Lost On The Edge of Eternity: A Ghost Story
by Jonathan Floyd

"Any way you cut it, being dead’s a real drag."

Bill Fellars is the guidance counselor at Brownville High. One day he notices an unfamiliar face in the hallway. It turns out that the young student is Randy Galphin. There's just one problem: Galphin is dead. Thus begins Floyd's ghoulish tale populated by a rich cast of characters. Fellars—like a brilliant detective navigating time and space—holds afterschool group sessions with a wide range of Brownville residents who've all met their fate during the small mill town's history. Ms. Noble, the high school librarian, begins to catch on and assists the counselor, using birth and death certificates, old yearbooks, and more. "The dead youth who inhabit my alternative universe," says Fellars, "are worming their way into my daily counseling sessions with the living." He concludes they've "all got some unfinished business to take care of before they can pass into eternity."

Floyd's fluid, dreamlike narrative takes the reader through motley political climates, social zeitgeists, and musical tastes during each encounter with the town's deceased. Literary references abound, as does the use of poetry as therapy, exploration of bullying, freak accidents, and suicides. The author's conclusion that all can be reduced to the fear of death and of change (especially "big changes coming to Brownville") serves as an insightful vehicle for deciphering "ghosts" in the hallways at school. Of special note is the hilarious "Brownville Mill Hill Ghost Town" exhibit, the photographs of which had been "collected by the editor from the Brownville Courier morgue, school yearbooks, and furnished through the generosity of the former citizens of Brownville." Actors—including the author himself—provide headshots of key players in "Bill Fellers' bizarre account." This Onion News-style mock-up is fallacious fodder for Floyd's highly entertaining ghost story gone wild.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home