Mae was prone to drama, but she was a coke-head, after all. The big wall mirror had been taken down and laid flat on the bed so Mae could cut the coke into lines. Now it was all up her nose. And the drama began.
“Do you still find me beautiful?” She posed as she asked this, and I clicked the shutter on my camera, hoping to document her breath-taking allure.
“Of course.” That should have been enough, but for good measure, I added, “I think you are the most beautiful woman on the face of this earth!”
“You don’t think I’m fat?”
“Darling, there’s not an ounce of fat on you!”
Mae turned around and shook her butt at me. “Yes, there is! Why would you lie to me?”
“Let’s get something to eat,” I said purposefully changing the subject. “I don’t think you’ve had a thing to eat all day.”
“I don’t want to eat, risk gaining weight, have you and the world change your collective minds about taking and looking at my picture! That’s why I snorted the cocaine. I’m not hungry in the least!”
“But it makes you look tired, Mae…” I consoled, not voicing that she hadn’t slept in far too long.
“You just said I was beautiful and now you’re saying I look tired! I can’t trust you, you’re a liar!”
“I’m not lying, Mae…!” But I didn’t finish the sentence. Mae lifted the heavy mirror with both hands from the bed, turned on her heel, and threw it down on the parquet floor at my feet.
Needless to say, it shattered into a thousand shards. Mae looked pleased with herself, with the noise, the mess, the drama. Then, if that wasn’t dangerous enough, she crossed her ankles and sunk down into a squatting position on the floor. Mae picked up a sharp triangle of mirror and brandished it by her face. I definitely wouldn’t want to photograph her if her features were cut up! I stopped pressing the button on my camera and confronted real life; I’d had enough. In two crunching strides, I was across the silvery glass, seizing Mae by the wrist and taking that piece from her hand. It was then a short trip to the opposite side of the bed, where the floor wasn’t littered with broken mirror. I sat, looked at her trim buttocks, making sure that no tiny shards were stuck to her there by brushing her off brusquely. Then I firmly put her over my knee.
“What’re you doing?” I heard her disembodied voice bounce back at me from off the floor that she faced.
“What your parents should have done! Judging from your behavior, they should have done this from an early age, and just as often as your choices warranted it!”
I began to spank her bare butt, hard. I made sure that Mae realized her seven years of bad luck started now. Mae reminded me of a cheetah, long and lean and lithe, unpredictable and wild. Taming and training started now, too. Mae may have thought that her bottom was fat, but I thought it was perfect, two tight loaves of bread dough. The cheeks were evenly tanned, she never wore a stitch when sunbathing. I kneaded those buns with a sound spanking. I tanned the walnut brown skin until it blushed, then reddened, finally grew to a deep magenta. At first, Mae protested, struggled, cursed me. When she saw that this had no effect, she began to beg for mercy. This, too, was totally ineffective. So she gave in to the pain of the spanking and started to cry. I spanked her as her soft sobs evolved into wracking wails, and kept spanking until her voice gave out and the salt water flowed noiselessly. A small puddle formed on the polished wooden floor under her face. I’d gotten through to her. No more manic energy radiating off her like those shimmering lines raising up from an asphalt road on a sizzling summer’s day, just a stillness. Finally, it was just Mae and me alone, confronting the truth.
“No more cocaine, Mae. From this moment on, no more!”
“I can’t! I can’t live without a little boost now and then…”
“It isn’t a little boost and it isn’t now and then; it’s a serious habit, an addiction. But it’s past tense!”
“What’s it to you? Let me live my life my way!”
“Not if it’s killing you! I love you too much for that…”
“What did you say?”
“I love you, Mae!”
She didn’t know how to handle this naked protestation.
“You have a funny way of showing it, beating my butt black and blue! I probably won’t be able to do another shoot for a week!”
Her bottom had cooled enough for feeling to have returned.
“You’re gonna get clean,” I stated unequivocally, emphasizing it with a sharp spank.
“Ow! That really hurts, please, no more…!”
I gave her another slap even harder than the last to show her that she no longer called the shots. “Say it aloud with me, ‘I’m gonna get clean’.”
“Ow, stop, no!”
The spanking resumed, at a slower pace than before to let her absorb the even harder slaps. The tears started again, accompanied by pitiful ‘boo-hoo’s’ that seemed to come from a place deep inside Mae. Only when I thought that she couldn’t take any more did I stop. My hand rested on her flaming fanny, poised to start again whenever necessary. The only sound was our labored breathing. I expected Mae to throw out some other deflection or dodge. Instead, with her broken voice cracking, she asked a question.
“What did you say… before… after that stuff about the coke killing me…?”
“What? That I love you…”
“Yeah… Do you, really…? I mean, I can be pretty unlovable…”
I chortled at the understatement, and Mae had to smile at the truth of all this. I turned her around and sat her on my knee. She winced at having to sit, which pleased me.
“I love you very much, Mae! It’s killed me to see you lose yourself in the blow! I’ve watched you get more and more popular as a model these last several months, make more and more money, but get further and further lost in the lifestyle…” I harbored a feeble hope that Mae might have a revelation, see the truth in what I was saying, respond by saying something like ‘maybe I need a Daddy to show me right from wrong, to spank me when I need it.’ But that was too much to hope for.
Mae shifted on my lap uncomfortably and said, “That spanking really hurt!”
“It had to, to make you see yourself clearly for a change…”
The actual power dynamic returned and re-asserted itself. Mae was a popular and rising star in the fashion modeling world. I was just one of many photographers hired to capture her ethereal beauty. She was used to everyone telling her that they loved her. Mae had not gotten sexually excited by the spanking I’d given her, and she was too self-involved to notice that I had. Mae stood up, rubbed her sore bottom furiously, tried to get a look at it over her shoulder, was fleetingly sorry that there was no longer a big mirror around to facilitate that. She still hadn’t said what I wanted to hear from her, either out loud or to herself. I tried a different tack.
“Come on, let me fix you some scrambled eggs and toast, then we’ll fix your make-up and resume the shoot.”
“Nah, I’m not hungry…” She got that haughty look again, tip-toed into the shards and sharp slivers of broken mirror glass again, sat amongst them and played with the pieces. I picked up my camera and started clicking away. There was something symbolic about this untouchable beauty toying with things that could cut and disfigure her, as if she was asking the world, ‘Which one is more broken, the mirror or me?’ That photo, the one above, was the one that sold, making Mae much more famous, making me a tidy sum of money.