Jeff Phillips: The Esophaghosts


Just as it takes an especially intense and chaotic event to imprint one’s malcontent spirit upon a given space, the wild devouring of a scrumptious slop can stir restless spooks that cling to the confines of a dark tunnel.

Crunchy morsels – coated with the crystalline edges of salt, puffed with the pressure of oil soaked fats, oozing with a slow drip of red acidic sauces – act as a charismatic ghoul, the conductor of demonic personalities, all compelled by an urgent vendetta.

The sticky, reactive residue can summon a variety of stirrings, and pretty soon the stretch of a well-worn esophagus is jumping with activity. When occupied by liquefied vengeance, it often feels like occult symbols are being etched into the protective lining, with ice picks that were heated in a rusting furnace, never once cooled by arctic gales.

There’s no debunking that there’s a haunting, predictably tied to special times of the day. Some phantoms emerge in moonlight, yours prefer mealtime.

Unsettled, a man may easily do the equivalent of covering one’s eyes to shield the bright blaze, by biting down on chalky tablets. Calcium and magnesium rain down as though it’s a thick curtain, ready to extinguish, conceal the damage and pretend the torment no longer exists.

Sip from a cold can of ginger ale, if you will, it might give you a brief reprieve. Although it may be good for you to know that comfort will fade once the Esophaghosts become bored of what they deem the pleasant bath of a Jacuzzi break, just a little freshening up for hardworking hooligans.

Those that are properly creeped out by the lingering wraith’s slow burning, buried embers, and who are ready to find comfort once again while existing in tender flesh, seek the stronger remedies: the proton pump inhibitors. This potion will provide the necessary cleansing of the risen ghouls that must be sent back down to the depths of permanent rest.

You may restore momentary peace by calling upon such ordained weapons, sure, but beware the reckless tendencies that invited the Esophaghosts in the first place. Tread lightly down the buffet line. Lack of discretion with a pair of tongs would be like getting rowdy with a Ouija board in a centuries old graveyard.

Some are predisposed to feel their presence, while others are fascinated by their lore. Is the meat from last Tuesday really still clunking around? Let’s talk to it! Camera crews sneak lenses in hopes to catch evidence of their existence. The difficult-to-detect visitors aren’t shy, but they aren’t willing showmen. They’re more of a behind-the-scenes guy, a talented technician, convincing in creating a nasty illusion, so vivid you forget everything else as your heart beats a little faster, swishing a reminder that even well trained pyrotechnic engineers make the occasional careless mistake. The Esophaghosts maintain a reputation as megalomaniac poltergeists able to wield forces you would never dream of unleashing on another living being. The architecture of functional tissue will be a casualty. After all, you used your teeth to tear them down into nothing, but they’re not ready to whisp away into the void, oh no. They have unfinished business, and are unrelenting admirers of the attack dog. Pay some mind, that hot dog with everything on it mocks the fallen as it lays flat in a suffocating sarcophagus. The most thin-skinned of cannibalistic specters is going to stimulate the gush of saliva, that too reeks of an extra dimensional venom.

But try not to think of this, I know you’re frightened. Tune out the echoes of the banshee cries down in the bellows. Lay down, close your eyes. Unless you start to feel it lurking in your throat. If so, sit up; you’re truly possessed. An exorcism is in order, this won’t be easy. The most vile of the Esophaghosts bang, bang, bang to announce they’re staying for good. And even if they do cross over, you’ll be marked by the unholiest of ulcers. We’ve been asking; where are the angels in your time of need? Lo and behold, they’re in a food coma of their own, and we must avoid waking them. When they’re crabby, they too can retract claws and appear no different than an Esophaghost unable to enjoy a soothing slumber. The part that gets under your skin is; you just want that soothing slumber too. It’s a hot commodity, and unbearable heat is a byproduct of the friction caused by the cruelty that plays out in a competition for ultimate comfort. A little slice of Heaven. Isn’t that what you say to yourself just before you bite into the extra piece of cake that makes your gut feel like a barrel of gunpowder, sloshing in the cargo bay of a sinking ship?


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