Her bloody eyes found mine …

(excerpt from The Elder, the soon-to-be-released second book in The Martuk Series)

The Seer sat motionless behind the ripped and tattered woolen.

I waited.

Her head forced back, she gasped, The Child, the throat swollen and round, the skin cracked and bleeding as it stretched.

The wolves paused, eyes narrow and rumbles in their chests as they backed away.

The Seer cocked its head, listened.

The Child’s head dropped with a crack. She swallowed, licked her lips, her chin lifted, and then her bloody eyes found mine.

She spoke.

“Man from the mountains …” she began, The Seer mouthing the words, “He will come, will gain what you seek, will lose all in an end that never ends.

“Stone stained red … a darkness … a hunger …”

She stopped.

Her mouth suddenly opened in a cry, the power of The Seer ebbing as reality returned, the girl convulsed by sobs as the tears briefly ran.

And then, quiet once more, powerless and trapped in the shadows near the crumbled grey of the ceiling, her tiny, bloodstained body turned.

First her head, the neck rotating with cracks and snaps and pops. And then the slender shoulders, the chest, the arms and torso and waist, the little legs dangling as they followed.

The Seer swayed, the bent and broken body listing to and fro as The Child’s turns quickened, her pretty mouth held slack as the blood ran and the shadows danced and the wolves growled from the dark, their eyes aglow in the firelight.

Faster and faster she spun in the air, faster and faster The Seer swayed, lower and lower the wolves growled. My head spun as sweat stained my brow and bile rose in my throat, the dark now too dark, the rank air stealing my breath.

I closed my eyes, my palm to my forehead, the chill replaced by a sudden heat as I laid low, taken by a sudden illness. An odd sensation of warmth and cold and sickness and fear. The unfamiliar feeling of being trapped. Powerless.

The Child turned, The Seer bobbed behind the tattered woolen, the wolves now howled, and the cool of the ground soothed my cheek as I fell to my knees and then lay flat, my fingers threaded through the soil as I clutched the earth while my head spun and my stomach turned and I fought for breath.

Priest …

Liar …

King …

Yes.

Wounded King …

Yes.

He is coming …

Driven to rule and afraid to die …

Barring any unexpectedly HUGE edits — unlikely but not impossible –, my upcoming book The Elder, the second in The Martuk Series, should be live as early as next week.

Want a blurb?

Oh, alright. Here ya go …

Driven to rule and afraid to die, a powerful Priest sacrifices everything for “an end that never ends” from a Darkness older than Time.

The angel on my shoulder says I might have gone too far with this book. The devil on the other insists it’s just right.

Who to believe? (^~^)

“these tender bones”

— excerpt from Martuk … The Holy

The King’s eyes snapped open.

“Do you see me?” came the whisper.

The boy stopped, carefully backing away.

“Do you see me?” the King asked again, louder.

The boy nodded his head.

“What is it you see? Do you see me?”

The boy remained silent. Afraid to move. Afraid to breathe.

“Do you see my glory? My perfection? My power? Do your eyes see a god?”

Sitting up, he reached out and grabbed the boy by the throat, dragging him close.

“Do your eyes see a god?” he asked, pressing his lips to the boy’s face, smearing the soft brown skin with streaks of red.

“You, you are flesh and bone,” he whispered, his nose buried in the smooth cheek, inhaling deeply. “Yes, just flesh and bone. Nothing special. Nothing sacred or glorious. There is no god living here. You are expendable and soon forgotten.

“Do you know this? Understand this? Do you see how small, how insignificant you are?”

His hand tightened on the slender, delicate span of neck, the child’s face blushing red as he struggled to breathe.

“Who will miss you when you’re gone? When your dead flesh has been torn, devoured by dogs? Your eyeballs pecked and plucked out by birds? Who will miss these tender bones when they’re nothing but little piles of dust? Who?”

The boy’s flushed cheeks were now wet with tears. A thin stream of drool fell from his swelling lips, then, sliding off his chin and staining the hand of the monster choking the life from him.

“I am a God,” he continued. “I can never die. I can never falter. Never stumble. Were I to fall, the sun would go out, the crops would wither. The world would end. Just end. And humanity, these subjects, these grateful, ignorant, stupid masses who bless my name, they would perish. They would die.

“But they do not see me, a God in agony, trapped in this prison of blood and bones. All they see is power. And were I to be set free from this, this place, this body, this pain, this mediocrity, I would be mourned. I would be missed.”

He pressed his bleeding flesh to the dying boy.

“No one will mourn you. You are human. Mortal. Useless. You don’t carry the burden of greatness. You do not sit in the Heavens. You can leave your skin and forget your bones. You can find eternal rest in the Fog.

“But me?” His voice rose. “I cannot!”

He struggled to stand, lifting the boy by the throat. The tiny feet kicking frantically as his eyes rolled back in his head, small brown hands clutching the King’s wrists in vain.

“You can die! You have freedom! You have peace! You are not trapped!” he shouted at the dying boy, his hands gripping the neck, blood rolling from the boy’s ears and mouth, rivers of red staining his cheeks.

“You are not trapped!”

I felt sick to my stomach watching this. But I couldn’t look away. And I couldn’t help but wonder Why aren’t they doing anything? Helping him? Stopping this?!

“I am God,” the King then whispered, his lips inches from the boy. “I can steal your soul. Eat you. Swallow you.”

And then he kissed him …

I had lost — an excerpt from The Wounded King

An excerpt from The Wounded King, the first book in The Martuk Series, a collection of Short Fiction based on the full-length novel Martuk … The Holy

I ran.

The shadows followed.

It had dropped me, the Darkness, Its strength not yet great enough to hold me.

But I had climbed to my feet, the dark unbelievably dark, my ankles stained by the moist heat as I tripped and then stumbled and, tumbling down the hill, ran.

She was on the ground, Mother, oblivious, the dirt against her cheek, her hands buried in the earth, the shadow rolling and twisting around her as It ate her whispers, her sighs, her tears.

And now I sprinted toward the city under the glare of a bright sun as It chased me, churning and turning and whipping in the dust.

My heart pounded in my ears as the rocks cut my feet, the Darkness’s desire for me inflamed by the blood staining the ground.

The city drew near, the thick walls and heavy gates in sight.

In the quiet calm of morning she had urged me to leave the city with her. Had insisted on passing through the gate to climb the small hill so we could speak away from those who would see, our secrets unknown to those who would hear.

She had lied, my Mother.

I stumbled and fell.

The heat was on me, the moist fingers wrapped around my ankle, my calf burning in the heat, the flesh raw under Its touch.

I kicked It free as I crawled, my hands pawing at the dirt as I climbed to my feet to run again.

It reared back, the shadow lunging forward like a snake before It followed, the Dark rolling on the ground like a wave.

I was close, so close, to the city. To safety.

What if the Darkness followed me beyond the gates?, I suddenly thought as my heart beat in my ears. What’s to stop It were it to slip into the city and torment me there? Is there anything to keep It from swallowing me while I sleep?

What if this monstrosity were inescapable?

The guards recognized me, the brawny men in a rush to open the gates for the Almost King.

I darted through.

The Darkness followed.

I felt It on my heels, my calves, the back of my thighs, my back, my neck, the fingers around my skull as I ran and ran, the pain a constant sting, the burn excruciating as the Darkness took hold of me.

I had lost.

A Seer, a Child, an Excerpt

‘K, guys, here’s a brief excerpt from my upcoming book, The Elder, the second in The Martuk Series, a collection of Short Fiction.

Enjoy! And feel free to leave any thoughts below.

Chapter One

It sat behind tattered woolen.

The body bent and broken, silhouetted and silent, the orange and yellow and white of the small fire crackling and snapping at its feet.

Pulling the red and gold of my robes against the chill in the air, I paused.

It lifted its head, The Seer, listened, the unusually large skull turning on a neck too slender, too thin. The shoulders tilted as it sensed me near.

The Child waiting before me, her delicate limbs held to the ground of the cave with crude, braided rope, snapped her head up with a small cry.

The Seer’s mouth opened slowly, the silhouette of its large teeth pointed and sharp.

The Child’s mouth opened slowly, bloody gaps where tender teeth had once been.

The Seer lifted and straightened its back.

The Child lifted and straightened her back.

The Seer’s fingers flexed, stretching open like the branches of a great tree.

The bones popped and snapped as The Child’s fingers stretched wide.

She wept, the little girl, the sobs caught in her throat as tears stained her cheeks, the ground below her knees soaked in a rush of urine.

The Seer sighed.

The Child gasped.

I knelt.

The Seer craned its neck, the pointed chin lifting in the air.

It paused.

The Child spoke.

And here we go …

I figured, well, since I already write Tweets on Twitter and Posts on Facebook, scripts and plays, full-length books, a Short Fiction collection, and countless emails — I’m big on the email, kids –, I might as well heap a bit more on my plate and start a blog, right?

I mean, it can’t be that hard.

(crickets)

Okay, so here’s what I’m planning to do.

I’ll share excerpts from my WIPs (Works in Progress), more excerpts from my already published books, perhaps some snippets from some plays or screenplays (maybe … shall check into the legality of that as some of them are marching toward production) and will keep y’all up-to-date with anything else I can think of.

I’ll also bounce ideas for new books around, perhaps, get your opinions, and, I don’t know, drag out my soap box once in a while and grab the ol’ bull horn.

In fact, there may come a time when I host some fellow authors, do an interview or two, or stick a Guest Post or two on the wall. You never know.

In any case, my hope is that this blog will be interesting, unique, memorable, and worth the time and effort I put into it. :^)

So, let me know what you think below.

And welcome.