Of all my many foibles, the unconditional regard I had for Penelope Fenton was without doubt the worst. Oh, there were others - numerous little idiosyncrasies and peculiarities - but it was always the burgeoning interest in Pennie that would prove to be my greatest undoing. She introduced me to the best and worst of times, to the funniest, wildest encounters I can remember and at the same time, managed to fill every part of me with an overwhelming sense of dread. Ultimately, Pennie brought me to my knobbly knees, to the point where I was willing to surrender anything for just one more encounter with her. It was because of Pennie that I turned my back on my wife and children, lost touch with many of my good friends, got involved with the occult, fell out with members of the Greek Underworld and even volunteered one of my own fingers to be crushed by a sadistic stranger.
I first met her many years ago as an impressionable teen, but got to know her much better as a gullible adult when the two of us would go on to become practically inseparable. As our acquaintance grew, she demanded an unquestioning and absolute loyalty. I was told by others who knew her well, that if you were able to manage her incessant demands, she was capable of being a formidable ally. Unfortunately, I rarely saw this side. Instead, for me, she was always unyielding and unappeasable - a strict and merciless companion who insisted on complete obedience. Before I knew it, every choice I made and every action I took depended on her approval.
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