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Terminal (Brian Keene novel)

Terminal (Brian Keene novel): ”

Ros0709: Proposing article for deletion per [[WP:PROD]]. ([[WP:TW|TW]])

{{dated prod|concern = Entirely a plot summary: unencyclopaedic, original research, fails [[WP:PLOT]].|month = October|day = 1|year = 2008|time = 21:58|timestamp = 20081001215808}}
<!– Do not use the ‘dated prod’ template directly; the above line is generated by ‘subst:prod|reason’ –>

{{Infobox Book | <!– See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Novels or Wikipedia:WikiProject_Books –>
| name = Terminal
| title_orig =
| translator =
| image =
| image_caption =
| author = [[Brian Keene]]
| cover_artist =
| country = [[United States]]
| language = [[English language|English]]
| series =
| genre = [[Supernatural Horror novel]]
| publisher =
| release_date = 2003
| media_type =
| pages = 306
| isbn = 0-553-58738-2
| preceded_by =
| followed_by =

==Plot description==

Tommy O’Brien is 25 years old. For weeks he has been suffering headaches and nausea. He goes to the doctor and finds out he has cancer. In his jaw, spine, brain and lungs. It’s terminal. The doctor gives him between one and three months to live.

He goes home to his young wife, Michelle and their four year old son, T.J. He doesn’t tell her the truth. Money is tight this month, bills need to be paid, and the credit card is overdue. He has to hide his tears when he kisses TJ good night.

The next day at work, Tommy is called into the foundry managers office. He is laid off along with thirty other staff. He goes out to a bar with his best friends, dim witted John (Tommy’s childhood friend), and Sherm, the charismatic bad boy who has only arrived in town a few years ago. They worked with Tommy at the foundry and were laid off as well. Tommy’s nose starts to bleed in front of his friends, and suddenly it all comes out – he has cancer, he’s dying, and they musn’t tell Michelle.

Sherm nearly gets all three of them into a fight in the bar. Sherm’s always been a bit of a psycho. Tommy tells them he’s going to provide for Michelle and T.J, and to do that, he’s going to rob a bank. They buy some beers and cigarettes and head for the lake to talk. Tommy has no job, no savings, no health or life insurance, in a month he will be dead, how else can he pay off their debts and make sure T.J. and Michelle are taken care of? They talk about robbing a bank, how is he going to do it, which bank and when? Sherm seem to have a lot of good ideas. John and Sherm offer to help. They’re his best friends, Tommy can’t do it on his own, they want to help Michelle and T.J, and besides, it’ll be fun. In a month Tommy will be dead, and John and Sherm can take their share of the takings and leave town forever.

Sherm says they need some supplies, and talks Tommy into withdrawing his last paycheck from the bank. They go to Sherm’s drug dealer, where they buy two guns. John tries to act cool, but nearly ends up getting himself shot when he offends Kelvin, one of the dealers. Kelvin threatens to kill John if he ever sees him again.

That night, Tommy has a nightmare, where he attends his own funeral, only to see his own dead body as a cancer-ridden monstrosity, which infects Michelle and TJ.

The next morning Tommy doesn’t tell Michelle that he’s been laid off. Tommy, Michelle and TJ go to the park where they play cops and robbers. TJ asks if Tommy would ever rob a bank and Tommy lies to him that he wouldn’t.

The next sunday, while Michelle takes TJ to church, Tommy goes to a pharmacy to try to buy the drugs the doctor prescribed but finds with no health insurance he can’t afford them. Next Tommy goes to the library to look up alternative cures for cancer on the internet, but again, they are all too expensive. He then goes to a funeral home to enquire how much his own funeral will cost, which again is expensive. Finally, after Michelle and TJ have left Tommy goes to church, where he is surprised by a priest who almost recognises him as Michelles husband. Lying his way out of it, Tommy goes to the front of the church to talk to God on his own. Angry and demanding answers,  he prays to God to spare his life, begging for a miracle cure, but there is no reply.

Three days later, Tommy, John and Sherm drive to the bank. John waits outside with the car engine running. Tommy and Sherm go into the bank, disguised with balaclava’s and brandishing their guns. All the customers cooperate except one, a long haired biker, who pulls a gun. Sherm shoots and kills him. Everything is chaos as Tommy and Sherm try to get the money in the tills. Roy, an elderly customer appears to have a heart attack. A five year old boy, Benjy crawls away from his mother, Sheila, towards Roy, saying Roy’s dying and he can cure him., just as there is a gunshot outside, and John, staggers in, shot in the stomach by Kelvin, who was doing a drug deal round in the alleyway near the back of the bank. He is completely high on whatever he was selling. Sherm shoots and kills Kelvin. There are police sirens outside and suddenly they’re trapped.

They move the hostages inside the vault. Benjy says he can make Tommy better, and fix the darkness in Sherm’s head. Tommy finds out the biker Sherm killed was a plain clothes cop. They tie up all the hostages, including Roy, old man, who was having the heart attack but now seems fine. John is slowly bleeding to death. Tommy is worried about the way Sherm is behaving. Sherm takes Keith, the bank manager to his office so Sherm can talk to the police.

Tommy stays in the vault with the hostages. Some of the hostages try to talk to talk to him and try to get him to give himself up. Roy says that the boy cured him of his heart attack. Tommy ask Sheila about Benjy, and embarrassed she says that Benjy was born from an immaculate conception. Martha, an elderly woman, says that’s a blasphemy. Roy describes Benjy as a miracle. Martha starts talking about the devil in their midst and how a sacrifice must be made for their sins.

Tommy goes to find Sherm. John is bleeding to death and needs help. Tommy finds Lucas, the water delivery man hiding in a closet. Sherm finds out that Lucas was the one who called the police on his cell phone, but he has a truck out back – they might be able to use it as a getaway vehicle. Sherm goes back to talk make demands from the police, saying he might start killing hostages. Tommy uses Lucas’s cellphone to call Michelle. He confesses to her they are the ones who are on TV right now, robbing the bank.

Tommy goes back to the vault. Sheila talks more about Benjy’s ability to heal. Martha rants on about Benjy being an affront to God. Sherm comes back, the truck is surrounded out the back, and he is becoming more and more unhinged. Outside a helicopter can be heard landing. Sherm tells them that is the county tactical response team and now they can start negotiating of for a plane to take them and the hostages. Roy tells Tommy that John is about to die. Tommy tries to give him CPR, but his pulse is failing.  Roy tries to convince Tommy to let Benjy heal John,but he doesn’t believe Benjy is the miracle Roy and Sheila claim him to be and he’s worried Sherm will come back and kill Benjy if he finds him with his hands are untied. Finally as John dies, Tommy gives in and with nothing to lose, he unties Benjy’s hands. Leaving him with John, Tommy goes to talk to Sherm. He doesn’t notice he left his gun behind with the hostages.

Sherm is becoming more psychotic. Tommy finds out he killed Keith, the bank manager, and drowned Lucas in the toilet. Worse, Michelle phoned the police and now they know who the bank robbers are, and, it turns out that this isn’t the first bank robbery Sherm has pulled. Tommy goes back to the vault. Benjy has healed John and he his sitting up talking again. Tommy wants to try to find a way to give up so he can save the rest of the hostages from Sherm.  He his worried what he will do when Sherm finds out that John has been miraculously healed.  Then he realises his gun is missing. John starts talking about how he was dying, floating above them all and seeing a light and hearing voices telling him to come with them, not towards the light, how the voices disappeared and there were just shapes, pulling and biting him.

Tommy gets more nervous about his gun missing, then Sherm comes back in, sees John up and well, and then Dugan pulls out Tommy’s gun and threatens to shoot Sherm.  Tommy threatens to kill Dugan, and Sherm threatens to kill Dugan’s girlfriend Sharon. Dugan gives up the gun and Sherm gets angry with Tommy for leaving his gun, and tells John to cover Sharon, while he takes Dugan into the managers office. Roy interjects and tells John he doesn’t have to do this, that he’s been given another chance. As he’s about to leave the vault, Sherm realises that John is not dying, and in fact suddenly looks very healthy. Tommy and John try to cover up what has happened, Roy interjects again telling Sherm that his 15 minute ultimatum with the police has passed.

Tommy hears police footsteps outside the vault as Martha stands up and begins reciting the bible to Sherm, telling him he is Legion. Sherm finally snaps, and shoots and kills her, just as police tear gas grenades explode inside the vault. Sherm loses it completely and goes to shoot Tommy just as Dugan charges at Sherm, who shoots him at point blank range in the chest.  Dugan goes down, still alive and pins Sherm to the ground, screaming at everyone to get out. John tries to stop the hostages escaping. Aggravated by the tear gas, Tommy’s cancer finally catches up with him and he collapses on the floor. Benjy says that Jesus is coming for him, but he can still save him and crawls over to him.

John makes a break for the door, and is shot by the police. Benjy lays his hands on Tommy and cures him of his cancer, while Dugan and Sherm continue to fight on the floor, until Sherm manages to kill Dugan. Tommy pulls Benjy underneath himself to protect him. Sherm screams for the monsters to get out of his head, and Tommy tells him to put the gun down. Sherm points it at Tommy and Benjy instead. The police give a last warning to throw down their weapons, and Tommy and Sherm fire at each other. The police answer with a volley of shots, killing Sherm and hitting Tommy. The bullet passing through Tommy and kills Benjy.

In hospital the doctors save his life again, removing bullet shrapnel from his kidney, but finding no trace of the cancer. Tommy is sentenced to life in prison, John is sentanced to fifteen years. Roy dies of a heart attack, and John, who survived being shot by the police, dies mysteriously in prison, of a gunshot wound to the stomach. Tommy finds out his cancer has returned again and realises that the miracle he prayed to God for was in fact Benjy, who’s death he was ultimately responsible for.

(Via Wikipedia – New pages [en].)

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