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.
Aksinya is locked in a cold dark cell under the residence of the Cardinal of Wien. Asmodeus visited Aksinya in the depths of the night and took her dress. In the morning, the woman guard finds Aksinya unresponsive...
Otto returned with four hot water bottles and two blankets. The woman wrapped the blankets around Aksinya and put the hot water bottles in the layers. She put the warmers under the blankets but where they wouldn’t touch and burn Aksinya’s skin. She and Frau Mauer rubbed Aksinya’s chilled hands and feet.
Aksinya gave a moan and tried to sit up. The woman’s voice was very kind, “Don’t get up. Don’t move for a little.”
Aksinya whimpered, “It hurts.”
“Aye, it does hurt.”
Aksinya squeezed her eyes shut then opened them wide, “Who are you?”
The woman smiled, “I’m Frau Becker.”
Aksinya moaned again and began to shiver, “It really hurts.”
“Why did you take off your dress?”
Aksinya groaned, “I didn’t take it off.”
“Were you molested?”
Aksinya didn’t reply.
Frau Becker turned toward Secretary Schwab, “You need to question the guards. The girl was attacked in the Archbishop’s own home.”
Aksinya gritted her teeth, “They didn’t molest me.”
“…But your dress.”
Aksinya let out her breath, “You would not believe me anyway. I am here to be tried. No one molested me.”
“Tried, surely you aren’t the one.”
“I am the one.”
Frau Becker stared at Secretary Schwab, “This isn’t a joke is it, Schwab? I’ve heard the rumors. This girl is to be tried as a sorceress?”
Secretary Schwab shrugged.
Aksinya was shivering a little less, “I am a sorceress. That is why they locked me up.”
Frau Becker’s gentle hands didn’t stop rubbing Aksinya’s. She mumbled, “Then you are not fully sane. They put a poor crazy girl in a cell and are going to try her for sorcery. Does the Archbishop think this is the Fifteenth Century?”
Aksinya tried to smile, “I am perhaps not sane, but I am a sorceress.”Frau Becker gave Aksinya a very sad look then she turned to the secretary’s servant, “Get some food and hot tea. Bring sugar and milk.”
Frau Becker is doing her best to help Aksinya. Aksinya finally wakes. Frau Becker and Frau Mauer are rubbing Aksinya's hands and feet to help the circulation return. Frau Becker is very kind. Aksinya is in pain.
Frau Becker wants to know why Aksinya took off her dress. What she really wants to know is whether Aksinya was molested. Aksinya knows she can't tell the truth--no one would believe her. So she says nothing. That's when Frau Becker learns that Aksinya is "the one."
Everyone has heard rumors in the Cardinal's house, but Frau Becker didn't expect to come face to face with the prisoner. Then we see Frau Becker's conclusion--this is everyone's conclusion: Aksinya isn't sane. How will Aksinya fair in a trial? How will she get through the next night? Tomorrow, at least she gets breakfast.