I felt vulnerable. The stairs were beside me, the front door was behind me and I was alone. The feeling was accentuated by my raised arms, hands stationed behind my head and the sounds of my siblings’ overt gawking from upstairs. Water still dripped off my naked body, puddling on the floor at my feet. My nipples hardened in the gentle waft of cold morning air circulating around me and I shivered. A rosy blush warmed and colored my pale cheeks. Gazing into the openness of the house, I longed to stare into a comfortable corner.
Lodged in the forefront of my thoughts was the imminent and inescapable arrival of our guests. The sound of a passing car outside sent a shuddering rush of panic through me. Every noise, large and small, echoed in my chest, quickening the beat of my heart. The sound of the closet door opening and closing turned my hot blood cold with knowing apprehension. Dad was coming back to me.
He arrived bearing gifts. The large towel in his hand grabbed my attention first. In a fit of temporary insanity I imagine him handing the towel to me and wrapping my naked, wet body within its warm and dry confines. Dad shattered the dream, throwing the towel to my feet. My eyes lingered on it because even a shattered dream was better than the nightmare resting in his other hand.
Dad waved the school-sized Lexan paddle in the air like a professor’s pointer. "Face the stairs, bend over and grab the bottom step."
My gaze darted around the openness, desperate for an escape from Dad’s impending wrath. With nowhere left to turn I looked to Dad and hoped for a holiday miracle. "It's really not necessary. I've learned my lesson."
"I'll decide what's necessary and what isn't," Dad said pointing the blunt end of the paddle at the bottom step. "Now bend over unless you'd rather wait until after everyone has arrived."
My heart thudded at the prospect of a larger audience. "Now is good for me," I said and turned to the stairs, bending over as instructed.
The first swat brought with it a swoosh of cool morning air. It was enough to make me shiver, only the paddle splatted against my bottom before I could. The result was a very loud yelp from me. My buttocks twitched trying to figure out whether they were freezing cold or stinging from the first sparks of a fire. I had the answer, but communicating it to my muscles amid the shock of tingles in my nerves was impossible. Instead, I blinked back the tears forming in my eyes and kept my hands on that bottom step because I knew another swat was already well on its way.
Sure enough, the second swat landed before I had stopped twitching from the first. Tears burst from my eyes and I managed a sniffle mid-yelp. My feet slid on the wet tile as I clenched and unclenched my burning buttocks in a futile attempt to alleviate the discomfort. Were it not for my hands holding onto the step I might have fallen. For a moment it was like I was half running, half slipping, on ice before I got my feet back under me. Dad stepped on the towel on the floor and moved it around with his leg, quickly mopping up the puddle around my feet. I appreciated the short break despite the fact I was quivering, waiting for him to continue.
Dad resumed his place behind me and rested the paddle against my trembling, tender bottom. "I hope you're learning from this. All I asked was for you to be courteous to your brother and sisters this morning by observing a sane shower time. I don't think I was being unreasonable, do you?"
Even with my upside down view of Dad's face I could see the disappointment in his features. I felt small, silly, ridiculous and even more so as my conscience told me I hadn't given him any choice with my behavior. I hadn’t really thought he would do more than frown at me, but I should have known better. I had challenged his authority almost blatantly by wasting time in the shower despite his warning. Though it hardly seemed possible, I felt myself blushing hotter as the realization of my foolishness pounded in my hanging head.
Dad raised the paddle and delivered a third swat forcing another yelp to emerge from my lips and another bout of my feet dancing on the floor. "I asked you a question and I expect an answer, young lady."
My thoughts were consumed with the growing discomfort in my upturned bottom. The memory of his question eluded me, but the hovering paddle demanded a prompt response. "Yes," I said.
"Yes?" Dad sounded incredulous. "So I shouldn't expect you to ever think of anyone other than yourself? You've been skirting the edge of getting a spanking for months. Apparently, I should have done this much sooner."
I bit at my lip and struggled to stop from waving my stinging butt around in the air. "That's not what I meant."
"Maybe you better explain what you meant then." Dad prodded with the paddle, slapping it lightly against my butt.
I swayed my butt in the air trying to ease the stinging created by Dad’s constant tapping. "I meant I was wrong and I'm sorry."
Dad said, "Somehow I don't think you'd be sorry one bit if you weren't bent over getting your butt spanked right now."
The truth of his words seemed a little humorous even with my upside down perspective. A tight grin found its way to my face. "Probably true," I said.
Dad shook his head, possibly disappointed in me or maybe he was just hiding his own amusement. "I sure wish I knew what it's going to take to get you to take a situation seriously."
"I do take it seriously," I said and wiggled my butt as the paddle patted against it for the umpteenth time. "My butt is seriously stinging."
There was a whoosh of cold air behind me. A split second later there was a loud crack splitting the air. It reverberated through my body, jiggling me in ways that would have otherwise been embarrassing. My butt seemed to explode in a fiery storm of ants.
Tears sprang once more from my eyes. I howled. Dad was clearly not amused in any way, shape or form. He raised the paddle again and delivered another ear-splitting swat to my still bouncing butt. I teetered forward, raised up on my toes by the force of the impact. The paddle retreated as quickly as it had connected leaving me to agonize over its probable and imminent return.
I twisted to the side hoping to move my backside enough to keep him from landing another swat. Dad managed to find his target anyway. I cried out hoping he would figure out I had gotten his message. He wasn’t taking any chances though, he brought the paddle smacking against my butt another five times before resting again. I twisted, kicked, jiggled, hopped, jumped, screamed, shouted, and begged, but none of my antics succeeded in altering my situation or garnering any sympathy.
My butt was on fire from within. Deep down I knew it was earned. I was ashamed and not just because I was naked getting my bottom spanked. There was the nagging knowledge my sisters and brother had heard the entire spectacle. The way the paddle cracked against my butt and echoed in the open spaces of the house assured they would hear even if they hadn’t intended to listen. And then, there was my crying and pleading for mercy, just like a bad little girl getting her just desserts. I had plenty to be ashamed about and that was before starting to analyze my behavior in the shower. I felt all of six inches tall and oddly enough that’s about how high my head was dangling above the floor.
Dad tapped the paddle against my stinging posterior, directing my attention back to him. “Have you figured out I’m serious yet or do I need to make your butt seriously sting some more?”
“Yes.” My voice squeaked with submissiveness.
“Yes what?” Dad smacked the paddle against my butt making me jump and yelp.
“Yes, I’m taking you seriously,” I said.
“Good,” Dad said. He landed the paddle hard against my bottom and I responded as before. He waited for my fuss to conclude before continuing his lecture. “I don’t want to have this conversation again. For as long you live in this house, when I ask you to do something, you will do it. Is that clear?”
“Yes.” I breathed through the affirmation. The blood pounding in my upside down head was making me impatient. Another swat to my backside left me gasping for air and no less impatient than before. I wriggled my bottom, desperate to find comfort from the stinging burn and, as expected, I found none.
Dad tapped my bottom with the flat of the paddle until I stopped dancing around. From my bent perspective, it was a long wait.
He said, “And I’m done putting up with your nonchalant attitude about everything. You don’t live alone here and you were raised to know how to cooperate and share with the other members of this family. Apparently I’ve allowed you to forget, but starting right now I’m going to be reminding you whenever you need it. Is that clear?”
“As a glass-bottomed boat,” I said.
Dad shattered my glass bottom. He raised the paddle and delivered another hard swat. I was up on my tiptoes like a ballerina and singing opera for the neighbors in two seconds flat. Dad brought the paddle back to rest against my burning cheeks looking decidedly proud of himself. I wisely chose to keep the observation to myself.
He patted my bottom with the paddle, keeping me hovering on my toes. “Obviously you still think this all a big joke, but let me remind you I can crack this paddle against your butt at least one more time than you can keep cracking jokes. If you want to put it to the test, just keep on going.”
I swallowed hard, which was pretty hard with my hair mopping the floor, and dug deep for the serious tone Dad was waiting to hear. “I believe you.”
I watched the expression on his face looking for signs I wasn’t just digging myself into a deeper hole. “I got the message and I’m sorry,” I said finishing with a sniffle I hoped might gain me a little sympathy or maybe at least one less swat than he planned to deliver.
The paddle left my butt and I braced for another swat while wondering what else I could have said to make a difference. Dad interrupted my tension. “You’ve got a long way to go before I’m convinced.”
He brought the paddle down hard, catching me off guard and nearly launching me into orbit. I almost grabbed my flaming bottom before sense re-took its hold over me. Still, I hopped around in a circle in front of Dad, wringing my hands in the air as if they could magically assuage the fiery pain in my butt.
Dad watched my display with a glimmer of amusement trickling back into his eyes. “Settle down,” he said, masking his satisfaction with sternness.
“It hurts,” I said forcing myself to stop hopping around. The blood rushed back into my face as if I were still hanging my head upside down instead of facing Dad. It wasn’t like I had somehow forgotten I was naked, but suddenly standing still as all my bits stopped jiggling about was like a humiliating slap in the face with reality. No matter how many times it has happened or will happen, I will never get used to Dad spanking me, seeing me, in my birthday suit.
“Good,” Dad said and pointed the paddle back at the bottom step, “Now bend back over before I decide it needs to hurt even more than it’s already going to.”
My eyes followed an imaginary line from the end of the paddle to the bottom step behind me. I looked back at him, my eyes pleading for leniency, but he didn’t even blink. There was no escaping Dad’s justice. I turned back to the stairs and bent over, offering my butt once more. All I could do was wait, bearing the silence and the throbbing stinging pangs emanating from my exposed buttocks. I was torn, wishing Dad would just finish it and yet hoping he would pause long enough for the intensity to weaken.
“You’ve got five more coming and I mean them to make a lasting impression,” Dad said and raised the paddle high. “Keep your hands on that step and your butt in the air unless you want extra.”
It may have seemed ample warning from his perspective, but from mine it was too little, too late. The first of the five finishing swats landed against my butt with an ear-ringing crack. If I hadn’t known better I would have sworn a firecracker had exploded on my bottom. I barely had time to yelp and hop before the next swat landed and from there out I’m not really sure which was louder; The paddle cracking against my bottom or the howling coming out of my throat. It’s a fair bet everyone within a block of our house knew someone was getting a spanking. I just hope they didn’t recognize it as me.
After the last swat Dad rested the paddle against my burning butt as if he was considering whether or not to give me another swat. I couldn’t help the twitching in my buttocks, but I dared not move otherwise. Tears continued to stream from my eyes. My tense muscles threatened to send me into nervous convulsions while I waited for his decision. I barely contained a remark asking him to make up his mind. It sounded funny in my ears and yet somehow I doubted Dad would agree. The house was unusually quiet, with even my sniffles seeming muted.
Finally, Dad said, “Straighten up and face me.”
I raised myself into a standing position, sucked in my lips to keep from saying anything stupid and turned cautiously to look him in the eye. Our eyes met for about a second before I decided my feet were a safer object to focus on. My butt was a pulsing, crackling flame, but Dad was done swinging the paddle. I should have been relieved, the spanking was over and yet I stood trembling under his scrutiny. There was nothing to put my finger on, only intuition telling me the worst remained ahead rather than behind me.
Dad transferred the paddle to his off hand and grabbed my arm. “I think you owe some people an apology. What do you think?”
“Yes.” I nodded.
He started up the stairs, pushing me ahead of him. I shuddered at the thought of facing my siblings with tears on my face and a butt that could easily be mistaken for a heat lamp. It was clear Dad wasn’t offering me a choice. I climbed the stairs as slowly as I could dare without annoying him. They were waiting for us at the top. Their hushed whispers turned to silence upon seeing me, making it clear the discussion had been about me. If I could have hid in a corner I would have, but instead I was forced to stand facing them. I closed my eyes searching for the strength and humility to say what had to be said.