Travis forbids his 12 year old sister from riding the wild horse at their uncle’s ranch. But Molly can’t contain herself, and after some teasing from her annoying cousin, she disobeys and ends up having to accept painful consequences.
Jennifer sat behind me on her bed and French braided my hair into two long copper colored braids to match the ones that she had weaved into her own hair earlier. When I turned fifteen like her, I would be able to braid my hair by myself, but for now I had to let my older sister do it for me. We had both been up since the sun had risen over the mountains, shinning its glorious radiance over the whole valley. Today was a special day and Jenn was having a hard time braiding my hair because I was so fidgety with excitement. Today was the first day of the rodeo! This was the very first rodeo that I would be participating in as well since I was twelve now and I could actually ride my horse in the arena this year. I had been riding all my life but this was the first year that I actually got to participate in the rodeo with my older siblings.
“Molly, you need to sit still,” Jenn chuckled, “your braids are gonna turn out all lumpy if you keep squirming around.”
I tried to hold still, but I kept thinking about later tonight and how I would get to ride through the arena on Moonlight, my beautiful white mare, in front of all of the spectators and I couldn’t help but bounce on the bed a little.
“Honestly Molly, I’m never gonna finish with you if you don’t hold still.” Jenn said a bit exasperatedly.
“I’m sorry Jenny,” I said. “I just am so so so excited about tonight!
My sister laughed at me. “Ya I know you are kiddo. But could you please try to keep still for two seconds? I’m almost done with your hair and then we can go eat breakfast okay?”
I managed to hold still long enough for Jenn to wrap a hair tie around my hair before I bounced off her bed.
We were staying at our uncle Jessie’s ranch house since the rodeo was in the town right next to the ranch. Jennifer and I had to share a room since all of our cousins were staying at the ranch too. Our brother Travis had been participating in the rodeo every year since he was my age and did calf roping and bull riding like a pro. Last year he won six hundred dollars in the calf roping event and our whole family had bragged about it since then.
I didn’t get to do any of those kinds of things yet. My part this year would to be ridding around the arena on Moonlight and waving the banner of our sponsors. Jennifer was going to participate in the barrel racing event this year, and if she won she could get prize money!
When we got down to breakfast the whole house was alive with excitement. All of the cousins were sitting around the table passing plates of pancakes around and talking very loudly about the rodeo and who they thought was going to win the different events. My cousin Oakley was the rodeo clown which meant that he provided commentary and entertained the crowd between events, but most importantly, he distracted the bulls during the bull ride after they had bucked the cowboy. Last year he had saved Travis’ life from a pretty ornery bull named Greased Lightning but throwing his hat away from Travis to distract the bull after he had been bucked. Clowning was one of the most dangerous jobs at the rodeo and his mother almost had a heart attack every time she saw him being chased down by a bull. He knew what he was doing though, but his job is still dangerous.
Jennifer and I sat down at the table next to Oakley and Travis just as our aunt Becky came into the dining room with a plate of pancakes that were hot off the griddle.
“Good morning girls!” She said cheerfully as she set the plate down on the table and kissed me and Jenn on the tops of our heads. “Did you sleep well last night?”
Jenn grinned at me and replied playfully, “Yes ma’am, until about two and then Molly started talking in her sleep.”
“You can’t get her to shut up even when she’s asleep, huh?” Oakley teased and winked at me. I punched him in the arm playfully and he was about to punch me back when Aunt Becky cut in, “That’s enough, kids. I won’t have any rough housing at my table. Someone’s liable to get hurt or break something.”
“Yes ma’am” Oakley said and grinned at me.
“Thank you son,” She said and rubbed his head, making his dark hair stick out in all directions. “Everybody eat up!” She called to everyone at the table “We’ve all got a big day ahead of us!”
The room was filled with the sound of happy chatter and forks scraping against plates as everyone finished breakfast. There were about twenty people seated at the long table in the dinning room because all of our aunts and uncles had come to spend the day helping with the animals and things for the rodeo and looking after the younger children.
I poked at the pancakes that Jenn had put on my plate and watched all of my relatives eat. I didn’t really feel like eating. I was too excited. I traced lines in the maple syrup and made designs across my plate, thinking about how beautiful I would look riding Moonlight across the arena. The image was so vivid in my head that I hadn’t even heard Travis saying my name and when he said, “Molly!” sharply, I snapped out of my day dream and turned towards my brother.
“Sorry,” I said. “What did you say to me?’
“I said ‘you best eat your breakfast otherwise you’ll get sick later.'”
I slouched in my chair, “I’m not all that hungry Trav.” I whined.
Jenn looked at me a little concerned, “Are you sick? You do look a bit pale.”
“No, I feel fine.” I replied “Just not hungry is all.”
“Hmmmm.” Travis looked at me for a moment trying to decide if I was lying about not being sick. He put the back of his hand on my forehead. “You don’t feel hot. Are you just so excited about tonight that you don’t feel like eating?” he asked.
Travis laughed. “That’s what I thought. I want you to try to eat anyways though. Oakley and I have some work we gotta do outside, so I’m gonna skedaddle. But I want you to eat your breakfast alright?”
He turned to Jenn. “Jennifer I want you to watch her. She’s not to leave the table until she’s finished.”
“Okay Travis. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of her.”
“Good,” Travis said and headed outside with Oakley and some of our other cousins.
I pouted and continued to poke my breakfast with my fork.
“Come on Molly,” Jenn encouraged, “As soon you eat your breakfast we can go out to the corral and you can ride Moonlight. I wanna get out there myself and get Dusty all ready so hurry.”
I pouted a little more before I grudgingly ate my breakfast with my sister.
By the time we finished most of the family had headed outside or were in the kitchen helping Aunt Becky with the breakfast dishes. We took our plates into the kitchen and thanked our aunt for breakfast.
“Oh you’re welcome girls.” She said with a smile. She wiped her wet hands on her apron and gave both of us a tight squeeze. “I know both of you will do just great tonight. Are you excited?”
I nodded vigorously and my long braids slapped against my back. “Alright you two go outside and help your brother. Scoot!” She said and playfully shooed us out of the kitchen through the back door.
The sun was beating down and it was already hot. I was glad that we had our hats because they provided us with a little bit of shade.
Travis and Oakley were in the stables with our cousin Dakota and our uncle Jessie. Travis smiled his lopsided grin when he saw Jenn and I come into the stables.
“Howdy girls,” he said cheerfully. “Did you eat your breakfast?”
I winked at him. “Yeppers.”
“Good job kiddo,” he said and knocked my hat off.
“Hey!” I stuck out my tongue at him and skipped off to Moonlight’s stall, leaving my brother and cousins to their work and my sister to go take care of her horse.
“Good morning Moonlight,” I cooed. “Did you sleep well?” I rubbed her face and she whinnied playfully. I started brushing her coat and speaking encouraging words to her.
“Are you ready for tonight girl? You’re going to stun everyone with your beautiful shiny mane tonight.”
I had only been alone with Moonlight getting her ready for the rodeo for about ten minutes when Jenn came into her stall.
“Hey Molly, come here,” she whispered “I got something to show you.”
I followed her quietly out of the barn and into the coral wondering why we had to be quiet.
I could hear the sound of heavy hooves on the ground and loud whinnying. My brother and cousins were trying to get Dakota’s horse out of the trailer, but he wasn’t having any of it. He was a gorgeous black stallion named Spitfire and he was pretty wild. He had never been broken. Dakota was going to ride him and try to stay mounted for the required eight seconds, but so far no one had ever ridden Spitfire for more than five seconds. He was such a wild horse that none of the kids were allowed to be around him, but he was beautiful and Jenn and I loved to look at him.
Spitfire ran around the coral stomping his hooves and snorting while my brother and cousin roped him so that they could put new shoes on him. Jenn and I climbed over the fence and into the coral once Spitfire had been roped and it was safe for us to go in. We wanted to get a closer look and Travis and Dakota were too busy working on the horse to notice that we were there.
He was a big horse and in the sunlight his black mane shone so much that it looked blue. I had always wanted to ride him. Travis had let me ride some of then partially wild horses just so that if I was ever on a horse that bucked on me, I’d know what to do so that I wouldn’t get hurt very badly. Of course whenever I had ridden horses like that either Travis or Jenn had been there to supervise me if anything went wrong. I wondered if Dakota would let me ride Spitfire. I knew that I’d be on for all of four seconds, but I still just wanted to be on that wild horse’s back for just long enough to say that I’d ridden him. I hadn’t ever rode a horse quite as wild as Spitfire before though.
Travis looked up from his work and spotted me and Jenn at the opposite end of the coral.
“Hey!” He yelled. “You girls get outta here!!” He waved us out of the arena with his free hand.
With the urgency that was in our brother’s voice, Jenn and I knew better than to think twice before disobeying, and we scrambled back over the gate.
Spitfire came racing across the coral and he was angry. He hadn’t wanted to be shoed. Travis and Dakota had shoed him and let him lose a lot faster than we’d thought they would. If we’d have know that they were going finish that quickly and let him go then we wouldn’t have gone into the coral.
Travis and Dakota ran and hopped the fence on the opposite side, leaving the horse inside to run around for a while before they brought him into the stables for lunch. He had had a long ride and was restless. He needed to run for a while before he rested.
Travis stalked over to me and Jenn. “What the hell were you girls doing?” he demanded.
I looked at Jenn for an answer, but she seemed just as lost for words as I was. Our brother towered over us, sweating and looking furious.
“We just wanted to get a closer look…” I finally said meekly. “… and I thought that maybe Dakota would let me have a try ridding Spitfire.”
Travis didn’t say anything for a good long while.
“You girls are to stay away from that horse. I don’t want you to even be in the coral when that crazy horse is out. Am I making myself clear to you? You are much too small to be trying to ride that horse Molly. So I don’t want you to even think about doing it. You hear???”
Both of us nodded.
“Good. I don’t want to see either of you girls anywhere near that horse again. If I see you by that horse again I’ll knock the both of you sky west and crooked.” He gave us a severe look. “Dakota and I have work to do so I’ve gotta get. Go finish cleaning out the stalls and I’ll see the two of you at lunch okay?”
We nodded again and our brother walked off quickly to finish what he was doing once he had made sure that we understood him.
Jenn and I silently walked back to the barn pouting. It made me mad that Travis thought I was too small to ride that horse. I knew that if I tried to ride Spitfire I would get bucked before, but even very experienced riders had been knocked from that horse.
“I really want to ride that horse Jenn,” I pouted. “Travis is so bossy. You’d let me ride Spitfire wouldn’t you?”
Jenn looked me up and down. “Well…”
“Aw, come on Jenn. You know that I’m a good rider. I know that Spitfire’d buck me, but I know how to fall so that I wouldn’t get hurt, and the adrenaline rush would be fantastic. Plus you’d be able to help me if something went wrong.”
She laughed at me.
“You know that Trav would wear me out if I let you ride that horse Molly.”
I kicked a rock and jammed my hands into the pockets of my jeans in disappointment. “I reckon so,” I muttered dejectedly.
“One day little sis,” she said and ruffled my hair.
I smiled at her and dropped the subject, but I still couldn’t get Spitfire out of my head as we put clean hay in the stalls and watered the horses
Dakota came into the barn with his sister Jubilee, testing one of his jokes out on her for the rodeo
“You know how horse and a cow both eat hay? One it comes out as pellets and the other in pies… they eat the same thing so why do they end up different?”
“I dunno…” said Jubilee, “I reckon that they’re just plumbed differently is all.”
“You don’t know crap, do you?”
“Your joke is crap.” Jenn yelled to him from Dusty’s stall.
“Hahaha. I know. But that’s the point, right? Really corny jokes. Aunt Becky said to come and round you girls up for lunch. You finished working out here?” Dakota asked.
Jenn told him we were and we all raced back to the house. I won and Jubilee said that I cheated.
“I’m not a cheater! How could I cheat at running??” I yelled getting defensive and clenching my fists, ready to sock her one.
“Now Molly,” Dakota warned. “You best simmer down. If Travis hears of you fighting he’s liable to set your britches a’ fire.” He said this in a exaggerated southern accent, imitating his father.
His words made me blush with embarrassment. I didn’t know if my cousin was joking or not, but I didn’t want to risk it, and so instead of punching Jubilee, I stuck my tongue out at her and stalked into the house, slamming the screen door behind me. Jenn followed right behind me to make sure that I didn’t do anything stupid cuz I was still upset, but I calmed down pretty fast and we went and sat down at the table next to Travis.
We had lunch and made small talk, but other than that, the meal was pretty uneventful and afterwards Travis and all the older boy cousins and uncles had chores to do, and Jenn and I had to help our aunts clean up from lunch.
Jenn, Jubilee, and I had to do dishes, which was no fun, especially since we had to work with Jubilee. She kept making comments to push me into fighting her, and by the time we had washed the last dish, I was about ready to bust her jaw wide open. If Jenn hadn’t been there I probably would’ve too.
We went and sat on the back porch once we had the kitchen cleaned. It was cool there and we could watch our uncles and cousins work with the horses while we ate popsicles.
“I heard that you went in the coral with Spitfire today…” Jubilee said.
“Ya? So what?” Jenn answered for me, trying to shut her up.
“I reckon that neither of you can ride him. But Dakota’s let me ride him before,” She taunted.
“Has he really? How long did you stay mounted?” I wasn’t quite sure that I believed her, but if it was true, then there was no way that I couldn’t do it. Jubilee was only a year and a half older than me, but I was a more experienced rider.
“I dunno…” she shrugged. “I reckon about six seconds.”
I had it set in my mind right then. I was going to ride Spitfire and beat her time. There was no way that I was going to let Jubilee be better than me. I think Jenn saw this in my eyes and she sighed.
“Molly…” she said softly, but I wasn’t about to let her talk me outta this.
“Jenn, I need your help.” I said confidently.
She sighed again. “Alright, but we can’t let Travis know.” She knew that there was no talking me out of doing this now, so she might as well go along with it so that she could keep me from doing anything too tremendously dangerous.
We ran to the stables and Jubilee followed.
“You aren’t really gonna do it are you?” she asked astonished.
I didn’t answer. I just helped Jenn saddle up Dusty so that she could ride along side me and rope Spitfire if I fell off his back.
I was so angry and determined that I could barely think. Spitfire was in the stall next to Dusty and his stall opened right into the coral and he was still saddled because Dakota had ridden him recently and hadn’t had time to put his equipment up. This made things very convenient for me because I was too small to saddle that horse by myself and he would go crazy if I tried to lead him out to the corral. This way all we had to do was open the door to the stable and we’d be outside and ready.
I spoke to Spitfire in soft, soothing tones so that he wouldn’t be spooked, and then I mounted slowly. He let me, put he whinnied a little bit in protest.
Once I was settled on his back I signaled to Jubilee to open the door and took a deep breath. I was so resolute about actually doing this that I don’t think that even Travis could’ve stopped me. Jenn trotted behind me on Dusty, slowly following me into the corral.
He galloped around for a bit and then realized that I was still on his back and he started bucking like crazy.
Jubilee started counting, “One alligator… two alligator…”
It was all I could do to stay on Spitfire’s back as he bucked and kicked. I held on for dear life and I was focusing so hard on not falling off the horse that I couldn’t even hear Jubilee counting anymore. It was like nothing else mattered. I didn’t know where Jenn was cuz I couldn’t see anything. I was moving back and forth so quickly that I could feel my brain sloshing around in my head and I felt dizzy. My hands started slipping off the saddle horn and I didn’t know if I could hold on for very much longer.
And that’s when everything went black.
It was only for a second or two because when things came back into focus I was laying on my back on the ground and Spitfire was running back towards the stables. He went back into his stall all by himself–he must have been tired from the ride to the ranch, but once he was back in Jubilee closed the door so that he couldn’t come back out into the corral. After she closed the door, Jubilee ran towards the house.
And then Jenn was there. She’d gotten off Dusty and ran over to where I was laying on the ground. I tried to get up, but I was in a little bit of shock.
“I’m fine,” I tried to prove this to her by sitting up, but she pushed me back down.
“Don’t try to sit up until I can make sure you really are okay.”
I heard fast footsteps coming towards us, but before I had the chance to look at who was coming, Travis was towering over me looking very concerned. He stooped down and gently scooped my head up in his large rough hand. “Are you okay?” He asked looking genuinely worried.
I didn’t answer so he looked around a Jenn and Jubilee, “What happened here?”
Neither of them said anything.
“WHAT HAPPENED HERE???” he demanded forcefully.
“Spitfire…” Jenn whispered and looked down at her feet.
Travis gave Jenn a very severe look and then turned his attention to me, examining me up and down, making sure that nothing was broken. He squeezed my wrist and made sure that I could move it.
“Travis?” Jenn asked hesitantly.
Travis looked up and glared at our sister. “Go inside. Right now,” he said so softly that I could barely hear him. He was so angry that he couldn’t even yell. His eyes flashed dangerously.
Jenn didn’t say anything, but I could tell that she was on the edge of tears. She ran off to the ranch house as fast as she could. Travis turned his attention back to me. Uncle Jesse was standing behind him and Oakley was there too.
“Is she okay?” Oakley inquired; he looked as concerned as my brother.
“I’m fine, I’m fine.” I tried to assure them that I was okay. I was just a little bit shaken and I felt kind of dizzy, but other than that I was perfectly alright.
Travis ignored me. “Nothing seems to be broken,” he told my uncle and cousin “I’m gonna move her into the house so that I can look her over the rest of the way, but she seems to be okay.”
Travis scooped me up in his strong arms and looked down at me. “Nothing hurts does it?”
I shook my head. I was fine. I didn’t need to be carried into the house, but Travis wouldn’t put me down. Oakley and Uncle Jesse followed us into the house and all of the aunts and smaller cousins looked to see what was going on. Travis carried me upstairs to the bedroom, taking the stairs two at a time. Uncle Jesse and Oakley stayed downstairs and told everyone what happened. I felt embarrassed that they were all talking about me.
Jenn was already in our room laying face down on the bed, crying. Travis put me down on the bed parallel to hers.
Jenn rolled over and dried her eyes on her sleeve and looked at me. “Are you okay Mollycakes?” she asked me tenderly. “This is all my fault. I should have never let you ride that stupid horse.”
Jenn hardly ever cried and I didn’t know how to react to it. I didn’t have to though. Travis spoke for me.
“I can’t believe this. I can’t believe BOTH of you. But especially you Jennifer.” He glared at Jenn which I though was kinda cold of him, seeing as she was crying and all, but he didn’t stop there. “I expect you to watch out for your little sister and you totally almost let her just her get killed. I specifically told both of you to stay away from that horse. Did I not?”
She didn’t answer, but buried her head in her pillow and looked away from him. I was feeling pretty crummy too.
Travis yanked the pillow away from Jenn, “Don’t you have anything to say to me and to Molly?”
She looked up at him, her eyes brimming with tears and whispered, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” She seemed sincere enough to me, but Travis was still beyond furious.
“You’re sorry?? You let your twelve year old sister almost get killed by a wild horse and you’re SORRY??” He said harshly and Jen burst into fresh tears, sobbing loudly. I felt so bad for her. I mean, I was fine. Nothing bad had happened. I guess it all could have ended badly, but the point was that it hadn’t. I was alright and that was what mattered. I didn’t understand why Travis was going so hard on Jenn.
“I want you to listen to me and listen real good Jennifer–” he looked over at me too (he hadn’t acknowledged that I was still in the room until this point), “this goes for you as well Molly–When I tell you to do something, or in this case, not to do something, I expect you to do it. I don’t just say things to hear myself speak. I do it to protect you and the fact that the two of you didn’t listen to me today really frustrates me.” He took a deep breath and ran his long fingers through his dark unruly hair then continued, this time a bit more calmly. “I really don’t want the two of you getting hurt and today I was so scared. That could have been a lot worse than it was. Both of you know that and if you would have just listened to me then none of this would have happened.” He sighed one more time before saying, “I love both of you a lot and don’t want anything like this to ever happen again, so I’m going make sure it doesn’t.”
He grabbed Jenn by the wrist and helped her to her feet. She gave him a questioning look. “I won’t have you disobeying me like this. And to make damn sure that this never happens again, I’m going to spank you.”
Jenn’s face grew pale when he said this, and I felt just a scared as she looked. “But Travis,” Jenn whimpered. “You can’t…”
“I won’t hear any of that.” Travis cut her off and sat down on the bed. Jenn made a whining noise, but Travis ignored her and unbuttoned and unzipped her levis. He pulled them down to her knees. She gave him a pleading look but he ignored that too and pulled her across his lap. I felt like I had a heavy rock in my stomach as I sat on my bed across from them and watched him pull down her underwear and then bring his hand down hard on her bared bottom. I didn’t want to watch, but I couldn’t seem to look away She gasped when Travis brought his hand down a second time, except it was harder this time. She had two bright pink hand prints on her bottom and it looked like it hurt. I made a point of studying my shoes so that I didn’t have to watch. Know that I was next didn’t help things, and I felt sick as I listened to Travis hit her over and over again. The slaps were so loud that I was sure that everyone down stairs could hear them and they were no doubt thinking that both of us had it coming for disobeying our brother the way we had. Jenn was hissing with pain and inhaling sharply through her teeth. I didn’t blame her. It sounded like it hurt a lot. I wasn’t sure if it was worse listening and knowing that in a few minutes I’d be getting the same treatment, or actually being spanked and knowing that someone was sitting there watching.
I didn’t have to think about this for very long because Travis stopped and let Jenn stand up. Her face was bright red, but she wasn’t crying. Jenn was too brave to cry. Travis hadn’t let her take up her jeans. “I’m not quite finished with you Jennifer.” he said when she started pulling them up. She started whimpering, “Please Travis? I’ll mind you from now on.” she pleaded. “I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll be good.”
Travis pushed her onto the bed so that her legs were hanging down the side and she was lying on her tummy. “Jenn,” he said softly “You’re older than Molly and I expect you to watch out for her. She needs you to be her keeper and keep her safe and out of trouble. You let me down and you let her down.” he unbuckled his belt. “How would you feel if Molly had gotten hurt or even killed?” Jenn didn’t say anything; she just let out a loud sob. Travis pulled his belt through the loops of his pant and folded it in half. I couldn’t watch any longer. I picked up my pillow and covered my face with it. The belt made and awful cracking sound and I tried to muffle it out by wrapping the pillow around my ears. I flinched when the second smack came and I felt so bad for my sister that I almost started crying. She was making yelping noises after each slap of the belt. Finally Travis stopped. I continued to hide in my pillow. I could still hear a little. Travis was soothing Jenn and I heard him putting his belt back on after a while.
I felt someone gently peel the pillow out of my hands. I looked up timidly. “Travis, I’m sorry.” I heard Jenn sniffling from the bed across from mine. She was laying on her stomach and had her head buried in her pillow.
Travis sat down on my bed next to me. “Molly, you can’t even begin to imagine how worried I was about you. I was so scared that you’d been badly hurt or worse.” I hung my head. “I know, I shouldn’t have done it Trav. I should have listened to you.” He stood me up and made me stand between his legs so that he could look me in the eyes while he talked to me. “I know you should have kiddo. We all make mistakes though, I’m gonna make sure that you don’t make the same mistake again.” I started crying.
“Travis, please no.” I pleaded
Travis just shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to take the chance that you’ll do something like this again.” I knew there was no way out of it and I felt a sinking feeling in pit of my stomach. I tried to argue a little more even though I knew that it wouldn’t do any good. It made me feel like I wasn’t completely helpless. Travis spoke gently to me, “Molly, nothing you say to me will change my mind. You’re getting a spanking. End of story.”
I started crying even more. I wished that I was brave like Jenn, but I couldn’t help being the way that I was. “I, I… I’m sorry Travis.” I looked down at my shoes. He lifted my face back up so that he could look into my eyes. “I know you are. And this doesn’t change anything. I’ll love you forever no matter what. But I really need to keep you safe. You understand why I have to do this, don’t you?” he asked me tenderly
I nodded glumly. Even though I knew why Travis had to do it, didn’t mean that I was happy about it. I felt small again because there wasn’t anything that I could do about it. I felt so powerless.
Travis unbuttoned my jeans and fiddled with the zipper. I wished that I was somewhere else. I had never been more embarrassed in my whole life. He pulled my pants down to my knees, and I felt my face glow red with humiliation. “Travis…” I whispered pleadingly and bit my bottom lip.
He didn’t listen and soon I found myself upside and across his lap. I was scared, but at the same time I felt safe and protected, even though I knew that in a few seconds my brother would be smacking my backside for all he was worth.
It was a strange combination of feelings, feeling scared and protected and safe at the same time. Travis hooked his thumbs into my underwear and yanked them down too. I squirmed with discomfort and he responded by smacking my as hard as he could. My eyes watered involuntarily with pain, and I yelped. I knew that Jenn could hear me, and I tried to be brave and not cry out, but the more Travis hit me, the more it hurt, and the worse I felt for disobeying. I was eventually crying out after each smack until the end of the first shriek and the beginning of the next blended into each other and I was sobbing freely.
I was kicking and fighting, and squirming, anything to get away from the stinging smacks, but nothing helped. Eventually I just gave up. It hurt too badly for me to try to fight any more and so I just lay there and let my brother give me his worse, bawling my eyes out. It seemed like forever, but it was probably only ten seconds after I went limp until he stopped.
I didn’t stop crying after he stopped spanking. In fact, I didn’t even notice he had stopped at first. He rubbed my back as I tried to calm down. Travis wasn’t going to use his belt on me. I was worried that he might, but the way that he was comforting me, I knew that he was through.
“It’s okay,” he reassured me, “I’m right here for you and everything is going to be fine. You’re all forgiven, and everything is going to be okay. I still love you squirt.” He pulled my underwear back up and it felt unusually tight on my sore bottom. I flinched a little.
“Everything is okay now kiddo.” he helped me to my feet and I immediately started rubbing the sting out of my bottom, still sniffling a little. I was aware that Jenn was still in the room and I put on my brave face, wiping the tears away with my sleeve.
“I want the two of you to take a nap until it’s time for dinner.” Travis stated. He stood up and pulled back the covers on my bed for me. I kicked off my shoes and climbed into my bed with out protesting. I did lay on my stomach though (for obvious reasons). Travis pulled the blanket up to my neck and kissed me on the forehead. “I’m sorry Trav,” I whispered.
“It’s okay, Molly,” he whispered back. “Do you hate me?”
“No, I don’t hate you Trav. I still love you lots.” I smiled at him and scrunched up my nose.
“Good.” he grinned “I don’t know what I would do if my littlest sister hated me.”
I winked at him. “I could never hate you Travis.”
He rubbed his nose against mine– Mamma called that an Eskimo kiss, and then walked over to Jenn’s bed, whispering similar reassurances to her. I tried to listen to what he was saying to my sister, but I started drifting off and they were talking in low tones. The sound of my older siblings’ voices was very comforting and I felt so safe and loved and protected, even though my bottom felt really warm and throbbing.
Travis kissed Jenn on the forehead and left, turning out the light on the way and wishing both of us sweet dreams and that he’d see us at supper time.
As soon as he’d shut the door Jenn bounce out of her bed and into the bathroom that connected to our bedroom.
“I bet my bottom is redder than yours,” she boasted. I hopped out of my bed and joined her in the bathroom. She was examining her backside in the mirror. It sure was red alright! And she had a few welts from that mean belt. I copied her and check out the damage on myself. I was pretty red myself, but Jenn’s looked worse than mine.
“Ha!” she said and stuck her tongue out at me playfully. She zipped her pants back up and skipped back to her bed. I did the same, and not a second too soon. As soon as I was back in my bed Travis popped his head back into our room, “I thought I heard someone running around in here, but I must’ve been mistaken.”
He shut the door and as soon as we were sure that he couldn’t hear anymore we started giggling our heads off.
Jubilee came and woke both of us up for dinner. She started talking a million miles an hour after we had both woken up and it took me a second for me to understand what she was blabbering on about because I was still drowsy.
“You were so brave, Molly! The way you rode Spitfire, it was fantastic! You stayed on for almost nine seconds!!”
I had forgotten all about promising to beat Jubilee’s time, and I had done it! I had ridden longer on Spitfire than anybody ever had. Even longer than Dakota had, and Spitfire was Dakota’s horse.
“Did you hear that Molly?” Jenn asked excitedly and all three of us jumped around the room celebrating my triumph.
We all went downstairs for dinner where everyone was running around excitedly getting ready for the rodeo.
Riding Spitfire had been my accomplishment for the day and now the rodeo didn’t seem quiet as important or as exciting as it had earlier.
Dakota walked past me carrying a big pot of chili to put on the table.
“I heard about the adventure you had with Spitfire today kiddo,” he winked. “I bet you’re an even better rider than Travis.”
I beamed and was kind of embarrassed by his compliments, but I managed to wink back at him. “Maybe so, just don’t say that in front of my brother or he might get jealous.”
Jenn and I both laughed at him and he walked away to put the chili on the table. Jubilee poked me in the arm and then whispered to me and Jenn, “Did Travis really, um…”
“Did he what?” Jenn asked. “Did he really spank you? Dakota said he did but I thought he was just pulling my leg.”
Jenn and I both blushed. I couldn’t believe that Dakota was telling people that, and it made me wonder who else knew. Probably the whole family.
I tried to answer Jubilee’s question, “Well… um.”
“Yes, he did.” Jenn snapped, “What’s it to ya?”
Jubilee looked at us in awe. “You are both so brave. I bet you didn’t even cry or anything.”
“That’s right.” Jenn stated. “We didn’t.”
I didn’t try to correct her.
“Well, I was just wondering, cuz, well, after Dakota found out that I pressured you two into doing that and that I helped you… he, well… he spanked me too.”
This was a surprise to me. No wonder she was being so nice to us! She had totally had it coming if you asked me, but I didn’t say that.
“I just wanted to apologize for getting you guys into trouble,” she said.
Jenn and I had a change in attitude about our cousin after hearing this and immediately forgave her. We ended up being chummy for the remainder of our stay at the ranch and at the rodeo that night. We had lots of fun laughing and watching all the events in the rodeo together and participating. Moonlight looked so beautiful riding through the arena, and Jenn got second place in barrel racing and Jubilee got third place. It was the best year I’d ever had at the rodeo. The only bad thing about it was that I was kinda sore while I was ridding Moonlight. It was weird cuz Jenn and Jubilee admitted to similar pains as well…