The Prodigal Son

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Mr Craddock slumped in front of the television set watching the horse racing. A newspaper open at the racing cards was at his feet. Nearby was a mug of steaming tea. He gripped a half-eaten bacon sandwich. He was in his element. A peaceful Saturday afternoon. What could be better?

Then, his wife entered the room, wiping her hands on her pinafore as she moved. The look on her face warned Mr Craddock that his peace was about to be disturbed.

“It’s Pete,” she said, clearly agitated, “He’s just been on the phone.” Mr Craddock’s eyes shot heavenward: what now? What scrape had his son gotten himself into this time?

“What now?” he spluttered through a mouthful of sandwich. His obvious irritation did nothing to soothe his wife’s nerves.

“He wants to speak to you,” she was clearly worried.

“What is it now? Is he still on the phone?”

“No he’s coming round. He wants to see you in person.”

Mr Craddock swallowed hard. This could mean only one thing. “He wants to borrow money again. He already owes me a fortune. I’ve been paying off his debts forever.”

His wife hopped from one foot to the other. “He says he’ll come right over.”

Mr Craddock sighed, he would miss the four o’clock race at Chepstow now. He had money on a horse in that one. Pete was 24 years old and had been nothing but bother since he left school. He was in and out of jobs, in trouble with the law. Oftentimes he was drunk about the house. He seemed incapable of keeping a civil tongue in his head. Mr Craddock had all but thrown him out of the house five months ago. Pete now lived in some sweaty bedsitting room on the other side of town.

“I’ve had enough, mother,” Mr Craddock always called his wife “mother” it was some kind of family tradition. “What can I do? I’ve tried everything with him. Do you remember I even spanked his backside for him. When was that? Last year? Doesn’t seemed to have done much good.” He rested back in his chair and eyed the clock on the mantlepiece. With luck he would just have time to catch the 3.45 race at Folkestone.

He did, but he missed the four o’clock and all the rest of the racing that afternoon. Pete had something important to discuss. It was, he reckoned, a matter of life and death. His life might never be the same again.

Mr Craddock eyed his son suspiciously. The lad’s fair hair was dirty, he had bags under his eyes and his usually fresh face was grey and lined.

“Dad, Dad,” he spluttered once his mother had left the two of them alone in the living room. “I have to talk to you.” He couldn’t meet his dad’s eye and that fact alone made Mr Craddock fear the worst.

“Is it money again. Are you in debt to loan sharks?”

“No, Dad, no,” Pete tried to laugh off the suggestion but his face remained grey and solemn.

“The police, are you in trouble with the law?”

“No, Dad, no.”

“Drugs. Is it drugs?” Mr Craddock was losing patience, were they about to play a game of Twenty Questions?

Again the answer was negative.

“Oh for pity’s sake, tell me what’s going on,” Mr Craddock had a short fuse.

On the trip over Pete had rehearsed what he wanted to say but now he was confronted with his Dad the words had gone. He babbled for a while getting more and more flustered as his Dad’s temper deteriorated.

At last he managed to turn words into sentences. “Look Dad,” he said and pulled a wad of banknotes from his pocket, “Here’s the money I owe you. All of it.”

His Dad flushed, his heart beat faster, “Where did this come from? Did you steal it.”

Pete laughed weakly. “No Dad, no. I’ve got a job. A proper job. At Tilotson’s. In the office.”

His dad was not convinced. “Since when? Is it a proper job?”

“Yes, Dad I’ve been there three weeks. I got my first pay yesterday.” He handed the money over and Mr Craddock counted it, scrutinising each banknote as if it might be counterfeit.

“Thank you son,” he whispered. He was flummoxed. Never in a month of Sundays did he expect his son to hold down a proper job.

His son wriggled in his chair. Clearly he had more to say and just as clearly he wasn’t sure how to say it. So he jumped in with both feet. “Dad, I don’t know how to say this. I want you to do me a favour.”

Mr Craddock sighed. He knew this was too good to be true. There was some kind of trouble after all. He leaned forward in his chair waiting for the worst. His son collected his thoughts and continued. “Dad I’m very sorry for everything I’ve done. I’m sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused you and Mum. I’m sorry for all the debts. I’m really sorry for the trouble with the police. Things are going to change from now on.”

Mr Craddock’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “It’s alright son.”

But Pete had not finished. He apologised once more for all the heartache he had caused. All the bad things he had said to his Dad over the past years.

“It’s alright son, it’s alright.” Mr Craddock was not a man who liked to share emotions. That was another of the family traits.

“It’s not alright, Dad,” Pete wrung his hands together. “I’m not sleeping. I don’t eat. I’m making myself ill.”

Mr Craddock stared at his son. The young man’s furrowed features were testament to that. He couldn’t find words to comfort his son so he babbled, “It’s alright son. You’ve paid me back. You’ve given me the money.”

“It’s not alright, Dad,” Pete was pleading. “It’s not. I’m full of guilt. Guilt for all the things I’ve done. The way I’ve treated you and Mum. I can’t get away from the guilt.”

An uneasy silence descended between the two. Mr Craddock looked at the clock and wondered if his horse had come home at Chepstow. Eventually, Pete spoke once more, “Dad I want you to do something for me? Please Dad.”

Mr Craddock held his breath, what was troubling his son. “Yes, what can I do?” he forced himself to ask, while wishing Pete would just go home.

“Dad,” Pete spoke more clearly than he had up to this point. “Dad, I want you to help me get rid of this guilt.”

Mr Craddock winced and waited. After a pause Pete continued, “Dad I want you to spank me. Like you did those times before.”

His Dad shook his head from side to side, like a horse often does when it is trying to clear its head. “Oh come on son,” he blustered, hoping to hide his embarrassment, “There’s no need for that.”

“But there is Dad, there is,” Peter interrupted. His insistent tone unsettled Mr Craddock. “I have to get rid of this guilt. It’s the only way.”

His Dad sat bemused. He had spanked Pete many times over the years, even quite recently. The last time was shortly before he insisted his son move out and find a place of his own to live. He hadn’t liked doing it, but nothing else had worked. Not talking (arguing really) nor grounding him. There weren’t that many punishments that a dad could inflict on his son; especially not one who was in his early twenties. The over-the-knee spankings had truly been administered as a last resort. Mr Craddock was a little surprised to find that they appeared to have worked.

“Oh, I don’t know son,” he was still uncertain. The request was so unusual it could almost be called bizarre. He shook his head again.

“Please Dad. I know you love me. Please do it. Let me get rid of all this guilt. Use Mum’s hairbrush, like you did last time.”

Mr Craddock did love his son. Very much indeed, but he had no words to express that love. But he liked to think of himself as a man of action, someone who could make a decision. Well, he told himself, if that’s what Pete wanted then so be it. And if he got a move on he might still catch the last race at Folkestone.

“Right,” he said climbing from the chair. “I won’t be a minute. You’ve still got time to change your mind.” He left the room leaving Pete sitting on the couch breathing heavily.” Moments later, he returned clutching a large, heavy hairbrush.

“Are you sure,” he said, hoping that Pete had come to his senses and changed his mind.

“Yes Dad,” his son replied confidently. “I deserve this.”

Mr Craddock picked up an old straight-backed wooden chair and set it down in the middle of the room. He sat down and brandishing the brush ordered, “Come here, bend over my knee.” Pete rose from the couch, took a deep breath and then crossed the room. He stood to his Dad’s left, hesitated for a moment as if debating something in his head. Then, he rested his hands on his Dad’s right knee and eased himself down.

Pete was easily a couple of inches taller than his dad but he fitted well across the older man’s lap. He was in the classic over-the-knee spanking position. He was able to rest the palms of his hands on the floor in front of him and behind his toes just about scraped the carpet. Like that his bottom was raised at an angle to receive the swats from the hairbrush.

Mr Craddock wasted no time. He raised the brush and slapped it into the seat of Pete’s heavy trousers. Then he did the same thing again and again. They were moderate smacks; not too light and not too severe.

“No Dad,” Pete protested, “You’ve got to do it properly. Like last time.” He wriggled his hips and his dad let him get to his feet.

“Are you sure?” Mr Craddock could still not quite believe his son’s attitude.

“Yes Dad. I deserve this. I’ve got to get rid of the guilt.” Then without waiting for his dad’s response Pete unbuckled his belt. Seconds later his trousers were at his ankles and his white shorts snagged against his knees. Once more, he eased himself across his dad’s knees.

“Well,” Mr Craddock gripped the heavy hairbrush in his fist, “Just remember I’m not going to stop until I think you have been punished properly.” He caressed Pete’s left buttock with the head of the brush and then tapped gently to get an aim.

“Thank you Dad,” Pete wheezed, “I really deserve this, for the way I treated you and Mum. And for all the trouble I brought you. I am really, truly sorry.”

His dad raised the brush high, “You will be,” he said to himself as he realised the last race of the afternoon was now over. He pounded the brush into Pete’s round, firm buttock and was delighted to see the dark pink imprint left behind by the brush. The hiss of air escaping Pete’s clenched mouth was equally satisfying.

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Mr Craddock set about his task with a will. If a job was worth doing, it was worth doing well. That was a motto that had run in his family for generations. In no time both buttocks glowed dark pink. Pete’s hands clutched at his dad’s legs. It was the only way he could stop himself flailing about and falling to the floor.

“Well I hope this is doing you some good,” Mr Craddock rebuked his son, “A boy of your age taken across his dad’s knees for a sound spanking with a hairbrush. And on the bare bottom too,” he intoned as he walloped the brush across Pete’s quivering cheeks. Soon no square inch of flesh was untoasted.

“Sorry. Sorry. I deserve this,” Pete almost shrieked. The pain was intense. It was far worse than the last spanking dad had delivered. “Oww, ouch, arghhh,” he grimaced. He bum felt like it was blistered. Despite his resolve to take the thoroughly-deserved spanking without fuss, Pete could not control his body’s natural reflexes. His body twisted and turned. His legs kicked out behind him. His head nodded up and down. His eyes smarted almost as much as his backside and tears soon trickled down his face.

“Thank you, thank you,” he hissed through gritted teeth. “Ouch! Owww!”

Now, Mr Craddock turned his attention away from Pete’s bottom and attacked the backs of his thighs. That sent his son into spasms of pain. Heat seemed to be rising from the naked flesh. It was so hot Mr Craddock was sure he would be able to warm his hands.

It was time to wind down. But not before he took the brush on one more circuit. He pounded the peaks of the young man’s mounds. Then he went for the topside and by now Pete was breathless, gasping for air. So his dad hammered the undercurves, on the most sensitive sit-spot. Finally, he returned to the thighs.

Mr Craddock was almost as breathless as his son. His shirt clung to his back with sweat. Rivers of perspiration ran from his armpits. It was definitely time to stop.

“Stand up.”

Pete did not need telling twice. He bounded to his feet and hopped about while at the same time rubbing hard at his buttocks. He didn’t care that his cock and balls were bouncing up and down close to his dad’s face.

“Get dressed.”

It took Pete longer to get his shorts and trousers back on than it had to lower them. As he reached towards his feet the flesh across his buttocks stretched sending fresh waves of pain through his body. At last he was once again fully dressed. Colour was returning to his pale face and his breathing was now more regular. The intense pain in his backside was already easing and soon would become a constant throbbing. Before long it would just be a dull ache, but the pain would return over the coming hours every time he sat on a hard surface.

Mr Craddock felt sheepish. Even now he couldn’t fully understand what had happened. “How do you feel?” he asked and immediately felt what a stupid question that was to ask. In the circumstances.

Pete rubbed the seat of his trousers ruefully. “The guilt is all gone. I am so sorry for everything. I will be good from now on. I promise.”

My story took place in 1986 and I am happy to report that Pete kept his promise and from that day on became both a model citizen and a very loving son.

Picture credit: Ken Beverley

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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

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

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