Review of Bad Dreams and Reflections
By Jessica Stevens
Trevor Kennedy, Northern Irish editor of the widely acclaimed Phantasmagoria Magazine, is a man of many talents. Kennedy hosts a popular radio show heard worldwide called Sunday Service that can be found on www.bighitsradio.uk. He also costars along with Ciaran Woods reviewing and providing in depth insight on films in the always entertaining Citizen Frame podcast. Bad Dreams and Reflections: A Collection of Weird Horror Stories published by Dark Owl Publishing LLC is yet another example of a creative mind that refuses to back down from any challenge.
The collection opens with "The Cats of Silverstream" and the unholy wail of tidings yet to come. The shadows conjure many beings, but on this particular evening, there is a chill in the October air as a girl in red weeps and madness sets in.
"Skull & Bones" is a story of a man named Allan and something that follows. The Candy Box holds distorted memories, twisted nightmares, and just beyond those doors, a terror beyond mortal comprehension. Kennedy creates horror to perfection, a mad scientist just waiting for the lightning to strike.
"It Begets" is a glimpse into the wickedness of humankind. The story of a man and the dreams of the guilty. Deaths shaped by the hands of monsters, men who pulled the trigger only to find themselves at the mercy of ghosts and scores yet to be settled. Kennedy writes with a mournful pen, ink-stained future projections of a race too far gone to be saved.
This dark collection delves into the unspeakable injustices of those who devour all and leave nothing but the deepest of scars behind.
"Lightning in a Bottle" is a tale of an exotic genie and a wish turned morbid. A plot worthy of The Twilight Zone.
"Relating to Thaumaturgy" unfolds with the desperate search of forbidden literary fruits. Science has the ability to altar everything, a mistress whispering her secrets of a world broken, creation scorned. When you find yourself at the lighthouse, there is no turning back. Kennedy pulls you in his stories a cautionary to those who laugh at the gods who ultimately dig your grave.
"La muerte de la humanidad" is a story of a man who believes Hell is many things. This particular one took the form of a prison, home to the most depraved. Caged creatures driven to madness and riot. This convict manages to escape only to trade one ghost town for another. One sentencing in exchange for eternal damnation. Kennedy has a true gift when it comes to writing the downfall of mankind.
"The Devil Came and Took Me" evolves with Stevie Brown employed at a call center and fed up with life in general. His existence: an addict's carousel forever on loop, mouth agape in craving, self-destruction that knows no beginning and no end. During this current binge, a man in a bar offers to buy Stevie a drink and, as the hours wane, conversation turns to ghastly possibilities. Kennedy pours the reader a drink then spins one hell of a tale.
"An Occurrence at Harmony Bridge" is an absolute favorite of mine. The story begins in Jericho with a noose around Crazy Sam's neck. A town full of believers with bloodlust in their eyes. Flashforward to present day, and a man named Michael finds himself in a strange hotel, his memories a bit fuzzy. He recalls he has a two-year-old daughter he hasn't seen for quite some time. When Michael decides to leave the room, he discovers that beyond is nothing but utter depravity. Endless are the corridors that house only chants. Michael's unaware that the world he once knew is now nothing more than a skeleton. Much like Crazy Sam. Him and his dirty deeds long buried.
Bad Dreams and Reflections: A Collection of Weird Horror Stories written by Trevor Kennedy is a string of dark words, the coming together of many apocalyptic threads, a spider that weaves mankind's epitaph one cautionary tale at a time.