A holiday ends with a girl in trouble
By Julie Baker
My name is Poppy James. I’m in my late forties and I live happily with my partner in the West Country. We don’t have children but we both have good careers in management with companies in Bristol and we enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. We have many good friends, many of whom are connected with my love of sports. Tennis and running keep me in a good physical condition. I come from a sporting family. My mother was a very good athlete in her day and my father was a professional cricketer, for many years playing mainly for Warwickshire. My sister, Alice, who is a year older than me, played schoolgirl hockey at county level and was a keen gymnast in her younger days. As a family, we are all tall and slim and still keep ourselves in good shape.
Alice and I were almost like twins when we were growing up. She is married now and lives in Bath with her husband, who lectures at the University, and their two children, but we regularly meet up at weekends. She was always that one year ahead of me, but this didn’t stop us from doing most things together during free time at school, at weekends and during the school holidays. In those years of growing up together, there was always one immovable routine regarding the first two weeks of our summer holidays. We went down to stay with my mother’s sister, our aunt, who lived in Salcombe, Devon. She took a fortnight of her annual holidays to coincide with our visits and we invariably did everything together as a threesome whilst we were in Devon.
Her name was Angela Norton and we adored her. She was unmarried, but very glamorous, enormous fun and lived in a beautiful Victorian town house which stood in its own grounds within a walled garden just back from the sea front. Aunty Angela was a consultant surgeon at the main hospital in Plymouth. She drove a succession of Audi TTs, which just had enough space in the back for two little girls, and appeared to have plenty of money to fund her very comfortable life. Looking back, the only strange part of our visits to Devon was that we never met any of Aunty’s friends, but the three of us got on so well that this wasn’t a problem.
In retrospect, that wasn’t the only somewhat unusual aspect of our summer visits to Devon, although, at the time, we simply accepted things as they were. There was always a lot of nudity in Aunty’s house. Aunty would almost never get dressed for breakfast, preferring to take her tea and toast naked before having a shower later in the morning. Sometimes breakfast was taken indoors if the weather was bad, or otherwise outside in the garden where the high walls provided almost total privacy. She encouraged Alice and I to do the same, telling us that it was good for us to let the air get to our skin and that our minds would become more liberated if we didn’t wear clothes. Our first visit was when Alice was 6 and I was 5. At that young age, we accepted Aunty’s way of doing things and we, more or less, continued to wear little or no clothing until our last visit together when I was 17 and Alice was 18.
The other unusual aspect to our visits was the somewhat traditional attitude Aunty had to discipline. She would routinely smack us if we had been naughty, either with her hand or, as we grew older, she would use her slipper on us. The punishments were always deserved and always administered in a loving, almost gentle way. It served as a sharp reminder that we had to behave, but always ended up with Aunty giving us a nice soothing cuddle. I used to enjoy those moments.
However, this regime changed when we got to 12 or 13. We were developing into young ladies. The physical punishments stopped and we began to have much more adult conversations about growing up and relationships. Alice and I were still totally comfortable about the routine nudity around the house, but Aunty must have felt that it wasn’t appropriate to chastise us in the same way anymore. I would have to say that I quite missed it. Our Mum also seemed surprised. When we returned from a trip to Devon the first question that she would always ask was: “So, how many times have you had your bottoms smacked?”
On the first occasion, when we were able to reply: “Not at all,” she looked quite disappointed!
My last trip down to Devon was when I was 18. I had left school a few weeks before and I was waiting for my A Level results to see if my grades were good enough to get me into Durham University to read Economics. My sister Alice had gone to Leeds University the year before and she had elected to stay in Leeds for the summer. My visit to Salcombe was therefore a solo one. This didn’t seem to matter, though, as Aunty and I got on so well. We quickly fell into our normal routine with trips out and days spent on the beach. Over the years, I had built up a few friends who either lived in Salcombe or also visited for the same two weeks each summer. I obviously didn’t know them as well as my friends back home but well enough to enjoy their company on occasions.
Aunty and I had arranged to have a special dinner together on the last night of my stay, as I think both of us sensed that this might be the end of an era. I had also agreed with Aunty that I would go out into Salcombe on the penultimate evening to meet up with a few friends who I might not see again. This seemed to be a good arrangement that suited both of us. Almost inevitably, that penultimate evening ended up with six of us in a pub on the seafront. It was a gloriously warm sunny evening in early August and the drinks just kept on flowing. I generally know when I’m getting to the stage where I’ve had enough, but that night the glasses of wine were slipping down so nicely that it was too late when I realised that I was becoming horribly drunk. Eventually, the bar staff stopped us buying more drink and, to this day, I don’t know how I managed to stagger back to Aunty’s house.
She was waiting for me and quickly assessed the situation.
“Dear me, Poppy. What a state you are in,” she opened up with. She didn’t seem too cross but I could tell that she was disappointed in me.
“Sorry, Aunty,” was all that I could manage before bolting into her downstairs loo to be sick.
When I came out, I could tell that Aunty’s mood had worsened a bit.
“You have badly let yourself down, Poppy. You really will have to learn to drink responsibly now that you are 18. You are a young, pretty girl and you do leave yourself very vulnerable when you have so much to drink that you can barely stand up. Have you anything to say for yourself?”
“No, Aunty,” I replied. “I am truly sorry. It won’t happen again, I promise you.”
“Well, in reality you are not really my responsibility anymore. However, you are my niece, currently living in my house. I have therefore decided that after breakfast tomorrow I’m going to cane your bottom. Do you understand, Poppy?”
I was absolutely stunned. It’s incredible how a turn of events can suddenly make you sober up. From being a bit of a wreck a few moments before, I was now fully taking in what Aunty was telling me. A caning! On my bottom! I didn’t even know that Aunty possessed a cane, let alone that she would use it on my adult, eighteen-year-old bottom. I was horrified, but I knew that I was in the wrong and, after all of those years of visits, I was very reluctant to spoil it by crossing Aunty on the very last day.
“Yes, I understand, Aunty, but please, there must be another way of sorting this out? Surely?” I begged.
“No, I’ve made up my mind, Poppy. Now get yourself off to bed, please.”
So that was it. I took myself off to bed and managed a pretty poor night’s sleep on account of the alcohol and the prospect of what was waiting for me in the morning. I got up and showered at 8 o’clock as normal, but stood naked in front of the mirror for a little longer than normal. I liked the look of my body. Long slim legs, no spare flesh around my middle and firm but rounded breasts. Everyone tells me that I’m blessed with a pretty face and I have lovely thick blond hair. My skin is soft and brown in the summer, if it has seen a bit of sun. I turned around to look at my bottom. I would have described it as on the small side but still with a good shape, pale skin and toned from all the sport that I was doing in those days. I wondered what it would look like after Aunty had caned it.
I decided to get dressed that morning. It was a long shot, but I figured that I would almost certainly have to take the cane on my bare bottom if I arrived for breakfast naked. I couldn’t imagine Aunty encouraging me to get dressed for my punishment! I put on a nice floral cotton summer frock that fitted tightly around my chest and flowed outwards from my hips to rest just below my knees. I didn’t need to wear a bra with this dress and I put on a simple pair of white satin knickers. I was desperately hoping that I would at least be able to keep those on during my punishment. Finally, I tied back my hair into a tight bob. I knew that I would have to bend over to be caned and I didn’t want hair falling over my face.
When I got down, Aunty was already sitting at the table outside on the patio having her breakfast. She was wearing nothing other than a short silky dressing gown and she made no comment about my clothes or the events of the night before. Everything was absolutely as if nothing had happened and nothing unusual was about to happen. We chatted normally and arranged to go down to the shops in Salcombe together later that morning and that we would sunbathe in the garden during the afternoon before preparing our special dinner. I even dared to think that maybe Aunty wasn’t going to carry out her planned punishment.
I was wrong. When we had finished eating, she turned to me.
“Well, Poppy, time now for your caning. I’ll give it to you in my dressing room which, as you might know, is the small room beyond my bedroom. Please go there and wait for me. I will fetch the cane and I’ll see you there in a few minutes.”
As I went upstairs, I was conscious of my heart thumping against my ribs. My emotions were a funny mix of fear and excitement. This really was a trip into the unknown for me. How much would it hurt? Would I be allowed to keep any clothing on to protect me? What would the cane look like? How many strokes would Aunty give me? Where would I be positioned to receive my punishment? Would the cane mark my skin so that I wouldn’t be able to be seen in swimwear? All of these questions had been swirling around in my head since the previous evening and I was about to be given many of the answers.
I was soon standing in Aunty’s dressing room. It was about three meters square and I wasn’t sure that I had ever been in that room before. It had a window overlooking the garden and an assortment of drawers, a wardrobe and a dressing table arranged round the walls. It wasn’t long before Aunty joined me. She was holding a long cane in her right hand and I could see that her cheeks were quite flushed. She seemed to be a bit nervous.
I decided to play for time a little.
“Can I have a look at the cane, please Aunty?” I asked.
She handed it to me without speaking. I was surprised at how light it was. It was also thinner than I expected and when I tried to bend it I realised that it would be quite whippy when in use. I’m not sure what I was hoping for. A heavy cane would perhaps appear to be worse, but I could see that this thin cane would be capable of inflicting considerable pain as the impact would be concentrated along narrower strips of my skin. There was perhaps no good outcome here!
I handed the cane back to Aunty and the questions in my head soon began to be supplied with answers.
“OK, Poppy, please get the red-topped stool out from beside the wardrobe and place it in the middle of the room,” Aunty instructed.
I hadn’t noticed this item of furniture previously as it was partly hidden by the wardrobe. It was about the height of a bar stool, with a large red leather padded area on top but rather than being rounded it was more of a gentle ‘U’ shape. The other unusual feature was the small metal eyelets towards the base of each leg, and from these eyelets hung Velcro straps. It didn’t take much imagination to work out that this was a purpose-built spanking stool and that my wrists and ankles were soon going to be fastened within those Velcro straps.
“I want you to take off your panties, Poppy, and raise your dress so that you are exposed from the waist downwards. You are then to bend over the stool and I’ll fasten your arms and legs so that you are totally still whilst I apply the cane. Is that clear?” Aunty asked.
“Yes, Aunty,” I replied.
I lowered my underwear beneath my dress, stepped out of my knickers, and placed them on the end of the dressing table. I remember how bright white they looked against the dark oak wood surface. I looked at that little pile of fabric and lamented that they would be of no further use in protecting me from Aunty’s cane. In reality, they probably wouldn’t have made much difference, but psychologically having them in place would have been some comfort. I raised the hem of my dress, turned my back to Aunty and lowered myself over the stool. I could tell that my bottom was then perfectly positioned to take the caning. Aunty quickly fastened the straps and I realised that I was not only totally vulnerable but also powerless to protect myself in any way.
“I’m going to give you six strokes of the cane, Poppy, for what you did last night,” Aunty informed me. “Is this your first caning?”
I thought that this was an extraordinary question. This was the late 1990s when corporal punishment in schools was long gone, and yet Aunty still thought that I might have had previous experience of being caned. Perhaps she was thinking that I might have indulged in this type of thing for fun, but I was 18 and still very inexperienced in these matters. I decided to keep it simple though.
“Yes, Aunty, this is the first caning for me,” I replied.
“Brace yourself then, Poppy, and I’ll give you the first stroke.”
I could feel the cane tip tapping on my skin. I couldn’t decide whether to let the muscles in my bottom relax or whether to clench my buttocks to provide a firmer, tighter target area. I opted for the latter. I heard the swish of the cane as it cut through the air and then it landed. I’d planned to take my punishment in silence, but I let out an involuntary shriek as the pain exploded in my bottom. Instinctively, my arms tried to move to allow my hands to protect my bottom, but the straps held firm. That was massively worse than I expected and I immediately decided that there would be no more clenched buttocks for the next one!
The second stroke felt much lower, only just above the crease where bottom becomes leg. My softer bottom therefore probably didn’t make much difference but I realised that I might as well stay as relaxed as possible for the duration of my punishment. That thin cane was so stingy, but I did manage to stay quiet for that one which I was pleased about.
The third stroke was back into the middle area of my bottom, and by this stage I was a least getting used to the intensity of the process.
“That’s half way, Poppy. Do you want a bit of a break?”
Aunty was leaving about 20 seconds between strokes of the cane. I did think that a short interlude might help me cope better.
“Thanks, Aunty. A bit of a break would be good,” I replied.
I then felt Aunty’s hand giving my bottom gentle a rub. This would have been what I would have done had my arms not been restrained, and it felt very soothing. I was grateful for that little gesture.
It wasn’t long, though, before I felt the tip of the cane tapping on my skin again.
“Three more to go and then we are done. I’m trying to space them out, but you do have an unusually small bottom, Poppy. I’ll do my best,” she concluded.
The next one was much higher, and was possibly the least painful of the six, but the fifth was back into the central area and it was all that I could do to stay quiet. By this stage, I could feel the hot, salty tears running down my face. The last one was comfortably the worst, and afterwards it was easy to pick it out due to the livid redness of the stripe on my skin and the associated dark bruising. I finally cracked. This one had reduced me to deep and urgent sobs.
By this stage, I had my eyes closed but I then heard the noise of the straps being released from my wrists and ankles. I got up and my dress immediately fell back into place, hiding my bottom from view.
“Come here, Poppy,” Aunty said, and she locked me into a gentle cuddle until I had stopped crying.
“Let’s climb into my bed so that you can recover.”
This felt like absolutely the right thing to do. Aunty took off her dressing gown and I unfastened the zip on the back of my dress and allowed it the fall to the floor. We were both soon naked under Aunty’s duvet, locked in a loving embrace. It felt so natural and so right for me. I think in those few moments I realised why I had struggled so much with relationships in the past. Boys clearly found me attractive but actually I was most comfortable in the company of my fellow females.
I think that day set me off on a path that has subsequently shaped my life. I have particularly reflected on those events in recent days as I had to attend Aunty’s funeral last week. She died of a heart attack when she was just short of her 70th birthday. I was totally surprised by the number of people at the funeral, given that I hadn’t seen anything of her friends during our visits. There were family there plus colleagues from the NHS, but there were also a number of people from the Gay Pride movement. I had wondered about Aunty’s sexuality, but here was confirmation that, unknown to her family, she played a very prominent and active role in the gay rights movement.
I have a lot to thank Aunty Angela for. Many lovely summer holidays spent in Salcombe, but also for putting me on the right path to happiness and fulfilment in my own love life.
© Julie Baker 2020
Julie welcomes contact from her readers. Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie’s Twitter address is: @JulieBaker_cane