A teacher feels a girl is awarded an over lenient punishment, but manages to rectify the situation years later
By Susan Emerson
Chapter 1 – Truant Caught
Liz remembered the whole event like it was yesterday – her disappointment at the situation. It had seemed so unreasonable – having found the girl out, she felt it was only reasonable that she be punished quite severely. For a girl to escape punishment in such a situation, or certainly Liz’s idea of punishment, was atrocious.
Patricia had admitted the offence – after all there was little she could do having been caught red handed. After lunch, during a free period, Liz McCallum had gone out of school to the shop further up the road to fetch some milk for the staff room. It was a pleasant day outside. At the shop she opened the door and stepped inside looking towards the counter. There, Patricia was just taking the cigarettes off the shopkeeper – out of bounds – truant – purchasing contraband. Patricia had turned round to see Miss McCallum, her form mistress, stood by the door looking at her. Pat tried to smile as she slipped the cigarettes into her pocket. It was no use though – she was in trouble.
The woman and girl walked silently back along the road towards the school, Liz annoyingly holding Patricia’s wrist tightly. Liz was silent while Patricia made desperate efforts at remorse. “I’m sorry Miss – I really am – I’ve never done it before – please let me go.” Patricia garbled to her silent Mistress walking sharply towards the entrance.
Back at the school Liz had marched Pat to see the Headmistress, Miss Boston. She had only been installed at the school two years and most of the girls felt she was very much better than her predecessor.
Patricia was made to wait outside the Head’s study in the corridor while the two women consulted. Many thoughts flooded into Patricia’s head – wondering about the gravity of her offence and how Miss Boston would react. One thing to be said was that despite the Head being twice the age of her form mistress – she didn’t seem quite such a tyrant.
Actually this had been Liz’s first teaching post – something she was very proud of – returning to her own seat of learning less than ten years since she had left. Miss Boston was new, though, in those intervening years – brought in by the governors to herald a new era at the school. It was a new era, which in many senses Liz was not happy about. There had been too many changes since she had left after her upper sixth for university only six years ago. After all – the discipline and environment she had enjoyed was surely reasonable to all.
Pat was summoned inside the study by Miss Boston who then asked Liz to leave. Liz frowned at the Head – she’d almost looked forward to seeing this girl shamed – but she knew there was no point arguing – Miss Boston would have to do it her way.
Hilary Boston sat in her chair behind her large desk while Pat stood before her shame faced. Summoning as much vigour into her voice that she could she began to lecture the fifth former.
“Great disappointment ……………………. blatant disregard of the rules …………… hadn’t she known better ………………….. the ills of smoking ………………….. missing important lessons.”
Pat stood taking some of it in – feeling very small and mainly looking at the floor in front of her.
Hilary Boston stood up and walked around to where Patricia stood, examining her charge. Standing then behind the girl she continued. “You are no doubt aware, Patricia, that I need to deal with this matter in the severest way I can. I well appreciate that girls will be girls and that rules are broken from time to time. Nor does it surprise me that some of the girls smoke. That does not excuse me however from dealing with those who break clearly set out rules. Now as you are no doubt aware it has been my policy, backed by the Governors, to bring the school to more modern standards. That has included the relaxation of corporal punishment and the doing away of the cane …….”
Pat looked up nervously – no girl had been caned for years. It was hardly mentioned. She didn’t want to face it now.
“……….. And I can see that this is exactly the sort of behaviour that might warrant it. Miss McCallum has argued passionately with me that you deserve a caning for this behaviour. She has also reminded me that even she received canings in this very study not that many years ago for far less offences.”
Pat’s face blushed at what was being said. Surely she wouldn’t be caned. No official announcement had ever been made – she’d never ever known a girl to be caned. This was awful. The Head walked back around in front of Patricia and leaned back on the edge of her desk.
“However Patricia I am minded not to deviate from the course on which I have set out. Bearing in mind your age and that I can see some remorse I am minded to excuse you that punishment on this occasion.”
Pat looked up and managed a weak smile before realizing she’d better hear the rest of Miss Boston’s address.
Chapter Two – By herself in her classroom
Back in her classroom Liz was irritated at the whole affair. She knew times were changing and that increasingly corporal punishment was being dropped even from boys’ schools. Still a last resort was required – exactly for pupils such as Pat.
She sat and gazed out of the window across the playing fields trying to recall quite how strict things had been for her and her contemporaries. The cane was used – not frequently, but all knew that for gross breaches of rules Miss Boston’s predecessor Mary Taylor would use it. It wasn’t a crude affair – girls weren’t caned in class but all knew it was effective deterrent. Once a week or so a penitent girl would appear from the Head’s study – cheeks wet with tears and walking stiffly with the sting of a sore bottom.
Liz thought about Patricia’s behaviour that day – that would certainly have warranted a visit to Miss Taylor in her days as a pupil. After all Liz had been there for less. Twice she had faced that uncomfortable experience. As a fourth former she had in a moment of madness answered Miss Taylor back cheekily when she thought she was out of earshot. That first offence had warranted four hard strokes. Then more shamefully as a lower sixth former Liz and two other girls had been caught trying to drink a small bottle of brandy one lunchtime. Miss Taylor had been furious and delivered six sharp strokes to each girl that afternoon.
Liz recalled Mary Taylor lecturing her before the caning – “letting herself down ………….. having been making so much academic progress ………… being taught a lesson!”
Still Liz thought – unpleasant as all that had been, she had hardly dropped a mark that term or year until she passed her exams with good grades to go to study for her BEd.
The new Head Miss Boston was storing trouble up for later letting girls get away with truancy. Still she wasn’t going to be able to change anything now.
The changing face of discipline laid heavy on Liz for the rest of that year and just over twelve months from the incident she resigned her position to take up an appointment at Lostock Hall – a girls’ boarding school by the coast. While certainly not brutal, the regime there had been far more robust and similar to that that Liz had known growing up – and – one in which she was permitted to discipline girls – in exactly the fashion she had known.
So Pat went home that night well scolded and with a long essay to write. For two Thursday lunchtimes she had to sit in detention in the library – tediously writing lines set by Miss Boston.
Lying in bed that night though she pondered the words that had rung in her ears that day “…….. you deserve a caning ………..” She knew she’d been lucky – she’d got so far in life without having to even bend over for her mother let alone teachers – she didn’t want to now. She knew plenty of friends who had had a whack or two in life. It sounded so frightening. And what had Miss Boston said! That was amazing – that Miss McCallum had been caned for less as a pupil! She pictured her feisty form mistress having to bend over for a caning. She was glad times were changing!
Chapter Three – Upbringing
Liz McCallum’s upbringing, while only ten years earlier was quite contrasting to Pat at home as well as school. These were years of changes in homes as well as schools. Liz had been brought up by her Aunt – a spinster after her mother had died when she was a baby. Her father, a naval officer, was broken hearted and left Liz with his sister after receiving assurances that it would be best for all. There was a long debate when she reached school age as to whether she should be packed off to boarding school but it was settled that she would stay with her Aunt who seemed to be coping rather well.
Aunt Susan was a loving guardian to her but also firm. Susan like many women of her age believed in discipline and until Liz had been about twelve had used a soft leather slipper to punish her more serious faults. Then realizing that its effect was diminishing she acquired a traditional school cane. Liz had no idea where she’d got it from the first time her Aunt brandished it but in those days they weren’t that hard to find. Parents and teachers of those days considered them a normal part of life.
Now Aunt Susan never beat Liz wildly but from time to time when she had been willful or rude she would be sent up to her Aunt’s bedroom. After a suitable pause for Liz to consider her error Aunt Susan would arrive and lecture her charge before taking the cane out of her wardrobe and making Liz bend over the back of an old dining chair. Sometimes only four or five but never more than twelve Susan would deliver sharp strokes to Liz’s upturned bottom.
It was of course the way in those days – in many households across England. And although Liz knew it hurt a lot – she also knew she had done wrong and that punishment was simply a consequence of naughtiness. The canings may not have been forgotten – certainly by Liz, but were left behind and life was got on with.
Aunt Susan tried only to use the cane when she really felt it necessary and, although the frequency of the canings decreased as Liz grew older, she knew right up until she left her Aunt’s for University that particularly rudeness would earn her a trip to her Aunt’s bedroom.
Chapter Four – A Chance Meeting
Liz browsed along the library shelves as she usually did on a Monday afternoon. She liked to read and her district library was quite well stocked. It was also peaceful, and a haven from the busy world outside.
Pat also liked to read, and had started to use the larger library after finding her local one too limiting. She gazed over the shelves looking for something to strike her eyes.
And so the two women after years in different places came together by chance that afternoon. Both browsed the shelves occasionally picking books and assessing whether they would hold their interest. Pat from one direction and Liz from another worked their way slowly together. A few yards – then feel and then that awkward moment when neither party knows which way to step. “Excuse me” said Liz stepping one way just at the second Pat went the same “Sorry” she replied looking at the other library user and smiling.
Both women faintly recognized each other but could not place the other. They stared slightly smiling trying to pace one another from life. “Don’t I know you ….. from somewhere?” Liz spoke – She searched her mind trying to place the mature, but slightly younger woman.
Pat looked back. “I think I do, but I just can’t remember where from!”
And so it dawned on Liz first “Patricia …………. yes it’s you …………Patricia ………. don’t you remember me? It’s me ….Liz ……. Miss McCallum to you!!” The penny, as they say, slowly dropped in Patricia’s mind as she imagined the years roll back on the face before her.
Awkwardly at first the women spoke “Yes its been years” ……. ”I didn’t think you’d still live here!” ……… ”We’re both a bit older now!!” ………… ”How are you?” ……….. ”Yes I often come here” …………… ”I’m all by myself” and so it went on.
It was Liz’s idea after seeing a librarian stare at them both. “Why don’t you call for a cup of tea one afternoon – I live locally?” “Well yes I suppose I could” Patricia replied.
Less than ten minutes after their reunion the two ladies were set to meet again at Liz’s house that Friday afternoon.
Chapter Five – Liz obtains a cane
Behaving like a child, Liz broke away from chatting to her elderly Aunt and crept upstairs under the guise of needing the loo. Standing on the landing she looked at the various doors – she had never ventured further than the bathroom for years on the first floor of the house.
Looking round as though there was somebody there she pushed her Aunt’s bedroom door and stepped inside. It was eerie it had changed so little. All the furniture from the bed to the dressing table – the occasional chair and the wardrobe were identical to how they had been.
Liz knew exactly what she wanted to know and stepped across the room to the wardrobe. She looked at the door for a long while before quietly opening it and peering inside. It was a long shot to expect that it would still be there, but… She let her hand traipse along the clothes from side to side but there was nothing. About to close the door and retreat back downstairs she reached along the rail pushing her Aunt’s skirts and clothes along until she reached the end. Then – her eyes fell on exactly what she was searching for – her heart pounded. Sandwiched between the end blouse and the wardrobe side hung up by its crook handle was her Aunt’s yellow cane.
“Crumbs,” she thought. “It’s still here!” Carefully she reached it down and held it gingerly. It was rather eerie to see it again – why her Aunt had kept it she couldn’t think but then – how do you throw a cane away!
She looked at it carefully – cold and smooth – straight and long. She tapped it on her hand and flexed it in her fingers. So light and hard, yet so pliable, unlike the bamboo canes she used in the garden.
Thoughts flooded back all overlapping and mixed. Her Aunt appearing at her door – the lecture – her Aunt holding this very rod – its hissing swish in her ears – and ………. its stinging cut …….. the shame of bending over to receive it.
Liz quickly closed the wardrobe door – it felt odd to deceive her Aunt but it was no good to her now. Liz wanted to feel it again in a different way – to remind herself of a cane’s power – the authority it held – its strange qualities, which since she had left teaching had lain dormant.
Holding it by her side she stepped out of the room and quietly downstairs. In the hall she glanced around – the lounge door was open but her Aunt couldn’t see her from where she sat. By the front door she’d hung her coat – rather than risk the suspicious sound of opening it she raised her coat and hung it underneath before replacing the coat and hiding the cane.
Chapter Six – Before bed
That night in her room preparing for bed the thudding thoughts of the cane returned. She fetched it from where she’d left it out of sight in the pantry and took it upstairs. She played with it in her hands examining every inch of its length. This wasn’t any cane from any school – or even the one she’d learnt to brandish as a teacher herself. This was the very one she had bent to receive from her Aunt.
She looked at herself in the mirror and swished it a couple of times as her Aunt had. She turned sideways and brushed her hand across the seat of her knickers. She was a mature woman now but the cruel sting of that cane would never completely be erased from her mind. But …….. well ……… she had deserved it. And she knew well that lots of girls were caned then – it was more of an accepted part of growing up. If she was rude or disobedient she was rightly punished – it hadn’t done any lasting harm – it had made her the woman she was today.
Chapter Seven – Thirty Years Late
Liz wondered what she should wear as the time approached for Pat to arrive. She popped upstairs undressed to her bra and knickers, washed and went into her room. Opening her wardrobe she pondered over a smart pair of navy blue slacks or maybe a more formal skirt she sometimes wore. She wanted to make the right impression.
She flicked along the rail to the section at the end of things she wore less often. A straight close fitting skirt would look good – and black looked serious she thought. She then chose the perfect match a plain white silk blouse. Liz turned and saw her bedside clock. Only ten minutes to go.
She carefully put on some black tights and dressed in the skirt and blouse, finally brushing her hair before the mirror.
An hour or so earlier Pat herself had got ready at home. Looking outside it seemed mild and seeing as she was only going to meet a “friend” for coffee she dressed smartly but not formally. A pair of close fitting black trousers and a thin pink jumper would be fine. Getting ready, she wondered what it would be like. She’d enjoyed chatting in the library to Liz. She’d been struck how her old form mistress really didn’t look a lot older than herself and – well she couldn’t be actually. Pat’s memories were of course mixed. More than thirty years had passed – some things she remembered and some were simply forgotten. She did regret not working harder though. While she’d been popular she’d never excelled at academic work. She remembered clashing with Miss McCallum, as she’d had to call her, – her fifth form mistress, but that was just growing up. Looking back Liz McCallum had been trying too hard to make a mark as a teacher!
After chatting in the library the first time to Liz she had thought about that incident in the shop and what had followed. But Liz had obviously seemed such a different person. Straight, rather than strict and hadn’t she aged well! Liz had a good figure even if she had a bus pass.
Patricia walked down the drive of the house. It wasn’t palatial – it must have been Victorian – a detached property set behind a small garden in a row of similar. `Nice garden,` she thought heading for the door.
The doorbell went bang on time and Liz went down to open it. Patricia stood there – “Oh hello – thank you for coming – how nice to see you again.” Liz welcomed her guest. Patricia stepped inside to the hallway so pleased at the warm welcome.
Liz beckoned Pat into the lounge and offered her a cup of tea. Nervous, but appreciative of the offer Pat accepted and waited for Liz to return while she busied herself in the kitchen.
Pat didn’t know whether to sit or stand, but looked around the room nervously. Everything was very tidy – Liz was obviously as fussy at home as she had been at school!
Five minutes later the two women were chatting. Liz felt it best to try to be friendly with Pat and led the conversation, but her guest didn’t need a lot of encouraging. The weather was discussed and where they both lived – even work. Liz warmed to Pat as she realised how the once wilful girl and matured and grown.
After another five minutes or so Liz put down her cup and straightened herself up. Looking intently at her guest she spoke.
“Now Pat don’t you remember me catching you in the shop that afternoon. You were buying cigarettes you naughty thing and I had to take you straight back to school. Well those were the days!”
The one thing that Pat had hoped wouldn’t crop up had done. She smiled and tried to laugh at her guest.
“I remember arguing with Miss Boston – I was so disappointed in you – I wanted her to punish you properly,” Liz continued “But she never did, did she? And after you’d been so naughty.”
Pat looked across finding the entire subject awkward. The conversation had taken a very sharp turn to this subject. It was something she’d really rather have left. “I think I was punished – she gave me quite a telling off – I think I had to write an essay for her too – and I was in detention!”
“Oh come on Patricia – that’s what I mean – that’s not proper punishment for truancy and buying cigarettes. You should have been in real trouble.”
Pat was growing increasingly irritated at Liz’s pursuance of the subject. “See, I think I was punished quite enough – things had changed since you were at school – that was the punishment that Miss Boston gave and that’s what I got.”
Liz looked over at her guest. “Well Patricia whatever you say won’t make me change my mind – that wasn’t punishment to me – call me old fashioned but you should have been caned.”
Pat looked down – she couldn’t believe it that after all these years Liz McCallum was still going on about something that happened all that time ago – and when she’d simply been invited round to catch up and chat.
Liz knew it was time to change the subject and quickly continued: “Anyway Pat tell me about what you did after school – where did you go to work?”
Pat felt the relief as the subject was dropped and the conversation eased again as Pat explained the early years of her life after school. Liz plied her with more tea and kept the questions coming – and interjecting with jolly chat along the way. “Oh Patricia it is good to catch up like this – I’ve friends but so rarely chat about things from so long ago.” The women continued another ten or so minutes until Liz needed the loo. “Excuse me a moment while I pop to the loo – do shout if you need it – there’s another one in the cloakroom off the hall if you need it”. Liz smiled at Pat and headed for the door.
Pat heard Liz climb the stairs and after a minute reflected it might not be a bad idea to go and went into the hall to find the cloakroom. As Liz came back downstairs she saw the situation and headed into the dining room which since she had had the house she used as a study. Inside she looked around – everything was in place – a tall stool stood by the wall – an old chair was pulled up opposite her desk and – the cane was hanging discreetly from the site of the mantle shelf – only visible to the trained eye.
Liz heard the loo flush and running water from the washbasin. She went to the door and waited for her guest to appear. “Pat come in here – let me show you some mementos from years ago.”
Pat walked over and into the room. Liz explained “Living alone I don’t really need a dining room – I tend to eat in the kitchen so I just use in here as a work room – a study so to speak. Pat looked around – it wasn’t completely sparse. The room was dominated by a large desk set to one side of a bay window looking out to the secluded garden. The rest of the furniture was along the walls of the room – a couple of full height bookcases and an old sideboard. In the gaps on the walls were old prints and a couple of photographs. Liz broke the silence as Pat looked around – “This is me at school in the sixth form – just so you know that even teachers like me went to school! “Liz joked gesturing at a picture of her “And this was after I’d left our school when I was a Mistress at Lostock Hall.”
Pat looked at the pictures politely. “I gave up teaching about six years ago but kept some things to remind me of my career – on the whole it was very fulfilling “. The voice tailed off again – it was difficult for Pat to know what to say. “Let me show you something Pat” flustered Liz stepping towards a bookcase. She pondered a moment and pulled an old exercise book down. Liz walked to the chair by the outside of her desk – “Sit here and look at this” Pat complied out of politeness wondering what was going to be so intriguing to her. Liz placed the navy blue soft backed book on the edge of the desk and leant over next to Pat. “This is from Lostock Hall – I kept it when I left but it shows how times have changed!”
Pat looked down at the cover. In bold type on the front it read: “LOSTOCK HALL” and underneath in black copper plate handwriting: “Punishment Book”.
Liz reached across and opened it randomly. “I had to keep a record – it was the rules”. Pat looked down – each page was divided into columns – she read across “Date, Pupil, Form, Offence, Record” Then under each the page listed the punishments.
Liz read out – “These were the days – March 12 1962, Sarah Hodgson, 5T, Failure to attend detention, cane, six strokes bent over. March 14 1962, Allison Jones, 4C, Bad language, Cane four strokes bent over.” And so it went on – row after row. Patricia’s eyes glazed at what she was being shown. She didn’t even want to see it but felt compelled to read on. Crumbs she had been lucky. Liz stood close to her side almost giggling with excitement. “See what I mean – these girls were taught a proper lesson when they got in trouble – they got told off but they got the cane as well.” Liz turned a few pages over “If I look close enough I could find some truants or smokers like you were!” The pages rustled. “There’s one -May 27 1962, Jane Eddison – I remember her – she was trouble – Lower 6G – smoking – Cane six strokes bent over.” Patricia’s eyes glazed over each page as Liz chattered in her ear right next to her.
Liz paused and stepped back – “Patricia just turn to the last page and read what I have put there!” Pat picked up the book and flicked the pages over towards the end slowly. Liz meanwhile while watching her stepped quietly towards the door. “Have you found it – read what it says!” Patricia found the last page and slowly let her eyes fall down the last few entries. She swallowed and silently read Liz’s hand writing: June 20 1995 Patricia – Truancy – Cane six strokes bent over.
She glanced at Liz just as she was turning the key to the door lock. Her mouth went dry “This isn’t funny Liz – even if you think it is.” Liz slipped the key into the pocket of her skirt and looking deadly seriously replied, “I agree entirely my dear”. Patricia stood up – “Please will you open the door now Elizabeth – I’m going home”. But Liz carried on purposely towards the fire and reached the cane that hung by its side. She held it authoritatively before her. “I asked you to read the entry! Are you being disobedient as well?”
Pat stood back against the desk looking at the woman wondering madly how she’d got into this situation. Her original indignation at the situation was faltering. “Elizabeth – I said open the door now – I’m going”. But she older woman just stood there playing with the cane before her flexing it across her chest. “I said open the door.“ Patricia spoke quieter and firmly, but still she was ignored.
Liz just looked at her cold as ever. “Patricia – that’s not right – naughty girls have got to be punished haven’t they? Now Miss Boston didn’t do it thirty years ago – so I’m going to have to do it now. You’re not too old to be punished you know.”
Pat was shocked at the words and madness of the woman. She marched to the door and took the handle rattling it as though the door would just open. “Let me out – do you hear – now let me out” she spoke panic now in her voice.
Behind her Liz quietly took the tall stool from the wall and placed it in the large open space in the centre of the room.
Pat stood looking at the door a few inches before her thinking madly what she should do. Behind her she could hear movement. Liz walked to Pat’s side and spoke almost in a whisper “Come along Patricia.”
Pat looked round at Liz’s face – everything was deadly serious. Liz gently took told of Patricia’s forearm.
“Come on over here” Liz pulled her lightly and Patricia found herself moving away from the door. In the eerie cool of the room guided by her captor she stepped towards the stool – her legs wobbling and mouth now dry. Patricia just didn’t know what to say – or do – her resolve melted away – as feelings she had not known for years filled her whole emotions. Guilt and fear – yes fear – absolute fear.
Liz guided her to the stool so Patricia’s back faced the window. “That’s better dear – grown up girls must take their punishments properly!” Liz stood just behind her at her left hand side. Letting go of her wrist she placed her hand now gently on Patricia’s shoulder. “Now bend over for me Patricia – lets get this over with – you know you deserve it don’t you”
Pat looked side ways at Liz and feeling the hand exerting pressure on her. In three or four minutes she had been turned from a grown woman to a guilty schoolgirl – or certainly in the way she felt.
She looked forward again with a sense of inevitability and slowly bent over the stool till her forearms rested on the top – “That’s good Patricia but I want you right over – hands down the back – you can hold the legs if you like”. Liz placed her hand now on Patricia‘s neck and pushed firmly. Pat dropped sharply down still her tummy rested on the leather top of the stool. She looked down at the carpet before her feeling as she never had before girl or woman.
Now Patricia, in her early-to-mid fifties, had aged well. She tried to look after herself and while the body had aged people often thought she was younger than she really was.
Liz watched Patricia bend – “That’s better – now I just want you to stay just like that” stepping slightly back she examined the sight before her. Patricia was tightly stretched over the stool with her broad but not plump bottom raised to the very highest point. From her ankles upwards her legs broadened out cased in her fitted trousers to her hips. Their material was pulled almost to its limits over her bottom. The feint line of the edge of her knickers stretched across each cheek towards her hips with the line of their top – across them. Her pink jumper sloping down towards her neck had ridden up her back slightly and Liz could see a crescent of pink skin below.
“How very different to the schoolgirls she’d caned before,” she thought at the sight. But equally deserving, she justified in her mind.
Patricia waited in silent fear. Unsure what to do she tensed her hands on the legs then let go – she grit her teeth then relaxed – closed her eyes then opened them.
Liz made her final preparations swishing the cane a couple of times through the air before taking a stance next to Patricia. Stretching her own legs apart for stability she measured the cane against her target. Liz knew from experience many years before only to cane the softest part of her pupil’s bottom. She lined the cane parallel with and about two inches below the line of the top of Patricia’s knickers. She tapped a couple of times and then checked the tip of the cane would not extend too far beyond the far cheek. Just right she thought.
Patricia had never felt so small – or frightened. Her age suddenly meant nothing. She had become the arrogant pupil who dared to play truant now accepting her due punishment.
She felt the cane taps and knew it was close. But quite what it was she had never known.
“Right Patricia – I’m going to teach you a lesson – this is what happens to truants – I want you to take your punishment just as you are.” With that Liz took the cane back and delivered a sharp stroke. The rod hissed with a swish and cracked onto the bottom with a thwack.
Patricia heard the stroke and felt the cane land with a dull thud. She starred at the carpet for a second until a horrible sting cut into her. She gasped at the sharp pain right across her bottom. This was the cane – something she had never known.
Liz felt exhilarated – it was too long since she’d done this. The swish was sweet music to her ears. She knew exactly what Patricia was feeling and it was exactly what she deserved. After all, why should a few years stop a disobedient pupil from a fitting punishment? She waited a few seconds knowing the full after glow of the stroke would still be working.
Carefully she gauged another stroke another couple of inches lower than the first. She drew the cane out into the room and delivered a second stroke – again it swished and smacked cutting squarely on the broadest part of Patricia’s bottom. The thin rattan even creased the tight black trousers for a split second. “There we go.” she taunted in a whisper.
Again Patricia heard the swish and gripped the legs of the stool tightly as the stroke bit. Adding to the existing sting the cane left a hot line that seemed to burn right inside her. “Aaahhhh” she moaned quietly trying to compose herself – partly not wanting to let her weakness show. But the sting was working – it was far worse than she had ever imagined. This was punishment.
Liz’s heart beat faster at her work – “Yes it hurts Patricia doesn’t it – but it’s just what’s required to punish you. You should have been bending over for this over thirty years ago! But it doesn’t matter – Miss McCallum will punish you now!” And she again swished the cane through the cold air.
The stroke brought a fresh gasp from Patricia as a fresh cruel sting landed just below the last – causing another burning line. She screwed her eyes in a vain attempt to release the pain but it came on as ever adding to the existing hot lines. She cried quietly out “Ohhhhhh……ohhh ohhhh.” Patricia felt torn – she needed to take her punishment – the cane hurt, but she knew hundreds had bent where she had before. As it stung she squeezed herself into the stool as if it would somehow ease the pain but to no avail. The cool and silence of the room emphasized her hurt.
Liz waited again watching her charge as she had so many times before. She fixed her eyes on the very bottom of Patricia’s bottom where the faint v line of her knickers disappeared and the carefully and firmly delivered again but with much more effort.
The stroke almost rocked Patricia firm as she was over the stool. She knew that was harder and with the first three strokes already blurring into one great pain she winced and cried out “ooooooooooohhhhhhhh”.
Liz knew how much the stroke had hurt. Those trousers would only take a little of the sting from each stroke. She wanted the next stroke to land there again.
Stepping back a second, Liz gauged Patricia’s reaction and the slight movement of her body over the stool – hopeless and in vain. She waited again as long as she could before the impulse to deliver another stroke overcame her. Then she skipped forward to Patricia’s side trailing the cane and brought it across in a great arc.
Patricia heard the steps and the swishhhhhhh – a horrible sound now in her ears. The fraction of a second between the hiss and the simultaneous thwack seemed slowed down. In fact the whole affair did – the stroke just added extra intensity to what had now become one great burning over her lower bottom. The pain suddenly grew – “Aaaaaaaaaaaa oohhhhhhhhh nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooo”.
Liz spoke again calmly “Yes Patricia – I know it hurts – but it’s for your own good – naughty truants need to be punished quite severely. Six strokes of the cane will be just the job”.
She waited a full minute to allow Patricia the fullest time to appreciate the pain before she prepared for a sixth stroke. This time Liz raised the cane up into the air and brought it down so its last few inches skimmed the curve of the upturned bottom before biting into it.
Swishhhhhhhh thwackkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk ………. ”orrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhh hhhh”
Patricia felt her bottom was on fire – the hot lines of each stroke mingled so she could no longer identify each. She wiggled her hips and tummy again on the stool trying to shake off the pain screwing her face up.
Liz had forgotten quite what a caning took. A few beads of perspiration had formed on her forehead at the effort she had applied. She stepped back again and placed the cane carefully on her desk.
She spoke over her now sobbing guest – “Well I hope that’s taught you a lesson Patricia – that truants will be punished –sometimes straight away – or sometimes a little later – but they get what they deserve. Now just stay where you are a moment and think about what’s gone on.”