Eighteen-year-old Lily, raised by her fundamentalist preacher stepfather, Adam, isn’t allowed to date or do anything against church “law.” Asked to the Halloween dance by a boy she really likes, Lily defies Adam. But when they are caught in a compromising position by her stepfather, what will her punishment and repentance be? Note: This story is published in the anthology Back to the Garden
“Daddy, please,” she whispered, sinking to her knees and bowing her head. Her hair fell like a waterfall across her tear-stained face, hiding her, and she was grateful. “I know it was wrong. I will pray for my sins. I will repent, I will…” She took a quivery breath and felt his hand in her hair, lifting her chin.
“You will,” he confirmed, nodding. “Yes, you will. It’s the least you’ll do. But Lily, this is no small thing. This isn’t a hidden CD or candy bar or magazine.” He looked pointedly at her and she knew he remembered too, the last time she knelt here like this, years and years it had been. She’d been such a good girl—she tried so hard to please him, to meet his impossible standards. “I know. I’m so sorry,” she pleaded, reaching her trembling hand out to him. He let her bury her face in his lap and he stroked her hair absently as he talked.
“No, Lily, I don’t think you do know. This night of all nights, you should have been surrounded by God’s children, praying, keeping your soul intact and pure. Evil forces have taken you over, child. I can feel them in you. I can see them in your eyes. You have been tempted and you have succumbed. You lied to me, Lily.” His voice shook and she sobbed harder in his lap. “You deceived me. You dressed yourself like a whore, a pagan slut, and went out among the wolves, as a sheep amongst the wolves. You brought home a boy and let his carnal lust overtake you. This is beyond sin, Lily. This is…” He paused, searching for a word that might encompass her actions, and finally settled on: “This is depravity.”
The weight of his words crushed her and she could barely breathe through her sobs. He sighed, his hand smoothing the hair away from her wet cheeks. He sounded truly sorry, even reluctant when he said, “It must be punished.”
She shook her head in his lap, but then she started to nod. “Yes, Daddy, yes, okay, yes.”
If this was her punishment then, the humiliation of being whipped like a willful child, so be it. Anything would be better than his words, his anger, and most of all, his disappointment and disillusionment.
He pulled her across his lap. It was a quick movement and she gasped out loud. She tried to balance herself across his long legs. She wasn’t a little girl anymore and his thighs dug into the soft flesh of her belly, her hands pressed the floor, attempting balance, her body steepled at a strange, arched angle, like an upside down “V,” with her bottom thrust up to create the apex. He reached under her chin, pulling the tie on her red hooded cape, and tossed it off her to the floor. She hadn’t realized how much warmth the material had been providing, and the cool air on her body, across her back where her blouse was pulled up, and especially her not oft-exposed legs, was a sudden, shivery shock.
Adam’s hands pulled her skirt up higher. It had creeped down during her walk to the kitchen. She heard his sharp intake of breath and felt herself flush, remembering how sinful the panties she was wearing really were. She was mortified. He pushed her skirt up even higher, high around her waist now, and his hands seemed to linger over the scant material of her disgracefully sheer panties. Her body tensed, waiting.