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The Sea-Shore III
The girl's back tensed as she spotted the
stone pillars marking the entrance to their private place.
"This is the last time I'll come here,"
The place was really the boy's. He'd shared
it, but it would be his alone when they finally parted.
Grey sky pressed against greyer sea.
As they walked across the dunes, she noticed
the boy's small bag. Large enough for his keys and the notebook
he always carried.
The air smelled of decay.
Days before, in a moment of pained hope, she'd
written him, suggesting a caning to purge the pain. She was
afraid of the cane. Asking was hard. Getting no reply was harder
His bag was too small for a cane. Standing
beside him on the breakwater she imagined falling. The crash
of the water crushing her against the rocks. The girl shrank
from the image as she shrank from memories of his words.
"I love you."
"I'll always love you."
"It's not you, it's me."
"I don't feel in love with you."
"I feel in love with -"
The wind whipped against her face, mercifully
tearing the thoughts from her. Birds screamed. The girl looked
at the rocks, attempts to find their heart-shaped one doomed.
"Remember what we did here?" he
The girl ducked her head, nodding to hide
her tears. They walked amidst giant piles of driftwood and round
stones. She could hardly breathe.
They were more alone here than they'd ever
been. She sat to rest on an old railroad sleeper large as a
bench. The boy sat beside her, his arm encircling her back.
She wanted to thank him for trying and then free them both.
But she couldn't. Instead she sat, waiting
for the boy to send her away.
Though she would try, afterwards, the girl
couldn't remember his words, only her heart pounding in her
ears. The boy hadn't brought the cane; he'd brought the ebony
hairbrush. Instead of sending her away, he wanted her over his
knee. Here, in the middle of the beach where anyone could see.
If anyone were there.
The girl was afraid. It would hurt. She might
be angry and fight him. Or maybe he couldn't. She wanted to
stop this. But was silent as she let him bare her, knees to
The spanking was hard and fast, the cold wind
chilling her skin, making each stroke burn as though it were
the first. The girl struggled, only to have her hand held behind
her. Tears sprang to her eyes and flooded over as she sobbed,
the howl of a little child.
The spanking seemed long, but it wasn't. As
she came back to herself, the girl wondered how they could have
done that. What could it mean, a scene so right at a time like
this? She buried her face in his chest and cried.
As they walked back, the boy took the girl's
picture. She smiled, eyes wide, full of fear.
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