“Hey, listen to this…” Frank looked up over his book at his roommate who was likewise studying sprawled out on the couch. Frank read:
“….the newly made witch had to be passed into the coven afore…”
“I’m just reading as it’s written….’Afore she could take her place in the dark society. That would typically happen the first full moon after her makin’. She was brought into a clearing by the elder witches, stripped nekkid and bent over a log. Then all the witches in the coven would whip her fanny with the cuttings of rose bushes…”
“Yeowch!” said Bob from the couch.
“…until the skin was raw then the devil hisself would appear with his own switch until his marks mingled with the others. Then the witch was considered part of the tribe.”
“What are you reading?”
“It’s for a paper on 19th century American folklore. I’m doing Appalachia…”
Bob put his book down open on his chest. His six-foot plus frame didn’t quite fit on the couch-one foot was hanging over the arm and the other was propped on the battered coffee table. “So see? You’re not the only one who enjoys getting his butt beat now and then.”
“I don’t know if ‘enjoy’ is the right word…in this context”, he said lifting the book.
“I’d do it without the rose branches…”
“Big of you…”
The boys had stayed at school through the summer to pick up some extra credits that were there for the taking. The campus was dead in the summer but since they lived off-campus housing was not an issue but having no one around was. There were no parties, no women to speak of, the bars were full of locals, nothing to do but go to class, study and otherwise amuse themselves.
Later they would wonder if this enforced solitude was what ultimately had pushed them down the road they went down.
The first time anything “untoward” had happened began innocuously enough. They were sitting on the couch one drizzly Thursday evening smoking a bowl and watching Jeopardy. Maybe Frank was holding onto the pipe for too long, maybe he wasn’t. But Bob thought he was. He reached across and tried to grab at it but Frank-more in fun than anything-held it as far out of reach as he could, forcing Bob to climb over him toward it. Frank was no physical match for him as they laughed, cussed and wrestled themselves onto the floor. Frank held the pipe in his fist and tried to crawl away only to be crushed to the floor on his stomach as Bob tackled him then sat astride him facing backwards.
“Give it up!” he barked.
“No way-“Frank tried squirming away.
Then, with no malice aforethought, thinking nothing actually beyond wrestling on the floor, Bob hauled off and smacked his roommate right on his ass. “Hey!” Frank had yelped.
“The pipe!” Bob demanded.
“No!” was the answer.
SWAT! Another smack landed right where the first had-exactly in the middle of Frank’s denim-clad right cheek. “OW!”
SWAT! This time on the left cheek. “OW-Jesus Bob. That hurt.” Curiously though, Frank had stopped struggling to get free and the pipe-long gone out-gripped in his right fist had become an afterthought. He lay there almost holding his breath as his friend smacked his ass twice more. Then again-and again-alternating cheeks. The swats hurt-Bob was a tough guy-but he really wasn’t really feeling any pain exactly. He was feeling something-the weight pinning him down, the heat being generated on his backside, a stirring up front grinding the floor…but it wasn’t pain.
He felt Bob shift on top of him and the spanking stopped. “Do you want anymore?”
Oh great-a trick question. The true answer would admit that he was kind of liking this somehow and invite more. Which would be fine-which would be better than stopping-but the whole idea of liking it? Too much to process right now. Instead he reached back and handed over the pipe. “You win…”
“Hah!” Bob barked and slapped his butt one more time-softer, almost a pat-and got off. He stayed on the floor and sat against the couch. Frank pushed himself up and likewise flopped against the couch. As if someone had turned the TV back on they discovered Final Jeopardy and stared at the tube while Bob relit the bowl.
Neither called attention to-nor ignored-Bob’s hard on which was slowing receding back up his leg.
“That was odd…” Bob gasped holding his breath to keep the smoke in. He handed the pipe over.
“Exceedingly so….” Frank agreed.
Suddenly the room felt a little tighter and air was tough to come by.
“Let’s get out of here and grab a beer…” Bob said getting up quickly.
“Good idea”, agreed Frank and they were out the door without turning off the TV.
That was two months and about a dozen spankings ago.
To Be Continued