“You can move on your own now,” Callie stated. Her reflection only nodded. “I still don’t understand why.”
“You unlocked the door,” the girl in the mirror whispered.
Callie stared, waiting for a deeper explanation. Her reflection looked down, as if composing herself. When she raised her face once more, Callie was shocked by the honesty of her somber smile. It was as if her image could actually feel emotion. It was almost too much for her to bear; the idea that an image on a piece of glass could feel anguish, loss, hope—all of which Callie saw reflected back at her in her own eyes. Tears crept down both Callie’s cheeks and those of her image, and Callie had to feel her face again to be sure the tears were her own this time.
“You unlocked the door,” her reflection repeated, hope glistening on her fragile words. “You can save me. You can protect me. You can open the door.”
“What door?” Callie asked with trepidation. The girl stepped forward, and for a moment Callie thought she was going to collide with the clear wall that stood between them. She stopped at the frame, and put her hands up on the thick glass.
“This door,” she said softly.
1. What is your favorite part about writing scary fiction?
My favorite part so far is the conception. More specifically, being able to create, design, and bring to life everything that goes ‘bump’ in the night. I think being the creator helps soothe my own fears and paranoia about the paranormal and unexplained; I get to do the explaining, and that clears up a lot of what makes fear so terrifying.
2. What inspired your short story for this anthology?
My short story was inspired by my own fear that, one day, my self-deprecation and low self-esteem would come back to haunt me. One of the most important lessons in life is to love yourself, so I combined that with the old superstition that breaking a mirror brings bad luck.
3. What story have you heard that scares you the most? Why?
There is a book by John Saul called The Homing. It is by far the only story that has ever truly frightened me. The basic premise of the book is that a young girl gets stung by a bee and becomes infested. Yes, I said infested. Unfortunately, the infestation almost immediately affects her brain, and she loses all control of her body—while keeping full conscious thought—as she begins to take on the qualities of a hive queen. This book appeals almost entirely to my fear of bees, and even tosses in a wonderfully gruesome method of torture and murder that will have you begging to keep your feet off the ground when the lights are out.