Read Seldom Seen in August Online
Authors: Kealan Patrick Burke
Tags: #Horror, #Short Stories, #+IPAD, #+UNCHECKED
With the connection, came the
Standing atop the table, Wade exhaled a
shuddering breath that took most of his will to fight with it. The
arm holding the spear slowly fell to his side, the chair leg
clattering off the table. Wade didn’t notice. His attention was
fixed, not on the video of a younger version of himself entering
the maw of hell, but on the time code in the lower left hand
corner, which read: 12:15:32 - 8-16-1983.
Flailing blindly with his one good
hand, Wade eased himself down off the table, and moved in an almost
dreamlike fashion toward the monitor. Tears filled his eyes as the
cold feet, cold hands, cold walls and warm, heavy
bodies, of blood and electric terror, of animal violence, of
screaming, of sweat and hate and laughter and loneliness, of
hanging bodies, and nakedness, cruel smiles and broken teeth and
busted bones, of endless darkness and hot breath in his ear and
I’ll kill you if you tell
—came to him in a merciless torrent
that almost knocked him off his feet.
“Jesus…” he whispered, the humming so
loud in his ear now he felt as if something in his brain must
surely give. Standing before the screen, trembling, feeling as if
everything in him had been scooped out, leaving only a hollow
vessel behind, he reached out with his wounded hand and touched
bloody fingers to the screen.
The young man tripped over his chains
No one picked him up.
Plenty kicked him while he was
The guards did nothing.
A frightened sob burst from the elder
And the screen went off.
Darkness crashed back in on him like a
He fell to his knees, mouth
In the dark, someone
Cochran’s voice came again. Whether or
not it was in his head or in the room with him, Wade didn’t know,
but he could barely make it out over the raging of the
They only gave us a month,
Wade raised his head. He’d been in
prison many times. The longest had been the first time, shortly
after his eighteenth birthday. They’d released him from Hell on his
They only gave us a
And though he remembered every other
period of incarceration, he had managed to forget the first, and
with good reason.
I must apologize in advance
that we had to condense the experience into what’s left of
Wade stood. He was blind, but as soon
as he located the hole in the ceiling he would run to it and get
out. He promised himself he would. He was not afraid. No. He could
handle himself. He didn’t have to run, but enough was enough.
Cochran had made his point and he would tell him so and endure the
old man’s piety for however long it took until this fucking charade
Already he could smell them.
He swallowed, felt his way toward the
It was gone.
Keep it together keep it
together keep it together. They’re visions, holograms, images. You
could walk right through them if you wanted to. They’re not
Relief then as his hip collided
painfully with the table’s edge. He had misjudged it in the dark.
He almost laughed, but couldn’t quite summon the air required. He
was drenched in sweat, could hardly breathe. The room had become a
sauna, and a foul-smelling one.
In the dark, he heard them
Wade dropped to his haunches, his hands
like antennae, searching the floor for the chair leg. He didn’t
need a weapon. It would hardly do much good against an immaterial
thing, but he wanted it, knew it would make him feel less
They can’t hurt you
, he reminded
A klaxon sounded in the room, and he
cried out in fright.
No, not gates
Keep it together, it’s a
trick, just a trick, just—
In the dark, someone touched
# # #
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland,
Kealan Patrick Burke is an award-winning author described as "a
newcomer worth watching" (
) and "one of the
most original authors in contemporary horror"
Some of his works include the novels
KIN, MASTER OF THE MOORS, CURRENCY OF SOULS and THE HIDES, the
novellas THE TURTLE BOY (Bram Stoker Award Winner, 2004), VESSELS,
MIDLISTERS, and JACK & JILL, and the collections RAVENOUS
GHOSTS and THE NUMBER 121 TO PENNSYLVANIA & OTHERS (Bram Stoker
Kealan also edited the anthologies:
TAVERNS OF THE DEAD (starred review,
BRIMSTONE TURNPIKE, QUIETLY NOW (International Horror Guild Award
Nominee, 2004), the charity anthology TALES FROM THE GOREZONE and
NIGHT VISIONS 12 (starred review,
Fantasy Award & International Horror Guild Award
A movie based on his short story
"Peekers", directed by Mark Steensland screened at a variety of
international film festivals and won a number of awards. You can
view the film at the author's website.
As actor, Burke played the male lead
in Greg Lamberson's film SLIME CITY MASSACRE, the long-awaited
sequel to the cult classic SLIME CITY, which will be released on
DVD, Blu-ray, and Video On Demand in 2011.
Visit Kealan on the web at
www.kealanpatrickburke.com, and read more titles by the author at