Ghosts are people, too, but not all ghosts choose to be good people.
Rip Cooper must overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. This young loner learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood, and he’s just as solid to them — pretty much the only solid thing, in fact. He works alongside an impure “angel” and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can lead to strength.
RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death features the first four novelettes in this coming-of-age and redemption story: “Touch,” “Alone,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B,” plus the short story “Strength.”
Copyright 2013 Daniel R. Sherrier
Rip brought a few books back to the apartment Friday night. He found Serissa pacing the wall near the door.
“There you are,” she said. “Really like that library, don’t you? I was beginning to wonder if you like literally got sucked into a book and I was going to have to have some huge epic fantasy adventure to yank you free.”
“Were you with Kalli that whole time?”
“Some of the time.”
Rip ducked below her pacing on his way to the kitchen table. “You two have fun together?” he asked, setting down his camera bag and books.
“Had a jolly good jaunt. Did you have fun with yourself?” She cringed. “Ew. That really did sound dirty that time.” Her face scrunched as she reconsidered. “Or am I just dirty?”
“It was fine,” Rip said, turning away from her. He tried to, anyway.
“Wait a second.”
Serissa hopped onto the ceiling directly in front of him and grabbed his head for a more thorough, albeit inverted, analysis. Her empathy didn’t work on him, but facial expressions came in at a close second. She studied him intently.
“You got a glow about you. Where’d you get the glow?”
“Nothing. I don’t—”
“Awfully quick nothing coming out of your mouth there.”
“Even quicker.” She tapped his forehead. “Let it out, boy. I know of only one force on this planet that makes you not miserable, and Kalli was with me. Or is it Kalli? What day is it?”
“Can you please stop playing Spider-Woman with my ceiling?”
“Maybe I’ll return your precious ceiling if maybe you give me some answers.”
Rip stared up at the white plane, and he shrugged.
She pressed her finger on his nose. “Talk.”
He figured he’d lose eventually anyway, so he got on with it. “I met a ghost who was haunting the library, and I think I might actually be able to help her instead of—”
Serissa hung her head. “Her? Oh, Ripley, you poor stupid boy.”
“What? If I can help a ghost become less creepy and more like…” Upon spotting Serissa crouched on the ceiling and repeatedly banging her head through it, he found cause to adjust his statement. “If I can save a ghost’s soul, isn’t that better than outright condemning her to Hell?”
Serissa flung herself to the floor to address him from a more conventional perspective. “In theory, yeah.”
“Oh, you’ve decided to be right-side up?”
“I do that sometimes. But you see, theory and the real world tend to duke it out real often—and you know what, buddy? Theory doesn’t always win the championship.”
“Maybe that particular theory of yours won’t, not this time.”
“A-ha! You just made my point.”
“I really don’t think I did.”
“Yes, you said a theory wouldn’t work in the real world.”
“About your theory.”
“I think you lost your point somewhere along the way.”
Serissa placed both hands on his shoulders to make a firm, serious point. “Rip, your clouded is judgment.”
“Your judgment is clouded! Stupid tongue! You fell for a pretty face, complete with gigantically sad eyes—I’m just guessing—and now you think you can do something that odds are you really can’t. And what’s wrong with Kalli?”
“This has nothing to do with Kalli.”
“First pretty ghost face comes along, you ditch the object of your longtime affection.”
“When did I ditch her? And that’s an exaggeration.”
Serissa drifted off the floor. “Wait, I was the first pretty ghost face…”
Rip gently grabbed her arms and pulled her back down. “Serissa, stop. I appreciate your concern, but she is not some monstrous force of evil. Pamela just needs someone to be there for her and believe in her.”
“How long has she been dead?”
“What does that have to do with—?”
“Hey. Your angel guide is asking a question for a reason—reason being I know stuff. How long?”
“She said…I think thirty years or so.”
“Okay, thirty days, thirty months, yeah, you’d have a shot, maybe a good shot. I’d even be rooting for you. But if she’s been haunting that place, any place, for thirty years, and in all that time she couldn’t bother to get her act together, it’s time to put her out of her misery.”
Rip gave her words careful consideration as he twisted them to justify his desired conclusion. “Is it impossible to save her?”
“Snowball’d have better chance, place she’s headed.”
He spoke slower. “Is it impossible?”
Serissa tried to resist answering that stupid question. The nerve of it, to have an answer entirely counterproductive to her goal! Bad question! But her silence was already responding. “No,” she said.
Rip headed into his bedroom. “Then I’m giving it a shot.”
He shut the door behind him. Serissa really hated that question.
“This becomes a paranormal adventure with Rip fighting the ghosts and trying not to look like a loon while he is arguing with invisible people. The stories are short but really good. They sucked me in and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next.
“This is a great book and I can’t wait to read more from Daniel Sherrier.”
“I loved the snappy dialogue in this book. It often made me laugh and it kind of reminded me of the type of humor you saw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I LOVED!). Serissa was especially funny – it seemed like she always had a quip in any situation. …
“This was a fun paranormal read with lots of humor and a few spooky moments. If you’re a fan of this genre, I think you’ll find a lot to love in Choices After Death. I’m eager to read the next installment!”
“It turned out to be quite a hilarious read actually. … I found this book to be quite entertaining.”
“…action packed and exciting. … I really enjoyed how the ghosts were each portrayed. … I loved the ending.”
“If you like a light-hearted and witty version of a ghost story then this is definitely a book
for you. …
“The characters are all interesting and how Rip deals with being one of the Seven and accepting who he is, is wonderful. I would actually add Young Adult to the genres already given as this book seems perfect for the younger generation as it encourages them to accept who they are and work with their own individual gifts.”
“… NOT your normal paranormal adventure! His ghosts will not keep you up all night, listening for things that go bump in the night. With an unlikely set of heroes, get ready to chuckle more often than not at their banter, especially the utterly disarming Serissa. Daniel Sherrier writes with a sense of humor and delightful style that flows along easily and will appeal to all ages! As he allows Rip to grow into his role and assume his position among the Seven, the transformation is remarkable. A fun read that is light, quick and a refreshing change from the
dark side of ghost stories!”
“Excellent! … This is a great concept and just to think, there is more to come. I also think
this would make a great comic book series. Very likable characters, Fight
sequences that gives the pages some great action.”
“Sherrier takes a rather simple premise (think “chosen one” archetype) and layers on much humor, wit and originality. The writing is brisk and easy to breeze through and the very un-flat characters actually make you want to read one more ‘act’ before bed.”
“If ghost stories are your thing, you will want to read this one. It is too funny in a lot of areas. I loved the way author Daniel Sherrier wrote this. …
“This was a page turner to the point that I finished it in less than a complete day. … I was so wrapped up in the what happens next effect.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Another little gem on this year’s reading list. It’s such a delight to find something different; I don’t regret this purchase at all.”
“A witty and humorous page turner! This book is not your average ghost story. …
“It was refreshing to read something this unique centering around the timeless ghost story theme. I could see this turning into a television series one day. Strongly recommended!”
“5/5. This book was fantastic. It pulled me in from the very first line. This isn’t your typical ‘ghost story’ it’s an action packed adventure.”