NOTHING BETWEEN SISTERS
A Play in Two Acts
(For ACT TWO, see here)
Characters Trixie Jenkins A woman in her late twenties
June Jenkins A woman in her early thirties; Trixie’s older sister
Father Allen A Catholic priest in his late 60’s
Setting The guest bedroom in a saltbox cottage belonging to June and her husband, located on the East Side of Bangor, Maine
Time An afternoon in April, 1963
The play opens with Trixie, and her older sister, June, laying prone upon a tall canopy bed, looking through some old photo albums.
Trixie Oh, June. These pictures are priceless!
June I thought you’d appreciate them![turning the page of the album, and suddenly pointing to a black-and-white photo of Trixie in what appears to be a floor-length gown] Oh, look at this one, Trixie!
Trixie [mildly embarrassed] Oh, my!
June That was the night of your senior prom!
Trixie [a bit sheepish] Yup.
June Oh, my God. Look at that dress! [tenderly] You looked beautiful.
Trixie Awww…Thanks, hon.
June Why, sure!
Trixie I still remember riding home with Timmy Flanagan that night.
June [giggling] Well, as I recall, you two didn’t exactly head straight home.
Trixie [blushing] No, we didn’t.
June I still can’t believe you drove out to the slip!
Trixie Yup, to…um…admire the view.
June [laughing] Yeah, right! How was the view from the backseat of Timmy’s car?
Trixie [blushing] Oh, my God, June. Thank you for reminding me. I always wondered why they called that place the slip.
June [grinning mischievously] Well, things certainly had a way of slippin’ off there.
Trixie and slippin’ in.
June [covers her mouth Trixie Ann!!
with her hands]
Trixie [giggling] Timmy and I were barely dressed when Officer Quinn caught us.
June So, I’ve heard!
Trixie I begged him not to call Mom and Dad.
June [teasing] But, he did!
Trixie [sighing ruefully] Yup, and by the time they were through with me, my rear end was redder than my lipstick!
Both ladies burst out laughing.
June Yup, you sure had a knack for gettin’ in trouble, sis!
Trixie I still remember little Kerry asking you why you couldn’t sit the next morning!
Both resume laughing.
Trixie Well, gettin’ in trouble isn’t all bad.
June [giggling] Yeah, as long as you don’t get caught!
Trixie [impish] Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes, gettin’ caught is half the fun.
June Sure, if your idea of having fun is a well-seared rear end!
Trixie [grinning mischievously] So……what if it is?
June [taken aback] Trixie!
Trixie June, can I share a secret with you?
Trixie Promise me you won’t tell anyone.
June [crossing her fingers] I promise.
Trixie Well, you know how Mom and Dad used to spank us all the time when were growing up?
June [a bit apprehensive] Um…yeah. How could I forget!
Trixie I know this is gonna sound crazy, but there were times when I almost…enjoyed it.
June Are you kiddin’ me?!
Trixie No, I’m not. I’ve never understood why, but sometimes, when I was feeling really naughty, the idea of being spanked seemed kind of comforting. Did it ever seem that way to you?
What?! Oh, God, no! I hated it! That’s why I tried to be so hard to be good. How in the world could you have enjoyed that?!
Trixie Well, I think a lot of it had to do with letting go of the guilt.
June I don’t understand. What do you mean?
Trixie You know, like when you’re sick…and something needs to come out of you
June You mean like, when we all had that stomach bug a couple of weeks ago?
Trixie [rolling her eyes] Yeah…kind of.
June God, those cramps were awful! I thought I was gonna die.
Trixie [conceding to her sister’s Oh, I know.
June I just sat there prayin’, “Please, dear God, have mercy on us!”
Trixie [sighing] …and deliver us from Pepto Bismol.
June Amen! You know, that may be the only time in my life I’ve ever prayed on the toilet.
Both resume laughing.
Trixie [still laughing] You and me both, sister! Seriously though, do you remember how you felt when the bug was about to…pass?
June [blushing profusely] Trixie Ann! What kind of a question is that?!
Trixie [impish] Well?
June [exasperated] Why yes, Trixie, I felt like my insides were comin’ loose! Couldn’t you hear me cheerin’ from the bathroom?!
Trixie [giggling] Oh, I heard you.
June [suddenly embarrassed] You didn’t.
Trixie Yup…right before you turned into an upside-down volcano.
Uproarious laughter ensues.
June [chagrined] Oh, my God, Trixie!! That’s disgusting!!
Trixie [still laughing] I’m sorry, sis, but didn’t you feel so much better, afterwards?
June Eeewww! I can’t believe we’re talking about this!!
Trixie Come on, now. Didn’t you?
June Well, of course I did! I don’t know when I’ve ever felt so relieved!
Trixie Me neither, but that’s exactly how I felt whenever Mom or Dad spanked me. For as heavy as the punishments might have seemed, they made my spirit feel that much lighter.
June Oh, yeah? Well, they made my backside feel that much sorer!
Both resume laughing.
June [suddenly earnest] Trixie, why did you feel guilty all the time?
Trixie [hesitantly] Do you really want to know?
June Yes. Please tell me.
Trixie [after a long pause, Because, I believe in spirits.
in a hushed voice]
June You mean, like, the Holy Spirit?
Trixie No, not exactly.
June You mean like, Grandma Nancy?
Trixie Oh, I believe in her, alright…but that’s not what I mean. I mean, like, the moon and the sun and the stars.
June Well, I don’t see anything wrong with admirin’ the wonders of Nature.
Trixie Yeah, I know, June, but I…worship them.
June What do you mean, you worship them?
Trixie I worship the nature spirits. The sun, the moon, the forest, the ocean, all living things. You see……I’m a pagan priestess.
June You’re a what?!?!
Trixie I’m a pagan priestess. I serve the dominion of Flidais.
June Who in the world is Flidais?! Trixie [with reverence] She’s the Celtic goddess of animals,
woodlands, and fertility.
June [half-joking] The goddess?! Ttixie Ann Jenkins, I oughta put you over my knee for utterin’ such heresy.
Trixie I knew I shouldn’t have told you! You’re still turnin’ on me, just like you did when we were growin’ up!
June Well, it seems you still have a lot of growin’ up to do!
Trixie [offended] How can you say that?!
June [derisively] Come on, Trixie. Admit it. You’re still runnin’ around the backyard in your fairy costume pretendin’ you can talk to the animals.
Trixie No, you’re wrong! There’s so much more to it than that! Serving the Lady of the Forest is my sacred calling.
June [recognizing the gravity Holy Mother of God, Trixie……You’re not
of Trixie’s admission] kiddin’, are you?
Trixie [fraught with emotion] No, I’m not. Pagan is what I am.
June [becoming angry] Do you mean to tell me that my little sister, who was raised to believe in The Ten Commandments, spends her free time traipsin’ through the forest, prayin’ to false gods?!
Trixie [in tears] June, you don’t understand! I tried to resist! For years, I tried! I always thought that if I got punished enough, someday, I’d eventually stop believing in them, but I just couldn’t pretend to be a Christian anymore! It seems so natural! If people say that God created the Earth, and everything within it, then why is it such a sin for someone to worship those things?!
June watches Trixie sob for nearly a minute.
June [with measured compassion] Trixie, I may not understand it, and I certainly don’t condone it, but you’re my little sister, and that’s never gonna change.
Trixie embraces June and resumes sobbing.
Trixie [whimpering] I love you, June.
June I love you, too, Trixie. [her eyes darkening] So…being spanked helped to ease your conscience, huh?
Trixie [vulnerably] Well……yeah.
June Do you remember Mom’s hairbrush?
Trixie [blushing] I sure do.
June Well, I went to the estate sale for Maggie Lenehan on Saturday, and I found this lovely antique hairbrush. It reminded me so much of Mom’s. Maggie raised seven girls on her own, so you know the back of that brush has seen a lot of sorry backsides.
Trixie [giggling nervously] I can only imagine.
June Yes, I’m excited to try to try it out.
Trixie Um…what do you mean?
June Well, if I’m gonna be a mama someday, I need to practice my hand at spanking naughty girls.
June You said that being spanked helped to lighten your spirit, right?
Trixie Well, yeah…but…
June [smiling] Well, little sister, by the time I’m through with you, your spirit’s gonna be floatin’ off the ground.
Trixie [alarmed] June, you can’t be serious.
June Oh, I’m quite serious, Trixie. I’m gonna spank you, and you’re gonna let me, that is unless you want all of Bangor to know about your calling.
Trixie No, June! Please don’t!
June Alright, then I expect your full cooperation.
Trixie June, please!
June Would you prefer that I call Mom and Dad?
Trixie [despairing in recognition Nooooo!!
of the catch-22]
June You should be grateful that I’m the only one who knows, Trixie. Can you imagine what Mom and Dad would do if they ever found out?
Trixie [dreading the thought] N…no.
June Why, I bet Dad would put you back over the front fence, with your rear end facing the street this time. [Trixie shudders] Yup, I bet that’s just what he’d do. Then, he’d have a cookout on the front lawn, and invite all the neighbors, and when they asked, “Why is Trixie Ann draped over the fence with her skirts up in the air?” he’d tell them about your heathen practice, and ask them to pray for you while he strapped your bare behind.[suddenly cheerful]
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get my hairbrush.
June exits the room, leaving Trixie to fret over the most humiliating punishment
their father had ever administered. She returns a few moments later, toting a
hefty wooden paddle brush.
June [gently tapping the brush Now then, young lady. Go ahead and hike up
against her left palm] that dress.
Trixie [mortified] June, no!!
June You heard me!
Despairingly, Trixie reaches down to grab the hem of her swing dress, lifting it
to reveal the seafoam green panties that she wore beneath her sheer to waist
nylons. June climbs up onto the bed and extends her right leg so that her foot
nearly touches the footboard. She then tucks her left leg off to the side.
June [patting the mattress] Get over here, Trixie.
Trixie June, please! There has to be a better way!
June Trixie, I’m sorry. You’re absolutely right. How can I paddle your rear end properly if I don’t let you bare it? Take down your delicates, now.
Trixie Oh, my God, June! No! That’s not what I mean!
June I said, now!
Slipping her fingers inside the waistbands of her pantyhose and panties, Trixie
tugs them down below her knees. She then hobbles over to the bed, and lays prone
across the mattress, so that her thighs rest upon June’s upper right leg. June
then proceeds to thread her left leg between Trixie’s knees, just above the
tangle of her underwear, effectively pinning her sister’s right leg. As June
shifts to gain greater leverage, her skirt rides up past the point of discretion.
June [teasing Trixie’s backside There you go……So, tell me, little
with the hairbrush] sister. How do you honor these false gods of yours?
Aroused by shame, and shamed by arousal, Trixie resigns herself to her sister’s twisted judgment.
Trixie They’re not false, June!
June [gives Trixie four sharp If they aren’t the Father, the Son, and the
swats on the rear end] Holy Spirit, then they’re false, Trixie!
Trixie [crying out] Owwwww!! Noooo! Flidais is wonderful! She looks after the animals, she makes the trees grow, she brings new life in the Spring…
June [gives Trixie four more swats] No, Trixie! God does all that!
Trixie [crying out louder] Ooowwwww!! But, what if Flidais and God work together?
June God’s not a holdin’ company, Trixie! He doesn’t need extra help!
Trixie But what if, June?!
June [continues spanking] Yes, what if, Trixie! What if God were to strike you down, right here and now, for denyin’ His mighty works?!
Trixie [in acute distress] Junie, don’t say that!!
June proceeds to apply firm, deliberate strokes with the hairbrush.
June So, how do you honor this Flidais?
Trixie [gasping out the words] She…requires me…to …share my…intimacy!
June [relenting just long enough Your intimacy?
for Trixie to explain herself]
June How do you share your intimacy?
Trixie I…I can’t tell you. It’s a…secret…ritual.
June [becoming angry again] You either tell me, or you tell Mom and Dad!
Trixie No, no! Please! I’ll tell you!
June Go on.
Trixie [hesitating] Well…
June [bringing the brush Out with it!
down with renewed fervor]
Trixie [flailing her legs in pain] Alright! Alright! Each month, between March and November, I have to go out into the woods and find a mayapple. Once I find it, I cut the root from the stalk, wash it off in the pond, and take it to a sacred space, where no one can see me. Then…
June [gives her sister several Then, what?
more resounding smacks]
Trixie [absurdly fast, so as to I reach up my skirt, take down my panties,
render her speech nearly and slide the root between my legs until it
incomprehensible] makes me tingle. [flinches]
June [terrifyingly calm] Oh, is that all?
Trixie [taken aback by June’s Well, um…then, I take it out, bury it in
nonchalance] the ground, and say some prayers.
June [emphasizing the boldfaced I see. So, let me get this straight. You go
words with strokes of the out into the woods, drop your drawers
hairbrush] in broad daylight, pleasure yourself with a poisonous plant, and offer it to some pagan effigy?!
Trixie [in dire distress] Oooowww! Ooowwww! Ooowwwww! Pleeeease, Juuuunie!! No more!! Ooooooohhh, that hurts! Ooowwww!! No more, Juuunie! Pleeeease!! Ooooowwwww!! I won’t do it again! I promise! Ooooowwwww!! I promise!!
June [outraged] You have sinned against the Lord, Trixie Ann!!
Trixie [tearfully regressing] I know, Juuunie!! I…b…been naughty!! S…so naughty!!
June [spanking in time with] Yes, you have, and what do naughty girls
the first three words] need?!
Trixie Oooooowwwww! Naughty girls need spankin’!
June [solemnly] That’s right, Trixie Ann, so what do you need?!
Trixie [anguished yet aroused] I need mo’ spankin’!
June Say it again.
Trixie [regressing even further] I…I need m…mo’ spankin’! Pleeeease! I’ve…b…been a naughty girl!! S…such a…n…naughty girl!! P…p…pleeease, give me mo’ spankin’, Juuunie!! Pleeeeasse!!
June pauses to examine her sister’s bottom, cringing at the myriad, oval-shaped
welts that distress its full expanse.
June [calmly but firmly Be careful what you ask for, little
after a long pause] sister, because I’m about to give you another twenty with the brush.
Trixie [having second thoughts] Oh, my God! Twenty?!
June You asked for it.
As June administers the remainder of Trixie’s punishment, Trixie’s cries of
anguish morph into lascivious moans of pleasure.
June [with mock indignation] Trixie Ann! Shame on you!
Trixie [mortified] Uuunnnooo!! No! Junie, please!
June [in a firmer tone] Are you enjoying this?!
Trixie [woefully unconvincing] Noooo!
June Oh, my God…you are! You sinful, sinful girl!
Trixie Nooooo, Juuunie! Pleeeease!!
June Please, what?! Please paddle your rear end until you beg for forgiveness?!
Trixie [rushing past the Juuuuunieee!!
point of no return]
June [strident] That’s what you want, isn’t it?!
June [spanking with fanatic zeal] ISN’T IT?!
Trixie [climaxing involuntarily] Oh, God!! Yesssss!! Yeessssss!! Yeeessssssss!!!
Trixie is reduced to a half-naked heap of spasms and sobs, soaking her sister’s
lap with the release of her intimacy. June bears silent witness for well over two
June [at a loss for words] Jesus Christ, Trixie.
Inexplicably moved by Trixie’s undoing, June caresses her sister’s distended
bottom as she cries herself out. Several more minutes pass before Trixie begins
to regain her adulthood.
Trixie [whimpering] I’m s…sorry, Junie.
June [rhetorically] I know you are, Trixie Ann, but are you sorry enough to have no other gods before the Lord?
Trixie [after an unbearably long N…no, June. I…I’m not. [flinches in
pause] anticipation of further punishment]
June [in mock resignation] Very well, little sister, then you
better plan on spendin’ many more long
afternoons over my lap.
Trixie [feigning distress] W…what?!
June You heard me. Since you refuse to renounce
this goddess of yours, I will expect you to come here straight from work, each and every Saturday, so that I can give you another spankin’. Is that clear?
Trixie [trying not to seem too Y…yes, Junie!
Alright, then…Straighten up your delicates, and get ready for church.
June releases her hold upon Trixie’s right leg, thus enabling her to get down
from the bed. With her panties and pantyhose still in a bunch, Trixie
makes her way towards the upstairs bathroom. June stifles a laugh as she
watches Trixie waddling across the floor in her “stylish yet liberating”
Trixie [moments later, from Hey, sis!
behind the bathroom door]
June [calling back] Yeah!
Trixie [in earnest! Can I go without under, just for
tonight? My rear end is killin’ me!
June [admonishing] Trixie Ann!
Trixie [retracting] Alright! Alright!
Trixie emerges a few minutes later with her dress and her delicates primly in
June [giving Trixie That’s better…Now, let’s go. If we don’t
the once over] get to church by 3:45, we will be able to get a seat.
Trixie [sighing ruefully] That’s fine with me. I won’t be sittin’ anytime soon.
June gives Trixie a gentle kiss on the forehead, and follows her
out of the room.
See Part Two here
See the rest of the Trixie and June chapbook — Stocking Feet, Rue Saint Michelle and A Mother’s Blessing, Saint Michelle and the Offeratory.
Lee Todd Lacks seeks to blur the distinctions between rants, chants, anecdotes, and anthems. His experience of living with significant vision and hearing deficits often informs his writing and artwork, which have appeared in The Monarch Review, Crack The Spine, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Bop Dead City, Liquid Imagination, The Quarterday Review, Tincture Journal, Gold Dust Magazine, Yellow Mama, elsewhere. His poem, “Durgin-Park,” won the Bop Dead City Beginnings Contest in July of 2015. In December of 2016, Fermata Publishing recently released Lee Todd’s first chapbook of poetry and short fiction, entitled Underneath.