A compilation vacation

This year, as some of you may know, I’ve been participating in a “Daily” Monologue challenge, as well as serializing a novel about ghosts. It turns out that such endeavors really clutter up a Medium page. Frankly, it smells like a gym bag on here.

So, inspired by David Sedaris’s latest money grab, I’ve decided to compile a “Best-of” article and paste it like a treatise at the top of my Medium page, as well as on the doors of several local government buildings.

The following articles are some of my “favorite” “bits.” Now, not all of them performed very…


Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

A serial novel.

Below you’ll find all of the chapters of Ghost Law in order. Chapters are still being written at this time and each will be linked here immediately after publishing (thanks to Lee Ameka for this idea for organizing these!).


Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

The Story of Ghost Law | Chapters 23 + 24

Chapter 23

I woke up in excruciating pain, my hands bound behind my back. My throat was dry, apparently from untold hours of uninterrupted shrieking and at least two hours of harmonizing “The Longest Time.” When I finally got my eyes to focus in the musty room, the first thing I saw was Scary’s ghost-white complexion. A calmness washed over me like aloe on a sunburnt shoulder. But then I noticed she was trapped in a giant pickle jar.

“Oh. You’re awake,” she sighed unenthusiastically. “At least you stopped singing.”

“Honestly, I feel like I’ve been unconscious for, like, 80 percent of…


Photo by John Bussell on Unsplash

The Story of Ghost Law | Chapters 21 + 22

Chapter 21

“Hello, Dennis.”

I rubbed my eyes. There before me, the size of a Toyota Corolla, was Halifax — the arch demon who essentially kicked me out of my childhood home.

“W.T.F.,” I said. “Halifax? What are you doing here?”

“I’m always with you. I’m a part of you. Like your conscience or that weird cauliflowery smell.”

I looked down and both my legs had somehow transformed into DVDs of Silver Linings Playbook. There was no denying it — this was NOT a dream.

“I can tell you’re confused, so I’ll just tell you now that this is totally a dream,”…


The Story of Ghost Law | Chapters 19 + 20

Photo by Madelynn woods on Unsplash

Chapter 19

Scary was pretty P.O.’d about the gas spilling everywhere, but as she raced to mop it up and I raced to create some sort of torch with the lighter to help her see, the fumes from the gas helped us both calm down.

It was as if someone had put a warm blanket around my brain and tucked it in with a glass of chardonnay. A few minutes of huffing those fumes on that spaceship and I felt as if I was floating around in anti-gravity — in fact, I could have sworn that I was.

Scary and I both…


Photo by Terence Burke on Unsplash

The Story of Ghost Law | Chapters 17 + 18

Chapter 17

When I awoke (awakeneded?) Scary was dragging me through the back yard toward the giant rocket ship.

“We did it,” I said drowsily. “We escaped.”

I pumped my fist into the air. Part of me wished Halifax could see me now — free as a bird and on my way to the moon. He’d feel like a big jerk, probably.

Scary grunted. I got the strange feeling she was beginning to not like me.

“I am beginning to not like you,” she said.

I thought back on all the other people who had said this to me. Chuck. My college…


Photo by Ali Kazal on Unsplash

The Story of Ghost Law | Chapters 15 + 16

Chapter 15

We closed the door. For such an intimidatingly large goblin, he “gave up the ghost,” if you will, faster than I expected. After we dragged him in he laid limply on the floor, defeated, complaining of a brush burn on his elbow and promising that he was going to tell on me if he ever got the chance. I spent several minutes telling him to punch me in the arm so we’d be even before the ghost surgeon convinced me the goblin had already locked me in a cell to be dissected like a frog and that most would consider…


Photo by Basil James on Unsplash

Ghost Law | Chapter 14

…And cut my bindings. And while I did appreciate the gesture, a simple heads-up that that was her plan would have kept me from soiling the bedsheets in a large and powerful way.

“You don’t know me,” the ghost explained, stepping back a little. “But I’ve done some bad things — things I’m not proud of. I promised myself recently I wouldn’t fall into those bad habits again — that my brain-slicing business would be totally legitimate this time.”

“I’ve done things I’m not proud of, too,” I said, shifting around in the bed a little. “I’m not judging you…


Jacob Wrestles with God (1860) by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Lettest thou get ready to rumble.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and…


Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The Story of Ghost Law | Chapter 13

I was awoken (awaked?) by a light flashing in my face. As I always do when I’m unconscious and see a light, I ran as fast as I could directly toward it. But this time, a hand slapped me back down on my cot. I opened my eyes and saw an unfamiliar figure examining me.

The figure had long hair carefully knotted into a bun atop her head. Her face was intense and focused. Her body was like a poached egg — transparently white and floating fluidly in place.

“Stay still,” she said. I followed her orders and accepted the…

r.j. kushner

Dubbed by the New York Times as “all out of free articles this month.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store