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[Image of Little Miss Naughty] The Sea-Shore III
by Mija

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," she thought.

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 still.

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 asked.

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.

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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 waist.

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.

And hope.

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