“Is it?” Dill looked out of the side window, making a brief but uncomfortable silence.
Harold concentrated on driving, the car coming the other way a brief flash of light as it passed. A glance at the rear-view mirror mounted on the wind showed the red of is tail-lights illuminating the marker posts on the outside of a bend as it vanished into the night. His stomach lurched as he topped Hergest Ridge and the lights of Laverstone spread out in front of them.
“It surprised me, that's all.” Harold tried to fill the chasm of silence. “Normally when someone dies everything goes slack. Vocal chords would drop in pitch by an octave or more, causing the low moans and groans of your average screen zombie. Yours, on the other hand, are as high an A string.”
He drove a little more, the streetlights appearing as he entered the town. “It's fascinating, really. I'd love to make a study of how, contrary to all expectations, your vocal chords have tightened up.”
“I found out by accident.” The young man kept his gaze to the side window where the amber streetlights strobed across his face. “It seems to be why...people like me...have a drive to eat brains. Whatever we eat replenishes our own body and replaces those parts that have rotted away. If we eat a brain, we get smarter, we eat a liver, we're able to process more bacteria, we eat someone's vocal chords...”
“You become an alto.” Harold nodded. “That's clever. And if you don't eat?”