The Penitent by Charles Arnold
Kathy Ryan’s feelings of guilt began at an early age, when she used to masturbate in her uncle’s basement, only later to hear him whisper, “Shame, Katherine, shame.” As an adult, a lovely young wife with a promising future, she’s haunted by her guilt. Writing to a man who captures her imagination, she says: I can only guess why I am so powerfully drawn to you, why I am both excited and repelled by you, desiring you, yet very much afraid. I can only guess at why I feel this overwhelming compulsion to subjugate my will to yours…I know that such a desire is wrong…obscene…terrifying.
The men Kathy desires disgust her… crude, filthy, wretched creatures… men no woman would want and yet she does. Even when she tries to swear them off, she finds herself again and again, lowering herself and returning for more humiliation and brutality. Driving heedlessly toward her twisted sexual shame, she quickly finds herself under the control of the hideous Mr. Stein. Though this wicked man repulses her, she’s unable to extricate herself from his tight grasp. He knows her better than she knows herself, and at every turn, even when she most denies the pleasure she feels, he confronts her with the awful truth. From her marriage to Stein’s dumb, repugnant son, to the vulgar, swarthy Abul, to the powerful Japanese businessman, who will have her at any costs, her life is circumscribed by the despicable men she’s destined to love and crave. The author of Lisa, Her Initiation, again creates a scheming and treacherous world as he explores the most deviant aspects of the human species. Be warned, this very graphically told story may offend you! This is no romance. Its content includes humiliation, punishment, anal and oral sex, S&M, bondage, public sex acts, exhibitionism and an unusual scene with leeches.
Previously published in the UK.