First Page of Shards…

Here is the first page of SHARDS.  Enjoy

Walking through the nave of the cathedral, he plucked a rag from the back pocket of his paint-stained trousers and rubbed the excess red clay from his hands.  It remained caked under the nails of his long fingers; it always did. Even when he took the time to scrape the substance free, the dye lingered behind.  It was testament to his trade, proof of his overwhelming talent and dedication to his art.  Secretly he hoped it remained for all of eternity; that if they exhumed his body in a thousand years time archeologists would be able to identify his corpse instantly as William Blake Richmond, the artist who created the most inspiring mosaics in all the world.  ‘Beautiful boys, simply beautiful! Your bosses have truly outdone themselves with this batch they have.  Gorgeous colours. But be careful!  One slip of the fingers and you’ll be picking up glass for months. Heaven knows we haven’t finished finding slivers from the last time.’ He smiled, a twinkle playing in his blue eyes.

‘Of course sir.’ The young workmen gingerly carried sheets of coloured glass up the stairs to the workshop high above the aisle in the garret story. They knew their boss’s rebukes were more reminders than anything else. While his face often held what could be considered a troubled expression, his eyes were those of a kind and gentle philosopher; always wondering, always questioning and studying everything around him in silent consideration.   What was first taken for sternness would soon be understood as contemplation.  He was always contemplating something. However, they also knew that he was thorough and expected the same from them.   

Sitting down on the rigidness of the pew he felt the welcome relief on his back and shoulders after hunching over cartoon drawings all day.  From where he sat he could take in the work that had been completed and more importantly, consider all that was yet to be done.  They had accomplished a lot in the past thirteen months, but there was still so much to finish.  St. Paul’s Cathedral was a massive undertaking but he was just the man for the job.  He rarely left the Cathedral before darkness made work impossible and tiredness swept over him like a wave.  Sundays were his only respite and he spent them at his home in the outskirts of London with his wife, Clara Jane, either in the garden he enjoyed so much or in the studio wrapping up correspondence that had built up during the week.

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