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 on trial in Wien, Austria. The judge balks at Aksinya's claims about the demon. Still, the ecclesiastical trial prosecuted her on just this point, and she was found guilty. Aksinya is not in charge here, but she is making points, and they are points Father Dobrushin will take advantage of....
Father Dobrushin stood again, “Your Honor, it was established by an ecclesiastical court that Princess Aksinya was guilty of sorcery and of calling a demon. Any statement she should make concerning this issue has been established by a court acknowledged though not accepted by the state of
“Yes,” Judge Richter breathed, “Yes, I understand.” He glanced at the other judges to his right and left and pronounced, “I instruct the other judges to take this into consideration. Although unprecedented, this may be considered a fact in finding for this court.”
Father Dobrushin bowed, “Thank you, Your Honor.”
The judge let out a deeper sigh, “I also postulate that we will not be able to interview this creature who contracted the house and the goods.” He shook his head in anticipation of Aksinya’s answer.
Aksinya looked confused.
Judge Richter didn’t pause any longer, “Princess Aksinya, I would like to move to the second charge. Concerning the Lady Natalya, would you tell us what happened the night she was injured?”
Aksinya looked down, “It is very embarrassing for me. The Lady Natalya was my only and best friend.” She looked away in the distance, “Isn’t it enough to know that I took a fire iron and beat her with it. I beat her until she did not move. She didn’t fight back. She covered her head, and I beat her until blood soaked her dress.” Aksinya glanced around, “I’m sorry. That’s all there is.”
The judge opened his hands, “Surely there was a reason? Why did you beat the Lady Natalya?”
Aksinya glanced up suddenly, “I will not say.”
Judge Richter stared at her for a moment, “Very well. Those are the questions from the bench. Prosecutor Trauen, do you have any questions you wish to ask the Princess?”
The prosecutor stood, “No, Your Honor.”Aksinya is being questioned by the presiding judge in her trial. He is establishing the basis for the charges and Aksinya's witness. The first point made was the charge of fraud. Father Dobrushin gets a very good point in Aksinya's favor--the existence of the demon is acknowledged by the court. They may not believe, but it is a finding of the court.
The judge makes the statement, it is somewhat in humor, that the will not be able to interview the demon. We will see that his opinion changes later. The judge's position is what makes Aksinya confused. She knows the demon exists and she can't recognize that others might not also know he exists.
The judge moves to the second charge--that of assault against the Lady Natalya. Listen to Aksinya's testimony. Aksinya tells the truth without any frills: “Isn’t it enough to know that I took a fire iron and beat her with it. I beat her until she did not move. She didn’t fight back. She covered her head, and I beat her until blood soaked her dress.”
The judge is no fool. The obvious question is why Aksinya beat the Lady Natalya. The judge may already know the answer from the press, but he doesn't let that out. The prosecutor doesn't have any questions. What else could he ask--Aksinya has basically incriminated herself already. She has stated she is guilty. Tomorrow, Father Dobrushin asks his questions.