Nest Freemark's Father is an unnamed Demon and the antagonist in the book Running with the Demon. He is the father of Nest Freemark and the lover of both Evelyn Freemark and Catilin Anne Freemark.


In the book Running with the Demon, he is only described as having a bland and unremarkable face. This, along with his magic, allows him to blend in with people as if he had always been a part of their lives and be forgotten as soon as he leaves. He can also change how he appears to people. The only clue as to his demonic nature is that he gives off a vibe that feels strange, especially to those with magic. However, his human facade can be damaged. If so, his true form is described as something dark and winged and unspeakable


This demon is not one for direct confrontation. Instead, he concocts plans that revolve around misdirection and subterfuge in order to throw his enemies off balance. For example, he has a boy kidnap Nest, tie her up and leave her in a cave with feeders, he convinces some of the steel mill workers to beat up John Ross because they thought he was a corporate spy, and allows Robert Freemark to search for Nest just to get Evelyn alone long enough to kill her.

Because demons live longer than humans, he has no qualms making plans that take many years to fulfill.

He also has a sadistic streak about him. He kills a woman in front of Nest with magic just to prove that she is powerless against him. When a bully threatens him with his attack dog, he uses magic to make the dog believe that the bully is a frightened rabbit, causing the animal to kill the bully.


Before the events of Running with the Demon, he had shed his human form and became a demon. Sometime after this, he had found Evelyn Freemark, a woman with magic and a wild, rebellious streak. He worked on trying to possess her. The two of them became lovers and used magic without consequences until he revealed himself to her. Instead of joining him, Evelyn threatened him, telling him that if he ever tried anything, she would use her magic to kill him. This infuriated the demon but he left her be. Pick theorizes that he did so only because Evelyn's magic was stronger than his at the time.

Many years later, in order to hurt Evelyn, he started a relationship with her daughter Catilin which resulted in the birth of Nest. He revealed his nature to both of the Freemark women. This caused Catilin's mind to break which resulted in her suicide and in Evelyn's descent into depression and cynicism. In order to protect Nest for the time when he returned, he created Wraith, a creature born of elemental magic as a guardian.

Afterwards, he spent time pushing humans to madness until he caught the attention of John Ross, a Knight of the Word. However, he managed to stay one step ahead of him. A week before the book begins, the demon arrives in Hopewell, Illinois. On its second day in the town, he found Derry Howe, a Vietnam vet, explosives expert and laid off worker for the MidCon steel mill. Realizing that this man could be useful in his ultimate plans, the demon warps his mind becomes Howe's conscience, devil's advocate and sounding board for the man darkest thoughts.

Running with the DemonEdit

Friday, July 1st

The demon first appears in the book as Old Bob sits with men from the local steel mill, discussing the current strike. Old Bob is unable to remember who he is even though the others seem to know him. The demon talks with Derry, riling him up. After Derry leaves, so does the demon and follows him without the human realizing that he's there. Before he reaches Derry's house, a teenager threatens him with his dog. He demands a dog from the demon but it uses magic on the dog which confused the animal's instincts and attacks the teenager, killing him.

At Derry's home, the demon tells the man that the strike could end if union men cross the picket line. Derry claims that he would shoot those who crossed the line. The demon instead suggests that that a better way of dealing with it. He allows the mill worker to come up with the solution of causing an accident at the fourteen inch, confident that Derry will be one of many distractions for his real plan.

Saturday, July 2

The demon was sitting with Old Bob and the men from the steel mill when he sees John Ross enter the restaurant and talk with Mr. Freemark. Later, he dresses up as a park maintenance employee and finds Nest as she goes to the graveyard to visit her mother's tombstone. He makes small talk and then asks if she still has her father. When she replies in the negative and tells the demon that she has her grandparents. He tells her that her grandparents will not be with her forever and that she needs to learn how to rely on herself. Afterwards, he asks her if she will be at the 4th of July fireworks display. However, Nest feels very uneasy around the demon and leaves, not realizing the demon's interest in her. He then finds a man and takes him into Sinnissippi Park and leads him deep into the forest to the tree where the Maentwrog is imprisoned. He kills the man and feeds it to the creature, allowing it to get stronger so that it can eventually break free.

Sunday, July 3

The demon goes to the church where Nest, Old Bob and John are worshiping. She is confronted by him and tells her that church isn't what it used to be. He then explains that the world is coming to an end but it won't end with a fire or flood. It's going to be a bunch of little things that no one can point can point to as being the cause. He tells her that she needs to start relying on herself. Then, as a female parishioner interrupts them, the demon causes her to have a massive hemorrhage in front of Nest, killing her. Afterwards, he leaves her there in terror.

The demon appears at Sinnissippi Park where Nest and her friends are having fun. Nest decides to follow him, telling her friends to find John Ross. However, she follows her out of the park, a boy, influenced by the demon, attacks her and ties her up. Under the demon's instruction, he carries Nest into a cave infested by Feeders. The demon taunts Nest, telling her that John Ross won't be coming as he has already spread his influence on some of the mill workers, convincing them that the Knight is actually a corporate spy. He then tells her that the reason he's doing this to her is to teach her that he could do whatever he wants to her, reiterating that she needs to start depending on herself and on him. The demon leaves her there, telling Nest that he still has enemies to eliminate.

With John Ross weakened by the use of his magic, Nest trapped in a cave and Old Bob trying to rescue the young girl, the demon makes his move to kill Evelyn. After arriving at her home and exchanging false pleasantries, the demon mocks her for growing old. Evelyn retorts that she is content with herself. The demon says that she's a liar and berates her for not embracing the magic when she was younger, ending with the statement that he has come to finish her off. The elderly woman asks if he needed help, insinuating that Ross is one of his agents. The demon replies that Ross is actually a Knight of the Word. Afterwards, he reiterates that he is going to kill her. Evelyn tells him to come where she can see her. The demon does so and realizes that she's pointing a shotgun at her. Amused, he tells her that that weapon can't kill him. Evelyn retorts that it can blow away his human guise. It is then that he realizes that she no longer has magic. Gleeful, he derides her, remembering the time when she promised to use it on him if he had come back into her life. Evelyn fires the shotgun at his chest. However, the demon emerges unharmed, an illusion was in his place. She fires again, missing a second time. The demon waves his hand and kills her with crushing magic, causing the elderly woman to have a heart attack.

Monday, July 4th

The demon reappears in front of Nest's house, taunting her by blowing a kiss and smiling. Then he disappears just as quickly.

The demon goes to Derry Howe's place and finds that he built a bomb. He realizes that the bomb is set for five minutes but he resets it for five seconds. He then whispers to Derry that he should bring his gun. The Vietnam vet scoffs and says Robert Freemark might.

The demon returns to Sinnissippi Park and captures Pick in a cage, which drains his magic. He then takes the sylvan to the tree where the Maentwrog is imprisoned. Due to Pick's magic, Nest is able to locate him and confronts the demon. She demands that Pick be released. The demon tells her that he will after she does what he tells her to, adding that he was her father. Nest isn't shaken by this, something that the demon notes. John Ross turns up to confront the demon but the demon responds by freeing the Maentwrog. The demon watches as Ross and the creature do battle. Ross is victorious but he is ultimately drained of magic. The demon then turns his attention to Nest. The young girl asks what it is that he wants and he responds that he wants her with him. He then tells her that she is all alone. Evelyn is dead. Her mother killed herself. And her grandfather will soon be dead as well. He continues, saying that she cannot deny that he is a part of her and that he will reveal that part of her. Nest resists. In her distress, Wraith appeared. The demon smirks and tells her that the ghost dog is his creation. He explains that Wraith was created to protect her until he returned. The demon reaches out for her but she hits him with magic. It slows the demon down, infuriating him. As she uses every bit of magic within her, Wraith comes to her aid and attacks the demon. With its large teeth and claws, it tears the demon apart. The demon shrieks out Evelyn's name in horror and agony. It tries to leave its human guise but Wraith grabs its true form and crushes it under its jaws, killing him.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

Longer Lifespan - Because of its nature, the demon has a longer lifespan than humans. It doesn't age as humans do. Because of this, he is patient, taking his time in creating plots to get what he wants.

Manipulation - As a demon, he is able to whisper into the minds of men, twisting their thoughts to serve his ends. His victims often heard his voice as their own and fell for his deception.

Camouflage - Due to both his bland appearance and his magic, he is able to slip his presence in and out of the minds of humans. People who see him feel like they know him but can't place where he's from. If he so wishes, the demon can also make himself undetectable to humans. However, those with magic are able to perceive him.

Magic - As a demon, he has access to magic. The extent of his magic power is undetermined but he had magic and used it with Evelyn in her younger days. With it, he is able to confuse a dog's instinct, causing the animal to attack its owner. He can kill people with magic which causes massive hemorrhaging. Nest had a feeling that if he were to touch her, he could twist her morals and values around and hollow her out just like him but this is undermined.

Creature Creation - The demon's greatest feat of magic was the creation of Wraith. How he created it is unknown. Wraith had a single function, to protect Nest while she was young until he came to collect her. Wraith was made to obey him. By using hand gestures, he could make the ghost dog sit in obedience. However, the creation of Wraith would prove to be his undoing. Evelyn, knowing of Wraith's purpose, used all of her magic to reprogram the creature to attack the demon.


The demon's daughter, Nest Freemark, would eventually become a powerful agent of the Word. She would help save John Ross and ultimately give birth to the child who would become a messiah, Hawk.

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