The story in two parts from old Blushes.
Starting at the bottom
The atmosphere in the drill hall that morning was charged with the same kind of electric tension that pressages the onset of a thunderstorm. There was silence, of a kind, but the very quiet itself seemed to be buzzing at a pitch that the ear couldn't quite reach, so that girls felt uneasy and sensed the little hairs on the backs of their necks standing on end. The three ranks, standing at attention, were drawn up facing the double half-glazed doors at the far end of the hall, through which the phalanx of visiting V.I.P.s would enter at any moment. Six paces in front of the first rank, two girls wearing white webbing belts and diagonal shoulder straps flanked two other girls whose dress, though the same as that of the girls drawn up behind them, was arranged somewhat differently. Their shorts, together with their knickers, had been pulled down off the plump cheeks of their bums and were now stretched in tight creases across the backs and fronts of their bare legs, with two inches or so of daylight to be glimpses between the level of the re-arranged knickers and shorts and the apex of each pair of thighs. Although eyes were supposed to be directed to the front when standing at attention, fixed on some imaginary and distant point, there wasn't one of the girls lined up behind the two unfortunates in whose honour the parade was being held, who didn't let her gaze drift frequently towards those bared and nervous bottom-cheeks, presently pink and smooth and unmarked, whose trembly sauciness reminded every one of the witnesses that her own bottom would have looked just the same had she had the misfortune to have earned a place at the front of this punishment parade. As a sharp reminder of the consequences of failing to do one's duty to one's utmost ability, those two naked and helpless bottoms had already had a salutory effect on every other girl in the hall that morning – there wasn't one who hadn't pictured herself in the place of the girls who were to be caned, and not one who hadn't promised herself that she would do everything in her power to avoid such a fate befalling her.
Standing rigidly to attention – or as rigidly as a girl can stand at attention given the femininity of her physiology – and a little apart from the assembly awaiting the arrival of the C.O. and his entourage of voyeurs, Corporal Cadet Charlotte Barnes, though she was notionally in charge of the parade and was therefore supposedly on the side of the establishment in these proceedings, allowed even her eyes to wander to the two girls' bottoms at unguarded moments, and perhaps with more reason to do so than those in her charge. Because for Corporal Cadet Barnes there was no consolation to be had from promising herself that she would do her best not to let it happen to her – in approximately twenty short minutes, while these two miscreants were still weeping their humiliated tears and touching gingerly at their caned bums, she would be taking her own knickers down in the C.O.'s office, regulations about corporal punishment in camera notwithstanding, and would be obliged to pay a second time with her own tears for the sins of those whom she had been made responsible for.
Thai such self-indulgence on the C.O.'s part was supposedly quite outside the accepted scheme of things so far as the rules were concerned, was in reality neither here nor there, since there was non-one to curb or even to comment upon his penchant for pretty teenage cadets. It had been that same tendency to self-indulgence that had prompted him to select young Charlotte for promotion to corporal, even though she, like the rest of her intake, had had only the usual six weeks basic training and was hardly ready for even junior NCO rank. He had decided upon a snap inspection of the cadets' shower room just as Charlotte's group had come back from a muddy cross-country run. Tired though they had been, the girls had 'jumped to it' – naked, water running down their bodies and streaking their mud-spattered legs, impudently firm young breasts pushing pert nipples under the C.O.'s nose, they had stood to attention and goose-pimpled in the draught from the open door while he had 'inspected' them, 'about turned' them – for a good long look at their bums, of course, and an experimental pat here and there – 'double-marched' them on the spot and made them all touch their toes fifty times each while he paced along behind the row and coaxed them to better efforts with smart, wet-sounding slaps to their tight-skinned bottoms as they bobbed breathlessly up and down. Perhaps Charlotte's young buttocks had felt a touch more resilient to the slapping palm, or possibly her tits had bounced a little more perkily than other girls' – for whatever reason, she had been awarded her stripes that same day at a little ceremony the C.O. had conducted in his office. Charlotte – now Corporal Cadet Charlotte Barnes – had crept back into the dormitory at half-past eleven and sewn on her stripes, and then she had quietly cried herself to sleep, having at last been given the bare-bottomed caning – 'just so she knew what it felt like' – that she had so diligently avoided by sheer hard work right the way through basic training.
Since then, with her tight little uniform shorts hiding cane weals or the traces of a good, hard spanking most days of the week, Charlotte's bottom had been reddened and made to wriggle, had bounced and squirmed as the degree of punishment it received had varied with the progress, or lack of it, of her platoon throughout the long slog of advanced training. In desperation to increase the efficiency of her unit, and even though she had known that a girl punished by the C.O. meant that she would herself have to suffer for the girl's offence in the seclusion of the C.O.'s office shortly thereafter, Charlotte had reported half of the platoon for slackness and had had to watch eleven skittish young bottoms turn stripey red one after the other across the punishment bench, and had then been made to take her own knickers down for a spanking that had lasted so long she had run out of tears and had been left slumped across a chair back gasping to herself that there just had to be some other way – there just had to!
Perhaps the C.O. had heard her plaintive whispers, or perhaps he had planned it all along; anyway, a day or two later she had been sent for by the senior civilian administrative officer and told that, if she wished, she could transfer onto the C.O.'s personal staff as a driver – she would go on a seven day driving course at the Central Driving School – and should she decide to accept the posting – she was amazed to hear that she had a choice – the usual two year conscription period would no longer apply to her, and she would be deemed to have completed her service one year to the day after joining the C.O.'s staff. She had been given two days to decide, and today was the day.
Charlotte had at first concluded that it would be lunacy to take up the offer; things were bad enough already. But then she thought about it some more and realised that as a driver she wouldn't necessarily be driving the C.O., she might hardly ever see him, and anyway, even if things didn't get any better, they could hardly get worse. A year of spankings and canings, awful though the prospect was, just had to be half as awful as nearly two years of the same if she decided not to take the posting. Charlotte had made up her mind to do it. Meanwhile, here she was again, presenting two more of her platoon for canings, with the usual knickers-down session in the office afterwards still to come.
Distantly she heard the clip of shoes on linoleum, and the noise of a door opening. The other girls heard it too, and a whisper of anticipation went along the ranks. Charlotte turned her head and the whispers ceased instantly – none of them wanted to be told to join the girls at the front at the last minute.
The two girls who were to be punished stood nervously at attention as the C.O. and his group of visitors filed into the hall. Their conversation ceased; all eyes went to the two half-naked girls – up to their faces and then down to the plump pout of pubic mounds, except for the C.O., who beckoned Charlotte over.
She marched smartly out to the front and took the keys of a cupboard from him. At the side of the hall there was a waist-high bench or horse over which the girls were to be bent to receive their punishments. At a word from Charlotte two girls broke from the ranks and ran to the bench to drag it's weighty bulk to the middle of the hall, while she took a cane from the punishment cupboard and carried it to the bench and placed it squarely on the padded leather top. The sound of half-strangled weeping came from behind her but she ignored it – crying was only to be expected, and the girl certainly had plenty to cry about. Charlotte turned on her heel and returned to her place, noticing the weeping girl's weak-kneed look and wondering if she was about to faint or something equally awkward, like wet her pants.
It was the girl who was crying who was to be dealt with first, a decision made on the spot and without formality by the C.O.; no doubt she was chosen simply because she was crying and might make a better show. She was marched forward and made to stand at bare-bottomed attention whilst the reason for her punishment was read out, then she was told to get herself across the bench, feet off the floor with her bum arranged across the angle of the horizontal top and the sloping sides so that it was neatly presented to the cane. The C.O. himself took the cane from under the girl's tummy as she got into position, and without any further preliminaries the first stroke arrived solidly across both cheeks at once. All around the hall bottoms flinched in sympathy – or gratitude that it wasn't them up on the horse – and the V.I.P.s watched in silence, save for one elderly man who, seemingly unashamed of his obvious enjoyment of the spectacle, muttered 'excellent, excellent', as the girl who was providing their amusement howled at the top of her voice. She continued to howl, more and more loudly, as the full eleven strokes were applied with a remorseless regularity, having to be held across the bench by the two girls who were doing duty as escorts, and Charlotte too had to step forward to assist in keeping the girl's struggles under control.
Blubbering and wobbly-legged, the girl was sent to stand out the front again whilst the second girl was put through the same harrowing experience, with girls in the ranks crying themselves at the awesome sight of a bum that might so easily have been theirs', indeed had been theirs' on other occasions, squirming violently as the cane lashed vivid reddening cane weals across what had been smooth, virgin buttocks a few minutes earlier. Charlotte's own reaction to the sight was doubly disturbing, since she had been responsible for the girls' selection for this morning's 'demonstration' – it was, after all, hardly more than that, put on for the lascivious enjoyment of the C.O. and his friends.
'Corporal!' Charlotte forced her expression into one of attentiveness and stepped forward to take the cane from the C.O. as the girl who had just been caned was sent back to her place beside the other, still-weeping girl. Without raising his voice above a whisper, the C.O. said, 'Oh – and you can bring this cane to the office with you in five minutes.' Charlotte's face must have betrayed her shocked feelings – she was almost always spanked, not caned. The C.O. read her look. 'V.I.P.s here today, Charlotte. We have to do our best to entertain them, don't we?'
'Yes sir.' was all Charlotte could say.
Five minutes later she was knocking on the C.O.'s office door; a minute after that and she was wearing no more than her stockings, her bra and her knickers – and it was only a minute more before her pants too had been confiscated – stumbling through the ritual of apologies she was always required to make whilst the visitors, crowded into the little room, wandered their eyes over her young body and whispered vulgar comments to each other in tones just loud enough for Charlotte to hear.
'Hope you're going to cane her, Colonel.'
The Colonel was, indeed. Charlotte tried to hold her panic in check as she was made to get across the desk, made to spread her legs wide, made to hold her bum up off the desk's edge so that the cane would be able to reach up under the out-swell of her buttocks. He caned her less viciously than he had caned the other girls – nonetheless Charlotte's bottom blossomed with a dozen ridgy cane marks that had her squealing for pity and struggling to her feet less than halfway through so that the C.O.'s friends had to be asked to hold her down across the desk for the balance to be administered. Charlotte's humiliation was completed when she was made to stand at attention in front of them all a second time and stumble tearfully through her apologies again. Then the C.O. handed her the cane to put back in the cupboard outside. He smiled down at her as though he had just conferred a considerable favour upon her, and said. 'Doubtless you'll be pleased to know, Charlotte, that that was your last caning here. Tomorrow you will go to headquarters, Eastern Division, for your medical prior to going to the Central Driving School. The day after that you will report to my official residence. Understood?'
'Yes sir.' Charlotte managed to say between her sobs, and then she was dismissed. She left the room with tears still streaming down her face and her uniform tucked under her arm. Outside she breathed a sigh of either relief that she was going at last, or of dread that she would be going to the C.O.'s home where she would be within reach of a cane twenty four hours a day – she herself didn't know which emotion was uppermost in her breast. But the C.O.'s parting remark had ominous overtones. 'You've had your last caning here, Charlotte'. That probably wasn't the good news it might have sounded like. Tearful and bewildered, Charlotte hurried away to her dormitory to get her things in order for the move.