a backup soul

They were tearing the backs off of toads. It starts with a tiny cut under the neck. And then a pry of the blade against a thumb.
It comes off fairly smooth, a tiny slab of forest green lumps and bumps — an exquisite splash of raw red flesh glistening against a silver moody sky.

Why are they doing this?  To what avail?
I look into the creature’s eyes, searching for something . . . anything.  I find nothing.
A cursed stone face — unable to convey its agony. It mocks us, and renders us soulless.

Perhaps nothing I find, because nothing is what I seek?
“Give me that knife.”
It’s time I look beyond my own reflection in a set of glossy golden eyes. There’s got to be a ghost in here somewhere.
And I’m going to find it. I need to find it.  ♨