The last of the brain matter slithered over the rough surface of her tongue and down her throat. Its texture was exquisite. It had the wobbly dance of jelly and the rubbery satisfaction of gum. As she swallowed, she closed her eyes, determined to savour the last piece of the last brain she would ever eat. She needed to memorise, in vivid detail, the feel of every crevice, the tangy iron taste of blood, the viscous liquid emerging from the meat, and the stringy elasticity. The immensity of the sensations! The knowledge, experience, and memories of billions of lives embedded within her taste buds. When she savoured the salty blood that pooled in her mouth, it was not as billions of different experiences, but as one mind-numbing, transcendental synergy of information. The tastes of billions of tongues, the preferences, the multiple forms of cognizance, all enveloped in one intense experience.
As her intestines digested the last piece of brain, a faint buzzing rang in her ears. The familiar tingle enveloped her, sealing her off from the rest of the world, safe and inert in her own personal bubble. Her movements slowed and increased in significance. Every move she made seemed deliberate, heavy, as if pushing through water. Behind her eyes, her vision was lit by sudden fireworks. Not the colourful type she used to see at parades, a long time ago. The sparks and crackles were pure white. Brilliant, blinding, and welcomed. She started to convulse. Each time, different regions of her muscles spasmed, contorted and twitched.
When the memories and information came, it was as a trickling stream merging into the ocean. The space within the horizons of her mind was vast. And this space contained profound knowledge. This shred of information slipped easily into the flow of her consciousness, caught in the stream, barely nudging the movement of the current, a whisper in a sea of voices.
The first time she ate someone's brain. That first time. She shuddered with pleasure at the recollection of the revolutionary moment. There was nothing like it. Nothing. She would kill to have another experience like that First Time. She did kill for that First Time. When she finally tore away the last strands of her conscience, morals, and revulsion, when she finally placed that first morsel of brain on her tongue. That mental experience. There was nothing like it. Nothing. There was not a hallucinogen, depressant, stimulant on Earth that could possibly mimic the power of that ingestion. Usually, she would hate the cliche phrase, "words could not describe it" - she was certain that only lazy, irresponsible writers used that phrase. Anything, she believed, could be described with some approximate accuracy. It was a matter of finding the right words. But for that first experience, there was nothing. No word, no language in the universe could possibly encapsulate the experience with any degree of accuracy. And she should know. Her brain now contained the knowledge of roughly two billion people. Thousands of languages.
That First Time. The explosion of her mental horizons. The Big Bang of her mind. The preconceived notions, the socially-constructed views she had developed over the past decades. They fell away, powerless in the face of the information that bloomed in her mind. A lifetime of memories, ideas, ideals, thoughts, beliefs.
After that First Time, she had no qualms about murder. She needed to feel that way again. It was a craving, a desperate desire that manifested itself mentally and physically. Her body actually ached and throbbed with thirst for another experience like that.
But each time, it was less fulfilling.
There were two of them left. Two. Of the six billion or so humans who originally walked the Earth, there were two left. Animals overran the globe - they had survived not due to any conscience on mankind's part, but due to the simple fact that eating animal brains did nothing in the way of information transfer. It just didn't work that way with them. It was all for the best, she thought. She wasn't sure her mind could handle bestial thoughts and bestiality.
She sometimes thought of the two of them as Adam and Eve. In the world before everything else started. In a garden of Eden. Except it was a world after everything had ended. And she highly doubted that Eve and Adam lived with the need to constantly suppress their urges to stab one another, smash each other's skulls open, and to feast on the brain of the other.
They had a pact. They sealed that pact with hundreds of rituals from as many cultures. They would not kill each other. The urge was overwhelming at moments, but in the long run, they knew it was the right thing to do - to let the other live. To kill and eat one of their brains would mean a lifetime of solitude with no intellectual banter. It would mean a lifetime spent looking back on the billions of lifetimes of memories he or she had, without someone to share them with. There would be no sparks of insight bursting forth from debates. There would be no one to convince, no one to be influenced by. The loneliness would crush the last one standing.
There was another reason behind their pact. They were curious. They wanted to see if they could create another being, one that possibly had the combined knowledge of them both. In other words, she was trying to get pregnant.
It made no logical sense, of course. In all likelihood, the baby would be born a normal child. An ordinary child. But they had enough beliefs, mystical knowledge, esoteric facts, government secrets etc. in their minds to know that anything on Earth was possible. They were no longer bound by conventional logic. They knew that anything could happen, and so they were curious, as to whether anything would. Would their baby be one that was born with special abilities? Would she inherit any of their knowledge? Anything was possible.
She knew she was pregnant from the moment of conception. She didn't know how she knew, not exactly. There was too much information to sieve through to be able to determine the points of data that had been calculated and merged into the conscious awareness that she was pregnant. The knowledge was mashed and blended nicely in her mind. The holistic congregation and integration of knowledge was such that many things she knew, thought of, or guessed at were things she instinctively felt. They were as natural to her as emotions. There was no need to follow certain patterns of logic. Everything just was.
When she talked to him, that Last Brain She Could Eat, she didn't need words. It would have been inconceivable in the past, in her pre-brains-eating mind, but they communicated with looks, thoughts, and the slightest of gestures. It functioned like telepathy, but was more like an accumulation of skill and knowledge in reading body languages, sharpened instincts, acquired empathy and a whole multitude of other factors.
Today, he had walked up to her and held her hand. With that touch, billions of ways of feeling, an infinite store of memories were awakened. Everything was heightened, experienced like a skullful of perfectly whisked milkshake of acquired knowledge. She was in love, and she knew he was too. This love helped to cement their pact, to fend off the wild urges to kill and devour. These urges came frequently, but not overwhelmingly. There was too much at stake.
But sometimes, the desire picked holes in her resolve. Her deep love for him - imagine the love that is formed by a mind with multitudes of lifetimes' experiences - would be twisted by the monster of her addiction. I love him, she would think, hence I seek to understand him. I seek to see the world as he does. I crave the moment when he would become a part of me. Blending his consciousness with mine, grasping the knowledge he has, seeing the world through his eyes - isn't that the purest form of love?
She resisted the impulses. She held several mantras close, reciting them feverishly in times when the urges crippled her. Mantras like, "There is beauty in mystery. In the unknowable". Or, "as long as it remains uneaten, there is still the possibility of that One Last Experience lingering in the future". Eating his brains would be the final step in her addiction. There would never be another brain to eat. Never would she be able to feel pips of information blossoming in the depths of her mind. Never would she have anything to look forward to again.
She expected a revolutionary high. One that would parallel or transcend the first experience. She would, after all, be ingesting the knowledge and wisdom of approximately four billion people. Four billion brains. The thought sent a delicious thrill up her spine. She clenched her jaws. She could not do it. She had a project to work toward with him. She loved him. He was the only person in the world she could talk to, the only person in the world who came close to understanding her. He was also literally the only person left in the world outside of herself.
The day she gave birth, they held their breaths in anticipation. They both knew it was going to be an easy birth. They both knew how to act, to conduct the birthing such that it would be a smooth-sailing birth.
The girl slithered out of her mother, slippery, red, covered in slime, blood, and pieces of matter.
With her first cry, they felt that tremble of joy. The moment crystallized in their minds, forever preserved in the infallible capabilities of their memories.
She was eighteen when they finally had the courage to bring up the one topic that had been flitting about the backs of their minds for the past eighteen years. How would they divide her brain amongst themselves, when they inevitably succumbed to their temptation?