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The Cleary's
Part 23

by Emrick

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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: 14 Feb 2018

Despite Carter half hoping it would never happen, Walter was only a few weeks away from turning sixteen, and finally being able to drive.

Walter was beyond excited, although he was pretty sure having his license wasn’t really going to change things a whole lot.

He knew his dad couldn’t afford to buy him a car, and Walter definitely wasn’t going to be able to buy his own. So, he didn’t expect to be able to drive much since there weren’t a lot of times his dad didn’t need his car.

What he forgot was that their Uncle Dan had made it his sole purpose in life to spoil Walter, Eugene, and Norman, and didn’t care one way or the other what their dad thought about it. So, when he came to visit them at the beginning of August, he handed the keys to his old car over to Walter.

You’re joking right, Walter asked him in disbelief.

No, Kiddo. It’s all yours, Dan told him with a chuckle.

Walter thanked him profusely before he and Eugene both ran outside to examine said car.

Carter of course told Dan off, but they both knew what the outcome was going to be. That didn’t stop him from laying the law down as soon as he got the chance, and let Walter know that if he found out he did anything irresponsible he would take his keys away, not that he thought it would matter because Walter most likely wouldn’t want to sit anywhere by the time Carter got through with him. Walter of course said he understood, and was beyond excited to hear that he would be allowed to keep the car.

It was still a few weeks before Walter’s birthday, and other than a few trips, the car had remained parked in the driveway. At least Carter thought it had.

He found out otherwise one afternoon.

Carter had picked Eugene and Norman up from their grandparents’ house, and took them to the grocery store with him.

Carter had been going on Saturday morning, but Walter had more than enough driving hours in by then, and both agreed that they would prefer to sleep in the weekend before. That had kind of come back to bite him the butt though, because they were now completely out of food, and he had to take Eugene and Norman with him. His parents had some benefit or something for one of his mother’s charities, and he wasn’t going to run across town just to drop Eugene and Norman off at home.

It wasn’t as bad as he envisioned it being since Norman was content enough following Carter around while he chattered away, and Eugene didn’t mind running around the store to get whatever it was they needed.

All in all it was going pretty good until just after Carter sent Eugene off to the freezer section so he could pick out whatever kind of pre-processed garbage he wanted. Carter and Norman were at the deli waiting on the guy behind the counter to get their lunch meat cut when one of their neighbors, Tonya Short, said hi.

Carter returned the greeting, and after the usual pleasantries, she asked about the boys.

Carter assured her they were all fine, and was about to ask how her family was, but before he could she said, I bet you’re glad you have another driver now.

Well he doesn’t get his license for a few weeks yet, Carter told her absentmindedly while trying to keep Norman from grabbing a box of cookies.

Really, because the other day I’m almost positive I saw him driving, Tonya told him.

That was probably Saturday morning. He has his permit so I take him along to run errands, Carter explained to her.

No, I don’t think so. It was in the afternoon, Tonya said after she thought for a second. He was in that little white car you have now.

Are you sure, Carter asked her with an accusing and hopeful tone in his voice.

I’m pretty sure. I mean, he was pulling into your driveway, Tonya said in an apologetic way.

That was disappointing, to say the least, and Carter sighed and muttered something under his breath.

Tonya could tell he wasn’t too thrilled with her news, and said, Oh dear, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned anything.

No, I’m glad you did, Carter told her. It was only half a lie since while he wasn’t happy about what he heard, if it was true, he definitely needed to know.

Eugene, came back a second later carrying as much junk as he possibly could, and Carter told Tonya bye as he helped him pile it all into the cart.

Carter was in a bit of a mood the rest of the time they were at the store, and hurried the boys along a bit. They of course noticed, and Eugene thankfully stopped Norman from begging for candy in the checkout line.

The ride home was a bit quiet also, and Carter told Eugene to start unloading the back. He grabbed a couple of bags too before going inside. Norman ran off to the living room, but Carter went in search of his oldest son.

Walter wasn’t downstairs, so Carter hollered up the stairs for him to, Get down here.

He came sauntering down after a few minutes, blissfully unaware of what his dad knew.

Thank goodness, you got food, Walter said as soon as he saw the grocery bags on the counter.

That can wait, Carter told him sharply.

The tone his dad had just taken, stopped Walter dead in his tracks.

Is something wrong, Walter asked, even though he knew there was.

Yeah, I talked to Mrs. Short at the grocery store, and she informed me that she saw you driving the other afternoon, Carter explained to him.

Oh, Walter said, clearly shaken.

So she wasn’t just mistaken, Carter asked as he felt his blood pressure rising.

No Dad, Walter told him.

You’ve got to be kidding me, Carter said.

Walter took up looking at the floor after that, not wanting to see the look he was getting from his dad. He could still feel his dad’s eyes boring into him though, and after a moment of silence Walter muttered, Sorry Dad.

Carter was about to start in on him again, but Eugene came back into the kitchen carrying another couple grocery bags. He paused when he saw what was clearly his older brother getting scolded for something, not sure what to do.

It’s okay, Carter assured him after a half second of silence, and Eugene hesitated for just a moment before stepping into the kitchen and putting the grocery bags down.

Carter turned back to Walter, and sternly told them, Get up to your room. Now!

Yes Dad, Walter said and stumbled over his own feet in his eagerness to comply.

Carter watched him disappear up the stairs and then looked at Eugene who still wasn’t sure what to do with himself. Carter didn’t want to snap at him; he hadn’t done anything wrong, and he took a deep breath before saying, Gene, go keep an eye on Norm for me please.

Eugene nodded and ran off to the living room.

When he was gone, Carter shoved everything that needed to be into the refrigerator and the freezer then went to his room and changed out of his work clothes. He also poked his head into the living room and told Eugene that he was going to be upstairs talking to Walter for a few minutes.

Okay, Eugene told him with a slight grimace.

After that he figured he couldn’t put it off any longer, and made his way upstairs.

Walter had plopped down on his bed as soon as he got up to his room. He knew he was in trouble, and had no doubt what his dad was going to do.

He did straighten up when he heard the unmistakable sound of the stairs creaking as his dad climbed them, and was looking out in the hall when he reached his room.

Carter still knocked on the door frame, more out of habit than anything, before stepping inside and stood in front of Walter’s bed.

What happened, Carter demanded to know.

Walter shrugged a bit then said, I was just bored and decided to take the car around the block.

Is that all, Carter asked him.

Yeah Dad, Walter told him. And it was just the one time.

Carter was still plenty mad, but was at least relieved to hear that it was a one-time deal.

Can you explain to me what exactly it was you were thinking that would lead you to do something this stupid, Carter asked him.

Walter looked down at his feet and kind of shrugged a bit.

I want an answer. Now, Carter told him after he sat in silence for a second.

They were quiet for another moment or two before Walter sighed and said, I don’t know Dad. I guess I wasn’t.

Carter stood there for a second or two and took a couple of deep breaths and said, This is probably the most idiotic, irresponsible thing you have ever done.

I know Dad. I’m really sorry, Walter told him.

Carter all but ignored him though and said, You only have a learner’s permit. You can’t drive without an adult in the car.

I know Dad, sorry, Walter told him told him again, hoping the more he said it the easier his dad would be on him.

It didn’t seem to be calming Carter down any at all and he continued, Do you have any idea what could have gone wrong? Or how much trouble you would be in if there was an accident?

No Dad. I didn’t think about any of that, Walter said quietly.

Well that’s obvious, Carter said a little more harshly than he might have meant to, and Walter had to stop himself from flinching.

Carter looked at him for a minute longer before deciding he had scolded Walter enough.

Get up. Now, Carter told him, and the Walter reluctantly pushed himself up off his bed.

He had been belted a few times, and knew what he was supposed to do. So, he faced his bed and unbuttoned and unzipped the jeans he was wearing.

Next came the part that Walter hated the most, so when he felt his dad take hold of the waistband of his jeans and boxers, Walter let out a moan. That didn’t stop Carter, and a second later they were bunched around their owner’s feet.

Walter didn’t need to be told what to do, and pulled his feet out of them while Carter leaned over and retrieved the belt from the bottom drawer of the night stand.

Bend over. Arms under your chest, Carter instructed him, and with another groan, Walter crossed his arms and bent over the side of his bed.

Carter positioned himself behind Walter, and tapped the belt against Walter’s bottom a couple of times before bringing his arm back and swinging the belt around.

It landed high on Walter’s bottom, and he let out a cry of pain almost as soon as it did. He remembered that his little brothers were still in the house after he did, and clenched his jaw shut. He didn’t want them to hear him crying like a wimp.

Carter on the other hand didn’t care who heard Walter crying, and swung the belt around again, just below where the first one had been, and then again and again, each time moving the belt down just a bit. He had Walter’s entire bottom covered after the sixth lick, and could tell by the way Walter was moaning his tears were falling already.

They were only getting started, and Carter moved back to the top of Walter’s bottom.

Walter held off crying out until the belt landed for the eighth time, right on top of where the second one had been. After that the tears started falling freely, and Walter buried his head in his arms while Carter continued to work the belt down his bottom, landing nine, ten, eleven, and twelve where three through six had been.

That was where Carter had stopped Walter’s last couple of beltings, but Walter hadn’t done anything like this before. He had put himself, and who knew else in danger this time, so Carter moved back up to the top of Walter’s bottom and started again.

He landed the belt another six times, and had Walter’s entire bottom a dark red color. Walter was too spent to do anything other than lie there with his head in his arms and sob.

They weren’t quite done yet, and after a minute Carter told Walter to get his bottom up.

Walter let out a sob, but raised his hips up, and a second later Carter landed the belt the first of five times in the crease where Walter’s legs and bottom met. Walter cried out with each, and when the sixth didn’t come after a second or two, he collapsed back onto his bed, and continued to cry.

It’s okay Walter. Just let it out, and get up when you’re ready, Carter told him and rubbed Walter’s back until he had calmed down enough to stand up and face his dad.

He was a mess, and Carter was pretty sure that he wouldn’t hear anything he told him at the moment, so he pulled him into a hug.

Carter kissed the side of Walter’s head a couple of times and rubbed Walter’s back for several minutes while Walter continued to cry it out.

When he had calmed down after a few minutes, Walter remembered that he was standing in the middle of his room with his pants off and his red, striped butt hanging out. So he pulled away from his dad.

Carter let him go, and looked him over for a second before saying, I know I’ve said it before, and I know you’re tired of hearing it, but you’re the big brother around here Walter.

His dad was right, Walter was tired of hearing it. None the less, he sobbed out, I know Dad.

And I need to be able to count on you to be responsible, and use good judgment when I’m not around, Carter told him. Okay?

I know Dad. I’m really sorry, Walter told him with a sniffle.

Good, Carter told him. Now, I’ll still take you to get your license on time, but you’re not driving for a few weeks afterwards, Carter told him.

That was the last thing Walter wanted to hear, but he wasn’t about to argue, considering the position he was in and quietly said, Okay.

With that, Carter gave Walter a one armed hug and told him, Love you Walt, then kissed the side of his head.

I know Dad, Walter assured him, and Carter let him go.

Carter told him he could get dressed after that, and left Walter to sort himself out.

Downstairs, Eugene and Norman were in the living room, and Carter left them alone and got started on dinner.

It was maybe ten minutes or so before Walter came downstairs, and Carter asked if he could get the table set.

Walter said sure, and after he had that done, disappeared into the living room.

It was the usual crazy night after that with homework to check, dishes to wash, lunches that needed packing, and making sure there were clean clothes for the next morning. Carter did all of that in between listening to the boys tell him about their day, and tucking in Norman, and Eugene, even though all Eugene would really let Carter do was tell him good-night.

Walter had laid claim to the remote when Carter got downstairs from tucking Eugene in, so Carter sat in his recliner. Walter said he was tired not a minute after that though, and went up to his room.

Carter went to say good-night after he had given him some time to get ready, and after he had checked on Eugene and Norman one more time, he went to bed too.

The next morning, Walter woke up to find that Norman had sneaked into his bed at some point in the night, So, he tip toed out of the room and to the bathroom where he hopped in the shower then went back to his room to get dressed.

Their dad had woken his younger brother’s up while he was getting ready, and they all went down to the kitchen.

Carter shoved plates in front of them before going to his room so he could finish getting himself ready. He poked his head out after a minute or two though and said, Walter, when your done eating bring me your car keys, and come in here for a second please.

Okay, Walter sighed, and told Eugene to mind his own business when he tried to ask why their dad wanted to talk to him in his room.

It didn’t take Walter long to finish eating, and ran upstairs to grab the car keys off the night stand and retrieved the spare set from the hook in the front hall then went to his dad’s room.

Thanks, Carter told them as he took the keys from him and shoved them in his pocket. Okay, let’s get this over with, he told Walter after that.

Come on Dad, do we need to, Walter whined.

Yes, now hurry up or we’re all going to be late, Carter told him.

But I already checked in the mirror and my butt’s fine, Walter informed him.

Well I haven’t checked yet, Carter told him sternly. It was only the third time he had used the belt on Walter, and still wasn’t convinced he wasn’t going to end up bruising him.

Walter didn’t move however, and when he started to open his mouth to whine again, Carter cut him off by saying, Either you get ’em down, or I’ll do it myself.

Walter knew he meant it too, so he reluctantly turned around and unbuckled his belt then unbuttoned and unzipped his pants and pushed them down to his knees. He, unfortunately, knew the drill, and hiked his shirt up before bending over a bit so his dad had a clear view of his butt.

Carter looked Walter’s bottom over for a second before he was satisfied that it was in fact fine, and told him to get dressed again; which he happily did, and hurried out of Carter’s room as quickly as he could.

Carter finished tying his tie and pulled on his shoes before going back out to the kitchen in enough time to hear Walter hollering good-bye as he ran out the door. Carter called after him and then ushered Eugene and Norman out the door and into the car.

He got to work on time, and tossed the keys into the top drawer of his desk, where they would stay for the next month. He was pretty certain that he would have to hear from his parents, sister, and Dan that he was being too hard on Walter, but he never backed down on a punishment he had given one of the boys and wasn’t going to start now.

Work was work, and he as always picked up the younger boys before going home.

Walter was at the table doing his homework, and gave Carter sort of sheepish look when he saw him. He was also a little quieter than usual that evening at dinner, and disappeared upstairs as soon as he got the chance.

Carter just figured he was tired, so he let him go and focused on Eugene and Norman instead. He stopped by Walter’s room after he put Eugene to bed to spend a few minutes catching up with him.

Walter didn’t really seem all that talkative and Carter decided to leave him be and go finish packing lunch boxes.

He had just turned to leave when Walter called him back.

Yeah Walt, Carter said.

You’re not still mad at me, are you, he asked.

No, I’m not upset any more, Carter assured him.

You sure, Walter asked him.

Carter had to fight back the urge to sigh, and said, Yes. I’m sure. Why?

I don’t know. You seemed really mad yesterday, and you called me stupid, and an idiot, Walter said.

Carter did sigh that time and moved over to Walter’s bed so he could sit down.

I said what you did was stupid and idiotic, not you, Carter told him, but I’m sorry if I made you feel that way. Your grandfather used to do that to me all the time, and I never want any of you to feel that way.

It’s okay Dad, Walter told him after that. He knew better than the rest of them how his grandpa and dad butted heads when his dad was younger. The two of them had sort of talked about it a few times after Walter had stormed out of the house one Saturday morning.

No, it’s really not okay. You’re a good kid, and while you made a poor decision, you’re not stupid and I never should have said it, Carter told them.

Carter rubbed Walter’s back for a second after that before asking, Are we good now?

Yeah, we’re good, Walter told him.

He pulled Walter closer to him, and kissed the side of his head while saying, I love you Walt.

Yeah Dad, I know, Walter assured him.

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