A man began to eat his order of fish, and the ghost of the fish arose and spoke. Forgive me, it said, please hear me. I died in despair, which is, as you know, the worst of the deadly sins. As I slowly suffocated in the alien air, I gave up hope of salvation, and so died without the consolation of religion. In your compassion and mercy, have a Mass said for me, and pray for my soul. With that, the ghost of the fish vanished, and the man, congratulating himself on possessing the carcass of such a remorseful creature, tucked in.
from The Sweeping Plain (River Road Press, 2007), Michael Sharkey 2007, used by permission of the author and River Road Press