I knew Charles was gay from the first letter. Complicated relationship with a parent who is hyper-masculine? I think a lot of queer people can relate. I was pleasantly surprised to be proven right and then horrifically gutted by the ending. Also, vagina dentata anyone? That was my first thought - I am glad to see that it was likely intentional.
The story-telling is incredible. The prose is heart-wrenching. The warden's monologue, at the end: "a mama's boy sticking his meat in the dirt, hoping it'll grow" and Mr. Keating's physical transformation into the monster the authorities and, presumably, his family believes him to be. Taking back his humanity from his captors. The letter to Sergei at the end. The life they created together, but was denied to them by a fearful and violent antagonist. I tear up thinking about it. I have not stopped crying over this visual novel for hours now.
As a queer person, this hurt a lot - like flushing out a septic wound. The body horror was quickly subsumed by the social horror playing out, and became its own metaphor for dehumanization. The pain is palpable and beautifully displayed. Thank you for sharing.