The following story is fiction and contains a scene of paddling and of a burglary. If these subjects are offensive, uninteresting or if you are a minor (i.e., child) please leave now.
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'Twas the night before … well you know. I was awakened by some noise. At fifteen, one is fearless and impulsive so I jumped out of bed and went to investigate. Dad believes in spanking and, now that I'm not a little kid anymore, hanging on my wall there is a paddle immediately at hand for roasting my butt when I get out of line. It's a bummer that my friends see it and kid me about it but that night I was glad that it was there. I tiptoed down the stairs, skipping the one that creaked and headed for the family room. Actually, it's the 'everything but the bedrooms' room for this is a pretty small house. I saw a fat guy prowling about in the light from the street lamp outside. Not romantic like seeing stuff by light of the glowing embers in the fireplace but we ain't got one of them.
He had a great big sack that was pretty full and was reaching under the tree where the presents were – obviously to finish cleaning us out. The 'rents had skimped a lot so my kid sister and brother could have something. There really weren't many gifts but I saw red. I wished that I had a gun and that Dad was home. Dad was out working some cruddy job but getting double holiday pay which we needed desperately. So right then I was the MAN of the house and it was MY duty to protect my house and my family. The red was not just a metaphor for the crook was on his knees and his big fat butt was covered by his tight red pants. The intruder was disguised like one of the zillions of Santas on the streets and in the department stores. I raised the paddle and swung with all my might.
He howled and I gave him a couple more pops in rapid succession just as hard as the first.
WHACK! WHACK!© YLeeCoyote
He lunged forward and knocked over the scrawny tree. (The one I had gotten just a few hours ago when the tree guy had quit and abandoned the dregs on the street. We didn't have any money for a tree.) He was yelling to wake the dead. I was still swinging the paddle when Mom came down and saw. By the time she grabbed the heavy fry pan from the stove I had driven the yowling intruder away. I was surprised that his beard didn't fall off when he jumped through the window and disappeared into the dark. Before Mom and I could say anything, the kids ran in and flipped on the light. The big bag of stuff was right there under the fallen excuse of a tree. The kids were unstoppable and attacked it like a hungry wolverine finding a lost calf.
The house was filled with yells again but this time of joy and wonder. There were all manner of things in the bag. Everything was all neatly wrapped but not a label to be seen so the kids just ripped open everything. Mom said the stuff was good quality but there weren't even manufacturers' tags. Even more amazing was that everything was the right size for us. There were more clothes than toys but that's what we really needed. Those five winter coats really kept out the cold and rain for a long time. I used my coat for a couple of years until I outgrew it and a couple of years later my brother stayed warm in it for three more years.
Now, many years later, I still wonder about that night. Did I make a mistake?
© Copyright A.I.L., December 24, 2008
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Last updated: September 15, 2023