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Monday, November 8, 2010

A New Novel, Part 36 Fear and Trembling

We saw the setting of this scene.  It moves now from the entrance way to another room.  As they are moving, we get a dialog that the demon will not like at all.  We see every pretense pulled away from Aksinya.  The question is whether this too is the design of the demon.

Aksinya was shivering. For some reason, the thought of her mother and the presence of her uncle and aunt affected her. She couldn’t speak.

Aunt Brunhilda stared at her, “What’s wrong, Countess?”

Still Aksinya still didn’t speak.

Aunt Brunhilda stood and put her arms around Aksinya, “You don’t need to fear anything while you are here.” She pushed back a little, “You are freezing. Are you well?”

Natalya stepped forward. She spoke in Russian, “My mistress is cold and hungry. She does not speak German well. Could you show us to a place where she can warm herself?”

They both glanced at Natalya. Aunt Brunhilda spoke, “We don’t understand Russian.”

Aksinya tried to smile. She addressed them in German, “It is as my lady-in-waiting said. I’m cold and hungry. I’m sorry my German is so poor.”

Freiherr Bockmann stepped to Aksinya’s side, “Tut tut, I understand you very well. Please come to the family study.”

Aunt Brunhilda took Aksinya’s arm, “Are you certain you are not ill, Countess?”

Aksinya shook her head.

Aunt Brunhilda drew Aksinya with her and they all headed to the right and toward a hallway beneath the stairs. Her aunt pulled her close, “When we heard the news about your family we feared that no one had survived. After we received your telegram, we were so relieved.”

Aksinya turned a stricken face to her, “You were relieved about me?”

“You are a lovely child. We feel your hurt. It was such a great loss to our family.”

“It was my greatest loss. I wanted to die too.”

Asmodeus lifted his hand and made a sign to her.

Aunt Brunhilda pressed her lips together, “You poor child.”

Aksinya turned her face away from the demon, “I wanted to die. I’m sorry I didn’t die.”

Her aunt pulled her closer, “We are so glad you did not die too. We want you to be happy here.”

“Can I be happy anywhere? My mother and father, my sister and brother are all dead. I wanted them to live.”

Aunt Brunhilda cleared her throat, “You poor dear.” Aunt Brunhilda guided Aksinya into a large room with an enormous fireplace. In it, a hot fire roared.

Notice, the first response from her aunt is to interpret Aksinya's trembling as fear.  When she embraces Aksinya, she realizes the girl is cold.  Natalya immediately understands Aksinya.  Note, Natalya does not expect Aksinya to be afraid.  This is important.  It is her view of Aksinya and ours too.  Although Aksinya was startled in the cemetery, we have not seen her afraid.  She is afraid of the demon and afraid of her own temptation, but she has not shown fear of anything else, and she has not shown fear of anything in the world.  She has shown few emotions at all.
Aksinya's response to her aunt is uninhibited, she wishes she had died with her family.  Did you get this from before.  When she lost her family, the demon had to force her out of bed and out of her depression.  He knows there is a self destructive tendency within Aksinya.  He has worked hard to prevent her from acting on it.  Here, he stripped away her every defense, and she responds honestly to her aunt.  The answer Aksinya gives her aunt is honest too--"Is there anywhere I can be happy?"  This is what Aksinya seeks.  Even if she doesn't realize this, this is what drove her from the beginning--she seeks happiness.  She sought happiness in sorcery.  She tried to hold the little happiness she had with her family by selling her soul, yet we begin to see that she was not really happy with her family either.  If you didn't put it together already, Aksinya is a mess.  She is like so many who seem competent and perfect on the outside, but who hide their true problems behind closed doors and within themselves.

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