The Mourner's Cradle: A Widow's Journey

Damon Sharpe had in part found victory, he believed, in his battle to unearth a truth obscured by time. By autumn, he was dead, leaving to his wife Anne a house of unfulfilled wishes, remnants, and the key to the enigma of his obsession, the Mourner's Cradle.

A journey through grief and peril delivers Anne Sharpe from her home in St. Charles to the faraway skeletons of a long-dead civilization where she will find the desperate answers she seeks…or die trying.

Pieces of Chaos

Fragments of glass, metal, bone, ice, dreams, visions, and lives comprise this collection of fourteen stories of dark fiction.



Soon after the Quake of ’79, Lilac Chambers, a girl possessed of a dark force of destruction, was born. Poisonous is the story of Lilac and of those who have fallen into her path of ruin, among them a detective nearing retirement and a ringmaster of an ill-fated circus, both of whom may yet be the only hope of defying the horrors to come.

Short Stories

"Chemical Oasis" appeared in Tales From the Lake Vol. 3, the anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing.
The modern world is privy to an immense array of medical conditions and disorders, but with the growing ability to chemically reshape our functions courtesy of the pharmaceutical industry, many avenues of recovery have opened. Imagine a wonder-drug to cure us of the worries, strife, and dissatisfaction that complicate our day-to-day lives. Would it also cure us of those qualities which comprise our human nature?

"Stealing Sight" appeared in State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I, the anthology from Charon Coin Press.
Walking the French Quarter with purpose and sharp steel, the woman called Tarantula desires an eye of clearest blue.

"Circles in the Dark" appeared in Spirits of St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories, the anthology from Rocking Horse Publishing.
The story of a ruined house in eastern Missouri and a young woman sealed inside by the secret which inhabits it.

"On the Rainy Highway" appeared in Through the Eyes of a Storm, the anthology from Rainstorm Press.
Wanderers on a rainy highway are not often seen for what they truly are.

"Walls Between Worlds" appeared in Wash the Spider Out, the anthology from Blueberry Lane Books.
A story of two worlds, one of which is a tiny place dominated by a mystifying box of wonders that, to the average set of eyes, would appear very much like a television.

"Liquefier" appeared in I'll Never Go Away, the anthology from Rainstorm Press.
In high school, Lorrie was the only girl ever to speak to Roger. It might have been a mistake. This just may have been her first step toward an appointment with the death machine that is the Liquefier.

"The Long Hall" appeared online at MicroHorror.
While the refugees shivered in their sanctuary, one man among them was chosen to face the fear that held them all in its paralyzing grip. It was his turn to walk the long hall.

"The Tax Collector" appeared in 13: Tales of Dark Fiction, the anthology from Morpheus Tales.
The unearthly Ella Tempesta danced around and around the saloon tree. Mack Brumbleby and his friend Miguel could only watch, transfixed, little knowing what was about to befall their small town: the Tax Collector was coming to town, and for one unfortunate individual, it was Collection Day.

"Orchard Girls" appeared online in Darker #4.
Orchard Girls may not quite understand love, but they do understand lust — and photosynthesis, on some basic level. In this instance, the problem might have been that Morty simply didn’t understand Orchard Girls.

"Sea of a Thousand Voices" appeared in Night to Dawn #20.
Following one of the most vicious sandstorms ever to occur in ancient Tahemnu, the Sinking Sands claimed the lives of many desert travelers. When a group of men set out to solve the mystery of their fates, they found themselves drawn into a desperate struggle for their lives and sanity — but this, perhaps, was not the worst of it.

"Blue Lights" appeared online at MicroHorror.
Red lights and red-streaked asphalt bring the blue lights.

"Red Lights" appeared online at MicroHorror.
Red lights, gasoline, and rage.

"Agony of Being" appeared in Caught by Darkness, the anthology from Static Movement.
Two men become transformed. One finds an unusual appreciation for life, while the other develops a fascination with death. As a result, a woman's life plunges into darkness.

"Kingdom Come" appeared in By Mind or Metal, the anthology from Static Movement.
The glorious battle boasted of in one knight's story was far from the disturbing scene his squire had witnessed: the senseless slaughtering of a timid creature that had hardly even put up a fight.

"Patient #37" appeared online in Darker #1.
No one seemed to know anything about her, as if she didn't exist. She gave only a name, Cinnamon Caraway, and to some, that didn't even sound like a real name.

"Mr. Philpot" appeared online at Every Day Fiction.
Welcome back to the Eric Jones Show for season two, co-starring Leonard Philpot.

"Electric Presence" appeared online at Abandoned Towers
What started with minor electrical problems quickly became more than John and Alicia could deal with. Was it a simple matter of bad wiring, or was something more sinister taking place in their new home?

"Botted Rituals" appeared in the Heavy Metal Horror e-anthology from Rymfire eBooks.
The former lead vocalist of Tribal Narcotix survived in a ruined world of broken dreams, guided by a nightly ritual and an unusual friend only his eyes could see.

"What They Fear" appeared online at MicroHorror
For Gaspar, branded as a heretic, it was the day of judgment — but there yet remained a final choice to make.

"Eternity's Prelude" appeared in Abandoned Towers #3.
Illustrated by Miguel Santos.
Influenced by classical mythology, this is the story of the Celestials, their fate, and the one who wielded a light so bright that nothing could destroy her, save the destruction of life itself.

"Blackened Tears" appeared online at  Tower of Light, the Summer 2009 issue.
Twenty years ago, Hyatt was locked in combat against the cruelest force known to his people. Today, he struggled to face his uncertain future, and there was only one direction to flee: into the feared mire of the bog.

"Epitaph for Sol" appeared in Morpheus Tales #4.
Illustrated by Christopher Lee Stine.
Reprinted in Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Volume 1.
The crimson dragon of time burns through history with an appetite for the untold. Of the lost stories, we are left with only the obscure relics of the past, the possibilities and the speculations.

"A Game of Circumstance" appeared online at Every Day Fiction.
In a small, ordinary coffee shop, over ordinary cups of java and seemingly ordinary conversation, a Game of Circumstance was about to begin.

"The Eric Jones Show" appeared online at  Every Day Fiction.
Welcome to the Eric Jones Show, starring one Mr. Eric Jones.

"The Darkest of Waters" appeared in Morpheus Tales #1.
Illustrated by Michael Wooley.

Reprinted in Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Volume 1.
The mysteries of creation draw three travelers into an ocean
voyage to the heart of their world.

"Bone Water" appeared in  Blood Moon Rising #34.
Reprinted in MicroHorror.
The next time Lucia slept, she probably wouldn't awaken.

"Without" appeared in FlashShot.
Two droplets in a sea of eternity.

"The Skies Have Opened" appeared in Black Petals #41.
Illustrated by Laura Givens
The epilogue.

"The Edge of the Sky" appeared online at  Every Day Fiction.
What if?

"Living Poison" appeared in 7th Dimension #1.
Since that day on the cold operating table, the emptiness had been 
growing within. It was consuming him.

"Mechanized" appeared in Black Petals #40. 
Illustrated by Tim Ramstad.
The account of Tetsuo Miyamoto, a man who chased his dream. His dream was a nightmare.

"In the Eyes of the Storm" appeared in FlashShot
Reprinted in MicroHorror
The storm of chaos.

"Chronicle of the Golden Pyramid" appeared in Horror Carousel #5.
The mystery of the Golden Pyramid's silent riddle...

"The Capellan Dream" appeared in Black Petals #38.
Illustrated by Laura Givens.
As humans, shades of our character are reflected in our actions
and expressions. For a writer, expression flows through writing,
for a musician, through music, and for an artist, through art.
What happens, then, when the art surpasses the vision of the artist
and a human becomes the product of the expression?


"Urban Horror" appeared online in Morpheus Tales Review Supplement #13.

"Weaving the Sorcery" appeared online in Morpheus Tales Review Supplement #10.

"Violence as Entertainment" appeared online in Morpheus Tales Review Supplement #18.

Copyright © Tommy B. Smith, 2008-2018.
All images remain the property of their respective owners.