Demons get a bad rap. On the other hand, as embodiments of the sins we don’t want to admit to ourselves, they get more fun. When it comes to sex, as so often it does, we tend to think (and hope) that demons do it better. Or maybe badder, in current jargon. If “bad" boys (and girls) are alluring, demons are irresistible. Who could ask for anything more?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge captures the wild beauty of a demon’s appeal in his reputedly opium-fueled masterpiece, Kublai Khan, when he says,
“A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon lover!”
If I thought opium could make me write like that…
Well, never mind. In any case, we’re supposed to be writing about personal demons here, presumably destructive ones, but I’m having a hard time with that. I know my faults all too well, but at my age I’ve pretty much come to terms with them, even the one that drives me to want to be more demonic to compensate for being actually all too prosaic, and even boring. When I first started writing erotica and became rather close friends with another writer, I got a real charge when she declared that I must have inner demons driving my writing, and meant it as a compliment.
My prosaic side, though, wonders about the origins of the human concept of demons. Yes, they embody true evil, as well as the sins we secretly lust after, but do they also represent the terrifying and despised “other”? William Golding, who certainly knew something about humanity’s own demons when he wrote Lord of the Flies, also wrote a book called The Inheritors about the last of the Neanderthals encountering Cro-Magnon humans infiltrating their territory. By the end of the book the only Neanderthal survivor is a very young child taken up as sort of a pet by a Cro-Magnon chief’s pampered woman, and is referred to as a “demon”(or maybe a “devil”—it’s been along time since I read it) by others in the tribe. Golding made a point of portraying the “modern” humans as being actually more demonic and decadent than the Neanderthals, largely because of their kinky sex habits, but let’s not go there. The human tendency to demonize their enemies (literally), or anyone who disagrees with them (figuratively), is all too true even today.
My writing demons, though, still tend to think that demons get a bad rap, and rather admire the kind that are condemned by traditional religion. One of my favorites among my own stories is “Freeing the Demon” (in Kristina Wright's Dream Lover), involving a high-priced prostitute and the gargoyle outside her window who turns out to be a demon imprisoned in stone long ago. She fantasizes about him, at one point musing, "’Who trapped you? Someone higher up the chain of evil? Or a self-righteous moral bigot? I've known both kinds. There isn't much to choose.’ His pulsing glow seemed to quicken in agreement.” Eventually she seduces him into breaking temporarily free by masturbating in front of him, and he saves her from her evil pimp by devouring the bastard, and various other nasty guys.
Late at night the demon came to her, in vision deeper than dream. Jayne saw his true form, merely caricatured by the stone carving; a shape more man than beast, long-limbed, graceful, powerful, covered with a thick black fur whose silken touch made her shiver with delight. The curved horns rose naturally from his proud head, extending the line of the pointed ears. His slanting eyes curled into crescents when he smiled, a wicked grin that showed strong, gleaming fangs. She had to smile back.
He held out a hand, cruel talons retracted, and she grasped it with her own. She pressed against him, but after a moment he swung her gently around.
Only then did she become aware of the surroundings in her vision. Walls of smoothly fitted stones, candles smoking fitfully in sconces, hangings in deep colors with intricate designs not quite revealed by the dim light. An ambiance profoundly other, yet vaguely familiar, a scene from a history book, or fairy tale.
He drew her to a small arched window, and she looked through iron bars down into a torch-lit courtyard. She watched, unseen, as a red-robed figure passed by, thick fingers stroking a heavy golden cross; but when she looked for holiness in his face she read only a cruel sensuality she knew all too well.
The demon gripped the bars, bent them with slight effort, then pushed with increasing tension against an invisible field of force just beyond. When she reached through the bars she felt no barrier; it seemed to be devised for him alone.
Ancient magic or future science? She was distracted by the play of muscles across black-velvet shoulders, back, buttocks...no wings? But the wings were there, sweeping in and out of visibility as he strained against the unseen wall. They faded as he slumped back and turned toward her, face twisted in anger and despair.
The proud head bent, the tall form folded, knelt, until he crouched at her feet like a great dark knot of wood shaped by a master carver.
A wave of compassion swept her, and, in its wake, a resolve. If he asked for her help, it must be in her power to give. In the world she inhabited (however tenuously) they had already cut a strange and bloody swath together; she would willingly challenge whatever world held him captive.
She reached out to embrace him, pressing her breasts against his bowed head; the sheltering mantle of her moon-pale hair enveloped him. "Yes," she murmured, "yes," more certain of the answer than the question. A cool breeze stirred the curtain of hair. She saw brightening sky outside the window, and as she watched a shaft of hazy sunlight came through the window and crept toward them, until, with a convulsive lurch, her lover was gone from her arms and she was left empty, hollow, kneeling on her own floor in her own room in a cold pool of daylight.
Much sex follows, as the demon grows stronger from devouring the bad guys, until finally:
Great hands gripped her shoulders, pushed her back. Through streaming hair she watched him wrestle for control, a harsh moan grating in his throat, drops of blood welling where fangs clenched in his lower lip.
Then his eyes burned into hers, urging, demanding, sending a message she didn't understand. All she could do was what she did understand, sliding the satin gown up above her hips, moving over him, meeting his hardness with her own wild, wet need, sliding down over him slowly, slowly, until the fullness drove her to rise, and plunge, and rise.
He gripped her hips, stilled them, then grasped her shoulders. She was consumed by the need to move, but he pulled her until her damp hair brushed his face; then his tongue came out to lick at one of the drops of blood gleaming on his lip. She remembered that tongue on her own lip, her own blood...
Jayne lowered her head and ran her tongue along the line of drops, then closed her lips around his and sucked gently until her mouth was full of the metallic tang. She swallowed. A tingle spread through her body in a frothing tide, ebbing just as he began to move, at last, in the demanding rhythm she craved.
Then she knew only the driving ache of pleasure, the mounting of the great wave that must break at last into the maelstrom of release. But he held her there, riding the crest, farther and farther, until they spun at last completely out of the world she had known.
The blaze of sensation faded gradually into glowing embers. Jayne became aware of the beat of wings. Still they spun on, ever slower, until at last familiar stone walls enclosed them and all motion ceased. She buried her face in his velvet chest.
He stroked along her hair, and down her back. Her shoulder blades tingled. The sensation grew, swelled--and at last she understood, and felt her own power, and gloried in the unfurling of her own great white sheltering wings.
The red-robed priest might think to hold a demon captive, but he could never resist an angel of seduction, and ecstasy, and death.
That’s my kind of demon. Or maybe I should say instead that one of my faults, my inner demons, is a lamentable tendency to romanticize icons of evil. And another is to use excerpts from the same story for more than one post, but I checked back, and as far as I an tell the excerpts are different ones this time.