Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Pickett Family Holiday, Part 08

“Six hours may as well be six minutes,” Stephanie said, staring at the stretch of yard between the shed and the chain link fence separating her parents’ property from their neighbors. “I’m never going to get this done.”

A gust of wind brought more leaves falling from the treetops, supporting her pessimistic perspective. She looked to her left toward the house. Her father and Todd were gone from sight. She focused on the glass door near the kitchen. Inside, her sisters and mother were busy making the preparations for the big meal. She couldn’t see them, but she knew, if they were looking out, they could see her.
Her head turned to the right and she stared at the far corner of the yard where an old sycamore marked the meeting of four yards. The chain link fences ended beneath the shade of the tree where the roots were thick and rolling in and out of the dark soil. There were still a pair of swings hanging from the branches. Her father had made them shortly after they’d moved into the house. They were nothing more than 2x4’s and thick rope, but they’d made for hours of childhood fun. And not just for Stephanie and her sisters, it had been the joy of all the kids who’d grown up in the houses that shared the old tree.
She lifted the rake, carrying it so the tines remained above the grass and the leaves as she walked across the yard toward the old tree. A voice from the past echoed in her thoughts, ‘The sooner you start, the sooner you finish.’ Once beneath the tree, she adjusted her grip and stance, holding the rake out in front of her and began the work of collecting the leaves. With the leaves came memories made sharp by the guilt still plaguing her soul. The strap should have washed those feelings clean, but it hadn’t and her past knew why.
Stephanie bumped one of the swings with the rake, sending it into a gentle sway. A decade ago she had been sitting on that swing. Someone else had been in trouble. She hadn’t meant to watch, but once it began she couldn’t bring herself to look away. It had been around the Thanksgiving holiday then too. Veronica Sanders had been home from college.
The Sanders’ lived in the house directly behind the Pickett’s. All the kids in the four homes sharing the sycamore had called her Aunt Vera on account of the fact she was Mitch’s aunt. It had always struck Stephanie as odd that someone as young as Aunt Vera could actually be an aunt. In some ways Aunt Vera had seemed more like just another one of the kids because even though she was the sister of Mitch’s father, she wasn’t really an adult. In fact, Mitch’s parents treated her more or less the same way they treated Mitch. Which is to say, Aunt Vera got scolded, spanked and grounded just as often as any of the rest of the kids did, sometimes more.
Aunt Vera hadn’t always lived with Mitch and his parents. She’d moved in at the not so grown up age of 14. There had been a car accident, Aunt Vera had been in the backseat, and when the car had stopped it had been twisted, bent, and turned upside down. Aunt Vera had crawled out the busted back window with nothing more than few scratches and a bruise on her forehead. Her parents hadn’t been so lucky. Neither of them made it out of the car.
In the eyes of the five year old Stephanie, the teenage Aunt Vera had seemed very grown up. They’d first met beneath the old sycamore, shortly after the accident. Aunt Vera had been sitting on one of the swings and Stephanie had joined her on the other. They sat and swung and talked until the sun drooped low in the sky and Stephanie decided they’d be friends forever.
Stephanie’s attention returned to the present. She stopped raking and a smile spread across her face as she realized what she’d done. Her monotonous efforts had resulted in a large pile of leaves just a few feet from the swing. Aunt Vera had made piles just like it and Stephanie, along with all the other kids, had taken turns jumping off the swings to land atop the piles. Stephanie was tempted to revisit her childhood activity, but her buttocks were still stinging enough to discourage her from sitting on anything hard and wooden. She shook off the temptation and resumed her raking activities.
Aunt Vera would have made a game out of the work. Stephanie had always admired her for that simple ability. No matter what Aunt Vera was doing, no matter how awful the task, she made it look fun and simple. And Aunt Vera had done her share of outdoor chores, probably more than her share cause she let Mitch talk her into doing his too from time to time.
Stephanie stopped raking. She used her off hand to rub at her burning buttocks. Sometimes, Aunt Vera had done her chores with a bare bottom too. That Thanksgiving had been one of those times.
Mr. Sanders had escorted Aunt Vera out of the house to the very back end of their yard. She hadn’t fought him despite his firm grasp on her wrist. They’d stopped walking just on the other side of the chain link fence only a few feet away from the old sycamore where Stephanie had been swinging. Mr. Sanders let go of Aunt Vera and they faced each other completely oblivious to Stephanie’s presence. There’d been tears in Aunt Vera’s eyes.
“I’m sorry,” Aunt Vera said. “I didn’t think—
“That’s right,” Mr. Sanders said, “you didn’t think at all.”
Even at 12 years old, Stephanie knew she should have left right then, but curiosity kept her butt firmly rooted on the wood swing. She blushed at the memory, thinking just how embarrassed she would be if there were a 12 year old kid sitting on the swing right then, watching her.
Aunt Vera had wiped at the tears in her eyes. “Nobody got hurt.”
The cool November air made it look like steam was pouring out of Mr. Sanders’ nostrils. “Nobody got hurt? You embarrassed the hell out of Lucy and what would have happened if she hadn’t brought a credit card with her?”
Aunt Vera had shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Mr. Sanders had shook his head at the sky. “Do you know what they call it when you go into a store to get things and don’t have any money to pay for them?”
She stood there just staring at him with big watery eyes.
“It’s called shoplifting,” Mr. Sanders said, “and at your age you damn well should know that young lady.”
Aunt Vera stomped her foot on the grass. “You’re not my father!”
Mr. Sanders clenched his hand into a fist and for a moment, Stephanie had thought he was going to hit Aunt Vera, really hit her. Then he took a deep breath and opened his hand. Stephanie had held her breath and kept watching.
He said, “Lucy and I are your guardians, but you’re right, I’m not our father. Dad would have taught you right from wrong. Obviously I failed in that.”
Aunt Vera looked away from Mr. Sanders. Her voice was muffled when she spoke. “I know right and wrong.”
Mr. Sanders reached out, grabbing Aunt Vera by the chin and turning her head back toward him. “If that’s true then you clearly have no respect for me or my family.”
“I do,” she said.
Mr. Sanders shook his head in disagreement. “It’s not respectful to steal money from Lucy’s purse. It’s not respectful to lie about it when Lucy confronted you. And it’s really not respectful to cast suspicion on your nephew for the things you’ve done.”
“It was only 40 bucks,” Aunt Vera said. “I didn’t think she’d even notice.”
Mr. Sanders shook his head. “Stealing isn’t ever right. It’s doesn’t matter whether some one notices you’ve done it or not.”
“I already said I’m sorry.” Aunt Vera looked up into Mr. Sanders’ eyes. “What more do you want me to say?”
Mr. Sanders met her gaze. “I want you to explain to me why you couldn’t just ask me for the money. I want you to explain to me why you tried to blame it on my son. I want you to explain to me what we’ve done to deserve you lying to us.”
Aunt Vera looked away. “Nothing.”
“Actions,” Mr. Sanders said, “have consequences.”
Her stance shifted and her eyes darted to Mr. Sanders’ face and then back to the blades of grass between them. The mixture of tension and apprehension charged the air between them like electricity. Aunt Vera’s lips moved, but the words were barely audible. “I know.”
Mr. Sanders shook his head. “I don’t think you do, but you will.”
She looked up into his eyes. Tears ran down her cheeks. “I’m sorry.”
His hands moved to his belt and his fingers slipped beneath the brown leather, unfastening it from the brass buckle. “Turn around and touch your toes.”
Aunt Vera’s hands went to the seat of her skirt as if she could somehow protect herself from his intentions. She shook her head from side to side, disheveling her hair in the process. “It won’t happen again.”
Mr. Sanders pulled the belt free of his pants and doubled it in his hands. “Don’t make me tell you again.”
She looked up into his eyes and took a step back. The silence between them belied the battle of wills taking place in their stare. Her gaze dropped to the grass. She nibbled on her lower lip. Her hands wiped the wetness from her cheeks. She turned her back to him, took a deep breath, and leaned forward until her fingertips brushed the points of her mocha colored pumps.
He walked to her and grabbed the hem of her knee length skirt, tossing it up onto her back. His hand brushed over the waistband of her black lace panties. He hesitated while staring at her jutting bottom. The black lace covered only the top crescents of her buttocks, leaving the white cheeks fully exposed. He stepped back from her and adjusted his grip on the belt, measuring the distance between him and his target.
The belt lashed across the center of her white buttocks leaving behind a stripe of soft red flesh. Aunt Vera blinked, but otherwise failed to react to the beginning of the spanking. The echo of the belt’s impact faded away and all that remained was the rustle of leaves in the breeze and the creak of swaying tree branches. She inhaled deeply, holding the breath in expectation of the next swing of the belt.
Mr. Sanders swung again, striking her buttocks in almost exactly the same place as the first. “These first ten are for stealing,” he said.
Her hair brushed atop the blades of grass while she blinked and breathed. Whatever thoughts swirled around in her head, she gave them no voice. Her face grew redder by the minute, but whether it was from embarrassment, shame or simply the rushing of blood into her low hanging head, was impossible to tell. She kept her fingertips on the tips of her shoes and watched the belt through her slightly parted legs, anticipating its next slice through the autumn air.
“If you had asked,” he said, striping the belt across her buttocks twice more, coloring the lower half of her globes, “I might well have given you the money.”
Aunt Vera’s breaths turned sharp. Her hair bounced up and down on the grass like a dry brush giving texture to a canvas. She bent and straightened her knees.
“But,” he said, bringing the belt crashing down on the tender flesh just above her thighs, “since you decided to just take it,” the belt struck the same spot a second time, “you’re going to learn to appreciate its worth in hard work and sweat.”
Her legs trembled while she blinked back the fresh tears stinging at her eyes. She maintained her shallow, sharp breaths. Her fingertips remained in place and she kept her gaze trained on the dangling belt behind her.
He raised the belt and laid it on four more times, covering her butt evenly from the center down to the top of her thighs. The skin shined red as proof of the heat applied. He rested the belt beside his leg and tilted his head, admiring the view of his handiwork.
Mr. Sanders said, “You’ll do every household chore Lucy asks of you at rate of 50 cents per hour until you’ve earned back every quarter of that forty dollars. Is that understood?”
Aunt Vera breathed through her open mouth, eyes fluttering open and closed. Her knees bent and straightened twice before she decided to answer. “Yes.”
“Good,” he said and raised the belt again. He sliced it across her buttocks three times in quick succession, deepening the red color of the stripes across the center. “These next ten are for attempting to lay the blame for your crime on the shoulders of your twelve year old nephew.”
“Oh,” she gasped. Her legs swayed from side to side waving her butt in the open air.
Mr. Sanders waited until her motion ceased and then swung the belt three times fast at the lower curves of her red butt cheeks. The snap of leather against tight skin rang out in the hollow spaces between the neighborhood homes like a police siren.
“I’m sorry,” Aunt Vera said. The strain of tears and shallow breath gave her apology a sincerity it had lacked in her previous offerings.
“You should be ashamed,” he said and brought the belt down on her proffered buttocks.
She yelped and bent her knees. Her fingertips left their place temporarily as she grappled with an almost overwhelming instinct to cradle her bottom. She forced herself back into position without touching her tender cheeks, but her movements were slow and deliberate.
“You are 19 years old,” he said, “and that’s more than old enough to take responsibility for your own actions. If you ever try to blame him for your behavior again I’ll blister your bare butt right in front of him.”
He lifted the belt high and used it to punctuate his next words. “IS— THAT— UNDERSTOOD?”
Aunt Vera sprang into the air. Her hands grabbed at her burning buttocks. She hopped around in a circle, skirt and hair bouncing while she rubbed furiously at her bottom. Tears ran from her eyes down her cheeks. She sniffled still trying to stem the flow despite the floodgates being wide open.
When her legs tired of jumping, she looked up into Mr. Sanders stoic face. “I’m really, really sorry,” she said.
“I don’t doubt it,” he said. “I just hope you’re also learning the lesson. At your age this sort of behavior could land you a lot worse than spanking. You could find yourself behind iron bars instead of touching your toes next to a chain link fence.”
She wiped her face with the sleeve of her blouse and nodded her head. “I know.”
He pointed at the spot of grass where she had previously been bent over, touching her toes. “Now get back over here and get back in position,” he said. “We’re not finished yet.”
Her hands cradled her butt and she took a single step backward. “But I’m really sorry.”
Mr. Sanders snapped his fingers and pointed at the spot on the grass. His stern eyes and firm stance said everything that needed to be said. She bit her lower lip, let go of her butt and hustled into position. He flipped her skirt up onto her back once more and raised the belt into the air.
“Now,” he said, “we’re going to talk about you lying to me.”
She said, “It won’t ever happen again.” Her eyes fixated on the raised belt and her legs quivered in reluctant expectation.
The belt cut through the air, snapping against the taut skin of her exposed buttocks. She cried out at the fresh sting and her fingertips lifted from the points of her shoes. He ripped the belt backward through the air and brought it down three times hard. Her hands wavered at her knees, uncertain whether to grab at her burning cheeks or to hold herself in position.
“If you told me the truth from the beginning,” he said, “I could have kept my belt on and you could have kept your skirt down.”
He lashed the belt across the center of her buttocks four more times. The skin glowed red. Aunt Vera whimpered and cried, but kept her fingertips on her shoes and her butt up in the air. Her breath turned ragged from gasping for breath in her efforts to manage the burn and suppress her tears.
“Instead,” Mr. Sanders said, “we’re out here warming up your butt when we should be inside warming ourselves by the fire and enjoying some hot cider.”
The belt cut through the air four times more, brightening the lower curves of her buttocks. She yelped after each strike and after the last, she straightened. Her hands rubbed at her bottom while she hopped around in a circle. Tears glistened in the sunlight on her face.
“Settle down,” Mr. Sanders said.
Aunt Vera continued to hop, though she stopped turning in a circle. Her hands massaged the red flesh behind her, keeping her skirt up and the cheeks exposed. She sniffled and blinked in a futile effort to clear away her tears. Her lips trembled with the words of another apology most likely upon them.
He snapped his fingers and pointed at the grass again. “Back over,” he said, “we’re not done.”
She stopped hopping and looked up into his eyes with her own, wide and tearful. He snapped his fingers again. She turned away from him and leaned back down, keeping her skirt raised as she went. He snapped the belt against the low edge of her buttocks as soon as her fingers brushed the tops of her shoes. She yelped, but stayed down.
“Lying is just a delaying tactic,” he said. “The truth always comes out in the end.”
“I know,” she said through tears.
He nodded. “When you got licks coming from something you’ve done, telling the truth is just like doing your chores; The sooner you start, the sooner you finish.”
Aunt Vera nodded her upside down head, raking her hair through the grass. “I understand and I’m really, really sorry.”
“Good,” Mr. Sanders said. He unfolded his belt and began threading it back through the belt loops. “Stand up, give yourself a good rub, fix your skirt and then we can go back in the house. You owe Mitch and Lucy each a sincere apology.”
She stood up straight and wiped her face with her sleeves. Her skirt fell back into place and she smoothed it down with her hands while glancing at Mr. Sanders every few seconds. She looked up into his eyes, ran the few steps between them and buried her face in his shirt. Her arms wrapped tightly around him. “I love you,” she said.
He smiled and held her to him. His lips pressed against the top of her head. “I love you too.”
The sound of the back door to the house opening startled Stephanie out of the memory. She hadn’t thought much about the incident in years. Of course, at twelve she hadn’t really understood everything either. Things were different in the present. Stephanie began to understand she shared more in common with Aunt Vera than she’d ever realized. It was getting to be time to get things done.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Pickett Family Holiday, Part 07

Stephanie faced her father, hands nursing her well-spanked buttocks. Her eyes focused on the basket holding her clothing on top of the workbench just beyond her father. It would be so easy to take the few steps to the bench and get dressed. Her legs trembled with the desire to take those steps, but defying her father more than she already had seemed a bad idea. She forced her gaze from the basket to her father’s disappointed face and braced herself for another lecture.
Dad said, “Your mother has informed me she does not need your assistance in the kitchen today.”
“I can spend the day in my room,” Stephanie said. She doubted the suggestion would go anywhere, but there was no harm in offering it.
The hint of a smile slipped onto his lips before he could hide it within the mask of sternness he was trying to display. “I’m sure you’d like that,” he said, “but I have other plans for you.”
She dropped her gaze from his face and shrugged. Her bare toes came directly into her line of sight and then her exposed nipples and naked legs. A fresh pulse of embarrassment washed over her body, pumping more hot blood into her cheeks. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and concentrated on massaging the sting and fire out of her buttocks.
Dad made a show of looking at his wrist watch. “We’ve got about six hours before dinner will be on the table. I figure that’s plenty of time for you to rake up the leaves in the yard, shovel them into the green bin, clean out the empty wood stack on the porch, fill it up with the wood I cut this morning, and sweep off the porch when you’re done.”
Stephanie’s jaw dropped. Her eyes opened wide, staring into her father’s face, and fresh tears pooled just shy of spilling out onto her damp cheeks. “That’ll take all afternoon.”
Dad folded his arms across his chest and nodded.
“I’m naked,” she said.
He nodded.
She stomped her foot on the wood floor and immediately regretted the choice, feeling the sharp poke of a small grain of hard dirt into the bottom of her foot. “Someone might see me!”
He said, “Maybe you’ll remember this the next time you think about deliberately defying the rules around here.”
Her eyes narrowed and a hint of anger colored her cheeks. “I’m not going out there like this,” she said. “If you think I am, you’re fucking nuts.”
The sternness disappeared from his face and a large smile grew on his lips. He laughed. “I’m not a chipmunk.”
Stephanie blushed, realizing he was teasing her. “I’m not joking,” she said. A slight smile turned the corners of her lips upward as she shook her head at the ground and contained the laughter that might have otherwise slipped out. The situation was far from funny, her bottom still stung and undoubtedly glowed like a stoplight, but her father wasn’t angry and that was a good thing.
“Relax,” Dad said. “Todd’s bringing you one of your mother’s aprons from the kitchen and you can wear that while you’re doing your chores. As long as you do a good job and finish in the next six hours, you can get dressed for dinner.”
Stephanie parked her hands on her hips, momentarily forgetting her nudity. “And if I don’t?”
The sternness came back to his face. “Do a bad job or waste time and you’ll be getting another dose of my strap and standing in the corner while the rest of us eat. Is that understood?”
Stephanie looked up into his face. The smiles were gone on both of their faces. She nodded slowly, her narrow eyes conveying her dislike for his terms. “Yes,” she said.
“Good,” he said, nodding his head at her, “cause I’m not joking either.”
The sound of approaching footsteps pulled Stephanie’s attention away from her father. Awareness of her nudity returned and her hands moved from their place on her hips to snake across her body attempting to cover her crotch and breasts as best she could. She turned her back toward the door and looked over her shoulder, waiting with held breath to see the owner of the footsteps.
Todd entered the shed with apron in hand. His gaze immediately drifted toward Stephanie’s spanked buttocks. He whistled. “Those look hot enough to start a fire,” he said and shook the apron in the air for Stephanie and her father to see. “I think this thing might be flammable. We should probably wait a little bit before letting her put it on.”
Stephanie rolled her eyes. “It’s made for kitchen use.”
Todd’s eyebrows shot up. “So?”
“So,” she said, “it’s not flammable.”
“I’m not so sure,” Todd said. The grin on his face betrayed the seriousness his voice attempted to convey.
Stephanie reached out with her left hand, avoiding turning to expose any more of herself to his view than was necessary. “Give it to me.”
Todd unfolded the apron and hung it by the neck strap from his fingers just out of Stephanie’s reach. He studied the apron from the back, tilting his head from side to side and making humming sounds. “Well it is an open back design.”
She huffed and stomped a foot on the wood floor. “Give it to me.”
Todd looked to Charles. “It almost sounds like she’s asking for another spanking.”
Stephanie glanced at her father in time to see him nodding agreement. She shook her head and forgot about modesty. Her eyes sprang open wide and her hands shot to protect her butt. She pivoted away from facing the wall and walked backwards until the shed’s far wall kept her from getting any farther from the two men.
Dad said, “You would think a young lady in her position would remember her manners.”
Todd nodded and turned himself to look straight on at Stephanie. His eyes wandered over her naked front. He smiled making his enjoyment of the view obvious. “Now that’s an idea,” he said.
Stephanie blushed from head to toe. His teasing had been deliberate. She’d done exactly what he expected, given him the show he wanted. And apparently he wasn’t finished teasing. She moved her arms and hands back to cover her nakedness though she knew it was too little too late. “What?” she asked, not certain she wanted to know what else he was thinking.
Todd said, “I think if you want to wear this apron to do your chores, you should ask me politely.”
Stephanie glared at him. If there had been anything handy to throw, she would have thrown it.
Todd chuckled as if reading her thoughts. “If you’d rather do your chores in the buff, I don’t think anyone would stop you.”
Stephanie glanced at her father. His arms were folded across his chest again and he showed no signs of disagreeing with Todd. She looked outside the shed, reminding herself that the neighbors were not so far away. The distant murmur of voices from the neighborhood carried on the breeze. It irked her to let Todd win his childish game, but the consequences of losing were too humiliating for her to risk.
“May I please have the apron?” she asked.
Todd laughed and stepped closer to her with the apron held out in her direction. “Why yes, you may,” he said.
She took it without a word. The apron had the same autumn leaf design as she’d seen her mother and Amanda wearing in the kitchen, not the sort of thing she’d normally choose, but under the circumstances it was infinitely better than the alternative of nothing. It required less than a minute to don the flimsy garment. She tied the string in the back as tight as she could, doing her best to allow the backless garment to cover as much of her naked skin as possible. Still, she could feel the cool air caressing her bare back and buttocks, not to mention her legs and arms.
Her father took a wood handled rake with dark green tongs down from its place on the shed’s wall. He held it out to her. She stared at the handle, contemplating what she would like to do with the tool. Her father tapped the tongs on the floor. She pushed aside her inappropriate daydreams and took the rake from him. He stepped closer, laying his calloused hand on her shoulder and gently turning her toward the exit. They stepped outside together. She stopped walking only three feet outside of the shed and glared at the leaves on the ground as if they were to blame for all her troubles.
The swat of her father’s open palm against her tender, bare butt interrupted her moment of self-pity. She sprung into the air, dropping the rake and grabbing behind her to block any additional swats and massage away the new sting imparted by the single swat. “Ow!” she exclaimed and turned her head sharply toward her father.
Her father met her gaze with unwavering sternness and a wagging index finger. Any further protest she might have made slipped away into silence. She turned away, bit her lip and knelt down to retrieve the fallen rake. The swat had made her painfully aware of her rear exposure, but the way her butt pushed past the hemmed edges of the apron as she bent made it all the more pronounced in her mind. Her face flushed red.
“Don’t dally,” he said and walked away with Todd toward the house.
When they were out of earshot she turned her attention to the yard full of fallen leaves surrounding her. The sun shined bright, sitting near on straight overhead casting few shadows, but the way the light streamed through the barren branches it seemed to sparkle on the fluttering leaves. A gust rustled the leaves and sent them rolling across the grass while bringing a few new ones down from above.
“How the hell am I going to finish this in six hours?” she asked.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Pickett Family Holiday, Part 06

Via an upside down view through her parted legs, Stephanie watched her father take the strap off its hook on the wall behind her. He held it in his hands and stared at the dark leather with a frown. Stephanie caught a glint in his eye from the side and it pained her much in the same way the leather would soon pain her naked butt. The disappointment he felt burned into her shuddering chest. She closed her eyes.
Stood against the door frame, Todd asked, “What did she do this time?”
Dad turned his body to squarely face Stephanie’s bent form. “Would you like to explain why you’re getting a spanking?”
Stephanie glared through her legs at her father. Her face shined red from the embarrassment spinning around in her head. She knew the question was not actually a question at all, but rather an order for her to explain her position to Todd. Part of her knew the answer her father expected and yet the rest of her raged against it because the reason remained unreasonable in her mind.
Dad’s foot tapped on the creaky floorboard. He expected an answer and quickly. The strap bounced off his pant leg as if a warning of his intentions should she remain quiet much longer. Todd, for his part, waited in patient silence undoubtedly wondering which of the two Pickett family members was the more stubborn.
“I,” Stephanie said, her voice strained with the effort of speaking upside down, “dropped my bath towel on my bedroom floor while I got dressed this morning.”
Todd laughed.
Stephanie twisted her head to glare in his direction though all she could see of him was his lower half.
“Wow,” Todd said. He shook his head looking down at Stephanie. “You must really miss these little sessions out here in the shed while you’re away.”
Dad nodded agreement. “I’ve been thinking the very same thing.”
Todd kept his focus on Stephanie. “Are you behaving so badly out in California that the first thing you do when you get home is figure out the fastest way to get your butt tanned to appease the guilt?”
“It was a stupid mistake,” Stephanie said. She wasn’t sure if she was talking about the towel or the reason she knew she really did deserve to be butt up in the shed. The embarrassment coloring her cheeks began to mix with the red heat of anger. Most of it was beaming out of her eyes in Todd’s direction. It wasn’t fair, he had done nothing wrong, but blame can often be more about presence than culpability and Todd was present.
Dad said, “That much we can agree on.” The strap dangled beside his leg as he stepped into position and turned his back to Todd. He raised the limp leather into the air with a clear path leading downward and forward to Stephanie’s naked buttocks.
Her eyes locked on the strap while her father hesitated, most likely taking careful aim. A breeze outside the shed rustled the leaves on the lawn. She felt the skin on her legs and buttocks turn tight and dry in anticipation. Her lungs filled with air and she gripped the wood frame of the horse turning her knuckles white. She wished to close her eyes, but like passenger heading into a head-on collision her eyes opened wider.
Dad swung.
The unmistakable clap of leather impacting flesh echoed inside the shed, resonating in the wood flooring and the sawhorse. Stephanie blinked. The center of her butt exploded with a fierce sting and a simmering burn. Her legs pressed against the frame defying the instinct to kick wildly behind her. The strap returned to the height where she could easily keep her eyes focused on it.
He swung the strap again.
Stephanie’s head jerked upward an instant after the impact. Her wide eyes stared straight down at the floorboards while tears sprouted. The sting emanating from her butt grew stronger. Her hips pushed against the sawhorse. She kicked the air with her right leg. The burn grew warmer. Breath gushed from her lungs and she slipped tensely back into the proper position over the sawhorse. The strap dangled within her view once more.
Todd watched Stephanie squirming with a smile on his face. “I’m glad to see you getting your kicks while you’re home.”
Dad swung the strap.
Stephanie kicked both legs into the air. “Ow!”
Todd chuckled.
The sawhorse scraped against the wood planks of the floor as it slid an inch forward under her bucking. She gasped for breath. Tears spilled from the whites of her eyes running up the sides of her face into her hair. She clenched her hands into fists and closed her eyes while her body shuddered through the increasing sting and burn resulting from the strap’s repeated kisses. Just as she opened her eyes the strap connected again.
“Oh!” she cried.
Dad paused with the strap in the air, waiting for her wriggling body to fall still once more. “Are you going to break any more rules while you’re home?” he asked.
Stephanie remained quiet and focused on the pain throbbing outward from her naked posterior until she realized her father was actually expecting a response. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the question so she went with the safest response she knew. “Yes, sir.”
The strap sailed through the air, striking her buttocks with even greater intensity than before. She bucked against the sawhorse and kicked into the air with everything she had. More tears dripped up her face and into her hairline. Had it been possible, she might well have launched herself off the sawhorse and gone running for the nearest lake to cool her bottom.
Todd laughed. “Nicole is always saying how smart you are, I just didn’t realize she meant smart-mouthed.”
Dad nodded. “That she is, but I’ve found the cure though it’s often only temporary.”
“A smarting ass?” Todd asked.
Dad nodded. “Works every time.”
Stephanie’s cheeks blazed red listening to them talking about her. Her thoughts spun in a confused circle trying to understand how she’d gone wrong by agreeing with her father. What had he said? What had she agreed to? The only obvious answer was that she had agreed to the need for her sore bottom to be sorer.
The strap sliced through the air three times in such quick succession Stephanie could do little more than puff out air and tears between their respective impacts. She kicked her legs against the sawhorse’s legs and wiggled her butt in the air. The stinging and burning sensations refused to diminish. The muscles in her neck and shoulders went limp leaving her head to hang downward with her hair bouncing off the floor in tune with the crying that was wracking her body against the sawhorse.
“Still feel like breaking rules?” Dad asked.
Stephanie shook her head from side despite knowing her father couldn’t see her head. “No, sir,” she said and sniffled.
Todd said, “I imagine she feels like a silly little girl right now.”
Stephanie could think of no response to Todd’s statement that would be of any benefit. She focused instead on calming the flow of tears from her eyes and breathing through the intense discomfort the strap had caused her bottom. The strap remained just within in her sight and firmly gripped in her father’s hand. She doubted she had felt the last of its touch.
“Whose fault is it that you are getting spanked on your first day back home?” Dad asked.
Mom’s, Stephanie thought, but when she found the air to answer, she said, “Mine.”
Dad nodded and swung the strap with high velocity another three times in quick succession followed by a fourth that caught the lower curvature of her buttocks as she kicked both legs into the air. The sawhorse screeched forward again, scraping on the floor. He took a half step to his left to keep his distance constant from Stephanie’s blazing rear.
“Ow, ow, ow, OW!” she screamed in response to the flurry of spanks. Her chest heaved up and down as new sobs racked her body and the fiery sting of the strap shook her from head to toe. As her head relaxed back down, she looked up through her spread, trembling legs to see the dangling strap taunting her. The spanking wasn’t over.
Todd said, “I’m sure she’s ready to behave herself and do everything she’s told for the rest of the day.”
“Is Todd right?” Dad asked. “Are you going to be a model daughter for the remainder of the day?”
Stephanie let go of the sawhorse leg and wiped her face free of the affects of heavy crying long enough to give an answer. “Yes, sir.”
“Good.” Dad nodded. “Let’s just make sure that attitude sticks for the entire long weekend.”
He swung the strap and she kicked her legs high in the air.
“Stop making such a fuss,” Dad said. “You’ve got fifteen more coming, but every time your feet leave the floor, I’m going to add two more. Understood?”
Stephanie blinked at the floor as tears rolled out of her eyes. “But it hurts,” she said.
Todd laughed. “Your butt is supposed to hurt. It’s called a spanking.”
“Am I understood?” Dad asked, his tone clearly conveying his dislike for having to repeat himself.
“Yes, sir,” Stephanie said. She squeezed her legs tight against the wood legs of the sawhorse and took a tighter grip with her hands as well. Her eyelids clenched shut and she took in a deep breath.  “Just make them quick, please,” she said.
He responded with three quick strikes against her buttocks.
Her butt bounced and grew redder by the strike, but her legs stayed down. “Ow, ow, ow!” she cried.
Todd said, “That was one, right?”
Stephanie’s eyes flew open wide. “Three,” she said as loud as she was able while still breathing heavily, “it was three, three, three.”
Todd laughed.
Dad said, “You had better stop yelling and show some respect before I decide it was just one.”
Stephanie fumed at the upside down world. Her butt burned, her cheeks burned from embarrassment and anger and all she wanted was for the entire event to be over and done. Teasing came with the territory of getting spanked, it was nothing new, but normally it didn’t start until the spanking was already finished.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
Dad nodded. “Better.”
Todd smiled and chuckled. “I guess it can be three then.”
Stephanie bit her tongue rather telling Todd where he could go and what he could do when he got there. The strap connected with her bottom another three times sending flames of near-electric sting throughout her body. She focused on keeping her toes on the ground and breathing, letting the tears flow freely from her eyes. Just as her body stopped shaking through the discomfort, her father laid on another three starting the process all over again, but still she kept her toes on the floorboards.
“Maybe you can follow instructions,” Dad said.
Todd chuckled. “It looks like you’ve gotten to the bottom of the problem.”
Stephanie shuddered as a goosebumps chill of shame shot through her body. The realization of how exposed she was to their eyes came as nothing new, but the embarrassing way they spoke about it as if she couldn’t even hear them made it all the worse. Her cheeks flushed hot with blood, her buttocks went taunt with shame, and her nipples hardened with the chill of exposure. She wished her father would simply get the spanking over with and yet she was not brave enough to ask for it.
Dad swung the strap fast for a full flurry of the final six. The noise of the contact echoed off the walls of the shed drowning out Stephanie’s cries until they faded into silence. Her legs stayed in place, her toes remained in contact with the wood floor and the sawhorse sat still and stable under her weight. She wanted nothing less than to jump to her feet, grab her burning butt and hop around in a circle, but she knew she had already pushed things too far with her father. Risking him adding a few more because she didn’t wait to be told it was over simply wasn’t worth the risk.
Dad said, “I hope you’ve learned your lesson.”
“Very instructive,” Todd said, “but perhaps I could try swinging the strap myself and you could give me some pointers on technique.”
Stephanie tried not to panic at the thought of Todd giving her a strapping on top of the one she had just received from her father. It was all a tease. It had to be. Her father wouldn’t let Todd punish her. That wouldn’t be fair. And besides, she’d learned her lesson and taken her punishment. It would probably be safest to assert the fact, she decided. “Yes, sir,” she said, “I learned my lesson.”
“Stand up,” Dad said.
She eased herself up, using her hands to push her torso upward until her feet were full on the ground and she could easily balance herself upright. Her hands flew instantly to her burning butt, cupping the hot globes in the palms of her hands. It was instinct more than helpful and if she’d thought about it, she might have better placed her hands to preserve some semblance of modesty in front of Todd. He remained to her left side, but there was little to interfere with his full view of her profile including a red buttock and naked breast.
“Now,” Dad said, “I’ve got some chores for you to do and if you do a good job and behave yourself while doing them, I might just let you get dressed again in time for dinner.”