Monday, 18 June 2012

Once Upon A Time

Story from Janus 39.

Once Upon A Time
by Gerald Sinclair

Long ago, in the days of legend and magic, there was a King who had three beautiful daughters. Crystal was the eldest at 21, then came Miranda who was 18, and finally 16-year-old Lisette.

*   *   *

King Fedor's realm was a happy place on the whole, but problems did arise from time to time. There came a day when a panting messenger fell to one knee before the King and gasped out, 'Sire, a ferocious dragon is ravaging the western provinces!'

'Damn it!' frowned the King, irritably thumping the arm of his throne. 'They'll probably want a reduction of taxes as they did after the Ogre Invasion three years ago. The dragon's going through the usual routine, I take it?'

'Yes, Sire,' said the messenger. 'Killing all the men it can catch, reducing the crops and cottages to ashes with its fiery breath, carrying off beautiful maidens to meet a fate so bizarre –'

'Yes, yes, you needn't go into that,' said the King, uneasily aware of Queen Marguerite's formidable presence at his side. 'What are the local people doing about it, though? There were supposed to be some good dragon-slaying teams in the west. Gramarye United were near the top of the first division last year.'

'Alas, great king,' said the messenger. 'Gramarye United went forth to do battle against the monster a week ago. All we could find of them afterwards was a couple of broken spears and a scorched jockstrap. This dragon is really something special.'

'It's the enchanted variety I suppose,' said Queen Marguerite, impatiently. 'Protected by magic spells, immune to ordinary weapons. You'll have to consult the Court Magician, Fedor. It's time he did something to earn his keep apart from performing dubious conjuring tricks at the men-at-arms' stag parties.'

'Just what I was thinking, my dear,' said the King. 'Someone go and tell Master Erasmus he's wanted immediately.'

Shortly afterwards Master Erasmus stood before them clad in his bright and gaudy official robes; a plump, curly-haired fellow with dimpled cheeks and shifty eyes. The problem was explained to him and he went through the motions of his craft. He consulted ancient cobwebbed volumes, peered into a crystal ball, read teacups and burned peculiar-smelling herbs.

'The answer is not altogether clear,' he said, 'but it seems that the dragon can only be overthrown by a brave knight who has a lady's handkerchief tied to his spear. The handkerchief must be stained with the tears of a royal princess who has been soundly whipped.'

'What?' It was a simultaneous shriek from the King's three lovely daughters.

Queen Marguerite turned to look at the quaking, blushing princesses. 'Fortunately,' she said with a grim smile, 'that can easily be arranged.'

She pointed to Crystal, a long-legged, delightfully curved young lady with big blue eyes and long, gleaming golden hair. 'As the eldest, Crystal, you always take precedence over your sisters. We will now go to your bedroom and –'

'Oh, but Mother!' blurted out Crystal in dismay. 'I don't want – I'd rather not – isn't there some other way?'

'Your bedroom, Crystal!' was the Queen's only response as she arose and took a firm grip on her reluctant daughter's wrist. She led Crystal through the astonished and amused courtiers, out of the Throne Room and up the stairs. By which time, Crystal's cheeks were crimson with embarrassment.

'You can't be serious, Mother!' protested Crystal as they entered her bedroom. 'I – I haven't done anything to be punished for.'

'That has nothing to do with it,' said the Queen, opening a drawer and producing a formidable three-tailed leather tawse. 'Being a member of a Royal family means one must sometimes make sacrifices for the good of the people. Bend over!'

Taking up an all-too-familiar position over the end of the bed, Crystal grumbled, 'That's all very well – but it's my bum that's going to be sacrificed!'

'Don't whine, Crystal,' said her mother, briskly turning up the princess' skirts waist-high to reveal very shapely legs clad in the sheerest silk, and charmingly dainty white lace-trimmed knickers. 'You haven't had a real leathering for nearly six months, so you're overdue for one anyway.'

She deftly drew the knickers down to the stocking tops, feeling a maternal satisfaction at the sight of Crystal's plump, bare, cream-skinned bottom. 'I'm afraid I've been neglecting you, Crystal,' she said, giving an affectionate pat to those tempting curves. 'I'll try to make up for that.'

She stepped back, raised the tawse and brought it down hard.

'Ow!' yelled Crystal, with a convulsive jerk, as she felt the agonising sting of tough leather across her sensitive buttocks.

The tawse swung down again. 'Ooooh!' And again. And again.

'The handkerchief!' wailed Crystal, squirming wildly as her tender bottom burned. 'Let me wipe my eyes and then you can stop!'

'Master Erasmus did say soundly whipped,' said her mother somewhat breathlessly. 'I think another six should do it.'

'Oh no, Mother, please!'

'Oh yes, Crystal!' said the Queen.

Whack! 'Aaahoww!'

Below, in the Throne Room, the courtiers waited in attentive silence. Although the bedroom was some distance away the sound of Crystal's tearful lamentations reached them quite distinctly. Cautious glances of satisfaction were exchanged between those who had often found the Princess over-haughty and inclined to insist on the dignity of her exalted rank. Much tingling excitement was felt all round at the sounds of the tawse striking her bottom.

Eventually the Queen reappeared, holding a handkerchief which was not merely stained but saturated with Crystal's heartfelt tears. She handed it to her husband.

'Give this to Sir Bevis,' she suggested. 'He's supposed to be rather good with dragons and I'm tired of having him hanging round the palace and seducing the serving wenches.'

After Sir Bevis had ridden off on his big white charger with the handkerchief tied to his lance the courtiers, with a slight sense of anti-climax, settled down to wait for news. Princess Crystal emerged from her bedroom, very red about the eyes and unusually subdued, and sent a smirking page to hunt out the plumpest, softest cushion in the palace.

The messenger, breathless and wild-eyed, arrived the following evening. 'Sir Bevis –' he gasped.

'Has slain the dragon?' beamed the King.

The messenger shook his head sadly and held out a helmet everyone recognised. It contained a few charred bones and a scorched fragment of a lace-trimmed handkerchief.

'I think,' said the Queen, 'that Master Erasmus has some explaining to do.'

'A slight miscalculation,' said the magician, unruffled, when he made his appearance. 'An oversight which I sincerely regret.'

'Not as sincerely as I do!' muttered Crystal, wriggling on her cushion.

'Further research,' said Master Erasmus, 'shows that the spell only works if the tears are shed by a virgin.'

There was a tense, awe-struck silence in the Throne Room. Crystal blushed vividly. So did a tall, handsome squire who could be seen furtively glancing round for the nearest exit.

'C-r-r-r-ystal!' said Queen Marguerite.

'But Mother – I – I –'


Five minutes later the tall squire was on his way to the dungeons with an armed guard, while the courtiers were once more listening in fascinated silence to the sound of Crystal's howls and entreaties mingled with the steady thwack! thwack! thwack! of a leather tawse across a royal rump.

'I suppose it's lucky,' said the King next day, 'that we have two more princesses.'

Miranda and Lisette looked at each other in dismay. Lucky?

'Miranda,' said the Queen, ominously. 'I hope there's no doubt about –'

'Of course not!'

'In that case,' said the Queen, 'we'd better go to your bedroom.'

The slim, tawny-haired, soft-spoken Miranda was regarded as the intellectual one among the princesses. Since she had received much of her education across her mother's knee she knew better than to argue when she was ordered into that ignominious position. In a matter of moments her skirts were around her waist and her blue silk briefs were halfway down her thighs.

'Now, Miranda,' said the Queen, with a large ebony-backed hairbrush poised above her daughter's shapely seat. 'Tears are what we need, so let's make sure there are plenty.'

And indeed, Miranda's tears were soon flowing abundantly as that lovely young lady blubbered and pleaded and wriggled through the soundest spanking she had received for years. The scorching impact of hard wood on tender curves was no novelty to Miranda, but on this occasion she had the added misery of knowing she hadn't even done anything to deserve the stinging anguish in her scarlet, quivering behind.

'And who,' asked the Queen a little later, 'is the gallant knight who will ride out with Miranda's handkerchief to face the dragon?'

'I thought of Sir Godfrey,' said King Fedor. 'His remarkable luck at cards has been quite expensive to me lately. Let's see how lucky he is with dragons.'

Shortly afterwards, a very disgruntled Sir Godfrey, swearing under his breath and shedding extra aces from every chink in his armour, went forth to do battle.

The same weary messenger limped into court the following day.

'Well?' demanded the King. 'Did Sir Godfrey give the dragon the coup de grace?

'No,' said the man, glumly. 'But with any luck he may have given the dragon indigestion.'

Queen Marguerite's baleful glare settled upon Miranda. Miranda gulped.

'But Mother, there must be some mistake! I haven't –! I mean I am –! you mustn't think –!'

'Upstairs!' thundered the Queen.

Halfway through the exemplary spanking which followed, Master Erasmus appeared at the bedroom door.

'Your Majesty, stop! There has been an unfortunate error. I'll never trust a Hong Kong crystal ball again!'

'Eh?' said the Queen, hairbrush raised aloft.

'I'm sure Princess Miranda is a virgin,' said the magician. 'Regrettably, that isn't enough. To make the spell truly effective, the chastisement should have been carried out in public.'

Queen Marguerite pondered for a moment, thoughtfully considering the blazing crimson bottom of the innocent young beauty sobbing bitterly across her lap.

'Pity,' said the Queen. 'Still, I've started, so I'll finish.' She brought the brush down sharply to resume the interrupted spanking. Master Erasmus retreated down the corridor, his ears filled with Miranda's tearful entreaties mingled with the juicy splat! of hard wood landing of tender teenage buttocks.

'Now, Master Erasmus,' said the King severely next day. 'Are you quite sure this time? We've plenty of knights left but we're running out of princesses.'

'I've checked and re-checked,' said the anxious magician. 'This time it's a hundred per cent certain. If a virgin princess is publicly whipped, her tears will mean death for the dragon.'

'Very well,' said Queen Marguerite. 'Lisette – where's Lisette?'

The plump, mischievous honey-blonde had certainly been in the Throne Room a few minutes earlier. Now, her chair was empty.

'I wish I'd had the sense to disappear in time yesterday,' murmured Miranda to Crystal.

'The Lord Chamberlain will organise a search party,' said the Queen. 'I take it everyone is volunteering to help?'

Everybody was. It took them an hour and three-quarters to track Lisette down to a remote garret in a disused wing of the palace. Before they got her back to the Throne Room she had bitten two ladies in waiting and kicked a Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod in an acutely sensitive area.

'I'm surprised at you, Lisette,' said King Fedor. 'After all, this is for the benefit of our beloved people. Just think of the poor peasants cowering in their scorched fields.'

'Sod the poor peasants!' said Lisette. 'I'd rather have their fields scorched than my arse!'

'I've always said she spent too much time in the sergeant's mess of the Household Cavalry,' remarked Queen Marguerite.

'My dear,' said King Fedor, 'you've dealt admirably with Crystal and Miranda. Now it's time for me to do my share.'

He paused, noting the rebellious eye of his tousled and defiant daughter, and glanced at the nearest courtiers. 'Perhaps some of you would like to help?'

Eager hands placed a sturdy, richly-upholstered stool in the centre of the floor. Others hauled Lisette willy-nilly across it to lie face downwards, kicking, cursing and helpless. It was the King himself who turned up her skirt and lowered her lacy black panties to reveal a plump, pearly, dimpled bottom so inviting that a sigh of anticipatory pleasure arose from the spectators.

'I've had a birch-rod soaking overnight,' said Queen Marguerite, and produced it from behind the throne to hand to the King.

'For the good of the country!' said King Fedor, solemnly, as he took careful aim at Lisette's beautifully-rounded rump.

The courtiers watched spellbound as the stinging twigs hissed down to scorch Lisette's squirming, smarting buttocks, rose and descended again, rose and... Some of the court ladies, flushed and bright-eyed, were visibly wriggling, either in sympathy with the frantic contortions of Lisette's suffering bottom or with some other emotion.

'Wa-a-a-a-h!' wailed Lisette, tears streaming down her pretty face. 'Don't, Daddy, please, not in front of everyone! Aaaaah! Oooooh! Please, I'll be a good girl, I'll take my bedtime spankings without any fuss. Yowch! Aaoww! Please, Daddy, you know how you love to have me across your knee with my pyjama pants down. You can slipper my bare bum every night for a month, but no more birch, please!'

Later, as he tied a tear-drenched handkerchief to a lance, Master Erasmus enquired, 'Who are you going to send against the dragon this time, your majesty!'

'You're sure this will work?' said the King.

'Convinced!' said the magician.

'In that case,' said King Fedor, 'you go!'

When Master Erasmus had recovered from his hysterics a couple of grinning men-at-arms hoisted him onto a horse, handed him the lance and pointed him in the direction of the western provinces.

The following evening, the weary messenger staggered into the palace, muttering bitterly that if some people thought he was going to spend his life running bloody marathons to bring news it was time that someone invented the bloody telephone. He handed the King a roll of parchment.

King Fedor unrolled it and read, 'Illustrious Majesty. The dragon is no more. It burst like a soap bubble at the first touch of the lance. However, I shall not be returning to claim any reward you see fit to offer, as I find the post of Court Magician too hard on the nerves. By the time you receive this I shall be over the border and on my way to a lucrative engagement at the London Palladium. Respectfully yours, Erasmus.'

'I'm sure we'll all be glad to be rid of the dragon,' beamed the King, 'and some of us will be almost as glad to be rid of Master Erasmus. All the same, someone should be rewarded, and who better than my three lovely daughters who have suffered so nobly in the cause of sauricide.'

'Eh?' said the Lord Chamberlain.

'Dragon-killing, you fool!' snapped the Queen.

'What would you like, girls?' asked King Fedor.

'Your Majesty,' said Lisette, 'Crystal and Miranda and I have been hoping you'd ask, because we know exactly what we'd like.'

'Yes?' said the King.

'We want a free hand with the court ladies,' said Lisette. 'Every cute little countess who sniggered at Crystal having her bum strapped. Every blue-blooded beauty who found Miranda's spanking so amusing. And especially, every demure, delicately-nurtured damsel who enjoyed the sight of my birched, burning bottom! Let them find out what it's like to be on the receiving end.'

'What do you think, my dear?' The King turned to Queen Marguerite.

'An excellent idea!' said the Queen. 'As I look around this Throne Room – guard the doors, men-at-arms! – I can see at least three dozen young ladies who would benefit from having their aristocratic bottoms soundly whipped. Start whenever you like, my dears.'

She rummaged behind the throne and produced the tawse, birch-rod and hairbrush. 'I thought it might be as well to have these handy in case they were needed.'

'Thank you, Mother!' said Crystal, seizing the tawse and beckoning to a wide-eyed, auburn-haired young beauty. 'You, Lady Penelope, can be first. Take your knickers down and bend over!'


  1. Wonderful fun....I enjoyed every word of it. Old Tom

  2. I laughed out loud when reading all those anachronic allusions. A very good story as well.