“Mother”, poem by Nagase Kiyoko

February 18, 2019

March is International Women’s Month.  I can’t think of anything better to post here than what I do below. Nagase Kiyoko probably is the best woman I can think of to celebrate this month with.  (In fact, she is also a great woman to celebrate Mother’s Day, this day that is painful for many ACONs).   Politics come and go, but a poet speaks through the centuries.  Certainly Nagase Kiyoko goes deep and rattles my bones like nothing else I have read lately. She opens my heart to what is true and fundamental in being a woman.

Rollo May a 20th century psychotherapist has written about creativity.  In his “Courage to Create”, he writes that creativity is generated by our encounter with opposition.  Certainly Nagase Kiyoko, who wrote poetry at her kitchen table while her children and husband were asleep, and suffered the issues of older Japanese women faced this head on.  Her poetry inspires and she is a prime example of this courage to create.  She is a good grandmother for all of us women poets.  Actually, for all women, poets or not.

Lady Nyo 

 

MOTHER

 

I am always aware of my mother,

Ominous, threatening,

A pain in the depths of my consciousness.

My mother is like a shell,

So easily broken.

Yet the fact that I was born

Bearing my mother’s shadow

Cannot be changed.

She is like a cherished, bitter dream

My nerves cannot forget

Even after I am awake.

She prevents all freedom of movement.

If I move she quickly breaks

And the splinters stab me.

—Nagase Kiyoko  (1906- 1995)

Nagase Kiyoko wrote poetry for 65 years.  She never called herself a ‘professional poet’, but referred to herself as ‘a useless woman’.  She was a farmer, and wrote her poetry at the kitchen table before dawn, while her children and husband were asleep upstairs.  Because of her sensual and cosmic verse, Nagase Kiyoko is considered by many Japanese women poets to be the “Grandmother” of modern poetry.  Just a short reading of her verse goes deeply into the heart of the reader.  She is ageless in her verse.  She died on her 89th birthday.

““

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

 

 

 

Gertrude, Saint of Cats, March 17th.

March 20, 2019

Ri

Right in the Middle of Lent! A compassionate being in the middle of a dark season.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels,

Copyrighted, March 20th, 2019

 

“Mother”, poem by Nagase Kiyoko

March 20, 2019

via “Mother”, poem by Nagase Kiyoko

“Night Poem”

March 17, 2019

Great Horned Owl with Moon.jpg

 

The wind howled hard last night,

A chorus of disgruntled banshees

Set out to fracture nerves and peace,

Disrupt any restful sleep,

Make dogs whine in fear

At a sickly moon.

 

The wind chimes on the eaves

Jangled and clanged

Hollow metal hambones

Danced at the command

Of transforming elements–

Discord added to fearsome harmony.

 

This is an alarming season,

Nothing soft-edged about it.

The tattered- leaved branches

Silhouetted against a plastered wall,

Illuminated by harsh street lights–

Whip about in a feeding frenzy

And I dare not close my eyes,

But creep down to quiet the hounds

Who share my anxious sentiments

About a rude and boisterous night.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

 

 

The Metamorphosis Series….

March 11, 2019

via The Metamorphosis Series….

The Metamorphosis Series….

March 11, 2019

Bats

Back in 2007, I tried to write a horror story but it fell to slapstick fast. .I don’t know if I ever published this series, but it is silly.  And I also know that I am no horror writer.

For those who have not read Metamorphosis , Bart and Laura are bats. Well, Bart is a large common fruit bat with interests in Shibari and BDSM, and Laura is a middle- aged woman who finds she is transforming into a bat.

Jane

Meta I

She stood at the window, lost in thought. The crispness of autumn

purified the air at dusk. The moon had just risen, the sky was still

light, that peculiar time of evening when both sun and moon balanced

in the sky. Watching the swifts and swallows flit over chimneys and

rooftops, wheeling like tiny black crescents in the sky, she wondered

about her unrest, her weird illnesses. As the moon rose, the swifts

were replaced with bats speeding like rockets back and forth in front

of the window. She could hear the sound of their twittering as they

flew by, sharing the day’s gossip.

 

“Laura!” Her husband’s voice near.

“I’m coming” she called back.

Peering out the window her pupils opened wider. She saw strange

things. The veins in the leaves, the mounds of disturbed soil from

moles far below. The moon so close! The night beckoned to her, she

felt like flying out there.

Under her gown she felt thin membranes grow under her arms. The

tissue, transparent, joined with two hooks on her elbows. Her breasts

shrunk to nothing, only large nipples remaining. Her sex seemed to

shift backwards, her vulva misplaced.

 

“I’m coming along nicely,” she whispered.

 

 

********

META II

 

“Laura, come to bed! What are you doing out there?”Laura was doing nothing. Just drinking tea and looking out thewindow, humming to herself.

She had lost weight, grown taciturn, seemed sexless. Harold, confused, was getting on her last nerve.

She entered the bedroom. Harold, bald and boring, glared at her.

“What is wrong with you? Didn’t you hear me?”

Oh yes, thought Laura. Thirty years of marriage doesn’t stop up your ears, just your mouth. And your heart.

Laura opened the closet to hang up her robe. Inside, on a hanger, was

a giant bat, its dull black wings wrapped around itself, hanging

upside down. Laura shoved it aside, looking for a hanger for her

robe. She got into bed and turned off the light.

The police looked at the carnage on the bed. Blood everywhere, a real

massacre. Something was wrong, damned if they could figure it out.

The wife, mute, had to be in shock. Weird batty woman.

Laura, her gown bloody, drinking tea, looked out the window. Under

the tree was a big dark man, standing with his arms wrapped around his

chest. He looked up and nodded.

Laura smiled back and winked.

 

 

*********

 

META III

 

Becoming a widow, Laura’s life took on different dimensions. The house now on the market, she decided to travel. She thought of spelunking, exploring caves, climbing mountains.

Pouring over brochures, she heard a scratching sound. Unlatching the second story window, in fluttered Bart Batkowski..

“I wish you would use the door like a normal person. You will draw attention this way.”

“Laura, do you forget what I am? Besides a co-conspirator in murder?”

Laura signed. Harold was dead, gone, Bart now sharing her bed. But it wasn’t the bed where the action happened. It was the damn closet and sex was gymnastic at best.

Though Laura had known a transformation, it wasn’t complete. The angle of penetration was off. Bart would insist on hanging from his heels, and all attempts at necking gave Laura a stiff one; neck, that is.

 

Since Bart said his DNA required the closet hang, they compromised with a vertical 69 position. Bart would embrace her with his wings wrapped tightly around them, and Laura would get comfortable with her pubis level at Bart’s nose.

It was a strange mating, but when Bart snored it sent Laura to heaven.

 

*******

META IV

 

Laura twisted in the wind. Well, rotated in the air conditioning.

Bart had a new kick, called `Shibari’. An ancient Japanese practice

of wrapping things. Precisely. With hidden knots. She should have

thought twice when he insisted she strip.

 

Arms wrapped behind her back, more cloth holding her legs together,

she sighed. She didn’t mind hanging upside down, was even getting

used to the headaches.

Bart, however, was having a bit of his own transformation, and Laura

didn’t know if she liked this one bit. He was becoming `’weirder’,

taking up hobbies. Piercing was one, this shibari another. Laura was

seeing Bart in a different light, helped along with her new, nighttime

vision.

Goddamn Japanese! Why can’t they stick to wrapping small packages?

Bart told her `shibari’ was the ancient art of “wrapping the heart.”

She bought it, didn’t even mind the bananas, mangos and kiwi he stuck

between the bindings. He was, after all, a common fruit bat.

Up on the roof, Bart had other plans. From under his wings, he drew

out a new black, leather riding crop. He slapped it on his palm,

laughing with glee.

Laura was about to obey.

 

**********

 

META V

 

“Come on, Laura, pick it up! I can’t stay up here all day. It’s

exhausting.”

Bart was suspended in mid air, about ten feet from the roof apex,

twenty feet off the ground.

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t I can’t. What if they don’t work?”

Laura, mesmerized by the languid flap of Bart’s massive wings, stood

on the top of the roof. She remembered the times he trapped her

small, delicate wings within his and felt the power of his dominance.

Bart had many faults, and a sadistic nature, but his sexual allure

could not be denied. Laura was blossoming like a rose, with little

Japanese beetles buried deep within her petals. She felt Shibari was

helping them bond, though Bart left her too long in the bindings.

Parts of her had turned temporarily blue. She was finding this

`freedom of the ropes’ one knot at a time.

 

“Come on, Laura, I’ll catch you. Trust me. Now, run fast and leap.

Your wings should work fine.”

 

Laura did as she was told and hit the air running. She dropped like a

stone.

“Bart! You Fuckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”

“Hey, Laura! Next time flap your wings, not your gums.”

 

*********

 

META VI

 

When Laura fell of the roof she smashed her ankle. It took all of

Bart’s Shibari bindings to stabilize her limb and now Laura was making

Bart wait on her, wing and foot. He wasn’t too happy with the `fetch’

thing but was puzzled why Laura’s wings hadn’t worked.

“Bart,” Laura whined, “The ice melted in my drink. Make me a fresh

one, darlin’.”

Bart came from the kitchen, an apron tied around his middle. He was

pissed being a house-bat but what could he do? A dominant fruit bat,

this apron went against his nature. But the dishes had to be done,

guano shoveled.

 

Inactivity made Laura horny. She spread her legs, flapped her pinkish

wings alluringly. Bart’s eyes gleamed as he climbed between them. He

began to lap at her, but lost his head. Laura was using a new

perfume, “Peaches and Cream”.

“Bart! I’m not a cantaloupe. Your teeth are sharp!”

“Sorry, Laura. I’m just following my nature.”

All kinds of bats in the world, and I get a fruit bat, thought Laura.

Life is unfair.

But he did look cute in a frilled apron. That big bow on his butt

suited him.

Nature be damned.

 

************

 

META VII

 

Tap…tap….tap…

 

“Bart? Whatchadoin’?” Laura yawned, just waking up.

 

“I’m working on a pathology.” His `go away answer’. Back hunched over

the keyboard, typing fast.

“Which one?” Laura blinked, trying to see what Bart was writing.

“Funny. I’m looking at this Gorean website.”

“Ah geez, Bart! It’s a comic book.” Laura’s eyes widened at the

picture of a woman on her knees, lips parted seductively, naked, legs

open. She thought of her own knees and knew she could never hold that

position. Plus, she didn’t look `cute’ naked. Not before, and not

now with these pinkish wings attached to her elbows….

“Hey Bart? Are you serious? How am I to hold that position serving

you on my knees?”

“You could levitate a bit with your wings, take pressure off your

joints. You could use your imagination if you wanted to please me.”

 

“Please him.” There it was. Always please the Dom. What did she get

out of it? Seemed like life with her dead husband, Howard, except

with guano.

“Bart? I don’t think Gorean Doms wear aprons.”

 

Bart looked down. He forgot to remove it after the dishes. Maybe he

really was a Gorean submissive? Not a good thought.

 

META VIII

“Greetings Laura”.

Bart Bartowski spotted Laura reading at the dining room table as he fluttered into the room.

Laura looked up from “Kajira Daily” and stared at him. He saluted her with his right hand thumping his left shoulder.

“You still playing at Gorean stuff, Bart?”

“Not playing, Laura. I’m convinced John Norman is a visionary.”

“Oh Bart,” said Laura, flipping through the magazine and turning it sideways to view the Kajira of the Month.   “John Norman is a terrible writer, what makes you think he’s any better at Philosophy? Plus, those Gor books are old. And you know my knees are bad.”

Bart opened his mouth to argue, then clamped it shut.

“Gorean bats don’t debate with kajiras. Get me orange juice, girl.”

“Good idea, Bart. Make it two,” said Laura studying slave jewelry on the model.

“Ah come on, pleaseeee Laura, honey? Can’t you pretend I’m a Gorean bat for a few moments? You never play with me.”

Laura started laughing.

“Ah, Bart? Gorean bats don’t beg.”

Bart glowered at Laura. Then his wings sagged.

“Tell you what, Bart. You’re a fruit bat, right?”

Laura wiggled her peach-fuzzy butt.

 

“So bite me.”

 

THE END

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007-2019

 

 

“Spring has Sprung, the Grass is Green”…..way too early!!

March 10, 2019

No snow, not even a flurry, and sad after the two beautiful snowfalls of Dec. 3rd, and January 17th, 2018.  No white magic at all.

But  Spring has sprung…and we are sure to have at least a few days of below freezing before the ‘official’ Spring begins.

A few photos of the earliest of Spring in Atlanta.  The rye grass is a green blessing.

Lady Nyo

Spring House 1

~~~~~

Spring House 2

~~~~

Spring House 3

~~~~

Spring House 4

~~~~

Spring House 5

 

 

”Devil’s Revenge”

March 9, 2019

via ”Devil’s Revenge”

”Devil’s Revenge”

March 9, 2019

Madame Gormosy2

Perhaps a painting of Madame Gormosy?

 

I started this novel in 2006.  Then I dropped it  for years. I have finished the book and after taking a meat cleaver to it, it will be published on Amazon.com Fall of 2019.

Chapter 42.

We came home to the house in the novel. How this happened isn’t clear. Perhaps we flew out of that castle, off that island, out of that century like cannon shot and soared through the universe into the present. Perhaps we tumbled like meteors over and over until we crashed into the earth. I have no idea, but I would suppose it had to do with the mythical ley lines .

Garrett explained before what he knew about them. Some mystical, magical spirit markers where the astral body could easily move. He called it a ‘rip in the fabric of time’. A portal to other dimensions. I think Devils use this frequently to hop and jump from century to century, to show up when they are least wanted.

I read a while ago about this new mathematical “String Theory”, where scientists were theorizing extra dimensions more strange than anything we could conceive (ha! I could tell them some things…) where we could pass from one dimension to another. Certain places the Earth’s energy increased and perhaps these were the portals. 

But I just don’t remember how it happened to us, to return to the early 19th century. I must have had my eyes closed.

No, that’s not quite true. I do remember something.

I was lost in the darkness, with pinpoints of light travelling above, and small hills far under my feet. Those lights must be whirls of distant galaxies, stars and all that occupy the heavens, and those hills? I remember Garrett talking about mole hills, the nurseries of different creatures, things beyond our imagination, things only a mother could love.

I seemed enormous, crossing great distances with only the breath of the cosmic wind to blow me afar, yet at the same time the universe was too vast, there were no breadcrumbs to follow. I couldn’t see Garrett at all, I seemed to be alone. Perhaps this was Death. But I knew it wasn’t because I still worried, there was no peace. Death would bring peace unless I was a ghost.

~~~

“Ah! She is coming to life, she is awakening.”

I heard the voice of Madame Gormosy and I came conscious like a drowning woman, gasping and gulping air.

I blinked my eyes, trying to focus and there was Garrett and sweet Madame looking worried. I still felt the effects of whatever drug was used for the time travel, but moaned with joy to see that troublesome Madame. I passed my tongue over my dried lips and tried to speak.

“Don’t labor yourself, ma chérie.   Here, sip this water, don’t gulp.”

She held a glass to my lips as Garrett slipped behind and pulled me up to a sitting position. Of course I gulped and spilled more down the front of my nightdress.

“She will make it.” I heard Garrett’s voice and turned my head to look at him over my shoulder.

I could have spit at him. I was angry, and didn’t know why.   I felt disconnected and wondered if my atoms had been so disarranged as to warp my body, perhaps my mind? I pinched myself, as I would do over and over in the days to come, just to feel that small pain, to know I was alive.

I recovered after two days, felt more ‘normal’. Something had changed though and it wasn’t just me.

Madame was always present. She hardly left me alone. I didn’t say much, too distanced somehow to talk, or even play faro. Madame was patient. She didn’t push me in her usual fashion. At times I glanced at her and she seemed worried, preoccupied in some way. But then her expression would clear and though her eyes did not sparkle as before, she gave me encouraging little smiles as if to reassure everything would be fine.

It became clear things really had changed, would not return to whatever appeared before as normal. If I thought our coming ‘home’ would have allowed us more time together, I was very mistaken. Garrett was mostly absent from the house. When he arrived, I was asleep.

One evening after Madame lit candles and found me sitting in the window seat, she came and sat down. Smoothing her skirts across her thighs with her wrinkled and spotted hands, she sighed and looked out at the gathering darkness.

“Can you talk a little about your troubles, ma chérie? You are so silent now, no laughter, no lightness. I worry about you, dear child, but you seem none the worse for wear.”

I looked at Madame, the powdered gray hair, skin a lead white and those familiar moue on her face. Suddenly I felt a sob rise in my throat and great tears began to fall. I looked at her dear face and realized I had missed Madame Gormosy more than I could bear and here she was, before me, her own pain creasing her aged face

“Oh, Madame! I have missed you so much.”

I sobbed out my fear and loneliness and blindly pushed forth my hands towards her, feeling her catch me and draw me to her bosom. Her hands went around my back, patting me firmly as I heaved great gulping sobs into her breasts, washing the lead powder from her skin and soaking her bodice.

“Ah, ma chérie, I have missed you, too! Who can I play my beloved faro with? Once I told you how stupid other devils were. Who can cheat like you? They are bumblers and no fun. They never tip their cards towards me, the solemn devils, they never kick their shoes off under the table, never let me read their deepest thoughts. Ah! They are no amusement at all!”

I had to laugh. Madame was very vain about her winnings, and kept them in a lacquered box. But when I had no more coin to play with her, she would dump the box out and divide the coin equally. Well, perhaps I give her too much credit and have to remember she is a tricky devil, so I would suppose she would rake a bit of coin into her lap. But all in all, she entertained me, and took great pains to do so.

She snapped her fingers and produced two rather large bowls of tea for us. So much better than the stout Garrett would snap for. Madame understood women, even though she was half male, and knew a crying jag would not be comforted by a tankard of ale.

I sipped the hot tea and wiped my eyes with the back of my hand, and heard her ‘tut, tut’, as she leaned over and attempted to dry my tears with a large linen handkerchief. I started to laugh, a rather forlorn and empty attempt at laughter, but Madame was predictable. So was I, apparently.

“What is now to happen, Madame?” I looked at where my tears had made her white powder run and her wrinkled, old bosom exposed over the top of her plum, velvet gown.

“Ah, M. le Devil should have many plans by now. Since you both have returned, he has met everyday with some creature or other.”

Her eyes glittered as she dipped her face into her bowl. The old devil knew something!

“Have you seen who he meets? Is M. Abigor a visitor?”

“Ah, my curious girl, I only get a glimpse of a tail or a hoof, not much to go on. Perhaps a slight smell of brimstone, nothing much to identify. These queer devils are all the same, n’est ce pas?”

Madame Gormosy was lying. We both knew they didn’t have tails or hooves, they would look like respectable gentlemen, bankers or ministers, even though their danger did not come from the swords that dangled at their sides.

Madame cocked her head and narrowed her eyes. “Perhaps we apply some powder and rouge, get you into a tight corset, do your hair and you will feel like you can face life again? No one can face the future in their nightgown. We women have our own power, neh?”

I sighed. I was back amongst devils, and at least they were familiar. Their magic I knew, at least some of it. No tattooed snakes travelling the length of arms, nor Warrior Queens speaking in tongues.   Just Madame Gormosy with her transvestite ability and snapping her fingers for bowls of tea. There was still this issue of Garrett disappearing and it seemed that coming ‘home’ had done little to change that. I needed some answers and the only way was to do as Madame demanded. I shook off my suspicions and gathered myself. I was still very much a part of this puzzle. Dark forces were gathering and I still was just a pawn on a demented chessboard.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Devil’s Revenge” Chapter 33

March 8, 2019

via “Devil’s Revenge” Chapter 33

“Devil’s Revenge” Chapter 33

March 8, 2019

Abigor 3

Lord Abigor, Arch Duke of Hell

 

For the next few days, I sat in silence, my mind unable to focus, my nerves sharpened, my behavior strange. Madame Gormosy was all sympathy, and tried to distract with rounds of faro. For once I was uninterested in the game, could barely hold my cards. She was kind enough to allow me my undress, and does not insist I wear the corset. She brushes out my hair when she arrives in the morning, and I uncomplainingly give myself over to her hands. She rouges my cheeks and lips and fashions my hair into different styles. I walk through these mornings like a ghost, only the routines of chamber pot and tea make me feel alive. I am suffering some shock to the system according to Madame, and will eventually recover.

 

Garrett was absent most of the day, still meeting with his various devils and god only knows what else. On occasion I will hear him, and ‘Monsieur’ Gormosy, in the hall. Even though at times I can pick up words of their conversation, and I am sometimes the topic, I listen with little interest, for nothing seems real or of substance in my life now. The third morning, Garrett came in during my breakfast tea, and sitting down across from our tea table, stretched his hand to me, his usual offering gesture of tenderness. I look at him over the rim of my teacup, my eyes blank, empty, and place my cup back in its saucer. I give him my hand, and at that moment, tears swell in my eyes and spill over my cheeks.

 

“You’ve had your fill of demons now?” He grins, gently holding my hand. I nod, unable to speak.

 

“Come here, darling one, I leave you too much in Madame’s company. It couldn’t be helped before, but I can do better.”

 

I get up and go to him, feeling like a penitent child. He pulls me onto his lap, and wraps his arms around my shoulders. I hear the heartbeat in his chest as I tuck my head under his chin. He is warm with the heat of life, and my pain of the previous days lessen in his arms.

 

“Abigor has pledged his support against Obadiah and his forces. Oh, there is nothing Devils like more than a chance at warfare. They have all these impatient legions under their charge and it’s just another game to them. It’s the chess game from Hell.” Garrett laughed, a deep rumble in his chest.

 

“He was amused with your company. It’s been centuries since he sat over a teacup with a woman. Not many devils are interested in the French salons, darling. You tickled his fancy with your curiosity and thoughts. He could see you struggled to hide them, and of course he could still read your mind.   Abigor is a powerful devil, he will be useful. You played your part well, Bess, and I thank you for it.”

 

He thanks me for it? Does he even know what that glimpse into Abigor’s eyes did to me? I lay in his arms, hating him and everything in this room.

 

“Sweet woman, sweet woman,” he coos to me. He tightens his grip and pulls me up close to his chest. “Not all Devils have the, ah…nature of Abigor. Look at Madame Gormosy. She is all sweetness and light.”

 

Hah! I guess this is his idea of humor! Madame Gormosy is also lustful and quick with the hands. My thoughts flow unchecked in my head. At least I can think again.

 

“Ah, I warn him, but to no avail. He is after all, the Demon of Lust.” He laughed, and I can’t help but laugh with him. Madame Gormosy comes by her vices honestly, cross gender that she is.

 

He holds me on his knee, silent for a while. It is enough, for we have little time together. This Devil’s coven or whatever you call it, has come and gone, and now perhaps I can roam the downstairs in freedom.

 

“You can.” (He still reads my mind) “But Madame has noticed soot on the walls and hoof marks on the floors.” He made me laugh. “I have something of interest for you.”   I am all ears.

 

“We are taking a trip. But not in a dream.”

 

“I smell magic here. Is that what you propose, Demon?”

 

“I liked it better when you called me Demon Lover, but in any case, I’m not asking you.   I’m telling you it will happen.”

 

“Oh! So….I have no choice here?” I know I am picking a losing fight.

 

The Demon looks at me with a scowl. “Perhaps I have been too lenient with your mortal feelings. Perhaps you don’t fear me enough.”

 

Ah! He wants me to fear him? I am crazy with fear since I fell into his world, and he wants more? I don’t know how to answer him, for it’s more than a question of him. I stand and move to the window. He watches me closely.

 

“You are a strong woman. That’s why I picked you for consort. Perhaps a bit too headstrong.   Abigor warns me to keep a tight rein on you. You don’t know the rules yet.”

 

Rules! I have fallen into an irrational world, full of magic and devils, and he talks to me of rules?

 

His voice is steady, but it is touched with some anger. “You have some standing in these other dimensions, because you are my consort, but only for that.   You have yet to prove yourself. You will remember that I am your master.”

 

I whirl around from the window, my hands on my hips, and as soon as I see his face, I realize that I am playing with fire. We stand across the room glaring at each other. The words “make me” cross my mind, and immediately, before I can react, he has crossed the room. He grabs my hair and twists it around his wrist, forcing my head backward. I flail out with my arms and try to hit him with some force, but he easily backs away, never losing his grip on my hair. I try to hurt him, and I am further humiliated by the expression on his face. It only increases my rage and I continue to strike out, even try to kick him in that particular spot between his legs. A look of surprise crosses his face, as he stays just out of reach. Like the fencer he is, he turns sideways, and I haven’t a clear shot at his crotch. He is hurting me with another twist of his wrist, and I am fairly spitting with rage. He forced me to my knees with a downward pull on my hair.

 

“You bastard! Let me go, bitch!” I am incoherent with anger and still struggling with him.

 

“Ah! I’m a bastard and a bitch? You don’t know my gender yet? Perhaps that’s the problem. I’m definitely bastard, but never a bitch.” He is not grinning and he is as angry as I have seen him.

 

I was winded from my struggle. I was panting. He let go of my hair and in a chair across the room, sits down slowly. I started to rise, and his low voice stops me immediately.

 

“Stay on your knees, woman of mine. Stay where you are if you value your life.”

 

I looked up at him, my eyes flashing with hate. “What does this do, prove you are stronger than me? Well, Einstein, there’s no surprise in that! That’s why women are smarter than men.   We are born smarter to put up with your kind.”

 

I am stretching here. I have little defense for my behavior besides my rage.

 

The Demon relaxed in his chair, a slight smile crossed his face. “What Madame taught you was only the surface. Appearances aside, you have learned nothing from her. Your arrogance and ignorance keeps you blind. You didn’t fear Abigor, and you don’t fear me. We shall change that balance beginning now.”

 

Garrett rises from his chair and with a snap of his fingers, a small whip appears in his hand. “You don’t like magic, darling? You really won’t like this either.” He stands there looking down at me, and I start to see that I have made some mistake with him.

 

“Now, stand up and strip off your gown. Do it or I’ll do it for you.” He looks menacing enough. I start to undo the bodice and since I’m not wearing any stays, I drop it and slip out of the skirt, wearing only a linen chemise. Immediately, either from fear or cold, I get goose bumps and I started to shiver. I cross my arms over my breast and look at him, my rage dampened with fear.

 

“Come over here, Bess. Walk slowly to me.” I walked to within a few feet of him. I am less defiant without my clothes. He reached out and whirled me around and ripped my chemise from my shoulders like tissue paper. It puddled at my feet and I am to step out of it and turn around. I faced him, now with the scent of fear coming from me. I can smell it.

 

 

“Now. I want you to feel how powerless you are. You are naked. I have a whip in my hand, and I’m bigger. Older, too. So, do you really think you can fight me and win? Now, move over to that chair and put your hands on the arms. Don’t move from there and if you do turn, I’ll hit whatever part that faces this whip.”

 

I was too afraid to defy him. I did as he asked, and waited trembling. I didn’t have to wait long, for I felt him hit me on the ass with a well aimed flick of his wrist. It cut me like fire, and I yelped. I was shaking, and he again popped me across the other cheek. He hit me three more times, and then nothing. I waited for him to hit me again. This agony of waiting is as bad as the whip. I took a gulp of air, and I felt the whip handle slowly trace my backbone from my neck to the small of my back. It made me quiver. He suddenly hit me again, this time harder and I screamed. I felt his hand run over the welts from the whip.   I was crying great dramatic tears and collapsed into the upholstered seat of the chair.   Feeling his hands on my back, I turned and embraced his legs. He didn’t move, and crying into the fabric of his breeches, hide my face in his thighs. Finally, I felt his hands on the top of my head. He pulled me to my feet and lifted me into his arms, and carried me to the bed.   I felt him lie down beside me and, with my eyes tightly shut, I continued to cry. At last, after the shock and silence of the past three days, I could finally feel again. The pain and burning on my ass tells me I am alive. I was beginning to wonder.

 

 

He leaned on his side, his head propped up on one hand. He turned me to him and his other hand travelled down my back to my flank. He stroked me like he would a frightened mare, humming something under his breath.

 

“Sweet woman.” His words were almost a whisper. “I choose you because of what you are. Now you need to trust me and know I am wiser and stronger than you. In me is your safety. It isn’t the magic that makes me stronger. It isn’t the whip. It’s because I am. It’s because of my experience. You submit to me in these things, and you will find contentment. It’s the natural order in the universe. Men protect women. That is our role and duty. If you violate that order, and fight against me, you put us both in peril, do you understand?”

 

I looked up into his face, and was confused. He is more than mortal, that I well know. Perhaps that part of him demands my submission. I can tell by his face he knows what I am thinking.

 

“Ah, Bess, you have so much to learn, even about mortal men! The women of your century must be very discontent. They don’t know their place in the scheme of things, even in such a narrow dimension as yours. Such unnecessary chaos.”

 

I couldn’t disagree, for there was more than a kernel of truth to his words. His gentle stroking of my back eased my pain, and he turned me on my stomach and caressed the red marks he left on my backside. I turned over to face him, and cupped his face in my hand. He was beautiful, with dark hair and eyes, and the dark shadow that comes over his face in the evening. What had happened to us? What did I think would happen? I was not dealing with a normal man, what I have hooked is beyond my comprehension. What he has hooked is my heart.

 

This submission he demands confuses me. I have little control over anything since I emerged in his sphere, his dimension. What I do know is I have no answers for anything and I can well believe that my safety, my very life depends upon him. His behavior is rough, at times vulgar, uncouth, but he does have an experience, a wisdom, knowledge of things a few months before I would never have to exist.

 

The petty magic, as he claimed, was only window dressing. Something else that was able to move Heaven and Hell was afoot. And as he said, demons and devils were only a small part of the universe. There were things of magnificent and incomprehensible ‘magic’ that awaited our discovery. I was not sure that discovery was the proper word, it seemed to me that fate was already decided and we were just hanging on for the ride.

 

If this was what he meant by submission I was safer for it. The natural order of things in his universe. The natural order in mine? Perhaps my life depended upon it.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2006-2019


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