Sydney is bummed that she’s stuck going to day camp instead of getting to lounge around in the air conditioning with her neighborhood friends all summer. After being a brat all day to the counselors who are only there to make her life more miserable than it already is, Sydney swims into trouble — literally! The problem is that, um, her brother is the lifeguard, and he’s not too happy about it.
I didn’t want to go to day camp. After all, I was 12 years old and practically an adults. My parents had let me stay home so far everyday during the summer, so I’d lived by my own rules. Going to camp would mean I’d have to get up early every morning, I’d have to eat at a certain time, and worst of all, people would be telling me what to do. Wait, no, that wasn’t the worst — if camp counselors wanted me to do something I didn’t want, I didn’t really have to listen. What could they do to me? Kick me out? Yeah, some punishment… that’s exactly what I wanted! The worst part, then, was that my brother worked there and he would so totally embarrass me. Not to mention that after camp, he’d be taking me to his apartment where I’d have to stay until my dad picked me up — that was probably even worse than going to day camp!
The first day I huffed and puffed in the car, pouting as my dad tried to convince me that I’d have fun. “I don’t know why you don’t want to go. I would have loved to have the opportunity as a kid to swim and play sports all day with other kids rather than staying cooped up inside all day by myself, “ he said. I didn’t mention that I was rarely “cooped up by myself,” that I spent most of my time riding my bike through the neighborhood or playing at my friend, Lexi’s house, who even took me to her friend’s house to swim a couple of times. No, I didn’t tell my dad that because he would’ve flipped out — I wasn’t supposed to leave the house without permission and, well, sometimes it’s just easier to just go rather than calling him and waiting for him to call me back (because he’s always busy). And besides, I always make it back before he does.
“It’ll be good for you to get out and get some sun and exercise,” Dad continued.
“I haven’t gotten any all summer so why is it important now,” I scowled.
He gave me a look. “Don’t get an attitude with me, Missy. You’re not too old to fit over my knee,” he warned.
I sank down in my chair, folding my arms grumpily. I stayed like that until we pulled up to the day camp. There was a table in front where two women and a man sat with bright orange T-shirts on. They were smiling happily which made me dread the day even more. Dad pulled up into a parking space. “Get out,” he said.
I shoved the door open and stomped to the table where my dad was now smiling just like the counselors. They handed me a schedule with the list of activities I would be doing for the day, including arts and crafts, soccer, swimming, snacks, lunch, free play, and quiet time. To say the least, I was very unexcited. I hated crafts, sucked at soccer, didn’t care to swim in a pee and germ infested pool, didn’t like their crummy snacks or lunches, didn’t play, and certainly did not need or want quiet time.
“Come on, Sydney, I’ll show you the crafts hut,” one of the women said. She didn’t seem to be too much older than me, probably 18 or 19 like my brother. She had long hair that she wore in a ponytail and a tan complexion.
“Bye, Syd. See ya this evening!” my dad said, waving goodbye as he walked away.
I trudged after the woman, whose name I now saw was Brianna. “So what attracted you to this camp?” she asked me after a few seconds of silence.
I shrugged. “I don’t want to go here. My dad’s making me,” I admitted.
“That sucks. How come?”
I shrugged. “I guess ‘cause my brother works here.”
She nodded. “Well, it’s not so bad I’m sure.”
“What do you do here?”
“I coach soccer.”
“Need money for college.”
I nodded. “My brother’s a lifeguard. He’s working here to pay for his apartment.” I knew that she probably didn’t’ care, but I told her anyway to keep the conversation going.
“What’s your brother’s name?” she asked.
“I could’ve guessed. You two look just alike.”
I scrunched my nose up. I didn’t think my brother and me looked a thing alike, but people were almost always noting our resemblance. I opened my mouth to say something else but Brianna beat me to it. “Well, here we are, the craft hut. This is the first place you’ll be going for the next two weeks,” she said then smiled. “Hope you enjoy it more than you’re expecting. See you during soccer!”
I nodded and pushed the door open to the crafts hut. There was already a group of kids inside — the middle school kids. They were all crammed in at one long table, huddled over a sign that read “Jubilant Jaguars,” coloring in the letters and chattering. An overly enthused counselor came towards me as I stood in the doorway. “Come on in,” she said. “We’re just making the sign for our spirit rally this morning. What’s your name?”
“Sydney,” I mumbled, now sick of repeating my name to everyone.
“Cool! Come make a nametag for yourself and help make the sign.”
“Whatever,” I groaned. I sat at the corner of the table by myself, not helping with the sign and not making myself a nametag — I’m not a dog, so I don’t need a nametag!
The rest of my morning was much like the beginning of my day. I didn’t participate in the spirit rally singing songs and cheering like everyone else. I sat on the side lines during soccer and refused to play. Instead of eating my snacks I threw my chips at random people when they weren’t looking and poured my juice on a girl who was getting on my nerves (then she cried to the counselor who scolded me, told me to apologize, and when I wouldn’t she told me I’d have to sit out during swimming, our next activity).
So I sat on the concrete by the pool at the beginning of swim time, watching all of the other kids, my age group and a little younger, having a great time. My brother shook his head when he saw me, but didn’t say anything from the lawn chair he was sitting on near the pool. After a few minutes of watching, I was reprimanded a final time then allowed to go swimming. Come to find out, the littler kids in the pool were from a nearby daycare and they were super annoying, but fun to pester. They whined when you splashed them with water and freaked out anytime you got close to them.
“Would you leave my kids alone please?” one of the daycare workers asked me. I glared at her. How dare she try to tell me what to do!
“Shut up,” I told her. “You can’t tell me what to do!”
“You’re right, I can’t. But I can ask you to leave my kids alone.”
I shot her another evil look, then swam away, being sure to splash her while I was at it. I left the kids alone for a little while, but became humored when I kicked a little boy (accidentally, of course) and his pants came down a little. Through the girls’ laughter he yelled, “Hey! Watch where you’re going!” and tugged his trunks back up.
“Do it again!” one of the girls hollered.
Grinning, I swam away to splash water on the daycare worker (“accidentally”), then came back to tug at the boy’s shorts again. He yelped and the girls laughed again. “Stop it!” he whined.
“Stop it!” I mimicked.
He huffed away and swam to a group of more boys, not telling them about his humiliating experience.
“Do it to the boy with the green goggles,” one girl whispered to me. “He’s always really mean in daycare.”
“What are ya’ll whispering about?” another girl asked.
“She’s going to pull Caleb’s pants down!” the first answered.
“Shhh!” another said, “or Ms. Jennifer will hear and we’ll get in trouble!”
I rolled my eyes. “What’s he do that’s so mean anyway?” I asked.
“He always pulls our hair.”
“And calls us names.”
“And gets us in trouble.”
I nodded, remembering the boys in my grade school classes that did the same thing. Narrowing my eyes, I said, “Yeah, okay.” I swam over to the group of boys. In a quick round, I not only managed to pull down Caleb’s pants, but three other boys’, too. They shrieked like banchees and hurriedly tugged them back up. One of them went crying to their daycare worker.
“S-she pulled down my pants!” he cried.
He pointed at me.
The worker eyed me and shook her head, wandering off to the other side of the pool.
“What a brat,” I muttered then swam towards him. When I arrived by his side, I tugged his shorts down again and pushed him under the water, holding him there. I was so angry that I barely heard the whistle. I didn’t realize what I was doing until he simultaneously kicked me in my privates and my brother yelled “Sydney! Let him go!” I released my grip on him and he came up coughing and gagging. I splashed him in the face once more and Steven hollered, “Sydney!” loudly. “Get out of there right now!” he ordered.
I gave him a where-did-you-get-the-idea-you-can-boss-me-around look. “Whatever,” I said then turned away to notice everyone was watching me, at least everyone within a five foot radius. The daycare worker came for the boy and I heard my brother shouting again.
“Sydney Taylor! Get out! Now!”
“Leave me alone,” I scowled.
Infuriated, Steven dove into the pool and within a second he grabbed ahold of my arm.
“Let go of me!” I ordered, struggling to free myself of his tight grip. He dragged me to the stairs, and continued pulling me out of the water. “Steven! Let go!” I yelled, then began hitting his hand noticing the red mark that was forming on my upper arm.
“You will NOT act like this Sydney Taylor Pepperidge!” he told me, still tugging me along the sidewalk.
“Whatever. Just let me go.”
He shot me the meanest look then I felt a sharp pain in my backside, accompanied by a deafening thunderous sound. It took me a second to realize that he was swatting me and I was yelping like a baby.
“Oww! Steven! What are you doing?! Ow!” I demanded to know.
“Stop this attitude and fighting or I’ll take those bikini bottoms down right here in front of everyone and finish the job,” he warned.
I reached my hand back to rub as he stopped smacking me and resumed walking, still holding onto my upper arm. I blushed noticing that not only were the kids watching me, but now even the adults were staring in my direction, oblivious or apathetic to their impoliteness. He lead me to the changing rooms, where he practically shoved me inside. There were about four changing stalls on the left side of the room, across from three toilet stalls, three sinks, and the showers. I was thankful that he’d chosen the girls’ room to scold me in, but worried because I wasn’t quite sure how he was going to punish me.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he shouted.
I rolled my eyes at him, the initial sting of the spanking having already worn off. That was all it took for him to haul me into a changing stall and swipe my bikini bottoms down in one quick motion.
“Wait! Stop… I didn’t mean it!” I pleaded.
“How do you not mean it?” he asked, pushing me over his lap. I hadn’t even noticed that he’d sat down. Now I was facing the ground, hands on the floor.
“Because I didn’t,” I answered after he landed the first smack. “I’m sorry!”
“Yeah, I’m sure you are. And I’m sorry that I’m spanking you and there’s no way you can get out of it.”
I whined, squirming as he rained down hard swats on my wet and now throbbing backside. “Owwww…. Steven that hurts!” I gasped, forgetting for a moment that we were in the changing room and only a curtain separated me from anyone who decided to come to the bathroom. “Please, Steve! I’ll be good! Please stop!”
He ignored me, delivering smack after smack, showing no mercy on my reddened posterior. I wiggled and squirmed, kicking as much as I could, given the tiny space we were in.
He finally lifted me up and my hands flew to my backside. It was now warm instead of cool and wet, I could feel the heat radiating. Steven grabbed a hold of my upper arms, staring directly into my eyes. “Believe me, Sydney, this is not over,” he warned me. “You are NEVER to treat an adult with the same disrespect you displayed today. I don’t know what’s gotten into you, or why you decided to pull this stunt today, but I promise you that if you EVER act like this again, I won’t hesitate to spank your bare bottom right there at the pool with everyone watching. Do you understand me?”
I nodded, “Yeah, I understand.”
“When we go back out, you will sit down next to me until I get a break. Then you and I are taking a trip to the office. The disciplinary director has a paddle in there that I think would be very effective in straightening you out. If you’re lucky, that’ll be the last spanking you get today. But the way you’ve been acting, you’re pretty much asking me to get my belt after you when we get home.”
I shook my head. “No… that’s okay, I’ll be good,” I assured him.
He stood up, promptly gave me two hard swats, then said, “pull your bottoms up and let’s go. I expect to hear an apology when we get out there.”
I hurriedly tugged the bikini bottoms up and followed my brother out. On the way I noticed something: my swimsuit didn’t cover up my well-spanked bottom! My face turned as red as my backside that everyone would be able to see in such a short time. I would have hidden out, but Steven gave me a tug and made me follow him out the door.
I apologized to the daycare worker and kids when we arrived outside then was ordered by Steven to sit down next to him. Most of the kids had gone back to swimming, but some of them looked at me as I carefully eased down onto the pavement. The hot concrete made sitting almost unbearable as I was reminded of how tender my backside actually was. I winced, crossing my legs and watching, aware that this would be a long afternoon.
I don’t know how long I sat next to my brother. Long enough that I was almost relieved when the tall lanky guy in red trunks and a black shirt came towards us to allow Steven to go on his lunch break.
“Get your clothes on,” my brother said. “I’ll be waiting outside the changing room.” Then he stalked off to the snack shop, only turning around to tell me I had five minutes to be ready.
My stomach turned flip flops when I entered the same place I’d been spanked in only minutes before. Passing the mirror I saw that my bottom was still pink and now had little indentions from the not-so-smooth concrete. I studied myself for a little while then remembered I only had five minutes. Hurriedly, I grabbed my backpack of clothes and put on my tank top and plaid board shorts. “Why did I have to pick such thin shorts to wear today?” I asked myself out loud. Things were just not in my favor.
I stopped whining and trudged outside where my brother was waiting, hot dog in hand. He said nothing, just began walking, I following shortly behind. We walked down a path leading towards the main office. This was where all of the important issues were dealt with, like kids who’d badly injured themselves, parents who were angry with the camp, employees who weren’t doing their jobs, or the uncontrollable youth (like me). Upon entry, a bored secretary glanced up. Two boys were sitting in chairs against the wall, one with an ice pack on his head, the other a wad of paper towels over his knee. What I assume was the nurse opened a door and led a little girl to the waiting area. “I think she’s fine,” she said to the secretary. “It’s not broken, but keep some ice on it for a little while. And maybe call her parents.” The little girl was holding her wrist with a pathetic look on her face.
“I wanna go home,” she whined.
Me too, I thought.
The nurse called in one of the boys then closed the door behind her. “Can I see Mr. Sysco, please?” my brother asked so suddenly that I jumped a bit.
“Sure,” the secretary answered and pushed down some buttons on her phone.
“Sit down,” Steven demanded, so I plopped down in a chair next to the boy with ice. I waited nervously, watching the excitement of the main office. The secretary called the little girl’s mom, who was now on her way. I could hear Mr. Sysco’s loud laughter even though his door was closed and I didn’t know what was so funny. The boy next to me picked his nose then wiped the booger underneath the chair. I watched the clock on the wall, listening to the ticking, my heart beating faster with every second that passed. Is this what it’s like to be in the principal’s office? I wondered. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted my brother to emerge from Mr. Sysco’s office and put me out of my misery, or if I wanted the booming laughter to continue as long as possible, so long that it’d be too late for my brother to paddle me.
A door opened and my heart stopped, but it was only the nurse and the boy whose knee was now covered in a big Band-Aid. The nurse chatted with the secretary for a moment and another door opened. This time it was the front door and two counselors and kids came in. One of the counselors was Brianna and she was holding a crying girl. The other counselor I recognized from the snack shack. She had a little boy at her side who claimed that his head hurt.
The another door opened. This time it was to Mr. Sysco’s office. I blushed deeply as the stern-looking man came into the small office and my brother beckoned me forth. All eyes were on me as I took the walk of shame from the chair to the disciplinarian’s office. I wondered what they were thinking, if they knew I was about to get a spanking just like a little kid. If they didn’t already know, it probably wouldn’t take them long to figure it out seeing as the walls were anything but soundproof. The thought of that made me blush even deeper!
“Today,” Steven said, referring to the fact that I was creeping slowly to my impending doom. I picked up the pace slightly, hoping there’d be some way to talk him out of it.
I felt the eyes staring at me even after Steven pulled the door shut. There was a big desk in the middle of the office with a comfortable-looking chair behind it, undoubtedly Mr. Sysco’s chair. In front of the desk sat two not-so-comfortable-looking chairs next to a bookcase with pictures on it. I decided to plop myself on one of those chairs.
“I don’t know why you’re sitting down,” Steven said.
“I figured we could try to rationalize this out without using physical punishment.”
He laughed — yes, actually laughed! — and sat on the side of the desk. “Oh? Do tell me then: how do you want to handle this ‘rationally’?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Maybe you could lecture me?”
“Well, I believe you’ve already been lectured at least once today at the pool, and obviously it didn’t work. So why would it work now?” I opened my mouth to answer, but it was a rhetorical question and he didn’t give me a chance. “But if you want lectures, then okay. You know what I’ve been hearing all day?” I shook my head. “Counselors talking about how much of an attitude you’ve had, how awful you’ve been acting, how disrespectful you’re being. One counselor even said that Mr. Sysco should *really* paddle you!”
I blinked. “They really said that?”
“Oh yeah,” he answered, now moving behind the desk. “I’ve heard all about your day today and I’m not pleased. And then you try to drown a little boy in the pool? Don’t you realize you could’ve killed him?” he asked, voice getting louder.
“I- I didn’t think about that…” I stammered.
“Didn’t think about it?” he yelled. “Is that what you’d tell the boy’s parents at his funeral? Is that what you’d tell the judge when he’s sending your ass to jail?”
I looked at the floor, now a well-reprimanded little girl. But he didn’t stop.
“Tell me, Sydney: What if he had died?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted, tear falling to the floor.
He took a deep breath in and steadied himself. “Look, there are rules for a reason — I know the counselors went over the rules before letting you swim. And you’re not stupid, Sydney. You know not to push anyone under water, whether you’re mad or not. There is no excuse for what you did today.”
I sniffled, wiping a tear away.
“And when I, or any counselor, tell you to do something, you are to do it without any talkback, questions, or fighting… Look at me,” he ordered and I lifted my head, locking eyes with his. “If I find out you’re not following directions the counselor will be sending you to Mr. Sysco for some swats, and when we get home you will see that those swats are nothing compared to what I will give you. Do you understand?”
I nodded sullenly.
“You also will not be swimming the rest of this week, but instead will be copying down the pool rules while everyone else swims. If you are on your best behavior, you will earn your swimming privileges back. Got it?”
I nodded again.
“As for now,” he began, opening the top drawer of the desk, “you are going to be getting twenty swats: ten over your shorts and ten on the bare bottom.” I guess when he’d said paddle, I’d thought of a ping pong paddle or something similar. But what he pulled out looked more like a fraternity paddle. “Stand up,” he said sternly, but I was glued to the chair. He came around the desk, paddle in hand. “Any day now.”
“I’m sorry,” I whined.
“I know. Now stand up.”
“But Steven… haven’t I been punished enough already?”
“I’m not telling you again, Sydney. I won’t hesitate to make the whole spanking bare bottom or to add swats.”
“Please don’t do this,” I begged.
He grabbed my upper arm and hauled me out of the chair. “Over the desk and no stalling or I’ll take the shorts down right now.”
Whining, I pushed myself over the desk, covering my face in my hands. My ears were burning with embarrassment as I remembered that there was quite a crowd outside. If I could hear Mr. Sysco’s laughter and voice, the sound of paddle-meeting-bottom would definitely be audible, even from the farthest corner of the office. I groaned just as I felt (and heard) the first swat. It took everything in me not to scream out.
“The behavior you displayed today is totally unacceptable, Sydney,” he told me, then swatted me again, this time so hard that I cried out.
People are listening, I reminded myself, biting my lower lip as the third blow landed right on my sit spots.
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled to my older brother, a tear or two slipping down my cheeks.
He popped me again on the sit spots and I let out a grunt, still biting my lip. “Sorry that you did it, or sorry that you got caught?” he asked, hitting the same spot again and causing an even louder grunt to emerge from my lips.
“For everything,” I answered, nearly breaking down when he swatted me again.
“Then I guess I’m assured that you will be obeying from now on, right?” Cue that next swat.
“Yessssss,” I groaned.
He finished up the ten swats then set the paddle down. So far, I had done pretty well with containing myself, but as he lifted me up, I knew that I would soon be sobbing like a baby. All I could hope was that the group of people in the hallway had dispersed.
“Shorts down,” he ordered.
I wanted to whine and plead, but after all, he was the one with the paddle and the way my bottom already felt, I really didn’t want him to add anymore swats. I couldn’t help but plead with my eyes, though, as I slowly unbuttoned my shorts, then slid them down to the floor. He gently pushed me back over the desk, then tugged my panties down to meet my shorts.
“Steven…..” I whispered, feeling a cool breeze on my pink bottom.
He didn’t respond. I heard him pick the paddle back up and a shiver crept down my spine. Only ten more swats, I pep talked myself. Then it’s all over.
Ten swats is like an eternity, especially on the bare bottom. The first swat landed hard, right in the middle of my bottom. By the third smack, I was crying. By the fifth, I was screaming and he was hitting my thighs and sit spots. By the sixth, I lost count and knew that my dignity was lost and not only could the entire office hear me, but probably half of the camp.
I heard Steven put the paddle back down, then he helped my panties back up and brought me in for a hug. I buried my face into his chest, crying my eyes out. “I’m so so sorry,” I cried.
“I know, Sydney,” he whispered, stroking my hair. “I know.”
I rubbed my bottom as I cried, feeling how hot it was from the spanking. If I had thought the earlier spanking was bad, this one was worse! And I was sure there would be plenty more of this if I ever did the same thing again. In other words, I better watch my mouth and do as told… at least while around Steven.
As I stopped crying, Steven told me I could replace my shorts, then sit in one of the chairs across from Mr. Sysco’s desk. Apparently the disciplinary director wanted to have a word with me before going back to camp. I had the feeling that this time, he wouldn’t be laughing like earlier.
Steven opened the door and called out, only to come back in with Mr. Sysco.
“Hello, Sydney,” the man said, taking a seat behind his desk.
I shifted in my seat, wincing at the pain in my backside. “Hi,” I said in a tiny voice.
“I see you’ve become acquainted with my paddle,” he said, smirking slightly.
I blushed and didn’t answer.
“I just wanted to let you know that your behavior will not be tolerated at this camp. I’m sure your brother has already told you that I will not hesitate to paddle you myself if we have anymore instances like today. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir,” I said, dropping my head and not wanting to hear anymore of this. “It won’t happen again,” I assured him.
“I hope not. I also hope that you will actually be participating in the rest of today’s activities.”
I groaned. The last thing I wanted to do was participate in more baby games. Of course, I wasn’t going to tell him that. “Yes, I will be participating.”
“Good,” he answered. “Then I won’t see you back here anytime soon?”
I shook my head.
He nodded to Steven who said, “come on” and I followed him out the door. There weren’t many people in the office anymore, but I kept my head down anyway so as not to have to look anyone in the eyes. When we got back outside Steven said, “just behave the rest of the day, please?” he asked, almost begging. “I will,” I promised. “And for the next two weeks I will, too.”
He smiled. “I’m glad,” he said, then put an arm around my shoulder. “I’ll walk you to the café for lunch.”
I nodded, following my older brother and still rubbing my throbbing backside. This would be a long afternoon!