Gap Year

As a means to an end, a girl attends an extremely traditional school.

By Bella Bryce

The formal notice arrived on crisp ivory paper with the school’s crest displayed prominently at the top, as if it were making a grand entrance straight out of the envelope. Samantha frowned as she began to read.  ‘Report to the Prefects on grounds of suspicion for rule breaking??’

“Bullocks! What’ve I done – breathed wrong??”

Her outburst fell on deaf ears, and she sounded ridiculous shouting at a piece of paper. She read on for another line and then crumpled the letter. Sam could care less, because firstly, she wasn’t guilty, and secondly, if she was, it wasn’t her fault. Thirdly, she wasn’t going. She had sprints to run and dribbling to perfect before her first Langton football match. Centre forwards didn’t score goals with their eyes closed, they scored goals because they ran their arses off and practiced outside of practice. The whole reason she was on scholarship at Langton School was because of her talent on the football pitch, not because of her grades.

“Sick of this school already and it’s barely started,” Sam mumbled, as she loosened her grey and gold striped tie and tossed it onto the bed. She pulled the grey pleated pinafore dress over her head, exchanged her grey school knee socks for the school’s blue woollen football ones, and left her Mary Janes peeking out from beneath the bed. Students weren’t allowed to bring any clothes from home, because there was a uniform for everything at Langton. School uniform, physical education kit, sports kit (if playing on a school team), and the sailor dress weekend uniform were a girl’s only clothes permissible on school property. Boys had their own gender-specific wardrobe. Luckily, the school provided two sets of both the PE kit and the sports kit, which meant she could go out in her extra football uniform and practice. If not, Sam’s options would have been to practice in a dress. Most likely, that wouldn’t have been allowed.

Sam left her school uniform on the bed in a heap as if doing so would show just how little she cared about anything besides her own agenda, which was football. She was already discerning how she would warm-up, which drills she would do, and how many laps would finish her session as she double-knotted her boots. Sam grabbed her football from under the bed and shot a quick glance at the brass clock on the fireplace mantle. Her mental line-up of exercises was precisely timed; the last lesson of the day ended at 2:30 pm and homework didn’t begin until 7:00 pm, after dinner. It was also Thursday, which meant the ‘required study period’ until dinner didn’t apply. That was only Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sam relished her ritual of Tuesday and Thursday afternoon practices where she could be on the grass, just her and a net. She didn’t previously have access to an entire pitch and goals with nets where she was from, and she wouldn’t waste any time taking it for granted.

Sam had, of course, scrutinised Langton earlier in the year during the tour and her interview. She later discovered that the general school schedule was fixed in the same manner it had been since opening in 1955. She also discovered a little bit of internet research gave her any further inside information she needed. There were countless forums available from alumni who offered information and warnings on their anonymous blogs or password-protected sites about Langton’s traditions and nuances from former pupils that allowed prospective students the opportunity for a closer look. Being in the age of digital everything, a wealth of knowledge about the school was available to her, unlike generations of pupils before. Word of mouth spread things quickly, the internet spread them even faster.

Also, “free time” was a narrowly interpreted phrase at Langton. The small, private school in the English countryside was the only one of its kind in the country, and no doubt, the world. It was typical for pupils without options or interest to attend University to leave school at sixteen, as was legally permissible. The other side of the coin, and largely influenced by class, were the pupils who had just left their final year of education and came from families who expected them to stay on until age eighteen. Leaving school at sixteen to either do nothing, or to begin working, was unthinkable for some.

After that final year, students normally took a GAP year to travel or ‘figure out’ what they were meant to do with their lives before applying to the appropriate University or taking up work. Often times, those pupils didn’t want to go back home after a year of travelling, exploring and experiencing another culture (or doing nothing, depending on their financial and motivational status) all to buckle down at Uni. Perhaps they wanted to do an apprenticeship or the most likely reasoning – they didn’t want to do anything at all except live at home where the food and a warm bed were constants. Langton filled that most unusual space between leaving school and the ‘I don’t know (or care) about my future’. They accepted pupils straight out of their final year of education and gave them a structured environment during that crucial period of their lives.

The benefits of Langton far outweighed its criticisms, which was widely viewed as a sort of prep school for the coming of age, or a finishing programme before they entered professions or withdrew their trust funds. It was still an academic school, but also heavily focused on manners (which some pupils were only just learning for the first time!), teaching them how to present themselves with confidence in social situations or for business, mandating the running of or participating in hosting school events, and using one’s talents for the good of the school.  The one-year experience at Langton was highly regarded on any resume for University and even long after one had grown up and had entered the workforce. The founders had connections in government and international business, securing millions of pounds of private investments and donations every year. It was an elite society of half-grown young adults who were kept in uniform reminiscent of their primary school days as a reminder of their predicament; they were there for growth, discipline and guidance. Parents weren’t often the ones who were able to speak into their teenager’s life at that point, because more than likely, there had already been a grand clash of expectations. Langton was uniquely placed to make an impression; they held the keys of success, connections and opportunities and in exchange, the school required complete commitment and loyalty to their traditions and rules.

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Pupils toured the school and signed consent forms before their eighteenth birthday, and with open communication of expectations and rules between parent/guardian, pupil and the school, any complaints once a pupil reached age nineteen who wanted to suddenly exercise their adult rights to deflect correction were immediately (and legally) dismissed.

Langton School fees were steep, and only a select number of pupils were taken in on pure talent. Samantha Connors was one of them. Rather, she was talented at football, had nothing to fill her GAP year with. Langton was not her scene, but she fulfilled the school’s most difficult demographic to fill: the disadvantaged. Sam came from a place without a hope in hell of getting into University or making it in life without intervention. She lived on a rough estate, had been expelled from two schools in ten years, was prone to angry outbursts and certainly would have never consented to go if it hadn’t been for the promise of being exposed to the local ladies football club. The Cheswick semi-professional football coach often scouted from Langton and once those words were spoken, Sam was in. It wasn’t where she wanted to end up, but it was a start. She lived and breathed the game with blind passion.

Another distinctly Langton trademark were the school uniforms. Whilst uniforms were mandatory across the country from the age of five and nothing out of the ordinary, Sam found it interesting that the uniform would be a pinafore dress for girls, then shorts and knee socks for eighteen year old boys on the cusp of manhood. Normally, pinafores and shorts were worn by primary school children. There were too many nuances at Langton to be figured out in the ten months one boarded there and by the time they set in, the pupils had already moved on. That was usually when the anonymous blogging started.

“Going out?” Sam’s roommate, Eloise, cheerily inquired as she returned to their shared room with books hugged to her chest. Eloise looked just as juvenile as every other girl in her pinafore, tie, knee socks and braided hair.

“Escaping, more like,” Sam pushed past her. She wasn’t interested in the small talk and being held up in trivial snippets of dialogue that added nothing to her own agenda. Her only focus was to get through that year at Langton, get noticed by the coach at Cheswick Ladies club and move into semi-professional football before trying to make a break for America. Her dream was to play full time there. Sam felt there was little point in her building relationships with anyone at school; she wouldn’t have the time after Langton to continue them. She didn’t have the time now, either.

“Escaping from what, darling? It was only economics and history today.”

“And who bloody needs it!” Sam’s voice echoed behind the closed bedroom door.

Eloise raised an eyebrow at her roommate’s sloppily discharged uniform across the bed. She couldn’t help but pick up Sam’s knee socks from the floor and place them beside the pinafore, shirt and tie.

The late August afternoon air was perfect. Sam walked the half mile from the main school building, along the gravel path and toward the back of the grounds where the massive football pitch was waiting for her. She deviated from the path and tossed the football out in front of her, dribbling it to the left and right as she took a comfortable pace until she reached the centre of the pitch. A quick session of stretching was Sam’s way of beginning any practice session. Her biggest fear was pulling a muscle and having to go without playing or juggling a football. She couldn’t handle that. The thought of having to miss out would be enough to make her do just about anything to avoid it. She finished stretching and then did one short sprinting exercise to ensure her heart rate was amused by the effort, and then on to her favourite part; juggling and shooting drills. Sam spent hours working on the technique of her juggling and dribbling so that her body was keenly aware of any opportunity to deflect or receive the ball and then take it toward the goal. Seeing as football was a contact sport but no one could touch the ball with their hands (except the goalkeeper, of course), Sam had discovered the key to gaining opportunities on the field – make the rest of your body addicted to receiving the football.

Most footballers dribbled here and there and passed. That was it. Sam used the inside, outside and tops of both feet for dribbling. She could shoot and score with her left just as well as her right. She could bounce the football from all angles of her head and juggle it with any part of her knee, leg or ankle. That meant that a ball never came at her unexpectedly and she was left diving to get into position to receive it so she could hit it ‘just right’. Sam had trained herself to be able to handle the ball no matter where it hit her and to charge the net at every opportunity. That was the reason she was impressive on the field, because she put a hell of lot more energy into the game than most people. Just trying was better than most professional footballers, who had become so complacent in their multi-million pound contracts that they didn’t even go out of their way to rush the net anymore.

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She was out of breath after placing the ball in thirteen different positions on the field, aiming and shooting at the net. Then, jogging to collect the ball and doing it again from the same place if she missed. After that, she took a four lap run around the pitch and a final burst of practice penalty kicks to finish. She had to drag herself back toward the school when she saw the groundskeepers approaching. That meant it was nearly dinner time.

Meals at Langton were a more formal affair than Sam thought was necessary, but that criticism left her mind almost as soon as it accosted her insecurity when the smell from the kitchen wafted vicariously through the staff who distributed freshly baked bread to the tables. Sam didn’t like speaking to anyone at meals. It was awkward. She never knew what to say. None of them understood how much she wanted to stuff her face, either, because they’d spent the last two hours of their ‘free time’ Thursday, pouring over books or trying to network. She’s worked up a proper appetite. They were all rather more interested in whose father knew who, and how many more connections could be built before bedtime? Could so and so’s uncle get me an internship in London at his big office? She’d even heard, ‘can your uncle give me a big office?’ That was all she’d heard – and subsequently blocked out – since the start of term nearly two weeks earlier. She wasn’t anything like the rest of the pupils, but then again, she was that 2% demographic the school had to fulfil.

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The room fell silent at the entrance of eight Prefects as they walked down the aisles between the long, wooden tables and made their way to the horizontal one overlooking their peers on a raised portion of flooring. The pupils immediately stood and waited for the Prefects to take their seats before reclaiming their own. Teachers didn’t dine with students at Langton. They ate in a private wing of the school, enjoying their hour and a half of conversation away from the pupils they otherwise lived with. With the age of the pupils and traditions of the school deeply engrained in peer-discipline, it wasn’t thought of as peculiar. The Prefects were more than capable of supervising. The four boys and four girls chosen to have responsibility over their classmates would have applied at least six months before leaving their final year of school. They would have also had to prove they had previously been a Prefect, or demonstrate precisely why they could handle standing up to any peer who deviated from school rules. They also wore a variation of the school uniform to indicate their station and authority. The male Prefects were the only pupils allowed in trousers, as the rest of their peers were in shorts and knee socks. They wore grey pinstriped trousers, white shirt, solid grey tie with the school crest and a grey blazer piped in gold with the school crest embroidered on the left-hand breast pocket. The girl Prefects wore a grey pleated skirt, white blouse, grey tie and the same blazer as the boys. One further difference in the group of Prefects were the Head Boy and Head Girl. One leader of each gender was named to lead the small group and ensure their responsibilities were taken seriously. Langton’s Head Boy, Hadley Birkett and Head Girl, Faye Davies, each wore the same uniform as their fellow Prefects with the exception of a striped blazer in black, grey, gold and burgundy. They were easily spotted anywhere on school property and the intention was to immediately identify their position. They went through a rather gruelling two-step interview process and earned the privilege of wearing the most senior uniform in school.

Hadley and Faye sat down at the head table first, followed by the rest of the Prefects, and then the students. Sam felt as though Hadley was looking directly at her as she pulled her chair in. She widened her eyes as she stared at her plate. Awkward. Hadley had already developed an air about himself that was unwavering, and Faye was like the female version of him. They looked more than comfortable at the centre of the Prefects table overlooking the room. Hadley said the school dinner prayer, and then conversation began to stir and the room quickly was filled with the orchestra of voices, water goblets clinking or being refilled and flatware touching the china plates. The students were served one table at a time, with the Prefects being served first, of course. Sam periodically glanced at the head table, ensuring none of them saw her. The Prefects seemed to have a notion about them that was along the lines of, ‘if you look over here, I’m going to assume you’ve done something you feel guilty about.’ She didn’t really feel guilty, she just wondered what would become of her disregarding the request to appear before the Prefects earlier that afternoon. She’d also signed the forms during the application, she knew they were allowed to wallop and thrash pupils who broke school rules. It was curious, that was for sure. Langton was curious. Definitely. But it was hard to complain about a school that had incredible opportunities, the best connections, world-class teachers, funding and the interiors to make anyone drool. Even the bedrooms, though shared between two pupils, were decorated to be of the highest standard. Eloise called Langton interior design ‘eye candy.’ Sam just rolled her eyes.

After dinner, Sam took her time walking back to her room. She kept a good distance between herself and the last of her peers as they all made their way up the staircase and diverted one way or the other when it split.

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They all seemed to be having a jolly time planning the few slots of free time for the upcoming weekend, from what she could hear. Sam could care less, because weekends meant a myriad of required classes and outings. What could be more humiliating than being paraded around town on ‘educational trips’ along with a hundred other girls in Langton’s weekend uniform of sailor dress, knee socks and navy blue pea coats? What was more, Langton was obviously very highly regarded, and Sam had learned in her short time of attending that passers-by weren’t shy about pointing, whispering, gawking and taking mobile phone pictures. Sam could just imagine some idiot posting to Instagram #Langtongirls out for their Saturday morning stroll. They are so cute!’ She could just throw up in her mouth, which she nearly did when she reached the top of the stairs and found Hadley standing there with his hands behind his back. He may have been the same age as her, but that was completely irrelevant at Langton. Pupils learned from the first tour that if they couldn’t submit to peer leadership and discipline, they would either learn the hard way, or leave dishonourably if they couldn’t be brought to submission.

The only thing worse than being rejected on application to Langton was being expelled for disrespecting years and years of tradition, however controversial. Even for Sam, who normally ran her mouth at whomever she pleased, she could barely swallow her own saliva at the sight of him standing there. His eyes pierced directly into hers and she knew that he’d come looking for her.

“Samantha. You were supposed to report to the Prefects after lessons today. I daresay your football got in the way of that.”

Sam swallowed gently and then set her brows in a more confident position.

“How did you know I was playing football?” Were the first words that came to mind.

“I’m Head Boy.  It’s my job to know.” He stood still as a statue with a posture that indicated Samantha had better now try to walk around him. She was tempted, but that quickly wavered.

“I don’t know what I did wrong, that notice told me nothing.”

“Precisely the reason for you to present yourself before us when you’re summoned. Putting accusations of rule-breaking or other such information to be read by anyone if misplaced or carelessly thrown on the floor under the bed, is a breach of basic respect.”

Sam didn’t want to ask how Hadley knew the summoning letter had been in a crumpled ball under her bed.

“School only just started and it looks like you will find out what happens when you disobey. Come along.”

Sam didn’t move. She couldn’t. He hadn’t given any specific details and yet there she stood, scared out of her mind for what he wasn’t threatening. Was the school’s policy of corporal punishment ‘if deemed necessary’ about to become a lot more real? Somehow, Sam knew it was.

“I won’t say it again,” Hadley snapped his fingers as he carried on walking.

Sam abhorred being told what to do, no less by a boy in a striped blazer who had the face and body of a man older and wiser. It was annoying how good Hadley was at his job. Sam kept her eyes on the floor as she followed closely behind Hadley. It felt like every time she passed someone in the corridor, they knew Sam was in trouble. They didn’t, really. No one had yet experienced the wrath of what was obviously lurking beneath the surface. Once the pupils were all settled, usually by the end of the first month, that’s when Langton’s Prefects usually had to start taking action. So far, nothing.

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To Sam’s surprise, six of the other Prefects were lined up along the back wall of Hadley’s study as they entered. Their eyes followed her as if scanning her for identification purposes. Faye stood on the other side of the formal room, beside Hadley’s desk.

“The one who traded our meeting for a few laps around the football pitch.”

Sam rolled her eyes as she stopped in front of one of the leather chairs. Hadley’s preferred stance of keeping his hands behind his back hadn’t changed, and he stood in front of his desk with Faye off to the side. For moral support? Sam didn’t know. She felt uneasy knowing there were six other people standing in a straight line behind her.

“Unfortunately for you, Samantha,” Hadley began.

“It’s Sam.”  She was a little too abrupt.

“Samantha.” Hadley reiterated.

Sam.”

Hadley didn’t react immediately, but spoke only when he knew precisely what he wanted to say.

“Langton girls do not tell their Head Boy how they will be addressed.”

“I’m not a Langton girl.”  Sam had no intention of backing down her abrupt manner when her Head Boy said things like that.

“You are. You board here, you wear the uniform and you’re in my study answering for your behaviour. That makes you a Langton girl.”

Sam rolled her eyes.

“Perhaps instead of soaping your mouth, I shall soap your eyes as it seems you have something in them. You keep rolling them about.” Hadley maintained a very calming authority over the room with very little obvious effort.  Sam hated that about him.

“That’s totally barbaric,” she retorted, with a visible frown.

“That’s wizard’s chess,” one of the Prefect’s whispered to the other, causing them both to snort back a chuckle.

“You’ve wasted the time of eight Prefects today when you neglected to arrive for your meeting. This is now cutting in to our other regularly scheduled supervisory activities.”

“I doubt anyone will be complaining,” Sam muttered.

“Lads, the stool,” Hadley replied, looking beyond the girl.

His words caused her to frown. The stool? What the hell was that?

Faye’s eyes followed the three male Prefects who were standing in the orderly line and had now disappeared down the nearby corridor. They returned momentarily carrying a heavy wooden bench that looked more like a portable confession or prayer pew just the size of one person. They placed it off to the side of Hadley’s desk, right near to Faye.

“Langton girls must learn the curve of this establishment. Faye will show you how to get into position.”

“I’m not bloody going anywhere. First of all, you leave me some cryptic card that states I’ve been accused of breaking a major school rule and to report to you. I ain’t even been here two weeks! If I broke a rule, I’m sure I would know it. Then you bring me in here and ask me to bend over a torture device?”

“Your dramatics have no bearing on what’s been decided. You can bend over the thrashing stool, or I will make you bend over it.” Hadley’s calm, authoritative manner was annoying. It wasn’t mean or rude, it was polite but firm.  She hated it.

Sam looked at the stool, then Faye, then Hadley. Her hesitation was too long for the Head Boy, and he took her wrist in one movement and like a dance, switched places with her and found himself standing in front of the leather chair with Sam now facing him. He sat down and pulled Samantha across his lap.

“This is ridiculous!”

Hadley ignored her disagreement as he pulled up her grey pinafore dress and pulled her regulation white knickers right down to her ankles. Sam’s reflections set in and she immediately tried to get loose from his grip.

“If you fight me, I will sort you out and then escort you to the Headmaster. I assure you, he thrashes a lot harder.”

That was enough to make Sam lie still across his lap. Sam had been spanked a handful of times from what she could recall but that didn’t make Hadley’s decision to do so, any easier. She closed her eyes as he brought his hand down across her backside. She couldn’t believe two hours before she’d been playing football, and now she was facing the floor of Hadley’s study as he smacked her bare bottom in front of the Prefects. It was utterly horrendous, and Sam wasn’t sure she would make it through without breaking.

Hadley smacked her a good twenty times before he pulled her dress down for modesty’s sake and took two steps over to the stool. He put Sam right across it.

“Your hands stay there,” he said, as he bent down to make eye contact with the girl who was over the stool she’d only moments before deemed completely out of the question. Her backside was red and throbbing, and her pride was crushed. She was glad to keep her head down because all of the Prefects were watching. Hadley stood beside Samantha with a small rattan cane and didn’t warn her before he laid the first stroke.

“You will count these out.”

“I don’t know how to do that,” Sam’s breath was nearly knocked out of her.

“The Langton curve is sharp enough.  You will learn.  Count them out.”

“One, Sir,” Sam stuttered.

Hadley pulled the cane back swiftly and landed it across her backside, causing Sam’s chin to quiver.

“Two, Sir.”

The Prefects didn’t bat an eye as they watched the girl receive twelve strokes.  In order to have that position they had to prove they could provide fair and just corporal punishment. Abuse of power was an automatic expulsion, so it was taken extremely seriously.

“Faye, you and the girls can take Samantha back to her room to change into her weekend uniform. Then assemble everyone on her floor in the library.”

Sam barely had time to frown in confusion when Faye had pulled her along out of the study with the remaining three Prefects following. She wanted to say, ‘but it’s Thursday!’ No one wore the weekend uniform before Saturday morning.

Sam felt as though she were being marched down the corridor to her death. Symbolically, it was the death of any pride she had left by that point. Eloise looked more than a little concerned when the Prefects knocked on the door. Faye stood in front with Sam in tow, and the other three Prefects standing in a line behind them.

“We won’t be a moment,” Faye managed a polite smile, as Eloise stepped aside. She tried to make eye contact with Sam to find out what was going on but she just stood back and quietly watched the Head Girl go to the girl’s wardrobe.

“Fetch Samantha’s navy blue ribbons, Eloise,” Faye said, without turning to her.

“Yes, Miss,” Eloise replied and quickly obeyed. She gave Sam a look when she handed them over to one of the Prefects who offer her hand.

“You will go along the corridor and tell all the girls on this floor to report to the library immediately.”

Eloise looked at Sam and then back at Faye.

“Am I misunderstood?” the Head Girl asked.

“No, Miss.”  With that, Eloise left their room.

Whatever was about to happen didn’t sound pleasant.

Faye turned Sam toward her and began undoing her tie. She backed away slightly in reaction.

“Samantha, I won’t have any fussing. Hands at your sides.”

She wanted to put a hand over the Head Girl’s face, which of course would have made the already drawn-out punishment ordeal even worse.

With the help of the other three Prefects, Faye took Sam out of her school uniform and changed her into the weekend sailor dress uniform with matching knee socks and replaced her Mary Janes. Her hair was put into the regulation braids and secured with the navy blue ribbons that matched the uniform, and then Faye took Sam in hand and led her out into the corridor. Sam’s heart was beating so fast she seriously considered how she might escape. No one was mistreating her or doing anything outside of what was completely understood to be proper discipline at Langton, yet the reality of the student prospectus she’d half-glanced through whilst watching television months ago, suddenly felt like a story that had just leapt off the page. And she was the main character.

When Faye and the Prefects arrived with Sam in hand, Hadley was waiting in his familiar stance in the centre of the massive, formal library. A quiet circle of nearly forty girls surrounded the Head Boy as though they were about to witness a fight.

“You’re here to see what happens when you misinterpret what is expected of a girl in that uniform,” Hadley said, calmly, as he stepped away from the large Chesterfield sofa. He had a traditional Scottish tawse in his hand as he pulled his hands out from behind his back.

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Sam’s mouth opened in shocked horror just as Faye lead her forward and pushed her firmly over the rolled arm of the sofa.

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“You will regret embarrassing me,” Hadley said, as he bent down to adjust her hands on the seat of the sofa. He was close to her ear and made sure she heard every word. “I vouched for you during the intake process, and I will make a proper Langton girl out of you yet.”

Sam’s eyes darted to him. Head Boy said WHAT?! He did what??!

“Samantha is being made an example of because she disregarded a meeting with the Prefects earlier.”

He pulled up the pleated skirt of the sailor uniform and her knickers came down after. Sam closed her eyes in defeat. Why did he have to say it like that?

“Do you all know what it means to fag for the Prefects?” he asked, as he brought down the tawse across Sam’s rosy backside. It was clear she’d already had some punishment because the cane marks were visible, and made the tawse quite painful! Sam groaned, but refused to cry. The girls all winced or flinched, then, simultaneously shook their heads slowly to indicate they didn’t understand.

“Fagging, is a traditional term used to refer to the practice of junior school pupils doing chores and running errands for senior school pupils.” He brought the tawse down across Sam’s backside two times in a row, causing Sam to whimper. She whispered cuss words under her breath.

“Girls are not typically referred to in that manner, but Langton still practices fagging. Since there are no juniors here beside pupils who are not Prefects, there are very few who are made to do it.” He brought the tawse down again, causing several of the girls to look away.

“Samantha Connors has just bought herself an entire year of supervision by me personally for her failure to report to the Prefects when she was told to do so.”

He gave Sam four elaborate smacks with the tawse, casing her to whimper. Her nails dug into the tufts of the leather sofa and the girls could barely avoid gasping or covering their mouths. For an entire school of new students to wonder just how deeply the Langton rules were regarded, they’d just watched it before their eyes. He finished with a further ten more strokes, much to Sam’s dismay. Each stroke left her wondering if he was going to stop.

“Your pride will be the end of your backside, young lady.” Hadley said, pointing the tawse at her. She felt like her bottom had a heart-beat, it was raging beneath her skirt.

Sam’s head turned to the side slowly as a single tear rolled down her cheek and gently landed on the sofa.

“If you didn’t think you were a Langton girl before, you can’t be mistaken now.”

The End

© Bella Bryce 2014

Bella has her own website which is: http://www.authorbellabryce.com


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