‘Devil’s Revenge’, Chapter 43, for some Summer Reading Fun….

I came across this last chapter (so far) of “Devil’s Revenge” and thought I would post it.  It’s funny, or at least it made me laugh.

I have lost the corrections of this chapter twice so I appreciate the indulgence of readers.  I’ll get to them.

Explanations:

Those bothersome rips in the Universe and ley lines….. Chapter 43 takes place in the 1820′s….a dinner party.

Madame/Monsieur Gormosy is a Demon.  shape shifter and also the Demon of Lust.  There are a few of them, but M/Mde Gormosy enjoys cohabiting in both sexes.

M. Abigor is the top daddy…very close to the throne.  He was featured in Chapter 32 on this blog.  He is he most powerful demon in the room.

M. Bucon is a terrible Devil.  He’s the Demon of Hatred Between Sexes…

M. Garrett is half and half….human and devil.  Bess is fully human and terribly confused with life amongst devils.

Someday these Demons and Devils will leave and I will be lonely.

Lady Nyo


Chapter 43  “DEVIL’S REVENGE”

The bedroom door flew open and Garrett strode in.

“It’s been decided. It’s to be a duel.”

I looked at him, my mouth open in surprise, and twisted around to Madame Gormosy. She was arranging my hair and had a mouthful of pins. She shrugged, her eyebrows raised high and spit the pins into her hand.

“Bon. So tell us about this duel.”

Garrett leaned against the mantel. He grimaced, passed his hand over his face, and pulled at his lips, looking distracted by his thoughts.

“Better you both know we will be entertaining some devils tonight. M. Abigor will be one of them.”

His face dropped in a scowl and I felt Madame’s hands hard on my shoulders. Perhaps she knew more than she showed.

M. Abigor again! Well, I already knew he was an Arch Duke of Hell and a military adviser. He was also a healer but what that had to do with this situation I hadn’t a clue. Perhaps he replaced the lopped off limbs and bound up the wounds after battle.

But Garrett said ‘devils’. M. Abigor struck enough terror in my heart, but the presence of more?

“Who’s rounding out the company?” Trying to sound nonchalant, but my voice still shook.

Garrett looked a bit spooked and his eyes went straight to Madame Gormosy.

“M. Bucon will be dining with us.”

Bucon! The father of Obadiah! My stomach hit the bottom of my gut.

Again Madame Gormosy’s hands tightened on my shoulders.

“Do not fear, ma petite. M. Abigor is his equal and more. Nothing will happen to you tonight.”

Soothing words, but the look that passed between them was not reassuring.

Bucon was not a devil to dismiss easily. Another official from Hell, commanding a lot of legions of lesser devils, and the Demon of Hatred to boot. The Demon of Hatred between sexes. A real troublemaker let loose in the world.

Not to mention Obadiah’s father.

When I was writing the original novel, the one where all these queer and dangerous characters came from, little did I know what lay ahead. Now my life was at the mercy of more devils and I didn’t have any angels appearing in the fray. These were the forces surrounding me and little else to depend upon.

“I have a particular problem, Louis.” Garrett’s words were spoken softly, his eyes riveted to Madame.

That was strange for Madame appeared as a woman, certainly Louise, not Louis.

“Ah, life is always a problem. How can I be of service, Garrett?”

“I will need a second.”

I stiffened. Of course! But why not Abigor?

Garrett looked at me, reading my mind.

“For the simple reason that Abigor is an Arch Duke, and for him to be a second in this matter would not be a level playing field. Demons are tricky, but we do have ethics.”

I started to laugh but saw his expression. This was not a time for debate or levity.

Startled, I heard a voice not of Madame’s behind me, but of Monsieur Gormosy.

“But of course, mon ami. I am at your service. It should be no other devil than Louis. We have done well through the years. We have a bit of a blood bond, n’est ce pas?”

Garrett was not one to express gratitude easily. He was more likely to deflect an open show of gratitude with sarcasm, witty remarks. An expression of gratitude came hard to this demon. But something had changed, perhaps his pride or another human part.. Now his face showed relief.

He bowed stiffly to “Madame” still behind me, a bow expressing his profound gratitude..

We gathered together in the large sitting room before meeting our guests. . The house was ablaze with candles, and every fireplace stoked with a good fire. I supposed all done with magic, the particular devilish magic Garrett and Madame had shown before, but I was to be surprised at their invention.

Garrett said little as he poured sherry into two glasses, handing me one with a little bow. I had been tucked and pinned into a brocade gown, more the style of a few decades earlier, but this was not my choice. Madame Gormosy appeared with this gown and dressed me. It was not the loose and flowing gowns of the present 1820’s but a gown of more structure: a gown needing the benefit of a tight full corset and petticoats. I could barely breathe. My hair was pinned high on my head with one sausage curl falling across my shoulder. At least Madame did not powder my hair. A pair of pearl drop earrings and one gold bracelet was extracted from her jewelry box and I was presentable. Of course she insisted I wear rouge and a moue on one side of my face.

Garrett seemed pleased with my appearance when he escorted me into the sitting room, but since I had worn a dressing gown with uncombed hair for days, this change in appearance would please anyone.

“You do look fetching, Bess, perhaps a bit too fetching for the company. Abigor is known for his charm with mortal women and I don’t want him distracted by such a choice morsel.”

“Are you worried about M. Abigor at this stage of the game? I would think both of your minds would be well occupied with the issue at hand.”

Garrett grunted, his mind quickly elsewhere besides my ‘fetching’ appearance. I could tell he was worried because he paced the room. It surprised me to see him so agitated, but then again, considering the company for dinner, what would one expect?

Suddenly there were soft strains of music, seemingly floating upon the air. It was chamber music, sounding like Handel or Haydn, though I could not exactly identify the composer. It was not perfectly played, for every so often I would hear a badly bowed passage, either lagging in tempo or gratingly out of tune. Then some cursing. A muffled screech and the music would begin again.

Garrett gave a short laugh, more like a snort.

“We have servants galore tonight, my darling. Of course, they are all minor devils, but useful under the circumstances.”

I must have looked confused, but that competed with fear.

“The devils are courtesy of M. Abigor, Bess. They are just a soupcon of his power,—his devoted legions. He has many surprises up his dark sleeves tonight. He is to be the host of this little dinner party.”

“Where is Madame tonight, Garrett? Shouldn’t she be appearing soon?”

“Ah. I am depending upon Gormosy to show. This dinner would be lacking a certain element if that one didn’t.”

Speak of the Devil, and “Madame” Gormosy appeared in the doorway. But it was no more Madame than a cat. It was Monsieur Gormosy in a white powdered wig, black velvet coat with a red and gold embroidered waistcoat. His white silk stockings sagged a bit around his thin calves, but I would imagine his physique, as Monsieur was the same as Madame, would be similar, baring a few differences for the change in sex.

I stared at him, forgetting my manners. He was a smart looking little peacock, with the makeup men of the French aristocracy affected in the previous century, perhaps before they went to meet Madame La Guillotine. There was something striking about Louis Gormosy, even dangerous, tonight, something I didn’t feel when he was Madame Gormosy. Perhaps it was the slim sword he wore at his side. But perhaps it was that I knew him to be quite the devil. I would have to have faith in him and his trickery, but my confidence would have meant nothing here. It was all of Garrett’s choosing. The evening and the outcome rested in both the hands of Garrett and M. Abigor.

“Bonsoir, Madame Bess, you are looking ravishing tonight.” He bowed an elegant little bow and I inclined my head with a broad smile. I couldn’t help it. Such a change in appearance from female to male, but still the same ‘man’.

“And you, M. Garrett? Are you feeling up to the evening?” He delivered this with another little bow.

Garrett gave a thin smile and poured Louis Gormosy a glass of sherry and presented it to him.

“D’accord Louis. Tonight is only the beginning. I am grateful for your presence, my old friend.”

Again the music was heard, this time the small chamber orchestra seemed to be doing a bit better, with only a few sour notes and no cursing. I listened and started to relax a little. Perhaps it was more the sherry than the music.

Garrett and Louis Gormosy had moved to the far end of the room, by the large windows fronting the house, perhaps talking about the coming evening. I could see a little argument forming between them as one would shake his head, and the other would stomp his foot. I had to laugh a little. “Monsieur” Gormosy, in his stamping his elegant little foot, still claimed the behaviors of Madame.

Nerves were to be expected tonight because their future….our very lives, rode upon the alliances and the strength of them.

We both heard the clip clop of horses, and a carriage with gleaming lanterns came across the front windows. I looked at Garrett, expecting him to greet his guests at the door, but he just winked.

I heard soft footsteps and saw a man with a white wig, dressed in red cross my vision as he went to the door. I raised my eyes to Garrett, and he smiled.

“More of M. Abigor’s magic?”, I asked.

“A bit more. The evening will be entertaining. I promise you won’t be bored.”

I heard voices and within moments M. Abigor was in the room, bowing first to Garrett and then to M. Gormosy. I rose from my chair and looked at M. Abigor, unsure of what to say or do besides a general greeting.

“Ah! Madame! You look lovely this evening. You grow more beautiful each time I see you.”

He was his most elegant as he bowed over my hand and when he raised his head, I saw nothing disturbing in his dark eyes. I believe he knew what had happened to me when we met that first time. Perhaps Madame Gormosy informed him of my suffering, but then perhaps such a powerful demon knows what he does. He counts on it. It’s part of his power and control of beings around him. Usually there are no accidents with devils.

Suddenly the room was colder. A short figure stood in the doorway looking hard at me and I shivered in spite of the heat of the fire.

It was M. Bucon, the father of Obadiah. The father of the man who had raped me those months ago. He was followed by a woman, but in no way did she appear quite human. There was something about her appearance that just wasn’t ‘right’.

Garrett face hardened as M. Abigor made introductions, and he gave a stiff, short bow to M. Bucon. M. Gormosy gave him a wide grin, but there was nothing friendly about it.. I was introduced by M. Abigor but M. Bucon only nodded his head in acknowledgement. Thankfully, he did not bend over my hand.

“May I present Madame D’Aberge. She is visiting and M. Abigor thought she would be an interesting addition to your dinner.”

Madame D’Aberge made her curtsey and whipped out her fan. She had frizzy white hair piled high on her head, a face painted chalk white and a red cupid-bow mouth. Two large circles of rouge sat like pompoms on her cheeks and her eyebrows were painted black wings threatening to fly from her forehead. I smiled and gave her a curtsey and she again curtsied and fluttered her fan. Clearly she was some lessor demon rustled up for this event, a way to round out the company with feminine presence.

My first impression of M. Bucon was this: he was an unimpressive man, neither attractive in face or figure. I was surprised he didn’t wear a wig, as the other two men did. Garrett never did, but pulled his hair back in a pigtail for formal occasions.

M. Bucon was short, rather rotund, and badly balding. It looked like moths had attacked his head, for though he had hair on the front of his head and around the bottom, all between were patches of burnt, dark skin and little attempt to coax his remaining hair into something that was presentable. But perhaps the most prominent feature was his mouth: though his lips were not without form, his face seemed to fall naturally into a sneer. He had a peculiar way of closing one eye as he looked at a person, and a disdainful manner. If I had seen him on the street I would not have noticed him. Here in the house, in a sitting room illuminated by the soft lights of tapers and a good fire, he seemed out of place amongst the natural elegance of the other three men. Perhaps M .Bucon evoked contempt in all he met, and therefore he responded with hatred?

Again the music floated into the room and those devils weren’t doing a bad job of it. A little Corelli, a violin solo that sounded like bad Vivaldi, perhaps some obscure Handel, and here and there a taper appeared to light a corner or grace a sideboard. It was if an invisible servant were placing candles to illuminate parts of the room. A nice trick, but rather disconcerting.

A red coated devil, obviously part of the liveried staff came in with a tray of glasses followed by another one with a tray of spirits. They were dark, little men, probably French devils, or rather well sizzled denizens of their place of origin. They looked like burnt carbon copies of each other, and I wondered if they were part of the loyal legions of M. Abigor or M. Gormosy? Probably M. Abigor for he was he reigning head cheese tonight. They served without noise, seemingly to float over the floorboards, and were more like haunts than men. But of course! They were devils and bound by their magic. Or someone’s magic.

Madame D’Aberge’s mouth was so red her teeth had a yellow cast. She would look at me, smile, her upper lip rising like a horse about to sneeze, and then she would pull her lip down to meet her bottom lip with a snap. I found her interesting to look at. Her hair was powdered white, her face and bosom so ghostly that the dabs of red on her cheeks stuck out like beacons. She reminded me of a rag doll I had when I was a child, except with white frizzled hair, not red yarn.

The men did not sit down but stood stiffly apart from Madame and I. Louis Gormosy did come over to where we sat and made a formal bow. Madame D’Aberge tittered and up went her lip. M. Gormosy also bowed to me, catching my eye and giving a wink. He made small talk amongst us, more I believe to reassure me than to effect any real conversation, but I was grateful for his attempts. The combination of the tight corset and the tension of the night made me uncomfortable and uneasy.

When we finally went into dinner, I was famished. Behind each chair was a devil- in- waiting. M. Abigor and Garrett sat at either end of the long dining table, M. Bucon and Madame D’Aberge across the wide table. M. Gormosy sat next to me, and this was a relief. A quick squeeze of my hand under the table was reassuring. He took the liberty of an additional squeeze of my thigh.

The servants were excellent, both noiseless and gliding like ghosts, serving from the left and placing bowls of the first of two soups before each diner. I looked at mine, a shrimp bisque with clams and the little devils were still jumping in the cream stock and flipping their tails. Pretty little pink cooked shrimp should not be behaving in that fashion. A clam spit a stream of soup upwards, missing me but making me blink. I looked at M. Gormosy next to me and saw him smiling into his bowl. I carefully spooned the broth.

Next two servants brought in a stuffed and glazed swan on a huge platter. They placed it in the middle of the table and left. The swan started to sing, a melancholy voice that praised Apollo and sang of his sweet love of life. Suddenly I realized I knew the music: “The Roasting Swan Ballad” from Carmina Burana. There was no way I was going to eat that swan. I looked at M. Gormosy and saw he was struggling not to laugh. I looked at Garrett at the end of the table, and his face warned me not to say a word. A servant reached across the table and twisted off the head in mid song. It’s wings flopped over the platter and on to the polished table. It was dead.

Another servant brought in a fat and steaming capon and the bird started to crow. This was enough even for M.Abigor. He whispered into the ear of a devil behind his chair and the man left. Within minutes, a covered salver was returned to the top of the table. I could only guess what it contained under it’s dome, but all the activity of our food ceased immediately, and we ate.

(End of part one of Chapter 43)

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2006, 2011

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “‘Devil’s Revenge’, Chapter 43, for some Summer Reading Fun….”

  1. brian Says:

    wow…crazy scene at the dinner table, what with it all coming alive to put on a show…and then the drop at the end to a rather melancholy…so we ate….intriguing…

    Like

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Brian!
    Thank you so much for reading this chapter….I didn’t know if anyone here would read it, because it’s not poetry, and I’m pushing the envelop here, but I was a novelist before turning poet, and it is a very strange novel…and funny. I hope.

    Thank you again, for daring to venture amongst these devils. The music and the musicians were a lot of fun writing…and some of the devils are deplictions of actual ‘folk’. It’s a lot of revenge to write nasty people you know into these characters! LOL!

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  3. claudia Says:

    goodness..will be back tomorrow…i definitely WANT to read it…but it’s midnight over here and i couldn’t give it the attention it deserves…

    Like

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Ok, Claudia…you are travelling…go to sleep!

    It’s a fun piece…but of course, when it’s a piece of a novel, it might be disorienting.

    Thanks, sweetie!

    Jane

    Like

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    I’ve heard of having a lively dinner conversation, but it’s not usually with the food! I did enjoy this, Jane–quite an amusing and sinister party–I’m rather glad it wasn’t me sitting in that group, because I expect at any minute something a bit more confrontational and perhaps unpleasant in the extreme may be about to occur.

    Hope you get cooled off–I am just praying here our power doesn’t go out.
    ~Joy

    Like

  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Joy!

    I am so pleased you read this…not many people would with the title I am afraid! LOL!

    I THINK that is the last written chapter, but I can’t remember….I know where the action goes, but I am having so much fun with the characters…especially Mdm/M. Gormosy! Shapeshifter Supreme! LOL! She also has a white camel, but she’s been stabled somewhere out of sight…hehe.

    M. Bucon is a very sinister demon….someone to keep away from, a Demon of Lust….there are several of them…but this one is especially nasty…he creates divisions between men and women. I did a study for a year on the 16th century lineup of Demons (something people took seriously back then….) and there were some amazing creatures. All of them in the novel so far are from ‘history’. M. Abigor is one of my favorites…he’s a Top Devil and has a lot of human characteristics. That was what became interesting to me in developing this novel: the blend of human and demon characteristics.

    Nah, the dinner party is just that. Dinner….LOL!

    Oh, Joy, it’s 100 tomorrow here, and I don’t know about the power grid. I’m giving my dogs and cats (12 of them…) ice cubes in their water and spraying down the chickens.

    The Devil called…he wants his weather back.

    Thank you, Joy, for reading this and your comment.

    Hugs,
    Jane

    Like

  7. Claudia Says:

    so glad i came back to read…really enjoyed it…the whole setting…the small details like the..mouthful of pins..or.. the looking like moths had attacked his head….makes me see the whole scene in every detail….what a dinner…!!

    Like

  8. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Claudia,

    And I am so thankful you did! What is the saying? “The Devil is in the details?” LOL!

    This book is highly detailed throughout. It’s the second novel I have written, and though not finished in that it needs desperate chapter cutting, rewrite….it’s one of great fun for the writer…I was wide-eyed and bushy taiied writing this, because writing was so new to me back in 2006…LOL!

    It’s rather unfair to ask readers to come into a novel in the middle, or in random chapters, but this dinner scene was so funny to me I hoped others would enjoy it, too. Flights of fancy don’t come often like this! I love the yelps from the devil-musicians as they play badly! LOL!

    Thank you, Claudia for reading and your comment!

    Jane

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: