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. They came to the room Dobrushin took in the hotel near the center of Wien. The demon, Asmodeus, has appeared...
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.”
Aksinya yelled, “But you couldn’t murder Tobias.”
The demon snarled, “Do you think this man is like Tobias? Tobias had an angel to help him. This man is nothing. I will kill him as easily as you crush an insect under your foot. As easily as you beat the Lady Natalya. As easily as you tried to seduce, Ernst von Taaffe.”
Aksinya put out her hand, “I am forgiven those sins, and you may not murder my beloved, because he is innocent.”
Asmodeus howled, “No man is innocent. Especially one who is about to rob you of your virtue.”
“He is my husband. I gladly give him everything.”
“Your betrothed until he takes your virginity. But he can’t have you because you are betrothed to me.”
The demon took a sniff. He glanced around, “Your surety.” He stared at the heart-shaped necklace in the incense and his eye twitched. Already the flames licked around it. Already it blackened and glowed. Aksinya could detect a smell unlike the frankincense. It was a smell like fresh caviar, but sweeter. It was the sweetest scent Aksinya had ever known.
The demon threatens Dobrushin. We can only imagine what is going on in his mind--because I certainly won't tell you. Aksinya responds to the threat: “But you couldn’t murder Tobias.” The demon has a very good point, Dobrushin has no angel to help and protect him. Then the demon begins to taunt Aksinya. He brings up Natalya and Ernst. If the demon can't shake Aksinya, he will try to destroy Dobrushin's trust in her. That's why he reminded them of her sin.
This is when we begin an argument in logic between Aksinya and Asmodeus. Aksinya knows the rules that govern this demon--at least, she thinks she does. The argument is about innocence, virtue, and punishment. We know, or we believe we know the demon is bluffing. He told Aksinya he could not murder the innocent, but he perhaps can murder any person because no one is truly innocent.
Then comes the point, I made this before, Aksinya is bound to the demon. The surety binds her. The demon gives every indication that the destruction of the surety might have some effect. At this point, I use description to bring in your senses. The scent of the burning surety is sweet and yet like caviar.
Tomorrow, the response of the demon.