One point I want you to note in the writing is a technique I use that you could call constant scene setting. You can see it very clearly in the last piece, but you can observe it in this piece too. I constantly remind my readers what the characters are doing and what they look like. The purpose in this is to help the reader visualize the characters. I can do this with a simple single statement or a little beat--for example, Asmodeus examined his claws. This reminds you that he is a demon and has claws instead of finger nails. When I mention something even as simple as this, you remember the demon and visualize him. In the last example and this one too, I remind you about the chest. A simple mention of the large chest reminds you that the demon is walking with the chest on his shoulders--first you visualize it, and second, you realize how odd everything is: a demon and a girl walking the streets of Minsk. It isn't a joke, but reminding the reader puts everything back into context. One of the things I hate about some writing and especially poorly executed writing is where the author doesn't set the scene properly or remind you about important characteristics in the scene. You are going along with the narrative and suddenly a character pulls out something and you wonder--where the heck did that come from. The author could have given a foreshadowing or at least mentioned the object or the whatever before at some point. This is another reason for constant scene setting.
Asmodeus woke Aksinya. She lifted her head and stretched. The streetcar was almost empty. They arrived on a quiet street well to the west of the city center. It was a wealthy neighborhood. Aksinya recognized many of the names and coats of arms on the large houses. The demon led again when they exited the streetcar. Aksinya complained, “When are we going to stop. I’m hungry, and I want a bath. I’m sleepy. It’s night. We can’t keep walking forever.”
The demon turned his head to give her a look but didn’t stop.
Aksinya glared at him, “I can’t keep walking forever.”
“I wish to finish this business tonight. I do not want to have to draw your bath or serve your food again.”
“Why does this have to be about what you want? You are my servant.”
“Already, I have shown you the things I can tempt you to do. Don’t you realize yet, you are the mistress of a demon. I tempt humans into sin. I have tempted you into sin after sin. I will continue to do this, and if you don’t grant me this simple desire, it will be more than the grave sin of sorcery and onanism that you will be guilty of. You chose this, I did not.”
“Onanism is not a sin.”
“You believe it is.”
Aksinya struggled to catch up to him. He stopped at a very great house. It was fully lighted with gas lights and some electrical ones. Asmodeus stared at the place for a while then he led Aksinya to an alley at the far side. He put down the chest and sighed, “Now, countess, please wait here a moment while I check on your servant.”
“Please don’t be all night. It is getting colder.”
The demon opened the chest and pulled out a heavy long mink coat that had been Aksinya’s mother’s. Asmodeus put it over her shoulders then he closed the chest, “I will not be long.”
Aksinya watched him move toward the back of the house. When he was out of sight, she sat on the chest. After a bit, she curled up on the top of it and pulled the coat close. Her breath came in white clouds. She closed her eyes.
The next scene we will observe Asmodeus choice of servant for Aksinya.