The Message on the Mirror

Four girls get together at the end of exams, with consequences

 By Julie Baker

My name is Claire Green and I was born in Sheffield in May 1984. I’m two years younger than my brother, John, and I have never met my father. He went off with another woman just before I was born and subsequently emigrated to Australia. My mother was therefore left with the task of bringing up my brother and me single handed. She never indicated that this was anything other than a duty and a pleasure, but it must have been tough for her at times. She was a lecturer, now retired, at Sheffield University and would have been earning a reasonable salary, but we certainly didn’t have a lavish lifestyle. We lived in a terraced house in an area of Sheffield called Millhouses and my brother and I attended the local secondary school.

I loved school. I was quite bright academically and played netball for the school. I was always tall for my age with long legs and a trim upper body. I was a pretty teenager with short dark hair and I had a few boyfriends in those days but, to be honest, I was more comfortable with my female friends forming some very close bonds with a few of the girls in my year. I spent a lot of time with three girls in particular who were also in the school netball team and the four of us were selected in our last year at school to represent South Yorkshire at netball.

My three friends were called Emma, Amy and Nicola. Emma and Amy were twins and they also lived in Millhouses. Nicola was an only child and her father was the vicar of Dore parish church which was just up the road from us. We were called by staff at school ‘the four amigos’. We were known for all being outward going with athletic builds, pretty faces and strong bonds between us.

I was not a particularly troublesome child and rarely got into any sort of trouble at school. Corporal punishment had been abolished in Sheffield schools many years before and the worst that I would suffer was an occasional detention after school. At home, things were slightly different. Being a single parent I think my Mum felt that she had to come down hard on my brother and me occasionally. When my mother did eventually snap she would send my brother or me to our lounge where we would have to remove our clothing from our lower halves and bend over the back of our old leather Chesterfield sofa to receive a slippering on our bare bottoms. I think part of this requirement was to introduce an extra element of humiliation, but I’m sure it was also to ensure an extra degree of pain and sting!

I wouldn’t say that we were frequently slippered in the early days of our childhood, but my brother hit a bit of a bad patch when he was about 14 and I remember my mother admitting to John that her punishments were seemingly having little effect on him. One day, after slippering him, she told him that she was going to get a cane to see if that had more effect on him. My brother looked rattled at this news and begged my mother not to go down this route. However, his protestations merely confirmed to my mother that she was on to something. One day, when we had finished our tea, my mother produced a long tube that had come through the post. From it she extracted a three foot long school cane with a traditional crook handle. It was an awesome sight, light brown in colour and vaguely resembling a bamboo garden cane. My mother flexed it and then whooshed it through the air. She looked at John and told him that next time he needed punishing he would be getting the cane rather than the slipper.

I was quite relieved that I appeared to be not included in any possible future canings. John felt the cane on his bottom a few times and meantime I would get the occasional slippering when required.

One day, my Mum caught John and me sharing a cigarette in Millhouses Park and we were both told to go straight home and to expect to be severely punished. John was caned and I expected to be slippered. However, presumably in the interests of equality, I was also caned for the first time and thereafter the cane became standard for me also.

Anyway, John eventually got good A level results and went off to study Chemistry at Newcastle University. This left me at home with Mum on my own and we settled into a very happy period with few issues between us. I also wanted to go to University and studied hard for my A levels. My 18th birthday happened to fall on the Friday after our A level exams were completed and I arranged for Emma, Amy and Nicola to come round to my house so that we could have a double celebration. Mum was going to a Robbie Williams concert in Birmingham that night with some of her work colleagues, so we had the house to ourselves. The other three had all had their birthdays earlier in the school year so we all felt very grown up and understandably euphoric in that moment of time.

The event started well. We had a few drinks and played some music on the CD player. We ate our takeaway pizzas that we had ordered by phone and the conversation was buzzing. The conversation turned to what changed when you turned 18 and officially became an adult. We talked about the normal things like being able to go into pubs, not necessarily having to obey your parents and voting in elections. All the normal stuff.

Then I said: “I’m also looking forward to never having to bend over the back of that sofa to get my bottom smacked again!”

Everyone laughed at this.

“You’re so right, Claire”, said Emma. “Amy and me used to get the slipper fairly regularly off our Mum. I would have to say, I’m not missing that!”

“It was a dreadful experience,” agreed Amy. “It often seemed to be when we only had our nighties on, or we were wearing thin summer dresses, that we got slippered. Not much protection!”

“Try getting caned on your bare bottom then!” I exclaimed. “That’s the way it’s done in this house.”

“No, Claire, I can’t believe that.” Nicola had been quiet on this subject up until that moment. “Girls don’t get caned, do they? I’ve never had any physical punishment in my whole life, so I can’t imagine what that would be like. It must be terrible if you have to take it with no protective clothing.”

“I assure you that bare bottom canings is the norm here. I’ll show you my Mum’s cane if you are disbelieving me!”

The cane was always kept on top of the dresser in the lounge. Out of sight, but easily retrieved when needed. I got it down and handed it to Nicola. She took some time feeling the weight and texture of it before giving it a couple of swishes onto her hand.

“Wow! That stings. I can’t imagine what that would feel like crashing into my bottom, whether it was covered or not!”

I replaced the cane and the conversation moved on to other topics.

Time drifted on and, after a good start, the evening unfortunately ended up as an unmitigated disaster. The twins had bought a bottle of gin and we had all contributed a bottle of Prosecco each. Mid way through the evening, armed with my driving license for ID, I went to the local off license and bought more wine. By 10 o’clock, we were all totally smashed. Emma was being sick in the downstairs toilet and Nicola was lying on my bed upstairs groaning and unable to speak properly. The lounge looked like a bomb had gone off and there were dark patches on the carpet where drink had been spilled. Amy and I were possibly slightly better off than the other two, and we made an attempt to clear up the mess before my mother returned. We did our best and put all the empty drink bottles out the back in the yard. I made everyone drink two glasses of water and by 11 o’clock we were all in bed.

I heard Mum come in and looked at my bedside clock. 2.30 am. I turned over and tried to go back to sleep. Five minutes later, I heard my mother shouting up the stairs.

“Claire! Get down here immediately!”

I got out of bed and went down the stairs. Three hours sleep had certainly helped my condition but I could still feel my head thumping. I could tell from my mother’s voice that she was not happy, but when I saw her I knew that we were in big trouble. She was waiting for me in the hall.

“My house is a mess and I’ve seen the empty bottles outside the back door. The lounge stinks of booze, and there is vomit around the edges of the downstairs toilet bowl. What do you think you have been doing? You girls are all over 18, yet you behave like a bunch of 14 year olds. I can’t believe it. That’s bad enough, but please can you talk me through what I have seen in the lounge?”

I followed her into the lounge. When I was in the room she pointed at the large mirror above the fireplace. Written on it in red lipstick in large letters was, ‘FUCK OFF’.

“Who did this?” She demanded.

My heart sank. We had obviously missed this in our drunken state during the clear up.

“I don’t know, Mum,” was all I could manage. It could have been anyone. Part of my Mum’s daily routine was to stand in front of that mirror to apply her lipstick before she went out. As a result there was always a tube of lipstick standing at the end of the mantelpiece. Any of us could have picked it up and used it.

“Well, I suggest you get your friends down here now and we will find out who has written this on my mirror.”

I knew that this was a seriously bad turn of events as my mother had always been very strict on the use of bad language. I was also genuinely puzzled. OK, we had consumed far too much alcohol, but the mood of the group had been happy and celebratory. Yet what was written on the mirror was angry and confrontational. I was pretty sure it hadn’t been me writing it, and I had never heard Nicola swear, even under the most testing of circumstances. This only left the twins, but we had all been so drunk that it was possible we might never find out who the culprit was.

And this is how it turned out. Mum lined us all up, dressed only in our night clothes, and demanded to know who had written this message on her mirror. I knew Emma, Amy and Nicola well. They were all the type of characters who would own up to a misdemeanour if needed to prevent their friends getting into trouble. However, friendships didn’t extend to the extent that one of us was going to own up to something we didn’t think that we had done! Eventually Mum’s patience snapped.

“OK, you three can go back to bed. I’ll be phoning your parents in the morning to tell them precisely what has happened in this house this evening. Claire, you will stay here and you will be getting the cane.”

“No Mum, you can’t do that,” I wailed. “I’m over 18 now.”

“You behave like an adult and then I’ll treat you like one,” reasoned my mother. “Now, you get yourself ready and the rest of you can go back to bed.”

At this moment Amy spoke.

“Mrs Green, I’m very sorry for what has happened here this evening. I can’t speak for my sister but I would rather you gave me the same punishment as Claire instead of phoning my parents in the morning. Is that possible?”

Before Mum could reply, Emma spoke.

“Yes, I would rather have a caning tonight than face the consequences at home tomorrow. I’m also sorry for all the trouble.”

“OK, I don’t have a problem with that. You must be aware of what will happen to you though. For this type of offence, it will be six strokes of the cane with no protection. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mrs Green,” the twins replied in unison.

“Well that just leaves you, Nicola. What do you want to do?” My Mum asked.

Talk about looking like a rabbit in the headlights. Nicola must have seen this question coming, but it looked like she had no idea which way to go. I felt truly sorry for her, given that we had discovered earlier in the evening she had no previous experience of corporal punishment. Yet she would clearly be dreading her father being phoned in the morning to hear reports of his drunken daughter and the content of the message on the mirror. The fact that he was a vicar and Nicola was such a sweet girl made her position even worse.

“I’ll take the cane,” she said eventually.

I was horrified.

“Mum, you can’t punish Nicola. She is the least likely of us to write that message on the mirror and she has never even been smacked before by her parents. I’ll take her six strokes if you let her off.”

“No, Claire,” Nicola interjected. “Thanks for the offer. I don’t know about the mirror, but I was an equal part of everything else that went on here so I should take my own punishment.”

“OK, that’s sorted then,” Mum said, actually sounding quite relieved about the outcome. “Six of the best for each of you. I’ll do Claire first so that the rest of you can see what is involved. If anyone wants to change their mind then that’s fine with me and I can phone whichever parents in the morning. Get yourself ready, Claire, and you three line up along the wall behind the sofa.”

I was wearing a knee length nightie. I stood at the back of the sofa with my three friends behind me. I stooped down slightly and caught the hem of my nightie in both hands. I than raised it until it was well clear of my bottom and I bent over the back of the sofa. I was well used to this routine, but the tension was worse because of the unusual presence of an audience. I then heard the familiar sound of my Mum fishing about for the unseen cane on top of the dresser. It must have been quickly into her hand as the next moment I could feel it tapping on my bare bottom.

I knew exactly what to expect, despite it being a couple of years since I had previously been in this position. Before she started, she would confirm the number of strokes that she was going to give you and tell you to stay in position until she had finished. The cane strokes would then come in reasonably quick succession. I would hear the cane moving through the air before I felt the explosion of pain on my bottom. Mum would space out the strokes on the target area and she would pitch the severity just at a level where you ended up thinking you couldn’t have taken any more. She did not allow any rubbing of bottoms during the punishment, but she would always say the same thing at the end. “That’s your punishment complete. You can get up now and rub your bottom.” For some reason, I always felt the need to thank my Mum and then I would depart as speedily as possible back to my bedroom to recover and inspect the damage in the mirror.

This is exactly what happened that night except that Mum told me to stand alongside my friends at the end rather than allow me to go upstairs. My bottom was absolutely on fire! I had been determined not to cry or make too much noise during the caning in front of my friends, but I was certainly breathing heavily by the time I was back alongside Emma.

“OK, your turn now, Emma,” I heard Mum say.

I could tell that Emma was extremely nervous. The twins both had long blonde hair and very fair skin. As she stood waiting to be called forward, her cheeks had flushed red and she was twiddling her hair around one of her fingers. She moved slowly towards the back of the sofa and in a trembling voice asked my Mum a question.

“Amy and me do get punished at home, but it’s with a slipper over one layer of clothing. Could we take a slippering instead of the cane, Mrs Green? I think that’s what our parents would want.”

Mum was not in the mood for negotiation. “No, Emma, I can phone your parents now and ask them, if you want?” There was genuine irritation in her voice. “Or, if you don’t want me to punish you now, then I’ll phone them in the morning. The choice is yours, but Claire has had the cane and if this is the route you want to go down then you will be getting the same.”

“Alright,” replied Emma. “I’ll take the caning.”

Emma was wearing ‘baby doll’ night wear, which was very fashionable at the time. It consisted of a short cream top which was mid bottom in length, and a pair of very brief lacy panties She looked very pretty with her small firm breasts evident below her top and her long slender legs on show below her underwear. She eased her panties down over her hips and let them fall to the floor. She stooped down to pick them up and we all got a full view of her lovely shapely bottom. There was nowhere obvious for her to place her knickers so she held them tightly scrunched up in her left hand. Without being asked, she then went over the back of the sofa and let her head fall onto the seat below. In this position, her bottom was fully exposed with no adjustment of her top necessary.

Mum said her normal piece and the first cane stoke landed squarely in the middle of Emma’s bottom. This was the first time I had seen Mum cane somebody else, as my brother and I were always dealt with separately. I was impressed by the fact that you could see the indentation made by the cane on Emma’s bottom at the point of impact, and that the red line left by the cane appeared almost immediately. Emma let out a very loud ‘Ouch!’. She was clearly not going to take her six strokes quietly and as the punishment progressed she got louder and louder. By the end, she was crying and begging my mother to go easy on her. To be fair, she did stay in position, but she was wriggling so much that my mother did have to ask her to stay still unless she wanted extra strokes.

She had an awful time, and by the time the last stroke landed she was inconsolable. Mum confirmed that her punishment was complete and that she could then rub her bottom. This she did, but there were still tears streaming down her face when she turned back towards us. She took her place in the line once again, still massaging her sore behind. Curiously, though, she didn’t replace her panties. She kept them in her hand and I’m not sure if she simply forgot to put them back on or whether she felt that they might aggravate her sore bottom. Amy was next to be called forward.

She, of course, was physically a carbon copy of her sister. Amy, though, was wearing a white satin-look short nightie which only came down to the very tops of her legs. Like her sister’s, it was tight fitting around her breasts but flared out from her waist. She also looked very apprehensive and her two hands were clasping her buttocks as she came forward, perhaps in the hope that in some way they would provide her with some level of protection. She knew the drill, though, and didn’t bother asking my mother if there was a better alternative to the cane. She positioned herself at the back of the sofa and bent over without being asked. Her nightie rode up, exposing a good half of her bottom and she then put her hands back to move the hem so that her whole bottom was exposed. I remember thinking how pale and perfect her bottom looked. Smooth skin and just enough flesh to suggest a beautiful softness.

“Right, Amy. Six of the best for you and please try to stay a bit stiller than your sister,” Mum instructed.

Amy said nothing but I could see her readying herself for the first stroke by clenching her buttocks. In my experience I wasn’t sure this was good tactics. I always made an effort to keep my bottom soft during a caning as I thought this was a better way of absorbing the impact. I think Amy did take her punishment marginally better than her sister. Perhaps she had seen what a fuss Emma had created and was resolved to make a better job of it. Nevertheless, she let out a loud ‘Arhhhh’ after each stroke landed and when she got up after the last one, there were tears streaming down her face. Within a minute, my Mum had turned her perfect, virginal bottom into a mass of red lines and raised welts. She also engaged in some vigorous bottom rubbing to try to ease the pain. It was clear that my mother was not holding back on the visitors.

Amy took up her place in the queue again, which only left Nicola to be dealt with. I still felt truly awful about Nicola’s predicament. She was the ‘prim and proper’ girl out of the four of us and we had established earlier in the evening that she had no previous experience of corporal punishment. I had invited her to my house for an evening of fun and celebration, yet here we were at 3.00am and she was about to get a fairly stiff caning from my mother. Talk about straight in at the deep end. No hand smacks to introduce her to the concept, not even a gentle introduction to the experience via a slippering, but straight in to six of the best with a cane onto a cold, unprotected bottom.

But Nicola actually looked quite serene at this moment in time. She was the only one of use wearing pyjamas. However, they were not the sort of pyjamas that you expect a vicar’s daughter to be wearing. She was, and still is, a very pretty girl; smaller and more compact than the rest of us, but still beautifully proportioned. At that time she had short black hair and a gorgeous olive coloured skin tone. Her pyjama style was quite, I would say, undersized. They were pink with dark blue spots and made from what looked like brush cotton with elasticated wrists and ankle openings. The legs finished half way up her calves and the top came down to her lower ribs leaving several inches of bare flesh between the two halves. I would describe them as sexy, even slightly erotic!

Like the rest of us, Nicola took up her position behind the sofa. She put both thumbs into the waistband of her pyjama bottoms and slowly began to lower them. I expected her to lower them to the top of her thighs, as this was all that was required to give my mother access to her unprotected bottom. However, she lowered them to the floor and then stepped out of them. She bent down, picked them up and carefully folded them before laying them on the end of the sofa back. She was then almost naked apart from this tiny top that just covered her breasts, shoulders and upper arms. She had a brilliant physique and I really thought she was taking full enjoyment out of showing it off to her audience.

Back in the appointed spot she then swept her hands a couple of times across her bottom, as if to remove some imaginary specks of dust, before positioning herself over the back of the sofa as instructed. Her bottom looked toned and tight, but there were no signs of tension in it or Nicola herself. She looked totally relaxed.

“OK, Nicola,” my Mum addressed her, “you are also going to get six strokes, the same as your friends. I realise that this is your first time, but you have chosen this path and you will be getting exactly the same treatment. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mrs Green. Thank you and I’m sorry again for the mess that we created in your house. We deserve to be punished and I don’t expect to be treated differently to Claire, Emma and Amy.”

Nicola’s position on the sofa was slightly different to that adopted by the rest of us. She was legs together with her hips resting on the highest point of the sofa back, but she propped up her lower body by planting her hands on the cushion below and keeping her arms straight. In this way, her head was kept level with her bottom, which allowed her some visibility of proceedings as opposed to the rest of us who let our heads drop into the cushions below. This, to me, looked like a very confident start. I couldn’t help wondering how she would cope with the considerable shock to the system when the caning commenced.

I need not have worried. The cane strokes kept coming and there were the normal sounds of the cane travelling through the air, and from the impact of the cane landing on bare flesh. The lines on Nicola’s bottom were also clearly to be seen. But she never moved or made any noise in response to the onslaught on her bottom. She generally looked forward, as if on a fixed spot on the wall, but a couple of times I noticed her turning her head to watch my mother in the act of bringing the cane down onto her. As usual, my Mum gave her the hardest stroke for her last one, but even then there was no discernible reaction from Nicola.

“OK, that’s you done, Nicola,” said my mother after the sixth stroke. “You can rejoin your friends.”

Like Emma, Nicola collected her lower clothing but didn’t put it back on before standing with the rest of us.

My Mum turned to address us one more time that night.

“I’m sorry that this was necessary, but you have all let yourselves and your families down badly tonight. You needed to be taught a lesson but I’m actually pleased that we have dealt with the situation swiftly and conclusively. Claire, will you please get some warm water and soap to remove the lipstick from the mirror. Then I suggest you all go to bed and we forget about this whole episode. My view is that what happened tonight should be kept between the five of us.”

I think my Mum was actually much happier to have dealt with the situation herself rather than ‘washing her dirty linen in public’, which would have been the case if she had complained to Nicola’s and the twin’s parents the next day. Within a further 10 minutes, we were all back in bed.

Amy was sleeping with me in my room and the other two were in John’s room. I woke up at 9.30 the next morning with the sun streaming through my bedroom window. I lay in bed reflecting on the events of the night before, mortified about how the evening had turned into such a disaster and mortified that my three best friends had copped a caning off my mother. It couldn’t have been any worse. I sensed that Amy was also starting to stir.

“Hi, Amy,” I ventured. “You alright?”

There was a bit of a gap.

“I think so, Claire,” she eventually replied. “I can’t work out whether it is my head or my bottom that is the most sore this morning.”

We both laughed.

“Yes, sorry about the caning, Amy. You certainly didn’t sign up for that when you agreed to come round!”

“No, true,” she replied. “And what happened to your bold theory that turning 18 signalled the end of all physical punishments off your Mum? That didn’t seem to work out as planned!”

The irony wasn’t lost on me.

“Yes, good point, Amy. It was incredible, though. At no point did there seem to be an opportunity for me to avoid it, and then you three all effectively volunteered to join in. It all happened so quickly, but it turned out to be a great way to sober up fast. During the punishments, my head was totally clear although, like you, I’ve now got a thumping hangover and a very tender bottom. At the moment, I’m inclined to give up alcohol for ever, but I’ve no doubt that feeling will pass!”

We slumbered in bed until 10.00am and then I heard the shower going. From the movements on the landing I could tell that Emma and Nicola were both getting dressed and I was soon stood in the shower myself, allowing the water to cascade over my naked body. I could easily count the six ridges on my bottom and, when I checked it in the mirror, there was the familiar sight of red lines mixed in with some darker bruising. I went back to my room to find that Amy was up and out of bed. She bent down to pick up her toiletries and I couldn’t help seeing the damage to her bottom as her short nightie rode up. That sight made me feel worse, and I couldn’t help the feeling that it was my fault that my friends had suffered so badly.

I was soon downstairs where I found Emma and Nicola tucking into the breakfast food left out by my Mum. There was a note on the kitchen table to say that my mother was out for the morning and I must admit that this came as a bit of a relief. I would have to face her for a debrief later but I could see that it was less awkward if my friends could get away without further conversation. Amy soon joined us, and without much further chat we completed the meal and soon my three friends had departed.

We all had a week off after our exams, but unfortunately towards the end of that week I went down with glandular fever. It took me six weeks to recover and I was therefore absent for the whole of the rest of that last term. I missed out on a nice relaxed end to my school career and a few end of term netball matches that I would have enjoyed. Emma, Amy and I were all signed up to Facebook in those days, but Nicola was on Myspace and, as a result, over time, we drifted apart. The twins went off to university in Newcastle and I went to Leeds to study Geography. Nicola went to Southampton and, probably because her parents lived in Dore, we never actually spoke to each other again after the infamous night of the message on the mirror until last summer.

Over the years, I have regularly attended our old school summer ball which has effectively been like a school reunion. The twins were always there but it was only at the 2016 event that I met up with Nicola once again. She looked so pretty and self assured in a lovely summer frock. She radiated health and happiness and confirmed that she was now happily married with a daughter aged just two. Her husband was at the ball but was away getting a round of drinks.

“I never got the chance to apologise again for that horrendous night at my place after our exams,” I opened up with.

I could see that she was blushing slightly.

“Claire”, she replied. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll let you in on a secret. That was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life! I got such a thrill earlier in the evening when I was holding your Mum’s cane in my hand, and I can’t describe the mixture of fear and excitement when it turned out that I was going to experience a proper caning on my bare bottom. I loved every moment of it, although I felt I couldn’t come clean at the time. It’s shaped so much in my life since that point, including my choice of husband! Bet you’re trying to reconcile this with being a vicar’s daughter, but we all have hidden emotions and I found something very special at your house that night.”

Well, I hadn’t seen that one coming! There wasn’t much to say in response, and her husband was soon back at her side with the conversation inevitably turning to children. I couldn’t wait to tell the twins about this development but unfortunately none us could conjure up such positive memories of the night of the message on the mirror!

The End

© Julie Baker 2018

Julie welcomes contact from her readers. Email at: julie.baker_cane@mail.com   or Julie’s Twitter address is: @JulieBaker_cane


Tags: