I stomped my foot in protest and stared at him. He didn't even blink, not that I was really expecting it. What he did do was lower his chin a notch, rest a hand on his waist and sigh. His finger pointed at my shorts and then at my ankles. I shook my head, he huffed.
"Now," He said, impatience resonating in his tone.
I looked from him to the man sitting on our couch. He was a neighbor. Not even a friend or family, just a neighbor we didn't even know that well. I shook my head again. Our neighbor grinned and chuckled. I wanted to run out the door and never look back.
"If I have to tell you again, you'll regret it," He said.
Our neighbor leaned back on the couch and folded his arms across his chest. The grin on his face and the tilt of his head left nothing to imagine in regards to his opinion. His eyes were focused on my shorts. I scowled at them both, realizing I had no choice in matters. My thumbs hooked into the waistband of my shorts and in a quick motion, I dragged them down my legs to rest around my ankles. I folded my hands in front of me hiding as much as I could while my face burned with embarrassment.
"Better," He said, nodding approval. "Now you can shuffle on over to the closet and fetch the paddle."
Resignedly, I began the careful act of walking across the room with my shorts restricting every step along the way. It felt ridiculous, which was obviously the point. There was no reason to keep my shorts on at all, save to humiliate me as I moved about. I glared at the closet as if it were responsible for the red shame emanating from my cheeks.
As I reached for the door handle, he said, "The big one, with holes."
I glared back at him over my shoulder, eyes widening at the realization of his intentions. He said, "That's right, I'm not just going to give you a spanking. I'm going to blister your butt."
My tongue had a strong desire to respond. Fortunately, my brain had a stronger desire for survival. I turned away from him and reached into the closet, lifting the large, hole ridden paddle off its hook. Holding it in front of my nakedness, I slowly shuffled across the floor back to the place of misery, standing before him and our neighbor. I stared at the floor and although I was hopeful, I can't say I was surprised when the floor failed to open up and swallow me. What did surprise me was him sitting down on the couch and starting a conversation with our neighbor while I was left to stand there, facing them with my shorts around my ankles and a paddle in my hands.
Their conversation droned on long passed the point of any interest. That I was uninterested when they began is irrelevant. If you were left standing half naked in a room with them, I think you would agree, the only point of interest was when, where and how the paddle was going to be applied to my posterior. Being left in the dark, I naturally fidgeted and imagined only the most horrendous of possibilities which had the unfortunate effect of brightening the blush on my cheeks and bringing a sheen of sweat to my forehead.
In a loud voice, he said, "I suppose we should get on with things."
Our neighbor shifted his position on the couch, securing a more comfortable viewing place for himself and said, "Yes, I'm sure the paddle will do more good in your hands than hers."
Chuckling, he replied, "I doubt she would agree."
Our neighbor said, "I'm not particularly interested in her point of view, are you?"
He took the paddle from my hands leaving them empty and said, "No, I suppose I'm not."
My gaze bounced between the two men as their conversation dragged. A mixture of anger and embarrassment graced my already reddened cheeks and my hands clenched and unclenched in fists. Saying anything to either of them was definitely not in my best interest, but their banter was almost intolerable. I cleared my throat, hoping to remind them I was in the room although, I cannot figure how they could have forgotten.
"Right," He said, turning his gaze to me, his smile morphing into a frown. "Step on up and bend down, hands on the cushion."
I looked into his eyes, forced a smile onto my lips and began the agonizing journey to the open cushion of the sectional his finger pointed toward. My shorts were like shackles, threatening to trip me up and send me crashing to the floor if I moved as quickly as I wanted. Our neighbors gaze bore into me deeper and deeper with every step forward. Bravely, I met his gaze with my own, flashing him the same antagonistic smile until my feet stumbled. Catching my balance and feeling like even more a fool, I focused the remainder of my energy on reaching the cushion while still standing. I stopped near its edge and leaned down, resting my open palms on its surface and inhaling silent strength, waiting for the inevitable crack of wood against my bulging bottom.
Tension permeated every fiber of my body. My legs trembled in anticipation of the first swat and my eyes clenched closed only to flicker open when too many seconds slipped past without action. I took short deep breaths, bracing against the onslaught of discomfort the paddle would bring. Silence ruled the room as they savored my readiness, my embarrassed anticipation. Beneath my breath, I cursed them both and then, when my attention had only just faded from the prospect of the paddle's touch, it whooshed through the air and landed squarely against my bottom with an earsplitting crack.
Tears squirted from the corners of my eyes and I cried out in pain. My legs squirmed to the side as if moving my bottom after the fact would somehow alleviate the sting. Ripples of the paddle's force rushed through my body, leaving my flesh jiggling and bring fresh waves of shame to my face. Our neighbor watched in silence, his only comment a slight smirk at the edges of his lips. I dreamed of slapping it away, but the paddle interrupted, cracking against my bottom for a second time.
"I'm sorry," I said, my voice manifesting itself from the compilation of pain and shame pulsing through me.
"Of course you are," Our neighbor said.
"Sorry isn't good enough," He said and swung the paddle again.
"Please," I said, begging for mercy as tears spilled like waterfalls from my eyes.
The paddle snapped against my bottom again and he said, "Give you more? Certainly."
"No!" I said between ragged breaths.
I sobbed hearing the swoosh of the paddle cutting through the air behind me. Its impact brought fire and sting, temporarily cleansing me of shame and embarrassment. My entire world consisted of the burning pain in my bottom and the wooden paddle delivering it over and over again. I twisted and squirmed, raising my bottom higher and lower, futilely hoping to avoid the next swat only to have it land with perfect precision.
"I'm really, really sorry," I said.
The slap of the paddle into my burning bottom was his reply. Apparently I was yet to be sorry enough. I clenched and unclenched my buttocks, hoping to alleviate even the smallest amount of discomfort. The swats continued, undaunted by my efforts. My head dropped as low as it could, my hair brushing against the cushion below. Sobs wracked through my body and all the tension abandoned me. I surrendered to the paddle's will, to the burning pain and the stinging shame.
He slapped the paddle against my bottom one last time and said, "Stand up."
I obeyed, tears streaming down my cheeks, arms and legs quivering with the effort. Sniffling, I avoided looking at our neighbor. I forced my breath back into a regular pattern, combating the sobs threatening to overwhelm me. All I wanted was to curl up on the floor and nurse my tortured bottom back to a cool pain-free state, but of course that was not an option.
"Turn around," He ordered and I obeyed. He held the paddle out toward me and I reached out, taking it from his hands. He pointed to the pillar behind him and said, "Over there and hold the paddle above your bottom."
I took a deep breath and shuffled toward the pillar. It no longer bothered me that they were both watching my every move. The whiteness of the pillar felt comforting, like an escape from the reality around me and my eyes drank into it. I raised the paddle behind me, resting it over my bottom and came to a stop only inches before my nose touched the pillar. Behind me, I heard him settle onto the sectional and resume a quiet conversation with our neighbor. Part of me wished they would leave, part of me did not care what they did or said, and part of me wondered why I keep finding myself facing this pillar with my bottom bare and burning.