When seventeen-year-old Thom Goode takes his own life, he finds himself in a special kind of purgatory for suicides: living in a house with three others, all of whom have been given a task to complete before they can proceed to heaven. But despite its idyllic facade, Thom soon learns that the afterlife is just as limited by human imperfection as was life. To finally find peace, happiness, and connection with others, Thom and those he meets must confront what most haunts them.

To read the story, click the links—all of them. And if you get lost, use the map.

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For Lu

May you always be knee-deep in lavender fields.

©2014 Jesse Jayne Rutherford. All rights reserved.

No part of this story may be copied, pasted, or used in any way without the express written permission of the author.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblances to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Kerry McKay, David Moreau, and Pat Yeakley for reading earlier drafts of this story and providing feedback on story structure and functionality—not easy to do before this site was programmed and you were working off of a Word doc with HTML hyperlinks plus a photo of a tangled mess of an information architecture that I had drawn on my wall. I appreciate you being game for tromping around in the weeds.

Deepest love and gratitude to my parents and stepmom, sister, and kids for their love and support in all forms while working on this story. Whether it was making meals or listening to an artistic crisis, your support and kindness have been indispensable in helping me.