Clay Jefferies was faced with those difficult questions and he answered them in the only way he knew how. Hellfire's Judgment is the story of a man, faced with the difficult decision of how to protect his granddaughters from a man who believed himself above the law. A man who had brutally raped his 12 year old granddaughter and was able to escape conviction.
In 2012, I published Hellfire's Judgment as a short story; however, after receiving several requests, I have done a complete rewrite and it will soon be re-released as a full-length novel. I have to say that it has been difficult at times to revisit the characters, and to experience the roller-coaster ride of emotions again as I found myself crying or burning with rage, while the story flowed from my mind. To write of such a dark subject is very draining, but the characters demanded to be heard so I was helpless to resist.
I have nearly completed the rewrite, and it will soon begin the editing process. I look forward to making this available to you, and I know that you will experience the same roller-coaster ride of emotions as I did.
Here is a small sampling of Hellfire's Judgment -
“Where is your sister? She's been been gone for nearly an hour!” Carolyn lifted Amy off the changing table, and then walked to the front window. “Maybe she stopped at Megan’s and has lost track of time. I’ll call and ask if they have seen her.” Carolyn walked to her chair, and placed Amy on her lap.
“Your sister is in real trouble,” she said to Amy, knowing the baby had no idea why her mother was so upset. She picked up her cell phone and dialed the number, and then waited as the phone rang several times with no answer. “Huh, she’s not there. Now I’m really getting worried,” Carolyn groaned, while dialing Ray at the feed store.
“Jefferies Feed, how may I help you?” Ray said, as he held the telephone receiver with his shoulder, so he could give a customer his change and receipt.
“Ray, I let Sherry ride her bike to the store for me and she’s been gone for nearly an hour. I called over to Megan’s house because I figured she probably stopped there and has just lost track of the time, but there was no answer. Oh Ray, I’m really worried.”
“I’m sure she’s fine. She probably just met up with one of her friends, and doesn’t realize how long she’s been gone.”
“I don’t know. I have the strangest feeling that something has happened to her. I’m going to drive to the store and see if I can find her.” Carolyn stood and grabbed her car keys off the small table by the front door.
“Okay, but if you don’t find her call me back,” the concern was clear in his voice.
“I will.” Carolyn hung up and rushed outside. “Your sister is going to be in big trouble when I find her,” she said to Amy as she put her in the car seat. “When I find you, you are going to be in such trouble!”
When Carolyn drove past Megan’s house, she could see that no one was home. “Okay, so you’re not here.” She then continued on to the supermarket. By the time she pulled into the store parking lot, her heart was pounding in her chest with such intensity that she wondered if it would explode. “I knew I shouldn’t have let her go this far from home alone. Why didn’t I trust my instincts?” she said to herself with both anger and fear welling up inside of her.
Carolyn pulled up to the entry doors, and looked for Sherry’s bike. However, to her horror, it was not there. “Where are you, Sherry?” Unsure of what to do next, she pulled into a parking space and called Ray.
Ray grabbed the telephone receiver, praying this was a call from Carolyn, “Jefferies Feed.”
“Ray, I can’t find her anywhere! She wasn’t at Megan’s and she’s not at the store. Where could she be?” Carolyn cried with tears streaming down her cheeks.
“I don’t know, but you need to go back home in case she shows up there, and then you need to call the police department to let them know that she is missing. I’ll call dad and get a group of men together and begin searching the area.” Ray said a silent prayer that Sherry was at home waiting for Carolyn. He then looked out of the window and realized it was beginning to grow dark outside. “Sweetheart, get back home and I’ll check in with you in a bit.”
With terrifying thoughts swirling in his mind, Ray turned to his yard foreman and said, “Frank, I have to leave. Will you close up for me?”
“Sure, is there something wrong?” Frank could see the fear in Ray’s eyes, as he walked to the counter.
“I hope not,” were the only words Ray said as he rushed out the door.
I hope that you have enjoyed this sampling of Hellfire's Judgment. I look forward to seeing it completed and available for publishing, and I will keep you advised of its progress and publish date. I also plan to offer Pre-Orders at a greatly reduced price, so check back often for when that option will be available. Thank you again for your support.