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=  Ghosts and the City #1   =

Ray and Lolo in the Neitherworld

Ray and Louise (Lolo) are two souls who meet in Dark San Diego and—for a short while beyond time but before eternity—are together as ghost and ghostess in the Neitherworld.

All the rules are all different in the Neitherworld, which is that waiting zone between Here and There, or Hither and Yon, whichever you prefer. Then, as all things must end, the time comes for each to receive the mission that leads each to the next place.

Ray and Lolo were each victims of separate, random murders. As our story begins, they meet in Dark San Diego, the parallel world between the living and the dead. It is a spirit world, unseen by the living, but it is every bit as real.

Ray was murdered by a man his wife Tamsin was having an affair with; and Louise (Lolo), a cute girl-next-door type waitress from Montreal who was killed by a mad slasher named Wallace Meat while serving pancakes and coffee in Ray’s favorite diner.

To complicate matters for Ray, there is Tamsin--Ray's wife, who was having an affair with Ray's best friend, and is now married to the fellow. Ghosts have feelings, and Ray is a bit blue—but Lolo cheers him up, especially at her amber-glowing paranormal café for denizens of Dark San Diego.

In the spirit world are ghosts, seraphs, angels, centaurs—all manner of beings from classical and green mythologies. A few living persons can speak with the dead—shamans like Jonas Nestor of the Compass News Bureau, which specializes in solving paranormal crimes, fixing what's broken, making little changes that repair shattered lives.

Ray and Lolo have each other, and they can walk hand in hand among the leafy trees of Balboa Park, picking the occasional red or purple cactus flower in its afterlife. Each must make sense of that abrupt demise, while forming a temporary romantic partnership.

Ray, however, is setting himself up for a fall once again. Lolo still loves Henri, her Montreal beau, and soon she’ll be together with Henri and the children they were meant to have in this land of wandering, big-eyed souls. Henri’s arrival is just a plane crash or other accident away, coming at us like an express.

Along comes a strange, magical man named Jonas Nestor, who runs a sort of stage, a doorway between worlds, where the Neitherworld meets the world of the living. And there, in Nestor’s twilight borderland, Ray and Lolo will have their glimpse of what fate has in store.

Here in the spirit world, somber light falls like rain. The very air itself is poetry, full of moody rain like tears, but often shiny like a smile about to break through. Things are not all sad and gloomy. Ghosts can love each other, and people, and do good or heroic deeds. Theirs is a world filled with surprises. Along the Shore Road (which doesn't exist in the world of the living), houses are built of gloom. Green and ruby coach lights shine dimly on the ghosts who hang around waiting for the mission that will set them free. We get to meet a few of them…

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