Bad Moon Rising: Blood On The Bayou by Hervey Copeland is far better than I anticipated. This story is kind of like a modern day Deliverance, minus the rape. The beginning is a little slow, but, once the horror reveals itself, the desperation of Troy propels the story at a break-neck pace. I was so consumed with the hunt, I had forgotten the details of the intro and managed to be surprised by the ending.
I lost count years ago of how many times I told myself, "I'd never do that," when reading a horror story. I blame the characters for being gullible or too trusting, assuring myself I couldn't possibly be that stupid. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves just to get from one day to the next...
I've done almost all the things that are used to begin a scary story: I've walked alone at night, I met someone from online, I've given out all kinds of personal information...if I looked at myself and my decisions the same way I look at fictional characters, I would have screamed my throat raw by now: "What the HELL are you thinking?!"
To make matters worse, I've been in some truly psychotic situations, such as being stalked for three and half years in college by a guy who chased me through a parking lot one day...or the time another guy drove onto my yard during the night and tried to force his way into my place, and I found out later he was wanted in three states.
I watch the news, I have a functioning brain, but I still manage to convince myself that horror stories are what happen to other people...