Subject: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star-I
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 00:33:54 EDT
(Note: This story deals with the disciplinary spanking of a 10-year-old girl. Anyone under 18, or offended by the premise, should stop here.)
I first realized something was wrong when I paid for my lunch. "That'll be $11.64," said the man at the McDonald's cash register.
I mentally totalled up my purchases, but they didn't add up to anything near that amount. "What's that for?" I asked.
"One plain hamburger, one Big Mac, two large orders of fries, one medium and one large Coke."
"All I got was a plain hamburger, large fries, and a medium Coke."
"And your daughter's Big Mac, and fries and Coke. She said you were together."
I didn't have time to argue, since I had to be in Los Angeles in two hours to make my presentation. But I remembered the young girl who'd been ahead of me in line, who seemed to have disappeared into thin air. I wondered how many other times she'd pulled this trick.
If I hadn't happened to glance in just the right direction while waiting for my the man at the gas station to check my oil, I never would have noticed the fluttering white cloth with blue stripes. But I did see it behind the wall of the gas station, and remembered that the girl had been wearing a dress of just that color. I wandered around the building from the other side, and saw her crouched on the grass behind the gas station, finishing her fries. She was Hispanic but light-skinned, about ten years old. Silently I crept up to her and grabbed her by the shoulder.
"You owe me $6.73," I told her.
She struggled in my grasp. "Hey, hands off! I don't know you!"
"That's not what you told the man at McDonald's. Shall we go inside and see if I have the wrong person?"
She stood up with an indignant look, that quickly melted. "Look, I've really got to get home. I'm stuck in this rest area, and I'm really sorry I stuck you for the food. But I'm starving, and if you'll just give me a lift to Los Angeles my father will pay you back. For everything."
She was obviously lying, probably a runaway, and I knew the proper thing to do was to notify the police. But I was in a desperate hurry to get to my appointment and didn't have time to spend what might be hours filling out forms... a fact I suspected she'd known before she chose me as a victim, from the way I'd been agitatedly looking at my watch. "Look, you'd better come along with me," I said. "We'll find your father after I talk to the people at Craftech."
* * *
She said nothing for the first five minutes after we left the rest stop. Then she asked, "What's your name?"
"George Lurie," I told her. "And you?"
"Angelita. Angelita Banderas." She gave it the Spanish pronunciation. "I'm Antonio Banderas' daughter."
"Really?" I said, my skepticism evident in my voice.
"Well, he's not going to admit it, because Melanie Griffith doesn't know about me." Her voice deepened and assumed an air of intrigue. "I'm the product of an affair he had with a migrant worker eleven years ago, in 1985. But I've got his talent, and if I could only get a screen test I could be bigger than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen!"
She spent the rest of the trip to Los Angeles talking about her mother's tragic history and ultimate death, her being sent to an abusive foster home, and her running away in desperation to seek out her closest living relative. I played along while I broke all speed limits in driving into town, giving me time to check into my hotel a bare 20 minutes before my apppointment. "Now, stay here," I told the self-styled Angelita Banderas. "I should be back from my appointment by six -- you can go down to the lobby or get something from room service if you want, but don't leave the hotel."
My interview went a lot better than I'd feared, and they ended up buying enough of my programs to keep me solvent for the next month. I was half-afraid Angelita wouldn't be there, leaving me in for a possible kidnapping charge if anything happened to her, but she greeted me at the door with an outstretched hand. "Enter," she said. "Your dinner awaits!"
A three-course dinner for two, about half-gone, sat on the table, complete with wine and candles. "You ordered that?" I said in horror. "Do you realize how much that costs?"
"All pennies compared to the salary I'll earn once Hollywood realizes my talents!" answered Angelita. I sighed and sat down to eat.
The doorbell rang. "Oh, that must be the people from Donna Karan. I called them up and asked them to come over with some clothes, so I'll be well- dressed for my screen test!"
I opened the door and explained, over Angelita's protests, that I had no interest in buying any clothes and that she had called them in error. After finally talking the man out of his insistence on payment of a $500 service charge, I closed the door, as Angelita stalked to the bed on which she'd put her blue book bag, her only item of luggage. She flopped down and folded her arms. "How am I supposed to have a screen test in this ratty old dress?" she exploded.
"If you don't stop running up my bill, I'm going to take you across my knee!" I barked back. I took a step toward her, and tears began to well up in her eyes.
"I'm really sorry, George. I've never been in a good hotel before. I just got carried away, all right? Why can't we forget the clothes, and call my father's agency?"
I tried, but it was closed, a fact I suspected she knew. Still, my heart did go out to this (possible) orphan, with nobody to help her except me. "Look, there's still time to go to Disneyland for a few hours. I haven't been there in years. Why don't we go now?"
Angelita brightened at once. "Thanks so much, George. You're a good guy. I'll make sure I remember you when I'm a star."
* * *
We stayed at Disneyland for the late fireworks, then returned to my hotel, where she climbed into bed wearing everything but her shoes and socks. She read for awhile while I began work on the Craftech program, but eventually dropped off to sleep.
Angelita's book bag was on the floor by her bed, and I looked through it for some evidence of her identity. But she'd been throrough in her anonymity: there was no wallet, no school papers, no bus pass. I was about to call the police when I noticed the book she'd been reading, and picked it up. Sure enough, it had a plastic library cover, and a card identifying it as the property of the Pizarro Middle School Library.
* * *
I set my little travel alarm for eight o'clock the next morning, with the bell soft enough to wake me without disturbing Angelita. I dressed and went down to the lobby to make the call.
"Excuse me, but my daughter has to write a book report on..." I looked at the book, "...'Harriet the Spy' by Louise Fitzhugh. Would you happen to have a copy on the shelf?"
I was ready to explain to the librarian, if she said there was such a copy, that my daughter hadn't found it there yesterday, but the reply was, "No, I'm afraid not."
"Well," I tried to put enough desperation in my voice to be worthy of Angelita's acting, "she really has to have that book. I think one of her friends checked out a copy."
There was silence while the librarian checked the records. At length she said, "Well, we only have three copies. They're checked out to Colleen Murphy, Sarita Villamonte, and Thomas Watson."
"Sarita Villamonte! That's the name she mentioned! I don't suppose you happen to have her phone number...?"
* * *
The girl I knew as Angelita was all bubbly as she smoothed out her wrinkled dress, and came down with me to check out of the hotel. "Now, don't take no for an answer at the agency!" she told me. "Tell them that if I don't get a screen test now, we're going to the National Enquirer!"
I grunted a noncommittal answer, and it wasn't until we'd been on the Interstate for ten minutes that she suddenly looked around. "Say, I didn't think the agency was this way!"
"It's not. I have another stop to make, Sarita."
"Well, it'd better be short! My father wouldn't...." She broke off and her mouth dropped open. "What did you just call me?"
"Sarita. That is your name, isn't it?" Her expression banished what shadow of a doubt there'd been after my conversation with Sarita Villamonte's brother. "I just talked to your family, and it seems you've been missing for three days." She started to scream, but I continued. "So you'll just have to wait for them to get you a screen test."
For a moment she glared at me and looked as if she was going to try to grab the steering wheel, but then she folded her arms and fell into sullen silence. Eventually she broke it for one brief question, "How'd you find out?"
"Your library book," I told her. "I was able to trace it."
Sarita pulled it out of her bag, glared at it, and tossed it out the window. "Dumb librarians!"
"Can your mother afford to replace that book?" I asked. She slouched back in her seat and set her mouth in a tight line.
* * *
Sarita was still sulking as I drove the car into the rest area parking lot, and walked with her across the bridge to the restaurant on the other side of the Interstate. "Look, Sarita, I really don't think they'd have given you a screen test anyway. Even people who've been to acting school sometimes have to wait years for one."
"Yes they would!" whined Sarita, kicking a rock so hard it glanced off the side of a nearby car. "They'd have at least believed my story enough to give me a test! They couldn't have stood the bad publicity!"
Her voice continued to rise as we entered the McDonald's, and people began to look at us.
"Please, Sarita!" I said. "There's no point in making a scene!"
Sarita was screaming now. "YES THERE IS! THIS WAS MY ONLY CHANCE TO BE A BIG STAR, AND YOU RUINED IT!" Every eye in the restaurant was now on us.
One of the two middle-aged women at the table next to us looked at the other. "Can you believe that child?" she asked audibly. "I tell you, if I'd sassed my father the way she's doing, he'd have whaled the tar out of me!" Sarita stood up and stuck her tongue out at her.
"That doesn't sound like such a bad idea, Sarita!" I told her. "If you don't quiet down, that's just what I'll do."
"You wouldn't dare!" pouted Sarita. "You lay a hand on me and I'll scream so loud every cop on the Interstate will hear me!" I sighed and went to pick up our lunches.
When I got back to the table, I found Sarita arguing with the woman next to us. "I'll have you know I'm the daughter of a big Hollywood star! Your kids will be begging for my autograph before I'm through!"
I put the food down, and apologized to the women, who were leaving their table and muttering about permissive parents. I'd gotten Sarita the same meal she'd ordered the previous day: a Big Mac, fries and a large Coke. "Sarita, there's no way you could have got a screen test. Please eat your meal and stop crying."
Sarita shoved all the food off the table onto my lap. "TAKE ME BACK! NOW!"
The restaurant seemed to reel around my eyes as ketchup, cheese and fries dripped off my chest, and the spilled Coke began to soak into my shirt. I seized Sarita by the wrist. "All right! You can't say you weren't warned!"
I dragged her through the passageway that led to the rest rooms. "Oh, give me a break! You can't hit me in public! You even try to and you'll be locked up for kidnapping! And child abuse!"
She began to look hesitant for the first time as I dragged her into the men's room. "Hey, I can't go in there! I'm a girl, in case you haven't noticed!"
"I've noticed," I replied. Several men using the urinals looked up in shock and hastily faced away, but made no move to stop us. I looked around and found a small wastebasket filled with towels. It would have to do. I reached down and upended both the wastebasket and Sarita, bending her over my lap.
"Hey, watch it!" she yelled as I lifted the back of her blue-and-white dress, revealing her slightly worn but clean white panties. "I'm a bit old to be displaying my lingerie in mixed company!"
Her panties were caught in the crack between her cheeks, and, in a sudden urge for tidiness, I gave them a tug to free them and offer some sort of protection. Suddenly Sarita's voice softened. "Look, I know I was out of line there. Let's cut this Katzenjammer Kids nonsense and get out of here. I'm sure my mother's waiting for me."
"Well, she'll just have to wait a bit longer," I said. I lifted my hand and brought it down, hard, on the seat of Sarita's panties.
Sarita gasped. In almost a whisper, she said, "My God! You actually did it! You spanked me!"
"That's right," I said. And I spanked her again. And, as she drew in a breath, again.
"HELP!" screamed Sarita at the top of her lungs. "THIS GUY'S NOT MY FATHER! HE'S A KIDNAPPER! AND A CHILD MOLESTER! HE'S MOLESTING ME NOW! TOUCHING MY PRIVATE PARTS! JUST LOOK!"
The men from the urinals were crowding around now, and one of them made a move as if to stop me. But another said, "Don't be ridiculous! This kid's been screaming for the last ten minutes! If she were my kid, I'd have started a lot sooner!"
I spanked Sarita several more times as the men watched with evident approval, but then they were suddenly shoved aside. A burly state trooper lumbered into the men's room, put his thumbs in his belt, and glared down at Sarita and me. "What's this I hear about kidnapping and child abuse?"
I gulped and prepared to make a clean breast of things, but Sarita broke in, the picture of wounded innocence. "Thank God for the police! Officer, this man picked me up yesterday, and now he's beating me! Make him stop!"
"Do you have any ID?" he asked me. I got my wallet out of my pocket as Sarita got up, sticking out her tongue at me. The officer looked at it, and at Sarita in puzzlement.
"And what about you?" he asked her. She looked in her book bag, and said, "Well, actually no. But I've got a library book..." Her jaw dropped as she suddenly remembered throwing it out the window.
"Excuse me, Officer," said the man who'd spoken before. "But this little brat's been screaming ever since she got here. Her father gave her every chance, and she just threw the food at him. I think he's got every right to discipline her." Most of the others murmured their agreement.
"Hmm..." said the policeman. "A parent does have the right to administer reasonable corporal punishment."
"ARE YOU NUTS?" cried Sarita. "I told you he's not my father! Just a guy who picked me up!"
"Sure he's her father!" came a voice from near the door. "She told me so yesterday!" I turned to face the McDonald's clerk who'd charged me for the extra food yesterday.
"But I was lying!" wailed Sarita. "And you were on the other side of the street..." She suddenly broke off as she remembered the crosswalk to the other side of the Interstate, which had brought us full circle in less than 24 hours. "I mean, I was lying then, not now..."
The policeman hooked his thumbs back in his belt. "Well, I think that makes everything clear, sir. Go ahead... continue with what you were doing. I heard that tantrum, too!"
Sarita looked around, and even I was moved by the terrified, stricken expression on her face. Maybe she'd been punished enough. She suddenly made a dash for the door, but the trooper seized her, and the others passed her, hand to hand, back to me. I put my hand on her shoulder, suddenly realizing what a small, vulnerable creature she was...
The small, vulnerable creature bit me on the thumb. Hard. She again darted away, but the trooper was ready for her. As I resumed my seat on the upturned wastebasket, he pushed the shrieking Sarita back across my lap. "Just a couple more things, sir, said the trooper as I began to pick Sarita's dress up again. "Naturally, it's not my place to tell you how to discipline your child, but I don't see why you're spanking her on her underpants."
I thought he was probably right. Sarita was ten, after all, and she was a bit old to have her lingerie displayed in public. I started to lower her dress, but the trooper stopped me. "They only get in the way."
I looked at him. He nodded. Again Sarita tried to make a rush for it, sending a new surge of pain through my bleeding thumb, but I held her down. Then I reached for the waistband of her panties and pulled them down around her thighs.
"What are you DOING?" wailed Sarita.
I slapped her bare bottom as hard as I could. "Like you said. Touching you on your private parts." I spanked her again, as she roared out her protests at the top of her lungs, using more four- letter words than I'd realized existed.
"Another suggestion," added the trooper, ignoring Sarita's screams. "It helps to cut down the decibel level quite a bit if you settle on a specific number of licks in advance. I'd suggest twenty. Then tell her that every sound she makes will add another one to that.
"Well, I've already given her eleven..." I started.
"Ten. I've been counting," said one of the men. "I'd start from the beginning; but it's up to you."
Sarita shut up at once and looked at me with a pained expression, but the pain in my thumb made me resolute. "You heard him, Sarita. Ten more." I administered the first then and there, right across the center of her bottom.
The others began to count in a chorus. "Two!" That was across her right buttock. "Three!" Across the left one. "Four!" A bit high, and Sarita bit her lip to keep from crying out. Not wanting to injure her, I moved her slightly forward across my lap, so the fleshiest part of her cheeks was uppermost. "Five!" "Six!" Seven!" All across Sarita's cheeks, whose tan complexion had turned a bright red.
A man entered with a young boy of about five or six. He brought the boy up to see us. "See, Joey? That's what you'll get if you keep making a fuss!" He hustled the boy into one of the stalls.
"Eight! Nine! Ten!" The trooper and the others burst into applause.
I let go of Sarita, expecting her to scramble up again, but she simply lay across my lap and tried to reach her lowered panties from her awkward position. I suddenly realized... there were private parts and then there were private parts. I hastily pulled her panties back up again, and she gave me a look of pain as I the cotton was dragged back over her injured flesh, but there seemed to be a trace of gratitude as well. After all, several of the observers looked disappointed that I'd stopped so soon.
Then Sarita did stand up, smoothed out her dress, and walked out without a word. I followed. As she stepped outside, she looked around quickly and I wondered if she was about to start a new volley of tirades, but a second round of applause from the crowd, mostly female, that had been waiting outside the door gave her pause. She looked around and then, to my amazement, clenched my hand. Sarita tossed her head, stuck her nose in the air, and led me back to the footbridge across which my car was parked.
We were ten miles beyond the rest area before Sarita spoke again. She'd been kneeling on the passenger seat, leaning forward so the back of her dress didn't have to make contact with the seat... not the safest of positions, but I figured she was entitled to as much comfort as possible.
"George?" she said in a soft voice. "I... I'm sorry I got so mad. You're sure I couldn't have had a screen test?"
"Positive." I paused. "I didn't want to hit you, but I couldn't really think of anything else."
"It's OK. Uh... George?"
"Are we going to pass any more rest areas before we get to my house? I'm still hungry." She gave me a rueful grin. "Yes, I'm also sorry I threw the food at you. But I can pay this time. For you, too."
"I think there's one more," I said. "But I thought you didn't have any more money?"
"You mean you didn't see my emergency stash? Well, I guess you were too busy to notice." She lifted the back of her dress, fumbled around inside her panties, and brought out a $20 bill with a safety pin stuck through it.
"So you see, it'll be my treat. For the meals, and for Disneyland, and for... putting up with me. Is that rest area far away?"
"Maybe twelve miles. Are you that hungry?"
Sarita blushed, "Well, I need to use the rest room, too." She paused. "The ladies' room this time."
* * *
Sarita seemed more and more excited when I finally turned off the Interstate. She gave me directions to her home, which turned out to be an apartment on the second floor of a tenement house.
Two people rushed out to embrace her: a still-attractive woman in her late thirties and Pablo Villamonte, the boy of around 14 to whom I'd spoken on the phone, who introduced their mother as Rosa Villamonte. As Rosa and Sarita babbled in Spanish, Pablo explained that his mother spoke very little English, so he had to act as interpreter.
They invited me in at once, and urged me to stay for dinner. Rosa and Pablo listened to Sarita's adventures, and I recognized only a few words of her Spanish, including "Disneyland." Then Rosa turned to me with a serious expression, and asked me a question in Spanish.
I looked blank, and Pablo said, "Sarita says you beat her."
Once again the room seemed to reel around me, and I wondered what the penalties were for assault and battery on a child. I nodded, somewhat confused, because Sarita had seemed excited throughout, and not in the least angry at me or anyone else.
And then, to my amazement, Rosa threw her arms around me and kissed me. Pablo added, "That is good! She can be a genuine pest sometimes. We are glad you didn't let her get away with too much!"
Rosa cleared away dinner dishes as Pablo continued to talk. "Sarita says you have a strong hand." Indeed, Sarita was babbling away almost delightedly, at one point slapping her own rear end several times. "She says you taught her a good lesson."
"Well, I'm glad of that. She isn't angry?" Pablo laughed. "Not in the least! She admires you! And besides, she thinks this way we won't punish her ourselves, for running away!"
"Well, yes. She's probably been punished enough."
Pablo's eyes narrowed. "I didn't say that," he said with a glance toward the table. Sarita looked up and suddenly made as if to leave the table, but her mother held her fast.
Sarita squirmed as Rosa fired off a question to me, in Spanish. Pablo again translated. "You must understand, our father... he left us many years ago. And our mother... she came home from work less than an hour ago, and is stiff from bending and lifting heavy boxes all day. Would you do us the favor of punishing Sarita?" Sarita began to scream as Pablo added, "Since you know how to handle her, I mean."
"Well, I don't know..."
Sarita broke in, "George, give me a break! I'm still in agony from what you did to me this morning!" This was a mistake; I'd seen the way she'd bounced on the seat toward the end of our journey, and knew she'd fully recovered. I gave them a nod.
Pablo beamed, and picked up the item that had startled Sarita. It was a stainless-steel knife about eight inches long and one inch wide, of the sort used for cake and meat loaf. "This is what she uses on Sarita. And on me too, when I was younger." He saw my hesitation, and added. "Don't worry. It won't hurt her seriously, if you use the flat side. Mother used it only three days ago, when she got into a fight with Juan Gomez. Come to think of it, that might have been why she ran away."
Sarita looked up at me in despair. "You see? Didn't I tell you I was abused at home!"
Pablo gasped, and translated the sentence. Her face turning red, Rosa grabbed Sarita and pushed her across my knee, screaming at her in Spanish. I reached out to hold her while Pablo raised her dress, and Rosa expertly lowered her panties to the very top of her thighs.
Sarita looked at me in mute appeal, but her struggle had brought back the shooting pain in my thumb. It wasn't seriously injured but would probably ache for days, and I could tell from Sarita's rear end that she'd fully recovered from the effects of the earlier spanking. I brought the flat side of the knife down across her cheeks.
"A bit harder next time," said Pablo. I complied. The knife was longer and narrower than my hand, leaving red streaks across her bottom that startled me at first, but I remembered how much more quickly her rear end had recovered than my throbbing thumb, and continued the treatment.
As I brought it down again and again, Sarita started babbling, though in a quieter tone apparently reserved for a locale where everyone knew her. When a burst of Spanish appeals to her mother and brother brought nothing but gestures for me to continue, she switched to English. "George, please stop hitting me! I'll be a good girl from now on. Tell Mama I'll never run away again, and I'll save up to pay for the library book too. And I won't act up in public again either! Just stop!" I let the knife drop and looked up at Rosa and Pablo. Seeing my reluctance, Pablo said, "Well, maybe two more strokes. For all the lies she told." I delivered them, then let go. In the privacy of her home, Sarita was able to leap up, turn away from me, and pull her panties up.
I waited for her to run out screaming, but she only hugged her mother and brother, murmuring what seemed to be apologies in Spanish. Then, even more to my amazement, she came up to me and gave me a big hug. "Thanks for not hitting too hard!" she whispered in my ear.
At once, the atmosphere seemed charged with gaiety again, as the dessert dishes were brought in. As Pablo emerged from the kitchen with an immense chocolate cake, we all resumed our seats at the table, though Sarita understandably leaned forward to rest her weight on her thighs. And even she grinned, though not without wincing, when Rosa presented me with the knife once more. I began to cut the cake, wit a certain amount of relief that the knife had been thoroughly washed after I'd used it on...