Dread was a short story written by Clive Barker as a part of the Books of Blood. It tells the story about how an older college student starts to do a little bit of a strange fear experiment that doesn't quite end as he had hoped.
This story contains examples of the following tropes:
- Ax-Crazy: Quaid is haunted by his own fear of a ragamuffin ax-man. By the end Stephen returns this way.
- The Chessmaster: Quaid is the one who sets up everything that happens.
- Fate Worse than Death: Quaid sets up both Cheryl and Stephen with their worst fears come to life and in the end Steven brings Quaid face to face with his.
- Freudian Excuse: Quaid himself is plagued by his own fear of an ax-swinging Monster Clown, and terrorizes others in hope of purging his own dread.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Due to Quaid's choices, he ends up having to face his own dread when Stephen returns to his captor dressed like the killer with an axe.
- Monster Clown: Quaid's personal bogeyman-fear. Steven ends up tossing on a ragtag bunch of clothing and accidentally replicates this look for the climax.
- Only One Name: Quaid.
- Sadistic Choice: Quaid puts Cheryl through this. She as a vegetarian is left in a room where her only thing to eat is a piece of raw meat.
- Unwitting Pawn: Everyone becomes this under Quaid's "experiments".