If you could have anything you wanted, once a year, in return for completing a simple task, would you do it?
A short but powerful read, The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy is definitely a MUST-READ for those looking to get into the Halloween spirit!
This novella was originally published in the Black Candy anthology by Jaded Books Publishing and is now available to read for free if you have access to KindleUnlimited. If not, then an easy 99 pence spend is definitely worth it for a quick read and scare!
Just over 2500 words, the story follows the character of The Gatekeeper, who is approached whilst drinking in a bar by a devil like character who offers him the opportunity of a life-time! One wish for anything he wants in return for working just one day of the year. It sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? Well… It turns out to be the opposite.
Opening the gate he is instructed to open releases a variety of monstrous creatures spill out and disappear into the night. It all seems very easy: after all, the creatures are let out and eventually return. For twenty years, the Gatekeeper carries out his job with very little concern as to what he is allowing to happen until one night one of the monsters returns and carries with it a dead child which it pulls down into the dark pit…
This novella sent chills down my spine and it wasn’t of the monsters which I was afraid but of the Gatekeeper himself. The story excellently dives into that aspect of humanity which so few like to explore: the selfish nature of man and how it easily corrupts. For decades, the Gatekeeper was caught up in the blissful fantasy life of having everything he wanted and it wasn’t until witnessing the consequences of his actions that he realises the serious reality of what he has been doing.
Kevin Kennedy does well at bringing to light, in such a short space of time, that the monsters we have nightmares about at night and fear live under our beds and in our closets aren’t the only monsters which exist in the world…