Andy wasn’t like other ducklings. All his brothers and sisters had fuzzy brown feathers and cute little peeping voices. The only sound Andy could make was a growling moan and his feathers drooped over bits of dried muscle and flesh, that seemed to rot away with each passing day.
He just didn’t fit in. While the other ducklings ate worms and bits of grass, Andy preferred the dead bits of ducklings remains left over from Mr. Eagle’s meals. He especially liked any bits of brain he could get his beak on.
In fact the only word he managed to learn to say was brains.When asked what he wanted to do, he moaned, “Brains.” When asked how he was feeling, he moaned, “Brains.” When asked what he wanted to eat, he moaned, “Brains.”
The other ducklings treated Andy with fear and contempt, even when he tried to play water polo with him. “Go away freak,” they’d say, shoving him under the water as they sped away. It wasn’t his fault that pieces of his body fell off and got stuck all over their ball.
Even his parents feared Andy, even though they tried their best to include him in their daily treks around the pond and nuzzle him at night. But Andy’s rotting body, his desire for the flesh of his deceased siblings and the fact that he responded to everything with “Brains” caused them to tremble any time they were near him.
One day, Andy decided to run away from home. He moved to the other side of the pond and hid among the reeds, hunting the ducklings that lived there. Andy figured that since they weren’t part of his family, there really wasn’t anything wrong with it. Besides, those highfaluting north ponders had it coming.
This went on for a while and Andy grew strong enough to move to hunting adult ducks. The more he ate, the less his body seemed to rot and the sharper his mind became, even though he could still only speak one word.
But Andy was tired of hiding. He didn’t want to spend his whole life cowering in the weeds like some rat, scurrying out only to feed. So, he stepped out of the reeds and strode purposefully towards the water’s edge, ignoring the screams of the ducks around him.
He peered down into the water and saw a large adult duck before him, with blood dappled feathers and exposed muscles dried like wads of paper. Andy smiled to himself. It didn’t matter that he was different than the other ducks or what they thought of him. He was an elite member of the undead and could kill them all.
“Brains,” he said softly and headed out into the pond to surprise his family.