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Alternative Punishment Program
Standing On Their Own Two Feet--Part Two

by Red Sore Teen Bottom

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Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 09 Feb 2018

When the Bradshaws and the Walkers entered the courtroom, the first thing that Mike and Ricky noticed was the stark reality of a fifteen year old boy who had preceded them crying and hugging his also crying parents goodbye and then having his hands cuffed behind him and being taken out a side door by a deputy while the parents went out the front door.

When their case was called, Mike and Ricky both stood up and announced in clear voices that they were guilty.

The judge gave them a benevolent smile and said, Boys, this is juvenile court, so, all you have to do is let me know if you accept responsibility for throwing rocks at cars.

Ricky then apprehensively cleared his throat and said, Yes Sir, we accept responsibility for that.

Mike said, Me too, Sir.

Okay, and did your parents force you to sign up for the Alternative Punishment Program?

Mike said, No Sir, I mean, Your Honor. See, me and Ricky were the ones who filled out the forms and then sort of had to convince our moms and dads to sign them last night.

Mike’s father stood up and said, My son, Michael is right your honor. The boys came to us last evening after a sturdy lecture and they demanded that they should personally be held accountable for their actions. And your honor, they made an excellent presentation that, while we don’t like the probable results, we do like the act of them wanting to take responsibility.

That’s very interesting, Mr. Walker. Can you boys tell me why you and not your parents should be held accountable?

Ricky responded, Sir, first off, We were the ones who snuck out of our houses at eleven o’clock on a school night and threw some rocks at cars. Our parents didn’t. Second, if teenagers don’t want to be treated like little kids, then we need to be the ones who get punished for acting like little kids. Third, Even our brothers and my sister would have got punished if our parents had to pay a big fine and ummm, oh yeah, restitution. Fourth, the people whose windshields we broke should have a right to make sure that WE got punished.

Were you two punished by your parents after the officer took you home?

Mike’s face got red from embarrassment as he started to answer, Yes, Sir Your Honor, but those were punishments for sneaking out of the house after dark on a school night. I got a whipping with my dad’s belt with just my underpants on and I had to bend over real REAL low because I wasn’t allowed to put my HANDS on the toilet seat, I had to put my ELBOWS on the toilet seat. It was real REAL embarrassing in PE the next day.

How about you, Richard?

Yes, Sir. I like got grounded to the guest room for the weekend which is awful because I wasn’t allowed to have tv, my phone, my iPod, my computer even a radio and the guest room has its own bathroom so I couldn’t even go out the guest room door and I had to even eat in there! Plus I had to stay in the house except for school for a whole week!

Well, you boys do understand that your punishment under APP will be the same as a combination of what you each got for sneaking out except that it will be far more severe and intense, don’t you?

Yes, Sir, we do, said Mike resignedly as Ricky just nodded his head.

Before passing sentence, I just want to say that it has been such a pleasure talking to two such introspective teenagers who seem to take their ever growing responsibilities as adolescents so seriously. Usually, I am having to listen to spoiled brats who I get great satisfaction sentencing because they need a wake up call that the world does not revolve around them. I actually enjoy that first realization when it hits them as they kiss their parents goodbye after they have been arguing to be let off lightly because their irresponsibility was someone else’s fault. But sadly, while I find you two to be young adults whom I would like to let off lightly because you are so pleasant, I can not. See, I come away from this hearing believing that you are two superbly mature young men, and that you deep down knew that throwing rocks at cars was illegal, even before you decided to do it. Am I right?

Jointly, Ricky and Mike said, Yes, Sir!

So, for the sake of the victims and for your own self respect, I am for one of my few times uncomfortable about being legally required and morally required to you two boys to not treat you like little children.

The judge looked down at some papers on his desk, and with what looked like a tear running down his face said, Richard Bradshaw and Michael Walker I sentence you to be incarcerated from now until Sunday night at five o’clock in the Alternative Punishment Program wing of the Juvenile Detention Center. I am also ordering that you two shall be cell mates because I feel that you are each good for the other.

Ricky, now with a few tears running down his own cheeks, said, Thank you, Sir.

Furthermore, tomorrow, you shall both be taken to an appropriate place where you shall be restrained to a punishment table, and there, you shall each suffer twenty eight hard lashes with a leather strap upon your bared buttocks between ten o’clock am and one o’clock pm. Finally, I have decided not to fine you through community service but I am requiring you two to make restitution through community service, and I think that five hundred hours will cover the expenses to their eight victims?

Both Mike’s and Ricky’s eyes got real wide, and Mike’s lower lips got to shaking. The boys had figured out a calendar to handle up to four hundred hours, but five hundred? That would come to ten hours a week after their vacation, Easy enough during Summer, but they’d be in high school next year!

So, each of you is hereby required to perform two hundred fifty hours of community service before May 29, 2019.

But, Your Honor, Mike said in a trembling voice, What about the other two hundred fifty!? Would we have to do that the next year?

No, Michael, you don’t understand. When I said five hundred hours, I meant five hundred boy hours with two boys working their bottoms off. So, since you and Richard will be both working together, that comes to two boy hours for every hour that you both work.

Thank you, Your Honor, Mike said after giving a sigh of relief. We are both going to try to take our medicine now without acting like little brats. We might cry some, but hopefully not bawling because we both know that we got it coming.

Court Adjourned, the bailiff announced after the judge pounded his gavel twice and left the bench into his chambers. You two can spend five–no, make it ten minutes with your parents.

The boys, now whimpering a little and wiping tears with their shirtsleeves hugged their parents hard as a man who was taller than Ricky but two full inches shorter than Mike came in through the main door and shook the hands of each father while the boys were giving their mothers crushing hugs.

Mike said to Ricky while wiping his eyes again, I sure am glad the judge doesn’t see us crying like little kids. THAT would be embarrassing! Mike again dried his eyes while getting his weeping under control. Ricky did the same, but still hugging his mother.

Ahhhhh, Boys, Mr. Walker said, Mike and Ricky, I want to introduce you two to Judge Roan. He wanted to say something to you before you left. Both boys thought it might be another lecture as they looked at the man who was dressed in a blue business suit with a red tie.

How do you do, Sir? Ricky asked while he shook hands with the man.

Then Mike said, while also shaking hands, It’s nice to meet you, Your Honor. Are you one of my dad’s lawyer friends?

First, Mike, you need to cram the Your Honor for judges when they’re not on the bench and not wearing their robes. Second, no, I have never had the honor of meeting your mothers and fathers and especially you boys until today, and it really is an honor. I hope that you and Ricky will consider me to be your friend as well. See, I have a son in your class at Crossed Branch who really looks up to you two boys and he called me and told me about Current Affairs Class today, and he wanted me to help you. He also wants to talk to me tonight and facing up to something that he and a friend have recently done, what, I don’t know, and he wants me to punish him, how, I don’t know. But he’s waiting right now in his room, probably scared to death because I tend not to go easy on fourteen year olds.

Sir, our trial is already over, and our judge, who also doesn’t go easy on fourteen year olds, and I do consider him a friendly judge has already sentenced us to APP. But you’re talking about Jerry, and I think his friend is a bad influence sometimes. We argued about that in Current Events this morning. And Jerry is a good kid. We should hang with him some this summer. We’ll talk to him on Monday! Mike smiled.

Thank you, Mike and Ricky. If when you two work out your schedules for community service, you let me know, because if what Jerry did is as serious as he says it is, I may want him to join you on the roadsides. Also, if you don’t mind, I would like to bring him tomorrow to see how severe getting into trouble with the law can be for a boy his age. He told me that Randy’s father would be bringing Randy, but anyway, I don’t think Randy takes anything too seriously, and I think that he’s doomed to be in this courtroom soon. I just don’t want Jerry to be here with him.

Sir, you are right that Randy doesn’t take things seriously, and Mikey and I tried to warn them both without you know, accusing them or anything that they could end up here real soon. And it seems like Jerry even listened. But this judge isn’t mean or anything if Randy and Jerry got him. He does need to try to spend less time with Randy and we’ll be happy to spend time with him. We are friends with Jerry ’cause he likes FOOT BALL (Both Mike and Ricky laughed) as much as we do, but we hardly ever see him after school. I guess because we live in different neighborhoods.

Judge Roan scratched his head and said, Well, Another thing and I am asking for Jerry, because he asked me to ask, but would you two be willing to come with him on his bus to our house after exams on Wednesday for pizza and a movie? Thursday is a teacher work day to grade exams and report cards, so you wouldn’t be out on a school night! I promise you that there will be cushions on the chairs in front of the tv for you both and Jerry if he’s still feeling lingering effects from tonight.

Yes, Sir, Ricky smiled and said, And we’ll ask Jerry if he wants us to bring that schedule for community service, I mean, if you decide that he should do some after talking to him and all.

Thank you boys. I hope to see a whole lot more of you two, but at our homes, not the courthouse.

Then the man walked out with a tear running down his cheek while the boys hugged their parents one last time before being cuffed and taken out the side door.

Mike and Ricky actually were easily able to handle the procedures at APP because once arriving there, they were booked and they made just slightly ridiculous faces for their mug shots. (Ricky said, We don’t want to make them too obvious or they’ll make us do it again.) They were embarrassed when they had to go through the strip search process because they were stripped in front of all of the inmates, who, of course, were also stripped. (Mike got a half hearted laugh from some of the boys when he loudly announced, as he was bent over spreading his butt cheeks, It doesn’t hurt being stripped this time NEARLY AS MUCH as it will next time they make us strip!) (When given their red pajama style pants and shirts, Mike whispered to Ricky, Red really doesn’t go with my blue eyes. Then, Ricky whispered back, Oh, I’m going to have to change my ear rings! and they both giggled.) Then, all of the boys–aged thirteen through seventeen– were taken to a large cell that had six tables with four stools around each secured to the concrete floor. Off to the side, there were twelve smaller cells that had closed and locked barred doors. Mike and Ricky looked into one of the smaller cells and saw two metal cots on each side and a steel combination toilet/sink/water fountain straight across from the door on a wall that had a narrow window seven feet off of the floor.

Okay, boys. An old guard in his mid-thirties began, Here is the plan. First, you sit down for your choice of baloney on white with milk or baloney on white with milk.

One blonde thirteen year old, while sobbing at his predicament, yelled, THAT’S NO CHOICE!

The guard said, That’s the point, dumb ass! There ARE NO CHOICES in jail other than to shit your pants or shit in the toilet. You also don’t get the choice to interrupt a guard when he’s talking. And you don’t get to cry like a baby all night because you are here. Anyone who tries to make a choice without first asking permission WILL spend his weekend alone in another cell, except, of course for the little ride that you’ll all be taking to the middle school tomorrow morning.

The guard heard the service tray coming. Okay, children, Eat your dinner and then line up for your cell assignments.

Mike and Ricky ate their baloney while Mike thought about the normal roast beef and mashed potatoes and salad and green beans and pie that his family was sitting down to and Ricky was thinking about Catfish and French fries and ice cream! Mike whispered, We’re being punished.

Ricky said, Yeah.

After finishing, they went up to the old guard and told him that they were ready. Okay, you two are Walker and Bradshaw?

Yes, Sir, said Mike.

Okay, you’re assigned to number ten. So, here we are. After leading the two boys over to number 10, the guard unlocked the cell door and ushered the two boys into their home for two nights. As he slammed and locked the door behind them, he said, Now boys, get a good night’s sleep because you both have a big, big day tomorrow.

Then the guard said through the bars, Look kids, keep your spirits up, especially tomorrow. Twenty eight apiece is pretty bad, but you two have the sorts of quirky personalities that can do you proud tomorrow and the rest of your lives. I hope my two little fellas are like you when they get to be your age.

Ricky smiled and said, Mister, if you treat them right and encourage them, they will.

Boy, you two, I bet you’ve got ALL the girls at your school flocking all over you, and I bet you that you don’t even see it. He then walked away to lock up two more for the night. Mike and Ricky looked at each other with their mouths open and startled looks in their eyes as they realized that the guard was right on both accounts.

Ummmmmm, Mikey, even though tomorrow will hurt real bad, and community service won’t be near the fun that Randy will probably have and our butts are going to hurt REAL BAD for a while, I think that we might have made a good decision last night in lots of ways that we don’t even know.

I think you’re right, Ricky. I think you’re fucking damn right.

But, while the boys lay on their thin mattresses, the two got very little sleep since they whispered to each other about FLORIDA AND THE BEACH and for the first time ever, girls in their class.

Mike rolled over to sleep at about 10:00 but first he said, Hey, Ricky, we need to even write that nice judge a letter, ’cause he sure lifted my spirits even though he was sentencing me to the worst butt busting that I’ll ever get. Do you remember his name?

Ricky said, Yeah, you’re right. He actually talked to us like we were grown ups! He also wasn’t harsh. He respected us, even more than Mr. Clinton does! I think I got his name on the acceptance fax, that I have right here. Ricky pulled the piece of paper out of his pocket and opened it. Uh, Mikey?

Yeah, Ricky?

Uhhhhh, we can give him the letter when we go to his house on Wednesday. He sure looked a lot bigger sitting up on the bench. Both boys laughed.

Saturday Morning

As he was marched into the gym in his Juvie red APP uniform, Mike looked nervously at the crowd of people and the first people whom he saw were his parents and brothers sitting on the front row of bleachers. Right next to them sat Mr. And Mrs. Bradshaw with Margie. His Mom and Mrs. Bradshaw were crying and Margie gave him the clenched fist sign...... Be strong little man. He appreciated that unobtrusive signal. He smiled and held up his cuffed hands in a small wave and smiled. Just as quickly, the guard guided him into a 15 foot square area enclosed by sheets hanging from the ceiling.

Mike shivered slightly when he saw the 6′2″ man holding the 2′ long strap at his side and then he noticed the curiously eerie stainless steel table with the leather straps and steel buckles hanging off of it. The table could almost be called a stool as it was only a little over two feet long by two feet wide. It was pushed up against the sheet that faced the audience. Breathing heavily now while his heart raced and his mouth dried, Mike spoke for the first time to the twenty four year old guard, It doesn’t look real comfortable, does it?

The guard guided the boy to the edge of the table and, smiling kindly at Mike, he said, I’m sure glad it’s not my ass that has to go over it.

Mike nervously smiled back at him as the guard pushed him against the table.

Then, Mike was told to spread his legs so that each ankle could be securely restrained to the bottom of a table leg, and his feet were positioned about two feet apart.

Next, the table top was raised to fit Mike’s 5′10″ frame with the top being about four inches below his genitals.

Okay, Kid, time to let your pants fall. Mike determinedly unsnapped the buttons of his red APP pants and let go, feeling them slide down his legs and gather at his ankles. Just as he was about to ask about his now completely exposed to the strap genitalia, the guard said, Okay, now bend your knees slightly forward and cram your dick and your balls into that rubber hole at the front of the table, just below the top. There’s a pipe in there so that if you have to piss while this is happening, it will go into a bucket instead of all over you and the floor.

Once Mike had gotten his front arranged, he felt greatly relieved as he felt that he was now somewhat protected. Also, he did feel the need to loosen his bladder into the hidden bucket.

Now, Walker, just lay your stomach on the top of the table and let your hands drop down on the other side of the table. Get as comfortable as you can.

Mike got himself fairly well balanced as he felt straps being tightened across his back and behind his knees to prevent him from straightening them. He realized that his bottom was now so well bent that he could actually feel the skin stretched tightly over bone and muscle. He thought, Oh Man, this really IS going to hurt! But he remembered Margie’s clenched fist. I can get through this, he mumbled. His hands were then pulled down almost to the floor and a clasp was used to lock his cuffed wrists to the cross piece at the bottom of the two front legs of the table. Finally, he felt his APP shirttail being pulled up to his shoulders and a clothes pin being used to fasten the shirttail to the shirt neck, so that his shirt couldn’t fall across his squirming bottom. Mike felt like throwing up now.

The guy who was running the proceedings, an old guy who looked about fifty came by and said to Mike, Mr. Walker, we are now ready to execute your sentence of twenty eight lashes to your bottom. We are going to put your head through this hole in the sheet so that the people in attendance can witness your reactions to your punishment. You will be allowed to make a quick statement if you wish before we whip you. Do you have any questions?

Yes, Sir. Mike’s voice broke as he asked, Are any of the people out there people whose windows I broke?

Yes. There are a few.

Mike sighed as a single tear mixed with the sweat on his red face. Sir, I’m ready.

The man went back out front and the guard pulled the slit in the sheet over Mike’s head so that he could try to look calmly at the people, making his eyes meet everyone’s eyes who chose to look at his.

Ummmm, My name is Mike Walker and I am a fourteen year old in eighth grade at Cross Branch Middle School. Me and my friend, Ricky don’t want to be here at all. We would rather be anyplace else at all, even Saturday school detention. He saw some people smile at his admittedly lame joke, so he smiled as best he could. Anyway, Ricky and me don’t WANT to be here, but we sure do DESERVE to be here more than any other kid who has ever been here or will ever be here because three weeks ago, we did something that was very very stupid and very, very, VERY dangerous and could have caused a real bad accident. It could have even killed someone. And we are sorry.

He paused for a second trying to strengthen his resolve. Ricky and I think that when a teenager breaks the law, it should be the teenager who gets the punishment and not the teenager’s Mom and Dad because then the teenage kid can feel the you know, hardness of our punishments and accept those punishments. My dad and mom have always taught me that part of growing up is learning to accept the consequences for my actions even when the consequences will not be fun or pleasant. Ricky and I now have to get twenty eight real real hard lashes each on our naked bottoms to partially pay for putting others in danger. It will be the worst ass whooping that I have ever got, and I have had a few as my family and friends can tell you. But even when it burns and bruises my bottom, I feel like I am getting off pretty easy and I just hope that I’ll be able to sit for my finals on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mike then looked at the man who was in charge and said, Sir, I think that I am ready to take my medicine.

Then, the man said, Michael S. Walker, you have been sentenced to suffer twenty eight lashes of the strap to be laid full force upon your bared buttocks. Execute sentence.

Less than two seconds later, Mike heard the whir and the lash of leather as it came into contact with his buttocks. He had hoped to avoid making any noise while this was happening, but that hope went out the window as he let loose a loud OH YOOOOOOOOWWWW as his eyes went wide and his buttocks tried to buck. He let his buttocks twitch as best they could and fought to maintain his reactions. He really didn’t want to start bawling and pleading like he had always done when his father was lashing his bottom. He muttered to himself, Stay strong, Mike. Stay strong. That was to be his mantra.

The second lash hit just below the first, and Mike quietly said to himself, My bottom is on fire, squinting his eyes that were now tearing up, but, at least he was controlling his crying.

It was a real struggle for Mike to keep from asking that big man behind him who was wielding the strap to show some mercy to his still little boy bubble butt. They MUST be bleeding by now he thought after the sixth lash...But then a remarkable thing happened. The sharp pain that had enveloped his whole being after each lash–the intensity of the pain was becoming only moderate. His endorphins had come to the rescue having been released by his brain and that horrible pain was, while certainly not pleasant, it was at least manageable. His red face would still scrunch up and he would grit his teeth and might even let out a groan–and he was sweating so much that the spectators saw the beads of salty sweat cause his face to glisten as they ran down his cheeks and dropped from the tip of his nose. Yes, everyone could tell that the adolescent boy was in pain, but he was now comparing each lash to a rough hit on the football field. He even slightly laughed to himself when he thought between his eighteenth and nineteenth lashes that he must have forgotten to put some of the pads in his football pants. As the last ten lashes fell, it was all just a mental blur to the boy.

Almost three minutes after that first excruciating lash, the whipping was over and Mike was released from his bonds and allowed to pull his pants back up over the smoldering flesh. He felt exhausted and light headed a bit, but some of the dizziness could be attributed to a certain giddiness at having maintained his composure during the torturous experience that he had just undergone. Each step that he took to exit the gym was now a form of anxiety from the extreme pain that charged through his swollen buttocks as well as the humiliation as people closely watched the severely punished teenager. All told, Mike had been in the gym for slightly over eight minutes, and there were six more boys between the ages of thirteen and seventeen to bring in for their turns riding the steel stool as he called it.

As they were approaching the bus, the fourteen year old walked stiff legged because his endorphin level was much lower, and his bottom was feeling like it was a red pin cushion, he looked at the guard and asked, So, how does my butt look?

Kid, you’re going to probably be sleeping on your tummy for a while.

Thinking back three weeks, Mike said, Oh well, THAT won’t be new for me.

Look Mike, I admire the way that you handled yourself in there, but I do have to warn you that the compounded effects of twenty eight lashes is going to grow over the next few hours and perhaps even days, and while the pain will not be as intense and sharp as it was after the first few lashes, it will grow and stay with you for a few days as a throbbing reminder to behave yourself. I tell you this because the doctor at the center will offer you and all the other kids some help in moderating those compounded effects. Please, don’t blow him off because of your desire to be tough. You’re a good kid.

Mike actually felt that he might now start to cry because of the guard’s kind remarks, but he fought off that goofy urge. Uhhhh, Thanks. But will I be able to sit for my finals?

My name’s Dave. And yes, I’m sure that you’ll be able to sit for your finals, but I would advise you to take a small pillow with you.

Thanks, Dave.

He got on the bus, and smiling, he went back to his seat. He announced, I’m not real sure that I want to sit down, with a laugh, he slowly planted his damaged behind in the seat next to Ricky. The handcuffs were removed from his wrists to be put on the scared fifteen year old whom the boys had seen kissing his parents in the courtroom. His turn had come to ride the steel stool.

Was it real bad, Mike like we thought it might be? I mean did you succeed in sticking it out? Ricky whispered so no one else would hear him.

Oh, yeah, Mike whispered back. It is real REAL bad for the first minute of the whipping, but then after that, you can hardly feel each time the leather hits your ass. Mike scrunched his face as he slightly repositioned his butt. But here’s the thing. You just have to think about how much fun we’ll be having at the beach in another week. It takes your mind off of what is happening to your butt just enough to let you get through it without acting like a little kid. Also, when they give you a chance to say something right before they start doing it to your butt, say something about how me and you decided that we deserve this to stand on our own two feet. And, oh yeah, after each real hard lash, just play like it was a real hard hit in a football game. Remember, You didn’t even cry when you got that hit and you broke your arm.

The boys talked about their plans for the beach and the arcade games on the boardwalk that would be coming up soon and the waves and their planned diet of six hot dogs and hamburgers with a gallon of Coke every day and late night horror movies that were soon to come with the beach and Summer for two close coming of age friends. It took both boys’ minds off of the reason that they were sitting on this bus.

As Ricky looked out the window and saw the guard coming back with a sobbing fifteen year old ninth grader, his heart jumped and his buttocks tightened from both fear and even a little excitement about getting this over with. It was his turn. He looked over at his best friend and whispered, I hope I handle it better’n THAT kid.

Remember THE BEACH and also look EVERYBODY who’s watching RIGHT IN THE EYE when you go in. And oh yeah. I have a crush on Margie.

That’ll piss off your big brother.

I know, Man, but that’s part of the fun. Mike sat back in his seat as he kept watching that clenched fist in his mind.

Inside of the gym, Ricky was being marched towards the sheet room and looking right at everybody as his friend and partner in crime had suggested. He smiled broadly at his big sister when she gave him the clenched fist sign, also clenching his in return. Then he saw his Current Affairs and favorite teacher, Mr. Clinton about 3/4 the way up in the bleachers, and his broad smile returned, HI MR. CLINTON! The teacher just smiled and shook his head and waved to Ricky. He thought that it was remarkable how well his two students were handling this dreaded experience of being publicly whipped. Ricky also saw some kids from school laughing and pointing at him, and he knew that they came to see him break down, but he was sure then that he would psyche them out.

As Ricky went into what he and Mike would forever call the sheet room to ride the steel stool, Seventeen year old Steve Walker shook his head and whispered in his girlfriend Margie Bradshaw’s ear, Christ, Don’t they know that they’re here to get their asses beaten raw, not to put on a show like it’s no big deal?

Margie immediately slapped his face hard enough to leave a handprint and harshly replied, The rea-son that they are here is be-cause you and my o-ther bro-thers and Josh and our par-ents made them feel like lit-tle shits worse than they al-rea-dy felt, emphasizing each syllable. Then she added, Steve, those two little kids, and I shouldn’t call them that, understand something that very few people do–that they have to take responsibility for themselves and their actions so that our families and your grandparents can take this vacation trip that they, more than any of us, have been planning since December. They are going through this as the cost to keep this trip alive for all of us. And I am proud of my little men–another term that I’ll never use again–and you’re too fucking self absorbed in what you find amusing and how you think two fourteen year old kids–I mean young men–should react like little babies while getting their asses beaten to understand ANYTHING that I just said. But suffice it to say, I have a whole lot more respect for two middle school kids who are accepting their punishments than I do for a high school kid who thinks that this is for his amusement.

Steve’s mouth was still wide open from the slap and the things that his girlfriend had just said that meant that his relationship with her was in real trouble.

Her mother, looking for her son’s head to pop out soon reached over and patted her seventeen year old daughter’s hand while Mrs. Walker looked over and said, Thank you Margie, I don’t know what Steve said to you, but I do know that we ALL needed to hear that.

Having been strapped down, the old guy in charge had told Ricky that they were prepared to whip him and that yes, some of the victims of the crime were there.

Sir, I’m ready to say something and get my punishment over with.

The man went out front and the guard assisted Ricky in getting his head through the slit in the curtain.

Ricky looked at everyone as Mike had, and decided that this was important just like when he had spoken up in Mr. Clinton’s class the day before, and he sort of liked having the attention of everyone there. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have to admit....Oh yeah, I’m Ricky Bradshaw and I’m in eighth grade at Cross Branch Middle School and I have to admit that I am real real embarrassed to be here. See, I am here to get whipped with a strap–not a belt which most kids my age are familiar with–but a nasty looking thick leather strap on my bottom–directly on my bottom. My friend, Mike Walker who you saw just a few minutes ago, told me after his that it hurts real bad, and we both knew that when we signed up for it. But being here, with my bare bottom bent real tight as it is right now, is not WHY I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed because both me and Mikey did something STUPID and IRRESPONSIBLE and DANGEROUS and IMMATURE for even a five year old. And we are both embarrassed by that. We both know that we owe an apology to the people whose windshields we hurt and to everyone on the road. We owe an apology to our moms and dads who have stood behind us, being there to guide us but also being there to say, Ricky and Mike, you two need to take the responsibility and consequences for what you did. And both of us appreciate that.

Ricky looked his mother right in the eyes. Thanks Mom and Dad for not throwing us away, and for being here to support me and Mike. Thanks Margie for helping both of us with your support ever since that unfortunate incident three weeks ago. Thank you Mr. Clinton and all my friends who came out just to let us know you care. But mostly, Thank you to those whose cars we damaged for coming out to make sure that a couple of good kids who did something real bad took their medicine for themselves.

He looked at The man in charge and said, I guess it’s time to bust my butt and, Get this all behind me. Get it? All BEHIND me. Ricky was glad that a few spectators nervously laughed at his dark and lame joke.

Then, Richard Thomas Bradshaw, you have been sentenced to suffer twenty eight lashes of the strap to be laid full force upon your bared buttocks. Execute sentence.

Having never felt leather laid across his posterior before, the first lash surprised Ricky in how fast its effect got to the seat of the matter in showing society’s firm disapproval of his behavior. But he took Mike’s advice and thought about strong football hits. He couldn’t avoid screaming out OOOOOOOHH, THAT HURT! though. But he fought to put a wilted smile on his face as he awaited the second lash.

And it quickly came with the crack of a firecracker! Ricky tried to stand on his toes, but because of the restraints, he couldn’t so he instead yelped, OUCCCCCHHH! I REALLY HATE GETTING SPANKED!

He closed his eyes and smiled as he imagined a heavy wave crashing into Mike and him just as the third lash landed on the most sensitive spot between his thighs and his buttocks, the sit down spot, and he mumbled, That one REALLY hurt, as he would have said if the leather had been ocean water.

He continued to imagine football scenes and ocean waves as each lash really hurt until the endorphins took over his body’s pain transmissions and he then just saw medium tackles and waves throwing him around. People couldn’t believe how well he was handling the pain! While the contact of cowhide with teen hide caused the immense flow of sweat, little reaction was shown except for the regular face scrunching and groans after each lash. Before he knew it, he was being released.

He had to struggle to stand up straight, pull up his pants and walk but he looked at the crowd with a tempered smile on his face. He felt like doing fist pumps and jumping up and down and screaming, It’s over and I’m a damn tough kid. Margie led the Bradshaw and Walker family in standing up to cheer for both Ricky and Mike, though Steve remained seated not so much that he wasn’t proud of his brother and Ricky as because he was shocked at the courage shown by the dweebs. Ricky was surprised to see others, including Mr. Clinton and some of the kids who came to watch him and Mike cry and plead for mercy, also stand and cheer. Ricky had believed that Mike was out of his mind when he had proposed to announce that they’d be whipped in Current Affairs and his plans to beat the whipping. Ricky mumbled as he walked out the door exhilarated, Man, Mike is a great friend!

Dave, leading the thoroughly chastised teen to the bus said, Ricky, you’re damn right, but I think that Mike feels fortunate to have you too, and I feel that you two are fortunate having each other. He then stopped walking, so Ricky also stopped.

Look kid. I thought that I’d seen it all with your friend’s speech and handling of the lash. But then you come in and do just as well. You’re both strong young men who should be proud of yourselves–except there is nothing to be proud of throwing pebbles at cars. You’re great kids whom I feel it a pleasure to know. I’m Dave Collier, and here’s one of my cards for you and one for Mike. Keep them in case you ever need someone to talk to. You two impress me a whole hell of a lot.

Thanks, Mr. Collier!

No, It’s Dave.

The two got on the bus and the guard took the handcuffs off of Ricky and went over to a thirteen year old boy who was bawling already because he didn’t want to take the seven lashes assigned for stealing other people’s mail. The guard had to practically drag the blonde headed kid off the bus.

Poor little kid, said Mike. He was talking about it being another kid’s fault since the other kid challenged him to do it. I told him that he ought to quit acting like a baby and take his medicine like all the rest of us are. I told him that if he got that attitude, it won’t hurt so bad.

What did he say?

A smile spread across Mike’s pained face. He said, ’I hate you! Both boys started laughing.

Well, Mike, he ain’t the first and he won’t be the last.

That’s pretty much what I told him. And they both continued to laugh as a giant weight had been lifted from their shoulders.

Once the mass whippings had been carried out and the bus arrived back at the juvenile detention center, the boys all clustered into the infirmary to have their bottoms inspected by the doctor. Then nurses sprayed a strong antiseptic and rubbed a cream over their now flaming and bruised posteriors to reduce the burning to a manageable level. The procedure was quite efficient as the fifteen boys were all told to let their pants fall so that the doctor carefully checked for broken skin (of which there was none) and blood blisters (which each boy had.) A nurse would then spray and another nurse would spread the cream. The boys couldn’t help but to nervously look at each other to see who had gotten it the worst. That award went to a sixteen year old, Jamie Noles who was a classmate and friend of Steve’s and Margie’s. He had suffered thirty four lashes for underaged drinking and then driving and was still doing some hard crying. Tied for second place were Mike and Ricky, though their desire, more important than anything else in the world, was to not show self pity until they were home alone in their bedrooms. The next was another friend of Steve’s and Margie’s, Justin Baer who was seventeen and had received fifteen lashes. He had been whipped for underaged drinking. They had been the last two to have been taken into the middle school.

The rest of the boys had gotten it between five and twelve times. Some had bottoms that looked only slightly more painful than Mike’s had three weeks earlier after his midnight whipping.

Then the boys were all taken to their individual cells to rest for a few hours on their stomachs until dinner. Mike noticed that just like he and Ricky were cell mates, so were Jamie and Justin. That got him to wondering.

Ricky, did Margie go with Steve to that party that Chris Phillips had a couple of weeks ago?

Ummmmm, No, now that you mention it. She asked Mom and Dad and they said, No way, and it was funny, but she actually smiled and KISSED them and said, Thanks Mom and Dad! I didn’t really want to go anyway!’ It was like she just wanted an excuse not to go. Ricky touched his bottom and flinched, saying, Still too early to touch. Why do you ask me that, Mikey?

Well, I didn’t recognize Jamie ’til just now. I only met him once when Steve brought him by the house a couple years ago and introduced me as Doufus and Josh as Baby Doufus. Anyway, Steve said he was going to the party with Jamie and Justin. I’m thinking that maybe they got caught pretty soon after they dropped off Steve! And if Steve had still been in the car, he could’ve ended up here with us!

Wow, Man, you might not be able to get it to where he has a ticket, but you might get it to where your dad and mom get real pissed off at him.

Yeah. And I might get to listen to him get his butt painted fire engine red. Mike smiled. He better not give me any trouble when we get out of here.

At the same time, Steve and twelve year old Josh were getting the same message. Now, you two had better not kid your brother or Ricky after they get out tomorrow. I don’t want to hear anything from either of you about their weekend in detention, their community service and ESPECIALLY their whippings. Do you understand me? And if any of your friends make comments, it will be you who pays for it. Their mother was quite adamant.

But not as adamant as their father, And the way that you will pay will by having bottoms that are just as sore as your brother’s is. Do you understand what I am saying?

Steve angrily spoke up, Come on Dad! I’m seventeen years old, and a junior in high school! I’m too old for the belt!

Steven, then perhaps I had better get a strap like the one that we saw used on a few seventeen year old’s bottoms this morning. They seemed quite effective at getting the point across.

But MOM! Josh seemed about to cry. I already TOLD some of my friends, and they sort of thought it would be sort of fun to send Mike emails saying, Welcome Home From Jail, Tomato Butt!

Well, Joshua, Mr. Walker said, You had better stop them because if Mike receives any of these emails, You and I shall go up to the bathroom where you’ll be looking at three hard lashes for EACH email. And don’t you even THINK of trying to ask your brother to be merciful on you by keeping them from us, because I can and will view all of the emails that your brother receives in the next couple of weeks. So, you had better stop your friends or you’ll be the one with the summer long tomato butt.

The boys’ father sat down at the table with his eldest and youngest sons. Look boys, I don’t know if you two get it or not, but we need to stand strong as a family. That was a lesson that I should have been bringing out better when I cancelled the beach trip so we could ALL sacrifice a little something to keep your brother from having to get so harshly punished. Now, I admit that I did a really bad job by the way that I treated Mike ever since he got in trouble, but the WORST thing that I did was to allow you two to take out your anger on your brother because of my decision. Now, we are going to the beach a week from today, but that is ONLY because your brother and his friend had the courage to turn down our help so that they could be the only ones who suffer for their misbehavior. You should thank him tomorrow rather than ostracizing him with your cruel comments and jokes.

Also at the same time, the same sort of discussion was taking place at the Bradshaw home, where the two youngest boys, Kyle (12) and Darren (10) were getting the same sort of message with the promise of two week house groundings if they weren’t on their best behavior with their older brother.

When Mike and Ricky did arrive home they were hugged by their parents and told to put on something more comfortable than the now really tight jeans that they had worn to school on Friday.

Dinner was roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and pie which made Mike overjoyed.

And Monday, the two more self assured and more strongly than ever bonded friends walked to school together.

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