I'm sorry for making you wait for part 6 of The Pickett Family Holiday. Unfortunately I suffered from technical problems over the weekend and I took some time to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends prior to that. With a little luck, I'll have part 6 ready for posting tomorrow morning or Wednesday morning at the latest.
For those waiting on emails from me, I promise I'll get to those as well in the near future. And for those of you who are wondering; yes, The Jade Runner will be returning soon, as we can't just leave our heroes hanging from a cliff forever. Even their arms get tired sometimes. lol
Friday, November 25, 2011
Stephanie thought about calling out to her father and reminding him that she was ready and waiting for his parental attention, but it just seemed too unlikely that he had actually forgotten. Day turned to night and night turned to day and day turned to night again as she waited for eternity to pass. Of course, in reality day and night were really just the blinking of her eyes as she looked at her naked, upside down self and wished for the embarrassing situation to come to an end, even if that meant she’d have trouble sitting for the remainder of the day. She took slow deep breaths to keep herself calm and feigning patience while listening to the sound of her father continuing to chop wood.
In the aftermath of another split piece of wood, she heard the sounds of her father gathering the pieces, but more disturbingly she heard the sounds of approaching footsteps, crunching the dried leaves laying on the grass. It was the sound boots made, not the heels her sisters and mother would be wearing. The only question racing through Stephanie’s mind was whether it Todd or Jason. She felt her face explode with the hot rush of scarlet embarrassment knowing that one of the two men would now be a witness to her punishment. The footsteps drew closer until she was certain the owner had to be right outside the shed with a clear view of her and then they stopped.
“Charlie,” Todd said, “I thought I’d see if you needed a hand, but it looks like you’re about done.”
Stephanie twisted her head to get the best view she could out the shed’s open door, but all she could see of Todd was a sliver of black pant leg. She shuddered on the sawhorse making it rattle back and forth twice and squeak the floorboards beneath her. Her face flushed hotter and her nipples grew painfully stiff at the thought of Todd looking over her from his discreet distance. The grin on his face, likely only existing in her imagination, caused her to pray for a freak gust of wind to slam the door closed.
Dad laughed. “There’s more work to be done, but I’ve already got a volunteer. Besides, Victoria frowns upon me making our guests do hard labor.”
Todd chuckled. “She sure didn’t waste anytime putting Nicole to work in the kitchen.”
Stephanie imagined her Dad nodding and smiling. He said, “That’s different, Victoria doesn’t often care what makes me frown.”
Todd said, “We’re not really guests anyway and if you can’t take advantage of family, who can you?”
“Perfect strangers are my preference,” Dad said, “especially those who’ll give me money.”
“The business is going well then?” Todd asked.
Dad said, “Sold three rocking chairs and a porch swing just this last week.”
“Coffee?” Todd asked.
Stephanie imagined him holding out a steaming cup from the coffee house in the local shopping center. It was a rare day when Todd didn’t stop there for his morning cup of java.
Her father must have taken the cup. “Thanks,” he said. “I hardly ever get a cup of this good stuff. Victoria still thinks she makes the best coffee and I don’t have the heart to tell her the truth.”
Stephanie wished she had a way of recording her father. If nothing else it would have proved great for blackmailing her father into forgetting all about the spanking she was due. Unfortunately, it’s hard to hide a recorder, or anything else for that matter, when completely naked. The idea was silly anyways, her father probably didn’t care if her mother knew he didn’t like her coffee and her mother probably wouldn’t care either.
Todd said, “Actually, today’s the first time of been there since last week’s embarrassing incident.”
Stephanie imagined an eyebrow shooting up on her father’s face. She listened carefully, eager to hear someone else’s most embarrassing moment since she was living hers.
“What happened?” Dad asked. “Did you spill hot coffee all over that pretty girl behind the counter?”
Todd chuckled. “I wished. No, I stopped in like I usually do and ordered my normal. Celia had it all made up for me and when I got the counter I opened up my wallet to pay, only it was empty.”
Dad laughed. “I guess Nicole’s been rubbing off on you. She used to spend her allowance so fast, she’d swear I didn’t pay her some weeks.”
Todd said, “Well that was just it, I had stopped at the ATM just the night before and I hadn’t gone anywhere or bought anything until right then.”
“Someone picked your pocket?” Dad asked. “Did you call the cops?”
Todd chuckled. “I dug through my pockets and found enough change to pay Celia. She was so nice about it and even offered to let me just pay her the next day, but I don’t like doing things that way.”
Stephanie imagined her father nodding.
Dad said, “Right, I know how you feel.”
“So,” Todd said, “I went straight back home thinking the money might have slipped out on the floor or something. But then I get home and Nicole is coming back with a bag of donuts and coffee of her own. She looked shocked to see me which was no surprise since I should have been well on my way to work.”
Dad laughed. “I think I know where this is going.”
Stephanie imagined her father shaking his head from side to side.
“Todd said, “Then she asks me why I’m back and I tell her about my empty wallet. Her face goes from the palest white I think I’ve ever seen to full on red. Would you believe she just lifted the forty dollars out of my wallet?”
Stephanie nodded her upside down head remembering an incident from her teen years. Nicole had lifted some money from their mother’s purse which resulted in a room by room search the inevitably led to the money being found under a mattress. Of course, it wasn’t Nicole’s mattress, but the truth came out eventually although not in time to save the two innocent daughters from getting reddened bottoms. All that made it tolerable was getting to watch while Nicole got her own bottom reddened for the theft and then twice more to make up for her sisters getting it.
“Believe it or not,” Dad said, “it’s not the first time Nicole’s been caught doing something like that.”
Todd chuckled. “I imagine that’s why her cheeks went so red.”
“We don’t take kindly to stealing around here,” Dad said.
Stephanie rolled her eyes. Stealing, wet towels on the floor, messy rooms, bad grades, incomplete chores, coming home late, and so much more than she wanted to think about could be added to the list of things not taken kindly. She didn’t take kindly to being made to wait while everyone else was doing whatever they wanted to do. Now if only that meant as much as when her parents didn’t take kindly to something, then life would start to approximate something known as fair.
Todd said, “Well I supposed I could have taken a hard line with her over it, but she had asked me to get some money for her and I’d just forgotten. So, I guess you could say we were both at fault.”
Stephanie imagined her father shaking his head. He said, “Still, taking money out of your wallet without asking and not bothering to tell you she took all your money before you left the house was not acceptable behavior. I’d have made sure she knew it too.”
Todd chuckled. “I’m sure you would have. I’ve only used that paddle you gave me once and it’s my intention to save it for the big things, not minor mistakes and misunderstandings.”
Stephanie imagined her father putting his arm on Todd’s shoulders.
He said, “It’s your house and that means it’s your rules. Just remember that the more little things you let Nicole get away with, the more bigger things she’ll try to get away with. That’s just the nature of girls.”
Todd laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind. So, who is this volunteer you found? Surely not Amanda’s latest boyfriend?”
Dad clapped his hands together. “No, no, I don’t think he’s even here yet. Our volunteer is waiting inside the shed and if she’s finally figured out how to follow instructions she should be undressed and bent over the horse by now.”
Stephanie blushed even hotter though she was unsure how that was possible. The entire time of their conversation she felt certain they were each as aware of her as she was of them. Her whole body trembled with the shame of her position and her skin felt electrically charged in the cool damp air of the open shed. She wanted to close her eyes, but the prospect of being observed by Todd and her father while she was unaware kept them wide open. Even upside down she could see her body’s natural curves and all the wobbly bits betraying her by swaying in the open air and calling attention to themselves for any who might happen by to see.
Dad said, “Let’s go see if she’s ready for her spanking.”
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The shed smelled of sawdust and old paint. Stephanie waited just inside the door taking a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dim light from the single incandescent bulb mounted on the ceiling. Memories of previous visits played themselves out behind her eyes. The sawhorse stood in the center of the wood planked floor. Past it, up against the far wall, the workbench featured the familiar plastic basket where she could temporarily store her clothes without them collecting an abundance of dust and dirt. The small window above distorted the view to outside with year of collected dirt and smearing from improper cleaning.
She sidestepped past the sawhorse and stood in front of the workbench. The knots in her stomach tightened to the point of sending quivers throughout her body. Deep breaths did nothing to ease the tension and knowing exactly what to expect, even the knowledge that the pain and embarrassment would pass and fade, failed to make her task any easier.
Her fingers found the zipper on the back of her dress. She pulled it down and the dress went limp on her body, ready to fall to the floor with the simplest of moves. Her head twisted to look beyond her shoulder at the open shed door. There was no one watching, her father had returned to the business of chopping wood as if she were not there at all. Somehow his inattention served to enhance the disappointment she knew he felt. A tear spilled from her eye onto her cheek and she looked back to the wall and the window. Her dress slipped from her body and pooled on the floor at her feet.
The thin material of the dress offered little protection from the elements, but in its absence the air felt infinitely colder. Goosebumps sprouted over her pale flesh and a shiver ran down her spine causing her to wrap her arms across her chest. The dirty window offered a reflection that made her feel even more ridiculous. She breathed out and reached up behind her back, unfastening the strapless white bra covering her breasts. It fell easily away into her hands and she dropped it in the plastic basket without bothering to fold it. Her nipples, already hardened from the chill in the air, grew stiffer as the reflection in the window blushed in the embarrassment of exposure.
A noise behind Stephanie, made her jump and cover her breasts as best she could with her hands. It took a moment for realization to come, but the sound had only been the splitting of wood under the swing of her father’s axe. She shook her head at herself and the reflexive action. No matter how many times she found herself exposed for punishment in the presence of family, it still left her feeling ashamed and deeply embarrassed. Her cheeks grew redder at the mere sight of her father’s sleeve through the open shed door as he picked up the pieces of split wood on the ground outside.
Her head drooped downward. Only then did she notice her dress remained on the dirty floor and worse, her jumpiness had resulted in her standing on it. She stepped out and off of the dress. Her lips pursed as she knelt down and picked it up off the floor. She held it up in the dim light brushing dirt and splinters off the fabric with her hand. Satisfied, she folded it in neat thirds and laid it gently inside the basket.
Wearing only white panties and a pair of strappy heels, Stephanie leaned on the front edge of the workbench, staring at her face’s ghostly reflection in the window. Her mother had grossly overreacted to the towel thing. Nothing anyone could ever say would change Stephanie’s mind about it. Being punished over it should have felt oppressive and mean, but it didn’t. Partly, because her father wasn’t really punishing her over the towel but more over her attitude toward her mother and partly, because Stephanie knew she deserved punishment. Not for the towel, probably not even for her attitude, it was after all a response to her mother’s own attitude, but rather for a bad deed her parents knew nothing about and with luck, they never would.
She knelt down again, this time focused on her shoes. Her fingers found the zipper on the back of the heel and pulled it down, first on the left foot and then on the right. She stood back up and supported herself on the edge of the workbench bringing each leg up in turn to pull her shoes off and drop them in the basket. Standing barefoot on the wood floor she instantly rose up on her tiptoes to avoid the pressure of dirt and splinters against the bottom of her feet. She heard the sound of another piece of wood being split outside from the swing of her father’s axe and instantly covered her naked breasts again despite knowing he couldn’t see her any more than she could see him.
Stephanie turned her back to the door again, more for the sense of privacy it afforded than the actual existence of it. Her hands found their own way to the waistband of her panties. It was all she had left to do before bending herself over the sawhorse and waiting for her Dad to get around to spanking her bottom. She stared at her reflection and silently reminded herself that the longer she put off the inevitable the longer it would be before the spanking was over and she was dressed again. That wouldn’t have mattered on some days but with it being Thanksgiving there were guests coming and a good likelihood two of them, males no less, would be coming out to spend time with her father while the ladies prepared the evening meal. Stephanie preferred not to be naked when they arrived and even more than that, preferred her spanking to be long over as well.
Her hands trembled and she took a deep breath attempting to steady her nerves. Spanking always hurt. There would be tears and she would feel the sting long after the spanking came to an end. Throughout the entire day, she would be reminded with every step she took, every time the tight fabric of her dress rubbed against her bottom she would have to suppress a wince and every time she sat she would have to smile pretending the urge to express her discomfort in the form of a single word or whimper never existed. The only comfort came from knowing her spanking was the only punishment due for the day. At least it would be over when the last spank fell. She would not spend the remainder of her day doing mindless chores with the proof of her bad girl status nakedly displayed for all to see as poor Amanda had spent the previous day. It was a small thing to be thankful for, but Stephanie was thankful for it. She pushed her panties down her legs and stepped out of them, dropping them in the basket to wait for her return.
Stephanie looked over her shoulder once more and watched her father’s sleeve until it disappeared from sight after he finished collecting more split pieces of wood from the ground. She turned fully and walked on her tiptoes to the other side of the sawhorse. Her father would expect her naked butt to be visible from the door and she had no intention of disappointing him in that manner. She had done so once in her high school years and it had served as one of her more embarrassing moments when he had made her rise up and bend over it the right way under his watchful eye. It was much better to do it right in the first place.
She stepped up to the sawhorse and rested her hands on the top edge that would soon have her butt bulging out toward the ceiling. Her feet moved to the outside edges of the sawhorse’s feet and she bent down slowly adjusting her weight on the sawhorse until the top edge was tight against her pelvis and her hands were gripping the opposite side of the legs from where her feet rested on tiptoes. She looked behind her through the open underneath of the sawhorse and between her spread legs at the wall behind her. Three implements hung on hooks in perfect upside down view from her position. She wondered which her father would choose or if he’d use more than one of them as he had on certain past occasions when she’d been particularly difficult. The thick old yardstick was the mildest while she feared the worn and wide leather strap the most, but it was the oak paddle with five holes in the middle of it that had seen the most use.
Stephanie tried not to think about the implements too much though it was difficult to ignore their presence in plain sight unless she closed her eyes. The unfortunate side effect of turning her attention from the implements was that it left only two other focuses for her attention. Either she thought about her position, the embarrassing exposure of her butt and more to anyone who would stand in the doorway, the way her breasts hung down toward her face swaying with every breath she took, or she thought about the reason she was there. As time stretched past with only the sound of her father splitting wood to mark its passage, she thought about all three things until her whole body was flushed pink with the embarrassment of the situation.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Stephanie left the house through the back door. She had stayed in her room dreading the trip to see her father so long that morning was giving way to afternoon. The air remained cool despite the brilliantly blue sky over head and the bright sun shining down. Pink, peach and golden brown leaves rustled on the grass of the backyard in the light breeze as she walked along the stepping stone path leading from the porch to the shed.
The shed stood at the edge of the property line on the northwest side of the house. Her father had built it shortly after they had moved into the house to store tools, a workbench, and firewood. Stephanie remembered it well though she’d only been about five at the time. In those days, she’d always been eager to lend her father a helping hand. She almost smiled at the memory, particularly at the realization her help had probably made the project take twice as long as it should have. She had insisted that the shed needed to be painted in bright red with white trim just like a traditional barn and rather than argue, her father had bought the paint and handed her a brush. It hadn’t been painted in all the years since, but the colors were still there, just faded.
Dad stood outside the shed, swinging his old axe, splitting wood for the fireplace. Seeing her approach, he rested the axe against the side of the shed and picked up the wood on the ground, adding to the neat stack he’d built adjacent to the shed. Finished, he pulled off the worn leather gloves from his hands and wiped the sweat off his forehead with sleeve of his brown, black and cream flannel shirt.
“It seems you’ve managed to upset your mother,” he said, turning to give Stephanie his full attention, “again.”
Stephanie’s lips curled upward in a half smile. “What can I say?” she said with a shrug. “I’m just a bee in her bonnet.”
Dad said, “Your sister warned you about the towel.”
“I know,” Stephanie said, nodding her head.
“And yet you dropped it on the floor anyway,” he said, shaking his head.
“I didn’t think Mom would come barging into my room,” Stephanie said.
“Is that what they teach in your criminology classes?” Dad asked. “It’s okay to break the law just as long as you don’t get caught?”
“I didn’t break a law.” Stephanie kicked at the leaves on the ground. “I just broke one of Mom’s stupid rules.”
“That attitude isn’t doing you any favors,” Dad said.
Stephanie stopped kicking and looked up into her father’s face. “Sorry.”
“Laws and rules aren’t so different,” he said. “If you break them there are consequences and it doesn’t really matter whether you agree with them or not.”
She rolled her eyes. “It wasn’t even on the floor fifteen minutes.”
“It shouldn’t have been on the floor at all,” he said.
“What was I supposed to do with it?” she asked. “It’s not like I’ve got a towel bar in my bedroom.”
“There is one in the bathroom last time I checked,” he said.
She shook her head and shrugged. “So now I’m supposed to walk back to my room naked after a shower.”
“Have you ever heard of a bathrobe?” he asked.
“I left it at school. It’s too bulky to take back and forth,” Stephanie said.
Dad shook his head. “Sounds like you’ve got an answer for everything except why you can’t just follow a few simple rules while you’re at home.”
Stephanie said, “I didn’t go on a crime spree, I dropped a wet towel on the floor while I was getting dressed.”
“Exactly,” Dad said, “you did the one thing you knew would irritate your mother more than anything else if she found out. Your only excuse seems to be that you thought she’d never know.”
“It’s a stupid rule,” Stephanie said. “What was I supposed to do?”
“Let’s see,” Dad said, holding his chin in his hand, “you could have draped the towel over the foot board on your bed or over the back of your desk chair, you could have folded it up and laid it on top of your clothes hamper. Heck, you could have used one of the empty hangers in your closet to hang it up or hang it on your doorknob. Any one of those solutions would have avoided breaking your mother’s rule and kept you out of trouble.”
“I’ll remember that for tomorrow,” Stephanie said, shaking her head at the sky.
Dad took a step closer to his daughter. “What’s going on with you?”
Stephanie rolled her eyes. “Other than being home less than 24 hours and about to get a spanking, nothing.”
“That’s just it,” Dad said. “Every time you’ve come home from school in the last year, you’ve managed to find some way to get yourself a spanking within three days at the most. It’s almost like you’re bending over backward to give us a reason.”
Stephanie blushed and kicked at the leaves again. “Trust me,” she said, “I’m not.”
“I’m just trying to understand,” Dad said. “You were warned, you knew Amanda had just gotten in trouble over the very same thing yesterday, and yet this morning your very first impulse is to drop your wet towel on your bedroom floor.”
Stephanie shrugged. “I made a mistake.”
“And it was either deliberate or careless,” Dad said. “You’re a lot of things Stephanie, but careless is not a word I usually associate with you.”
“I’m not denying that I did it,” Stephanie said.
Dad said, “I want to know why you did it.”
Stephanie tilted her head back to stare at the sky before looking into her father’s face. “Because it’s a stupid rule. Because I thought I could get a little bit of revenge on Mom for always making such a big deal out of nothing and she would never even know about it. It would have been perfect too, except Mom can’t mind her own business and had to come barging into my bedroom.”
Dad said, “I know you and your mother have your differences, but you sound downright angry with her. Why?”
Stephanie shook her head at the sky. “Why shouldn’t I be? She’s grounded me for the whole first week of my winter break and as if that wasn’t enough she’s sent me out here to get a spanking today, on Thanksgiving no less and all of this over a stupid wet towel that didn’t harm anything or anyone.”
Dad said, “That’s the consequences of breaking your mother’s rule, but you were obviously angry with her before any of that. You said you did it to get revenge. Revenge for what?”
Stephanie sighed. “I already told you. Can we just get this over with? I’d really prefer it if things could be more or less back to normal by the time Nicole and Todd arrive not to mention this Jason.”
Dad said, “I’m sure you would and if you tell me the reason your so angry with your mother, I’ll do what I can to make your preference a reality. However, if you’d rather keep that information to yourself, I see no reason why I should do you any favors.”
“Why isn’t the fact that it’s a stupid, anal retentive rule enough of a reason to be mad?” Stephanie asked.
“Maybe because it’s been a rule for as long as you’ve been taking showers and for you all of the sudden to get brazenly angry over it smells more like an excuse than reality,” Dad said.
Stephanie said, “I’m mad because the only person Mom shows any respect to is herself. It’s like none of the rest of us matter. Everything is always her way or no way and I’m sick of it. You want to pin it on one specific thing but you can’t. It’s my whole life and she’s always the thundercloud hanging over my head and ruining every fucking day.”
Dad’s hand sailed through the air between them impacting her cheek like thunder. “I don’t care how angry you are, you don’t ever use language like that to me or your mother.” He wagged his finger in front of her bulging eyes even as the white of her cheek turned red with his hand print. “Do you understand me?”
Her hand grasped at her stinging cheek and tears watered her eyes as she took a step back from her father. “I’m sorry.”
He said, “You want respect? You have to earn it and that means working hard and following rules, even the rules you don’t like or don’t agree with. If you think disciplining you and your sisters when you fall short of expectations is disrespecting you then you better be just as angry at me as you are at your mother. This our home and you’re our daughter and that means we’re going to raise you the way we think is best and if you don’t like our methods, you’re certainly old enough to take on the world without our help.”
Stephanie wiped the tears from her eyes before they had a chance to fall. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“It’s like this Stephanie,” Dad said, “your mother sent you out here to be punished. You’ve admitted to deliberately throwing your towel on the floor despite knowing the consequences if you got caught. You clearly think it’s unfair that you got caught and somewhere in your head you’ve developed a twisted strand of logic that has convinced you that this act of rebellion was justified. Whatever it is that is truly bothering you is either as much a mystery to you as it is to me or you just don’t want to share it with me. Either way, I think we’ve wasted enough time talking because we’re clearly getting nowhere. So you’ve got a choice, you can go on into the shed, undress and bend over the sawhorse for your spanking or you can go back to the house and find a friend or a hotel room to take you in until you go back to school.”
Stephanie looked at her father. Nothing was going the way she had expected and instead of making things better she had only achieved upsetting her father which was the last thing she wanted. It wasn’t the first time she’d pushed him into offering her a way out that meant leaving home and just like before it was a choice she was not prepared to make. She lowered her gaze to the leaves on the ground and took the first step toward the shed. The rest came of habit and much more easily than the first until it seemed she had made her choice without a word and only the slightest of hesitation.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Stephanie exited the upstairs bathroom wrapped in a mocha colored towel. She entered her bedroom a few steps away, closed the door and tossed the towel to the floor with a giggle. Inside her closet she perused the clothes she’d left behind when she left for school at the end of the summer. It felt like a blue jeans and brown sweater day so she tossed the items to her bed and donned the plain white undergarments she reserved for her time at home.
A soft knock on the door proceeded the opening and closing of the door as her little sister entered without waiting for permission. Amanda plopped herself down on the bed next to Stephanie’s outfit and stretched. Her eyes were still half closed and her teeth chattered with the cold of the morning air despite the thick red robe and puppy slippers on her feet.
“One night down, three to go,” Amanda said.
Stephanie raised an eyebrow and joined her sister on the bed. “And a good morning to you too.”
Amanda lifted the waist of her sister’s jeans off the bed. “It’s not like you weren’t thinking it at some point already this morning.”
“I’ll let you in on a little secret,” Stephanie said, “sometimes it’s better not to say what you’re thinking.”
“It’s just us,” Amanda said.
Stephanie looked at the door leading to the hallway. “The walls are thin and Mom’s hearing hasn’t faded yet.”
“Right,” Amanda said. “So, how is California? Are you still hanging with that surfer hunk? What was his name?”
“He was a lifeguard,” Stephanie said, looking away from her sister.
“Whatever.” Amanda waved her hand in the air.
Stephanie looked at her dresser. The picture frame laid on its face from where she’d slapped it down the night before. She didn’t want to look at him. She didn’t want to talk about him. “We broke up.”
Amanda rested a supportive hand on her sister’s shoulder. “He dumped you?”
“Stupid bastard,” Amanda said. “You’re better off without him. You’ll do far better than some beach bum, I promise.”
Stephanie grabbed her jeans and started pulling them up. “I don’t want to talk about it, okay?”
“The prick may as well be dead,” Amanda said, running a virtual zipper over her lips with her right hand. “I’ll never speak of him again.”
Stephanie hopped to her feet pulling the jeans the final inches over her hips. “What about you? Meet any cute boys at college this year?”
Amanda laughed. “Boys are always cute, but I found myself a real man.”
Stephanie paused from fastening her jeans to cock an eyebrow at her sister. “Please tell me he’s not a professor.”
Amanda pressed both hands to her chest and blinked pretend offense at the mere suggestion. “I would never even think about calling a professor a real man.”
“That’s good,” Stephanie said, “cause I’m pretty sure if Dad caught you kissing a professor someone would get shot.”
Amanda laughed. “And I wouldn’t be able to sit down ever again.”
Stephanie laughed and nodded her agreement. “Speaking of,” she said, “it sure looked like you got a hefty dose of the strap yesterday.”
Amanda nodded and let out a low whistle. “Stung like hell yesterday, but it’s fine this morning, I think.” She stood up, turned her back to Stephanie and lifted her robe to give a clear view of her buttocks. “Tell me it’s not still fire engine red?”
Stephanie looked and smiled. “Wow!” she said. “I think I can see steam coming off that ass.”
Amanda rolled her eyes. “Very funny. I’m serious. He is coming over for Thanksgiving today and I was going to wear a skirt, but not if there is any chance he might see something.”
Stephanie laughed. “Does he usually peek up your skirt?”
Amanda dropped her robed back into place and blinked innocence betrayed by the pink coloring of her cheeks. “I’m sure he’d never do anything of the sort,” she said and then in a quieter voice, “unless I wanted him to.”
Stephanie smiled and shook her head. “Well you’re safe enough, the red is all gone, but it won’t stay that way if Mom or Dad catches you letting this guy take a peek.”
Amanda nodded. “I’ll be very, very careful.”
Stephanie grabbed her sweater and pulled it on. “That’s always the plan isn’t it?”
Amanda laughed, walking toward the door. She paused and looked at the jeans on Stephanie. “You know if you wear those jeans, Mom will send you up here to change before dinner and give you the lecture about creating extra laundry for her.”
Stephanie rolled her eyes. “She’s on that kick again?”
Amanda nodded. “A lady should dress like a lady and look like a lady.”
They laughed together and spoke in unison. “I’m no lady.”
The door sprung open forcing Amanda to take a surprised step backward. Their Mom entered the room wrapped in her own warm robe. Thick curlers bulged from her head, a look that always made Stephanie smirk while thinking they made her Mom look uncannily like the mythological Medusa. The stern eyes did nothing to mitigate the appearance.
Mom said, “Listening to the two of you cackling I’m hard pressed to disagree with you, but as long as you’re under my roof you’ll dress and behave like ladies or suffer the consequences. Is that understood?”
Stephanie and Amanda stood straight, pulled their shoulders back and pursed their lips. “Yes, Mom,” they said in unison.
Mom nodded taking another step into the room. “You,” she pointed at Stephanie, “will change out of those clothes and put on an appropriate Autumn dress before you leave this room.” Mom turned her head to Amanda. “And you will take a reasonable length shower and don a similar dress before you come downstairs. If either of you have a problem with that you can come downstairs in your birthday suit. Is that understood?”
Stephanie and Amanda nodded. “Yes, Mom.”
“Good,” Mom said and took a half step forward, stopping abruptly. She looked down at her feet where Stephanie’s towel laid bunched on the floor. “What is this?”
Amanda inhaled sharply.
Stephanie said, “My bath towel.”
Mom looked at Amanda. “Didn’t we just deal with this same thing yesterday?”
Amanda nodded, not daring to speak.
“I was going to pick it up,” Stephanie said.
Mom turned back to Stephanie. “It should never have gone on the floor in the first place.”
Stephanie nodded. “I know.”
“How many times have we talked about this?” Mom asked.
Stephanie swallowed cold air. “Too many to count.”
Mom shook her head. “At least we can agree on that. What did I tell you would happen the last time we discussed this?”
Stephanie nibbled on her lower lip for a long moment before shrugging. “I don’t know.”
Mom’s expression lacked any hint of amusement. “I suggest you think real hard before I decide to double it.”
Stephanie looked at her bare feet and felt her cheeks blushing hot over the memory of her Mom’s threat. “You said I’d be grounded for a week in my birthday suit and have to do lots of extra chores every day.”
Mom placed her hands on her hips and said, “You’re trying my patience young lady.”
Stephanie sighed and finished spelling out the last part of the punishment her Mom had promised. “You also said I’d get three spankings a day for the whole week. One in the morning, one in the afternoon and one before bed.”
Mom nodded. “And with all that, you still left your towel on the floor. Was this a test to see if I’d follow through or did you just think you could get away with it behind a closed bedroom door?”
Stephanie stared at her toes.
“I expect an answer when I ask a question young lady,” Mom said.
Stephanie mumbled in the direction of her bare toes. “I thought I could get away with it.”
Mom shook her head. “As it’s Thanksgiving and you aren’t going to be home a full week, I’m going to be nice and postpone that punishment until you come back for winter break next month.”
Stephanie blinked at her toes. It was a rare occasion when her Mom gave a reprieve, even a temporary one. “Thank you, Mom.”
Mom said, “However, I will not tolerate this willful insolence. Therefore, you will pick up this towel and hang it up proper in the bathroom where it belongs, after which you will get properly dressed for the day and then you will go and find your father and ask him to give you the spanking you deserve for deliberately challenging my authority in this house. Is that understood?”
Stephanie nodded. “Yes, Mom.”
Stephanie carefully navigated her way down the stairs in two inch strappy heels. She wore the only autumn colored dress in her closet that fit; an off the shoulder form hugger in copper brown. The style felt a little off for a family holiday, but it left no doubt about her femininity and Stephanie did not mind the subtle reinforcement of bold playfulness it gave to her personality. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and looked around the open living room and nearby dining room.
The rooms were immaculate as usual and the furniture, country style with an abundance of pillows and patterned fabric depicting an old saw mill, still made her wonder how she could possibly share any genes with her mother. No one was in sight between the two rooms, but she could hear ample noise coming from behind the swinging door leading into the kitchen. As she walked toward the door she could not decide if she hoped to find her father in the kitchen or absent from it.
She stopped just inside the kitchen. Her mother was busy with the turkey at the kitchen sink and Amanda sat at the kitchen table mixing up stuffing in a giant blue bowl. They wore matching aprons depicting fall leaves. The image conjured happy memories from younger years when she wasn’t in trouble and could enjoy the simple pleasure of jumping in the piles of freshly raked leaves with her sisters while their father looked on laughing. It was hard not to notice the extra two matching aprons hanging from the hook on the end of the cabinets across from her. If not for her stupid impulse to drop the bath towel on the floor, she’d be putting on one of those aprons instead of searching for her father.
Mom turned from the sink and shut the water off, fixing her attention solidly on Stephanie. Her eyes scanned up and down taking in the outfit Stephanie wore and the cold expression on her face suggested she was not entirely pleased. “Look who finally decided to come downstairs.”
Amanda glanced between Mom and her sister before deciding she was better off to focus on her task. She stirred a little more vigorously and did her best to disappear into the background. The expression on her pale face suggested she felt more than a little responsible for Stephanie’s troubles.
Stephanie nodded. There was no denying she had taken her time getting changed and silently cursing herself for tossing the towel on the floor in her bedroom. She had convinced herself on the plane ride home that this trip would be different. It took all of a night and a morning shower to prove herself wrong. Maybe the beach bum was right. Maybe she wasn’t happy unless she was making trouble.
“I didn’t realize I was being timed,” Stephanie said.
Mom laughed, drying her hands on a dish towel. “Take all the time you want. In a couple more hours, Todd and Jason should be here and I’m sure neither of them will object to a front row seat for the spanking you got coming.”
Stephanie looked quizzically at Mom. “Who is Jason?”
Amanda looked up and then turned her attention back to the stuffing. Speaking more to the bowl than her sister, she said, “My boyfriend.”
Mom took a step closer to Stephanie. She looked over her daughter’s outfit, shaking her head with obvious disapproval. “That’s not exactly what I had in mind when I told you to put a dress on.”
Stephanie took a deep breath before replying. “Most of my more appropriate clothes are at school Mom. I didn’t realize this was going to be a formal Thanksgiving or I’d have brought a dress for today.”
Mom said, “As usual you listen to nothing I tell you.”
Stephanie’s eyes shot open wide and she momentarily forgot she was already in trouble. “You didn’t tell me anything about your plans for today!”
Mom blinked one time very slowly with obvious annoyance washing over her face. “I’m not talking about just today. I’ve told you for as long as I can remember that when you pack to go somewhere you pack for every possibility.”
Stephanie stretched her fingers out at her sides trying to ease the tension threatening to make her dig a deeper hole for herself. “Oh,” she said.
Mom rolled her eyes in disgust. “And you better get that attitude of yours under control soon or I’ve got a bar of soap under this sink that will do it for you. Is that understood?”
Stephanie nodded once. “Yes, Mom.”
“It better be,” Mom said. She pointed toward the back door just past where Amanda was sitting. “Your father is waiting for you at the shed.”
Monday, November 21, 2011
In the midst of a slow moving crowd of travelers, Stephanie Pickett stepped onto the escalator. As the metal steps moved her closer to the ground floor her eyes scanned the waiting crowd of greeters below, hoping to catch a glimpse of her father. With her visit only being four days long, she knew the ride home would likely be the highlight of her trip. She looked forward to seeing her sisters, Nicole and Amanda, but dealing with their mother after three months away left a pit of apprehension growing in Stephanie’s stomach. Halfway to the bottom, Stephanie spotted her older sister, Nicole and Nicole’s husband Todd, waiting toward the back of the crowd. Her father was notably missing and his absence left two conflicting worries rolling through Stephanie’s thoughts; What happened? Did he know what she had done?
Todd and Nicole waved as Stephanie reached the bottom of the escalator. They met halfway into the midst of the crowd and Todd immediately took control of Stephanie’s single roller bag. He paused briefly, pressing his cheek against hers before turning and attempting to navigate the way out. Nicole gave less attention to the crowd than her husband and wrapped her arms around Stephanie, capturing her in a warm hug and planting a kiss on her cheek. Stephanie returned the hug without the kiss as fellow travelers and their greeters pushed past them like they were an annoying pebble splitting the natural flow of a stream.
Stephanie pulled back from the embrace and asked, “Where’s Dad?”
Nicole smiled and glanced at her watch. “I would imagine he’s either out at the shed oiling up the strap or heading there to do it.”
Stephanie’s face blanched. Nicole laughed.
Todd stopped his forward momentum and turned toward the sisters. “Are you two coming or do you like standing in every one’s way?”
Stephanie’s heart started pumping again at the glint of mischievous in her sister’s eyes. She shook her head, bouncing her neat ponytail from shoulder to shoulder and doing her best to laugh at herself so that Nicole wouldn’t think too hard on the worry that had crossed her face. Stephanie started walking toward Todd and Nicole kept pace beside her, still smiling.
“Nice one,” Stephanie said, placing her hand on the back of Nicole’s neck and squeezing with mock anger.
Nicole laughed a little harder, dipping her head forward and ducking away from Stephanie’s hold. “Actually, I was serious.”
Stephanie faked calmness and said, “Oh really? Is somebody in trouble?”
Todd nodded as they joined him. “You could definitely say that.”
Looking at Stephanie, Nicole said, “In fact, I think it’s safe to say you know more about this trouble than anyone.”
Stephanie’s hands grew clammy. She took all the precautions she could imagine. The evidence would have only been visible with the most scrutinous of examinations. She sighed. No matter what she did, no matter how hard she tried to hide it, they always found out the things she didn’t want them to know. Even in the worst case scenario though, she just hadn’t thought they could figure it out until after the semester was over. She should have been safe for Thanksgiving, but whatever mistake she had made to give herself away, there would be plenty of time to think about it while she was recovering from the strap, bare bottom in a corner. This was definitely not the holiday at home she’d been expecting.
Todd said, “I thought your mom was going to blow a gasket when she found it. She came running down the stairs like a rhino on a rampage and with a face as red as a fire engine. I swear I could see the steam pouring out of her ears.”
Stephanie took short quick breaths to steady the butterflies swarming in her stomach. She nodded her head and kept her gaze focused on the floor as they continued walking toward the parking garage. It sounded about right for Mom’s reaction, but the reaction she really wanted to know about was her father’s. The image of his face floated behind her eyes and it wasn’t anger he was conveying with his eyes, it was disappointment and so much of it as to make her wish for an early grave.
Nicole said, “I know it’s probably not what you wanted to come home to, but before you even think of asking, we don’t have any room at our place.”
Todd chuckled agreement. “That’s right, one naughty Pickett girl is more than enough for any man.”
“Hey!” Nicole said and slapped his upper arm. “I haven’t had a spanking in almost two years.”
“That doesn’t mean you aren’t naughty,” Todd said smiling at his wife, “and I seem to recall—
Nicole started to blush and slapped his arm again, a little harder. “That doesn’t count and we’re not talking about it in front of my little sister.”
Todd face turned a little more serious. “Hit me again and I’ll give your little sister a demonstration in the parking lot. And it will count.”
Nicole laughed, still blushing. “Stephanie is very familiar with spankings, but if you want to give her one in the parking lot, I won’t stop you.”
The laughter and casual teasing pushed Stephanie to the point she no longer cared if she made things worse. Enough was enough. “A spanking with Dad’s strap is no laughing matter,” she said and looked straight at her sister. “You know that just as well as I do and I don’t think it’s been so long you should be acting like you don’t remember.”
Nicole stopped laughing and nodded her head. “You’re right,” she said. “It’s just Amanda has always gotten away with way more than either of us and I was enjoying her finally getting some just desserts. Probably a little too much.”
Stephanie turned away from her sister and blinked at the concrete under her feet. Dad oiling the strap, Mom raging down the stairs, it was all about Amanda? That meant they didn’t know. The butterflies started to settle down in her stomach. She was safe. It might even be a nice quiet holiday at home. The kind of trip she had hoped for and needed after how wrong things had been going at school. She raised her head and looked at Nicole again. “What did she do to make Mom that mad?”
Nicole said, “I thought you would have guessed by now.”
Stephanie raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“She left a wet bath towel on her bedroom floor for half the day,” Nicole said.
Stephanie nodded her head with new understanding. The bath towel thing was one of Mom’s crazy rules. Stephanie had a long standing habit of ignoring Mom’s crazy rules. Most of the time she got away with it too because Mom often never found out. That’s part of why Stephanie considered the rules crazy; If Mom didn’t directly witness it being broken, she would never know if it had or hadn’t been. Obviously, Stephanie didn’t always get away with it though and the bath towel issue had landed her in more hot water over the years than a cupboard full of bath towels could absorb.
“Dad agreed to the strap over that?” Stephanie asked. It didn’t seem like him to be so harsh over something so stupid.
Nicole shook her head. “Apparently Amanda has been taking lessons from you, only she must have been taking it farther.”
“You mean she’s been doing this a lot since I went back to school?” Stephanie asked.
Todd chuckled. “You could say that. It’s the first she’d been caught, but when your Mom picked up the towel she found a big spot of black mold on the carpet.”
Stephanie shrugged. “So, maybe the towel was molding.”
Nicole nearly choked on her tongue from laughing. “That’s exactly what Amanda said. I swear sometimes the two of you share a brain.”
“I guess Dad wasn’t happy then,” Stephanie said. He was normally the voice of reason when Mom’s crazy rules got broken.
“You could say that,” Nicole said. “Mom finally got the last word on changing out the carpet in the house and now she has proof that’s she’s been right about the towel’s on the floor being a mold hazard. Dad is probably hoping he goes deaf soon cause you know Mom is going to be gloating about this for the next twenty years.”
Todd glanced over his shoulder as he led them through the parking lot. “Just a word to the wise, Steph, you probably don’t want to tempt fate with your own bath towel anytime in the next decade.”
Nicole nodded. “Dad sure won’t be backing you up or going easy anytime soon.”
“So he really took her out to the shed and strapped her?” Stephanie asked. Amanda could probably count on her fingers the number of times she’d been sent to the shed in her 19 years of life. On the other hand, Stephanie had lost count at how many times she’d gone in just the last two years. For some reason Stephanie couldn’t quite explain, being away at college seemed to have her landing in more trouble at home than when she had lived with her parents full time.
“Actually,” Nicole said, “He strapped her right in the living room cause Mom wanted to watch to make sure Dad did a thorough enough job.”
Todd whistled. “The fire in the fireplace had nothing on your poor sister’s posterior.”
“You saw?” Stephanie asked. Getting spanked around family was bad enough, but knowing that extended family like Todd, or worse, friends and or neighbors who happened by, would see and hear the spanking was the sort of thing to leave Stephanie blushing scarlet for days and sometimes weeks after the incident. There was nothing like that knowing twinkle in some one’s eye to make her feel all of two years old and stark naked despite being modestly dressed and a grown woman.
Todd shook his head. “Sadly I missed the main event. Your Mom’s got her cleaning all the floors in the house with a toothbrush while keeping her bare bottom visible to anyone who looks.”
Nicole shook her finger at Todd. “You shouldn’t be looking. She’s my baby sister.”
Todd shook his head with a grin on his face. “Guess what? You married a guy and if a 19 year old cutie is going to walk around bare butt, a guy is going to look. Even if it is your sister.”
They reached the car and Todd opened the trunk, tossing Stephanie’s roller bag inside. He opened the doors on the passenger side one at time, seating Stephanie in the back and Nicole in the front and closing their doors for them. He sat in the driver’s seat, turned on the ignition and fastened his seat belt in place while Nicole and Stephanie did the same.
Stephanie asked, “So is she grounded?”
Nicole turned around to look at Stephanie. “Nope. Mom thought that would be too mean since she’s got her new boyfriend coming over tomorrow. It would be pretty awkward having to explain why Amanda was bare butt in the corner while the rest of us were enjoying dinner.”
Stephanie shook her head. “Mom’s gone soft.”
Todd chuckled. Nicole laughed.
“I doubt you’ll be saying that if you step out of line while your back,” Nicole said.
Stephanie rolled her eyes and nodded agreement. “Fortunately, I’m only back for four days. I have to be back at school on Monday.”
Todd said, “And then you’ll be back in another three weeks for about six weeks if I recall correctly. Sounds like plenty of time to get yourself in trouble or to continue any punishment you earn in the next few days.”
Nicole nodded. “And Todd will be sure to look if you do.”
Stephanie laughed. “I’m sure he would like to, but I’m not planning on giving him the chance.”