A girl seeks help but finds it comes in an odd way
By Lorna Brand
“Ahhh! STOP! I WILL TRY HARDER!”
Catherine crouched in the hallway with her ear pressed to the large heavy looking door, too scared to move, not that she wanted to, but frightened she would get caught. The sound of pleading suddenly stopped and was replaced by shuffling, sobbing and a firm tone.
“I will see you next week, hopefully with a better attitude,” said a tall, broad, imposing man with striking dark hair as he opened the door.
“Oh, I have lost an earring.” Catherine bluffed, falling to the man’s feet and fumbling around the floor, catching a glimpse of a distraught, tear-stained girl out of the corner of her eye as she rushed past.
“Really? And I assume you are Miss Harlow, my new refresher student?”
Looking up from the floor, still on her knees, Catherine blushed sheepishly.
“Mr Dean? Yes, I am here for a singing lesson. I have a interview in a few weeks for a show and thought, since I hadn’t had a instructor for a while…”
“Well, you won’t get far down there.” Mr Dean boomed, interrupting Catherine’s nervous rambling. In you come, girl, let’s see how bad those pipes are.”
Struggling to her feet, Catherine staggered over the threshold into a fairly large room that appeared to be modelled on a Victorian library complete with an old worn sofa and study desk but with a shiny new black baby grand piano in the corner which was completely juxtaposed to the rest of the room.
Standing in the middle of the room, Catherine felt more than a little self-conscious. She brushed the front of her trouser legs to get rid of the soot from the floor and pulled down the tail of her white shirt anxiously in an attempt to make her self more presentable, all the time being circled by Mr Dean like a shark sizing up its next meal.
“So, you are already a singer then, Miss Harlow?”
“Well, I mostly sing in pubs and clubs just now, but…”
“Pubs and clubs?” Scoffed the imposing and slightly intimidating instructor. “Karaoke?”
“No, no, I am a paid singer. I have a few contacts but I have the opportunity to sing in a stage show and want to be at my best.”
Catherine was starting to get her usual confidence back, not wanting her tutor to think she was waiting his time or, indeed, a drunken karaoke singer.
“Let’s see, then. I will play the piano scales and you will sing them.”
Sitting at the impressive instrument and looking straight through Catherine, he started to play while she tried her best to impress him.
“Hmm, well, I think you could be quite good. I suppose I will take you on,” he finally said after listening to her.
“Uh, thank you. I didn’t realize this was an audition.” Catherine said, slightly confused and making a little joke.
“Are you trying to be funny, GIRL?” Mr Dean shouted. “I am not going to waste my time on someone who can’t produced a tune. If you want my help you will have to be able to work hard and hold your tongue!”
Catherine was taken aback at this harsh and unsupported statement.
”Yes, sir. You are the best instructor around. I won’t let you down, I really want your help.” Catherine found herself slipping in to a submissive stance which took her by surprise.
”Good, Miss Harlow, you will find I have very high standards and expect one hundred percent every waking moment of the day. My methods may be seen as old-fashioned and strict, but I demand so much to achieve the results. I won’t have a student of mine falling short.”
Mr Dean gave Catherine some vocal exercises and a recipe for a throat cleanser she was to use at very specific times over the weekend until they met again first thing on Monday.
As the weekend went by, Catherine fitted in what she could and when, but as most of her work was at the weekend it was not as easy as she thought it would be. Catherine wasn’t convinced it would make a difference if she used the tonic four times a day or three, or even if it was at twelve o’clock or two. The instructions were very clear though.
When Monday morning rolled around, Catherine found herself running late after the long night before, but still managed to get to Mr Dean’s office. Waiting in the hallway, Catherine listened for any unusual noise but this time there was none, just the sound of Mr Dean’s footsteps heading her way.
“Good morning, Mr Dean.” Catherine greeted him, smiling broadly.
“Miss Harlow, don’t just stand there. We don’t have all day.” Mr Dean announced.
Catherine was not surprised at this attitude after her last encounter.
“Well, Miss Harlow, let’s find out if you have done as I instructed.”
Mr Dean strode towards the piano and started to play without any further chitchat. Catherine had only sang half her warm-up scales when Mr Dean abruptly stopped, slamming his full hands down on to the keys. He arose quickly and stormed to his desk.
”So, you are here to waste my time then, Miss Harlow?”
“No, Mr Dean, I am here to get your expertise.” Catherine blushed, not sure what had happened.
“Really? And you think you can actually achieve that by not listening to me?”
“No, Mr Dean, I will of course listen to you. I am not sure what I have done to upset you?”
“I gave you very clear instructions, Miss Harlow. You were to do your exercises and use the tonic at the times I gave you.”
“I did do my exercise, and take the tonic!” Catherine pleaded.
“Not as instructed, Miss Harlow. I am no longer able to tutor you. Please leave!”
Mr Dean went back to some paperwork on his desk and ignored his wayward student.
“Mr Dean, I am so sorry. I didn’t realise that it would make such a difference. Please, I will do anything to make it up to you. Please, don’t dismiss me like this. Please just give me one more chance.”
Catherine was close to tears. Her opportunity to have a proper singing job was slipping through her fingers and her desperation was clear in her voice.
“There is no second chance in my class. I told you I am an old-fashioned teacher and I believe that if you break the rules you should be punished. However, as I cannot do, that you are dismissed.” Mr Dean barely looked up from his desk.
“I would accept any punishment you could give, sir. Please consider keeping me on.”
The tears were clearly starting to roll down Catherine’s cheek.
“Miss Harlow, I don’t think you know what you are asking. I was talking about an old-fashioned caning, not sitting on the naughty step!”
Catherine suddenly remembered that poor girl on her first day, and all the odd noise. It made sense now. Her face started to turn pale, and she felt sick to her stomach, but this was about more than just now; it was about her future. Catherine found herself nodding and agreeing.
In a bit of a blur, she was asked to sign some forms and prepare for what was to come. Mr Dean produced a thin, wispy, yellow cane from his desk drawer. It was smaller than Catherine expected, at only a foot and a half long, but still she knew it would not be nice.
“OK, Miss Harlow, I am going to give you six strokes over your pants, so you will have to slip your jeans down and bend over my desk. Don’t move, though, or my original idea will stand and you will be asked to leave.”
Catherine made her way to the edge of the small desk before unbuttoning her blue jeans and letting them drop to the floor, showing her very skimpy bright underwear. She was in a complete daze as she stretched over the desk, gripping the far side and pressing her stomach down firmly as if to make herself go through with it. Then the first stroke cut deep into the fuller part of her bum.
Catherine’s eyes widened and she let out an ear-piecing scream as her back arched and her knuckles whitened. She grasped onto the desk like a vice, not willing to give up as she had come this far. As she heard the whip of the second stroke come thundering towards her, Catherine screwed up her eyes tightly and did not open them again.
Catherine wasn’t concerned if anyone could hear her or was listening at the door as she had done. The strokes hit virgin skin each time making her jump as the hot searing welts crossed her delicate derriere. The fourth and fifth strokes were delivered in quick succession, but then there was an unnerving lull while Mr Dean took a moment to appreciate the view in front of him. Finally, he concluded his punishment with the hardest of strokes at the lowest possible point.
Catherine was completely distraught as she dressed and left, but she felt an odd sense of pride in herself which was shared by Mr Dean. He could see she was really going to stay the distance and put the commitment into the next lesson.
© Lorna Brand 2015