Scores for "The Mortification of the Flesh" have not been as high as I had hoped - when are they ever? - but I have received some enthusiastic emails.
"What a combination, religion and sex," one reader wrote. "I never expected to find one of your stories combining both. The names you chose I thought were quite amusing; Sister Lucretia and Miss Beaver. Plus the little nun with the eastern European accent was classic."
Thanks for that. I had a good time with the little nun. I was surprised at how easy the Sisters were to write dialog for: all the insulting, pseudo-spiritual rubbish they spewed out at us when I was young must still be lurking in my subconscious.
The most interesting reaction I have received so far is the following, which I reproduce here in full, without comment:
I don't know why I found this story so disturbing.
I actually fantasize about both Masters and
Mistresses doing stuff like that to me ... forced
nudity, spanking or strapping (often in front of
classmates, both girls and boys). But the ritual
in your story over-rode the thrill of humiliation
and took it beyond my thoughts of sex and
But I did 'jill off' to parts of the story,
imagining myself creeping naked down the school
hall, wondering if I'd be seen... and in picturing
that, I saw myself keeping my hands atop my head
so as not to cover up.