The next scene and the transition. I am writing a new novel called Daemon (working title). I already gave the descriptions of the demon and the Lady Aksinya. Then we saw their initial conversation together. Now we get the rest of their conversation and the transition to the next scene. For one of my readers who asked: is there a difference between a demon and a daemon? The answer is--no. Daemon is a variant spelling. I like to use them, just because. See the explanation on why I titled Aegypt as Aegypt in my writing secrets at www.ldalford.com --now to the text. They are still in the cellar and she has just contracted the demon:
The demon gave a laugh, “There is my surety, Lady Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna. Are you sure you are not a child?”
“How do you know my name?”
“Lady, I know everything about you now.”
“Then you know I am of age…”
“Seventeen, a virgin and never kissed. All your secrets. I know what you do every night and what you think...”
“Shut up, demon. I have work for you to do.”
“Work already? I thought so. You do know what it means when I work for you—don’t you?”
“Yes, I know what it means, Asmodeus.”
“Then make me work and make me work hard, for every moment of work I do for you shortens your life and brings me closer to the time when I shall be free of you.”
“Then, if you know my mind, you know what I have for you to do.”
The demon stood tall with his arms across his chest, “You have to say them. Plus, it will do you no good.”
Aksinya squinted her eyes, “Why will it do no good?”
The demon pursed his lips and stood silent.
Aksinya’s lip curled up, “If you know my mind, then take me to the house and protect my family.”
Asmodeus tendered her a sly smile, “I shall, my lady. Shall I touch you or will you touch me?”
“What do you mean?”
“If you wish to travel with me, one or the other must touch. I give you the choice.”
“What difference does it make?”
“That you will soon find out.”
“Curse you, demon…”
“You are too late.”
“Then tell me, which is better for me?”
“It is always better for your body if you ask me to touch you, but it is better for your soul if you touch me.”
“Very well,” Aksinya grabbed the demon’s arm.
The world swirled in darkness. Aksinya was dizzy and she felt herself raise up and away from the earth. They moved through earth and stone and then air. The night was as dark as her cellar. The air was colder. Aksinya felt a pain in her legs that spread to her hips. She felt as though she had run miles and miles and she was still running. Her breath came in gasps. Then they were at the front door to her house. It was a mansion. Her father’s house. It was large and beautiful. It was the most beautiful building for over a hundred miles around. Her father’s family had kept it for generations and generations. A large white stone drive wound up to the front and circled statues and lawn. And all around the drive were what looked like fallen statues. They were pale and still. They were statues dress in finery. Beneath them spread dark stains.
The moment her feet touched the ground, Aksinya collapsed to the stone. She lay there unable to breath. Slowly, slowly, she raised up her body. She couldn’t move her legs. They burned. The locket at her breast felt as though it sizzled with heat. She gazed across the drive and her mouth opened—not a sound came out. She could not speak. She could only lay there and stare.
Asmodeus picked his teeth, “You were a bit too late, little girl. So you called me to save them, but you were too late, and now you are marked for hell.”
“Shut up, demon.”
“Is that your brother over there? I think I recognize his clothing. That is certainly your mother and your sister. They didn’t take the time to ravish them—unfortunate, but that should make you feel better.”
“I can’t stand.”
“I told you if I touched you it would be better for your body.”
“What happened to me?”
“If you rest in the bosom of the devil, your body will be protected, but your soul will be eaten away. If you choose to come with me, your body is affected by the world we pass through.”
“Pick me up, demon.”
“Do you know what you ask?”
“Pick me up. I cannot walk. I wish to see them.”
Asmodeus picked her up in his arms. He was unusually gentle. He smelled of myrrh and sulfur. His skin was hot and dry. In the cold evening, it felt comforting to Aksinya like sitting close to a warm fireplace.
“Take me to my father.”
The demon walked to a body cast down on the drive. The man’s coat had been removed. His shirt was dark with blood. Asmodeus tightened his grip, “I would not look at his face. They shot him there. It is your father Count Andrei Golitsyna. He is dead.”
“Why should I believe you? You are used to lying. It is a habit with you.”
“But I can’t lie to you, my lady.”
“I wish to see my mother.”
The demon carried her to where a woman lay. A young woman held her hand. They both didn’t move.
Aksinya’s voice sounded emotionless to her, “Is anyone alive?”
“No, my lady, they are all dead.”
“Do you swear?”
“I cannot swear. I can only tell you the truth.”
“I wish to kiss my mother and my sister and my brother. Roll them over and take me close to them.”
The demon gently rolled each of the bodies over and moved them close to one another. He let Aksinya down near their heads. She touched the face of each and kissed them. Aksinya didn’t look at Asmodeus, “Bring my father here and put him beside them.”
“I told you before.”
Aksinya didn’t look at her father’s face. She took his hand and kissed it. She still didn’t look at Asmodeus, “Bring the others. My maid and my governess, the priest. Place them where I can touch them.”
The demon collected their bodies and put them near Aksinya. She touched their cheeks and kissed them each in farewell.
The demon stood across from her, “You have not cried a single tear for them?”
“Is that so odd?”
“Already your soul becomes mine. I cannot weep for anyone or anything either.”
“Why should I shed a tear for those I cannot help? The time for tears is well past. The time for revenge is at hand.”
“It will not bring back your family or your friends.”
“But it will ease my soul. Why would you dissuade me from it Demon?”
“This is my order to you. Those that killed my family and these servants. Find them and kill them. Return with their bodies and place them before me.”
“You are truly a fine mistress. Already I am called to death and destruction. Hell will welcome you.”
“Enough of your lip. Go now.”
Asmodeus bowed. The darkness shimmered for a moment, then he was gone. The locket at Aksinya’s breast began to burn.
Aksinya began to pray. She cried out the Greek prayers her priest had taught her so painstakingly. She cried them to the night, but her eyes were tearless, and she wasn’t certain if her words reached anywhere near the heavens.
So this scene transitions and we see more bounds set on the demon. Primarily, we see the requirements of the contract and additionally the price that must be paid by Aksinya.
Here is also the excruciating tragedy of the entire novel--Aksinya called forth a demon to protect her family, but her family was killed. She traded her soul for dust.