A Beautiful Morning…

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She threw one long leg over the crossbar and stood astride the seat working her thick pony tail through the hole in her ball cap, liking the sun on the back of her legs.

“Where you going?” he asked coming onto the porch with a coffee.

“I told you I’m heading over to the cemetery to see if the dump gate is locked. I want to get rid of the cuttings.” They had taken a sumac down and trimmed a dogwood leaving the scraps in a pile behind the garage.

“I thought you’d be taking…the truck”, he said squinting into the sun behind her. She noticed his glance toward her ass.

Shit! She knew how his mind worked. Not that it was any kind of complex machinery. Last night over at The Gardens when he was figuring the tip he’d asked her what was eight plus six. He explained that he had eight n’ eight down, same as eight n’ seven-that was a favorite. But eight n’ six, especially eight n’ five? They were confusing. They both had a little buzz on and he might have been kidding…but really?

Now those gears in that pretty head of his were spinning that if she was OK to ride her bike, he hadn’t spanked her hard enough. Cripes! It hurt. He had a heavy hand and it hurt pretty good. And she yelped in all the right places, but what was she supposed to do? Sit on pillows all day like the women in his stories? Eat standin’ up?  Quickly, while he was watching, she settled onto the seat.

“Ooohhh”, she sighed giving him her best naughty smile. “Still a little tender back there…”

“Uh-huh”, he said returning the smile before turning back toward the house. “Maybe I’ll have to go out to the workshop. Find something that will make a better impression.”

“Really…?” Her smile faded.

“Have a nice ride,” he said, grinning evilly. “See you when you get back.”

Shit! She thought again coasting down the driveway. Would it have killed her to limp a little, or rub her butt when she knew he was watching? She wished she’d a’ taken the truck, but he’d a’ come up with some other excuse. Saturdays were tough around the house. She couldn’t keep up with him! He changed every week. Not changed, exactly, but wanted more, more, more… What would it be now-a paddle? A strap?  A wooden freakin’ spoon? He was wearin’ her out…

She stood on the pedals as the blacktop wound out and let the cool morning air wash over her face. He was so going to beat her ass when she got home, that was for sure. Twitching her backside she could almost feel the burning sting in the softness of her low bottom that he like to attend to so thoroughly. But that was then. Now, the trees opened above and the sunshine washed over her. It was a beautiful morning.

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“Come on Mom…Part 3”

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(Continued from “Come on Mom…” Part 2)

Eileen left the room with a purpose that evaporated quickly as she walked back toward her bedroom. She slowed as she passed the laundry room…then Cassie’s room…then stepped into the bathroom to glance in the mirror. The face looking back was calm and clear-eyed reflecting none of the turmoil that was roiling inside of her. She knew that she was stalling. She was stalling because she actually wanted Cassie to leave. Not forever, God knows, but now.

She was waiting to hear the door open and the car start. That would be good-if she drove off. She wouldn’t go far, down to Ivy’s for coffee and a cigarette probably, but it would give them a cool down period after which they both could declare victory. Cassie would say that indeed she was too old for that kind of punishment and even so, she had decided that her behavior had been reckless and appalling and she’d decided to mend her ways. On her side, Eileen would easily maintain that the mere threat of her hairbrush had convinced her to change her ways. Win-win.

Having made it to the bedroom, Eileen picked the hairbrush from her dresser and weighed it in a way she never did when brushing her hair. Then she waited, listening. Nothing. She looked up and saw herself in the mirror-Christ, there were a lot of mirrors in this house! But there she was, holding the brush looking formidable but she felt like she had to pee.

She took a breath and headed back down the hall. Just be gone, was her last thought before striding into the living room to find her daughter sitting on the sofa in her underwear, jeans folded neatly over the arm of the recliner. Her daughter’s long white thighs against the dark cushions didn’t surprise her as much as the folded jeans. Cassie never folded anything. Ever.

Seeing her daughter, downcast and submissive in a way she typically wasn’t, moved Eileen forward. Saying nothing, she walked to the sofa and slid the coffee table out of the way Then she sat next to Cassie, who still hadn’t looked up, and set the hairbrush on the floor. Silence never had a chance to root between the two of them but for the moment neither seemed to want to say anything. They were both nervous-Cassie more so-and neither was looking forward to making the next move.

“Cassie…” Eileen began.

“I know Mom…I know…Don’t, OK?” To emphasize that she wanted no lecture nor conversation, she turned toward her Mom and crawled over her lap planting herself face down into the sofa cushions and her black-pantied bottom positioned just so on her thigh. “Just do it, OK?” She thought she was ready or anything until she felt her mother’s fingers in the elastic of her panties.

“Come on Mom…Not like this”, she whined as Eileen pulled her underwear down. She reached back futilely, her bottom already bared, only to have her hand slapped.

“No, Cassie. This is the way I did it last time, this is the way I’m going to do it now. You gave up all your negotiating rights when you laid across my lap.” To emphasize, Eileen reached high and brought her open palm down solidly on Cassie’s right cheek.

“It’s not like I had a choice. OWWW!”

“Your car keys were here. The door right there. I gave you enough time to make your escape.” She punctuated her words with slaps.

“OWWW! And what would have happened when I came home? OWWW! Jesus!”

Eileen paused, her spanking hand across the back of Cassie’s legs. “I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t. Maybe this. Maybe worse. Maybe nothing. I don’t know.” She watched her hand prints bloom a pleasant pink on Cassie’s pale backside. “But you made a decision to be right here.”

“Can I have a do-over?” Cassie asked then winced as another slap landed before she could get ready for it.

“No do-overs, no tag-backs”, Eileen said a tight smile tracing itself unseen across her face. “Hand me the brush, would you?”

“Oh man…” said Cassie reaching for it and handing it back over her shoulder. “I remember this…”

“You must. The last one held you for ten years.” She felt her daughter tense as she lay the chill wood against her bottom.

“Maybe you won’t want to wait so long for the next one”, Cassie mumbled into the sofa cushions.

“Maybe we’ll see what you think when I’m finished. I’m giving you forty.”

“FORTY! I can’t take forty swats.”

“Then you’re in deep trouble, cause you’re getting forty.”

“Mom! Come on…”

“I’m sure I gave you that many last time.”

“That was twenty-nine.”

“You counted?”

“Of course I counted!” She pushed herself up to look back over her shoulder. “First, I couldn’t believe you chased me to the pond in front of everyone. Then I couldn’t believe you were paddling my bare ass. I was so mad at you. I counted so I could tell the cops how many times you hit me!”

“I still can’t believe it was only twenty-nine.”

“It hurt enough believe me. I couldn’t sit right for three days! Miss Andrews in home room asked me why I was fidgeting so much.”

Eileen coughed a quick laugh. “I didn’t know that.”

“Like I would give you the satisfaction…”

“Must have worked though. As I recall you settled for the rest of the year-no more catfish pond and your grades got better.”

Cassie wasn’t going to answer that one and flopped back down.

“You ready?” Eileen asked.

Cassie squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath, “Do what you have to do”, she whispered.

“That’s a good way to put it. Yeah, it’s what I have to do. And not just for me.”

Eileen, all hesitation and trepidation behind her, lifted the brush and brought it down hard. Not as hard as she could have, but hard. The loud CRACK! and the answering cry were satisfying, she’d have to admit. But not satisfying enough yet. She tightened her grip on her daughter’s back and went to work. Cassie was a trooper and stood the first ten with minimal grunting until giving over to yelping and kicking then crying, then sobbing. She lurched and jumped with every burning swat but never reached back nor tried to wriggle her bottom out of harm’s way.

When she was finished-and it was somehow important that she get to forty-Eileen stopped. She let Cassie lie crying across her lap for a few moments then patted her hot bottom. “Go. Go to your room.” The girl pushed herself up and stood wiping her eyes and allowing her panties to slip to the floor. She stepped out of them and went to her room.

Eileen sat not knowing how she felt. The room seemed smaller and her face was hot. She could hear Cassie crying softly in her room and was convinced it wasn’t from the spanking. Eileen left the brush on the sofa and went down the hallway, taking a detour into the bathroom. She dug around in the closet until she found what she wanted. Then she crossed the hall and knocked on her daughter’s open door.

“Come on Mom…” Part 2

(Continued from “Come on Mom…” Part 1)

“You’ll know soon enough. I’m getting my hairbrush.”

Wait. What? Cassie was stunned into silence for a moment. “Your…your…Mom. There is no way I’m going to let you…I don’t want…Just no way.” She paused, sputtering. “I’m twenty-three years old for Christ’s sake!”

Her daughter’s words resounded. ‘There is no way I’m going to let you…’ she’d said. Truth be told, she was a grown woman, a bit taller than she and probably stronger. Setting aside the ‘my house, my rules’ bullshit which neither of them ascribed to, Eileen didn’t kid herself that she’d be able to wrestle Cassie over her lap. So she stayed calm and spoke as clearly and logically as she could manage.

“I don’t know what age has to do with anything. This is about behavior, right? About you continually doing things that you know-that we both especially know”, she paused for effect, “can have ruinous consequences.” Cassie dropped her head, her eyes smarting a bit. Not that lecture, please, she thought. “Do you remember the last time I had to spank you?” Cassie’s heart fluttered; not at the memory so much though that was bad, but at the way her mother just said ‘The last time I HAD TO spank you’. Jesus! Was this really going to happen?

“Do you remember?” Eileen prodded wanting an answer.

“Yes”, she said softly, not looking up.

From the time she entered middle school, Cassie always looked older than she was. And that night, a decade before, back by the pavilion at the catfish pond, she was passing for sixteen with a motley collection of high-school ne’er do wells and footballers. Definitely forbidden territory. Eileen was only seventeen when she’d had Cassie and was not too far removed from the revolving gangs at catfish pond and what went on there. A half mile trail from any paved road, skirting fields and the golf course, it was a supposed safe haven from prying parents and bored cops.

So the dozen or so kids froze when Eileen had stalked off the path into the glow of the barrel fire that night. Everyone had backed away, out of the range of a mother’s hot rage. Poor Cassie had nowhere to back away to and was too late in dropping the beer can beside her feet.  She opted to stand quietly mortified as her mother seethed, “Get your butt home NOW!” They walked the trail home in the moonlight quickly, not because Cassie was in a hurry-far from it- but her mother six paces behind her matching her stride for stride prevented her from slowing. She had tried a quick “I’m sorry” over her shoulder but her mother’s “You’ll be plenty sorry when you get home”, shut her up.

DAMMIT! Eileen thought as she stormed at Cassie’s heels-pissed at the long white legs and the too short shorts she was wearing. Why couldn’t the girl just do as she was told? Eileen had lived through exactly what Cassie was going through. Hell, she knew what Cassie was going to do before she did it. She had good advice to pass on. Why didn’t the girl just follow it? Why did she have to push all the time like it was a contest?

Eileen was not a disciplinarian. Wasn’t interested in it. She’d rather sit around and chat-tell stories with points and morals-that Cassie listened to well enough when she was little, but not anymore. She knew she let Cassie get away with a little too much. Then she had to reign her in. With Cassie’s father out of the picture, out of the house, and out of their lives, all of Cassie, good and bad, was solely on her desk. Dammit girl!

Cassie took the porch stairs two at a time and slowed when she pushed the door open. “To your room”, he mother ordered shoving her firmly between the shoulder blades. “I’m getting my hairbrush!”

“No, Mom!” Cassie had cried.

When her mother had stormed into her room, Cassie was backed into a corner hoping to protect herself, but Eileen never slowed, grabbing her arm roughly and pulling her toward the bed.

“Lay on the bed!” she ordered.

“No Mom, please!”

Her mother leaned in close to her face and, squeezing her arm, whispered hoarsely. “You lay down on that bed or I promise, I will lay you down.”

Acquiescing to her mother’s rage Cassie crawled reluctantly onto the bed and flattened out bottom up. She was almost ready for whatever was coming until her mother’s fingers snatched at the waistband of her shorts.

“NO!” she yelled and reached, but by the time she got her hands back her shorts, along with her panties, had already been yanked off her butt. She tried to roll onto her side and pull her legs up, but Eileen’s heavy hand in the small of her back foiled her. Plus any struggling and rolling would reveal more of herself to her mother’s eyes than she cared to reveal. She submitted and lay still, not struggling as Eileen pulled everything down to her knees and pushed her shirt up her back.

The spanking itself only lasted minutes, but left Cassie wailing on her bed in equal parts anger, frustration, humiliation and not a little pain. When Eileen finally stayed her hand and looked at her daughter’s well-colored bottom (Cassie would watch the bruises bloom and fade in her mirror for a week) she would admit to a little satisfaction at delivering a strong message, but it was colored with fear of what she’d been capable of. And overlaid with the fear of what would come next: tomorrow, then the next day then next week. Did she really have to do this?

Watching her daughter’s shoulders quiver as she sobbed, Eileen softened and patted her back then straightened her shirt. “You stay in here till I tell you to come out”, she said softly. Cassie nodded through her sniffles. Eileen didn’t exactly regret what she’d done but didn’t feel good about it. She thought that she might not want to do it again. And she hadn’t.

“Mom…I don’t want…” Cassie coughed and trailed off. Eileen stopped and turned-not content to leave anything unsaid.

“Don’t want what, dear?” she asked making her say the word.

“I don’t want a…spanking,” she said embarrassed just being made to say it. “I don’t.” She looked up then and their eyes met-Eileen saw fear and pleading there that she wanted to give in to. The kind of pleading and apologies that she’d accepted for years which had brought them to where they were.

“You don’t want one? Or you wish you hadn’t done anything to deserve one?”

Cassie had no answer to that. There was no answer to that question.

“Take your jeans off Cassie. I’m going to get my hairbrush.”

“Off? Why do I have to take them…”

“Because you’re not a kid and I’m not going to wrestle with you to take your pants down. Take them off.”

“Mom. Wait…you don’t have to do this. We don’t have to do this.”

“I think we do.

(Continuing…)

“Come on Mom…” Part 1

“CASSIE!”

Oh, Jesus, thought Cassie. She reached through the curtain and turned the shower on. The hissing stream echoed off the tub, so she could logically pretend she hadn’t heard her mother calling.

“CASSIE!!”, came the call, louder this time.

“IN THE SHOWER!” she yelled back standing in front of the sink dressed in the clothes she’d slept in. A quick glimpse at the matted hair, puffy face and red eyes in the mirror made her look away. Not smart, she thought-now I have to take a shower. She peeled her jeans down noticing dirt on her hip-she must have fallen.  Sure enough, there were faint scratches and a red bruise. “Shit…” she whispered running a finger over the marks trying hard to remember.

Then, she quickly, albeit a bit reluctantly, reached between her legs and felt around. Her bush was soft and dry; she reached further and felt around. Nope, nothing. With a relieved sigh, she found no evidence that anything untoward had happened down there. Where was her life headed if she had to inspect her snatch to see if she’d had any sex she didn’t remember?

She sighed and pushed her jeans all the way down. They went, along with underwear and t-shirt into the hamper. She stepped into the steam and let the water pound the back of her neck. “Fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck” was all she was interested in hearing from herself right now.

Her drinking was a problem-she knew that. Had been for a while and the last thing she needed was to give her mother another reason to remind her. She really was doing better-no drinking (much anyway) during the week and counting-actually paying attention to how much she was drinking; until, of course, she got too drunk to keep track. But the drinking and driving…”fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck!”

She dried quickly and opened the bathroom door a crack. Nothing. She was alone in the house. Cassie took a dry towel and tip-toed to her room. She had to figure out what had gone wrong or what Eileen had found out-or thought she’d found out-before facing her.

She dried quickly in her room and pulled on clean panties and a pair of jeans. With her body, a bra was optional equipment, so she opted out and pulled a black Creed T-shirt over her head. Hearing something outside she peeked through the blinds and saw her mother in her weekend gardening uniform of khaki shorts and a light-blue sun shirt. She was at that moment ignoring her dahlia garden, her butterfly bushes, all the Shasta daisies and poking around the front of Cassie’s car which was parked quite squarely in the middle of Eileen’s Hosta bed. She’d only missed the driveway by a car width. “Fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck…”

What would be better? She wondered. Go out and help? Survey the damage and apologize profusely? Just wait till Eileen came in? She didn’t know. Things had been so pissy between them the last couple of months after a pretty good stretch she didn’t want to make things worse. Too late for that, she thought rubbing her temple.

Outside, Eileen circled around the front of the old Subaru then dropped to all fours to look under. The soil in the bed had been mulched, manured and carefully tilled for years so it was soft enough that the front tires had sunken to the axles. The rear still sat out on the grass. She stood and tucked a loose strand of blonde hair behind her ear with a sigh. She stopped shaking her head; something she did for effect-like her studied eye roll-but there was no one to see it. What a mess.

She had to do something. This girl was going to kill herself or someone else. She looked through the open window and saw a red Solo cup in the holder on the console. “Don’t tell me…” she grumbled. She reached in. The cup wasn’t empty. One tentative sniff and her stomach lurched. Even when she drank, which she didn’t anymore save for the odd glass of Chardonnay when she joined Shannon at her club, tequila had never been her thing. “Christ!” she groused, unable to keep the words in her head, “Drinking and driving was one thing. Drinking WHILE driving?” That was her father all over. The bastard might be gone, but he’d never be gone. She had to do something. She couldn’t throw her out-that would make it worse. She tossed the Solo cup aside, disgusted and stepped onto the porch. Something. She thought.

Cassie was still stuck in her room trying to decide what to do when she heard the screen door clatter and her name, again, from the living room.

“CASSIE!”

“Coming Mom…” she called back trying to sound calm and for whatever reason, young. Eileen was standing, hands on hips, in the middle of the living room, when Cassie dragged her feet in. She endured what felt like a miserable hour of silence until she had to speak up.

“I’m…I’m sorry about the Hosta’s Mom…”

“I don’t give a fuck about the Hosta’s you idiot!” Eileen shot back.

Cassie bit her lip and her heart took a flip. Her mother NEVER used ‘fuck’ and NEVER-NEVER called her names. This was bad.

“Where were you last night?” she demanded.

“The Mill…” Cassie said naming a bar on the outskirts of the other side of town.

“You drove home in that condition all the way from The Mill?!”

“I wasn’t that bad…”

“That’s over 10 miles! You drove the river road-all the way through town-then out to here? So drunk that you couldn’t even hit a lighted driveway?” Cassie said nothing. “Drunk and still drinking on the way?” Is that you now?”

Cassie didn’t want to answer but the question hung like a smell. “No-that’s not me. You know it’s not me. Something happened last night…”

“Something that happens EVERY WEEKEND Cass. Every weekend now. Which could be bad enough but now Thursday is a part of your weekend and Monday too.”

“I’m doing better.”

“Last night was better?” She waved toward the yard. “This is better?”

Cassie lifted her hands as if to say something, then let them drop. What was the use? It was no good arguing with her when she got like this. She didn’t care, she WAS doing better. Last night was a slip-she’d figure it out. The last thing she needed was a lecture from her mother. Eileen wasn’t particularly enjoying it either. She had thought this shit was behind her. They had been more like peers up till recently. Physically they could pass for sisters and they got along well enough until Cassie had lost her job and had to move back in. It had been a tough summer though and was getting worse.

Again the silence tightened around them, but this time Eileen was going to be the one to break it. She had decided what she was going to do but it wouldn’t be easy.

“You know what I’m going to do, Cassie?”

“No mom, I’m dying to know.” The switch from contrition to sarcasm was jarring and Cassie wished she could take it back. Eileen, on the other hand, accepted it as fuel.

“You’ll know soon enough. I’m getting my hairbrush.”

(Continuing...)

Communion

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“Did ye eat the body?”

“Ye saw me walk up. Of course I et the body.”

“Did ye drink the blood?” he asked with an accusing tilt of his head.

“Ye saw me up there!”

“Yeah, but. Did you actually drink it or jest swish it around in the cup?”

Ah, fer Crissakes, he thought. Then blessed himself. Sorry, he thought, but it’s flu season. “I drank some”, he settled.

“Ye barely put yer lips to it!”

“Fer Gawd’s sake…”

“Don’t ye dare!”

“Did ye not hear all the hackin’ and coughin’ and snottin’ goin’ on all aroun’ us?”

“Say what you will. You dint have a proper communion is all I’m sayin’. Not proper.”

“I didn’t see YOU drinkin’ it!”

“Ye low bastard! Ye know I can’t drink of the blood since I took the cure.”

“Wait a bloody minit! By the time it gets to yer lips it’s not wine anymore, is it? It’s the blood of the Divine.”

“Ya betchyer ass it is. And there’s enough alcohol innit to kill off all the germs yer so fraid of.”

“Wait…what? If it’s blood how can there be alcohol…?”

“Shhh…here comes Father…”

They nodded without really looking up from the nothings they were kicking about.

“Father.”

“Fadder…”

“Boys”, he said and walked on.

“I don’t know if I liked the way he said that.”

“Nor the way he looked just now…”

“Don’t be a mutt-you dint even look up. Why dint ye look a’ him.” He said nothing, just worried the ground with the toe of his shoe. “It’s a ringing indictment it is. Yer feckin’ silence.”

“You got a extra cig?”

“Why would I give you one? You don’ even inhale! Ye jest roll the smoke aroun’ in yer mouth.”

“I don’! I do so inhale!”

“You suck a cig the same way you mouth the Lord’s blood. I’m not wasting a cig on you. Hey! Where you goin?”

“Pub”, he said wandering off down the cobbles.

“Ye know I can’t go in there.”

Thank Christ, he thought raising the back of his hand in farewell.

“Satan has a plan for you, buddy boy…” he said, inhaling deeply. “You’ll see.”