The Inhuman Condition
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A master storyteller and unrivaled visionary, Clive Barker has mixed the real and unreal with the horrible and wonderful in more than twenty years of fantastic fiction. The Inhuman Condition is a masterwork of surrealistic terror, recounting tragedy with pragmatism, inspiring panic more than dread and evoking equal parts revulsion and delight.
piles of reports, it smelled slightly damp. He’d found his way into the Memorial Wing, though he didn’t know it. The seven-story monolith had been built with a bequest from millionaire Frank Chaney, and the tycoon’s own building firm had done the construction job, as the old man’s will required. They had used substandard materials and a defunct drainage system, which was why Chaney had died a millionaire, and the wing was crumbling from the basement up. Sliding himself into a clammy niche between
all her private guilt was an open book to him. She was certain that if she got up now and rooted in her bag for the medication, he would ask her what she was doing. If he did that, she’d blurt the truth out for sure. She didn’t have the strength to resist the heat of his accusing eyes. No, it would be better to lie here and wait for Earl to come back with the water. Then, when the two men were discussing the tour, she would slip away to take the forbidden pills. There was an evasive quality to
him only a moment to realize which motel guest this piece of history had once belonged to. “The gun that Sadie Durning used…” he said, picking it up. “Am I right?” She beamed. “I found it in the scrub behind the motel, before the police got to searching for it. There was such a commotion, you know, nobody looked twice at me. And of course they didn’t try and look for it in the light.” “Why was that?” “The ‘55 tornado hit, just the day after. Took the motel roof right off; blew the school
onto the sheet on which the deceased lay. “It’s always difficult,” the doctor said, “fixing time of death. She’s lost less than three degrees. I’d say she’s been dead under two hours.” “The officers arrived at a quarter to twelve,” Carnegie said, “so she died maybe half an hour before that?” “Something of that order.” “Was she put in there?” he asked, indicating the place beneath the bench. “Oh certainly. There’s no way she hid herself away. Not with those injuries. They’re quite something,
will. It was like birth into another world; a more dangerous world, perhaps, but one so much richer in possibilities. It knew that the responsibility it now carried was awesome. It was the sole proof of life after the body. Somehow it must communicate that joyous fact to as many fellow slaves as it could. Very soon, the days of servitude would be over once and for all. It stopped at the corner of the house and sniffed the open street. Policemen came and went. Red lights flashed, blue lights