The second cookie.

The first time I remember myself trapped in a moment of vulnerability, was when I laid butt naked on my bed, around the age of 8. The desperation of a parent can be terrifying and so I cried and wailed, begged for mercy, when I found out about the latest punishing technique: a belt. I had “stolen” an extra cookie at a friend’s house, – you see, I wasn’t aware I wasn’t actually allowed a second one, – so the lion of the household was going to get said belt, and I had to lay ass up on my bed before he’d get back, or else. I pulled down my pants, humbled, horrified, humiliated, and kneeled down beside my bed, something I’d never done before. In a moment of despair, I clutched my hands so desperately no blood could rush to them, as I whispered maniacally to God; begging him to save me; selling my bad, undeserving soul for a prudence that would leave even Him dumbfounded. I would never be bad again, and I would do anything to keep the lion from becoming bad because of me, ever again. He tested me; answered my whispers with a loud honk in the driveway; brought me some company that I never got to see that night. The lion’s eyes were full of hunger and hatred when he warned me not to make a sound, or else. I swear I could feel the invisible whip marks burn on my back and butt-cheeks as I heard God’s laughter coming from downstairs; I still do, every time I want a second cookie. I still beg for mercy.

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