In serious trouble for only the second time in her school career, the result is painfully similar
Diane could scarcely believe her bad luck when the Headmaster himself found her surreptitiously enjoying a cigarette round the back of the school. She knew that smoking was a serious offence, even for an Upper Sixth Former like her, but she had been desperate to light up as soon as her exam had ended. Now she was ordered to follow him to his study.
This was not the first time that Diane had been led there. The previous occasion was seven years earlier, when she was just a little Year Seven, only a month into her time at the Grammar School. During morning assembly she had been whispering and giggling with her best friend, unaware that the Head’s eyes were on her from the vantage point of the platform. But at the end, when he marched down the hall, he had singled her out. Once in his study, she listened incredulously while he informed her that talking in assembly was a serious offence always punished with a caning. In her case, as a new pupil, this would be limited to two strokes.
Ever since then, Diane had been careful to avoid any chance of repeating that experience. She had shuddered when seeing tearful girls clutching their behinds after similar visits, or when noticing parallel red stripes across a bottom whilst changing for games. Yet now, only weeks before leaving school for good, she was back.
The Head pointed out that, as an adult, she had the option to leave school forthwith. But that would have meant forfeiting the remainder of her A-level exams, so was really no choice at all. The alternative was the same for Sixth Formers as for any other girl in the school – corporal punishment with the cane. The only difference was that, being a senior girl, she would receive six strokes. Very reluctantly, Diane agreed to submit to the punishment prescribed.
The memory of her previous experience now returned with alarming clarity as she was ordered to take off her blazer and turn round. Then the command came to pull down her trousers to her knees and bend over. Diane protested because underneath she had on only a thong, but the Head reminded her that the procedure was the same for all pupils, whatever they might be wearing.
Feeling like an eleven year old again, Diane did as she was told while the Head selected his weapon. He held her down with one hand whilst lining up the cane across her buttocks with the other, and she could feel it pressing directly against her flesh. She was effectively receiving her punishment on a bare bottom.
As she gripped her ankles, Diane determined that she would not yell nor cry. She screwed her eyes shut and gritted her teeth as she was aware of the cane being raised up, then heard it swishing down towards its target. Yet she could not help flinching and gasping at the impact.
As the pain level rose, the cane struck her a second time, slightly lower than before. She still resisted weeping, though her eyes were starting to water. But then she suddenly realised there were still four more blows to follow, and that the cane was moving steadily down her backside into increasingly sensitive areas. As the third stroke landed, the barriers came down and the tears flowed noisily and copiously. All dignity and restraint vanished as she took the remaining cuts, firmly held down by the Head’s restraining hand. When told to stand up after the sixth, she rubbed her bottom vigorously, oblivious of her tormentor’s presence. Only a sharp rebuke from him forced her to pull up her trousers and, with a struggle, don her blazer again.
Diane remembered the dreadful embarrassment of returning to her Year Seven classroom, then having to tell her teacher and astonished fellow pupils what had happened to her. Now she was spared that experience, but not the continued pain in her rear end which seemed only to sharpen as she stumbled down the corridor. Finding an empty toilet, she decided to examine the damage in front of the full-length mirror. Down came the trousers once more, as Diane twisted round and bent over. Her tears, which had dried up on leaving the Head’s study, started to drip down her face again as she looked in consternation at the six angry red weals, close together yet distinct from each other, which stretched across both buttocks.
Diane gave up smoking immediately. Of course, she could still have lit up away from school, but as soon as she put a cigarette to her lips the memory of her punishment came back, with all its painful and humiliating associations. Like the first time, her caning had been agonising but effective. Never again, she determined, would she be stripping off and bending over for such terrible retribution.
© David 2016