by KEALAN PATRICK BURKE
Copyright © 2017 by Kealan Patrick Burke
In the weeks after the funeral, we stripped Robin’s room bare. Down came the curtains (pink with red hearts) and the matching lamp shade. Away went the fluffy pink rug. We put all Robin’s toys and her mobile into black plastic bags and stowed them in the closet alongside the boxes of her clothes and the skeleton of the deconstructed crib. We broke down a lot that day, and every day after. I thought after the horror of finding Robin cold and unresponsive that awful Monday morning and then watching as her tiny coffin was lowered into the ground, that nothing could hurt me more. I was wrong. Erasing all trace of her from inside our home was just as bad. We justified it by telling ourselves that leaving everything where it was would ultimately do more harm than good by serving as a constant reminder, and yet systematically shoving everything into sacks and boxes and tossing them into the closet felt so much worse. Like we were being disrespectful of her memory. Like we didn’t care, and now only wanted to get on with our lives. And to a certain degree, you must try to get on with things or the grief will destroy you. You must put away the reminders of loss to have any hope of surviving. And we did. We locked them all away, like you lock all the pain away in your heart and wait for time to build a shield around it.
All but the blanket in which we’d swaddled her while we waited for the paramedics. Only now did I realize I never knew what became of it. I guess I assumed it went with her to the hospital or was lost somewhere along the way in that long grim process between institutions of hope and the desolation of the grave.
Now, door open, my hand still on the knob and my lungs shuddering with the strain of holding back the tears, I finally knew where that blanket had ended up.
It was sitting there before me on the floor of her room.
GIVEAWAYWOO HOO!!!! I know you want to read more and you’re in luck! Today Kealan Patrick Burke is giving away mobi’s of his new book BLANKY! FIVE ECOPIES ARE UP for grabs and if you win, you’ll be one of the first to read it!!!! By now, you should know the drill, but I’ll go through it again to those who are new… to enter to win, click on back to the FB Event Page and comment, “I WANT TO WIN!” in today’s post!!! Good luck to all!!!
In the wake of his infant daughter's tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, who refuses to be inside the house where the unthinkable happened, and unable to work, he seeks solace in an endless parade of old sitcoms and a bottle of bourbon.
Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter's old room, a room now stripped bare of anything that identified it as hers...except for her security blanket, affectionately known as Blanky.
Blanky, old and frayed, with its antiquated patchwork of badly sewn rabbits with black button eyes, who appear to be staring at the viewer...
Blanky, purchased from a strange old man at an antique stall selling "BABY CLOSE" at a discount.
The presence of Blanky in his dead daughter's room heralds nothing short of an unspeakable nightmare that threatens to take away what little light remains in Steve's shattered world.
Because his daughter loved Blanky so much, he buried her with it.
A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of SOUR CANDY and KIN.
Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a rock band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.
When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.
A number of his books have been optioned for film.
Visit him on the web at www.kealanpatrickburke.com.