Genre: Horror, Literary Horror
Number of pages: 446
Word Count: 89,000
Cover Artist: Timothy Burch
In a crowded Left Bank cafe, an immortal man sits, the phantoms crawling near, the heat of their whispers stinging his cheek ...
and Martuk ... The Holy begins.
One thousand years before the birth of Christ, a golden god damns Martuk with a kiss. In a land ruled by a wounded king, life everlasting steals his mortality from the bottom of a golden cup. Finally, generations later, a Messiah who has the power to heal breaks under the weight of Martuk's demons, stumbling to his death defeated by darkness.
From his home in modern Paris, he writes, his memories lush, his words evocative. Revisiting his impossible life, he vents his rage and shares his loneliness. From bloody battles with a demon he cannot escape to the ghost of a beauty who haunts him still, this is his story.
This is Martuk ... The Holy.
“What do you see?”
The sightless orbs blinked, the blood pooling to spill into the gashes on his cheeks, these gelatinous globes sharing the same victimhood as his flesh and his thick black hair.
“What do you see?” the King asked again, his voice barely audible though I stood less than a foot from him, another blink leading to more crimson tears.
“Something I’ve never seen before,” I responded, speaking the truth.
He smiled, the wounds lining his face opening anew in the afternoon light. Suddenly, his arm reached out. Having heard my voice, he now searched for me, swiftly grasping my shoulder and, his hand snaking around my neck, bringing me close.
I was terrified.
His nose found my hair, his lips tracing down my temple past my cheek to the flesh of my neck. He paused there, in the crook, his arm holding me tight, inhaling and then exhaling, his breath hot and putrid. The unmistakable smell of something dying inside. A sickening gust of fetid air which surrounded me, staining my nostrils to slide down my throat and settle in my stomach.
I swallowed. Then swallowed again.
Grasping his wrists, the flesh stuck to my fingers. Sweat, oils, ointment. Blood. The lingering stench of incense. All of it thick. All of it in need of fresh water. My palms now soiled with the stink.
This King, all scratches and fetid air, weeping flesh and bloodied sightless orbs, lifted his head and smiled.
“And what is that?”
“I’m sorry?” I asked, avoiding the red weeping from his eyes.
"And what is that? This something you’ve never seen before."
“A soul in anguish.”
“No,” he whispered, the smile disappearing. “I am a God. A God in anguish.”
Remembering the tangled limbs of the dead boy, I decided not to disagree.
“It’s necessary,” he continued. “The God in me must break through my flesh. Rip my skin. The pain is necessary. And I welcome the struggle. The battle as Greatness destroys mortal mediocrity.”
His voiced trailed off as he became lost in thought.
“The path to the Heavens is never easy,” he concluded.
Suddenly, he winced, doubling over, his hand clutching my shoulder as he pressed his face into my stomach.
“I speak truth,” he gasped, as if answering silent doubts I didn't have.
He stood, calming himself, and returned his lips to the crook of my neck, that sweet, salty patch of flesh between shoulder and skull.
“Sir, are you ...?” I began
“There is more to tell, my little god,” he whispered, interrupting. "If you will listen, there is more to tell."
"I will listen," I said.
His breath on my neck, he nodded, his head remaining low, his chin tucked to his chest for a long moment before he raised his face, his cracked and peeling lips rough as they grazed my chin.
"Then we will talk about the blood."
Tour Wide Giveaway
5 ebook copies of Martuk ... the Holy by Jonathan Winn
Screenwriter, playwright, actor, and now award-winning author, Jonathan Winn was born in Seattle, WA, and currently divides his time between the East and West coasts. Martuk ... The Holy is his first book.
Blog - http://martuktheholy.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/Jonathan_Winn
Facebook - http://facebook.com/MartukTheHoly