WARNING: Sexual content, scenes. If you are offended by this, don’t read. Frankly, I understand. I am offended by misogyny and Pentecostals.
I started this erotic novel almost ten years ago. It was only my second novel. I left off writing it when I started other works. Recently I came back and reread what I had written so long ago. It was fresh and funny, and some of the original characters came from the first novel (Heart of the Maze). That novel was boring and too long, meandering around. I had fallen in love with some of the characters and didn’t want to kill them off, as the novel demanded. (Novel writers will recognize this easily enough.) So I made some of them Devils and just let the characters write this one. The narrator is not a devil nor demon. Just a writer who wakes up one morning in an alternative universe. Happens
Trusting in your characters makes it easier for an author: They tend to do the heavy lifting. They circle your computer and whisper their lines. You just type.
I have previously posted random chapters but was encouraged by other writers to begin from the beginning. We will see. The people I respect the most and wouldn’t want to offend are now all dead, so the rest of you will just have to take your chances. Tastes vary, but that is the way of the world.
However, I want to express my sincere gratitude to a couple of writers who stuck with me for many years and encouraged me to trust my own imagination and give it voice.
Bill Penrose, Nick Nicholson, Steve Isaak, and Liras. These excellent and generous writers, now dear friends, have made learning my craft a lot easier.
I am about to tell a strange tale. Not really a tale, because a tale smacks of fiction. This in any case was not fiction. I felt the full effects of its turnings. And it’s not over. I just have to tread water because each time I open my eyes, after a fitful night’s sleep, I am again locked in a world not of my making.
Well, part of my making, but even my lurid imagination pales with what I have experienced.
Sixteen years ago I wrote a too-long novel, set in the 1820’s. The characters had names from the Dutch families I knew while growing up. Everything was fiction, except the landscape, the characters long dead, figments of my imagination, creation of a writer. Never did I expect some of them to leap out of the pages of that unfinished book and change the course of my life.
I feel I have dropped down a rabbit hole, or flown to some strange alien universe. Perhaps I am mad. In any case, events are spiraling out of control, beyond my control, and now?
I have none. I have given up my will to fate, destiny and I don’t even know what that means anymore.
Bear with me, reader. Understand what I write, what you read– exists.
One morning I sat upright in bed, gasping in terror. The light was dim, hard to see. There was a fireplace with a low burning fire. An ember must have exploded. There could be no other answer for the sudden noise. Asleep, it sounded like gunshot.
My eyes adjusted and I looked around. An ember exploded? Where the hell was I? My heart pounded and a sickness rose to my throat. Suddenly I knew where I was. Many years ago I had written a novel, still unfinished, and now I was in the bedroom carefully constructed in the novel. But perhaps I was just dreaming?
I felt a sharp constriction around my ribcage and tried to take a deep breath. I was wearing some kind of corset, laced tightly over a slip. No wonder I couldn’t breathe. At least this made some physical sense.
I tried to take deep breaths to get my bearings but no amount of air would calm me.
What had happened from the time I went to sleep in my own bed next to my snoring husband? How did I make it to this bed?
The constriction around my chest did not dull me to the sudden pressure of my bladder. There was a closet in the corner and I knew inside that closet was a chamber pot encased in a stool. I had written that detail into the book and now very glad of it.
Slipping out of the high bed, I padded across the wood floor. It was a strange thing to pee in a chamber pot. Everything was so quiet, even the birds outside still asleep, but the noise of water hitting china was too loud for the morning. It made me self-conscious, even though I thought I was still dreaming. I had to be.
I came from the closet and sat down before the fireplace. The fire suddenly flared and I jumped in surprise. It was almost as if an invisible hand fed the fire. At least it would warm up this cold room. A cup of tea sat on the table, still hot. It was dark outside the window but steam from the tea rose in the air. I was almost afraid to touch it, my mouth dry from fear. There, a sip, and it was just tea.
A dresser stood across the room from the bed, with a small mirror on the wall above. The image appeared to be me, my hair the usual color, my skin the same shade. Yes, me, but I pinched myself, just to see if I was still dreaming. If pain were any indication of my present state, I was awake. There was a yellow wool dress, thrown carelessly over the back of a chair. A pair of bloomers on the seat. Crotch less, they opened from the front to back. I giggled, a bit hysterically. Like Alice, I had dropped down a rabbit hole.
Nothing now seemed real
Even with the flare up of the fire, the room was not warm. I needed to get dressed. I needed to get my bearings. Stepping into the gown I pulled it up to my shoulders. It hooked in the front of the bodice. I pulled on stockings and garters. They were a lovely silk, soft and delicate, and came to the tops of my thighs. The garters could be tied anywhere, so I tied them above the knees, rolling down the tops of the stockings, hoping they would stay. I held up the split bloomers and tried to determine the front from the back. They could be useful when you wanted to pee. The shoes were another surprise. Made neither a left nor a right, with a thin leather sole and low wooden heel, they tied across my ankles with ribbons. There was a blue shawl, of fine wool, at the bottom of the pile.
Now at least dressed and warmer, I could explore my surroundings. The room was not large, but had a dark beamed ceiling above. There were no paintings or prints on the walls, but above the fireplace, was a shotgun. I recognized it as an old breech loader.
Two long windows looked out upon a dull morning. The wind blew a little sleet against the windows and I shivered. The glazing had fallen away and cold air seeped in. It was still rather dark outside, and except for the blurred outline of trees, I couldn’t see much of the landscape.
Pulling the shawl tighter around my shoulders, I was still cold, or perhaps it was shock. I was not used to awakening in a strange bed, even one born of my own imagination
I still doubted I was lucid, and thought this some weird dream-state. Given a bit more time, I would awaken. But if this were a dream, it was a strange one. I was not given easily to hysterics, but short of hurling myself through the window, there was little I could to do. I would just have to be patient with this ‘dream’ until I woke.
Trying a door in the middle of a wall, it opened into another bedroom, and inside was a large poster bed, a wardrobe, and another shotgun in the corner by the bed. This must be a man’s room. I had no clue why, accept for that evil-looking shotgun. There was nothing feminine in the room at all, though. I turned back to my bedroom and tried the other door. Outside was a wide hall, leading to the top of a staircase.
I stood at the top of the steps, listening for voices or some sound. The house seemed deserted. I could hear nothing of a normal household. Carefully, trying not to slip in these strange shoes I descended the staircase and walked through a wide first floor hall. There were a couple of rooms but there were no people and no lit fireplaces. The whole house was bitterly cold. It seems this house held no life at all.
My footsteps sounded loud on the wooden floors of the hall, though I tried not to make a clatter. There was a closed door to the left and when I opened it, a man was sitting behind a desk.
Something about him seemed familiar. Then I knew who he was. It was a shock to realize I was looking at a character I had created for the novel sixteen years ago. I had named him Garrett Cortelyou. He looked up, sat back and stared at me, quite rudely. Christ! This looked like trouble.
“Come in,” he said. “It is trouble.”
How did he seem to appear in the flesh? He was just paper and ink the last I thought of him. Can this creature read my thoughts?
“Of course I can. I can do more than that,” he said, scowling.
I fashioned Garrett Cortelyou from a number of sources, and, seeing him before me, I couldn’t help but be pleased. It is one thing to imagine, it is another to see the results. He was a tall man, broad of shoulder, with dark hair, rather long for the 1820’s, actually, now gathered into a ponytail, but I created him to be his own man. He proved to be a stubborn character, and not an easy birth. Clean shaven, he had dark eyes and regular features except for his nose. It had been broken and not set correctly. He looked pissed off.
“Why are you so angry with me?”
“A year ago you closed your book and abandoned all of us. You told me to ‘cool my heels’. Am I not allowed my anger?”
“It was a metaphor, ‘cool your heels’.”
“I know what it was.”
I was surprised. I had enough of writing and needed time off. This actually happened sixteen years ago, but who was I to correct him? Why argue with something unreal? I put his intended, the character Jennie, in the library. I gave her a cup of tea and a good fire, and she had all the books in the world or at least in this library to read.
“You abandoned us all.
“Life got in the way, Garrett, I needed time to work things out.”
What am I saying? Why am I explaining my life to this creature? Am I insane?
“Come closer. Let me see you better.”
I entered the room and stood across the desk. He looked me over, his eyes running the length of me. “You look unimpressive. I thought you would be older.”
“Why, did you expect me to be covered with wrinkles?”
One glance at his face and I should have held my tongue.
“You are quick with the words, madam. Let’s see how quick on your feet.”
Like a cat he came around the desk and grabbed me. He was strong enough to lift me like a stick of wood and throw me into another chair. I was shocked at the suddenness of his movement, but amazed he was real.
“You should be. You play with people too much.”
I looked at him standing before me, his hands on his hips, and fear crept up my spine
“You forget I created you.” My voice squeaked.
“And you forget, madam, anything is possible. I can command you as easily as you have me. You now are my puppet. Quite a turn around, don’t you think?”
“You wouldn’t have seen the light of day had I not thought of you!” What am I saying? I am talking to a ghost!
“Ah, you were bored and this scribbling occupied your time. Your night dreams went into all of us. Your poor husband should not have given you a pen.”
“I wrote on a computer, something you would not know.”
“I don’t care how you wrote. Right now, and until I release you, you’re under my thumb.”
“What do you want with me?” Suddenly, I was scared. My spit would not wet my mouth.
Garrett smiled, but it didn’t mount to his eyes. They remained cold. “I can smell your fear, little lady. Come give me a kiss.”
“You are a jackass. You act like an animal. Leave me alone.”
I tried to rise from my chair, but the anger on his face stopped me.
“Will you stop playing the virgin? It doesn’t fit you at all.”
I was beginning to panic. I had created this character, this man before me, and I knew something of his sexual appetites from the novel. I had created those sexual appetites but didn’t expect them to become an issue before me.
He laughed, apparently reading my thoughts. He must be a demon come to life, or I must be still asleep.
“You created me? I’m from the slime. I’m a mixture of souls throughout time, with all the cocksure ways of manhood. You created something you can’t control, and now you’re afraid? You should have thought down the road, madam. You should be afraid. You think you know my appetites? You don’t know much, because you don’t know me. Not that way. You haven’t the imagination to know what I can do. You are too ignorant of life. Here.”
He pulled me up to him, and grabbed one of my hands and placed it on the front of his breeches. He was hard enough.
“There. Is your curiosity satisfied? You knew some of me, but never enough. You have a poor imagination for a writer. We circled each other like cats all those years, but I played the gentleman. A boring and unnecessary role.”
My face was red. There was no denying I was curious. I wondered a bit what he would be like in the sack. Just daydreams, sitting at my desk. Faced with reality, fear was now trumping that consideration.
He pinned my arms behind my back with one hand. With the other he traced my cheek and neck with a finger, his eyes narrowed into slits. He brought my face to his mouth and kissed me, at first softly – oh the deceiver!- then roughly, forcing my lips with his tongue. He cupped my breast and squeezed my nipple, rolling it between two fingers. He kissed me hard, bending my head back, crushing me to him.
“There. How do you like being kissed by something you think you have made? Have I met your expectations?”
I caught my breath. “I gave you Jennie, you monster!
This was a rather stupid, but I didn’t have much of my wits after that kiss.
“And I thank you for her. She is a sweet little pastry, but I’m hungry. You look like you could feed me for a week.”
“Oh, let me go, you’re not real!”
He pushed me away and rubbed the front of his breeches. “Is this not real enough for you? Then we’ll go where I’ll show you what’s real.”
Grabbing my wrist, he pulled me out the room and up the staircase. I tripped on my shoes as he roughly jerked me up upwards. I was frightened, knowing that this couldn’t be a dream. It was more of a nightmare. The physicality of his behavior belied any dream.
He strode down the hall, pulling me behind him like a ragdoll and opened a door, He flung me into the room where I had awakened probably only an hour before. With his back to the door, he locked it, pocketing the key. I ran to the other bedroom, intending to lock myself in, but he was quick. He threw me on the bed. Now, I was frightened. I was panting.
“’I was panting.’” See, I can read you like a book.” Throwing back his head, he laughed, howling like an animal, like a demon. My stomach flipped, and I cringed back on the pillows. He was more an animal and less a human.
He dragged a chair from a wall and sat facing me, one long leg propped up on the mattress. If I tried to leap from the bed, I would jump right into his arms. He looked at me with half closed eyes, his head cocked to one side.
“Don’t you find it confusing to read Richardson’s “Pamela”, in the middle of writing seduction scenes? Rather you should read Fielding’s “Shamela”….better story, or rather, same story, not so tedious.”
What? How did he know this? How did he know what I read?
What was I dealing with? Was this a ghost or a demon? The icy sweat I felt down my back wasn’t something I was imagining. I had to get control of this nightmare.
“I can snap my fingers and you will be gone,” I said desperately. I closed my eyes and snapped them.
He remained before me grinning, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, looking like a lunatic. “Try again.”
I snapped my fingers. Nothing. The demon lover was still there.
“Ah…you called me ‘lover.’ Perhaps you won’t resist me so hard now.”
“I called you ‘demon lover’. You’re not hearing that first word.”
“You created me. It’s all in your calling.” He sat back and crossed his arms. He looked relaxed and in control of the scene.
“That’s right…and I can uncreate you.”
“You already tried. This conversation is going nowhere. I need a drink. Seduction is hard work.”
He snapped his fingers, and a tankard appeared on the table behind him. “Oh, my apologies. One for you?”
“A small one, please.” I shivered. What had I just done?
“A small one it is.” A snap. Another tankard appeared.
He got up and retrieved the two tankards and reached across the bed, and handed me my drink. I thought of throwing it in his face, and running from the room.
“How far do you think you would get?” I had forgotten his mind reading trick.
“Not far- just testing.
He laughed and drank deeply. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“We’ve been circling each other for years. Don’t you think it’s time we put an end to this charade? A little carnal knowledge would not be amiss. Besides, I already know you want me, have known it for years.” He picked up his tankard, his eyes glittering across the rim.
“You are a cocksure devil!” I would laugh at his presumption, but he was correct. I had created him from my own secret lust, and spared nothing in the doing.
Perhaps a different approach would give me answers and a hand over him.
“Explain to me, Demon, how you have access to me? You are nothing but some scribbles on paper, yet you appear flesh and blood enough now.”
I was more than curious, I was tumbling with fear and trying to regain my feet. I needed something to wake me up. I needed some logic here, some answers. I still believed I was mired in a nightmare.
He put down his tankard and grimaced. “Sometimes there’s a rip in the fabric of time and all hell breaks loose. Dimensions warp and ley lines bulge. The usual workings of a universe gone mad.”
“So I’m here in another dimension?” From the 21st century to the 19th, quite a rip in the fabric, I think.
He grinned into his ale. “For as long as it suits me, and as long as you please me.
“What is it you want?” I looked at him, fearing the answer.
“First, I want to know what’s under those petticoats. That will be good for starters. We can work outward from there.”
He had an interesting concept of seduction. Rather direct, not subtle at all, but intriguing.
By the looks of him, he would be worth the effort. I thought of his kiss, and I grew uncomfortable. My face grew flushed, and his grin told me he knew what was happening between my legs. I wanted him, my sex knew before my head, but I wouldn’t give him the words he wanted to hear. Perhaps I was playing with fire, but a ‘tumble’ would be sort of welcome. Sex hadn’t been on the agenda for a long time. He was too much temptation in the flesh to deny.
Besides, it all was a dream and a wet one at that. I held to that hope as my only window of sanity.
He stood up, stretched, and sat upon the bed. He drew off his waistcoat, one I had embroidered in planning the book, a pretty cream satin with figures. “Flowering” as it said in Pamela. It was just a piece of embroidery I attempted as I thought through the chapters. Here it was a finished piece, and I had never finished any piece of sewing in my life. What part of magic was this? Was this a particular hand of fate?
“You know, you were quite witty in making the links between ‘orchard’ and ‘sex’ in that last chapter. You are my orchard, at least for now. I’ll pick myself an apple.”
Like a tiger he was over me, pinning me down with his weight. The smell of ale was strong. I was backed up on the pillows when he began to unhook the front of my dress. I slapped at his hands, and he laughed. He ripped the front of the dress from my breasts
A literal bodice ripper…..
“There. Now, will you lay still and quit resisting? You know what you want from me. Why play the coy virgin now?”
“Go back to your hell, Demon”. I spat at him, my eyes flashing. He wiped spittle off his face with his sleeve. His eyes shot out a warning I couldn’t miss if I were blind.
“I will go back to my hell, the one you so easily wrote for me. First Lucile cuckolds me then Obadiah sticks in a knife. Did you ever think how painful that was? Finish me off with that dolt Jennie. Ah, God…give me a dish of woman I don’t have to fight or teach.”
He pulled up the skirt of my dress, and spread my legs with his. I had forgotten about those crotchless bloomers. He touched my sex with a finger, watching my response. I jerked at his touch, and he dug deeper into me. I bit my tongue to keep from groaning.
“A neat invention, don’t you think? Easy to get to the pearl in the oyster.
He was a vigorous looking man, with well-muscled arms, and a broad chest. He looked formidable.
“Wait until you see John down there, now he’s formidable. Oh, I forgot, you have seen him, or me, or you think you have seen us. But you only saw my cock in shadows. I always thought you could write that scene better.
How? It was only my first novel and writing sex scenes was hard work. And harder work staying detached.
“Here, place your hand on this cock and tell me if you have ever felt a finer one.”
I pinched the head of it hard and he yelled.
“You witch. You should be glad I’m not Obadiah. Perhaps you would like his kind of lovemaking better, though it usually leads to death. But you know that.”
“I wrote that.”
“Yes, and it was kind of sick.”
“You should talk. Obadiah is a pivotal character. He needs to be the negative, the bad guy, but right now, you serve that purpose just as well.”
“That’s scrambled English. Something you’re good at. Now, lie still and at least enjoy my efforts.”
“Do you like your women like logs? I can be a pillar of salt if you want.”
“Can’t you try to be original? I have a blazing hard-on and I intend to use it.”
I smiled and closed my eyes. I would submit to his pathetic efforts because I was aroused in spite of this scene of insanity, but I would not let him hear any moan of pleasure. He rose between my legs and pulled me to him, and began to enter me. I grunted with his movements. He was bigger than I had imagined (“You got that right” I heard him whisper,”) and he took his time. Would he ever finish?
“No…not until I hear you coo like a turtledove.”
I groaned in spite of myself. My mouth opened and he stuck his finger in. I bit down hard and he laughed. He tried to seek my mouth with his but I would not let him. He laughed and squeezed my ass, lifting me easily. I could not take this much longer and I screamed an unearthly sound from my throat. He reached his shortly after, panting loudly, pinning me under him. He wasn’t a bad lover.
“Ah, again, you called me ‘lover’. I like that. You are growing tender.”
“What would you have me do, Garrett? You have what you want. What more can you do?”
I didn’t have the energy to argue. Besides, that orgasm seeped the fight out of me. I knew I had to be awake. This wasn’t a dream. No dream could sustain this. No dream could create that reality.
All of a sudden I thought about Jennie, his intended in the novel. What had he done with her? If he was capable of materializing before me, of transporting me in some unknown fashion, he was capable of other acts.
“She’s nowhere to be seen. Don’t worry.
“I worry. What have you done with her?”
“Do you mistrust me so much, your own creation? Snap my fingers and erase her?”
“Garrett, you have way too much power. I believe you capable of anything.”
“Well, I am capable of another round of lovemaking, my sweet woman, if you would give me a moment. I need to empty this ale.”
“Don’t you dare use the fireplace, Garrett! I’m wise to your ways from the book.”
“I’ll open a window this time.”