Posts Tagged ‘Demons’

“The Zar Tales”, Chapters IV and V.

September 13, 2014
"The Zar Tales", published by, 2010

“The Zar Tales”, published by, 2010


Mr. Mazud Nageesh sat at his desk, pondering the information before him. His wife Leila, attending the Zar ritual at Sheikha Shakira’s house was a further complication.

Ah! Women and their issues certainly screwed a peaceful life! They were essential to men’s comfort, and they continued the bloodlines, but by Allah’s Exalted Name in Paradise…they troubled a peaceful man!

Mr. Nageesh thought through his options. If he ignored the activity of the women, winked at their Zars, his own leadership of the village could be called into question and he could be removed from office. Things could go worse than that for him.

Then, there was his marriage. Leila had been a good if stubborn wife for over thirty years. The man was supposed to rule the house, but any man married that long knew who actually ruled. It was always the women who had real power. At his age he longed for peace and quiet, and if at times he walked on eggshells around the women of his household, well, it was only because he was a wise man.

But Leila was at the zar, and playing her tamboura. It would not be possible to ignore her presence at Sheikha Shakira’s house. Perhaps there was a way around the behavior of the women, but at this time, he didn’t know what it was. The situation was like a sour pickle and however he held his mouth, it would be bitter.

There didn’t seem any way out. Sighing deeply, he resolved to contact the proper authorities in the nearest city for guidance. But he would sit on it for a while, think of some options, and as long as he did something, what was the reasoning to rush? Better to run into a lion’s mouth where religion and women were concerned than mess with the authorities.

Ah! Allah the Merciful! What was the difference between lions, women and religion? You got chewed up all ways!


Leila caught wind of her husband’s plans. It was easy, for thirty years of marriage gave sharp insight into the workings of any married man if you were paying even a little attention. A few questions, a few mumbled responses, a bit of shouting and Leila had her answers. Her stupid husband would meddle in women’s affairs for the sake of his position and now only grief and trouble would follow.

Ah! Allah listen to the women’s plight! Even if you are a Man-God.

Perhaps cousin Shakira was right. Perhaps Goddess Nut was where she should take her concerns. Allah seemed to be doing right well by the men, and the women’s suffering didn’t abate.

Leila went to Shakira and together they sat and drank sweet mint tea, Shakira pouring it high into the pot three times so it would foam properly.

“So, this is what I know, cousin, though it took a bit of work to learn Mazud’s plans.”

Leila sipped her mint tea, her eyes looking at Shakira’s face over the rim of her tiny glass.

Shakira’s concern was obvious, her brows crinkling with concentration. Shakira called upon Nut silently, for she was needed to address all women’s concerns.

Mother Nut? Help us!

“Leila”, began Shakira, addressing her cousin in a lowered voice. “Who has he talked to? Is it anyone local?”

“Ah….from what I could get from him, and what I heard through the wall when he spoke on the phone in his office, he first talked to the old mullah, that ancient fart in the next district, what is his name? Imam Kaleel? Yes, that is his name. He is half blind with age and clinging to life. Allah push him over the cliff.”

They both laughed. Allah could at times be reasonable.

“Then the Imam will go to others for advice.” Shakira sipped her tea, deep in thought.

Yes, there would be trouble, no doubt about it. The zars would be too much of a target for the men to resist. This would have to be addressed, and soon.

“Well, cousin”. Leila’s voice cut into Shakira’s thoughts. “What do you propose? Surely there is something we can do? It is too good a thing to lose to the men. What should we do?”

“Let me think a while, Leila. Let me think.”

Shakira knew how important this was. The zars must continue. But how? The mullahs had supreme power, but the women needed the zars for so many reasons. Things were worked out in the zars. Health was restored by the zars. Her precious Ali had come to her at a zar. Shakira shook her head to clear her thoughts.

Ah! Mother Nut! Come to me at night in my dreams! Come to me with some answers!

The Goddess Nut did speak to Shakira. She came to her in a dream but her answer was not in the form she expected. In her dream, a smiling Nut spread herself over Shakira, caressing her with her sweet breath, dripping the milk of her breasts into Shakira’s mouth, and perfuming her skin with the scent of her hair. Nut rubbed her strong limbs on Shakira’s and made her sound her joy cry in her sleep! Shakira awoke suddenly, thinking of Ali and his lovemaking! Ah! Ali was no where to be found, but Shakira was given a vision by her dream. Still, her holy place felt a faint sweet ache left over from her sleep, and she knew then Nut had visited her. She knew Nut was wise and would lead her in this troubling time. She would turn to Ali and confide in him.

So she did. As soon as she saw him, she decided to throw it all at his feet and implore his advice and help. Even though he was spirit, he still was a man, and men sometimes were wise in these issues. Well, at least she hoped Ali would know what to do.

But first she would make an effort to appeal to him. Ali, like any man, liked the efforts of a woman attempting to please. He may only be spirit, but he still was enough of a man to remember the old ways.

So Shakira made a sweet feast of stuffed dates, and Turkish delight candies, and sugared almonds and candied fruits and golden raisins stuck together in a rich nougat and roasted her best beans for coffee. She washed her long hair and rinsed in rosewater, and dried it in the sun on the roof of her house, where it sparkled like gems in the sunshine. She rubbed almond oil into her heated skin on the roof, and rubbed some into her bush of black hair beneath. She hennaed the palms of her hands with designs and the tops of her feet, and dressed in a white, embroidered cotton gown that was fine enough to show the dark rings of her nipples beneath. But just for good measure, she also applied the brick red henna to her nipples first to make sure that they looked like two eyes looking seductively out at Ali from beneath the thin lawn fabric. Ah! If this didn’t make his ney rise from his loins, then all the art in Persia was dead, along with its manhood!


Ali sat on the low bed, in his usual position, hovering a few inches from the Turkish rug. He smoked his hookah, and the apple- dried tobacco floated out through the piping. Since Ali was mostly spirit, it circled in his lungs, visible to the eyes of Shakira. When Ali was pleased or aroused, he shimmered with a golden gleam, and Shakira did not fail to notice his interest. Ali never touched the food offered him, for he did not live on such substance of mortals. But his eyes widened when he saw Shakira standing before him, and she saw that he was pleased. Her nipples hardened and ached and seem to stretch their now reddened buds towards him sitting before her.

“Ya Habibi”, began Shakira, settling herself on a mound of pillows next to Ali. “There is talk amongst our mayor and men about the women’s zars. I have heard the old Iman Kaleel has been consulted by Mayor Nageesh.”

Shakira took a bite of a stuffed date, and looked at Ali siting next to her. Ah! He was handsome this morning, with his robes sparkling in gold dust and the sweet smell of the tobacco surrounding his head like a vaporous crown.

Ali continued to puff on his hookah, his face dissolving in the smoke. He did not look at Shakira, but with eyes half closed, seemed lost in his own thoughts. He did not immediately answer her, but continued to pull languidly on his pipe.

“It is more than just Imam Kaleel who has knowledge of what you women do.” Ali blew out a long plume of smoke.

“News has rolled like a stone from a hill down to the valley. Now the mullahs in the district know what goes on here, for your Mayor Nageesh is out to protect his good name.”

Shakira was surprised, but then again, Ali was spirit and would be able to gather information unseen. That was a definite advantage over mortals. He didn’t stand with his ear to the wall like Leila. She also knew Ali would not share how he obtained this knowledge. He was a spirit of mystery, after all.

And a man.


Shakira’s voice was sweet as mashed dates and cut through Ali’s smoke seductively.

“What do you think I should do? What should we women do to protect ourselves?”

Shakira could see a smile forming on Ali’s lips, even through the smoke. His smile broadened, but still he did not look at her.

“Ah, women! They do not change much through the centuries. They dig holes in the ground and complain when they fall in.”

He blew out a long stream of smoke, obscuring his face completely. Shakira could sense his mirth, for his spirit-body vibrated with his silent laughter.

“You should have asked my advice before you held your zars and I would have told you my opinion.”

Shakira’s mood changed from cajoling to anger.

Just like a man! Hah! He doesn’t remember the role his own zar played in his past. I could have left him in stupid Aya’s womb and he would still be unhappy.

Demon Ali must have sensed her thoughts for he changed his position slightly, and laid down the hose from the hookah.

“Look, Shakira. You have involved yourself and the others in a dangerous thing. The mullahs have cracked down all over the country on zars. This you well knew. Your rebellion against the men has been too open. Had you been smarter, you would not be so worried now.”

Shakira exploded.

“Alright, Mighty Zar! I have played the foolish woman and now you have your satisfaction! Your wisdom is more than my own, though I am called Sheikha. What can I do to make you help me?

“Ah! You want my help? All you had to do is ask.” Ali the Demon vibrated with laughter.

“I am asking, Ali, I am begging for your help. I am lost which way to go. I am lost.”

Now Ali the Demon turned to look at Shakira propped up on the rich colored cushions beneath him. His eyes softened and he folded his arms across his chest and golden stardust rose from his movements. His voice was serious but still a hint of laughter was there as he spoke in low tones to this woman.

“You and the others do nothing. Tell them to be obedient wives to their husbands. Tell them to act sweetly and talk in pleasing, melodious tones and not to challenge them. Tell them to act as white doves and bring honor to their house. I will do the rest.”

Shakira, being an intelligent and curious woman, could not resist. “What Ali, do you plan on doing?” As soon as the words left her mouth, she realized her mistake.

Ali the Demon’s eyes grew dark, and his face scowled with thunder. Shakira had never seen him in such a state, and shrunk back on her pillows. Her heart thumped as if she had seen a horrible jinn in the black of night, and sweat rose on her skin in fright.

Ali saw her fear, could smell it with his sharpened senses, and curbed his anger as well as he could.

“Woman, it is enough for you to know I will fix what you have broken. It is not for you to question what I do. I am not your husband, but you apply the same advice here as you tell the other women. Now, I desire soft music and the perfume of your body in my nostrils and my ney within your woman’s bush. I will play the flute and you will dance for me. But you take off that gown. I prefer to see your skin glisten with your almond oil, and to see your flesh roll in the morning light. This is what you will do for me and I will take care of your mess. But ask me not again my plans. You would not want to know. Have faith in your beloved.”

Ah! Shakira knew a strong and determined man when she heard one. And since she had no power against the mullahs, she was glad to leave it to Ali. There are times when a man is a necessity in life, and this was a prime example. He might be spirit, but there was enough man in that spirit to hide behind.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009-2014. “The Zar Tales” published by, 2009

Nihilism, Smart Asses, Bullies and Sociopathic Behavior- And Brown Shirts thrown in for good measure.

March 18, 2014

Over the past year…. some things have changed.  I’ve watched these people insult, break apart, reform and still the basis for their ‘alliance’ is as rotten as ever. The good thing is this:  some of these people realized that their behavior online was seriously being criticized by more sane members of the community, and some of them have left.  However, these things come about because some people are just…well, they are insecure and followers of anything that seems ‘powerful’.  What they don’t realize is the power they are seeing in many of these individuals is seated deeply in a personality disorder: usually a pathology or extreme narcissism  For a while, this looks powerful and weak people want to exist in the shadow of power. Perhaps this is just the worse part of human nature?  But there is hope, because more and more people here in these communities have expressed their resolve to stay away from these sorts. In no way are they leaders. They are actually parasites. They are a major part of a bigger problem.  Atlanta has enough issues without this fermenting and spreading around.

Perhaps the worse offenders will move to the scrub pines of Florida.

Nihilism’s Corpse 

Nihilism is a deep-sea fish.

When it, in the form of language surfaces in the sea, it is already lifeless.  I detest its corpse like a dirty rag.  I hate it. 

—Nagase Kiyoko 

 (Nagase Kiyoko was a wonderful Japanese woman poet who died in 1995.  She is considered the “Grandmother” of women poets in Japan.  Many of us, not especially poets, but women who have regard for a woman who writes with such passion and sensibility, love her and her work.  I stumbled upon this poem in the dark and it exactly fit  this article.  Thank you, Grandmother Nagase)

I know calling any group today ‘Nazi’ is startling.  What happened here is a bit of the behavior of the development of the Brown Shirts in Germany in 1920’s and 30’s, of course  on a much more provincial scale.  These were the ‘lumpen’, in German, the broken, the bottom feeders of German society.  I use the term broken thinking of people who are not facing their own demons, but inflicting them on the population in general. Certainly an area like Atlanta has plenty of problems, but when the so-called intellectual class (or so they would seem to themselves) holds on to their own issues without examining them closely, we have ‘broken’ ideology leading. Or better, Nihilism which doesn’t go anywhere.

Recently I joined a local website, something called Capitol View Smart Asses.  I joined because I thought perhaps these folk would be active in the community, perhaps they had some energy. We face a lot of issues here; drugs, corruption, etc.  The usual for an urban area.

You know the old saying: “We have met the enemy and it is us?”

Things didn’t go well.  I had a meeting with a local woman about the corruption of our council representative.  That was informative, but when I gave a woman (neighbor) a sum up of our meeting, this woman immediately texted another woman in CVSA (unknown to me) with some interesting fabrications.  I didn’t realize that this woman was so mentally unbalanced.  I should have. Others have now told me she is extremely bi-polar.

What sort of group called itself “Smart Asses”?  A lot of people have asked this.  It’s made up of two connecting neighborhoods: the memebers of this site are  are middle class, middle aged and white.  Mostly.  They consider themselves the intellectual elite of the area.  But in actually, they are nothing but bullies and worse.  The original woman I met with about the council rep. tucked her tail and ran.  She said that “the n’hood had broken her.”  Apparently not so much because she was there on the website.  Some people have the moral integrity of dental floss.

What I experienced was mob mentality.  Only two of these ‘girls’ (can’t call them women because they haven’t the mental maturity of women) knew me, and frankly? I broke with them over a year ago. And these two ‘women’ were either drug dealers or heavy drug users. (anyone who breaks with this behavior is gossiped and marginalized by these two and the rest of the Smart Asses.  And since this area, these neighborhoods, have a huge drug problem, they are nothing but hypocrites and they are in no way a part of the solution to this problem. That they are white and consider themselves ‘leaders’ here is a serious part of the problem.  White privilege raises it’s ugly head again.) The rest?  Didn’t know me from Adam’s house cat.  Nor I them. But that didn’t stop their pack mentality. Of course there were some ‘leaders’ in this bully brigade, but they were the usual shit stirrers. And those I knew. They hadn’t improved.

It was educational, this wolf pack mentality of bullies.  And what was even more interesting was these women had lost their ability immediately to think independently.  They couldn’t. They were under the power of two women who had every reason to stir the mud.  Perhaps they were being fed lies, but they were too stupid to consider anything except what they wanted to hear.

Like the girls in high school, they exhibited a viciousness.  Something you would expect from some teens, but not from educated women.  As I said: they lost their ability to think for themselves.  Lynch mob mentality.  Many consider themselves (and the men in this group) as the ‘leaders’ of the community. This is especially frightening.

Over the last few years I have seen some of these same women fight, insult each other, break up and then reform. Thus it is with people who have their own emotional (and other) issues.  And it will continue to happen over and over.  They will not change short of a meteor hitting them on the head from outer space.  They don’t see what they are or do.  This is human behavior of the troublesome kind.  Many of us outgrow it.  These  folk haven’t.

Too late my friends and neighbors told me that this group was “stupid”, “mean”, “pointless”.  Yes, it was stupid and mean, but no, it was not pointless.  It was in a fundamental sense, they were stroking their own egos, but the point of it was to elevate themselves above everyone else in the community. In a way, it was funny or really sad, the snarliness of the people posting there. Any group that calls themselves Smart Asses has contempt for everyone else.  But they don’t amount to a hill of beans in the real world.  After only a few days on that website, it was clear that the leading philosophy was Nihilism.  And Nihilism only leads over the cliff.  That’s if you can get anyone to follow.

It is the philosophy of nothingness.

(And what does naming a group “Smart Ass” really mean?  Are they drawing attention to the hope that they are ‘smart’ or are they admitting that they are just ‘asses’?)

Internet trolls.  The internet is full of people who are bullies and they make their nests within these online groups. A few readings of CVSA showed clearly that these fools were nothing progressive, were not about anything that remotely relate to the broader community. They ‘wanted’ their own group to feel ‘superior’ to another group.  People who had left or refused to join saw what was going on and summed up they didn’t want to be part of this ‘bitchin’ group’.  It was going nowhere.

Later I was contacted by a person who read that site.  She was a psychologist. She read what happened and wanted to talk. What did I think?

We talked. What could I say? These people were corrupt, egotistical bullies, with their own demons of various kinds. That they were NOT teens was frightening. That some of them were parents was even more so.  Strong Narcissistic tendencies or behaviors in that group, both in the men and women, but that is to be expected from anyone calling themselves a ‘smart ass.’

She said she saw a lot of ‘sociopathic behavior’ on this site, and of course where there is this behavior, there are usually sociopaths.  I agree.  These people are just embarrassing, but more so, they are…collectively as a mob and individually, dangerous.  My neighbors checked them out and called them spoiled, little brats. They are bullies who probably will be raising bullies for the future.

Nothing changes until people throw off their hypocrisy and their own corruption. Then? Perhaps things will advance.  But this area has hit a brick wall because the personal corruption of people like these Not-So-Smart Asses. They hold this corruption close to their hearts.  It is their right.  Perhaps this is just human behavior, but certainly is not the best of it.  And, this area deserves the corruption these same people were complaining about with the council rep. Corruption stacked upon corruption.  What a bright future this area has. No wonder people have dropped out of activities here. It looks hopeless, and it is until something breaks.

(Note:  over the past year since I wrote this post, people have expressed their disgust with this group.  Those people who have done so have either become friends or were.  They knew a lot more about these folk than I did. And it is good to see that they can think independently and avoid these toxic people.  Our neighborhoods that are polluted with drugs, crime, corruption certainly don’t need these hypocrites.  Perhaps they will move to Florida.)

And about that pack mentality?  These groups of bullies?

Brown noses lead to Brown Shirts over time.  Hardly a progressive ideology for this area.  In fact, self serving and destructive for any area.  I think of these people as pre-runners of the Taliban. Weak, malleable people who in no way could be considered leaders of anything.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 5, WARNING: Sexual Content, you have been warned.

May 29, 2013

This chapter comes from a book I started at the end of 2006. The characters came from my first novel (unpublished…way too long) and finishing that novel (“Heart of the Maze”) I didn’t want to end these characters. I had grown attached and this was damn stupid. So I came up with another book, first called “Another Story” then “Devil’s Revenge”. It’s a tale of magic, demons, cosmic travel and nothing like that ponderous first book. I learned a lot from writing this book, but again, too long by far. It was the first time I used time-warping in a story. And magic.

Garrett Cortelyou is a demon, well, half human and half demon. There is a whole parade of demons in this book and it took me out of my usual comfort zone in the research. Bess is a writer, who finds herself plucked out of the 21st century to 1832. Garrett can be a chauvinist and a brute, but he has a lot of energy….

Why do we write such things, and why do we create such characters? Every writer has an answer for this…I’m still trying to figure out mine.

Lady Nyo

Chapter 5

I had no way of telling time or sequence or anything that relates to the passage of time. I think of my society, where we grew up around various clocks: mantel clocks, hall clocks, electric clocks in the kitchen, the battery run clocks by our bedsides, and our wristwatches. In the dimension I was visiting, or found myself, there were few clocks. No one so far wore watches. Perhaps there were pocket watches, but I saw few people and couldn’t tell.

So I didn’t know what time it was of the morning, though I saw the sun had not risen. The room was colored by the timid light creeping into dawn, a blending of gray shadows. The fire had burned low during the night, and cast no glare. There before the fireplace was the Demon. He slouched in his chair, one booted foot upon the other, staring into the embers. He smoked a white, clay pipe, something I recognized as a “Dutch pipe.” He didn’t stir from his chair as I called his name, but blowing out a mouthful of smoke, he turned his face towards the bed.

“You’re finally awake.” He grinned around the stem of his pipe, his large white teeth gleaming in the dim light of the room.

“It is too early to wake, Garrett. Aren’t you cold at the fire?” I snuggled back into my pillow.

“’Ah, an invitation to your bed this early? Would do, but there is a litter of puppies around your breast.”

I opened the covers, and there under the blankets, were his four pups. Little two month old water spaniels, three boys and the girl, the runt, Sophie, snuggled between my breasts.

“Did you do this, Demon?” I laughed, for I had no memory of putting them there. The smell of puppies this close is a bit high, like sour milk.

“The fire was low when I entered the room and you looked warm enough to comfort them.”

“Have you thought what you are going to do with them, yet?”

“I aim to keep them right here, and you, my darling woman, will be nursing them for me.”

“Ah, Garrett, had you ever thought that perhaps I might be a bit too busy to care for your dogs? I am trying to finish this novel, my friend, and perhaps it would have been nicer for you to ask me first.”

“Perhaps, yes…but it still doesn’t change the outcome.” He grinned and his eyes snapped in the firelight. “The rules of the engagement are simple. You do what I want.”

“You are such an arrogant Demon! What makes you think that I will do as you demand? Have you ever heard of free will?”

“Highly overrated and doesn’t apply here.” He continued to puff and draw on his pipe and filled the room with his horrible smoke. Brimstone I believe.

“No so.” He continues to read my thoughts at will…his idea of free will, I suppose. He packed down his ‘tobacco’ with his thumb. “It’s a nice cherry and spice blend I brought from the islands… Perhaps you would prefer a pipe of opium?”

“I have never done such a thing, thank you very much.”

He turned a half-opened eye at me, and said lazily. “Perhaps before you dismiss it, you should at least try it once.”

“And why would I do such a thing? It seems a half-death to me.”

My Demon continued to puff on his pipe, the lazy whiffs of smoke spreading across the room. When I first smelled the acrid smoke, I had thought fleetingly of the pot that I used to smoke on occasion. I thought, ‘fleetingly’, but that was enough for my demon to pick up. Suddenly, the smoke was not of tobacco, but of a sweet smelling herb I recognized though I had not smelled for years.

“You bastard demon!” I laughed at him, this conjuring trick a minor one in his bag. “Do you know how hard it is to quit that stuff? That is the last thing I need to smell this morning. Way too early!”

All this ruckus awakened the dogs in my bed. They were rolling over each other, and jumping at the pink ribbons of my mobcap. Little Sophie between my breasts grunted and stretched.

“You have awoken your dogs, Garrett, now you better find something to feed them.”

He snapped his fingers and a bowl appeared on the floor in front of the fire. I handed each one from the bed to him, and he placed them around the bowl. Whatever it was, they ate with growls and snarls, stepping over each other.

“What is it you’re feeding them?” Even my runt Sophie was not shying from the food.

“Deer meat was handy.”

Well, at least he was sensible enough not to put down a dish of milk. Those pups would be runny within an hour.

“Oh, I thought about you nursing them but your nipples would give out in a day. Though it would be amusing to see your milk spout when they started to howl.”

Oh, he was a nasty demon this morning!

“Well, I’m glad you decided on deer meat instead.” What a devil he was, to think of these ways of tormenting me. His temper was like mercury, and he took offense easily. Perhaps it was part of the demon culture, for he certainly was a touchy devil.

“You should know, you thought me up.”

“Oh, Demon, I think you have had a long life before you ever came to thought.”

“It used to be Demon Lover, and now it is ‘friend’? I think we go backwards.”

Opening the covers, I smiled at him sweetly, and decided to take my chances this morning. He was an entertaining fellow, and carefully handled, could be amusing.

He put down his pipe on the table, and moved to the bed, slipping in bedside me. He placed my head upon his shoulder as he was wont to do, and settled next to me.

“You know, Garrett, I have a lot of writing to do today. I am behind with the book and want to finish before the years out.”

“You can write when I’m through with you, on the morrow…I want to show you things today. First I want to show John Thomas between us a seashell of delights.”

He was amorous in the morning. Actually, he was usually ready for a romp any time of the day or night.

“Besides, you avoided me in Chapter 4 and I mean to make up for that.” He had a scent about him that enchanting, a combination of musk and sweat and probably brimstone.

“It’s the scent of an aroused man, who is about to release a lot of little demons from his loins.” I laughed at his clumsy wit, and blushed in his arms. “You modern women wash too much. You have forgotten the scent of sex and its purpose. It draws the bees to the honey.”

Perfume and soap was such a part of my life that I didn’t realize my body produced its own scent of desire. Since he had bedded me my thinking on this had changed. After our lovemaking, we lay in a nest scented with the smell of flowers, old flowers, ashes and wood.

“Lie still, my darling woman, and indulge my mood here.”

When my demon demanded a thing, it was wise for me to listen. He had a way of bending me to his will, and I was learning, slowly, that sometimes there was an innate wisdom in what he did. Sometimes.

I lay in his arms. He touched my forehead, on both temples with one hand extended. He passed his hand slowly down to my eyes, and as he did, they closed. I barely felt his hand descend to my midriff, where he stopped and pressed down hard. That is where I seemed to have fallen into a deep sleep, or at least a trance. Then, with something like a slow electrical shock, from the ends of my fingers and toes, I felt a gathering of energy, something warm and concentrating, moving down the passageway of my limbs to the center of my body, where he had pressed on my stomach. It seemed that all my nerve endings were coming alive, and centering in my stomach. My pelvis was flooded with a warmth that moved back and forth across my hip bones. An exquisite feeling of tingling took hold of my face, my breast, my entire body. Suddenly, it all rushed upwards, out of my body, like a current of many colored ribbons, opening upward and outward, bursting from my body like waves of liquid and spinning off like a million stars above me. I was lifted from all gravity and hurled through space like a ragdoll. I was transformed into pure energy, or something of that nature, for I had no words to describe what was happening to me. All I knew that it was an extreme pleasure, beyond anything I could imagine, and something that I didn’t want to stop. It dissolved my body into a stream of light, flowing through and around any obstacle, any fear. I felt like I was turned inside out, and my sex had blossomed like a giant orchid. My whole body, or what was left of it, pulsated with a spent desire. Slowly, I seem to have fallen to earth, to this bedroom, to this bed, and in the arms of a man who was lying there unconscious. I looked at him, and he was naked next to me, the bedclothes on the floor. The room was over heated, though the fire was still low. I felt a wetness on my side, and looking down, saw that he was bleeding from his left side, below his heart.

“Garrett!”, I called to him in a panic. “Wake up!. Oh my God! You are bleeding, you have injured yourself.” I shook him, trying to arouse him.

He came slowly out of his trance, for it seemed that he was as spent as I was. “I am fine. It’s just a little sacrifice for this pleasure.” He passed his hand over his small wound, and it disappeared. My face was contorted with alarm, my hands on his shoulders.

“What did you do? What happened to us?”

He smiled a weak smile and cleared his throat. “There are many things in this world and out of it. That is just one. It’s pretty spectacular, but there are even better things to come.” He burped loudly. “Right now, I’m starving, and am weakened with expending that energy.” Turning over, he said with a grin. “Pretty good, no?”

I stared up at the ceiling, too weak to sit up. “Pretty good, yes.”

I lay there, silent, thinking of what had just happened. . My body felt like velvet, with no structure or nerves. I was empty of everything, completely undone.

“But why do you bleed?”

“Bess, you ask too many questions. Just think of Adam’s rib and the creation of Eve.”

He grinned at his words, and sat upright. Snapping his fingers, a tray of breakfast appeared on the table. He put on his long, linen shirt, and sat himself heavily in a chair.

I didn’t think that I could rise from the bed, much less walk to the other chair. My body was without bones.

“Oh, forgive me. I forget. That first experience usually knocks the wind out of your sails. You’ll find ways around that.”

He pushed himself out of his chair, and helped me to sit up on the side of the bed, and led me to the chair. I sat there, not dizzy, but confused as to what had happened to me. Was this what is called Tantric sex?

“Nope,” I heard him mumble as he stuffed his mouth with bread and butter. “Far beyond that earthy delight, but we can play with it next if you want. Bit of a bore, though.” He drank a swallow from his tankard of ale, as he preferred this drink instead of my tea in the morning.

I could not imagine doing anything else that day or the next! He grinned at me, the lustful devil, and pushed some bread my way. He extended his hand across the table and looked at me tenderly, and I placed my hand in his. There was a little of that current still present in the air, and it melted my hand into his.

Ah, Devil, I thought to myself. You are a dangerous man or demon, whatever you be. I wondered, when I fell back to earth, if all the atoms fell back in place. I knew I had given something to him, far beyond my heart and sex, and it seemed to involve my trust. Perhaps that was the key to his heart.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008-2013

“Devil’s Revenge” Chapter 32

January 7, 2010

(The picture above is a painting by Eric Duchamps)

Berowne mentioning Hell, Dante, reminded me of a chapter in a novel I have been writing for over three years.  “Another Story” which was changed in title to:  “Devil’s Revenge”.

This summer I basically finished it, but it was overgrown, complicated and I didn’t know if I had one book or three.  It was so long.  It needed shears desperately.   I didn’t have the time or energy to plow back in that jungle.

But it seemed to be an entertaining story, and parts of it I can remember fondly.  This chapter is one of them.  It’s long (3000 words plus) and it’s a tea between a mortal woman and an Arch Duke of Hell.  The period is 1820’s.  Forgive the lack of proofreading.  I’ll get to that.


When I came from the other room, Madame was sitting in the window, waving her fan slowly.  Looking outside at the gray winter landscape, she seemed lost in thought. I could see her aged and transparent skin reflected in the cast of light. Of course!  Madame is old, she is pre-history, and I forget her age.  She is such a fountain of knowledge, and sometimes delightful.  I was embarrassed at Garrett hissing at her, but then again, what do I know about manners between devils?

“Thank you, Madame!  M. Demon must not be thinking clearly now because of his guests downstairs.”  I come into the room, shaking out my petticoats and try to regain some steadiness in my walk.

“You must remember he is only part mortal and the other part of him does not suffer as mortals do.  Non, ma petite.  It is not because of his thinking.  It is because he is cruel as all men are.  And, yes, thoughtless.”

I wonder if Madame includes herself in this category, for I know her to be also a Monsieur.  I decide to be bold and ask a question.

“Madame?  I know you are a shape-shifter.    What would possess you to appear so?  In my experience, men are covetous of their identity and their…..ah…equipment.”

“Mon Dieu!  You are a saucy one!  But since you ask, I will tell.   We have a moment before M. Abigor appears at the door.”  She considered her words before proceeding.

“There are many Demons of Lust and Love in Hell.  But I am the only Demon to want to do such.  Ah! Men die and go to Hell, and few have learned much on Earth.  There is great seduction in women!  Their sex developed the art, yet they are called ‘the weaker sex.’  They use their wiles and within a short time, have all men in thrall.  You are weaker in strength, but you are stronger in the head.”

Madame snaps her fan closed and points at her head with it.  I laugh, as much as my tight corset allows.

“But! We have short time, now.  I must talk to you about M. Abigor.  You must be on your guard, ma petite!  Monsieur is a wily one.  You don’t become an Arch Duke of Hell for your kindness.  Non, M. Abigor is to be feared!  Do not put too much faith in his charms.  M. Abigor is known for his lust for mortal women.  Your M. Demon was right to charm up your sex, mais tres cruelle!”

Cruel indeed, Madame!  I could not agree more.  Especially how tea goes through me.

“Attention!  M. Abigor’s knowledge is vast.  He is known to be an intellectual in Hell.  There are many stupid devils, you know.”  Madame rolls her eyes.  “M. Abigor has many interests, cherie.  Philosophy, music, the dance, politics, especially the French culture.  Ah!  I know what you must talk with him!  He was un habitant  of the salons of France!  Ah! He was an intimate of Mme. Du Deffand et Mme.Necker, et  Mme. Geoffrin, just a few!  M. Abigor knew M. Grimm, Sainte-Beuve, Voltaire, Diedrot,  so many illustrious men and women!  Talk to him about the salons, cherie.  Entertain him with philosophy.”

Ah, Madame Gomosy, I thought to myself.  If only I could.  My memory and knowledge of such a time and place was miniscule.  But I would try.  At least we could talk of music.  Now, here I was competent.  Or so I hoped.

“Mais…M. Abigor is a genius, ma cherie.  But he leaves the trail of a serpent!  When you see on his forehead the reflection of a ray from Plato, do not trust it.  Look well, there is always the foot of a satyr beneath.”

Madame’s words made me shiver, though the room was warm.  Well, what should I expect?  I was dealing with devils!

“Now, when M. Abigor knocks, I will answer and present him, and you stand and curtsey your best.  I will leave you both and then will return when he leaves.  Ah! Be charming, my young friend.  Your fate depends upon it!”

Iwas wondering if we have time for a round of faro, just to calm my nerves, when we heard a strong knock on the door.  Madame rose from her chair, blew me a kiss, and glided to the door.  She opened it,  gave a deep curtsy to M. Abigor, who entered the room.

I rose as gracefully as my trembling legs allowed, and curtsied  to him.  Monsieur Abigor looked at me for a second, and bowed.   Madame passed out of the room and left me alone with my visitor.

“M. Abigor.  It is delightful to see you today.”  My voice sounded strange to my ears.  Dancing with Devils, today! I looked at him as boldly as I dared and saw a tall and elegant man before me.  He certainly had a presence about him.  He was dressed in a black coat, with a dark wine colored waistcoat, embroidered in gold.  Black breeches and hose, and a fine piece of plain linen at his throat completed his appearance. His grey hair, probably a wig, was powdered and curled.

I dared a glance into his face, and his eyes! They were blank, like the eyes of a dead dog! No reflection, dull like the light had faded.  My fear rose in my throat. As though reading my thoughts,  a small smile crept across his face.   I motioned for him to sit in the chair across from me.  Madame had moved the tea table between us, but has faced the chairs to each other.  M. Abigor sat, and flipped out the tails of his coat behind him.  I wondered if he had a tail.  Just as the thought crossed my mind, I realized with horror he probably had the same power as all these other demons.  He could read my thoughts.  My face colored fast.

M. Abigor’s smile broadened, and I knew he had discovered my thoughts!  All I could do was to go on, now uncomfortable.   He cocked his head to one side, and I thought of an owl.  Of course!  I remembered a picture in one of those heavy books, of this Arch Duke of Hell. He rode on a wolf, had the face of an owl, and carried a sword.  Otherwise, he was human.  Very human, according to the drawing in the book.  M. Abigor gave a chuckle.  I was not doing well.

I cleared my throat, and tried to swallow my fear.  “M. Abigor, would you like a cup of tea?”

“Perhaps that would be safest, my dear.”  His voice was deep and low. He smiled at me, amused by my gaffes.  I rose to pour him a cup of tea, and my hands shook.  “Would you like cream and sugar?” I asked over my shoulder at the console on the wall where the silver service was placed.

“I take it black.”  Of course, why didn’t I think of that!

“I understand from M.Garrett you are a writer.  And, a bit of a musician and dancer.”

Oh God!  What did my Demon say to him?  “I am hardly a writer, M. Abigor, as I have only written one book.  And that I have not finished. “  I brought him his tea and tried not to rattle the cup in the saucer.

“Ah.  One would think your change of….ah…circumstance…would retard your progress.  Very human.”  M. Abigor picked up his cup, his eyes stared over the rim, those two dead pools of darkness. My stomach gave a flip and my fear made me shiver.

Yes, very human.  I decided to approach the issue of ‘circumstance’ delicately.  “Yes, ‘one’ might say so.  I find my world exciting and confusing now.”

“It is to be expected.  You are out of your element as they say.  It will take time to adjust.”  M. Abigor regarded me with his head cocked again.  I think of an owl.

“ Madame tells me you knew many of the men and women in the salons of Paris.”  I sip my tea, and hoped to turn the conversation.   “I have little knowledge of the salons, but I am very curious as to your experience, Monsieur.”

“Ah!” Here his face visibly brightened. “The Salons! Yes, they were a lovely invention.  Some good friends I made on different days of the week.  Some good friends I occasionally still see.”

I think about his words and again I shiver.  I managed a smile.

“Did you know Mme. d’Epinay, Monsieur?”  I had read some of her writings.

“Ah!  Mme. d’Epinay!  I remember her well, though I don’t think I have seen her sweet face since the 1770’s.”

Good, I thought.  Then she isn’t in hell.  From what I had read of her, she was a wretched but sensible woman. She suffered terribly from an early marriage to a dissolute cousin.

“But her husband, now, M. d’Epinay….I have seen him around some.”  M. Abigor’s grin reminded me of a wolf.

“Madame d.Epinay now…how she was to be pitied!  She was peaceful, and sweet and trusting.  And she was a good writer, and listened to so many others as they read their works out loud to the room.  A sensible and courageous woman, married to a monster.”

I thought of what I knew of the women of that century. In my own century, which I had forgotten for my surroundings,  women had all the hope to do so much with their lives. It was hard for us to understand a society in which the best female intellect was given over to entertaining and living their lives through the minds of the men around them.  They had little place else to wield power except in the drawing rooms.  But from these rooms, such ideas!  Revolution, class warfare, the liberating and the terror, these were fermented  by sentiments both vain and sensual.

M.Abigor threw out names in history.  Mme. de Lambert, Mme. Geoffrin, Mme. Necker are just a few he mentioned.   And the men!  Grimm, Diedrot, Voltaire just a few more.  M. Abigor captured my interest with his fascinating tales of long dead people.  I was discreet enough to curb my interest as to who was where in the universe.

“M. Garrett tells me that you dance, n’est-ce pas?”  He changeed the direction of his conversation so fast it took me by surprise.  M. Abigor relaxed in his chair, and stretched his long legs before him.  I hastened to serve him some cake.

“Thank you.  I don’t usually eat sweet things, but this looks divine.”  M. Abigor took a bite of his cake and his eyebrows lifted in  pleasure.  Ah! One happy devil from Hell!

“M. Garrett overstates my talent.  It is not the courtly dances you would be familiar.”  I presumed too much, for M. Abigor was as old as the Alps and knew much of the world.

“I am familiar with the Harem dance.   I have known many Sultans and their harems intimately over the centuries.  In fact, in my youth, I effected the guise of a harem guard.”  M. Abigor looked at me, that wolf smile again gleamed out over long, white teeth.

“But I read only eunuchs were allowed in the harem.”  I spoke without thought.

M. Abigor laughed, his voice rumbling deep from his chest.  “One of the privileges of being a Devil, my dear, is we can appear to be anything we want.  Like our Madame Gomosy, we appear as a man, and a second later, a woman.”  He waved one elegant long finger in the air.  I blushed from my thoughtless words.

“And we can dismiss parts of our anatomy, and gain them back at will.”  M. Abigor obviously enjoyed my embarrassment; his dead eyes suddenly glittered at me!

I took a drink of my now cooled tea to cover my distress.  “M. Abigor, may I warm your tea?”

“You have already warmed my heart with your blunders.”  He smiled like a wolf and gave me a little bow from his chair.  My embarrassment was tinged with fear.  I remembered Madame Gomosy’s words of caution about his ‘charm’.

“I can see your M. Demon has great fun with you.  I myself have had many mortal wives in my time.  I enjoyed the naivete and companionship.  M. Demon is to be applauded his choice.”  He chuckled and again bowed from his seat.

I inclined my head to him, my blush now covering my neck.   I was being courted by an Arch Duke of Hell!

We talked about many things and I noticed the room was darkening.  It must be about dusk.  I rose to light a taper from the fire, and M. Abigor rose with me, picked up a hot cinder from the fire and lit the first candle.  I made an exclamation, as he was sure to burn his fingers, but M. Abigor just smiled and showed me his unscorched palm.  He took my hand and placed it against his.  It was warm but did not burn.  Close to me, I looked up into his face, and by the light of the one candle, saw something in his eyes that frightened.  It was as if his eyes opened suddenly, like the lens of a camera, and I saw scenes  horrifying  and I could not think!

Like a card deck being shuffled slowly and each card  held out for a nanosecond viewing, I saw  wars, tragedies, famines,  scenes of torment down through the ages.

I saw male babies thrown in the river Nile, to be drowned at the whim and command of Pharaoh, heard their gurgling screams as they sank beneath the waters, their mothers anguish ringing out on the banks of the turgid waters.

I saw the Crusades, many cards there, with Christians riding down the ‘unbelievers’, slaughtering young girls, children,  raping them and cutting their throats.

I saw and felt the tumbrels rumbling through Paris’ streets, the fall of the guillotine, the roar of the crowds, the spray of blood from that steel knife cover the crowds, and the heads tumbling into the  fouled straw baskets.

I saw the results of the War to End all Wars, the men falling to the ground, spewing their guts, vomiting in the mud from the mustard gas, nerve gasses. The horror of field hospitals with severed limbs piled up like cordwood, and broken lives never to be regained.

I saw the brutality of the boyars, the Cossacks, the military riding into peasant villages and all slaughtered, the babies smothered under the fallen bodies of their mothers. I smelled the cottages burning heard again, the wailing of the women.

And then I came to the card, flipped over in slow motion, of the Holocaust.  I felt the fire of the ovens, saw the mounds of gold teeth, smelled the burning flesh that swept across the countryside and I stood there, looking at my forearms, and was covered by human ash.  I saw the children clubbed to death, their bodies thrown into the pits after their parents were shot and rolled into the mass grave.

I think I stopped breathing. I felt time had suspended itself.  M. Abigor’s eyes closed and a tear dropped from one eye.  I watched the descent of that tear as if all the answers to this madness were in that one sign of human compassion.

But of course M. Abigor was not human.

Woodenly, I pulled away and place the candlestick on the table.  Turning, I stood behind my chair, my face shocked beyond expression.  I could not stop my heart from pounding.  I wasn’t numb for I was able to feel an overwhelming sickness, a terror with every heartbeat.  There was something in the room with us, a presence more than the two of us.  It felt like the Ultimate Evil.  I thought I would faint.  In the growing gloom of the room, M. Abigor looked intently at me, and saw my distress.

“Madame, I have most enjoyed our tea.  In the next few days, I will return and take you riding.  I understand you pine to go out of doors. I will be your protection from the elements.”

M. Abigor bowed, a figure of masculine elegance.  He turned at the door, smiled and left the room.  Within moments, Madame Gomosy entered.   I still stood behind my chair, frozen, barely breathing.

“Well, Madame, you have survived this visit unscorched.  Ah!  You minded your manners or at least you did not insult the Devil!  Bon!  You live another day.  Your M. Demon will be glad of it.”

Rooted to the spot, blindly I put out my hand to her, and Madame came to my side.  I almost fainted and I found Madame’s arms around me, supporting me.  But it was Monsieur’s arms now around me, transformed by her particular magic, and at this moment, I was grateful.  I leaned on his chest, and I could hear his heart.  I started to shiver violently and Monsieur picked me up and sat down in a chair.  He rubbed my arm, my back and thigh.  I couldn’t stop shivering, my shock so great and Monsieur cooed to me gently. Soon I was weeping into his linen.

“Ah, my poor thing.  Perhaps M. Abigor let down his glamour for a minute and you saw him for the demon he is?  Perhaps you looked into his eyes and were frightened? Ah! It happens with devils.  We look like humans, when we want to, it is our favorite disguise, but the eyes will tell all. The horrors of hell show up in these pools of darkness.  It is the one piece of ourselves we can not transform.  Quel dommage!”

I still shivered and Monsieur crossed over to the bed.  He pulled back the bedclothes and covered me to my chin, chaffing my arms under the covers.  He also rubbed my legs but decided a few hot bricks would be of service.  Bringing two hot bricks from the fireplace he placed them by my feet.  In a couple of minutes, my shivering stopped.  I fell into deep sleep.

I was told I was unconscious for a day, and cried out.  There was little to be done, for the shock I received from the presence of M. Abigor would have to be endured.  I am now told M. Abigor was pleased with my company and his tea, and this was the usual fate of dining with such devils.  The next time, my mortal system would adjust, and I would not suffer such effects.

If this is to encourage me, Madame Gormosy is wide of her mark. I saw too much in M. Abigor’s eyes.  No amount of immortal elegance could hide those visions of Hell.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007-2010

I reverse myself and it’s good to have friends who know what to do.

March 26, 2009

Ok, I’m wanky. I admit it.  I deleted almost all of “Devil’s Revenge” because I was advised it would be best.  I jumped the gun actually.  This novel isn’t up for any review, or to be published soon…tremendous rewrite necessary…after all, it was written almost 3 years ago and sat on the computer almost forgotten.

I consulted friends,  and I got the same advice:  take it down.  Then I discussed this with a man who has become a friend, Dr RK Singh.  He writes this to me this morning.

Dear Jane,
I don’t think it affects much to publish your work that is already on your blog. Yes, an item already printed in a journal may not be re-printed in another journal. But whatever we place on our blog can always be submitted to use in a print journal.

Finally, another editor came in with this advice:  “Let her post, but take it down, if she finally submits to us.”

Ok….that works for me.  And, the novel will be significantly different when finished.  It better be.

I received a number of emails when I wrote  I was taking down the novel.  I suspected  it wasn’t my charming commentary drawing them to read, it was the novel.  And they confirmed that they liked the novel, in some cases, were PASSIONATE about the wanky story….!  LOL!

Who can resist this? Not most writers and certainly not me!

So, because they entertain, but more so, because readers here have been very, very helpful in their pointed queries and questions about where this story is going, characters, etc….I will ‘judiciously’ post some of “Devil’s Revenge” here.

And because it also pleases me to do so.  Hell, this trip has to be a two way street, or why bother?

Lady Nyo


Chapter 35,  Part 1

“So, M. Demon”.

Madame Gomosy raised her head from her cards and addressed Garrett across the table.

“Tell us a bit of who declared for your side.  Mon Dieu!  This house was so full of those Devils that day!  They have left soot marks on the walls and some dents in the floors.”

Madame Gomosy was having her fun.  I am assured by the Demon nothing of the sort has happened downstairs.  However, it is a couple of days before I was allowed outside of this room, and perhaps there was a kernel of truth in Madame’s comments.

Garrett looked up from his hand.  He was losing, but that was because Madame had subtle tricks with the cards.  She cheats.   Faro was her game and she was hard to beat at cards.  Garrett has not caught on yet, but he will.  His pile of coin was lessening and Madame’s was growing.  My old trick of launching my shoe to the side of Madame and peering at her cards was not working today, for she was not indulging my trickery.  That was tolerated only when we are alone.  I am not winning a coin here.

Garrett looked up at her and thought a minute.  “Almost enough for my side of the board.”  He referred to the impending warfare as the Chess Game From Hell.

“Ah! And who are these Demons coming to your side?”  Madame coyly kept her eyes on her cards.

Garrett uttered a low curse, and threw his hand on the table.  He was a poor loser at cards, and not gracious  about it.

“Madame”, he said sharply.  “Will you indulge me and allow me some time with this woman?”

He cast his eyes at me and Madame smiled slyly.

“Of course, Monsieur le Demon.  I have other work to attend.”

Madame got up and left the room gracefully, my Demon bowing her out the door.

I put my cards down, suspicious of his behavior.

“Were you losing that much money this morning?”  I know he hates faro, and isn’t the card sharp Madame is to best her.

He turned from the door, his expression hard to read.  “We have things to discuss Betsy this morning. You can play with Madame later.”

He moved to his chair across from our tea table.

“I have talked to Abigor.  He agrees with my plans.”  He sat there, not looking at me, and I could see he was struggling with something he had  to say.

“And if they include me, would you at least tell me my part?”  I saw him hesitate.

“These dreams you have, Bess.  Abigor thinks they are important.”

Ah!  So Abigor, an Arch Duke of Hell thought them important, never mind my sleep was wracked with images that frighten me.

“Aamon has bound me to him.  I have promised to follow his counsel and visit the otherworld.  You’re going with me.”

He looked at me, and I could see from his eyes that he would not brook an argument. I remembered his handling of the whip a few days ago.

“Then tell me what this ‘otherworld’ is, Garrett.  At least allow me the favor of this.”

“You know the dreams of the Morrigen and Cernunnos?  They are not idle events.  They speak to a kinship that I have known for a while and have avoided for various reasons.”

At least this is a start!  It gave some shape and comfort to what happened here and some answers to his origin.

“But this otherworld you speak of.  What is it exactly?  Is it like Hell?”

“No, it actually would be something you would have studied perhaps.  Let’s call it the Mystic Isles for the moment.”  He looks at the floor, deep in thought.

“Somewhere in Scotland?”  I think of a previous dream, that first one of Culloden.

“Close.  But more distant, too.”

Ah! He’s into games this morning.  But I’m not following.

“Avalon?”  He smiles, he is humoring me.

“Avalon is only a small part of it all.  The two worlds, the present and the otherworld have portals.  Your visits from Morrigen and Aine had meaning to me but until I discussed them with Abigor and Aamon, I didn’t know how important they were.”

He sucked on a thumb and spit out a piece of a nail.  “I am to seek support and forces from among my own kin.  Obadiah has his forces from Hell, as do I have, but I also have the magic of  this particular otherworld to plunder.”

He finally turned to me and looked at me closely.  “Abigor thinks you essential to this.  The Morrigen is going through you to reach me.”  He pauses and scowls.  “As is Cernunnos.”

It seemed to me both Cernunnos and the Morrigen had no qualms in how they reached him.  If I was a vessel, the price I paid here was a costly one.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009

A Challenge: Plot changes and do they work? Then, “Devil’s Revenge”…Chapter 26, Part 1

March 23, 2009

A fine writer friend, in the UK, has been writing a novel in public.  How this goes I am not exactly sure, but he writes and then asks for suggestions on plot, character, etc.  This is risky business, but it also is a very interesting way to include readers right in the beginning, or at least at points where advice could be helpful.

All novelists get into a rut. Life intrudes.  Or perhaps, we allow our characters to run away with the story/plot/action.  Sometimes I will read something I’ve written months ago, maybe years, on a WIP, and I think…where and how did I come up with THAT?

Perhaps that is the fun of writing, but we have to take control of our books.  Not overly so, where we have no surprises (for ourselves) or we gag, mute our characters…but we have to drive the carriage.

The character Garrett sprang full life onto the stage: I know where he came from…a previous WIP,  but he was so different.  He was fully fleshed out and took control of the book early on.  I ‘allowed’ this because I was curious as to where he would take it.  Well, I thought the book would hit the wall, but it didn’t…it just took a sharp detour.

And this is where it stands.  Garrett, Abigor, Madame Gormosy, the other devils, and Betsy, are being shifted into another plane.  Another dimension apparently.  A suggestion was made by Abigor somewhere that Garrett reach back in history (way back!) and consolidate his power with ancient kin:  9th Century Wales and the dribbles of Druids left, to be exact. Apparently, Obadiah has his own legions on earth, and Garrett needs to consolidate his from where he can find them.

Confusing?  Yep, to me too.  I haven’t a clue why and how this happened…but I wrote it.  It’s there, and then it made sense.

So, I am warning  readers that this shift from 1820s to 9th Century Wales is going to be a bit strange.  Dragon lines, Ley Lines, energy lines, horned gods and goddesses, magic of a very different kind than devil’s magic.  But still magic.

So much of the research I did then centered around ‘anima loci’ (the place personality or ‘place-soul’) a concept we have lost and should rediscover.  Our gridded out streets and litter filled parks and constant concrete doesn’t satisfy something primal in us at all.

This chapter is one of the first where plot changes are pointed out.  Where there are going to be some big shifts in the reality of the characters and the story.  Any ideas are very welcome because I can be as confused about where this novel is going as anyone reading.  And, I haven’t changed the tense of this chapter yet, and might not do so, but sorry if it lends to some confusion.  There’s plenty enough to go around.

Lady Nyo


Chapter 26

Madame Gomosy has made herself scarce.  This is welcome because I can spend just so many hours playing faro and waving a fan.  My Demon disappears behind his books during the day, and frequently leaves the house, to return by dusk.  I am left to myself, and fill my hours with trying to finish my novel, the event that brought me here to this place.

We have an unspoken agreement.  I will not trespass on his time with his books, and he will not bother me when I am writing.  I now see that regardless how I end the book, things have spiraled out of control, and there are forces at work far beyond what I have imagined.

This dream of Cernunnos bothers me for more than the obvious reasons.  I am beginning to think this ‘fancy’  was not so random at all.  Perhaps it has a deeper meaning, unrevealed as yet, and it was ‘placed there’ by some unknown force, leading a way to some answers. Although my Demon claims control,  I have come to think that even he is unaware of what it portends.  Madame is a tricky devil, but she claims that my demon comes from a royal line, and is no common demon.  I have called him a ‘demon’ because I have no other way to define him, my knowledge of mythology scant.  Of course, magic confuses the picture, and devils are known for their trickery.  They can be too entertaining.

As my Demon leaves the house, I go into the library and look for some clues.  There are enough books, all of them old.  I think about the libraries at Alexandria, destroyed by barbarian hordes.  There, surely, with the combined knowledge and wisdom of Persian and so many cultures, would be the answers I seek.  But that is dust and this is just dusty, and I am left to find what answers I can.

As I remove books from a high shelf over my head, one large book is unbalanced, and falls at my feet.  I stoop to pick it up, and it is about Celtic Mythology.  I am not one who is superstitious, but this seems as good a place as any to start.   The dream of Cernunnos runs parallel to this book in my hand.  Upon opening it, the first words I read  express a dichotomy that runs through my present existence.

It seems to Bran a wondrous beauty
In his curragh on a clear sea
While to me in my chariot from afar
It is a flowery plain on which I ride

What is a clear sea
For the prowed craft in which Bran is,
Is a Plain of Delights with profusion of flowers
For me in my two-wheeled chariot

Bran sees
A host of waves breaking across a clear sea
I myself see in Magh Mon
Red-tipped flowers without blemish

Sea-horses glisten in the summer
As far as Bran’s eye can stretch
Flowers pour forth a stream of honey
In the land of Manannan son of Ler

Speckled salmon leap forth from the womb
Of the white sea upon which you look;
They are calves, bright-coloured lambs
At peace, without mutual hostility

It is along the top of a wood
That your tiny craft has sailed along the ridges,
A beautiful wood with its harvest of fruit,
Under the prow of your tiny boat.

Here is my confusion!  Here is an answer, though partial.  My Demon and I live in separate worlds, but occupy together the same.  He floats through mine, and I step into his. This poem is spoken by the Otherworldly Manannan, attempting to explain to the mortal Bran how their differences in perception lie at the root of their divergent realities.
This speaks to the bafflement that runs through our existence.  This speaks to my frustration with him.

As I read on, I begin to understand the symbolism of the dream, as it is reflected in the world of the Celts.  The natural world surrounds these people on all sides.   They were aware of its presence and their dependence on its balance and fertility for their basic nurture and comfort.   Nothing bypasses this dependence, whether the soil, their crops or the animals.  The hunters go out to the forest, to bring food for their families.  The wolves and bears stalk the settlements for their own.  Nature, in fang and claw, in blood and gore, would have shaped days and nights and filled dreams.  It would have seeped into every hope and fear. The satyrs were symbols of the fusion of humankind and animals, and part of the magic and religious system that they carried in belief.  And Cernunnos? Ah! He was the embodiment of the fertility that was necessary for the seasons to turn and mankind and all else to survive.  I was, in that dream, very much part of that ritual of life. I was a vessel for that seed,  from Cerunnos’ loins, planted into the soil, to be fruitful and nourish new life.

There was much more of this same theme as I read on.  The foundation, the building stones of what I was reading, and this Celtic culture, was called animistic thinking.   I came across a dramatic example of this in the poem  Cad Coddeu, or “The Battle of the Trees”.  A mythical battle between two forces, one mortal against the forces of the chthonic deities, dwelling beneath the earth, where a wizard Gwyddion transformed a forest of trees into a writhing, hostile army.

“…Alder, pre-eminant in lineage, attacked first
Willow and rowan were late to the battle
Thorny plum greedy for slaughter,
Powerful dogwood, resisting prince….
…Swift and mighty oak, before him trembled heaven and earth…”

Perhaps my Demon, though I could no longer think of him in such terms, but my Garrett, would call forth such an army for battle.

This was a time, a period, and a culture, where shape-shifting was part of it all.  It was part of the ‘dna’ if you will, of a culture that remembered the totemistic myths of previous ancestors. Clans seemed to arise around a particular animal.  There might be bird-people, or wolf-people, oak-people and river people.  Each clan would feel a strong kinship to a particular animal or element, and it would be taboo for them to violate these totem creatures in any way.  These spirits, these ancestral spirits protected the clan from disease and violence.  To harm any member of the clan would provoke the wrath of this daemonic spirit. I thought perhaps, considering his courting manners, that my demon Garrett, …was part of the Goat Clan.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009

“Devil’s Revenge…..Chapter 16

March 12, 2009

I’m heavy into the rewrite of this whole book , and haven’t looked at this chapter closely.  There will be issues of tense, etc…but it’s a funny chapter and this blog hopes to entertain.

Lady Nyo

Chapter 16

My 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.  Then 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.  It is a room with a high bed, old dusty curtains at its corners and a shotgun by the bed.  He would just have to stretch his hand out to retrieve it.  I look at it, knowing something about shotguns, but this gun is ancient.  I don’t touch it, but it looks very heavy, with a scrolled and embossed silver plate, badly tarnished on the breech.  It could have killed many times.  It is evil looking as all guns are to me.

I look out his windows though 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 stretches for miles. It is mid January now, and the view is as bleak as it was in December.  The skies are a uniform gray, with an occasional black cloud, and the ground is brittle and dun colored.  There is little notice of life outside, except for that hawk that flies each day, patrolling its territory.  Or so I believe.  My 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.  He 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 comprehension.

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 use is becoming worn, and pulling from the fabric.  I am forever cutting off little ends that unravel. 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.

I believe he has gone off to consult with different Demons of his own tribe.  I guess 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, Betsy.  Today 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 want 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 my Demon’s 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 you.  They are soon to appear.   They will assist you this morning.”

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 that 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 that 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 both 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 am in shock and must be going hysterical.

“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 from them?”

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

I trail the frogs into the other 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 he 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 attached (?) to their pads and they wash my hair with their spit.  One frog emits 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 other does the same, and they rub hard. Two pick up my legs, I feel like a wishbone right now, and they do the same.  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 decided 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 that 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 heavy silk and they float it over my head.  It fits, but hugs my body in places.  They all give a croak of approval, or this is what it seems to me.  They brush out my hair and the chief frog places a circlet of spun gold around my forehead.  I am barefoot, but apparently, I am expected to stay that way.

The frogs lead me back into the bedroom where my 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 that bad an ordeal now, was it?”  He looked at me appraisingly.

“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.”  That meant him bowing to the Duke.

“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 loose courage, little woman of mine.  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 frogspit 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 one.  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, have 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 adgenda.  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

“Devil’s Revenge”,Chapter 17.

December 26, 2008

I wrote this story two years ago, and am just looking it over.  I have posted bits and pieces of it on ERWA and here, and there seems to be a little following of readers.

(21st. century writer is pulled back to the 1820’s and consorts with Demons. One in particular, Garrett, who has become her ‘protector’ of sorts, except from him.  Abigor is an Arch Duke in Hell, and they are meeting this tricky devil, Betsy for the first time.)


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 at me, 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 standing at the window, watching the gloom gather.  His senses are sharpened, even his ears are more pointed like a bats–

“I heard that”, he said from the window, not turning around.  “It will be time to leave soon, so wipe your eyes and gather your courage.  And curb your venom.  Remember to whom you owe your safety this night.”

He turns and smiles at me.  Ah! I hate him and love him at the same time!  He is so handsome, so strong looking. My heart melts in my breast.

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

He turns back to the window, and then lowering his voice he says   “It’s time.”
He moves toward me, and kisses me gently on the lips and then I enter a darkness, insensate.

I awake to the night, as he walks through a woods, with a sword in his right hand.  I am on his left, and he is holding me by the hand.  The night is dark, only a gibbon moon in the sky. It must have risen earlier.  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 are a number of burning torches illuminating the area.  There seem to be a million fireflies around us, but now I think it is something different.  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, and has a full white beard coursing down his chest. He is dressed all in black, but of a style of a more ancient age.  He has a large white ruff around his neck, and what appear to be gold buttons down two sides of his bodice.  He has a large, black dog at his feet, or it might be a wolf.  Whatever it is, it is chained to the ground, and has red eyes that glow in the light of the torches. This 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.

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

Now I could hear Abigor talk in a low rumble.  Garrett answered in the same way. It was as if they were talking on an  alien wave length, too deep for mortal ears.  I tried to look at the ground before me, and to 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.  Then I heard Abigor clearly addressing me.

“Come here, woman, let me see your features clearly.”  I looked at my Demon besides 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 there ever was one.

“Ah! She has courage, your woman”, said Abigor.  He looked at my Demon and a look 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 Lover give a short laugh and say I was entertaining, and that he knew he could breed me.  I was learning to become submissive 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 obvious to all present 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 visit. She is a good harem dancer, and sings pleasingly 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 is a fast learner. 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 came 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 that 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, and 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 the 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, darling?”  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 about it?”

“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 demons 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’ 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 disappeared.

“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 seems to be a time where all reason is suspended.  This was a night of it.  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, 2006,2008

Devil’s Revenge, Chapter 1

December 21, 2008

This is the second novel I wrote, two years ago.  I have posted some of the chapters on ERWA and here…and am getting some interest from readers.

WARNING:  It’s very raw and lots of issues with the writing.  It was previously a rape scene, but because of the  anti-rape issue at ERWA, I changed it and lost some of the power of the chapter.  Might change it back again.  There are 34 chapters so far and that’s a lot of rewrite.

Lady Nyo

Chapter 1

I screamed and sat upright in bed, gasping in terror.  Blinking my eyes rapidly, I was trying to focus in the dim light.  An ember had exploded from the low burning fire and rolled onto the hearth. Asleep, it sounded like gunshot.  This wasn’t my bedroom, but strangely, it was familiar.  I looked around, and suddenly knew where I was.  Many years ago, I wrote a description of this room in a novel and now I was lying in the bed I had carefully constructed for the main two characters..  But the compression of my breath was not imagined and looking downward, I was wearing a corset, laced tightly over a linen chemise.  No wonder I thought I was suffocating.  A mobcap was falling over my eyes and I snatched it off.  I knew the closet in the corner contained a toilet because I had written that detail into the book and I slipped out and padded across the wood floor.  It is a strange thing to pee in a chamber pot in the morning.  The noise of urine hitting china is loud music for the morning, jarring one’s senses.

Coming from the closet, I sat down before the fireplace.  The fire was still burning and a pile of faggots were heaped on the sidehearth.  At least I could warm up this room.    A cup of tea sat on the table, still hot.  It was black and strong, and would do well for my rumbling stomach.   I shoved my bare foot from under my chemise and thought, ”Where is my nail polish?” I usually wear cherry red in the winter and my toes were bare.  Queer business within this strange room.

I walked to the dresser and picked up a hand mirror.  The image appeared to be me, my hair the usual color, my skin the same shade.  There were clothes spread across the back of a chair. Where was my bra?  Apparently these half-stays served the same purpose.  They certainly constricted the breast more than a bra and pushed it up to extremes.  I took the one dress from the chair and held it at arm’s length.  It was a rich, heavy silk with green stripes on pale yellow.   Straight sleeves fell to the wrists, the bodice cut low.  I wondered how modest one could be in such a fashion, with the tops of the breasts so prominent.  Under the gown was a pair of bloomers.    Crotchless, they were open from the front to the back.  I giggled, a little beginning hysteria.  Like Alice in Wonderland, I felt as if I had dropped down a rabbit hole.

The room was chilly. I needed to get dressed.  I stepped into the gown and pulled it up to my shoulders.  It hooked in the front of the bodice.  Next, 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 would be useful when you wanted to pee.  The shoes were another surprise.  They were made exactly alike, neither a left nor a right. Made of leather, with a thin sole and low wooden heel, they tied to my ankle with ribbons..  There was a blue shawl, of fine merino wool, light and warm.  I wrapped it around my shoulders. I was dressed enough.  I could do little with my hair except brush and wear it loose down my back.

Now warmer, I could explore my surroundings.  The room was of a generous proportion, a dark beamed ceiling above.  I was raised in a pre-Revolutionary War house on the east coast and knew this room to be as old as my childhood home.  There were no paintings or prints on the walls, but above the fireplace, was a shotgun.  I knew it to be so because it was a breech loader.  I had hunted rabbits with one.

This room was a corner one with two long windows along each wall. The wind outside was blowing the light snowfall around and I shivered standing by the single paned windows. It was still rather dark outside, and except for the outline of trees, I couldn’t determine much of the landscape.

I pulled the shawl tighter around my shoulders.

Before I left the room, I tried the door in the middle of a wall. It opened into another room, obviously a bedroom.  A large poster bed, a wardrobe, another shotgun in the corner by the bed,  this must be a man’s room. I turned back to my bedroom and  tried the other door.  It led to a wide hall, to the top of a staircase.

The house seemed deserted.  I went down carefully, trying not to slip in these strange shoes and walked through a wide first floor hall.  I looked into a couple of rooms. No people and no fires in the fireplaces.  The whole house was bitterly cold.  My footsteps sounded loud on the wood floors in the halls.  There was a closed door to the right.  I opened it, and sitting in the far part of the room, was the character I devised for a novel.  I am a writer and I created him sixteen years ago.  I named him Garrett Cortelyou.    He looked up, sat back, and stared at me rudely. Christ!  This looked like trouble.

“Come in,” he said.  “It is trouble.”  I was astonished at his words.  It seemed impossible.  Can this creature read my thoughts?

“Of course I can.  I can do more than that.” He sat with a scowl on his face.

I fashioned Garrett Cortelyou from a number of sources, and, seeing him before me, I was pleased. It is one thing to imagine, it is another to see the results.  He was large man, with broad shoulders.  He was sitting behind a desk, so I was limited in my observation.  Dark hair, rather long for the 1820’s, but I created Garrett to be his own man.  He proved to be a stubborn character, and not an easy birth.  He was clean shaven and 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?”

“Yesterday you picked me up by the scruff of the neck and put me in a dark closet, telling me to ‘cool my heels.”  What did you expect me to be?”

“It was a metaphor, cool your heels.”  I was surprised, because I had enough of writing and needed time off.  This change went on for 16 years, but I wasn’t going to correct his perceptions of time.  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 left me there all day.”

“Not all day, Garrett…just enough time to settle down.  You did get an apology from Jennie and got to second base with her.”  This was too strange!

“Come here, let me see you closely.”  Oh! That was walking into the lion’s den.

I entered the room and stood across from his desk.  He looked me over, his eyes running the length of me.    “You look small.  I thought you would more impressive. And 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.”

As fast as a cat, he came around the desk and grabbed me in his arms. He sat down with me in his lap.  The smell of wood smoke and ale was strong on him.  Now I was worried.

“You should be.  You play with people too much.” He pinned my hands to my thighs. He was strong, too strong for me to fight, and we sat there for a moment in silence, staring at each other.  Up close, I thought his nose added an air of interest to his face.

“Damn right, it does.”….

“You forget sir, I created you,” I said, my voice squeaking a bit in fear.

“And you forget, madam, anything is possible.  I can dominate you as easily as you have me.”

“You wouldn’t have seen the light of day had I not thought of you!”

“Ah, you were a bored secretary and it occupied your time.  Your wet 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 to know, because right now, and until I release you, you’re under my thumb.”

“What do you want with me?”  I was scared.  This was impossible, the stuff of nightmares. Had I smoked one too many joints?

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 and a tumble.”

“You are a jackass. You act like an animal. Let me go.”  I tried to rise from his knee, and he pulled me closer to him.

“Will you stop playing the virgin, it doesn’t fit you at all.”   I was starting to panic.  I had created this character,  this man  before me, and I knew something of his sexual appetites.

He laughed, reading my thoughts.  “You created me?  I’m from the slime, I’m a mixture  of men throughout time, with all the cocksure ways of manhood.  You created something that you can’t control, and now you’re afraid?  You should have thought further down the road, my dear.  And you should be afraid.  You think that you know my sexual 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 proper for that.  Here.”  He took one of my hands and placed it on the front of his breeches.  It swelled with an erection.

“’His erection,’ not ‘an erection.’  There’s no other man in the room, now, is there? You assume too much, darling.  But let’s not quibble over small matters…and I don’t mean my cock. You will find it better than you wrote.”

My face was heated from his words.  There was no denying I was getting aroused.  I had wondered a bit what he would be like in the heat of passion.  Just daydreams, sitting at my desk.  Faced with reality, I was feeling the effects in the usual places.

He shoved my arms behind my back and held them easily with one hand. With the other, still balancing me on his knee, he tenderly traced my cheek and neck with a finger, looking into my eyes.    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 against his shoulder.

“There”, he said in a low voice as he held me against him.  “How do you like being kissed by something you have created?  You thought I would allow you your pleasure and not have my own?”  He pushed me upright on his knee, my head wobbling with the effort.

I caught my breath.  “I gave you Jennie, you monster!”  This was a rather stupid thing to say, 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 aim to have more.  You look like you could feed me for a week.”

“Oh, let me go, you’re not real!”

He stood up, grabbing and lifting me from his knee.  He rubbed the front of his breeches.  “Is this not real enough for you?  Good, let’s go where I show you what’s real and what’s not.”

He pulled me fast from the room, and I stumbled after him up the staircase.  He walked down the hall and opened a door, flinging me into a room.  It was my bedroom of the morning.    He stood with his back to the door and locked it.  I ran to the other door, but he was quicker. Picking me up, 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 loudly.  He was the very devil.

He dragged a chair from the room and sat facing the bed, one long leg propped up on the mattress.   If I tried to leap from the bed, I would jump right into his arms.  He sat there, and 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.”

“I can snap my fingers and you will be gone,” I said desperately.  I closed my eyes and snapped my fingers.

He remained before me grinning wickedly.  “Try again.”

I snapped my fingers again.  Nothing.   The demon lover was still there.

“Ah…you called me ‘lover.’  Perhaps you won’t resist me and John Thomas here.”

“I called you ‘demon lover’.  You’re forgetting that first word.”

“You created me.  It’s all in your calling.”

“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.”

“A small one it is.”  A snap.   Another tankard appeared.

He got up and retrieved the two tankards.  He 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, you are!”  I would laugh at his presumption, but he was correct.  I had created him from my own secret lust, and spared nothing in doing so.

“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.”

He put down his tankard and smiled.  “Sometimes there’s a rip in the fabric of time and all hell breaks loose.   Dimensions warp and dragon lines bulge.  The usual workings of a universe gone bad.”

“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 of me?”  I looked at him, already knowing part of 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 my sex grew wet.   I looked up at him, my face coloring, 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 good tumble was welcome.  Sex hadn’t been on the agenda for a long time. He was too much temptation in the flesh to deny.

He stood up, stretched, and sat upon the bed, pulling off his boots.  He threw off his waistcoat, one I had embroidered in planning the book, a pretty cream satin with figures..  “Flowering” as it said in  Pamela.

“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.”

Again, like a cat, he was over me, pinning me down with the weight of his body.   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 raised himself, and ripped the front of the dress from my breasts.  “There. Now, will you lay still and quit resisting?  You know you want me, your body isn’t lying. Why play the coy virgin now?”

“Go back to your hell, Demon”.   I spat at him, my eyes flashing.  He wiped my spittle off his face with his sleeve.  His eyes shot out a warning I couldn’t miss if I was blind.

“I will go back to my hell, the one you so easily write 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.  You look like you know enough. At least for right now.”

He pulled up the skirt of my dress, and spread my legs with his.   I had forgotten about those crotchless bloomers.  He gently 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.  My hips pushed into his hand.

“A neat invention, don’t you think?  Easy to get to the pearl in the oyster.” He pulled his own shirt over his head, and I realized I’d never given him enough credit.  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 both. But you only saw my cock in shadows.  I always thought you could write that scene better.”

“How?  Men say that it’s ‘somewhat arousing’ and women say it’s ‘over the top.’ “

“Are you ever original?  Here, place your hand on this cock and tell me if you have ever felt one finer.”

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 as good as he.”

“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?  Now, I have a blazing hard-on and I intend to use it.”

I smiled  and closed my eyes.    I would not let him hear any moan of pleasure..  He rose between my legs and pulled me to him, and began to enter slowly.  I grunted with his movements.   He was bigger than I had imagined (“You’re right again” I heard him whisper,”) and he took his time, stretching me slowly.  Spitting into his hand, he rubbed the base of his cock. He sat back on his legs, and kept my hips to his.  Would he ever finish?

“No…not until I hear you coo like the turtledoves.”

He turned over, not losing contact with me.  Sitting upright at the headboard he pulled me straight up onto him, his hands under my buttocks. I threw my arms around his neck and held on tightly, one breast in front of his mouth.

I groaned in spite of myself.  My mouth opened and he stuck his finger in.  I bit down hard and he laughed.  He dropped me down on his cock and made me gasp, my head thrown back on my shoulders.   He tried to seek my mouth with his but I would not let him. He laughed again, and turned over completely.  He tilted my pelvis with an arm under my waist, and drove into me, deeper with each thrust.  I could not take this too long and I screamed as I reached my orgasm, my legs wrapped around his waist.    He reached his shortly after, and fell across the bed, panting loudly.    I guess this is standard for all lovers.

“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 with him after this lovemaking.  All of a sudden I thought about Jennie, his intended in the novel.

“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 last chapter.”

“Don’t worry… I’ll open a window this time.”

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2006, 2008


December 20, 2008

Apparently some of you out there have been reading “Devil’s Revenge”….and some have privately written to me to post more.  There is a little bit of interest in this story.

I warn you, it’s rough and not yet rewritten, and I have learned something in the previous two years from the writing, but I have no energy right now to rewrite….and it’s a funny story, so I will post it in pieces here until the tide changes and the pikes come out.

Lady Nyo


Chapter 3

Stretching like a cat, I awoke slowly.  Suddenly I smelled the strong scent of wood smoke and bounced upright in bed.  Looking around, I saw the fireplace and realized where I was.  Damn, it was happening again!  The Demon was playing fast and loose with my atoms, zapping me from my own comfortable bed and century.  How in hell does he do this?  Hah! Like he would tell me, but at least this time I wasn’t sick to my stomach.

The Demon had a name, Garrett Cortelyou, and was the hero of a novel I wrote sixteen years ago.   Cocksure of his charms, arrogance fed into his seduction and I found he was a danger to my decorum and decency.  Compounding the situation he was devilishly attractive and exuded an unearthly charisma.    He was master of a particular brand of sexual magic and his appetite knew no bounds.   He delighted in corrupting me, shocking me with his…. techniques.  I would call him a libertine.  He had little concern I was married and I forgot I was when he was near.  There was a certain charm in his humor and he was an entertaining devil.  Sexual encounters with him were addictive and probably dangerous. But this could not continue – I was losing control of myself.  He was a sharp-eyed critic and petards my writing with his presence and demands.

Here I was, early morning by the light in the room, and again, in a strange bed.   I had to pee, and knew from past visits where the chamber closet was.  It was cold in the room, the fire was dying down and I hurried across the floor. The sound of a pee in a china pot is quite intimate, as water with our modern toilets muffles sound.  Leaving the closet,  I stumbled over my feet in surprise.  There, sitting in a chair, was my Demon.

“I thought we agreed you would refer to me as your “Demon Lover”?  Garrett was eating a large slice of currant bread, the Dutch escapes me now –

“Kretenbroad”, he said, dusting the crumbs off his chest as he chewed.

“Thank you, the Dutch eluded me.”

“Anna makes good kretenbroad..  I think I will marry her.” He grinned at me and snapped  his fingers, making a dish of tea appear on the table for me.

“You could do worse.”  According to the first novel, Anna was the spinster niece of Daniel Griggs, the manservant who lived in this house for thirty years.

“Much more. Get your facts straight.”

“Garrett, what gives you leave to invade my bedroom at all times of the morning?”

Still chewing his bread, he gave a devilish grin.  “I like celestial music in the morning.”

“What are you talking about? What music?”   He could be so silly and confounded me many times.

“The music a woman makes when she pees in a chamber pot,” he said grinning broadly.

“You are a nasty demon.”  I was getting impatient with his antics.  He took great liberties.

“ Come drink your tea before it cools, “ he said, dusting the crumbs to the floor.

I sat down in my nightgown, and picked up the ‘dish’ of tea.  It really was a bowl with two handles, but every time he conjured up tea for me, it was good.

“Of course it is, I made and stirred it with my –“

“Don’t tell me, Garrett, I won’t be able to drink.”  He really was nasty this morning, and his visits were always backed with a purpose.

“Always backed”?  That’s more garbled English.  Write it in Dutch.”

“All right, Demon!” I was getting irritated.  “”Why are you here?” (Better I ask why I am here…) I was struggling with the book, trying to finish and every time we were together in this room, there was a setback in my writing, or a detour, or something strange and distracting.

“Oh? You see me as a distraction? I can be more dangerous than that.”  He burped loudly.  He had the table manners of a goat.

“Bahhh”.  He grinned crazily, and for whatever reason he appeared this morning, I was heading for trouble.

“First, give me your hand, and be more tender towards me.”  He extended his hand across the table, and gave me a sweet smile.  For some reason, he did this each visit. I never trusted him, especially when he was extending his paw.

“ ‘Hand’.”  He nodded to himself.  “And call me  ‘Lover’.  I miss that from you.”

I had to smile.  He was such an insecure devil.

“I am not. It’s just that you are a bad writer.” He lunged across the table and grabbed my hand.  “And still not fast on your feet.”

A current like water flowed from his hand to mine.  I was knocked back at the intensity of his touch.  He had done this before but something was different today.

“You fed me. See, Betsy, I was starving, and your cooking restored my strength.”  He grinned and would not let go of my hand.  “Anna made me stronger, too…and I thank thee for her.”    Anna was a good Dutch cook apparently.

“I don’t think I want to fokken her, though.”  He couldn’t resist.  “Nope, don’t want to do that at all.” He finally looked serious.  “ I read what you wrote…and again, you should stick to what you know.” He smiled at me, yanking my hand towards him.

“What in hell are you talking about?”  He rubbed the front of his breeches, and leered.

“Sex?” Is that the word you can’t think of?  You have to use sign language?”

“Ha…funny! Especially coming from a woman who obviously doesn’t know a thing about fellatio.”

I sat up, and thought back to what I wrote. “What was wrong with it?”

“See the sentence above the last.”

“Now you are going stupid.  Of course I know about it, I’ve been married for years.”

“Then your husband doesn’t know much.”   He had me there.

“I will teach you something useful –the devil leered again-  and make you an better writer.”  He grinned, and the current between us grew stronger.  My hand felt like it was melting into his, the heat fusing our flesh together.

“That’s what good …(the devil burped) …sex  is supposed to feel like.”

Garrett was a cock-sure devil, ( “damn right”) and most of his suggestions for the novel were on target.  He had lived in those years, the early part of the 19th century, and knew the social customs of the period.  I could only rely on my spotty research for these things.

“Hold still.  I will put something nice in your mouth, sweet woman.”  Ah, God…his mind was always fixated on lust.

“It effects better parts of me too, but you keep your knees together too much.  Ah, seduction of women writers is hard work.”

“You’ve used that line before, Garrett.  Now, who is original.”  My little joke didn’t please and he pulled me over the table and into his lap.  It happened so fast I couldn’t resist him.

“Give your highwayman a kiss, sweet Bessie.”  When he was in this mood, there was no denying the demon.

“Oh!” I said., sitting upright on his knee.   “That’s one of my favorite poems.  “The Highwayman”.  I thought it the most romantic poem I ever read when I was twelve.”

“Doesn’t turn out too nice, both of them dead.  That musket beneath her breast….” He shook his head and burped again.  His stomach at least was all too human.

I lay my head on his shoulder.  He could be a sweet devil, and evoked tender emotions from me he didn’t deserve.  He thought it a good time, when I was docile in his arms (“won’t last long”- I heard him think!) to pick me up and walk to the bed.  He lay down besides me, and placed my head on his shoulder.

“You are rather sweet this morning, my Demon Lover.” His temper was usually like mercury.  I think we were coming to terms.

“Well, we have, my darling.  I have chased away all the competition and you have me at ball and cock.”

I had to laugh here.  I was still married, and older than him by decades.

“I was born in 1790. Beat that.”

I thought I was robbing the cradle.  He was such a beautiful creation, but still, just a figment of my imagination.

“You really need to expand your horizons, sweeting.  There are so many parts to the universe and you just occupy one. You limit yourself by what you believe.”

I never accepted the stories of ghosts, haunts or spirits, but lying by his side, I was beginning to wonder.  He appeared flesh and blood enough this morning, especially as he grabbed my hand and placed it on his half mast cock swelling under his breeches.

“Good. You learn something.  Am I real enough for you now?   Let me show you something else.”  He passed his hand quickly from the top to the bottom of my nightgown and it melted away like smoke.

“Ah!  The first time I have seen you naked. You wear too many clothes. Let’s see what I’ve caught.”  He pushed my hair back from my breast, and stroked a nipple.

“You have pink nipples…very pretty!  And you are pink elsewhere, I see.”  I lay in his arms and blushed at his words.  He took my hand and placed it in his shirt, next to his heart.  He always wore a heavy linen shirt and I had become enchanted by his smell of  wood  smoke and probably brimstone.

“Very funny, sweet woman.  Now unclench those knees and let me make love to you.”

“Wasn’t it you who told me the portal to a woman’s soul is her mouth?”  I was teasing, trying to distract his limited mind.

He turned on his side and smiled tenderly down at me.  “You use my own words against me? You show courage. You also forget I am a nasty demon.”

“Not so nasty.  And getting better.”  His behavior had turned my mood from irritation to affection.  Conditions were changing between us and he was softening with a gentler touch.

“I have no softness, and don’t bet on it.”  He stroked my thigh and squeezed a breast.  I tried the same trick on his clothes, passing my hand down the length of him, and he laughed.

“It will take many decades, sweetheart, for you to learn that trick.”

“Not even levitating a chamber pot?”

“You would have more luck just throwing it.”

He was a handful, this Demon.   It was hard work keeping in stride with his wit.  He could have written a much better book, but then again, he likes best being the sharp-eyed critic.

Copyrighted, 2007
Jane Kohut-Bartels

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