Bayveen O’Connell

After the harvest moon, the Famine Grave yawns open and scores of corpses clamber onto the red carpet of Japanese maple. The chill breeze makes windchimes of their bones as their toes curl for purchase once more on the land of the living. Smokey fingers from local chimneys beckon them onwards. At the cross-roads they fan out in all directions. Buses and cars give way to the lurching parade. Hooded crows caw caw in welcome and garden gates unlatch.

Laid out on each lawn is a picnic table banquet lit with winking candles, on each plate no spud but a cornucopia of sushi, tacos, risotto, baklava, wurst, and chicken tikka masala. The starving, they sit and stare and cry before using their cupped phalanges as spoons to lift these gifts to their gaping mouths. Inside the houses, families huddle at their front windows watching, fasting, making sure their guests have had their fill.