Day 2 of Thrilling Stories: The Woman Wronged

Here we are at Day 2, almost midstream in 6.66 days of thrilling fiction. This is a more real-world story, perhaps with a touch of magic to it, with what I hope is an unusual set of protagonists. The dialect is a bit tricky; I hope it sounds authentic. I’ve worked on this story for years, and it’s better than it used to be. And yet . . . likely miles to go before I can happily lay my writerly head down to rest. Anyway, you be the judge. Simple revenge/comeuppance story or no? My apologies to Flannery O’Connor for borrowing her terrific title for today’s chilling tale.

Continue reading

Undelivered Valentines: Part 3

Part 1 of this story is here. Part 2 is here. And without further ado, here is Part 3 . . .


Undelivered Valentines: Part III

A Serial Story

by Leigh Ward-Smith


She found Emily sitting idle on the front-porch swing reading Watchers by Dean R. Koontz. Her back was sloped Thinker-style, elbow triangulating with her knee and propping up her chin.

An untouched peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich sat on the small table with a couple cans of soda, one already empty.

Jamie pictured a Lilliputian Snoopy piloting one of the insects that buzzed in an endless elliptical pattern around the sandwich and open-mouthed can.

“Super, you found the sandwich and the sodas.”


“Good book?”


“You know, we both should cut down on our soda consumption.”


By that point, Jamie knew the teen had tuned her out, so she decided to inject some fun into the conversation.

“I was thinking of getting a Mohawk in my hair and a skull tattoo as well. Would they look good on me?”

“Mmm-hmm.” Emily nodded slowly.

“That President Bush sure is a hot guy; I think I’ll steal him from Barbara. Will you help me?”

The clicking of nails on a wooden floor skittered to a stop just inside the front door entryway of the house. But only a trebled yelping jangled their attention, just as a dog-blur slapped the screen door open a moment later and bolted out. Continue reading

Undelivered Valentines: A Serial Story

As Halloween 2014 drags its bloated, or soon-to-be-bloated, body nearer, of course I thought it appropriate for a love story of a different kind. I’m splitting the skull of this story into three pieces, for your (I hope) ease of reading and enjoyment. Comments and referrals are always appreciated. 🙂


_Ghost_ photo

Image from Ghost Study.

Undelivered Valentines: Part I

by Leigh Ward-Smith

An icepick of a shriek rocked me free from my tendrily bedsheets. As I bolted out, almost tripping on their thin cotton arms, I was just able to clap eyes on the garish red numbers: 2:59.

“Em, what’s wrong?” floated out of me before I even felt my toes scuff the frayed, but dense, carpet in the hallway outside her room. It was an inky Indiana night, sticky as a state fair cotton-candy funnel cake.

The hallway light I’d brushed on my way past threw an elongated white triangle onto the dark floor that slunk up the side of the bed.

“Th-th-there,” she pointed toward the closet, her arm board-stiff.

Continue reading