In a sleepy steel-mill town, the ultimate battle between Good and Evil is about to begin...
Sinnissippi Park, in Hopewell, Illinois, has long hidden a mysterious evil, locked away from humankind by powers greater than most could even imagine. But now the malevolent creatures that normally skulk in the shadows of the park grow bolder, and old secrets hint at a violent explosion.
The brewing conflict draws John Ross to Hopewell. A Knight of the Word, Ross is plagued by nightmares that tell him someone evil is coming to unleash an ancient horror upon the world. Caught between them is fourteen-year-old Nest Freemark, who senses that something is terribly wrong but has not yet learned to wield the budding power that sets her apart from her friends.
Now the future of humanity depends upon a man haunted by his dreams and a gifted young girl–two souls who will discover what survives when hope and innocence are shattered forever...
Eight centuries ago the first Knight of the Word was commissioned to combat the demonic evil of the Void. Now that daunting legacy has passed to John Ross—along with powerful magic and the knowledge that his actions are all that stand between a living hell and humanity’s future.
Then, after decades of service to the Word, an unspeakable act of violence shatters John Ross’s weary faith. Haunted by guilt, he turns his back on his dread gift, settling down to build a normal life, untroubled by demons and nightmares.
But a fallen Knight makes a tempting prize for the Void, which could bend the Knight’s magic to its own evil ends. And once the demons on Ross’s trail track him to Seattle, neither he nor anyone close to him will be safe. His only hope is Nest Freemark, a college student who wields an extraordinary magic all her own. Five years earlier, Ross had aided Nest when the future of humanity rested upon her choice between Word and Void. Now Nest must return the favor. She must restore Ross’s faith, or his life—and hers—will be forfeit...
As a Knight of the Word, John Ross has struggled against the dark forces of the Void and his minions for twenty-five years. The grim future he dreams each night—a world reduced to blood and ashes—will come true, unless he can stop them now, in the present.
The birth of a gypsy morph, a rare and dangerous creature that could be an invaluable weapon in his fight against the Void, brings John Ross and Nest Freemark together again. Twice before, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the lives of Ross and Nest have intersected. Together, they have prevailed. But now they will face an ancient evil beyond anything they have ever encountered, a demon of ruthless intelligence and feral cunning.
As a firestorm of evil erupts, threatening to consume lives and shatter dreams, they have but a single chance to solve the mystery of the Gypsy morph—and their own profound connection.
The original 1991 short story that published in Lester del Rey's anthology, Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales, and a precursor to the mythos created in Running with the Demon. Available in Small Magic.
The direct sequel to Imaginary Friends, a novella as powerful as the trilogy of novels, featuring a grown Jack McCall as he is threatened by a terrifying new demon. Available in Small Magic.