Gerry opened his eyes wearily. His head pounded and his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth. His shoulder ached from sleeping on the floor all night.
Across the living room, blinking back at him was a boy about his own age.
“Who are you?”
The boy rose to a sitting position, “Who are you?”
Gerry gaped at the boy, dressed in snug-fitting blue jeans and an ordinary white shirt open to the navel. It was the kind you would wear for school or the office. Gerry wanted to slip his hand inside the shirt and caress his hairless chest.
The boy beamed, “Great party!”
“Yeah, great party.”
Gerry’s head throbbed as he hauled himself to a sitting position. He could not stop staring at the stranger. The boy’s dark brown eyes lit up the room. Absurdly, the song “Brown-eyed Handsome Man” played in his head. It was in the hit parade and they had danced to the record a lot last night.
“I’m Pauley,” the boy grinned.
“Hi, Gerry!” the boy coyly waved at him across the room.
Gerry flushed and giggled, “Hi, Pauley!” he waved back.
They lapsed into silence.
Then, “Gee! Look at this mess.” Gerry spread his arm to emphasise the point, as if it was not patently obvious that a party had gotten out of hand.
“Yes, Sir!” Pauley grinned. Gerry loved the way the boy’s white teeth shone, the sparkle contrasting with his the deep suntanned face.
“Yes, Sir! That is one heck of a mess.”
Gerry’s face flushed again. His embarrassment was obvious.
“My parents are due at six; we’ve got to clear this mess up.”
Pauley flashed that smile. “What will happen if they find out?”
Gerry did not speak, but shot Pauley a look that said, “You know darn well what will happen if my parents find out!”
And, Pauley did. He knew what his own dad would do if it had been his party. A worn heavy razor strop was kept in the kitchen drawer for just such contingencies. Pauley would have his nose in the kitchen table, his jeans and shorts at his knees, while his dad lashed sunset stripes across his naked buttocks.
“Cheer up! I’ll help you clean up.”
Gerry had a cracking hangover and could barely move himself, but Pauley was full of energy. Soon empty beer bottles and cigarette ends were in the trash can. Gerry stood in admiration while Pauley waltzed around the rooms with a vacuum cleaner. Did he imagine it or was Pauley wriggling his slender hips and pert buttocks provocatively? His blue jeans clung to the contours of his body.
“Nearly finished,” Pauley cooed, “Just the hallway to do now.”
With that he disappeared from Gerry’s view.
“Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.” Pauley in the hallway was a little over-dramatic.
“What is it?”
Gerry’s head was crashing; he was in no mood for this.
“Yes. A problem don’t you think.”
The game was up now. Gerry would be found out and he was going to get one fine whipping.
There was a scratch about an inch long in the hallway table. It was no ordinary table, but a family heirloom, that had been handed down from Gerry’s grandmother after she passed on a few months previously.
Pauley ran his finger along the line in the dark shiny wood. “It’s not very deep. Maybe you can get it fixed.”
“Get it fixed!” Gerry was in despair and losing his temper. “How can I get it fixed? Who can fix it?”
Gerry’s eyes moistened and Pauley thought his new-found friend was about to break down sobbing.
“I know!” Pauley’s face lit up and he clicked his fingers in an exaggerated fashion. “Yellow Pages!” he grinned, his white teeth once again shining.
“Yellow Pages?” Gerry did not understand.
“Yes, Yellow Pages,” it seemed that Pauley was always smiling, “Let your fingers do the walking,” he sang the jingle from the commercial that constantly aired on radio.
“We have a copy in the other room.”
Gerry watched Pauley’s buttocks disappear into the kitchen. The boy emerged moments later with the big yellow phone book in his hands. He was already turning through the pages.
“Here. Furniture restorers.” He ran his finger down the page. “There are quite a lot, actually.”
He handed the directory over. “Here call one of these. You should be OK.”
While Gerry made his calls, Pauley disappeared into the bathroom. By the time he emerged, Gerry had arranged for a Mr Fisher to attend urgently. Gerry’s hide might yet be saved.
“Good luck then,” Pauley opened the front door, but paused before leaving. For what felt to Gerry like an hour, but was only a few seconds, the pair stood not quite looking at each other.
Once again, Gerry coloured-up unable to hide his embarrassment. Who was this new friend? He knew nothing about him, not where he lived or how he came to be at the party. Did one of his friends bring him?
He wanted to rip the boy’s shirt off right now. But, then what? Gerry had no idea, but he knew he would regret it forever if he did not make a move. He should at least arrange another meeting. They could go to a ball game or something.
Pauley beamed, “See you then!” but his grin faded a little when he saw a flicker of regret in Gerry’s eyes.
“I’m Katie’s brother,” Pauley winked and sashayed his tight ass out the door.
Katie’s brother? Katie Albright from school! Gerry skipped to his room and unzipping his jeans he lay on his bed. There were twenty minutes before Mr Fisher was due to call, plenty of time to dream of Pauley and Gerry.
He was brought back to real life by the insistent ringing of the doorbell. Gerry had never met a furniture restorer before, but he imagined they probably all looked like Mr Fisher. He was aged somewhere between thirty-five and fifty and wore faded brown corduroy pants and a buttoned up beige cardigan. He had a florid face from being in the sun, but the skin had not tanned. A pair of round glasses gave his fleshy face the appearance of an owl.
He carried a black leather bag, rather like the ones family doctors were seen with in the movies.
“Good afternoon, I am Mr Fisher,” he spoke in soft tones.
“Thank you for coming sat such short notice,” Gerry hoped he did not sound as desperate as he felt.
“Here is the table, can you fix it?”
It took no more than a five-second appraisal. “Yes, of course I can.” Mr Fisher was a little irritated by this youth, who doubted his expertise.
“Thank you, thank you so much.”
Gerry’s tone intrigued Mr Fisher. The youth was far too anxious about a little scratch on a table. There was something he had not been told.
“So,” Mr Fisher said, as he opened and delved into his bag, “How did this happen?”
Gerry blustered, he did not want to tell. It was none of this stranger’s business.
“If you could hurry up please, I have to go out soon.” It was already past four in the afternoon. His parents would be calling him from the airport at about six for him to collect them; there was no time to lose.
Mr Fisher was not to be deterred. He was a professional and he had agreed to do this emergency job, even though it was his day off. He had a successful business and did not need the fee the work would bring. But, he had been intrigued by the youth’s call and his desperation.
Mr Fisher sized up the situation. “Are your parents here?”
Gerry blushed yet again. “Eh, no, they …” the sentence trailed off.
“Let me guess,” Mr Fisher was stern. “They are away and you had a party without permission and this valuable table was damaged by one of your houseguests.”
Mr Fisher had got it in one. Gerry remained silent. If Mr Fisher had been a cop the boy would be invoking the Fifth Amendment: say nothing and do not incriminate yourself.
“Yes, I thought so,” Mr Fisher sounded like Gerry’s father. Gerry knew he would get a stern lecturer from dad if he found out about the party. Then the lecture would be followed by a damn good hiding.
“What would your father do if he found out about this?” Mr Fisher was sure he already knew the answer.
“You heard me young man. What would your father do?”
Gerry’s heart raced. There was no way he was going to tell Mr Fisher the truth.
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t know! Then why have you called me in at such short notice?”
Gerry stared down at the polished floor tiles. He did not like the way this conversation was going.
Mr Fisher was determined to get an answer. “What would your father do?”
“He would be very angry,” Gerry mumbled, his eyes still cast downwards.
“What would he do!” Mr Fisher’s anger was apparent.
Gerry croaked, “I don’t know.”
“Yes you do, young man,” Mr Fisher’s tone of voice alarmed Gerry. The furniture restorer was not going to let up on this and he was not about to give him an answer.
Mr Fisher broke the silence. “What you need is a damn good spanking and I am sure that is what your father will give you when he finds out.”
When he finds out, was Mr Fisher going to tell him?
“But ..” Gerry started, but did not know what to say.
“Do I have this right? Your parents are away on a trip and they left you at home alone. They told you to behave and that you must look after the house and that there must be no parties while they are gone. You disobeyed your parents and last night you had a party at which alcohol was drunk and cigarettes smoked. This morning you discovered this table had been scratched and now desperate to keep the party secret from your parents, you want me to repair it and to cover up your disobedience.”
Gerry stared at the floor.
Mr Fisher concluded, “Is that correct?”
“Yes,” Gerry, head bowed, mumbled into his chest.
“Yes, that is correct.”
“Yes Sir!” Mr Fisher barked.
“Sorry, Yes, Sir,” Gerry was scared. Mr Fisher had been correct in every particular. His father had been very strict: no parties. Gerry had clearly and deliberately disobeyed him.
“What are you going to do?” Gerry asked mournfully, and then hurriedly added, ‘sir.”
“What do you wish me to do?”
Gerry had not expected this. “Please don’t tell my parents.”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
Gerry had no answer for this, but he tried. “They will be very disappointed in me.”
“That’s no answer. They should be disappointed in you, you have abused their trust.”
“I’m sorry,” Gerry was miserable. There was no way to escape a whacking, now. It had been a great party and he would be popular at school for a while because of it. He did not feel guilty about disobeying his parents; he did it all the time, but rarely got found out. Now that he had been discovered he would have to suffer the consequences. It was the pain and humiliation of a spanking that worried him, not his guilt.
“Pah!” Mr Fisher exhaled. “Sorry. Yes, you should be sorry. You deserve a sound spanking, young man!”
“I’m nineteen; I’m too old to be spanked.”
“You are not too old. You do not become an adult until you are twenty-one. And if you so deliberately disobey your parents you should be spanked.”
Gerry had not expected to get away with it. His father had said much the same thing last month when the boy had been caught drinking beer with friends. One of them had a fake ID and they had bought a few six-packs. Gerry was soon across his dad’s knee for a bare-arsed paddling. His friends’ dads took similar action. They all got it; they lived in that kind of community.
Mr Fisher had a plan. “I shall spank you, but I will not tell your parents.”
Gerry had not expected this; his head still ached from drinking too much beer and he could not think quickly enough. So he said nothing.
“What does your father use when he spanks you?”
“He doesn’t spank me.”
“Come, come. Please don’t tell lies.”
Confused and unsure where this would all end, Gerry muttered something about “a paddle.”
“Where does he keep the paddle?”
“Come, come, you are lying to me. Where does he keep the paddle?”
“In there,” Gerry nodded towards the cupboard under the stairs.
“Please fetch it for me.”
Miserably, Gerry moved the few feet to the cupboard, opened the door and extracted the wood.
“Hand it to me please.” It was a typical paddle, the kind used in schools up and down the state. Mr Fisher held it in his right hand and read the inscription written on the blade: ‘Board of Education.’ Did anyone ever find that funny? he wondered to himself.
Gerry was no stranger to the paddle. His father believed in both discipline and punishment. If Gerry behaved and did as he was told, he would be fine. But, if he disobeyed the rules, or disrespected his parents or any other adult, the board would be fetched. Gerry knew what paddle pain was like and he did not relish having to suffer a dose from Mr Fisher.
He had no choice, he reckoned. Whatever happened he would get a hard spanking. If he let Mr Fisher take the paddle to his butt, that would be the end of it. If his father found out, not only would his buttocks be blistered, he would never be allowed to stay alone in the house again.
“Come let us go into the next room,” Mr Fisher spoke quietly as he caressed the paddle, almost reverentially.
Despondently, Gerry followed the furniture restorer into the lounge room. It was the first time Mr Fisher had been in the room but he quickly appraised the situation. It was a large space with a dining table and chairs, all of which would be good for the boy to lean across to offer up his butt for a whipping. But better, was the leather couch. It was the perfect height to take Gerry’s lithe body.
“There,” Mr Fisher pointed with his paddle to the dark brown couch. “Stand behind there.”
Gerry was resigned to his fate. He had to let matters take their course.
“Take down your jeans. You may keep your underwear on.”
It was a result of sorts. Gerry’s father would have insisted on a bare-assed spanking and this way Gerry was not forced to show his crack and hole to a stranger. Gerry’s jeans were so tight he had to wiggle to get them down. His butt went this way, then that, and back again. Slowly, inch by inch, the jeans descended to his knees.
Gerry took a deep breath, fell forward and curved himself across the back of the couch. Despite his many spankings, he had never been in this position before; his father preferred to take his son across his knees. Gerry felt the thin cotton of his briefs ride up a little and a cool breeze brushed against his naked thighs. He gripped the cushion of the couch as if his life depended on it.
Mr Fisher did not say a word until it was all over. Gerry heard him approach from behind and then felt his strong hand grip at the waistband of the underwear. He tugged and smoothed at the cotton until the briefs fitted Gerry’s butt like a second skin. Gerry’s ass was ready: ready for chastisement, but not necessarily for contrition.
Then, Mr Fisher took a pace back, raised the wood to above his shoulder and brought it smacking down across the centre of both cheeks.
It knocked all the wind out of the boy. He panted to catch his breath. The pain was incredible; Mr Fisher had whacked him ten times harder than his father ever had. Of course, Gerry who had always been spanked across the knee, did not yet appreciate how much more power could be put into a swat if the punisher was standing up, and whacking it in from some distance away.
Ten hard swats landed one after another, rhythmically. Swat! He felt the force of the blow reverberating through the flesh, sending waves of pain cascading through his buttocks. Crack! Both cheeks shook with the impact. Snap! He felt another stripe of pure agony appear, this one farther down than ever before.
Mr Fisher paid no heed to Gerry’s gasps as they turned to yelps and then yells, until finally as the last two swipes crashed into his cheeks, he screamed. Real tears streamed down the boy’s face and his body heaved, gasping for air. His throat, full of phlegm made him gag and he feared he might choke.
Each lick of the paddle seemed to set his entire buttocks aflame, pain pouring across the skin and coursing through each cheek. He stamped his feet up and down like a soldier on ceremonial sentry duty and his jeans fell and bunched at his feet. If he had not been wearing baseball boots, he would have kicked the denims across the room as he thrashed about.
“That’s over,” Mr Fisher was himself a little breathless with his exertions. “I shall leave you now and go and get on with my work.”
Gerry was still across the back of the couch, gasping for breath and shaking, like a goldfish that had been taken out of its bowl.
Slowly, painfully, he rose. His butt was so raw it felt like he had been forced to sit on a lighted coal fire. Gingerly, he rubbed at the seat of his briefs. Then, he tugged at the elasticated waist so he could observe the state of his flesh. Both buttocks were bright red and there were clear outlines of the paddle where it had sank into his flesh. Bruises were forming on the far edges of his globes. The pain, once agonizing, was subsiding now. Gerry knew from past experience that soon it would change from agony to become a warm glow. His buttocks would be tender to the touch for some considerable time and the bruises would probably last for many days; but the worst was now over.
Carefully, he pulled his jeans up. He regretted they were so fashionable and fitted tightly across the buttocks. He left the room and went into the hallway. Gerry passed Mr Fisher who was hard at work and did not say a word as the teen ascended the stairs to the bathroom to wipe his face and to change into looser fitting pants.
Fifteen minutes later, Mr Fisher’s work completed and his bill paid (it took most of Gerry’s savings from his job at the grocery store) the telephone rang.
“Hi mom, no everything’s fine here. No problems. Your plane’s in? OK, I’ll come and pick you up.”
Gerry put the phone down and went into the den to collect his dad’s car keys.
Then he saw it. How had he and Pauley not noticed it before? Darn! That was it; he was done for now. He would get the severest thrashing of his life, much worse than the one Mr Fisher had just delivered. His already tender bottom throbbed in anticipation of the whipping to come.
On the far wall, in its pride of place, was a formal portrait photograph of his recently-passed grandmother and some fool had drawn glasses, a moustache and Dr Spock ears on her face with an indelible marker pen.
Author’s note. This story was inspired by a Yellow Pages TV commercial.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second