Book Rating: ★★★★★ (4.75 / 5 stars)
Patrick Heliher is ready to board his flight. But just as he scans his boarding pass, he denied access and is left stranded on the terminal with his plans unraveling. Yet, as he walks the terminal, waiting for a resolution, paranoia seeps in, leaving him convinced that someone is out to get him. But the person out to get him might just himself.
In a chilling short story, Terminal by TK Watkins examines the human condition – particularly how hubris, arrogance, and narcissism can lead to paranoia and self-entitlement. This is not a story about a man coming to terms with his past; this is a story about a man terminally ill with his own misperception. Sometimes, this illness cannot be cured, and it will forever be like walking along in an airplane terminal, waiting for a flight that will never arrive.
TK Watkins does a fantastic job painting the picture of this paranoia. It left me chilled to the core at the end. The only reason why I’m not giving this the full five-star treatment is because it took me a bit to get into the story. It was the ending that left me with my mouth wide open.
If you want to read a jaw-dropping story about the human condition, one that makes you examine your own mentality, definitely check out Terminal by TK Watkins. But note…it doesn’t end with a smile.
What’s it about?
Things aren’t what they seem. What happens when a successful businessman’s identity is tampered with, leading to the risk of exposing a secret he’s been desperately trying to bury? Meet Patrick, a man who seems to have it all, yet faces the frightening possibility of throwing it away because of his own hubris and ignorance. How far will he go to protect his identity and keep his secret hidden?
He’s minutes away from boarding his flight and saying goodbye to his previous life as an overworked, privileged financial executive, but when Patrick Heliher is stopped at the gate and denied from boarding, his plans to start over come unraveled, setting up a series of bizarre and disturbing events that cut him off from the outside world and threaten to reveal a secret he’s been desperate to leave behind. Though mild-mannered and sophisticated on the surface, his ordeal exposes cracks in his personality, bringing out the worst in him as he sees his whole world collapsing before his eyes.
See how far Patrick goes to protect his identity while he cunningly schemes to get to his destination and shakes off his murky past. While things may not appear as they seem, Patrick fights to keep others from discovering the truth, only to be vanquished and humiliated in the end.
Terminal is a story of arrogance, paranoia, and malignant narcissism — in the face of a deeper reality few can bear to fathom.
Grim Tales, Sordid Werks, & Other Compendiaries is a series of short stories exposing the unsavory side of the human condition while crossing paths with the manifestation of darkness in all its various guises. Featuring true-to-life characters who are caught in bizarre and dire situations, and must face their most formidable horrors — including themselves. Packed with terror, shock, dread, and, most of all, cruel irony.