‘Cause why not, right? 😉
Next up – Martuk…the Holy: Shayateen
So, yeah, my own version of the Resurrection of Christ from Martuk…the Holy: Proseuche.
You’re welcome 😉
From death, I woke. My eyes opened to the dark of the tomb, the smell of myrrh and aloe and sweet perfume in my nose, the linen wrapped around my arms, my legs, my body.
They stood before me, my angels, their faces pressed close to mine.
Were it not for the great wings that stretched from their backs, wings I could see even in the dark, I would think they were human. They looked like you and me. They weren’t kind or angry. They were still and silent. And they stood there, waiting.
They just were.
But they were not.
These winged ones were angels. They rose and turned their heads, looking to the door. And with that look, and that look alone, they moved the stone and let in the light.
There Mary of Magdala stood in the bright sun of morning.
Through their unfurled wings, I could see her. I watched her fall to her knees. Watched her face grow pale and the basket held in her arm fall to the ground. I saw the spices and oils spill into the dust.
Spices and oils that were for me for she was there to anoint me for I was dead.
I was dead. And yet I walked.
This could not be.
The pain was there, still. Holes in my wrists where hammer had met nail and nail had torn flesh and cracked bone. Holes in my feet. Wounds that still stung and bled where thorns had pierced and stabbed and ripped. And my back and my shoulders still wept, the skin peeled from the muscle, and the muscle no longer clinging to the bone.
It all still bled.
It all still hurt.
I felt such pain. There was such confusion.
I was dead.
I wanted to weep. Life was agony. Every step was agony. Every breath was agony. I remembered you and your Darkness. How you sliced your arm that night, my friend with the everlasting life, and you bled and then the blood wouldn’t run. How I took the knife to your throat and sawed deep. And how, in time, in not very much time, the blood stopped and the wound healed and it was no more.
I remembered how you seemed to feel no pain.
Yet now, as the shock of this new life grew, pain was all I felt.
If this was life, a new life, I wanted death.
“My lord,” Mary said as I drew near. She was still on her knees, shocked, afraid, disbelieving.
No, this wasn’t right.
“I was dead,” was all I could say. I wanted to fall into her arms and weep. I was dead, I wanted to say again. I was dead and now I walk and there is pain, so much pain, too much pain. Do you not see the flesh hanging from my back? And the jagged wound, here, where the spear cut my side? Do you not see the flesh cut and peeled back and bleeding again?
All this hurts, I wanted to say. There is pain, I wanted to say.
This life is too much pain.
“I was dead,” is all that would come out.
And then I saw her again. Saw the fear in her eyes, the terror growing as she watched me stumble closer, my wounds running red.
“Do not be afraid,” I heard myself say.
Somewhere deep in my mind, a demon laughed.
I blinked back tears.
Her eyes looked at the holes in my hands and how they bled. And then at where the nails pierced my feet and how they, too, bled, the blood dripping to stain the ground where I stood.
“Have you returned, my Lord?” Tears stained her cheeks.
There was a scream in my throat. A howl of such rage that, were I to open my throat and give it a voice, it would tear Jerusalem in two and pierce Heaven itself.
Instead, I said nothing. I gritted my teeth and swallowed hard and stifled the rage.
But I had thoughts. Dark thoughts.
I wanted to quiet her tongue. Grab her face in my bleeding hands and squeeze. Watch her skin blush and the panic grow in her eyes and feel her hands grip mine as she fought for release. Hear the bone crunch and feel it splinter and see the eyes pop from her skull and feel her perfect white teeth snap in her mouth as I squeezed and squeezed and squeezed.
She didn’t know the pain I felt. No one knew the pain I felt. If she knew the pain, she would understand my rage. And she would forgive. But she didn’t even know of my rage.
I stood silent instead, tears on my cheeks, my body weeping, the wounded flesh stinging with each breath as I stood in the bright sun.
They waited behind me, my angels. They did nothing.
Did they know of the pain?
“I must tell the others,” Mary was saying. “I will go now and tell the others that you have Risen and walk among us.”
I nodded. Could she not see the angels? Did not these silent ones with their wings unfurled shock her or surprise her or cause her distress or fear or terror?
No, she could not, I then decided. They were my burden alone.
She rose, her body still bowed, and then turned to start down the road, the linen flapping between her legs as the walk turned to a small run, her head looking back again and again as she grew smaller and smaller in the distance.
Yes, go, Mary, I wanted to shout. Go before the pain becomes too much and my soul breaks and I tear you limb from limb and rip your body in two.
I don’t know about other writers, but when I find I’ve written something a bit rough or cruel or viciously brutal— this doesn’t happen often, but it does happen — I feel more than a smidgen of guilt.
Not necessarily because of the experience the Reader will go through — they did sign up for it, though, so… — but more because of what I put the characters through.
Interesting, isn’t it?
For better or worse, I feel deeply for people who exist solely on the page. But that’s what I suspect gives my work emotional resonance: these people are real to me. Very real.
They are telling their stories. And, for better or worse, those stories follow me. Poke into my thoughts months, years, after being told. The consequences of what I create keep me awake at night.
No, seriously. That happens. A lot.
Almost a year after its initial release, Click, the third story in Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast, is one of those stories I can’t get away from. And it’s not just because of how brutal it was, but because of the innocence of the victims and the dangerous psychosis of the killer.
I’ve said this before, but I simply could not get my head around the absence of empathy and the glee he took in the act of hurting another.
You see, with my immortal Martuk, he does bad things, but there’s always a reason. So, at the end of the day, readers may disagree with what Martuk does, but they understand on a visceral, very basic level why he did it.
With Martuk, you hate him, you love him, you fear him and, most importantly, you understand the Why of his What.
But with Colton in Click?
He was pure evil. Evil and insanity. And, yes, there were reasons. A litany of Whys to his What. Wounds that drove him. Ancient scars that still bled.
But none of that excused what he, the Character, insisted I, the Writer, create for him.
I remember writing the story while sobbing — like, really SOBBING — because I HATED what was happening. Hated it. Made me sick to my stomach. Forced me up and out to take long walks just to escape it for a much needed breath of fresh air.
But it was the story that needed to be told.
You know, I still get emails and private messages via social media raking me over the coals for Click. Questioning my sanity, my kindness, my heart. Questioning what kind of monster I am to put on the page someone as horrible as Colton.
And I get it. I do.
Which is probably why I’m feeling the need to write what’s turned into an open letter.
But, listen, those of us who invest ourselves totally in our work sometimes don’t have the control over the final product people think we might. Sometimes our characters want to tell stories that we vehemently disagree with. Sometimes they grab us by the arm and drag us, kicking and screaming and, yes, crying, much deeper into the dark than we ever wanted to go. And when we stumble free, back into the light, after the story’s told, we find ourselves changed, wounded, even scarred.
But that’s the deal we made to do what we do. Life isn’t always pretty and perfect. Sometimes vicious people do atrocious things with no rhyme or reason. As someone who writes horror, it’s my job to capture the barest hints of that so that my readers can exorcise, vicariously, their own demons. I guess. I don’t know.
All I know is that I relish returning to the relative normalcy and sanity of my dearest immortal Martuk as I dive into Shayateen, his third and perhaps final book.
Still, though, I do wonder if there should be apologies…perhaps.
Looks like I still have some psychological knots to untangle.
I’ve decided Martuk needs to do more fisting.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about for weeks, nay months, actually, but after watching the sudden and quite unexpected success of the obscure author E.L. James (Google her) newest book in her very difficult to find Fifty Shades of Baby Got Back series (is that what it’s called? I think that’s what it’s called), I think it’s time to take a deep breath, find my quiet space, remember my Safe Word, relax everything and just let it happen. Just allow the Writer in me to open up to Martuk and the rest of his merry Martuk … the Holy crew fisting things.
For instance, E.L. James writes:
“He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair.
So, with that in mind, in the pivotal scene between Martuk and The Elder (before the sacrifice and the demons and the bloodshed) in the first book, what had read:
“He took a sip, allowing the liquid to linger in his mouth, on his tongue, obviously savoring the sensation.”
would now be
“He took a sip, allowing the liquid to fist his mouth, fist his tongue, obviously enjoying the sensation.”
See? Instant bestseller, right?
Or in 1st century Jerusalem, after he’s cursed with Life Everlasting, when Martuk sits with the Messiah:
He shoved the bread in His mouth, the glass of wine now in hand. Silently chewing, His eyes watched me as He washed it down with a healthy drink. Swallowing, He then sighed, focusing, inhaling deeply, exhaling, growing quiet as His eyes narrowed.”
would then become
“He fisted the bread in His mouth, the glass of wine now in hand. Silently chewing, His eyes fisted me as He fisted it down with a healthy drink. Swallowing, He then sighed, focusing, fisting deeply, exhaling, growing quiet as His eyes narrowed.”
Now THAT’S a memorable passage, right? RIGHT?
Wow. I think this might actually work!!!!!
You think the second book, Martuk … the Holy: Proseuche, could do with some good ol’ fashioned fisting?
Okay, let’s start with Martuk talking with The Sister, his friend, in her apartment in modern day Paris:
I sat back as well, my arms stretching up and along the back of the sofa. “And I will continue my tale, if this is what you’d like.”
With a gentle smile on her lips, she nodded, urging me to begin.
Wrapped in the comfort of her apartment, the dark of a Paris night outside, the cool air from the open windows kissing my flesh, my heart feeling safe, my soul feeling secure, I took a deep breath.
And cradled in her kindness, I dove back into the blood-soaked memories of this, my life.
I sat back as well, my arms fisting the back of the sofa. “And I will continue my tale, if this is what you’d like.”
With a gentle smile on her lips, she nodded, fisting me to begin.
Wrapped in the comfort of her apartment, the dark of a Paris night outside, the cool air from the open windows fisting my flesh, my heart feeling fisted, my soul feeling fisted, I took a deep fist.
And fisted in her kindess, I dove back into the blood-soaked memories of this, my life.
Hmmm, I might need to think about this one.
Okay, okay, I’m not throwing in the towel just yet. How about later, when Martuk discovers his friend Tiber in the hills surrounding 3rd century Antioch?
His skin rippled with the swarming of those that feast on the dead. Their small white bodies crawled out of his ears and wiggled from his nose and spilled from his lips to litter the smattering of hair on his slender chest.”
could easily be
His skin fisted with the swarming of those that fisted the dead. Their small bodies fisting his ears and fisting his nose and fisting his lips to litter the smattering of hair on his slender chest.”
Um … that’s probably another one I need to carefully consider.
You know what? Perhaps this E.L. James-style of, oh, what’s it called, writing? — yeah, I think so — might not be the right fit for Martuk.
Because no matter what I do or how hard I try, this fisting just isn’t working. I’ve done it this way and that. In modern Paris and ancient Uruk one thousand years before Christ. Even 1st century Jerusalem with the frickin’ Messiah! I even had Martuk’s friend fisting up in the hills of 3rd century Antioch and, still, nothing. It just feels somehow wrong. Off. Not right.
Yet it worked so well for E.L. James. Her fisting seemed so natural! A bit clumsy at times, yes. And painful to experience on the page, most definitely. Still, though, she really made that fisting work. Just jammed her fist into any sentence she could find, regardless how well it fit or even if it should fit. Forget being gentle. Forget being kind. Miss James took no prisoners! She shoved it into everything everywhere.
But when it comes to my fisting, I think it might be time to pack it up. Call it a day. Obviously, despite silly things like hopes and dreams, it’s not for everyone. Not even my immortal Martuk.
In fact, now that I think about it, maybe the last thing he needs to be doing is Fisting Immortality.
Here are Five SCARY Moments from Martuk … the Holy: Proseuche, one of the TOP Twenty Horror Novels of 2014, that will make you HAPPY it’s ONLY A BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#2 will LEAVE YOU SPEECHLESS. #5 will CHANGE YOUR LIFE
1. In a church in Paris, Martuk turns to a Priest for help … and what he does will BLOW YOUR MIND!!!
He’ll NEVER be the same.
2. Martuk and The Sister finally meet in her apartment … and what she says to him took him by SURPRISE!!!!
He COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!
3. In the hills above third century Antioch, Martuk’s MYSTERIOUS friend Tiber reveals one of his greatest, most dangerous secrets … and what it is will CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!!
96.7% of those not polled will NEVER forget it!!!!!!!!
4. When Martuk visits his MYSTERIOUS friend Cecelia at her home … what she keeps in the jars on her shelves made him DOUBT EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!
He went CRAZY!!!!!!!!!
5. In the desert, Martuk runs into a Samaritan … and what he does next WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!
Your life will be CHANGED!!!!!!!!
… MORE TO COME!!!!!!!!
98.23% of those not polled will NOT pronounce Proseuche CORRECTLY!!!!!!
Want to check out the book?????
JUST CLICK HERE!!!!!!
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