The trio have made it to the demon's goal--Wien. We begin with a little tension and a small crisis.
The train eased to a stop, and Aksinya felt a gentle hand touch her arm. Natalya whispered, “We have arrived, mistress.”
Aksinya yawned and stretched. She smoothed her dress and cleared her throat. She whispered to the window, “What now?”
Asmodeus yanked open the door to their compartment. He laid down Aksinya’s small trunk, “There is a gown I wish you to wear.” He opened the chest.
Natalya moved quickly and blocked his access to the open trunk, “Which gown would you like me to dress, the countess in?” Natalya slowly dug through the clothing until Asmodeus stuck out his hand. Natalya held up a wonderful dress that was once Aksinya’s mother’s. It was one of the first, Natalya had fit to her. Nearly invisible crosses marked its shoulders, collar, and hem.
Aksinya glanced thankfully at Natalya. Though she didn’t fully comprehend the dangerous game Aksinya was playing with the demon, she followed through exactly, perfectly with each of Aksinya’s directives. Aksinya believed the demon might not be able to touch the dresses once the crosses were in place. She hoped she was right. She didn’t think Natalya’s work was unprofitable, but still, she wondered what affect, if any, the crosses might have on the being.
The demon shook his finger at the dress, “Lady Natalya, please attire the countess in this gown and apply this jewelry to her.” He held a pearl necklace and earrings. He pulled out a fancy satin hat that matched the gown, “She shall wear this also.”
Aksinya was drowsy, and she didn’t have the energy to complain. The demon closed the compartment door. Aksinya stepped out of her traveling dress and into the gown. It was finely made of green satin with lace in a formal court pattern. The colors of Aksinya’s house were worked into the lace and the dress. It was thick and warm. The top fit Aksinya much too tightly for the design of the gown, but that was because she didn’t have the endowments of her mother or her sister.
The crisis continues tomorrow. Sorry this post is a little late. I was running late following the election returns and parties last night. I have some questions to address, plus I need to give you the next installment tomorrow.