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Friday, October 22, 2010

A New Novel, Part 19 Coercion

I love this scene.  It is pivotal for more than one reason.  I think this will get the demon's point across to you and to Aksinya.

They retraced their steps to the chest and Asmodeus put it over his shoulders, “Follow me, countess. I will show you what to do next.”

Aksinya muttered under her breath, “I’m not sure I want to know what to do next.”

“You don’t have to speak your thoughts aloud for me to know them, and muttering behind my back is certainly not polite.”

“I didn’t intend to be polite to you.”

“I know.”

Aksinya followed the demon out of the alley and into the street. The wind had started to rise. Aksinya didn’t notice it at the back of the house. Now, it howled down the cobblestone streets. It was bitter and cold and foretold the winter that was already upon them. They walked past many great houses until they arrived at a large cemetery.

Aksinya stopped and glanced around, “Here?”

“Yes, here.”

“I am so tired. What do you want me to do?”

“Follow me.” The demon led her into the cemetery and toward its center. They came to a large area of flat stone that was very smooth. It had been finished with heavy mortar. Ice and snow didn’t cover it. The demon stopped and put the chest down on the snow covered grass.

Aksinya stumbled to the smooth area and stopped. She wrapped the fur coat more tightly around her, “I am cold, and I am tired of walking. Can’t we eat and find an inn? Please, I’m freezing.”

“Good. You are tired, hungry, and cold. This will make it much easier for me.”

“Wha…what do you mean?”

“You saw the girl. I want you to call her here.”

Aksinya shook her head, “Call her here? Why call her here?”

“That girl seeks power. She has never seen true power. You, countess, have true power. I want you to call her here with your sorcery and let her see your power.”

Aksinya’s hand moved slowly to her mouth, “That’s what you meant when you said you wanted to tempt her to follow me?”

“You are a smart young woman when you put your mind to it. I’m surprised I can tempt you so easily.”

“I won’t do it.”

Asmodeus stood. He raised his arms. He made a motion like he was pulling something through the air. Suddenly, he held the thick warm coat that had been around Aksinya’s shoulders. Asmodeus stroked the coat, “It is still warm from your body. Are you cold countess?”

Aksinya shivered, “You are supposed to protect me. How is this protecting me?”

“You aren’t dead. I never said I was here to prevent you from suffering. Didn’t the great pain and agony you already experienced in your legs teach you that? To achieve my ends, I’m willing to let you suffer quite a lot.”

Aksinya stepped toward the demon, “I order you to give me my coat.”

Asmodeus opened the chest and threw it inside. He closed the chest with a snap, “Get it yourself.”

Aksinya ran to the chest and tried to open it. It was solidly locked. She couldn’t budge the latch.

Asmodeus laughed, “Are you cold enough.”

Aksinya’s teach chattered, but she didn’t answer.

Asmodeus raised his arms and made another motion. Aksinya almost fell. The demon held her high-button shoes and her stockings. Aksinya grabbed for them, “Give them back to me. They are mine, not yours.”

Asmodeus only laughed and the shoes and stockings followed the coat into his chest.

“Čort poberí! Give me my shoes and coat.”

“Cursing me will do you no good. Plus, I am a devil already.”

“Give them to me.”

“Are you still not convinced?” The demon lifted his hands again. He raised them, and he held Aksinya’s dress and petticoats in his claws.

Aksinya stared at him in dismay. She wrapped her arms over bare breasts and tried to cover herself. She crouched on the stone and tired to make her naked body as small as she could. The wind whistled around her. She cried out, “I am your master. We have a contract. I order you to give me back my clothing.”

“I can’t hear you mistress.” Asmodeus examined his claws, “Countess, you won’t freeze for a long time, but you will be very uncomfortable. I know nudity bothers you. I know you hate your naked body. Ah, there you are, your worst nightmare.”

“Why won’t you obey me? Why won’t you do as I ask? Our contact requires it.”

“You should have read the contract more thoroughly. It requires me to do evil in your name. This isn’t evil. I am at liberty to serve you as I choose in all other things. If you asked me to do evil, I can certainly accommodate you. If you ask me to take the clothing from someone else or to steal it, I gladly will. However, that will be laid against your accounting. There are some other rules. Particularly, I’ve already told you, I can’t murder the innocent. For you, I can murder those who are not innocent. I can deliver torture as you desire but only in proportion to the sins a person has committed in this life. You dear countess have committed grave sins, and so I may torture you, but… I don’t wish to torture you.”

Aksinya crouched and whimpered on the pavement.

“Can’t you speak, countess. You are usually very fond of it.”

“Čort poberí! Čort poberí! Čort poberí!.”

“I told you I am already damned. Cursing will do you no good.”

Her voice was weaker, “Merde, merde, merde.”

“Changing the language you curse me will do you no good.”

Aksinya bit her lip, “Promise me you will not harm this girl.”

“I will not harm her.”

She screamed, “Swear it.”

“I swear I will not harm her, countess. You will.”

Aksinya lowered her head, “I will take it on myself. I will do as you ask.”

Next we will see the calling of the servant.

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