Phantoms Doused in Night is available on Kindle - Buy it Now
Phantoms Doused in Night was Brian's second short story collection, published in 2013, featuring 10 stories, ranging from sci-fi and fable to literary fiction and fairy tale, featuring:
Over a fallen hill (original short story version)
The Sun is dying and humanity is adapting poorly to life on a freezing Earth. Population is low and communities rely on trade with one another to survive. The village of Fallen Hill makes Light, in the form of candles, an invaluable resource for all. Everyone wants their wares, but can offer little in return. When news that a neighbouring town has been completely destroyed hits Fallen Hill's people, they send a scout in a balloon to investigate, and find something they never could have imagined...
Matt has lost his way; he's strung out and has cheated death more times than he can count, but still lives to get high. On his latest effort to hit rock bottom, he has a near-death experience where Death himself gives him the exact time of his demise. Feeling invincible, Matt digs deeper into his addiction than ever before, with shocking consequences.
A couple have moved in together despite knowing that their feelings for one another are dwindling. Desperate to cling on to the hope of a future together, they fly on a last-minute trip to the remote Scottish island of Barra to be alone. On one of their many hikes across the island they encounter something unexpected...
Working at a children's birthday party, a magician is heavily criticised by the man paying his bill at the end of the day. Sometimes a little bit of magic goes a long way...
Two privileged middle-class twenty-somethings have some fun at the expense of a park attendant for being courteous to a homeless man. It's only when the consequences of their actions hit home do they realise the magnitude of what they've done.
Anne and Jonathan are complete strangers, but coincidentally have bumped into one another many times in the same day. An almost magnetic force leads each of them to places that they normally wouldn't visit, where they are constantly faced with one another. As the coincidences stack up, their day gets stranger and stranger.
A man is told that he needs to wait outside the local train station in the middle of the night and shoot a man he's never even met. If he doesn't, he'll never see his daughter again. What does he do?
The King is heartbroken by the death of his Queen. Nothing rouses him to attention and it is clear that his body is failing him. He is dying. A quick thinking Doctor decides to give the King a new heart, which improves his condition, but only slightly and temporarily. Desperate to keep their King alive, the Doctor and his assistants graft more and more hearts to his body, to obscene levels, but know that they must do something even more drastic in order to prevail.
the grey noon
A man posts a letter to his estranged wife, Ada, but returns home to find it sitting on the mat inside his own door. Confused, he picks it up and makes a second trip to the post office. Back home, he hears something drop through the letterbox... His letter to Ada, once again...
a walk through the woods
An elderly Fox gets lost on its walk through the woods. As a predator and unwelcome presence in their part of the woods, a responsible Owl and Hare decide to escort him home and away from their young. On their journey, they encounter something much more dangerous than the Fox, and the context of their situation teaches them a valuable lesson.