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Friday, September 13, 2013

Excerpt from Red and Gold by Jonathan Winn

Red and Gold
The Martuk Series
Jonathan Winn

From the blood drenched depravity of The Wounded King and the ancient curses of The Elder, we now follow a young man in his journey to the coveted red and gold robes of a Priest in Red and Gold, the third installment in The Martuk Series, Jonathan Winn's ongoing collection of short fiction inspired by his award-winning novel Martuk ... the Holy.

It begins with a whisper.

The words a warning, silently spoken to the heart of this innocent kneeling in the mighty Temple of Uruk one thousand years before the birth of Christ. A young one who dreams of being wrapped in the red and gold robes of a priest. But this warning whispered by a mysterious Magi leads to doubt. And then to fear. This stranger who wields magic from the anonymity of shadow forcing this initiate to look beyond the power of the Temple into the frightening black hearts of those who rule.

Haunted by the cries of those Bones in the Stones, his kindness stumbling under the weight of a young boy he leads to slaughter, all while trapped in this life he's chosen and now can never escape, this is the story of how horrible truths and bloody betrayals destroy the dreams of innocent hearts.

This is ... Red and Gold.

Hey everyone!  So last year I had posted several times about The Martuk series, and now Jonathan Winn is back with Red And Gold.  Today I have an awesome excerpt for you.  Hope you enjoy!

The Elder was now passing in front of me.
I exhaled, deep and slow, inhaled, deep and slow, and then held the breath.  I felt I would weep, so great was my fear of this tall, skeletal Priest who had worn the red and gold long before I had taken my first breath as a new babe in the mountains.
That's where I had been found, my life offered to the Temple when I was but a boy.  But my memories of my father, my mother, whatever brothers and sisters I had left behind, they mattered little now.
Listen well ...
The voice, the whisper, came again.
I listened.
The Elder was passing me.  He moved by, calm and quick.  I did not exist to him.  I was no one.  A stranger to ignore.  An initiate who had yet to earn the priesthood, my thick hair damning me to ignominy on sight.
Ah, but this stranger, the one with the cloak ringed with the dull white of bone, he was not one to ignore.  I could sense fear in the old man, The Elder.  I could feel the air thick with secrets and shame and an utter sense of powerlessness.
The Elder stopped.
I glanced at his bare feet.
They were covered in blood.  And bits of flesh?   Yes, that's what it looked like, his long toes smeared in discarded shards of torn flesh.  And the hem of his red and gold robe, it, too, was covered in blood.  It was dripping, small drops of blood staining the stone beneath his feet.
The blood was fresh.
And they, the two of them, The Elder and this stranger who could whisper to the darkest depths of my soul, both smelled of smoke and raging fire and torn flesh.
But The Elder had stopped.  Could he hear my thoughts?  Could he read my soul?  Did he know I had linked his name, his greatness, with words like shame and powerlessness?
If so, I would incur his wrath.
No ...
The stranger grew close.  Looked at me.  He, too, was covered in blood.  His robe dripping fresh blood.  His feet stained red.  More so than The Elder's.  As if this stranger, whose toes almost squished with fresh blood, had waded through an ocean of red to stand before me.
Yes ...
I raised my eyes, slowly, so, so slowly.
His chest was bare.  It was covered in blood.
His head was shaved smooth.  It was covered in blood.
His eyes, peering from beneath a layer of red, were looking at mine. 
A small smile grew on his thin lips.
Young priest ...
came the whisper.
Listen well and I will give you the world.

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. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at or visit him at and on Goodreads

Previous Posts on Fictional Candy
Spotlight - The Elder
Excerpt - The Wounded King
Excerpt - Martuk The Holy

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