After a while, the vampire wandered off, leaving me alone with the brain. Without him there as a distraction, I found my gaze drawn to the brain, no matter how hard I tried to look elsewhere. I was so hungry. Not stomach-grumbling hungry, but I really wanted to eat something. How long had it been, anyway? The brain was right there in front of me. It was disgusting. But what difference would it make, really, if I just tried a little bit…
I clamped down on that thought hard and fast. What was wrong with me? I wasn’t actually considering eating brains, human brains…that was cannibalism!
I wanted it away from me. It wasn’t that I was afraid of being tempted. It was hard enough just picking up the plate and shoving it back through the slot. It was just so revolting. That thing used to be a person, and that vampire was trying to feed it to me like it was no different from a soy bean burger.
“Oh, now really?” That vampire was too damn quiet. He held a different cup this time, one filled with an unidentifiable brown substance. “I’ll have to clean that up, you know. I hate touching brains.”
I glared at him. “You wanted me to eat it.”
“I didn’t really think you would.” He stepped forward, avoiding the brain and the wet spots it’d left on the floor, and passed the cup through the slot, tilting it carefully so it wouldn’t spill.
“The more appetising version. Gross, I’m going to have to touch it.” He slid the plate across the floor, towards where the brain had landed near the wall.
I eyed the cup disdainfully. “What does that mean? What’s in it?”
“Nothing for it.” The vampire grimaced, then braced the brain between the tips of his fingers and leveraged it back onto the plate. “Ew, ew, ew.” He shook his fingers out, as if that would get rid of the brain juices.
“What’s in it?” I repeated.
The vampire looked over, as if hearing me for the first time. “Oh, just more of the same, only blended up with some flavouring. Give it a try. It’s supposed to actually taste pretty good.”
“I’m vegan.” I nudged the cup away with my foot.
“You were vegan. Just drink your brains. I have to get a mop.” He left, taking the whole brain with him.
I was strongly tempted to tip the blended brains out over the floor, but resisted the urge. I could be the bigger person.
The vampire returned a couple minutes later with a mop in hand, just like he’d said. Unlike every time before, he didn’t say a word to me, instead focusing all his attention on scrubbing the floor with sharp, jerky motions. I felt unreasonably pleased to have gotten under his pale, shriveled skin.
I spoke up when he picked up the bucket to leave. “You may as well take this with you.” I gestured at the blended brains. “I’m not going to drink it.”
“Can’t,” he replied, walking away. “It’s against regulations. Besides, you’re not my problem anymore.”
“What does that mean?”
He paused in the doorway. “My shift’s about to end. You’ll have to bother someone else tonight.” The door banged shut behind him.