Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Madcap At Benningdean

Story from Privilege Plus 01.

A Madcap At Benningdean
by Glen Fairlight

'ARE you nervous?'

'Nervous?' The second girl in line, Rosamund Clarkson, giggled – but the laughter failed to reach her sparkling green eyes. 'Did you say ner-ner-ner...?'

A brief shriek, then a gulp, from Lisa Fenchurch, last of the three still waiting in the corridor outside the closed door. She too had large lustrous eyes, more blue than green, though like the two girls to her left she had long thick hair the colour of dark honey, held back from her forehead by a plain white braid.

'Shut up, you two,' she pleaded, 'or I'll wet my knickers.'

'What, your regulation navy-blues?' said the first girl, Gilly Sands, whose eyes were brown. 'Shame on you!'

'I'd commit murder for a fag,' moaned Rosamund. 'How many's been in so far?'

'Six. We're the last.'

Rosamund frowned a little worriedly. 'D'you think it'll hurt?'

'Of course it'll bloody hurt,' Gilly snorted. 'That's the whole bloody point of all this, isn't it? Believe me, if I didn't need the money...'

Rosamund put a hand behind herself, leaned forward and slapped her own bottom over the old-fashioned tartan school skirt. 'Hmm, hardly felt that.' She fumbled under the folds and slapped again. The muffled clap was surprisingly loud.

'Owp!' she owped. 'That hurt.' She grinned uneasily. 'At least I now know how a Scotsman feels inside his kilt.'

'Let me assure you,' said Gilly, 'that no way does a Scotsman feel anything like that inside his kilt.'

'Speaking from hard experience, are we?' Lisa smiled. 'If you think a little tap like that hurt, Rosie, they'll be scraping you off the ceiling before they've even got the punishment book out.'

In the preparation mirror on the wall opposite they saw again how similar each looked to the other. The school uniforms helped, of course – tartan pleated skirts of the 1920s hung to below their knees, a fawn sash tied around each slender waist, shapely calves respectably clad in grey hose. Gleaming black shoes completed the picture.

'Just look at us – we could be triplets,' said Gilly. 'Hate the tie, don't you?'

'I feel like a flippin' flapper!' This from Rosamund, trying to hide her nervousness and failing.

Only Lisa seemed relatively serene at the prospect ahead. 'You will be flapping in a minute,' she grinned. 'When I knew we were up for this I read the book.'

'A Madcap At Benningdean?' said Rosamund. 'Stupid title.'

'It's a right bodice-ripper. You should read it. Had me reaching into my knickers more than once. What we're up for today is what happens to the heroine after she's caught breaking into the headmistress's study to nick the exam results. Cor!'

'Sounds like a real yawn,' said Gilly.

'You won't be yawning soon. In the book they used a birch. Fifteen across the crown of her jacksie, knickers down.'

'What?' Rosamund stared, eyes saucering. 'I thought it was going to be a couple of quick ones with a cane over our skirts.'

'We'll find out for sure soon enough.'

They fell silent, lost in renewed contemplation. The mirror reflected three radiantly lovely young women, supposedly eighteen but each in their early twenties, bodies limber and gym-toned, each around the requisite five-foot-five and eight-stone-three, haltered breasts gently outswelling the starched cotton blouses under the grey school blazer, with the Benningdean School badge emblazoned on each top pocket, striped school ties neatly knotted at their throats.

The door beside them clicked open and a young woman in identical uniform to theirs tottered out, frantically clutching the seat of her skirt.

'Fuck me!' she gasped, turning a scarlet, tear-soaked face towards them. 'It's sodding murder! Audition? – this is for real!' She gave a choking wail and lurched off, fingers kneading her burning behind.

Rosamund gaped in horror after the sobbing figure as it disappeared towards the toilets. A thickset woman in her thirties peered round the door, greying hair trained down over her forehead to hide the lines.

'Gilly Sands?'

Gilly gulped. 'Er, suppose so.' The woman held the door wider and the girl walked past her into the room. A murmur of voices, an inner door opened and closed, then silence.

'And then there were two,' Lisa murmured.

'I'm surprised you can be so casual about it,' Rosamund said. 'I'm not worried about showing the goods – that's par for the course these days. But as for being actually whacked...' With a troubled frown she lifted her skirt again at the back and explored the springy flesh as if to test its resilience.

'Stop touching yourself up or you'll get me at it,' grinned Lisa.

'Just feeling out the territory, that's all! Virgin territory, as a matter of fact – so far as this sort of thing goes. How about yours?'

'My what?'

'What d'you think? Your arse! That thing you sit on!' Rosamund removed the hand from beneath her own skirt and slipped it boldly under Lisa's, feeling the other's knickered bottom with interested fingers. It seemed smaller and firmer than hers. 'Has this thing here ever known the kiss of anything other than a randy stud's tongue?'

Lisa slapped the hand away. 'Pack it in, you raving dyke!'

'Tell me, then!'

'If you must know, my boyfriend used to pull me over his knees a couple of times a week and spank me. Sometimes he'd use the back of a hairbrush. Other times he'd shove me over a chair and whack me with a cane. That really hurt. But we'd been doing it for ages before we packed it in.'

'Let's see!' Rosamund whipped up Lisa's school skirt, pulled back her knicker-elastic and stared at two silky-skinned buttocks of alabastrine paleness. 'Bollocks!' she said. 'There's not a mark on it.' She ran her fingers lightly over the soft mounds. They wobbled gently.

'That's 'cos we broke up a couple of weeks ago. I don't miss him much, but I do miss it. Now hands off the goods or I'll scream for a policeman.'

'But that's not fair!' blurted Rosamund, readjusting Lisa's knickers and skirt. 'Here's you with an arse that looks and feels like a nectarine peach, but has the resistance of rhinoceros hide...'

'You say such sweet things!'

Rosamund turned her back on Lisa, raised the skirt and pushed out her own bottom, tugging the knickers down. 'See that?' Lisa noted that it was larger than her own, voluptuous-looking and deeply cleft. 'Christ – don't fancy a swap, do you?' she said.

'Exactly! This is glam bum number one, right? Top of the botts. A real class ass. Men have been known to come in their pants simply looking at it. But it's never had so much as a slapping in all its life. Like I say, it just isn't fair!'

At that moment they heard something like a distant whisper and a ghostly splash – a sound already heard several times that afternoon – followed half a second later by a noise like the first wail of a bagpiper's lament. Moments later Gilly Sands exploded out into the corridor, glaring as if insane, the hem of her skirt pinned halfway up her back to expose two generous bottom-cheeks lividly marked with a network of red spindly lines.

'You poor bitches!' she managed to gasp, and then was off towards the changing rooms, hands wrenching at each wobbly mound as she dementedly danced from foot to foot.

The woman with the clipboard reappeared, shaking her head as she crossed another name off her list. 'Rosamund Clarkson,' she said, even more worriedly.

'Sorry,' Rosamund yelped. 'I just bottled out. Hang on, Gilly!' Then she was gone, sprinting off in the direction of the other's receding cries.

'Ok dear,' said the woman. 'I take it you're Lisa Fenchurch?'

Lisa nodded. 'And then there were none.' The girl braced herself and walked into an ante-office with a desk and piles of scripts on shelves. The woman offered her a hand, which Lisa shook. 'I'm Marina Pagett, the producer. I'm afraid quite a few of the others didn't seem entirely clear what would he required of them today.'

'We're auditioning as body doubles for Annabel Spearman, aren't we?'

Annabel Spearman was an international success following her performance in a low budget home-grown movie partly funded by Channel Four. The film had been a sensation, sweeping the board at Cannes and taking America by storm. Still only 22, Spearman's slender sexy body, clear green eyes, dark-honey hair and sensuous pout had earned her the apt if unoriginal tag of the 'British Bardot'. In appearance she was strikingly similar to the nine aspiring actresses who had turned up today.

And of whom the last now stood before the troubled producer.

'It's only the one scene we need a double for,' Marina explained. 'But it's of vital importance to the development of the central character.'

'Is it the one where Fiona McAllister gets birched for nicking the exam results at Benningdean Private School for Young Ladies, summer 1925?'

'My word, you have done your homework.' The producer felt a flicker of hope. 'Annabel refuses to perform the scene herself – and who can blame her?' Marina allowed herself a wan smile. 'And our director, Bryan Boone, insists on total authenticity.'

'Bryan Boone! I didn't realise...'

'It's Bryan's directorial debut. You'll know if you've read the book that the heroine is birched on the, um, bare behind in the presence of the headmistress, by one of the younger male school governors – played by Bryan, of course...'

'Who later becomes her lover.' Or, more explicitly, takes the young girl into a wonderland of sexual ecstasy previously unimagined by her!

'Why, yes.' Marina Pagett looked even more impressed. 'A full fifteen strokes, but so far no one's been able to take more than three. Bryan refuses to take it – and he's no weakling.'

Bryan Boone! Mister rugged Aussie heart-throb, strong and sensitive, pale and interesting! Lisa experienced a cascade of thrillings in the pit of her stomach. The guy was no Adonis, yet the mere thought of him made her wet. And he was the one doing the whacking!

'I will of course understand if you'd rather not go through with it...' Marina went on unhappily.

'Lead on,' Lisa said.

She was ushered through an inner door into a soundproofed room got up like an old-style headmistress's study and lit by bright lamps. The handsome male movie star-cum-director Bryan Boone, in period duds with fake moustache, watched his eighth and final victim enter. She looked, of course, remarkably similar to the other seven beauties who had already bent and bared their butts for him today. Frankly, he very much doubted whether this one would be any more stoic than the rest – and that in the end he was going to have to fake the scene and screw up the movie, all because British girls had no guts. An Aussie chick would've done it on her head, but it was too late for that now.

'This is Lisa,' Marina announced.

Boone nodded brusquely where he stood beside the waist-high stool, around which was scattered a litter of broken birch-twigs from their brief but explosive succession of whacks across seven pairs of naked buttocks. Nearby stood a bucket in which more bundles of twigs were soaking. Camera and sound stood by, alert to start filming on a nod from him. So far today they'd done bugger all except admire the scenery. Unconventional, that was Bryan Boone.

With a frown he didn't have to fake, Boone rolled up his right sleeve for the eighth time. He didn't have to work hard at being in character – a grim-visaged, black-moustached disciplinarian of the 1920s intent on flogging the buttocks of a wickedly pretty thief with far too much courage than was good for her. His suit-jacket was already off, braces hidden beneath a dark waistcoat, the stiff collar and striped necktie feeling tighter than ever. He ran a finger around the starched rim to ease his neck.

'Stand over here, girl!' he growled. Deep-voiced, menacing.

Lisa Fenchurch, becoming a tremulous 18-year-old called Fiona McAllister, trod towards the stool, head meekly bowed. Boone blinked at her – this one had something. He blinked again, and knew. Hardly able to believe it had happened, he nodded sharply. Suddenly, magically, it was the month of June some seventy summers ago, in the book-lined study of the vinegary-faced headmistress who, with long black gown and short bobbed hair, was gliding forward to stand by the stool, unyieldingly stern, ready to position her trembling charge across it.

Fiona stopped in front of the punishment stool and Miss Staplehurst glared haughtily into her face through the pince-nez. 'You know why you are here, McAllister,' came the cultured cadences of yesteryear, 'so I will waste no time in reiterating your crime and further compounding your shame. You are to be soundly birched upon your unclothed rear. Our school governor and benefactor, Mister Frencham, has kindly consented to carry out the beating!'

'Yes, Ma'am,' said Fiona, tiny-voiced. She gazed down at the stool much as Lady Jane Grey might have stared at the executioner's block, weirdly noting the seasoned wood from which it was fashioned, the swirly pattern of the grain and how smooth was its top from the countless young bodies that had bent across it. In the charged silence there came through the open window the shouts of girls at play, borne on a breeze drenched with scents of flowers and new-mown grass.

Eleanor Staplehurst, MA (Oxon.), square of shoulder, gimlet-eyed, stepped up behind the errant girl. 'Unbutton your blazer, Fiona.' Her voice was not unkind.

Tremble-fingered, Fiona did so. Womanly hands, wide and warm, eased the garment from her. The whop of a racquet against a tennis ball sucked into the room like a gulp. 'Well played!' came a distant shout. The words, sheathed in sun-heat and the tang of open spaces, chased it.

The woman stooped to grip the hem of the miscreant's school skirt and slowly raised it. Fiona McAllister was far too beautiful for her own good: lithe and limber, perfectly proportioned, bright of eye and gay of smile. Miss Staplehurst could smell the heady aroma of girlness, of boundless energy and health. She wished – oh! how she wished – that she could dip her head and kiss the nape of that pretty neck, and enfold the child, in brief embrace to give her courage.

Instead, she raised the skirt up Fiona's back and pinned the hem to the fabric of the blouse between the girl's shoulder blades. Her fingers trembled a little more as they then gripped the waistband of the dark blue school knickers and peeled them down to the middle of the girl's thighs. For several treasured moments the woman's eyes dwelt on the bared, ripely rounded buttocks, compact as an athlete's, pale as cream-hued roses, the crevice between them deeping into secret places.

'You will bend forward over the stool, girl, and grip the lowest rung.'

Fiona McAllister did not understand the shiver in the stern voice as the injunction was intoned. With unconscious gracefulness the girl bent forward until the stool-top was thrusting up beneath her belly as her weight bore down upon it. She straightened her legs, and her toe-tips touched the floor while her dangling hands sought the rung referred to.

The whop-whop-whop of a fast rally from the tennis courts thumped into Fiona's mind. Girlish laughter shrilled like seagulls. The man who was to apply the birch had not been what she had expected: no grey-bearded corpulent with snuff-stained whiskers and blood-rimmed eyes this school governor! Rather he was tall and manly and hardly more than five-and-thirty. And handsome – Lord! This could surely be neither right nor decent, Fiona thought, squirming in acute embarrassment on the stool-top and not feeling the slightest bit of a madcap now!

'Be still!' His voice was deep. It thrilled into Fiona's skin-pores like an itch and set off a storm in her brain. His footfalls sounded quick and soft as he stepped up behind her. She had not heard him reach into the bucket and withdraw a bundle of birch-twigs; yet now there came a faint plipping as the drops ran off them, and a rattling swish as he shook the weapon in his fist.

Oh woe, sweet maiden, so unconsciously beloved! As your heart fluttered in your breast like a trapped sparrow, in terror of the torrents of pain soon to explode across your petal-soft haunches, you could not in your innocence guess how your back-stretched legs, parted a little for balance, afforded your mentor breathcatching glimpses of your maidenhair and the pinky succulence nestling within. You could not hear how his heart hammered, nor how his breath ached to gasp aloud at so forbidden a sight you presented to him on that torrid afternoon, with the full-moon mounds of your bottom presented as a feast to his senses.

The exquisite offering to the gods of justice tensed, gripping the lowest stool-rung, and Eleanor Staplehurst gazed upon her own vision of perfection. Angus Frencham sighted on his enchanting target, drew back his arm and, with a groan more akin to ecstasy than effort, swept the birch-rod down. The twigs splatted against the rumpy curves of pallid flesh, sending up a spray of droplets as they struck and inspiring a loud gasp from the prostrated maiden.

Far from the wet wands cooling Fiona's nether-cheeks, they had felt like the abrupt arrival of a firestorm there! Standing at the girl's head, Miss Staplehurst felt the shock of the stroke vibrate through her body, and neither she nor Fiona had time to draw full breath before another stroke blasted down.


A tremor ran up Angus Frencham's arm as the birch struck those divine rumps again. A screech tore from the girl's throat, her body juddered and her right foot kicked involuntarily upwards, yet she stayed in place. For a moment he paused, gazing in awe at pearly peaches pinkening as a tracery of spidery lines claimed those sweet summits. In some errant part of his mind he wanted to sink to his knees and bury his face against the ferociously smarting globes, quenching the fires with kisses.

Instead, he concentrated on the task at hand. Six more times he swung the birch with studied firmness, noting how greedily the twigs lapped and spread across the tautly stretched skin of that beauteous bottom as though to possess every inch of their silken surfaces! Almost he forgot that these perfectly proportioned female buttocks were not some separate entity ordered up in a dream for his delights, but an integral part of the anatomy of an eighteen-year-old woman who had committed a grievous wrong and must perforce be punished. Her cries and tormented gasps came grudgingly as she struggled to contain them. It was this, he later realised, that so warmed his blood and drew his soul towards her; for valour under fire during those dreadsome weeks in the trenches on the Somme was something Lieutenant Angus Frencham had signally lacked.

Hwosn - hwosh - hwosh. Fiona McAllister wrenched so hard at the strut she was gripping, the surprise was that it did not snap. The harsh hisses of hurtling birch-twigs, the succession of blazing pains as they struck her naked buttocks again and again, the animal gruntings of the man, the strange little signs emanating from Miss Staplehurst, all coalesced in the girl's whirling mind into a single mad sound. The entire surface of Fiona's bottom had become a sea of ice and fire through which pain seethed and lapped, while the punishing arm continued to rise and fall with unremitting regularity and appalling severity.

Hwosh - hwosh - hwosh. The conflagration in Fiona's bottom has reached its white-hot zenith. Strange scents gradually overwhelmed those of ink and wood and carpet and dusty books and new-mown grass: the tang of Miss Staplehurst's second-rate perfume mixed with traces of something the girl could by no means as yet define; something base and animal which made her want to heave her hinder parts brazenly upwards to greet the cruel chastiser! As the fists of the punished pupil wrenched and her body juddered and writhed and she cried out again and again, she saw the carpet and the feet and sensible stockings of her headmistress through a blur of salty wetness as her bottom, prickling and burning, jerked lewdly about...


A scream – her scream – echoed and re-echoed in her ears. The birching had ceased and a man's voice was roaring in magnificent baritone:

'Oh, my beauty! Oh God, you're terrific! I'll love you forever!'

'Fifteen!' screeched Eleanor Staplehurst, MA (Oxon.). 'My word, that was absolutely fantastic, Lisa! Well done, well done!'

Who on earth was Lisa, and why was the headmistress hugging her? The noises of girls at play outside had been replaced by the click of a clapper-board ending the shot, and excited masculine voices close at hand.

'We've got it, got the lot in one!' The camera operator looked up, grinning hugely.

Strong hands were helping her up from the stool, and Bryan Boone was smiling into her sweat-damp, flushed and tear-streaked face.

'Christ, you were marvellous! We were soaring, really soaring – didn't you feel it?' There was no feigning his admiration. 'What was your name again?'

'Fiona McAllister.'

A roar of mirth. 'I love it, I love it! You be Fiona and I'll be Angus, eh? That lovely brave backside of yours'll get an Oscar as "Best Supporting Artist" for sure!'

'I'll have to walk up backwards to get the award, then,' she winced. Her bottom seethed and burned. Make-up were applying cooling douches and smearing cream over its crimsoned cheeks, while Wardrobe stood by with a robe to cover her modesty.

'Fancy a drink and a bite to eat when we've cleared up here?' the famous voice was murmuring in her ear. 'Just the two of us – Fiona and Angus, eh? There's something he's busting his old-fashioned balls to discuss with this sweet little flower of blossoming womanhood.'

'If you don't mind a "sweet little flower" who has to eat standing up,' Lisa said. She tried to get her mind around all the amazing things that were due to happen between the two of them in the chapters which followed the birching. Shaky with excitement, she reached for a towel and surreptitiously wiped.

'I must warn you,' she added when her voice had calmed a little, 'that I take very big bites...'


  1. Now that was a really unusual and a really good story about birching; brilliant in fact.
    Old Tom

  2. It reminded me of all those so-called castings made by Mood films.

  3. Most excellent indeeed especialy the section when the young lady was almost in the act of offering up her stinging bottom to the birch , obviosly the action was well and truly stiring her inner emotions.

    Correction Man