A New Novel, Part 192 Should I Beat You?
For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Matushka Ekaterina is a very wise and well trained woman. She is comforting the distraught Aksinya...
“No, I think I loved her, but I killed her.” Aksinya let out a sob, “Why did I make that sound? What’s wrong with me?” Her shoulders shuddered.
Ekaterina moved next to Aksinya. She put her arms around the girl.
Aksinya sobbed again in a hoarse whisper, “You shouldn’t try to comfort me. Instead of comfort, I beat Natalya. I don’t deserve comfort.”
“Everyone who is confessed deserves comfort. That is what we call agape love.”
“I see. I wish I could see Natalya. I miss her so much.” Aksinya buried her face in her arms. Aksinya couldn’t speak for a while, “Do you think she will hate me now?”
“She may hate you.”
“Do you think that is why I am so sad?”
“I think there are many reasons why you are sad.” She gently stroked Aksinya’s hair.
“You really shouldn’t try to comfort me. I should not be comforted.”
Ekaterina held her more tightly, “Should I beat you?”
“It might be a good idea.”
“You said you were in pain already.”
“I am in great pain.”
“Is it from your burns?”
“Then there is no reason to beat you if you are already in pain.”
“I see,” Aksinya sobbed.
“Why don’t you tell me about yourself?”
“Will that help you to love me?”
“Yes, and it will help me get to know you.”
Aksinya's confession was not over. The morning just continues what the night had begun. Aksinya is overwrought. She is crying and she doesn't even understand what it is to cry. She is in pain for many reasons, but doesn't connect her sadness with the pain she obviously feels in her heart.
Ekaterina is very compassionate and well trained at her job as the Matushka of the Ecclesia. She comforts Aksinya. Listen to her gentle, but strong tone. I intentionally don't use much description in this scene so you will be drawn to Aksinya's words as well as her sadness.
Aksinya has a truly contrite heart. She desires punishment to atone for her sin and evil. Ekaterina's attitude is perfectly correct--the repentant deserve comfort. That is indeed agape love. God will not forgive without repentance and the repentant heart is a beautiful thing. Aksinya could never see herself as beautiful at this time, but there is a beauty and serenity in her childish confession and childish view of the world. It is still a world she does not fully understand.
Aksinya really did love Natalya. She knows there has been a great breach in their trust and that breach might result in hate. The theme about wishing to see Natalya is a foreshadowing and a recurring theme. Ekaterina does not candy coat Aksinya's problems--Natalya might hate you. Aksinya asks a very childlike question: “Do you think that is why I am so sad?” We know why she is sad. We know why Aksinya weeps. We know that something monumental has happened in the life of this small, unloved, and unpretty woman who is Aksinya. Aksinya cannot grasp what has happened.
Still, within the person who is Aksinya is still the Aksinya we know. Listen to her response:“You really shouldn’t try to comfort me. I should not be comforted.” She tells Ekaterina she should beat her--just as she beat Natalya. Did you catch that. Still Aksinya is already in pain and that pain is a direct consequence of her confession and previous actions. Do you see the wonderful irony in this. She wishes to be punished, yet she already is being punished. This is what Ekaterina tells her in not so many words. Then the Matushka asks the question we have wanted to ask Aksinya since the beginning: “Why don’t you tell me about yourself?” We wanted to ask this of Aksinya. We wanted to know more about her life. I give you this through Ekaterina. It is part of Aksinya's therapy. It is part of her confession. Tomorrow, about Aksinya.