Read Offline Online

Authors: Kealan Patrick Burke

Tags: #Horror, #+UNCHECKED, #+IPAD, #Short Stories

Offline (5 page)

Josh:
I promise you, I'm not

Mandy:
o god

Mandy:
plz

Mandy:
stop

Josh:
and what's killing you is thallium nitrate,

Josh
: introduced into your system via my homemade chicken
soup.

Josh:
Do you remember the soup, Mandy? Sue even had the gall to
complain to me about it.

Mandy:
why? o god y r u doinng this?

Josh:
because they don't deserve to be beautiful.

Josh
: They've never worked a day in their lives and they never
will.

Josh:
Everything they want will just fall into their
laps.

Josh:
Nobody ever gave me a goddamn THING, Mandy.

Josh:
I had to WORK, to BEG, and sometimes worse, for anything I
got.

Josh:
And what do I have NOW? Nothing. Scars, moles,
diabetes

Josh:
And ugliness your friends exploit for laughs.

Josh:
they were rotten on the inside, baby girl.

Josh:
But I never saw YOU laugh at me, and join in their
cruelty.

Josh:
Knew you were beautiful and different. Knew you had to be
mine. I wanted you.

Josh:
Wanted to BE you.

Mandy:
my parents r cllng the police

Mandy:
so if ths a joke stop now

Josh:
it's too late for that. Remember what I wrote?

Josh:
You laughed and said I should be a romance writer?

Josh:
"Take me away to a better place where we may be united in
passion

Josh:
the likes of which would set the very world
aflame!"

Josh:
Remember? Well, I do write romance stories. I have, for
years.

Josh:
Sitting here in this rotten little house with my clothes still
stinking of grease

Josh:
writing down my dreams for nobody but me to read.

Josh:
Well this one isn't a dream. This is the REAL romance. You and
me, my precious little girl.

Josh:
We're going to be together very soon. I'm the angel that's
taking you away from all of this.

Josh:
Just us. Forever

Josh:
I did this for both of us, to set us free and bring us to a
place

Josh:
where ugliness won't matter because our souls will be one and
the same.

Josh:
and
we'll both be beautiful

Mandy is offline.

# # #

Shortly after the last exchange between
Mandy Ruminek and "Josh", Mandy was rushed to the hospital, where
she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her sister later made a full
recovery. In all, thirty-one students suffered thallium poisoning
at the hands of cafeteria worker Kathleen "Fatty Kathy" Myer. Of
those, seven died.

Investigators later confirmed that Kathleen
Myer had been the author of the instant messages to Mandy Ruminek
and Sue Patterson. Myer, 56, was described as morose and irritable,
and had a history of mental problems for which she was still
receiving treatment. Two hours after Mandy Ruminek was admitted to
the emergency unit, local authorities received, via email,
screenshots of the conversations she had had with Myers. They were
accompanied by a message:

Come find my remains.

I don't envy you your search for
answers.

Sometimes there aren't any.

I'm with her now, and we are at peace

Kathleen Angelica Myer

Myer was later found dead at her keyboard.
She had suffered a heart attack as a result of a large dose of
thallium. In the rundown house on North High Street, in which she'd
lived alone, investigators recovered a plastic tub in which traces
of thallium nitrate were detected, and over a hundred handbound
manuscripts, all of which contained Myer's handwritten romance
novels.

There was no suicide note.

Among the scant few pictures on the walls of
Myer's home was one of a teenage boy, later identified by a
neighbor as Myer's brother, who died in the car accident that
claimed their parents in 1969.

The boy's name was Josh.

At the time of this printing, and despite
ongoing protests by the parents of the victims, eleven of Kathleen
Myer's novels are scheduled for posthumous publication.

Two of them have been optioned for film.

# # #

Born and raised in
Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is an award-winning author
described as "a newcomer worth watching" (
Publishers Weekly
) and "one of the
most original authors in contemporary horror" (
Booklist
).

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, THEATER MACABRE, and THE NUMBER 121 TO PENNSYLVANIA &
OTHERS (Bram Stoker Award-Nominee, 2009).

Visit Kealan on the web
at
http://www.kealanpatrickburke.com
,
or visit him at his
blog
.

www.kealanpatrickburke.com

Other books

Absolute Truths by Susan Howatch
Strikers Instinct by A. D. Rogers
She Blinded Me With Science by Michelle L. Levigne
Heaven Scent by SpursFanatic
T*Witches: The Power of Two by Randi Reisfeld, H.B. Gilmour


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022