A complete novel

The distinguished English composer Alice Smithson has died. Her daughter Lizzie discovers an often fragmentary journal, which reveals that Alice had a relationship with a friend from her school days, which involved a lot of spanking. Lizzie is not altogether surprised, for her Mother was always a little odd about CP and there was that incident with the hairbrush when Lizzie was all of eighteen. However, she gradually realizes that there is a real mystery about the extent to which her Mother’s old school used corporal punishment. Was Elizabeth Rowan, Alice’s friend and later lover, a frequent recipient of the dreaded cane? And Alice used to tell such strange stories about her home life. Could some of them be true? This takes place against the background of Alice writing her first important work, “Pathways”, which the CP affects rather unpredictably.

The following is a short extract:

‘I thought she would write back and say that it could not have happened, and then I could have relaxed and wiped it all out of my mind. Failing that I imagined (though I did not think it likely) that some sort of punishment book, might have  survived, and I would be told.

‘Yes, Elizabeth Rowan who was your contemporary did have the cane. If you still have contact with her and she is not too embarrassed perhaps you could persuade her to come and talk to the History Society about it? Our girls would be fascinated’.

She knows if anything less than I do. I would like to meet that woman who was caned. That sounds like A.M.A. all over. I was a day girl, so I never got in to that strange world of dorms and midnight feasts. I knew it existed of course. They used to chatter about it in class, and I used to find it very boring. But, yes I can imagine it.

‘It was your duty as a prefect of this school to keep order. Without order we can do nothing. Precisely because you are a prefect I propose to make an example of you.’

Then no doubt the awful pause while the cane appeared from its cupboard, and was swished a little I imagine. At least this is what ought to have happened.

But its so close to the fantasies E and  I acted out  every weekend in our early twenties. I remember the first time it happened.  I was really mad with E. I had come all the way down from London to see her in Brighton (and missed Boulez conducting Schoenberg to be there) and she was saying she was tired and she was not sure we should be doing these things together and she felt guilty and I just irrupted. I shrieked at her to bend over the bed to be spanked and rather surprisingly she did it. I grabbed her hairbrush and started to pull up her  skirt, but it was tight and it started to rip. She was so subdued and submissive that she actually stood up, took it and her half slip off and bent over. She had a panty girdle over her tights and pants, which I pulled down. Then  I gave her six very hard whacks with the hairbrush. She should have been furious and ended our relationship there and then, but somehow we ended up having very good sex . Afterwards we both very reasonably apologised to one another and I said I would never do anything so unpleasant to her again. Whereupon, lo and behold, she suddenly said it had really got her going, from which many things followed. And the next week she had somewhere got hold of a small cane… But did she or did she not have the cane at school?

But have I fantasised about what happened after  the very painful interview with Miss Alison over disrupting my Greek class when I  first went to St Mary‘s? The aftermath was very odd because A.M.A. promoted me straight after that little episode to the advanced class in the belief: ‘You really need something to exercise your brain Miss Smithson. Clearly we are not pushing you hard enough.’ .

Anyhow this is my  very clear, very odd memory about what happened after this, which if I have remembered it right is bizarre in the extreme, and if I have not remembered it right says very little for my sanity. Miss Thomson, the young woman I and my friends had been giving a hard time to, knocked just as Miss Alison (as was her want) had reduced her victim (myself) to uncontrollable tears of guilt. Miss Alison (who could be quite kind in her  way) presumably thinking I needed a moment to recover did not answer the door. I took my time. There was another knock. Miss Alison continued to ignore it.

‘I really am sorry Miss Alison. I did not realize you were busy.’

‘Well since you are here Miss Thomson you may as well stay. Have you thought about our discussion?’

‘Yes, Miss Alison.’


‘I think I would rather stay in the school Miss Alison’.

‘I would much rather you had not decided to stay. I just do not think you are cut out for teaching. I have nothing against you personally, and I will give you a very good reference if you change your mind again, but not for teaching.’

‘I would much rather stay. I want to be a teacher, and anyway what job am I to go to.’

‘You did take in what I said would be the price of staying?’

‘Yes, Miss Alison’.

Miss Thomson was tossing her pretty black hair haughtily, in a way which made me like her in spite of myself.

‘I really do not want to do this Miss Thomson. I had much rather you left.’

‘I would rather stay ‘.

‘I would much rather have your notice, but I will do it if you insist.’

What were these adults up to? I was not going if I could possibly avoid it. Miss Alison went to her cupboard, and took out a very long thin cane.  She looked at me.

‘Alice Smithson we have had our discussion. I think it is time for you to go.’

Curiously it was not a command, so I just ignored her. Miss Alison seemed not inclined to press the point. Miss Alison moved a small chair  to the right side of her desk, presumably to give herself room to swing this very long cane.

‘Bend over that chair and put your hands on it. ‘I really do not want to do this Miss Thomson. I had much rather you left.’

‘I would rather stay ‘.

Miss Thomson bit her lip, but she did it. She was wearing a black dress with a tight bust, and a loose skirt, which was unceremoniously raised. She was a short woman with a full plump bottom. She had a green slip on, which tightened, so you could see the outline of her briefs. She had two into the lower part of her bum, which she gasped after, one into the soft flesh at the top of her thighs, which caused a distinct screech, two across the other three, which produced squeals as loud as you would expect. She did not plead though, which impressed me. She stood up very unsteadily after, and pulled her skirt down, before clutching the affected area. She looked at once very proud of herself for having got through it, and in a considerable state of distress and shock.

‘Well Alice’ said my headmistress, ‘Perhaps you would be kind enough to take Miss Thomson to her room, and rub some cream in for her.’

There was a look in her eye that said: ‘And Alice if you tell a soul what happened I will  deal with you’.

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Pathways link on Bella Bryce Blog link: Click here