Roger Eastern’s wife Sally was in some distress. She had managed to stop the tears flowing, but nothing, it seemed, could calm her. “I’m just so frightened,” she wept, allowing a damp, crumpled tissue to fall on the cushion beside her. “I have this dream that our Wayne’s in hospital connected to all those wires With his head bashed in. And he’ll be a vegetable for the rest of his life.”
Wayne was their eighteen-year-old son and he was turning his parents’ life upside down.
Roger wriggled uncomfortably in his armchair. He wanted to comfort his wife, but he knew kind words would not heal her wounds. He had tried that and it didn’t work. Some kind of action was needed.
“It’s that skateboard,” she plucked another Kleenex from a box on the coffee table. “He’s out on it at all hours. Doing all kinds of tricks. Flying through the air. One day he’s going to have a terrible accident. I’ve told him. How many times have I told him?”
Roger nodded sagely. Yes, Sally had told Wayne. He, Roger, had told Wayne. But, Wayne refused to listen. He needed saving from himself.
The problem was – and it had been an argument in the house for a very long while – Wayne simply refused to take any safety precautions. Sensible skateboarders wore special crash helmets on their heads and pads on their knees and elbows so if they took a tumble they were not hurt. But not Wayne. No. He would wear only a shirt and shorts. Sally wondered how he managed not to scrape all the skin off his bones.
“I tell him he mustn’t go skateboarding without protection,” Sally sobbed. “He just ignores me. He disobeys me Roger.”
“Me too,” Roger thought, but didn’t care to admit it out loud. His teenage son was out of control.
“You’ve got to do something Roger,” Sally crumpled another tissue. Her tears had started again.
Damn, Roger thought, why was he the one who always had to do something? “Like what?” he asked petulantly.
“Well, like you used to do. In the old days,” Sally stood up and moved from the room into the kitchen. Roger called after her as she went, “Like what?”
She stopped and over her shoulder replied, “You know Roger. A spanking. Give him a damn good spanking.”
Roger frowned, “A spanking? Isn’t he too old to be spanked?”
“Isn’t he too old to be playing on skateboards?” and having decided that was the last word on the matter, Sally set about making tea.
Ten minutes later they sat together at the kitchen table. Both were calm now – a cup of tea has that effect in a crisis. “It would be for his own good, wouldn’t it?” Roger needed reassurance. A crooked smile cut across Sally’s face, “A sore bottom would be preferable to a bashed-in brain,” she said. Roger frowned at the inevitable, “I’ll speak to him when he comes home.”
Sally sneered, “Make sure you do more than just speak to him! I can’t take much more of this.”
Roger nodded, his wife was correct. Wayne needed to be pulled up. A short, sharp shock might knock some sense into him. It was for his own good. It was Roger’s job – no, his duty – as a father to sort this problem out. He was resolute. “Do you still have that hairbrush? Y’know the big one with the heavy wooden head? That one of your grandmother’s?”
“You know I do. It’s still on the top of the wardrobe, where you left it after the last time.”
That had been nearly three years ago. It hadn’t been the first time Roger had put the hairbrush across Wayne’s rear end, but now the boy was at college it should have been the last.
Without a further word Sally shuffled up the stairs to the bedroom. She returned to the kitchen just as the door opened. Wayne stood there, skateboard tucked under his arm. As usual, he ignored his parents and was about to run up the stairs when he noticed the heavy wooden brush in his mother’s hand. He startled, it brought back bad memories.
“You father wants to speak to you,” she intoned and when Wayne disregarded her, she added forcefully, “Now.”
Alerted by voices Roger appeared. “Come in here, Wayne,” he spoke gently and when the teenager stood his ground, Roger took him by the elbow and led him into the sitting room. The boy did not resist. Something was up, but he wasn’t quite sure what. The reappearance of the heavy, wooden hairbrush after some years did not bode well.
“Put that down,” Roger nodded at the skateboard. His tone was severe. Wayne looked around the room for a safe place and decided to let the board rest on the couch. “Stand there,” his father pointed to a space in the middle of the small, crowded room. “I want a word with you.”
Wayne blinked hard. A word. His father wanted a word. That phrase had unpleasant connotations. His suspicions were confirmed when his mother appeared and with barely a glance at her son, she handed the hairbrush to her husband. Wayne’s mouth dried. He wondered should he protest? He stayed quiet. Silence might be the best tactic for now.
Roger had had no time to prepare a speech. He fumbled and mumbled his words but Wayne understood the gist of them. Skateboarding. No helmet. No pads. Dangerous. Hospital. Head bashed in. Live like a vegetable. How many times must you be told? Roger said all this while holding the brush threateningly in his right hand. Wayne’s grey eyes glazed, his face paled under his sun-tan. He chewed his bottom lip and looked down at his feet.
“This is more in sorrow than anger,” Roger said as he smacked the head of the brush into his left palm. Wayne remained silent, although his mind whirled. Could this really be happening? Eighteen years old and about to be spanked by his dad? What should he do about it? What could he do? He could storm off to his room. He could wrestle with his father, he was younger, fitter and stronger; Dad wouldn’t stand a chance. But then what? What would happen next? Today, tomorrow. Things could never be the same again. What if they said, “If you won’t accept our discipline, you must leave home, find a place of your own. See how you like that.”
While he pondered this Wayne’s father had picked up a straight-backed chair and set it down in front of the boy. Roger sat down, wriggled his bottom to get comfortable and rested with his spine hard against the back of the chair. He knew the boy would be some weight; he didn’t want the pair of them toppling to the floor.
Roger reached forward and took hold of his son’s left wrist and tugged him a pace forward. It was a warm day, but not hot, and the boy wore a light sweater over a t-shirt. His shorts were roughly cut-off jeans. Roger saw a scab on Wayne’s right knee, proof, he reckoned, of the need for protective pads. What happened next, Roger and Sally later told each other, was an act of parental love. The boy needed guidance. It was for his own good. His own safety. Wayne was not yet a mature adult. What were parents for?
Roger rested the brush on his lap and with his two free hands he lifted the sweater and shirt so he had an unimpeded access to the waistband of the boy’s shorts. Wayne was motionless. It felt like he was in a dream, was this what an out-of-body experience felt like? It could have been some other teenager standing there, not Wayne.
The shorts fitted snugly and needed no belt. Roger had the top button open and the zipper down in two seconds. The jeans clung to Wayne’s hips so his father tugged them down his thighs, over his knees and let them fall onto the top of his dirty gym shoes. Still Wayne did not move. Roger hesitated before making his next move. He had not expected to be spanking his son this evening. He had no plan. Wayne wore multi-coloured briefs, they were so tight they emphasised the contours of his manhood. In the spur of the moment, Roger decided to leave them where they were. He retrieved the brush from his lap, gripped the boy’s left arm and in one smooth, continuous movement he guided Wayne across his knee. Still, uncomplaining, the boy flopped forward.
Roger had been wise to sit well back in the chair. Wayne was a tall lad and his constant skateboarding had developed his muscles. He was quite a weight. He lay submissively. Wayne had been in this position before, he understood the rules. He stretched his arms ahead of him and placed the palms of his hands flat into the carpet. Behind him, with his knees bent, the tips of his toes brushed the floor. His body was at such an angle across his dad’s thigh that the buttocks jutted out affording Roger a perfect target.
It had been three years since Roger last spanked his son. The boy had grown considerably since then. As he pushed the sweater and shirt up Wayne’s back and away from the action area, he noticed rippling muscles in his back and arms. He pulled the waist of the pants and saw Wayne’s bottom was larger than before. When he cupped his hand and gently ran his palm across the contours of his son’s bum, the buttocks clenched and hardened. The phrase “buns of steel” might have been made for him.
Wayne closed his eyes and sucked his bottom lip. His father gently rubbed the heavy wooden hairbrush across the peaks of his buttocks. Then, he caressed the underside of the cheeks where they met the thighs. Lastly, he tapped the head gently on the crest of the mounds. Then he let fly! The resounding whack of heavy brush against hard meat echoed around the small room. Once, twice, three times the brush struck home. Rat-a-tat-tat. Wayne’s knees stiffened and his legs raised from the floor. After another three whacks he was twisting his left foot over his right ankle in a not-too-successful effort to stop his legs flailing.
By the time his dad had spanked him a dozen times, his bottom was on fire. How it hurt. Had his other spankings been so painful? Roger spanked and spanked. He kept up a steady rhythm. Not one square centimetre of the bottom was unblistered. Wayne lifted his hands from the floor and waved them in a fruitless attempt to cover his bottom. His head was too low and bottom too high and he couldn’t reach so he wrapped his arms around his father’s legs. This served no useful purpose, but Wayne was not thinking straight. The heat under his pants was intense. It was as if he had accidentally sat in a bath tub full of boiling water.
At first he gasped as the pain mounted, then he yapped like a little whipped puppy. Yaps grew to yelps and became full-throated yells. Wayne could not help himself, it was his body’s way of dealing with the agony. Roger put a half dozen whacks across the backs of his son’s thighs and immediately regretted it; Wayne’s shrieks would have outshouted a banshee and Roger feared his nosey neighbours might hear him and think a murder was taking place.
The back of Roger’s shirt was soaked with sweat. Wayne’s hair was wet and perspiration trickled down his spine. His neck was scarlet and Roger supposed so were his buttocks under those pants. The backs of Wayne’s legs had dark-pink blotches shaped like the head of the hairbrush. Roger was exhausted. Blood rushed through Wayne’s arteries and his temples throbbed. His bottom was raw and the pain travelled up and down his legs. His eyes stung and were moist, but no tears flowed.
And, that’s nearly the end of the story. Wayne was a thoroughly spanked teenager. His father released the boy who then did the spanking dance, hopping from foot to foot while rubbing his sore buttocks. Roger stood, smiled and opened his arms. “Come here, son,” his own eyes were moist. “I hope you understand why I had to do that. I hated it, but it might even save your life. Promise me, you won’t go skateboarding again without a helmet and pads.”
Wayne picked up his shorts. “Yes, Dad,” he blubbed, and gave the Old Man a hug.
Picture credit: Unknown
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Also writing school stories as Scholastic here
Charles Hamilton the Second