Both mother and daughter are subject to judicial discipline

                                                       By Lorna Monroe

The recently-built Police Station did not look at all intimidating. In fact, with its lime and cream façade, it resembled nothing so much as a medium-sized retail outlet. Nonetheless, on this particular morning, seen through the eyes of Susan Armitage and her daughter, Emma, it may as well have been a Gothic castle atop a sinister crag.

“Try not to worry, dear, I am sure it won’t be all that bad. I mean, this is the 21st Century,” said Susan, the tremble in her voice betraying the cheerful tone she intended to convey.

“No, it will be bloody awful, Mum, a girl at Uni…”

Emma’s disagreement was interrupted by the older woman’s restraining hand on her wrist.

“Shhh, I’ll take care of this.”

As they approached the front desk, the duty Sergeant was finishing some paper-work.

“Good morning, I am Mrs Susan Armitage and this is my daughter, Emma.”

The police officer barely made eye contact before consulting his computer screen.

“You are both here to receive your Sentences as determined by the District Court.” It was a statement not a question.

“Err, yes, that is correct.” Susan replied, somewhat thrown on to the backfoot.

“You are a little early. If you just take a seat by the coffee machine, someone will be with you in a few minutes.”

Both women felt every second of those minutes as an impregnable wall of silence fell between them, breached only by Susan’s attempt to offer the same apology she had been repeating like a mantra over the past three weeks.

“Don’t even think about it, Mum,” was all the response she received from her daughter, whose normally pretty face was locked in a pensive scowl. Silence again descended and Susan fell to worrying about her daughter’s choice of dress. While she herself had been careful to opt for smart formal wear, a crisp white blouse and smart grey skirt beneath her best coat, Emma was in her usual black leather jacket and jeans. Susan had even chosen to have her thick collar-length red hair carefully and expensively styled. In contrast, her daughter had simply opted to put hers in a pony-tail.

Just when Susan was about to make a further attempt at conversation, a fair-haired lady in her mid-30s approached them from the corridor opposite.

“Mrs and Ms Armitage? Good morning. My name is Irene. May I call you by your first names?”

They both nodded in silent agreement.

“Excellent. Hope you haven’t been waiting too long?” she enquired, with the breezy air of a dental receptionist.

Receiving no answer did not seem to discourage her relentless cheerfulness.

“Now, I shall take you up to the first floor, as we just need to go over a few formalities, then I will escort you to the Punishment Suite. If you care to follow me?”

Despite herself, Susan pleasantly proffered her thanks, earning a venomous look from her sullen daughter.

Irene had a rather cramped and bare office which was largely filled by her desk. The décor was a sombre grey and institutional green.

“Please take a seat.” She opted not to sit at her desk, pulling a chair over to sit in front of the other ladies. She liked to keep matters as informal as possible.

“Just to explain, I am not a police officer and nor now is Ms Henderson who will be dealing with you today. Obviously, you have both already seen a doctor who passed you fit to receive Corporal Punishment. However, I can assure you that a nurse will be present in case of emergencies while your sentence is being applied. You should be aware that you will be asked to remove all clothing below the waist before you are disciplined.”

“Now, I will just trot through the details. Susan, you are 42 years old, and Emma 18?”

“That is correct,” said Susan, replying for both of them, biting her lip as she noticed Emma shoot her a snarky glance.

“And you both reside at 29 Elmwood Lane, Stonebay, Kent?”

The older woman was just about to repeat her previous offence, but refrained, allowing her daughter to confirm their address.

Irene sounded like an unusually chipper recorded message now.

“Emma, you were found guilty of speeding and driving without due care and attention, and Susan you were convicted of falsely claiming to have been in control of the vehicle at the time?”

Both nodded sheepishly, Susan bowing her head in shame as she recalled that night. She had taken Emma for a driving lesson and, accelerating too fast, the stupid girl had swerved and hit a lamp post. Hoping to saver her daughter from penalty points before she even had a full driving licence, she had tried to take responsibility. Unfortunately, the speed camera had caught the driver’s image very clearly.

“And finally, can I just confirm, Susan, that you were sentenced to a £250 fine and 10 strokes of the cane, and that Emma, you were awarded 20 penalty points and 7 strokes of the cane?”

At this bald summary of the facts, Emma blanched and nodded, while her mother’s cheeks reddened as she whispered,” I am afraid that is correct.”

“Well,” concluded the irrepressible official, “That ticks all the boxes. Unless you have any questions, I will hand you over to Ms Henderson.” She paused briefly and, when neither woman replied, stood to indicate the interview had concluded.

“Oh, the loo?” Irene asked as she locked her office door. She waited patiently while both women availed themselves.

In contrast to Irene’s office, the incongruously named Punishment Suit was very spacious indeed. Ms Henderson being otherwise engaged, it was inhabited only by the nurse, Mrs Roberts, a slightly plump, homely lady, reassuringly clad in the pristine white uniform of her profession. She smiled sympathetically at both women when introduced. Irene wished them well before making her discrete departure.

Susan glanced around the room. Decorated in soothing pastel tones with a large desk, presumably belonging to Ms Henderson, at one side and a pine and chrome padded bench at the other, the purpose of which there was little cause to doubt.

At that moment, Susan’s musings were interrupted by the arrival of Ms Henderson. The Punishment Officer, as she introduced herself, was an imposing figure by any standards. At least six feet tall and with a crown of carefully coiffured silver hair, her stern countenance was somewhat softened by large, violet-blue eyes. She had a slim, athletic figure which seemed appropriate for the former police officer Irene had implied she was.

Ms Henderson had none of the airy informality demonstrated by the official who had conducted the initial interview. It was straight to the business in hand.

“Right then, I presume you have both read and understood your letter explaining the procedure. It is, of course, up to you to decide who is punished first, but I would suggest, Mrs Armitage, that you might volunteer and be a good example to your daughter.”

“Yes of course,” said Susan nervously, “Shall I?”

“Yes. Please.”

As Susan slipped out of her court shoes, Ms Henderson marched over to a cupboard in the corner and took out a dark-tan cane; thick, but shorter than Susan expected at less than three feet, with a cork hand-grip. The experienced disciplinarian gave it a quick swish, demonstrating its surprising flexibility. The intended recipient could not supress a shiver. The knot in her stomach tightening palpably.

Unzipping and stepping out of her smart skirt, the dazed woman stood holding it helplessly.

“You may bring one of those chairs over to put your clothes on,” said Ms Henderson, pointing impatiently.

Susan was short, but nonetheless had very shapely legs and was, of course, well aware of the fact. As was her habit, she was wearing very elegant and quite sheer black hold-ups with pretty lacey tops.

Flustered at the idea of irritating the fearsome Punishment Officer farther, but realising that her hosiery afforded her no protection, she felt compelled to ask: “Do I need to remove my stockings?”

God, her mouth was so dry the words barely escaped her lips.

“It seems you did not read or understand the instructions. EVERYTHING below the waist off!”

Blushing to the roots of her hair, Susan placed a dainty foot on the chair and rolled her stocking down, a sight which Ms Henderson noted, was not without its charm. By the time she removed the second, her fingers were in open rebellion, causing her to fumble and Ms Henderson to grimace in an intimidating manner.

In taking off her black satin knickers, the trembling Susan demonstrated a forlorn modesty. Turing sideways in an effort to hide her copper-curled femininity.

“You will be amazed at how quickly a thrashing will divest you of such adolescent coyness,” declared the Punishment Officer, letting the bland mask of officialdom slip momentarily. “You will now lie over the bench.”

Susan hurried to obey, hearing a pathetic whimper from her daughter.

“Right over, it will be much more painful for you if your legs are not completely straight.”

The penitent was stretched fully on tip-toe now. Ms Henderson moved to the other side of the apparatus and, without a word, drew straps around her wrists, attaching the woman firmly to the frame.

“Do you require me to do the same with your ankles?”

“Please, I would rather you didn’t.”

“Very well, but I must warn you that if there is any excessive kicking, I will have no choice but to secure them too.”

“Yes Mam,” replied Susan, not even registering that she had slipped into this most respectful form of address.

The PO lifted the cane, ensuring Emma saw her flex it and noting with grim satisfaction that her face drained with terror.

“Before I begin, I must inform you that this cane is very different from any which you may have experienced at school. It is a women’s prison cane. Therefore, it is well that this room is completely sound-proof. You may be as vocal as you wish.”

On that ominous note, she placed the rod in the middle of Susan’s bottom, tapping it twice. The quivering victim clenched her cheeks, anticipating that after the third the stroke would fall. However, Ms Henderson paused.

“You may, of course, clench your bottom, but I would advise you that should you choose to do so, the sting will be much more pronounced.”

With that, it landed. A white streak bisected the curvaceous mounds. A moment hung in the air. Then Susan screamed. An animal howl of shock. As her cry subsided, a livid red weal appeared as if to give outward testimony to her agony, her buttocks clenching and unclenching reflexively.

Desperate not to frighten her daughter any more than she was already, Susan was determined not to shout out on the next cut. As it scorched her milk-white globes, she raised them as far as her straps would allow, wriggling frantically as if trying to shake the pain away. In her wrist cuffs, her fists clenched into balls, finger nails digging into the palms, but she kept her mouth tightly closed.

The third stroke was much more challenging; a challenge which she failed to meet. Landing on the sit-spot, it took the bound victim completely by surprise, causing her head to buck like a deer and her scream to echo around the room.

Ms Henderson bided her time before continuing. Maybe she wanted to give the victim a brief respite, but for Susan the wait was the most dreadful of tortures. As the cane was placed at the groove between bottom and thighs, the distraught woman gave an involuntary whimper.

It proved to be the worst yet. Gasping for breath and kicking frantically, she squealed piteously as the burning pain rose to a crescendo. Behind her, Emma burst into tears.

The mid-point saw a stinging imprint across the upper cheeks. Susan choked back a shriek but silent tears began to trickle down her face.

Emma could be heard muttering: “No, no,” as if denying what she was witnessing would make it disappear.

Reviewing the punishment later, Ms Henderson had to admit that the sixth stroke was the one at which she abandoned a degree of her objectivity. When she positioned the cane across the first five welts, Susan cried out plaintively, “Mam, please, not there, not across my stripes.”

“I am very sorry, Mrs Armitage; with the number of strokes you have been sentenced to receive, there will be an element of ‘cross-over’ as we term it, I must ask you to compose yourself and bear it as best you can.” As dispassionate as she tried to be, she could not help but admire the way her penitent’s beautifully upholstered cheeks quivered in dread as they awaited their fate.

When the stroke came, it was more painful than anything Susan could have envisaged. Howling for all she was worth, it was as well that the punishment bench was well-padded, as her pretty ankles would have been severely bruised by her frantic kicks.

In the background, Emma was shouting hysterically: “Mum, Mum,” at the top of her voice. She calmed down only when the nurse shushed her, gently but firmly informing the girl that if she couldn’t restrain herself, she would be strapped to a chair.

Number seven was on the crest of Susan’s hillocks. Whilst not as agonising as its predecessor, it was more than sufficient to provoke a self-pitying whimper from the normally restrained lady.

The next was a different matter. On the cusp of buttocks and thighs, it had the desperate woman testing the sound-proofing to the maximum and kicking furiously. Ms Henderson lay the rod on the back of her calves.

“Feet down, or it will be the ankle-straps.”

Nearing the climax now. Full in the centre of her plump cheeks the tramlines overlapping earlier efforts.

“Plea-se!” cried the terrified woman. Emma spluttered in sympathy.

The last stroke and the Punishment Officer was determined that it would be memorable enough to ensure Susan would never make a return visit. Making no attempt to mask her intentions, she aligned the cane diagonally across the bulk of the stripes, the earliest of which were already turning purple. The exhausted offender could only murmer incoherent pleas now. Then Ms Henderson struck with all her might. The sting was such that, for an instance, the victim uttered no sound, before erupting in an anguished howl amid a pummel of kicking feet.

Ms Henderson waited until Susan was still before beckoning to the nurse for her to be released from the apparatus. The chastised woman rose with great difficulty.

“Do you wish to be taken to the Recovery Room now, or would you prefer to stay with your daughter? Asked the kindly medical professional.

“Oh, I must be here for Emma.”

“I understand. My advice would be to not get dressed yet, not until I have had a chance to apply cream to your cheeks.”

“Thank you, my bottom is so painful,” replied the unfortunate lady, as if this would not be obvious by the angry welts embossed on her buttocks.

Mrs Roberts squeezed her hand sympathetically and led her to a chair with an inflatable medical cushion which nonetheless elicited a groan from her charge when she sat down.

“Now, Emma,” Ms Henderson’s stentorian voice boomed across the room. “Seven strokes. Prepare yourself as quickly as you can please.”

Emma bit her lip and her eyes welled with self-pity, but she removed her trainers and wriggled out of her tight jeans. She had refrained from wearing socks that morning. Turning away form the Punishment Officer, she stepped out of her panties which, at any rate, offered little in the way of modesty. Her mother noted with surprise that not only was she shaven but her tan attested to nude sunbathing on her recent holiday.

“I, please, is there no…?” The teenager began asking.

“Enough. Over the punishment bench, please,” interrupted Ms Henderson, having heard every entreaty imaginable in the course of her official duties.

“Experience tells me that you will need assistance to endure your chastisement. Mrs Roberts, secure the ankle straps, if you will please.”

As the gentle nurse carried out the instruction, she whispered to the offender, “Slow, deep breaths, dear.”

“No fraternisation, Edith,” commanded the PO as she bound Emma’s wrists tightly.

Ms Henderson surveyed her target with a professional eye. A small, tight, rump with comparatively little in the way of padding, seven strokes would require the rod to be carefully applied. However, given that the teenager was the more serious offender and had led her mother into trouble, she saw no reason to temper justice with mercy. A sound thrashing now should see Emma steer clear of trouble in the future.

“Up on you toes, higher, legs straight.”

After briefly touching the slim cheeks with the cold rattan, she opened her account with a slicing cut across the middle.

Having forgotten to relax her nates, the teenage delinquent shrieked loudly. Behind her, Susan yelped in helpless pity.

It will be a long few minutes for you if you continue to clench your buttocks in that foolish way, girl” said the disciplinarian, less than sympathetically.

What happened next left little room for doubt that the P.O. had taken a dislike to Emma. She aligned the cane just below the first stripe, but then brought it down on the crest of her bottom. The sting in a place she had not expected lent force to the sufferer’s pathetic cry.

“Oh God, no!” whimpered her distraught mother. Mrs Roberts rushed to take her in her arms as much to prevent a desperate attempt at intervention as to comfort her.

“Number three,” intoned Ms Henderson, as if anyone in the room was in doubt. Low and hard where buttocks meet thighs, it would have been hell for any girl, never mind one as slim as Emma. Her scream resonated for what seemed like an age.

“No, stop, It was all my fault,” howled Susan. The kindly nurse covered her mouth before she could arouse the ire of the prickly Ms H, who was already lining up the fourth stroke.

Emma was the sorriest of penitents now.

“Not yet. Just a moment, please. I need to…” Her words broke into a frantic shriek, followed by a torrent of tears from both the Armitage ladies.

“Three more, get a grip of yourself.”

“Miss, please, I can’t take anymore,” whined Emma, struggling impotently in her bonds. An assertion which was soon debunked as the rod landed high on her cheeks. A wail followed by copious tears.

An eternal minute passed before a cut to the upper middle had the pretty girl in a transport of pain begging for pity. Six well-spaced scarlet weals adorned her orbs now.

Ms Henderson was anxious to draw the curtain down on the drama. She did not wait for as long to deliver the final stroke, taking Emma by surprise to the extent that there was a delayed reaction before her screams filled the punishment chamber and Susan collapsed sobbing in Mrs Roberts’ arms.

The events of the following hours would be a blur to the punished women. Mrs Roberts had escorted them to the Recovery Room and applied a soothing balm as they lay side-by-side on treatment tables. If not exactly a magic cure, it certainly made the pain more bearable. In what seemed like no time they were being driven home in a taxi, the driver of which gave them a knowing look as they squirmed on their seats.

That night, Emma slept in mum’s bed for the first time since she was a child. Over the next few days they quietly bonded over their shared ordeal. Nothing was actually agreed, but both determined to make changes in their lives. Susan resolved to stop indulging Emma’s every whim and treating her like she was a friend rather than her daughter, and Emma determined that she would become a very careful driver indeed.

The End

© Lorna Monroe 2019

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