Posts Tagged ‘France’

“The Devil in Paris”, A Short Story in four chapters.

October 21, 2017


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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I intend to make her a whore.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007 -2017

(“The Devil In Paris” was reprinted in the 2sd edition of “A Seasoning of Lust”,, 2016.)


“A Kapitany, Chapter 29 with a WARNING.

January 14, 2013
Marais District, Paris

Marais District, Paris

I have had a lot of fun writing this book. I am very appreciative of the readers and their contacting me with all sorts of suggestions for the progress and plot of this book. That makes it a lot more fun for me. New eyes, fresh vision, etc.

I have also decided to leave in the sexual content of this chapter. You are all adults or you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Lady Nyo

A Kapitany, Chapter 29

Paris never changes, thought Vadas. It was an old shoe, comfortable, familiar.

He maintained an apartment, more a loft on the Ile Saint Louis. It was expensive, but he was right in the middle of Paris. It was a place where he could disappear, think, gather himself. Not many knew of it and that was what he wanted. It was a place where he could bring a woman, to finalize plans, to relax. Rarely had he brought other men there, and certainly no clients.

While he told people he was going to Budapest, he went to Paris. It was a short flight. He hadn’t been here in a while and needed to think. He couldn’t do this around Elizabeth. She was too much a distraction. Plus she would whine if she knew why he was in Paris. He had a phone call one night. Miklos was seen in Paris. Whether he was still here or not, Vadas would find out. What he did next had to be planned very carefully.

He looked down at the woman between his knees. “Voici, Noele. Merci. It is useless, cheri.”

Noele lived on the Ile Saint Louis. He had known her for years. Sometimes she appeared like clockwork when Vadas was there. Other times, she didn’t, but if Vadas waited, Noele appeared. She was a prostitute but one Vadas found interesting. Or had. Now? He was too distracted to make good on what Noele was so energetically attempting to do. Vadas handed her double her usual charge and she left.

He looked around the loft. It was very modern, with just a large bed in the loft up the steel staircase. A small kitchen, most of the ground floor was furnished with a leather couch and some club chairs. It was comfortable, without frills, stripped down. industrial fans whirled overhead and pipes were exposed. He leased this loft a decade ago, had done nothing with it and always found it restful. Now he wondered whether he could keep it. He wouldn’t need this place if he was working the vines in Noszvaj. He probably wouldn’t be able to afford it. He shouldn’t bring Elizabeth here. She would ask too many questions, and he would have to lie too much.

Vadas thought of the years with Miklos. They had both grown rich with this work. Now that it had come to the end, Vadas knew he would have to scramble to make up the difference. The vineyard would have to prove itself each year. He would have to search out new clients for the wine. The restoration on the house would have to wait. He was a fool to think he could move Elizabeth in there after their wedding. Better continue to live in the lodge where at least there was electricity. He would remove the boar head from the dining room. The wolf head would stay where it was.

He knew why Miklos took his revenge on Elizabeth. It was meant for him. Elizabeth had just been handy. He leaving had upset the apple cart. For years they had a clear division of labor: Miklos acquired the merchandise, and Vadas moved it. The insurance concerns were those of the original owners. It had worked smoothly for twenty years. They picked up their fee when the insurance paid out. Now? With him pulling out, Miklos had no where to put these works. Miklos had been the brains on one end, and Vadas on the other. Miklos couldn’t be sure that these works would disappear and wouldn’t be traced. In over twenty years, Vadas had come to know the tastes and expectations of their clients. He would present these works to new owners who weren’t particular of legalities and provenance. Of course, they never dealt in well known artists or pieces: those were impossible to unload, except for a few collectors who would pay a lot of money to lock up a Picasso in a home vault. They were the eccentrics. They were also dangerous. They had enough wealth to roll over on anyone who appeared suspicious to the police.

No, their business was different. If an owner had need of money, a burglary could be done and later, an insurance claim made. Once the work was well hidden, the list of clients could be trolled and a new owner found. Again, this owner would not care about ownership, provenance or the attending legalities. He had previously obtained part of his collections this way. Of course, the work in question could not be seen for a matter of years, until interest and knowledge of the piece had died down. No, it could not be shown to knowledgeable guests at a dinner or cocktail party. But so many of these collectors would want something they had to lock up: to be seen by them only. It was a rush to them. They had deceived the police, investigators and the insurance men. That was thrilling to many and played heavily into the game. Sometimes, Vadas thought, the artwork was just a vehicle for this rush. No different than drugs.

Now Miami was the international center to fence stolen art. With the wealth there and the drugs, these precious paintings were traded for guns, drugs or used for ransom. This was too dangerous for Vadas and probably for Miklos. However, this situation would give Miklos an outlet if he so desired. That’s if he lived long enough.

Miklos and Vadas had worked like clockwork. Both knew their roles and both excelled at them. Now with Vadas pulling out, the whole business would crash around Miklos’ feet. No wonder he was in a rage. He would have to train someone to take Vadas’ place. That would not be easy.

At one point, Vadas considered turning state’s evidence. Too many of his own men would fall with him. Even if Miklos fell harder, Vadas was thinking of the others. This was no way to repay the loyalty of a group of men who had, over the years, taken the big risks. Some had become friends.

The next day he met with a man on the Left Bank. This man had been paid to watch all the usual places that Miklos was seen when in Paris. Vadas couldn’t track him because Miklos or his men would immediately recognize him, but informants would work well here. So far, Miklos had been seen only once. He hadn’t checked into his usual hotel, and wasn’t seen in his usual haunts. But he was here for some purpose.

Vadas had another reason to come to Paris. His dead mother’s lawyers held property for him. He knew it would be wise to collect that property now before he dealt with Miklos. He needed to get as much of it back to Hungary where he could secure it. Who knew what the future would bring.

The morning of his appointment, he left the loft and strolled over the Pont Marie. He headed down to the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the Marais district. There were boutiques lining each side of this long street and a lot of pedestrians. It was a beautiful morning, with sunlight touching the buildings and giving them a soft gleam. There were old women, flower vendors, with bouquets in buckets near the park and at entrances of old buildings. Bookshops, restaurants, and the smell of coffee and flowers filled the air. Vadas stopped for a coffee and sat outside at a table. There was nothing more colorful, more interesting than watching Parisians walk about. The women were sleek, like greyhounds, and dressed with flare. Perhaps it was the same in Budapest, but here, in the Marais district, it was more exotic to his eyes. Parisian style was a world to itself.

Paris in this early summer was as Paris should be: the center of the world and as romantic a place as one could desire. He would bring Elizabeth to Paris, perhaps on a honeymoon. He was old fashioned enough to want one and to dazzle her with the surroundings. Perhaps they would spend a couple of weeks here just getting to know each other. Perhaps he could keep her in bed for a week and get to know every inch of her. Elizabeth had never been in France. This would be the place to start. The countryside could wait, but he knew she would want to experience that, too. He wanted to see her reaction to a city he deeply loved. He knew she would not be disappointed. He looked at his watch. It was almost time for his appointment.

Entering the 19th century building of the law firm, Vadas wondered about the property. He knew some land was involved, perhaps land heavily timbered. He knew his mother’s jewels were part of this wealth he had come to Paris to collect. Since Miklos had taken the bracelet he gave Elizabeth, he wanted to replace it with something. What, he had no idea as he had not seen the jewelry. It had been placed with these lawyers many years ago, when she died.

He was shown into the interior office of one of the firm’s lawyers. He remembered Monsieur Depardieu from his last visit. That had been at least ten years ago. Monsieur Depardieu was small and sleek, much like the women outside the window. He hadn’t changed much in the years. More grey hair on his head, but he looked much the same. Shaking hands, Vadas sat down across the large desk. An assistant appeared and returned with a locked wooden box. There was a folder of papers on the desk in front of Monsieur Depardieu.

“I have been looking over the deeds and titles, Monsieur. Of course, the main estate, that of the chateau, is held by your mother’s two sisters. Have you seen the dear ladies recently? I hope they are well?”

Vadas thought he had rather neglected the two old darlings, but said he was on his way to Budapest to visit them. He would remember Monsieur to them.

“Ah. Please give them our best regards. They must be very ancient, no?”

“They are in their early 90’s, Monsieur. But so far of good health and better spirit.”

“We understand there are congratulations to be offered?”

“Yes, I am to be married, but not immediately. I have the fall harvest taking my attention and then the wedding in Eger.”

After discussion about the deeds, which turned out mostly to be of hectares of timberland, Monsieur Depardieu opened the locked box and turned it to Vadas.
There were necklaces pinned on black velvet, bracelets and some pins. A few rings, but not what Vadas wanted for Elizabeth. He wanted a wedding ring, or something with a diamond. There were a few that had possibilities but none struck him as right. Some of them were just fussy, out of fashion. The necklaces were something to be worn on special occasions, not daily fare. Perhaps he would have to look for a ring either here or in Budapest.

He finished with Monsieur Depardieu and arranged for the box to be shipped to his Budapest bank. It would be safer for the lawyers to arrange their delivery from Paris to Budapest, than for him to make the effort. When he was in Budapest, perhaps he could look again at the pieces. Perhaps something would stand out for her wedding present. As for the deeds, they did expand his vineyards, and though he would have to chop down a lot of trees, he could sell the timber and then plant more vines when the land was cleared. It would take a lot of labor. The vineyard needed to be expanded if he was going to plant more varieties. And he needed to do this if he was going to make his living honestly. The money with Miklos was over. He would live a different life. It would be a shift in priorities.


That evening Vadas lit a cigar. He rarely had a chance to enjoy one as Elizabeth didn’t like the smell. She would learn to live with it after they married, he thought with a chuckle. He wondered whether he should call but decided not to. Soffia was there for a purpose and let her entertain Elizabeth. He wondered what Soffia was doing on that front. Probably they were spending his money in Eger. That was inevitable.

Vadas blew smoke towards the ceiling. He watched the slow moving fan above. Those two were as different as two women could be. Soffia took from life without a second thought. She would be a bad influence on Elizabeth if they ran around too long. Elizabeth was impressionable. Vadas laughed to himself. He told Soffia to obey “Rule Number One” in his absence. He knew before he was out the door she wouldn’t.

He slouched down in the chair. It had been a long day, and finally he was relaxing. He had done a lot of walking, more than he usually did. His feet were tired. Walking the streets of Paris were harder than climbing the hills of the vineyard.

What did it really matter if Soffia seduced Elizabeth? Again. What a lesbian did to another woman was nothing but girls playing around. Innocent enough. Let Soffia stick her nose in Elizabeth. It would not matter a mite when he got home. He knew his sexual power over Elizabeth would erase any such nonsense.

Ah, Elizabeth. There were endearing things about that girl. She would come from the bath and use some sweet smelling oil on her skin. She would shake powder over her, rub it in. He would act like he wasn’t watching, wasn’t interested in her toilette, but he was. He was interested in all she did in these things. He watched her shave her legs (with his razor), even caught her douching. She went from extreme modesty to tolerating his presence as she prepared herself for bed. One day he went over to where she had her bath supplies and picked up the powder. Baby powder. Ah, when she came to bed, he wanted to eat her up. She smelled so clean and fresh, just like a baby.

He loved to dig his face into her flesh and smell these enchanting female scents. He loved the softness of her, each fold revealing itself like a flower petal. He would push his tongue deep into her and bury his face, holding her tightly by the hips. He loved how she made these little mouse squeaks when aroused. She could scream her head off when coming. It always made him smile when she yelled. This was how a man possessed a woman. Satisfy her to her toes and she would show her devotion. She would wind herself around him like a cat.

Vadas’ thoughts did what Noele couldn’t. He was stiff with no woman around. Ah well, he would just have to finish up his business here, go to Budapest and see the old aunties. Then he would go home and plow Elizabeth. Perhaps Soffia would warm her up for him. He pulled a folded handkerchief from his pocket. It was sprinkled with baby powder. Vadas sniffed deeply.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2013

“Mlle Duchamps”, a very short story

April 28, 2012

Blue Flute over on d’ has come up with a prompt for writers, poets to post on their blogs a vampire poem, narrative, story, etc.

A few years ago, I wrote “Mlle Duchamps”, my only vampire piece of work.  Others do it so much better. However, this is published in my first book “A Seasoning of Lust”  ( in a slightly longer version.

Sex and vampirism seem to be coupled, and this has a very little soupcon of sexual behavior in this short story.  Just a mild warning.

Lady Nyo

“Mlle Duchamps” 

Many years ago there was an elderly gentleman who lived along with his invalid daughter Marie, in the Vercors region of France, near the Swiss Alps. Comte d’Epinay was impoverished, due to the death of so many relatives by Madame Guillotine, and the taxation upon those of the aristocracy who managed to keep their heads.

For a while, Comte d’Epinay was addressed as “Citizen d’Epinay”, but the country folk reverted to M d’Epinay, and an uneasy peace existed.  M d’Epinay lived without the luxuries of his youth in a decaying house, too small to be considered a chateau and too large for economy.  The roofs leaked, the fireplaces could benefit from a good cleaning, but beyond a shotgun blast up the chimneys every few years, there was little improvement in the draw. The tiles tumbled off the roofs with the Mistral, which swept down the Alps and did much damage.  It was locally held that anyone who went mad with the sounds of the wind would be pardoned of their crimes.

The household staff had dwindled to a housekeeper and a steward, M and Mme Pennay, leftovers from the ancien re’gime along with Mme Fournard, who was the governess for Marie d’Epiney.  Social visits had diminished in the early years after the Terror, even this far removed from Paris.  Gone were the parties and fetes of M d’Epinay’s early marriage, and gone was his wife.  She had grown feeble with each packet of news from the capitol, and finally one morning, was found stiff and cold in her bed.  It was said Madame had died of grief for her beloved France.  The locals thought otherwise, but as isolated people do, they believed evil had blown down from the mountains and played a hand in all misfortunes in the countryside.

This part of France was prey to all kinds of superstition and haunts.  If a cow stopped giving her rich milk and gave a watery stream, it was the hand of a witch.  If a flock of chickens started eating their eggs, it was because a malevolent spirit haunted a farmer’s house.

The spring came early and with it the rains.  Each day, Marie d’Epinay would limp her way around the bedroom, and holding onto the chairs and sofa, she would make her way slowly to the big window that gave her the outside world. Mlle d’Epinay’s governess had grown to be a companion, for her charge was now in her twenties. Mme Fournard was herself almost elderly, a woman whose life had passed her by in the service of the d’Epinay child. 

“ Marie!”  Mme Fournard had come into the room and saw her charge leaning on the windowsill, staring out at the pouring rain. “Marie, come away from the window, ma cherie.  The cold from this rain will make you sick.”

Marie’s usual thought passed across her mind when Mme started her scolding.  “How much sicker will I become before death takes me away?”  But this of course she did not impart to her governess.  Mme Fournard was deeply religious, or superstitious, and to Marie’s thinking, there was little difference.  Perhaps it was the loneliness of her days spent in dank rooms with a book in hand that created such cynicism in Mlle.

One late afternoon, in a heavy downpour, there was a long knocking at the door.  The housekeeper, grumbling at the impatience of the knocker, hurried to answer.  A man was standing there on the steps with water running off his hat, and in his arms a bundle. Without a word, the man entered. The housekeeper, of course, would not deny him entrance in such weather.

“Thank you, Madame.  We have been traveling from the east and our carriage has overturned on the road. Mlle Duchamp has been injured and your house was the only one I could see in this rain.  Please forgive the intrusion.”

The knocking drew the household, M d’Epinay amongst them.  “Mme Fournard, please help Mme Pennay, take this young woman to a bed.” M d’Epinay was a gracious soul. His own lack of fortune would never turn his heart cold to the distressed.

When Mlle Duchamp was deposited in a bed, and the man had withdrawn to the warm kitchen, Mme Fournard opened the blanket and saw an almost lifeless young woman.  She had drab red hair, made worse by the rain, such pale skin that there was no bloom of life, and a breast that barely rose.  Stripping her garments, the two women noticed she had  signs of extreme malnourishment. Her ribs stuck out painfully and her skin was translucent.   She appeared to be in her twenties, but she could have been older.  It was impossible to tell due to her present condition.

Over the course of a few days Mlle Duchamp regained consciousness but remained very weak regardless good broth and simples applied to her lips.  The man who had brought her went out in the pouring rain and was never seen again.  No trace of a carriage was found later on the road, for M.d’Epinay sent men out to help put things to right.

Mlle d’Epinay heard from her governess of the guest in the next bedroom.  She was curious to see the girl. She had a key to the adjoining bedroom, and when Mme Fournard was down in the kitchen or somewhere in the house, she would unlock the door between the rooms and would make her way slowly into the bedroom, lurching from chair to table, and finally to the bedside.  Usually the woman was asleep, muttering in a deep dream. Today she was awake but motionless. 

“You are finally awake! Bon!  I am Marie d’Epinay, this is my father’s house.  I am glad to see that you have recovered.”

The young woman before her struggled to focus her eyes and a small smile formed on her lips.

“I am so cold, Mlle. I am so cold.  Come to me and keep me warm.”

Marie did not see any reason to refuse this poor woman, and went down beside her, over the top of the blankets.  She gingerly put her arms around the woman and felt the bones of her shoulders.  Louise Duchamp, for that was her Christian name, sighed sweetly, and the two of them fell into sleep.  They awoke later that afternoon, both refreshed and talking and this is how Mme Fournard found them, when she came with a tray for Mlle Duchamp. 

It was true the house was cold and damp, and remained that way until the heat of the summer, so Mme Fournard did not have any immediate objection to the two young women taking a nap together.  She had a servant stoke up the fire and propped upon pillows, both women would read aloud to each other, and both sets of cheeks seemed to color with some health.

Marie would sleep in her own room during the night, but insisted Mme Fournard leave the adjoining door open so she could hear the sighs of her now dear Louise.

One night Marie awoke in the darkness and gasped in fright.  It was only Louise standing there over her, as if sleepwalking.  Pulling back the covers Marie beckoned for Louise to join her, for the spring was a long and wet one and the rooms still damp.  Louise lay down on her pillow, wrapping her arms around Marie.  She drew her close, and kissed her shoulder, travelling with little kisses down the virginal breast of Marie.  At first Marie stiffened in her arms, then relaxed, for surely Louise was dreaming and could not know what she was doing. Louise found a soft nipple through Marie’s nightgown and started to suckle.  Marie, surprised, felt a tremor travel from her breast down her body. She gave a little moan and Louise smiled, stopped and fell back asleep.

After that, Louise would visit Marie and when the stillness of the house was complete and nothing disturbed the absolute silence except the moaning of the wind outside, she would fasten her lips upon Marie’s breast.  She would suck and nibble, and Marie would moan.  When Marie awoke in the morning, Louise was asleep in her own bed, the roses in her cheeks showing her recovery.  Marie remembered nothing unusual, except a strange, continuing dream that left her languid far into the morning.

After that, Louise brought another game to their night time hours. Pain. At first she would bite a little of Marie’s lips, and when Marie jumped, she would apply her lips and tongue to the long white neck of Marie..  Each night, Louise would increase the pain just a little, and Marie looked forward to the pain because in her mind it became mixed with the extreme pleasure Louise imparted.  More and more pain, and then the resulting pleasure. Marie’s lips became bloody and tender,  her swan-white neck mottled with bruises, but that a small sacrifice for the ecstasy she felt.  Their play touched Louise too, for her pale and sallow skin had more bloom, obviously due to the great devotion she had for Marie.

That morning a carriage appeared at the door. Louise Duchamp was downstairs tying her bonnet. She was smiling at herself in the large glass in the hall. She looked radiant, her red hair curled and bright, her complexion glowing, her green eyes gleaming with secrets. A restored beauty and Mme Fournard quite amazed with the young woman she was watching at the bottom of the stairs. She hadn’t thought Mlle Duchamp would recover, much less to such an extent!

“Oh, Madame, you should check on Mlle d’Epinay.  I thought her a bit restless during the night, but when I looked, she was fine.  Perhaps a nightmare?”

Mme Fournard agreed and climbed the stairs.  Soon a loud scream erupted from upstairs, followed by a piteous moan. At the same instant, Mlle Duchamp blew a kiss at her reflection, walked out the front door and was helped into the carriage.

Marie d’Epinay was dead, pale as a ghost in her bed, and Louise Duchamp was never again seen in the Vercors region of France.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010, 2012

The Not-So-Strange Case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn :UPDATE

May 23, 2011

Marianne of France

Now we read that the accuser of Strauss-Kahn has ties to possible drug dealers, has lied about her immigration status, and something about bank accounts with $100,000.00 stuffed away.  NY prosecutors are now possibly backing away from their case. 

However, the only thing that is of consequence here is this: Was she raped by Strauss-Kahn or not?  Fornesic evidence says she was….that was pretty clear in the beginning.  In my opinion, this is the only evidence that matters: no man should be able to walk away from evidence of rape. All else, whether she lied, her acquaintances, etc. really has no bearing on this primary issue.  One wonders whether class, race, the influence of rich French cronies, and even the machinations of world politics,  etc. have more weight in whether there will be any prosecution of  Strauss-Kahn.

Hopefully, if rape has happened here, justice will prevail.

Lady Nyo, July 1, 2011


It is interesting to read the ‘spin’  lawyers, politicians, etc. put on this present case.  It is interesting to read about these modern-day Socialists in France.  What is disturbing to me is these ‘Socialists’ have little to do with what I know of socialism.   Marianne. an important  symbol of France, (along with the rooster)…. certainly stands for more than this present fiasco.

Today I read a piece calling  Strauss-Kahn a “caviar Socialist”.  Perhaps that is the kindest label this man can be hung with.

The French press has all sorts of conspiracy theories going.  Perhaps, in the world of international politics this could be plausible considering the cut throat behavior and what was at stake.  It’s been posed that Strauss-Kahn was ‘set up’ by Sarkozy’s party to derail his challenge next year to the present regime.  Using the sexual trap of a 32-year-old hotel maid seems rather…..thin.  These boys play with loaded dice, but this scenario….or trap….seems to be rather hard to believe.

The “stand by your man” position of Anne Sinclair is embarrassing to many intelligent women. Then again, she might have her own plans. Being First Lady of France would be a pretty heady position, something she might be holding on to her husband with all claws.

There is so much to hate, dislike and disturbing in this case:  Antisemitism, ( Strauss-Kahn and wife are Jews), the accepted behavior of some to ‘look the other way’ when a spouse makes a total ass of himself, the attack of a defenseless woman (defenseless because of class, her position as housekeeper and probably race) and then we come to the history of Strauss-Kahn.

Apparently, he can’t keep it in his pants.  He is an aging Lothario, with power and position behind him, and apparently a boat-load of people around him mum to his behavior.  I have known a few, thankfully, a very few men like Strauss-Kahn.  Basically they are sociopathic, men who have no regard for basic humanity.  They think that women (and others) are there to be used by them.  They have no conscience concerning these things, and don’t care the person at the other end of their  behavior is hurt, demoralized or destroyed by what they do.  They just don’t care.  They don’t have the capacity to care, which is part of the definition of sociopathic behavior, so they run through life doing what they do with no regard to the consequences. Until they get caught caught, perhaps by the wife and then they fall back on the marriage, promising  never to do this again…until the next time because these things are not really sexual.  They are something else.  Even a man who has only a casual attitude about sexual affairs and his infidelity towards marriage,  not ‘able’ to control his urges, seems like a little boy, certainly not a man.  One man in France when told that Strauss-Kahn was known as “The Great Seducer” scoffed: “He’s sick: this isn’t seduction.”

Anne Sinclair is interesting in her behavior, but I have known of another wife who did the same. She was ‘seriously hurt’ four times in marriage (physically) by a husband who exhibited entrenched sociopathic behavior yet she continued to stay with him.  She was also in total denial about his  affairs, not wanting to hear anything about them.  She was intelligent and accomplished, but obviously lacking in self-esteem.  She suffered but she didn’t see what it cost her.  She ‘re-wired’ herself over the course of this marriage to tolerate what he did. That’s not to say she didn’t break lamps and suffer emotionally.  Maintaining a blind eye here was settling but at what cost to her?  Another half-life.

It might be a minority of men who feel entitled to have their way to dominate others, and to humiliate them if they so feel like it….but it stems not from the position of power, but from their own sense of superiority. (And the root of this superiority is usually based in insecurity to some extent.)  (There are men who have positions of power and they don’t use it in these above ways. We remember these men as the wise men, as the true leaders in history and society.) The consequences of their behavior  to these others doesn’t apply to them because they feel they are ‘special’.  Arrogance comes before power.  Once they get away with the first grope of a woman, the first off colored comment, and they aren’t slapped down or worse, they continue.  They are ‘special’ afterall, and the common laws of decency and humanity don’t apply to them.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn will become a minor foot-note in history, but the attitude towards women, fueled by power and position will continue.

France is sporting a black eye.  Marianne,  clean house.

Lady Nyo


Things amongst humans may be in disgrace, but in the Animal Kingdom…..?  “The Owl and the Pussycat” leads.

“The Devil in Paris”, Chapter Two

October 22, 2010


Perhaps "Madame" Gormosy ? (from


I wrote this short story of only four chapters around two years ago.  It goes through a bit of revision when I come across it, but that is all for the good, I believe.  I think most writers are never satisfied with their work, changing a word here, a sentence there, the behavior of a particular character.

We change and grow as we write.  Nothing is in stone.  Hopefully that makes our work fuller and more satisfying. I believe this is the challenge  most writers seek.

Lady Nyo


John Garrett was standing at the window looking at the rain when he heard the knock. He watched Louis cross his hands over his breast and shake his head violently.  Louis became Louise again.  Voila!  Her high coifed powdered hair, the satin dress, the tight corset and breasts returned.  As many times as he had witnessed the transformation, it always took him by surprise.  Louis was one tricky devil.  A snap of Louis’ fingers and the door unlocked.

Garrett watched Madame and Mlle. Luciern enter the room, Madame a clipper ship in full rig. She was a short, plump woman, middle- aged, with powdered hair showing the effects of rain.  Her dark, plum satin gown was ten years out of fashion.  She wore little face powder. There were honest wrinkles and age-spots to signify Madame was no longer young. Kissing Louise on both cheeks she shook herself, rather like a hen ruffling her feathers.  Louise gestured for her to sit.

Garrett listened to Madame Luciern introduce her daughter to her hostess. Louise took the young woman’s hands in hers, studying her carefully and called for him to come be introduced.

Garrett bowed over Madame Luciern’s hand and watched her face color. She might be of middle age, no longer a beauty, but she still was a woman. Mlle Luciern had no such reaction. Her face remained expressionless.

Taking a chair across from Mlle., he listened to Louise Gormosy ask the mother questions about their trip from the countryside. The two older women were soon lost in chatter and he had a chance to observe the silent young woman.

His first impression of Mlle was favorable. She was slender, with an underdeveloped bosom, a fine complexion and a pretty mouth.   She did look like a bookworm, he thought with a chuckle.   She had a serious demeanor, with pale gray eyes and dark brows that did not arch in the necessary fashion.  Fine brown hair pulled into a simple unadorned bun exposed a slender neck.   He was curious. He had his fill of coquettes and fashionable young women in Paris.  They were of a general order, all schooled in manners to attract a man’s attention and hold it captive for an afternoon.  Their charms passed through him like water. How bored he had become with the women of Paris!

In Mlle. Luciern he saw something different.  Something intriguing and virginal, but virginity had little value in Paris.  He laughed to himself. Virtue was good for children but pointless in an attractive woman.  Already the gloom of his mood was lifting in the presence of this rather mysterious young woman.

The two older women were lost in conversation and twittering with laughter as old friends do.  Both her mother and Louise seemingly forgot Mlle. Her face was politely blank, trained to assume a mask in company, but Garrett could see she was not empty of thought.  Her fine eyes narrowed as she listened to her mother and Louise rattle on and a pained look cracked the mask.

“You have been in Paris before, my dear?”   Garrett’s voice was low enough to not disturb the chatter of the two older women. Mlle. Luciern turned her gray eyes to his and answered his question quietly, but with little interest in her voice.

Oui, Monsieur, I have visited Paris before, but not recently. I was a girl when I was last here.”  Her voice was almost husky, and the pitch of it surprised him.  Most young women were taught to have ‘musical’ voices in company, to laugh as affectedly as a tinkling bell.  Mlle Luciern was unspoiled by such affectations.

He did not have a chance to question her further, for the sound of Mlle’s voice made her mother remember her.

“M. Garrett”, said Madame with a bright smile.  “Margot-Elisabeth was a little girl the last time we were here, only about twelve.  She is now in her nineteenth year, and a stay with Madame Gormosy will bring some color to her cheeks and hopefully  polish to her manners. Ah, Bon Dieu!  The countryside is good for virtue but there is little opportunity were we live to make her a wife!”

Mlle Luciern’s face flashed distress at her mother’s words. Garrett saw how Madame Gormosy’s eyes glittered.

“Ah, my dear Marie,” Gormosy said to the mother.  “We will polish the apple and find her a mate.  She has promise, but is too pale in the face.  Perhaps a bit of rouge and the labors of my hairdresser?”

Madame Luciern laughed out loud at Gormosy.  “Bon chance, Louise!  I can barely get Margot-Elisabeth to brush her hair!”

Poor Mlle. Luciern blushed at her mother’s words and Garrett suppressed a smile. Margot meant ‘pearl’ and this one would need quite a bit of polish to catch a husband in Paris.

Garrett tried to make small conversation with Mlle. but she was now as shy as unpolished.  The two older women chatted away without stopping for breath and the conversation was all about Margot-Elisabeth, unconcerned with her growing discomfort.

Garrett heard the amount of funds pledged by Madame Luciern to Gormosy, and almost whistled aloud.  A dressmaker would be sent for immediately.

“Ah, Louise,” said Madame Luciern with a look of gratitude.  “You work your magic with Margot-Elisabeth.  In your competent hands I am sure she will bloom.”

Garrett wondered how much ‘magic’ would be needed by Louise, and how her mother would react if she knew the source of Madame’s….ah….magic.

How droll it was!  Mother Luciern to leave her precious daughter in the hands of a devil.  All the rosaries in France would not amount to a hill of shit once Louise got her claws into the prey.

Garrett laughed to himself.  Tant pis!  The bargain was struck.  The Devil would have his due.

Dance, Weight loss and Husbands….

February 27, 2009

I have been fortunate  in getting some invitations to dance in different venues.  One in particular will be quite a challenge, and I am holding off  relaying  information because things are not set yet.  However, this will be a great opportunity to dance with my husband.

I have a tall, well built husband (a bit younger…) with long flowing hair! It makes him ‘look good’ on a dance floor, but it’s been more of him in the past 5 years watching me (and the other bellydancers ) than him dancing.

That is about to change.

We are working up a routine.  He actually is excited about it, but of course, as a man, he is very modest about expectations…

At first, I thought of him more as a ‘pole’ to dance around, but then, thought again.  He’s strong, flexible (mostly) and  can be trained.

So! we are taking tango lessons in a few weeks…and he tells me ‘this isn’t necessary”.  Hah!  We are going to do the difficult and violent “Apache Dance”…”Ah poe shay” in French.  Has nothing to do with Native Americans.

It’s a dance that sprang  out of tango at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s basically a lowerclass dance, a dance of the underworld.  It has quite an interesting and colorful history, full of bad characters and women who died because of broken backs and necks.  I am trying to avoid this, hence setting the basis in tango.

I have lost weight in the past months, and when I came home from Montreal just a month ago, I thought this period was over…and weight loss would slow down.  It did for a while, and then picked up.  I think there are probably many reasons a woman loses weight: stress, exhaustion, excitement, love, etc…but I have been talking to some of my students about this and trying to figure out why, now….I would be losing weight.

One of my students is in her mid forties.  She lost 40 lbs. and went to size O.  She looked like a skeleton in my estimation.  She gained back 19 lbs.  She looks great, not a walking bunch of bones.  And belly dance, well, you have to have some curves and something to ‘throw’.  Hips that stick out are painful to look at…and even more painful to sleep on.  She now has regained the status of woman, not concentration camp victim.

In losing about 30 lbs. this fall and winter, I told her that I noticed that people’s behavior, especially men, were different.  I was the same person as I was before losing that weight, why did people treat me differently?

She was emphatic:  No, you are NOT the same person.  You feel differently about yourself, and you look and act differently. This sends a ‘signal’ to others..especially men.  You walk differently (hell, I thought that was just the ‘bellydance walk’ we cultivate…)

She’s right.  My self-confidence has gone up, too. I am approaching   more the weight I want to be…and losing more will be beneficial to doing this particular “Apache Dance”.  You need to be thin enough to be picked up and thrown around, though the point is also to be able to ‘break fall’ without getting hurt.   Properly, it can be done.

Well, I already know I will be spinning on my knees so I intend to wear knee pads under my very high, thigh high boots.  Extra padding will help  in this “Apache”.

We are having fun, my husband and I, contemplating this new partnering.  I didn’t  expect him to be so enthusiastic, but there is a lot of violence and sexy moves in the Apache.  Perhaps it appeals to some “inner Gangster” in him, but we shall see.  The tango lessons are to contain and control, give a basis for the movements, and this can only be a good thing.  We have already been talking “choreography” and have walked through some steps.

The violence and sex comes later.

A good example of “Apache” is below.

Lady Nyo

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