed ambition, by money problems and by misguided motives.

The brain matter oozing from his cranial cavity had the texture and (non) taste of tofu. This would have made Brian happy, as he had recently been flirting with veganism. The gelatinous pink/red fluid that coated the brain matter, however, was almost certainly not vegan-friendly. You win some, you lose some, Brian.

I straddled his chest and feasted on the brains for as long as I could before quitting from palate fatigue. Time to straighten my SS hat and gave a Nazi salute to my old friend, who lay unnervingly still and lifeless, my axe still wedged into the top of the head.

Knowing the euphoria of the whole thing wouldn’t last long, I drank it in thirstily, imagining existing in a parallel universe; a universe in which I was the kid who was really going places; a universe where this moment was my Big Moment. I had to check myself and hold back from getting too carried away. The bosses were watching. Full concentration was needed to appear as intense and menacing yet vacant as possible. It was a tough cocktail of emotions to mix, but nobody said this occupation was an easy pour.

For good measure, I killed some other Allied soldier guy and had a quick snack on his brains. Or maybe he was another SS soldier. He didn’t have a hat on, so it was impossible to tell. By this point, I doubt anybody cared anyway. It was time to finish up for a protein shake and a tea break with Hitler and the rest of the boys.

The bathroom facilities in the place were terrible. Cold and mouldy, damp and rusty and covered in piss stains from pre-WWI. There weren’t even any mirrors above the sinks, although maybe that was a good thing. I didn’t want to have to look at the state of myself, all ears hanging off and gangrenous flesh holes all over my face. My euphoria from the murder of Brian was beginning to wear off and warp into existential crisis. What had I just done? Again?

The door creaked open and snapped me out of my malaise. Brian walked in. My axe was still lodged firmly into his head. He went over to the urinal and asked me, mid-piss, “Do you think we’ll make it into the final cut? I thought we did alright out there.”

“Who cares?” I said. “Nobody’ll watch this crap anyway. They should have stopped making these things after ‘Nazi Zombie Chippendales 3’.”

“Yeah, maybe,” said Brian. “‘Nazi Zombie Chippendales 7’ is maybe a step too far. What you doing now? Beer and a chickpea curry?”

“I’ve already eaten, but beer sounds good,” I said. “Let’s get some clothes on and get out of here.” 


Neil Clark lives and work in Edinburgh and recently started letting other humans see his writing. Find him on Twitter @NeilRClark