I looked from my brother to his daughter, Erin, and back to him. Mark, my brother, had the harried look of a desperate single parent. Erin had the bored look of a pre-teen who just can’t even. I’m sure I had the look of a sister frustrated with her brother and auntie who’s had quite enough, thank you very much.
“All right, Mark,” I said. “Erin can stay here this weekend.” My brother’s look of relief steeled me for what came next. “On one condition.”
Mark cleared his throat and nodded. “Okay, fine.”
I held up a hand. “You haven’t heard the condition yet.”
“Please, Misty. I really need your help.”
“I get that, but the last two times Erin stayed at my house.” I looked at my niece. “You caused me some pretty big problems and suffered no consequences.”
Erin rolled her eyes. “Breaking the window was an accident, Aunt Misty.”
“It was a two hundred and fifty dollar accident that could have been avoided. And, you never paid me back.”
Erin blushed, but shrugged.
“And the time before that,” I continued, “you threw a party at my house that ate all my food, trashed my kitchen, and got the police called.”
Erin grinned. “It was a baller party though.”
“You’re twelve years old, Erin. There’s no reason you should be throwing parties with high-schoolers.”
Mark cleared his throat. “Misty, Erin will promise to be on her absolute best behavior.”
I shook my head. “That’s not good enough. Here is my condition, Mark. Erin can stay at my house this weekend, but I have permission to spank her for whatever reason I want, in whatever way I want, without question or argument. If my authority in this matter is questioned in any way, the offer is rescinded and you can hire a babysitter. Or you can ask mom.”
Mark’s tone turned pleading. “You know I’m on my last strike with mom right now.”
“And whose fault is that?” I asked, looking at Erin.
Erin snorted and derision. “Grandma doesn’t scare me.”
“She should,” Mark and I said together.
Mark sighed. “All right, fine.”
“Hey, wait, what?” Erin said. “Daddy, you can’t be serious. Auntie Misty can’t spank me.”
“I most certainly can,” I said.
“Now, Misty, I know you’re a reasonable person, I just want to make sure things aren’t going to get out of hand.”
“Mark, I understand you want to protect your daughter, but you’re doing her no favors letting her act out the way she does. In fact, here’s what’s going to happen next.” I looked at my niece, “Erin, you still haven’t been punished for the carelessness of that that party or the broken window.”
“Yes I have,” Erin objected. “Daddy grounded me for two weeks.”
I looked at Mark, who shrugged sheepishly.
I shook my head. “Young lady, stand up and bare you bottom. You are going to go over my knees for a spanking right now.”
Erin, folded her arms and crossed her legs. “No way, Aunt Misty. This is abuse or assault or something.” She looked at Mark. “Daddy, please, I’ll just stay at Grandma’s.”
Mark sighed and shook his head. “Sorry, baby. I don’t think that’ll work.”
“But, you can’t let her spank me. Please, daddy, I’m sorry!”
Mark sighed heavily and swallowed hard. “Do as your Aunt Misty says. If you’re going to stay with her, you’ve got to follow her rules.”
Erin sniffled pitifully and a few tears slid down her cheeks. “Daddy?” Then she looked at me. “Um. Auntie Misty, please, I’m really sorry. I’ll be good, I promise. Just, please, please don’t spank me.”
“Oh, you’re sorry now, are you? Because that wasn’t your attitude a few minutes ago. A few minutes ago you were rolling your eyes at me. I want to make absolutely certain you know what’s going to happen if your behavior this weekend is even remotely like the last two times you’ve stayed with me. You are getting a spanking, child, and the longer you complain about it, the harder you’re making this on yourself. Now. I’m not going to tell you again, stand up and bare your bottom.”
Erin looked at me, trembling, eyes wide. She looked at her father, then back at me.
“No, please, we can talk about this.”
“We have talked about this,” Mark said, his voice suddenly stern. “I have nowhere else for you stay this weekend. The babysitters we’ve had in the past are fed up you. Your grandmother is fed up with you. Even your Aunt Misty is fed up with you. But she’s the only one willing to have you and this is her one condition. I absolutely have to go on this work trip. We’re out of choices, baby girl. And I think you know why.”
“But daddy, I’m sorry.” She sounded genuinely contrite, a good first step.
“If you’re sorry, then do as you’re told.”
Erin swallowed hard and shook her head even as she stood, a tremble in her shoulders, teeth chattering. She clasped her hands at her waist and looked at her father again. H kept his gaze stern. She tried to say something but no sound came out. After several moments more, with hands visibly shaking, she reached around to the backside of her red and black plaid skirt and unzipped it. She pushed it over her hips and let it crumple on the floor around her feet. She wore a pair of bubblegum pink and sea-foam green panties that were, as far as I was concerned, far too skimpy for a twelve year old.
“Can’t I at least keep my undies up?” Erin’s voice was high and childlike.
I shook my head. “Absolutely not.” But then I felt myself soften just a bit. “If it’s too hard, I’ll do it for you.”
Erin swallowed hard and gave a little sob, but she nodded. “I just… I don’t think…”
I patted my lap. “Come here, young lady. It’s time to grow up a little.”
Erin took a small, tentative step toward me and then another, and then, it seemed, she was rooted to the spot, still an arm length’s and a half away from me. So I stood and took hold of her by her elbows and pulled her gently back to my chair. I sat while releasing her with my left and pulling her to my right thigh.
“Bend over,” I said.
“Oh, please,” Erin said, tears in her voice even as she did as she was told.
I took hold of her waist in my left and her hip in my right and shifted her so she was centered over my lap. She was small and lighter than I’d realized. Or so she seemed in such a vulnerable position. Her skirt slipped over her feet as I pulled her over my lap, and I pulled her panties down to her knees leaving her largely bare from the waist down. Erin squealed like I’d struck her. Her right hand came around to stop me, but it set her off balance and she had to put it back to the floor to steady herself.
I looked at Mark who looked at me, tears in his eyes. I knew Mark loved his baby girl. I knew he would do anything for her and, indeed, had. When his wife, Lorelai, had died, when Erin was only three, Mark had been devastated. But he’d redoubled his efforts at work and climbed through the ranks to make enough money to give his daughter whatever she wanted, to make sure she had a life free of hardship. I admired him for that. At the same time, he had neglected Erin’s discipline, and that was what I was about to correct. He swallowed hard, but he nodded at me, so I put my left hand on the small of his daughter’s back firmly, and smacked her naked bottom with my right.
Lorelai, Erin’s mother, had been the palest woman I’d ever met. Her skin was alabaster, her hair platinum, her eyes, the palest shade of sky. Mark, on the other hand, was the darkest man in our family. His skin was so black it was almost purple, eyes so dark you couldn’t see the pupil, hair the color of a moonless night. Erin was a beautiful combination of the two, her eyes a bright, shining blue, her hair smooth and raven, her skin like strong coffee with just the right amount of cream.
When I spanked her bottom, a faint red-brown handprint bloomed on her dark skin, outlined with a faint halo of white. I marveled at that handprint for a moment, watching it fade back into her skin until only a darkened splotch remained.
I gave her a thoroughly meticulous spanking, two per heartbeat, one for either cheek. I measured the speed of my hand, the force of the impact, and as the spanking progressed and my heartrate increased, so did the speed and force of it. Erin bawled from the outset, and though I did not doubt the sincerity of it, I suspected it was more thanks to her embarrassment than acknowledgment of her misbehavior. Soon her premature sobs became full on wails of contrition as she began to understand just how thorough a bottom-fire she was to receive. When she began to squirm and kick in an attempt to free herself, I knew we had moved from the first stage, compliance, to the second stage, understanding.
Erin put her hand back again and I snagged her wrist with my left and scissored her legs with mine in order to hold her more securely. Her panties had dropped to her ankles and when I secured my hold on her, her squirming was enough to shake them over her feet to the floor.
“Okay, stop. Enough! I’m sorry, really I am. Please! Please don’t spank me anymore!” her voice was high and piteous. “Please, Auntie Misty, stop. Daddy, make her stop. Please…” Her pleading dissolved into more tears.
But I wasn’t finished.
Once I was certain of my hold on her, I resumed. Erin squealed and cried and squirmed as hard as she could while I spanked her so her dark bottom became a thorough, deep, and painful red. When her protestations were nothing more than incoherent sobs, when her struggling melted into limp exhaustion, I knew we’d shifted from understanding to the third stage, contrition.
With a deep breath, I wiped the sweat from my forehead and released Erin carefully, ready to catch her should she fall. Instead, she stayed limply over my lap until she regained control of her breath. Until she could say, through hiccupping tears, “Auntie Misty, may I get up now?”
I helped her to her feet and she wrapped me in a fierce hug and sobbed into my chest. I rubbed her back gently and kissed the top of her head.