Guest Post and Excerpt by Jonathan Winn
A Life Unknown
Paris is a city of ghosts.
You can feel them as you stroll her broad Avenues and wander her slender side streets. You can see them lingering just below the rolling surface of the Seine, the features of their faces lost in the white of her gentle waves. You can even hear them in the green pockets of quiet found in her parks and under the hum of the cars crawling their way up her quays.
This is why the immortal Martuk lives, breathes, sleeps and slaughters in the streets of modern day Paris.
He's a quiet man, Martuk. Too quiet for the surprising chaos of London and the not-at-all surprising insanity of New York. His memories of Italy are too wrapped in the violence of the early-Church, and the vast lands of Asia are, in a way, too vast.
He needs people. Not to feast or feed, because that's not what he does, but because, having been cut from the tree of humanity, he will be forever different. And though not one of them, these anonymous faces remind him of what he once was.
And so Paris is where he lays his head. Paris is where he stops to peer into bookstores, and sits in cafes to sip espressos. Paris is where he watches the seasons change and walks under wide, dark umbrellas when the inevitable rains come.
The teeming streets of modern Paris is where the occasional murder can go unsolved and soon be forgotten. Where a person can go missing, lost in a shuffle of paperwork, never to be found. Or a gruesome discovery can be made and the populace goes on about their lives, sipping coffee as if all is right with the world.
Those slender alleys grow dark at night. And those broad Avenues hold strangers, many strangers. And much can happen, unseen and unheard, in those pockets of green and blessed quiet dotting her neighborhoods, the rolling current of the river easily embracing and carrying away the bloody stains of Martuk's sins when he relents to the Darkness, forgetting for a moment that he is, like them, human.
She allows him to hide, this city. A monster in plain sight living A Life Unknown.
That's why Martuk the Holy stalks modern Paris.
“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."
Genre: Horror, Literary Horror
ISBN: 978-1480035690ASIN: B007HPQPV4
Cover Artist: Timothy Burch
Amazon BN Smashwords
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.
About the Author
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
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