Subject: Story:Kate's General Store
From: Carolina Jim <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 1996 21:32:36 -0700
The big, two-story building on Main Street may not have been much to look at, but in the fifties Kate Hollings' store was the busiest in town, if not the entire county. Kate stocked everything. Groceries, farm supplies, household items, toys, clothes - you name it and she had it. If she didn't, well, a person probably didn't need it in the first place. There was a pot-bellied stove off in the corner of the place, along with a Coke machine and a couple of well-worn wooden chairs. Rare was the time those seats weren't occupied, either by some farmers discussing the prospects for a good harvest, or by housewives exchanging some local gossip. Why, even Mayor Jenkins did most of his politicking right there in Kate's store.
As for Kate herself, she was a fairly attractive widow in her early forties. Her husband had died some years ago, leaving her with four daughters and a small farm right outside of town. Around that time, the original owner of the store decided to retire, and put it up for sale. Against the advice of everyone, Kate sold the farm and bought the store. "You're crazy!", she was told more than once. "A woman can't run that place! You'll be out of business before 1952 is over!" Well, Kate proved them wrong. Not only did the store survive, it thrived. She did it herself, too. To save money, she turned the second floor into their living quarters, and as soon as her daughters were old enough they helped out. Except for a couple of busy times during the year when Kate hired a few extra people, the business was truly family owned and operated.
Being the outgoing sort, Kate knew all her customers by name - which was just about everyone within fifty miles. Most times, she could tell what they were going to buy when they came in the door. She knew when someone was feeling under the weather, who's crops were in danger of failing, which children weren't doing good in school, and even when relatives from out of town were coming to visit a family. Not much escaped her.
Like that summer day when Joan Kelly came in with her two girls, Martha, 18, and Sally, 15. Right away, Kate noticed something was different about the tall, red-haired Martha. Her pretty face lacked the usual smile, and the effervescent personality she was known for was missing. Instead, she walked slowly a few steps behind her mother and sister, and kept her head down. Less than 24 hours ago...
"Mom, I'm going over to Bonnie's. I'll probably have lunch over there, too. Is that all right?"
"That's fine, Dear.", Joan told her oldest daughter as she put away the last of the breakfast dishes. "Say hello to her mother for me, and tell her I'll see her at church on Sunday."
Martha promised she would and left the house. Dressed in a white blouse and snug-fitting jeans with the cuffs rolled up, she looked like your typical fifties' teenager. However, on this hot Friday morning, Martha would have much preferred a pair of shorts. Her very fair skin precluded that, unless she wanted a pair of badly sunburned legs. But the jeans were more appropriate than a dress, especially since she would probably wind up playing badmitten with Bonnie's family. Bonnie had gotten a set yesterday for her birthday.
With Sally also at a friend's house, Joan saw a perfect opportunity to get the housework done without any interruptions. She went to work, hoping to finish most of it before the wicked afternoon heat set in. First order of business was gathering the laundry. She stripped the beds in the master bedroom and Sally's room, then went to Martha's. As usual, her bedroom was immaculate. Joan reached under the mattress to remove the bottom sheet. Her hand found something. It felt like a book. "What in the world?", she wondered aloud.
It was a book - but not the type she expected Martha would be reading. This was a cheap paperback called "Midnight Lust". The cover, featuring a young couple making out in the backseat of a convertable, was by itself enough to shock the devoutly religious mom. Joan thumbed through a few pages. The "novel", while by no means pornographic, was offensive to her in every sense of the word. It made a mockery of the conservative values she was trying to instill in her daughters. Far more disappointing was that Martha had the book in the first place. The 18-year-old obviously knew it was wrong; why else would she hide it?
Joan took the book and put it in her apron pocket. She continued with the chores, still reeling from her discovery. Martha had to be punished. Trash like that simply would not be tolerated in her house...
Hot and sweaty from playing badmitten for half the afternoon, Martha walked home with little else on her mind than a cold glass of iced tea and a nice, refreshing shower. She waved to Mrs. Tremain and her daughter Marlene, who lived next door and were working in their garden, as she stepped onto the porch. "Boy, those tomatoes are sure getting big!", she complimented.
Alice Tremain motioned for her to come over. "Marlene, give Martha a couple of them." The 12-year-old took two of the ripest tomatoes and handed them to Martha. "Don't wait too long to eat them!", Alice said with a smile.
"Thank you!", Martha replied, and headed for the house. "Mom, I'm home!", she announced.
"I'm in the kitchen.", Joan said. "I need to see you in here. Now."
Martha noticed the edge in her mother's voice. Still, she didn't give the forbidden book a thought. "Mrs. Tremain sent these over.", the teenager told her, holding the tomatoes out.
"Put them on the counter.", Joan ordered.
The red-haired girl did as she was told. "Is there something wrong, Mom?"
Joan reached into her pocket. Martha's eyes widened as "Midnight Lust" was placed before her on the table. "You have some explaining to do, young lady."
Martha's body went limp. She felt like she just had the wind knocked out of her. Panic had robbed her of the ability to speak.
"Well? I'm waiting.", Joan said impatiently, hands on hips.
Breathing deeply and rubbing her sweaty palms on the legs of her jeans, Martha struggled desperately for something to say. "I-I'm s-sorry, Mom...", was the best she could come up with. It wasn't enough.
Her mother's angry eyes forced Martha to stare at the floor. "You bring a disgusting book like that into this house and all you can say is you're sorry?", Joan almost shouted. "I've never seen such trash in all my life! I didn't raise my daughters to read filth like that! Shame on you! And you knew it was wrong, or you wouldn't have hidden it under your mattress! Am I correct?"
"Yes, Mom...I knew it was wrong.", Martha whispered. Her eyes were moist.
"Where did you get it!", Joan demanded. Heaven help the person who gave or sold it to her if they were from around here.
Martha sniffled and wiped away an errant tear running down her cheek. "I bought it last week when Bonnie and I went to Trentville..."
Luckily, Trentville was in the next county. That did little to assuage Joan's anger. "You BOUGHT that trash?", she yelled.
There was no reply. Martha's ears burned as she stood with head bowed, her knees shaking. This was by far the worst scolding she - or Sally - had ever received.
Joan took a deep breath and sighed. "I'm ashamed of you, Martha. Go outside and cut a switch. I'm going to give you a spanking."
Martha's head shot up, her eyes wide with fear. "Please, Mama...Please don't spank me! I won't do it again!" She was still pleading even as her mother was getting a penknife from the kitchen drawer.
"Do as I say, girl.", Joan ordered. She handed the knife to Martha. "And hurry up about it, or you'll get it out on the back porch so the neighbors can see."
Tearfully, Martha went outside and walked to the trees in the back of the yard. She was well aware of her audience. "Look, Mom...what's she doing?", Marlene asked.
Pausing from the task at hand, Alice looked up and saw the forlorn figure in the next yard. "Oh-ohhh, I think someone's in trouble.", she told her daughter. "I'd say Miss Martha is about to get her bottom warmed."
Truer words were never spoken. Martha cut and trimmed a switch that was sure to be acceptable. Averting her eyes from the watchful stares of the Tremains, she walked as stoically as possible up the stairs to the back porch and back inside. The teary-eyed girl was visibly shaking as she handed the formidable instrument of correction to her mother.
A chair was already placed in the middle of the kitchen. "Yes, that will do nicely...", Joan commented after swishing it through the air several times. "All right, young lady, get those pants down and bend over the back of the chair."
"No, Mommy, please...", Martha begged, already starting to unbutton her jeans. There would be no reprieve. She unzipped the pants and pushed them down to her knees, baring her milky-white thighs. Her hands rushed to cover the dark triangle visible through her nylon panties.
"Those, too.", Joan commanded, pointing the switch at the white underpants. "Pull them down."
A few more tears made their way down Martha's red face. She turned her back to Joan and pulled down the panties, her pale, well-shaped buttocks jiggling as she did. With the underpants at mid-thigh, she hobbled the few steps to the chair, causing the jeans to fall around her shoes. Joan bent her over the back of the chair and told her to hold on to the seat. "After your spanking, you will spend the rest of today and tonight in your room, reading the Bible. There will be no supper for you tonight, nor will you be going to the barn dance on Saturday. Is that understood?"
Martha, her bare bottom thrust up and out, sniffled a yes. Joan took a few measured steps back and raised the switch. "Don't you dare let go of that seat, young lady.", she warned, and swung with all her strength. SWISHHHHH!
The switch cut into the fullest part of Martha's backside. "Ohhhhh...", the 18-year-old moaned, suddenly remembering how painful a spanking from mom could be. An angry red welt sprouted immediately, sending white-hot heat in all directions. SWISHHHHH! "AIIEEEE!", Martha shouted, swinging her behind back and forth as another welt appeared. SWISHHHHH! "OHHHHH! Mommy please! It hurts!" Already, she was close to breaking down. SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHHH! "AIIEEEE! OHHHHHHH! No more! Please!" SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHHH!
"Are you ever going to bring filth like that into this house again?" SWISHHH! SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHH!"
"AIEEEEEE! NO MOMMY! I PROMISE! AIEEEEE! AIEEEEEEE! NEVER AGAIN!"
Joan aimed the switch at her daughter's meaty thighs. "You better not, or we'll do this all over again!" SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHHH!
"I won't...", Martha gasped before collapsing into sobs. The switch returned to her scarlet bottom, driving home the lesson Joan was intent on teaching. SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHHH! SWISHHHHH!
Young Sally returned home just as her mother was applying the final strokes to her sister's backside. Hearing the commotion in the kitchen, the 15-year- old walked slowly through the living room. Sally froze in her tracks when she saw Martha bent over the chair, her bottom and thighs covered with reddish-purple weals, and wailing like a baby. She also saw the switch in her mother's hand. "Poor Martha!", she whispered. It had been a long time - three years, in fact - since Martha had been spanked, but Joan had more than made up for lost time.
"Have you learned anything?", Joan asked, dropping the switch to her side. Martha nodded in between sobs, her soaking-wet hair sticking to her forehead. "Very well. You can get up now."
Martha's right hand went straight to the inferno raging in her swollen rear. She stood up carefully, her other hand joining its partner on the once-smooth bottomcheeks. The well-spanked girl didn't care that her jeans and now her panties were at her ankles, exposing a thick red thatch of pubic hair. Nor did she give a second thought to her mother and sister staring at her. No, all Martha was concerned about was her tortured behind.
"Pull your pants up and go to your room.", Joan said sternly. "I'll be checking on you from time to time, and you best be reading your Bible."
Struggling to regain her composure, Martha tugged the jeans and panties over her welted thighs and bottom. Leaving the jeans unzipped and unbuttoned, she took a few steps, stopped suddenly, placed both hands on the seat of her dungarees, and broke into a second round of sobs. "Mommmmy it hurrrrts...", she cried. Joan allowed her to have a good cry, then escorted her to her bedroom.
Supper was a very quiet affair that evening. Joan explained what happened to her husband, and he agreed with her course of action. Like most men in town, he left the discipling of the girls to the wife. Sally didn't say much at all, lest she get her mom angry. The last thing she wanted was a sore bottom like Martha's. And Joan did check on Martha several times. The last time she looked in, she found her daughter in pajamas, face-down and sound asleep on the bed. Joan tiptoed in, closed the Bible, and looked down at her lovingly. She didn't like to spank, but sometimes it was necessary. She patted Martha's head softly, turned out the light, and left the room...
Kate left the cash register in daughter Donna's hands and went out on the floor to greet Joan and her girls. "Let's see...it's Friday. You must need some laundry detergent!", the proprieter said with a big smile.
"How did you know?", a grinning Joan replied. Next to her, Sally chuckled at Kate's always unerring accuracy. Martha, on the other hand, remained a few feet away with an uncharacteristic grim expression. "I have to get a few other things, too.", Joan added.
"Well, you've come to the right place." Kate turned to the morose Martha. "How about you, Martha? Do you need anything for the dance tomorrow night?"
The 18-year-old blushed and bowed her head. "I'm afraid the only thing she needs is a soft pillow to sit on.", Joan advised. "I had to take a switch to her yesterday afternoon. She won't be going to the dance."
Kate nodded. "I'm sorry.", was all she said, and dropped the subject. Joan took a couple of nickels from her purse and asked the girls if they wanted a soda. Martha snatched them up and made a bee-line for the Coke machine with Sally right behind her.
Drink in hand, Sally took a seat in one of the chairs while Martha stood off to the side. A minute later, Kate's oldest daughter, 17-year-old Chrissy, wandered over and sat down. "Have a seat!", she invited Martha. "There's an extra one."
Martha politely declined. Her badly-wealed bottom made sitting on one of those hard wooden chairs an impossibility.
"Are you all ready for the dance tomorrow night?", Chrissy asked. Martha shook her head and said she wasn't going. She offered no explanation and neither did Sally. It didn't take long for Chrissy to realize Martha didn't feel like talking, and she soon went back to work.
"Mother, do you know Martha Kelly isn't going to the dance tomorrow night?", Chrissy asked later on. "She must not be feeling too good - Martha never misses a barn dance."
Kate took Chrissy aside, away from the customers. "I'll let you in on a little secret. Martha ISN'T feeling too good - but not the way you think. Mrs. Kelly found her with a dirty book yesterday and gave her a good tanning. She also isn't allowing her to go to the dance."
"Wow...", a surprised Chrissy whispered. "Martha's always been such a good girl. I never would have thought she'd do something like that! Wait 'till I tell everyone!"
"Not one word!", Kate admonished, pointing a finger at Chrissy. "Mrs. Kelly told me that in confidence. Now get back to work, or Martha won't be the only one nursing a sore behind."
She wasn't joking...