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 in the residence of the Cardinal of Wien awaiting an ecclesiastical trial for sorcery. Aksinya is recovering from her experience in the cold cell under the house. The Inquisitor Esposito comes to speak to her about her defense...
“This is the Inquisitor Esposito. I’m here to speak to the prisoner about her defense.”
Frau Becker nodded, and Frau Mauer opened the door.
The stocky priest inquisitor entered the room. He wore his usual priestly robes. Frau Becker stood. The priest walked up to the bed and cocked his head and observed Aksinya for a long moment.
Aksinya turned her face away, “Please, Inquisitor Esposito, I feel very uncomfortable under your scrutiny.”
He smiled and sat in the chair Frau Becker had left. “Sorry,” he didn’t sound sorry, “I just wanted to take a careful look at you.”
“I’ve never seen a sorceress like you.”
Frau Becker snorted, “Have you ever seen a sorceress at all?”
He glanced annoyed at Frau Becker, “Actually, no. Might I have a private discussion with the Fraulein?”
Frau Becker brought a chair from the small table and put it on the other side of the bed, “Actually, no. Frau Mauer and I will chaperone the Fraulein while you are here.”
Aksinya smiled, “Thank you very much, Frau Becker.”
The expression of the priest’s face didn’t change, “Very well, but if she must confess, you will have to move far enough away not to hear.”
Inquisitor Esposito took out his briefcase and pulled out some papers and a fountain pen, “Now Fraulein Golitsyna, you must realize the charges of the Church against you are very serious.”
“That I am guilty of sorcery, I confess.”
“You confess it?”
“Yes, I freely confess this. I already confessed sorcery along with all my acts against God to my Orthodox priest, Father Dobrushin.” Aksinya rushed ahead, “I would like to speak to Father Dobrushin.”
“That is not possible.”
“He is Orthodox and not permitted at your trial.”
“I am Orthodox—does the same rule apply to me?”
The inquisitor ignored her, “There are other charges.”So, we set the scene. You know the where and the when. The whos are defined except the new character. We have met him before, but I use a technique to remind you of that description. Therefore, he is the stocky priest. I give you an abbreviated description based on his previous description. This places him firmly in the scene and we can move forward from there. The conversation like most of the scenes in my novels drives the scene.
Notice, the inquisitor has never seen a sorceress before. He has to stare at Aksinya. This is an advanced writing technique that shows you this little fact. The conversation lets you know this information. The actions by the inquisitor are embarrassing to Aksinya and to the ladies in the room. His actions would never be allowed a cultured man in the society. They are allowed only because Aksinya isn't being treated like a person, but we knew that. You don't put young noblewomen in cold cells (or try them for sorcery).
Frau Becker is culturally aware--she will not let the priest act in a way that is not honorable. She will not allow him to be alone with Aksinya. Though the inquisitor thinks nothing of breaking cultural norms because Aksinya is a sorceress. He shows that he thinks she is already guilty as charged.
The inquisitor brings out his papers. This was one of his characteristics in the original description--the briefcase. Aksinya surprises the inquisitor by freely confessing to sorcery. She recounts that she has already confessed in the Orthodox Church, and she asks to speak to her confessor. The little play between Aksinya and the priest are meant to show how intelligent she is and to press the point of the authority of the Catholic Church to try her. It doesn't work, but it was worth a try. The inquisitor points out that there are other charges against Aksinya. We will learn those tomorrow.