Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
The Neurocranial Exploits
(a short story by Dniwara Redman)
Crack one, crack two.
There is now a visible tear in the flesh. The once wavy brown hair of Professor Emery is now tainted crimson with the blood from the open wound on his scalp. The smell of his apple-scented shampoo is still present in the thick air. The fresh and hot blood has caused tufts of his wavy brown hair to stick together— as if forming a fictional nuclear family that says grace every night before dinner and once a week visits Grandpa in a derelict nursing home. The scalp appears thin from afar but once you give it a few poundings, you will realize that the scalp is one tough layer of the human anatomy.
Crack three, four, five, six
The Johnston Journal of Neuroscience, oh how handy of a book. How well placed on the top shelf of Professor Emery’s bookcase. How well-crafted as to be hardbound and almost thick as a wall. How ironic as to be the cause of Professor Emery’s own mangling and destruction. How convenient for Peter Jenkins to just creep into the professor’s quarters and find it there dimly lit on the shelf. Have you ever tried hammering a nail with the tough side of a thick book? If you haven’t already observed, the book can also be a hammer. A blunt object with the potential to cause serious trauma to the human skull is the demented half-brother of your everyday reading material the book.
Peter Jenkins is an underachieving no-good, no-worth, factory-churn-out, quality-pass student of the barely-average-human generator that is Spielman-Lincoln High School. His grades are in no way spectacular. He is a member of the school’s Origami Club, fucking pussy twat he is, but he is what this tale is all about. He can fold you a paper crane, paper roses, paper candelabras, and paper fucking anything. Great fucking credits to his parents for raising a 15 year old whose only known contribution to the society is his fucking pointless origami.
Minutes earlier before the two strikes that caused the debauchery of Professor Emery’s scalp, Peter Jenkins was just casually strolling down the hallway of Spielman-Lincoln High School. A thick scent hung round the atmosphere as if the sense of a tragedy was about to be set into motion. The school had been built in the early 1900s and still carries its old-timey feel that geezers would nod in favor for. The walls were newly repainted beige but cracks of the previous red layer still show. Peter Jenkins did not find such an upheaval comfortable—being the little sensitive flit he is.
Peter took the stairs that led to the second floor of the school. It was a shit set of stairs. The steps were all creaking and vandalized. A huge dick was carved on one of the steps. The school was probably too busy painting their walls beige to even clean up the vandalism that maybe little girls would see and ask their parents about. Beige is the color of pretense, of trying to be elegant when the fanciest possessions you’ll ever have are an automatic lawnmower and a Starbucks planner, a color of desperation and it fits the mood of Spielman-Lincoln High.
The time was seven-fifteen in the evening and most of the teachers had finished grading the recent tests and reports. On the second floor of the school stood the quarters of one very unfortunate Professor Emery. Peter had just arrived on that said floor.
The memory was still fresh in Peter’s head of how he had been embarrassed by Professor Rudolph Emery in Biology class a week ago for not knowing the basic parts of the brain. Peter still remembers how the entire class laughed at him for not knowing the difference between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Everything was going through his head in slow motion. Professor Emery was a tall demon and he laughed and laughed with the whole class. Professor Emery laughed deeply and slowly as a demon would. In slow motion. Like a scene from a film. He still remembers how on that day, that exact moment when everything was a slow haze when the class was pointing and laughing at his stupidity, he remembers how something inside of him snapped. How Peter Jenkins vowed to exact revenge on the very man that had shamed him in front of his peers. How he stormed out of the room, cursed Professor Emery and screamed at the sky. Oh how the clouds had gone darker that day.
Oh how he wished that Professor Rudolph Emery the Science teacher were more like his twin brother Professor Maximus Emery, a humble man. He was the head Math teacher and Peter admired him so much, having learned his first origami lesson from him. He was Peter’s beacon of hope in such a desolate world.
And now through with reminiscing, Peter paced onward to Professor Rudolph Emery’s room on the very corner of the hall. He saw ten small steps from what he craved the most ever since the shame of last week. He felt the deep green carpet brush against his black leather shoes. Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three—he paused for a while as he counted the remaining steps and he drew a breath. Two, one. He is now before the door and on it was engraved “R. Emery: Head Professor of Science”. Peter rubbed his shoes on the carpet the way a trained housedog would before returning home with a dead bird in its mouth. This is it, he thought. His shaky hands slowly reached for the door knob. It was a faded bronze knob and he turned it, ever so silent as to not make a single sound. Although he had passed not a single teacher on his way upstairs, he still made sure to be stealthy and quiet for what he was about to do. The door had not creaked when he pushed on it. A strand of warm yellow light flowed outside. Peter squeezed his slender body in through the doorway, careful to not make a sound.
The first thing he saw was the Johnston Journal of Neuroscience because the bookshelf was only a meter away from him and it was perfect how a crack of light fell on it, distinguishing it from the other books. He snuck to get it like a thief in the night and he felt its velvety green cover with his fingers. He turned his head around and there it was. There he was. Professor Emery was asleep on his desk with a pen in his hand, a little lamp to illuminate him in the eerily dim room.
The thought of killing Professor Emery and devouring his brain occurred to Peter in the toilet the day after his shaming in class. While he lay in bed days ago, he was reading a book about ancient Mayan traditions. He came across a story that said ancient Mayans ate the brains of rivals so that it would add to their knowledge. That alone convinced Peter that he would kill and eat Professor Emery’s brains, maybe snack on his fingernails just for fun.
With the Johnston Journal of Neuroscience in hand, Peter calmly walked over to the desk where Professor Emery lay. He watched him first, like a lion stalking the zebra, like an obese person eyeing the last piece of buffalo wing. He smelled the prof’s neck, like a snake licks the same air its prey breathes, like Ron Jeremy sniffs a cunt before devouring it. The air smelled like apple-scented shampoo. Peter has long awaited this. He lifts his right hand up in the air, the one holding the book. He lifts it so up high and then drops it. Drops it smack dab on Professor Emery’s skull with the wavy brown hair. Bam. A thud roars and jogs the professor’s senses. Bam. Another blunt force trauma with the tough side of a book. Professor Emery is too confused with the sudden rush of events. He comes dizzy and in writhing pain, as if he had just been shot in the head.
Another whack and it was the strongest ever. Blood rushes and the scalp tears open like a floodgate that never lived up to its name. The hair turns sticky with the Professor’s dark and chunky blood.
This is starting to sound like Batman: Adam West style.
Krag, bam, thud.
Professor Emery never screamed for help. He just fell down on the carpet like a meat puppet in the origami-folding hands of Peter Jenkins. The book once green is now red on the side with all the blood from the prof. The blood had seeped into the carpet, such a waste of good carpet—Peter thought. There is now a rip in the fabric of the scalp and Peter shoved his fingers in there. He fit four fingers into the hot bloody pocket of scalp and pulled it back with all force. A few more digs and blows with the book and it loosens up. Now he sees it, the ivory white skull of such an educated man. Peter takes a big swing at it, waste of a good book, he thought.
Crack ten, twelve, sixteen
There it is, a hole in his head. Oh what a lovely sight. Peter tore at it with his frail hands, gracefully driving out inch-thick skull fragments. His hand is bloody, sore from all the hitting and whacking, and from all the scalping done. Waste of good apple shampoo, he thought. Professor Emery’s body lay there in the middle of his own quarters, curled up in a fetal position in his favorite gray vest now wrinkled and bloodied. Is he dead?—Peter thought.
A shell of a man lay on the floor while a savage student worked and drove his way upon the Professor, pummeling, chiseling, and breaking, unraveling. A hole in the skull of Professor Emery two inches in diameter had just been laboriously formed by Peter Jenkins. Now that the gray matter is before him exposed, he shoved his hand in the way a Mayan would. A handful of brain was tonight’s dinner. Peter worked up an appetite for this. Three, two, one inch it was from his mouth and then he lunged. Tore at it with his teeth, savored it, sucked on it, and lolled around in his mouth. Rubbed all over his face, his cheeks, and his nose. The taste was irony, bloody, almost like that of liver but worth the ill flavor because of the knowledge it would transfer. Another scoop of brain shoved in, oh it was heaven. Nirvana. The ultimate pleasure. Sex was nothing. A thousand paper cranes meant nothing at that moment. Brain, gray matter, not an ounce wasted. Peter could not contain his feelings. The flavor oh the flavor. The blood to push it down, the cerebral fluid. A nibble on the brain stem. A chomp here and there, a swallowing, a push of the tongue, a fresh surge of dopamine and knowledge and saliva. Peter had never felt so contented. He felt the brain pieces sink down to his belly, the hot flesh being digested, processed into information. He felt the new batch of intelligence and education arrive in his brain. Oh the glory, the guilt, it was the prime purpose of his life. For once he believed that all events conspired and moved to bring him to his moment. To this feast, this dinner, the universe had pushed him into this.
And alas he was full, both in mind and stomach.
Revenge had been exacted.
The longest night of his life has transpired.
Peter Jenkins fell to slumber and with a satisfied smile on his face.
The door swung wide open and in walked a man petrified by fear. Just back from a weekend vacation was Professor Rudolph Emery and he stood there in regret of how he had tasked his own twin brother Professor Maximus Emery to stay for the weekend and finish checking his Biology exam results for him.