An altercation between two prefects has painful consequences. Another story from the archives
By Kenny Walters
I tapped gently on the door to Mrs Peters’ office. This wasn’t strictly necessary since she was the school secretary and her office was generally considered open to all, but Mrs Peters was nice and friendly and it seemed only polite. I pushed the door open and looked in before she had a chance to respond.
“Oh, Stephanie, come in.”
I pushed the door open wider and went in. Mrs Peters looked a trifle hesitant when she saw me, nervous even, and the usual smile was missing, but that in itself wasn’t enough to suggest anything untoward.
“I believe Miss Snooks wants to see me?” I smiled, one eyebrow raised to confirm I was asking rather than stating a fact. As a mere prefect, it wasn’t usual to be summoned to the headmistress’s office and it had crossed my mind some dear fellow sixth former was simply playing a joke on me. “Is that correct?”
“Yes. Take a seat, Stephanie. I’ll let Miss Snooks know you’re here.” Mrs Peters immediately pressed an intercom button that blipped in response. “Miss Snooks, I have Stephanie Bristow here.”
At least I now knew it wasn’t a hoax, although I still felt my heart miss a beat. Why had I been summoned to see the headmistress? Ann Travers, the prefect who told me my presence was required, had no idea, or so she said. Miss Snooks, a tall blonde lady in her early forties, always seemed dour and uncompromising in her demeanour; certainly she wasn’t the sort to invite a humble prefect for a girly chat.
Mrs Peters’ intercom buzzed and I heard the words: “Send her in, please.” Another blip ended that conversation.
“Miss Snooks will see you now, Stephanie.” I think people have been sent to the execution block more cheerfully than Mrs Peters managed.
I got to my feet and passed by Mrs Peters’ desk on my way to the door marked ‘Jane Snooks – Headmistress’. Just before I tapped on the door, I straightened my tie and gave a quick brush down of my black and white pinstriped school blazer and tightish grey skirt.
“Come in!” The voice sounded impatient, like I’d already kept her waiting too long.
Once I’d slipped through the door and closed it quietly behind me, I turned and walked softly up to Miss Snooks’ desk. There was a single chair placed right in front, which I stood beside until invited to sit.
“You may sit down.” Said while studying a small number of papers inside an open folder.
I sat bolt upright with my hands folded in my lap, and waited as the scrutinizing continued. Trying hard not to move my head too much, I looked around the room that had been furnished in dark wood with red painted walls and white fittings. It was traditional and well-appointed as befitting this lady’s exalted status.
“Miranda Davison,” she suddenly announced.
Not really the words I wanted to hear, considering I’d had a bit of a run-in with my fellow prefect, Miranda, earlier in the day.
“I see you know exactly what I’m talking about.” The good lady said while I was still struggling to think of a suitable answer.
“Yes, miss.” I answered quickly and then realised that could almost be construed as a confession. “We had a minor altercation this morning.”
“A minor altercation?” Miss Snooks’ smile was not one of happiness. “That’s an interesting description of what others have described as a brawl, a cat-fight, a slanging match and a hair-tugging contest.”
“There was a problem over a book, miss.” The good lady was clearly well-informed, making a simple denial rather pointless.
“Miranda’s, or so it transpired. At the time I thought it was my book, miss.”
“You didn’t think of asking whether it was your book, then Stephanie? Perhaps launching an attack on poor Miranda was just your little way of dispensing with the formalities.”
“Actually, I did ask Miranda if she had my book, miss.”
“Well, that was good of you. Did she offer any reply?”
“She denied it was her book, miss.”
“So is that when the idea of physical assault became your preferred option, Stephanie?”
“No, Miss!” I replied, perhaps with more force than was advisable. “It looked like my book, so I asked her if she was sure.”
“And she replied?”
“She said she was sure without even looking to check, miss.”
“So, of course you accepted that?”
“No, miss.” This was where it began to get a bit tricky. “I admit I made a grab for the book, but Miranda twisted herself round and that caused me to stumble forward.”
“Still gripping the book as tightly as you could, I understand?”
I sighed. This was where it would really start to go against me. “Yes, miss.”
“You didn’t think to let go of the book, Stephanie?”
“Perhaps it would be an idea to tell me how you saw things evolve from there, Stephanie.”
“Well, miss, as I stumbled I fell onto the floor and somehow Miranda fell on top of me. I suppose I tried to push her off and she assumed I was being aggressive and pushed me back. Then it all became a bit of a blur, miss.”
“Are you sure, Stephanie? Others seem to have a pretty good recollection of how the two of you started fighting and pulling each other’s hair. To the point a member of staff and two other prefects had to pull you apart.”
“Yes, miss.” Miss Snooks was too well informed for me to say much else.
“Stephanie, Miranda and you are not a couple of silly little first-formers having a squabble. You are both eighteen year olds and prefects to boot! This simply should not have happened. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, miss.” Oh dear! It sounded like there were going to be consequences. At the very least my prefect status looked like disappearing down the drain. Still, at least Miranda’s would probably be following the same route!
“I think enough time has been wasted over this silly affair, Stephanie. Unless you have anything significant to add we will move on.”
I kind of half shrugged. “No, miss.” I looked thoughtfully down at the carpet, concerned that anything further I said would more likely sink me deeper into the mire.
“Well, I suppose that is a confession of sorts, even if it isn’t any sort of apology which some might think appropriate in the circumstances.” Miss Snooks also looked down thoughtfully, in her case at the incriminating statements I presumed were in the folder.
“I’m very sorry, miss.”
“Better late than never, Stephanie?”
Did I see a smile of sorts? No, I think she was just sharpening her teeth. Either way, I didn’t answer.
“Let us move on.”
Miss Snooks closed the folder. She had made her decision. Oh dear!
“I propose to deal with the matter as expeditiously as possible. Therefore, you will report back to me at eleven o’clock tomorrow morning, at which time you will receive eight strokes of the cane. You may leave.”
Eh? What?!!! I just sat there, stunned, until Miss Snooks repeated herself.
“Stephanie, I said you could leave. I will see you at eleven o’clock tomorrow.”
Did she say eight strokes? I scrambled clumsily to my feet, my mind struggling to find something useful to say, and failing miserably.
“Yes, miss.” I wanted to say much more, but that was all I could think of as I turned to leave.
In case it isn’t already obvious, Miranda and I don’t get on. We never have. I’m not sure what it is about her, her super slim figure perhaps, her bossy confident manner more likely, but we’ve both been at this school since starting at the age of four years old, so I don’t suppose much is going to change now.
Once clear of the headmistress’s office I swept past Mrs Peters tight-lipped and headed for the prefects’ common room. Realising that Miranda Davison might well be inside, I paused, but then we were going to cross paths at some stage so why put the dreaded moment off.
As soon as I was inside, the seven or eight prefects stopped talking and looked straight at me, studying me like they were trying to gauge the outcome of my meeting with Miss Snooks by my face. I think they soon gathered it wasn’t a happy outcome. Miranda stood with her back to me, but her head was twisted round and she was looking with all the others.
“How did it go, Steph?” Sharon Tiler, my best friend, took my arm and pulled me to one side.
“Would you believe, I’ve got to go back and see that bloody headmistress tomorrow morning and, you are not going to believe this, get caned!”
“I’ll believe that,” Sharon said quietly, looking round to make sure we weren’t being overheard. “Miranda went in ahead of you. She’s facing the same.”
“Eight bloody strokes, she’s awarded me. Eight! Can you believe that?”
“Eight?” Sharon furrowed her brow. “I suppose that figures. Miranda’s getting four.”
“Well, that’s hardly fair, is it?”
“Oh, come on, Steph. You were going at her pretty strong, you know, and it was her book, after all is said and done.”
“Oh, everything’s my fault, is it?”
“Er, yes? Pretty well, actually.” Sharon answered. “And what was so important about that bloody book anyway? It was a school text book. It wasn’t like you were at risk of losing your most valuable possession. As it turns out it wasn’t even your book anyway, yours was on the window sill over there.”
“Okay, I made a mistake. I’m certainly going to be paying for it tomorrow.”
“True,” Sharon confirmed.
The following morning I woke early and had a long hot shower before going back into my bedroom to get towelled off. As I sat on the edge of my bed, stark naked and thinking what underwear to put on, it dawned on me just how little I knew about how Miss Snooks administered canings. I knew that girls got caned occasionally, perhaps three or four a year, and that they were usually in the forms below sixth form, but that was about it. They were just hardly ever talked about.
Eight strokes? That seemed a lot. Getting whacked eight times on one hand seemed almost beyond comprehension. Four on each hand seemed more likely; painful, bloody painful, but more likely. Then again, were my hands really the part of me likely to be at risk? No, dear Miranda might get her measly four whacks on her hands but I had to at least consider another target area.
Trousers seemed a better bet than a skirt. A skirt, especially a looser fitting pleated skirt might make it too tempting to Miss Snooks to hoist it up. Perhaps a tight-fitting skirt? Yes, good move! Better be smart, so clean white blouse with collar rather than woollen top with round neckline. Tights? No, hold-ups, in natural colour. Underwear? White panties and bra. Tight grey skirt. And of course the dear old blazer. Sorted.
I had to be at school early that day because I was on door duty, making sure all the girls entered the building in an orderly fashion. Then I had to do the same when they entered the main hall at nine o’clock for assembly. On my way to the prefects’ common room after assembly, I was delayed by Mrs Parkinson, one of the English teachers, so I didn’t reach my destination until twenty to ten. The common room was empty, except for Miranda Davison.
I tried ignoring her, and went across to the table where notes for particular prefects are left. There was a small brown envelope with my name on it. I carefully slit it open with a finger nail and took out a small, neatly typed note. It was from Mrs Peters and it reminded me to be in her office by five minutes to eleven. I really needed to be reminded of that, didn’t I? It also suggested I use the library for private study until that time.
I decided a mug of good strong coffee was in order, so went across to the little sink beside which we keep the kettle. As I filled the ancient electric device, it seemed ungracious to continue ignoring Miranda.
“Coffee?” I called over to her, rather hoping she might not hear me. The kettle was on the point of overflowing before she answered.
I made the coffee in an atmosphere that seemed far thicker than the hot drinks and held one of the mugs out.
“Thanks,” she said through gritted teeth, and returned to the opposite side of the room.
“I see you’ve gone for trousers,” I called across.
Miranda ignored me.
“Any idea how she does it?” I tried again to make conversation.
“I was just wondering whether you knew how Miss Snooks carries out, you know, like, punishments. I wondered whether there was any significance in you wearing trousers.” Miranda usually wore a pleated skirt to try and hide her rather ample bum. Sorry! That’s me being bitchy!
“I’m getting four,” Miranda replied, sounding to me like she was sneeringly pleased to be pointing out the difference in our punishments. “It could be two across each of my hands or it could be four across the backside. You’re getting eight, so it’s bound to be across your backside.”
I wasn’t convinced Miranda knew what she was talking about, but I persisted anyway. “Are you wearing extra knickers just in case?” I smiled, like my words were meant as a joke.
“Certainly not!” Miranda retorted indignantly. “I would never cheat!”
“Me neither!” I hastily replied. “No, I was just wondering whether you knew whether we would get to keep our skirts or trousers on.”
“Well, I don’t have personal experience, you understand, but I have heard it could go either way.”
“Right,” I acknowledged Miranda’s answer, which really was no help whatsoever.
“Although, of course, I will have some experience after today, won’t I?” Miranda sneered.
“I’m to report to Miss Snooks at eleven.” I said, ignoring the barb. “Are we going in together?”
My question obviously displeased Miranda.
“Actually, I have to go there at ten-thirty.”
I looked round at the clock on the wall and was amazed to see it was already twenty minutes past ten. How time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!
Miranda saw me check the time, which obviously had more significance for her. “I must get going,” she said, and dashed out of the room.
For a moment I thought about making myself another mug of coffee, and then realised I hadn’t drunk the first one which was now cold. I decided I wasn’t thirsty. The clock soon ticked its way round to ten-thirty and I presumed Miranda would now be inside Miss Snooks’ office. In different circumstances, it might have been fascinating to imagine the proceedings between Miranda and our headmistress but my brain wouldn’t get itself around that idea at the moment.
I tried looking out the window at a hockey match between girls from, probably, the fifth year but that didn’t hold my attention for very long. I sat down and fiddled with various parts of my uniform to make sure all was in order and blemish free. It was.
It was so quiet, on my own in that room, that the clock’s usually gentle ticking sound became annoying in its intensity. Then, suddenly, all hell broke loose as Miranda burst through the door with her hands desperately clutching her bottom.
“Oh my God! Ooooooooooh, that was soooooo awful! It’s agony!”
As I sat watching Miranda frantically rubbing her bottom over her rather tight fitting grey trousers, I tried to think of words that might console her, and more importantly calm me.
“I take it Miss Snooks is in a bottom smacking mood today, then.” No, my observation was stupid, did nothing to soothe my nerves, and, from the look of thunder Miranda fired off in my direction, did little to bolster our friendship.
“Actually, she offered me the choice.” Miranda said in an extremely derisive manner. “I suppose I should at least be grateful I had the option.”
“Four across the bum looks pretty painful.” I observed thoughtfully.
“It is!” Miranda confirmed. “I’d hate to think what eight will be like.” She looked up at the clock. “And shouldn’t you be getting along there?”
Unfortunately, Miranda was quite correct. She usually was. That was another of her annoying habits. It was already ten to eleven and I departed with heart thumping and nerves jangling.
“Ah, Stephanie. Nicely on time.” Mrs Peters greeted me. “Take a seat. We won’t be long.”
It’s funny how your mind dwells on odd remarks in times of severe stress. I hadn’t really heard Mrs Peters using the royal ‘we’ before, certainly not in the sense of referring to the headmistress. I sat and twiddled with my fingers as I stared at the door separating us from Miss Snooks’ office.
All too soon, the buzzer sounded on the intercom and then Mrs Peters was on her feet. “Miss Snooks is ready for you now, Stephanie.” She beckoned me towards her and the door and then, as I passed her, I felt her hand on my shoulder. I was about to tap on the door, but Mrs Peters reached down to the handle, twisted it and then we were entering the hallowed domain.
“Stephanie.” Miss Snooks was standing behind her desk, arms folded and looking as unwelcoming as ever. I checked out her desk and all the other items of furniture with a horizontal surface, but failed to catch sight of anything resembling a cane. “As I’m sure you’re only too aware, I have now to administer eight strokes of the cane as punishment for the incident yesterday.”
Have to? Not on my account, you don’t. I continued to look around, but still couldn’t see any cane. A small chair had been placed ominously a short way from her desk. I felt Miss Snooks running her eyes over my complete attire.
“Would you please go to that chair and remove your blazer, skirt, shoes and tights or stockings. Help her, would you please, Mrs Peters?”
Miranda hadn’t mentioned this. Perhaps, with a lesser punishment, it had been different for her. Perhaps this was going to be especially tedious and humiliating, just for me. Or had Miranda had to do the same after all? Could I work it into question I could ask right here and now? No, I went over to the chair as elegantly as I could and began peeling off my blazer.
“Wrap it round the back.” Mrs Peters suggested, having followed me across the room. “Round the back of the chair, Stephanie,” she added when I looked vague.
I kicked off my black, quite well polished shoes and toe-poked them under the chair. My hands struggled with the zip and the silly little clip at the back of my skirt before Mrs Peters pushed my fingers aside and performed the task for me. At least she allowed me to push the tight grey skirt down all on my own. I almost toppled over as I untangled my feet from the skirt now adorning my ankles. After folding my skirt neatly, I placed it on the seat of the chair. I was about to turn when she reminded me to remove my stockings.
“Just drape them over the back of the chair.” Mrs Peters told me as I stood awkwardly clutching the flimsy nylons.
It felt, well, odd just standing there in my blouse and tie and my brief white knickers. You just don’t expect to find yourself standing in your revered headmistress’s office only half dressed. I felt Mrs Peters steering me round and pushing me gently back towards Miss Snooks’ desk.
“Right.” Miss Snooks flashed me a nasty looking smile as she came round from behind the desk. “Let’s get your bottom well and truly smacked, young lady.”
She went straight past me, and I looked round to see where she was going. That’s when I saw the cane for the first time, hanging on the back of another chair next to the door. It was shorter than I’d expected, no more than thirty inches long, slender, and with one end formed into the traditional crook handle.
Miss Snooks unhooked the cane from the chair with almost a reverence before she tested it with a couple of practice vertical swishes that did little to calm my nerves. I was even less happy when she started moving towards me. Returning my gaze to the direct ahead position seemed advisable.
“Bend over my desk, Stephanie.”
I barely had a chance to move before Mrs Peters started pushing me forwards and down onto the desk. I really do doubt the hem of my blouse in any way covered my bottom, yet still the dear lady felt the need to fold it well up my back until I felt quite naked from my bra strap to the top of my knickers.
“Head down, bottom up!” Mrs Peters whispered in my ear before stepping back. I was already leaning on the desk with my forearms supporting me, but I managed to bob my head down a little further without actually touching the surface of the desk and kind of stuck my bum out.
I was just wondering what Miss Snooks was up to when this almighty pain lashed across the seat of my brief white panties. Ouch! After only a moment I became aware of a searing ache right across the middle of my bottom.
Seconds later, a second stroke whipped across the very lowest part of my bottom and swept me up on my toes. Double ouch! The initial pain is without doubt the hardest part but that second reaction really burns.
I kept my bottom as still as I could so that Miss Snooks might be inspired to get this awful ordeal over and done with as quickly as possible. The idea seemed to work because another stroke lashed across the seat of my panties, firstly bringing tears to my eyes and secondly scorching my poor bottom.
When the fourth stroke whipped into me, and burnt my bottom yet again, my idea began to lose its appeal. Perhaps Miss Snooks planned a break halfway through to allow me a little relief.
No, she didn’t! After five strokes the pain was really building up and my bottom felt very, very sore. Sitting down wouldn’t be something worth contemplating for quite some time.
The sixth stroke had me writhing about, and that kind of forced Miss Snooks to pause for a few moments and give me at least a tiny break. My bum felt like it was on fire which, if there were any benefit, possibly meant it couldn’t hurt any worse.
Finally, I held still and Miss Snooks accurately took that as a signal I was ready for another stroke. It caught me low down and I soon regretted thinking it couldn’t hurt any worse than it did already. It could! And it did! Ouch!!
More squirming held off the final stroke and I made a wager with myself that Miss Snooks would make this the hardest of the lot. I was right. When I at last held still so she could administer the eighth and final stroke, she kept me waiting. Then I heard that whoosh, longer than any previous, and the cane cracked across my sore backside.
“Yeeeeeooouucchh!!” That hurt! That really hurt!! That really, seriously hurt!!!
“Mrs Peters?” Somewhere in the background I heard Miss Snooks’ voice. It didn’t make a lot of sense, and I didn’t care whether it made sense or not. I just hurt and hurt and ached and hurt some more.
“Stephanie?” I heard another voice, not Miss Snooks’, and felt someone shaking my shoulders. “That’s it, Stephanie. You can get dressed now.”
I didn’t want to get dressed. I didn’t care about getting dressed. I just wanted to stay bent across the desk until the pain subsided to the point where I felt I could stand upright and not suffer even more in the process. More shaking of my shoulder suggested that wasn’t an option. I eased myself up and Mrs Peters held my upper arm to keep me steady.
“Come along, Stephanie. Let’s get you dressed. I’m sure you’ve other things to be getting on with.”
While Mrs Peters looked after keeping me on my feet as we went back to the chair where my clothes were, I carefully explored the state of my bottom. Maybe the skimpiness of my panties had much to do with it, but I could certainly feel tramlines right across my bottom where the cane had struck me those eight times. I delved into the pocket of my blazer and found a handkerchief to dab away at the tears rolling down my face. After blowing my nose a couple of times, I was ready for the next ordeal; getting dressed.
I was tempted to stuff the nylon stockings into a pocket of my blazer, but then I considered the little matter of keeping up appearances, especially if Miranda Davison was still lurking in the common room. It was hard, with my unsteady legs, but I got them on. I started putting my skirt on with less difficulty, until I tried to pull it up around my bottom. There seemed rather more of it than before the caning!
With a bit of a struggle and some desperate breathing in, I got the skirt on and all done up. The blazer was a doddle in comparison, and there I was ready to go. I looked across at Miss Snooks. She was back sitting behind her desk and getting on with some paperwork. Obviously my sore bottom wasn’t going to trouble her conscience!
She must have read my mind.
“You deserved that, Stephanie, although I’m sure you’re feeling quite hard done by at the moment. Learn your lesson and don’t misbehave in future.”
“Yes, miss.” I mumbled.
“Off you go.”
The next moment, I was in the outer office with Mrs Peters. Then her phone rang and I soon realised my presence was no longer needed. Back at the prefects’ common room, I pushed open the door and found a group of about nine others, including of course Miranda Davison.
“Well, that was fun!” I gasped, rubbing my bottom.
“Really?” Sharon Tiler, my best friend, looked at me as though I needed certifying.
“No, not really!”
“You think it’s funny, do you?” Miranda came towards me menacingly. “I’ve got four stripes across my backside because of you, and they bloody hurt!”
“Well, I’ve got eight, and they hurt too, Miranda. So?”
“So? You bitch!”
Thankfully, the other prefects were quicker to intervene this time. No fight, so hopefully no second dose of Miss Snooks’ cane for either of us.
Miranda? I don’t think we’ll ever be good buddies!
© Kenny Walters 2011
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