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.
Father Dobrushin provides Aksinya with new clothing and dinner. He tells her he believes there may be a way to break her contract with the demon. Father Dobrushin is speaking...
“I believed in you because of who you are.” He paused a moment then stated, “I think I have determined a means to break your contract with the demon.”
A look of hope filled Aksinya’s face, “What should I do?”
“Do you remember the book of Tobit, from the Apocrypha?”
“This same demon pestered Sarah daughter of Raguel, and killed the seven men who had been affianced to her before they could consummate the marriage with her.”
Aksinya leaned her head in her upraised hands, “Tobit was helped by an angel, the angel Raphael. There is no angel to help me.”
“When Tobias, the son of Tobit, and Sarah were in their bridal chamber, Raphael was not present.”
“I remember, Tobias took parts of a fish and burned it on the incense. The smell caused the demon to stay away and it was bound by Raphael in
Upper Egypt—I think. But who would bind the demon for me?”
Father Dobrushin sipped his wine, “You forget the part that says they prayed together.”
“Tobias and Sarah prayed together.”
Aksinya laughed, “So we must find someone foolish enough to marry me and confront the demon. I am ugly and shaped like a boy. I have no money, family, position, or goods. No man would marry me. Plus, I don’t have a magic fish, and my father is dead. There is no one to find a husband for me.”
“Listen very closely to me, Princess Aksinya. I am willing to marry you.”
She swallowed, “Why…why would you do that?”
He smiled, “I am foolish enough to marry you to confront this demon.”
“In spite of my ugliness?”
“Your beauty lies within your soul, but Princess, I don’t believe you are ugly at all.”
“If I marry, I don’t intend it to be for less than life. Do you think you could put up with me for that long?”
I guess I should have reminded you again yesterday that this is a semi-allegory. There is a strong metaphor in Father Dobrushin clothing Aksinya and feeding her. It is a sign of repentance and of new life. The dress I describe is white--it might be good to remember this.
Even if you forgot about the semi-allegory I mentioned, Father Dobrushin reminds you today. Father Dobrushin give a fingernail sketch of the Book of Tobit. If you read it, all the better, but this knowledge is enough.
The information about he angel is a foreshadowing. The priest outlines everything necessary according to Tobit to be rid of the demon. The ultimate point is that in the Book of Tobit, Tobias was willing to marry Sara and helped her be rid of the demon. Therefore, Aksinya's question: “So we must find someone foolish enough to marry me and confront the demon." This is the point after all.
Father Dobrushin solves the problem by volunteering to marry her. Orthodox priests marry--this is why Father Makar was married to Ekaterina. I didn't lead you blind into this--if you have been watching Father Dobrushin carefully, he showed over and over again his interest in Aksinya. Aksinya can't believe it, but remember, Father Dobrushin defended her in court, he paid her debts, he heard her confession, he bought her clothing, he took her to dinner, and he is willing to be like Tobias for her.
Aksinya isn't against the idea exactly, but she wants to know that Father Dobrushin is really serious. In this age and knowing Aksinya's mind, any man who would love her and take care of her is right for her. There is more since this man was willing to defend her, pay her debts, and care for her. Tomorrow, the agreement.