A final interview with the headmistress reveals an awkward truth

By Richard Campbell

“Ah, Jane, do come in and have a seat.”

It was the last few days of the summer term and Jane knew that Ms Taylor, the headmistress, liked to meet all the upper sixth girls before they left the school, to discuss future plans for university etcetera. Even so, there was always a concern when meeting the Head for a chat.

The Head’s study was surprisingly modern for such a traditional school. The school itself had been open for over a hundred years and had an excellent reputation academically, but also for the behaviour of its pupils. The school buildings reminded many of a gothic novel, but the atmosphere inside was warm and welcoming for both the day girls and the borders. Having said that, the girls were expected to behave at all times, and integrity was valued as much as academic excellence.

Ms Taylor’s desk was made of glass supported on wooden trestles. Everything in the room was modern apart from one old dining chair sat against one of the walls. The chair Jane sat down on was modern but comfortable.

“You look slightly worried, Jane. Don’t be. As you might know, I have a chat with all the leavers. The last day of term gets very busy. Prize giving, certificates, parents. Far too many distractions to say goodbye properly. Would you like some coffee while we chat?”

“Yes please, Miss.”

Ms Taylor called her secretary and asked for coffee.

“You have been a model pupil since you joined us at 11. I don’t think I’ve ever heard one of the teachers make a negative comment and, from what I can see, not even a detention.”

“Yes Miss, I suppose so.”

“You are being modest, Jane.” Ms Taylor continued. “I suppose I should expect that from you. Always honest, but with a drive to succeed. Anyway, tell me about your future plans.”

At that moment, the Head’s secretary knocked, entered and placed the tray of coffee on the desk.

“With milk please.”

Ms Taylor poured for them both.

Jane continued. “In the short term, I have a holiday with my family. They have a villa in France. Then, a nervous wait for the A level results; then, hopefully, I can take up my place at University.”

“Whereabouts in France?”

“In the Gorge du Tarn. I love the swimming, cycling and canoeing.”

“Yes, you always were sporty. Hockey and Netball first teams. And a physics degree, at Oxford, I believe.”

“Yes. It was actually a difficult choice. Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy all interested me, but I am good at maths and the Physics faculty at the College are doing really interesting work on particle physics.”

The discussion continued for another 10 minutes before Ms Taylor tried to draw the discussion to a close.

“Well, if that is all?”

“Actually, there is another matter that was on my mind.” Stated Jane. “But it is, difficult for me.”

“Well I am not sure I can help if you don’t explain it to me,” said the Head.

“There are consequences for me. You described me as honest and with integrity, which is why it is difficult and I am nervous about what you will say and do.”

“So, this is about a matter of your behaviour at school? You surprise me, and anyway in two days you will be leaving and no one will remember a minor infraction. Why bring this up here and now?”

“I suppose I have always tried to do my best and take responsibility for my actions.”

“Yes, you have, and that’s what has made you a good pupil and a good person. Think for a moment. If you need to tell me something, then only you can decide if it is important, and something we need to deal with in the school.”

Jane thought for about a minute and then blurted out: “I started smoking at school 6 months ago.”

“What:? Are you serious? Why tell me? You leave in two days and…”

Jane sat silent.

“You have confessed to breaking one of the school’s most fundamental rules. Being caught smoking has only one result. Knowing this, you stand by your statement?”

Jane took a depth breath and said: “Yes, Miss.”

Ms Taylor looked both stunned and angry.

“You, and your parents, signed the rules book accepting that corporal punishment is one of the sanctions available in this establishment. I am not sure I can think of a person admitting an offence which will automatically get them caned!”

“Yes miss, I am aware of the consequence of my confession.”

Ms Taylor slowly shook her head, and then said forcefully: “Very well. You may be eighteen, but you are still a member of this school and you will return to this study at 16:15, after lessons, when we will deal with this matter. You can expect to feel the full force of my displeasure. You may go!”

Jane left the study with a feeling of trepidation, but also a sense of unburdening.

The rest of the school day was a bit of a blur for Jane. Formal lessons finished at 15:45, but with the exams finished and the end of year almost over they were mostly a recap and an opportunity to debate.

At the end of classes, the pupils dispersed back to their rooms. As a boarder, Jane had her own room and returned to it. She spent 15 minutes making sure she was dressed according to the school rules. Fortunately, meetings with form tutors and with the Head were common, even after school hours.

At five past four, she left her room and started the long walk to the Head’s office on the other side of the school. She knew it was to be a painful meeting but it was very much her choice to be taking this action. The cane was talked about in revered tones. It was reserved for the crimes the school felt the worst, such as bullying, fighting and smoking.  It was rarely used, as far as she knew. In fact, she could only think of one person she’d known who had been caned, but she suspected there were more who had been, but managed to keep it quiet.

As she walked, she also wondered how painful it would be. She had looked on the internet, on her phone, and had read stories and seen pictures of the weals and the tears in the aftermath. Recent books had made spanking seem sexy, but she expected her experience was going to be nothing like that. She arrived at Ms Taylor’s office at ten past four.

Ms Crawford, the Head’s secretary, sat guard as usual. You had to go through the secretary’s room to get into the head’s office.

“I have an appointment at 16:15.”

“Ah yes, Campbell, Ms Taylor is expecting you. Please sit. She’s asked you to wait.”

It was twenty past when the call came to enter.

Jane stood, knocked and then opened the office door. She closed the door behind her and walked to the desk where the Headmistress sat. She stood at attention in front, and waited for Ms Taylor to speak.

Ms Taylor looked up.

“Campbell, I amazed you have let yourself get into this situation so close to the end of your time here. I am incredibly disappointed with you. Smoking is against the school rules. Firstly, for the damage to your health and those around you; second, because it is illegal for under eighteens, which you were when you started, and finally due to the fire risk to the school. Do you have anything to say? Any mitigating circumstances?”

“No, miss.” Jane said quietly.

“The school governors and I take smoking very seriously as an offence and even though you have been of good character previously, the only option is to give you six strokes of the cane.”

Jane took a deep breath and said, “Yes miss.”

“In this establishment the cane is given on the bottom, and for smoking it will be your bare bottom!”

Jane inhaled loudly. She’d known it was her bottom and suspected she would be removing her skirt and getting it on her pants, but not on her bare bottom.

“Right. Let’s get on with this!”

The head stood and walked round her desk.

“See that dining chair. Bring it, and place it here.” The head indicate a clear space in front of her desk.

“Good.”

Ms Taylor walked across to a cupboard and opened it. Inside, hanging neatly, were 5 canes. She selected one of the longest ones. It must have been close to 4 foot long. Jane was fascinated and terrified in equal measure. The Head ran it through her fingers and then gave it a swish. It was very flexible. Satisfied, the Head returned to her desk and placed the cane down.

“Right. Shoes off. And your skirt.”

Jane slipped off her shoes and fumbled with the clip and zip on her skirt before letting it fall. Jane felt odd undressing in front of another woman, especially in the middle of an office.

“Fold it neatly and place it on my desk.”

Jane did as she was told. Her shirt just about covered her knickers but she was bare from the thighs down.

“You may as well remove your knickers whilst you are there.”

That felt really embarrassing for Jane, but she complied.

“Go and stand behind the chair, please.”

Ms Taylor paused as Jane complied.

“When I tell you, I want you to lean over the back of the chair so that your head is down near the seat pad. Legs straight. Feet about a foot apart. I suggest you grip the chair legs. Bend over!”

Jane took a deep breath and bent over the back of the chair. All dignity gone. She reached for the chair legs and took hold.

“I am going to fold your shirt out of the way. We don’t want it getting in the way.”

Nimble fingers rolled the shirt and tucked it under Jane’s bra strap. Jane was naked from waist to socks. Bottom sticking out. Whisps of public hair visible between her thighs.

Jane saw the Head walk to her desk, collect the cane and go and stand on her right. She then felt something cold and round touch her bottom. The cane. It tapped a number of times.

“Campbell. You are to receive 6 strokes of the cane. You are required to stay in position and take your punishment with dignity.”

Jane inwardly laughed. Dignity? Half naked, bottom in the air?

Jane felt the cane withdraw. She tensed her body, gripped the chair for all she was worth, and gritted her teeth. Suddenly, she heard a sharp whistle and then felt herself being driven forward by the impact of the cane. Her brain struggled to cope with the sudden intense pain. Despite gritted teeth, she grunted loudly and her body jerked upwards, her reflex was to stand. Only her grip on the chair kept her in position.

The head watched the white stripe on Jane’s bottom turn red and angry. She knew the first stroke was a huge shock to a pupil. Being caned hurt, a lot. She waited about a minute for Jane to settle, before lining up and then delivering the second stroke.

Again Jane’s body jerked, and this time she cried out. A second red line appeared across Jane’s normally white bottom cheeks, parallel to the first. The Head aimed lower for the next stroke. Jane heard the swish and felt the sudden sharp pain. She stamped her feet in an effort to ease the hurt. Her knuckles were white from gripping so hard on the chair as she tried to remain in position. Tears rolled down her face and dripped onto the seat pad.

The fourth swished in. It impacted in the crease between bottom and thigh. The Head knew this hurt intensely. Jane screamed. She also lost her grip on the chair and started to rise.

“Campbell, get back down or you will get extra!”

It took a few seconds to register but Jane reversed course and bent over again. The fifth swished in. Back near the middle of Jane’s bottom. Jane remained in place sobbing.

The sixth would be the hardest as Jane was about to find out. It swished in with a meaty thwack. Jane’s body jerked but she remained in position.

Ms Taylor took a moment to admire her efforts. 6 deep red wheals, parallel and evenly spaced.

“You may stand, Campbell.”

Jane slowly rose, using her arms to push herself straight.

“Go and face the wall. Hands by your side.”

Jane walked slowly over. Shirt half way up her back. Bottom naked. She was focused on the pain, not on being embarrassed. She was sobbing and crying.

It took five minutes of standing facing the wall for her to calm down and stop crying. The pain started to ease but was still intense.

“Right, Campbell, release your shirt and you may get dressed.”

Jane approached the desk. She lent on the desk edge as she tried to put on her knickers. When she pulled them over her bottom the pain intensified again. The elastic chafing. She felt the wheals with her hands and cupped her sore bottom for a moment. She grabbed her skirt and put it on, thankful that it was loose. Finally her shoes.  Eventually she was fully dressed and presentable.

She noticed Ms Taylor had put away the cane and chair.

“Will you be smoking again?”

“No, miss, definitely not.”

“Well, I wish you well in the future, Campbell. I am sorry that was necessary. You may go.”

And with that Jane turned, left the office and made her way slowly back to her room. Once there, she locked the door and took off her skirt and pants. She used the mirror to look at her bottom and carefully ran her fingers over the marks. Those were going to take a while to go. She would definitely not be smoking in the future. As Jane explored the marks, she wondered what Ms Taylor would say if she found out that Jane had never ever smoked a cigarette.

The End

© Richard Campbell 2019