“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 17

Abigor, Arch Duke of Hell, (members.tripod.com)

For Malcolm and Marge and some others who have been reading this story for a long time.

Lady Nyo

Chapter 17

My voice has been muted by my Demon, for he calls me a chatterbox.  I can only look at him and communicate through my eyes, which is a good lesson for me.  Right now, there are large tears falling and I use this to move him to some pity.

Hah! There is no compassion from my Devil!  He sits there and makes faces, and I have gone from frustration to tears in a matter of minutes.  He is an unkind beast, and I am crazy to think I could appeal to some better nature.  I am dealing with a demon, for god’s sake!  What do I expect?

The afternoon turns to dusk, and it darkens outside.   My Devil is now standing at the window, watching the gloom gather.  His senses are sharpened, even his ears are pointed like a bat’s—

“I heard that”, he said not turning around.  “It will be time to leave soon, so wipe your eyes and gather your courage.  And curb your venom.  Remember who holds you in relative safety tonight.”

He turns and smiles.  Ah! I hate him and love him at the same time!

He leaves me some privacy, and I am thankful. Usually he abuses his power of reading my mind, and now I realize just how worried he is.  I could think an insult to taunt him, but he is deep into matters.

He turns back to the window, and then lowering his voice: “It’s time.”

He kisses me gently on the lips and I enter a darkness, insensate.

I awake to the night, as he walks through woods, a sword in his right hand.  I am on his left, and he is holding me firmly by the hand, dragging me behind him. I am almost blinded by the dark, feeling like I am swimming through warm water.

The night is dark, only a gibbous moon in the sky. It must have risen earlier when I was asleep.  The trees are almost invisible, except for the fireflies that look like white Christmas lights among the branches. I think a minute.  Fireflies are in the summer, not the dead of winter.  Garrett squeezes my hand, he knows I am anxious and I try not to look around.

We come out in a clearing, and there’s a few burning torches illuminating the area.  Seems to be a million fireflies about us, but now I think it is something different, something unnatural.

There, at the center of the clearing, as we draw near, is a man sitting on a stump of a tree.  He is rather robust, of indeterminate age, but has a full white beard coursing down his chest. Dressed all in black, but of a style of an ancient age, he has a large white ruff around his neck, and what appears to be gold buttons down two sides of his bodice.

A large, black dog sits at his feet. It might be a wolf.  Whatever it is, the animal is chained to the stump. Red eyes are glowing in the light of the torches. Rather an unearthly scene, and one to raise the hairs on my arms.

The man is Abigor, the Grand Duke of Hell, as my Demon has mentioned.  Garrett shifts me to his right side, slightly behind him, and approaches no nearer than ten feet from the duke.  I hear him take a deep breath, and see him bow.  I wait with my curtsey, and look at Abigor seated on his stump.  He looks like a pleasant enough fellow.

Garrett addresses Abigor.  I am not only mute, but I can’t hear their exchange.  I do see Abigor nod his head, so I guess they are talking.  I try not to look around but the temptation is too great, and I glance up at the trees to my right.  A sweet voice is talking to me, but I can hardly hear it. I swallow something that has entered my mouth.  Suddenly, I remember Garrett’s words and I stamp my foot softly.  The voice stops.  Whatever it was I swallowed has become bitter. I spit out what appears to be dirt.  A twittering arose in the trees.  My Demon looked at me from the corner of his eyes. It was enough of a warning.  Behave, girl.

Now I could hear Abigor talk in a low rumble.  Garrett answered in the same way. It was as if they were on an alien wave length, the decibels  too deep for mortal ears.  I tried to look at the ground before me, and not let my eyes stray.   A soft breeze circled my bare feet, and it was warm and soothing.  Again, I stamped my foot, this time with more force.  I screwed up my face in a threatening scowl, and again the woods tittered.  Suddenly there was silence, a total emptiness of sound.  Even the ‘fireflies’ dimmed. I heard Abigor addressing me.

“Come here, woman, come closer. Let me see your features.”

I looked at my Demon beside me, and he nodded his head slightly.  I walked to within five feet of Abigor and gave him my lowest curtsey.  He smiled a tender smile at me, but I would not be put off guard.  He was the Grand Duke of Hades for god’s sake!  An Arch Demon.  A false smile if ever there was one.

“Ah! She has courage, your woman”, said Abigor.

He looked at Garrett and something flew between them.

“She is not exactly the age of a breeder.  Is there something else to make her of value to you?”

I heard my Demon give a short laugh and say I was entertaining, and that he knew he could breed me.  I was a fast learner and had values beyond the obvious.

“Ah. Turn around, woman, so I may see these things that keep my kin in thrall.”  I turned around a full circle for him slowly.  I did not realize that the gown I had been dressed in was transparent to all other eyes except mine.  The reason for coloring my nipples and sex was so they were highlighted to peering eyes.

“She had other features that keep me amused, Father.”

I heard my Demon list my ‘values’ to him.

“She cooks well, and embroiders, and can fence a bit.  She plies her hand at writing, and her script is readable.  She is a bit of a talker, so I have muted her for your pleasure. She is a good harem dancer, and sings on key enough.  She can fly a falcon and shoot a straight arrow, and mostly does as she is told.  You yourself, Grand Duke, know these mortal women are needing correction and training in our ways. She amuses me enough to keep her around.”

“Do you think she will be a good breeder, Garrett, my son?”

“I haven’t yet tried her on that.  I have used a camelstone, Father, because I wanted to see her develop in our ways first.  If she does as I expect, and does as I please, I should breed her in short time.”

“Your other children, Garrett.  Have any of them survived to call you father?”

“No, Abigor.  They have all died in the wars.  Their mothers were not pleasing, but convenient for the time.  This one, this woman, has more…ah…potential.”

“You know that another has made a claim on her?  Your old friend, Obadiah.”  Abigor coughed and black smoke shot from his mouth.  “Would you slay Obadiah to keep her?”

“I would slay Obadiah for many other reasons, Father. And yes, I would slay him to keep this woman.  She pleases enough for me to bother.”

“The claim Obadiah has made, does it not turn you away from her?  We hear it was particularly insulting to your stature, my son.”

“If she gave herself willingly to Obadiah, I would have killed her myself.  But she was raped, and had no defenses against him.  Therefore, she is blameless.”

“Ah, Obadiah has been known for his violence.  I believe that you suffered from his actions?”

“Yes, Father, and I don’t mean to again.”

“You know Obadiah has appealed to the same Bench of Hell?”

“I would suppose he would do so.  We both know the channels.”

“Then I will let you know my decisions in a matter of time. Continue to prepare for your battle, and draw your defenses carefully. I will remark upon your visit here with the others.  And son, if you want this mortal woman as bad as you seem to, keep her close.  Obadiah has a lust that is legendary.  He will steal her for the pleasure of nothing.”

My Demon bowed deeply, as I hurried back to his side.  Then, putting his arm around me, he passed his hand over my eyes, and I went into the darkness again.  I did hear a faint twittering up in the trees as I supposed we passed out of the clearing and through the woods again.

——

I found myself in bed, exhausted with the past whatever had happened and wondered if it was all a dream.  But the circlet of gold on my forehead bit into my skin, and I knew that something ‘real’ enough had happened.

My Demon Lover was sitting at the fire, staring into it intently, puffing on his pipe.

I called his name hoarsely, apparently my voice restored.

“So, you awaken! And did you have a pleasant dream?”  His eyes glittered in the firelight.

I sat up on the side of the bed.  “You are not going to try and persuade me all was a dream?  I have the rouge here to prove that something happened this night.”

“So! You remember our walk in the woods and our chance meeting with a pleasant old man?

“Ah, Demon!  Spare me your riddles.  I remember all that happened.  When you stopped up my voice, my ears became sharper.  Apparently my memory, too.

He looked at me, a meager grin on his face. “And what else do you remember?”

“Too much, Demon, to please me!  I remember you listing my attributes like a race horse, and something about breeding me.  I remember also the sounds of the woods, the laughter of something and the lights in the trees.  They were demons, weren’t they?”

“I told you Abigor travels with an entourage.  And yes, they were not summer’s fireflies.”  He blew out a puff of smoke and grinned broadly at me.  I could tell he was pleased with his interview.

“Stopping up your mouth probably made all the difference in the outcome here.  There was definitely a danger of both of us becoming cinders.”

“But you called him ‘father’ and he called you ‘son’.  Would he have done harm to you?”

“Ah! That.  Just a politeness among devils.  He isn’t my father and I’m not his son.  It’s just a way of showing courtesy.”

He puffed on his pipe.  “And yes, he could strike me down easily, and would if he fancied it.  I think he took a shine to you, though.”  He grinned and his teeth glittered in the firelight.  I thought of the fireflies.

Great.  To catch the eye of another demon.  The powers of womankind.  Mortal womankind.

“Don’t they have enough she-devils to fill their beds?”

Garrett looked at me and laughed.  “Oh no.  No, no, no.  You don’t want to bed a she- demon for long.  They sap your strength, and you wake up in the morning and she’s a hag.  No, not pleasant at all.  A mortal woman has no magic that can be used against you, especially when she is in your arms and you are inside her.

I shivered at his words.  What a culture of deceit.  No wonder he was riddled with issues.

“Come here, darling, and let me check you for marks.  Those demons tempted you fast, but you handled it well.  Let me see if they left anything to worry about.”

I got out of bed and came before him at the fire.  He snapped his fingers and the gown disappearedl

“Gossamer stuff.  Tends to dissolve like that.  I was sure Abigor would entertain his legion there with a snap of his fingers.”  My eyes grew wide.

“Turn around slowly, sweetwoman, and let me look at you closely.”  I noticed he put down his pipe on the floor.  Taking my arms, he pulled me between his legs, and turned me around for his inspection.  He passed his hands down my back and circled my fanny. He turned me around and pulled me close and put his head between my breasts.

“Ah, the smell of a uncharred woman.  You got lucky tonight.  We both did.”

There seemed to be a time where all reason was suspended.  This night was of that.

Actually, from the moment the four frogs hopped in the room, and covered me with frog spit, my belief in my sanity had been put aside. It was a very confusing time for me, and my Demon Lover tries my patience sorely.  But all in all, as he said, we got lucky tonight.

Just hope I wake up tomorrow without blisters.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009, 2010

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6 Responses to ““Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 17”

  1. Malcolm Miller Says:

    A beautiful illustration with the real feeling of woman in the power of a demon. And the chapter showed yet more light on Garrett and Abigor, yet in the presence of many devils our protagonist kept both her independent spirit and her own kind of quiet defiance and survived. It’s a story so different from most that I am always intrigued and eager to find out what happens next. How much initiative can demons choose to allow women so that they aren’t boringly compliant is a lasting question that’s always apparently balanced on a razor’s edge of disaster.

    Like

  2. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! You need to be writing this novel, Malcolm, because I think you have a keener insight into the issues of demons/women/etc….than I do.

    But I am constantly surprised at the development of the characters. When you ‘trust’ them, when you believe in their possibilities…they can surprise you….and they do.

    And that is the wonderful thing about writing: you are as entertained as anyone else reading….sure there are great issues of confusion where to go when you write, but the discovery of the chatter and character development (such as it is…) is rewarding.

    There is a whole section of chapters that have the distinct possibility of being a pointless detour….and that’s about a 1/3 of the book so far. I am thinking of deleting them because they take the story far afield…and perhaps that is a diversion to the coherency of the story?

    My particular Demons of Hell….have a desire to remember that part of them….probably many millenniums ago….that part of them that came from the human. They are not all totally evil creatures….but struggle to move closer to the part of humanity that gave them a start. There are only a few in this lexicon who are devoid of humanity…and Abigor isn’t one of them. I think.

    In any case, fashioning these characters…or them revealing themselves to me…is actually a work of love. And pure evil is banal….it’s the human parts that make it terrifying.

    Thank you for reading and your comments, Malcolm. I learn a lot from readers…probably more than they know.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  3. Malcolm Says:

    You’re right about the ‘human’ part of a demon’s motivation being the most frightening. But have another look at that picture of the demon and the woman. Isn’t the demon really a Fallen Angel? Aren’t those wings we see at his back? And doesn’t this mean that he’s given his loyalty not to the Good but to the Dark Side? Or am I too influenced by Milton’s great poetic drama? This is also a mythology, and there must be stories in that!

    Like

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Exactly, Malcolm! It’s a fallen Angel. I picked this pix…though I knew it would be provocative indeed, because it did speak to the condition of Garrett, M. Demon in the book.

    Milton….it’s been many years since I read him…and it’s time again to do so!

    Thank you, Malcolm, for reading and your intriguing and informative comment: Milton is so full of stories and mythology goes on and on….

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  5. Berowne Says:

    If Hell is filled with lusty demons and well-endowed unclad horizontal ladies pursuing activities of mutual benefit as the image depicts, the wages of sin begin to look rather attractive. This is not what I understood from my Sunday School lessons.

    Of course it may be that Heaven is even better. Hmm. You have raised here an interesting eroto-theological question.

    Like

  6. ladynyo Says:

    Since both…in my opinion don’t exist….except in the mind of….oh forget it! Politics and religion are a no-no for discussion…

    Well, that photo grabbed my eye..and it was purely opportunism in using it.

    Was rather eye catching, n’est-ce pas?

    Like

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