“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 16

4 Frogs....

My husband came across this early chapter in the second novel I wrote…still to be reworked and hopefully published.  He laughed and thought it had promise, and since I am lazy today…I decided to post it.

It’s not offensively sexual, but unless you are sensitive to frogs, I apologize.

CHAPTER 16, ” DEVIL”S REVENGE”

The Demon has left me alone for the last three days.  I am a bit worried for he has spent many hours in his library, pouring over large books.  He strides out the front door of the house, with neither a nod in my direction nor a kiss, and I am left to await his return.  When he leaves, I return to my room, but I am at liberty to visit the bedroom that opens to mine.  It is his, though he never seems to use it. Perhaps he sleeps hanging from the ceiling like a bat, his arms wrapped tightly around him?

It is a room with a high bed, old dusty curtains making up the enclosing draperies and a shotgun in a near corner.  He would just have to stretch and it would be in his hands.  I look at it, knowing something about shotguns, but this gun is ancient.  I don’t touch but it looks very heavy, with a scrolled and embossed silver plate, badly tarnished on the breech.  It probably killed many times.  It is evil looking as all guns are to me.

I looked out the one window of this room. My room is a corner room with more windows and trees close to the house.  His window gives me a clear and unobstructed view of the countryside that stretched for miles. It is mid January now, and is as bleak as it was in December.  The skies, a uniform gray, are no different this month and the ground is brittle and dun colored.  There is little of life outside, except for a hawk that flies each day, patrolling its territory.  The Demon knows it to be another devil, a lesser one called Arachula, the evil spirit of the air.   He said this demon turns into an owl at dusk and sits in the tree outside of our bedroom, watching. Garrett stands at the window, silently communing with this spirit, but won’t comment on what passes between them.  Perhaps he has an agreement with the owl to protect the house from monsters.  Who knows?  It is all beyond my understanding.

This morning, I sit quietly flowering another vest for him.  He has constantly worn the one I made for him, and it shows its wear.  The floss I used is becoming worn, and pulling from the fabric.  I am forever cutting off little unraveling ends. This floss is silk, not cotton, and sinks into the fabric, and looks like it will be stronger.  It is a tree limb with many different kinds of flowers and leaves, with autumn colors, and at the top, an elaborate orchid, with tiny seed pearls worked in the blossom.  It is something to occupy my hands while I await his return.  It is something that allows me to not think too deeply.

I believe he has gone off to consult with different Demons of his own tribe.  I am guessing you could call it a tribe, but not knowing the hierarchy of his dominion, I am only guessing. He tells me little, and is strangely, for him, silent.  This is a definite turn in his behavior, and disturbs me. It tells me he is very preoccupied with his present business.  I do miss his easy conversation, as I have grown accustomed to his wit. I hope it returns as his behavior now is scary.  Too much the man and not enough the funny devil.

Suddenly he is in the room, and I look up, surprised.

“Good Morning, Devil!  Don’t you look handsome today!”

He smiles and sits down in his usual chair.   He has dressed himself in a different manner, and I continue to stare.  He wears a dark green frock coat, with deep cuffs and silver buttons.  It is long, to his hips, and under is a rich, silver brocade waistcoat, embroidered with leaves. A stock closely wrapped about his neck, clean linen shirt under the waistcoat, black breeches and shiny black boots completes his costume.  He looks quite formal in dress.  And quite charming.  He is obviously dressed for an important occasion.

“Goedemorgen, Bess.  Tonight we make our appearance before Abigor and it is good we put our best foot forward.”

He smiles at me and I am a bit apprehensive. I immediately think of cloven hooves.

“Ah. An appearance.  As in being presented to a Demon that you except favors from?”

“Abigor is the Grand Duke of Hell, and I would remind you to curb your comic thoughts about him.  If you think I read your mind fast, he is faster.  He is pleasant enough, but there are limitations.  And he doesn’t take well to mortals.  He is annoyed by free will.”

Great.  Now I don’t only have to fear this Demon invading my thoughts, but his granddaddy as well.

If he reads my mind, he ignores me. I seem to be compounding my ‘mistakes’.   Perhaps I am losing my mind.

“First you will have to take the bath and dress in a gown provided for your appearance.

Arginutin has loaned you the handmaidens I promised.  They are soon to appear.   They will assist you in this.”

Arginutin is the demon who has dominion over baths and bathing places.  Like the Turkish baths?

“Don’t let your wit run away with you today.  I need you sober and submissive.”

“Ah! About that submissive stuff, I was wondering if”…

“Don’t wonder.  Don’t even think.  You will be surrounded by forces who will be confusing enough.  Remain by my side, slightly behind my right side, and if things get nasty, grab onto the back of my coat.”

“Are there to be more than one Demon we are visiting now?”  I am apprehensive enough with this Abigor.

“Abigor travels with his own…ah, cabinet.  He will be visible to you, but only he.  Perhaps a large dog or wolf, or some monster at his feet.  The others will be there, but invisible.  Do not get curious and look around.  If one catches your eyes, he could charm you away, and I’ll have more trouble on my hands.”

We hear a scratching at the door, and my Demon calls out ‘enter’.  The door opens and four greenish frogs enter the room.  They are large frogs, at least 4 feet tall.  But they are frogs.  I start to laugh, and Garrett looks at me with a scowl.  I must be losing my mind.

“Go in the other bedroom with them and do as they say.”

“As they croak?”  He smiles a sly smile, “As they croak.”

“Will I get warts ?”

“Bess, don’t push this morning.  If you anger them, they could cover you with worse.”

I trail the frogs into the bedroom where a copper slipper tub is sitting on the floor.  The fire is lit in the fireplace and the four frogs take places around the tub.  There they start to fill the tub with ‘water’ from their throats, like fountains.  I watch for a moment and then it dawns on me.  My bath.  I return to the other room where I find Garrett, the Demon, sitting before the fireplace, smoking his white clay pipe.

“Ah, Garrett…..the frogs are spitting in my bath.”

He looks up at me, and grins. “Don’t worry.  You’ll like the effects.  Like asses milk. Good for the skin.”

I look at him blankly, and go back in with the frogs.  The water is foaming, and looks milky.  Two frogs start to remove my petticoat and bodice, and their little claws scratch my skin.  They don’t croak a word, and they lead me to the tub, where I climb in.  It’s not exactly warm, frogs being amphibians, cold blooded and all, and I try to suppress an image of frog legs on a plate.  One of the frogs croaks pointedly, and I mumble ‘sorry’ to him.  They have little sponges on their pads and wash my hair with their…. spit.  One frog spits more of his saliva onto my hair, rinsing it with a blast of frog spit in my face.  I believe that was on purpose, as I sputter and they all give a low croak.  I think they are laughing at me.  They are none too gentle in washing me, either.  One picks up an arm and another does the same, and they rub hard. Two pick up my legs, I feel like a wishbone right now.  The ‘chief’ frog, the one that is slightly darker and taller than the other three, plunges into the water and washes between my legs.  I see his face as he busies himself down there, and there is a decidedly sly frog- smile on his…ah, face.  They pull me down in the water by my legs as their way of rinsing, and sputtering, I am helped from the bath.  Four towels appear in their paws and they are none too gentle in their rubbing. I think they get some pleasure in making my skin red with their efforts.

Standing there, naked, surrounded by these frog servants, I would laugh but they take themselves so seriously.  Plus I am afraid of warts.  The chief frog, for that is what I believe him to be, stands before me, looking intently at my body.  He croaks something in his language to the others and there is a hearty croaking.   Now I know they are laughing at me, I just don’t know what part they find so amusing.

I am led to the bed, where I lay naked on the coverlet.  Since I don’t see any little penises, I am not afraid of frog rape.  However, they have little pots of something in their paws and start to paint different parts of my body with a soft, brick- red powder.  They paint my lips, cheeks, fingernails and toenails, rouge my nipples, and then the chief frog comes between my legs and none to gently spreads them.  He rouges my sex with the powder, and seems to work at it more time than necessary.  I see that sly frog- smile again between my legs.

I stand up and two frogs bring a beautiful gown to me.  It is green or purple– no it is both colors, iridescent, and changes in the light.  It is a light silk and they float it over my head.  It fits, but hugs my body in places.  They all give a croak of approval. They brush out my hair and the chief frog places a circlet of spun gold around my forehead.  I am barefoot, but apparently, no shoes are necessary with frogs.

They lead me back into the bedroom where the Demon is sitting, and present me to him.  He looks at me, and his eyes widen.  I think he is pleased.  He smiles and bows to the frogs.  I curtsey to them and they look pleased.  They file out the door, and then are gone.

“Wasn’t too bad an ordeal now, was it?”  He looked at me appraisingly, his head to the side.

“Garrett!  I am covered with frog spit! Maybe in your world this is normal, but in mine?”

I started to laugh; I could easily become hysterical.

“Any warts?”

“No, not that I can tell.”

“Good. Because if they took offense, you would now be covered in large, red welts.”

Well, that was the good news.  “What happens next?”

“We turn up at the appointed time and I make a leg.”

“And what do I do?”

“You are very quiet, don’t breathe a word, and for your Goddess’ sake, don’t think a thing.  Try to remain blank.  Though do present a pretty curtsy, and mean it when I present you.”  He grimaces at me.  “Do not be mocking in your behavior or you might end up a cinder.”

Ah! That was good to know.  I was really scared now!

“Do not lose courage, little woman.  You will get used to the procedure, for we will be doing the same in a round of visits.  I am building my influence here, and calling in favors.”

“Will Obadiah be doing the same?”  I was curious.

He sighed deeply, and looked at me.  “Yes, he will.  It will be a race to see who develops their forces first.  That first strike can mean an early victory.”

“And I assume, who gets me?”  He looked at me in a strange way, and drew me onto his lap.

“Sit here a spell.  We have some time yet.  The gathering isn’t until dusk.  Let me smell your mortal woman smell.  That will create a stronger bond.  It’s more than appearances to these devils, but appearances are important.”

I sat on his lap, and leaned my still frog-spit damp hair on his shoulder.  He wrapped his arms around me and held me to his chest.  Ah, he was so tender this day!

“Explain something to me, Garrett.  Why is it again that I am needed in your dimension? What is it about mortals that make us desired?”

“Not all mortals are desired, my darling.  You have shown a free imagination and a certain intelligence.  That is how you attracted the Old Ones in the first place.  It’s not that they read much, but they sensed something usable in you.”

Sounds like he was describing a ‘devil’s plaything’. Nice.

“Have you ever heard of “Abd-ru-shin”?

“No, should I have?”

“Not necessarily.  There are a couple of reincarnations made from the original.  He was an Arab who wrote about humans and personal responsibility.  He also wrote, and is most famous for, beliefs on human free will.  He believed that humans, mortals if you will, had a neutral Creative Power.  They were between worlds….yours and others.  Applies to different dimensions, too.  You are what is called a ‘carrier.’  You can go between worlds and dimensions, with a bit of magic.”

“That’s where you come in?”

“Partly.”  He scowled heavily at some thought.  “Of course, other spirits and demons will want to use you, too.  I’ll have to be on guard you don’t get squired away.”

I felt like some giant, immortal mail service.  I had to laugh.  He read my thought but wasn’t in a humorous mood.

“You look fetching in that gown. The frogs did a good job with you. Now listen to me carefully.  You are a bit too fetching for my tastes.  At least outside this room.  I want you to grab onto my coat and stay there.  Don’t lose contact with me.  There are going to be strange forces around you, and some that will enter your mind.  Don’t allow them to muddle your thoughts.  Just think of me. Only  me.  There will be temptations abounding and these are a pack of tricky devils.  I would attend to him alone, but they all want to see why Obadiah and I are fighting.  If you feel an arm, or a breath or a tentacle touch you or go up your gown, stamp your foot.  That should break their spell.  If that doesn’t work, pull on my coat.  That will get my attention.  But remember I will be making my case to Abigor, and this is strong business between devils.  Try not to interrupt.”

Oh god!  I am to blank out my mind, avoid the tentacles going up my legs, not be open to suggestions from other demons in the area, and not lose contact with his coat! And to remember to stomp my foot if I am tempted.

“Why not just leave me here in the room? Seems a lot of trouble for you.”

“I could do that, and easily, but it is not what’s on the agenda.  You are a prize, and right now mine, and I aim to keep it that way.  That is why Abigor is pivotal here.  He also predicts the future. So, just remember what I have said, and please!  Be submissive!”

If there was any time that I felt more submissive, I couldn’t remember.  Right now, I wanted to be so submissive as to disappear.  I was clearly out of my league with his fellow creatures.  The frogs were benign in comparison.

“Just for the visit, I am going to put a little charm on you.  Just for safety, my own as well as yours.”  He passed his hand over my tinted lips, and I felt nothing. I started to ask a question, and I had no voice. I was mute!

“Good. It works. Hard to tell sometimes, you are such a chatterbox.”  He smiled down at me and I flashed my outrage and anger from my eyes.  My mouth was useless.

“Don’t worry, sweetwoman..  After the visit, I’ll loosen your tongue again, and you can put it to good use thanking me.”

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009,2010

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2 Responses to ““Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 16”

  1. Malcolm Miller Says:

    I remembered this from the first time I read it. Loved the frogs. Don’t know that it needs any re-writing.

    Like

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Malcolm!

    I think I gave it a brush up a while ago….must have, it’s not awkward…LOL!

    Yeppers, I love the frogs, too. They figure in a little more…or their ‘spiritual advisor’ does later.

    Looking back over these chapters, it was such fun to write. And when a novel doesn’t have at least some of that aspect for the writer?? Why write it?

    Some chapters are marching in place, and they probably will be deleted this summer….but my husband has implored me to keep the Celtic phase towards the end…and there is so much of that leading from the earlier parts of the book….it would really take a lot of ‘stuff’ out of the story….

    So I will see how it looks when I do a quick reread. And that’s the problem for most writers of novels: we can’t stop ourselves from refining each chapter as we reread it…instead of attempting an overview.

    That is so necessary…with notes….

    Thanks, Malcolm….poetry is a little thin right now because of “Kimono” but should pick up WITH that novel soon. These things should be natural springboards back and forth.

    Thanks for reading and your comments, always, Malcolm.

    Peace!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

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