December 21st, 2012 hadn’t been the end of the world, only the Great Unraveling. The veils between the Seen and Unseen worlds shredded and the living learned they weren’t alone.
Andy had seen it all, done it all as a detective working Vice when he’d be alive. Now, as a ghost, he works as a private investigator. This time, he’s dealing with the ferrymen, who smuggle souls.
This story In the last in the series that started with “Hell By Any Other Name,” followed by, “To Hell And Back,” “Hell For The Holidays,” and “High Stakes Hell.”
I know, never say never. But I do think this is the last story. The character arc feels complete to me. Possibly there will be other stories, maybe something from Toni’s perspective sometime. Who knows? But I don’t anticipate more.
This story ended up being 11,500 words. Almost exactly. I’ve switched over to updating the novel (TRATDT) but once I finish that, I’m going to go back to writing short stories. With the emphasis on short. I’m going to challenge myself to write 3000 word stories for a while. We’ll see how it goes.
“Postcards from Hell” is available at all the usual places (and it didn’t get stuck in the Kobo store this time!)
And here’s an excerpt, the first 200 words or so:
Mrs. Lorenzo wasn’t like any ghost I’d ever met.
She looked as we all did, slightly pale with her own slight glow, wearing the clothes she’d been buried in: a three-quarter sleeve hand-knit white sweater over what must have been an eye-searing tropical print dress, pearls the size of jawbreakers strung tightly around her ample neck, and cheap white sandals that wouldn’t have lasted a week if she’d been living.
Because she was a ghost, none of her clothes moved or grew old. When she sat down in the guest chair in my office, her hands smoothed her skirt out of habit, not because if had climbed up.
So it wasn’t her clothes that made her different. Or her looks: A Hispanic woman in her late 50s, with salt and pepper curls, hard features, stubbornly fat, and perpetually tired.
No, it was her energy, her very soul, that made her stand out.
It wasn’t that ghosts couldn’t feel as intensely as the living. But things didn’t matter like they used to, once you were dead. We tended to drift, not to drive.
Mrs. Lorenzo had never let her foot off the gas for a second.