Lingering Thoughts On ‘Let Us Pray’

I don’t normally like to indulge on what I write, hoping that people will take pleasure in drawing their own conclusions about certain things.

However. My most recent piece of scribble – Let Us Pray, in which a teenage girl undresses while saying her prayers – has haunted me, shall we say, because there’s a lot in there for me that was interesting to explore as a writer, but maybe as interesting to the reader.

For me, I’m drawn to edgier material. When a devoutly religious character practiced self-flagellation over their own straying thoughts in a piece of entertainment I read, I’m fascinated – because there’s a richness to what they’re feeling and thinking and conflicted about that I find makes for great drama. It’s serious – but it’s underscored with biting sexuality and I, as a religious person myself and as a Dominant man, am conflicted. Because I see this sacrilege, this inflicted pain used as both a form of pleasure and pain – and I am aroused by the image and enchanted by the character as an audience member and as a writer, it’s a meaty development to unpack.

So for my story, what I wanted to explore – for the reader – was this tug-of-War of feelings – a sense that hey, this might be sick, but there’s something erotic about it that is compelling.

Of course, there’s also the alternative – that I didn’t create a rewarding pay off. If that’s the case, I will take the blame – I write vignettes that come to me, hoping that someone – even one person – likes it. But not everything is gold. Which is where I welcome feedback!

But I wanted to explore that feeling of conflict within the reader but also within myself. I mean, it’s blasphemy – but there’s something sensual about it. There’s something darkly delicious about it that compels me.

Perhaps it’s my background, that I was raised to think even the mention of blasphemy in fiction is a massive insult and betrayal of my religion. Maybe that’s partly why I’m here now, scribbling down some sort of half asses analysis on a story I wrote on a whim. I’m not sure.

But the image was too interesting, as a writer, to not flesh out, ever the slightest, for any reader to come and take away to their own world for a heartbeat.

If I’ve failed in entertaining or conveying a sense of eroticism, well, I tried. But I did enjoy the daydream, however fleeting it was.