Charles gives his guests a warm welcome. From Blushes 2
Each time the strap landed across Jenny’s bum the sound of its landing persisted for a little, like the continuing resonance of a bell; a sort of sharp, ringing whisper in the bare room, coming back off the painted walls and tiled floor; and every time Jenny’s cries cut across the echo so that you couldn’t be sure how long the ringing might have gone on before it faded below the level at which it was still audible.
With every stroke Jenny’s legs jerked out straight behind her, her toes pushing convulsively against the floor and making the legs of the punishment bench scrape nerve-searchingly across the shiny tiles; the violence of her jolting sent a tremor along the six foot plank which supported both Jenny at one end and a second girl at the other. Wendy felt the tremors as they communicated themselves to her own bare belly, uncomfortably bearing much of her weight against the cold wood.
If Wendy looked sideways to her right, she could see Jenny’s bare legs, her knickers a forlorn little gather of cotton at her knees, the side-shape of her bottom thrust up for the convenience of the strap. She could see the twin tails of the leather tawse as they flicked faster than the eye could really catch, around the other girl’s flanks, making the buttocks twitch and squeeze and go on trembling for perhaps five or even ten seconds afterwards as the girl tried to fight against the smart in her much-abused bottom. Where the strap landed on unmarked skin — there wasn’t too much of that by now — the tails were whisked away a moment after they had imparted their sting, leaving marks which, oddly, looked pale for a few seconds, as if dusted with talcum powder, before the red flush welled up and recorded the strap’s visit as a crimson stripe, forked at the end, spread across the plumpness of the wretched girl’s buttocks.
If Wendy looked down and back, past her hands gripping the long rail, white-knuckled, frantic for something to cling to amid the awful emotional turmoil of the punishments being meted out to each girl, then in an upside-down sort of a way she could see the brown brogue shoes as they clicked along the length of the bench and stopped behind her, a little to her left. She could see the man’s weight shift from one foot to the other as he drew back his arm, could see the descending movement of the strap as a wickedly fast blur reflected in the polished floor.
Nothing was seen too clearly any longer though. Both girls were weeping pathetically, their tears blurring their vision, everything seen and heard and felt becoming a confusion of sensations that seemed to have been going on for a quarter of an hour at least, although it may have been no more than five minutes.
Wendy’s bottom was as thoroughly strap-marked as was the other girl’s, a punished twitchiness of punished disobedience, lively when the strap landed and then petulantly quiescent, just a squeeze of the cheeks every now and then to demonstrate the perpetuating effect of that strap’s sting.
At length — and to the girls it seemed great length — the last stroke was applied to each pair of buttocks, the strap was hooked back in its place at the end of the bench, and the petty officer who had had such amusement at their expense left the hollow-sounding room and closed the door behind him.
Jenny was still crying, Wendy too, although she had quietened a little, her sobs just about under control now. She looked through tear-streaked eyes along the bench, seeing Jenny’s bum painfully reddened in swathes which reached round her buttocks and even round the upper part of her thigh where the petty officer’s aim had either gone awry or he had deliberately sought out a fresh target for the strap’s tails. Her own bottom must look just the same; she could feel the heat still there, her bum seeming twice its size, so much did the sensations down in that part of her dominate her consciousness.
On the shiny tiles Wendy could see droplets of tears — her own tears — marring the pristine reflectiveness of the floor. She focussed her attention on the bright drops until they began to mesmerise her; only the vibration of the plank under her tummy as Jenny slumped heavily against it disturbed her dismal reverie. Jenny’s voice, sounding timid and exhausted, brought her back to proper awareness.
‘Oh Christ! I hate this bloody awful place. I loathe that strap!’
Wendy could see her friend’s bottom trembling fitfully, her thighs doing the same, and the tautness in her calf muscles as she shifted her weight against the bench again. She couldn’t think of anything to add to what Jenny had said so plainly. She eased herself a little more comfortably across the plank, although comfortably was only a relative term, hearing the snap-hook fixed to the plank beside her clink as she took up all the slack. She looked down at the floor again, resigned to the indignity of having to wait until someone came to let them up, hardly caring that whoever it was would find her half-naked, a picture of abject humiliation.
Over in a corner she caught sight of a pair of knickers, their whiteness grey-streaked as though someone had kicked them thoughtlessly aside. They weren’t hers — she looked back at her knees to be sure. Her pants were around her ankles, though she didn’t remember feeling them slide down her legs. So — those were someone else’s pants; Wendy didn’t have to wonder what they were doing there, nor what had happened to the girl to have made her forget them. Staring miserably at those abandoned knickers, with her bum still quivering fitfully and tingling with the feel of the strap-marks, she knew what she would have to do.
‘Jenny?’ She felt her friend’s movement along the plank. ‘Yes?’ Jenny had stopped sobbing but her voice was a hoarse whisper.
‘I’m goin’ to get out of here, Jen. I am goin’ to do it!’
‘How?’ Jenny sounded dubious — it wasn’t that easy to get out of the Youth Service.
‘Remember that psychiatrist bloke — wanted volunteers for some research project or something — ?’
‘He was just a dirty old man.’
‘Yes — that’s the one. Well, I’m goin’ to see if the offer’s still open. And I don’t care what I have to do, but I am getting out of here!’ Wendy’s voice rose to a shrill shout on the last word — an expression of the desperation that was urging her to do just what she said — get away!
Something like a quarter of a mile away, on the other side of the training camp, another one of the Youth Service’s unwilling recruits had come to a conclusion not dissimilar to the solution which had occurred to the unfortunate Wendy. Tucking her still-sore bum into her knickers — her spanking had been at the hands of one of the establishment’s female civilian helpers, but had been no less painful for that — Tracey swore under her breath and eased the elastic to a less tender position around the curve of her left buttock. She rummaged in the drawer of the one item of furniture any girl could call her own in that place, the little cupboard which stood beside her dormitory bed, and slid the tightly-rolled bundle from the drawer up under her tee shirt. She checked herself in the mirror fixed to the inside of the wardrobe she shared with the girl in the next bed, rubbing furiously at her cheeks to give them a healthy glow and loosening a strand of hair so that it fell forward just a bit across her forehead, to give her a touch more femininity. She looked up at the clock on the end wall of the room, making sure she had enough time to get across the camp to the administration centre on the other side. This was the only chance she was likely to get, and everything would depend on this interview; she was going to make the very most of it.
Ten minutes later she arrived breathless at the door of the low hut where the interviews were to be held. There were two other girls there, neither of whom she knew. A notice pinned to a board said that interviewees were to wait there until sent for. Tracey waited, watching for her chance.
Twenty minutes went by, and one of the girls in front of her was called into a room at the end of a long corridor. Tracey and the other girl shuffled their feet around and squeaked their gym-shoes against the polished floorboards, and in due course the other girl was sent for, leaving Tracey on her own. Then a latecomer arrived, looking flustered but determined. Tracey couldn’t help noticing that where the girl’s shorts didn’t quite cover her bum there was an awful lot of tender-looking redness around her bum-cheeks; she looked as though she had just had an awfully severe strapping — surely it couldn’t have been a spanking to have made her bum look like that! The new arrival leaned against the wall when she realised that her strap-marks were being eyed by the other girl — evidence of punishment was no uncommon sight around the training camp, but that didn’t make it any more endurable being stared at. Then, timing it so that she should be able to get back just before it was her turn to be called, Tracey slipped away to the lavatories.
Locked in a cubicle, she slipped her shorts off and hid them on top of the cistern, then she took a deep breath and stepped into the second pair which she had secreted up under her shirt. A deep breath was what it needed to get herself into them; her spanked bum was none the better for the struggle to get the waistband up over her hips — she thought for a moment that she’d taken them in and trimmed them a bit too much, but somehow she made it. Then she slipped back to the waiting point, relieved to see that she hadn’t missed her turn. A minute later and a girl came down the passage and called Tracey’s name.
Self-consciously Tracey followed the messenger, trying to keep her bum from wiggling too much in case her hurried stitching proved too insubstantial for the task of holding her customised shorts together, then she found herself in an office with the door closed behind her and a grey-haired man ignoring her from the far side of a tatty desk littered with papers.
With her heart pounding, Tracey waited — and waited. Surreptitiously she pulled at the legs of her shorts, feeling uncertain that she had done the right thing after all — the man looked altogether too much like one of those people who like to smack girls’ bums from the way he glanced up at her legs from under his eyebrows every few moments with a steely glint in his eyes. She had thought he might be susceptible to the offer of a little femininity, nicely packaged — she had thought she might be able to tease her way into wangling a posting away from the training camp; as it was, it was looking as though that dream would have to be forgotten. Then the grey-haired man put down his pen and looked her in the face for the first time.
The interview might have gone better, but it might have gone worse. He asked Tracey lots of questions — worryingly they all seemed to have to do with punishments she’d been given, how she’d taken them, what she thought of being punished and so on. She’d thought he was supposed to be a psychologist — if he was, this was all taking a turn for the worse, but she answered as bravely as she could and wished she’d never had the idea of tarting herself up to look like a girl who ‘might’. Whether it was the final view she had to give him of her scantily-clothed bum as she turned to leave at the end of the interview, or whether it was just plain bad luck, she didn’t know, but as she reached the door his voice called her back.
‘Um — I’ve decided to put you on the short list, by the way.’ Tracey hadn’t known what to say, so she’d said thank you — a rather optimistic sentiment to have expressed, as things turned out, because what Tracey had neglected to find out in her eagerness to get away from the training camp was what, exactly, the grey-haired man was doing psychological research into.
As Tracey’s impudently half-clothed bottom bobbed temptingly out of the office, the psychologist noted the relevant details beside her name. One more girl to see, but young Tracey looked like the front runner; she was a girl he would very much like to have all to himself down in the country. He could imagine the way she and that inviting bottom of hers would make the evenings very pleasant indeed. The messenger came back with the last applicant.
‘Wendy? Are you Wendy White?’
‘Yes sir.’ She stood smartly at attention, her eyes alert and her face alive with healthy vitality. She seemed an intelligent girl — he liked intelligent girls. He stood up from behind the desk and paced around the room as he chatted, explaining rather sketchily that he had been asked to conduct a research project into the psychological effects of corporal punishment — the ministry was behind it, he said, to lend himself an air of authority. The girls chosen would be put in his charge and would come with him to his house in the country. There would be lots and lots of questions asked, forms and questionnaires to be filled in — his lecture stopped as, for the first time, he glimpsed the strapped crimson spilling out from under Wendy’s shorts. When he resumed his voice was slightly less assured, as though he had thought of something disturbing. There would, he said — and he said it with an apologetic tone — be the occasional practical application of certain of his theories, but on that subject he didn’t elaborate. Did Wendy think that might be the sort of thing she would be willing to co-operate in?
Wendy, who had stopped really listening when he had walked behind her, more concerned about the embarrassment of the strap-marks on her bum than anything else, said that she thought so, sir, and another note was entered in the little book.
Two weeks later, spread-eagled bottom-up across a big table in the kitchen of a rambling old house in the country, Wendy panted and gasped in between strokes from an expertly applied cane, and still wasn’t altogether sure where she had gone wrong. Watching nervously and waiting for her turn to come across the table, Tracey too couldn’t exactly put her finger on it, but there really wasn’t any doubt that something had gone very much awry with her plans too!