Many years earlier, Kay McCracken’s mother, Marion, had a tough time with her young daughter.
The vice principal, a 6 ft.5 heavy-set, sadistic brute wearing a black suit, came at me with his mean black eyes, wielding a lethal-looking strap. I smelled fear.
He lifted himself up higher to get better leverage, brought the strap down hard, striking my virgin flesh with such violence, and the pain, I’d never felt pain like that and before I could breathe down it came again. Three assaults on each hand. He did his best to do damage, to make a point, to teach me a lesson. To punish me.
Mom didn’t tell Dad, thank God, but that night at the dinner table I had trouble holding my knife and fork with aching, swollen hands.
– from Kay’s new memoir, Beyond the Blue Door: a writer’s journey, available here at Kay’s page