By Niamh Boyce
The young wife couldn’t get enough of her husband. She sat on his lap when they had company. Tempted him constantly, in all manner of ways. She begged to have congress in forbidden positions—-to be taken from behind like a beast, to taste him in her mouth. It was all she dwelt on, whether buying fish in the market or confiding in her sisters. They were perturbed. ‘It will pass,’ they told her, ‘it will pass.’
The noises she made at night kept the whole house awake. Her husband had no such concerns; he loved his new wife. ‘She has a relentless appetite,’ his mother said. ‘What will happen when you’re not here to feed it?’
She must fast, he decided, they decided. She must learn to curb her want. The husband moved to a neighbouring house and waited for her lust to settle. His wife passed the evenings alone in her chamber, moaning for her husband. ‘Her fingers will shrivel to naught,’ complained her mother-in-law. It was an excess of fluidity, they thought, which blood-letting or fasting might relieve. All cures were tried, but none worked. The wife whinged and pined so much, her mother-in-law was driven to calling a priest. It was he who saw that the young wife’s eyes were too bright, her movements too urgent. He knew a case of possession when he saw one. The wife roared and writhed when they tied her to the bed. As expected, she showed unnatural strength.
By the time her husband returned, the demon lust had been exiled. Freed from its possession, his wife’s body could now be buried in holy ground with due ceremony. Her husband was grateful that her soul was spared damnation. And though he missed her terrible, especially at night—he felt ashamed to have fallen for a devil-filled woman.
His second wife was a practical girl who ran a good house. She closed her eyes and muttered while he moved on top of her. She seemed to be so deep in prayer at these times, that he wondered if she even knew that he was there.