Long ago, Dr. Coffin tried following home his where-to-begin road, littered with bread crumbs like phantoms held hostage in a haunted house who couldn’t pay Death the ransom.

Vultures with feathers like torn napkins were pecking at the crumbs’ ghost-sheets, trying to disrobe them.

Dr. Coffin bent down, picked one of the phantom crumbs up, put it in his mouth.

It was stale, as if it’d been dead a few days.

He wondered when and if the body was.

The vultures ravaged what little life left them, clawing each other’s napkins out over scraps of hostages.

One napkin floated in the air, in front of Dr. Coffin’s face.

He reached out, snatched it.

Warm words fell out of his mouth and plopped on the ground.

He used the napkin to wipe his mouth.

When he finally found home, ghosts were floating through the house like wet toilet paper.

All the vultures had flown away—they couldn’t stand the smell.


Eric Beeny is the author of THE DYING BLOOM (Pangur Ban Party, 2009), SNOWING FIREFLIES (Folded Word Press, 2010), OF CREATURES (Gold Wake Press, 2010), PSEUDO-MASOCHISM (Medulla Publishing, 2011), MILK LIKE A MELTED GHOST (Thumbscrews Press, 2011), and some other things. He blogs at Dead End on Progressive Ave. (http://ericbeeny.blogspot.com).