Brian D. Mazur is the author of the short story
SHATTERING GLASS in the
NEW Vampire Anthology
He is also the author of the short story DUMAINE in the anthology Dying to Live.
It was the second time that Harry Kirkland’s life had changed; it was also the last. It began with a knock at the door as he sat watching the news, a human-interest story. The knock was light, but authoritative. It was a small hand he decided, shuffling to the door.
Rap music boomed from somewhere in the condominium complex, greeting Harry and ushering in a pair of women standing on his front stoop. The older of the two was an attractive woman, about thirty-five or so, he guessed. Her brown hair, short, swept across her forehead, trimmed neatly framed around ears that displayed silver earrings in the shape of feathers that sparkled in the setting sun. She wore a dress brushed with the colors of the rainbow. Her eyes were emerald green and she greeted Harry through a Mary Tyler Moore smile with big gleaming teeth.
Next to her stood a young woman, about the older woman’s height, but not so effervescent in her appearance. She was thin, hollow cheeked, rather morose as she stared at Harry with dull, lifeless eyes. Her hair was straight, dull brown, well past her shoulders, lying lightly on a dress that was too big and seemed as if it should have the same design as her companion’s, but like her, lacked color, life. She hung on almost desperately to the older woman, her right arm intertwined with the woman’s left, hand clutched tightly into her companions until her knuckles were white, her left hand grasping the woman’s upper arm.
Harry thought that he’d seen them before.
“Hello,” the older woman said, brightly, her free arm extended in greeting. “My name is Jennifer Warston. This is my daughter Melissa. We moved into the complex a short time ago. We’ve been so busy that we haven’t had time to introduce ourselves.”
Harry realized that he was still staring at the young woman. He found that looking into Melissa’s eyes a little longer that, yes, he had seen them before. They’d moved in about three months back. It was as if they were just suddenly here. There had been no moving van of any kind. None of the activity normally associated with moving. They had just been . . . here.
“I’m sorry. Harry Kirkland.” He shook her hand. “Welcome to the neighborhood. Actually, I think that introductions should have been my responsibility. I have seen you and your daughter around but neglected to introduce myself.”
She didn’t respond, only smiling a very pretty smile.
“Won’t you come in for a moment?” he stepped back and swung the door open wider. “If you don’t mind the bachelor’s ambiance that . . .”
Jennifer shook her head vigorously, her earrings dancing with slivers of sunlight off its metal.
“No, no, no, thank you anyway. Melissa and I have to get to the grocery store. We just came by to introduce ourselves and to invite you to dinner tomorrow night at our place. Number twenty-four.” She turned and pointed back across the court.
Harry glanced quickly to Melissa, who was staring blindly, still clutching at her mother as if she were about to be taken away forever. He looked back to Jennifer who was still smiling.
“Can you make it, Harry?”
Harry considered the invitation for a moment and the twinge of guilt that rode with his thoughts. He hadn’t realized his devotion to Lois was still so strong, but there it was.
It came at first, the changing of his life, in total silence. It greeted him, as he stood in the entranceway of the old Victorian, unmoving; the house vibrating with what was not in the air. When he came home, he would always hear Lois singing in the kitchen as she cooked. That night being their fortieth anniversary, he had expected her to be singing loud and clear with that alto warbling voice of hers.
“Lois?” he called out.
He placed his lunch bag on the little table between the umbrella stand and a fifty-year-old cherry wood coat tree. His gaze skidded along the immaculately polished wood floor of the short hallway ahead, to the kitchen door at the end. A yellowish white glow around the doorjamb reflected white pools on the floor and on the thirty years of memories that covered the walls on either side.
He stepped forward with some hesitation. Something wasn’t right. It was too quiet. READ MORE
In the summer of 2009, Brian’s short story “Raven and the Darkness” appeared in Horror Bound’s anthology Return of the Raven. 2011 saw “What She Dreams” in another Horror Bound publication, Fear of the Dark. In 2012 his short story, “Home Coming”, was published in Wicked East Press’, Behind Locked Doors and from Jaletta Celgg & Frances Pauli, the weedy anthology Wandering Weeds: Tale of Rabid Vegetation, is his horror/dark fantasy influenced, “Oh, Dark Tumbleweed”. The last twenty years have seen numerous publications in smaller press magazines as well.
Brian also leads a local writing group of no specific genre, from which evolved his first public reading, June 2013.