Asking for it

When I was a child, my grandfather used to keep a huge jar of maraschino cherries in the refrigerator. If I was good, I could have one. I could also get a gummy bear from the box brought back from Germany that sat way out of my reach on the top of the kitchen cupboard.

I bought my own jar of maraschino cherries when I started buying my own groceries. I ate the whole thing and felt sick and they were nothing like I remembered. It’s better when someone else metes out the rewards.

I’m sitting on the floor in the kitchen. Styrn is making our dinner. Generally, little girls don’t have a choice when it comes to what’s for dinner, and little girls can’t be trusted to use kitchen appliances without help. This is boring and I’m restless, but Styrn is busy and doesn’t want to play.

I amuse myself by playing a game on daddy’s phone, but that’s boring so I take my hair down and braid it in tiny little braids. I’m halfway through the third one…

“Scarlett.” I shift focus from my hair to Styrn. “I told you to sit still.”

“I was sitting still. And being quiet, too.”

“Don’t talk back to me. You’re going to be in time out if your keep this up.”

“I didn’t do anything! Ow!” He hauls me to my feet by my shoulder and marches me over to  the chair in the corner. Pulling me across his lap, he yanks up my dress and down my undies. After administering six very hard slaps, he stands and sit me in the chair, on my bare bottom.

“Stay there until you’ve learned to be better behaved. Dinner will be ready in half an hour, and if you’re not sorry by then, you’ll miss dinner and go to bed with no supper.” Styrn walks away.

I sit in the corner, with a burning bottom, very uncomfortable on the chair, which is heating up fast from my hot skin. Tears form in my eyes. Sniffling, I lean over and put my head on my knees. I didn’t do anything. It’s not fair. Focused on how much my bottom hurts and the injustice of it all, I don’t hear Styrn come back into the room. He squats next to the chair very quietly, and I jump when he puts a hand gently on my head. I turn to look at him, my sore bottom forgotten. He kisses my nose, and carries me to his bed, my arms around his neck. I lay on my tummy and he gently rubs my reddened rear. His cool hands feel good.

“Did you learn your lesson? When I tell you to stay still I mean completely still.”


“Yes, daddy.” A sniffle for good measure.

The timer goes off. “Dinner. C’mon.”

But first a cherry.


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