Posts Tagged ‘Devils and Demons’

“Devil’s Revenge”…Chapter 23….

February 22, 2019

“The art of seduction is gaining a woman’s affections, under the pretence of being deeply enamoured, when at the same time despising the woman for her vanity and weakness.”

~~~~~~Madame Gormosy

 

Madame Gormosy.jpg

(Madame Gormosy, the cross dressing (cross sex, too) Devil of Lust)

In 2006, I started a novel, only my second one, from the ashes of the first.  I fell deeply in love with some of the characters, and instead of killing them off, I made them devils.  All with varying positions close to the Royal Hoof in Hell.

It was a long novel, and I loved it, but I went a little wild with the story.  Now?  I still love it, but I don’t think it would be tolerated by most of the reading public because it employs magic and after all,……those devils.   Personally I like them, or most of them, but they certainly entertained me when I wrote this book.

It’s too long by far, but I am thinking of some sharp editing, taking a meat cleaver to it, and seeing if it holds up.  It would take months to edit but it’s finished.  Actually there are two books in there.  My favorite character is Madame Gormosy (at times M. Gormosy,) and I would love to give her a public viewing.  The old gal deserves much from what I have put her through.

“““

“La! You have not remembered a thing!” Madame Gormosy passed into the room and gave a deep curtsey to Garrett, who was just leaving.

“Good Morning to you, ‘Madame’ Gormosy.”   He knew Madame by another title. His bow to her was expressively mocking.

Madame Gormosy did not take up his challenge. She was oblivious to all except what was before her. And unluckily, I was standing in her line of vision.

What is it with devils?

“Your lady, M. Garrett, dresses again dishabille. How am I to transform her if she denies my commands? She would scare away her cicisbeo with such a face!”

She tilted her head, looking at me like a disappointed owl.

“Surely some powder and a bit of rouge before breakfast! Quel dommage!”

I caught Garrett staring at me over Madame’s head. His face is unreadable, but there was a bit of warning in his eyes. Ah! This Demon was feeling his own bit of challenge! And from what appeared to be a woman in petticoats! What a delicious bit of play!

He left, a grimace on his face, and I gave Madame my prettiest curtsey.

“Well, at least you do that well enough. Now, back into that corset, ma chérie. Hold on to the bedpost.”

Madame grabbed up the corset I begged the Demon to loosen last night. I could not breathe! After relaxing the laces, it was easy to slip down over my hips.   The Chinese bound foot has nothing over a full corset of the 18th century. Madame this time did not use her magic to undress me, but undressed me in the usual way. That is to say, she pulled the sash of my gown, and without ceremony, dropped it to the floor. Again, I stood naked before her. (I must remember the gender of ‘Madame’ here.) If I forgot, a glance into her eyes reminded me that Madame took pleasure in my situation. And since she was such an obliging tutor, I could not deny her. Frankly, I was afraid to deny her.

Her eyes took in the fullness of my bosom and without any shame on her part, lingered upon my body. It was like being caressed with the eyes of a lover. She glanced up into mine, and for one short second, I knew: I was opposite a man. No woman could ever look at a woman’s body in such a way.

She whirled me around, and with surprising strength, pulled the lacing tight. I was more prepared this time, and remembered to fill my lungs with air. She saw me do this and pushed a knee in my back, making me exhale sharply. My horse used to do this when I pulled the cinch on the saddle, and it seemed to me a well-placed trick. Once again the petticoats and stockings. This time she procured a dress from the wardrobe. It was a heavy blue brocade, plain of decoration, fitting tightly across the bodice. The skirt was full from the hips to floor. Surely Madame clothed me in the fashion of her times.

She looked me over and decided a lace cap would do well. My hair disappeared under the ruffle, and at least she didn’t spend her time pulling it out of my head. Madame may look like a woman, but had the strength of a man.

“Let’s work on your ornamental talents today. Ah! A woman should grace the arm of her husband in public, and her lovers in private. Let us walk through the house and see what we can find to entertain ourselves.”

Madame and I walked through the downstairs hall, each fluttering a fan. She used hers as punctuation to her charming voice and very prettily she was able to use it. A flutter here, a graceful extension of the fan sideways, a coy smile hidden by the uplifting to her face, all these motions were a language. A fascinating and intriguing language foreign to me. I was reminded of the usage of zils, the small finger cymbals of Turkish and Egyptian dancers used in such expressive, emphatic ways. This, the language of the fan, was as seductive and intriguing.

Madame decided to walk into the front sitting room, a room I avoided since Obadiah’s rape. There must have been some sort of energy still present for I saw Madame’s dress rise at her groin. I would guess this was some sort of spirit challenge. Perhaps the sexual energy of what happened in that room had not completely dissipated. Though the room only gave me uneasiness, for Madame the invisible sensation was much stronger. ‘She’ looked at me sharply, as if to assess its effect, and I saw her eyes turn cruel. She was, after all, a devil. What right did I have to expect compassion from her?

“La! There is a harpsichord in the corner. Let’s see what accomplishments you have musically.”

Madame moved gracefully to the instrument and opened the keyboard. She motioned me to sit, and I did, as gracefully as I could manage in my skirts. I had played, badly, on a piano at home, but a harpsichord! My fingers were stiff and I could only think of one piece to play, and haltingly I did so. It was “The Prince of Denmark’s March.”

Madame had little patience with my playing. “Enough. Let us see if you have anything of a voice.”

Ah! Here perhaps I would not disappoint her. I could sing, and in fact, had years of vocal training. I could sing German lieder and some 18th century Italian art songs. The art songs perhaps she would tolerate. The German she would not. Of course, I was singing from memory, and Madame did not have the music in front of her. It was a bit of a challenge for both of us.

“Well, that went badly, n’est ce pas? Let us see how you do with the dance. M. Garrett informs me that you do dance?”

Madame moved to the little settee and plied her fan.

Ah! Madame, you will be disappointed, I fear. The dancing she had in mind and the dancing I did, were divided by cultures. 

“I do dance, Madame, but it is something that is not familiar to your elegant French culture. Are you acquainted with ‘harem’ dancing?” Madame’s face fell in shock.

“Mon Dieu!” she said with a gasp. “Mahomet’s harem” Her eyes stared a hole into my face.

“Wherever did M. Garrett find you?” She looked as if I had crawled out of a hole in the ground.

“Well, actually, I found him. I..I was writing a book. He was just a character in it.”   I grinned. “He is a product of a fertile imagination.”

Madame Gormosy looked at me curiously, her head tilted. Again, she looked like an inquisitive owl.   “How well do you know M. Garrett?”

How I should answer this question?   “Not very well, but in some parts, intimately.” I smiled coyly.

Madame Gormosy reached out and rapped my hand sharply with her fan.

“Stupid girl! I am not asking what he does under your petticoats, I am asking if you have any idea who diddles you?”

I sucked on my fingers as I looked at her in surprise.

“Do I know he is a Devil?” I said around my fingers in my mouth. “Well, I would suppose so.”

“Ah, my poor, stupid girl. He is hardly a Devil. His status is much more exalted.” She appeared agitated and fanned herself with vigor.

“M. Abigor would not notice if he was just a common devil. No, not at all.” Madame sat back on the sofa and continued to fan herself.

“M. Garrett descends from a royal bloodline. A very royal bloodline.

“You are talking about the Nephilim, no?”

Madame Gormosy looked surprised. “And how would you know about that?”

“Ah Madame!” I threw back a sting of my own. “Women of my generation research and know languages. We read about science and some of us actually read more languages than a smattering of Latin and French.” There.

I continued, though I saw the gathering thunder in Madame’s face. “And some of us have far more extensive skills than dancing or embroidery. Or pouring tea.”

“And some of us do not write ourselves into such a fine mess.”

She had me there. I nodded my head in acquiescence. She had won this round.

Lowering her voice, she stared straight into my eyes.

“I would be cautious, my dear lady, what interests and education you parade before demons. You might find yourself obligated to one or the other.”

I sat down beside her, thinking of Abigor and my upcoming meeting. I would try to appease her.

“Madame. Please guide me in the proper decorum with M. Abigor. I have never had tea with an Arch Duke of Hell. I do not want to aggravate M. Garrett’s condition by blunders of my own.”

Madame Gormosy sat back and sighed.

“Sensible woman. You appeal to what I can do for you. Bien. You should know M. Abigor is of the old school of Hell. He has been around since the earliest of days and is a bit jaded. That is why, I believe, his current interest in you.”

“I would think that M. Abigor has had his interests filled again and again. Nothing new under the sun?”

“Hah! Everything is new, in the eyes of someone you have not met before. M. Abigor is known for his gallant behavior, especially to mortal women. You know he has had many mortal wives?”

And just how did that work? Were they revived bits of charcoal in Hell?

“Don’t let your wit run away with you, ma chérie.”

(Sigh. Again with the mind-reading.)

“M. Abigor is able to visit his women as easily as the fog in the morning, and with more lasting results. M. Abigor has had his own harem on earth.”

Anticipating my thoughts, Madame continued. “And yes, my girl. If he took it into his head, he would put horns on M. Garrett’s head. You must proceed very cautiously with M. Abigor. I have known him to do much worse to a marriage.”

That was reassuring! “So, Madame, what do you suggest I do with M. Abigor? I certainly do not want to bring the wrath of M. Garrett down on my head. Nor do I want to stumble with M. Abigor. Any suggestions?”

“Ah! Try to divine his mood that day, and humor him. All men, or Devils, will respond to the flattering attentions of an attractive woman. I would talk philosophy, but do not try to top his knowledge here. Be ornamental to the tea table. Be submissive, and play the great art of seduction.”

I was getting confused. “Tell me, Madame. What is your definition of this word ‘seduction’?

“Ah! The art of seduction is gaining a woman’s affections, under the pretence of being deeply enamoured, when at the same time despising the woman for her vanity and weakness.” That was it in a nutshell.

Quel cynique! Of course, what else could I expect out of devils!

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 32

December 10, 2017

Supermoon in dec.

This was the second novel I wrote. I had killed off most of the characters of the first (unfinished) novel, but had grown ‘attached’ to those who escaped death.  I decided to write them into a new novel. This time they would take up the appearances (and natures) of Devils and Demons.

Madame Gormosy is an important  Devil in Hell, a Demon of Lust.  She can appear as either sex.  She cheats at faro.  Bess  is a modern day woman snatched by another Devil to appear in the 1830’s.  His name is Garrett Cortelyou.  M. Abigor is an Arch Duke of Hell.  He is close to the hoof of the Throne.  Madame Gormosy is grooming Bess for the appearance of M. Abigor at tea.

Lady Nyo

 

 

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, 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 came into the room, shaking out my petticoats and tried 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 are all men.  And, yes, thoughtless.”

I wonder if Madame includes herself in this category, for I know her also as 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!”

I wondered if we have time for a round of faro, just to calm my nerves, when we hear a strong knock on the door.  Madame rose from her chair, blew me a kiss, and glided to the door.  She opened it, and gave a deep curtsey 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 past out of the room and left me alone with my visitor.

“M. Abigor.  It is delightful to see you today.”  My voice sounded strange in 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.  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 had 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.

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.  “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 the 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 returned.

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

“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 to the side.  Again, I thought of an owl.

“Madame tells me you knew many of the men and women in the salons of Paris.”  I sipped 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!” 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 thought about his words and again I shivered.  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. She 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 expectation to do 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 at times vain and sensual.

M.Abigor threw out names from 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 changed 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! Madame had prepared Devil’s Food Cake.

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

Abigor laughed, his voice rumbling deep from his chest. “One of the privileges of being a Devil, my dear, is appearing as we want. Like our Madame Gormosy, we appear as a man, and a second later, Voila! 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 and gave me a little bow from his chair.  My embarrassment was tinged with fear.  I remembered Madame Gormosy’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 terrorfied me.  His eyes opened suddenly, like the lens of a camera, and I saw scenes   and I could not look away.

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. Horses rotting in the fields of battle.

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 single 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 Gormosy 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 my hand out 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 dark pools.  It is the one piece of ourselves we can not transform.  Quell 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 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, at least  it was whispered to me that it would be easier to dine with the devil.

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, 2006-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A Letter from Madame Gormosy”

September 17, 2016

madame-gormosy

(from: “The Pragmatic Costumer.com”)

 

Very recently I was asked by a blog to ‘interview’ a character from “Devil’s Revenge”.  This proved almost impossible, as the man I wanted to interview refused to stand still.  So I called upon Madame Gormosy, also a character in this novel to speak.  She has graciously done so and gives a good accounting of what was happening.  As she is also a Demon, please take what she writes with a grain of salt.

Lady Nyo, with sunburn today and not from the Sun.

“My name is Louise (Louis) Alphonse Margot Gormosy. As you can read, I have the delicious ability to change my sex at will. I am a Demon of Lust in the hierarchy of Hell. There are many Demons of Lust down there, but they generally are stupid devils. I, Madame Gormosy, am not. I appear in this novel at the bequest of Arch Duke of Hell, M. Abigor. He too, is a Demon of Lust, but he is not stupid. Non, he is not. He is a much respected Military Strategist and an ancient Healer. He sends legions into battle and then he tries to stop up the wounds. Of course, this is hardly the point, as all the  chiefs  in Hell have our own legions. I, Madame Gormosy, have 60,000 devils to deploy at my whim. M. Abigor has many, many more, uncountable, but his hoof is close to the Throne.

When Bess, who is trying to finish writing a book to end the conflict between M. Garrett and M. Obadiah, asked me to do this interview, I was pleasantly surprised. She later told me that the interview was mostly intended for that scoundrel, M. le Demon, his mortal name Garrett Cortelyou. I was not so pleased. I will tell you a secret. When I am in the form of M. Louis, Garrett is amiable. We two have fought battles, shared women, have caused much mischief over thousands of years, but he is unfortunately, uncomfortable when I violently shake my head and become “Louise”. Quel dommage! But he is a good soul (if Devils have souls) and we have each other’s back. Yes, and Devils have morals, of a sort.

This morning M. Garrett came in the room, nodded and listened to my request for this interview. Mon Dieu! He is a handsome man this morning! He is tall, broad shouldered, with dark hair that is too long to be fashionable. This picture of him on that blog? He is far older and much more handsome. That picture makes him look like a spoiled brat. He is a formidable man and has many conquests, but he is much older. Your readers would faint to know how much.

He refuses to wear wig and powder,  his hair is bound into a tail by a black silk ribbon. He will not wear the silk stockings either. He wears trousers and boots. He has dark eyes that snap when he is angry. I have seen the results of his temper over the centuries, and it can be impressive. But he is not a cruel devil. Non, in fact, if you must know… he is not a ‘proper’ demon at all. His mother was mortal and his father? Well, only M. Abigor knows for sure who his father is, and he is not telling. But M. Garrett’s father must be a very important person in Hell and History, because he is treated almost like a son by M. Abigor. And that status for a devil, is a much desired one. M. Abigor is known for his own temper, but this is to be expected of Devils. He can, if he so chooses, turn one to toast.

M.Garrett listened to my request for an interview, closing his eyes while I talked. He then snorted  and disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving the scent of brimstone in the room.   I saw him walking towards the woods with a shotgun and a dog so I would believe he is out hunting this morning. He could easily make a bird fall to earth with magic, but non, he forgets sometimes his bag of tricks  most devils have. And of course, he is half human. Not a proper devil at all. So, his magic is mostly  making ale and tea appear,  levitating a chamber pot, and  appearing and disappearing at will. This last is not good for an interview. He is a tricky devil. He is also a sexy devil.

As I mentioned, I am here at the bequest of M. Abigor. I am flattered that this exalted Demon would choose me, Madame Gormosy, to appear in this story. Bess (the author) might think she is controlling these events, but she is naïve. She is mortal, and mortals can’t see much beyond their noses.

I was brought into this novel to give instruction to Bess. As a mortal woman of the 21st century, she doesn’t have the  knowledge how to relate to M. Garrett or really any other Demon. She is to be the consort of M. Garrett, and avec vous et moi? She is rather….stupid. All mortals are stupid compared to most devils. Except the stupid ones.

Let me tell you how this mess started. Bess, sixteen years ago started writing a story. She played around with these mortal characters, brought them to life, and then closed the book on them without finishing. I think she pinched M. Garrett’s tail. Then, in 2006, she went back to the book, but she saw  she had written a very boring novel. So, what to do? She took a number of characters, M. Garrett and M. Obadiah  (who hated each other) and stupidly made them into devils. Bon! She continued the novel. However, M. Garrett was furious that she had ‘closed the book on him’, (and dented his overarching ego) and he did not spare his temper. In fact, he did something that is not what a ‘civilized’ man would do. Of course he is half demon so that would account for his bad manners. Bess fell in love with this devil (who could withstand his charms?) and the story took off. It was not a straight love story, though, of course not with demons around. M. Obadiah, from the previous novel, made his appearance and the battle between the two men started all over again. M. Obadiah’s offense was intolerable. He abused Bess in the vilest way, but this was just to get at M. Garrett. Those two are like bulls fighting over the same pasture and heifers. Mon Dieu!

I was commanded by M. Abigor, who has powers over all of us….Bess included, though she doesn’t know it yet, to tutor her in deportment. Bess has had the standard education of a modern woman, but she knows nothing about the great French salons, the intellectuals and wits there, she has no idea of the power the Underworld has over mortal dealings. True, she knows of the power of the Church, but she knows much of nothing. Since M. Garrett has declared her to be his consort, she must now learn how to deport herself. She doesn’t know all the characters (mostly demons) she is interacting with, but soon, IF I can get her up to snuff…she will have tea with M. Abigor. By then, perhaps this woman (who is not a young, spring chicken) will not disgrace us all. Or become toast.

I must say this: What M. Garrett is focusing on, this great adventure to discover his father, his detour into Celtic history, is just a ruse by those more powerful than he. They are called “The Others” and they have been around since the beginning of time. They are more than Demons, they are Immortals. Some of them come from the Nephilim and some from cultures that have passed out of history. But they are the Untouchables above us.

I, Madame Gormosy, think these “Gods” are playing with us all, but we have our tasks here on Earth and in Hell. So, the fight continues between these two bulls with Bess the mortal woman the prize. I just don’t understand it, for Bess is no Helen of Troy. She is nice enough but her ignorance of life and history gets in the way. And, she can appear as a slob. I have come to her rooms in the morning and I see her sitting with her elbows on the table, in dishabille, a mob cap almost over her eyes. Mon Dieu! What Devil (or man) can tolerate that in the morning? But M. Garrett must be besotted because he just smiles at me. And of course, Bess doesn’t have a clue as to who is pulling the strings of life.”

Your faithful (as far as Demons go…) Servant,

Louise Gormosy

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Devil in Paris, Chapter One

January 21, 2016

imagesOWARHI3U

 

Madame Gormosy is a Devil. She can change her gender at will, from Louise Gormosy to Louis Gormosy. John Garret is also a Devil, but not so powerful. They have known each other for centuries as devils generally do. The scene is Paris, in the 1770’s.

 

THE DEVIL IN PARIS

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Madame Louise Gormosy stood by the tall window, looking at the rain-slicked street. Paris was cold and dreary this spring. Wood had gone up in price, and a timely delivery was a matter of bribes. That should be the concern of her steward, but he had disappeared. Already her servants were breaking up small cabinets and chairs to burn in the main salon and kitchen. She could hear the smashing of wood somewhere in the large apartment.

Madame shivered for the room was chilly. Ah, she thought, if ever I see him again, I will make him pay with his life for my discomfort. I will tear his stomach open with my nails and eat his liver.

She had a visitor, a sullen-looking Englishman, now with his large frame stretched across her settee. John Garrett was a friend of many years. He was an easy-going devil and good company when in proper temper.   She cast her eyes towards him, a smile forming on her painted lips. Patting her high-dressed hair and smoothing the gray satin front of her gown, she wondered what had put him in such a mood. She remembered he was quite a wit when not bothered with serious thought. She hoped he would reform his manners, for she wanted nothing to spoil the afternoon. The rain could not be helped.

“John Garrett!”   Madame’s natural voice was low pitched but now showed her exasperation with a rise in key. “Are you going to continue your gloom and sour my day?”

Garrett, his eyes drawn slowly from the low burning flames, looked up at her. He stared for a long minute, a sneer forming on his handsome face

“We are alone,” Garrett said quietly. “I know you better as “Louis”. Why behave this way amongst friends? “

Madame did not answer.   She walked to the double door, locked it and threw the key into his lap. For a moment she stood there, with her head cocked to the side, an elegant older woman, dressed in the latest fashion and only a sharp rise in the middle of her skirt gave warning of what was to happen.

In an instant, “Louise Gormosy” was “Louis Gormosy”. Gone were Madame’s satin overdress, the high coifed and perfumed hair. A bit of makeup remained, but it was the current fashion among Parisian men. Louis laughed at the expression on Garrett’s face. He now was a slight-figured man, above middle age, with powdered hair and white silk stockings that sagged around thin calves.

John Garrett shuddered slightly. He knew his friend was not just any man in Paris. He was a demon, an important one– the Archduke Demon of Lust, with sixty legions under his command

Louis Gormosy had ridden out of Hell on a white camel and long tormented the earth. It could not be helped; it was his nature. It was his ‘calling’.

Ah, Louis thought, I miss my camel… along with my legions, but tant pis! Paris’ cobblestones were hard on her aging hooves.

His guest, John Garrett, was also a demon, but not of the same stature. Louis Gormosy was not sure of Garrett’s actual position in Hell, but knew him to have the patronage of the powerful Archduke Abigor, close to the throne. With friends like that, even the powerful Demon of Lust had to watch his hoof.

Louis Gormosy chuckled at his guest’s expression. “Oh come, John, surely you are getting used to my little trick? Non? Well then, I have another reason to invite you here, besides parlor tricks. This evening I am expecting some guests, and I have reason for you to meet them.”

John Garrett sat up, stretching his legs. “Are you planning a little entertainment this evening? You know, Louis, one never can tell with you.”

Louis Gormosy lay a finger aside his nose and winked. “You have come at a good time, John.   I expect a young woman, a girl actually. She is the daughter of a neighbor in the country. She is around eighteen and her mother is anxious to have her married.”

“I am almost afraid to ask, Louis. What part do you play? ”

John Garrett looked at his friend from half-closed lids, like a cat settling in for a long story.

Monsieur Gormosy walked to the window and looked out at the still pouring rain. He turned his head slightly and gave Garrett a nervous smile before peering down at the street, watching for a carriage to stop at his door.

“Madame Luciern is a silly woman, a bit more stupid than usual. She has a daughter on her hands she complains is a ‘bookworm’. Ah! Bon Dieu! So the young woman will educate herself with novels and newsprint. Tant pis!

Louis Gormosy threw up his hands in disgust. The words “Good God” had a strange sound in his mouth, just shy of a gurgle.

“You still don’t tell me what your part is in this affair.”

Gormosy turned and looked at his friend. “Better you ask me what your part is.

John Garrett sucked his breath in sharply, and let out with a soft “Oh no, Louis!”

Louis gestured with his hands outward, all Gallic charm, and continued his appeal.

“What is a little fun amongst devils, neh? You have certain…ah…attributes that I unfortunately, do not have.”

“The starch issue again, Louis?” Garrett’s words rattled Louis and he winced.

Quell dommage! I don’t know if this is a little trick of Heaven or Hell, John…but it persists. I begin the attack, a few thrusts with the sword, and even with one parry, I wilt.”

And, thought Louis sadly, it always came down to what devil had more ‘reach’. It always came down to a measurement. Here on earth the length of the cock, and in Hell, the amount of control.

“So, what is your plan and why should I care?”

Monsieur sucked on the side of his thumb, thinking how to present his case.

“I have not seen the young woman. Her mother keeps her well hidden in the house. If she is a bookworm as the mother says, perhaps any attempt here in Paris to marry her off will be impossible. Perhaps she is ugly!”

“Or perhaps she has no bosom,” said Garrett from his seat, eyes wandering back to the fire.

“Or perhaps she has a harelip!” said Gormosy. “What do I know? I have not seen the poor girl.”

With a grimace, Gormosy shook out his hand. He had bitten deeply into his flesh, and blood spurted from his thumb.

Garrett asked, “Does she have a good fortune?”

Non, unfortunately not. Madame Luciern is a widow and her estate is lessened with the behavior of her oldest son. That young man has no sense at cards…and worse luck! I would give him some pointers in faro, but I do not cheat at cards.”

What a lie, thought Louis, laughing silently. There was honor amongst devils but not at cards. What was the worse that could happen? A duel, you die, you come back fresh and new, with another chance to cheat life. And at cards.

“But!” continued Louis, raising a finger into the air for dramatic emphasis. “She has an honorable name! That is worth something, I think.”

“Hah,” said Garrett. “Perhaps of worth to mortals. But it is something.”

The blood continued to spurt from Gormosy’s thumb. “Merde”. He pulled a sooty handkerchief from his pocket and wrapped his thumb.

“So, what do you intend to do with Mademoiselle? Do you have a cuckold in mind?”

“Why would he be a cuckold, mon ami? I have all intention of marrying her to someone worthy and with a good fortune.”

“And if she is not marriageable due to this harelip or flat bosom? What do you intend then for Mademoiselle?” asked Garrett.

“I intend to make her a whore.”

There. It was out, thought Gormosy. Let him chew on that. There was profit to be made here, and he, Louis, would take the advantage

“Why do you need me?” John Garrett’s eyes half closed again as he looked at his friend who was grinning broadly.

“If I can not obtain an acceptable offer, I will need your –ah, efforts, John.

“Meaning? Come Louis, do not make me beat it out of you.”

“You will seduce her. You will make her more pliable for her gentleman callers…I, of course, will revert back to Madame, for this is all her mother knows of me, and you will play…”

“Hold on, Louis. Do you or don’t you intend to get her a husband?”

“How should I know?” Louis Gormosy shrugged his shoulders and presented his palms upward.

“I don’t know if she has a harelip or an unfortunate bosom. We both, my old friend, will find out this evening.”

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010-2016

 

“Devil’s Revenge” Chapter 11

February 2, 2015
was to be the cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon" but didn't work out.

was to be the cover painting for “Pitcher of Moon” but didn’t work out.

Standing at a window in this bedroom, I find myself more and more in his world, the world of the Demon Lover. Not sure of the sequence of time, but it seemed every few days I appeared back in this room. Today, I was busy for a number of hours writing a chapter, one I hoped would bring me to the conclusion of the novel. I have been in starts and stops over it for the past month, and have trouble forming my thoughts. Of course, there has been much to distract me. His presence in my ‘life’, for I guess you could call this life, has been a major obstacle in finishing it. He is entertaining and sometimes charming, but brings much chaos to my days.

All in all, it’s been a fruitful time, for if I stumbled in the writing, there is much to learn. I have discovered numerous things about him. He is a jealous demon, who prates he will chase away any competition, and has little regard for my marriage. He already admits he visits me, and not just in my dreams, but takes a seat next to my bed, and involves himself in my sleep. My patient husband sleeps deeply, and I am not sure Garrett, the mortal name of my Demon, does not have his hand in this. A former friend from the ‘north country’ already has caught his interest, and he has as much threatened me with some foul magic if I continue to converse with him. I will not bow to his threats, for I think he has become fond of me, and does not want my displeasure. He can be a bully but I know now he needs much assurance from me, and that I give most willingly. I have grown as fond of him, as he seems to have of me, though he goes to great pains to hide it.

Ah! The masculine vanity! Alive even in demons!

The landscape was bleak as I saw from the window. The middle of winter, and fog was swirling on the ground around a clump of trees in the midground distance. Or it looked like fog. But then again, it came together like smoke and rose from a central point in the trees. How strange. It whirled and eddied and took shape like smoke from a chimney. It held my attention and I thought I would go out to investigate. I threw on my red cloak and went downstairs and out the front door. It was not a long walk to the stand of trees where I saw the smoke. I felt a strange compulsion to follow. The trees were bare of all leaves, their black limbs silhouetted against the gray sky. I walked through them, feeling a sense of discovery, being pulled by my curiosity. There, before me, was perhaps a low fire, though I couldn’t see any flame. The smoke was thick. It seemed to pour from the ground! As I looked upwards, around the trees, there were blackbirds perched in the limbs. They were totally silent, which is strange for a flock of blackbirds. Suddenly the smoke parted, and there, sitting on a stump, about twenty feet from me, was Obadiah!

Oh! I couldn’t tell if he was an apparition, a ghost, or something else, but he sat there, his long legs stretched out before him, one upon the other, his arms crossed over his chest. He was not wearing a coat, but was dressed in a white, linen shirt, with a black stock wound around his neck. His face had no expression, but his eyes pierced me with their intensity, and I wavered where I stood, not sure if I would faint. He smiled, a mocking smile, devoid of any kindness. For some reason I found myself drawn to him as in a trance. I should be afraid of him, considering what he has done to me, but I was not. I was excited and unsettled, perhaps fear plays into these emotions, but curiosity and a perverse desire was overcoming all else, all caution.

Suddenly, I was on the ground, pushed violently from behind. Obadiah disappeared in a flash, and standing over me was Garrett. He had a sword in his hand, and his face was terrible to see. He grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me to my feet, scowling and in a fine high temper. Dragging me out of the glen I don’t remember my feet even touching the ground, until we were back in my bedroom. I heard the door slamming shut. It was as if I was in a dream, or a trance, and I tried to shake myself awake.

“You damn little fool!”

He was furious, and grabbed me by the shoulders, shaking me hard, caught like a rat caught by a terrier. My head was thrown back and forth by his violence and I thought my neck would snap. He released me and I fell to the floor. I lay there for a moment, aware he was standing over me. I could still feel his wrath, like a thick fog in the air. I gasped with fear, and turned to look up at him. By the look on his face I thought he would kill me.

“Nay, get off the floor. You look like a kicked dog. I’ll not harm you more.”

His voice was strange, as if his anger had broken him. He extended his hand and pulled me to my feet, where he looked at me closely. I could tell he was still angry, but he was trying his best not to act upon it.

However, I was now furious. How dare he shake me like a child! How dare he throw me to the ground! Without another thought, I raised my hand and slapped him across the face. I saw his surprise, and then, to my horror, heard him utter a hollow laugh. He grabbed both of my wrists in his hands before I could think and pinned them behind me. He did not spare me any pain in the doing.

“So you want to play rough, do you?” He laughed again, and immediately pulled up a chair with his foot.. He up ended me across his lap and pulled up my skirts. He exposed my nakedness and beat me hard with his hand. I yelled loudly, and cursed him with all the names I could think of. He thrashed me, hitting my buttocks and also the tops of my legs. I screamed until I thought I would go hoarse. I cried and pleaded with him, yet he did not spare me his blows. Throwing me to the bed I cried and sobbed mightily, more from fear than pain, but there certainly was enough of that! My butt was burning with his blows. I hated him thoroughly, for I had never been treated like this before.   I cried myself out and he didn’t offer a word of compassion or apology. When I finally uncovered my face from the pillows, I saw him sitting there, smoking his pipe, like nothing in the world had happened. I felt humiliated and belittled.

“Tell me,” he said between puffs. “Tell me what possessed you to leave this room and go into the woods.”

His eyes glittered through the smoke and I knew better take him seriously. Now that I had proof he would not spare his hands, I was afraid of him.

“Oh, Bess, I can smell your fear, but that is not what I am after. Tell me, now, why you went into the woods.”

I rose up from my stomach, and gingerly sat on the bed. My butt hurt! He was certainly strong.

“I don’t know. I saw some smoke coming from the glen, and I thought that it was interesting. I felt curious.”

“Ah. Did you feel drawn to the woods?” He puffed more forcefully on his pipe.

“Well, the smoke drew me, but then, when I got down there, and near, I felt strangely drawn to the trees. The birds were all silent, I remember that.”

“Looks like Obadiah has called upon other forces for his designs.”   He puffed on his pipe hard. “Seems like he is getting a bit desperate.”

“What do you mean?”

“He is charming you and others to do his bidding. I don’t like it a bit. Makes me work harder, something I generally avoid. Looks like he’s preparing himself for battle.” He spit on the floor and I grimaced at him.

“Who is he charming, you make no sense?” None of this made sense at all.

The Demon thought a bit before he answered.

“You asked me before about my world. Well, there are many worlds. I frequent a number of them. This one, where I appear to you, is full of strange characters. I get lost in the numbers, can’t remember all the hierarchy. But it’s simple enough, or at least I’ll make it simple enough for you. Listen closely.”

He packed down his pipe with his thumb, though the tobacco glowed red in the bowl.

“Demons are intermediaries between gods and men. Most of us, what you call ‘demons’ were once men. We were not angels. Don’t make that mistake. No, there are lots of shapes and shifts abounding. There are Fates, who alter destiny, there are what you know as poltergeists, who cause much mischief, there are the incubi and succubae you have already experienced (here he tipped his pipe in my direction), there are familiars, who assist what you call witches.”

He puffed on his pipe, and a blue smoke whirled above his head in lazy, sensual spirals.

“There are Demons formed from human semen.” Here he grinned crazily, the smoke swirling around his face, obscuring his eyes.

“There are disguised Demons, which I fear our friend Obadiah is, makes it tricky in dealing with him. There are Demons who instigate Witchcraft. I don’t know what we are dealing with at present, but we are about to find out. He grows more powerful.”

“Is he more powerful than you?”

He grimaced around the stem of his pipe. “No, I’m still more powerful. But he grows. And he has enough tricks to harness Cheitan and Saalah to do his bidding.” He barked a short, bitter laugh.

“And who are they?” I didn’t like the sound of this.

“They are some minor demons, spirits if you will. Not of much merit, but amenable to a bribe. Cheitan is the demon of Smoke and Saalah is a demon who entices women into the woods. All kinds of mischief can befall a maid in the woods. They are known as some of the ‘Devil’s Handmaids’”.

He puffed on his pipe, sending up a plume of smoke to the ceiling that circled around as it hit the beams and spread outward. An example of “Cheitan”?

“And about your being in the woods, my dear lady. Very foolish of you. Had I not come at the moment I did, you would have suffered another rape by Obadiah. He seems to delight in taking his perverse pleasures with you. You can now thank me for saving you from an even more terrible attack than last time.”

What worse could he do to me than when he raped me? I shivered, remembering those details.

“Oh, there are plenty of tricks he could render upon your soft body, my darling,” said the demon, reading my thoughts. “What he did the first time was just a first course for his appetite. You forget we demons have terrific appetites, especially for mortal women. Your flesh, especially those places between your soft, white thighs, are irresistible to us.”

He leered at me and I shivered thinking of what could have happened.

“And with what bribe does he induce them to work for him?”

“Probably your blood, or a piece of your flesh. Or, if he’s in a particularly generous mood, a piece of your ass. Of course, that would be after he has sated himself on your charms. He would turn you over to them, where they would use you until they were bored and would tear you to pieces.”

Oh, what a terrible mouth on him! But now I was really afraid.

“You see, my dear, as long as Obadiah thinks that you are, ah, I think you call it “a free agent’ in your world? Well, as long as Obadiah thinks he can take you at will, even from under my nose, he will come back and try again. There are only a few ways to discourage him from this behavior.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Well, it is not by my authority to tell you how to end your novel, but killing him off would help….for a while. That would be one way. There is another way, but you would not want to go down that path.” He laughed to himself, and puffed hard on his pipe, his eyes glittering with mischief.

“And what is that path, Demon?”

It seemed the room darkened, or perhaps the sky did outside. But something changed noticeably. He still sat in his chair but it seemed he was whispering in my ear.

“A woman is much happier if she has a Master. Authority thrills a woman, my darling. Nothing but complete subjugation will finally satisfy her.” He smiled at me, and I shivered at his words. What a strange and alien a concept. To call him “Master”!

“In the animal world, nature’s decree the male shall dominate. And you are my little vixen, my little red fox.” He smiled around the stem of his pipe. “And I am very much the male here.”

I would not dispute that statement. He was more ‘masculine’ than ten men– twenty. And very proud of it. No ‘metrosexual’ confusion for him.

“You know, sweet darling, I am thinking Obadiah is nothing more than a very powerful incubus. Sexual relations with an incubus are decidedly unpleasant and an often painful affair. I think that you would agree with that.” He would get no argument from me.

“So, Demon, what are you saying I should do?”

“Why don’t you refer to me as Demon Lover anymore?”

“So, Demon Lover, what should I do?”

“Look, Bess, I think you should come under my power completely, and let it be known.” He grinned broadly. Oh! This was fun for him!

“What is it you are saying I do?”

“Sex is a powerful thing in our worlds, as well as yours. I am suggesting you become my consort, for as long as you inhabit my world. That could be a long time, it depends upon things.”

“What things, Demon?”

“Ah, that I have no competition in your heart and mind, that you submit to everything I say and do, and that I am Master of you and your body. That you obey me and submit to me in all things.”

“I don’t know. You know I am married. Would I have to give my husband up for safety here?”

“Well, I can not trample upon your marriage vows, came long before me.”

“What about my other friends, male and female?”

“Ah, that is another complication. But I will look the other way if you please me in all other things.”

“Are you talking about whips and chains and things, Devil?”

He laughed. “Why in Hell’s good name would I need such things? I’m talking about the natural roles of man and woman, or in this case, Demon and mortal woman. What could be clearer?”

“You have lost me. I don’t know anything of subjugation or submission. We modern women tend to avoid all such talk and behavior.”

“And are you any happier for it?” His eyes glittered through the smoke he exhaled.

He had me there. Relations in the twenty first century were confusing enough. Was there any real happiness between men and woman? There was a lot of anger, and sham, and moving about, exchanging partners and forming anew. There was a lot of unhappiness and divorces. The roles between women and men seemed to be mandated by some chaos that we danced to faster and faster. The ‘natural’ roles that seemed to work for past generations were lost to us now. Women were more like men, and men! God! They were like women! Most women I knew had more ‘friends’ who were homosexual, gays, than girlfriends. They were interchangeable.   The roles and relations had become very confused. Perhaps he had a point here. Perhaps what he was proposing was a balancing of the roles. The strong man (or devil) and the soft, weaker, woman. Perhaps he was on to something.

“You promise not to hurt me?” I asked him seriously. I don’t know what I was afraid of, but I was.

He shook his head at me in wonder, and laughed. “Are woman from your century so distanced from their natures that they don’t trust the masculine? Can you place your heart and body in my hands and know I will protect you? What is it that men do in your domain? Do they not occupy this fundamental role?”

“Well, not without a lot of confusion, Garrett. They get mixed messages from all sorts of places. I don’t think modern men know what to do with women.”

He laughed delightedly and gave me his opinion. “You use them good, and often, and they keep you entertained. It’s really an easy exchange. They lay down on demand, and you chase off all the wolves. What’s so hard about that?”

Ah, he is a trying and primitive Demon! He has the manners of a goat, but I have said that before. It is an exchange he is proposing here. My protection and security from Obadiah if I ‘cleave’ myself to him completely. He hasn’t given me much to go on yet, but I am interested enough in his idea. And he has allowed my marriage and my friendship (there are others he doesn’t know about) and promises to wink at them.

In any case, I am way over my head here, and not believing in anything supernatural or paranormal, I find myself at a disadvantage. He holds all the cards right now, and I am at his mercy. My fear of Obadiah and what he can do to me overcomes my disdain for my overpowering, vulgar demon.

Hopefully, he will be a kind and generous ‘Master.’   I think this is called ‘bargaining with the Devil’.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

copyrighted, 2008-2015

from “Devil’s Revenge”, a random chapter

May 11, 2014

Night Fog 2

My mood is a black as soot this morning.  Somehow the entire finished manuscript of “The Nightingale’s Song” has been dropped from computer.  Hopefully, Nick in Australia has a copy but it’s not the rewritten one.  That was just finished a month ago, and I was careful to save it.  However, too many techies were working on the original computer and the new laptop and something happened.  I’ve spent hours looking for it and no show.  I’m posting this silly chapter just for nothing.  But at least this novel (all over the map and unfinished….) hasn’t disappeared.  It has its moments.

Lady Nyo

 

Bucon and Obadiah…. CHAPTER   From, “Devil’s Revenge”

 

“Father”.

 

Obadiah and Bucon sat before a smoky fire, two pairs of legs stretched out towards the low  burning logs. Boot leather was drying and cracking from the heat like fried pork skins. Bucon was packing a white clay pipe with tobacco and leaned to the hearth to pick up a red coal with his fingers. The smell of burning flesh did not seem to alarm him.

 

An Arch Duke of Hell, Chief Demon of Hatred, Bucon looked through the haze of pipe smoke at his youngest son. Secretly Bucon was proud of Obadiah. He exhibited the important issues of venality and depravity that dovetailed with his own. He definitely was a chip off the old block.

 

Ah, humanity had gone flat, become flabby, uninteresting. Since the French Revolution the ground had gone fallow. Hatred was hard to sow right now, these early years of the 19th century. A kind of prosperity with this Industrial Revolution had begun to spread amongst citizens. Perhaps it was too early to tell, but there was hope in future conflict and overwork in these new mills and factories. Father’s daughters leaving their homes and spinning wheels had promise.   Money was certainly the root of all evil, but this new evil would have to fester a while. Hope for a better life did not leave much consideration for the growth of hatred. It would take time.

 

Bucon sighed, sending a black, tarry smoke from his lungs. The crusades were long over but what a wonderful time that was! Such invigorating events…all steeped in violence and contention. Religion certainly kept those fires burning amongst mankind.

 

Bucon had five invisible eyes and with the two glittering black ones on his face he could see all activity of humanity on the seven continents. Spreading hatred and contention was fine, but what really got the bile going was interfering with the natural sentiment between men and women. He could spend all day and night sowing discord and disgruntlement, jealousy and malice between a man and his wife but he had to be careful. Jealously was the domain of some particularly nasty Jewish demons and although they were all in this world (and others) together, there was still a question of overstepping territories. When done, well, they tended to act as their natures dictated. In heated spades.

 

“Father”.

 

Bucon looked over at Obadiah and thought: “What a fop”.

 

Dressed in a black wool suit with spit polished boots, a shirt and cravat whiter than virgin snow, Bucon sneered at him. Bucon’s own linen was always limp and dingy, his boots regardless of polish dull and the pores of his face pitted with the black leavings of sin. Bucon wondered if Obadiah really was of his seed.

 

“Father, what do you counsel here?”

 

If Obadiah’s clothes were a better cut, his heart certainly belonged to Daddy.

 

“Well, son, tell me again. Exactly what is it you are seeking? Is it this mortal mortal woman you are clamoring about? I already told you you could have a million of them with the snap of your clean fingers.”

 

Bucon looked at his own hands. He had bitten them to the quick and dried blood encrusted his fingers. Sowing hatred was hard work. A thought occurred to Bucon.

 

“Have you fallen in love, Obadiah?”

 

His son’s eyes flashed and an elegant sneer appeared on his countenance.

 

“Love? Do you think that possible, Father? Am I not your own son?”

 

Bucon spat into the fire, his stream of spit becoming a little snake screaming as the flames consumed it.

 

I wish those little devils wouldn’t do that. It always startles me..

 

Bucon was old as sin, older than original sin. But he wondered. He had seen a lot in his endless time. Not only mankind was changing. Even demons could be effected by outside forces.   Obadiah was certainly his son, but influences surrounding him could have made some inroads into his thinking. This would do the trick. Or better, could undercut the natural ‘trickery’ embedded so deeply in such fellows.

 

Bucon sat and thought over the options. He spit again but slammed down his foot on the snake, crushing it. No scream from beneath his boot.

 

Influences such as the Enlightenment, the Romantics in literature, music, could give pause to a waffling demon’s natural tendencies. This ‘turn the other cheek’ of this Christian God was only a tremor in the bedrock of their natural existence. Better the ‘eye for an eye’ of the Old Testament. At least that would keep the wars flowing.

 

Ah, Evil might be banal but it’s still hard work.

 

Bucon had a thought. “Gettin’s is keepin’s, son?”

 

Obadiah’s tight smile showed he understood the reference. Bullfinch’s words interpreting a scene between Agamemnon and Achilles.

 

“Perhaps, Father. This other is the target. The women only stands between us.”

 

Ah, thought Bucon. That Obadiah didn’t blast her away said reams. Yes, his son was smitten, was softening. Some Demon. Any further weakening would lead to defeat.

 

“Well, son, what is it you want from me?”

 

Obadiah stared into the fire. “I have to figure out who to trust, who to gather in for this fight.”

 

Bucon thought his choice of words was interesting. “Trust” wasn’t exactly a stable word to use when referring to demons.

 

“Well, you know who your opponent is gathering in?”

 

Obadiah didn’t immediately answer, and Bucon thought perhaps his son didn’t.

 

“I do know he’s consulted with Abigor already. Heard some word about Andras.. and he’s researching possibilities in Celtic mythology.”

 

“That would be natural, son. Your opponent has his roots there. But if he’s dealing with Druids, he won’t get much help from them. Those folk see Demons as offshoots of Christianity. Rather a narrow bunch, I’d say.”

 

(to be continued….)

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007-2014

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 32

June 13, 2013
"European Eagle Owl", janekohut-bartels, 2003, watercolor

“European Eagle Owl”, janekohut-bartels, 2003, watercolor

I am jumping around here, and beg the patience of readers. There is a particular reason I post this chapter. For friends who are writers and for a discussion.

Lady Nyo

DEVIL’S REVENGE, Chapter 32

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 came 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 knew her to be also a man. 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.

“Fait Attention! M. Abigor’s knowledge is vast. He is known to be an intellectual in Hell. There are many stupid devils, you know.”

Madame rolled her eyes. “M. Abigor has many interests, cheri. 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, cheri. 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 cheri. 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!”

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

I rose as gracefully as my trembling legs allowed, and curtsied. Monsieur Abigor looked at me for a second, and bowed. Madame pasted 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! 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, facing 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.

M. Abigor’s smile broadened, and I knew he had discovered my thoughts! All I could do was to go on, however 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, 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, again, 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 changed 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 affected 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 Gormosy, 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 Gormosy’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 Gormosy 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 eye 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 of them 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, 2009, 2013

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 13

June 12, 2013

pict0174

THANK YOU ALL WHO HAVE SENT COMMENTS, LIKES, STINK BOMBS, ETC…BUT NOTHING IS COMING THROUGH RIGHT NOW. BAD WORDPRESS! BUT THANK YOU. PERHAPS IT WILL BE FIXED TOMORROW.

At the end of 2006, I started another book, from a book. I had almost finished my first novel, “Heart Of The Maze”, and made a cardinal mistake: I didn’t want to kill off my favorite characters, so I continued the story but with a twist: the characters were now demons and devils. The author, Bess, (new to this book) had closed the original book for 16 years and one day she woke up in the bedroom of her story, in the 1820’s in the post Colonial North East. The main character, Garrett Cortelyou from the previous novel was back, this time half devil, half human. It was never clear what he was, or what part he would play in this story, but he was having his own fun. Bess, the author, was trying to make heads or tails of what was happening and try to keep her sanity. The Demon can read her mind and doesn’t believe in Free Will and tries to trip up Bess as much as he can. There is a sort of truce between them, as he is embroiled with other forces, mostly demonic and Bess trying her best to read the score card.

Lady Nyo

Devil’s Revenge, Chapter 13

I am now restless. I believe it is born of my fear. So much has spiraled out of my control, and I am not used to this state of affairs. What started out as a lark, has now become an existence full of trepidation. I have gone from a simple wordsmith, cobbling words and phrases together in pleasing forms to living, at least part time, in an environment where things happen that frighten me. . At times, I have faced and felt violence where I would not suspect it to exist. What was once a paper character has now become my nemesis. He stalks, and plans more violence upon me. I have no defenses against him, but to ‘kill him off’ in my book, which I have been told, is a partial resolve. The being who tells me this, is another from the same book, my Demon Lover. I have not called him that lately, for he has taken much more control of my existence than I would sanely give over to another. But he appears the only barrier between a force that is so violent and malicious, that I am grateful for what defenses he constructs. I have become fully dependent upon his good graces, if a demon can be said to have such. I have given myself over to him for protection. The price of this will be a high one, I fear.

What seemed to be a game, one that he proposed, and I laughingly rejected, is now, I have come to understand, the only defense I have here. I was the creator of these characters. I am now subservient to their powers. I am a pawn in the middle of a game that I don’t understand. It is something a little like the book I was writing, but with supernatural characters abounding. I am only a mortal woman, and I am thrown into this cauldron of spirits, demons and war that has existed between characters since the beginning of time. My Demon Protector has tried to explain to me the pantheon of creatures that occupy his world…or worlds. He has the ability to travel between many of them, and I only call him Demon to taunt him. He is that but much more. What, I still haven’t figured out. But he has become much more to me. He has supernatural abilities that he is slowly revealing, like a dance of the seven veils.

“That’s hardly a masculine description of my talents.”

Hah! He sneaks in on cat paws and tries to surprise me. I am getting used to him now.

“Then I will change my tactics. Perhaps I will scare you more. You will fly to my arms!”

“Good Morning, Demon.” I smile as he slowly materializes in his usual place. “Have you brought me a dish of tea?”

“Your wish is my command.” He snaps his fingers and a lovely dish of tea appears on the table before me.

“Have you had your breakfast?” I ask him.

“Are you proposing to cook it for me? I like that. Admirable in a woman.” He lights his eternal pipe, and puffs lazily. He is in a good mood this morning.

“About that, Garrett. What is exactly expected of me?” He has proposed this very recently, but has not gone into much detail.

“Oh, as I think of it I will tell you.” He grins at me. I guess I am to read his mind on this.

“As long as you read it correctly, darling one.”

I drink my tea and look over the rim of my dish at him. He is in a very jolly mood today.

“That’s because you were good and tender to me. I like a woman that plays so well with John Thomas down there.”

I blush at the memory of his recent highjinks. He is a very sexual demon. Whatever I resisted before, he has made me more pliable to his wooing now. As long as I don’t contradict him. He can be the very devil if he doesn’t get his way. He grins at me, reading my mind again.

“Give me your hand, Bess. You were sad when I came in.” He’s a sensitive one today.

I extend my hand to him across the table. A usual gesture between us, when we are not fighting. It expresses a certain tenderness and trust. Most times he denies that.

“I am worried, Demon. I am worried about Obadiah and what is to come next.” I look at him seriously, and he puffs his white clay pipe thoughtfully.

“If it’s reassurance you want, I can give you little. But I can give you some knowledge about how things stand.” He slouched down in his chair, and stretched out his long legs. “It’s mostly a question of forces. Obadiah’s and mine. We share some things, and he wants to share more”. He looked at me and grinned, “but I am blocking him in his desires.”

“So I am pivotal here?” I can’t believe that.

“Well, yes and no. There’s the big picture, and the small.” He had a serious expression as he tried to form an explanation I would understand.

“The big picture is a question of territory. We both want the same slice of pie. We have been fighting over this way before you ever thought of your book. Think of the drug trade in your world.”

“I’d rather not, thank you. Bunch of thugs and hoods.”

“Well, it fits. Neither Obadiah or I are of the first water where morality comes in.” He flashed his grin again. “So we gather various forces, pulled from various worlds, and we go at each other like dogs.”

I could see how that analogy fit. Both of them.

“Where do I come in here?” I was losing the smaller picture.

“In good time I will come to that.” Frankly, I thought he was avoiding the topic. Perhaps something unpleasant in store for me.

“Well, since you have guessed at some of it, I might as well tell you a bit more.” He puffed on his pipe, but it had gone out.

“Bess”, he began. “You are a mortal woman.”

Ah! Tell me something I don’t know.

“You have a value in our worlds for a number of reasons. One of them is the possibility of transference.”

“Meaning?”

“You can go between worlds easier than us. You have substance. Mainly flesh and blood.” (I didn’t like the sound of this.)

“And…you would be a breeder.”

“What! What in Hell are you talking about?” I really didn’t like the sound of that!

“It’s either you consort with Obadiah or you consort with me.”

“That is the choice? That is the only choice I get? I am a broodmare for either one of you? What about my age? What about my husband and my real life?” I was getting a bit hysterical here.

“Ah, that. A bit of a complication, but that is what the glamours are for. I could work around that.”

Lovely. Within a matter of minutes he has changed my destiny, my fate singlehandedly, without even a ‘by your leave.’ Or he has attempted to.

“I can already see the fire has risen in your temper, girl. Remember your promise to submit to me? It seems like only yesterday you made a pact here with me.”

“Ah, Devil! You are a daft one if you think that I will follow any of this!”

“Have it your way. I’ll throw you out a window, and before you hit the ground Obadiah and his minions will have you fast. Would you prefer that fate because that is yours outside this house.”

So those were the terms. I would play a waiting game with him and see if things changed. But he could bite my ass if he thought I would give another foot of ground to him.

He smiled at me, though he could tell that I was upset. Beyond upset.

“Come Bess, it won’t be as bad as you think. You will have some immortality of your own. If I win the battles, you will be a very powerful woman. Plus you will be mine.”

Oh! Goody! Just the fate I have always seen for me. This cocksure demon talks in riddles and fairytales and I am to suspend my sanity and go along with the game here!

“You choose to do this by writing the book. Had you not been so good, you wouldn’t have caught the attention of a number of Old Ones.”

“You mean you and Obadiah?” The arrogance of the man…ah, demon!

“No, Bess. There are Immortals far stronger than I. I do have my own to kowtow to, you know.”

I didn’t. This was news.

“So, Demon, tell me. What are these forces that you are gathering for battle? Fairies, Elves, garden gnomes, some trolls?”

He laughed at my words, but the laughter didn’t mount to his eyes.

“You better hope that I can gather the forces I need, or you might be a broodmare for Obadiah. I think you remember his wooing. But then again, he is known widely for his perversion and pain. Pain in the ass, more likely. But you remember it well.”

Oh! He was so cruel! To use what Obadiah had done to me as a joke!

“You best remember who you are now beholden to, dear lady. A slight imbalance of power will take us both down. It would behoove you well to make my days light.”

Well, he had me there. A bargain with the Devil…or a devil, was not one that was easy to go back on. I should have thought of that from the start of this story.

My voice sounded weak to my ears. “Will you be able to do this?”

“I should. I am more, ah, winsome than Obadiah. And so are you. You will have to use some of your mortal charms to bring them to our side. That is part of your role as consort. And you will have to be convincing.”

“What do you mean?”

“Those that sit in judgement of Obadiah and I can ‘award’ the spoils of battle to either side. You would be one of those spoils. You will have to play a convincing role of devotion and loyalty to me not to be given to Obadiah.”

“As in, “The Gods are fickle?”

“Good girl! Now you are playing the game!”

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted 2007, 2009

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 3

June 2, 2013

I had no intention of every revisiting this book but since I have, it has an energy to it that still surprises me. It was only my second novel, and it got lost in the excitement of writing other books and of course, poetry. But it has a certain charm (at least to me…) and also has some inventive characters who will make an appearance later. It’s good to reread earlier work, and to see how it stacks up with work years later.

There were three years of some pretty extensive research into Celtic mythology and of the poetry from that time. I also wrote some of my very first poetry into this novel. If I post later chapters those poems will appear. Overall, this novel, though basically a work that needs a lot of rework, was a wonderful time of investigation and forming characters. There are frogs in here too with their own particular magic.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. Cocksure of his charms, arrogance fed into his seduction and 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. What kind of world had he pulled me into? Why was I here? This was insanity and since it happened over and over, I knew I was not dreaming.

I also knew somehow… answers to this present situation revolved around the novel. Perhaps if I kept writing until the end it would resolve. I could return to my comfortable, boring life with my husband and my chickens and this excitement and unreality would disappear. I realized the book was a key, but which door did it open?

And then this demon? Well, I really didn’t know that he was a demon, just guessing. I didn’t have anything else to call him and ‘demon’ fit for some reason. Perhaps it was the magic and the mind reading, but I needed a name for him. What part did he really play in the scope of things? He was a sharp-eyed critic and petards my writing with his presence and demands. I knew he wasn’t ‘real’, oh real enough in some physical sense, but there were other considerations. How did he materialize and why? And why me? Of course, he used the ready excuse of the book and how I thought I had brought him ‘into life’, but the power of words, my words, couldn’t upset the universe to such a remarkable extent. No, there were other forces at work, and I would just have to discover what they were.

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 the 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–

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

“Thank you, the word eluded me.”

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

“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.

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

“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, 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 vile 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 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, Bess, I was starving, and your cooking restored my strength.” He grinned and squeezed 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 scowled. “ I read what you wrote…and again, you should stick to what you know.” He smiled, 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 a 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 sex.

“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.

“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 put 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.” 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. I was still married, and older by decades.

“I was born in 1790. Beat that.” (I was to find this was a lie…another one.)

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 thought 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 tolerance. There really was no way around things, if I wanted answers. I had to play a role. 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 stride with his wit. He could have written a much better book, but then again, he likes best being the sharp-eyed critic.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007, 2009, 2013

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 2… Again with the WARNING: Sexual Content.

May 31, 2013

We are going backwards here. Chapter 1 is a mess, and needs to be rewritten. So, I am posting this chapter because it gives a hint of what this book is about. And about that, well, it’s really two books and I have to find a way to slice it in half.

Basically the story line is a time warp: from the 21st century to the 1820’s. Bess is a novelist, writing a book set in the 1820’s, but has grown disaffected with her characters and plot and has closed the book for sixteen years. This hasn’t sat well with some of the characters, mostly two men, Garrett Cortelyou and Obadiah Voorhees, and they have re-manifested as demons or devils. They are in mortal combat, as they were in the original book, but this time they have all the denizens of Hell to help them. Battle lines are drawn up, and Bess, a very 21st century woman who does not believe in Heaven or Hell, finds herself in the middle of this conflict. Garrett Cortelyou, the devil below, is a Dutch devil and has the seduction manners of a goat. He’s able to kidnap Bess from her own bed and century and by rearranging her atoms, or something like that….transfer her back to his century and house. He also can read her mind which means he has the advantage over her almost all the time.

Lady Nyo

Devil’s Revenge
,Chapter 2

“What the hell?”

Opening my eyes, I struggled to focus. Embers had popped from the fireplace in front of me and it sounded like the Fourth of July! One rolled to where I was sitting and stopped at my bare foot. Blinking, I snatched my foot back and took a deep breath. If materializing this way was supposed to unsettle me, it was working. My hands shook, my heart raced, and I felt nauseated. A few minutes passed before I had control of myself. At a man’s command I appeared in this room. I shivered, wondering what would happen now.

The wind raced around the corners of the house, and sleet scratched at the window panes in a steady rhythm. I was glad for the good fire before me. I was chilly dressed in a linen morning gown, nothing more than a wrapper over a chemise. I had that mob cap on my head, falling over my eyes, but at least I was without stays. I could breathe again.

Placed on the tea table were two sheets of stiff paper and a lead pencil. I stared into the flames leaping about the logs, lost in thought, the sway of the fire hypnotic.

Was he a demon? Well, he wasn’t the Devil, or at least he didn’t seem to be. No horns or hooves or pitchfork. I had no idea what he was, and my knowledge of anything supernatural was poor or non existent. But he shouldn’t exist, not if I was sane and the universe too, but here he was. What was he? My imagination couldn’t stretch that far to account for all these magical things, like the tankards of ale appearing with a snap of his fingers, or that he had materialized out of the pages of an unfinished book. But perhaps these things were small beer compared to what was possible? In any case, I was caught between two worlds, my comfortable if mundane life with a husband and this apparent ‘rip in the fabric of the universe.’

Since I had a bit of a chapter to finish, I started to write a couple of lines. I might as well use the time I was given, and writing would calm my nerves. The chapter’s weather on my page imitated the weather outside my window, both gray and threatening days. I would write in a snowstorm, the two characters not able to travel, stuck in the countryside. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a small movement and glancing up, there sat the demon, Garrett Cortelyou. I jumped and squeaked out a scream, covering my mouth with my hands.

“Goedemorgen to you, and I am still the Devil, I see.” He sat across the table, unshaven this morning. His appearing like that and his confounded ability to read thoughts still rattled me.

“I am thinking of growing a beard, just to bedevil you.” He grinned, sitting back in his seat, stretching his legs and propping one boot upon the other.

“Why would I care if you had a beard?” I asked, stumbling over my words.

“It would give a turn to seducing you, something new and untried.” He grinned even broader and winked at me. “Ah, think how good it will feel with my beard brushing the soft skin in the middle of your back. I can think of other places to bury it just as fine.”

“Ah, stop it, Demon child. What business brings you here this morning except to taunt me.”

“You should form that as a question, not a statement. Again, with the bad English.”

“It is not a question of whether you will taunt me, but a fact. I already felt your sting.”

Stretching his arm out, he lay it palm up on the table, his hand out for mine. A gentle gesture. I had no reason to trust him.

“Yes, a gentle gesture, and one that I would like to follow up with more ‘stinging’ of your nether parts, my sweeting.” His eyes were languid and narrowed, and left no question his thoughts were mostly about lust this morning.

I reddened at his silly words, in spite of my determination not to blush.

“Oh, I don’t think that you are at all displeased, sweetheart. I think you are attempting to play a game where your feet do not touch bottom.”

I listened and thought a moment. “Tell me, then, how does this work? Does anybody in my life notice I’m gone? I don’t remember much when I’m home, and it seems the time with you is all a dream. What happens here? How do you do these things?” I looked around the room, wondering if I came down the chimney.

Garrett smiled. “Time is different in each dimension. A month here is an hour there.”

“Then my husband doesn’t know I’m gone?”

He snorted, a strange sort of laugh. “I think you could be gone a week in your time, darling, and that husband of yours wouldn’t notice.”

I didn’t want to humor him, and suppressed my own laughter. He was probably right. My husband was addicted to television and we led almost separate lives in our marriage. Little held us together, except our dogs and cats, and a comfortable routine.

“How do you bring me here?”

“Why should I tell you?”

“For Christ’s sake! You kidnap me from my bed and bring me to yours. There are laws against such behavior.”

He started to laugh. “If I told you, it would ruin all the fun.”

“For you? I have a marriage to hold together and you are interfering in my life.”

He looked at me, and his smile disappeared. “You are quite the little hypocrite. You put a set of horns on your husband’s head fast enough and now you complain? I seem to remember you enjoying the fucking you got. Perhaps I should give some lessons to your husband.”

“You are a bastard! He’s a fine and sweet man!” I rose from my seat in my anger.
He did not seem impressed. He barely changed his posture, only crossed his arms over his chest. If he thought I would hit him, he didn’t care.

“Yet here you are with me. And curious as to what comes next. That depends on controlling your temper. You act like a spoilt child.”

Suddenly I felt drained. This show of anger was not getting me far. He was stubborn, with his own set of rules. He was right, I had set the horns upon my own husband’s head and enjoyed the fucking that set them there. Slowly I sat down in my chair, my energy gone. I didn’t have a moral leg to stand on.

“Woman.” I heard his voice through my silent tears. “I promise you your dear husband will not notice you gone. He will think you outside feeding your chickens or getting his ale from that cold cabinet.”

I started to laugh through my tears. He could be a fly on the wall or a ghost haunting my house!

“Sixteen years gives me the authority to do so,” he said, reading my thoughts.

Again he stretched out his hand to me across the table. It was a tender gesture, but I was having none of it. He sat back and looked at me solemnly.

“Take the mobcap off, please. It reminds me of Aunt Catherine in bed, and that’s a cock- crushing sight in the morning.”

I took the cap off because it was slipping over my eyes. Aunt Catherine was a character in her eighties, almost bald and toothless.

“What have you done to your hair?” He looked intently at my now caramel streaked locks.

“Oh, summer is rough, being out in the garden, and the southern sun, you know….” My words trailed off. What in hell was I doing here? Talking to a doppelganger like he was a friend. “I put in caramel streaks.”

“Why would you put candy in your hair?” Garrett‘s eyes narrowed in concentration. “Does it taste sweet?”

“Oh Lord, deliver me from such fools! No, Garrett, it is just a color that women put– Oh, never mind.”

“Hey day! What’s this?” He spied my foot with the cherry red nail polish peeking from my under my gown. He reached down and grabbed my foot, almost yanking me off my seat.

“Garrett! Remember I’m attached to that foot!” He had it in his lap, where he was staring at the red toes.

“It’s like cherries in milk, your foot!” Looking up at me, he laughed. “From your hair to your feet, I could eat you this morning.” He looked like he was capable of such and I snatched my foot back fast from his lap.

“You are here for a reason, now state it and leave.” I felt foolish sitting in my bathrobe talking to something not real.

“Ah, my pretty author, do I need a reason to visit you in my house? Remember that you are here at my calling. Let’s start with a name. What am I to call you?”

Oh God…I had not thought of this! After all these years, one would think he would know by now. I had three Christian names and tried not to think of them. I couldn’t fool the damn devil.

“Well, Sarah is taken now. And a bit morbid for me to call you that. Remember? Sarah is killed by your friend Obadiah. I’ll call you Bess from your middle name. I like the sound of that. Nice and docile.” He threw back his head and laughed.

I well remember what I write, you stupid devil. Why was he here this morning? Or more to the point, what in hell was I doing here in this bedroom?

“I came to apologize,” he said, offhandedly. “ I was a bit rough on you, not that you didn’t deserve it. I could have been a lot rougher, but then, you wouldn’t have been so nice to me.” He grinned, the loathsome demon.

“Ah, still with the names….and you were nice to me. Even if you resisted at first.”

“Garrett, that was almost a rape. You made me bleed.” I wondered if he could feel remorse. I didn’t know how much was human, how much devil.

“Your own fault, Bess. You refused to kiss me. Next time allow me your mouth, it will go better for you.” He paused, thinking. “I don’t know how you could call that a rape, sweetheart. You fell in my arms fast enough.”

My mouth was open with shock. What an arrogant man…demon! But he was right. I had tried hard not to respond to his ardor, but my body was not of the same resolve. Blushing, I tried not to remember his lovemaking.

My stomach was rumbling, and snapping his fingers, a tray of tea appeared on the table between us.

“Would you like a cup?” I was trying to focus on something else, yet my hands shook.
.
“Yes, make it sweet, my love.” He turned his chair to face me. Looking over his cup, he caught my eyes. He was such a silly demon and appeared right at home in this bedroom.

“Before, it was ‘demon lover’. I liked that best. Could you please say it again?”

I smiled, touched at his vanity. ‘Yes, demon lover, and all attendant titles that go with it.” Oh God! What am I saying? Where is my sense?

“Ah, that is better. Tell me, my Bess, what happens at the end of the book?”

“You mean you don’t know?” I was surprised, I thought he would. I hadn’t written it down, but knew the outcome for a number of years. I thought he was a mind reader.

“No, I don’t know. I have tried to read your confounded writing, but until you typeset it up into a book, I can’t. Tell me- do I survive Obadiah? Do I get the girl? What is my fate?”

“Do I look like a gypsy woman? Why should I tell you anything? I think that is the only power I have here.” I sat back and looked at him smugly. Two could play at his game.

“Oh, my darling woman, you have more power over me and John Thomas down here than you know. And speaking of cocks, who are these other men in your life? Does your husband know of the horns you are planning to put on his head?” He looked at me, his dark eyes flashing. I wondered suddenly if he ever had a soul.

“How would you know anything like that?” I rose from my seat, again, angry and stupid. Before I could formulate an answer, he rose from his chair and yanked me to him, hurting my wrist.

“You are full of fun, with no idea of consequences,” he said almost hissing with anger, pulling me close to him. “I would call you a cocktease, but you know what you are. You think your glib tongue will hold you from harm? It will lay you down for it. You are such a little fool.”

“You are hurting my wrist. Stop it!” My words were sharp and he dropped my arm. I stood there rubbing where his fingers now marked my skin.

He was angry about something. I could see that. Shocked by the violence of his words and hurting my wrist, I was growing afraid and tried to placate him with sweet words.

“Garrett….I created you from the desire of my loins. No mortal can compete with you. You are a subject of jealously among men, my demon friend”.

“Ah, not demon lover?” He was not so easily put off. He was in a fine temper.

“Garrett, as a character, created by me, you are perfection. There is nothing lacking in you. I have seen to that. No human can hold a candle to you.” I wondered why I would say such a thing! Fear had to be the larger part of my thinking. He had the strength and violence of manhood, compounded by magic. I needed to be more cautious. He had the power of a demon, after all.

“Your words are not so original, but will do for now.”

He made a mocking bow, ending the argument. Placing his hands on his hips, he looked at me with a bemused expression on his face.

“I want some changes here. I am being starved by you, and your thoughtless writing.”

“What do you mean, sweet Demon?” I hoped my voice dripped with acid.

“Ah, nice and docile, Bess! I like that. Do it more.” He laughed but it wasn’t a cheerful sound.

“For a week I have fed on bread, cheese, and ale. Jennie doesn’t cook for me, nor does Daniel. I am hungry and that doesn’t make my temper better. I want some real food written into this damn novel. I want some Zuur Tong, Head Cheese, some Gehakt, a nice Hutspot a couple of times a week. I want you to bake me some kretenbroad.”

“All right, Garrett…translate those words.” Zuur Tong turned out to be Spiced Tongue, Gehakt was sausage, Hutspot was a one-dish meal of beef, mashed potatoes, onions and carrots and Kretenbroad was currant bread.

I couldn’t resist. “Why don’t you snap your fingers for the food to appear?” I smiled sourly.

He grimaced and scowled at me. “I can’t seem to manage more than a tankard of ale, some spirits and a tray of tea. I can levitate a chamber pot, but you don’t want to see that trick.”

I laughed and told him that I would make Daniel, the caretaker, bring in his niece, Anna, to cook, in the book.

“Good. Settled. Now come here, lambkin. He led me to the window that looked down to the river. Placing me in front of him, he put his arm around my shoulder, holding me.

“I don’t like sitting in that library all day, I want you to write me out there hunting. I want to bag more ducks. There are geese on the river bank for the taking, can you see them from here?” He stretched a long arm towards the general direction of the river, but I saw nothing in the gray, morning light
.
“Maybe a deer or two. I need some time with my guns, and I want to get a pack of dogs. Agreed? And about your Dutch.”

He was full of demands today. I had to smile. “What about my Dutch?”

“It is rotten. You write what you don’t know. Again. You should ask me. Like the word ‘fokken’….It doesn’t mean to ‘plow’…it means to copulate. Simple, isn’t it? Now, let us get fokken.” He tried to steer me towards the bed, but I twisted out of his reach.

“Stop, Garrett. You have the seduction manners of a goat.” He stopped in surprise in the middle of the room.

“I am unworthy of your cherry, plucked though it’s been. Forgive my manners, my lady.” He gave a low and elegant bow, and coming up, picked me up over his shoulder. He threw me hard on the bed and jumped on top of me.

“I can’t breathe, you monster! Get off me, give me some air!”

“I might, if you willingly give me your mouth this time.”

“And what do you intend to stuff in it? I know you, Garrett. I may have been oblique about your ‘lesson plan’ in the novel, but I think I know something of your appetites.”

He rolled off of me, laughing. Turning back, he propped himself on an elbow, stroking the hair from my face.

“You and I, we understand each other, no? Perhaps I don’t have to read every thought of yours. But it is fun, and it gives me an advantage.”

“It’s an unfair advantage, Garrett–and you know it. I have little independence when you do so.”

“Ah, but that is some of the delights of being a woman. You submit to me, in all things, and I will fill your–mouth with sweet things. I will stroke your limbs and warm your belly, and you will open to me with pleasure.”

“Now who sounds like a second-rate novel?”

“And what kind of novel are you writing? Do you even know?”

“I don’t, just something decent. Men are critical- and my girlfriends are even more so.”

“What do the men think?” He asked, distracting himself with his hands on my breasts.

“I thought that you would know this? Don’t you read my emails?”

“No, I don’t. Not yet. Isn’t there a password involved?”

“Why would a demon need a password? Aren’t you all seeing?”

“I’m trying, my sweet woman, to seduce you. I don’t give a damn about your letters. I want to know the competition. I want to know about these men who stick their tongues down your throat and part your pretty thighs. Why are you talking to them about the novel? Why mention us?

“I didn’t know that there was ‘an us,’ Garrett. You forget you are all fantasy. All in my mind.” I snapped my fingers; he was still there.

“I think that I am all between your legs right now.” He put his hand over my crotch, and stroked me through my gown.

“You want to kiss me, why don’t you start with my mouth?”

“You can delay all you want, you sweet witch. I have eternity here.”

“Then this is Hell? Purgatory? Something like Dante’s Inferno?

Putting his head next to my neck, he breathed gently on my skin. The warmth of his breath was arousing.

“Would you stop trying to figure it out and just let it be? Look, I will lie quietly with you, and we can coo together. I promise you will rise as virginal as you are now. Just go cook me something in the kitchen. I am fading fast.”

I promised to feed him but he didn’t keep his. The afternoon was a quiet one, as he slept on my breast. I had a chance to observe my demon lover closely, and he was as beautiful in life as anything I could put on the page. He would be happy with that, but of course, he already knows what I think.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2013