Lolita in the Lion’s Den - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Lolita in the Lion’s Den

The Baltimore Post-Examiner is proud to present an excerpt from Justin Forest’s first novel,  Loilita in the Lion’s Den.

Forest, who has five college degrees, including a MLSt in taboo studies and a PhD in literature and criticism worked as an English professor for more than a decade, Forest has edited various academic journals and published poetry and fiction. Previously, Forest compiled information for the United Nations on the anti-child sex trafficking movement and has since transitioned to a sexuality researcher and member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. He now teaches themes of girlhood and sexuality and also acts as a supporting member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Forest currently lives in the United States with his wife and children.

cvrBook Summary: 

A young man must overcome a horrific past in order to release his inner demons in Justin Forest’s shocking new novel, Lolita in the Lion’s Den or Pre-Tween Juxtaposition.

Glen has fought for years to escape a brutal home life, one in which he acts as his mother’s only friend and to accept that his father has been molesting his sister for over a decade.

But after dropping out of high school and spending years working aimless jobs, Glen finally turns a new chapter when he enters the thrill of college life.

But with that freedom comes disturbing sexual desires and inclinations. Having become increasingly reliant on his own fantasy world, Glen soon finds himself mired in the world of adult pornography and struggling with his attraction to both women and girls.

Haunted by the damage his father’s actions wrought on his family and other victims, Glen must come to terms with his admiration for the exact thing his father so actively destroyed.

More relevant than ever in today’s hypersexualized world, Lolita in the Lion’s Den or Pre-Tween Juxtaposition is an emotionally provocative read that gets to the heart of some of society’s most pressing issues.

Please purchase the book here

 Lolita in the Lion’s Den (Excerpt)

Two or three years later, I continued to defend the helpless room and the family German Shepherd—who was eight years old—from the running dishwasher. It made a screaming sound as if angry it was summoned to work. I was so carried away that I rolled over the Shepherd’s foot with my steel Tonka dump truck. This made me at eye-level with Shepherd, and the dog’s look was forever etched in my memory. The wolf’s brown eyes glared at me with pain and anger, and as small as I was, I was scared of him. I understood the dog’s message:

“I really want to kill you.”

But then something amazing happened: the dog decided to endure. I would be bit in the face by two Shepherds during my youth, but not this one.

Shortly after, I forgot all about the incident and went on to rescue the cows across the street from the mean bull, zapping him with webs from my wrists. After I finished rescuing the world, I went back in my bed and pretended to be a good little boy. As is often the case with children, Mommy never knew of my indiscretions.

Often, Dad’s return home would lead to hell, but for some reason I always looked forward to Dad coming home. I always hoped for a sign of love but usually my brother would get a dry kiss on the head and my sister would stand looking on from a corner; kisses were given out of parental obligation, not of love. Kerry, my sister, was tense and sad and always distant from him, but when she was younger, she was just a little Toddler in Tiara—showing off for Dad. My brother, Tom, would cringe when Dad kissed him, partly out of the child’s anger that Dad didn’t pay attention to him, and partly because he hated the father he wished to love.

That week, a day after I rolled over the Shepherd’s foot, my mother let the dog loose outside. It was western New York, where nothing ever happens except inside people’s homes. Shepherd was intensely nasty to strangers and, like most German Shepherds, he had only one master.

He loved Mom because she loved him, and when she would leave for work that dog would sit in front of our glass doors and wait eight or nine hours for her to come home. That’s why Americans like dogs; they are the perfect slaves. Cats are hated, especially by men, because they don’t take shit. In a way, they represent liberated women. That’s why men want to hurt and kill them in the worst way. But that day, Shepherd decided to liberate himself from my oppressive father and from life. There were people walking down the road and Shepherd took after them in a nasty rage. But like a true obedient slave, he listened to my mom’s call and turned back around. The dog’s rage put my father into his own rage and he chose to slap that dog across the nose.

For eight years that animal put up with my father’s fits. He shivered as did all our dogs; he was hit and abused, but he took it. He took it for Mom. Even after his stroke, Shepherd still took it, but as we found out, the dog’s capacity for servitude would dry up. No more!

In one swift action, Shepherd knocked Father to the ground, chewed up his side and went in for the kill. With jaws snapping and spit spraying everywhere, he came within an inch of Dad’s throat, but suddenly he was held back. There was my one-hundred-pound mother holding Shepherd back by his tale. Till this day, I wished my mom would have let go. That would be good, pure, ethical and moral justice.

But she did not.

All I heard was what sounded like a large vacuum sucking up water, and my mom screaming, “Shepherd! Shepherd! No! Stop it! My dad came in whimpering. “That bastard!”

Dad had bloody teeth marks in his side and a mark on his throat. I remember thinking, “Why isn’t he bleeding more?” But I was too afraid to say anything.

Shepherd did what any soldier who lost it just a moment ago would do: he tried to carry on like normal. He sat on the lawn and chewed on his favorite Folgers coffee can.

There is only one thing to do with a dog that attacked someone, and that is to kill him. Mom took us kids, all sobbing, and our two other dogs into our bedroom, stacked the chests up against the window to protect us from ricocheting bullets, and told us to cover our ears. Dad took his fourteen-gage shotgun, pointed it out the dining room window, and fired three shots. The gun only held two rounds. He needed to reload. We heard the first shot. “BOOM!”

The violent sound forced my eyes upon my trembling sister; her glistening tears answered back in a traumatic affirmative, forcing mine closed again. Then we heard the dog squeal like a hurt rabbit. My heart stopped and even now the squeal is always behind every thought and memory. Then two more shots came, the second, silence, a third, silence.

And then I felt the dead of peace that follows horror. We heard Father drop the gun. He began crying like a child. That’s the only time he ever cried like that. It was over and now the pain would begin, just like it feels the moment after serious impact. Despite my anger for him, that had to be the hardest thing my dad ever had to do. Shepherd used to follow him around when he cut the grass, rolling around his favorite pet rock, just like a small child.

While my parents were at the hospital, we went out and looked at Shepherd. There he lay, peaceful but spread out, as if running desperately to heaven with his can next to his paws. I didn’t see any blood.

No child that age can process death or tragedy, not well anyway, but I know now that it traumatized me. I could save him from the dishwasher but not from Dad. I guess I was slightly “out of whack.” I could always play the hero but only watch those I loved disintegrate in front of me.

Within a twenty-four hour period, the dog had two choices, and he took the right one: to stand up against tyranny even though it cost him his life.


About the author

Justin Forest

Justin Forest has five college degrees, including a MLSt in taboo studies and a PhD in literature and criticism. While working as an English professor for over a decade, Forest has edited various academic journals and published poetry and fiction. He now teaches themes of girlhood and sexuality and also acts as a supporting member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. His first novel Lolita in the Lion's Den is a riveting coming of age tale about a young man who must overcome a horrific past in order to release his inner demons. For more information, visit: www.lolitalion.com Contact the author.
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