A girl has an uncomfortable meeting with her headmistress
By Robert Roberts
“I need you to sign this letter from school,” said Molly, holding the letter but not ready to release it from her grasp.
“OK. What’s it about?” smiled Kimberley Singh, holding out her hand.
Molly, purposely withholding the letter, extended her free hand across the table to hold her mother’s outstretched hand.
“I’ve got into a bit of trouble at school, but I don’t want you to worry,” asserted Molly quietly. “I can handle it.”
Despite Molly’s attempt to reassure her mother, Kimberley Singh immediately went into worry mode.
“What is it Molly? Tell me.” She asked, anxiously withdrawing her hand from Molly’s.
Molly was genuinely concerned to protect her mother who was being treated for depression and anxiety after her husband and Molly’s father, Doctor Mohan Singh, had walked out on the family home twelve months previously. Molly, herself upset by her father’s departure, had taken care of her mother as best she could. She had performed valiantly, showing maturity beyond her years, balancing home responsibilities with school where she was studying for three A levels in chemistry, biology and physics and hoping to gain a place at university.
Although Mohan had abandoned his family to start a new life with another woman, he continued to financially support his estranged wife and daughter, and was particularly keen that Molly should find a good university place and go on to follow him into the medical profession. He insisted on maintaining regular contact with Molly, ostensibly to scrutinise and discuss her school performance, and she was required to visit him once a fortnight at his new home. Molly loved her father but was angry with him because of his adulterous behaviour and the heartless way he had treated her mother.
“I’ve been silly Mum. It was Roberta’s 21st birthday on Tuesday and she wanted to take me to the pub for a lunchtime celebration drink. I should have refused but I couldn’t wait to give her the birthday present I had bought for her. I was seen by a teacher sipping a glass of white wine and she reported me to the Headmistress.”
“So what does the letter say?” asked a worried Kimberley.
“Just what I’ve told you, with an explanation that I am going to be caned and your signature is required to confirm you are aware of my misdeeds,” stated Molly, trying to act calmly, really not wanting to upset her vulnerable mother.
Kimberly buried her face in her hands and sighed.
“Oh, Molly! I’m furious with you but at the same time I don’t want to see my baby hurt.”
“It’s OK, Mum. I will take the punishment and learn from it,” responded Molly, pushing the letter towards her mother, having now explained the situation. “I just don’t want you to worry. Everything will be fine.”
“I don’t know what your father will think,” mumbled Kimberley as she reluctantly applied her signature to the letter. “When is your punishment going to be carried out?”
“Tomorrow afternoon. Four o’clock. That’s when naughty girls are dealt with by the Headmistress,” answered Molly trying to appear unconcerned and flippant but silently shuddering at the thought.
Molly arrived at the school secretary’s office at ten minutes to four. Canings took place on Friday afternoons from four o’clock. She hadn’t much knowledge or experience of the punishment procedures, having been exceptionally well-behaved for most of her school life. Head Girl, Louise Grainger, would be in attendance to act as a witness, the caning would be recorded in the register and the letter which her mother had signed would be attached to her school file.
Nervously, she approached Mrs Hendricks, the assistant school secretary, a kindly middle-aged lady who knew exactly why Molly was there.
“Hello, Molly. The Headmistress is in a meeting with Louise. Please take a seat. I’m sure they won’t be long.”
Molly asked, “Am I the only girl to see Mrs Llewelyn this afternoon?”
“Actually no,” whispered Mrs Hendricks. “Would you believe, Louise’s sister, Sarah, is up for a caning?”
“Wow!” exclaimed Molly. “That’s tough. For both of them, I suppose. Can I ask you something, Mrs Hendricks?”
“Yes, of course, dear.”
“When girls are being caned, can you hear what’s going on? I don’t want to embarrass myself.”
“Don’t you worry about that. Yes, we can hear. Some girls take it quietly, others are a bit noisy. But we’re used to it here in the office and we won’t think any the worse of you if you cry out.”
Just at that moment, Sarah Grainger entered the office, looking slightly dishevelled and she had obviously been crying. She was in the upper fifth and Molly did not really know her.
“Take a seat, Sarah,” said Mrs Hendricks. “I’m sure they won’t be too long.”
“They can take as long as they like,” half sobbed, half smiled Sarah, trying to be brave and humorous.
“You’re not here for the cane are you?” ventured Sarah as she seated herself next to Molly whom she recognised as an upper sixth girl and unlikely to be up for such punishment.
“Afraid so. Drinking in the lunch hour,” responded Molly.
“Smoking,” said the younger girl. “Grassed up by my own sister. I hate her. And now she’s going to take great pleasure in watching me being whacked.”
“The responsibilities of being Head Girl, I suppose,” sympathised Molly.
The pair sat quietly, deep in their own thoughts. After five minutes, the Headmistress’s door opened.
“Would you like to come through, Sarah?” asked Louise to her sister. More of an instruction than a request.
“Good luck,” murmured Molly, but got no response from Sarah as she made her way past Mrs Hendricks and into Mrs Llewelyn’s office. Before the door closed behind them, Molly could hear Mrs Llewelyn greeting the hapless girl, but once the door closed only muffled voices could be heard. After a minute, the Headmistress’s raised voice left Molly in no doubt that Sarah was receiving a severe scolding before being subjected to her physical punishment. She wondered if she too would be receiving a similar berating. She desperately hoped not.
Vocal admonishment over, it went ominously quiet, which could only mean Sarah was being prepared for her caning. There was a ritual to follow. Louise, in her capacity as Head Girl, ordered her sister to remove her blazer, which she took from her and slowly and methodically placed it on a coat hanger on the back of the door. Next, Sarah was told to approach the Headmistress’s desk and place her upper body over the surface of the desk and grab the far edge. As Mrs Llewelyn removed her cane of choice from the cupboard, Louise lifted the hem of Sarah’s dress and secured it above her waist, revealing her knickers and a goodly area of her bare flesh to receive punishment. Sarah had meekly surrendered and was set to receive six strokes of the cane, her offence being caught in possession of smoking materials whilst on school premises.
Sarah did not take her punishment well. The first stroke landed hard and true across the centre of her small, firm bottom, minimally protected by her regulation navy blue school knickers. She let out a shriek as the cane embedded into her bottom and she attempted to raise herself from the desk, but her sister’s hand, firmly placed in the small of her back, prevented her from so doing, although she continued to struggle.
Sarah’s protests and undignified wailing could be heard by Molly, and this was understandably rather unsettling. It took a couple of minutes for Louise and Mrs Llewelyn to settle Sarah down before the caning could resume. Louse’s raised voice could be heard telling her sister to get control of herself, and eventually her wailing and protests ceased. The remaining five strokes were delivered, accompanied by yelping and crying, but no further histrionics or delays.
“Are you all right Love?” Mrs Hendricks asked Molly who was visibly shaken by Sarah’s performance. “It is not usually that distressing,” she counselled Molly, trying to offer support.
Muffled voices could once again be heard coming from Mrs Llewelyn’s office. Two minutes later, the door opened and Sarah entered the secretary’s office accompanied by her sister who had an arm around her shoulders. Ignoring Molly and Mrs Hendricks, the pair set off down the corridor, Sarah obviously in discomfort and walking awkwardly, hand gently rubbing her bottom.
“It’s over now, you silly girl,” Louise could be overheard encouraging her sister as they disappeared round the corner.
Mrs Llewelyn came to the door and called out to Molly, who nearly stumbled in her exaggerated haste to obey the request to enter the Headmistress’s office.
“Close the door, Molly. I’m sorry about the theatricals. No need for that at all. I think she was showing off in front of her sister. Louise will be a couple of minutes. She’s taken Sarah to Matron, although I don’t think there’s any need. Please sit down while we wait for her to return. I’m guessing you will take your punishment with much greater dignity.
“I hope so, Miss, but I’m not so sure,” responded Molly dismally.
“Look here, Molly. This business is most unfortunate. I wish Miss Parkinson had turned a blind eye, but having reported you, the whole school is aware of your transgression and I can’t be seen to be favouring you.”
“I understand, Miss. This is my own fault.”
“It’s important you understand that this changes nothing concerning my thoughts of you as a delightful, intelligent young lady who is a credit to this school. What did your mother say?”
“She’s angry with me, but mostly worried that I’m going to be bruised and hurt.”
“It’s just a bit of discomfort for a few hours. I think girls like to exaggerate to impress their friends. Despite what pupils think, I dislike using the cane on them but I have to admit it is effective. Very few girls returning for a second helping,” she smiled.
Mrs Llewelyn busied herself with some paperwork. Molly contrasted the cool, matter-of-fact demeanour of the Headmistress compared with her own state of mind. Heart thumping, trembling and dry mouth. She could not take her eyes off the cane that lay on the desk. The cane that was going to be used to inflict indescribable pain on her backside. She wished Louise would quickly return so an end could be put to this ordeal.
“Do you think I could have a glass of water, Miss?” asked Molly.
“Of course. Ask Mrs Hendricks. Louise shouldn’t be too long,” as though that was some comfort.
Just as Molly headed for the door, Louise burst in.
“I’m so sorry,” she breathlessly exclaimed, having hurried back from depositing her sister with Matron.
“How is she?” asked Mrs Llewelyn.
“She’s OK. Now she’s worrying about the thrashing she will get from papa. And once again I do apologise for her shameful behaviour, Miss.”
“It’s forgotten. Now let’s deal with Molly. We’ve kept her waiting long enough. Did you want a glass of water Molly?
“No, I’m alright Miss,” mumbled Molly.
“Right then, let’s get on with it and then we can all get off home for the weekend.”
Mrs Llewelyn signalled to Louise as she picked up the cane from her desk.
“Molly. Can you remove your blazer please?”
Molly obliged and watched Louise place it on the coat hanger before turning to her and guiding her to the desk.
“Bend over the desk and reach out for the other side. You might have to stand on your tiptoes. I’m going to adjust your dress.” Louise, in her capacity as Head Girl, explained the procedures to Molly just as she had undoubtedly done on several previous occasions to other girls.
“Molly Singh. You are to receive six strokes of the senior cane for leaving the school premises without permission, visiting a public house that is out of bounds, consuming alcohol whilst wearing school uniform. Are you ready to receive the punishment?”
The time had come. Molly was determined to do what she always did in the face of adversity; a steely resolve to take what was coming and no complaints.
“Yes, Miss. Please proceed,” was her response.
“There is so much I like about this girl’s spirit,” thought Margaret Llewelyn as she unleashed the first stinging lash across Molly’s well-presented bottom.
Molly was shocked by the depth of stinging pain but was determined to call upon her reserves of strength. Not a sound did she utter.
“No crying,” she instructed herself. She relaxed and loosened her grip on the edge of the desk. Relinquishing thoughts of her caning, instead concentrating on a positive in her life; Roberta’s pleasure upon receiving the watch she presented to her for her 21st birthday.
Whack! The second excruciating stroke assailed her tightly-stretched bottom. Swelling and discolouration were rapidly developing. Her breathing pattern was disrupted, but it was going to take more than this to elicit cries of anguish.
‘Brave girl,’ thought Mrs Llewelyn as she continued her assault on Molly’s wounded bottom with the third blow, taking care not to overlap strokes. That would be unfair.
Louise looked on with quiet admiration. Three punishing lashes and not even a gasp. How different to her sister.
Meanwhile, in preparedness for the fourth attack on her bruised derrière, Molly had manoeuvred her thoughts to what Roberta’s reaction would be tonight, viewing the swollen and angry red stripes on what was usually her lovely, flawless, creamy smooth buttocks.
She thought to herself, ‘I will enjoy showing her my wounds and blaming her for my torment.’
The fourth stroke landed. She flinched, but remained silent. Aware of a voice in the distance, she was in her own zone and did not respond.
For a second time, Mrs Llewelyn asked, “Are you OK, Molly?”
“Yes, thank you Miss,” replied Molly, annoyed that she had been distracted from her self-induced hypnosis, causing her to become more aware and reminded of the pain.
She tried to slightly readjust the angle of her position stretched over the desk, not to get relief from the throbbing pain in her buttocks, but the edge of the desk was uncomfortably digging into her tummy.
“Would you like to take a short break?” asked Mrs Llewelyn, thinking Molly’s fidgeting was as a result of the caning at last getting through to her.
“No, thank you, Miss,” was Molly’s curt reply. “Please continue.”
Molly’s concentration on pleasant thoughts of Roberta to distract her from the caning were broken, and the fifth stroke really hurt. In her effort to avoid overlapping, the Headmistress went lower, catching the crease. Molly gasped and was all but ready to cry out, but managed to hold it together.
Final stroke. An accurate swipe required to land in a space between two previous strokes. Not delivered with any particular force, but nevertheless a stinging reminder to the recipient to stay out of public houses during school hours.
Molly was aware of Louise’s hand on her shoulder gently assisting her to her feet.
“Thank you, Molly. Unpleasant, but I think necessary,” said the Headmistress in a rather kindly voice. As much as she disliked caning this particular girl, she had delivered a robust punishment.
“Yes Miss. Deserved and I’m sorry to have let you down.” Neither the Headmistress or the Head Girl were quite sure if Molly meant that, or was she being sardonic?
“Miss. Would you mind if I took off to meet up with Sarah? I left her crying her eyes out with Matron,” asked Louise.
“Yes, of course. Off you go. I’m sure she’ll be fine soon enough. Have a good weekend.”
Louise departed with a cursory nod to Molly. Mrs Llewelyn held out a box of tissues to Molly and watched as she blew her nose and wiped her watery eyes. After satisfying herself that Molly was dealing with her painful situation, in the absence of the Head Girl, the headmistress walked over to the coat hanger, collected Molly’s blazer, and helped her to put it on, fondly brushing away an imaginary hair from the shoulder.
“I hope this isn’t going to ruin your weekend,” she said, hopefully conveying a friendly attitude towards Molly, probably seeking confirmation that the girl was not holding a grudge. Molly did not hold a grudge but she was in no mood to enter into a meaningful conversation. Her bottom was on fire and the horrible burning sensation was not diminishing. She just wanted to get away to give her wounded bottom some much needed care and attention.
Roberta’s eyes were transfixed on the six angry welts decorating Molly’s bottom as she lay face down on the sofa. A mix of emotions. Guilt, because she thought she was responsible. Molly had made sure of that. But also a fascination. She most certainly did not want her girlfriend to be hurt, and would have gladly taken her place, but if she was to be caned she would have loved to have been able to witness it. How did she take it? Did she struggle? Did she yelp? She quizzed her, but Molly was not forthcoming.
Taking a lump of ice out of a bucket, she gently and carefully applied it to her girlfriend’s wounds. Molly flinched but then purred with pleasure.
“A blissful end to an eventful day,” she thought. “But I’ll make her wait before I tell her she’s forgiven.”
© Robert Roberts 2021