Opportunity Knocks

A chance meeting on the internet provides an unexpected work opportunity.

The beginning of a new book/series from a new writer to us

By J D Knight

Eighteen year old Tina Elizabeth Burnett lived at home with her parents in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Much like a lot of working class girls typical of her age and background, she found herself at an awkward crossroads in life confused, frustrated and struggling to find a viable worthwhile future path to pursue. She had no qualifications or discernible skills on her CV to speak of. The school she attended (sporadically) was one of the worst in the country and, despite being relatively bright, she was often let down by her attitude and volatile temper. She was expelled from secondary school and unable to find another school in time to sit her exams, which she didn’t stand much chance of passing anyway. The same happened again at college after one too many arguments with the staff and fights with other students, when she was expelled once more. Having given up on further education, Tina also found her attitude and behaviour to be somewhat undesirable to prospective employers in the job market. She didn’t respond well to authority figures and her employers didn’t have the patience for her antics, so Tina was currently surviving on minimum wage, menial, ad-hoc temporary agency work with most days spent idling about in her bedroom just waiting for the phone to ring.

This frustrated Tina’s parents enormously and arguments would break out on a regular daily basis. Barely a day went by without a heated exchange of words. Neither her mother nor her father were particularly high achievers, neither academically nor career wise. But they had worked hard all their lives earning an honest income to put bread on the table. Her mother was a hospital cleaner, and her father was a dockyard worker. Although Tina’s erratic behaviour was similar to someone you would normally identify as an unfortunate by-product of lax parenting, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Tina’s parents were in fact very strict, very stern, ‘old school’ disciplinarians. They were both well into their forties when Tina was born and belonged to the ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ older generation style of parenting.

They did not tolerate unacceptable behaviour and corporal punishment applied to Tina and her sister’s backsides was common practice if they misbehaved, which made it all the more difficult to understand how Tina  had become so rebellious in her teenage years despite coming from such a regimented, disciplined upbringing. The main contributing factor stemmed from the tragic death of her older sister of a heroin overdose, aged just nineteen. Life changed for them all that day. It was a long drawn out miserable dark period in the Burnett household’s life and something they never truly learned how to recover from, nor address with each other properly. What was once a happy home had sadly degenerated into a bitter unhappy den of sorrow for everyone occupying it.

*          *          *

“Tina! Dinners ready! If your arse is not sat at that dinner table before it gets cold, it’s going in the compost!” Shouted Tina’s mother up the stairs.

Tina was in her bedroom browsing the internet aimlessly on her laptop and rolled her eyes at the threat of not being fed. She used to dread meal times. Her parents always had something to say, voicing their disapproval of her lifestyle. With no cause to leave the house today she was still in her same long nightshirt she slept in the night before. She still made the effort to wash and apply her makeup because messing around and posing on social media platforms was her way of escaping from the drudgery of a dull existence in the vain hope it would distract her from the mind numbing tedium of her current situation. Deep down, she lacked self confidence and seriously lacked in ambition, with little in the way of self worth or hunger for future aspirations of self betterment.

The mind numbing depressing reality of how she was letting life pass her by left her feeling trapped in a black hole of despair which got bigger and darker day by day and increasingly difficult to climb out of as each uneventful day passed by. She was an attractive girl; raven haired with big brown eyes and an enviable figure. She was petite and slim with large breasts and curvaceous hips making her full rounded rear end her proudest feature. She felt her best hope in life was to find a knight in shining armour to provide for her. Her beauty certainly didn’t struggle to attract members of the opposite sex but her abrasive attitude made it difficult for her to sustain a long term relationship. Needless to say, affluent sugar daddies weren’t exactly queuing up for her.

She plodded down the stairs towards the dining table. Her father was sat at the table tucking into his dinner with one hand on his fork and reading the sports page from a newspaper in the other. He was exhausted and filthy from another day’s hard graft at the dockyard. Weighing in at just under twenty stone and six foot five with thick set features and forearms larger than some men’s thighs, he was very much the blueprint stereotype of a working class man’s man who wasn’t one to mince his words. His relationship with his daughter had deteriorated over the years and they didn’t see eye to eye. He was never shy to voice his opinion on her laziness, and she was never shy at answering back with her own brand of petulance, so arguments at the dinner table had become a miserable, exhausting routine. Tina took a deep breath and sat down, wondering what kind of telling-off she was going to receive today.

“Ah! Nice to see y’still alive, pet. Judging by the fact y’still in y’underwear, I’m assuming today was yet another unproductive day. What’s the excuse today?”

Tina pulled a face at him.

“Change the record dad. I’ve registered with an agency. If there is work they will ring me, I’ll get dressed and I’ll go. If there isn’t any work? I can’t do much about that, can I? I’m trying my best. You know how hard it is when you don’t have any qualifications.”

Tina’s father had no sympathy. He prided himself on being a man who ‘told it how it is’ and had no qualms about using colourful language to express his opinions.

“Aye, it is hard. But I personally don’t think farting about in y’room, morning, noon and night is trying y’best. You’re a bone idle little shite, is what  y’are and I’m getting sick of it. It’s about time y’bucked y’ideas up. Stopped making excuses and treating this place like a fuckin’ hotel.”

Tina huffed, she was no shrinking violet and, despite his imposing stature and strict aggressive manner of speaking, she never backed down that easily without a fight whenever he criticised her.

“It’s not my fault no-one wants to employ me. They all want qualifications and experience, but no-one gives me a chance.”

“Aye! Well maybe if y’managed to keep a lid on that temper of yours, y’wouldn’t have got expelled and sacked as many times as y’have. Then y’might have some qualifications and experience to speak of. I’ve had it with y’excuses and y’laziness. YOU need to pull y’socks up, little madam!”

Tina’s mother came to the table with a plate containing Tina’s dinner and a saucepan with a surplus portion of mashed potato for anyone who wanted more. Tina’s mother’s plate was already on the table and she sat down to eat. Tina looked to her mum to back her up. Tina’s mother was, by contrast to her husband, petite and slim with short white hair. Quite a good looking lass in her day but as the years went by and with all the hardship she suffered trying to keep the family together through a difficult chapter, she always looked frail, drained, with bags under her eyes from the exhaustion of trying to sustain a brave face as a supportive mother and housewife as well her holding down her job as a cleaner despite her physical and mental health deteriorating. She wasn’t one to complain and didn’t want to be viewed as someone who played the victim. She could be fierce when she chose to be and on balance perhaps fair to say she wore the trousers in the household. People often found it amusing how a man as big and strong as Tina’s Dad would often appear to be quite scared of incurring his petite delicate looking wife’s wrath. She once embarrassed him by storming into a pub full of dockyard workers and hitting him on the head with a wooden spoon because he had been late for dinner one too many times.

“Mam! He’s having a go at me again! Tell him to get off my back! He’s doing my head in!” Pleaded Tina.

With Tina’s mother equally as strict as her father, if not more so, and just as fed up with Tina’s attitude, it was a futile exercise for Tina to expect her mother to take her side, but at least she might be more capable to temporarily calm him down. She was normally the more diplomatic one out of the two.

“I agree with your dad, pet. We’re worried about you! We’re only hard on you because we love you. We can’t have you going down the same route as your sister. A bit more effort from you, that’s all we’re asking. It’s only because we care. You need to pull your weight a bit more, at least help out around the house from time to time.”

Tina had heard this lecture a thousand times before; she always responded on the defensive.

“My temper and attitude is the problem, is it? Well, my Dad’s barred from the local pub for knocking out a young lad for cheating at a game of pool. And me mam’s barred from the supermarket for grabbing a cashier by the hair when she short-changed her! So before you both start criticising me, I suggest you look in the mirror first! Bloody hypocrites.”

Tina’s father banged his fist on the table angrily.

“Oi! Don’t be cheeky! Y’not too old to feel my belt wrapped across y’arse, y’know! In fact, maybe that’s exactly what y’need.” Tina’s father stood up, reaching for the buckle of his belt. Tina’s mother stood up and raised her hand, signalling him to sit back down and calm down.

“Easy now, Jim! Don’t let her get to you. She does it for attention. It’s not good for your blood pressure. Just sit down and remember the breathing exercises like the doctor said. Tina! Stop winding your Dad up. He’s had a hard day and doesn’t deserve your lip! Can we please just have a nice pleasant family meal for once without any arguments? If you can’t be civil to each other just leave each other alone and eat your tea.”

Tina’s father sat back down, glaring at his stroppy daughter. She glared back in defiance.

“He started it, Mam! It’s not my fault he’s a bad tempered old git!”

Tina’s mother then slammed the table.

“Don’t you dare disrespect your father like that! If you want to continue living under this roof, rent free, the least you can do is show a bit of respect.”

Tina’s father stood back up and reached for his cigarettes out of his pocket.

“Aye! It’s funny how, despite having no job and contributing fuck all to this family, you still manage to scrape enough pennies together to go out with y’slutty pals and get pissed three times a week. Ah, bollocks to ya! I’m gan outside for a tab before I end up thrashing the arse off ya and give myself a heart attack. I don’t know how much more I can take of this, Maggie! This lass seems determined to send me to an early grave.”

He stormed out without finishing his dinner. Tina’s mother buried her face in her hands whilst Tina just shrugged and began to eat her dinner.

“Well done! You’ve upset your dad. Are you happy now? I honestly don’t know where we went wrong. I look at you and I don’t even recognise this selfish brat. What happened to my little girl? What did we do to deserve this? Are you determined to end up just like your sister?”

Tina spat her food out and glared at her mother, enraged at what she just said. Comparing her to her sister always triggered an aggressive response; on this occasion she chose to express her anger by throwing her dinner plate on the floor, smashing it into smithereens. She then stood up furiously to give her mother a piece of her mind.

“That is bang out order! I’m not some sticky fingered smack head! I’m sick of always being made to feel like I’m such a terrible person! It’s not fair! I’m sick of you both always putting me down! Making me feel useless! Always pointing out my flaws but doing fuck all to help! No sympathy! No support! Just constant nagging and reminding me of what a failure I am! You don’t love me. You’re both just bitter and miserable and a nasty pair of old fuckin’ farts and I HATE you!”

Tina’s mother reached for the wooden spoon out of the saucepan and went to grab her daughter to dish out some old fashioned discipline.

“Right! That’s it! Come here!”

Tina broke away and darted up the stairs, covering her bottom with her hands as her mother gave pursuit with the wooden spoon, determined to give her foul mouthed daughter’s bottom a well deserved hiding.

Tina leapt into her room and slammed the door shut, sitting down on the floor behind it to block her furious mother from entering. Tina’s mother banged her fist on the door.

“Tina! Open this door right now, you little ratbag! You’re not getting away with speaking to me like that! Not this time! Your father’s right, you’re not too old for a smacked arse.”

“Just go away! Leave me alone! I wish I’d never been born, you horrible old witch!”

Tina’s Mother snarled and chose to leave her be, but not without having her say first.

“Fine! Be like that! Starve, for all I care. Me and your dad are running out of patience. I want you in a job and paying board by the end of the month. Otherwise you can pack your bags and get out. All we’ve ever done all your life is work our fingers to the bone to put clothes on your back, food in your belly and a roof over your head. If this is the thanks we get then I’m starting to wonder why we bother! If we’re really such awful, terrible parents why don’t you do something about it? Try and survive by yourself. You won’t last five minutes.”

Tina’s mother then stomped back down stairs in floods of tears. Tina also sobbed and in her gut knew deep down she had over reacted, but wasn’t in the mood for apologising. She pushed her chest of drawers against the door just in case she was paid another unexpected visit from an irate parent wielding a belt or a wooden spoon, and then opened her laptop back up for some escapism from her grim reality.

Tina followed a blog online by someone she admired as a role model. It was Tina’s favourite page to turn to if she needed uplifting when she was upset. This woman identified herself as Mrs V. She wasn’t a celebrity as such but had thousands of followers from all over the world. The content of her blog was made up of self-help pep talks, motivational speaking, life coaching and whatnot.

She identified herself as an Eastern European army veteran who was now earning a successful living in London as a company director in the corporate world. A modern day ‘rags to riches’ source of inspiration. She was careful not to reveal too much confidential information, such as her real name or the name of her company. Her face was never revealed in any of her photographs either.

Tina could quite easily spend a whole day reading her posts. It covered almost everything a young woman would aspire to from surviving the cut-throat rat race of life in the corporate sector to diet and exercise routines to how to dress and apply makeup. Mrs V was a fitness fanatic and clearly one of life’s over-achievers that had an ‘all or nothing’ approach to everything she set her mind to. Tina commented on the posts and directly messaged her a couple of times. She was clearly too busy to respond to anyone, but Tina didn’t mind. It was somewhere she could safely vent her frustrations at her own inadequacies.

Tina typed: ‘You’re so amazing! I wish I was more like you. My life sucks.’  (With several sad emojis.)

Out of the blue the direct message received an unexpected response.

‘Aww, thank you for the compliment, xxx. Why are you so sad? Why does your life suck?’

Tina covered her mouth to conceal an excited squeal. To her, this was the equivalent of a teenage girl engaging in a chat with her favourite pop star. She didn’t know how to respond; she was actually shaking.

She typed back: ‘Oh my god! wow! Is that really you?’

Tina was sceptical at first. It could be a hoax and it was also common knowledge that people with large followings on social media normally would have hired staff to respond to followers. Tina was then asked if she had a web camera. She couldn’t believe it. She was actually going to speak to Mrs V face to face. Tina couldn’t switch it on quick enough.

Her screen loaded up to reveal Mrs V herself. She appeared to still be in her office. Her long blonde mane and natural beauty was on par with a prestigious Hollywood movie star. Her delicate features contrasted with her broad muscular shoulders in a way that on first glance was a confusing fusion of two polar opposite physiques. For a woman to accomplish a look which demonstrated glamorous feminine beauty and brutish strength in equal measure was not an easy accomplishment many could successfully pull off, but she somehow managed it. Her make up was applied faultlessly as though it had been professionally done for the purposes of appearing on television and her hair was swept back upwards with a fringe similar to what you would normally see on an air stewardess on an upmarket airline. She spoke with a subtle smile and a soft purring Eastern European accent.

“Hi! I can’t believe it’s really you! Out of all your followers, you’ve chosen to chat to me. I’m so excited I could scream!” Tina was struggling to remain dignified.

Mrs V smiled and remained professionally composed.

“Yes, I’m normally far too busy to do this but I’ve always wanted to converse with strangers like yourself who seem to admire my writing on here and compliment it with such lovely words. I would hate for you to think I don’t appreciate it. So! Lucky you, I guess. What’s your name? And how old are you, sweetie?”

“My name’s Tina, ma’am. I’m eighteen years old,” beamed Tina enthusiastically.

“Oh how much I would love to be so young again. You’re very beautiful, by the way, Tina. I bet you break hearts with those big brown eyes and that smile. I’ve noticed you comment on my blog a lot. You sign in with a very distinctive nickname, but I’m not quite sure what it means. I’m educated to a standard where my English vocabulary is better than the average British born person but I still have a few gaps in knowledge when it comes to local dialect and slang. Would you mind clarifying it for me, please?”

This made Tina blush with embarrassment. The nickname she used was somewhat immature and little bit naughty, and it made her feel awkward to have to explain what it meant in the presence of someone of such a high calibre of class and sophistication. It was ‘BubbleButtGeordieLass’. Tina laughed nervously and tried to dodge the question, saying she would rather not say. Mrs V was not letting her off that easily.

“My darling, Mrs Verikiene has asked you a question. Kindly answer it. I will find it rude and offensive for you not obey my polite request. I’ve taken the time to talk to you. I value my precious time and I don’t like to waste it. A simple question deserves a simple answer. Don’t disappoint me, sweetie, first impressions count, you know? Don’t spoil it.”

Tina was taken aback by such a forthright manner. She certainly didn’t want to offend.

“Well, err, kind of embarrassing. Bubble butt is a reference to the shape of my round bottom. As you can see, I’m slim and short but my bottom’s quite wide so I work hard to keep it toned and stop it sagging. It’s my proudest feature. It’s my pride and joy. An old boyfriend used to call it a bubble and I’ve just kept describing it that way ever since. And that’s thanks to your quads and gluteus maximus workout guide on your blog. I do it religiously every day.”

Mrs Verikiene smiled at this. “Very nice. May I see?”

“See what? My bottom? Like, right now?”

Mrs Verikiene rolled her eyes.

“Of course! If you’re telling me my advice is so effective, I need to see it! Come on, don’t go all shy on me now. Show Mrs Verikiene the bubble butt, please.”

Tina gave another nervous giggle and then stood up, turned around and stuck her bottom out towards the laptop. She looked back, giving it a cheeky twerk and wiggle. She then sat back down laughing.

“I can’t believe I just did that!”

Mrs Verikiene shrugged her shoulders.

“Hey! If you’ve got it? Flaunt it, honey! Don’t be ashamed. If those big brown eyes and pearly white smile aren’t enough to melt a man’s heart wild with desire, then that ass certainly will!”

“Thank you, but It’s not as nice as yours,” Said Tina politely, returning the compliment with reference to Mrs Verikiene’s tasteful nude black and white photography on her blog. This seemed to make Mrs Verikiene chuckle.

“Oh honey. Don’t believe everything you see online. I work hard to keep my figure to a standard that most women my age can only dream of, but those photos are so  airbrushed and photoshopped it’s ridiculous. I don’t think you would be so impressed with my tattered and torn old bottom if you saw it in real life. Yours is much nicer. I’m jealous! Anyway, what is a Geordie lass? What does it mean?”

“Oh, a Geordie is a nickname for someone from Newcastle. To be honest, I have no idea where the word derives from. And lass is just a northern slang word for girl.”

“I see. Yes, come to think of it, one of my employees is originally from Yorkshire. I have heard her use the word ‘lass’ as part of her vocabulary. Very interesting, Tina, but I have to say it’s not a suitable nickname for an email address. It doesn’t come across very well in the corporate world. Are you employed at the moment?”

Tina shook her head, embarrassed at that being pointed out.

“So, you’re studying? Right?”

Tina chose to nod her head, too ashamed to admit the reality of her current lifestyle. Mrs Verikiene saw straight through it. She became a little less friendly and a lot more firm.

“Don’t lie to me, bubble butt. And don’t play poker; you’re not a good liar. I’ve seen you comment on my posts very frequently so you clearly have a lot of time on your hands. They all have a similar trend. A lovely compliment followed by a self-loathing comment. And that breaks my heart. Why is such a young beautiful specimen of a woman like yourself, with her whole life ahead of her, so depressed? Your eye makeup is smudged; have you been crying? Talk to me, darling. I don’t bite.”

Tina stammered, feeling obliged to respond honestly but unsure how to put it across in an articulate way.

“Well, I, er, just had an argument with my parents. It got quite heated. They’re both sick of me lazing around the house and I’m sick of them never doing anything to help. My Dad threatened to belt me, and then he stormed out. After that, I lost my temper with my mum and smashed my dinner plate on the floor. She chased me up the stairs trying to hit me with a wooden spoon and now she’s threatening to kick me out if I don’t find a job! I just feel useless.”

Mrs Verikiene listened with interest and then gave Tina some reassurance.

“Okay, thank you for being honest with me. Try not to cry, Tina. If I see those big adorable brown eyes well up it might set me off as well. Sounds like a very tense unhappy household. I’m going to ask you to put yourself in your parents’ shoes. Would you find your behaviour acceptable if you were them?”

“Probably not, to be honest. I don’t blame them for hating me. All I ever do is just ruin everything. I can’t control my temper and I’m too stupid to work out how to fix it. I’m just a waste of space.”

Mrs Verikiene abruptly interrupted.

“My darling, you need to stop this self loathing and putting yourself down right now! It’s not helping anybody, least of all you. Sit up straight when I’m talking to you, please. Don’t slouch, and it is good manners to maintain eye contact when someone is talking to you. I can’t bare to see you like this; it’s a such waste. I wish you weren’t so far away. I want to hug you, squeeze you, crawl into that warped mind riddled with sadness and kiss away all the negative feelings. Then I want to put you across my knee and spank that gorgeous bubble butt til it’s a nice deep shade of cherry blossom and instil some discipline to motivate you. Being lazy is a choice, Tina! No one else can control that, apart from you. Anger isn’t necessarily a destructive part of your persona. It is possible to channel your tenacity into a positive energy. Am I making sense to you?”

Tina nodded, hanging on Mrs V’s every word and sitting up straight as commanded. For a moment, she paused for thought at how peculiar it was that she had just barricaded herself in her room to escape a blistering argument with her parents, only to sit politely and accept a stern reprimand by someone she had only just met, but also seemed just as strict as her parents, if not stricter! She quivered at the thought of being draped over Mrs V’s long legs getting her voluptuous round bottom slapped. Although she felt uncomfortable baring her soul and yet again having her flaws highlighted, it was being addressed in a way that implied someone actually cared enough to want to reach out and try to help. There was a warmth and benevolent sense of charm from Mrs Verikiene’s tone, despite her straight-talking approach.

“Good girl. Now you listen to me and you listen good. Why do you feel you’re not good enough? Why do you feel you don’t deserve to be happy?”

Tina paused to think again but was conscious not to keep her waiting. She attempted to answer the question.

“Err, I’m just a total nightmare, to be honest. I’ve been expelled from school and college, and can’t hold a job down because I keep losing my rag over stupid little things. Whenever somebody criticises me, I take it way too personally and lash out. I don’t have any skills or talent, and I get angry at myself and can’t control myself. I just lash out without even meaning to. It’s not like my parents aren’t strict enough, I’m just too headstrong and I wish I wasn’t because it’s making me miserable and hurting people who don’t deserve it. I’m lazy, I’m stupid, I don’t blame people for hating me. I hate myself. That’s the truth. That’s how I feel.”

Mrs Verikiene appeared to taking notes; she had become a self-appointed therapist.

“Okay, once again thank you for being honest with me. Here’s what I think. First of all, I think your parents are addressing your behaviour the wrong way. But let’s be fair. You are clearly a very difficult young lady and by the sounds of it they aren’t exactly slow to discipline you if you behave unacceptably. I can tell you now, if you were my daughter and you threw your dinner plate on the floor you wouldn’t be able to sit down right now. You would be stood in the corner with your hands on your head, sobbing and your cherished bubble shaped bottom would be on fire and on display. Your parents are well within your rights to punish you for disrespecting them, as far as I’m concerned. No excuses.”

Tina gulped and nodded again, feeling a tingle fused with fear and excitement at the suggestion of a spanking. Mrs Verikienne rubbed her eyes and then continued to speak.

“What bothers me, Tina, is you don’t seem to have anyone to guide you the correct way. Right now, you sound like you feel trapped in a maze with all the exits sealed off. It’s not just discipline you need, it’s guidance and someone to nurture your true qualities. I think you have potential and I think you deserve a chance. I’m going offer you an opportunity to change your life. Are you listening?”

Tina nodded, open mouthed, her heart was racing. She wasn’t used to hearing anybody show any shred of confidence in her so Mrs Verikiene had managed to get her full undivided attention.

“I want you in my London office tomorrow, 10am, for an interview. I may have a position for you. What do you say?”

Tina gasped and laughed awkwardly. Mrs Verikiene raised her eyebrows with a tight-lipped stern expression, indicating she was deadly serious.

“For real? Howay! Not at such short notice. I don’t think you realise how far away I am.”

Mrs Verikiene pulled out her phone, asking for Tina’s postcode. Tina, not normally so forthcoming with such personal information on webcam chats, just blurted it out without even thinking. Mrs Verikiene paused and took two minutes to do a little research.

“Hmm according to my calculations you live a short walk away from the train station and the last direct train to London leaves in an hour. Surely you can throw some clothes in an overnight bag and make it. Any more excuses?”

“I don’t have that kind of money to buy a ticket.”

“I’ll pay for it. And your overnight accommodation, and your return journey back which, hopefully, you won’t need. Any more excuses?”

“Wow! Er, this is all so sudden. Can I think about it?”

Mrs Verikiene slammed her hand on her desk, looking vexed at Tina’s reluctance. She didn’t like taking no for an answer. It was an integral virtue of hers that made her so successful in the corporate world.

“I am offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity, you silly girl! What is there to think about? What other plans am I distracting you from? Other than fighting with your family, lazing around and hating life? You said yourself they are threatening to kick you out. Leave now while your Destiny is still in your own hands.  Opportunity knocks once, and once only, Tina. It’s doesn’t knock, knock, knock again and then leave you a polite note with a phone number asking you get in touch once you’ve had time to think about it.”

Tina stood up fidgeting awkwardly, not used to having to make decisions like this under so much intense pressure. She gazed at the miniature suitcase in the corner of her room.

Tina though to herself: ‘This mental. It’s insane. I can’t just run off to London.’

“Please, Mrs Verikiene, it’s not that simple. I don’t think my folks will let me,” muttered Tina, trying to appeal for some understanding. This was met a by an unsympathetic roll of the eyes.

“Whatever! You are eighteen years of age. Legally an adult. You’re not a baby anymore. You need to grow up and seize control of your own fate. If you want this opportunity, you’ll find a way to make it work. If you don’t want it badly enough, then you will find an excuse. I’m starting to feel like I’m wasting my breath. As lovely as you are, maybe I need to give this opportunity to someone who wants it more and doesn’t make pathetic excuses. Lovely talking to you, sweetie, thanks for following my blog. I hope you work it all out one day. Have a pleasant evening, goodbye.”

Mrs Verikiene began to wave goodbye with one hand and reached to switch her webcam off with the other. Tina reacted briskly.

“No! Wait! Stop! Don’t go! Don’t go! You’re right. Okay, I’ll do it! 10am and you’ll email me the address of my accommodation and your office?”

Mrs Verikiene smiled and rubbed her hands together.

“Good girl, I was hoping you would see sense. Take your laptop and your phone with you. Make sure they are both fully charged. I want you to fill out an application form on your journey and email it back to me by midnight at the latest. Wear something smart to the interview. Taking pride your appearance is one of the fundamental key components of what I look for in a candidate. If you turn up looking as scruffy as you look right now, I will tell you to walk straight back out.”

Tina tried to take this all in and started to scramble together an overnight bag. Clothes, some makeup and some toiletries.

“Got it. But I have to ask, Mrs Verikiene. You are spending hundreds of pounds on me here, taking a big gamble on someone you’ve only just met. We only met five minutes ago, what makes you so sure you’re not wasting your money on giving me this opportunity?” Asked Tina.

“Because I’m a business woman, Tina. I trust my instincts. You never accomplish anything in life unless you take calculated risks. You won’t let me down. You just won’t, I can tell. If you disappoint me and take advantage of my good nature, I will make you regret it. I’ll hunt you down and punish you. Now stop dawdling! Hurry up! I want that ‘bubble butt’ on that train in an hour, no more excuses! I’m going to email you all the details.”

Mrs Verikiene and Tina blew each other kisses and logged out. Tina couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy at the cold way Mrs Verikiene threatened to punish her, but there was no time to think. She dressed herself in something comfortable for the journey: Yoga pants, a hooded top and trainers. She then had to mastermind escaping the house without confronting her parents. Just as she was about to move the chest of drawers out of the way back to its rightful place, there was a ham fisted banging on her door. It was her Father.

“Tina! Open this door now, pet! Y’can’t stay in there forever. I’ll stay here all night, all day tomorrow, all fuckin’ week if I have to. Y’mam’s stormed out of the house to go to y’Auntie Pat’s, bawling her eyes out! I want an explanation as to why y’think it’s acceptable to reduce y’mother to tears and how y’found the nerve to smash y’dinner plate on the floor like a spoilt child. Y’lucky I was outside having a smoke when it happened. I’d’ve rubbed y’nose in it, y’little sod. Howay! Open the door. Y’only making it worse. I’m not tolerating this attitude under my roof anymore. Y’have upset your mam for the last time.”

Tina closed her eyes and sighed in acceptance of her fate. Although her father was noticeably calmer than he was when he stormed out earlier, he was still very angry and a good hiding was as good as guaranteed with nowhere to run or hide. The sudden euphoria of the job opportunity was put on standby until she faced what was immediately in front of her.

“Okay, Dad, one sec. I’ll let you in. I don’t want to argue, I’m sorry for upsetting me mam. I didn’t mean to, she brought up Esme and compared me to her and I just lost my rag and that was wrong. I didn’t mean to.” Tina opened the door with puppy dog eyes and tried to see if a smile would work to try and lessen her inevitable punishment. The smile was not reciprocated. If anything, it provoked an even angrier glare as he walked into her room.

“Right, I want you to sit down, shut y’gob and open your ears.”

Tina obeyed, sitting on her bed, and looked up to his imposing figure, hoping a remorseful expression would be enough to pacify him. He stood in front of her in a determined stance. His gargantuan hairy arms were folded. This was the typical mandatory body language he assumed whenever Tina or her sister had earned themselves a pre-arse-whipping lecture.

“First of all, me and y’mother DO NOT break our backs working day in, day out, to put food on the table just for you to throw it on the floor. Who do y’think y’are?!”

All Tina could do was bow her head in shame. She had no more fight left. Her father continued to berate her.

“Secondly, thirty years ago when I finally plucked up the courage to ask y’grandad for his permission to ask for his beautiful daughter’s hand in marriage, he was riddled with cancer at the time and didn’t have much longer left. He said yes instantly, making me the happiest man on earth. But it was on one condition. He said if anyone made a teardrop fall from her eye in sorrow, I had to promise I would make them suffer for it, no matter who they are. It’s a dying man’s wish I will still honour to this day. No-one upsets my Maggie like that and gets away with it. No-one! Not even you! She’s got a heart of gold, y’mother and doesn’t deserve to be treated the way y’treat her.”

Tina’s father unbuckled his belt, slid it out from around his waist rapidly like a samurai swordsmen, folded it in half and snapped it loudly, making Tina shudder knowing all too well of the painful impact her size forty eight inch waisted father’s belt had when applied fiercely to her bottom.

“Come on, pet. I do not enjoy this anymore than you do but y’have brought it on y’self. If this is the only way to get through to you, then so be it.”

Tina assumed the position. Getting the belt wasn’t a frequent occurrence; it was very much a last resort means of discipline. The amount of times she got it didn’t even go into double figures, but it was enough to establish an acknowledged protocol of what position to assume depending on what part of the house they were in. If it was downstairs she would bend over the arm of the sofa hugging a cushion. If it was upstairs, she would lie face down on her bed and hug her pillow. He always granted her the dignity of administering the thrashing over her clothing. This was the one redeeming feature of receiving a fatherly spanking as opposed to a motherly one. Her mother would go straight for the waistband of her panties and pull them down without a second thought, then beat her bare flesh with her hand or a wooden spoon, adding to the humiliation of such a degrading punishment. Her father, however, was much stronger than her mother. A single smack on the bottom from his shovel-like hand was enough to knock her to the ground and the force he applied with the licks of his belt tore into her bottom, creating eye watering agony. Even over jeans, some minor blemishing would still be visible for a couple of days afterwards.

Tina gritted her teeth and closed her eyes. Her buxom bottom trembled in anticipation. She accepted her fate and tried to be brave as her father raised his belt over his shoulder and took aim, ready to strike his daughter’s quivering deserving buttocks and make it count.

The first lick cracked into her bottom with such ferocity it felt like it had torn the fabric of her clothing. She didn’t beg for forgiveness, compassion or mercy. She knew her best tactic to stand a chance of any remorse from him was to try and remain still and accept her punishment with a quiet dignity. There was no indication as to how many licks she was going to get. It could vary enormously from four to as many as twenty, depending on the severity of the offence. Her father couldn’t help but feel his heart strings pull a little bit by the way she was accepting her punishment with such unexpected dignified bravery. He was expecting more resistance and fight from her than this, so her willingness to comply caught him off guard slightly.

He didn’t dawdle in between lashes. Each one came down fast and hard. He felt a twinge of guilty for doing it but he also felt a failure both as a husband and father for seeing his wife so distraught due to the actions of their adult daughter’s complete lack of respect. He saw that as a reflection on his own character, hence why he felt the need to administer such a harsh punishment. It was the only way he knew how but it didn’t sit comfortably on his conscience inflicting so much pain on her. He still loved her however nightmarishly awful her behaviour had been and no matter how heated the arguments got. She was still his little princess at the end of the day.

Tina grunted at the first two lashes, let out shrill high pitched squeaks at the third and fourth, the fifth and sixth made her open her eyes and gasp with muffled squeals, wriggling her hips from side to side for whatever good it did to alleviate the pain. By the seventh, she cried out, feeling the tear ducts in her eyes reaching bursting point no matter how brave she tried to be. Her buttocks now felt like an industrial sander and had been pressed down hard against the skin and there was no end in sight. Soon she would have to drop the valiant bravery and resort to kicking and wailing like a banshee, throwing pride out the window altogether. Just as Tina’s father raised the belt to give her lash number eight, her packed overnight bag caught the corner of his eye making him unexpectedly pause and lower his whipping arm. The sight of this seemed to alarm him.

“Why have y’packed a bag, pet?”

Tina now had fresh tears rolling down her cheeks she could no longer withhold.

“Why do you care? You both want to kick me out because I’m just a lazy good for nothing horrible little cow anyway! You even said it yourselves! Don’t worry, I don’t blame you, you don’t have to worry about me losing my temper anymore. I’m leaving.”

Tina’s father stared at the ceiling and sighed, he then sat down on the bed, dropping the belt on the floor and burying his head in his hands. He appeared to be genuinely upset at the thought of her leaving. Tina was not expecting this.

“Pet! The last time me and y’mam kicked one of our children out of the house for unacceptable behaviour, we never saw her again. We got a knock on the door from the police to tell us she was zipped up in a body bag. Do you really think we want to go through that again? You are nowhere NEAR as bad as your sister. Not even close. We all say things we don’t mean when we’re angry pet. Come here.”

Tina’s father stood up and slid his belt back on through the loopholes and buckled it back up. He then did something her hadn’t done for years. He picked Tina up, embracing her with his fat hairy arms and sat her on his knee for a cuddle. He squeezed her, rocked her gently and shushed her, trying to calm her down. Part of him bitterly regretted taking his belt to her bottom like that but he was a stickler for old fashioned values.

“Where were y’gonna go?”

Tina wiped her eyes with her sleeve.

“I’ve got a job interview, Dad. It’s in London. I’ve been following some business woman’s blog online and she’s just offered me an interview. I know it sounds mad. But it’s true. I need to go the station now. Pleeeasssee don’t stop me, it means so much to me.”

Tina’s father understandably looked bewildered by this.

“London? That’s a bit of a bolt out of the blue!”

Tina reached for her phone. She had three unread emails awaiting her from Mrs Verikiene. One train ticket confirmation, one for basic overnight accommodation and one job application form.

“She was just chatting with me now by webcam. Look! She’s even paying for my travel, dad! I have to go! This isn’t a wind up I haven’t made this up, I swear.”

Tina’s dad paused for a minute to skim read the emails and then smiled.

“Don’t worry, I believe you, pet. No offence but I don’t think y’clever enough to forge something this elaborate.”

Tina scrunched her face up at him.

“You don’t think I’m capable of landing this job do you? First you say I’m not trying hard enough, now you think I’m…”

Tina’s father interrupted her rant.

“Wait a minute! Hold y’horses! Listen to me before y’fly off the handle again. Don’t put words in my mouth! I’m going to be honest. Yes, I do think y’are punching above y’weight here a little bit. It’s seems very vague what y’job would actually entail and seems a little too good to be true. That kind of salary doesn’t normally get handed out to young lasses with no qualifications. It just doesn’t. That’s not how the world works.”

Tina’s bowed her head, assuming this was his polite way of talking her out of it. He then took a deep breath and continued.

“Having said that, this is clearly an established legitimate company and for you to impress someone that much that they are willing to pay for you just to travel to the interview is quite spectacular, I must admit. Something seems dodgy here, can’t quite put my finger on it. But to see this kind of ambition and drive from you is quite special. If it means that much to you, I won’t stand in your way.”

Tina’s eyes lit up like stars.

“Are you saying I can go?”

“Aye, I’ve got a feeling I might live to regret this, but I am. In fact, y’running late. I’ll give you a lift, I’ll start the car.”

It was then Tina’s turn to do something she hadn’t done for years. She hugged her father around his neck with a big sloppy kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you so much. I take it all back! You’re the best dad in the world! I’ve just got to get a few more things together and I’ll be ready.”

Tina’s father went downstairs to start up the car. He gave it five minutes and then wondered what was taking Tina so long. Not renowned for his patience, he chose to venture back up to see what was the hold up.

“Tina! Ho’way, Pet! This Mrs Veruca or whatever her name is, isn’t going to be impressed if you miss this train.”

He swung the door open and caught Tina in an embarrassing position. She was bent over, pants and underwear down with her bare sore bottom facing her mirror. She was rubbing some moisturiser into the angry raised welts on her bottom. She then looked up at him with her bottom lip stuck out. Her father felt truly awful seeing the redness in his daughter’s bottom but he wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of admitting it.

“You’ve really hurt my bum, Dad! I know I probably deserve it but it REALLY stings! I’ve got to sit on the train for the next four hours on it! Thanks a lot!”

Tina’s father tried to lighten the mood with some humour.

“Oh come on now. Don’t be dramatic. Barely touched ya! Just a scratch compared to what I used to get as a lad. It’s not like y’arse hasn’t got enough extra shock absorbent padding now, is it?”

Tina gasped in shock at his crass humour, stood up and pulled her pants back up. She was very self conscious about her figure and did not appreciate the remark.

“Are you calling me fat, y’cheeky bastard?”

“Oi! Don’t use that language with me. Remember I’m still y’father. We’ve only just kissed and made up, don’t spoil it. I was only having a laugh and anyway, I’m sorry y’arse is sore but maybe next time you’ll think twice before throwing y’dinner plate on the floor and upsetting y’mam.”

Tina picked up her bag and followed her father out. As they walked down the stairs, she couldn’t resist a snide remark in retaliation to his cheeky little jibe at the size of her behind.

“Extra shock absorbent padding? You can talk! That belt of yours covers a waistline so long it could be wrapped around my bum ten times and there would still be enough leather left over to make a three piece suite.”

Tina’s father turned around on the stairs sharply and playfully pinned her down on the stairs tickling her underneath her arms with a few playful pats on her bottom.

“Cheeky little whipper snapper!”

It was heartwarming how they had somehow resolved such angry bitter feuding and were back having affectionate banter and horseplay just like old times. Tina’s dad has transformed from a furious bottom thrashing ogre to the playful comical Dad Tina had dearly missed. And Tina’s Dad has got back his cheeky lovely youngest daughter with a positive zest for life which he too had dearly missed. Tonight had definitely been a night of extreme emotions. In the car on the way to the station Tina’s father tried to give her some fatherly advice for the interview. As a dockyard worker, he knew very little about London’s corporate world. But that didn’t stop him from qualifying himself as an expert.

“Just remember, Tina. First impressions count. These corporate types make their minds up within seconds as soon as y’arse is though the door. Make sure y’look her in the eye and give her a firm handshake. Don’t sit down till y’asked to sit down. Don’t be cheeky, don’t try to be funny and don’t waffle. Stick to answering the question. Use that signature Burnett smile and watch y’language.”

“Right! Got it! Don’t high five or fist bump her and don’t use any hairy arse docker vocabulary like ‘fuck’ or ‘bollocks’. Brilliant advice, Dad, appreciate it,” said Tina sarcastically.

“Hey! I’m trying to help y’here, y’ungrateful little sod,” He replied, looking hurt.

“That’s really sweet of you Dad, but don’t worry. As if I’m just gonna walk in there and give her a load of Geordie council estate chav banter. I know what I’m doing.”

They arrived at the station with only minutes to spare, so Tina’s father didn’t get much time to get in an emotional send off. He wasn’t letting her leave without a hug and a discreet consoling rub of her backside.

“Good luck, pet! If y’don’t get the job I’m still proud of you and y’still welcome back home to work out y’next move. It’s nice to see a bit of ambition. My daughter, the London yuppie. Who would’ve thought it?”

“Thanks Dad. I’m sorry for earlier, tell me mam I didn’t mean to make her cry. I was bang out of order.”

“Don’t worry she’ll get over it. She loves you and I do too. I’ve just got to work out how the bloody hell I’m going to explain this to her. I’ve got a feeling she might not be best pleased with me allowing this without consulting her first. Be my turn to get chased around the house with a bloody wooden spoon!”

They both laughed. One last peck on the cheek and Tina then had to run for the train. It was slightly delayed, which bought her some valuable time. She managed to get on it without a second to spare; the door was actually closing as she leapt on. She made it! She couldn’t believe this was actually happening. She found her allocated seat and fired her laptop back up. Whilst shuffling in her seat, still throbbing from her earlier leathering, she had a life changing interview to prepare for. Her Dad had sneaked a twenty pound note in her back pocket when he rubbed her backside. He made her aware of this via text message, telling her to get herself a strong coffee and something to eat. This made her quite emotional, but there was no time to waste. She wanted to make this application worth it and for first time in a long time, concentrated hard at accomplishing a worthwhile goal.

The End

© J D Knight 2019