Having to witness punishments gets a secretary thinking. A story from some years ago
By Kenny Walters
Whoever it was outside in the corridor would not have realised from the undisturbed sound of practiced hands on the computer keyboard, but they scarcely needed to knock politely on the door other than for simple courtesy. Mary Matthews knew they were there.
“Come in.” The school secretary called when finally her office door received the gentle tap she knew was coming. “Can I help you?”
“Julia Watkins.” The slim, dark haired girl closed the door carefully behind her and came to within a couple of feet of Miss Matthews’ desk before revealing her name. “I have to see the headmistress.”
“Is it a matter of life and death?” Mary asked, looking up at the fresh faced girl. Julia had a pretty face not altogether enhanced by rather plain unfashionable round spectacles.
“Sorry?” Julia didn’t realise the forty year old secretary was teasing her.
“I was just asking how important it was, as you seem so desperately anxious to see our headmistress.” Mary just managed to keep a straight face.
“I was told to report to her at ten past four, miss.” The girl answered, bewildered by the school secretary’s words.
“Take a seat, Julia. I’ll let her know you’re here.” Mary smiled warmly as her joke failed abysmally, then looked at the seat of the eighteen year old’s tight grey trousers as she turned away and went to sit on one of the small row of chairs opposite. Mary picked up the phone. “Angela? I have a Julia Watkins to see you. A four-ten appointment, I believe.”
After listening to the reply from the person at the other end of the phone, Mary Matthews looked round over her shoulder at the large clock that hung on the wall. “Yes, so it is. Six minutes early. Obviously looking forward to the meeting.”
Mary smoothed a hand idly over her long flowing dark hair as she again listened to the response. “Right you are, Angela.”
Replacing the receiver, the school secretary turned her attention to Julia Watkins. “Miss Lockhart is ready for you now.”
“Oh, right.” The girl got to her feet, her face indicating beyond any doubt she was not looking forward to this meeting.
As Julia began to approach the door with the small brass plaque marked ‘Headmistress’ Mary also stood up and reached the door first. She tapped lightly and waited until she heard a curt: “Come in,” before opening the door ready for Julia to walk through.
Julia, though, hesitated and looked dubiously at Mary until the school secretary gave her a little shove in the small of her back and propelled the girl through.
“Julia Watkins, Angela.” Mary announced, her eyes very much on the taut grey material that stretched across the nicely rounded bottom of the girl preceding her. Julia, not expecting Mary to follow her into the headmistress’s study, suddenly looked over her shoulder and caught Mary looking. She said nothing, but the look on her face caused Mary to blush.
“Julia.” Angela Lockhart studied the face of the girl who stood, head bowed, in front of her large desk. “The girl who thinks it’s quite alright to absent herself from her lessons and pop off home whenever she wants.”
The headmistress, a tall thin blonde haired woman a couple of years older than Mary Matthews, addressed the remarks to the school secretary rather than the shamefaced girl.
“Oh, does she now?” Mary answered, suitably supportive.
“No doubt you have a very plausible excuse, Julia.” Miss Lockhart looked up at the girl. “If you do, now would be a good time to let us hear it.”
“I forgot my homework for my double mathematics lesson, miss.” Julia’s voice faltered, betraying her extreme nervousness. “Since I had a free period just before break and I only live a few minutes from school, I thought it would be okay to go and fetch it.”
“No doubt you felt you wouldn’t get the full benefit of the lesson without your homework, is that right Julia?”
“Yes, miss. Sort of.”
“It couldn’t have been that you were worried about feeling Miss Johnson’s slipper across your backside if you turned up to her lesson without your homework, could it Julia?”
“Yes, miss.” Julia answered reluctantly, making her answer sound even more like a confession.
“Did someone give you permission to leave school?”
“But you do know it’s against school rules to be out of school during lesson time without permission?”
“Well, you’ve been at this school long enough to know what has to happen now, haven’t you Julia?” Angela Lockhart looked up at the girl with some sympathy.
“If you break the rules you have to accept the consequences, don’t you Julia?”
“Yes, miss.” Julia answered reluctantly.
“Okay.” As the headmistress stood up she sighed, implying the forthcoming task was something she preferred not to do but simply had to as a matter of duty. “Mary. You know what to do.”
For Julia Watkins this was a whole new experience, but at least it seemed she had Mary Matthews to guide her while her headmistress was more concerned with delving into a corner cupboard. She watched the school secretary fetch a small chair from a corner of the study and bring it close to the front of the headmistress’s large desk. After clearing a few papers to one side, Mary Matthews then placed the chair carefully with its back against the front edge of the desk.
When Mary ushered her towards the chair, Julia for a moment wondered whether the chair had been positioned to allow the headmistress to sit on it and take her across her lap, even though it seemed a ridiculous proposition.
“Kneel on the chair, Julia.” Mary prompted her.
Julia did as she was told despite still not being certain how she was to be positioned for the punishment to be applied.
“Do you want her trousers down, Angela?”
Julia visibly paled.
“Yes please, Mary.” The headmistress’s reply seemed quite routine, oblivious to the distress raised in the mind of the eighteen year old girl.
“Undo your trousers and slip them down, Julia.” Mary Matthews instructed, also disregarding the girl’s anguish.
Julia slowly reluctantly unfastened her trousers and pushed them down until they settled awkwardly around her knees. A naturally shy girl anyway, Julia felt especially self-conscious kneeling on a chair in her headmistress’s study with her trousers down. Thankfully, the tail of her blouse was long enough to cover most of her bottom.
“What about her pants?” Mary called across to the headmistress.
“Um, I think we’ll let her keep her knickers on. They are fairly brief, are they?”
“Not sure.” The school secretary answered before, much to Julia’s embarrassment, she grabbed the tail of her blouse and lifted it. “Oooh. Don’t know. Yes, I suppose so. Fairly brief. Thin, anyway.”
“That’s the main thing. We’ll let her keep her pants on then.”
Julia might have been relieved at this news, but the sight of her headmistress approaching with a slender cane in her hand raised other concerns.
“Bend forward across the desk, Julia.” Mary Matthews prompted.
Julia bent herself across the desk as ordered, taking the weight of her upper body on her elbows.
“See if you can get yourself lower onto the desk, please Julia.” This time it was the plummier tones of Miss Lockhart that issued the directive and Julia flattened her elbows down onto the hard wooden surface. It felt awkward and Julia reckoned her bottom must now be thrust out in a way that seemed alien to her, until she realised that was the very point of the exercise.
Mary Matthews was now folding back the tail of Julia’s blouse making the girl even more self-conscious that her bottom was being prepared for punishment.
“There. That should do nicely.” The school secretary stood back to admire her handiwork then patted Julia across the seat of her taut black panties.
“Thank you, Mary.” Miss Lockhart waited for the secretary to stand to one side, smiling at her to let her know she’d seen the little smack on the girl’s bottom. “Keep quite still, Julia.” The headmistress also gently tapped the girl across the seat of her underwear, but several times and with the business end of the cane, which made the act appear far more sinister to Julia.
With a well-practiced flick of her arm Angela Lockhart swept the cane swiftly back and then down again so that it whipped sharply across the girl’s thinly clad bottom. Julia gasped.
After about ten seconds had passed, the headmistress repeated the exercise and caused another biting stroke to thwack across Julia’s bottom. She grunted noisily.
An even longer pause had Julia wondering whether that was the sum total of her punishment. It seemed unlikely, even though her bottom felt quite sore despite the initial sharp pain of the two strokes having dulled slightly. Another swish and a sharp crack as the cane landed dispelled the girl’s hopes. Julia yelped as the intense pain flashed across her backside.
With a few deep breaths, Julia dealt with the pain as best she could while presuming she would be allowed a similar time before the next stroke, if indeed there were to be a ‘next stroke’. She was disappointed.
“Yeeoouuch!!” Miss Lockhart swung the cane down with even more gusto than the previous three strokes and it lashed across Julia’s bottom with a loud crack. Tears came to the eighteen year old’s eyes and one began trickling down her cheek.
“I think that will do, Mary.” Such was the intensity of the pain that Julia didn’t really take in what her headmistress said to her secretary. Some minutes therefore passed, in which time Miss Lockhart had stowed the cane away back in its cupboard, and Julia was still bending across the desk from her kneeling position.
“Come along, Julia. We haven’t got all day.” Mary Matthews chided.
“Am I finished?” Julia looked round.
“Er, yes!” Mary grinned, making the girl feel worse than she already did. “Come along, girl. We’ve all got homes to go to. Don’t forget to pull your trousers up or you’ll likely tumble off the chair.”
Julia blushed as raised herself up from the desk and reached back to probe the damage done to her bottom. Even through the soft thin material of her underwear she could feel raised ridges where the cane had struck which were now particularly sore. Mindful of the two women watching her, Julia pulled her trousers up and struggled with the zip and the waistband button to refasten them. Eventually she eased herself off the chair with her white blouse only partially stuffed into the waistband of her trousers.
“May I please go now, miss.”
“Of course you may, Julia.” Miss Lockhart answered. “Just be mindful of this little lesson and be sure we don’t have any repeat. I won’t be so lenient next time, if there is a next time.”
Both Angela Lockhart and Mary Matthews watched with some amusement as Julia trudged sorely out of the room. As soon as she was gone, Angela turned to Mary and said: “Mary, I need to get down to the shops before they close. Could you do the paperwork for me and then have a quick tidy up?”
“Of course, Angela. No problem.”
After a quick flurry of collecting together coat, briefcase and car keys, Angela Lockhart left the room and Mary Matthews was on her own. As she sat down at Angela’s desk she looked up at the clock and saw it was a quarter to five. “Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself?” She said to no-one but herself.
Reaching down to the bottom drawer of the desk Mary pulled out a red exercise book marked ‘Punishment Book’, pausing only to smile at the only other item in that drawer, a rather grubby large white plimsoll.
Opening up the exercise book, Mary delayed turning to the next blank line to look thoughtfully through some of the previous entries. Boys’ names undoubtedly predominated but every so often a girl’s name would appear, sometimes two or three together. Mary remembered a lot of them, for she was almost always called upon to act as a witness. More often than not it was the girls who seemed most embarrassed at her presence; most of the boys seemed to take it in their stride, and one or two even seemed very keen on having her there.
Mary entered Julia Watkins’ details into the book and took another glance at the clock. It was almost five now. She got up and opened the door to look up and down the corridor outside. All was quiet; it seemed she had the school to herself.
Reassured, Mary now went over to the cupboard where Angela Lockhart kept her small collection of canes and slippers and tried to pull open the door. It was locked.
“Blast!” She exclaimed out loud, if only to herself.
After a few seconds, the school secretary had an idea. She went back to the headmistress’s desk, tried the top central drawer, a small slot of a drawer suitable only for pens, pencils and maybe a few sheets of paper. The keys were there!
With childlike enthusiasm, Mary soon had the cupboard unlocked and the door pulled wide open where she surveyed with some relish the six crook handled canes all hung up on small hooks. The smallest occupied the hook furthest to the left and was both a little shorter than the others and the thinnest. The canes then increased in length and thickness in small degrees to the heaviest and longest cane on the right.
Taking the cane furthest to the left, Mary Matthews tried a couple of practice swishes into thin air. The rattan felt very light and pliable. She gave the palm of her left hand a gentle tap.
“Ouch!” She exclaimed involuntarily as the tip of the cane smarted her palm. Surprised at the sensation, the secretary replaced the thinnest cane on its hook and lifted the one in number four position out of the cupboard, reckoning that this was the one used earlier on Julia Watkins.
Once again, Mary tried a couple of practice swishes. The cane felt a little heavier and rather less pliant. She dared to give herself another gentle rap across the palm of her left hand. It stung her again, but not so acutely although she could see more of a red mark forming across her open hand. This cane was longer too, giving a little more velocity when swung in earnest.
Mary looked around the room, as though checking no-one had crept in while she was engrossed with the contents of the cupboard. They hadn’t. Half leaning across the headmistress’s large desk, Mary tried to apply a gentle stroke of the cane across the seat of her black skirt. It was an awkward manoeuvre and she hardly felt the blow. Certainly it was nothing like either of the two raps she had given to the palm of her hand.
Before she went any further, the secretary needed to make herself more secure. She went across to the door and locked it, then gave two firm twists of the knob to make sure it couldn’t be opened. Then she took both the cane used on Julia Watkins and the thin whippy one she’d started with and laid them both on the desk. In moments, Mary had unzipped her skirt and slipped it down, followed by her brief red knickers. She half leaned across the desk and tried a stroke with the thin whippy cane.
“Ouch!!” She exclaimed as the cane again stung her, this time across her bare buttocks. The sensation died down within moments, so she tried a stroke with the second, heavier cane. It hurt but less so, although she reckoned she could feel the effect for longer. One thing became quite clear. There was no possibility of applying anything like a proper stroke across her own bottom.
“Never Mind.” Mary mused aloud as she realised the futility of her actions. She put both canes carefully back on their hooks and re-secured the cupboard door, returning the key to its place in Miss Lockhart’s desk.
The following day went without incident until late in the afternoon, well after the school had closed for the day. That Miss Lockhart was still working away in her study was not in itself remarkable, and Mary too did not usually leave until after five o’clock, but there had been an unusual lack of communication between the two women all through the day.
“Mary, could you come into my study, please?”
“Eh? Oh, yes of course, Angela.”
“I don’t know how to put this, Mary,” The headmistress began, when she was seated at her desk and the secretary had taken a chair in front.
“This all sounds very serious, Angela. Am I being accused of stealing from the tiddlywinks travel fund or something?”
Miss Lockhart smiled weakly at Mary’s rather poor joke. “I suppose to some this might sound rather humorous, actually Mary. In a way, perhaps it is. Do you remember the school was broken into a few months ago?”
“Yes, of course. They made rather a mess of both our offices, even if they didn’t steal anything worth taking.”
“No, but it was enough for the governors to make some improvements to the school’s security arrangements.”
“Really? I didn’t know that.”
“No, the governors felt it was best to keep it strictly amongst themselves. They had to let me in on it because my study was one of the places to get extra security.”
“Extra security? I haven’t noticed anything different. No extra locks or anything like that.”
“It wasn’t extra locks, Mary. It was cameras. Hidden cameras.”
“Cameras?” Mary Matthews’ first reaction was to laugh, until she realised the consequences. “Cameras?” She repeated, this time with more caution.
“Which I reset every time I leave my office, Mary.”
Mary frowned as she rapidly went over in her mind where this conversation was leading. Inevitably it could go only one place. “Even when you leave in a rush to get down to the shops before they close?”
“Even then, Mary. I’m afraid so.”
“So my little secret is no longer a secret. Is that what you’re trying to say, Angela?”
“Precisely. It can, of course, remain a secret between us, Mary. I would like to know, though, what you were trying to achieve.”
“In my time here, Angela, which is fast coming up to twelve years, I’ve had to witness goodness knows how many canings. I’ve sat at my desk and heard them outside in the corridor, boys and girls, trying to work up enough courage to come in and take their medicine. It’s quite fascinating actually. Some tap on my door ever so softly, like they’re hoping I won’t hear and that will give them the excuse to go away. Some put a bold face on it and almost march in, probably hoping to get it over with as soon as possible.”
“Really?” Angela Lockhart did not immediately see the attraction.
“Yes, really. Some of them, most of them in fact, are quite terrified of you, you know.”
“Pity it doesn’t stop them misbehaving.”
Ignoring the comment, Mary continued. “And then I have to escort them into your office to suffer their fate. It’s almost like leading them to their execution, the way some of them act. Then I stand next to them while you lecture them on their misbehaviour and announce their sentence.”
“Their sentence? Now you’re making me sound like a high court judge.”
“Don’t you see? I go so far with them, prepare them for their punishments, witness the punishment being administered and so on, yet it’s something I’ve never ever experienced myself.”
“Is that really relevant, Mary?”
“It is to me, Angela.”
“How?” The headmistress frowned as she struggled to understand the point her secretary was trying to make.
“When I was at school I knew of several girls who got the cane from our headmistress but I never got it myself and I never had the opportunity of seeing anyone else get it. All I really had was my imagination.
“Then, when I got this job, I finally got to see boys and girls being caned. At first, I was frightened I would let them down in some way and make their ordeal even worse. Then I got my confidence and I became enthralled with the whole procedure. Which just leaves one issue remaining.”
“Being caned myself.”
“How old are you, Mary?”
“Forty-one next month.”
“And you want to be caned like a naughty schoolgirl? Is that what you’re saying?”
Mary hesitated. “I- I suppose I am.”
“And you’re serious?”
“Perfectly serious. Actually, I’ve even made enquiries to try and find someone, perhaps an ex-teacher, who had the experience and who would be prepared to administer an authentic school punishment to me.”
“Have you found anyone?”
“Not so far.”
Angela Lockhart took a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll do it, Mary. But this must remain strictly between the two of us. Is that understood?”
“Of course.” For a moment, Mary Matthews didn’t know whether to be grateful she was now about to have her greatest wish fulfilled, or to be apprehensive about the painful experience she suddenly seemed to have negotiated for herself. A thought flashed through her mind. “Er, the cameras you mentioned earlier?”
“Right.” With her heart beating rather more rapidly, Mary could see Angela Lockhart was now more engrossed in selecting a suitable cane from her cupboard than she was in continuing the dialogue. Of course, Mary could still back out if she so wished. It was just that her mind was now in such a turmoil she wasn’t sure quite what she wanted to do.
“You know the drill, Mary.” Angela came back to her desk carrying a cane that to Mary appeared a little thicker than the one the headmistress had used on Julia Watkins the previous day.
“Yes I do, don’t I?” Mary was not able to disguise the nervous tremor in her voice as she went to fetch the small chair from the corner of the study.
The headmistress cleared a few papers off the top of her desk leaving Mary in no doubt where to place the chair.
“I’m waiting, Mary.” Angela chided as the secretary hesitated.
“This chair’s hard on your knees.” Mary commented as she knelt on the hard wooden seat. “I presume I’ll be allowed to keep my trousers on.” She smiled weakly with a glance towards the headmistress.”
“Indeed you will not!” Snapped Angela. “I’m going to give you four strokes, just like Julia yesterday. If she was able to take her four strokes without the protection of her trousers, I’m damn sure you can do the same.”
“I was just thinking my adult status might allow me to preserve a little modesty, that’s all.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Mary. Now just prepare yourself for punishment properly.”
“Oh, very well!” Despite her protest, Mary actually felt a complete mixture of fear and anticipation as her fingers fumbled nervously with the fastenings on her trousers. As she pushed the trousers down to her knees and pulled back the tail of her blouse, the realisation that her brief pale blue knickers would offer very little protection from the cane the anticipation dulled and the fear took over.
“This is just a taste, remember Angela. Just so I can see how it feels.” Mary reminded the headmistress.
“So it would be quite pointless if I were to make the strokes any the less severe than I would for a sixth form girl, wouldn’t it Mary? You obviously need to feel exactly the discomfort the cane provides, don’t you?”
Before Mary could offer any alternative view, she heard Angela Lockhart sweet the cane briskly down until it landed with a loud crack across the seat of her pale blue underwear.
“Yeeeooucch!!” She exclaimed as the pain spread like fire across her backside. “God! That really hurts!”
“That’s the idea, actually Mary.” It was probably the best for their continuing relationship that Mary couldn’t see the satisfied smile on Angela’s face. “Now hold still.”
Despite the continuing pain, Mary stopped wriggling long enough for Angela Lockhart to swing the cane back and deliver another swift stroke across the waiting target.
“You know, Mary, I really don’t recall Julia Watkins, or any of the others for that matter, making such a fuss.”
“Really?” Mary struggled to speak through the scorching pain.
“Yes, really. Hold still.”
Believing, correctly, that any protest would be totally futile, Mary fixed her mind on presenting her sore bottom for yet more punishment. It came quite swiftly.
“Aaaaarrrghh!! Ye Gods, that hurts!!”
“You have only yourself to blame for this, Mary. You asked for the cane and that is exactly what you are getting.” Angela Lockhart paused. “Actually, that is remarkably similar to what I say to my naughty pupils, don’t you think?”
“I know I shall have a lot more sympathy the next time I bring someone into your study for punishment, Angela.”
“Good! That makes it a good lesson learned, then. Final stroke coming up.”
The impending thought of yet more pain was quite enough for Mary to forget any clever reply and brace herself.
“Yeeeooouuuccchhh!!” Mary arched her back and screwed her face up as the stroke lashed into her tender backside. “Oh good God! That really, really hurts!”
“Perhaps we should call it a day there then, Mary. I think we’ve managed to give you a little taste of what a caning is like, haven’t we?”
By now, the headmistress had come round to face the secretary who continued to kneel on the small chair and lean across the desk. With the knowledge that her punishment was over, Mary sat back and massaged her sore bottom with a hand tucked inside her flimsy pale blue underwear.
“Is that really what it feels like, Angela? Or did you lay it on extra hard for my benefit?”
“No, pretty standard fare. I used a slightly firmer cane than yesterday which should make it sting a little less when you get it, but I’m afraid the pain might last a little longer. Who knows, perhaps it will make your typing a little more accurate.”
“I wasn’t aware there was anything wrong with my typing.”
“Only joking, Mary. Only joking. Now, are you going to pull your trousers up or are you proposing to stay there until morning?”
As the school secretary gingerly pulled her trousers up and eased herself off the chair, Angela Lockhart put the cane back into its place in her cupboard.
“If there’s nothing else, Angela, I’m going off home for a warm bath and some cold cream on my bottom.”
The headmistress couldn’t resist a smile. “No, that’s it for today, Mary. See you tomorrow. Remember, my canes are always there should you be tempted again.”
“Huh!” Mary turned and left the room.
© Kenny Walters 2011
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