Story from Janus 12.
by William R. Scholes
CAROL WAS CROSS; she hated being kept in after school. She was scribbling away furiously — pages upon pages of poetry to be copied out — and if it was not finished within the hour she would just have to stay until it was done.
Until recently, for her particular misdemeanour she would have got the strap. Two hard cuts across each hand, very painful but it was soon over.
The movement in favour of the abolition of corporal punishment had not been popular with most of the girls. Bending over for a caning had not been enforced at school for some time.
The strap had never been treated lightly, but it had not been regarded with great gravity either by those who had wielded it or by those who received it. Previously, 'detention' — being kept in for an hour after school — had been given only for serious offences, now it was the penalty for almost every form of misbehaviour. The Headmistress and the Governors had given in to pressure from the abolitionists and had done away with all forms of corporal punishment.
Carol was still feeling aggrieved when she reached home.
'You are late,' Mother greeted her. 'Detention?'
Carol nodded. 'Well, you know the consequences,' Mother informed her.
'But it's different now — ', Carol started.
'Be quiet,' snapped Mother. 'You know the rules: detention at school — further punishment at home. No excuses, no explanations.' Carol gulped.
'Your father will be late home this evening so he will not be able to deal with you immediately after tea, but we can still go ahead with the other parts of the penalties. You will be confined to your room this evening, and of course, you will not get any supper.'
'But I was going to the disco,' Carol protested.
'Not this evening, you're not,' Mother declared.
'What about television? My favourite programme's on early tonight,' Carol asked hopefully.
'Don't talk ridiculous,' snapped Mother. 'You know the rules — confined to your room, except when Father calls you to his study.'
They ate their teas in silence. After Carol had washed up, Mother gestured: 'Upstairs — get into your pyjamas for when Father is ready for you.'
Carol slowly mounted the stairs. She undressed and put on her pyjamas. They were nylon and almost transparent. She only wore them for these particular interviews with Father; she always slept 'in the raw'.
Carol could not relax; she sat on the floor, she tried lying on the bed, she walked up and down; this waiting was murder! She missed not having any supper. She felt lonely and was afraid of what was coming. She cried a little, no sound, just tears. It was very late and Carol was just about to go to bed when Mother stomped up the stairs.
'Father has just returned, he will see you downstairs in two minutes — do not upset him by keeping him waiting, it will made things worse.'
Father regarded her sternly: 'I am very angry with you.'
Carol started to explain. 'But — '
Father raised his hand admonishingly. 'I do not want to hear. No excuses, no explanations. It's too late tonight — I will deal with you tomorrow.'
Carol was worried, another day of anticipation. She did not know what was going to happen to her exactly, but it was bound to be painful.
She was still in bed the following morning when Mother came up.
'Father has decided not to wait until this evening. He will deal with you before breakfast. Get your pyjamas on: you have five minutes to be in the study or the punishment will be doubled.'
Carol hurried into the study. There was a heavy chair standing in the centre of the room. Father was flexing a cane back and forth between his hands. Carol gazed at it with horror — not that one!
'We will use the No. 3 cane in future,' declared Father. 'You are older now and have outgrown canes No. 1 and 2. This one is much more effective.'
Carol was apprehensive, 'More effective' meant 'hurts three times as much'. No. 3 cane was over three feet long, and when applied with force and speed, flexible enough to follow the contours of the body yet with plenty of weight. A few weeks back he had given her three strokes with it. She had been wearing slacks and knickers but it had hurt attrociously.
Father gestured with his head. 'Bend over the back of that chair. I have decided to give you six strokes.'
Carol gasped, 'Six!'
Father plucked at her pyjama trousers. 'And you can drop those too.'
In a daze she allowed her trousers to drop round her ankles. She shuffled up to the chair and draped herself over the back of it, grasping the front legs halfway down, thrusting her naked bottom well up in the air.
Exposing her nudity to her father was the lesser of her worries. It was the heating she was dreading.
Mother bent over her grasping her arms and the upper part of her body in a firm grip.
The cane touched her lightly. There was a brief pause, a backwards flick then a loud swish. For a tiny fraction of a second there was nothing then a band of fire exploded across the centre of both cheeks and round her flank.
Carol jerked violently. Her cry was muffled; she almost choked. 'Not five more like that!'
Father took his time, perhaps ten or twelve seconds, and then the second stroke came slashing down about two inches higher. The third stroke was another two inches above that; not that Carol appreciated how nicely spaced they were; she only knew there was a perfectly intolerable band of hurt spread right across the upper part of her bottom. She was sobbing and struggling and striving without avail to remove her poor bum from the range of the implement that was tormenting her.
After the first three there was a slightly longer intermission while Father changed his stance. The fourth stroke came whipping down across the lower part of the target — just above the top of her thighs. Carol uttered a muffled shriek. The fifth stroke was just a little higher, and then the last one practically in the same groove. She was released. The whole area of both cheeks from top to bottom was one mass of blazing fire.
Carol crawled away to the bathroom. Eventually, somehow, she managed to dress and snatched some breakfast. She hurried to school but she was late. The form mistress who had already completed calling the roll snapped at her.
Carol flung herself on to her seat but rose hurriedly again with a parched cry, for her bottom was still intensely sore and tender. She had thought it might be less uncomfortable if she left her knickers off but now she was not sure that had been wise. The teacher glared at her again.
That was only the start of her troubles. The wooden chairs were not particularly comfortable at the best of times and now she found it impossible to sit still, neither could she concentrate on what she was being taught.
Eventually the teacher called her out. 'You have been a constant source of disruption today. You began by being late and ever since you have been fidgeting and also failing to pay attention. You will spend an hour in detention before you go home this afternoon.'
By that time the tenderness had abated to a certain extent; the sensations in her bottom had diminished from a savage pain to a constant tingling glow. Nevertheless Carol fretted considerably all through her detention.
When she reached home Father and Mother were there both looking grim.
'Detention?' Mother asked. Carol nodded glumly. She took her tea in silence.
After tea Mother said: 'You will get no supper tonight, and you will be confined to your room, of course — after Father has dealt with you.'
'Yes, upstairs and change — I'll see you in ten minutes,' said Father.
Despairingly Carol started to explain. 'But it was this morning's — ' she began.
'Silence,' snapped Father. 'I do not listen to excuses or explanations!'
Within ten minutes Carol timorously entered the study. The chair was already in position in the centre of the room. Father and Mother were facing her. Father was forcibly swishing No. 3 cane through the air.
'I find it difficult to know what to do with you,' said Father. 'Detentions on successive days... It would appear that the six strokes I gave you this morning had no effect.'
'You are too soft with her,' declared Mother. 'You ought to give her at least twelve.' Adding after a pause: 'Or perhaps twenty!'
Father appeared to consider. 'I value your judgement, my dear. We must ensure that she receives adequate correction, for her own good.'
'She must learn — the hard way, if necessary,' Mother stated.
Carol quivered. It was almost with relief that she heard him say: 'I hope I am not making a mistake but I will be lenient this time. I will only give you nine strokes on this occasion.'
Carol's relief soon vanished. Having experienced six strokes she realised what nine were going to mean.
'How many more times have I got to tell you about those?' asked Father touching her pyjama trousers with the point of the cane.
Carol dropped her trousers and, at a gesture, shuffled over to the chair and draped herself over the back. No sooner had she bent over than, without any warning, the first searing cut came slashing down across Carol's bare backside. She shrieked and tore herself sideways away from the chair, but the pyjama trousers entwined round her ankles impeded her. Mother had not been in position to maintain a firm grip, but Carol's pyjama jacket was torn right off. Father and Mother both grabbed her.
'Struggling!' declared Father.
'Attempting to escape,' added Mother. 'The penalty has to be doubled — at least.'
Father considered. 'Yes, defiance of this nature must be stamped on. We are only doing this for her own good, she should accept it willingly.'
Carol, naked and feeling very vulnerable, kept her lips tightly shut.
'But I will be lenient again,' she heard him say. 'We will just ignore that one and start again.'
Carol was soon in position again and Mother was firmly clasping her bare body. The cut that had just been inflicted had left a double red mark across the centre of both cheeks. The worst discomfort of the morning's beating has disappeared, but her bottom was very sensitive and the earlier marks were still prominent.
'You certainly laced into her this morning,' Mother said approvingly.
'That was nothing to what I am going to do now,' Father replied.
'Make sure the next nine strokes are all good ones,' Mother enjoined.
Father smiled grimly. 'I always do. Each stroke is given very deliberately and designed to achieve the maximum effect.'
This time Father worked from top to bottom. The first stroke landed a few inches below her hips. It was excruciating.
'One,' intoned Father.
'Good grief!' Carol gasped. 'Oh please! Not eight more like that — it's not possible.'
But it was; remorselessly, intolerably, unbearably, the number of strokes mounted. Two, three, four, five... The sixth landed just across the top of her thighs.
There was a pause. Father was changing his position again.
'No more, no more!' Carol pleaded in a whimper, but she knew there was going to be more. The full quota. 'Go on, get it over with,' she thought.
It could not hurt any more, she said to herself. But she was wrong.
The last three cuts, deliberately spaced, came whipping down diagonally across the previous six. It was murder! But at last she was free.
A short time later she was kneeling on the floor of her bedroom, gently bathing her tormented bottom with cold water, and reviewing what had happened to her.
Before the anti-CP movement had succeeded she would have had two hard cuts with a strap across each hand; painful but soon over.
Now she had endured two irksome hours' detention, had been confined to her room for two entire evenings and deprived of her supper twice.
On top of which she had suffered sixteen full-blooded, searing strokes of No. 3 cane across her naked backside. Why couldn't the abolitionists have minded their own business.
Carol thought ruefully that it was almost impossible to keep clear of all trouble at school, and Father had said he would 'not be so lenient in future.' The prospect was grim.