Shuffled Off: A Ghost's Memoir, Book 1
Sometimes death wakes you up...
Death comes for us all, but when JJ Lynch dies, it's one hell of a wakeup call. He's forced out of the rut of his going-nowhere meat-life and must embrace his new after-life. With a gallows sense of humor, JJ fights his way through the five stages of grief on a journey you will never forget.
Along the way he has to confront the bardo (his own personal hell) and delicately tie up his loose ends. If he's not careful, one of his loved ones will die.
Life is not easy, even when you're a ghost.
Using technology developed at the University of Arizona, JJ communicates from beyond the veil to tell his mind-bending story of life beyond death in his own words.
"...JJ's heartrending passage, kicking and screaming, through Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' five stages of grief for his lost life, is relatable for any reader who has lost a loved one too soon.
The wry humor and raw emotional truth of JJ's journey will have readers rooting for him from death to eternity." Kirkus Reviews.
EXCERPT FROM SHUFFLED OFF:
The morgue was next, a cold sterile room where my body was shoved into a drawer. There were three others there with me. I guess you would call them ghosts, but I was still having a hard time with that. All three were wispy floating forms with silver cords leading to a drawer. Two were completely out of it, looking gape jawed and stupid, just wandering around. The third’s name was Jesus.
“Hey fresh meat, what happened to you?” he asked.
I would have jumped out of my skin, if I had skin. I don’t know why, but I just wasn’t expecting that.
“Huh?” I mumbled.
“Oh man, not another bardo-brain,” he said.
“What a waste of space. Can’t you bring me someone to talk to?” He looked up as he said this.
“Are you talking to me?”
“Praise be to Guadalupe! Yeah man, I’m talking to you.” With a big smile on his face he added, “My name is Hey-zeus.”
“Hey-zeus, you mean as in Gee-zus?”
“Difference in pronunciation. If you would be so kind, please call me Hey-zeus. Although I am a mighty handsome guy, I don’t want to be confused with the big fellow.” He pointed up.
I am not sure if he was handsome or not: his dancing eyes were brown; his face was plain and kind looking; and he had a big full mustache wiggling above his smile.
“Oh yeah, sure. My name is JJ.” I would have extended my hand, but it wasn’t quite like that. I had a sense of form, but it wasn’t steady, especially regarding limbs. Jesus’s face was clear, but the rest of his body came in and out of… hmmm… focus I guess, depending on what he was doing. I suppose it was the same for mine.
Turns out Jesus had been there a while. He was an illegal and as such his body had not been claimed yet. Jesus was a bounty hunter that had snuck across the border chasing a murderer. He wasn’t like a normal bounty hunter, at least not what I thought normal bounty hunters did; he also tried to “show them the light of the divine Mother Mary” before he turned them in.
Next came, what I have come to know is, a standard ritual among the dead.
“So, how’d you die?” Jesus asked.
“Pinned to the jungle gym at a Mickey D’s by a car full of ripped college kids.”
“Nice! Wow.” He seemed to be impressed.
“How did you die?” I asked. It only seemed polite to reciprocate.
“Ice pick to my left eye,” he answered pointing to it. “I had the perp caught and cuffed, not sure how he came up with the pick.”
There was a period of awkward silence for a while after that. I mean, what do you say? So sorry we’re both dead; what the hell do we do now?
This is a full-length novel (approximately 62,000 words). You can find out more about it at http://www.ShuffledOff.com
- Robert J. McCarter, November 2011
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