Tales for a Sleepless Night (2013)

Sean O'Mordha   May 3, 2016   Comments Off on Tales for a Sleepless Night (2013)

Sean O’Mordha has been writing short fiction for over fifty years. Here is a selection of seventeen short stories from his archives to give you reason to cry, shout, laugh, shiver, and look under the bed and in the closet . . . with a light on.


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A Boy and his Dog

boy & dog 2bCharles Graham recently lost Kelsey, his best friend, a Golden retriever and constant companion from birth. Unfortunately, dogs, even good ones, can’t live as long as their boy and the loss is difficult to deal with especially when you are twelve. It is inevitable that after a time his parents will find a puppy to fill the void in all their hearts; however, sometimes fate – someone or something – intervenes a bit sooner than anyone plans.

A Twisted Road

gallows2c2Baron Chudleigh is sitting in a corner of a windowless cell watching two rats quarrel over his last meal. Even the sound of footsteps and clang of the cell door don’t interrupt their squabble. It’s a man of God who dispenses with the last rights to suggest a way to avoid the hangman’s noose–for a price.

Cave Lake

aztec warrior 3cTwo teens heading out to a local, private lake for a little moonlight hanky-panky narrowly avoid slamming into a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. There is a dead man with a death grip on the steering wheel. The hood of his vehicle is smashed in with no indication what it hit. The damage is extensive. If done by an animal, it couldn’t have gone far, but the police find nothing – no carcass, blood, hair, skin, nothing. The only lead is the far-fetched tale of an Aztec warrior guarding Montezuma’s treasure hidden in a cave beneath the lake.

Chamber of Smoke

Marianne door2A bored teen makes friends with someone who can travel back and forward in time which seems pretty cool, until discovering the friend uses the unusual time shift to appease a psychopathic desire to murder. Is there any way to break off the relationship without becoming another victim?

Mariann: Sweet Dreams

Screenshot from 2016-04-30 20-30-27When Mariann’s bedroom lights are turned off, she is terrified by the slightest noise because of re-occurring dreams. Adults say it is nothing until one night a mouse comes out of her closet which sets off bedlam within the house. However, the dreams persist. Something is hiding in her closet, something that is more than a bump in the night.

Pharaoh’s Secret

egyptian_relief_thoth_large_03Benny is a target for bully Mat Brenner and his gang who follow him home, pushing, shoving, tripping, and ridiculing him at every step. Clicking on an eMail ad, he reads: “What do you wish for? Abundance? Love? Happiness? Friends? Health? Protection? Revenge? Power? It can all be accomplished with powerful magic spells I just found and you don’t need to sacrifice blood or sell your soul to make it happen. Check out our website and see what I mean.” Two free spells just to prove they work. What could he lose?


2 eagle feathers2Jeremiah is an abandoned, Native American teen about to become a ward of the Tribe until the War Chief intervenes and commits him to an unusual camp–a place to learn to be an Indian, but there is no guarantee it will keep him from placement. The only guarantee against that is to take matters into his own hands.

The Book

magic_book2Marvin is a bored, under-achiever who became enticed by a neighbor boy to join a witches coven. The thirst for power brings him into contact with an ancient book of spells that comes with a mentor who expects a high price.

The Day My Father Discovered He Was Dead

airplaneWrapping up the family’s summer vacation in Washington, D.C., the father walks along the Vietnam War Memorial and discovers his name. A records check is a match. A bureaucratic snafu or is he an imposter?

The Heart of Cuchamantan

mayre04aCurled up on the sofa barefoot more like a teenager than someone in his late sixties, the professor tosses a manuscript aside as his deeply tanned brow wrinkles in unison with tightened stomach muscles. The read has just wrung out long stifled and buried memories of something that was supposed to be secret. That shouldn’t have been hard as he was the only one who survived, but apparently someone else knew what happened.

The Innkeeper

Star & DonkeyMany stories have been told about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Among these, the Innkeeper who turned Joseph and Mary away appears to be cruel, except the man may have actually been a hero.

The Jericho Detour

rachel5Karl Weiss, age fifty-three, widower, three grown children, thirty pounds overweight by the erroneous Metropolitan chart, is linebacker trim. Raised German Lutheran, Karl is rooted in his religion with a reputation of strict adherence to the law. He’s on the way to northern Nevada to be with his daughter as she gives birth to his first grandchild. The drive takes him on Nevada State 375, the  Extraterrestrial Highway, near the top secret Area 51, a trip that is about to challenge everything he holds dear.

The Lava Beds

Vulture2A college intern in police science helps a small town police chief with a murder-suicide case in a bizarre who-dun-it.

The Pitcher Plants

pitcher3Biologist Dr. Franklin de’Vore has developed a method for society to more effectively deal with its less desirable elements. It is an effective solution until one of his societal weeds escapes.

The Scoutmaster

Scoutmaster1One minute Spencer hated everything about Old Lady Webster’s house, even the paint, then the next thing he’s sitting in the cool shade of its porch sipping fresh lemonade and munching the best cookies ever. His sixty-eight year old Scoutmaster had a unique way of teaching a valuable lesson.

True Character

friends helpingWhen Ron Elams’ mom moves to Rock Point Forest Service Station, he finds himself alone and isolated until meeting Percy Little-Bird. Together, they could take on the bully kids from the logging community, but find a better solution.

Wish Upon a Brigantine

Frigate2bRandy is confined to a hospital suffering from terminal cancer. He has one wish before dying, but it is an impossible dream, until the strangest clown shows up with the promise to help.

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