Last Fight

From the age of 8 to 11, I got into lots of fights at school. It's weird, because that boy who was me then seems like another person. Not me. Boys fighting was common at that age. I think we wanted to be action heroes. But it wasn't all innocent play. All someone had to do was look at someone else the wrong way on the school playground and there would be a challenge to fight after final bell. I don't really know why I fought so much. I wasn't a big kid or a violent one, but I could not say no to the challenge. One thing did finally stop me from this unacceptable activity. Mom had the answer.

Word got around when there was going to be a fight. It wasn't a good idea to go at it right there on school grounds cuz that would get you into trouble. I had learned that lesson before. So a fight was an event scheduled for after school. It really was like an event. These fights were not spontaneous or uncontrollable outbursts of anger. A fight was like an arranged duel of swords in the age of chivalry. Or like an Old West gunfight on main street at high noon. There was a vacant lot next to the campus where students would gather to see the after-school show, and girls also came to watch. You can guess that having girls there only encouraged more macho behavior. It was not exactly Bloodsport. Except for some bruised egos, I don't think anyone ever got hurt too bad. With boys that age, a fight consisted of pushing and scuffling, and punches thrown were weak or missed altogether. The fight would break up soon enough with a possible glorious victor, and then everyone would go their separate ways.

Up to the day I'm talking about, I had been lucky with all the fighting after school. I had not gotten injured. I had not injured anyone. Most important, I had not gotten in trouble with the school. It was off school grounds, so there was no rule against it. Or so I thought. Then one day my luck ran out. It had rained the day before. The ground where fights were staged was muddy, but that didn't discourage me and another kid from going at it. I don't remember what provoked the fight. Nothing important, I'm sure...but we were rolling on the ground like mortal enemies, the gathered crowd cheering. I can't say whether I was winning or losing, I don't remember, but while engaged in life-or-death combat, the world becomes very small. It was not possible to see anything other than the challenge in front of me when the problem was comng from behind. Our fight was broken up by two teachers. Somehow they had known what we were up to. As it turned out, school officials were now aware and set to stop what had been going on. Fighting was against the rules, and that included on the way home from school. So the two unfortunate combatants were taken back to campus. At least I know I was unfortunate. The Principal lectured us and called our homes. I would have walked home from school after the fight, but now Mom had to come pick me up. Did I tell you I had been warned before about fighting?

So I was in trouble. This meant something big where I lived. It was scarier than fighting, that's for sure. Being in trouble was a bitter lump to swallow, a knot in the stomach that would not loosen. I had to think about the consequences. Or should I say, WORRY about the consequences? In-trouble-time was a different kind of time that moved slower than normal time. Time stretched, and my senses were greatly heightened. I was not aware of all things, just a preoccupation with being in trouble. A parent's every word, every gesture, every thing left unspoken was not to be missed. I was lost in a cloud of trouble and looking desperately to find a way out, but what can you do when you know you did something wrong, you've been busted, and there is no way to undo what you did?

When Mom got me home, she took a boy in trouble straight to her bathroom. In the mirror I looked like one unhappy kid, a mess of a boy who had been wrestling in mud. I wonder how I would have explained that if I hadn't been caught fighting. I'd have made something up, I'm sure. But now I really wished I was perfectly clean and tidy. Mothers always like it much better that way. I wanted Mom to be happy. I could tell she was not the least bit happy with how I looked by her tone of voice as she told me to undress, and by her body language as she started to run hot water in the tub. Eager to please, I obeyed as instructed, starting with my shoes and then peeling off everything. This is how it worked at our house. Parents were dictators, and children had better obey. Mom was what they called a "hands on" mother. She threw my dirty clothes in the hamper, ordered me into the tub, then left the room in a huff.

I thought I was going to be left to take a bath, but Mom returned shortly with her sleeves rolled up and wearing an apron. She bent over with a wash rag and started scrubbing, but my mind was on what she had brought into the bathroom with her and set down on the counter next to the sink. I was being bathed like a baby. Very embarrassing for an action hero who had just been fighting for his honor. I remember the water was uncomfortably hot. Mom was still angry with me and didn't say much as she scrubbed hard and fast, ordering me into positions to clean me thoroughly. I wanted to complain but didn't dare. I could see the brush on the counter. I wasn't so silent, telling Mom how sorry I was and promising I wasn't going to get into any more fights at school. She ignored what I was saying which made my stomach even more upset. I was inside the cloud of trouble. Through the fog I could see, resting there on the counter next to the sink, a hairbrush that looked twice its size. How could such a common object you'd expect to see in a bathroom be so noticeable? I knew this one was not going to be used to brush my hair.

That bathroom was big, a part of the master bedroom suite. There was a padded bench against a wall next to the tub, probably put there just so someone could sit down while undressing or dressing before or after their bath. When Mom finished with the wash rag, she helped me out of the tub, dried me quickly with a towel, then sat down on that bench with a different purpose in mind. She was still wearing that apron over her dress. Her sleeves were still rolled up. Her hair was tied up on her head, and in her right hand she was holding the brush she had picked up off the counter top. I can see her there as I write this, slim but tall and strong, and one action hero was feeling like a very small child. As I was pulled face down naked over her apron, she told me I had gotten into my last fight at school. She stated this with supreme confidence. I was just scared. Damp and helpless. I could fight any kid at school, no problem, but Mom was my conqueror. She could be just as strong as my father. That sturdy wooden hairbrush was something all her children feared.

I think I was already starting to cry before Mom got right to business. WHAP WHAP WHAP was the sound that echoed off the bathroom tiles. WHACK THWACK CRACK and now I had something to cry about! Have you ever been spanked with a solid wood hairbrush? On your bare behind? If not, consider yourself very, very lucky, and when Mom spanked with the brush, she was never giving just a token punishment. I had good reason to fear being in trouble and good reason to cry. When Mom used the brush, it was very clear she wanted to make sure the child in trouble was truly sorry for what they had done and would not repeat what had earned that spanking.

So that's what I got. Mom spanked back and forth, one cheek then the other with a steady brisk rhythm. She didn't stop for any fuss I was making. I desperately wanted to move out of the way of the spanking brush, but I could never move far enough. It felt like Mom's message was being imprinted with a branding iron into my eleven year old hide. It burned like fire. There isn't much more to say about a hairbrush spanking because the experience is just that simple. What else is there when you're on fire? Up to that moment, there had never been any real consequences for me fighting at school. I had never really been hurt. Now Mom was providing a very painful penalty. I had never cried from a fight. Now I was bawling. I was kicking and yelling like someone does when they're on fire, and there was nothing else to do until finally Mom decided I had learned the lesson. I would be feeling the consequences for several days whenever I sat down, and Mom was right. I had fought my last fight.
deanjames deanjames
46-50, M
7 Responses Dec 6, 2012

This is an excellent story. It really made me feel like I was right there. Well done!

Hello Mr. Deanjames! I just wanted to say this was a very well written story, and I'm glad the fights stopped (for your butt's sake ;) Boys will be boys, but us young 'ladies' also had our fair share of fights, and it usually involved a lot of hair! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Angie00! At least in this case, the method of behavior modification was 100% effective. I hope you never got in trouble for fighting like I did. Hair pulling CAN be dangerous. :)

Thanks everyone! I'm glad the story was interesting or resonated with your experiences in some way.

A sorry experience, vividly remembered and well told. My bottom is sore in sympathy, even though it was never the recipient of a hairbrush. I recognise everything, the fight, the muddy clothes, the quietly angry parent and the spanking. Odd though it is to say it, thank you for the memory.

Well written, sounds like your mom had something to prove to you. I have read many hairbrush stories on here and they certainly sound painful. Being bathed by your mom at that age myst have been embarrassing. A freshly washed body with a very vulnerable backside. I liked how you described in-trouble time being slower than regular time, that is so true!

The hairbrush or wooden spoon was a symbol for parental discipline, until quite some time into teenage years. You knew it was there and you knew it was something to fear! If applied with force on a naked backside by an upset parent, the pain was almost unbearable and the humiliation was worse, but no normal child ever repeated what had earned that spanking.

Well DeanJames, you got exactly right. I got my first "rosewood hairbrush" spanking when I was the ripe, old age of 18 by my chosen adoptive mom and totally bare bottom. If you read my stories you'll see that my brother Dave and I feared the hairbrush more than the hand spankings of dad followed by the razor strap. One of our worst spankings was by dad with otk HAND, HAIRBRUSH, AND FOLLOWED BY RAZOR STRAP. Gees, couldn't sit for a week without a stinging reminder. Did you continue the spankings into late teens?