A Cheerful Smoke for the Dead

Rated 4.43/5 based on 7 reviews
Young Nathaiu frets over the journey of his dead parents in the afterlife.

When an old man comes to town peddling an incense said to lead the dead straight to the holy father, Orotar, Nathaiu buys a pouch of the stuff.

When he burns the incense at his evening prayers, he discovers the nature of the old man's magic.

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  • Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
  • Words: 5,040
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781458033697
About Ron Leighton

Born of gypsy parents in a small Romanian town in the shadows of the Transylvanian Alps, Ron began writing fiction at the beginning of this sentence. Um, is there time for a do-over? In the Year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty five, and in Albuquerque, NM, the very corazon you might say, of the Land of Enchantment, Ron was born. He started writing after he read Tolkien’s 'Lord of the Rings'. I mean, right after. It was like he was abcessed. Er, obsessed. Along with Conan stories by various people, including Robert E. Howard, of course, Tolkien proved to be an unavoidable inspiration. The twists and turns of his life, especially in the last 10 years, have colored his writing with both humor, sorrow and, he hopes, heart.

In addition to promoting his short stories, 'A Cheerful Smoke for the Dead,' 'Child of Chaos' and 'Beneath a Vengeful Sun,' he is busy shopping a full length novel called 'Belt of the Wolf: A Tale of the Shining Lands.'

Learn more about Ron Leighton

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Carine Engelbrecht reviewed on on Jan. 31, 2012

Worried about the souls of his deceased parents, Nathaiu seems an easy mark for a trickster-like trader in arcane incense. When he follows the accompanying instructions to the letter, however, he finds the results are not quite what he had anticipated. There are layers within layers, when one deals with those from worlds beyond this one. Told with emotional authenticity and absorbing detail, the story succeeds in drawing you in within the space of a mere ten pages and the conclusion will stay with you a good while after reading the last word. This is definitely a recommended read for anyone who enjoys tales of fantasy and magic.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Daniel Swensen reviewed on on Nov. 15, 2011

A macabre story remniscent of somewhere between a Hammer film and the old E.C. comics. Dark divinity, gruesome mystery -- what more could you want from a monster story?
(review of free book)
Mackenzie Brown reviewed on on Oct. 19, 2011

A skilful slant on the ageless vampire theme. Cleverly plotted and carefully crafted, you can almost feel the hunger of the careworn characters, whether it is food or blood they crave. Ron Leighton is a master at creating a world none of us would wish to inhabit and wringing every drop of plot out of the short story framework. This is a writer who I predict will transfer his work with great skill and style to the broader canvass of a novel.
(review of free book)
estruda reviewed on on July 12, 2011

This is a very riviting story you can allmost taste the atmosphere you feel as though you are actually in the streets with them ,has you on the edge of your seat, i absolutely loved it ,beautifully written and very descriptive.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Ron Knight reviewed on on June 24, 2011

Excellent flow, descriptions, dialogue, and entertaining storytelling. ~ Ron Knight
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Tessa Jones reviewed on on June 17, 2011

These vampires definitely do not sparkle! Ron Leighton has given us a gritty, unromantic look at one of the oldest evils to inhabit the earth. I'm still shivering...

Highly recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Infinity Dreamt reviewed on on June 16, 2011

If you're into vampires and want a fresh, but grounded in an older time take on them, this short story will give you a good spook. I'm very interested to see if Ron Leighton's upcoming novel will have the same effect. I will be carrying extra lights around until then.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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