About the Book
Author: Harrison Fountain
Genre: Literary Fantasy
When TK dies in a car accident, the Grim Reaper gives him a second chance at life, but he says it’s more fun being a ghost. As he haunts his small Iowa town, his sleek shell of sarcasm cracks to a terrified lonely inner self. Find out why he’d rather be dead.
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The Grim Reaper reached down to me, like she wanted to help me up, but I didn’t want her bony, spectral hands on me. They might’ve been covered in the illusion of flesh but they were bony just the same. “You want your life back, don’t you?”
“I never said I wanted that.”
I slapped her palm then the back of her hand, then pounded it with my fist from above and below, and finished with a punch that exploded to fingers as I drew it back.
“It’s practically free. You just have to shake it. Most people would take the deal.”
“While haunting a bakery is a tease, I think I like being dead. It’s like the weekend but constantly. I promise to keep dodging Miss Milkmaid over there,” I said. “It’s not even the price of the deal. I’d give you my soul and do your evil bidding, no problem, but I refuse to do laundry. I don’t even do my own. That pretty much opts me out of life.”
“You’d get to eat all the chocolates you wanted.”
“Till everyone side-eyed me for getting fat.”
Anita furiously flipped through her book of emptiness for 27 undeniably happy facts guaranteed to make me smile. “Did you know otters hold hands while they’re sleeping? Norway once knighted a penguin. The blind smile despite having never seen another because it’s just instinct to show off a good mood. The genetic mutation that would’ve allowed spiders to fly was killed off because it didn’t fit the environment. Life is this beautiful, mysterious, complex phenomenon that basically came about over an accident, and whatever laundry you’re scared of is insignificant to the wondrous melodies by The Beatles.”
I nodded along with each point, secretly bopping along to a tune that’d gotten stuck in my head. Probably the one the radio’d been playing when the car smashed it into me.
“Won’t you take the deal?” she asked.
“How about I transfer it to you? Something tells me there’s no fine print on the coupon. Has anyone asked you that in the 100,000 years since the birth of consciousness? Or did you get the gig as an amorphous Archaea swimming the ammonia? Regardless, take it. Let me enjoy my vacation and you can have my 60 years of slaving away before you come visit me.”
“People come back from vacations.”
“Every year my mom said she wanted to stay in Florida forever. Miserable place.”
These author bios are generally in third person, right? That’s a little weird for me so--
Harrison Fountain said, “In Kindergarten, Mrs. Augustson sent me to Special Ed because of my speech impediment, the result of a 4-year-long ear infection that garbled the input and so a few letters needed the pronunciation corrected. I had to work on my Ss, Cs, Ks, Ws, Rs, Bs, Ps, Ts, Qs, Ds, Xs, Ls, and Ns.
Every year in elementary school, Scholastic gave students a hardback book with empty cream pages for us to scribble in as part of a school-wide contest. I never won. The kid in my grade who did plagiarized If You Give A Mouse a Cookie and those biased, paid-off judges didn’t even mention my amalgamation of the Silver Surfer and the Human Torch.
Still, I kept writing, finishing my first novel in my 7th grade Physical Science spiral notebook where the narrator’s best friend was an orange alien with green hair named Carrot. My next novel about a boxer, I started in high school before I’d ever even watched boxing, and fighters called out their moves (“The Double Rocket Upper—no, wait! It’s a TRIPLE ROCKET UPPERCUT!!!”) like they were Pokemon.
No one taught me to write until my second year at college when Mr. Johnson called me to his office as he did with all his creative writing students and then he bloodied my first draft of a character sketch claiming his marks were “just ink.” I almost cried. A few visits later, I’d written a character sketch about my sister’s divorce and the family dog. He crossed out a lot like usual. Told me why. Then he scrawled an A at the top. It’d be my first published short story (http://www.orangepeals.com/short-stories/loving-a-mutt/).
The pride felt earned for once.
While studying in Wales without satellite TV or an Xbox, I started a blog called Nothing Fazes a Ghost, where I posted weekly chapters. Those 10,000 views with ad revenue earned enough for a pizza. After a few years and a few drafts, it became Eidolons.
I also teach English to adorable Korean kids who, in turn, teach me cutie poses.”