Brian’s Brains – Chapter 2 – A day in the life of a (working) zombie


​Brian Barrymore is not a normal zombie - he doesn't live in the underground sewers surviving on the brains of rats, lizards and (once in a while) living humans. Instead, Brian spends his days working ​​​at the head office of a multinational company​.

​In this ​English B1 (​intermediate) graded reader, we watch as Brian ​tries to live a normal life while keeping his true nature a secret from his workmates.


CHAPTER ​2: A ​day in the life of a (working) zombie

​Brian woke up at seven. He was in a great mood.

He got up, washed his face, brushed his teeth​ and got dressed.​ Next, he started to do his make-up. Normally, he hated this task. But today, he whistled happily as he ​began​ to remove all signs of being undead.

​One of the challenges of succeeding as ​an undead professional is the fact that ​because you have no blood running through your body, your skin ​looks deathly pale. ​​Also, skin of the undead doesn't grow like ​living skin. It peels off easily if you don't take good care of it.

Brian's make-up routine is the same every day. He starts by ​using moisturising cream to help ​make his face less dry. ​Zombie skin is easily sunburned, so Brian uses a moisturiser that includes sun​ cream. He then ​puts foundation (one kind of make-up) all over his face, ears and neck to make them look smooth. After that, he uses concealer (a​ second kind of make-up) to help hide the dark spots and circles​ around the face and eyes that are common signs of being a zombie. Finally, he ​uses lipstick (a third kind of make-up) to add a light red to his colourless lips.

With his make-up complete, Brian ​moved to the kitchen. He opened the fridge and looked across ​the rows of ​plastic boxes ​that were labelled either 'pig', 'sheep', 'chicken' ​or 'duck'. He grabbed one of the ​​boxes labelled 'sheep' and a carton of milk and took them over to the kitchen counter. He put some sheep brains into a bowl and poured milk over the top, before eating with a spoon.

A zombie's diet is​ very simple. Brains. While Brian chooses to eat his breakfast with milk on top, the milk ​​has no nutritional value for him. It's purely ​a lifestyle choice.

Brian's wide range of brains ​is unusual for a zombie. ​He used to work on a farm outside town in exchange for food. ​T​he family who owned the farm ​knew Brian was a zombie​ and weren't afraid of him. In many ways, it was an excellent job. He had plenty of food, he got a lot of exercise and he didn't need to change his appearance (but that's another story). Today, Brian still visits the family ​each weekend. ​Every time he visits, he buys a supply of brains to take home and ​keep in the fridge.

While a zombie can eat brains hot or cold, they absolutely must be eaten fresh. Many zombies have lost their lives (​again) ​by eating rotten brains, which lose their freshness within twenty-four hours.​ Brian found that by refrigerating ​the brains, he could eat them safely up to a week later.

After breakfast, Brian ​packed a ​lunch box of duck brains in his bag and left his apartment at around a quarter past eight. He caught the 395 bus and ​arrived at work half an hour later.

​​​"​Good morning Brian", ​sang the smiling receptionist as Brian walked in.

Rachel​ gave great smiles. ​She didn't just smile from the mouth. Her smiles seemed to ​involve her lips, her cheeks and her large b​lue eyes. ​​Her arms and hands often joined in too. She gave full-body smiles.

"Morning ​Rachel", ​replied Brian, returning the smile.

He walked over to the staff kitchen and put his duck container in the fridge. ​Brian was always careful with his lunch as he didn't want other staff to find out he was eating brains. ​He used plastic lunch containers that ​people couldn't see through and always ​labelled them with his name.

​Brian's day went quickly and by five o' clock he was still in a good mood.

He caught the 395 bus ​and went back home. For dinner, he felt in the mood for ​pig and warmed some up in the microwave. He then sat down ​in front of the TV and watched a few episodes of his favourite zombie series.

There were a lot of zombie ​films and TV series to choose from and Brian ​was a big fan of all of them. ​They were ​very unrealistic, of course, and always ​used ​living actors who pretended to be zombies. But​, despite this, Brian w​as fascinated by them​.

​At around eleven, Brian got changed, brushed his teeth, removed his make up and went to bed.

  • Anonymous says:

    Aahhha, it seems to me that Brian and I have a lot in common. Especially the make up part of the story 😉
    Oh God! :))) Funny and informative .

  • Jola says:

    Apparently I feel like a zombie today, maybe even worse, because even the full makeup doesn’t work for me. This is a fourth attempt to write a comment here :).
    There are days I think that I simultaneously live on another planet

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