April’s Justice

FeaturedApril’s Justice

The point of focus was sixty yards away, four-and-a-half feet above the ground, centered over the wheel ruts of the frozen dirt drive where the drive crested the hill. There was nothing at that point, nothing but the chill, gray December air. The air was held steadily on the tip of a bladed front sight. The blade was couched snugly in a tight “U” notch—the rear sight of a 1903 Springfield .30-06. Inside the rifle’s chamber, a small lead ball waited impatiently for a slight contraction of the muscles of the finger on the trigger. On command, the ball would spin madly out of the barrel’s biting, spiraling grooves and, within a fifteenth of a second, hiss across the short distance. Should a man happen to be walking up the drive from the road at that moment, it would be his misfortune to cross the path of the ball—with his chest.

The thought gave her satisfaction, but she didn’t smile. Her cheek was pressed hard against the rifle’s walnut stock, the occasional snowflake that landed on her face melting there, unnoticed. The cold, oil-cleaned barrel lay steadied across the top of a neat stack of firewood. Over the summer, she had bruised her shoulder again and again as from varying distances she blasted jars and tins to smithereens. The bruises were yellow now; the weapon had become familiar, a constant companion, like the quilted blanket she had carried with her everywhere as a child.

Moments earlier, she had been putting the animals away when she heard an approaching motorcar on the main road. The sound itself would have been acceptable except for its sudden cessation: the farm was the only one along the desolate nine-mile stretch of winding West Virginia road, and no one stopped here, not anymore. She waited behind the firewood, unmoving, watching the tip of the rifle’s sight for something to step into the condemned space above the crest of the drive. From the barn behind her one of the horses snorted restlessly. With her thumb she slipped off the rifle’s safety.

A hat appeared, then a head beneath it. Her pulse jumped, and she worked to slow her breathing, to steady her hands, adjusting her aim. She was unprepared for the other two hats, one rising on each side of the drive, outside the ruts. Okay, first the middle one, then the left, then the right. The magazine held five rounds—she could afford to miss only twice. She practiced the move, sliding the sight a fraction of an inch each way. No, it’s better just to go straight acrossleft, middle, right. She practiced the revised move twice and held her aim on the place where the chest of the man on the left would appear above the rise within two seconds, and then within one—

A shimmer of silver flashed from the middle man’s chest. She recognized the sheriff. The man on the left was Caleb, one of his deputies. She didn’t recognize the man on the right, but judging by the hat and badge, he too was a deputy. She practiced the move again—left, middle, right.

“April?” the sheriff called out. “April?” he called again, warily.

The trio slowed as they neared. They hadn’t spotted her yet. Caleb and the other deputy looked as though they expected ghosts to fly out of the cabin. Twenty yards out the men stopped, the sheriff observing the wisps of blue smoke rising from the chimney.

“April, this is Sheriff Holsapple. Come on out—I need to talk with you for a minute.”

She had never liked the way Deputy Caleb watched her body when she was in town, with that lewd twist sneaking up at the corner of his mouth. She sighted in on the spot and wondered what his face would look like without it. The trigger pressed invitingly against her finger. With the rifle trained on him, she stepped out from behind the woodpile. The blood drained from the deputies’ faces. The three men stood as frozen as the pines behind them.

The sheriff’s lips pursed wearily. His shoulders had dropped, his hands hung loose and quiet by his sides, except for the faint tracing of his right thumb which seemed to have a mind of its own. If she were going to shoot Caleb first, he might have a chance to draw. She could tell that he wasn’t sure if he would or could, that he was thinking that they really shouldn’t have come up here, that they should have just left her alone. He was right in thinking that. In the thick stillness, they all knew it.

“Come on now, April,” the sheriff ventured. “I’m only here to help.”

“I don’t need your help, Sheriff.”

He sighed. “This is important, April. Look, at least lower the gun. It’s too damned cold out here for us all to be sweatin’ like this. We’ll just stand right here, and you can stand right there, and I’ll say my piece and we’ll leave, okay?”

She lowered the muzzle of the rifle but kept her eye on Caleb as she turned towards the cabin.

“Please come in, Sheriff,” she said. “You must be thirsty.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

Caleb exhaled, arching his eyebrows at the other deputy as if to say, “See, I told you she’s nuts!” Hesitantly, the two followed the sheriff up the steps of the porch.

Once inside, April leaned the gun against the hearth and, from the kettle on the stove, portioned what remained of the hot apple cider into three cups. The men removed their hats and sat at the sturdy oak table. She served them silently before backing away to the wall, within reach of the gun.

“April, I believe you know Caleb, and this is Tommy Shifflett, my new deputy. Tommy just moved up from Tennessee a few months ago.”

Tommy was a handsome, green-eyed young man not much older than April herself. She granted him a curt nod. Caleb received no acknowledgement. 

“What’s your business, Sheriff?” she asked.

The sheriff set his cup on the table and considered his words carefully.

“Yesterday afternoon, about five miles north of here, a man got away from a Mercer County deputy who was taking him up to the Charleston prison. A posse with dogs searched the hills all night, and today we expanded the search, but he must have holed up somewhere. Now, I doubt you’ve heard, but there’s a blizzard blowing in—“

“I know.”

“Well, I expect you would, but anyway, this fella is wearing just regular clothes—no coat, hat or boots—and we figure if he wants to live through the night, he’ll likely have to come down out of the storm and find shelter.”

“And you think he’ll come here?”

“Not necessarily, but here’s as good a place as any.”

“What did he do, Sheriff?”

He glanced uncomfortably at the deputies. “The man hasn’t been convicted yet, but if the charges are serious enough to take him up to Charleston rather than risk the locals lynching him before he can be given a proper trial, then it might be prudent to—“

“Sheriff, what did he do?”

The sheriff sighed, “It doesn’t really matter, April—“

“It was murder, wasn’t it?”

“Well, yes. Yes, it was murder. . . .”

“And what else?”

He looked around the cabin as though searching for a way out, his eyes pausing momentarily on the closed door to the cabin’s only other room. When he looked her in the eye again he grimaced apologetically.

April turned away. Through the window, the snowflakes were bigger now and beginning to fall more thickly. The fire in the fireplace had died down. She laid a handful of kindling on the glowing embers and watched as a small flame leapt to life.

Shoot him, April. Shoot him now!

Caleb chuckled. “The fella’s swearing they’ve got the wrong man, but don’t they all say that? Why, just last month over in Fayetteville, the uncle of that girl who disappeared was claiming that he had only been—“

The sheriff silenced him with a swift, hard look.

April retrieved the rifle.

“Will that be all, Sheriff?”

“Yes, April, that’s all. I apologize for the interruption. Thank you for your hospitality. Come on, boys, let’s get back to town before the roads get too bad.”

The deputies filed out, the sheriff hanging back.

“You know, I’ve got a daughter your age still at home. I’m sure she would love some company. You’re more than welcome to come spend a few days. . . .” He studied her face. “Well, you know where we live if you change your mind. You take care now, April.”

Caleb chimed in from the porch. “Miss April, I’d be more than happy to stick around and keep an eye on things for you tonight—“

“—said the fox to the hen,” muttered Tommy.

Caleb punched him hard on the shoulder.

“Shut up and walk, both of you,” barked the sheriff.

April watched from the porch as the men crossed the yard.

“What’s he look like, Sheriff?”

He turned and regarded her, the undersized girl in the oversized coat with the rifle made for war.

“He’s a tall fellow with dark hair and light blue eyes. They say you can’t forget his eyes. He’s wearing a plain white shirt and brown trousers, unless he’s stolen some other clothes, and he’s got some kind of bird tattooed on his left forearm.”

The deputies’ hats disappeared first over the crest of the drive, followed by the sheriff’s. The car’s engine started and faded away into the distance.

The low clouds were coming in dark and fast from the north. The storm was going to be a bad one. The horses had sensed it. Dancer had almost thrown her that morning. She slipped the gun’s safety on and went to the barn to put out extra hay and water for the horses and cows, enough to last. In her grandfather’s day there had been a blizzard that drifted the snow so deep it had taken him three days to dig from the house to the barn. The new roof she had put on the chicken coop had yet to be tested by the weight of a winter snow: for good measure, she hauled a fence post from behind the barn and wedged it beneath the coop’s center beam. After putting out more feed and water for the chickens and pigs, she tied a burlap bag over the well’s hand pump and closed up the barn and the sheds. As she was latching the door to the chicken coop, the hens raised such a frantic cackling a person would think they were being buried alive.

There was little to be done for the cabin itself except to secure the shutters. Its sealed logs and thick planks of pine were impregnable to the harsh mountain winters. The doors and windows were tight—there wasn’t a single draft. As a child, April had felt completely safe in this house, tucked away in her bed high in the loft, though the storms had howled only a few feet above. She still slept there, on the mattress on the loft’s floor, above the bedroom now seldom entered, no longer used, its featherbed shrouded beneath the embroidered white spread, the brush and comb on the vanity untouched, lying where they had been laid.

From the porch she stood and looked beyond the yard, searching the shifting shadows of the dark and scraggly woods. Dead brown needles carpeted the stands of pine, while those yet on the trees absorbed what winter light they could, their hue a fading memory. The scattered hardwoods stood bare, each lonely and silent amidst its neighbors, limbs naked to the chilling breezes that portended the slashing winds to come.

There was a sharp crack—a branch tumbled from somewhere above, slapping and twisting across the lower limbs until it hit the ground, shattering its brittle fingers.

She reached out to find the porch post, hefting the rifle in her other hand. Let the storm come. Let the man come. She was ready. She went into the house and lowered the iron bar across the door.

* * *

After preparing and eating her dinner of squirrel stew, spoon bread and baked apples, she worked on her mending until her fingers tired, then settled into the rocker by the fire to read.

Somewhere in the English countryside, beneath a cascading willow in a flowering spring meadow, a pair of young lovers sat on a blanket plotting their elopement, but it was next to impossible for her to eavesdrop on them for more than a few sentences as the winds had begun to tear at the cabin’s eaves and to test the shutters’ latches. She laid the book aside, pulled her knees up to her chin and wrapped herself in the quilt her grandmother had made. As the minutes and hours ticked away on the clock on the mantel, she rocked, watching the fire.

The wood seemed to be burning more drily and quickly than usual. At this rate, the provision next to the hearth would be depleted by sometime the next morning, and there was less than a quarter of a cord remaining on the porch. After watching the fire awhile longer, she reluctantly extricated herself from her cocoon, donned her coat and boots, lit the lantern, and lifted the bar from the door.

The wind ripped the door from her hand and slammed it against the wall as a sheet of stinging snow whipped around her and into the house. Slinging the rifle over her shoulder, she pushed her way out, succeeding in pulling the door shut only when the wind slackened momentarily.

There was over a foot of snow on the ground already, and it had drifted twice as high against the side of the cabin. Leaning into the gale, she waded out across the yard, the driving whiteness within the sphere of her lantern’s light stinging her eyes. She brushed the accumulation from the top of the wood stack with her coat sleeve, chiding herself for not having thought to move more wood to the porch earlier in the day. One couldn’t afford to make such mistakes, living alone in the country. As she struggled to carry a dozen high armloads back to the porch, she found herself angry with the sheriff for having distracted her from her preparations, angry that he had brought Caleb along, angry with Caleb for existing—and for being possum-ugly to boot—angry with herself for allowing herself to be distracted, angry with herself for being angry. From the improved supply on the porch, she replenished the stock by the hearth and, using what strength was left in her legs, forced the door closed again. Sinking back against it, she shuddered, thoroughly soaked and chilled to the bone.

Once she had recovered sufficiently to strip out of her wet clothes and hang them from the mantle to dry, she bundled herself in the quilt and brewed a cup of sassafras tea. With the rocking chair pulled as close to the fire as she could bear, her hair dried quickly, but even after her body was warmed through, the rim of the teacup chattered against her teeth. She picked up her sewing, but her fingers wouldn’t hold steady. The wind wailed against the shutters, pressing, tugging, probing unrelentingly. She tried her book again but found her eyes drifting over and over to the beginning of the same paragraph.

There was a thudding bang from somewhere outside—from the direction of the barn perhaps. It could have been anything, a falling branch hitting the chicken coop roof or one of the horses kicking something over. She thought she had heard a whinny. Hopefully, the animals were okay, but she wasn’t going back outside, not tonight. It helped to watch the shifting patterns in the coals. The lick of the yellow and orange flames helped warm her soul as the tea warmed her bones. She needed a dog. Maybe in the springtime she could find a puppy. It would need to be a large breed, a good farm dog, maybe a shepherd or a retriever or a hound. A big cuddly mongrel would be fine.

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

The tea spilled over her lap and the cup burst into pieces, scattering across the stone hearth. She froze. She couldn’t move.

Oh, my God, I have to move. I must move—now!

She stood, grabbed the rifle and swung it around to the door. She struggled momentarily to keep the quilt from falling away and exposing her body, but the priority for her hands was elsewhere. Raising the rifle to her shoulder, she clicked off the safety as the quilt dropped to the floor.

Good. That’s good, April.

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

Her heart plunged—impossibly, the iron bar was leaning against the wall. She had forgotten to put it back after bringing in the wood. There was no other lock on the door. None had ever have been necessary.

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

The shuttered windows precluded anyone from seeing in, but she couldn’t see out either. If she ran to bar the door, it would take both of her hands to lift and move the bar—she would have to set the rifle aside. She wasn’t going to do that. There was nothing left but for the doorknob to turn.

Shoot him, April. Shoot him now!

The fear coiled around her vision and tightened until all she could see was the doorknob, with blackness and the cursed memories closing in around it.

It had been a beautiful summer evening in the mountains, the kind of evening that made a person never want to leave. Mama had fixed a scrumptious-smelling venison roast for supper, with fresh vegetables from the garden, and Papa had just come in from his field work. The two were already seated at the table when April dashed in from a swim in the creek. She went straight to the stove and was about to serve herself a plateful of the roast when the man stepped in through the open doorway.

Strangers stopping by wasn’t a rare thing that summer. The paper said the country was in a depression, and there were plenty of men out of work. Many of them passed along the road on their way to look for a job in the mines or on their way back from learning that there weren’t any jobs to be had. Mama had fed many a hungry man in exchange for his mucking out the stalls, slopping the hogs or some other such chore. Papa wouldn’t have minded so much except that Mama never turned away anyone, regardless of any suspected or evident deficiency of character. She didn’t check after the men on their assigned work, and not a few had weaseled a meal without lifting a finger. Mama would only shrug and say, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

The knocking was more urgent now, the door vibrating with each sound. There was a scratch in the right edge of the doorknob’s brass. April watched the scratch intently, waiting for it to move, up or down.

The man who had walked into their house that day had looked about like any other to April, except for the scar through his eyebrow, but her father had seen something more. Unfortunately, her father was seated at the far end of the table, against the wall, in the wrong part of the room to do anything but hope that his daughter would listen to him.

“Get the rifle, April,” he had told her, quietly but firmly.

She had reached above the hearth and had taken the rifle from its place. The big bolt-action weapon was the same model her father had carried in the war. He had taught her how it operated, and she had even fired it once, though the recoil had knocked her on her back and she hadn’t touched it since. She knew enough to slide the bolt rearward and forward again to chamber a round.

“Shoot him, April. Shoot him now!”her father said.

Her mother was beyond shock. “Put that gun down, April Anne! God forgive us! Please don’t mind my husband, sir—he was in the war and sometimes—”

The man was walking towards April, watching her intently. She glanced down to make sure the safety was off.

“Shoot him, April,” her father ordered. “You have to do it now!”

She looked at her mother, then at the approaching man. She raised the rifle and pointed it. Her finger trembled but wouldn’t pull the trigger. She started crying. “Papa, I can’t!

The man grabbed the rifle from her hands and chuckled. “Should have listened to your old man, young lady.” He swept the gun around and shot her father through the chest. “And a woman as saintly and charitable as your dear mother here must be looking forward to meeting her maker too.” He shot her and watched her crumple to the floor before turning to April.

“Now, don’t you worry, angel—” he took her chin in his hand—“I’m going to take you on a little trip to heaven too, and if you behave yourself, you’re gonna live to remember it for a long, long time. I think I’d like that.”

She refused to remember the rest.

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

I’m ready this time, Papa. Oh yes, I’m ready.

She was glad she had left the bar off the door. She wanted to shoot him. She needed it. Her mouth was dry. Why hadn’t the scratch moved? How long had he been knocking? She glanced at the clock. It was a quarter after eleven. All you’ve got to do is turn the knob, bastard.

The gun was heavy, her arms were tiring. Without taking her eye or aim off of the door, she pulled the rocking chair around, rested her foot on the seat and supported her elbow on her knee.

A posse had caught up with the man with the scarred eyebrow three days later. They hung him on the spot and left him swinging. When April found out, she rode the twenty miles to the place alone and shot five holes through the body. It hadn’t helped.

The townspeople attended the burial of her parents beneath the oak in the south meadow. She hadn’t told anyone what the man had done to her, but they all knew. She saw it in their eyes and heard it in their voices whenever she had to go into town. The young men were the worst, the way they watched her body, imagining themselves in the man’s place.

It was twenty-five after the hour. There had been no knocking in the last ten minutes. Had he gone to the barn to look for a weapon? He could be returning to the cabin with the ax by now. Maybe it wasn’t the murderer. But no one in his right mind, probably not even Caleb, would be out in this storm. She dried her palms on her bare leg and waited.

Five minutes more and she could stand it no longer. She dared to lean the rifle against the rocker for just long enough to slip back into her clothes, which were still damp.

“Who is it?” she called, approaching the door.

There was no answer.

“Who’s there?”

Only the wind answered. Taking a deep breath, she reached for the doorknob and, in a single swift motion, turned it, pulled, and leapt back to aim.

The only thing at the door was the storm. She peered out. The snow was freshly scuffled on the porch. Someone had been there, but she could see nothing more through the blowing curtain of white. Hurriedly she slipped on her coat and lit the lantern. He wasn’t going to get away this easily, not this time. He was too close to get away. She ventured out into the night, lantern held high, the rifle tucked under her arm.

Though the wind was drifting the snow too fiercely for anything like footprints to survive for long, there remained a faint trail, a shallow trench leading away into the blackness beyond the lantern’s light. She followed it in the direction of the barn for several yards and looked behind her. The house was already lost in the darkness and her own steps were quickly being covered. She squinted, blinking against the crystals forming on her eyelashes, already regretting not having changed into thoroughly dry clothes. She had to hurry. A few years ago there was a man in the valley who, in a blizzard not unlike this one, had wandered in circles for hours before dying only twenty feet from his own door. She couldn’t see more than two or three feet in front of her or behind.

The tracks veered to the left and seemed to miss the barn altogether, if her sense of direction and distance still served her, but the shallow impressions were becoming indistinguishable in the blowing drifts. She was thinking that she was heading down the hill in the direction of the creek when she tripped over something and fell headlong, dropping the rifle and the lantern as she went down. She knew what the thing was before she hit the ground. Mercifully, the lantern landed relatively upright in a snowbank and stayed lit. She scrambled for the rifle, digging it out of the snow and turning it on the object.

The thing was indeed the body of a man. He was lying face down. The snow had drifted up over his windward side. She poked at his ribs with the rifle. He didn’t move. With the rifle’s muzzle, she scraped away some of the snow from his back. He wore no coat. His shirt was white, his trousers brown. She scraped the snow from his left arm and, still employing only the muzzle, pushed up the shirt sleeve. The skin, blanched of most of its color, provided a stark field of contrast to the small, stylishly crafted tattoo of a falcon.

Shoot him, April. Shoot him now!

“Yes, Papa….”

She lowered the muzzle into the curls of dark hair on the back of the man’s head. A thought tried to cross her mind, but she forced it away. Laughing aloud, she said to the night—

“This is for Papa, and for Mama, and for me.”

The frozen trigger felt blood-warm against her finger. The nightmare would now be over. She felt the mechanism’s resistance and the familiar give. The same thought tried to surface again but it was easier to ignore the second time.

But there was a different fear now, a tiny thing struggling to be heard, like the faint cracking in a mine before its collapse. The warning was of something worse than what the other man had done to her, worse than what any man could do—and she was doing it to herself. She sensed the danger, the imminent shredding, crushing and burying of the innermost workings of her mind, a crippling such that it would never work the same for her once the damage had been done. With the pull of the trigger, a part of her soul would die, and she would never be the kind of woman she had always aspired to be. She couldn’t escape it, she couldn’t deny it: if she killed the thought with the man, she might as well then turn the gun on herself. She considered it. 

She hated to do it—hated it so much that it made her scream aloud—but with the scream she willed the thought to mind:

He hadn’t turned the doorknob.

Not having her consent, this accused murderer and rapist had refused to attempt to enter her home, even though the alternative meant his possibly freezing to death. He hadn’t even turned the doorknob. He hadn’t turned the knob. . . .

She leaned down and brushed the snow from his face. His eyebrows and eyelashes were encrusted with ice. His cheeks and lips were colorless. She knelt and put her ear to his back. His heart was still beating.

She laid the gun aside and set the lantern in the snow.

* * *

It was another late evening on another winter day, and April was sitting in the rocking chair by the fire, doing her sewing. Over the years, eight additional rooms had been built around the cabin’s original two, but it was the same rocking chair and the same fire. Her granddaughter, Cindy, sat on the sofa next to the rocker, sipping sassafras tea and staring moodily into the embers. Cindy was seventeen now, the second daughter of April’s third son.

“What’s the matter, honey?” April ventured.

“Nothing, Grandma.”

“I’m thinking it’s probably something.”

Cindy only sighed.

“Boy trouble again?”

Cindy frowned into her tea. “Grandma, there just aren’t any good men left out there. Every time I think I’ve got the right one, he turns out to be something different altogether. If he’s not lying to you outright or trying to take advantage of you, he’s putting on some kind of a front. You just can’t trust them. I hate men.”

April smiled to herself. She had been a year younger than Cindy that fateful night, thinner and shorter too. It had taken her over an hour to carry, roll and drag the man to the porch, up the steps and into the house, where she had stripped off his clothes and thawed him by the fire. To stay awake, she had spent the hours until dawn guessing at what his name might be, imagining nearly every one but the right one, as it turned out. It wasn’t until early afternoon of the next day that he finally began to stir. As she waited for him to open his eyes, she was holding the blade of the kitchen knife against his throat, just in case. In her other hand was a cup of hot broth.  

“Would you like to hear a story, Cindy?”

Cindy perked up. “Sure, Grandma!”

“Shhh, we must keep our voices down or we’ll—”

But it was too late. Grandpa had been snoring softly in his recliner, an open book lying on his chest. His chin had nodded at the sound of their voices. He opened his eyes. Seeing the way his wife was looking at him, he smiled and dozed off again. She had hidden him away for two months, until the crime was confessed by a former farmhand of the victims. And every time he opened those eyes, April fell in love with her Justice all over again.

“Cindy,” she asked softly, “have I ever told you the story of how I met your grandpa?”

*          *          *

*

“April’s Justice” is from my Lunch Break collection of poems and short stories, now available in paperback and Kindle editions.

“Well worth the price. If you haven’t read any of Quent’s stories yet, I almost envy you. I’m waiting eagerly for more.” – Dianne Durante, author of the *Forgotten Delights* series

“Could you read these during your lunch break? Yes. Will you want to? No. You won’t want to rush yourself. You’ll want to pour yourself a glass of wine, snuggle into your favorite chair, turn off your phone, and spend every luxurious minute that you can immersing yourself in these stories.” – Elizabeth O’Brien, author of *English Grammar Revolution*

“…it is fuel for the spirit; it is an affirmation of life and what is good. That he writes beautifully and imaginatively adds to the reading pleasure.” – Michael Wilkinson, Sculptor

Enjoy more of my poetry & short fiction in my latest collection, My Kingdom, now available in paperback and Kindle editions. ~

I could not put the book down! I read the poems out loud to my kids as though I am Cyrano on stage! Inspires me to be the best I can be! Love it! ~ Heather Pendaris

If you enjoy life and a positive view of mankind, if you are a valuer and enjoy reading uplifting works, you’ll love this collection of short works by Quent Cordair. This is a great book when you just want a short read that will leave you feeling better than when you started, when you need a little emotional fuel. No need to read it as a whole, just enjoy a little morsel when you need it. You will find yourself going back for more, over and over. I have thoroughly enjoyed Quent’s longer works, but they are a deeper dive. This collection can be enjoyed even if you have only short spurts of time available for reading. I highly recommend it. ~ Steve M.

I can only say, if like me you admire human independence and have a belief that each of us are sovereign individuals and that the greatest joy can be found in seeing something admirable, reward yourself with a few hours of pleasure. Buy the real book .. read … enjoy. ~ Garrett Seinen

The My Kingdom collection is now available in paperback and Kindle editions. ~

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*****

If you prefer novels, I write those too. I recommend starting with Genesis, the first part of my five-part Idolatry saga. ~

Genesis

Part I of Idolatry

In the twilight of the Roman Empire, a sculptor struggles to keep an 800-year dream alive while honoring the love of his life and raising his adopted son. Part I of the epic five-part Idolatry saga, the story of a wealthy young heir and a devout Christian girl who find themselves at the heart of a 2400-year struggle for the soul of Western Civilization.

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“Beautifully written, on the order of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, with the historical insight of James Michener, it brings to life a time of great thought, great art, and its clash with religious fanaticism. Cordair writes with a poet’s sense of scene and nuance and gives us a great deal of insight into the mind of a sculptor; I found this an exciting and easy read.” ~ Alan Nitikman

Enjoy Genesis in paperbackKindle, or Audiobook today. ~

*****

Quent Cordair Fine Artwith galleries in Napa, California, and Jackson, Wyoming, was established by artist Quent Cordair in 1996. As a premier provider of contemporary Romantic Realism in painting, sculpture, and drawing, QCFA has grown to serve an international clientele of private and corporate collectors. Explore our select offerings today at cordair.com. ~