Posts Tagged ‘Devil’s Revenge’

“When Cu Chulainn Courts Emer”

March 1, 2016

 Image result for Emer and Cuchulainn

Image result for Emer and Cuchulainn


These two sonnets relate to the Chapter 27 and Chapter 28 in “Devil’s Revenge”.  I wrote them while doing research for this novel, and thought this a good place to present them.

Lady Nyo 


When Cu Chulainn Courts Emer

“In that sweet country, I’ll rest my weapon”

Said Cu Chulainn to beauteous Emer

And a war spasm came upon him fast

With face distorting, hair stood upended

Teeth barred in anger, cock a rigid mast

His body whipped around, his knees unbended,

And sweet Emer prayed his luck would last.


Her father, King Lug, Celtic God of Light

Set her swain to tasks and toil unending,

While Bricru the Poison Tongue cries in fright:

“The Hound of Ulster, Irish unbending,

Leads in battle for comes he in his might!

And Emer waits with patient love the day

When Cu Chulainn comes near and claims his right!


When Lug dragged his cock upon the earth deep

And threw up mountains and hillocks in haste

Fair Aine came behind him with sweet seeds reap’d

And fertile was the land, no virgins chaste

Followed the reapers and saw the crows fly

Up in the air with black wings flapping sound

She watered the plantings with moisture, sighed

For Lug had others of mistresses round.


Fair Aine pined in sorrow, her heart laid bare

All other women Lug held with his charm

When she walked afield, the men did dare

To raise their eyes and hearts without alarm.


The children she bore now, peppered the earth,

And Lug still dragged his cock, taunting with mirth!



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009-2016

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 27…introduction to the Morrigan

February 27, 2016


The Morrigan




“You are quiet this evening, Demon. Anything wrong?”

Smoking his white clay pipe, he looked across the table, shook his head and turned back to the fire.

Lately we have few words. He’s gone each day. At night, he would sleep for hours in the chair before the fire with his legs extended, his boots touching the embers. It didn’t seem to bother him.

I have kept my own counsel, and say little to him how I spend my days

The light was fading in the room, as it is still winter. The nights fall early. There were only two candles on the mantel and one on the table where I have my threads and needles. He liked to watch me quietly sewing, and sometimes he threaded them for me, awkwardly handling the different colored threads and trying to skewer the tiny needles. I think he liked the quiet domestic scene we make here, he before the fire, puffing on his pipe, his long legs stretched out to the heat, and I, in a half-light, sewing on my hoop, or darning a shirt. I have half-finished another linen shirt. He was pleased with the first, and wears it frequently. Another nod towards our enforced domesticity.

“You grow tired of the house, don’t you?” He knocked out the ash from his pipe onto the hearth.

“I am tired, not of this house, but of not being allowed to walk in the fields. I would like to open a window for some fresh air.” I stick myself with my needle from beneath the hoop and utter a curse. It has grown too dark to work.

“What if I make it so we leave for a while?”

“I thought it was too dangerous to leave for any reason.” I am testy, tonight.

“I could arrange something, but you might not like it.” He grins and of course the idea of leaving got my attention.

“Ah! More of your magic, I guess.” Scowling, I try to discourage him. I never knew if his magic would work, and will he be able to restore me to the original? He smiled back, and I have guessed it.

“I could transform myself into a dog, a big, black shaggy dog, and you could be a flea deep in my coat.” He smiled. “I could go outside and chase a rabbit. You hang on and get plenty of fresh air.”

“Thanks,” I said dryly, “I’d rather not. With my luck, I fall off and you don’t notice. I freeze to death. End of the story.”

“Then I can transform you into a mare, and I gallop you across the fields. You would get plenty of exercise and fresh air.” He grins broadly.

I think about this, and start to giggle. “You ride me enough, right here in this bed. The thought of you riding me that way is too funny to consider.”

“Well, you think of something. Something to entertain and improve your disposition. You are getting cranky lately. Probably a sign you’re breeding.”

Oh! This is encouraging news, indeed! Obviously I had little to say in the matter.

“Nope, as you say….you don’t. It’s beyond your control.” He was enjoying my discomfort.

“How about another dream, then? A nice, big satyr. Perhaps one with a brother…and some cousins, too.” I looked at him coyly. I had his interest now, the kinky devil.

“Oh, you don’t want to play around with a satyr. They don’t care about proper mortal anatomy, they’ll poke around anywhere, and besides, they fight over who gets you first. They become violent.”

I was laughing at him, he knows I’m not serious. But I wondered at my wisdom even mentioning the dream. I remember Cernunnos, and I wonder just how much my Devil was pulling the strings.

“Perhaps another dream, one where we travel to Venice, gondola down the canals, dance in the squares, get drunk on wine. Wear masks. Fondle strangers.” I looked at him to see his reaction.

He puffed on his pipe and smiled back, the smoke obscuring his eyes. There is no telling what he was planning.

“I have come up with some interesting stuff from my reading. Would you like to hear?

“If it doesn’t bore me, or put me to sleep. You tend to do that, my little book worm.”

I smiled, quickly averting my eyes. His ego! But then again, I am dealing with….no, living with, either a demon or a demigod. Who knows? The possibilities here are endless, and so far, I don’t really have a clue.

I read him the poem at the beginning of Cad Goddeu:

“I was in many shapes before I was released:

I was a slender, enchanted sword,- I believe that it was done,….”


Ah! I have his attention. He likes poetry.

“Read more to me.” He puffed on his pipe and the smoke rose above his head like sylphs dancing. I read him not the stuff of animism and magic, this he knows already. He must know, he performs this magic daily with a snap of his fingers. I read him to him about the wizard Gwydion who transformed a forest of trees into a terrible army.

Alder, pre-eminant in lineage, attacked first,

Willow and rowan were late to the fight,”

His head fell back and he stretched out his boots to the fire. He was listening to me intently.

“I came across something else. Reminds me of you and Obadiah, …and a bit of me.”

“Go on, you’re not boring me yet.” He smiled at the ceiling.

“Thank you, I will.” I told him about the battles between Ochall and Badb, the two bulls, who transformed themselves numerous times. Their argument went on for the generations of their transformations, to be reborn again finally, as two bulls. I told him how this reminded me of both of them. The point of this story, this myth, is how the land responds to truth and falsehood. And here, the dominant force, the constant that all else revolves around, is the role of the Goddess. If the King, her consort, is a good king, a true king, the land responds with fertility, the harvests were plenty, the weather mild, the people and animals give birth with ease. If the King, her consort was false, the land would shrivel and dry up, the crops would die from blight, and people would be killed by famines. The land would be barren, and the people unfertile. Only before truth, would the elements not recoil. The king, therefore, was a high-priest as well as warlord and chief. He was the human embodiment of the divine for the tribe. Their survival depended upon his labors. Further, the queen, or the consort, could be kidnapped by one or the other, and that be an excuse for slaughter and war.

I told him I was reading about The Dagda, Morrigan, Cuchulainn the warrior, and Birog, a druid priestess. These I told him about, but there were many others I didn’t. He pronounced the names of them, correcting me. On his tongue, the names had a music, as did a poem he recited while glazing up at the ceiling.

“Temair Breg, cid ni diata

indisid a ollamna!

Cuin do dedail frisin mbruig?

Cuin robo Temair, Temair? 

O shin amach ba Driunm Cain

In tulach a teigdis mair

A hainm ac Tuaith De Danann!” 

He smiled, and puffed on his pipe.

“Well, what does it mean?”

Though the language was alien, strange to my ears his voice was like water, soothing. I could recognize some as Old Irish. I could only understand the very last words, the Tuaith De Dannan…..the otherworld.

“Merely, place names, boundaries, rivers and hills. Accounts of pastures, if you will. Reads like a survey of land.”

“But the name, “Tuaith De Dannan”…I could understand that at the end. The “Otherworlds”.

“A powerful tribe in the Otherworld. One of numerous kind. At combat with the Fomoire at one time in history. It records the territory of the Tuaith De Dannan in prose.”

“But why would they do that?” I looked at him blankly.

“Because you hadn’t been born yet.” I still didn’t understand.

“Because there was no written language yet.”

Oh! Now I understood him. “So, these poems were a listing of natural boundaries. No more and no less?”

“If MacCuall raided the cattle from Mac Ness, the chieftain would call up his bard, and he would sing out the boundaries. Less bloodshed between clans if the bard had a good memory.”

“And how, Garrett, do you know all this?” Either he had been reading the same books or came by this naturally.

He smiled back up at the ceiling, not meeting my eyes. “There are some things I know, and many I don’t.” There was little else he would say. I have learned not to push.

But I did dream that night, a troubling and lengthy dream. At least I thought it was a dream, though it haunted my next hours awake. I dreamed I was walking in a cleared pasture. There were mountains, and hills in front all around me. To the east, the sun had risen, but was low in the sky. It was cold, and I had wrapped around me my red Irish walking cloak. It had a hood, but I was still cold. Again, I seemed to be barefoot. I wrapped my cloak around me tighter, my breath like smoke in the cold, morning air. I was walking up a steep hillside. As I reached the ridge, there, nestled in some rowan trees, was a stone cottage. Smoke was curling out of the chimney and a wide, low door was in the middle of the cottage. There was a high forest behind, and I saw a large black raven on a branch watching me. Her coat shined like glass, though the sun barely reached this clearing.   I knocked at the door, and it swung open to the pressure of my hand. The cottage was very dark to my eyes, only a low fire burning. There was a woman sitting with her back to me at the fireplace. I stood there, rubbing one cold bare foot upon the other. She turned her head in my direction, and I saw a very old woman, with white hair in two thick braids under her shawl. She silently motioned for me to join her at the fire, and I was grateful for the invitation to warm myself. I sat a few feet from her, on a stool and extend my bare legs to the fire.

“You are thirsty, daughter?” Her voice was barely a whisper. “There is cider in the jug on the windowsill.”

I got up and poured myself a cup of cider. “Do you want a cup, Mother?” She shook her head. I came back with my cup and sat again by the fire.

“Do you know who I am?” I shook my head, trapped in this dream.

“I am one of three, but yours to guess. You have come here seeking answers. Now ask three questions. I will grant you three answers.”

“Who are the parents of the Demon Lover?”

“Ah! You are curious for what reason? Is it because you must know what he is before you give yourself over to his magic?” She chuckles, and the sound she made was like tin cans rattling around a floor.

I was careful how I answered. She was a trickster goddess, and I had only three questions.

“I want to know, because he is in need of protection. If his father be immortal, he can demand his help in battle.” I thought it best to be honest. She might have second sight, the Taisch. Lying to her would be dangerous.

“I am known for more than that, girl.” She read my mind like the Demon.

“He isn’t a Demon. And he isn’t an Angel. Expand your mind. Look around you. You are in another place. The hills and valleys are plowed up by the violent lovemaking of The Dagda. He drags his cock like he drags his club over the land.”

I am in the land of the Celts! My dream has dragged me into the books I have been reading for the past week. This must be the Morrigan.

“You guessed right, but perhaps the raven gave you the answer?”

Of course! The Morrigan takes the shape of a raven. “One of three” is also her other sisters, Nemein and Madb. So, I have come to her because of my own dream, not something outside of me.

“If you know, Mother, tell me who his parents be.”

“Perhaps I know his father to be Cuchulainn, in the time of Connor McNessa and the High Kings of Ireland. But perhaps this is not so. His grandfather might be Lug, who is immortal. Who his mother is, I know not. But I remember that Cuchulainn was championed both by Birog and Scathach. Either woman could be.”

“Who is Birog?” I forget that this gives me only one question left to ask.

“Ah! She was a Druid Priestess. She allowed him to escape death numerous times on the battlefield. But Scathach granted him the ‘friendship of her thighs.” Morrigan cackled again.

“Who is Scathach, Mother?” I have unwittingly asked my last question!

“If I were looking for the strongest immortal to be the mother of your Lord, I would want it to be Scathach. She was a woman warrior from Alba (Scotland) who trained the young warriors. Cuchulainn was the bravest of them all for a time.”

Morrigan offered herself four times to Cuchulainn, each time he refused her. I remember these myths in the books.

“That was as it was written. Four times and the cock crows. Do you know what happens on the fifth?” She turns a milky white eye upon me, and I shiver in my cloak.

“He gave me three daughters. Three black crows to pick over the battlefields.” She cackles again, sounding like the cawing of crows.

“Now stand, daughter, and drop your cloak. Let me see what those two bulls fight over.”

I stood and dropped my cloak. She passes her hand in front of me, and I was naked and shivering before her.

“A bit old for the breeding, aren’t you?” She had a sly smile on her wrinkled lips.

“You know, don’t you, why he has chosen you? It is not for your figure, for he could have any virgin more pleasing than you.”

“I don’t know, Mother, why he has chosen me. I have stumbled into his world, and Obadiah’s, if they are the same. I don’t know.”

“He aims to make you his bard, girl. You can write and bring him up as ripe fruit, you can enter his world, the world of monsters and demons. You know music and dance. All these things he picks in you for his future. You will write of his exploits, his deeds, he will breed you and will spill his seed out of you onto the ground. You, as his consort, you will make the fields fertile. That’s if he wins.” She cackled, a low, evil sound.

“You throw your hips at him, and his cock will rival the Dagda’s. He will plow up the earth with his own mountains and valleys!” She coughed, spit on the floor and my blood ran cold.

“But I am years past fertility, Mother. I have never birthed a live child.”

“Come closer, girl. Let me look at you. Let me see what can be done here.”

I don’t dare refuse her, for she is Morrigan, and the Goddess of Fertility. She is also a Goddess of Death. I slowly move before her, standing in front of her. She reaches out a hand, and with one finger she pushes on my belly. Her finger produces a warm sensation where she touches.

“Sit down, daughter, on the table. I have some potions for you.” I sat on the bare table under the only window of the cottage. She goes to a cupboard, and takes out a jar of something.

“You will be an easy one to bring to fruit. He will not have problems with your breeding. You will tire him out.” She laughed at her words.

“Now, I give you a potion that will keep him from reading your mind. He will just think it is because you are breeding. This will be the only time your thoughts will be your own. Enjoy it why it lasts. You will be able to control him better when you are bred. Remember, he is both mortal and not, his parentage powerful. Lead him gently to any knowledge who his father is. He will fight you about it, for he is stubborn. You are only mortal, but you have a strong hand on his heart.

Morrigan rubbed a small, dark liquid on my forehead. This was to cause him not to read certain thoughts. Others he would. But some, if I concentrated well, he could not.

“Now, you will pay me with the birth of your first daughter. I will come for her when she is six months old. She will be brought up by me and my sisters and will take her rightful place. She will be a priestess. She will be powerful. I don’t want any boy child. That will be for your lord. But the daughter is mine, or she will die by the hand of Lilith. Do you agree to my terms?”

I was falling asleep, the potion she has rubbed on my forehead was making me fade. I could only nod for my tongue would not move. I forgot she was a powerful witch and I in her debt now.

She pulled my red cloak back over my naked body, and turned me out of the cottage. Facing the east, she spit at me, and I found myself back in my own bed, wrapped tightly in the cloak. I awoke, thinking of this strange dream. I remembered little of it, but I did remember the name of Cuchulainn. It was days before I remembered the rest of our bargain.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 26

February 24, 2016


This chapter reveals a change in the direction of the novel, or, hopefully, a deepening of the theme.  What Bess finds out in her research in the library points to Celtic mythology, history, etc.  This chapter won’t interest readers who have no interest or knowledge in Celtic mythology, but those who do, and stick with this, will find some good, historic  Celtic poetry entwined. JKB.

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

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


This dream of Cernunnos bothers me for more than what is obvious. Perhaps this ‘fancy’ was not so random. Perhaps it has a deeper meaning, unrevealed, and it was ‘placed’ there by some unknown force, hopefully leading somewhere. Although the Demon claims control, I think he is unaware of what it portends.

Madame is a tricky devil. She claims the demon comes from a royal line, and is no common demon. I have called him a ‘demon’ because I have no other way to define him, my knowledge of mythology scant. Of course, magic confuses the picture, and devils are known for their trickery. Perhaps that is the seat of the confusion

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

As I removed books from a high shelf over my head, one large book was unbalanced, and fell at my fo0t.  It was of Celtic Mythology. I was not one who was superstitious, but this seemed as good a place as any to start.   The dream of Cernunnos ran parallel to this book in my hand. Upon opening it, the first words I read expressed a dichotomy that was alive in my present life.


“It seems to Bran a wondrous beauty

In his curragh on a clear sea

While to me in my chariot from afar

It is a flowery plain on which I ride 

What is a clear sea

For the prowed craft in which Bran is,

Is a Plain of Delights with profusion of flowers

For me in my two-wheeled chariot

Bran sees

A host of waves breaking across a clear sea

I myself see in Magh Mon

Red-tipped flowers without blemish 

Sea-horses glisten in the summer

As far as Bran’s eye can stretch

Flowers pour forth a stream of honey

In the land of Manannan son of Ler

Speckled salmon leap forth from the womb

Of the white sea upon which you look;

They are calves, bright-coloured lambs

At peace, without mutual hostility


It is along the top of a wood

That your tiny craft has sailed along the ridges,

A beautiful wood with its harvest of fruit,

Under the prow of your tiny boat.”


Here is my confusion. Here is an answer, though only a piece of it. The Demon and I came from separate worlds, but now occupy the same. He floated through mine, and I stepped into his. This poem was spoken by the Otherworldly Manannan, attempting to explain to the mortal Bran how their differences in perception lie at the root of their divergent realities.

This spoke to the bafflement that ran through our life together. This spoke to my frustration.

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

Image result for cernunnos

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


“…Alder, pre-eminant in lineage, attacked first

     Willow and rowan were late to the battle

   Thorny plum greedy for slaughter,

   Powerful dogwood, resisting prince….

…Swift and mighty oak, before him trembled heaven and earth…”

Perhaps the Demon, though, at times I could no longer think of him such, would call forth a similar army.

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

The more I read, the more I became convinced what I was witnessing here, between Garrett and Obadiah, was a magical conflict that battled though out an early history. In the myth/song, Tain Bo Cuailgne, the rivalry of two bulls, in separate regions, became a war of many transformations for the bulls. In fact (if that word can be used in mythology!) the two bulls were rival druid priests. They transformed themselves for their conflict into ravens, otters, and ‘screeching spectres’ and many other creatures, before they transformed themselves into grains of wheat, to be devoured by cattle and reborn as the two great bulls, Finn, The Light One, and Dub, The Dark. I could find no termination in their feud. But it was a story of kidnapping of each other’s consorts, mates, and enslavement for revenge. All within an animistic frame of reference.

There is comfort in knowing your dreams and illusions are shared by others. Small comfort, but not to be ignored. But why had I framed Garrett and Obadiah in the Christian mythology? Because it was the only one I knew. Though not a practicing Christian, and for a few years interested in pagan religions, I had Christian culture surrounding me from birth. It seeped into the brain and consciousness and formed my only reference for myth. But here, within the Celtic myths, was a culture with dark and light, perhaps good and bad, and this was easy to understand.   Religion stripped of its saints and devils harkened back to the first companions of mankind, the animals. This I could embrace. It felt natural.

I read further. There seemed to be three consistent parts to the Celtic mythology. The conception by magical means, the divine descent through amours of a divinity, and finally, rebirth.

CuChullain  (one version….)


Another one…..

Image result for cu chulainn

Garrett had no knowledge of his parentage. Like Etain, who forgot her former existence as a goddess, now newly mortal. So it was with Cuchulainn, of great significance in Celtic myth, reborn as his father Lug. From the Father Lug, to the son, Cuchulainn, to be reborn again as the Father, Lug. It sounded like the Christian Trinity to me. But what was the Christian Trinity in Ireland, but Christianity covering the myths and religions of thousands of years before? Garrett had no knowledge of his parentage. He was like Etain,

Cuchulainn, and so many others caught up and born in the fog of myths. But I had the clue he was of royal blood. His powers were too significant to auger mere magic. There was something of the supernatural about him. Perhaps these Celtic myths pointed the way, as readily as a compass held in the palm of the hand.

I read further and found more of interest. “As mankind in his settlements achieves greater ascendancy over his environments, the gods and goddesses change to reflect his powers, mortal though he be. The gods showed more increasingly human characteristics. They had fallacies, weaknesses, had a connection with mankind. They bred with mortals, populated the earth with their seed. These half mortals have powers, and they are the heroes of their tribes and regions. They are represented by their fathers as numerous as the stars in the heavens. For different tribes had different Gods and Goddesses.”

There are  parallels with what I know of the Greeks and similar cultures.

I came across the experiences of the bard Taliesin in the Cad Goddeu :


I was in many shapes before I was released: I was a slender, enchanted sword – I believe it was done, 

I was a rain drop in air, I was a star’s beam,

I was a word of letters, I was a book in origin,

I was lanterns of light for a year and a half;

I was a bridge that stretched over sixty estuaries,

I was a path, I was an eagle, I was a coracle in the seas.

Shape-shifting among these immortals seems to be of two powers. One that was applied to oneself only, and other higher power, where it was possible with self and others. Garrett had shown his ability with the second. I remember the ride in the carriage, where he had transformed my face and form to an elderly, repugnant woman. I thought of his powers of flight, where he transformed distance into mere seconds. Even this snapping of his fingers and his ale appears, and my tea. He calls it ‘common, vulgar magic’. To me, there is wonder and awe in it. He talks vaguely of many transformations, and I have come to well believe him. He is arrogant with the power of knowledge and experience. He seems some sort of god to me. Or close enough.

Something that intrigued me, that focused my attention, was the reading of relationship of king (god) to queen (goddess) to the land. In the embrace of a true king, the land would be fertile, for the role of goddess (queen) would be to do so. In the embrace of a false king, the land would suffer, the seasons harsh and long, the harvests thin, and births were either deformed or infrequent in both humans and animals. The queen, the goddess, would languish, until a proper consort was found. Until the false king was overthrown, was sacrificed either through war or death. Vanquished so the land could become fecund again. I thought about Garrett and Obadiah, such opposite forces. Surely they would represent the true and false kings. And I? I was to remain the constant, though I believed myself barren. Already, my Demon has stirred my womb and I bleed. He protects my ripening fertility, he says, from all others. And yet, did he have control over Cernunnos? If I bred, would I carry Cernunnos’ seed or was that seed on my thigh Garrett’s? And if Obadiah would kidnap me away, would I breed to him for the same purpose? Is this what Garrett hinted in his words to me? I would have ‘power’ in his dimension…I would have prestige besides him as his consort.

There were no answers here, only pointers in many directions. But enough to start me to construct my own dimension with what I had read. Perhaps the dream gave a hint where Garrett was from. Perhaps this book, heavy and dusty and almost crushing my foot, had fallen for a purpose. Perhaps it was as much of a compass sitting in my lap as if I had held one in the small of my palm.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016….with thanks to for Cernunnos carving. for the first image of Cuchulainn.











“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 24

February 20, 2016


Image result for 18th century lovers

Perhaps Bess in the Morning?


Seduction in the eyes of Madame Gormosy..


Chapter 24

“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 obviously 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, in a flash, 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 pretense of being deeply enamored, 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 23

February 17, 2016


WARNING:  Sexual scene (but the offensive part deleted for my hens reading…)

 Chapter 23

When Garrett returned from his visit with Abigor, he said nothing. It was only two days later I knew his whereabouts. Another day before I heard of this Madame Gormosy.

“And what is her purpose with me?” Better to know these things early.

“Ah! She is sent from Abigor. She will teach you some manners.” He did not meet my eye but kept his on the fire.

“I didn’t know I was lacking, Demon.”

“Oh, I beg your pardon! I was not talking about mortal manners. The manners you will need as my…ah… consort.”

“So, Abigor knows what I am to be to you?”

I wondered why he had been so quiet for the past few days. Perhaps he escaped his interview by the skin of his teeth.

“He knows, he knows.” He was whittling a piece of wood with a small knife, feeding the fire with his strokes. The flames seem to leap up and swallow the chips.

“That is why he is sending Gormosy. A Duchess of Hell. You’ll like him.”

“Him? I thought you said Duchess of Hell.”

“I did. Gormosy is a male Devil. He likes to appear as a woman riding a camel.”

A camel. In the middle of winter.

“Well, what skill does this transvestite demon have that would make Abigor think of him as a tutor?” Curious business, this Madame Gormosy.

Waving his hand vaguely in the air, he said, “Decorum, manners, an engaging address, you know, womanly skills.”

So, this demon from Hell was to teach me the rules of social behavior among devils.

“And what is it again this Demon is known for?”

“If you must know, he’s a ‘procurer’.

“He’s a pimp?”

“Not exactly. He promotes lust and love in women. For men and…..demons.”

I started to laugh, then saw his face. He was serious.

The next morning, at 9 o’clock sharp, I heard a light knock at the bedroom door. I had been up for an hour, and I was dressed in a loose muslin dress, my hair quickly brushed from my face. I had just finished my tea and Garrett was quietly reading downstairs.

Before I could think, the door opened and a small and elderly woman entered the room, giving a deep curtsy. I rose from my chair, and stood looking at her, my mouth open in shock.

This was Madame Gormosy.   The cross- dressing demon from Hell.  Sans camel

I could no longer think of this creature before me as ‘he’, for ‘she’ was an elegantly coiffed woman, who was dressed in a style of the mid 1750’s. She stood before me in a dark maroon velvet dress. Her hair was powdered white and piled high. She had a cap with long lappets that perched on the top of her head. Upon that was a chip straw hat with ribbons. I thought the straw better for warmer weather, but again, I suppose her apartments in Hell were warm enough to support her choice. She had a black patch satin patch near her eye on one side, and another one on her opposite cheek. She was an elegant woman, whose bright smile was immediately engaging.

She swept into the room, and laid aside her fan. She unpinned her straw bonnet, and put it on the table. Putting her hands on her hips, she observed me closely. I remembered to close my mouth and give her a nod, but she continued to look hard at me.

“Well! This won’t do at all, ma chérie. She came close to me and placed her hands under my bosom, hoisting them like two melons. I was not wearing stays.

“Ah! Mon Dieu! That hair! Well, we will have to do something with all of you.” She continued to circle me and pick and prod at my figure. As she went around me, the scent of perfume spilled out from her. Her bosom was heavily laden with powder, and was very white. And wrinkled. After she finished her assessment, she sat down in the other chair, usually occupied by the Demon

She stared at me, her eyes flickering over my face, to my bosom and then back to my hair. She reminded me of one of my favorite characters in history, Madame d’Epinay. Madame was of the French aristocracy and married a count at fourteen. She was known for her salons and letters and this tiny woman before me was of the same age and period.  Perhaps she knew Madame d’Epinay?

“You, ma chérie, will follow in all I say. I teach you manners and behavior. You will meet with many famous and fine creatures, and you will become a treasure to M. Garrett the Demon. Give me your leave to take charge, and I make you a different creature. Ah!”

She threw up her hands in a very theatrical way, rocking backward,  and I almost laughed in her face. I caught myself, wondering about the devil before me.

“How am I to address you?”

“You may call me “Madame”. I have many names. But “Madame” is sufficient pour maintenant. Did Monsieur prepare you for my coming?”

“Madame, he only told me that you were to come. On Abigor’s suggestion.”

“Ah! My friend, M. Abigor! He has reason enough to know of my skills. First, dear girl, we will talk what a consort does in our worlds.   You are ambassador, wife, mistress of him and his household, and you will share in the good and bad of it all.”

As in being turned into charcoal at the whim of some cranky devil?

“You will charm the spark out of the pyre they would throw you and your demon on top of,” she said sharply

I shivered. She, too, could read my mind. It seems there is no escaping from this in his world.

“Nor in many others, ma chérie. She grinned and it was a bit wolfish. “So, let me list what you are expected to know in the beginning, and we will work on harder lessons as we go.”

“What” I was expected to know, and this seemed the most important to Madame, was best put in her words: “I was to present an extraordinary appearance of personal beauty, joined to a gentleness of manners, and an engaging address.” These ‘traits’ would be supplemented with lessons in household management, a little arithmetic, French, musical training on the harpsichord, dancing the minuet, drawing and fancy needlework. I was to follow all up with a special eye to ‘polished’ manners. There was the proper way to pour and serve tea, and amongst others, sweetening and lowering my voice when I spoke to the Demon. She listed ‘a proper submissiveness when demanded by my husband as key to it all.

“I know it is too much to remember.” She clicked her tongue a number of times and shook her head in disbelief.   “Think of it all in three bites.”

“And those being?” I asked grimly.

“You need to develop practical, literary and ornamental skills. How you appear to the others will be very important to the future of your husband.”

Ah! How I appear to a pack of devils will determine whether I am made into burnt toast, is what she means.

“That, ma chérie, and how to get the most out of your husband. Your life will be made more pleasant if you control him well. Mortal women are endlessly inventive in such things.” Again, she waved her hand elegantly in the air.

She smiled, and I smiled back. Though we were separated by more than two centuries, women always had similar thoughts about men.

“Let us start with your dressing. Come and let us see.” She walked to the wardrobe on one wall, and flinging open the doors, she stood before the contents with her hands on her hips. I followed her, and stood behind her. She turned, and snapping her fingers, I found my clothes had vanished

“Ah! So much better to see what I have to work with.”   I flushed red, naked as a blue jay before her.

“Well, we can’t do much for your height, but we can find a good, tight bit of stays to contain that bosom! Turn around, let me see your derriere.”

I turned around, feeling my humiliation. “Put your arms out, like a cross.” I did, and Madame came up behind me and put her hands around to my breasts. I shivered as she touched me. She pulled them back suddenly, flattening them to my chest. I felt her body press into mine

“There! You will need a tight corset to start. Come here and let me lace you.”

She had picked up a long, boned corset from the bottom of the wardrobe. It looked evil. “Here, stand by the bed post and hang on.” She slipped the corset up my hips and around my breasts. She began to lace me tightly.

“I can’t breathe!” I yelled out, holding on the bedpost with both hands as she tugged at the lacing.

“You are supposed to faint. Much more feminine. You need some womanly charms here, you act too masculine.” I took short breaths adjusting to the corset. Finally she was done and from under my arms to below my waist, I was laced tightly.

“What am I to wear on my butt? Pantaloons?”

“Ah, ma chérie! That is part of your problem. No, you are to be accessible to your husband at all times. Your vulnerability will make him value you more.”

It seemed to me Madame had been reading “The Story of O” and was applying the ‘rules’ to this dimension. Or perhaps there was more to this issue of ‘consort’ than I had been told.

On went the usual petticoats, stockings, garters and satin mules. Madame allowed me the freedom of sitting in my corset without pulling further garments over my head. She busied herself with a brush and pins and combed and teased my hair into various styles. She wasn’t gentle in her handling my head and hair, either. She seemed to enjoy herself. I thought about all the gay hairdressers I had had in my past. There was a common thread here. Gossip and hair.

She snapped her fingers and an elaborate tea service appeared. Plates of cakes, petit fours and other desserts. I was to follow her pouring of tea, the handling of the pot, the graceful hand over hand, never flinging them out, but gracefully extending them from my elbows tight at my side. Small and delicate movements. How I handed the saucer and cup was another test. I thought of the geisha, but she corrected me. Simpering was not appealing to the demon.   We poured and served each other for an hour, and she demonstrated what she called ‘engaging address’. Ah! The artificiality of it all! Illusion and sham, but such elegant illusion. I could see how subtle movements and the way one sat, maintaining a ramrod posture because of the corset and clothes, the handling of the hands, delicate small movements, eyes downcast when questioned, the slight smile, still with eyes not meeting, all these worked into a system of seduction. How oblique was modern woman to it all. This was a lot to remember.

She produced two fans from out of the air, and handed me one, snapping open the other before her face. There was a system and meaning in the waving of fans, the casting of eyes at your lover. I learned a silent language, of “don’t come close, I am being observed”, and “I am impatient to feel your sword”, and “Your wife is cuckolding you with your servant.” I was laughing at her witty remarks, and even though she was nothing but a devil, she charmed me with her femininity. How much we would never know about such manners. In a way, modern woman was impoverished for the lacking of these arts, as restrictive and controlling as they were.

When darkness fell in the late afternoon, Garrett came upstairs.   Madame Gormosy and I were laughing at some gossip when he saw us at the tea table. His face was a study of confusion, for he was lost in his books and had forgotten Madame.   She laughed a musical sound in his direction, and gracefully poured him a cup of tea. He crossed the room and bowed politely.

“Ah! M. Garrett! Your charge here had so much to learn! But she is a good girl and can be trained. Look now, at her bosom! Isn’t lovely to see a well corseted woman with all that promise peeking up from her stays? She hasn’t fainted yet, so tomorrow we will tighten the laces. Soon will make her a lady and you will be so proud of the result.”   Madame Gormosy curtsied to him and passed out of the room.

“You have been busy, I see. I forgot about Gormosy.” He grinned, his mouth full of cake. “I like the corset. I like you laced up like that. Gives me ideas.” He ate the remaining petit fours and drank the rest of the tea.

I rose to get a shawl to put over my naked shoulders. He came up behind and put his hands around to my breasts, pulling me back to his chest.

“Take off everything except the corset, dear woman.” His voice was a bit hoarse.


I started to laugh, because I would need his help getting the damn thing off.   He slipped his hands around the tapes that tied the petticoats, and dropped them from my hips.



I heard a deep scream somewhere in my body, rise up to my throat, and I yelled into the feather pillows before my face. It felt like electricity hitting my body, as I felt my nerves light up with a sharpness and then  ecstasy through my body. It surged wave upon wave, until it finally faded out, disappearing. I heard Garrett behind me, as I went limp in his arms, yell something about “A million little devils! Out!~” as he collapsed on top of me. We lay panting, I breathing so hard I thought I would faint. He curled my body to his, wrapping his arms around me.


“I see Madame’s lessons are not lost on you”.   He blew his breath onto my neck, under my hair. “I’ll have to watch ‘Madame Devil’ closely. Somewhere under those petticoats, she still has a sword. Despite powder and wig, you remember there’s a man under those skirts.”


Oh God! I had forgotten! He seemed such an elegant woman that all knowledge of his gender passed out of my mind. Perhaps there was more than persuasion in his manner. Obviously, Monsieur was using his own brand of magic.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 20166

Devil’s Revenge, Chapter 22….

February 15, 2016

 Image result for gloomy pictures of forest


Where two Devils, one of great importance and one of none…discuss strategy.


Chapter 22


“Lord Abigor? Are you there? I can’t see for the fog.”


“Walk to the north, Garrett. It is heavy today.”


Abigor’s voice floated on the thickened air like molasses.


Garrett walked to what he hoped was the north, the fog disorienting him. It finally cleared. Abigor was perched on a stump, smoking a long, white clay pipe in a clearing of the woods. He seemed to be alone, but one can never tell with Devils.


Garrett bowed to him, and sat upon another stump. He took his own pipe out from his coat and started to smoke.


The two devils smoked on in silence. Abigor stretched his legs out before him.   All around, except in this small clearing, the trees were dappled with a combination of fog and sunlight dancing among the limbs. It was like an “aurora borealis” flitting along the ground and trees. There were no bird calls, or rustlings of small animals on the forest floor. This place was betwixt heaven and hell, a place of neutrality among spirits. The lights sparking between trees were alien energies, for this was a magical place, inhabited by many dimensions.


“How do you fare in your present work, son?” Abigor blew a long stream of smoke in Garrett’s direction.


“It goes, father. In fits and starts.” Garrett answered him honestly, a sentiment not known among devils but appropriate in this quiet place.


“Have you procured Andras’ support to your claim?”


“Ah! That is one issue I seek your wisdom. But of the Others, I have the support of Forcas and Leraie. Forcas’ brawn and Leraie’ strength in archery.”


“A good start, but only a start.”


Abigor puffed on his pipe in contemplation of the issue.


“I would suggest Aamon.”


Aamon was the demon who reconciled problems between foes and friends. Garrett grimaced and spat on the ground.


“You could at least seek his council.”


“Father,” said Garrett slowly, “what stands between Obadiah and me has a sharp and annoying history. I would as settle it now instead of having to endure his pinpricks for eternity.”


Abigor laughed heartily. “What stands between you and Obadiah is that be-witching mortal woman.”


He chuckled, in a good mood this morning for a demon. “Get rid of her, and you and Obadiah will settle.   ‘Sharp and annoying’, indeed.”


“Ah! That is a problem. What to do with her.”


“And what do you intend?”


“Oh, to breed her, eventually.”


Garrett’s voice sounded casual to Lord Abigor’s ears, but he knew the devil opposite him a bit better than the other supposed.


“There’s much pleasure in the breeding part. It’s what comes after that is annoying.”


“Yes, but the bitter must be taken with the good.”


“Ah! You have actually learned something from my teachings! Or better, you have remembered!”


Lord Abigor was a dispenser of herbal lore and teachings. He was powerful in the usage of medicinal magic. He was a chief justice on Hell’s docket, and a formidable military advisor.  He was timeless, a product of earliest mankind.


Abigor smoked his pipe with a scowl on his face. “You know, even that sentiment expressed before the wrong devil could make you…ah…”




“I was thinking more charcoal.”


He spat on the ground.


“You must cover your heart better, my son. Betwixt thee and me, I can well understand. I have had mortal women before, even your mother. I can remember my youth.”


“You knew my father, Abigor, what would he have done with her?” Garrett spat on the ground. It seemed to be a ritual among devils.


“Who? Your mother or your….ah…consort?”


“Bess.” Garrett blurted her name before thinking. He looked up at Abigor in surprise.


Abigor was laughing quietly.


“I forget you are half mortal. The weaker half. So, you have named her. Surely once you name a pet, you know you keep it.”


Abigor continued to chuckle to himself.   “Or, at least you don’t eat it.”


“Well, I couldn’t keep fetching her with ‘woman’.”


“Yes, well woman will have a name. Eve, Lilith, Mary, Gormory…they get stubborn and surly if you don’t name them.”


“And…they don’t put out.”


“Hah! That should be no problem for you! Just charm them still. No nonsense then.”


Garrett smiled. The sweetness in her manner made the act more wholesome. Something Abigor would not know.


“I have been thinking of a familiar to train her. She is headstrong for a mortal woman, so the spirit will have to be strong.” Garrett knew Abigor would have a suggestion for him.


“Well, there are a number of spirits that come to mind. What is it you want her to learn? To obey? Better that come from you. These mortal women, they follow so easily. You want her to follow you. I wouldn’t introduce Leraie to a woman to learn archery. He is too winsome. Woman are easily impressed with a broad chest and handsome face.”


Abigor thought for a moment.


“Ah! I have the very devil! Gormosy would do well here. A respected Duchess of Hell.”


Abigor puffed on his pipe, his face wreathed with smoke which looked curiously like little snakes.



Abigor continued. “What else does a mortal woman need to be bound for? Procure this and the other issues follow.”


Abigor’s suggestion was good. Garrett thought Gormory could teach her things of importance. At least to him. What she was famous for in Hell would work nicely on earth.


“Thank you, Father. That is one thing resolved.” Garrett placed his hand over his heart, and bowed from his stump.


“But I have another request to tax you.” Abigor nodded. Garrett was to proceed.


“Andras. I fear to expose her to him. It is not that I can’t control her in the presence of Andras, I can put all sorts of spells upon her for that.”     (Abigor thought this hardly a show of confidence in her obedience to him.) “I know how ‘touchy’ Andras is. The woman would drive any devil to violence.”


“Perhaps the solution here, my son, is to keep them apart.”


“Knowing that Andras is brother to Bucon, Obadiah’s father, can I do that without disrespect to him?” It was a question of protocol, with deadly results if he guessed wrong.


“Andras will be looking for a fight. He is, after all, Demon of Quarrels. He doesn’t have a ‘good’ side to him at all. I would not provoke him further with a moral woman. Especially if you can’t control her.”


Those last words were meant to slash at Demon Garrett. They were, after all, devils.


“I would dangle something else in front of Obadiah than my consort. Like my sword.”


“Ah! Flesh or steel. Either the same to you young bucks.” Abigor chuckled heartily.


“So, you have given her a title? A name and then, shortly, a title? My, you stick your head in the trap fast. I would have thought, as the son of your father, you would have some of his..ah… ‘polish.’”


“About my father, Abigor. How would he approach Andras? I can make the woman disappear, or not appear, as is called for, but what right do I have to ask Obadiah’s uncle for a boon?”


“About a snowball’s life in hell.”


Abigor looked at the younger demon through a haze of smoke. As they talked, it seemed they recreated the fires of hell with their pipes.


This Young Turk, thought Abigor, part god though he be, had no standing in Hell. He is unaware of the name of his father, but he had most of his traits. And Abigor knew,  as powerful as he was, he couldn’t reveal the name of Garrett’s father. It was something this Young Turk would have to find  for himself.


Abigor pulled deeply on his pipe and thought: He was tolerated by the Others because he came by his powers through royal blood. The demons had reason enough to fear him, though Devil Garrett was unaware of his power or breeding. 


“You answer me in riddles, Lord Abigor. If I am to be my father’s son, I need know what he would do.”


Garrett knew he took liberty with this Arch Duke of Hell, but threw caution to the wind. It was good Lord Abigor was feeling tender towards the young devil this day.


“Your father would do as you do. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Abigor puffed languidly at his pipe. He was enjoying his morning. Riddles were a pleasant part of eternity.


“Is your consort too fearful to have me to tea?” Abigor smiled around the stem of his pipe. He looked…well, rather devilish.


“Not fearful enough.” Garrett smiled, thinking of what her reaction would be.


“Ah! I remember the brio of some mortal women. The Latins were good for it, though they were always calling the name of Christ and their infernal Pope down upon heads. I would advise you to rip out her tongue early.”


Garrett smiled at Abigor. “I would rather work a charm on her. She can use that tongue for better things.”


Ah. These half mortal devils have such patience with their women, thought Abigor. They don’t know a minute of peace because of it, either.


“I would approach Andras with courage. And caution. It will not be easy to gauge his moods. Dangle a gift before him. A pillow of lavender for sweet dreams, an axe to chop his foot off, you figure it out. But know that Bucon will have already approached him for support. The only angle I can see is that Obadiah has been a pain in the butt before to Andras. Bucon’s son comes by his hatred through blood. Quarrels are fueled either by love or hate, and Andras has had his docket filled with Obadiah’s sins. Other than that, you could be toast with him.”


“Thank you, Father. I will remember your wise words.”


Garrett appeared and been answered. He knew not to take up Abigor’s valuable time. This Arch Duke had many responsibilities and the docket of Hell was just one of them all.


He had secured Lord Abigor to his side, and was glad of this. Obadiah, backed by his father Bucon, was no easy fight. There would be battles aplenty before the dust settled. He just hoped he could keep all his demons in a row here. He knew he was playing with Hell’s hottest fires.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007-2016









“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter Four

February 10, 2016

Mia with capMia, the new dog, with mobdcap.  She chewed off the ribbons…. 

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Chapter 4

Bleary with sleep, a dull pain in my head, I opened both eyes carefully. That wine last night must be the reason my stomach hurts.   I am playing with fire if I continue to — Oh Crap! I’m here again! I sigh with disgust, my legs tangled in the sheets. This bedroom has become my new dungeon and looking out of the east window, is the dungeon master. I turn over and glare at him.

“Good Morning”.   This time he said it in English instead of Dutch, but he didn’t turn from the window.

“Garrett, how long have you been there?” I yawned, rubbed my eyes and pulled my mobcap off. His commanding me here was becoming a bit routine now. How many times? At least a dozen but time was different in his realm.

“Not long,” he said, continuing to stare out the window.   I looked at his figure illuminated by the sharp morning light. He was a pretty (“handsome” I heard him think!) man, broad in the shoulders, his back narrowing down to strong buttocks. Wearing the usual shirt of gentlemen and farmers, a heavy white linen cut full at the sleeves, his waistcoat was sleeveless, made of dark plum colored wool, and reached to his hips. The breeches were cut from heavy twill and his boots were brown leather, scuffed about the ankles. He had walked in deep mud somewhere. His boots were covered with muck

“Get up, I want to do something different today.” Ah, this was a change; he usually wanted to play around in the morning.

“Important things first.” He finally turned from the window, hands on his hips, and looked at me with dour expression.

“Van Doren down the road has a litter of pups. Daniel said they’re old enough to take from the bitch. I want the whole litter. I’ll train them as gun dogs and hunt them next fall”.

Oh God, he probably will want to stable them here where it’s warm…

“My guess is you haven’t been paying attention. This house is haunted,” he said softly, his eyes narrowing to slits.

“What do you mean, ‘haunted’?” I shivered though the bed was quite warm.

“Those dogs will be flesh and blood, as you are, but invisible. No one would feed them.”

“So, I could go downstairs to Daniel and Anna and they wouldn’t see me?”

“Hell, I could stick you on the end of my –“


“– and walk around the house, and they still wouldn’t notice.   They may wonder why John Thomas was saluting the wind, but you would be air.”

I had to laugh.   He had a way of describing things. Vulgar, but comical.

“What time is it, Garrett?” I yawned and stretched my arms over my head, not wanting to move from the warmth of the bed.

“Time you get your butt up and come with me.” He went to the wardrobe and started tossing clothes.   Out came some petticoats, woolen stockings and a heavy linen chemise. He rummaged around the hooks and drew out a green woolen dress.

“Can I use the chamber pot first, please?” I slipped to the side of the bed, my feet cold from the draughts on the floor.

“Do you need any help with that?”

“I need you to leave the room so I can get dressed.”

“Won’t happen. I happen to like seeing you struggle into your clothes. Arouses me.”

“Everything arouses you, Devil.”

He grinned, his foul lust a tease and a torment. I did not dally, knowing he would not leave me in peace for long.

The clothes were thrown on the table by the fire. “Come here, be my angel and let me dress you.” He was sitting there with his legs spread.

“Are you a crazy man? I can very well do it myself.” He had some nerve.

“Have it your way.” He snapped his fingers and my nightgown fell to the floor. I was naked, the room cold, and he still a damn devil!

“Garrett! Stop screwing around! I’m freezing.” It was one thing to be naked by candlelight, another to be standing in the sharp eastern glare of early morning. This type of light magnifies all imperfections. I heard him mumble something….

“Love casts a glamour on things.” His words surprised me, for they were tender and human.

“Put you leg up on my knee and I’ll pull your stocking up.” I balanced myself on one leg, and put an arm on his shoulder. I could smell the sharp smell of brimstone.

“Very funny. Now, the other one.” He couldn’t resist running his hand up my inner thigh. I slapped his hand and jumped back.

He held out the heavy linen shift, and pulled it over my head and opened two petticoats for me to step into.

Oh, he was quite a demon this morning, with his half-hearted attempt to pinch my nipples, but he did get me dressed. He seemed to know his way around the hooking and lacing of tapes, and all were in place. I wondered what shoes to wear.

“Oh…must not forget these.” From behind his back he drew a big pair of Dutch wooden shoes. He placed them at my feet. I stared at them and started to laugh.

“You write about Dutch farms and farmers, yet you don’t know the muck they produce. Guess women writers from your century float over the shit. We’ll probably cross over a couple of pigsties in the going.”

Lovely. Just what I wanted to do with my morning.

“You’ll enjoy the fresh air. I want those dogs, so let’s get going. It’ll give you something real to write in your book.”

He walked to the door, and I gingerly shuffled after him. He muttered a low curse, and picked me up over his shoulder like a sack of flour. A wooden shoe fell off my foot and tumbled down the stairs, sounding like thunder as it bounced to the hall floor.   He dropped me on my feet and led me to the front steps.   A black rig and a blacker horse were standing outside. Of course! A black horse, something a devil would ride.

“Would you be quiet? The horse might have feelings on the matter.”

I laughed at him. He was entertaining this morning.

He helped me into the rig, walked to the head of the horse and whispered to him. He sprung into the seat, grabbed up the reins, the horse trotted to the main road, turned left and moved out smartly on the highroad.

I held onto my bonnet, which fell back with each jounce of the rig. The horse seemed to skim over the dirt, getting faster and faster.

“You really want those dogs!” I started laughing.

My Demon grinned at me as he shook the reins, and the horse fairly flew down the road.

The air was fresh and brisk for it was early winter. The fields were dun-colored but the cloudless sky was a crisp blue.   I could see trails of smoke rising from distant houses across the far hills. At least the scenery looked normal with cows huddled under trees and along fences. I thought of a piece of Handel I had heard the night before.   Written for harpsichord, last night played on piano. The rhythm of the music mimicked the fast trotting of the black horse. Suddenly I was hearing the music! I looked over at Garrett and saw him smile. The black leather of the rig surrounding us was our stereo and the horse’s speed matched the tempo of the music. Ah! A good piece of magic!

We traveled for a mile when the horse turned to the left. Down a short lane was a large, white house. Behind it were red barns. . Garrett stopped the rig and helped me down in the cumbersome shoes. He straddled the rig right over the mud and I looked at him with a grimace. My shoes sank almost to the ankles. He grinned and led us to the back of the house near the barns.

“Van Doren!” Garrett shouted. “I’m here to see those dogs.”

A clang like a bell rang out, but it only was a piece of metal being dropped. It bounced around for a bit.   A rotund Dutch man came walking out the dark passageway his eyes blinking in the bright sunlight.

“Ah, young Cortelyou! Goedenmorgen to you!” He wiped his hands on his trousers as he came toward us. “So you here to purchase my pups? Well, there’s others hearing of this fine litter, so it’s goot you come when you do.”

The joy of exchange among countrymen was both in the bargaining,- and the coin. I was raised in the Dutch countryside of New Jersey. I had seen this before.

Van Doren looked to be in his seventies. He was a hale and hearty man, with a halo of white hair. He had a full, white beard, bright blue eyes and a red nose that said he liked his ale too much.

“This is my Aunt Sophie from upcountry, Abraham. She’s visiting Catherine for a month.” His Aunt! Do I appear that much older? Well, at least I wasn’t a ghost to van Doren.   He gave a slight nod and led us into the barn.

“There’s four pups, but one of them’s a runt. All livers, with white chests. They’ll be about 2 months out, I believe. You wanting the whole litter?”

“I would, first I see them.” It seemed men talk differently to each other.   Sharp, short sentences as if they were fearful of too many words.

“Dam’s my Lilly, and not a finer dog in the township. The sire is Rumble from over Vieght’s way.”

“How did she take to Rumble? He’s a brute of a dog, too tall in the withers for a spaniel.”

“Aye, these are big water spaniels, all except for that runt, which probably won’t live. I should bash her head in. The others will benefit.”

Van Doren fell silent.   “So, you thinking of breeding your own pack here?

“When I see them, Abraham.

Abraham walked to the back of the barn, and in a dark stall, a bitch lay in a corner, her pups in the straw.

“Hush, Lilly, some one to see you.” Lilly was a thin hound, small for a water spaniel. Three of the pups were large. The fourth lay next to her, hopefully asleep.

Abraham van Doren, a farmer and used to all sorts of death, picked up the runt by the back feet and shook it to see if it breathed. I uttered a cry and rushed toward his hands.

“Give her to me! Don’t shake her like that.” The Dutchman almost dropped the pup in surprise, but handed her over. It was now awake and I held her to my breast, warming her with my cloak. I looked defiantly at Garrett and saw him suppress a smile.

“Abraham…I’ll take all the pups, and if you throw in the runt for my Auntie here, I’ll give you a shilling more.”

They settled on a price for the dogs. Picking up an old basket, Abraham van Doren dropped the pups in.   Lilly whined and struggled to her feet.

“Quiet now girl.” His voice was kindly. “You’ll get some meat with your porridge tonight.”

We left the dim barn, and reentered the sunlight. My eyes blinked and finally adjusted. A few more minutes with Abraham van Doren, and I mounted the step to the rig.

Garrett placed the basket at my feet and taking the reins from the post, turned the black horse homeward.

“So…I hear I’m your ‘Auntie’? Does incest play into this story?” I looked at his profile, and saw him smiling.

“I told you about the glamour. Convenient part of magic, that trick. Can make people see whatever you want.”

“Oh.” I couldn’t resist asking him. “And how did I look to Abraham van Doren?”

“Oh, old enough to throw off any scent of scandal. About Catherine’s age.”

“With all the wrinkles and fallen- in gums?”

“Yep…and bald under your cap and bonnet.” He was laughing now, and turned his wicked eyes on me.

“Thanks a lot, Demon,” I said sharply. “Now you can read my thoughts and alter my appearance? Is there anything you can’t do to me?”

“I told you when I first saw you, in this story I am pulling the strings. You write the book, my good little ‘Auntie’, and I direct the play.”

He gave a short laugh and turned silent for a moment. “I can make you do anything I want… except one thing.”

“And quickly tell me what that is!” I said, laughing.

Looking ahead at the road, he said softly, “I can’t make you love me.”

My heart flipped in my chest, and my eyes misted over.

Ah, Garrett,  sweet Demon.   I am glad you aren’t looking.   My face would betray me. I would be totally lost.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009, 2016








“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 3

February 9, 2016

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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 molecules, 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 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 in time 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?”

“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 and he took great liberties.

“Come drink your tea before it cools”. He dusted 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!” He was so irritating. “”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.”

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 so 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 lust.

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

“You’ve used that line before, Garrett. Now, who is original?” My little joke didn’t please and he pulled me over the table and into his lap.

“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, Devil.” 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 perhaps you are pink elsewhere?” 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. 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. Getting a bit 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.”

“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, 2007-2015

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter Two

February 8, 2016

Night Fog 2

Warning: sexual content


“What the hell?”

Opening my eyes, I struggled to focus. Embers had popped from the fireplace sounding 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; I felt nauseous.    At someone’s command I appeared in this room.

The wind raced around the corners of the house, and sleet scratched at the window panes. I was glad for the good fire before me. I was chilly now dressed in a linen morning gown, nothing more than a wrapper over a chemise. I had a 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, the sound of the sleet beating a tattoo on the windows

Was he a demon? Well, he wasn’t the Devil, or at least he didn’t seem to be. I had no idea what he was, and my knowledge of anything supernatural was poor to non-existent. But he shouldn’t exist, not if I was sane and the universe, too. What was he? My imagination couldn’t stretch that far to account for all these magical things, like the tankards 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 been thrown back into this book, perhaps I could write a couple of lines. I might as well use the time 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 room, unshaven this morning. His appearing like that and his confounded ability to read thoughts rattled me.

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

“Why would I care if you had a beard? I said sourly.

“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 secret parts, my sweeting.” His eyes were languid and narrowed, and left no question where his mind was this morning.

I reddened at his silly words, in spite of my determination to ignore.

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

“Tell me, then. How does this work? Does anybody in my life notice I’m gone? I don’t remember anything when I’m home. 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, 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. But it was a long, comfortable marriage.

“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.”

His smile disappeared. “You are quite the little hypocrite. You put a set of horns on his head fast enough and now you complain? I seem to remember you enjoying the screwing 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 seem to 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 anywhere. He was stubborn, with his own set of rules. And he was right. I had set the horns upon my own husband’s head and enjoyed the screwing 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 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 if I ever saw one.

I took the cap off. It was slipping over my eyes. Aunt Catherine was a character in the book 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 puzzlement. “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.

“Demon! Remember I’m attached to that foot!” He had it in his lap, where he stared at my 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 up.”   He looked like he was just capable of doing so. I snatched my foot back 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, 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.” The loathsome devil grinned.

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

“Garrett that was rape. You know that.” 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. Had you been sweeter to me you’d have no problem at all. Next time allow me your mouth, it will go better for you.” He paused. “I don’t know how you could call that 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? Where is my sanity?

“Ah, that’s better. Tell me, 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 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.”   I sat back and looked at him smugly. Two could play at his nasty 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, but I could see he was trying to control his 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 yo

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?”

“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?”

He grimaced. “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 write in Daniel, the caretaker, and bring in his niece, Anna, to cook. These were characters from the original book I had put aside for some other life. Somehow magic was needed here for this to happen, but that was the demon’s part.

“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. 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 grow to desire me.”

“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, twisting a lock of my hair.

“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 want to stick their tongues down your throat.   Why are you talking to them about the novel? Why mention us?

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

“I think I am all between your legs right now.” He 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 this 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, 2007-2016















“Devil’s Revenge”, a novel…Chapter One.

February 5, 2016



WARNING: Sexual content, scenes.  If you are offended by this, don’t read.  Frankly, I understand.  I am offended by misogyny and Pentecostals. 

I started this erotic novel almost ten years ago.  It was only my second novel.  I left off writing it when I started other works.  Recently I came back and reread what I had written so long ago.  It was fresh and funny, and some of the original characters came from the first novel (Heart of the Maze).  That novel was boring and too long, meandering around.  I had fallen in love with some of the characters and didn’t want to kill them off, as the novel demanded.  (Novel writers will recognize this easily enough.)  So I made some of them Devils and just let the characters write this one.  The narrator is not a devil nor demon.  Just a writer who wakes up one morning in an alternative universe.  Happens

Trusting in your characters  makes it easier for an author:  They  tend to do the heavy lifting.  They circle your computer and whisper their lines.  You just type.

I have previously posted random chapters but was encouraged by other writers to begin from the beginning.  We will see.  The people I respect the most and wouldn’t want to offend are now all dead, so the rest of you will just have to take your chances.  Tastes vary, but that is the way of the world.

However, I want to express my sincere gratitude to a couple of writers who stuck with me for many years and encouraged me to trust my own imagination and give it voice.

Bill Penrose, Nick Nicholson, Steve Isaak, and Liras.  These excellent and generous writers, now dear friends, have made learning my craft a lot easier.

Lady Nyo





I am about to tell a strange tale. Not really a tale, because a tale smacks of fiction. This in any case was not fiction. I felt the full effects of its turnings. And it’s not over. I just have to tread water because each time I open my eyes, after a fitful night’s sleep, I am again locked in a world not of my making.

Well, part of my making, but even my lurid imagination pales with what I have experienced.

Sixteen years ago I wrote a too-long novel, set in the 1820’s. The characters had names from the Dutch families I knew while growing up. Everything was fiction, except the landscape, the characters long dead, figments of my imagination, creation of a writer. Never did I expect some of them to leap out of the pages of that unfinished book and change the course of my life.

I feel I have dropped down a rabbit hole, or flown to some strange alien universe. Perhaps I am mad. In any case, events are spiraling out of control, beyond my control, and now?

I have none. I have given up my will to fate, destiny and I don’t even know what that means anymore.

Bear with me, reader. Understand what I write, what you read– exists.

Bess McShane



Chapter One


One morning I sat upright in bed, gasping in terror. The light was dim, hard to see. There was a fireplace with a low burning fire. An ember must have exploded. There could be no other answer for the sudden noise. Asleep, it sounded like gunshot.

My eyes adjusted and I looked around. An ember exploded? Where the hell was I? My heart pounded and a sickness rose to my throat. Suddenly I knew where I was. Many years ago I had written a novel, still unfinished, and now I was in the bedroom carefully constructed in the novel. But perhaps I was just dreaming?

I felt a sharp constriction around my ribcage and tried to take a deep breath. I was wearing some kind of corset, laced tightly over a slip. No wonder I couldn’t breathe. At least this made some physical sense.

I tried to take deep breaths to get my bearings but no amount of air would calm me.

What had happened from the time I went to sleep in my own bed next to my snoring husband? How did I make it to this bed?

The constriction around my chest did not dull me to the sudden pressure of my bladder. There was a closet in the corner and I knew inside that closet was a chamber pot encased in a stool. I had written that detail into the book and now very glad of it.

Slipping out of the high bed, I padded across the wood floor. It was a strange thing to pee in a chamber pot. Everything was so quiet, even the birds outside still asleep, but the noise of water hitting china was too loud for the morning. It made me self-conscious, even though I thought I was still dreaming. I had to be.

I came from the closet and sat down before the fireplace. The fire suddenly flared and I jumped in surprise. It was almost as if an invisible hand fed the fire. At least it would warm up this cold room. A cup of tea sat on the table, still hot. It was dark outside the window but steam from the tea rose in the air. I was almost afraid to touch it, my mouth dry from fear. There, a sip, and it was just tea.

A dresser stood across the room from the bed, with a small mirror on the wall above. The image appeared to be me, my hair the usual color, my skin the same shade. Yes, me, but I pinched myself, just to see if I was still dreaming. If pain were any indication of my present state, I was awake.   There was a yellow wool dress, thrown carelessly over the back of a chair. A pair of bloomers on the seat. Crotch less, they opened from the front to back. I giggled, a bit hysterically. Like Alice, I had dropped down a rabbit hole.

Nothing now seemed real

Even with the flare up of the fire, the room was not warm. I needed to get dressed. I needed to get my bearings. Stepping into the gown I pulled it up to my shoulders. It hooked in the front of the bodice. I pulled on stockings and garters. They were a lovely silk, soft and delicate, and came to the tops of my thighs. The garters could be tied anywhere, so I tied them above the knees, rolling down the tops of the stockings, hoping they would stay. I held up the split bloomers and tried to determine the front from the back. They could be useful when you wanted to pee. The shoes were another surprise. Made neither a left nor a right, with a thin leather sole and low wooden heel, they tied across my ankles with ribbons. There was a blue shawl, of fine wool, at the bottom of the pile.

Now at least dressed and warmer, I could explore my surroundings. The room was not large, but had a dark beamed ceiling above. There were no paintings or prints on the walls, but above the fireplace, was a shotgun. I recognized it as an old breech loader.

Two long windows looked out upon a dull morning. The wind blew a little sleet against the windows and I shivered. The glazing had fallen away and cold air seeped in. It was still rather dark outside, and except for the blurred outline of trees, I couldn’t see much of the landscape.

Pulling the shawl tighter around my shoulders, I was still cold, or perhaps it was shock. I was not used to awakening in a strange bed, even one born of my own imagination

I still doubted I was lucid, and thought this some weird dream-state. Given a bit more time, I would awaken. But if this were a dream, it was a strange one. I was not given easily to hysterics, but short of hurling myself through the window, there was little I could to do. I would just have to be patient with this ‘dream’ until I  woke.

Trying a door in the middle of a wall, it opened into another bedroom, and inside was a large poster bed, a wardrobe, and another shotgun in the corner by the bed. This must be a man’s room. I had no clue why, accept for that evil-looking shotgun. There was nothing feminine in the room at all, though. I turned back to my bedroom and tried the other door. Outside was a wide hall, leading to the top of a staircase.

I stood at the top of the steps, listening for voices or some sound. The house seemed deserted. I could hear nothing of a normal household. Carefully, trying not to slip in these strange shoes I descended the staircase and walked through a wide first floor hall. There were a couple of rooms but there were no people and no lit fireplaces. The whole house was bitterly cold. It seems this house held no life at all.

My footsteps sounded loud on the wooden floors of the hall, though I tried not to make a clatter. There was a closed door to the left and when I opened it,  a man  was sitting behind a desk.

Something about him seemed familiar. Then I knew who he was. It was a shock to realize I was looking at a character I had created for the novel sixteen years ago. I had named him Garrett Cortelyou.   He looked up, sat back and stared at me, quite rudely. Christ! This looked like trouble.

“Come in,” he said. “It is trouble.”

How did he seem to appear in the flesh? He was just paper and ink the last I thought of him. Can this creature read my thoughts?

“Of course I can. I can do more than that,” he said, scowling.

I fashioned Garrett Cortelyou from a number of sources, and, seeing him before me, I couldn’t help but be pleased. It is one thing to imagine, it is another to see the results. He was a tall man, broad of shoulder, with dark hair, rather long for the 1820’s, actually, now gathered into a ponytail, but I created him to be his own man. He proved to be a stubborn character, and not an easy birth. Clean shaven, he had dark eyes and regular features except for his nose. It had been broken and not set correctly.   He looked pissed off.

“Why are you so angry with me?”

“A year ago you closed your book and abandoned all of us. You told me to ‘cool my heels’. Am I not allowed my anger?”

“It was a metaphor, ‘cool your heels’.”

“I know what it was.”

I was surprised. I had enough of writing and needed time off. This actually happened sixteen years ago, but who was I to correct him? Why argue with something unreal? I put his intended, the character Jennie, in the library. I gave her a cup of tea and a good fire, and she had all the books in the world or at least in this library to read.

“You abandoned us all.

“Life got in the way, Garrett, I needed time to work things out.”

What am I saying? Why am I explaining my life to this creature? Am I insane?

“Come closer. Let me see you better.”

I entered the room and stood across the desk. He looked me over, his eyes running the length of me.   “You look unimpressive. I thought you would be older.”

“Why, did you expect me to be covered with wrinkles?”

One glance at his face and I should have held my tongue.

“You are quick with the words, madam. Let’s see how quick on your feet.”

Like a cat he came around the desk and grabbed me. He was strong enough to lift me like a stick of wood and throw me into another chair. I was shocked at the suddenness of his movement, but amazed he was real.

“You should be. You play with people too much.”

I looked at him standing before me, his hands on his hips, and fear crept up my spine

“You forget I created you.” My voice squeaked.

“And you forget, madam, anything is possible. I can command you as easily as you have me. You now are my puppet. Quite a turn around, don’t you think?”

“You wouldn’t have seen the light of day had I not thought of you!” What am I saying? I am talking to a ghost!

“Ah, you were bored and this scribbling occupied your time. Your night dreams went into all of us. Your poor husband should not have given you a pen.”

“I wrote on a computer, something you would not know.”

“I don’t care how you wrote. Right now, and until I release you, you’re under my thumb.”

“What do you want with me?” Suddenly, I was scared. My spit would not wet my mouth.

Garrett smiled, but it didn’t mount to his eyes. They remained cold. “I can smell your fear, little lady. Come give me a kiss.”

“You are a jackass. You act like an animal. Leave me alone.”

I tried to rise from my chair, but the anger on his face stopped me.

“Will you stop playing the virgin? It doesn’t fit you at all.”

I was beginning to panic. I had created this character, this man before me, and I knew something of his sexual appetites from the novel. I had created those sexual appetites but didn’t expect them to become an issue before me.

He laughed, apparently reading my thoughts. He must be a demon come to life, or I must be still asleep.

You created me? I’m from the slime. I’m a mixture of souls throughout time, with all the cocksure ways of manhood. You created something you can’t control, and now you’re afraid? You should have thought down the road, madam. You should be afraid. You think you know my appetites? You don’t know much, because you don’t know me. Not that way.   You haven’t the imagination to know what I can do. You are too ignorant of life. Here.”

He pulled me up to him, and grabbed one of my hands and placed it on the front of his breeches. He was hard enough.

“There. Is your curiosity satisfied? You knew some of me, but never enough. You have a poor imagination for a writer. We circled each other like cats all those years, but I played the gentleman. A boring and unnecessary role.”

My face was red. There was no denying I was curious. I wondered a bit what he would be like in the sack. Just daydreams, sitting at my desk. Faced with reality, fear was now trumping that consideration.

He pinned my arms behind my back with one hand. With the other he traced my cheek and neck with a finger, his eyes narrowed into slits.   He brought my face to his mouth and kissed me, at first softly – oh the deceiver!- then roughly, forcing my lips with his tongue. He cupped my breast and squeezed my nipple, rolling it between two fingers.   He kissed me hard, bending my head back, crushing me to him.

“There. How do you like being kissed by something you think you have made? Have I met your expectations?”

I caught my breath. “I gave you Jennie, you monster!

This was a rather stupid, but I didn’t have much of my wits after that kiss.

“And I thank you for her. She is a sweet little pastry, but I’m hungry. You look like you could feed me for a week.”

“Oh, let me go, you’re not real!”

He pushed me away and rubbed the front of his breeches. “Is this not real enough for you? Then we’ll go where I’ll show you what’s real.”

Grabbing my wrist, he pulled me out the room and up the staircase. I tripped on my shoes as he roughly jerked me up upwards. I was frightened, knowing that this couldn’t be a dream. It was more of a nightmare. The physicality of his behavior belied any dream.

He strode down the hall, pulling me behind him like a ragdoll and opened a door, He flung me into the room where I had awakened probably only an hour before.   With his back to the door, he locked it, pocketing the key. I ran to the other bedroom, intending to lock myself in, but he was quick. He threw me on the bed. Now, I was frightened. I was panting.

“’I was panting.’” See, I can read you like a book.” Throwing back his head, he laughed, howling like an animal, like a demon. My stomach flipped, and I cringed back on the pillows. He was more an animal and less a human.

He dragged a chair from a wall and sat facing me, one long leg propped up on the mattress.   If I tried to leap from the bed, I would jump right into his arms. He looked at me with half closed eyes, his head cocked to one side.

“Don’t you find it confusing to read Richardson’s “Pamela”, in the middle of writing seduction scenes? Rather you should read Fielding’s “Shamela”….better story, or rather, same story, not so tedious.”

What? How did he know this? How did he know what I read?  

What was I dealing with? Was this a ghost or a demon? The icy sweat I felt down my back wasn’t something I was imagining. I had to get control of this nightmare.

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

He remained before me grinning, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, looking like a lunatic. “Try again.”

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

“Ah…you called me ‘lover.’ Perhaps you won’t resist me so hard now.”

“I called you ‘demon lover’. You’re not hearing that first word.”

“You created me. It’s all in your calling.” He sat back and crossed his arms. He looked  relaxed and in control of the scene.

“That’s right…and I can uncreate you.”

“You already tried. This conversation is going nowhere. I need a drink. Seduction is hard work.”

He snapped his fingers, and a tankard appeared on the table behind him. “Oh, my apologies. One for you?”

“A small one, please.” I shivered. What had I just done?

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

He got up and retrieved the two tankards and reached across the bed, and handed me my drink. I thought of throwing it in his face, and running from the room.

“How far do you think you would get?” I had forgotten his mind reading trick.

“Not far- just testing.

He laughed and drank deeply. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“We’ve been circling each other for years. Don’t you think it’s time we put an end to this charade? A little carnal knowledge would not be amiss. Besides, I already know you want me, have known it for years.” He picked up his tankard, his eyes glittering across the rim.

“You are a cocksure devil!” I would laugh at his presumption, but he was correct. I had created him from my own secret lust, and spared nothing in the doing.

Perhaps a different approach would give me answers and a hand over him.

“Explain to me, Demon, how you have access to me? You are nothing but some scribbles on paper, yet you appear flesh and blood enough now.”

I was more than curious, I was tumbling with fear and trying to regain my feet. I needed something to wake me up. I needed some logic here, some answers. I still believed I was mired in a nightmare.

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

“So I’m here in another dimension?” From the 21st century to the 19th, quite a rip in the fabric, I think.

He grinned into his ale. “For as long as it suits me, and as long as you please me.

“What is it you want?” I looked at him, fearing the answer.

“First, I want to know what’s under those petticoats. That will be good for starters. We can work outward from there.”

He had an interesting concept of seduction. Rather direct, not subtle at all, but intriguing.

By the looks of him, he would be worth the effort. I thought of his kiss, and I grew uncomfortable. My face grew flushed, and his grin told me he knew what was happening between my legs. I wanted him, my sex knew before my head, but I wouldn’t give him the words he wanted to hear. Perhaps I was playing with fire, but a ‘tumble’ would be sort of welcome. Sex hadn’t been on the agenda for a long time. He was too much temptation in the flesh to deny.

Besides, it all was a dream and a wet one at that. I held to that hope as my only window of sanity.

He stood up, stretched, and sat upon the bed. He drew off his waistcoat, one I had embroidered in planning the book, a pretty cream satin with figures. “Flowering” as it said in Pamela. It was just a piece of embroidery I attempted as I thought through the chapters. Here it was a finished piece, and I had never finished any piece of sewing in my life. What part of magic was this? Was this a particular hand of fate?

“You know, you were quite witty in making the links between ‘orchard’ and ‘sex’ in that last chapter. You are my orchard, at least for now. I’ll pick myself an apple.”

Like a tiger he was over me, pinning me down with his weight.   The smell of ale was strong.   I was backed up on the pillows when he began to unhook the front of my dress. I slapped at his hands, and he laughed. He ripped the front of the dress from my breasts

A literal bodice ripper…..

“There. Now, will you lay still and quit resisting? You know what you want from me. Why play the coy virgin now?”

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

“I will go back to my hell, the one you so easily wrote for me. First Lucile cuckolds me then Obadiah sticks in a knife. Did you ever think how painful that was? Finish me off with that dolt Jennie.   Ah, God…give me a dish of woman I don’t have to fight or teach.”

He pulled up the skirt of my dress, and spread my legs with his.   I had forgotten about those crotchless bloomers. He touched my sex with a finger, watching my response. I jerked at his touch, and he dug deeper into me. I bit my tongue to keep from groaning.

“A neat invention, don’t you think? Easy to get to the pearl in the oyster.

He was a vigorous looking man, with well-muscled arms, and a broad chest. He looked formidable.

“Wait until you see John down there, now he’s formidable. Oh, I forgot, you have seen him, or me, or you think you have seen us. But you only saw my cock in shadows. I always thought you could write that scene better.

How? It was only my first novel and writing sex scenes was hard work. And harder work staying detached.

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

I pinched the head of it hard and he yelled.

“You witch. You should be glad I’m not Obadiah. Perhaps you would like his kind of lovemaking better, though it usually leads to death. But you know that.”

“I wrote that.”

“Yes, and it was kind of sick.”

“You should talk. Obadiah is a pivotal character. He needs to be the negative, the bad guy, but right now, you serve that purpose just as well.”

“That’s scrambled English. Something you’re good at.   Now, lie still and at least enjoy my efforts.”

“Do you like your women like logs? I can be a pillar of salt if you want.”

“Can’t you try to be original? I have a blazing hard-on and I intend to use it.”

I smiled and closed my eyes.   I would submit to his pathetic efforts because I was aroused in spite of this scene of insanity, but I would not let him hear any moan of pleasure. He rose between my legs and pulled me to him, and began to enter me. I grunted with his movements.   He was bigger than I had imagined (“You got that right” I heard him whisper,”) and he took his time. Would he ever finish?

“No…not until I hear you coo like a turtledove.”

I groaned in spite of myself. My mouth opened and he stuck his finger in. I bit down hard and he laughed. He tried to seek my mouth with his but I would not let him. He laughed and squeezed my ass, lifting me easily. I could not take this much longer and I screamed an unearthly sound from my throat. He reached his shortly after, panting loudly, pinning me under him. He wasn’t a bad lover.

“Ah, again, you called me ‘lover’. I like that. You are growing tender.”

“What would you have me do, Garrett? You have what you want. What more can you do?”

I didn’t have the energy to argue. Besides, that orgasm seeped the fight out of me. I knew I had to be awake. This wasn’t a dream. No dream could sustain this. No dream could create that reality.

All of a sudden I thought about Jennie, his intended in the novel. What had he done with her? If he was capable of materializing before me, of transporting me in some unknown fashion, he was capable of other acts.

“She’s nowhere to be seen. Don’t worry.

“I worry. What have you done with her?”

“Do you mistrust me so much, your own creation? Snap my fingers and erase her?”

“Garrett, you have way too much power. I believe you capable of anything.”

“Well, I am capable of another round of lovemaking, my sweet woman, if you would give me a moment. I need to empty this ale.”

“Don’t you dare use the fireplace, Garrett! I’m wise to your ways from the book.”

“I’ll open a window this time.”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

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