Yes, I can see that you’ve got a splitting headache. That’s what happens when you sneak out at night to go clubbing. What was it booze? Or, God help me, drugs?
What? Speak up. Stop mumbling. Booze! You’d better not be lying to me. It’s bad enough that you broke my house rules without you breaking the law as well.
When I said you could come back and live with your mother and me I made it absolutely clear that there would be rules. Yes? I am not telling you anything you don’t already know.
Oh for pity’s sake stop shaking your head. I told you to enrol in college and study hard. Yes? And what else did I say?
Well, what else did I say.
Stop mumbling. I said there would be a curfew. Every night. Never later than 11.30. I don’t care if you are nearly twenty, you’ve shown you cannot act responsibly. So there have to be boundaries. It’s straightforward. It’s not rocket science.
So, you knew about the curfew. Yes? But you stayed out late anyway. And got drunk. Or high! Or whatever you kids call it these days. You came rolling home at half-past-two this morning. Your mother was sick to death with worry. I had to stop her ringing round the hospitals.
Then you chucked up all over the garden path. And don’t expect me or your mother to clean that up. You’ll do it right after I’ve finished with you.
Yes! Don’t look so surprised. Don’t think you’re getting away with this. I will not have it. You deliberately broke my rules. In my house. I should throw you out. You can go back and live in that squalid squat; or sleep on the streets.
No? You don’t want that. I didn’t think so. No, I’m not going to throw you out. Not this time. You have your mother to than for that. If I had my way …
But you have to be punished. Don’t scowl at me like that. Of course, you must be punished. What choice do I have? Be quiet! You knew damn well I wouldn’t let you get away with this. You can’t behave like an adult. If you insist on behaving like a little kid that’s how I’ll treat you.
Yes. I’ve still got that paddle. I never thought I’d have to use it again, but I never got rid of it. It’s still hanging on that hook in the cupboard under the stairs. Go get it.
I said go get it! Don’t make me have to fetch it myself. Do you want extra swats?
No I didn’t think so. Fetch it and take it into the living room.
The ‘living room’ was at the back of the house overlooking a sizeable garden and well away from the prying eyes of neighbours. Dad need not feel inhibited here. Mark could holler as much as he wanted it would do him no good. Dad was going to take the brat’s backside off; it would do the boy good. He needed to be led back to the straight-and-narrow path.
Mark slouched into the room and timidly handed his dad the paddle. It was ancient and worn. It had been in the family for generations. Dad’s own grandfather had made it himself. It was a simple blade attached to a handle. The business end was maybe twelve inches by three and a quarter inch thick. Someone had drilled holes in it so it could fly through the air at greater speed and leave an added impact on any upturned bottom.
Dad took the paddle and examined it carefully. There was no need for this, he had seen it (and used it) many times before. He knew what damage it could do. Mark’s shoulders drooped and he stared at the floor beneath his feet. His head throbbed like crazy and he felt sick and it wasn’t only last night’s booze that caused it.
Dad gripped the paddle by the handle and slapped the blade into his open left palm. Then, he gently tapped it against his own thigh. “I think you know how this is done,” he said sternly, watching Mark’s eyelids flicker with apprehension. Indeed, he knew only too well. He and both his elder brothers had felt the sting of the paddle many times while growing up. Neither of them (as far as Mark knew) had been spanked when they were nineteen years old.
“Right then, let’s have those jeans down,” for no useful reason Dad pointed at Mark’s jeans and wiggled his finger up and down. Mark got the message. His mouth opened to speak but Mark shut it back quickly. There was no point protesting. Dad was in charge. It was his way or the highway and Mark definitely did not want to go back on the streets.
“Come on,” Dad growled. “Let’s get this done before your mother comes back from shopping.” He waved the paddle through the air and in Mark’s direction. Colour drained from the boy’s face, he swallowed down a nugget of bile in his throat. Slowly he unbuttoned the top of his jeans and pulled the zipper. They were ‘skinny’ jeans and clung to the contours of his body like a second skin. They were not easy to remove. He got them down to his knees and then realised he was wearing sneakers. Dad saw this too. “Just down to the shins. No need to take them right off.”
Mark straightened himself up but could not look at Dad. What next? Would he have to take down his tight bright-blue cotton briefs. In the past Dad always spanked him on the briefs; but in the past he hadn’t been nineteen.
“Put yourself across the table,” Dad pointed the paddle at a small dining table. Mark swivelled his head to look at it but made no effort to move. “Now!” Dad blasted. “You are sorely trying my patience. Quick. Bend over. Flat across the table.”
It was as if Mark had only just woken up. He shook his head vigorously as if you clear it of sleep. He turned away from Dad and with his jeans restricting his walking he shuffled to the table. Once there he didn’t hesitate but leaned forward and rested his stomach on the cool table top. It was a small table and there was hardly any room for his arms, so he folded them and rested his chin on top. “Lets apart. Stick your bottom out more,” Dad ordered and he stared intently at his son until he was in a satisfactory position.
Mark wore a black t-shirt and it wasn’t very long, but even so Dad took hold of the hem and pushed it up Mark’s back so it was well clear of the underpants. Mark’s bottom, like the rest of his body, was thin and without an ounce of spare fat. If he had wanted to, Dad could have held an entire cheek in one hand. He didn’t do this; what he did do was to take hold of the elasticated waistband and tug hard so that the briefs dug up into Mark’s crack and so the cotton was smooth against the skin with no creases.
Dad was ready. Mark had a close up view of the wooden table. He shut his eyes tightly and tried to pretend that this was not happening. The heavy tap of the paddle against the centre of his right cheek brought him back to reality. Dad was taking aim. Suddenly Mark felt the paddle lift away from his backside and a second later it returned at high velocity and swatted him with tremendous force. He heard the CRACK! as wood connected with flesh. The noise resounded around the room. Only then did he feel the pain. It was like Dad had pressed his mother’s iron into him. Mark’s body jerked and his knees buckled. He had no control over this. It was just a natural reaction to the agony he felt.
Dad tapped the blade on the left cheek and WHOOP! Brought it down hard. It was like he was beating dust from a rug. Both cheeks burned like the fires of Hell. Mark’s head bounced up and down, but he kept his arms tightly folded but this time one foot crossed over the other as he struggled to stay in position, submissively face-down across the table with his bottom jutting out so that Dad continued to have a perfect aim.
Dad put the next swats lower. The underpants were so small and tight they didn’t cover the whole of Mark’s cheeks. That meant the paddle struck him on bare flesh where the bum meets the legs. That hurt! That really hurt! Dad saw the outline of the paddle embossed across the backs of his son’s thighs. It shone bright-pink. Dad allowed himself a moment of self-congratulation before walloping down another couple of swats; this time higher across the top of the mounds. He had now covered every part of Mark’s pert, hard bottom.
Dad was no monster. He didn’t believe in torture. He knew his son’s bum was blazing. But, he also knew the boy was a serial offender. This wasn’t the first time he had submitted his bottom for discipline. If Dad didn’t lay it on thick there was every chance it wouldn’t be the last time either. So, Dad went right round the circuit one more time. Across the top of the bum near where it meets the back, then over the mounds themselves and then into the undercurves. He was rewarded by a series of quiet yaps from Mark that soon developed into cries, and yelps and them Oh Glory! Into a full-throated yell. Dad was pleased they were far enough away from nosey neighbours. He didn’t want social workers coming round to investigate.
“Right,” Dad said as calmly as he could, even though the effort he was making with the paddle had made him short of breath, “I hope you are learning your lesson. My house. My rules.” He didn’t expect Mark to reply so he whacked another four swats across the behind (two per cheek) and then said, “Right. Stand up. Get dressed.”
Mark did not need telling twice. He sprung to his feet so quickly he nearly tumbled to the carpet. The jeans tightly wrapped around his shins made it difficult to move. He tried to bend down to pull them up and nearly over-balanced. So, even though it hurt his red-raw bum to do it, he sat on a hard wooden chair so that he could tug the jeans up as far as his knees, then he stood up and pulled them over his blistered bottom and zipped himself up.
His eyes were watering but he wasn’t crying. His head ached even more than his buttocks and his stomach churned. If he didn’t get away quickly there was a real chance he would chuck up all over the floor. Dad was a man of few words at a time like this. He had done his duty. His son had misbehaved, he had been called out over it and he had been punished. What more was there to say?
“Here,”” he handed Mark the paddle. “Put this back where you found it.” He watched his son shuffle from the room. As he did so the front door opened. “Ha!” Dad thought, “She’s back from shopping. Good. I could murder a nice cup of tea.”
Picture credit: Unknown
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