A girl makes a silly error and pays the price

By Mark Devonshire

With morning assembly almost finished, Miss George stood up to read out the notices. It would be fair to say that at Swanshurst Girls Grammar School, Miss George was not the most popular mistress. She was a pure academic with no interest in sport nor discernible sense of humour. She had a pale complexion with curly ginger hair and a face, so some of the meaner girls said, that looked like she was sucking a lemon, which had led to her nickname ‘The Old Lemon’ even though she was only in her mid-thirties.

However, none of this was the cause of her lack of popularity; it was her philosophy regarding discipline. Whereas other mistresses would administer discipline appropriate to the misdemeanour and pupil, Miss George was more unforgiving. Miss Jones, for example, a very popular mistress, would hand out a detention for lateness, a slippering for persistent lateness, or a caning for serious matters such as truancy. Even then, she would take into account the character of the girl, a well-behaved girl talking in class would get a detention, whereas a troublesome girl would receive the slipper.

Miss George was quite different. To her, the world was black or white, no grey areas for her! If a girl misbehaved, she needed to be punished, whoever she was, and the only effective punishment was the cane, always applied as firmly as possible to the backside. She had recently given her star pupil two strokes of the cane for forgetting her geometry set, much to the disgust of the other girls who thought this to be very unfair. So, as Miss George started reading the notices, all the girls listened begrudgingly as she droned on in her monotonous tones; up-coming sporting events, music club events, etc ,etc, and a final notice that the corridor between the main block and humanities block was out of bounds due to the decorating in progress. With the notices complete, everyone filed out of the assembly hall to start their academic day.

For Julie Parker, 5th form hockey captain and A-stream pupil, the day was going very well. Hockey had been a great success; she was top goal scorer as usual, and she had got an A for her essay in English Language. In fact, Miss Jones was so pleased with her essay she had held her back after class to congratulate her and ask if she was thinking of taking A-Level English next year. This had, however, made her late to meet up with her friends at morning break. It was Friday and they needed to plan the weekend. There was a boy from the neighbouring boys’ grammar school she really fancied and had heard he would be at the bowling alley tonight, so she needed to talk her friends into going with her that evening.

The playground was the other side of school and time was running out. She made her way there as quickly as possible, half walking, half running, but as she turned the corner of the humanities block she was confronted with the closed doors of the corridor leading to the main block.

‘Damn!’ She muttered to herself as she recalled the notice from morning assembly. She glanced at her watch; oh god, only ten minutes left! She peered through the circular window of the door and surveyed the scene. Dust sheets, step ladders and various tins of paint were scattered around the corridor in no apparent order, but more importantly, no workmen to be seen.

‘Well, if they can’t be arsed to put in a full day’s work, why should I waste my time taking a ten-minute detour and missing out on sorting a very important evening?’

With that thought justifying her actions, she pushed open the doors and made her way through the corridor.
‘I can understand why they don’t want kids wondering through here,’ she thought to herself, ‘but for responsible careful girls like myself it’s not a problem.’

Moments later, she was at the other end of the corridor pushing open the other door.

‘There! No problem at all.’ She said to herself.

She dashed past the first classroom, which doubled up as a tuckshop, and glanced inside; just some chubby lazy 3rd formers in there.

‘If I had my way, that place would be shut down and there would be extra PE for chubbies,’ she chuckled to herself.

As she looked forward again to see where she was going, she almost ran into Miss George who was blocking her progress down the corridor. Surprise gave way to bewilderment in seconds.

‘What on earth is Old Lemon doing standing in the middle of the corridor at break time!’

“Where are you going young lady? Or more importantly, where have you come from?” Miss George enquired in a measured tone.

Adrenalin suddenly kicked in, speeding up Julie’s thoughts and reactions. Her senses went into overdrive and she realised Miss George was on the warpath. But why? Julie’s brain told her to tread carefully. Something was wrong, but she wasn’t sure yet what it was. Best play for time.

Although the girls all held Miss George in disdain, they underestimated her at their peril. She was a consummate professional. Having spent the last six years teaching teenage girls, she had encountered all the excuses, tricks and prevarications they could possibly come up with, and, being grammar schoolgirls, she had to admit some were ingenious. However, Miss George was a skilled interrogator. Some girls had once speculated she had been trained by the KGB, and they weren’t completely joking. Once she had her victim cornered, she used a combination of sarcasm and fear to extract a confession. No girl stood a chance!

“Um, err, what do you mean, Miss?” Julie replied in her most innocent tone.

“It’s a simple question, girl. I’ll make it even more simple for you. Where were you precisely two minutes ago?”
Julie suddenly realised what was happening. She was being drawn into a trap by the wily ‘Old Lemon’. The out of bounds corridor!! Julie braced herself; she must not admit to being in the corridor at any cost.

“I have just been to the Tuck Shop, Miss.”

“I will ask you one more time, young lady, and I advise you to think very carefully before you answer. Where-were-you-two-minutes-ago?” Miss George repeated the question slowly and with a certain menace in her voice.
Julie was tempted to answer in the same tone, but thought better of it. That would be suicide.

“I was in the Tuck Sho…” Before she could finish the sentence, Miss George interrupted.

“Are you going to make me go into the Tuck Shop and check, young lady? Because if you are, you are even more stupid than I took you for.”

“No Miss,” Julie answered glumly.

“Right, then. For the final time, where were you two minutes ago?” Miss George repeated, sensing victory.

“I came from the corridor Miss” Julie replied pointing towards the corridor.

“Would that be the corridor I specifically told everyone in morning assembly not to enter?”

“Yes Miss, it would.” Julie mumbled, realising she had been tried and found guilty. Only the sentence to be handed down, she thought to herself.

She was snapped out of her thoughts by a sharp, vice like grip on her ear. Miss George was holding it firmly between her thumb and index finger. She now raised the ear so Julie had to stand on tip-toe and tilt her head at almost forty-five degrees to stop it being ripped from her head, or so it felt. Then, without a word, Miss George set off down the corridor with Julie being dragged along by her ear. All down the corridor they marched, Miss George setting a brisk pace with Julie stumbling along on tiptoe and head tilted, trying to look as normal as possible. Meanwhile, the girls from the Tuck Shop, on hearing the commotion, peeped around the door excitedly. They knew something was about to happen that would provide hours of gossip.

Moments later, Julie and her escort were at Miss George’s classroom. She released the girl’s ear and guided her inside.

“Stand there,” Miss George instructed, pointing to an area approximately four feet in front of her desk.

She walked round and sat at her desk facing the girl. Leaning back in her chair, she surveyed the girl with an unflinching stare, carefully considering the next stage of the proceedings. Julie was becoming more concerned as the situation developed and fidgeted nervously.

“Stop that fidgeting, girl! In fact, put your hands on your head and stand still.”

Miss George continued her contemplative stare, taking her time as she weighed up the past few minutes. Then, without a word, she slid open a drawer, took out a large red exercise book, and placed it on the desk. Julie just had chance to read the small neat handwriting on its cover.

Punishment Book.

Julie’s heart sank as her worst fears became reality. Miss George opened up the book, switching her stare between Julie and the Punishment Book.

“Have I had occasion to cane you before?” Miss George asked as she looked back through the records.This would influence the number of strokes she would settle on.

“No Miss,” replied Julie.

Miss George continued looking, not willing to take the girl’s word at face value. She completed her investigation and picked up a pen.

“Name?”

“Julie Parker, Miss.”

“Form?”

“5A, Miss.”

“Disobedience and Dishonesty,” stated Miss George as she leaned back in her seat again and stared at the girl.

There was a long silent pause. “Anything to say for yourself, Parker?”

“Sorry Miss.”

Julie realised anything else she said would be futile and even run the risk of making things worse.

“Sorry? I should think you are sorry. You’re going to be considerably more sorry when I’ve finished with you. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Miss,” replied Julie with a resigned sigh.

“Two strokes for disobedience and two strokes for dishonesty.” Miss George passed sentence.

Julie shuddered slightly as the sentence sank in.

Miss George got up from her desk and walked over to the corner of the room. Julie watched her every move with intense concentration. Then she suddenly realised Miss George’s destination; an umbrella stand containing three crook-handled canes. Miss George took one out, flexed it and swished it through the air. She then replaced it, pulled out the second cane, and repeated the process. She was a master craftsman selecting her tools. She was also well aware of the fear it would be generating in the girl. Happy with the flexibility of the second cane, she nodded to herself, confirming this was the best tool for the job, and made her way to the quaking girl.
Miss George stood in front of the girl and, using her cane, pointed to a scuffed floor tile. Unknown to Julie, Miss George had selected this tile some years ago as the optimum position for a girl to receive a caning, being far enough away from the front row of desks to allow for a fully outstretched arm holding a cane to connect with the centre of a girls backside.

“Stand on that tile and bend yourself over.”

Julie stood on the tile as instructed, taking care to put her feet exactly where indicated. She did not want to anger Miss George in any way.

“Do not make me wait, girl!” Miss George growled.

Julie took a deep breath and bent over. However, she soon found out it was not far enough as she felt Miss George’s hand on the back of her head pushing it down until it was at a height Miss George considered correct.
Next, she felt the hem of her skirt being lifted up over the small of her back.

Miss George stood back and checked the overall posture of the girl.

‘Perfect!’ she congratulated herself.

She then took up her position at the side of the girl and lined up the cane half-way up her bottom, with the tip of the cane centred on her furthest buttock. Two light taps against her bottom, and then it was drawn back to shoulder-height before being whipped down at full force, Miss George’s whole body twisting in the process to impart maximum energy into the stroke.

Contact with Julie’s bottom was swift and devastating. She had felt the light taps on her bottom, she had heard the swish of cane cutting through the air, and she had heard the loud crack as it made contact with her knickers, but none of this prepared her for the all-consuming pain that rushed up from her bottom to fill her whole body.
A loud uncontrolled yelp escaped Julie’s mouth and she leapt up.

“I suggest you bend yourself back over before I decide to add an extra stoke to your punishment, young lady,” was Miss George’s swift pronouncement.

Julie forced herself to bend back over and present her bottom for its next stroke.

Miss George once again lifted the girl’s skirt clear of the target and adjusted the girl’s position by pushing her head down and moving her body around slightly. Then she lined up the cane against the girl’s bottom, lower than the last time as she intended all the strokes to land on the lower, fleshier, part of her bottom.

Miss George had long ago realised that this was the area the recipient would sit on and by applying the stokes to that area, overlapping them if necessary, would be a lasting reminder every time the girl sat down. The second stroke landed with as much force as the first, causing Julie to once again cry out, but somehow she managed to stay roughly in position. Miss George merely had to point with her cane to exactly where Julie should be standing to receive her third stroke. Julie shuffled forward without standing and gritted her teeth, ready for the next stroke.

The final two strokes were delivered in quick succession with no pause between them. It was Miss George’s signature, as many an unfortunate girl could testify. Both strokes landed on top of one another, causing considerable pain and a large welt that would last longer than the previous two strokes. Because they had landed precisely in the crease between Julie’s cheeks and thighs, they would cause considerable discomfort for the remainder of the day whether Julie was sitting or walking.

Miss George had completed the punishment and told Julie she could now stand. Julie slowly stood up, her hair was dishevelled, with some strands stuck to her tear-stained, flushed face. Her hands immediately went down to cradle her bottom and explore its new contour; where there was once a smooth, rounded bottom, now there was a series of painful ridges which Julie could only gently rub, as anything more caused a sharp pain.

“Stop rubbing your bottom, straighten yourself out, and compose yourself, Parker,” came the order from Miss George as she returned the cane to its resting place.

Julie immediately removed her hands from her bottom and tidied herself up. Miss George stood in front of Julie, who was now standing smartly with her arms at her side, although she desperately wanted to soothe her aching bottom.

“I hope you have learnt your lesson, Parker. I do not enjoy having to cane you girls and I hope you realise that you brought this completely on yourself with your disobedient and dishonest behaviour.” Preached Miss George to the thoroughly chastised girl. “However, your punishment is now over, and we can put this unfortunate incident behind us. No hard feelings, Parker. Enjoy the rest of your day,” continued Miss George.

“No hard feelings, Miss. Thank you,” replied Julie in the sincerest tone she could manage under the circumstances.

“Now, I suggest you run along. Break-time is over and I’m sure you don’t want to be late for your next lesson.” Miss George said, grinning slightly.

Julie left the classroom as quickly as possible.

The End
© Mark Devonshire 2020