Dire

Full Version: Sanctuary
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TW: abuse mentions

“Magdi,” Papa’s voice drifted down the hall.

In her room, Magdi looked up, and squinted. It was early yet. Why wasn’t Papa off to work? Didn’t he have classes? Usually he was gone by the time she got up. Why was he still here? Then he called again, “Magdi, come here, please,” and she flinched, scrambling to her feet. Setting aside the scrap of cloth she’d been sewing, she called, “C-coming, Papa,” and scurried didn’t the hall. Down the stairs she went, pausing in front of his office door. Only after she’d knocked, and heard him say Come in, did she step inside. Papa’s office was big, big, big, with an enormous oak desk, and bookshelves full of hooks lining the walls. In front of the desk set two leather chairs, and behind the desk set a third—and her Papa besides, sitting on it.

He smiled at her. “There you are,” he said, and got up from behind his desk. He came to stand in front of her. “Good. I want to talk to you. What is our Rule about talking to strangers?”

Magdi flinched. “Have, have, have, haven't, haven’t—“

Papa held up a hand and Magdi stopped talking. “Easy, child. I know you haven’t. I know. You’ve been very good. But I want to talk to you about our rule, and I needed to make sure you know what it is.“

Magdi nodded. “N-n-not, I, I’m not, I’m not supposed to.”

“That’s exactly right. You aren’t supposed to. Now today, we’re having company. Special company. My brother has taken in an unfortunate, a creature rather like yourself, and I’ve asked him to bring the boy round to meet you. I thought it might be nice for the two of you to become friends. So today, and just for today, you can talk to strangers.”

Oh! Her Papa was the best Papa! He was, he was, he was! He wanted her to have a friend! He did he did he did! He’d asked the boy over just for her! This wouldn’t be a secret friend like Vivica was. This would be so much better! It would, it would, it would! Magdi squealed and hopped and clapped her hands. She was going to have a friend! She was, she was, she was!

“Stop that,” Papa said. “You don’t want your friend to see you acting like that, do you?

Magdi froze and hung her head. “N-no, sir,” she mumbled, mostly to her feet. What would her new friend think if he saw her acting that way? Probably he’d think she was a baby sho didn’t know how to control herself. Magdi’s cheeks got hot. “S-Sorry, Papa,” she said.

“Very well. You have to be on your best behavior today, Magdi. I don’t want to punish you, and I especially don’t want to punish you in front of your new friend, but I will if I have to. Do you understand?

Magdi hugged herself, nodding as hard as she could. Papa's punishments always made her feel small and miserable anyway, like she was nothing more than a naughty, spoilt child. Having someone else there, having someone else watching as she got a spanking, watching as she said Sorry,, after, watching as she stood in the corner till Papa said she could come out—well, just thinking about it made her eyes sting, and her nose stuff up. She sniffled furiously. She wasn’t a baby. She wasn’t going to cry. She wasn’t she wasn’t she wasn’t. Except, she almost did. “Un-un-un-under-understand. Magdi be good girl! Magdi not want a spanking, Papa, please. Please, please, please, Magdi not want a spanking. Magdi not want new friend to watch Magdi getting a spanking. Magdi not want new friend to watch Magdi standing in corner. Magdi not want new friend to watch Magdi saying sorry. Please, please, please, not want, not want, not want! Magdi be good! Promise, promise, promise!” The words tumbled out, all jumbled up and mostly wrong way around, as she fought to keep from crying. She flinched even as she said them. She’d forgotten ever single one of her i’s

Papa caught her by the arms and pulled her to him, even as she whimpered.

Magdi buried her face in his stomach, nose pressed against a shirt button. “Sorry,” she said, then, “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry.”

“Sssh, ssssh, ssssh,” Papa said, running his fingers through her hair. “You aren’t in trouble, it’s alright. Easy now, easy.” Pudhing her back after a few minutes, he rested his hands on her shoulders. “Better? He tilted her chin up, smiling when she nodded. “Good. You just be good, like I know you can be if you just try, and everything will be fine. You won’t get in trouble, your friend won’t see you getting in trouble, everything will be perfectly grand. “

Magdi sniffled again, wiping her nose on her sleeve. She’d been silly, and gotten upset over nothing, just like she always did. “Th-thank you, Papa. S-sorry.”

“Of course. Now, come along. They’ll be here soon.” Taking her hand, Papa led her into the smaller, less formal living room. He took the chair.

Magdi curled up on the ottoman. Her new friend would be here soon! And she would be good, and her new friend would never know that she wasn’t, or what happened when she wasn’t, and they would like her, and they would be best friends forever and ever and ever and ever!