“But in your worst and darkest moments, remember that you have seen another kind of world. Remember that you can reach it whenever you choose to see. Remember that it will be waiting and that’s real, it’s possible — it’s real.” ~ Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead


Life is short, it’s oft remarked,
Too short, they’ll say, and drift another day,
Mile markers passing, gravestones fey,
Dreams once held like children dear
Last seen along the desert way,
Standing on the baked road shoulder,
Staring in mute disbelief at the pulling away,
Awaiting the change of heart, surely,
A regretful glance back, at least—
Left, dry-eyed and hopeful, with nothing
But to watch the defining lines of intent
Merge and melt into the distant liquid lure,
The languorous placidity that laps against
The morrow and morrow,
The eternal someday into which
The only one who might ever return for them
      has disappeared.

~ Quent Cordair

14 May 2020

Enjoy more acclaimed Cordair poetry & short fiction in My Kingdom, now available in paperback and Kindle editions.

The Robin’s Nest

FeaturedThe Robin’s Nest


“You seek love,” Amelie said, finally, emerging from her long silence. She was studying a ladybug that had lit on the hem of her skirt to wind its way purposefully, probingly along the line of silk stitches. She hadn’t once glanced at Catherine since they’d stopped to sit on the garden bench. “Love is always worth finding, yes,” she continued, “but it is trust I want. If only I might trust again. Trust is more precious than love, you know, more essential. Love depends on trust. Without trust, love is helpless. But with trust, love can soar. Oh, and how love can soar! Only let me find trust again.”

The ladybug paused. It opened its wings once, twice. When it flew, Amelie’s breath caught, her fingers opened reflexively, as though to catch and hold the tiny creature, but her hands remained firmly in her lap, her back straight, head erect as she followed its flight until it was lost in the buzzing haze. She pressed on, the words coming like an intoned rite over the laying of flowers on a fresh grave.

“When trust is broken, when trust is shattered, love can only stare in dumb wonder at the shards of its own reflection, rendered helpless again. When trust has crumbled into dust, to be carried off by the wind, love may persist, love may live on, but it can exist only as a bloodless shade, veiled in torn longing, shrouded in aching need, condemned to floating through the empty and echoing rooms, retracing the steps over and over, touching all the places again and again until the boards and posts are worn and polished smooth. When trust is gone, yes, love may live on, refusing to die, unable to depart, the unevictable tenant of a broken and empty heart.”

Her eyes had remained dry, the tears all long ago cried.

Catherine shifted closer and slipped her arm through, taking Amelie’s hand. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

Amelie didn’t pull away.

They sat just so for a while, silently, watching the bees work the crepe myrtle tree, flower by flower, the robin building her nest, twig by twig. When they spoke again, it was of things of much and little consequence, but nothing of love or trust. They talked together until the shadows grew long and the primroses were opening to the evening dew. As the rhythm of the crickets’ song enveloped them, they fell into another long silence, a silence as natural and right as the first had been awkward and strained.

“We should be getting back,” Catherine suggested, with little conviction and less desire. “We’ll be missed.” She felt a faint tightening in Amelie’s fingers.

“If we must.”

Still, neither of the young women rose, neither moved, neither wanting to risk breaking the spell, the spell with its suggestion of a possibility of something so unlikely that it might exist only in their imaginations, a possibility neither of them had anticipated, much less dared hope.

But in a moment that had passed unnoticed that afternoon, the prospect of a better, brighter existence in the world had been conceived. Somewhere within a warm and hidden fold of the make-shift womb of clasped palms and interlaced fingers, the seed of something wondrous and impossible had germinated and begun to take form. To many in their respective worlds, to most perhaps, what these two might dare hope to claim in that twilight hour would seem too meager a treasure, a coin too common, a half farthing one mightn’t bother to stoop to retrieve had it fallen in a gutter. But for these two who had seen so much, two who had suffered more than any two should, two who had endured more than most could—two who had managed to survive in near complete isolation, on little more than sheer will, stripped of any and all hope—what they might possess in the moment, even if it proved only fleeting in the end and gone on the morrow, was enough.

In the last of the twilight, as they walked back to the manor, they were arm in arm, holding hands still, neither of them caring much at all, in truth, whether they had been missed. Consequences be damned. Before parting, they promised they would return on the afternoon next, to the bench at the end of the garden, to the sacred privacy of the primroses and crepe myrtle, to check on the robin.

It was only after they had parted, after Amelie had disappeared from view around the corner of the stables, that Catherine’s legs folded beneath her. She sat in the middle of the path, one hand holding her body off the ground, the other clutched to her heart.

Though Amelie’s tears had all long been cried, Catherine’s first had yet to be shed. Her tears flowed now, the first and the rest.

She might have found a friend.



Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the story. “The Robin’s Nest” is from the My Kingdom collection of flash fiction, short stories, poems, and short plays for stage & screen, now available in paperback and Kindle editions. ~

Save the Tigers (free fiction)

FeaturedSave the Tigers (free fiction)

Judging from my social-media feeds, some of my friends are either reaching the bottom of their entertainment barrel or have already poked right through the bottom and started digging. (I wouldn’t name any of the TV shows being mentioned, but let’s just say that even the tigers are reportedly embarrassed to be in one of them.)

Let me help. I’m going to start making some of my 5-star fiction free to download, for a limited time, to help get us through these surreal days with minds and souls intact. I’ve made “Mujahid” a complimentary download through midnight Pacific tomorrow, April 5, 2020. You can read it on any smartphone, iPad, laptop, or desktop using Amazon’s Kindle app.

A wonderful new review of “Mujahid”:

5.0 out of 5 stars. “Efficacy, brilliantly dramatized. I read this screenplay during a layover in the city it is set in, Chicago. Somehow that brings the story closer. It’s a tight, powerful, well done screenplay that dramatizes the fact that your choices and actions do indeed make a difference. As I finished reading, getting to cruising altitude out of Chicago in that collection of a million parts each individually decided upon and assembled into a jetliner taking me affordably across the entire continent in less than a day, I got to observe a toddler stand up on his mom’s lap in the row ahead of mine. He was reaching up and learning that the buttons and vents above him had predictable, repeatable reactions to his manipulations, and his joy at the discovery was brilliant to behold. This resonated so powerfully with what Quent dramatized in his screenplay. The scope of my abstract understanding of human efficacy was expanded, and my perception and appreciation for the joy of it in the concrete was also expanded. Thanks for that, Quent! And hey, without all that “waxing philosophical,” it’s a rocking good tale, too!” ~ Erik Wingren.

Thanks, Erik!

To enjoy “Mujahid” today, click here.


The Gravity Field

FeaturedThe Gravity Field

She lay naked, face up, head to the north, feet to the south, arms outstretched, hands east and west, eyes full of stars. Beneath her back the lumped clods of dirt and broken carcasses of last season’s grain, moist from the night’s dew, served well enough for pillow and mattress, meshed with her hair, pressed against her bare skin. The cloudless sky offered no protection. She needed none. She took in the universe until she found her place again in the solar system, in the galaxy, feeling the earth and all its round wholeness—the mountains, the oceans, the molten core—not beneath her but behind, between her body and the sun. She had worked to shift her perception until she experienced the earth’s sphere as it was, tilted, turning on its axis, her body held against its side by gravity alone, its surface curving down and away below her, leaving nothing beneath her feet but the great void. But she wouldn’t fall. She was as attracted to the earth as it was to her, and she was dazzled by the distances the stars had come that night, each and every one, to kiss her body with light.

She lay there until the earth began to chill. When she rose, she brushed the straw and dirt out of her hair, off her body. She dressed and walked back to the limousine, shoes in hand. Her driver would follow the car’s tracks back out to the road. She might not return for another year, or for three, but she would return, as she always did. Why else, but for this, would she have bought the field?

*          *          *

Enjoy more Quent Cordair flash fiction, short stories, poems, and short plays for stage & screen, in paperback and ebook editions. ~