Written by: Drake Morgan
Weldon Burge’s collection of short stories all share a similar theme. Each captures a broken (hence the title) and damaged mind struggling to cope with the horrors of the world. Each story reflects upon the consequences of what happens when that broken psyche can no longer hang on to the thin grip of reality and slips into the abyss.
The stories explore a wide range of mentally disturbed characters and their horrific decisions and choices. In “White Hell, Wisconsin,” we meet a deranged killer who takes advantage of a blizzard to brutally murder. “Sizzle” is a classic sci-fi/ horror “the voices made me do it” narrative. “Blue Eye Burn” is a disturbing look at the aftermath of Vietnam. Burge looks at the long-term impact that killing children had upon the soldiers through the eyes of a single vet and a single child. My personal favorites were “Permanent Detention” and “Another Highway Fatality.” “Detention” looks at the pressure cooker of high school from the point of view of a boy on the edge. “Fatality” explores the same theme, the pressure cooker of a violent society, through the eyes of a crime victim. The stories here have their violent edges, but none resort to gore/ splatter just for the sake of it. Instead each takes reader down a nightmarish descent of madness to the final, horrific conclusion. The stories leave the readers asking questions about society, violence, madness, and how or if any of the stories could have ended differently. They are tales from the insanity of real life. Each of the characters could be the person next to you at the bus stop or in the cubicle across the corridor.
The collection is not long. It is designed, from what I guess, as an introduction to Burge’s writing. It serves that purpose quite well and more. Head over to Amazon to grab your copy now, if you’re after the Kindle edition, it’s currently free!