Strange Flesh by Kevin Breslin
And Erotic Thriller. Dr Ian Bell has everything he has ever wanted, a beautiful wife, tenure at Cambridge University, a fledgling career as a TV personality and the respect and esteem of his peers. He is defined by his conservative worldview and his deeply held religious beliefs.
His self-image is challenged irreparably on a holiday in Croatia when, after a chance encounter with an enigmatic couple, he is cuckolded by another man. The incident has such a profound an effect on him that when he returns to his middle-class suburban life, he has an overwhelming desire to repeat the experience.
With his wife Jackie, they set off on a voyage of sexual exploration, which empowers her and leads her to achieve greatness in her personal life. For Ian however, the humiliation triggers the long-forgotten pain of growing up in a working-class estate in Grimsby.
As the visceral sexual encounters intensify, the memories get stronger. There emerges a parallel with his experiences as a cuckold, and unresolved guilt and shame from his past. A terrible secret begins to resurface; first in nightmares but soon after as fragments of a forgotten memory.
The need to experience humiliation intensifies, the anger he has managed to keep hidden under a fa硤e of erudite intellectualism resurfaces and bit by bit, his world begins to crumble. It’s only when he finally loses everything that he can face the horrific reality of what he did all those years ago.
Includes: Female domination, male submission, cuckold, slutwife, hotwife, cuck, voyeur, threesome, shared wife, thriller, mystery, murder, secret
Once they had left, I cleared my inbox and shut the laptop down and packed my briefcase. As I locked the office door, the image of Sammy’s skirt lingered in my mind. I could feel my semi erection still rubbing off my leg. I checked my watch and noted I had some time to spare.
In the toilets at the end of the hall, I entered a cubicle beside the urinals, sat down and pulled my trousers around my ankles. The cold toilet seat lid tingled against my thighs. I pulled my phone out of my pocket with my right hand and scrolled down to the Facebook app.
Over the period of two months at the start of the academic year, I created a social media profile and online presence for a fabricated student called Alison Donaldson. I procured a cache of pictures of a very attractive young woman from a dating app from another country and fleshed out her profile with nothing more than some likes, comments and emojis. With just this flimsy pretence, I have managed to secure the friendship and engagement of hundreds of Cambridge students, including my own.
I constantly marvel at the naiveté of a generation raised on technology and made aware of its dangers since childhood. It seems awareness is no match for teenage angst and the fear of social exclusion which is hardwired into our DNA. One student particularly vulnerable to these pitfalls is Sammy Jones. She’s my guilty pleasure. A victimless crime.
I used to engage her as Alison but Sammy’s beauty masks a wider lack of imagination so I no longer bother. I now use her profile primarily to sift through her photos when I’m bored. She loves attention. She spent the week of Corfu 2018 in little more than a G-string. Ayia Napa 2019 was the same. It seems her need for validation from others extends beyond the confines of stuffy theology tutorials.
As I sat on the toilet and began to find a rhythm, it was something else that caught the eye; a ‘Schools Out’ themed night at the Ministry of Sound. I had used these pictures previously, so Sammy had nothing new to offer, even with her school shirt and tie with the tartan mini skirt.
My attention was drawn to a face in the background. I never noticed it before. A young man, no older than 20, staring at Sammy with an intensity that was striking. The other revellers around him laughed and gurned for the camera, but he was completely fixated. I was captivated by his eyes. The burning intensity, the animal lust. It was primal. What thoughts ran through his mind as the picture was taken? What unsatisfied urges so fired up his synapsis that it surprised me, a year after the moment passed?
And she had no idea. That’s what turned me on. She was inches away thoughts that would probably shock her. I know, I had those thoughts too. It was thrilling to me. To witness a whole subplot of intrigue in a seemingly innocuous nightclub photo. I filled in the details with my own imagination.
I managed several powerful strokes before shuddering and finishing into a tissue I had ready. As I wiped myself up the bathroom door opened, and two men entered. I instinctively jumped up onto the seat so my legs weren’t visible. I sat in an awkward squatting position on the lid, my trousers still down around my ankles.
“We can pick a bottle up on the way”
“I’ll meet you up there, I want to have a quick shower first”
I recognised the voices; Brian and Phil from the tutorial. My knees began to strain under my weight in the squatting position. Both hands rested precariously against the plywood partitions, the tissue squashed in my fist. I had no reason to hide but now that I had, I was committed to it. They were urinating inches away from me.
“Fuck man, whatever crime I committed in a past life to have that tutorial last thing on a Friday must have been fuckin’ brutal”, Brian said. Phil laughed. It stung. I felt a flush of rage wash over me. “And what’s his fuckin deal with Sammy? I mean, Jesus, right!”
They zipped up in silence. I leaned forward to hear Phil’s response. I held my breath, the blood pounded in my temples. Every muscle in my body tensed up. The silence was interrupted by the deafening sound of the dryer. It surprised me so much that my hand slipped. It was now resting on the cubicle door, held shut with nothing but a small plastic notch. The dryer stopped before I had a chance to reposition myself. Sweat formed on my brow, I was about to spill out onto the floor in front of them both.
“…Was considering making a complaint, about the way he letches over her in class.”
All the energy drained from my body. The pit of my stomach went ice cold.
“Nah man, tell her to keep wearing those miniskirts til summer. Get that first he’s so desperate to give her.”
They chuckled as they left the bathroom. When they had left, my left hand slid across the partition, the plastic latch gave way and I fell out onto the ground in an undignified heap cracking my phone on the ground. I stood up, lifted my trousers up and buttoned up. As I composed myself I was distracted by the sight in the mirror.
In much the same way as a word will begin to lose its meaning if repeated several times, so too did my face cease to be something I recognised as I stared at it. Eyebrows arched pleadingly, the soft cheekbones, the weak chin that disappears into the neck. The face has aged badly but underneath the weariness of time I saw the 12-year-old me looking back. The one with no defences, looking for validation. No matter how far one goes in life, it seems one can never quite escape their true self. One minute you think your fully in control, the next you realise you’ve simply added thickening layers of identification to hide the child inside.
I didn’t see Dir. Ian Bell, Professor of Theology and Ethics at Cambridge University, noted academic and writer. I saw ‘Bell-end’, the little boy dismissed by his peers with a withering nickname that stuck throughout school, the kid who never fully understood why he was so despised by others. Ian Bell. A forgettable name for a forgettable person. Forgotten as quickly as it’s said. A name for a ghost. Someone passing through the corridors of life undetected. Or acknowledged with a shrug. Inconsequential.
It wasn’t the fact that they noticed me noticing Sammy’s thigh that stung, it was the fact that I was dismissed so easily. A butt of a joke. Perhaps they saw the little boy looking back from the mirror too.
And just for a moment, it was as if my mask slipped. And everything I tried to cover and hide was visible. My blood ran cold at the thought. I felt dizzy, like I was floating backwards. I held onto the counter to ground myself.. I splashed some water on my face and ran out of the bathroom.