The Snubs

Created using a list of Oscar snubs passed through a shuffler.

Call Ben for fire, said the phantom fanning
himself from the cold. Because phantoms are
different from us here: they burn in winter, like
water so cold it bites like flame. They need
the warmth to quench their heat; I guess that’s why
they hang around the living so much. “And Collette,
collect the wood." He threw his voice after me
like an empty can, as careless and as violent as a drunk.
I fell around in the dark calling for Ben, feeling
for wood at my feet. Neither answered me. The spirit
sank colder behind me, silent in his fever.
I thought about black holes evaporating themselves
into nothing as they spun, meaningless, emperors
of pure destruction. I thought of Ben and his cold eyes.
A crackle of limbs to the west drew me back out
of myself, a bucket from a well. Ben had found wood,
and was setting a pyre. There goes your ghost,
he murmured. I spun to face him. Nothing pierced the night.