WILLIAM MALTESE … BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL: #1. THE DEMON UNDER MY BED

Article by WILLIAM MALTESE

Monthly Column : BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL

#1 THE DEMON UNDER MY BED

There’s a demon under my bed. He’s been there for a very long time. In fact, he’s been there as long as I can remember — possibly even before that.

Upon first suspecting he was there, I looked, confirmed, and told my mother. She didn’t believe me. She did, however, take a look, for herself, and assured me that there was nothing there but dust-bunnies that wouldn’t hurt me, although she would clear even those away, and she did, the very next day. She even checked my closet to provide me additional, but unasked for, assurance that there was no monster lurking there. When she left my room, she asked if I wanted the light left on. I said no. She asked if I wanted the door left ajar. I said no.

My mother thought I was afraid. I wasn’t. Don’t ask me why I wasn’t afraid, then. Don’t ask me why I’m not afraid, now. I really haven’t a rational clue. Certainly, he’s anything but benign in appearance. He has horns, reptilian eyes (red with green slits), pointy ears, a tri-forked tongue, a dual-horned chin, a horny knob on each shoulder, claws on his hands and feet, a tail, and an enormous erection, one and all covered in grayish-green scales. His erection, alone, certainly would seem threatening enough to scare the beJezus out of most young boys, let alone put the fear of God (or of the Devil) into most grown men.

I tried but once, with little success, when I was at the ripe old age of three, to record his likeness on paper; I still have the drawing.CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

He first appeared to me, out from under my bed, when I was ten. When he spoke, I plainly heard what he said, although his long tri-forked tongue continually flicked like that of a snake. He told me to get up, wake my parents, and tell them I smelled gas. I didn’t smell gas; neither did my mother or father. The gas-line leak was just outside my bedroom window, dispersed by breeze but still potentially dangerous, especially if ever subjected to a spark; or, so insisted the amazed service man who only found the problem by using sophisticated gas-detection equipment.

During one of the deep-dark nights, of many nights, I spent in the middle of Brazil’s Mato Grasso, where I’d gone with buddies to search for Inca treasure between our junior and senior years at university, I came suddenly awake to find my demon companion present. (Yes, he manages always to be under my bed, wherever my bed might be). He told me, this time, merely to go back to sleep; that there was nothing to worry about. Next morning, enormous jaguar pugmarks were found directly outside my tent.

He showed up in New York City, in the middle of the night, so close to me, on my hotel bed, that I could have reached out and touched him. (Though tempted, then, and later, I’ve never ventured any actual contact). He told me to get up, wake my companions (one of whom was deadly afraid of fire, because of an aunt who had horrendously died in one), tell them I smelled smoke (I didn’t), and take the stairs, not the elevator, to the lobby. The hotel fire alarm sounded, but only after we’d reached the ground floor.

At the end of my Army Advanced Personnel Management Training at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, he told me to oblige whomever the man would who sit down next to me in the base theater that evening by letting the man surreptitiously (the demon’s exact word), fondle me. I was only to figure out later that my compliance was possibly responsible for my being the only one of my class sent across country for shipment out to Korea (this was after the “Conflict”); everyone else got assignments in Europe. It’s a gross understatement to say I was ticked at the time (I wanted to go to Europe, not Asia), only later changing my mind.

At the Oakland Army Terminal, California, I was demon-instructed to recognize the first Master Sergeant I met in processing me and my records for overseas assignment and compliment him on how I’d enjoyed the course he taught me during my Advanced Individual Training at Fort Ord, California. I’d never seen the MSGT before, but he apparently believed and appreciated my bit of brown-nosing, in that, through his largesse (NCOs, I was soon to discover, entirely run the military establishment), I ended up as the lone PFC on a plane of otherwise commissioned and non-commissioned officers flown to Kimpo, Korea; my peers were all placed on slo-mo boats and, much the worse for wear, arrived a good month after I did.

When honorably discharged at Fort Lewis, Washington, I learned that most of my fellow enlistees, initially sent to Europe, had ended up dead in Viet Nam. That I’d originally been assigned to Asia (thank you surreptitiously groping man in that Fort Benjamin Harrison movie theater!), was what accounted for my next and last assignment not to have been in Nam but, rather, at a safe-and-sound Armed Forces Enlistment and Examination Station in Portland, Oregon.

Obviously, things happen for reasons. So what that, in my cases, reasons seem somehow linked to my conversations with a demon?

He’s never asked for my soul in exchange for favors. He’s never asked for anything. Will he, though, ask for something, somewhere up the line? Will I, or won’t I, know what to do if he ever does?

I only know that on those nights, when I awake suddenly to complete darkness, I take a strange consolation in the movement of the mattress beneath me whenever he presses up against it, or whenever I hear his low and raspy breathing.

I only know, too, that he’s provided the inspiration for at least five of my published novels.

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Art: Angle/Demon interpretations by Spanish artist Ismael Alvarez Vélez of c a B&W nude photograph of the author William Maltese as a young man (from author’s private collection)

Sex Magic – Great Rite

Being both a pagan and a writer of erotica, sex magic is something that I think about a fair bit. For an author wanting to combine erotica and paganism, or occultism, then it’s rather an obvious route to explore. There are a variety of forms sex magic can take, both in life and in fiction. I thought it would be fun to explore some of those, and offer suggested reading.

For those not familiar with the concept, The Great Rite as a practice is a modern wiccan ritual act. I’ve seen it done symbolically, with the priest placing his athame in the goblet of the priestess. I’ve heard of it done actually. The Great Rite is basically sex in ritual.

There is an idea that floats around on the ether, and I’ve no idea exactly how it grew. I believe it starts with a legend in which a King of Ireland has sex with a horse as part of a ritual to do with kingship, and that this is understood as symbolic as his wedding to the land. The idea is that kings of ancient pagan folk would have sex with a priestess, annually, to affirm the relationship between king and land. I know of no historical source for this – if you do, please post a comment. Modern witchraft includes the idea of ritual sex, (literal or symbolic) bringing together the energies of the god and the goddess. I’ve seen a fair few writers along the way take the modern (so far as I know) notion of Great Rite and imagine it as the practice of (usually) druids of old.

I’ve never performed the Great Rite, in a symbolic or an actual way. If you have experience and want to share, please do! The idea of trying to do it symbolically has never really spoken – in part because I’m not a duotheist, my world view doesn’t feature one god and one goddess combining to make everything happen. I believe in multiple deities. I have channelled, and had fleeting encounters with what felt to me like divinity. The idea of calling a goddess into me, in order to have sex with a partner who had called upon a god in the same way, is terrifying beyond words. (And therefore has an undeniable attraction). Deities are scary powerful, and sexual highs create openness and vulnerability. It seems like a recipe for insanity to me.

I can however, imagine sex in the context of private ritual, not summoning deity, but sharing the intimacy in a conscious way with the spirits of place, the land, the wind, the sky. Opening to each other, and to any other presences, offering love as a sacred act, affirming relationship, both personal and in a broader sense. Ritual lovemaking as a way of opening to the divine spark within, and seeing the magic inherent in the other. These days, I can’t really imagine sharing physical intimacy without it seeming inherently sacred and magic (but those are themes for other blog posts).

 One of my favourite stories exploring notions of Great Rite is Jeanette Stevens’ Closing the Circle – with a historical Celtic/Druid setting and some consideration of what can go wrong as well as what should go right, it’s a beautifully written tale, sexy, heartbreaking, and very believable.

Pagan Holiday for May 16, 2010

Good Goth, I love today’s holiday or would have  if we were still romping around in the adulterous gardens of our Ancestral Gods lol. While looking up today’s date on some software called Pagan Days, I noticed that it was the beginning of Goddess Month sacred to Greek Hera.

Now that’s not what gave me the temple giggles.

It’s what my glorious software said which led my mind to sarcastically wonder…

And I quote, “She is said to protect all women who have not slept with her husband Zeus.”

Well what woman/goddess in their right mind would? lol Was there a Goddess who vowed to protect ONLY the  women who yanked up the skirts, and hopped a ride on said hubby/god? lol KIDDING.

And no matter how free my tongue may wander, that juicy bit of sentence gives you an idea of what poor Hera suffered for pulling a Tammy Wynette and standing by her man.

And let me give you the 411 on the scandalous gods according to the Greeks way back in the ancient day. Hera and can’t-keep-it-in-his-pants-Zeus were known to fight so much, the Greek squad credited THEIR marital thrash downs for all storms swallowing up their skies. The worse the storm and damage, the worse Zeus mucked up. Hera having the power to call forth winds, rain, thunder, and any other stormy thing falling inline with all of that,  had one hell of a temper and who wouldn’t if their big daddy was runnin’ round bein’ the divine man whore of the local pantheons untouched or desirable maidens .

Hera, don’t you take no crap off your man. Rock on girl!

While Hera is finally getting her due, all of the blessed Goddesses of Egypt will be getting theirs. Today would have been a feast for all of them.

Funnyshit[1]

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C.H. SCARLETT

www.chscarlett.net

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