Flash Fiction: "Flophouse"

4:17:00 AM

... and his life - as we had known him - ended when he spontaneously combusted from the tip of his cigarette igniting his beard as his numb consciousness slipped away from his suppine, naked body strewn on the hardwood floor.

He had locked the door, and when we finally got in, all that was left was a tuft of his scalp melted into the second hand, spongy polyester cushion and the smell of what a salon and a speakeasy at closing time would have smelled like if you rolled them both into one.

Those who found him said that his last meal had been a bag of unsalted UTZ potato chips.

None of them dared say what each of them  had imagined in the charred ceiling, and all of them had thought it resembled something - only something different for each of them: a pig, a hand, a tree, and so on; something and nothing, neither and both ... just like he had lived his life, you know, managing to drive those who cared about him at some point or another bananas.

It was unclear if he had intended for this to happen or that his broken heart just simply gave out.


Note: originally composed on and reposted from Ello.Co profile

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