Baxter Parish, Louisiana, is a bloody place where family tradition is stronger than law and pride more valuable than life. Twenty-seven-year-old Jesse Tadlock returns home to Mount Olive after a peaceful, if not dull, nine-year Army hitch to claim his inheritance. With a steady job, a past love back in his life, and his own land, he thinks he’s outlasted the legacy of violence that has haunted his family.
But the morning after his first night in his new home, a neighbor turns up at his door with a loaded rifle on his arm and a bloodthirsty pit bull in tow. Balem “Cotton” Moxley was born in this house and he’ll die there, he says, or Jesse will.
With his Uncle Red pushing for him to deal with the threat the old way—meeting fist with blade, bullet with bomb—at odds with his desire for a simple peace, Jesse must find a way to stand up and save his own, even if it means losing everything to the fires of pride.
Dayne Sherman is a former high school dropout from Natalbany, Louisiana. In 1997 he earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University. His stories have been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologized in Stories from the Blue Moon Café III. Hard to Remember, Hard to Forget, a chapbook, was publised by Over the Transom in 2004.
“Dayne Sherman's exciting fiction takes us down a dusty Southern road to a place where both honor and ties of blood are more important than breath itself, and where even the religion is violent.”
— Tim Gautreaux, author of The Next Step in the Dance and The Clearing
Publication Date: October 15, 2004