Story from Janus 47.
Albert Higginson strikes back
ALBERT HIGGINSON, staring intently, made muttered sounds of stern disapproval. It shouldn't be allowed; it was disgraceful; it was a pity there wasn't some kind of law against it. One might ask, if it upset him so much, why Albert had to look. He could have been doing something else, various things, rather than staring so intently out from behind his bedroom curtains. And if the sight angered him so much why was he using his bird-watching binoculars, to magnify and clarify every detail?
What Albert was gazing at with such concentration, such rapt disapproval, was his resently-new neighbour, Melanie Halford – Mrs. Melanie Halford – 23-years-old and very comely. He was gazing at her rear view as she hung out washing; more specifically he was gazing at the tight seat of her jeans.
They were tight, skin-tight like an exceptionally well-fitting glove, over ripely rounded haunches. So tight that at 30 yards with good binoculars, or at a closer distance without their aid, one could clearly discern the hem-lines of her brief knickers underneath and indeed the indentation where the strengthened gusset ended. They additionally fitted with an extreme degree of snugness into the deep cleft of those ripe – some might say over-ripe – buttocks so that when she bent over, as at regular intervals one must when hanging out washing contained in a basket at one's side, there seemed a fair chance that the blue denim would split asunder.
And if Melanie Halford's jeans and their contained ripe bottom were not enough there was also what was being hung out on the line. As usual several scandalously brief pairs of knickers, of the same brief type that she was at present clearly wearing; knickers so brief that they would seem more suited to a baby's bottom than Mrs. Halford's own ripe specimen, and in a variety of indecent shades: bright red, mauve and blushing pink today. Albert's eyes, through the sharply-focused glasses, drank it all in – the knickers, the bottom, the jeans – with mounting indignation.
And the answer to that question: Why did he have to look? was simply that he had to. Albert's hot, outraged eyes were drawn to this spectacle in the next-door back garden as by a powerful magnet. And being retired he could make sure that on the three morning a week when young Mrs Halford regularly hung out washing he was here behind the curtains with the lenses of his binoculars freshly polished and at the ready. He had to look because of course it was such a prime example of everything that was wrong with the country, the nation, Britain in the 1980s. Permissiveness, Women's Lib, loss of restraint and respect, lack of discipline and self-control, the breakdown of family life as well quite possibly. It was all there in Melanie Halford's blatantly flaunted bottom and those disgustingly scanty knickers.
And it wasn't as if she only flaunted her rear in the back garden where such as Albert Higginson behind his curtains could observe it. Oh no, she was quite prepared to offer it to the public view on the main street, that indecent bottom in its drum-taut jeans, swinging and swaying for all to see, and nothing less than a public disgrace. Albert knew because he had seen. He had in fact on more than one occasion followed that blue-jeaned rear, at a discreet distance, the sight so powerfully mesmeric that it had drawn him from his planned route to the corner shop all the way in the opposite direction into the town centre.
Albert had found himself following, his eyes riveted, and the sight had been so disgraceful that although prepared to stand the shock himself he felt a desperate urge to cover the view from younger elements, boys and youths, who were around. Was there any wonder that the nation's youth was in its present parlous state with such brazenness in the streets of respectable towns?
Not that Mrs Melanie Halford was the only example of this moral degradation, though she was certainly a prime one. There were many, many more. Thousands, it seemed. You had only to go into the town centre to see for yourself. Albert knew because he did go and see for himself; very frequently. To observe and to be scandalised and shocked. His eyes would again be drawn as if by some evil force. Young girls, probably truants from school, housewives, even young mothers pushing prams, all content to freely flaunt their backsides in those shamefully skin-tight jeans. And if they weren't wearing jeans it would be a skirt that was equally buttock-snug, frequently of some ultra-thin white material as if designed to display everything.
Yes, Albert Higginson, at 62, spent a good deal of his time being scandalised and as far as girls' and ladies' bottoms were concerned it was largely of his own doing, as he deliberately sought them out so that he could once again feel that familiar surge of moral indignation. Bottoms weren't the only thing Albert found wrong with the 1980s, he in fact found most things wrong, his general verdict being, naturally, 'things weren't like this when I was a lad'. But bottoms did have a very special place in his hierarchy of iniquity, perhaps because nowadays a woman's bottom was something that was free to be blatantly flaunted and in those far off days it certainly wasn't – and it would have been 'dealt with' peremptorily at the first sign of any backsliding.
'I know just what that young hussy needs,' Albert would hotly inform Dorothy, his wife, after a session at the bedroom window.
What she needed, of course, as Dorothy would know, for she had heard it many, many times before, what Melanie Halford's ripe bottom needed in Albert's estimation was 'a good whipping'. The cane, or a riding crop, her husband's belt – or, one may be sure, Albert's belt.
Dorothy would say 'Yes dear' but she did not have Albert's all-consuming interest in the subject. Dorothy agreed that the country was going to the dogs and it certainly wasn't like the good old days; but paradoxically they were better-off.
'Not morally, we're not,' Albert retorted. 'But certainly those youngsters are better off, never done a decent day's work in their lives, most of 'em, but still able to drive about in their cars and go down the pub every night. And let their womenfolk saunter about in a state of utter disgrace.'
Albert always got back to his favourite subject. His own morals were quite secure; he and Dorothy regularly attended church on Sunday mornings – with a handful of other, mostly older, citizens. The almost empty church was another example of what had happened to the country. And why didn't the vicar speak out against the state of things? Instead of his wishy-washy sermons?
Why didn't he make some bold statement about women's morals (and of course their bottoms in skin-tight jeans)? The vicar was a moral coward, another example of the way things were. 'Yes, Mr Higginson,' he would meekly say when Albert took him to task. 'But it is very difficult.' Albert got excited by the vicar – but not in quite the same way as he got excited by Melanie Halford and her bottom. And all those other bottoms paraded around.
'She was out there again this morning,' Albert informed Dorothy when she came back from the shops. 'Bloody scandalous!'
Albert did not swear, not what you'd call swearing and 'bloody' was certainly as strong as he got. But that young woman drove him to strong language.
'I suppose she's got to hang her washing out, Albert. Oh dear, my feet are killing me.'
Dorothy Higginson could not really understand Albert's fascination with the subject. She didn't approve of these young bits of girls with their handbags seemingly full of money but, well, Albert did go on rather. If she had known to what use Albert's bird-watching binoculars were put while she was at the shops Dorothy Higginson would have been more than a little shocked.
'That bloke should take his belt to her,' stated Albert, meaning Gary Halford, the husband. He shook his head, picturing such stimulating action. Dorothy said 'Yes dear' and poured the tea.
Albert ruminatingly drank. He realised Dorothy didn't have his own concern about such matters. It wasn't really Dorothy's fault, it was simply an example of women's weaker nature and one reason why they needed a firm hand. Something that that Mrs Halford clearly needed. Albert sipped noisily. That woman was like a red rag to a bull to him. His greatest, supreme, pleasure would be to be in a position to do something about it. To deal with her.
Reflectively he rubbed his nose. There had been something else this morning. After observing the washing hanging he had gone into the front room. There had been a car outside next-door's that he couldn't recall seeing before. Happening to go again into the front room 15 minutes later Albert had this time seen a young fellow get in and drive off. He had seemed to come from next door...
Albert made it his business to know other people's business as far as possible and he knew that the husband, Mr Halford, would be out at work. He had a job at that newfangled computer firm and his car wasn't there. And so if this young chap had come from next door he had been to see her. He could be a relative, or some sort of salesman. But on the other hand – well, certainly Albert was prepared to believe anything of her, especially with those jeans an open invitation.
'I think I'll have a walk out,' he said. 'Get some baccy.'
Walking was conducive to thinking and all of a sudden Albert was having some heady thoughts. What if something was going on, right under his nose? Wouldn't it be just the chance he had dreamt of ever since first seeing her out the back parading her bottom in those jeans and hanging out those obscenely scanty items?
Albert walked briskly, not to the nearby corner shop but into the town centre. His pipe tobacco was a couple of pence cheaper there and as well there was always much to occupy his eyes. All those disgraceful females. But this morning Albert wasn't really concentrating on the bottoms around him; his mind was running on, thinking out various possible ploys, subterfuges. He just might be able to do something about all these young hussies. Or one of them at least.
* * *
Albert's nose was indeed pointing him in the right direction. Something was going on next door. Albert's 'young fellow' had knocked and entered a few minutes after the washing had been hung. Melanie had greeted him somewhat equivocally.
'Oh God, Trevor. I told you not to come round here in the daytime. These blasted neighbours, they've got eyes like hawks.'
Not very welcoming words perhaps but at the same time Melanie was permitting him to push her up against the hall wall, his body hard against her, his arms around her, one hand enthusiastically groping that bottom which regularly sent Albert's temperature soaring; and then his tongue in her mouth to stop further words of protest.
Melanie sucked on the tongue, making moaning sounds of pleasure, and then broke her mouth away.
'I'm serious, Trev; you don't know what it's like, especially with these old fogeys. They've got nothing better to do than mind someone else's business. There's this old bloke next door for one. He's always eyeing me.'
Trevor Wilmot, 29 and who was a salesman, gave a laugh. 'He probably fancies you. He's probably dying to get his hands on this fantastic bum.'
Melanie giggled and squirmed at what Trevor was doing to her bottom. Then protesting but not too strongly, she agreed to go into the lounge.
Melanie had met Trevor Wilmot four weeks earlier at a party and just didn't know how she'd got into this, but a harmless lunchtime drink at a pub and then a drive in his car and, well... It was Gary's fault really, she was stuck at home all day and he mostly didn't want to go out in the evenings. She knew she shouldn't do it and had strong guilt feelings. That was why she wouldn't let him go up to the bedroom, it was in the lounge, on the sofa. Somehow that didn't seem as bad as doing it in their bed.
Protesting still, in the lounge Melanie nevertheless slipped off the skin-tight jeans and then the very brief knickers (pale blue ones). It was really dreadful but at the same time overwhelmingly exciting. Afterwards, of course, the excitement was, for the moment at least, gone and you still had, more strongly, the guilt feelings. You also had, and more strongly, that fear of busybody neighbours.
Melanie repeated, more vehemently, her pleas that Trevor must not come round to the house; but when you are 29 and fancy-free, enjoyment of pleasure and the satisfaction of simple basic desires can be paramount. (Albert Higginson would have had something to say about that.) So although Trevor said a dutiful 'OK', there he was the next morning again ringing the door bell.
'Oh no!' gasped Melanie – but nonetheless let him in. 'You can't!' she breathed – while once more allowing herself to be persuaded into the lounge. 'NO!' she pleaded – as, like yesterday, the jeans and knickers came down again.
All this was most unfortunate because today hidden in the greenery at the end of the garden, was a figure Melanie would certainly have recognised. He could not be seen but he could see. The unseen watcher had excellent eyesight for one of 62 and moreover the eyes were aided by quite powerful binoculars. He could see and he could see clearly. Albert Higginson trembled. He had trouble holding the glasses still. What he was observing bore out everything he had ever said about the country's standards, about young women nowadays. Above all about this woman...
What Albert could see was almost too much, it was a major effort to keep the glasses trained on it; but summoning all his reserves he did. Sweating, he watched until it was all over. Then, with next door's lounge deserted he crept back out, through the gate and into his own garden. Inside he told Dorothy that yes, he would fancy a cuppa. A nice strong one. Albert felt weak.
Naturally he couldn't tell his wife anything of what had happened, it would be too much for her; and besides he now had to act, and act alone. Albert shook his head to ward off that feeling of weakness, and the strong tea helped. He got heavily to his feet. There was no point hanging about, you had to strike while the iron was hot. Firmness and decision, that was what was needed, that was what made the country great in the old days. Albert told Dorothy he was going out for a wander round.
Melanie gulped when she saw him at the front door. She hadn't known who could be ringing the bell at 11 o'clock in the morning although there had been a fleeting thought that Trevor might have returned for something. But Mr. Higginson from next door was the last person she expected to see. Rather stiffly he asked if he could come in.
Melanie produced a quick smile and stood aside to let him enter. Albert had not actually been this close to her since somewhat formally shaking hands when they arrived two months ago, but he was used to the effect of being close, having viewed her so often through his binoculars. She was pretty, you had to admit that, with short cropped blonde hair and blue eyes; a soft full mouth whose pink lipstick was at the moment somewhat the worse for wear following her session with her earlier visitor.
A sensual and indulgent face, Albert thought. There was also a full, firm bust, frankly displayed in a pink blouse. Down below were the long legs, the full flanks, that bottom that he was so familiar with. In skin-tight jeans, of course – though 20 minutes earlier they had not been in those jeans, they had been...
'Yes, come in,' she said brightly. 'I... uh... I'm sure we should see more of each other. I mean being next-door neighbours.'
Melanie was leading the way into the lounge, ripe bottom going tick tock. Inside, she had a quick glance round, checking there was nothing... What the hell could the old codger want? He sat down, stiff and upright on a chair. Why couldn't he relax, it was like he was going to make some official announcement.
Albert cleared his throat. No point hanging about. 'Mrs Halford, I have... er... a most grave matter to take up with you. A most serious complaint, in fact. The fact is, Mrs Halford, we cannot have this respectable street used for... er... scandalous and indecent behaviour.'
'What!' Melanie's voice expressed genuine shock; but immediately she felt an electric tingle in her skin. All over. A tingle that said Oh God! 'What?' she said again, this time not so loud, not so shocked. 'I don't know what you mean.'
Albert Higginson's face was red with excitement as well as indignation. 'I think you do, Mrs Halford. Oh yes, I think you do.'
Melanie was now flushing pink as well. God!! 'Look...' she said desperately.
'No, you look,' continued Albert. 'I shall naturally feel it my duty to take the matter up with your husband when he returns this evening. To tell him he must put a stop to your behaviour immediately. Mrs Higginson has a delicate heart condition and also is a very sensitive woman. But apart from that we simply cannot have this pollution in our midst.'
'No,' blurted Melanie sharply. 'No, you can't tell my husband.' Gary would kill her, or divorce her; Melanie wasn't sure which was worse. She couldn't have him knowing. 'Please...' she begged.
Albert felt an urge to lick his lips but refrained from doing so. It was typical: behaving in this utterly scandalous way and then whining when she thought she was going to be found out. She deserved to have her husband told, and that spineless character deserved to know just how his wife had been carrying on. But on the other hand if Albert told him that would be the end of his own involvement; there would be nothing else in it for Albert Higginson, whereas...
Calmly, or as calmly as he could under the circumstances, Albert stated his terms. Terms he had already decided on; terms under which he would consent not to inform Mrs Halford's husband. She went red, her eyes wide.
'Take it or leave it,' pronounced Albert. 'That's what a young woman would have got in my day, and that's what you should have had long before now.'
There wasn't a lot of choice. Not really. Swallowing hard, Melanie nodded her very reluctant agreement.
* * *
Albert didn't have a riding crop but they were readily obtainable. Whereas a cane was not so straightforward to come by nowadays – another clear sign of the times. He could have used his belt, he had used a belt in his younger days, on an errant niece, but he rather fancied something a little more, well, formal, dignified. A riding crop definitely appealed to him. It had style and it would also undeniably produce a very painful sting.
The price, when he went to the local saddlers, caused Albert to raise his eyebrows. Quite evidently the proprietors were making a scandalous profit, but then what else could you expect nowadays. Albert gave the saleman a piece of his mind but paid up. It would be worth it. Oh yes, it would certainly be worth it. Back at home he had a few very satisfying practice swings in the privacy of the bedroom, then hid it in the coal shed. The next morning, with Dorothy off on her regular shopping expedition, Albert took his new purchase next door, hidden under his jacket.
Melanie was in a state approaching panic and had been ever since Albert's shock visit of yesterday. She had no idea how he knew; surely it wasn't simply peering in the window because she would have seen. Except that... The lounge faced the back garden which was very private, and not overlooked. Maybe they should have gone upstairs. More to the point, she shouldn't have allowed it at all. She had known she shouldn't, and now... If Gary found out...!!
Melanie at least had been able to get Trevor on the phone, to tell him on no account to come round again. Something awful had happened.
She waited with baited breath. A riding crop!
The knock at the back door duly came. Feeling sick Melanie got up and went to let him in. Mr Higginson reminded her of a rather fierce grandfather when she was young: a pinkish face and white hair, and sort of staring eyes. He had something under his jacket and Melanie knew all too well what it would be. She had her jeans on as usual. She could have worn a skirt, but you can lift a skirt. Whereas with jeans... No he wouldn't do that; he couldn't. Melanie had resolutely dismissed the unthinkable possibility that he could make her take them down.
She led the way into the lounge. What did you do in such circumstances? 'W-would you like to sit down?' she hesitantly offered.
Albert Higginson's pink face had a healthy ruddy hue. 'I've not come to sit down, young woman, as you know. Let's get down to business. Kindly take down those disgracefully tight trousers.'
Melanie gulped. The riding crop had now appeared from under his coat. It looked absolutely horrific. She weakly shook her head. No, not with her jeans down. No, he couldn't.
'Take 'em down,' Albert growled. 'You had them down yesterday as I recall. Come on, snap to it. Then get bent over the arm of that sofa.'
Melanie gave Albert a sick look. The horrible old bugger was evidently intent on humiliating her as well as dishing out punishment. She looked in those staring eyes for signs that he might not mean it – but there were none. He meant it all right. Melanie's blue eyes did some rapid blinking: it was almost enough to make you cry. Her hands went to the button of her jeans.
The zip slid down, releasing the strain on the tight-stretched denim. A wedge of pale flesh and a strip of mauve knickers appeared. Looking fixedly at the floor Melanie wriggled the jeans down and off her bottom. Albert's eyes glistened. Released from the jeans' constraint Melanie's bottom seemed even bigger, more lascivious, and there was a great deal of it on show for the skimpy knickers were exceedingly brief, no more actually than an apology for an under-garment; not really what you would call knickers at all, not in terms of that wobbly bottom.
In front the transparent mauve nylon clearly showed a well-developed bush of blonde hair, some of which indeed escaped from the tight-stretched material on either side. Albert looked, and then quickly looked away. The whole spectacle was truly lewd and disgusting.
'Get down over that arm,' he ordered gruffly.
Melanie shuffled forward, jeans halfway down her full thighs. She gave Albert a pleading look. 'Please; not too hard. I can't stand pain.'
She got down as instructed. She had never felt more fearful in her life, every nerve-end taut; because you never knew, he could be some sort of nutter with those stary eyes, a real sadist who would just slash it down with all his force and keep on slashing it down. Melanie pushed her face down into the cushion, in an ostrich-like effort to make it all go away.
But it wasn't going to go away. Albert gazed at the offered-up bottom, scarcely able to believe this was happening. The full thighs, the voluptuous spread of the bottom, the skimpy nylon briefs. Indecency personified, and it had fallen to Albert to be the one to hand out some retribution. It could almost be an act of the Almighty, Albert being chosen to stem the tide of 1980s rampant wantonness. He swished the crop through the air. And then he brought it slicing down across those globe-like buttocks.
Albert wasn't a real sadist, of course, he didn't want to inflict actual injury but he did want to inflict real pain; a stinging shock that would clearly show her the error of her ways and create an aversion to them. From the desperate gasping yelp that came from the sofa's seat it would seem he had done that. At the same time the wanton bottom went into some contorted writhing movements that were extremely lewd but nonetheless further evidence that real pain had been inflicted.
The crop had struck across the ripe lower curve of Meianie's buttocks which were half bare, on either side of the brief strip of nylon. Across those bare slopes, and through the transparent nylon in between, could now be seen a vivid red stripe. Yes, Albert had presumably inflicted pain all right.
The initial shocked cry had been followed by yelps of 'No!' and '****ing hell!' and 'No more!' Albert, his blood pounding but doing his best to keep calm, growled, 'Stay down there. Don't move.'
'Don't move' was perhaps asking a bit much as he slashed the crop in a second time. Melanie did move, in particular her stricken bottom, but she stayed down spread over the sofa's arm. That first stroke had been truly horrendous, enough to make her feel she might be physically sick, and the second was equally dreadful; but they were bearable, just, and if she attempted to get up the old bugger might get incensed and go really berserk with it.
She kept yelling out though, and begging him to stop, but the old bastard didn't stop until he'd given her six, by which time Melanie really was getting desperate. Her poor bottom was red hot, as if someone had held a glowing chip pan against it. The pain was just unbelievable. She wasn't crying but there seemed to be an awful lot of moisture in her eyes.
Struggling to her feet, both hands pressed to her glowing rear and blinking rapidly, Meianie groaned, 'Bloody hell! You nearly bloody killed me.'
'Watch that language, young woman,' warned Albert primly. 'Or I might decide to double the dose.'
It had been a truly exhilarating experience for Albert. To be actually doing this thing that he had so frequently dreamt of; to deal with a young woman in this proper traditional way, as young women had routinely been dealt with in the good old days. The only way to properly bring a young female to her senses.
Albert had a heady feeling that somehow now all of those young hussies obscenely parading their rears about the town centre could be dealt with like this. This marvellous crop could be used on all of them. For the moment he forgot the key fact that he would need to have some hold on them before they were likely to allow it.
He gazed at the squirming, moaning Melanie with some satisfaction. 'How does that feel then, my girl?'
Melanie made a face. 'I told you. You bloody... I mean you nearly killed me.'
'Oh no,' said Albert, sitting heavily down in a chair. 'You'll not come to any harm. That's what that part of you's made for: a good solid whack now and then. That's the only thing a young woman understands. Now pull those trousers up.'
Melanie, still groaning, commenced dragging the tight jeans up over her abundant flesh.
'And why can't you and all the rest of you wear something decent for once? Why've you got to go parading around showing the shape of your backsides all the time? It's not decent. In my day young women had a bit of decency and self-respect.'
Melanie was still rubbing her bottom. 'Everyone wears them, Mr Higginson; and they're meant to be tight.'
Albert produced an angry barking sound. 'No one that I had anything to do with would wear them. Oh yes, my girl if you belonged to me I'd very soon have you toeing the line – with that whip across your backside every day if need be.'
Melanie was now sitting on the sofa – somewhat gingerly in view of the state of her bottom. She rolled her eyes. Albert considered what he had just said. It touched on an area he hadn't really considered yet, up till now all he had been able to think of was this morning. But now he did think about it...
'We haven't finished, of course. I don't suppose what I've just given you will be enough to properly curb your ways. Oh no; you'll need a repeat – and more than one.'
Melanie uttered a shrill despairing, 'No! You can't!'
But there was no answer to Albert's. 'You don't want me to tell that husband, do you?'
Melanie moaned 'Oh Christ!' but half under her breath. She seemed to be shuddering. Albert produced a grin of satisfaction. 'How about making a cup of tea then? Or is that beyond the scope of you young woman nowadays?'
* * *
The next morning Albert was again round knocking at his next-door neighbour's. It really was convenient that Dorothy went shopping so frequently – most mornings – but if you didn't have a car there was a limit to what you could carry, especially at 62. Albert anyway didn't want a car, walking kept you fit and active. Dorothy, who had to do the shopping, would have liked a car and they could afford a small one – but that, naturally, was simply another example of female weakness.
Melanie nervously opened the door to her visitor. She was in jeans and blouse again. She could have put on a skirt but, well, what was the point, if he was going to do what he did yesterday. She led the way into the lounge, her heart thumping. The thought of that crop again was diabolical, but fear wasn't the only thing making Melanie's heart go bump, bump, bump.
Melanie's bottom had stung like mad for quite a while after awful Mr Higginson had left but gradually it had eased. And as the sharp sting in her bottom lessened so she began to realise that shock and horror wasn't all she was feeling. It had been diabolical but at the same time the thought of it was exciting. To be forced to bare your bum like that – or at least take your jeans down – for that stern old man and have him whip it with that riding crop. It was horrendous but it was also a real turn-on.
The feeling of being turned-on had increased and by the time Gary came home Melanie was feeling really steamy. She grabbed him as soon as he was in the house and, rubbing herself up against him, suggested that they go upstairs. This was a shock to Gary, Melanie was never like that when he got home. She had given him a hot, sexy kiss and informed him, 'I'm feeling randy!'
And randy Melanie had definitely been in the bedroom. Lewd and disgusting, Albert Higginson would undoubtedly have said even though it was her own husband. But lewd and disgusting or not, he, Albert, had unwittingly been responsible for that behaviour.
So something of that feeling of sexual arousal was present now as Melanie led Albert Higginson into her lounge; something indeed akin to the feeling with which she had earlier led Trevor Wilmot into that same room. This feeling, of course, was overlaid with the vivid memory of that stinging, biting pain. It had been just about the most painful thing Melanie had ever experienced. All in all it was not surprising if her heart was thumping like the clappers.
'Please don't use that bloody thing again,' she pleaded.
'Watch that language,' ordered Albert sternly. He placed the riding crop on the sofa. Albert had, as it happened, been giving that very subject some serious thought. Melanie's bottom, with her jeans down, had been a very powerful sight. Lewd and disgraceful, of course, but nonetheless almost overwhelming. Albert had experienced an all-but-unstoppable need to put his hands on it – and on those so skimpy salacious knickers. Naturally Albert couldn't resort to overt fondling or groping but that need could be legitimately satisfied if instead of using the riding crop he spanked.
'You need a taste of that whip every day the way you've been carrying on,' Albert pronounced magisterially. 'But I could make it easier on you. I could make it a spanking today – though next time I daresay it'd have to be that whip again.'
Wide-eyed, heart still pounding, Melanie digested this new dimension. Albert Higginson was quite red in the face.
'It'd have to be with your knickers down, of course,' he added gruffly.
You dirty old bugger, Melanie thought – but naturally didn't say that. A spanking would not – could not – be as devastatingly painful as that crop; and though she didn't doubt it would be for his own titillation the thought of being over old Mr Higginson's lap (presumably) with her knickers down and his hand splatting down was... well, it made her heart thump even faster.
'No,' she said. 'You can't.' But not very convincingly.
'Rather have this riding crop?' Albert asked. He took hold of it and whipped it through the air – twice. There was only one answer to that. Melanie said, 'I think you're awful,' but started taking down her jeans.
'And those things,' instructed Albert. He had sat down on an upright chair. 'Those things' were this morning a respectable white in colour, but they were as brief and skimpy as ever – for the simple reason that Melanie didn't have any other sort. Albert could have taken them down himself, once she was over his lap, but that way he wouldn't have been able to see. And though Albert would never have admitted it, he did want to see and be shocked in the same way as with all those bottoms in tight jeans. If they hadn't been there Albert's life would have been quite empty.
Melanie didn't turn away as she obediently slid the knickers down. Albert's eyes were hot and glazed. Utterly disgusting, he told himself and it was a sign of her utter wantonness that she could calmly stand in front of him like this and take them down. The fact that he had told her to do so naturally was beside the point.
He looked, stared, drinking it all in, and then said 'Come here', his voice almost a croak.
Melanie's bare bottom over Albert's lap was almost too much. The lewd yet frighteningiy attractive object seemed bigger than ever, huge. Melanie wriggled it, getting in a more comfortable position, and Albert thought he was going to have a heart attack. He told himself to keep calm, this was indeed a stern test of his will power. He raised his hand and brought it down. Albert's head swam. His hand on the living flesh, stinging it. Hot and firm yet resilient. He brought his hand down again. The sensation was quite beyond description. The wanton young woman made a moaning sound.
* * *
'Was she hanging out again this morning?' Dorothy inquired, not really interested but knowing it was of great interest to Albert.
'Uh no,' said Albert distractedly.
Dorothy was making the tea after getting back from the shops. 'I'm surprised she has so much washing, being only her and him. But young people nowadays can afford so many clothes, not like when we were young.'
Albert wasn't really paying attention. He was seeing again Melanie Halford's bottom over his lap. Seeing it getting redder and redder. Feeling the most wonderful sensations in his hand as he spanked it stinging hot. And hearing her making that gasping sound. Afterwards she had made him a cup of tea. Sitting on the sofa she had seemed quite contrite.
'Have I got to have much more of this, Mr Higginson?' she had asked, batting her eyelashes at him.
Albert had said Yes he thought so. She had said, 'I'm not going to see that chap any more, Mr Higginson. It's all over.'
'Well you still need some more,' Albert had told her. 'You haven't nearly paid the price yet.' Seemingly Melanie had accepted this, saying only, 'I'd rather not have that awful crop, Mr Higginson.' To which Albert had gruffly retorted, 'You'll have to have some more of both.'
And Melanie Halford hadn't argued. Clearly, Albert thought, his hard-line treatment was just what she needed and she was accepting it. Perhaps she knew that she needed it. Albert would have been more than a little shocked if he had known the young woman found it exciting as much as anything else.
'Albert, are you listening?'
Dorothy's voice broke sharply into Albert's reverie of Melanie Halford's rear which had fallen like a ripe plum into his hands. He said a distracted 'Yes'.
Presumably he could stop her wearing those scandalous jeans now – if he really wanted to. But Albert knew he wouldn't. He would go on making angry noises but that was all. Because he knew that even though he might now be smacking it bare and whipping it he would still want to spy on it through his binoculars from behind the bedroom curtains.
'Albert!' exclaimed Dorothy.
Albert said yes, he had heard everything she had said. He wondered if he would go round next door again tomorrow. He didn't want her to think he was some kind of crank. Or a Dirty Old Man. People could get funny ideas.