An excerpt from my book, ‘Fragments of Fear Collection’.
‘Sincerely, Douglas T. Forbes, Esquire.’
Edna’s wrinkled hands laid the letter on top of the envelope that had ‘Final notice’ stamped in red ink.
“I think I’ll invite Mr. Forbes over for tea.”
She phoned Mr. Forbes several times only to be told he was busy.
Finally, thirty days were up. Two large men in suits knocked on Edna’s door.
“May I help you?” Edna asked sweetly.
” We’re from the bank.”
“Oh yes, come right in.”
Two days later there was another knock on Edna’s door.
“May I help you?” she said sweetly.
“I’m Mr. Forbes from the bank.”
“Please come in.”
He stepped into the foyer and was mesmerized by the myriad of colored glass.
“I see you like my work.” Edna smiled.
“It’s quite lovely,” he said, “Mrs. Kelley I’m here on business. It’s about your mortgage.”
“What about it?”
“It’s past due.”
“That’s because you raised my payments last year.”
“There was a change in the law, we’re allowed to do that now.”
“So you’re here to take my house that I’ve been paying on for thirty-nine years.”
“And how much do I need to come up with to keep my house?”
“With late fees, taxes, fees for house calls, compounded daily for twelve months, that brings it to, forty-two thousand dollars.”
“Wow. That’s a lot. But happily I came across an old box of antique coins.”
“Really?” he said.
“Follow me, I’ll show you.”
She led him down the hallway that was lined with stained glass artwork.
“Did you do all of these yourself? I’ve never seen stained glass this detailed before. How do you work with all those tiny pieces?”
“It’s a labor of … love.”
“Who are these people?”
“Oh, my ex-husband, children, neighbors, mailman…”
“You did one of your mailman?”
“Oh yes, he deserved it.”
“I meant he earned it,” she said chuckling.
As they walked, Edna started murmuring.
“Oh, I was just humming.”
She opened a door at the end of the hallway.
“Here we are.”
They walked into an empty room. The only thing visible was an easel.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
“Have a look.”
On the easel sat a mirror set in a golden frame. He looked into the mirror and no reflection stared back at him.
“What is this?”
He was drawn toward it as if being pulled inside.
He started to see a faint image in the mirror. The louder Edna murmured the more he could see of himself. He looked down at his hands and they had become transparent.
The mirror cracked, sending a jolt of pain through him. It cracked again and again, each a new experience in agony.
The cracks came faster.
His scream echoed.
Her murmuring reached a fever pitch.
The cacophony reached a crescendo then ceased.
She opened her eyes and smiled at her brand new stained glass portrait.
She hung it in the hallway next to portraits of the other men in suits.
Thank you for reading. If you liked this, try some of my other short horror stories.