Monday, December 27, 2010

April's Thanksgiving Shower, Part 4

**The following story is based in part on actual events, fictionalized and embellished for your entertainment. The names have been changed to protect the guilty, the innocent, and the author.***

The doorbell rang. I was still in the corner, still naked and very much ashamed. My heart thudded in my chest and a cold shiver ran down my spine. Dad’s heavy footsteps echoed on the entryway floor and I flinched at the sound of the deadbolt being turned back. The door separated from its seal and the hinges squeaked, but my ears ignored the door and focused on the chorus of voices from beyond its threshold. Thanksgiving was in full swing and the corner was no place to hide.
My siblings descended the stairs in a rumble. I could hear the cramming of family gathering in the entryway with the door still wide open. The sounds of greetings and hugs permeated the air with a warmth that nevertheless put a chill in my bones. I pressed myself into the corner as though it could swallow me if I pushed hard enough. The door closed shut with a click and the deadbolt was turned once more. Silence fell upon the house. I didn’t need to turn around to know they were looking at me or more aptly, my bare, spanked butt.
Aunt Matilda cackled. “Don’t tell me I’ve got a naughty niece.”
“Of course not,” my brother Jeremy said. “It’s just a bad girl with no clothes and a red bottom standing in the corner. We don’t really know who she is, but with a butt that festive Dad just couldn’t resist displaying it.”
I blushed hotter by the second, keenly aware of my nakedness and my still aching butt. If embarrassment killed, I would have been six-feet under in a see-through casket. My hands were possessed with an almost insuppressible desire to cover my bare breasts, not that it would be enough or of any real value in protecting my modesty. I was exposed and there was no escape without even greater exposure. It seemed like my worst nightmare had come true.
Dad said, “April, do you want to turn around and explain to your Aunt and Uncle why your standing naked in the corner with a spanked butt?”
I focused on the word ‘want’ as if it was more important than any other part of Dad’s question. It was just wishful thinking on my part. “No thanks,” I said.
A growl emanated from behind me and I suspect it was actually Dad. He asked, “Would you rather bend over for another dose of the paddle?”
Perhaps it was just me, but it seemed as if Dad had lost all perspective on what constituted a real choice. I stepped back from the corner and turned around to face the room. Looking at my Aunt and Uncle, I felt as if my face was about to explode into a ball of fire. Despite the heat in my face and butt, the rest of me felt chilled to the bone and my heart thumped in my chest like a ticklish rabbit’s foot. It was easier to stare at the floor, but I could tell from the look on Dad’s face he wasn’t going to allow me the luxury.
I focused on my Aunt’s big nose and said, “Happy Thanksgiving. I had a disagreement with Dad about my shower time and an apology. I’m sure you can guess which one of us lost.”
Uncle Gregory stepped forward and grabbed my chin to make me look at him. He said, “It sounds like you could still use some attitude adjustment.”
I blinked innocence. “I had a great attitude this morning, but apparently Dad likes me with a little more sarcasm. I got the message loud and clear when he started swinging the paddle.”
Aunt Matilda said, “If you were my daughter you would be sucking on a bar soap.”
I kept my mouth shut. It wasn’t that I was scared of her sticking a bar soap in my mouth, knowing her she probably had one in her purse. No, the real thing keeping my mouth shut was the incessant image she had planted in my head of her and my Dad having intimate relation to produce a child. It was disgusting and just the sort of thing I would have loved to point out to her, but I’d spent just long enough in the corner to listen to the stinging in my rear. And it was telling me to shut up while I was ahead.
Dad pointed at the corner again making me wonder if there was some strange magnetic attraction between the joined walls and his index finger. “Back to the corner young lady. I think you could still use a little more time thinking about your behavior before joining the rest of the civilized world.”
“Wouldn’t you rather send me up to my room?” I asked, taking a step back toward the corner.
“Corner,” Dad said, still pointing. I’m pretty sure he was the only one in the room not amused by my question. Well, other than me that is, cause I was being totally serious.
I thought about reminding Dad that my bedroom came equipped with four corners of its very own, but the audience seemed a little unreceptive to such comments. All things considered, the corner was a much more attractive location than say standing beside the couch while they all caught up on a year’s worth of gossip. I took the last step into the corner, glanced back at Dad’s pointing finger and then pressed my nose into the wall once more. Dad cleared his throat and I reluctantly raised my arms back up, placing my hands together behind my head.
They left me alone, filtering their way into the living room for tea, cocoa, sausage, cheese, and assorted crackers. Thankfully, and being as it was Thanksgiving I was truly thankful, no one thought about having me circling the room and serving the goodies. Well, I don’t think anyone thought about it and if they did no one said anything. I didn’t mention it either cause while I might say some pretty dumb things at times, I’m not that dumb.
My arms got tired again. I rested my elbows against the wall and wondered if I started counting seconds if the time would pass more quickly or slowly than otherwise. The conversation in the living room behind me was only too easy to hear, but I tuned out everything that didn’t have something to do with me. The things that did have to do with me were noticeably short and rather specific.
I was fairly certain I had an over-sized butt before, but after listening to Lisa and Aunt Matilda, I think maybe it belongs on a giant. And then there was Jeremy and our cousin Robbie who were full of Christmas cheer having seen my butt glowing so bright. I would have reminded them it was neither the eve of Christmas nor foggy in the house, but Dad probably would have taken the opportunity to whip my reindeer butt some more. Silenced reigned in my little corner and I waited impatiently for night to fall.
The timer in the kitchen went off causing a bustle of activity behind me. I blinked myself back into the moment having practically dozed off waiting for either hell to freeze over or Dad to decide I could finally leave the corner. My money was on the devil buying skis. A shocking slap to my butt erased the image of a pointy eared red devil getting ready to race down the tallest mountain ever dreamed up and made me jump deeper into the corner, crushing my breasts against the walls.
Dad said, “Do you think you can do a good job setting the table or should I just paddle you while someone else does it?”
“Can I have a minute to think about it?” I asked.
No, no, no, I didn’t say that, but boy did I want to say it. I mean really, what kind of question is that? Does anybody answer that with, “Oh yes, please, please can I be paddled”? If they do, they are crazy and while I was naked, red-bottomed, red-faced, standing in the corner in front of family and company, I was not crazy. Stupid, sure, but not crazy.
“I can do it if you’ll let me leave the corner,” I said.
Yes, that is what I really said. There was definite submission and regret in my tone and I stared at the walls practically mumbling when I said it. Dad seemed to really appreciate the tone of my voice for the first time all day. He slapped my butt again, probably cause he just wanted to see it wiggle some more and then stepped back from me.
Dad said, “Alright, then I suggest you get to it and don’t forget to use the nice napkins.”
I looked at him over my shoulder and nodded. There were a lot more than just Dad’s eyes on me and I was still none to pleased to be showing off my naked form to everyone. Red blood flowed deeply back into my face, but I pushed the thoughts of my embarrassing situation aside and turned from the corner. I nearly bolted into the dining room and began pulling out plates and silverware trying to pretend I wasn’t noticing the eyes watching me or the way my body parts seemed to sway and bounce with every move I made. It was a little harder to pretend my giggling sisters, brother and cousin weren’t actually making fun of me.
Dad entered from the kitchen door carrying the turkey on a platter, no it wasn’t me, just as I laid the last napkin to rest in its ring. Mom and Madison followed with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberries, and dinner rolls. Don’t ask me how they carried it all with only two arms a piece, but they did. Dad set the turkey in the center of the table and started carving straight away. Everyone else, made their way around the table and grabbed a seat for their very own. I stood off to the side, hoping I might be sent to the kitchen with a small plate of food or even sent to my room with nothing at all.
Now, I’m sure Dad intended me to learn a lesson for the day about being polite to the family and keeping my wild tongue under control, but the one I was really learning quite well was that hoping was tantamount to asking for the opposite. In other words, I should have hoped for him to make me stand at the table in my birthday suit to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal. If I had, I probably would have ended up in my room instead of standing at the table trying to eat without making a mess on the table or myself. Of course if you’ve ever eaten standing up, you well know that mess just goes with the territory.
They sat, and I stood, at the table for over an hour of gorging on food and conversation. I ate, though my appetite was somewhere upstairs with the clothes I was supposed to be wearing, and despite it all the dinner was good. The biggest annoyance, beyond being naked and standing that is, was that I spent almost as much time moving dishes from one end of the table to the other and filling empty glasses as I did eating. I’m sure there were violins playing somewhere for me. When the meal finally came to its conclusion it was really no surprise that Dad wanted me to do the cleaning up all by myself.
I cleared the table of the dishes and stacked them neatly beside the sink in the kitchen. It took a few minutes for the hot water to really start flowing and while I waited, I put away the leftovers in to the fridge. With the water running it was easy to pretend I couldn’t hear everyone else having a good time chatting in the living room and that made it easy to pretend I was happier being where I was. Of course, it didn’t take much more than forty minutes or so to finish the clean up and then I really was wishing I was back in the kitchen instead of hanging out with the family.
I joined everyone in the living room and stood like a statue beside the couch where my father was sitting. When the conversation dwindled into silence, Dad turned his sights on me. “So April, have you figured out yet that I wasn’t joking with you this morning?”
There were smiles around the room, but neither I nor my father were smiling. It was a joke to everyone except us. I almost said as much until I realized that despite the audience the conversation was really just between Dad and I.  “Yes,” I said.
“Good,” Dad said and stood up, “Then you’ll understand I’m not joking when I tell you that I’m serious when I tell you’ll be spending Christmas and New Years, just as naked and just as spanked if I have any more trouble from you this year.”
“But Dad,” I said, searching for an argument that didn’t sound like whining.
“Whether it happens or not is completely in your hands,” Dad said. “You can either behave like a good girl or not. Each action has a consequence. All you have to decide is which consequence you prefer, naked and spanked or clothed and happy. It’s up to you, understand?”
I frowned and nodded. “Yes.”
Dad grabbed me by the arm and gently led me away from the couch to a spot more centered between the seating areas of the living room. He turned me to face the fireplace leaving my back to the majority of the room as no one was sitting by the fireplace. His hand slapped my butt making me jump slightly.
“Touch your toes,” Dad said, releasing his hold on me.
I looked pleadingly at him. There was no escaping his intentions though and his eyes were hardened to the task regardless of what sympathy he might have felt for me. I sucked in my lips and adjusted my legs apart enough so that I could do what he asked without falling over. My eyes fluttered closed and I leaned down until my fingertips brushed against my naked toes. The silence in the room made it easy to pretend I was alone.
My inner peace lasted until Dad returned to the living room with the paddle in hand. He tapped lightly against my bulging buttocks and then slapped the paddle down hard, reigniting the simmering fire from earlier. I yelped and my eyes popped open. It was only for an instant, but in that instant I was given a humiliating upside down view of my audience. The image of my cousin Robbie grinning from ear to ear was burned into my eyes and even as my eyelids fluttered closed I could still see his face.
Dad was apparently in a rush because no sooner had the sound faded from the first pop and a second swat landed. My eyes opened again, this time with tears spilling out. I stayed down, sniffling and moaning, ashamed of myself and humiliated beyond all words at the predicament. Dad landed another swat and I howled at the burning pain emanating from my blazing butt.
The echo of my embarrassing reaction hadn’t even faded when the paddle landed again. The fire burned with unbearable ferocity and I leaped upward, hands flinging about as the only sensible thought left in my brain warned me not to rub at the source. I hopped around in a circle, flashing the family a generous view of my unguarded, bouncing bits not to mention the face of a bad girl wishing she’d been good. Dad let me go until I stopped bouncing up and down.
“Toes,” he said, pointing at them with the paddle.
“I’m really sorry,” I said sniffling and not bending back over.
Dad sighed. “I’m sure you are, but if you don’t bend back over right this minute, you’ll be even more sorry come tomorrow.”
I decided not to test him or press him for details on his threat. My burning butt became the high point of my body once more and my hair tickled my toes. The tears flowed freely from my eyes and I found it impossible not to stare back at the audience staring at me. It’s unlikely anyone could blush any brighter or hotter than I was.
Dad swung the paddle again and I cried. He gave me no time to recover, to breathe, or to anticipate before landing another swat. I cried louder. He swatted my butt again. I swayed about trying desperately to move my bottom enough that he couldn’t spank it again, but Dad managed without pause. I begged him to stop.
The paddle tapped against my bottom giving me hope that it was over. Dad said, “Are you going to listen to me the next time I tell you to get out of the shower in a half hour or less?”
“Yes,” I said without hesitation.
The paddle cracked against my bottom evoking a pitiful yelp from my lips. Dad rested the paddle against my butt. “Are you going to get smart and fresh with me when I’m trying to talk serious with you?”
I said, “No.”
Dad swatted me again. “Are you going to swallow your pride and ego and apologize to others when you’ve done them wrong?”
“Yes,” I said.
I winced and cried out as the paddle slapped against my butt once more. Dad held it against my bottom, tapping my tender flesh. “Do you want to spend Christmas and New Years like you’ve spent today?”
“No,” I said, sniffling.
The crack of the paddle swatting my bottom echoed in the room. I sobbed and wiped at the stream of tears pouring from my eyes. Dad said, “I certainly hope not because I’m not joking about it. If you so much as stick your tongue out at your brother, that is exactly how you’ll be spending both of those days and quite likely every day in between them. I’m tired of your bad attitude and your inconsiderate behavior and one way or another it’s going to stop. Am I understood young lady?”
“Yes,” I said amid tears and sobs.
Dad said, “Now you’re going to straighten up, say goodnight to everyone and go upstairs to your room. Understood?”
I stood up and nodded. “Yes.”
“And you’re grounded for the rest of the weekend,” Dad said.
I nodded and wiped the tears from my eyes and cheeks. It was difficult turning to face everyone, but the thought that I could soon escape to the privacy of my bedroom made it bearable. There was amusement in a few of their eyes and faces, like Jeremy, Robbie, Lisa, and Jenny. The rest were more solemn and so I ignored the amused and addressed myself to the others. “I’m sorry if I spoiled your Thanksgiving,” I said and though I doubted I had, I meant it.
Aunt Matilda responded for everyone. “We just hope you’ve learned your lesson because believe it or not, we all love you.”
I forced a temporary smile for her and said, “Goodnight.”
Upstairs in my room I checked my bottom in the mirror. It was red and trembling, but there were no flames or cuts or bruises. The spanking had felt much more damaging than it was in reality. I nursed my tender cheeks with my hands and laid down on my bed. Resting my head on the pillow, I closed my eyes and committed myself to observing a white-bottomed Christmas.

The End.

Monday, December 20, 2010

April's Thanksgiving Shower, Part 3

**The following story is based in part on actual events, fictionalized and embellished for your entertainment. The names have been changed to protect the guilty, the innocent, and the author.***

I could feel their eyes dancing over me. It was gross. I mean really, wet eyeballs rolling over my skin is just a creepy thought and giving them rhythm to boot, well it was worthy of a massive shudder at least. Okay, sure the feeling probably had more to do with standing there butt naked, water dripping off my skin and soap suds drying in patches all over me, but they were all staring and we all knew it. I preferred the inside of my eyelids to actually facing them, my siblings, and if Dad hadn’t been nudging me forward I would have kept my eyes closed for the duration.
My four older sisters, Madison, Lisa, Jenny, and Trish, were all secretly relieved that it was me and not them that was in the deep stuff with Dad. Jeremy, my younger brother, was likely trying to decide whether or not it was alright to have an erection while staring at his naked sister, me. In his defense, I am hot and pajamas don’t exactly offer a lot of cover for male appendages. He had the good sense to look almost as embarrassed as I felt.
Dad cleared his throat. “We’re waiting.”
Trembling, I forced myself to say the words and hoped it would bring an end to the humiliating moment. “I’m sorry,” I said.
Lisa leaned to the side making an obvious point of looking at my throbbing red backside. “We can see that for ourselves,” she said.
My gaze snapped to her. I glared my feelings of annoyance and betrayal in her general direction. She appeared oblivious, projecting an air of angelic innocence. If she was either angelic or innocent I probably wouldn’t have let it bother me, but as she was neither it had the unfortunate effect of grinding on my nerves. Or maybe that was just the stinging from Dad’s paddling.
“On second thought,” I said tilting my head to the side, “I’m not sorry in the slightest. Maybe having less time to paint yourself pretty, people will see you for the bitch you are.”
Lisa gaped like a fish out of water. I considered offering her some from my still dripping hair, perhaps with a generous shake of my head, but that would have made me look too much like the female dog label I had just given her. Reluctantly, I settled on flashing her a smile that was too waited down by my embarrassed state and the burning in my backside to seem as pleased with myself as I would have liked.
Madison and Trish covered their amusement with strategically placed hands in front of their grinning mouths. Jenny planted her hands on her hips, taking Lisa’s side as usual and Jeremy was still too worried about his pelvic tent to react. Ten seconds later my smile faded when Dad’s open palm connected with my stinging butt.
Dad said, “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll watch your mouth and give your siblings an apology that at least sounds sincere.”
I flashed Dad a stone-faced glare before turning my attention back to Lisa who had the bad manners to be giggling. “I need to borrow your mirror.”
Lisa adopted a look of puzzlement. “What?”
I ignored a hot twitch in my sore backside and said, “Dad wants me to watch my mouth and we all know you’re the only one vain enough to be walking around with a mirror.”
Dad whacked my butt again. “Do you want another dose of the paddle?”
I glared back at him over my shoulder. “She started it. Why don’t you say anything to her?”
“I’m not fooling around,” Dad said.
I should have bit my tongue and listened to the twitching in my backside, but I didn’t. “Mom will be relieved,” I said and tossed my wet hair off my shoulder to give me a clear view of his face.
It was plagued with consternation as he considered what to do with me. “You want to act like a clown? Well we’ll just see how funny you think it is when everyone arrives and you’re standing in the corner with your red butt on display.”
I swallowed hard and strove for a serious tone in my voice. “No need for an experiment Dad. I can tell you right now, it wouldn’t be funny at all.”
Jeremy cleared his throat and raised his hand in the air like he was waiting to be called on. “Um, I got to disagree. I think it would be damn funny.”
I had a thing or two I would have liked to have said to my little brother, but Dad never gave me a chance. He said, “How many times do I have to tell you not to swear in front of your sisters?”
Jeremy looked to the others with a big smile still planted on his lips. “Forgive me ladies, I didn’t mean to offend you with my colorful language.”
Madison must have felt the same lack of remorse as I did. She said, “Don’t let it happen again.”
Dad swung his gaze to Madison. “Ladies in this house are gracious and forgiving.”
“If you say so.” Madison’s eyes shifted from Dad to Lisa.
Dad stayed focused on Madison. “I suggest you straighten out that attitude unless you want to share in April’s fortunes.”
Madison and Dad stared at each other in silence for a long awkward moment and then Madison turned to Jeremy. “I apologize if I didn’t sound gracious and accepting of your apology.”
Jeremy nodded to her, still smiling like he was king of the world. “Your apology is unnecessary, but I accept it as you’ve accepted mine.”
Dad grabbed my chin and turned my head to face him. “Now that you’ve witnessed two apologies from your siblings perhaps you’d like to give it another try yourself.”
I met Dad’s glare with my own. “I already said I was sorry and I’m not going to say it again just so Lisa can tease me some more.”
Trish, my usually silent sister, laid a supportive hand on my shoulder and spoke up in her whisper-like voice. “Don’t force Dad to prove he’s more stubborn than you because we all know he is. Just say the words and we can all put this thing in the past where it belongs.”
Dad said, “Listen to your sister.”
“Fine,” I said seething in defeat and forgetting all about my embarrassment. The throbbing in my butt seemed to migrate to my head. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’re an ass and Lisa is a bitch and I’m real damn sorry I have to spend my Thanksgiving in the same zip code as any of you.”
Dad’s eyes turn cold as ice. “You think you’re funny?”
“No.” I stared back with my fear, better judgment, and common sense all abandoning me. Even the hot state of my butt was insufficient to curb my tongue. “I think you are.”
“I’m through messing around with you,” Dad said.
I smiled. “Good, I’ll just finish my shower and be downstairs when I’m ready.”
Madison said, “April, just apologize before things spiral out of hand.”
Dad shoved me a step back and let go of me. “It’s too late for that. Get your butt in the downstairs corner and don’t even think about moving until I tell you.”
I crossed my arms in front of my naked chest. The fire in my bottom seemed to be fueling my temper in a most unwise manner. “Make me.”
Dad pointed the way down the stairs, as if I didn’t know the way. “NOW!”
I rolled my eyes and turned my glowing backside to him. “That doesn’t sound like an indoor voice to me,” I said and pushed my way through the astonished sea of my siblings’ faces. They were standing between me and the bathroom, but none of them dared to try and stop me.
Jeremy turned to Dad looking more than a little shocked. “You aren’t going to let her get away with that are you?”
I glanced at Jeremy with giggles in my eyes. “Mind your own business pipsqueak. Oh, and you might want to go wax off before you put an eye out with that thing.” I pointed at his tent and forced a laugh that sounded evil even to my ears. There was a part of me that knew I should stop before things really got out of control, but I wasn’t listening to the burning bush I usually call my butt.
Jeremy turned scarlet in some combination of shame and anger. “Yeah, well your obviously wet enough to drown the whole fucking U.S. Navy.”
Still walking toward the bathroom, I ticked my finger at Jeremy. “Language, language. You don’t want Dad to swing his paddle in your direction or do you?”
I was two steps away from entering the bathroom when I came to a sudden and complete stop. It wasn’t really my choice unless ripping one’s hair out is a choice. Dad had grabbed hold of my hair once again and he was yanking in the opposite direction from where I was heading. A pair of scissors would have been handy.
I said, “Hey! That’s my hair and it’s still connected to me.”
Dad put his mouth close to my ear so I could get the full effect of his voice, complete with spit and hot air. “You can either march yourself down to the corner or I can drag you there kicking and screaming. Either way you’re going.”
I stopped struggling but only because continued resistance was going to rip my hair out of my head. “Do you have any idea how much I hate you right now?”
“Not nearly as much as I love you,” Dad said, “and to prove it, I’m not going to let you get away with this rude, reckless, and rebellious behavior. Hate me today all you want, but someday you’ll thank me. Now get walking or I will get to dragging.”
Given my lack of options, I turned myself around. Dad loosened his grip on my hair and as I started walking, he let go entirely. I bumped into Lisa on my way to the stairs and we shared an annoyed stare momentarily. There was gloating in her eyes, in the way she stood and it took loads of self-restraint to stop myself from slapping her silly. I swallowed the angry, blaming words threatening to escape my mouth and kept on walking, descending the stairs without a backward glance. Dad followed me with his heavy footsteps letting me know he was only a couple of paces behind.
The corner was an outcropping of wasted space near the center of our house and only a few steps away from the bottom of the stairs. It was uniquely visible in part or in whole from all the major rooms of the downstairs and from the lower half of the  stairs themselves as well as from the front door. The walls on either side of the joining were no more than a foot and a half in width, possibly an ideal location for a houseplant, but for a person like me, there was too little space to hide within.
I arrived at the corner and turned my head to look back at Dad. “This is ridiculous.” I pouted hoping Dad would relent.
He pointed at the corner. “Not as ridiculous as your behavior this morning. Now get your nose in that corner and plant your hands behind your head.”
Tears escaped my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. I bit my lip and hesitated a moment longer before turning away from Dad and stepping fully into the corner. The white wall was cold against my nose. I shivered and blinked back the storm of tears flooding my eyes. Everything was blurry and part of me wondered why I hadn’t just played along with the apology upstairs while the rest of me stewed in the angry turmoil blaming everyone except myself. My stinging butt played on both sides of the argument.
Dad said, “You’re going to stay there until I dismiss you and in the meantime I suggest you spend some time thinking about the behavior that’s landed you here.”
I listened to Dad’s footsteps retreating toward the kitchen where I could hear Mom laboring away for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. My arms felt heavy and tired within seconds and I carefully leaned my elbows against the walls cupping me into their hold. I should have been thinking about why I was so stubborn as to land myself in the corner, naked, spanked and dripping wet from an incomplete shower. Instead, all I could think about was the impending arrival of relatives and the fact my siblings were never going to let me live this Thanksgiving down.

Monday, December 6, 2010

April's Thanksgiving Shower, Part 2

**The following story is based in part on actual events, fictionalized and embellished for your entertainment. The names have been changed to protect the guilty, the innocent, and the author.***

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.