Posts Tagged ‘sex’

“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

‘O Absalom!’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”

June 2, 2011


Absalom, King David’s son, caught by his hair in battle.


The Lady Nyo, with glitter

The Lady Nyo, with glitter

It must be the sultriness of the weather, the heat that pulsates in this ‘spring’ air that brings our thoughts to passion, sex.   June opens with a furnace blast and there is still three more weeks of spring.  But summer has more than appeared, and we will have to make the best of it.  The night is cooler, and one can stand the touch of another, as long as there are fans and the touch is fleeting. 

 It is still spring, with all the fertility of  pollen, reproduction, grafting, etc….so perhaps if one’s thoughts turn to passion, it can be expected.

Lady Nyo

O Absalom!

O Absalom,

Ensnared by  long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

The shimmer of life now fading.


Pulled into mysteries

So abandoned by love

Now given over to lust

Charged with stolen rapture

Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

One hand upward to Heaven

One hand spilling to Earth

Skirts stiffened with sins hard as stone

Corrupted over a life time and now–

Flayed on an unending mandala.

Mystery of Life,

Unstoppable desire,

O beautiful Absalom,

We float upon a divine river

Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.

This is our nature,

 This our calling while

Flesh answers flesh.

What quarter be given when the heart is

Overwhelmed by passions excess?

Lie still–

Let the waters cleanse our loins,

Let the mud of banks soothe our wounds,

Our blood mingle with the floating grasses,

Our hearts sink beneath the surface.

Let the rivers of Babylon

Carry us away.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009,

from ” A Seasoning of Lust”, published by

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 2 (“The Master” in Hungarian)

May 16, 2011

Armand Assante, the model for Vadas Dohenhy in “A Kapitany”



I probably will have reason to regret this, but so what.  Life is made up of lots of regrets.  Luckily other things balance it out.

In 2007 I started the above novel.  It was a strange one, being of a definite bdsm nature, and I was totally out of the loop.  I had no experience or knowledge about this hidden (to me) world. I was a member of an erotica writing site and figured I could always ask questions.  Frankly, I didn’t know what questions to ask.  I did learn that you have to be very careful where  you ask for advice. That all advice isn’t equal and some of it downright dangerous.

But over the year I did learn something, enough to fashion what information I picked up into a novel.  I stopped writing around Chapter 18, then rather queered by the whole topic, but the other day, reading over it, I decided what the hell:  it’s a good story and I will finish it.

The picture at top is of the American actor, Armand Assante.  The main male character, Vadas Dohenhy in “A Kapitany” is  physically modeled after Assante.  Sometimes a physical nudge will create a story, and in this case, it did.  I have only seen two movies of Assante, but the physical movements and the face fit what I envisioned with Vadas.  This name in Hungarian means “The Hunter”, and Vadas fits this description. (Actually today, I was told by someone who speaks Hungarian far better than I do,  that “Vadas” means something more like ‘Warren”, whereas Vadasz is “Hunter”…Be that it may, I’ll holding onto Vadas)  He had turned 60, was a successful art thief, lived in Paris and Budapest and was bored.  He was, in bdsm parlance, a “Dom”. 

Some of this novel has been serialized on a site in England.  It also has been referenced in Dan Holloway’s novel in England.  I am going to float a chapter here and if there is any further interest, perhaps a few more.  I am going to finish it this summer and publish it.  The story intrigues me and I think now I can tackle it.  Perhaps it’s the pollen, the Spring fever, an interest in erotica again, I don’t know.  But I do know it’s a good story.  But it comes with a warning:  Don’t read if you are easily offended with sexual portrayals.  I have cut this chapter short because the sex becomes explicit further in the chapter.  I’m in enough trouble with family members due to the pointed nose of one female (probably more) relative and I am sure she will be clucking her thin lips when she reads this.  On the other hand, perhaps she will loosen up.  Could happen.

Lady Nyo


Part of Chapter Two, “A Kapitany” 

The night before I was dismissed with a kiss on the forehead.  His car and driver took me home, but before leaving, Vadas Dohenhy told me I was to return here in two night’s time.  He didn’t ask me, it was more of a command.  His car would call for me and we were to dine in his suite.

I wondered at my lack of response to him.  What kept me from acting offended by his behavior? What kind of man demanded such stuff? At first, I thought it was the shock of being handled in such a fashion, but then again, I didn’t have a clue.

Perhaps that I was going to do exactly as he ordered said more about me.  But at that moment, I was deeply intrigued, and more than a little aroused at his control of the field.

The sexual handling played into some deep secrets, then again there was something not quite ‘right’ about the whole scene. I knew I was over my head, feet not touching the bottom, and at this point I was willing to let Vadas Dohenhy pull me around the water.  He was something new and different. I was ready for a change.

Precisely at seven I was picked up by his driver, a hard-looking man who made no attempts at small talk.  I was nervous, and sucked at my bottom lip until I had to reapply lipstick before getting out of the car.  Knocking at Vadas’ door, he opened it almost immediately, but was talking on his cellphone in rapid Hungarian as he pulled me into the room.  Still occupied, he stripped me of my jacket and taking my elbow, led me to the sofa, gesturing me to sit.  He turned and walked to the window, where he continued in rapid- fire Hungarian, too fast for me to pick up anything except “egam” and “nem”.  Yes and no. 

“Excuse me, Elizabeth, that was unexpected but important.”  He had flipped the phone shut, threw it on his desk.  His pronunciation of “Elizabeth” was very Hungarian, more like “A-liss-a-bet” to my ears.  I made a mental note to ask how he had learned my name.

Without further comment, he turned to the console and poured two glasses of  wine.  Crossing the room, he handed me a glass and sat down on the sofa.

“This is a good Tokay.  You are familiar with our national wine?”  He sipped from his glass, his eyes on me.

The only times I had tasted Tokay, I found it coy, too sweet.  “I am, a bit.  But those times did not like it at all.”

“Ah! Then you had a bad Tokay, too common.  Perhaps a blended dessert Tokay.”

This, my Elizabeth, is the famous “Essence”.  It is fabled and rarest of all, from the first run of the Aszu grapes.  It is very sweet, but not like sugar.  It is like honeyed velvet.”

I raised the glass to swallow, and Vadas spoke sharply, startling me.

“No, no, Elizabeth!” He put out his hand to stop me.  “First, smell the wine, let it get into your nose.  Breathe deeply the grapes. Smell the warm sun, the cool rain. Smell the soil of this region of Hungary, at the foothills of the mountains. Think of the black soil that supports the growth of these beautiful, black grapes.  You know the Essence will restore the dead to the living.”

Vadas was smiling but something in his manner told me he believed it all.

I took a deep sniff of the wine, its heady scent rising up the glass into my nose.  It was a strong, warm smell, and I could only think of how it must taste.  I sipped a bit and let it sit in my mouth.  It was warm and sweet and broad, as it swept my mouth like a piece of velvet.  I looked up at him, my eyes showing my surprise.

“Ah! You see?  It is the essence of life, of beauty, of seduction!”  Vadas face was excited, I supposed, by the poetry of his words.   I could agree and took another sip of the Tokay, now completely warming my mouth.   It was, as he said, a very seductive wine.

“Do you like music, Elizabeth?”  His voice cut into my thoughts of the wine, now slipping down my throat.

“Very much, Vadas.  My father played French horn.  I grew up with a lot of German music.  He played in an orchestra before I was born.”

“Ah! Then you know Strauss?” Vadas eyes gleamed as mine mellowed with the wine.

“Yes, especially “The Last Four Songs” and his very last, “Malven”.  Also some of his lieder.”  I didn’t think it right to mention I had worked to death “Going to Sleep” the third of the “ Last Four”. That was, after all, a lifetime away.

Vadas eyes registered his surprise at my words.  “Those are pretty sophisticated pieces of music for an American woman.  You do know that Strauss was in the Nazi Party?”

I did, but thought Vadas’ question might reflect that he was a Jew. “I think many musicians and artists joined because of the pressure, and they were after all, artists. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  was one.”

“Ah! Betty Blackhead!”  Vadas chuckled and I laughed, thinking that a particularly American joke.

“It took a long while to pry her clamshell open.” Vadas continued.  “I don’t believe she admitted her membership until only a few years before her death, and by then, who would touch her?”  Vadas’ eyes shone, his chest heaving with gentle laughter.

“Would you like to listen to “Elisabeth”, Elizabeth?  I nodded my assent, delighted he would have this music available.

Vadas placed his wine glass on a side table and walked to his desk.  Picking up a large remote, he aimed it at the console, and pressed some buttons. A door opened and within moments the first strains of  “Spring” sounded and by the time the fourth song started, I knew this was a big mistake.  How foolish of me!  Those glorious suspended strains of music cut to my soul and so much buried sadness came bubbling to the surface.  Schwarzkopf’s ability, only possible in a German singer singing German music, of creating the absolute lyricism of linking word to word in such a weave tore at my heart.  Tears had collected in my eyes I knew would spill down my face and wash away my makeup. I took a hurried sip of my wine to hide the turmoil that must be showing and the knot in my throat grew with the glory of the wine in my mouth.  Too fast to hide, tears spilled over lower lids and I felt Vadas lean over and put his hand on my chin, turning my now-wet face to his.

“Elizabeth, Elizabeth, why so sad?  What memory is attached to this music?”

*Ah, Vadas, I thought, do not show me any mercy! That will only encourage my weeping. Take me in your arms and bite my lips with your teeth, detour the pain of my heart to some other place! *

My cheeks were wet, mascara staining my skin.   I must look like a raccoon to Vadas.  He moved closer, but the bastard did not turn off the music. Ah, he was cruel and knew I was putty.  He did pull out a white handkerchief and gently wiped my cheeks, blotting up the mascara running like black blood from my bottom lids.  He even held it to my nose, but I wrenched it from his hand with an attempt at some dignity.  Blowing strongly, I tried to regain some composure.

“I am sorry, Vadas.  Perhaps I should leave.  This music is hard on the memories.”

“No, no, Elizabeth.  Do not leave. I have invited you to dinner, and you understand how we Hungarians feel about food refused.”

I laughed.  Yes, I did know.  It was a gross insult, and something I had learned in my childhood.

“Good, you laugh and it is like the sun comes out at midnight!”  Vadas chuckled and came closer. I lifted up my head towards him and felt his arms encircle me, pulling me to him.  His eyes searched mine, an unexpected tender expression on his face and I closed my eyes with a sigh. His lips brushed mine and then press down in earnest.  Vadas of the long kisses!  I was relaxing into his embrace when there was a knock at the door.  It was room service with our dinner.

Vadas broke off his kiss, and looked at me regretfully.  If there was one time in my life that I could have gone without food, this was it.

Room service left after arranging covered platters on the large table that was obviously used for purposes other than eating.  Stacks of folders and loose papers were moved by Vadas from the table and then he held out my chair to sit.  He poured more wine, this time taking another bottle of Tokay from the wine cooler.  I was curious as to what food Vadas had ordered and surprised when he removed my cover and I had a large salad.  A lovely salad, but still a salad.  Vadas though had a large steak, potatoes and vegetables.  I looked pointed at his plate and then at mine and raised my eyes to him. 

“Ah! Women should not eat meat. It is too heavy for their systems.  Better they dine on light foods, maybe with a little fish, a little fowl,  but never meat.”  He was serious!

I smiled and started to eat my salad, watching him cut his steak.   With a laugh, he held out a piece to me and insisted on placing it in my mouth.

“I will feed you like a baby bird, but only from my hands will you eat meat. Understand? Men eat meat, it is good for the blood, but too much taints a woman’s nature.” 

I had no choice, but there was a nice piece of salmon under another cover.

Vadas enjoyed his steak, talking between swallows.  “You remember I told you I make the choices now?  You did agree to my words as I remember.”

“Yes, Vadas, as long as you don’t attempt to starve me.”

“Ah, Elizabeth, you will not starve in my presence.  A man takes care of a woman, whether his or another’s.”  His wit did not interrupt his attention to his food. He had a good appetite.

“Here, you don’t drink enough wine.  This is a different Tokay, but in America they always serve it too cold.  We will let it warm up, breathe, and finish off this bottle of Essence.”

He would get me drunk, and then starve me!  I laughed, for the wine was very good and went well with the salad.  He told me to drink only water with the salmon.   The next bottle of Tokay would be for our dessert.

Dinner over, he proposed we dance a bit, as they do in Hungary after a meal.  He played around with the remote, and some music came from the console. I was not familiar with this, but it was slow music, and rather nice.  Vadas reached out his hand and pulled me up to him, and led me to the middle of the floor where we could dance.  He was much taller, but more so, a large man, built solid.  There was something powerful about Vadas that went beyond his stature.  Perhaps it was his confidence, his ability to control the situation.  I was not used to such a man, and frankly, was a bit unsettled by his behavior.  It was strikingly different and alien.

He held me lightly, not crushing me to his body, but respectfully like a man would in public.  Every once in a while he would pull back and look at me, smile, and just the feel of his body, close enough for me to be very aware of his masculinity, was alluring.  He didn’t seem to be in any hurry to bed me, and I had toned down my expectations. This seemed to be what he wanted– a long, slow seduction.

A few more dances and I had to excuse myself.  When I returned, Vadas was sitting on the sofa, and he patted the seat beside him.  I started to sit down, when he pulled me over into his lap, cradling me in his arms.  He busied himself with unbuttoning my blouse, and laying both sides open he saw my black lace bra.

“Ah, Elizabeth, Elizabeth , what am I going to do to you?”

I thought those rather strange words from Vadas.  “What am I going to do with you” would have made more sense, but then again, Vadas was rather strange.

“You have beautiful Hungarian breasts, Elizabeth, large and shapely.”

I laughed, lying in his lap like a child, half exposed.   “Is everything Hungarian good, Vadas?”

“No, not everything.  Bureaucrats, government, police, most laws that don’t let me do what I want.  But I am looking at half- Hungarian breasts, and they are beautiful enough.”

“You are a romantic, Vadas.”

“Don’t confuse your American ideas of romanticism with mine, my dear Elizabeth.  You would be rather surprised.”

There was a little threat in those words that should have made me uneasy, but the Tokay interfered with my senses. Regardless how much Vadas drank of the wine, his remained clear.  He unzipped my skirt from the side, and pulled it down my legs, leaving me dressed only in my underwear and stockings.  I must have made an impression, for his dark eyes dilated and he sucked in his breath.  He pinched my nipples through the lace of the bra and then stroked my crotch with his strong fingers.  I was getting very aroused. Suddenly Vadas picked me up in his arms and set me vertical to his lap, my legs straddling him, my breasts at his mouth.  With a flick of his hand, he released the hook and pulled my bra from my shoulders.  He took one breast in his mouth and sucked and swirled his tongue around my nipple.  I threw back my head and groaned, grinding my hips into his lap.

Suddenly Vadas threw me across his lap, with my buttocks in the air, and slapped me hard with his left hand. I screamed out, yet he ignored my cries and continued to slap hard on my rump.  He stopped and stuck his hand between the cloth of my panties and into my flesh. 

“So, Elizabeth, you must like this rough play.  You are wet like a river. Now, dear Elizabeth, I want you to kneel before me. I want you to excite yourself with your hands.”

Vadas pushed me off his lap, I rolling onto the carpet beneath his feet. Looking up at him with great anger, my hair obstructing my face, I addressed him as sharply as I was able.

“No, I will not do that, and you will not treat me like a child.  I am a woman, you remember that, not a child to be spanked.”  I rose to my knees, my fists clenched tightly, for at that moment, I could have flown at him and pummeled him with all my strength.

He was smiling down at me, but his eyes were hard. “Elizabeth, perhaps you forget what we agreed.”  His voice was very low, and I strained to catch what he was saying.

Vadas rose from the sofa and stood over me.  “Stand up, Elizabeth.”  He extended his hand to help me rise. As I stood, Vadas pulled me into his arms, holding me where my feet could not touch ground.  I knew he appeared powerful, but holding me to him, my entire body pressed against his, made me realize that I was not in control of the situation.  Vadas was, enjoying my almost naked body against his, even my struggling to be released.

“Vadas, put me down, right now!  I demand you put me down!”

“Ah! You demand I do your bidding?  Well, I am the man and you are the woman, and I have the upper hand.  And will continue to have.  You, Elizabeth, remember our agreement.”

I was ticklish, and Vadas realized this.  Holding me to him with one powerful arm, he poked at my ribs until I was squirming and laughing in spite of my anger.  Suddenly, Vadas threw me on the sofa and I realized from my position that he had an erection.  I struggled to raise myself on my arms, looking at him through hair that now covered my face.  I was aroused, too, with our struggle, and glad to see it had moved Vadas in the same way.  He seemed less forbidding now, only a man.

Vadas saw were my eyes fell, gave a grin and lay down on top of me, his erection poking me where it was most desired.  Supporting his upper body with his arms, he attempted to sweep my hair out of my face.

“Elizabeth, you are such a little slut, but I can’t resist you.  You don’t know the rules yet, and I, who do, violate them this one time.  You bring my bull’s blood up.”

I laughed underneath him, my chest and belly heaving.  “Bulls Blood” was a Hungarian table wine, common, not elegant like the fabled “Essence”.  It was the difference between pennies and pounds.

Vadas kissed me tenderly, stood up, extending his hand to me.  I rose, and in one smooth gesture, Vadas had me in his arms, this time carrying me towards two closed doors.  Without dropping me, we entered his bedroom.  In the middle was a large poster bed, rather old fashioned in taste.  Vadas dropped me on the side of the bed and I looked up at him, my eyes studying his figure.  With a smile, Vadas started to unbutton his dress shirt.  I sat up, swinging my legs over the side of the bed, stopping him with my hand.  Sitting there, with him close by the side of the bed, I reached up and unbuttoned his shirt, kissing his bare stomach.  I slipped my arms around his torso, and stretched to lay my head on his chest, comforting myself with this intimacy.  Vadas had a hairy chest, something I was not used to. It felt strange to my face, tickled my nose. I breathed in his scented skin. Vadas threw off his shirt, his torso broad, a man of substance, not a boy before me, but a man in all the glory of his masculinity.

Part of Chapter Two, “Az Kapitany”

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2007-2011

“ANCESTORS OF STAR”, a new novel by William Gaius

September 20, 2009
Canyon de Chelly in NE Arizona, but looks just like Ancestors Canyon

Canyon de Chelly in NE Arizona, but looks just like Ancestors Canyon

Bill Gaius is  a good friend and a great writer.  For the last three years we’ve exchanged manuscripts of our novels and to say his influence on my  writing made me a better  writer is to understate this.  His gentle mentoring got me out of many holes.

I was fortunate to be there when Bill started “Ancestors” and saw the amount of passion and research he put into this novel.  Bill is one of the most polished and careful writers I know.  This book presents an exciting mix of cross cultural events and strong characters with a description  of a physical landscape that broadens the imagination and a mystical element that is believable.

Bill knows and writes from the heart of the matter and it shows.

Lady Nyo

Introduction to Chapter 15 of ‘The Ancestors of Star’.

Tim Hyatt is a college athlete and Big Man on Campus, but his plans are very serious: a career as a medical doctor, and a prosperous life with his fiancee, Natalie. Hoping to win one of the scarce Government scholarships for medical students, he takes a year from college to gain clinical experience on the tiny Lagalero reservation in New Mexico. Once on the job, he learns that his new boss, the older Elaine Yellow Star, hires a young man every year and expects more from him than cleaning bedpans.

Star soon seduces Tim, as she has all the young men before him, and uses him for her own gratification, while ignoring the lust she’s sparked in him. After an initial infatuation with her vibrant sexuality, Tim rebels in a fury and distances himself from her. But she insinuates herself into his thoughts and he cannot escape his addiction to her. He begins seeking answers, first from the last living shaman of the tribe, and later, by going directly to the sacred canyon, the home of the ancestor spirits of the Lagalero.

The full novel, ‘Ancestors of Star’ is available from
as a trade paperback ($14.95) or as an unlocked PDF download ($4.95).

Chapter 15

Next day, I woke slowly, but the more consciousness grew, the more a heartsickness crept over me. A great, gaping pit opened up in my chest. I sniffed the air, but instead of the sweet tang of Star’s body, there was only the odor of the detergent I’d used to launder my bedding.
I looked at the clock, and it read 5:15. An hour before I would go to get her breakfast.
What had she meant by a ‘hormone storm’? After three days, I’d gained a little perspective. Before the night in the Super 8, I’d been thoroughly pussy whipped, as compliant as a pet dog. Like an idiot, I let her take the lead and give the orders. This had been utterly out of character for me. Evidently, she believed this was due to the ritual she’d performed in Ancestor Canyon. She’d gone on to deprive me of sexual release for a month, and it plainly excited her to do so. She must have had at least thirty or forty orgasms during that time. And somehow, according to her, I should be grateful. I certainly had no right to be upset!
What was a ‘hormone storm’ to her was a return to proper manhood for me. I didn’t need her. I could go ahead and do my job, and give her no excuse to get rid of me. I could serve my time, and walk out of here with recommendations from Waters and Murphy, at least. I could cultivate some other important locals and get more recommendations.
Or I could leave. But I didn’t treat that as a serious option anymore. I could take anything she could dish out, and I’d already learned to tolerate the spartan reservation life.
But my mind and body were at odds. The more I tried to hate her, the more she invaded my thoughts, waking and sleeping. Cursing her capriciousness didn’t help. I dreamed of her, naked and stretched on her back in the ancient ruin, or smiling on the sofa in her room, or driving in her Jeep with her black hair blowing out behind.
The alarm shrilled, and I showered, dressed, and crossed to the cafeteria. I returned with Star’s tray, and tapped on her door.
“Who is it?” The muffled voice was as soft and musical as ever.
“Your breakfast,” I said.
“Leave it by the door,” she said, in a less musical voice.
Shit! I put down the tray and stomped back to my own room. In the clinic, I slammed the bedpans about, and banged and punched through my other tasks. Before lunch, I checked the schedule to see who needed a ride to the clinic today, but there were no names listed.
No one to drive to the clinic! But who else knew this, or paid attention to the list? I could finally ditch this place for a few hours.
I stuffed a sandwich, two cokes, and a quart of water into my backpack and walked out to the van. I drove out of town, out into the desert, without destination or purpose. In an hour, I found myself between the sheer walls of Ancestor Canyon, following the rutted road until the van would go no farther. The mysterious structure in the canyon wall drew me onward, from rock to rock, into the great crack in the cliff face, and up the sloping sandstone to the ledge.
Recalling Star’s tale about the ancestral spirits, and how they defended their ancient home, I spent several minutes gathering the nerve to walk the narrow ledge. I ventured slowly onto it, trying not to look into the void, and sweating in spite of the cool breeze. The ledge was much narrower than I remembered, barely wide enough to move one foot beside another.
In spite of my caution, a golf ball-sized rock found its way under my shoe. My leg buckled, but fortunately, I stumbled toward the rockface, rather than out into the abyss. I clung to the sandstone for a few minutes until my heart slowed and my legs regained their strength. After that, I touched one hand to the wall for balance as I crept along, until I staggered onto the wide platform where the ancient structure stood. I fell to my knees before the massive ruin, breathing hard and terrified by the prospect of going back.
I slipped into the little door, following the chain of connected rooms, and emerged in the room where the mesquite tree sheltered the little altar. It was time to think about exactly why I’d come here, because at that moment, I had no idea. I’d ditched my responsibilities at the clinic and ventured onto this haunted platform, but why?
In front of the little altar where Star had burned the pinon wood, I sat crosslegged. What was I expected to do? I thought I might meditate, but I’d never done it before. I’d heard you were supposed to just sit still and let all thoughts drain away. I tried this for a few minutes, but every time I tried to empty my mind, images of Star flowed in to fill up the space.
A hawk circled in the canyon, barely using its wings. It swooped by, a hundred feet away, on the downwind half of its spiral.
A foot shifted on loose rock behind me. I twisted around, but there was no one. I stood up on aching knees and looked into the adjacent rooms, and up at the overhanging cliff. Surely, the noise had been something dropped by a bird, or a stone dislodged by the wind. Perhaps a small animal moving to escape the gaze of the hawk.
As I resumed sitting in front of the altar, the breeze loosened my hat. I removed it and tucked the brim under my butt so it wouldn’t blow around the room. In another few minutes, the sun would go behind the cliff and the hat wouldn’t matter.
Wind rushed through the ancient structure. Its soughing was like the shuffling of ancient feet. Every so often, the murmur of voices would reach my ears, a trick of the wind in the rooms and crevices of this sacred structure.
Whatever my reason in coming here, it wasn’t working. The light was beginning to dim and it was time to leave while I could still find my way down to the van. I stood up and walked in a circle to limber up my legs before heading through the connected rooms. Once out of the structure and in the full force of the wind, I pulled my hat down close over my ears and stepped toward the narrow ledge.
And stopped.
The muscles girdling my waist and crotch crawled and tingled with apprehension. Someone’s coming the other way. I neither saw nor heard anything, but I knew someone was there, just as I knew when someone stared at me in a crowd or through a window. I waited, and waited, but no one appeared.
I tried one more step toward the ledge, and I began to shake, worse than before. There was someone there!
A bony hand gripped my shoulder and froze me in place. My cry echoed across the canyon, a cry in my own voice, though I had no recall of screaming. Now I knew for certain that the spirits were going to hurl me over the edge, and take revenge for the way I had treated their daughter.
I cautiously reached for the hand that held fast to my shoulder. But it was only a twig blown from a mesquite somewhere up on the cliff. I brushed it off, and it blew onto the haunted ledge, bounced once, twice, and vanished over the precipice, down to the place where the spirits planned to send me. Except I wouldn’t float gently down, like that twig. I’d hit like a bag of soup, spattering guts and brains and blood over the jagged stones.
My legs were jelly as I staggered back to the altar room. I sat in front of the altar and felt safer again. Evaporating sweat chilled my face and the small of my back. I busied myself collecting unburned fragments of wood and making a tiny structure, as Star had. When I had finished, however, I had no way to set it afire. I ran my fingers through the ashes and debris under the altar niche, and turned up two unused wooden matches.
I knew now why I’d come here. I had to beg forgiveness of Star’s ancestors. They had bound me to her, but I had not obeyed.
I picked up one of the matches, and the wind instantly died. In the deathly quiet, leather-shod feet scuffed as the spirits gathered behind me, watching. I leaped from my knees to my feet in one motion and screamed, “Leave me alone!”
Of course, there was no one there. Only my own echo, dying away, “…alone …alone …alone…”
The match had gone astray, but I didn’t care. I lay on my side, curled into a fetal position, and thought of my mother, and father, and Star, and Natalie, and my college friends. My family would be devastated by my disappearance. My corpse, dried and mummified by the wind and sun, would eventually be found in this ruin. If I tried to leave, I would rot unseen at the base of the cliff, feeding the coyotes and eagles. Sooner or later, searchers would find the van. They might even find some bones, if the animals left them in place when they finished with me.
I looked at my watch, but the numbers seemed written in a foreign script. The hands pointed in directions that I couldn’t interpret. But I could guess at the time by the sky. The shadows were climbing the canyon wall with unnatural speed.
The narrow ledge, my only escape to the bottom of the cliff, and from there to Lag City, and the clinic, and Star, and life itself, had become very dark. It was too late to leave, even if the spirits refrained from hurling me to the canyon floor. I found the last wooden match and put it in my pocket, and curled up again, huddled in a fetal ball as the air grew chillier.
After a time, I propped myself up long enough to reach into my little backpack. I drank a soda and ate the sandwich. I kept the wrapper as possible fuel or kindling. The food banked my fear a little, but it was not going to help me get down from here in the darkness. I was going to spend the night, at least.
It was going to be cold tonight, exposed on this cliffside. The ancient dwelling would give me some protection from the wind, but temperatures might get down into the 40s or even lower. In my tee shirt and jeans, I might as well be naked.
As the sky darkened, the temperature plummeted, and I succumbed to fits of shivering. I searched my brain for my most comforting memories, something to hang onto in the depths of the night. I thought of Natalie and the nights with her in her dorm room at NIU. But my mind compulsively drifted back to Star. I thought of my mother. When I was a child frightened by lightning, I’d run into her room and she’d cuddle me under the covers. But I was a grown man now, and my greatest comfort was when Star slept on my shoulder and her breath whistled in my ear.
The stars came out, one by one, but there was no sign of a moon. I shivered violently and continuously, and fumbled in my pack for my flashlight. The batteries were fresh, but it wouldn’t light. With shaking fingers, I disassembled it to look for the problem. The bulb dropped out and bounced to where it couldn’t be found in the dusky light.
I found the last match in my pocket and resumed my place in front of the altar. The light was so weak I could barely see it. The match struck on the fifth try, and I ignited the little tower of wood. Soon I had a flame going, about as big as my hand. Once more, I felt the presences watching me, and the night breeze carried their voices.
This time, I was not afraid of them. I expected to soon be among them.
“Fathers and Mothers of Elaine Yellow Star,” I said. I hoped they understood my meaning, even if they didn’t understand English. “Show me where I’ve gone wrong. I need to be with her, I want to belong to her – ”
I stopped. I hadn’t voiced it aloud before. I needed Star! Everything else in my life, including my pride, was a trivial afterthought to that single fact.
“Help me get through this night,” I asked the spirits, “and I will treat your daughter the way she deserves to be treated. I swear this on my God and on yours.”
The voices grew in volume and number. A single pure note thrummed in my ears as the wind whistled through the ancient dwelling. The cold night wind blew on me. But even as I shivered and dreaded the night ahead, the spirits blew their warm breath in my face. Their hands touched my cheek and stroked my hair. My shivering stopped and I sighed in relief.
They urged me to lie back. The floor of the altar room was as soft as it had been when I made love to Star on this very spot. The ghosts sang their hypnotic songs in my ear, and I drifted off to sleep, dreaming that I was swaddled with Star’s warm body in a heavy featherbed.

[end ch. 15]

The full novel, ‘Ancestors of Star’ is available from
as a trade paperback ($14.95) or a download ($4.95).

The Passage of Time, The Desired Fruits of Contemplation.

August 23, 2009

Some of you know what I mean.

We can only hope  we grow in compassion and our humanity.  There are no guarantees, but we try. We already know we don’t have all the answers.  Just some as guideposts for life as we walk.

We hope we  are still open to learning,  because the options are many out there.  And so is the concrete of ego.

Hildegarde of Bingen has been on my mind of late.   Her calling to us to remain “juicy” as the Earth, in it’s profound greening, calls us to the creative and spiritual.  But there are seasons, and to hold to this is something we can forget through the passage of time.

We must hold to that verduncy, to that greening of the Spirit and Spiritual.

To rejoin the better parts of humanity.  To be open again.

Hildegard is deeply ecological in her spirituality.  The basic thrust of our time is the movement from an egological to an ecological consciousness.  Perhaps ecological injustice reigns because we lack an ecological spirituality.

We are out of balance.  We can not be proportionate until we honor that wilderness of Earth, that juicyness, that indominable greeness, that verduncy of the land and the natural persons within ourselves.

We can not be in balance until we honor the indominable push towards justice, towards a healthy humanity, towards an equality of sexes in the most fundamental of ways.

Nakedness without the role playing.  And this applies to all things D/s.

The psychic price we pay for being out of sorts, out of balance with  nature is unmeasurable.   A lost of identity, a loneliness, an incomplete understanding what life can be.

I pray for, Hold in the Light, a man I know who is considering his options right now.  I hope he benefits from an attention to  spiritual thoughts.  I hope for a greening of his soul.  I wish him Peace.

Today, Gary Russell of ERWA asked for a poem:  “A New Song of Songs” for the ERWA pages.   I don’t know  if this would be offensive to post here because of it’s ‘nature’ but I will chance it.

It is especially poignant to me that he has asked for this poem, today.

There just isn’t a question of coincidences to me anymore.  Perhaps I am opening to the broader universe.

Lady Nyo


In the Song of Songs,
a woman’s breasts are compared
to the young twin roes which feed amongst
the lilies.

Her ass is not defined, but I think of my own,
two sloping sides, bottoming out
in rounded halves, a peach if you will,
with the fuzzy softness that sits
sweetly in the hand.

Did you pity me, in all my milk-white
virginity, at least back there….
when you bound my arms behind
and with your glass- hard cock
pierced the fundament?

I screamed that day,
a hunting hawk who missed her first strike,
but my keening, though pleading at the end
of its tones,
was more piteous and haunting than any bird of prey.

You lifted my bound arms, ripping
muscles at the shoulders, and the pain
above and below,
equaled out along my spine.

You were the Bird of Prey,
And I, just a sparrow.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

“Cosmic Coupling”

February 22, 2009

For lovers tonight……

Come kiss my warm lips
cup my breast in your rough hand
growl into my mouth
raise the heat of pale desire
blow fire into lust
create water where there’s steel
command with your need.
Answer mine with that of yours.
Answer yours with that of mine.

Press hard into flesh
tissues open like a bud
my legs around hips
your hands clenching fruit-like cheeks
raised upon your sword
spread my flesh that yearns to grasp
hardness matched with soft.
Answer mine with that of yours
Answer yours with that of mine.

Over us, the stars
glitter like laughing witnesses
I reach up and hang
on two and lift my soft breast
level with your mouth.
You suckle like a babe, and
strain into my womb,
Answering with that of yours
Answering with that of mine.

Copyrighted, 2009

What is Submission?

December 13, 2008

We had some discussion a while back about submission, but it wasn’t completed. Because of further private discussion I am raising it again, thought it will make some groan. Tant pis.

Friends (and some enemies) know that I have struggled to come to a place with this issue. A year ago I started some research/discovery, and was caught up in so many harrowing issues. I either fought it/denied it/tried to manipulate it/disown it…sometimes all at the same time. I just couldn’t get a handle on it.

Part of the problem I believe was I came to the ‘subject’ late in life. I’m no spring chicken. I also have had to be very dominant in my life before. Some know that because of some particular work I carried a gun. That will impact your ideas about yourself, even if you have no idea of submission. Coming upon this issue of submission, I really struggled…still do. My husband was of no help at all. He was hoping any D/s issue would fly by and I would come to my senses. Well, I didn’t…..and once that became obvious to him, he started to get interested…in part of being a dominant. But there was a lag of almost two years and I went through a lot. I admit I have resentment towards him today because instead of partnering with me in this investigation…he ignored it. He’s interested now because he knows that this issue is sticking around, and underneath it all, he’s a very traditional man, with some real dominancy in him. Before I thought he was just stubborn. Now I know its purpose.

He’s a man….and he’s not broken.

I have come to the conclusion that submission can take many forms…not just the stuff we see and read about. I have to be careful, because I am reading the Gor books from the first onwards. There are some very seductive parts of Norman’s philosophy that make me double up..and not with laughter. There is this issue of submission and submission that is slavery, and some of it hits my gut hard. Perhaps it’s the overpowering presence of a strong male with power and control at his command. I don’t know, but I do know that we live in a real world, and men just aren’t like Norman’s sexy characters.

( has so much to do with it. I was thinking last night how wonderful that our genitals basically never wear out. Maybe our desire for our particular partners does, but our apparatus keeps going like the energizer bunny. At all ages…in I grow older, the sexual interests and desires reveal themselves to have different levels and a zest for adventure. That’s the good news. I was told so by a Dom I respect this is true. He’s in his 60’s and doesn’t seem to have any flagging yet.)

However…..I have noticed a change in my behavior for a while now. Before, faced with a dominant man, I would get mouthy and challenge him. I seemed to ‘have’ to reestablish my own power in light of what was in front of me. Now? Well, perhaps it’s a more ‘natural’ thing….

but if a man is truly powerful…I am amazed and I find myself reacting in a much different way. I feel more feminine. I feel that I don’t have to challenge him. And if I get to know him a bit….I assume that he will ‘protect’ me. Don’t ask me from what….pitbulls, flying glass, but that he just will.

A lot of men rail against feminism and the women’s movement for changing women from more traditional behaviors and in the doing..changing men. Confusing them. I think this is too shallow an answer to what shifted, happened, changed, between men and women over the last few decades. Economics and social pressures happened…women worked and had to for survival…and that of their families. Divorce, etc. All sorts of social changes happened.

John Norman talks about something called Natural Order…I’m not going to open a discussion here about that today, but perhaps if there is interest later…ok. (I find that there are numerous Goreans reading this site, though they rarely show their faces, but my stats show they are coming from Gorean sites or whatever…)

A lot of people in D/s blame women for being bossy, but from where I sit…men are just too lazy. Many like the fact that they don’t have to put forth any effort to ‘head the household’. I see this in many cultures, not only my own. They are broken men.

So, what is submission to you? I am getting a better idea what it is to me….but damn if it still isn’t so sexual.

I guess I just can’t get my hands out of my crotch.

Lady Nyo


November 30, 2008

I am preparing a new manuscript for possible publication this spring. It’s a collection of all the Japanese inspired flashers, poetry, tanka, haiku and some other sundry writings in this vein. It’s piling up, too much was written this year in this ‘style’ and I do have people interested in seeing it all together. That’s the good news.

The bad news is I have had to push back the publication of “A Seasoning of Lust” just because of a more careful rewrite of that manuscript. But Bill Penrose is the editor of all things good and is still the best of news. Bill inspires confidence and takes a great burden off my shoulders and on to his formidable ones.

Looks like “Seasoning” will be due (??? is this birth??) February 14, 2009 and that seems very appropriate.

I have set myself a writing schedule that forgot the big appointment in Montreal in late January. A 5 hour workshop with Audra Simmons at Dance Conmigo and a gala performance that night. I won’t be performing, but it was close. I had to decline because it meant a piece of choreography developed and that does take months. At least for me.

This workshop is an introduction, as I have written here before, to a whole new strange world for me. Trained in Turkish/Egyptian, Tribal Fusion is a riot…and definitely a discipline that is alien right now.

So, I’m posting a little poem, non tanka, just to coast by.

Some new tanka tomorrow….this is still Saturday on this side of the pond.

Lady Nyo


You stir my loins
Like a long kitchen spoon,
Worn smooth
With years of
Bowl of it
With sexual waves
Long forgotten.

You stir my loins
Make me shiver
Make me weak
Make me cream
Make me wet

Make me lean
Over the counter
Your hands
Slipping up my thighs,
Under my apron
That piece of cloth
No barrier for modesty
Legs spread wide,
You move
To crush me against
Marble and
The marble of my skin
Soft, smooth, cold
Heating to your lust
Telling me to
Keep stirring
Act like nothing
Is disturbing
The making
Of this cake.

You rise-
I don’t know about the batter.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008

“DEVIL’S REVENGE”…..I am posting this chapter because I am lost in reading this weekend…

November 29, 2008

I am reading the “Goddesses in Everywoman” book by Dr. Bolen, but I also started reading William Manchester’s “The Last Lion” about Winston Churchill late last night.

This last book is just about one of the very best history/bios I have ever read.  It is so absorbing, so exciting I couldn’t put it down, even knowing that it jumped ahead in the queue.  Pure self indulgence here. But then again, life can be so, and at times, should be.

This is a chapter from a novel.  I penned this work two years ago. It is very rough, so I warn any readers.  However, it has a certain charm.  It’s set in the 1820’s in post Colonial New Jersey, where I grew up.  I swear I know these characters, and actually they are local historical characters and I know where they are buried. I have played on their graves. Garrett Cortelyou was a Revolutionary War soldier and built my house in Belle Mead, New Jersey.

This time around Garrett Cortelyou is a Devil. He appears around 38 but is very old. He’s a Devil kicked out of Hell for some reason. Betsy is a 21st century writer, in fact was writing a novel, “Heart of the Maze” set in the 1820’s, wakes up in the bed and house of her novel. Garrett lives there and is able to read Betsy’s mind.  She is picking up some of his traits…a cross pollination and is beginning to morph into his world.

Lady Nyo


Bleary with sleep, a dull pain in my head, I opened both eyes carefully.  That wine last night, it must be the reason  why my stomach hurts.   I am playing with fire if I continue to …  Oh Crap!  I’m back 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 stare at him.

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

“Ah, Garrett, how long have you been there?”  I yawned, rubbed my eyes and pulled my mobcap off.  His commanding me here, both body and soul, was becoming routine.

“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 full 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 for the bottom of his boots were covered with muck.

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

“Oh, that for later—more 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 here.  This house is  haunted,”  he said softly, his eyes narrowing to slits.

“What do you mean, ‘haunted’?”  I shivered a little 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 you 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 pink 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 chamberpot first, please?”  I slipped to the side of the bed, my feet getting cold from the draughts on the floor.

“Do you need any help with that?”,  he asked, half turning around to me.

“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.  Makes me horny.”

“Everything makes you horny, Devil.”

He grinned, his foul lust a tease and a torment.  I peed as fast as I could, knowing he would not leave me in peace.

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 this morning.

“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.” He was still reading my thoughts, I see.  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 at him 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.

“What about my bloomers and stays?”

“I like you without them.  Easier to get to the nicest parts.”

Oh, he was a nasty demon this morning, 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.”  He snapped his fingers, and a big pair of Dutch wooden shoes appeared 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.  And 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 went 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 two seater  rig and a black 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 and walking to the head of the horse, whispered to him.  He grabbed up the reins and the horse trotted to the main road, turned left and moved out smartly on the highroad.

I held onto my bonnet, which was falling 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 said with a laugh.

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 Handel….Ah! a good piece of magic!

We traveled for a mile then the horse turned to the left.  Down a short land 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 exchange numerous times.

Van Doren looked to be in his sixties.  He was a hale and hearty man, with a halo of white hair standing up on his head.   He had a full white beard , bright blue eyes and a red nose that signaled 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 than he?  Well, at least I wasn’t  wasn’t  a ghost to van Doren.   He gave a slight nod and lead us into the barn.

“There’s four pups, but one of them’s  a runt.  All livers this time, 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 to me 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 to 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 grow better.”  Van Doren was silent a moment in thought.    “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.  The birthing must have been hard, for 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 and 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, Sweet Demon!”  I said with sharply.  “Now you can read my thoughts and alter my appearance?  Is there anything you can’t do to me?”

“I told you when you first sat on my knee, 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 answered.  “I can’t make you love me.”

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

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

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008

I’m running this post from a couple of months ago…Bellydance! because it strikes me as having some sense!

November 11, 2008

and because I got a couple of good queries about this issue…..

Belly dance and other nostrums…..

Some of my friends know I am a belly dancer.  I’ve been at it for about 5 years, and have only scratched the surface of all the different techniques.  I spent months in classes learning routines, the Mizmar, Jasmine, Hagallah, etc…and I hated every moment. Well, not every moment, in the beginning it was new and untried and  getting my body to conform to the different movements was awkward, frustrating and exhausting.  And exciting for a few weeks.   You have to ‘think’ in choreography.  You have to be part of the group-think and movement.

You have to be a good nazi.

You have to follow orders.

It took almost 4 years to finally break out of the  Turkish routine of following other patterns and develop my own. (I had tremendous teachers…)  It took that long to trust my body to respond in less awkward ways, and in fact, to break out automatically in dance.

NOW it’s routine.  Sure, it’s inappropriate to do a shimmy in the fish department , or maybe it’s all that ice with dead-eyed trout and salmon watching, or to do breast lifts and breast shimmys when sitting drinking coffee while reading a book in a booth, or walking down  Home Depot aisles and doing double hip drops, and alternating sides, but what you are doing is Vibrating with a latent sexual energy.  For after all, belly dance is in essence, sex.

Ok…a lot of people deny this, but it figures. (and it took a cranky man to convince me of this…) Its roots are in childbirth movements, where hip gyrations and stomach flutters were designed to PUSH the baby out.  And before birth, the body was strenghtened, the muscles and tissues, for the coming birth.  And before that!  It was dances of seduction, and besides the fun of what comes with THAt, it led many times to pregnancy.

In the Middle East, and Africa, girls as young as 4 were taught to belly dance…I have seen young girls here in this country.  They take it very seriously, and can imitate the women around them with ease if not total grace.

(I got mad at the owner of the club I danced at the end of March, and stomped out.  I haven’t danced really (except for a few parties) in 5 months.

Now I realize that I love dance more than I hate the owner.  So back I go.)

I thought perhaps I would be back to square one, because this is the longest time, except one where I had a knee in a brace (knees go out the most for belly dancers…) for about 7 months….

But something has happened to my body, apparently a very  independent organ from my brain. Recently, as I contemplated going back to August classes, (August is the dead zone here in the south) I decided to take the bull by the horns, drop that croissant from my teeth, and see what the old body could do.  I was surprised.

Something has matured in my movement.  My extensions are longer in my arms, the hips have a mind of their own, the hands are commanding and though I don’t have the wind or stamina I had before I stopped dancing, there was definitely something better happening.

I think what happened was two things.  My body got a good rest.  The muscle memory built up, and then my body was glad to get back to the routine it knew and was ‘fed’ by it.

Sure,  my timing in choreographed movements is off, but that will come back.  I am just pleased to be back in the game.

Mac the knife in NY, a friend with a webblog I have mentioned before ( wrote something that resonated to me deeply: What one does with who one is could be so important (in life).

I guess in some way, what I do (dance) and who I am came together in some way that I couldn’t deny anymore, though I tried.

Movement has been a tremendous influence in my life…it has kept depression at bay and channeling it into something that creates a form of beauty has made a lot of difference for me.  It’s created self-esteem, confidence and a bit of arrogance. (and I am aware that arrogance has been a thorn in the foot of one man in particular…)

It has made me feel beautiful, whether I am or not.  It doesn’t take prisoners, dance, it slaughters us all alike and reforms us from the ashes.  It brings the essential sexual female to the front and gives her a platform to work her magical nature…at any age.

I have to create a class for some beginners, special friends that are eager to learn from my poor teaching.  This is a great responsibility for me, and I have thought over it for a couple of days.  I want their experience to be ‘better’ than mine.  I want them to feel their innate sexuality, their allure from the first lesson.  I want them to find their beautiful independent ability to be a powerful dancer, in mind and body, but I want most of all to stress that it doesn’t take years with the right mindset.  It takes hours, a belief that you are a beautiful dancer, when freed up to be just that.

Every woman, regardless age and size, is a natural belly dancer.

A few figure 8’s, some basic shimmies, correct hands and arms, and a definite attitude, and we are all good to go!

Lady Nyo (Teela) with a coin scarf tonight….

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