Brat Boot Camp pt. 3

Things had been going much more smoothly between Sharon and Gracie. Gracie learned to be honest, to apply herself to her chores, and to avoid mouthing off at the slightest annoyance. Gracie still had a hard time admitting to herself that she needed– and enjoyed– Sharon’s firm guidance. And her temper was far from perfect, too.

On Wednesday, right in the middle of their week together, Gracie resurrected her old bratting ways and was taken to task before she could even process what had happened.

It all started when Sharon suggested a trip to the gym to go swimming and enjoy the sauna. Gracie had mentioned being a lifelong athlete, and that exercise helped quell some of her stress and irritability. Wanting to be accommodating, Sharon suggested that they ditch a few of their scheduled mundane tasks and enjoy a couple of hours at Sharon’s athletic club. The women packed swimsuits and water bottles and headed out of Sharon’s mansion of a house for the first time all week.

“Wow,” Gracie said as Sharon drove along the neighborhood streets, “I forgot what the sky looked like. We’ve been trapped inside forever.”

“It’s behavior boot camp, not a vacation,” Sharon retorted, “We’re not supposed to be dining at Mastro’s and shopping on Michigan Avenue.”

“Yeah yeah,” said Gracie dismissively, just happy that they were doing something fun for once. She was enjoying her time with Sharon immensely (probably more than she’d admit) but she was ready for some time in public to feel like a normal young adult again rather than a captive submissive.

Sharon and Gracie split up at the gym and agreed to meet back in the lobby at noon so that they could go out for lunch before returning home to tackle some curriculum. Sharon was supposed to be reviewing budgeting and saving with Gracie that afternoon, which Gracie was happy to avoid for as long as possible. Gracie started with a run on the treadmill, followed by a long swim in the lap pool, deep stretching, and relaxation time in the sauna. Gracie felt like a whole new woman. She was relaxed and ready to take on the day when she sauntered into the lobby at 12 on the dot, right on time to meet her dominant lady partner.

Gracie gave a smile and a wave when she saw Sharon, but Sharon’s eyes narrowed somewhat ominously. Gracie had showered and changed into dark jeans with giant holes all over them, converse sneakers, and a neon yellow crop top hoodie that said “CHICKS BEFORE DICKS” in large black lettering.

“I have no idea what to say about the outfit choice,” Sharon sighed impatiently, crossing her arms for emphasis, “But none of that is okay. First of all, you’re half naked. Your stomach is hanging out and half of the skin on your legs is exposed by those giant holes. And I’m not taking you to a restaurant in that sweater. You need to change.”

“I don’t have anything to change into,” Gracie whined, feeling herself start to get annoyed. Her outfit was fun and age appropriate. Plus, it was up to 38 degrees. Not even freezing! She practically lived in crop tops and torn denim.

“You don’t have a choice,” Sharon responded kindly but firmly, “This isn’t a negotiation. You’re changing.”

“Well I don’t have extra clothes and I’m fucking hungry,” Gracie spat. “You should have asked what I was packing if you were going to freak the fuck out about the word DICKS.”

“I will not tolerate that language. Your choices include getting a new outfit from the gym’s shop, or changing at home. You have like 3 seconds to make a choice before your choices disappear entirely today, little girl.”

Gracie bristled at being called little girl.

“I’m not hungry. I’ll starve.”

“Fine. We’ll do things the hard way this afternoon. Makes no difference to me.” With that, Sharon grabbed Gracie’s elbow right where it met her upper arm, digging her fingers into a pressure point that Gracie didn’t even know existed. Gracie yelped in pain and tried to wiggle away, but Sharon simply used her grip to steer Gracie toward the parking structure. Once they were mostly out of sight of the other gym goers, Sharon spun Gracie around and landed four loud, sharp warning smacks to hear rear end.

Gracie gasped in horror and looked around to see if anyone had seen.

“WE’RE IN PUBLIC,” Gracie whined, starting to lose her nerve.

“We won’t be if you march your butt to the car and sit in it silently while we drive home,” Sharon pointed out with a self-satisfied smirk.

Sulking, Gracie hopped into the car and settled into the passenger’s seat. As Sharon silently maneuvered the car out of the garage and back up onto the street, Gracie’s annoyance was replaced by guilt and remorse.

Faaaaack, Gracie thought miserably, I ruined our one outing for no reason. Now we can’t enjoy our lunch and we’ll probably never leave the house again. 

Sharon’s calm silence gave Gracie even more anxiety. She wondered how much trouble she was in for the outburst. Feeling smaller by the minute, Gracie leaned her head against the cool glass of the window beside her and twiddled her thumbs nervously in her lap.

“Are you okay?” Sharon asked lightly, glancing at Gracie’s sad, crumped figure at the red light.

Gracie merely shrugged in response, biting her lip and begging herself not to start crying before she even got the spanking that she knew was coming. Sharon gave Gracie space to think about the position that she was in, driving silently but placing a hand gently on Gracie’s knee to show her that she was still there for her. Gracie’s tense shoulders relaxed at Sharon’s gentle touch, even though her mind was still racing.

When the two pulled back into Sharon’s driveway and headed toward the front door, Gracie hung back a little and held out her hand with a pout. Sharon looked back at Gracie’s hand and felt her heart melt a little.

“Would you like to hold hands?” Sharon asked, even though the answer was obvious.

Gracie nodded. She wanted to be lead again. “Um.. I like when you’re in charge,” Gracie said softly, her facing flushing red hot with humiliation. “I want, uh…” Gracie’s eyes filled with tears and she didn’t finish the sentence, but Sharon knew what she wanted. She wanted to be put in her place so that she could feel like a good girl again and their dynamic could be restored. Sharon firmly grabbed Gracie’s hand and walked her into the house. Since Gracie was suddenly acting like a fish out of water, Sharon took care to give her extra guidance and instructions.

“Shoes off, meet me in my room. You can sit on my bed and wait for me,” Sharon instructed.

Gracie obeyed without a peep. Sharon came in a few minutes after and beckoned Gracie to stand up. Nervous but wanting to show her good behavior, Gracie quickly scuttled over to stand in front of the dominant woman. Very gently, Sharon grabbed the bottom of Gracie’s bright yellow garment and pulled it over her head. Grace let her hands fall awkwardly to her sides, but she stayed quiet and waited for what was next. Predictably, Sharon unbuttoned Gracie’s jeans and slid them down her leg, softly tapping Gracie’s calf to let her know that she needed to lift her foot and step out of the pants.

“Fold them and put them on the bed,” Sharon instructed gently. Gracie folded up her clothes as requested, her work a little sloppy given that she was nervous about Sharon’s watchful eye, and then she returned to standing quietly in front of Sharon, naked and vulnerable.

“Get your suitcase,” Sharon commanded, her voice firm, but still gentle as to not startle the stressed-out submissive. Sharon didn’t believe in using more force than the situation required. Gracie had been naughty, and she’d be punished for it, but she was already showing signs of remorsefulness.

When Gracie came back with her suitcase, Sharon pulled it open and placed it between them.

“We’re going to go through what you packed and I’m going to let you know whether something is appropriate for a young lady of your age to be wearing,” Sharon explained. “There’s not going to be an argument. If I don’t think it’s ok, I’ll set it aside to be donated. Got it?”

Gracie nodded. “Yes, ma’am,” she snuck in for good measure.

“Good girl,” Sharon replied with a genuine smile.

“Are little rips in jeans ok?” Gracie asked genuinely, separating out the extremely ripped pants and the pants with no holes. Sharon regarded the pair with small rips carefully and ultimately let them go back in the keep pile.

“The crop tops have to go, but can the exercise crops for yoga stay?” Gracie asked hopefully.

“Yes.”

“Nothing else with profanity,” Gracie confirmed, “I promise.”

“Great.”

Item by item, they sorted out Gracie’s clothes until Sharon was satisfied. As Sharon packed up the donate pile, she overheard the loud rumbling that was starting in Gracie’s stomach.

“I need to feed you before you get punished,” Sharon confirmed with a sigh. She grabbed one of her own sweaters and a thicker pair of socks for Gracie. Instead of handing the garments to Gracie, she put the sweater over Gracie’s head for her, and then stripped off Gracie’s thin athletic socks and replaced them with her thicker wool selections. When Gracie was dressed to her liking, she gave both of Gracie’s fit an affectionate squeeze.

Holding out her hand, Sharon helped Gracie stand up and they headed to the kitchen.

“I’m sorry I ruined our lunch,” Gracie offered, her voice laced with sadness.

“I’m not letting you ruin a thing,” Sharon promised with a small smirk. “I’m going to make some sandwiches for us right now, and we’ll just have to go out for dinner instead. Not Mastro’s,” she winked, “But something good.”

After scarfing down a giant sandwich, a banana, and a glass of bubbly water, Gracie was taken to the living room where Sharon placed her down on the couch.

“I think we’ve had enough time to process your… outburst…,” Sharon reasoned, “So we’re going to skip the corner time. I don’t appreciate you arguing with me in public, and I really don’t appreciate the cussing at me. I know you’re not used to someone having this much control over what you do, but I know that you know the rules and that you broke them this afternoon.”

Gracie nodded silently and let Sharon take Gracie’s hands in her own. Taking a breath, Sharon continued.

“I’m going to put you over my knee and spank you. I’m going to use my hand, and then we’re going to wash your mouth out with soap. After that, you’re going to get six with the belt, ok?”

Gracie’s eyes filled with tears and she tightened her grip on Sharon’s fingers. The belt terrified her, but she didn’t want to argue again; that’s how this whole mess had started. Sharon rewarded Gracie’s cooperating with a small kiss on the forehead. Gracie was amazed that Sharon could remain kind and nurturing even while dishing out a spanking. Since there wasn’t much left to say, Sharon grabbed Gracie around the waist and settled her in the OTK position.

Since Gracie’s bottom was already bare, save for her massively unhelpful thong, Sharon rubbed it just for a moment to get Gracie to relax, and then the spanking began. Gracie tried to focus on breathing and staying still. She felt oddly serene over Sharon’s lap. She liked that it made her feel submissive. Small. Safe.

The warm fuzzy feeling in her gut started to fade as the reality of the warm stinging feeling spreading over her bottom settled in. Gracie gave a few little grunts as the spanking increased in intensity.

SMACK, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK. Sharon was pulverizing Gracie’s sit spots, going back and forth between the sensitive area over and over and over again. Gracie wiggled to try and subtly encourage Sharon to smack another spot, but Sharon just held her tighter and continued her relentless assault on Gracie’s tender sit bones.

SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK. “I want you to feel the soreness when you sit for the next couple days,” little girl, “I may not be using an implement, but your bottom is going to be a nice shade of purple by morning.”

Sharon gave Gracie’s sit spots a moment of reprieve by spreading her sharp smacks to the farthest reaches of Gracie’s bare bottom. 5 minutes ticked by painfully slowly. Her whole butt felt like it was under attack by a colony of vicious fire ants. Right when she thought she couldn’t take it any more, Sharon returned to the already bright red sit spots.

“NOOOOO,” Gracie howled, starting to kick her feet angrily. “Please, it hurts so bad, I’m so sorry, please no.”

Sharon didn’t respond. She just kept at Gracie’s sit spots until they were finally showing signs of turning purple. Gracie went limp and let herself cry openly. Satisfied, Sharon gave one last round of smacks to Gracie’s outer booty, and finished with five smacks on each of her upper thighs. Sharon let Gracie cry for a few minutes before pulling her up and giving her a bear hug.

“It’s ok, the worst part is all over, baby love,” Sharon cooed, playing with Gracie’s hair and rubbing her fingers affectionately along Gracie’s belly. Gracie calmed down fairly quickly in Sharon’s arms.

“I’m sorry about the gym,” Gracie hiccuped.

“I know, baby,” Sharon reassured her with a gentle smile. “Let’s get the rest of this punishment over with so that we can move on with our day.”

Gracie sat on the toilet bravely for Sharon while a new bar of soap was lathered up. Sharon set an iphone timer for two minutes and hooked her hand under Gracie’s jaw, forcing her to open up. Gracie squeezed her eyes shut and tried to breathe slowly through her nose as the terrible waxy texture and bitter taste filled her mouth. Sharon just let her bite down on the bar and hold it in rather than truly rubbing the bar across Gracie’s tongue like a real mouth soaping. This girl was making her soft, she thought miserably. When the ordeal was over, Sharon let Gracie rinse and took her to the bedroom for the third and final phase of the punishment.

Sharon helped Gracie lean over the bed, and she went to her closet to get the belt. Gracie desperately wanted to stand up and beg for mercy, but she kept repeating to herself that six licks of the belt would be over in a flash.

“Now please do you best to stay in place. I’ll have to add strokes if you don’t. Not because I want to torture you, but because safety is very important.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Gracie squeaked back.

With that, Sharon pulled her arm back and let the first strike go. It landed a little too softly. Gracie merely breathed out in surprise but didn’t seem hurt. The next stroke was harder. Gracie gasped. Three and four made Gracie yelp in misery as the belt hit her already bruised bottom. Five and six were equally hard but aimed at the barely reddened thighs. It hadn’t been the worst whipping, but Gracie had learned her lesson.

Sharon collected a sniffling Gracie in her arms again and the two of them snuggled and exchanged affection.

“That’s a good sweet princess,” Sharon praised, squeezing Gracie and rubbing her back and arms. “You did so well. It’s all forgiven. Let’s put today behind us and plan an amazing dinner.”

Gracie nuzzled her head into Sharon’s curly hair.

“I like it when you call me princess. And baby. And little girl,” Gracie admitted softly. “I usually hate pet names, but when you do it, it makes me smile.”

“I’m so glad,” Sharon responded genuinely. “I love making you feel good. I don’t love spanking you, actually, but it’s my job, and I love how you’re discovering your soft side.”

“Can we have Mexican for dinner?” Gracie asked, making Sharon laugh with the abrupt topic change.

“Yes, little princess,” Sharon gushed, tickling Gracie and showering her in little kisses, “Anything for you.”

 

Brat Boot Camp 2- Gracie Gets Spanked

Gracie woke up to a quiet house on Saturday around 8:00. Sharon had given her another two hours to sleep in, but it only took a few minutes for Gracie to become restless. At home, she would have taken out her phone or computer and been in bed for several more hours scrolling social media and watching Youtube clips. Without technology to distract her, she woke up a bit more peacefully and was ready to get out of bed and start the day.

Gracie hopped out of bed and suddenly blushed to herself. She was still completely naked. Unsure of whether she was meant to wear a towel or just walk around naked, she knocked on the inside of her own door to get Sharon’s attention. It took a few seconds before Sharon could process where the knocking was coming from.

“Are you ok in there?” Sharon asked curiously, wondering why Gracie didn’t just open the door and come out.

“Uh.. yeah.. I’m just.. like.. still naked though. So I was wondering if I was supposed to come out naked or put on a towel or something.”

In answer, Sharon opened the unlocked door to Gracie’s room and gave her an amused look. Gracie flinched and moved her hands toward her breasts as if to cover up, but abandoned the attempt halfway because it felt even sillier to try and hide.

“Are you a little embarrassed?” Sharon asked with a small smirk.

Gracie only nodded in response, her face contorted in a look of panic and shame. Sharon’s heart melted a little. Gracie looked so vulnerable and upset.

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Sharon reassured Gracie softly. “But we have a lot to do today so why don’t you put on a bra and panties so that you’ll be a little more comfortable. If we have a good day, maybe you can earn some pajamas or another outfit.”

“Thank you,” Gracie squeaked thankfully. She thought guiltily about the tank top that she had taken last night, but she didn’t want to risk losing the bra and panties privilege. She decided to deal with the issue later.

After Gracie was more properly dressed, she and Sharon sad down for breakfast. Sharon had spend the morning making eggs, bacon, and biscuits. Gracie’s mouth watered as she dove in to the hearty fare.

“Thanks for making breakfast,” Gracie gushed with a mouth full of fluffy biscuit.

“No problem,” Sharon laughed in return. “Do you usually make yourself breakfast or does your sister do the cooking?”

“Actually,” replied Gracie thoughtfully, “My sister is always gone when I wake up. I typically eat pop tarts or cereal for breakfast. I make my own lunch and my sister and I usually cook separate dinners. We’re on different schedules and I guess we’re just used to doing our own thing.”

Sharon frowned. “So you live together but you never eat meals together?”

“Not really,” Gracie replied with an indifferent shrug while shoving a full piece of bacon into her mouth.

Sharon took a sip of her coffee thoughtfully. Maybe if Gracie and her sister spent some positive time together, their relationship wouldn’t consist of so much bickering. She made a mental note to address it later.

When Gracie finished eating, she cleaned up her dishes without being asked and even started to wipe up the counter and rinse of the baking sheet. Sharon made sure to praise Gracie for her thoughtfulness, and Gracie beamed in response.

After breakfast, Sharon and Gracie worked together on a number of chores. Gracie learned the art of vacuuming, dusting, tidying up. It actually wasn’t terribly hard, and it wasn’t boring because Gracie was allowed to play music on her phone and the two women passed the time by chatting.

“Do you think that you and your sister could work together on some of this stuff,” Sharon asked as the two headed to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee after most of the chores were done.

“Yeah, I think so,” Gracie offered with a small smile. “If I live there, I should help out. I should have learned how to vacuum a long time ago.”

“You are extremely intelligent,” Sharon said firmly, giving Gracie a warning look, “Your sister let you play stupid about not knowing how to do chores for too long. I’m going to email her tonight and let her know all of the fabulous housekeeping that you are capable of now. Clear?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Gracie smiled, burying her face in her coffee cup. She never thought that she would enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that came with doing chores, but she had been in a good mood all day.

“Now,” Sharon explained, “We can take a little break. I’m going to catch up on some emails. After lunch we have a few more things to do.”

After Sharon retreated to her bedroom, Gracie used a few minutes to text some of her friends and let them know that she was alive and well. They all thought she was traveling in order to work on some interviews for a story. She wasn’t in the mood to peruse social media, though. Gracie felt bad about the tank top situation. Without giving herself time to think twice, she grabbed the t shirt from her room and marched into Sharon’s room, where her caretaker for the week was sitting at her desk focused on typing. Hearing Gracie’s footsteps, Sharon turned around expectantly.

“What’s up?” Sharon asked, swiveling her chair around to face Gracie.

Gracie held out the tank top without saying anything.

“What’s that?” Sharon asked, confused.

“I took it out of my bag last night without asking. I didn’t wear it. I felt too guilty. But I shouldn’t have taken it at all,” Gracie said, looking at the carpet in shame.

“Ok,” Sharon sighed slowly, processing the admission. “Thanks for telling me.”

Sharon paused to think about the situation. The offense wasn’t that bad. Gracie had actually been adjusting to her submissive position fairly well given the suddenness of the transition. But Sharon needed to set the tone, so it was important that she follow through with punishment.

“You know I have to punish you,” Sharon explained calmly, “But I’m proud of you for telling me and for not wearing the shirt to bed. Why don’t you go stand in that corner over there and spend a few minutes thinking about what compelled you to break the rules. You’re going to get a hand spanking. It’s going to hurt, but it’s not the end of the world. I expect you to be a good girl and stay still for me during the spanking. When it’s over, we can put this behind us and you can focus on earning your clothes back the right way.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Gracie replied contritely. “So… I just go stand over there?” she clarified, looking a bit puzzled.

Sharon laughed. “Yes, you go stand with your nose facing the corner and try not to fidget. And think about why you’re there!”

Gracie had never stood in a corner, but it was sort of awkward. It was humiliating to press her face into the wall while Sharon kept typing at her computer. Gracie felt like a little kid. Gracie started to pick at the wall with her right hand.

“Stop fidgeting,” came Sharon’s sharp command. “Put your hands behind your back.”

Gracie complied with a silent internal groan. It felt like corner time lasted all day. It was really 5 minutes.

When corner time was over, Sharon told Gracie to come to the bed. Sharon was sitting on the end of the mattress, pointing to the spot on the floor between her legs. Gracie stood in front of Sharon and looked into her disappointed eyes.

“Ok, little one,” Sharon explained calmly, “Why do I have to spank you?”

“I lost the privilege of having my stuff by mouthing off, and then tried to break that rule by sneaking behind your back. That breaks trust and I should have followed the rules.”

“Precisely,” Sharon stated, taking Gracie’s hands gently in her own. “I care about you very much and will do everything possible to make sure that you feel safe and supported while you’re here. But I am 100% in charge and every time you disobey me, a swift consequence will follow. Clear?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Gracie was biting her lip nervously and her body language was screaming trepidation, but she was cooperating.

“Good, over my lap then,” Sharon stated as she helped Gracie settle over her knees.

Sharon settled her left arm on Gracie’s lower back and used her right hand to gently peel down Gracie’s panties. Gracie wiggled a little and whimpered in embarrassment, but to her credit she didn’t protest verbally. In reward, Sharon took a moment to rub the nervous girl’s bottom and upper thighs.

“Is this your first spanking?” Sharon asked before beginning.

“Mhmm,” Gracie squeaked miserably.

“Just stay still, sweetie,” Sharon cooed, “Spankings hurt, but you’re totally safe.”

With that, Sharon lifted her hand and brought it down sharply on Gracie’s upturned bottom. It stung, but not terribly. The first 10-20 smacks were more surprising than painful. Just when Gracie began to think that adult spankings weren’t so horrible, Sharon began to spank a little harder and a burning sensation spread in Gracie’s behind. A few smacks were one thing, but being repeatedly hit in the same area caused a fire to spread rapidly across her cheeks. Gracie was already starting to wiggle and it had barely been two minutes.

“Breaking a rule will never be worth the punishment that comes with it,” Sharon scolded, interrupting Gracie’s thoughts. “You will always end up being VERY sorry.”

“I’m sorry now,” Gracie wailed as Sharon continued to rain down hard smacks on each of her cheeks in turn. Sharon was alternating between the left and right cheek, hitting every spot from the uppermost corners of Gracie’s bottoms to the tippy tops of her thighs. Gracie took deep, gasping breaths and danced desperately across Sharon’s lap. Sharon simply held Gracie tighter and continued.

Left, right, left left left, right. Repeat. Gracie’s bottom had taken on a nice pink hue.

“It hurts so baaaaaaad,” Gracie gasped desperately, “Please no more. I get it. I won’t break a rule ever again.”

“I hope not,” said Sharon evenly. But her spanking continued until Gracie’s bottom had gone from light pink to a definite pink-red. Slowing down, Sharon took one more chance to deliver a lecture.

“Disobedience is not tolerated,” Sharon explained again. “I will punish you reliably every time. Our day didn’t have to include a spanking, but until you stop being stubborn and accept that my word goes, you’ll be finding yourself in this position.”

Sharon thought about making Gracie count the last 10 smacks, but the girl was crying hard and Sharon felt like it would be better to wrap up mercifully. Aiming at Gracie’s sit spots, Sharon smacked each cheek five consecutive times at full strength, causing Gracie to let out a heartbreaking wail. When she finished, Sharon immediately scooped Gracie up into a hug and started to shush her.

“It’s ok, it’s all over. Clean slate, baby. I forgive you,” Sharon rubbed Gracie’s back as she whispered to her, and peppered the top of her head with kisses. Gracie melted into Sharon’s affection, curling up in her lap and nuzzling her tear-stained face into Sharon’s shoulder. Gracie continued to mumble apologies while Sharon rubbed her back and assured her that it was all over.

When Gracie finally calmed down, Sharon helped Gracie stand up and took Gracie’s small, cold hand delicately in hers. Sharon’s hands were soft and gentle, so unlike the raging pain they had caused minutes before. Leading Gracie by hand to the bathroom, she helped Gracie wash her face with cool water.

“Let’s have you wear some sweatpants,” Sharon suggested kindly. “Some people get a little chilled after a spanking. It’s normal. I want you to be warm and have a little protection for your rear end. It will still hurt to sit, but it won’t bruise as much if we keep it nice and covered.”

Gracie nodded thankfully as she slipped on her comfy sweats. She had never felt so cared for even though her butt was throbbing. Tears still in her eyes, Gracie held out her arms to Sharon for another hug. Sharon happily obliged and gave Gracie a firm, affectionate squeeze.

“Let’s go make a can of soup for lunch,” Sharon suggested, stroking Gracie’s hair and brushing a rogue tear from her cheek. “You can have as much affection as you need, but I want you to eat something right now.”

Nodding again, Gracie slipped her hand into Sharon’s and let Sharon lead her to the kitchen. Gracie wasn’t sure why she was feeling so vulnerable and clingy, but she hovered right around Sharon as she heated up the soup and poured it into bowls. Sharon didn’t mind. She treated Gracie to plenty of gentle touch and kind smiles. They had a long 5-6 days left together, but Sharon already noticed how calm and sweet Gracie could be when she knew someone else was in charge.

Maybe Gracie would go back home a changed girl, after all. Changed, or sore, or both.

Brat Boot Camp

Gracie dragged her duffel bag lazily through the wisps of snow still gently layering the cracked sidewalk. She stared up in disdain at the beautiful gothic-style house in front of her. It was three stories tall with with dark windows and adorned with gas lamps. By all accounts, it was beautiful. Gracie, however, did not want to be here. She had been signed up for a programme against her will in which young girls and boys went to live with a strict same-gender caretaker for the week in order to (ostensibly) learn discipline and respect. Gracie used to watch the World’s Strictest Parents t.v. show and make fun of all of the loser teens on the show and the nerdy families who took them in. This was different. Brat Boot Camp was for older brats– those in college and even beyond. Anyone could nominate you for Brat Boot Camp, including a parent, a boss, a lover, a friend, or even yourself. Gracie was 27 and still living with her older sister, who had nominated her for the program given that Gracie still spent most of her time drinking and mouthing off when she wasn’t working on her journalism degree.

Gracie wrapped her thin cardigan more tightly around her shoulders. It wasn’t quite so cold in her hometown, and she had left in a torrent of curse words when her sister tried to force her to pack a warmer jacket. With a hesitant sigh, Gracie raised her fist and knocked. She listened intently for sound on the other side of the massive door. Eventually, she heard a calm voice announce “coming,” followed by the door opening with a soft swoosh. Standing in front of Gracie was a woman who looked to be about 40 years old. She was only slightly taller than Gracie, but had a wider build with curvy hips and ample breasts. She had long curly hair and deep green eyes. Gracie could’t be more opposite with her stick straight figure, long black hair, and dark almond-shaped eyes.

“You must be Gracie. I’m Sharon,” the woman announced, her tone polite and pleasant.

“Nice to meet you,” Gracie replied, letting her heavy duffel bag fall to the ground and kicking the snow off of her black army-style boots.

“Why don’t you come in and get settled, and then we can talk about the house rules,” Sharon suggested, sizing Gracie up silently as she slipped off her cardigan.

“Uhm. Ok. Guess you don’t waste any time,” Gracie said, suddenly annoyed and uneasy. “I haven’t fucking taken my shoes off but sure, let’s talk about everything I’m not allowed to do this week. Awesome.”

Sharon knew better than to take the bait. She raised her eyes and crossed her arms, casually leaning against the wall in front of Gracie.

“Well first of all,” said Sharon firmly, “You won’t be talking to me like that at all this week. It’s completely unacceptable. You’re a grown woman. I don’t actually care if you curse. But you aren’t going to curse at me, and you aren’t going to give me that sort of attitude again. You can apologize and then express yourself more maturely if you have a concern about what I’m telling you to do.”

Gracie couldn’t argue with the logic. She had sort of gone off for no reason. But, on the other hand, how goddamn annoying that this woman was already talking about rules before Gracie had taken more than one step into the house. Like she already thought Gracie was going to be a fuckup before she had even opened her mouth. Gracie’s stubborn side prevailed again.

“Sorry you’re annoying,” Gracie said dryly.

Sharon’s expression remained unchanged.

“Ok,” Sharon said casually, shrugging her shoulders and giving a slight smirk. “When you’re ready to come into the house, you can apologize. Until then, we can stand here all night. I ate a late lunch. I’ll be fine.” With that, Sharon settled into her comfortable position against the wall.

Gracie bit her lip, unsure of what her next move should be. She crossed her arms as well and simply stared back at Sharon in silence. It felt like they had been staring at each other for 10 minutes, but it had probably barely been one. It was already uncomfortable. Gracie rolled her eyes and tried to find something on the ceiling to stare at. She focused on breathing in and out slowly. Tick, tock, tick tock. Seconds felt like minutes. Time dragged on. Sharon didn’t budge.

“Pick up your duffel bag,” Sharon finally said softly.

Relieved that she had won the standoff, Gracie scooped her duffel bag up and looked at Sharon expectantly, waiting to be shown to her room for the week.

“Oh, you can keep standing there,” Sharon clarified. “I just don’t want your crap all over my floor. Your bag is wet from the snow. You’ll hold it until you apologize, and then we can go to your room and put it down.”

Gracie stared at her incredulously. This was not going to happen. Gracie put the bag on the floor defiantly.

“Oh no,” said Gracie, “I’m not standing here holding my fucking bag. It’s heavy!”

“Two choices,” Sharon stated, still calm as ever. “Hold your bag, or I’ll take it and lock it in my room and you won’t see your belongings for the rest of the week.”

“So I’ll walk around naked all week?” Gracie asked sarcastically.

“We’ll manage,” said Sharon, again refusing to take the brat bait.

Not knowing what else to do, Gracie shifted her bag into a more comfortable position on her shoulder and resumed her silent staring routine. She had spent all day walking around an airport. Her feet were tired and her shoulder was already aching from the strap of her bag. Setting her jaw in a firm line, Gracie vowed to persevere. This lady would have to give up eventually.  Several more minutes ticked by. Gracie was too embarrassed to shift the bag around– she didn’t want to show that she was struggling. But damn, her shoulder was really starting to ache. Another few minutes went by before Gracie felt herself slowly going crazy from the silence and the pain in her shoulder.

Gracie dramatically let the bag fall to the floor and then sat her body on top of it and buried her head in her hands.

“You’re crazy,” Gracie announced, looking up at a somewhat amused Sharon. “You’re literally insane. You can’t have my bag and I’m not fucking standing here holding it all day either.”

Without saying anything, Sharon crouched down next to Gracie. Carefully, she reached around and pinched the skin on Gracie’s side directly under her left ribcage. She didn’t pinch hard, but it was enough to make Gracie yelp in pain and fall backwards off the duffel bag. Sharon then yanked the duffel bag off the ground and retreated silently into the house.

“STOP, WHAT THE FUCK,” Gracie shouted, wondering if she should follow Sharon, but being suddenly unsure of whether she dared to push the boundaries further. It wasn’t going well. Sharon was gone for a few minutes. Gracie could hear footsteps going up the stairs and coming back.

“Now,” said Sharon with a tired sigh as she appeared back in the entryway of the house, “Are you ready to apologize and come sit down inside, or are we going to keep digging a deeper hole?”

“You took my bag,” Gracie stated with a slight pout.

“Like I said I would, yes” Sharon nodded. “You’ll get your things back when you show me that you can behave. Right now, I just want an apology for how you spoke to me almost 45 minutes ago. We can waste all evening with us just standing here for all I care, but I will get an apology.”

Gracie desperately wanted to break, but Sharon’s cockiness was grating on her. She thought she was going to dominate Gracie that easily. She thought wrong.

“Can we compromise and I apologize after dinner?” Gracie asked, hoping to gain any ground she could.

“Uhm… no,” said Sharon with the pretense of thoughtfulness. “You can apologize in the next two minutes or you can go stand on the porch in the cold until you change your mind. I’m counting.”

“You can’t make me stand outside,” Gracie whined, “I’ll get sick. I have no jacket!”

“Not if you apologize you won’t,” Sharon suggested. “You control how long you’ll be out there. Or you can apologize now and stay inside here.”

“Ok, ok,” Gracie relented finally, remembering how the bitter cold felt against her skin through the thin cardigan. “I’m sorry I snapped at you. It won’t happen again.”

Gracie still felt annoyed but hoped that her apology was genuine enough. In response, Sharon gave her a smile and stepped aside to let her in.

“It’s going to be a long week if everything is that difficult,” Sharon said simply, retreating into her spacious living room and settling on the couch.

Gracie didn’t reply. She just followed Sharon silently and settled into a recliner across from her.

“I’d like to know a little more about you,” Sharon said softly after a long, silent pause. “The email that I got didn’t say much. Where are you from. What’s going on?” Gracie crossed her arms and looked down at the soft cream-colored carpet. “Uh..,” she mumbled, “I live in Alexandria, Virginia. I live with my older sister, Charity. She’s a veteran and she works for the government doing drug enforcement. I’m going to school to be a journalist. I don’t go to campus that much though. I do fine in school, I guess, but I don’t do very well working within a hierarchy. I want to freelance so that I can be my own boss. But right now I don’t necessarily make money so that’s why I live in my sister’s condo. That’s pretty much it.”

“And why did your sister think you needed to fly halfway across the country and spend a week with me?”

“As you can see, I can be a little stubborn. I don’t do well with authority. I don’t disagree that I’m a bit of a brat. And I supposed I’m old enough to start taking responsibility,” Gracie offered, her voice barely audible on the last few words.

Sharon and Gracie spent time talking and getting to know one another. Gracie actually found Sharon to be pleasant and funny when she wasn’t making her stand in a doorway holding a heavy object. The house rules were simple enough: clean up after yourself, tell the truth, do what you’re told, respond with “yes, ma’am” or “no, ma’am,” don’t talk back, no electronics after midnight, no sleeping in past 10am, and no drugs or cigarettes. This was all doable for Gracie. She wasn’t a smoker, and she wasn’t one to sleep in too late anyway. Maybe the week wouldn’t be as terrible as she thought.

“There’s one more thing,” Sharon added slowly. Gracie’s enthusiastic nodding ceased on a dime.

“Ok… shoot,” Gracie said with suspicious narrowed eyes.

“If you break a rule or you are acting like a disrespectful brat, you’re going to be treated like one,” Sharon explained. “I’m not going to make you stand in the doorway again, but there will be a consequence and you won’t like it. Namely, you’re going to be spanked. You might also be sent to the corner, or made to write lines, or I might soap your mouth out for backtalk. I could take away privileges like your phone or even your right to pick your own clothes. We can have earlier bedtimes. The possibilities are endless, but I do believe in corporal punishment and you should basically know that if you act like a child, you’ll be treated like one.”

Gracie went pale. “Spanking?” she repeated simply, ignoring everything that had come after that dreaded word.

“Yes, spanking,” Sharon echoed calmly. “I’m not going to beat you, but a spanking is going to hurt. We’ll talk about what happened, and then you’ll bend over and I’ll spank your bare bottom with my hand, or possibly something like a hairbrush or belt if that’s necessary to get the point across.”

“Ohmygosh that’s so embarrassing,” Gracie whined with her mouth agape.

“I imagine so, yes.”

Gracie nodded feebly and chose to keep her other questions to herself. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.

After having some time to settle in, Gracie met Sharon in the dining room. Sharon had made a vegetarian lasagna and a salad for dinner. Gracie thanked her host for cooking and dug in happily, the two women talking about travel, journalism, pets, and everything in between. They were talking like two old friends and Gracie felt perfectly at ease. As dinner wrapped up, Sharon begin to gather up the plates.

“You are going to help with the dishes,” Sharon announced.

“Ok!” Gracie replied enthusiastically, hoping that she could build goodwill to protect her from the humiliation of a spanking if she slipped up later. “But I’ve never done them before so I don’t know how,” she announced with wide eyes.

Sharon dropped her chin and fixed Gracie with a serious stare.

“So you have never helped your sister clean up at home?” Sharon demanded.

“No,” Gracie mumbled, losing confidence in her newfound chore enthusiasm.

“Ok,” Sharon replied firmly, “We are going to have a lot to learn this week! I’ll help get you started and you can finish the rest. You just have to prewash them before putting them in the dishwasher. Tomorrow maybe we can work on laundry and dusting.”

“What fun Saturday,” Gracie moaned miserably.

With one sudden, sharp swat to Gracie’s behind, Sharon pointed toward the kitchen and Gracie ran off to do her job.

The rest of the evening proceeded normally. Gracie helped with cleanup, and then she and Sharon shared a glass of wine and a bowl of chocolate ice cream over a documentary. The two women did have a lot in common (their love for documentaries, the obsession with sweets at the end of the day, passion for protecting the environment, and they both loved going to hatha yoga). If Sharon wasn’t so bossy, Gracie thought, they could be best friends. It was nearly 11:30pm when Sharon finally turned the t.v. off.

“You have 30 minutes to get all of the texting and web surfing out of your system,” Sharon stated with a yawn, “Then you can either read in your room or get some sleep. But we’re getting up and doing chores tomorrow, so I don’t recommend being up all night. I’m going to my room to read, but bring me your phone by midnight, ok?”

“Why can’t my phone stay in my room overnight. I won’t use it,” Gracie pouted pathetically.

Sharon grabbed Gracie’s chin and looked her directly in the eyes.

“Little girl,” she said firmly, “When I tell you something, it’s an order, not an argument. I think you need to try a “yes, ma’am” and an apology for pouting.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry,” Gracie relented quickly, “But can I please have pajamas and my tooth brush out of my bag?”

“Hmm,” Sharon smiled playfully, “Well hygiene is important so you can definitely have your toothbrush. But it’s pretty warm in here, so I don’t think you need pajamas. Maybe you can earn your pajamas and a couple of outfits back tomorrow by behaving all day.”

“YOU CANNOT MAKE ME WALK AROUND NAKED,” Gracie shrieked. “Oh my gosh, please, at least just a sleep shirt,” she begged.

Sharon raised her eyebrows and said nothing. Gracie bit her lip and stared back in terror. This woman was a brick wall. She was getting nowhere with her.

“Grab your brush and get your phone to me by midnight,” Sharon instructed, patting Gracie’s knee affectionately.

Frowning, Gracie disappeared to Sharon’s bedroom and found her bag in the corner. She whipped out her toothbrush and toothpaste, and then silently listened to see where Sharon was. She could hear her washing the wine glasses and bowls in the kitchen. Slowly unzipping the main compartment of her bag, Gracie snuck out a clean t shirt and tucked it under the shirt she was wearing. She would put it on to sleep in and take it off before heading down to breakfast in the morning. Smiling at how easy it was to sneak one past Sharon, she brushed her teeth and took a long, hot shower. Wrapping herself in a towel, Gracie combed out her long, dark hair and applied some lotion to her face and arms. When it was 11:58, Gracie scooped up her cell phone and padded toward Sharon’s room. She was still wrapped in a towel.

Sharon was sitting on her bed, thin reading glasses balanced gently on her nose. She looked up at Gracie and gave her a small smile. Gracie handed over her cell phone with one hand, the other hand clutching the towel for dear life.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Sharon responded, setting Gracie’s phone on her nightstand. “Do you have everything you need? Is there anything that you want to discuss before bed?”

“No, everything is fine, ma’am” Gracie replied.

“Great. Well then I’ll see you in the morning. Since you don’t have an alarm, I’ll knock on your door at 10 sharp if you aren’t awake before then.”

“Ok, goodnight,” Gracie whispered, backing out of Sharon’s room and retreating down the hall.

She felt a weird emotion creeping up. Was it… guilt? For breaking a rule? Or, perhaps, fear of a consequence? Gracie hated rules and she didn’t know the first thing about guilt or consequences. What was happening? In the safety of her room, Gracie fondled the stolen shirt in her hands. With a shrug, she let the shirt fall to the floor and climbed under the covers stark naked. Before she could even think about what had gotten into her, she was fast asleep…

End of Chapter 1.