Dai Griffiths pushed open the door of the pub. It was heaving inside. There was not even standing room. It was close to two in the afternoon; the match was about to start. He pushed his way through a group of young men dressed in Wales football strips. All around him there were dragon banners. On the huge television screens he saw two teams lining up ready for the national anthems. Soon the whole pub would erupt with the raucous sound of Land of My Fathers.
There was no way he was going to get to the bar. The Wales England Euro 2016 match had brought out most of the town. If Wales didn’t win they might be out of the competition. Dai stood on tiptoes searching for his pals from work. He couldn’t see them. They could be anywhere.
But he did see four lads near to the bar. They were dressed in white shirts and grey trousers. He recognised them at once. They weren’t from his work. One was his son Bramwell. Bramwell was eighteen; he had a bottle of Heineken lager in his hand. He should have been at school. All four should. It was obvious to anyone they were schoolboys. They must have ditched their school blazers and ties somewhere, Dai, thought with mounting anger.
They were skiving off school. Now, with their A-level exams on all week. Didn’t they have maths in the morning?
If he could have reached the boy he would have given him a right bollocking and sent him back to school. He didn’t care if half the pub heard. Some would probably jeer him. Skipping school wasn’t unheard of in the town.
A chorus of the Welsh National Anthem started up. Dai groaned, squeezed his way to the door and hurried across the road to The Hen. Maybe it wouldn’t be so crowded there.
Later, Dai Griffiths sat impatiently at home waiting for his son’s arrival. He was in a foul mood; Wales had lost 2-1 to a goal in stoppage time. The hated English had in all probability knocked Wales out of the tournament.
He was angry with his son. He was a scholarship boy at a prestigious school; he could go to university and have a proper career; unlike himself. He worked for the local council; always had. Always would. He demanded more from his only son. And, he would make sure he got it.
At last the front door opened. “Bramwell come in here!”
The eighteen-year-old paused; alarmed. He recognised that tone. He was in deep trouble with his dad. This would not end well. He sidled into the parlour and found Mr Griffiths pacing the room. His father peered at him; the teenager was back in his blue-and-black blazer and school tie. He looked very smart.
“Come here,” Mr Griffiths barked. The boy shuffled forward reluctantly. Even from a distance Mr Griffiths caught the whiff of peppermint on Bramwell’s breath. “Where have you been?”
The boy shuffled his feet, he could already feel his cheeks flushing. “Nowhere. Just out,” he mumbled. His heart thumped so loud he was certain his dad could hear it.
Mr Griffiths emitted a throaty noise. It sounded like he was choking. “Don’t lie to me …!” He glared at the boy in front of him. Already the lad was close to tears.
Bramwell hated his father. He despised everything about him. He hated that he was a manual worker, that he had probably never read a book in his life. He hated the way he was forced to live in terror of his father. He couldn’t wait to take his school exams and escape to university. He would never return to this shithole.
“I saw you at The Feathers. You were drinking beer. You should be at school. You have exams!”
Bramwell sucked in a great gulp of air. One day he hoped he would pluck up the courage to tell his father to go to hell. One day, perhaps, but not this day. He mumbled, “Sorry,” and stared down at the beige carpet.
“You know what must happen now,” Mr Griffiths reached for the buckle of his wide leather belt. Bramwell’s eyes blazed as he watched his father slowly pull the belt through the loops of his heavy trousers.
“But, I’m eighteen. I’m an adult. I’m too old for this.” Bramwell wanted to say it, but he knew it was pointless to argue. His dad ruled the roost. It was his house. His rules. His punishments. It was so unfair.
Mr Griffiths doubled up his belt. It was a fine specimen; a perfect tool to beat his son’s backside. It was heavy, thick, nearly two-inches wide and made from cowhide. It would teach the boy a lesson. “Take off your blazer. Put it on the table,” and in case there was any doubt, he waved the belt at the dining room table. Then he stood by an old worn settee.
Miserably, Bramwell slipped the blazer from his shoulders. He couldn’t stop his hands shaking as he laid it neatly on the table top.
“Come here,” his father stood feet slightly apart, tapping the thick black belt into the palm of his left hand. Bramwell slouched forward, he could smell the beer on his father’s breath. The boy stood for a moment, attempting defiance. He shot his father a look of contempt. How he hated the pathetic old man. How he despised himself for allowing his dad to spank him.
“You know the drill,” his father glowered. “Get on with it.”
Bramwell fumbled with the buckle of his own belt. He couldn’t get his fingers to work. They were numbed by his humiliation. “Do you want me to do it for you?” his father sneered.
At last the belt was undone. He undid the clasp at his waistband and then tugged at the zipper tab until the front of his trousers was wide open. Gravity took them down his thighs and they snagged at his knees. Bramwell shot his father a pitying look. The old man wrinkled his nose with contempt. There would be no pity that evening. Bramwell hooked his thumbs into the elasticated waistband of his Boxer shorts and with the merest flick sent them to meet his grey school trousers.
His buttocks were now bared. His cock and balls hung limply. He closed his eyes and counted to three in his head; then he leaned forward and slowly lowered himself over the settee. He was five-feet-ten tall and his body easily cleared the back. He pushed his arms out and gripped the far edge of the seat cushion. In this position his face stared down at the huge dandelion that dominated the cushion’s floral pattern.
Mr Griffiths swished his belt through empty air. He always did this before delivering the first whack, although it served no purpose. Then he lay the leather across the centre of his son’s buttocks, pulled his arm back and let fly. It was a perfect hit and he was rewarded with a thick red stipe across both cheeks. Bramwell sucked in air.
Lashes two and three fell in quick succession. Now there was a scarlet stripe about three inches wide across the teenager’s backside. It was tingling, but the pain was not too great. But, Bramwell knew from experience they had a long way to go before he would be released to his bedroom.
Mr Griffiths had delivered whack number twelve when the front door opened and closed. Bramwell’s fifteen-year-old sister Meredith had arrived home. Bramwell blanched. His already fast-beating heart quickened.
“Meredith, come in here!”
The girl obeyed without question. She stood at the threshold of the room. What she saw was her eighteen-year-old brother, bent over the back of the settee. His trousers and shorts were in a puddle at his feet and his naked bottom was glowing red hot. She blushed almost as scarlet as her brother’s backside.
Mr Griffiths turned to his daughter. “Wait there. I want you to see what will happen if I ever catch you skipping school.” Oblivious to the girl’s terror, he raised the belt once more and brought it crashing down with a resounding crack into Bramwell’s naked flesh.
The aching in the teenager’s bum was mounting. It had started as a tingle, turned to a throb and then became pounding pain. Not one square inch of his buttocks was untouched by the leather belt. Bramwell clung onto the seat cushion valiantly. He wouldn’t cry, he told himself. He wouldn’t give the bastard the satisfaction.
When you have been under the lash as often as Bramwell you develop a high pain threshold. A less experienced boy would be hollering and howling by now. It was true Bramwell’s buttocks quivered and squirmed and occasionally his hips wriggled. These were involuntary reflex actions. It was the body’s natural way of coping with the intense onslaught.
Satisfied that there was no part of his son’s buttocks left untoasted, Mr Griffiths sent the leather whacking across the back of Bramwell’s thighs. As any boy who has ever been spanked knows, that is the most sensitive part of the target area. Waves of agony shot up and down Bramwell’s legs. He stamped his feet. Then he wrapped his left foot around his right ankle. His knees buckled a little. His lips pursed to make a perfect “O” shape; but he did not cry out.
There was a pause. Bramwell’s breathing was shallow. Blood rushed throughout his body, he thought his ears would pop. Nearly over, he thought. Just one last onslaught.
His father adjusted the belt in his hand. Using the buckle end of the belt meant that not only did he have the weight of a leather strap to flog Bramwell’s cheeks, but a sturdy piece of metal, with a sharp point, would take the teenager’s arse off. After six strokes, small cuts ran across the crest of the boy’s mounds. The flesh looked a little like raw hamburger meat in places.
Mr Griffiths always stopped when blood was drawn.
“Up.” It was a terse command. Bramwell didn’t need telling twice. He rose from the settee at speed, bent down and tugged up his Boxers over his scorching arse. The touch of cotton on savaged skin sent another wave of pain across his bum. Undeterred, he bent again and dragged up his trousers. His hands shook violently as he zipped and fastened up.
“No more skipping school. Go to your room and revise for your exam,” his father growled.
Bramwell mumbled something. It could have been “Yes,” it could have been “No.”
“Go,” his father barked.
Not daring to look at his sister who rocked thunderstruck in the doorway, he pushed past her and took the stairs two at a time in his rush to reach his bedroom. He slammed the door behind him and dived onto the bed and pummeled his fists into the pillows. “I hate you, you bastard!” he yelled; confident that his father could not hear. “One day I’ll stick a fucking knife in you!”
Downstairs, his father replaced his belt around his trousers and reached into a cupboard and took out a bottle of Brains beer. He popped the top and took a long swig. How much trouble would he be in with his boss tomorrow for skiving off work to watch the match, he wondered?
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
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