Horror Stories For The Brave by Hervey Copeland is a collection of eight short stories. The stories are untitled and listed in a table of contents as 1, 2, 3 … The stories are not gruesome but can be scary. I believe these are YA suitable and are entertaining but in no way remarkable stories, so I gave them three Amazon stars. Story three is the most creative. If others had matched its creativity, I would have given this novel a higher rating.
Story One is a story of a young person returning home from a hockey game who is discovered on a deserted road and is stalked by a murderer who escaped from prison. Although “good” prevails in the present, there is a “loose end” that will haunt the unnamed protagonist of this tale.
Story Two tells of an unnamed plumber, the protagonist of this tale. After reading this, the reader may never trust frail looking seventy-year-old ladies again. Especially ones with pit bull terrier guard dogs.
Story Three describes a formula for pain. Alan had a childhood toy that looked something like a puppet a ventriloquist might use. Alan, no longer young, would get drunk during his off time from work and take out his aggressions on the doll. He would imagine the doll was an unpopular supervisor and stick needles in places where Alan wanted to inflict pain. The first time a supervisor couldn’t come to work due to injuries that mirrored Alan’s doll, Alan was surprised. Alan bought more alcohol and tried it with the next unpopular work colleague. Same result. Alan thought this was great. His next target would be someone who had slighted him. Alan drank a beer, inserted some needles into the doll, and realized he was out of brew. He would go to a store nearby, buy more alcohol, and return to finish his latest project. Alan should not have messed with a proven, successful formula for inflicting pain.
Story Four describes the horrors that can come with cell phones. Mark Arroyo’s phone should not have been working given his physical location and residence. But Mark and Matt had been frenemies since grade school. Mostly it was Mark that used Matt as a punching bag and Matt was tired of it. Matt thought he had ended their relationship, but Mark wasn’t finished with Matt just yet.
Story Five describes how dreams connect us to the after-life. According to Anthony and narrator Trevor dreams are the only communication channel available. It is just a matter of acceptance.
Story Six is about attempted revenge for centuries-old wrongs. Tremblaine was warned not to buy the house but the deal was just too good to pass up. He didn’t suspect the centuries-old conflict about to embroil him.
Story Seven makes the reader a confidante of Jean Baptiste. He needs to make a deathbed confession. Baptiste is a voodoo priest or doctor and he serves as an intermediary between the spirit world and the present day physical world. Monsieur Laval, a rich planter, had lost a daughter due to a curse placed by his maternal grandmother. Laval wanted to exorcise the spirit to prevent further family tragedies. This story will provide an answer to some of the mysteries surrounding the damage Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans.
Story Eight is a tale of one person’s horrible experience while traveling on a dream escape in Alaska with a friend. During a stopover in what should have been a deserted encampment, the friend is lost, possibly killed. When the unnamed protagonist escapes the encampment and returns to civilization, he is arrested and charged with the murder of the friend. While in a psychiatric facility, he offers his thoughts on his adventure.