This is from my second novel, “Devil’s Revenge”. I am thinking of working towards its publication late next year. There is a lot of sex in this novel, but don’t read if you are queered by sex or a prude. I have tried to be ‘tasteful’ but working with devils, it’s a hard slog.
Standing at a window in this bedroom, I find myself more and more in his world, the world of the Demon Lover. Not sure of the sequence of time, but it seemed every few days I appeared back in this room. Today, I was busy for a number of hours writing a chapter, one I hoped would bring me to the conclusion of the novel. I have been in starts and stops over it for the past month, and have trouble forming my thoughts. Of course, there has been much to distract me. His presence in my ‘life’, for I guess you could call this life, has been a major obstacle in finishing it. He is entertaining and sometimes charming, but brings much chaos to my days.
All in all, it’s been a fruitful time, for if I stumbled in the writing, there is much to learn. I have discovered numerous things about him. He is a jealous demon, who prates he will chase away any competition, and has little regard for my marriage. He already admits he visits me, and not just in my dreams, but takes a seat next to my bed, and involves himself in my sleep. My patient husband sleeps deeply, and I am not sure Garrett, the mortal name of my Demon, does not have his hand in this. A former friend from the ‘north country’ already has caught his interest, and he has as much threatened me with some foul magic if I continue to converse with him. I will not bow to his threats, for I think he has become fond of me, and does not want my displeasure. He can be a bully but I know now he needs much assurance from me, and that I give most willingly. I have grown as fond of him, as he seems to have of me, though he goes to great pains to hide it.
Ah! The masculine vanity! Alive even in demons!
The landscape was bleak as I saw from the window. The middle of winter, and fog was swirling on the ground around a clump of trees in the midground distance. Or it looked like fog. But then again, it came together like smoke and rose from a central point in the trees. How strange. It whirled and eddied and took shape like smoke from a chimney. It held my attention and I thought I would go out to investigate. I threw on my red cloak and went downstairs and out the front door. It was not a long walk to the stand of trees where I saw the smoke. I felt a strange compulsion to follow. The trees were bare of all leaves, their black limbs silhouetted against the gray sky. I walked through them, feeling a sense of discovery, being pulled by my curiosity. There, before me, was perhaps a low fire, though I couldn’t see any flame. The smoke was thick. It seemed to pour from the ground! As I looked upwards, around the trees, there were blackbirds perched in the limbs. They were totally silent, which is strange for a flock of blackbirds. Suddenly the smoke parted, and there, sitting on a stump, about twenty feet from me, was Obadiah!
Oh! I couldn’t tell if he was an apparition, a ghost, or something else, but he sat there, his long legs stretched out before him, one upon the other, his arms crossed over his chest. He was not wearing a coat, but was dressed in a white, linen shirt, with a black stock wound around his neck. His face had no expression, but his eyes pierced me with their intensity, and I wavered where I stood, not sure if I would faint. He smiled, a mocking smile, devoid of any kindness. For some reason I found myself drawn to him as in a trance. I should be afraid of him, considering what he has done to me, but I was not. I was excited and unsettled, perhaps fear plays into these emotions, but curiosity and a perverse desire was overcoming all else, all caution.
Suddenly, I was on the ground, pushed violently from behind. Obadiah disappeared in a flash, and standing over me was Garrett. He had a sword in his hand, and his face was terrible to see. He grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me to my feet, scowling and in a fine high temper. Dragging me out of the glen I don’t remember my feet even touching the ground, until we were back in my bedroom. I heard the door slamming shut. It was as if I was in a dream, or a trance, and I tried to shake myself awake.
“You damn little fool!”
He was furious, and grabbed me by the shoulders, shaking me hard, caught like a rat caught by a terrier. My head was thrown back and forth by his violence and I thought my neck would snap. He released me and I fell to the floor. I lay there for a moment, aware he was standing over me. I could still feel his wrath, like a thick fog in the air. I gasped with fear, and turned to look up at him. By the look on his face I thought he would kill me.
“Nay, get off the floor. You look like a kicked dog. I’ll not harm you more.”
His voice was strange, as if his anger had broken him. He extended his hand and pulled me to my feet, where he looked at me closely. I could tell he was still angry, but he was trying his best not to act upon it.
However, I was now furious. How dare he shake me like a child! How dare he throw me to the ground! Without another thought, I raised my hand and slapped him across the face. I saw his surprise, and then, to my horror, heard him utter a hollow laugh. He grabbed both of my wrists in his hands before I could think and pinned them behind me. He did not spare me any pain in the doing.
“So you want to play rough, do you?” He laughed again, and immediately pulled up a chair with his foot.. He up ended me across his lap and pulled up my skirts. He exposed my nakedness and beat me hard with his hand. I yelled loudly, and cursed him with all the names I could think of. He thrashed me, hitting my buttocks and also the tops of my legs. I screamed until I thought I would go hoarse. I cried and pleaded with him, yet he did not spare me his blows. Throwing me to the bed I cried and sobbed mightily, more from fear than pain, but there certainly was enough of that! My butt was burning with his blows. I hated him thoroughly, for I had never been treated like this before. I cried myself out and he didn’t offer a word of compassion or apology. When I finally uncovered my face from the pillows, I saw him sitting there, smoking his pipe, like nothing in the world had happened. I felt humiliated and belittled.
“Tell me,” he said between puffs. “Tell me what possessed you to leave this room and go into the woods.”
His eyes glittered through the smoke and I knew better take him seriously. Now that I had proof he would not spare his hands, I was afraid of him.
“Oh, Bess, I can smell your fear, but that is not what I am after. Tell me, now, why you went into the woods.”
I rose up from my stomach, and gingerly sat on the bed. My butt hurt! He certainly was strong.
“I don’t know. I saw some smoke coming from the glen, and I thought that it was interesting. I felt curious.”
“Ah. Did you feel drawn to the woods?” He puffed more forcefully on his pipe.
“Well, the smoke drew me, but then, when I got down there, and near, I felt strangely drawn to the trees. The birds were all silent, I remember that.”
“Looks like Obadiah has called upon other forces for his designs.” He puffed on his pipe hard. “Seems like he is getting a bit desperate.”
“What do you mean?”
“He is charming you and others to do his bidding. I don’t like it a bit. Makes me work harder, something I generally avoid. Looks like he’s preparing himself for battle.” He spit on the floor and I grimaced at him.
“Who is he charming, you make no sense?” None of this made sense at all.
The Demon thought a bit before he answered.
“You asked me before about my world. Well, there are many worlds. I frequent a number of them. This one, where I appear to you, is full of strange characters. I get lost in the numbers, can’t remember all the hierarchy. But it’s simple enough, or at least I’ll make it simple enough for you. Listen closely.”
He packed down his pipe with his thumb, though the tobacco glowed red in the bowl.
“Demons are intermediaries between gods and men. Most of us, what you call ‘demons’ were once men. We were not angels. Don’t make that mistake. No, there are lots of shapes and shifts abounding. There are Fates, who alter destiny, there are what you know as poltergeists, who cause much mischief, there are the incubi and succubae you have already experienced (here he tipped his pipe in my direction), there are familiars, who assist what you call witches.”
He puffed on his pipe, and a blue smoke whirled above his head in lazy, sensual spirals.
“There are Demons formed from human semen.” Here he grinned crazily, the smoke swirling around his face, obscuring his eyes.
“There are disguised Demons, which I fear our friend Obadiah is, makes it tricky in dealing with him. There are Demons who instigate Witchcraft. I don’t know what we are dealing with at present, but we are about to find out. He grows more powerful.”
“Is he more powerful than you?”
He grimaced around the stem of his pipe. “No, I’m still more powerful. But he grows. And he has enough tricks to harness Cheitan and Saalah to do his bidding.” He barked a short, bitter laugh.
“And who are they?” I didn’t like the sound of this.
“They are some minor demons, spirits if you will. Not of much merit, but amenable to a bribe. Cheitan is the demon of Smoke and Saalah is a demon who entices women into the woods. All kinds of mischief can befall a maid in the woods. They are known as some of the ‘Devil’s Handmaids’”.
He puffed on his pipe, sending up a plume of smoke to the ceiling that circled around as it hit the beams and spread outward. An example of “Cheitan”?
“And about your being in the woods, my dear lady. Very foolish of you. Had I not come at the moment I did, you would have suffered another rape by Obadiah. He seems to delight in taking his perverse pleasures with you. You can now thank me for saving you from an even more terrible attack than last time.”
What worse could he do to me than when he raped me? I shivered, remembering those details.
“Oh, there are plenty of tricks he could render upon your soft body, my darling,” said the demon, reading my thoughts. “What he did the first time was just a first course for his appetite. You forget we demons have terrific appetites, especially for mortal women. Your flesh, especially those places between your soft, white thighs, are irresistible to us.”
He leered at me and I shivered thinking of what could have happened.
“And with what bribe does he induce them to work for him?”
“Probably your blood, or a piece of your flesh. Or, if he’s in a particularly generous mood, a piece of your ass. Of course, that would be after he has sated himself on your charms. He would turn you over to them, where they would use you until they were bored and would tear you to pieces.”
Oh, what a terrible mouth on him! But now I was really afraid.
“You see, my dear, as long as Obadiah thinks that you are, ah, I think you call it “a free agent’ in your world? Well, as long as Obadiah thinks he can take you at will, even from under my nose, he will come back and try again. There are only a few ways to discourage him from this behavior.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Well, it is not by my authority to tell you how to end your novel, but killing him off would help….for a while. That would be one way. There is another way, but you would not want to go down that path.” He laughed to himself, and puffed hard on his pipe, his eyes glittering with mischief.
“And what is that path, Demon?”
It seemed the room darkened, or perhaps the sky did outside. But something changed noticeably. He still sat in his chair but it seemed he was whispering in my ear.
“A woman is much happier if she has a Master. Authority thrills a woman, my darling. Nothing but complete subjugation will finally satisfy her.” He smiled at me, and I shivered at his words. What a strange and alien a concept. To call him “Master”!
“In the animal world, nature’s decree the male shall dominate. And you are my little vixen, my little red fox.” He smiled around the stem of his pipe. “And I am very much the male here.”
I wouldn’t argue with that. He was more ‘masculine’ than ten men– twenty. And very proud of it. No ‘metrosexual’ confusion for him.
“You know, sweet darling, I am thinking Obadiah is nothing more than a very powerful incubus. Sexual relations with an incubus are decidedly unpleasant and an often painful affair. I think that you would agree with that.” He would get no argument from me.
“So, Demon, what are you saying I should do?”
“Why don’t you refer to me as Demon Lover anymore?”
“So, Demon Lover, what should I do?”
“Look, Bess, I think you should come under my power completely, and let it be known.” He grinned broadly. Oh! This was fun for him!
“What is it you are saying I do?”
“Sex is a powerful thing in our worlds, as well as yours. I am suggesting you become my consort, for as long as you inhabit my world. That could be a long time, it depends upon things.”
“What things, Demon?”
“Ah, that I have no competition in your heart and mind, that you submit to everything I say and do, and that I am Master of you and your body. That you obey me and submit to me in all things.”
“I don’t know. You know I am married. Would I have to give my husband up for safety here?”
“Well, I can not trample your marriage vows, came long before me.”
“What about my other friends, male and female?”
“Ah, that is another complication. But I will look the other way if you please me in all other things.”
“Are you talking about whips and chains and things, Devil?”
He laughed. “Why in Hell’s good name would I need such things? I’m talking about the natural roles of man and woman, or in this case, Demon and mortal woman. What could be clearer?”
“You have lost me. I don’t know anything of subjugation or submission. We modern women tend to avoid all such talk and behavior.”
“And are you any happier for it?” His eyes glittered through the smoke he exhaled.
He had me there. Relations in the twenty first century were confusing enough. Was there any real happiness between men and woman? There was a lot of anger, and sham, and moving about, exchanging partners and forming anew. There was a lot of unhappiness and divorces. The roles between women and men seemed to be mandated by some chaos that we danced to faster and faster. The ‘natural’ roles that seemed to work for past generations were lost to us now. Women were more like men, and men! God! They were like women! Most women I knew had more ‘friends’ who were homosexual, gays, than girlfriends. They were interchangeable. The roles and relations had become very confused. Perhaps he had a point here. Perhaps what he was proposing was a balancing of the roles. The strong man (or devil) and the soft, weaker, woman. Perhaps he was on to something.
“You promise not to hurt me?” I asked him seriously. I don’t know what I was afraid of, but I was.
He shook his head at me in wonder, and laughed. “Are woman from your century so distanced from their natures that they don’t trust the masculine? Can you place your heart and body in my hands and know I will protect you? What is it that men do in your domain? Do they not occupy this fundamental role?”
“Well, not without a lot of confusion, Garrett. They get mixed messages from all sorts of places. I don’t think modern men know what to do with women.”
He laughed delightedly and gave me his opinion. “You use them good, and often, and they keep you entertained. It’s really an easy exchange. They lay down on demand, and you chase off all the wolves. What’s so hard about that?”
Ah, he is a trying and primitive Demon! He has the manners of a goat, but I have said that before. It is an exchange he is proposing here. My protection and security from Obadiah if I ‘cleave’ myself to him completely. He hasn’t given me much to go on yet, but I am interested enough in his idea. And he has allowed my marriage and my friendship (there are others he doesn’t know about) and promises to wink at them.
In any case, I am way over my head here, and not believing in anything supernatural or paranormal, I find myself at a disadvantage. He holds all the cards right now, and I am at his mercy. My fear of Obadiah and what he can do to me overcomes my disdain for my overpowering, vulgar demon.
Hopefully, he will be a kind and generous ‘Master.’ I think this is called ‘bargaining with the Devil’.