Two sisters unite when one gets herself into trouble.
By Julie Baker
My name is Monique and I have an identical twin sister called Veronique. We were born in Edinburgh in 1980. My father comes from a well known farming family from East Lothian but, being a second son, had to find employment away from the home farm. He got a law degree from Glasgow University and subsequently became a very successful lawyer in Edinburgh. My mother is French and came to Scotland in 1978 as an au-pair. She was, and still is, very pretty and my father claims that it was love at first sight when they met at a party shortly after she arrived in the UK. We have no other siblings and our parents gave us everything possible to make a success of our lives.
This included a private education, initially at a day school in Edinburgh, and then at a traditional boarding school in Perthshire from age 13 onwards. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there but it was one of the last schools in the UK to abolish corporal punishment. It was relatively rare for it to be employed but under certain circumstances the headmistress would give a girl the slipper if she could not find another way of ensuring good discipline. This would be administered in private by the head, Mrs Hughes, in her study. The recipient would have to bend over by touching her toes and the head would raise the back of the girl’s skirt so that she would receive her punishment with only her knickers for protection. Normally four strokes would be administered but the head could vary it up to a maximum of eight.
There were also three designated misdemeanours that would be punishable by a caning. To qualify for a caning you had to verbally or physically abuse a member of staff, be off school premises without permission after 9.00pm or be caught smoking or drinking alcohol on school premises. Anything worse than this, or persistent breaking of school rules, and it could result in an immediate expulsion. Canings were again administered by Mrs Hughes but to a bare, unprotected bottom and would always consist of six strokes.
Veronique and I were identical to look at but poles apart in personality. I am quieter than Veronique and always look to please those around me and stick to the rules. In all my time at boarding school I never did anything that got me even remotely in danger of having to go the head to get the slipper, let alone the cane. Veronique, though, was constantly in trouble. She probably averaged a slippering a month throughout the time she was at school and these were just as frequent when she was 18 in her last year as they were when she was 13 at the start of her time there. She also collected the odd caning from time to time, mainly for smoking. In our final year she got into massive trouble for swearing at a teacher which resulted in her getting another painful caning from Mrs Hughes.
The school were clearly running out of patience with my sister though. My father was called up to school just before Christmas in our final year at school and he, Veronique and Mrs Hughes met in her study. She made it clear that one more serious breaking of the rules by Veronique would leave her with no alternative but to insist that she was withdrawn from school. She made it clear that there would be no further warnings. Veronique promised to do her best to keep out of trouble, particularly as she was about to take her final exams which she needed for entry to university.
At this stage I should tell you about the school grounds and the back entrance to the gardens. The school was an old stately home that had been converted shortly after the Second World War. The gardens behind the school were completely enclosed by a high wall and the games fields were in front of the main school building. Once inside the main building pupils had free access to the rear gardens but there was only one way in and out of the front which was through the main access gates. It was forbidden to go in or out of the school after 9.00pm and the entrance was covered by an automatic light and a CCTV camera. It was impossible to evade.
However, there was a door in the wall in the rear grounds which was hidden away behind trees in the far corner of the garden. It was always locked and the head groundsman was the only person who appeared to have a key. One day, though, when we were in the 5th form, Veronique and I were passing by the door and she spotted that the key had been left in the lock.
“Perfect,” she said, and the key was soon nestling safely in her pocket.
I don’t think at this stage she had any plans on how it might be useful, but clearly she thought that it might enable her to execute some plan of hers in the future.
She confided in me at the start of our second term in the upper sixth that she had a boyfriend in the village. I stared at her in amazement. How was this possible? She said that she didn’t really love him but roughly once a week she would sneak out of the gardens through the door that she now had the key for and meet this boy for sexual activities. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! She said it was great and it was like a drug; she kept on having to go back for more! I was not happy with this on a number of different levels but I couldn’t really see what I could do about it. Veronique didn’t listen to anyone and she certainly wouldn’t have listened to my advice.
However, the system seemed to work fine. She would meet this boy on a regular basis and it was difficult to see how she would ever be caught given the lack of security in the garden area. This had been carrying on for some months and she encountered no problems. She was still seeing him during the spring term despite the dire warning she had received at the end of the previous term.
One evening in the first week back after half term, Veronique once again exited the school grounds by the garden door. She left at about 7.00pm when it was still just light and returned at 9.30pm when it was completely dark. She immediately knew she was in trouble when a security light came on as she passed through the door. There was nothing that she could do but hope for the best.
She was not in luck. The following evening, she was called to Mrs Hughes’ office and shown a video recording of her returning through the garden door. She panicked and decided to deny everything. Even though the pictures were clear, she refused to accept that it was her coming through the door at 9.30pm on that night.
“Well Veronique, it certainly looks like you. If it’s not you then it must be your sister. Please go and find her and tell her that I want to see you both in my study in ten minutes time so that we can sort this out.”
Veronique’s head was clearly spinning when she found me in the library because it took me some time to work out what she was trying to tell me. She was close to tears.
“I couldn’t say it was me,” she was saying. “Because they will throw me out and I won’t be able to go to university.”
“You should have thought about that, Veronique, before you got yourself into trouble. I can’t see how I can help you.”
“You could say it was you.” She ventured. She was clearly desperate if she was suggesting this.
Despite our different personalities, Veronique and I had always been very close. We looked out for each other in times of trouble and we would both say that our respective twin sister was our best friend. Invariably around school, if you saw one of us then the other one wouldn’t be far away.
However, there was a stunned silence after this suggestion.
I could see her point. Maybe this was the only way out. I would get a caning but they would have to let Veronique stay as they couldn’t prove that it was her.
“Maybe we should both deny it,” I suggested. “And see what she does about that. If it was a murder trial they would have to be able to prove that it was you or me. They couldn’t convict us both.”
“I’m sorry to have got you tangled up in this, Monique. We’ll just have to go and see Mrs Hughes and see how it plays out.”
So we returned to Mrs Hughes’ study. As soon as we walked in I could see that Mrs Hughes was agitated. She was underlyingly a kind person who only wanted the best for her girls. She and I had always got on really well.
“Well, you’ve had a few minutes together,” she opened up with. “What can either of you tell me about the use of the garden door yesterday evening?”
Neither of us said anything. After a few moments Mrs Hughes spoke again.
“I will show you both the video recording taken by the new camera positioned in the garden. It clearly shows one of you re-entering the school premises after 9.00pm yesterday evening.”
We sat and watched in silence.
Mrs Hughes spoke again.
“Monique, Veronique has already told me it wasn’t her breaking the school rules. Was it you?”
“No Miss,” I replied.
“Well it was clearly one of you, so somebody must be lying. I want the truth, please, and we will sit here until we get to the bottom of this matter.”
There was another long silence. Eventually Mrs Hughes spoke again.
“OK, have it your own way, girls. In reality you are both lying to me. You both know who is featured in that video and neither of you are giving me the truth. On this basis I am going to punish you both. Monique, in the time that you have been at this school your disciplinary record has been exemplary and you have never had to be punished by me in any way. However, you are clearly colluding with your sister in this matter so you will be receiving six strokes of my slipper on your bottom.”
She then turned to Veronique.
“Veronique, you are a frequent visitor to my study, but nothing seems to make an impression on you. We had the meeting with your father before Christmas and it was made totally clear then that I would not tolerate any more indiscipline from you. I suspect strongly that it was you seen returning to school yesterday evening. I can’t prove it, but you are certainly complicit in colluding with your sister to prevent the truth from coming out. I will be phoning your father this evening and I will ask him to come and collect you from school tomorrow.”
I could see Veronique’s head drop and tears were running down her cheeks. I wasn’t looking forward to getting the slipper but I could see that this was a complete disaster for Veronique. Mrs Hughes was taking a much harder line than we had expected, but I suppose we had cornered her and she couldn’t be seen to be weak. I decided in that moment that I was going to have to take full responsibility for my sister’s recklessness.
“It was me, Miss,” I said.
Mrs Hughes looked at me over the rims of her glasses.
“Really, Monique? You surprise me. Very well, at least you have eventually owned up. I hope you realise that this is a caning offence and that you will also have to take the slippering for lying to me in the first place. You are going to end up with a very sore bottom, young lady.”
She then turned to Veronique.
“I am sorry that your sister has put you through this, Veronique. I am surprised, but it seems in this instance that you are the innocent party. Please accept my apologies. I will now deal with Monique but I would like a word with you both before you go back into school. Please sit on the chair outside my door and I will call you in when I have finished punishing your sister.”
I could see the anguish on Veronique’s face as she turned to leave the room. She was clearly devastated to have left me facing a double punishment for something that she had done. But there was no way out and she knew that I would want to do this for her rather than see her thrown out of school. Worse still, she was going to be sitting outside and would hear everything that was about to take place. In a few moments the door had closed behind Veronique and Mrs Hughes and I were sat facing each other across her desk.
“I don’t believe it was you for a moment, Monique,” she opened up with. “But you have taken responsibility and you will now have to face the consequences. You possibly deserve the slippering for helping Veronique avoid the consequences of her actions but you will be taking the caning fully on behalf of your sister. I quite admire what you are doing but you have told me that it was you out of school without permission yesterday and you will be punished accordingly.”
“OK, thank you Miss,” I replied.
The prospect of being slippered and caned was truly horrendous, given that I had no previous experience of corporal punishment.
“Would it be possible for you to slipper me now and then I could come back in a week’s time for the caning? I haven’t been physically punished before, but I would imagine that the cane on an already sore bottom would be unbelievably painful.”
“I’m sorry but that won’t be possible, Monique. I don’t think you would enjoy the next week knowing that you had to come back to me for a caning. Anyway, I’m experienced in delivering punishments to my girls. A double punishment is unusual, but I have done it before. This is going to be very unpleasant for you but there will be no lasting damage. I’ll reduce the slippering down to four for you. That seems fair, given that you are getting the cane as well.”
I was resigned to my fate and nodded in agreement.
“We may as well get on with it,” she said. “Monique, I’m going to give you four over your knickers with my slipper for lying to me. Please face the cupboard and bend over to touch your toes.”
I did as I was asked and I could then feel Mrs Hughes raising the back of my skirt to expose my panties. She went back over to her desk and I could hear her opening one of the drawers, presumably to produce the slipper to punish me with.
“Are you ready, Monique?”
The first blow crashed down onto my bottom. It certainly stung but it wasn’t quite as bad as I had expected. The second one followed soon afterwards and I could feel the heat starting to build. Number three landed with quite a large crack and I let out a low moan. The fourth and last was the hardest, and I couldn’t keep in a sharp cry of pain.
“OK, Monique, that is the first part over. You can get up now.”
I straightened up and turned to face Mrs Hughes. She looked vaguely sympathetic as I stood there rubbing my sore bottom.
“Take a seat, Monique, and compose yourself. Tell me when your bottom has stopped stinging and then we’ll do the caning. It wasn’t too bad was it?”
“It’s just that this is all so new to me,” I replied. “This is all a bit of a shock. I think I’m OK now to get on with the next part, Miss.”
“Alright, Monique. This is going to be the next level up, I’m afraid. I don’t know whether you are aware, but I always apply the cane on an unprotected bare bottom. It is traditional to do it this way but also best for a number of reasons. Please remove your skirt and underwear and place them on the end of my desk.”
This was truly embarrassing and frightening all at the same time. I know that a thin pair of panties is not going to protect your bottom from much pain but it was the psychological feeling of being totally exposed that made it worse. I unfastened and unzipped my skirt and lowered it down to the floor. I stepped out of it and placed it on Mrs Hughes’ desk. I then removed my knickers and added them to the pile. My long slender legs were totally in view and my bottom was partially covered by my short blouse tail. My frontal area was also exposed and I couldn’t believe the level of humiliation that I felt. Here I was, an eighteen year old adult standing half naked in the head’s office waiting to be punished like a twelve year old.
“Let me have a look at your bottom, Monique.” I turned around and lifted the tail of my blouse. “Yes, it’s rather red from the slippering, but I think that you will be able to take the cane without any problem. Please stand in front of the chair that you have been sitting on and position your feet together about two feet in front. I then want you to bend over and grip each side of the seat.”
This I did, and I could see that I was more stable than I had been for the slippering, with my bottom perfectly presented to take the cane. Mrs Hughes came over and made some minor adjustments to my position. She moved my feet back slightly and I could then feel her hand on the small of my pack pushing it lower so that my bottom stuck out more. Finally, she lifted the tail of my blouse so that it was about half way up my back. I could feel the cool air playing on my skin which only served to emphasis the fact that I had nothing to protect me from the hard cane.
This time, Mrs Hughes had to go to her cupboard to get her implement of punishment. I looked as she produced a long stiff cane from one of the shelves. She gave it a couple of practice swings as she came over. She took up position to my left and gave my bottom a couple of preliminary taps.
“Six of the best coming up, Monique. Are you ready?”
“Yes, Miss,” I replied.
Well, I couldn’t believe the pain from that first stroke. It exploded in my bottom and I let out a sharp shriek.
“One,” said Mrs Hughes.
She was clearly going to count these out. The second was another ordeal and I was starting to think that I couldn’t take another four without collapsing in a heap. After the third one, I could feel the tears running down my face and I was beginning to sway about to try to somehow get rid of the pain.
“Stay still, Monique. I’m trying to place these strokes so they are apart and you moving around isn’t helping. That’s half way now.”
By number four, I was openly crying and I let out a massive shriek after cane stroke number five. I knew the last would be the hardest and I wasn’t wrong. It thudded into the middle of my bottom and I let out another loud anguished cry. I slumped to my knees and cried into the seat of that chair. It had been fully worse than I had expected.
I calmed down after a few minutes and Mrs Hughes invited me to replace my clothing. She then invited me to sit on the chair again, which I did rather gingerly, before going over to the door to invite Veronique to rejoin us. When she came in she was crying more than me! Clearly I had taken the physical punishment, but from the look of her she had suffered equally with the mental strain.
Mrs Hughes was looking a lot more relaxed.
“Well girls, that is the matter dealt with. I don’t want to see either of you in here again under similar circumstances. I know that you operate as a team and I feel that both of you have been punished appropriately for your misdemeanours. It is not always the one who feels the pain who is suffering the greatest discomfort. Now, back to school both of you.”
We were out of that room in double quick time. Veronique was more upset than me and she continually begged for forgiveness, reassuring me that she would not get into any more trouble during the rest of her time at the school. We went back to my room to inspect my poor bottom. It was a study in redness. A background of light red from the slippering covered most of it but six dark red stripes were also visible where the cane had landed. The cane marks were painful for a few days when I sat down and the darker bruising that followed took a couple of weeks to fully fade away.
That turned out to be some experience! There was no way I would have had to have gone through that without my sister’s errant ways, but this episode did seem to calm her down. She stuck to her promise that she would stay out of trouble. I think she was better able to cope with the pain of her own punishments than suffer the knowledge that she had caused pain to be inflicted on her well behaved sibling. In that, I felt that I had both supported her at her time of need and helped her see that her reckless behaviour could serve up unexpected consequences.