Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press; Second Edition edition (December 18, 2014)
Amazon: A Scout is Brave
Amazon Kindle: A Scout is Brave
In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop's ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.
Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.
Joshua could bear no more. His troop was embarrassed to be around him, Pastor Bob saw him as an abomination, and his best friend deceived him for a quick laugh. And things were only going to get worse. Pastor Bob would soon inform his mother what had happened. He would have no friends at school, and his mother would make life a living hell for him at home. She might even send him away to get “cured.”
He was alone now, and it was pitch dark as he walked down the trail to Tommy’s Point. Joshua didn’t care anymore about the demon. Let it take him, if it existed. It could only end this misery.
He finally reached Tommy’s Point. Clouds covered the night sky, and an eerie silence pervaded the surroundings. The lake was calm.
Joshua walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down at the rocks below. He was surprised at how much the scene resembled the one from his dreams, especially since he had never been there before in real life. He could almost see the image from his dreams of Tommy’s cold, dead body lying naked on the rocks below. His pain momentarily transformed into anger as he recalled the demon that had so coldheartedly and viciously pushed Tommy off the cliff.
“Coward!” Joshua shouted, wanting the monster to hear him. “Why don’t you come for me!” He was determined to fight it.
His voice echoed down the lake. Joshua waited a few seconds, half expecting a response. “What’s the matter?” he shouted. “Damn you, take me!”
Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master's in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek, and hopes to be on the first starship out of here. In the meantime, he teaches at a college prep school and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time. In addition to all things sci-fi, his hobbies include camping, reading, running, and writing. He has lived in several Midwestern states and currently resides in Indiana. Ugh – get me out of here!
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