Nick waited in his room with his hands behind his head, facing the wall. His father was really strict about waiting for a whipping. You had to strip down to underwear and pick a wall to face. You weren't allowed to talk or hum or drum or anything. And if you moved or dropped your hands you either had to stand there longer or you got extra during the spanking. Nick usually got in more trouble during "contemplation time" than he did for the original offence. He just couldn't stay quiet and still for a whole fifteen minutes. Even in school he was restless, but at least there was something to do. Just staring at a wall? That was torture.

Today, though, he put all of his energy into staying extra still. He was in so much trouble already. Disobedience, lying...

"Going out with your friends, when you knew I wouldn't have allowed it"

Oww. Dad. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Owwwwwww.

"Telling me to my face that you were improving in chemistry"

Ssssssss. I'm. owwwwwwwwww. Ahhooowwwww. Daaad.

"We will not have another discussion like this. Are we clear?"

Yesssiiiiir. Owwww. I'm soorryyyyyyy. Pleeeeeease.

"You're going to be even more sorry, son. You have ten hard ones coming. I want you to count them and tell me something you're going to do to improve. Understood?", Nick nodded and contemplated what his father meant by "hard ones" as compared to the strokes that had already set his bottom on fire. He didn't have to puzzle for too long.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggh. Ow. Ow. Ow.

"One sir. I...umm, I'll show you my tests."

Ssssssssss. Mmmmph.

"Oh god. Umm. Two. Sir... I wont- I won't lie anymore"

Ahooowwwww. I'm sorreeeeeeeeee. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

"Three sir. I'm sorry. I won't disobey you"

Ssss

"Four! Four sir. I'll do better in class"

Owww. Daaad pleeeease...

"Five sir. I won't go out with my friends like that when I know you'll be mad"

Ahhhhhhhaaaaagh. Agh.

"Six sir. I'll be honest"

Nooooooooo. No more. Pleeease.

"No more. Please, Daddy. Please"

"Nick, come on. You only have four left. Come on and count them. Let's finish this", his Dad's voice was gruff, but kind and Nick quieted a bit before the belt came down again.

Mmmmph. Ssss.

"S-seven sir. I, umm, I won't make excuses"

Ow.

"Eight sir. I'll bring up my grades"

Aaaaahoooooooowwwww.

"Nine. Sir. I'll, I'll...umm, not hide stuff from you"

Aaaaaaagh. Agh. Sssssssssssss. Okaaaaay.

"Ten sir. I'll... Be good!", Nick buried his face in a pillow as his Dad put back on his belt and sat on the edge his son was bent over. He stroked the teenager's hair and let him cry for a while. When he saw that he'd quieted, he lifted him by a shoulder.

"I don't want to have to do this again, Nick"

"No sir"

"Alright. Smells like dinner's almost ready. Why don't you wash up, and come on down."

"Yes sir"

"And apologize to your mother. She hates to hear you get punished"

"Yes sir"

"And Nick"

"Yes sir?"

"I love you son. You know that right?", Nick grinned a little.

"Yes sir."