Martyr's Vow Series, Book 2
Date Published: 12-15-2023
Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing
When a mysterious drifter named Mr. Penny-Farthing blows into town on his antique high-wheeler, Armand thinks his troubles are over. Penny-Farthing offers Armand and Vonnie enough money to cover their expenses with one condition: they must find and return the soul of a serial killer who escaped Hell.
Completing Penny-Farthing’s contract won’t be easy when demons appear all over the city and bodies start piling up. Overwhelmed and pushed to the brink, Armand realizes his greatest fear isn’t demons or shadowy murderers: it’s losing Vonnie forever. Can Armand stop a killer and keep the woman he loves, or will Hell take everything from him?
Nail-biting and visceral, Mr. Penny-Farthing is a high-octane horror story about escaping your comfort zone while fighting for love.
Read an Excerpt Below
About the Author
Eric Avedissian is an adjunct professor and speculative fiction author. His work includes the novels Accursed Son, Midnight at Bat Hollow, and the role-playing game Ravaged Earth. His short stories appear in various anthologies, including Across the Universe, Great Wars, and Three Time Travelers Walk Into…. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and a ridiculous number of books. When not chained to his writing desk, he hikes the Pinelands and wastes too much time on social media. Visit him online at www.ericavedissian.com.
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I reach into my bag slowly and pull
out the Legion of the Lamb handbook, given to all card-carrying members of my
monster-hunting biker club. The Legion bestows this handy manual to all
initiates, like Vonnie and me. It’s a treasure trove of information about
ghosts and spirits, creatures that go bump in the night, and (thankfully) there’s
a little bit about demonic possessions. I flip the pages quickly, searching for
what I need.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Vonnie hisses as she walks back in.
“You always say I should read
“Not what I meant, Tark!” Vonnie’s
eyes are glued on the boy.
“Maybe there’s something in here
Fortunately, the Legion of the Lamb
is pretty straightforward in naming things, so Demonic Possession Categorization and Banishment Techniques (Exorcizing
Entities from Human Hosts) is probably what I’m looking for.
Salt, some holy water,
incantations—all pretty straightforward stuff. I need the demon’s name, though.
“I’ll ask again.” I lean closer to
the boy. “To whom am I speaking?”
“I’ve seen that before,” Kevin
“What have you seen before?” I
Kevin stops grinning and his head
snaps back with an audible pop, like his bones crack. The boy floats above the
bed, his tiny arms outstretched, his legs limp. Hovering in the air, Kevin
makes a weird gurgling sound. His body lowers again until the tips of his toes
are touching the bed. His eyes turn pitch black, like a shark about to eat—and
he speaks again.
“I’ve seen that before.” Kevin’s
body starts to spin like a human top. The thing inside the boy is making a
high-pitched whining noise. The sound grows louder the faster the boy rotates.
“What is it?” Vonnie asks, wincing
from the sound.
“Some evil entity has decided to
set up shop inside this kid, but we’ll get it out,” I tell her.
“Why Kevin? He didn’t do anything
wrong. He seems to be a good kid.”
“Book says that they don’t the
resistances that adults have. A demon might see an opportunity and slip in to
cause havoc.” I toss her the book so that she can read. I don’t want to take my
eyes off Kevin if at all possible.
Vonnie opens her backpack and pulls
out the necessary tools: crushed salt, a Mason jar of holy water from a local
Catholic church, a golden crucifix that she tosses to me and that I slip into
my pocket, a small bell, and a white candle.
Fortified with renewed resolve, we’re
going to kick this demon’s ass.
“I’ve seen that before.” It would
be far handier for the demon to say something useful.
“I’ll bet you have,” I say slowly.
“You’ve seen a lot of things in the Pit, haven’t you? But now, let’s play a new
game. It’s called ring the room with salt.”
I uncork the bottle and start
pouring salt on the floor, the white crystals spreading across the hardwood in
a neat trail. Kevin writhes and growls.
“Don’t like it? Well, that’s
tough.” I continue pouring salt in a line around the room’s perimeter, gingerly
stepping over Legos and action figures and doing my best to keep an eye on
Kevin. Vonnie is doing the same. “Almost there and the fun can begin. How’s
about telling me who you really are?”
“I’ve,” the thing snarls.
“Before!” Kevin’s arms fling
outward and he flies across the room and collides with me with immense force.
The momentum violently propels me against a wall and I collapse onto a small
bookshelf that splinters under my weight. The wind is knocked out of me.
Face down and muscles burning, I
blink the world into focus. Blood drips down my face and I spit out what might
be drywall. I manage to get to my knees and Vonnie helps me the rest of the way
to my feet.
“You okay, baby?” Vonnie touches my
“Me? Just peachy,” I say, wiping
blood from my lips. I quickly check my teeth with my tongue to make sure
they’re all still there. “This demon though, he’s in a world of pain. He really
doesn’t like the salt.”
“Remember, Tark, he’s just a kid,”
Vonnie reminds me.
“I know. Let’s extract that
hellspawn from Kevin,” I say. “Get my knife.”
“Knife? Why would you need a
knife?” Vonnie frowns watching Kevin float above his bed.
“I’m going to kill me a demon,” I