A Sour TasteMature

“Temper tantrums will not be tolerated, not now, not ever,” she told the boy firmly, and brought the strip of leather down onto his bottom for a second time. “You will learn to behave properly, and fast, if you want to be sitting comfortably anytime soon.” Another burning stripe landed, although this time it drew a shriek from the kid as it collected the backs of his thighs.

Richard did not appreciate the reprieve, if it could be considered one. She might be leaving his glowing bottom alone, but his thighs were tender and it stung like nothing else. “Stop! Stoppp! Please. I’m – I’m SORRY!” he begged, but it was in vain as barely a second later another welt landed, this one slightly lower than the last and just as painful.

Mrs. Travers was tempted to cover her ears from all the racket, but instead she turned a deaf ear to his pleas and promises in lieu of delivering a very sound strapping. By the time she reached the hollows of his knees, the boy was kicking and wailing like a banshee, his bottom and thighs sporting a new set of thick, angry welts. Wordlessly, she placed the tawse aside and started to rub soothing circles on his back.

“No more, I’ll be good I promise, no more…” Richard blubbered, but his eyes were thick with tears and his nose a mass of snot and bubbles making it hard for him to talk.

Feeling that her point had been made she lifted the boy to stand, pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and held it to his nose. “Blow,” she instructed, and was rewarded with immediate compliance, a welcome change, she noted and gave a nod of approval. She handed him the cloth so he could continue cleaning himself up.

The approval was lost on Richard as he was busy trying to get his breathing under some sort of control. That had hurt, a lot! How he was ever going to sit down again he did not know. He looked up at her, and swiped a sleeve beneath his nose, only to have his hand slapped away. "Owah!" he protested, cupping it to his chest.

“Don't do that, it’s nasty, I gave you a handkerchief, use it,” Traver's scolded the boy, but her tone was not as harsh as it might have been. She gave him some time to settle, then when his breaths had stopped catching in his chest, she pointed towards the table where a new bowl was waiting for him. “Return to your seat, sit down and eat your meal. I think you know what will happen if you do not?”

The End

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