(PREVIOUS: “The Lost Blizzard“)
“Please,” I beg. I struggle to squirm out of the reach of Natalie’s wooden spoon, but one arm is strong and steadily holding me in place while the other is strong and steadily whacking away. “Owwwww,” I whimper. “Whatever I did, I’m sorry!”
Natalie ignores me until she has spanked my bottom to a fiery mess. When I have exchanged pleas and arguments for heartbroken cries, she finally puts the spoon down. Unceremoniously flips me off her knee and stands me on my feet in front of her. I stamp my feet and try to hold my bottom in my hands, but she takes my hands away. Holds them in her own. Looks directly into my eyes with the measured calm that never fails to take my breath away.
“You really don’t know why you were just spanked?” There is an undercurrent of warning, but I truly do not know. I haven’t lied to her, haven’t jeopardized my safety or hers, haven’t done something she told me not to.
“Go to the corner,” she says, pointing. “Maybe that will help you remember.”
I protest and whine and cling to her, but when she picks up the spoon again I hobble to the corner as fast as my pants-around-my-ankles restraints will allow. Squirm, leaning my head against the wall. She is so deadly serious that I must have done something really wrong. If she were spanking me “just because” or for fun, she would let me know. Wouldn’t she?
This morning started out like any other day. Natalie up early. Finishing paperwork before breakfast and then dashing off before it was time for me to leave. I washed the dishes, finished getting ready, went to work, picked up groceries, and came home. Fixed a simple meal of steak and vegetables with rice. Ate very little because Natalie informed me after the first bite that we needed to “talk”.
It’s hard to eat when your stomach is stuck in the cellar.
After dinner clean-up, she called me over to her. Put down the dish towel, picked up a wooden spoon, and propped one foot on the seat of the kitchen table chair. Draped me over her knee and spanked with a frighteningly painful efficiency. No lecture, no warning, nothing.
Natalie always tells me to be simple and direct and honest. But I was. And I still got sent to the corner. Why won’t she just tell me what I did wrong?
After a few endless minutes, Natalie calls out to me.
“Are you ready to talk?”
I don’t know how to respond. The corner suddenly seems safer than talking to her.
“I asked if you are ready, Kat.”
“No’m,” I answer softly.
“Very well. Please let me know when you are.”
I want to tell her that I’ve changed my mind, but I still have no answers for her. After several very, very long minutes she sighs and calls me back to her and holds me between her knees. I look at her, confused.
“What did I do?”
“Think back to earlier…”
“…when someone out there suggested you might be fictional.”
I wish I could stop her, but my split-second restored memory comes too late.
“Now what was it you started shouting? That if you were ***ing fictional and not real you could do as you ***ing pleased? And then started throwing things?”
Ah. Well. I didn’t know it counted. I mean if I am not real, then who cares what I do?
Natalie puts her hand on my bottom. “Does this feel real to you?”
I wince and nod.
She gives a spank, just once but sharp. “Does this feel fictional?”
I shake my head.
She makes me sit down and wraps her arms around me. “Does this feel untrue?”
I breathe in the faint herbal scent of her shampoo as her hair brushes against my cheek.
“Katya,” she says, and I bury my face in her chest. “Whatever we are, we are real to each other. And that is all that matters.”
I hum a soft little hum in her embrace. And then murmur, “Does that mean we can say that the plates I broke aren’t real?”
A swat. “Sure. If I can say that this isn’t real.”
I yelp and giggle. “Okay, okay! Uncle!”
“Aunt,” she says, and I lift my head long enough to smile at her before resting my head on her shoulder.
“If we’re fictional, does that mean I get to spank you?”
“Not a chance in hell.”