Horror is subjective. Different people are afraid of different things. But one thing that nearly all people are afraid of is death. While one’s own death can be a fearful prospect, the death of a loved one – especially an innocent baby – is the utmost in soul-wringing terror. In Kealan Patrick Burke’s newest novella, Blanky, one man finds out that there still is something even more horrifying than death…
Blanky’s official synopsis
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.
About The Author
Born and raised in Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke was a horror lover from a very early age. Between the stories and legends told of his native country, his horror-loving mother and being surrounded by storytellers of all ages and relations, Burke was destined to follow the path of the genre writer. At this time, he has written over 100 short stories, six collections, edited four acclaimed anthologies and published five novels, including Turtle Boy, which won the Bram Stoker Award in 2004. You can read Turtle Boy as well as other samples of his fiction, for free at his website.
From start to finish, Blanky is a dreary, heartbreaking, depressing book to get through. The first few pages are lines upon lines of Steve Brannigan’s dismal, bleak existence after the loss of his infant daughter and the subsequent departure of his wife, who can’t stand to be in the house where her baby died. It was soul crushing and I had a hard time reading it, honestly. But as the story progressed, the anger at what happened began to overshadow the sorrow, and Steve became obsessed with what he felt had really happened to his daughter. Although it doesn’t seem possible, the baby’s limp, faded Blanky seems to have a mission to complete, and the force behind that task is something Steven doesn’t know if he can face, never mind stop.
As the story progressed, the tension amped up and I became almost obsessed to find out the true nature of Blanky, and I couldn’t put the story out of my mind, even after I read the final lines. I recommend Blanky to any horror readers who know how to work through the pain to get to the satisfying end result that we all have faith will be there in the end.