About MARK TWAIN’S GHOST AND THE FANTASTICAL COSMIC, RUCKUS
MARK TWAIN’S GHOST AND THE FANTASTICAL COSMIC, RUCKUS
By Eric Dreyer Smith – Synopsis:
Mark Twain’s Ghost and the Fantastical Cosmic, Ruckus blends at once a literary meditation on life, historical fiction and a witty exposition as the actual ghost of Mark Twain is challenged by Afterlife Authorities to rectify the imbalance of the Cosmological Constant. This following a major disruption in 1916 with the world war in Europe. Twain, armed with his humor and a few supernatural powers he gains auctioning off the future positive vibrations of his novels, is told by the great, ancient spirit Barute Mesoin that he must intervene in the lives of three special humans, known as Morts to ghost-kind. This during three distinct periods in time. Carousing from adventure to adventure, meeting esteemed personalities of from vast expanses in time, Twain must also overcome his ghostly PTSD his spirit first acquired in 1916 trying to prevent the bloody battle of the Somme. In between his “missions” Twain drifts between eras as he can, alternatively helping a few or hiding from the overwhelming responsibility as after 1916 his next charge shows up in 1991 and the one after that in 2012. All his efforts are torn between his desires to disappear completely into the nothingness of the great beyond, no longer shackled to ghostly time, and his heartfelt concern for mankind and the three gifted charges he had been assigned to redeem.
Still, even Twain must gain an undead passport from the bureaucracy of clerks from the Bureau of Always Contemporary Observation and outwit Congressional Ghost spies such as Napoleon Bonaparte and General Robert E. Lee. He even finds respite in the ethereal June Beetle Saloon with the Absolutely Galactic Know-Nothings – John Lennon and Malcolm X. After life nothing may be fair either, but it sure is fun as Mark Twain has a lot to say about The United States after he dies. Twain’s ghost observes and interacts with its citizens from 1913 to 1991, commenting deeply and at times with his long missed, absent wit. In 1916 Twain attempts to guide twelve-year-old Rueben McCoy as the lad is caught between legitimate work selling newspaper’s on the street corners and moonlighting as a pornographic photo peddler for dangerous Mr. Hint, a man who runs his small criminal empire from an Antique Emporium in New York City. The times are described in authentic detail as personal moral dilemmas compete against the backdrop of a bustling city growing toward modernity. After guiding, Rueben McCoy past the dangers of the criminal element Twain cruises amusingly from 1920s through the 1980’s until he comes across a second person in 1991, he feels compelled to assist in more direct fashion. Lindsay Gutheron is a fallen academic, now living in a meager hotel in San Francisco, trying to overcome her personal demons, bad experiences from having to work as a cashier at Walmart and rage against the social system. Here Twain’s efforts do not meet with the exact success as with his previous “client” and he cascades into a spiritual malaise until his final client arrives near the end of civilization and provides an opportunity at redemption.
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Eric Dreyer Smith lives in San Antonio, Texas. Currently doing studies for a PhD in research psychology. He works as a counselor at a hospital and in private setting. There are over twenty publications of short stories to his credit.