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.
Dobrushin and Aksinya married--this is part of the plan Dobrushin believes will rid Aksinya of the demon. For better or worse, they are bound together in this. We are not sure of the outcome. They have come to the room Dobrushin took in the hotel near the center of Wien...
Dobrushin pulled her to him and kissed her again.
Suddenly, a great roar filled the small room. A hot sulfurous wind rushed through the place. There was a dark flash then a scream like the sound of metal cutting metal, and across the room, beside the fireplace stood a large black shape.
Dobrushin clasped Aksinya closer, and she could feel him tremble.
The demon looked them both up and down and laughed, “Be very afraid." He sniffed, "What do we have here? I should have guessed as much. The contract called me because of this. I knew your lust would eventually be your undoing.”
Aksinya pushed back a little from Dobrushin, “There is no question of lust here. This is my husband, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin.”
“Your husband?” The demon cackled. “He is not your husband yet. Not until he beds you. Haven’t you heard what Solomon wrote about me? That I am always hatching plots against newlyweds; I mar the beauty of virgins and cause their hearts to grow cold. Plus, you are contracted to me. You can’t be the crown of any man while I hold your surety.”
Dobrushin’s voice was strangely calm though Aksinya could feel his hands shake as he held her, “Demon, the surety of the Princess Aksinya is being consumed. You must return hers and release her to me. I claim her in the name of the Lord God Almighty.”
Asmodeus spat, “That isn’t that guy’s name. I know that guy’s name. You must properly invoke it or your claims are void.”
“You lie, Asmodeus. I know God. The hearts of men cry out His name because he is just and merciful.”
Asmodeus took a step toward them, “You forget, puny man. I have been here before—many times. I killed Sarah’s seven betrothed one after the other so none were left.”
We knew this would happen--didn't we? The demon had to appear again. For there to be a resolution in this novel, the demon had to make another appearance. We also needed a second climax. The first climax brought the plot and theme of the entire novel to the tipping point for Aksinya's great change. This second minor climax brings a completion to another idea in the the novel--the demon himself.
It is proper that the demon appear while Aksinya and Dobrushin share a kiss. If you note, the description for his appearance is almost the same as when Aksinya first called him. I did this intentionally.
Dobrushin is afraid. I show you this--he trembles against Aksinya. Do you remember, Dobrushin was not certain of his belief--what do you think he feels now? I also used these words in the mouth of the demon before. Do you remember the words an Angel almost always speaks in the Apocrypha and the New Testament? An angel's greeting is, "Do not be afraid." Therefore, I make the demon's greeting, "Be very afraid."
The demon says the contract called him. He thinks it is Aksinya's lust that has brought him. There is an implied point here. Do you remember, the demon claimed to know her mind? This shows that he does not. In fact, Satan and his minions can't read minds--they aren't like God. Therefore, we see the bounds on the demon in his own confession.
Dobrushin is indeed not Aksinya's husband, yet--I told you for the marriage to be fulfilled, it must be consummated. This is what the demon is talking about and this is the truth of the ancient world--this is what marriage meant in Tobit. Then the demon gives us a quote from a mythic medieval book that was pseudographically attributed to Solomon. The demon's allusions are to the crown of marriage and his claims on brides.
Dobrushin shakes, but he boldly speaks to the demon. He claims Aksinya as his own. This claim goes back to the metaphor before. Dobrushin bought her at a great price. Aksinya is his pearl of great price. He gave his all for her. Dobrushin makes his claims in the name of the Lord God Almighty. The demon's comment is because that is not the true name of God. God's true name is YHWH and the pronunciation is lost. Asmodeus likely knows the true pronunciation, but there is no way Dobrushin could know it. The demon is baiting Dobrushin. Dobrushin's answer is right on--the name doesn't matter, the invocation does.
The demon threatens Dobrushin. Tomorrow, more of this confrontation.