The Green Branch That Doesn’t Break

Grandma used to watch us. A lot. So of course my brother and I became little bastards while Momma was gone; screaming wildly, jumping off the roof, running through the house, pushing the limits because she’s old and can’t keep up with us. Grandpa would always laugh, even though he never learned English or tried to stop us. I think, looking back in retrospect, that he was laughing at her reactions more than anything. She would get so pissed!

 

So she would scream at us, “Hey! HEEEEEY! You kids stop that right now, or I’m going to tell your Momma when she gets home!” No one cares, Grandma. Tell whoever you want whatever you want, we don’t care. “Okay then. I’m telling your Momma as soon as she gets home.” I mean, we were already in deep shit, might as well keep running around. Hours of fun outside, inside, jumping on beds, playing WrestleMania, slamming doors and listening to the TV too loud.

 

SLAM! Goes the front door. Ohhhhhhh shit. Momma’s home! Run and hide under the bed, she can’t get me from there. Ricky would always go on the roof; I was never fast enough for that. She’d call out our names and get no response. It wouldn’t matter, she already knew we’d been little bastards before she even walked in the front door and she already knew where we were hiding. An almost daily ritual, and one you could set the clock by at that.

 

There’s Momma’s thick forearm, grabbing me by my own and ripping me out from under the bed. I scream and cry and squirm, trying with every fiber of my being to wriggle free from her grasp, hurling nonsensical promises; pleading with my whole being. Yeah it doesn’t work. It never works. She drags me outside and screams at my brother to come down, it’ll just be worse if she has to go up there. Her vice-like grip digging into my arms, crying not from her strength, but because I know what’s going to happen next.

 

Now both of us are on the grass, no shoes on, heads bowed and sniffling and tears rolling down our cheeks. “Go pick your switch from the tree, and no brown ones either,” she says. You see, I don’t know what’s it’s like in other climates, but in South Texas the brown branches are brittle and snap easily. The Green branches don’t. So of course we return inside the house with the brown ones. What do you think, I wanna get switched with a young, springy branch? You’ve gotta be out of your fucking mind.

 

Grandma goes out and gets one. As she comes back into the house she’s smiling, not because she’s sadistic and wants to see her grandkids get their asses whipped, but because of the humor in the situation. The same humor that I’m sure you laughed at literally just seconds ago.

 

So we each take turns stepping up to Momma’s knee, still sobbing, still trying to wriggle free. She tears down our shorts and panties. Everyone there has already seen our bare asses so it’s nothing new. Meanwhile, Grandpa sits at the other end of the couch and keeps watching the TV, paying no mind and chuckling idly to himself. Grandma stands just a few feet away, ready to soothe our wounded pride and asses.

 

Momma, in between landing each vicious downward swing, drowning out our own shrieks, “YOU smack WILL smack RE smack SPECT smack YOUR smack GRAND smack MOTH smack ER.”

 

SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK

 

The seemingly endless torture mercifully comes to a close once she’s finally out of breath, sweat beading on her brow. Our sobs and sniffles continue as one of us ends up in each of Grandma’s arms, our own arms around her waist with our bare asses sticking out, not bothering to pull up our shorts and panties yet, apologizing with words that are interrupted by the sobs and halfhearted nothings because tomorrow is a new day. And that day is a weekday. And Momma works on weekdays.

 

©Joey Velasco

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