Reach and Other Short Stories
By Brandon Drake
Reach and Other Short Stories is a single author collection, not an anthology as suggested in the Preface.
It contains an opening scene of four college-aged men and women in a closed library. You may think, as I did, how this is reminiscent of other stories or movies which start out the same way. One of them reads something aloud they shouldn’t, releasing some horror into the world. I love that these characters made the same reference and took things a different direction. What follows are four short stories they find in a recently published book in the library with their light banter in between each tale.
Now, let me address the four stories without spoiling them. The first is titled, Rain. Mary encounters a kitten during a walk in an odd rain storm. While trying to rescue the cat, she discovers the true nature of the rain, to her dismay.
The second story is titled, Reject. Hal’s boring job is to open envelopes and check the contents. Any with missing elements or information are rejected. One particular envelope brings out Hal’s compassion with dire consequences.
The third story is Reach. Rob is overly sleepy; something continually wakes him. Unable to find the source, he unravels. This story reminded me of the original Twilight Zone television series.
The final story is Resuscitate. After a car wreck, Jacob wakes in the hospital. He learns how texting and driving can lead to death…and beyond.
The entire collection is short and a light read. I’d recommend it as something for a long trip or beach. I would suggest to the author to work on tightening up the writing. He has a particular love for words such as ‘that’, ‘had’, and ‘was’…to the point of distraction to the reader. Every author has their favorite overused words so learning what yours are and consciously avoiding them is part of being a writer. Mister Drake did ask for honest feedback in his Preface so hopefully he’ll find this part of the review worthwhile.