Short-listed in the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner-William Wisdom Contest
Supported by Vermont Studio Center Residency and Grant
Supported by Wildacres Arts & Humanities Center Residency
Priya Conlin-Kumar, conceived when her mother was gang-raped in India, became an FBI agent in order to stop violent criminals. Despite the fact that her name means “beloved,” she has always thought her very existence reminds her parents of her mother’s ordeal.
While tracking a serial rapist who murders to avoid capture and a separate serial killer working the same city, Priya experiences visions from The Ramayana. The ancient Hindu epic begins when the demon king Ravana kidnaps and rapes the wives and daughters of men and gods. As each new vision creeps more and more into the physical world, it seems that the demon has arrived in Wheeling.
When Priya falls in love with the county sheriff, they dabble in bondage. Each night opens her to pleasures she has always desired…and to the trust she has always craved. Soon their coupling mirrors that of Shiva and Shakti, the god and goddess who left marks on each other’s flesh and whose passion shook the earth.
Their loving activities stand in stark contrast to the sexualized violence they face during the investigation. Priya eventually takes on the same righteous anger Prince Ram needed to defeat Ravana. In doing so, she accesses the power of the dark goddess Kali. The justice she metes out satisfies both the laws of man and spiritual laws.
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