The Flip, by Michael Phillip Cash

Seven stars

Cash gives readers something else from the paranormal world in this highly entertaining novella. Brad and Julie Evans have an itch for flipping houses. While it has yet to flourish in to a profitable business, there is the potential, after a few ventures. After Julie insists they gamble on a Victorian home, Brad is leery because of all the work that it needs. He has become the contractor and handyman, keeping costs down, but even he feels that this might be more than he’s able to handle. While working one day, he is spotted by a ghost, the alluring Tessa, who has decided that he is her latest infatuation. Choosing not only to focus her attention on him, Tessa is also prepared to push Julie to the brink and keep Brad all for herself. After an incident costs Brad and Julie their home, they move into this old home as they try to regroup. This forces Brad and Julie to realise that there might be something haunted about this place, thought they are not able to determine its origin. As Tessa seeks to test her wiles, another ghost lingers closely, Gerard. He has long been interested in Tessa, as far back as when they lived during the Civil War. With Julie sensing they are not alone, Brad is left to experience some paranormal activity of his own before he will accept that there is something more to this house than dust bunnies and drafts coming from the attic. Cash tells a great story, meshing history with current events, which allows the reader to fully appreciate this story.

Cash always brings a paranormal aspect to his stories. While some might shy away from them due to their genre, they are more than beings who walk through walls and the living who struggle with an added presence. Cash seeks to use both past and presents narratives to build a common theme and offer the reader a thought-provoking story that explores countless ideas, entertaining and educating simultaneously. The stories flow well and the characters have a realistic flavour to them. While nothing that requires too much mental acuity, Cash does provide the reader with something they can ponder as they weave through the chapters and reach the climax of the paranormal revelation. Surely the theme works for Cash and can lure a curious reader into a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Kudos, Mr. Cash for another great story that provides the reader with something that is neither corny nor overly chilling to the bone.