Story from Blushes 1
The village hall, a wooden building once central to the geography and the needs of the community eighty years before, is now a dilapidated relic left behind by the developments that have taken place around it. It stands alone on an ill-tended plot of land opposite the church and backing on to the George and Dragon, from which it is divided by an ivy-grown fence. At either end its doors are locked and through its dusty windows little of the interior is to be seen in the gathering dusk. On the ridge of the sharply sloped roof a pigeon struts perkily and dips its head to peck at something under a dislodged tile. From a single narrow window, high up under the angle of the peak which confronts the back of the pub, a chink of light shows briefly before it winks out. The pigeon loses interest in whatever is under the loose tile and flaps away to its roost, while high above an aeroplane traces its path across the deepening blue of the evening sky. Leaning against the fence behind the hall, a bicycle collects the misty dampness with which the air is laden; a sticker on the saddlebag reads ‘2nd Brackley —’, with the last word scuffed to the point of illegibility. From the roadway the bicycle would be completely hidden.
Inside, the hall is simply a large room, with two doors at the end opposite the main entrance. One of the doors leads to a kitchen, the other to a washroom and lavatory. In the ceiling of the washroom there is a large rectangular hatch, and beneath it stands a rickety wooden step ladder. The hatch is not quite closed, and through the gap comes a shaft of light.
In the storage space above the ceiling, cluttered as it is with canvas bags and tent poles and all the paraphernalia of camping expeditions, a storm lantern standing on a packing case illuminates the slope-sided claustrophobia of the loft. Shadows slant across the inward-sloping walls on either hand, but the lantern’s light reaches into a corner and touches the spread-eagled thighs of a prostrate, fair-haired girl. The summer-holiday tan of her legs glows warmly in the yellow lamp-light and the bare skin looks satiny smooth and inviting to the touch.
The girl is spread out on her back; from moment to moment her parted thighs shift this way and that, drawing nervously together by an inch or so then drifting apart again with trembling reluctance, as if struggling against the urge to slam tightly together for the sake of outraged modesty.
As her naked, uncertain thighs nudge fitfully this way and that, so her white-stockinged heels shove spasmodically into the folds of a grubby old blanket and then snatch back again, these little involuntary jerks alternating with the timid wriggles, the tremulous lifts and twitches and plump, soft bounces of her bare bottom as it squirms against the roughness of the blanket. With each push of her feet amongst the rumpled blanket’s folds, a loosely-clinging ruck of dark navy blue is dragged to and fro, sideways and back again, as the ankle around which her abandoned knickers are still looped drags them erratically about after it.
With each snatching, jerky movement of the forgotten knickers, breathless little whimpers whisper into the shadows; the girl’s eyes open wide and then squeeze shut again as she protests timidly and without hope that her pleas will he heard. In the shallow pool of shadow at the bottom of her bare belly, fat, clumsy fingers nuzzle urgently, probing, stroking, nipping and nudging and sliding confidently between, making the girl whisper meekly ‘No — please, no —’ as she rolls her soft, round bottom lewdly against the blanket. Teased unmercifully she worms her plump pubic mound against the interloping fingertips, her crinkly hair brushes crisply across the hand’s knuckles and she pants and heaves her hips and is so, so close to it — within a wriggle and a gasp of disgracing herself completely.
‘Come on now — come on!’
‘No, please don’t —!’ But she shudders and squirms helplessly and lifts her bottom from the blanket as her back arches and her loins thrust up to bunt against the teasing fingers. A second hand slips underneath her and cups the trembly bum-cheeks, fingers careless of the hot, curving weals which underline the roundness of the buttocks.
‘Come on — come on now!’
The girl gasps several times in rapid succession, and then goes limp and subsides back onto the blanket. She covers her face with her hands and draws her knees up as the hand slides away from between her thighs. Strangled little sobs sound strangely in the semi-darkness.
The kneeling man hoists himself to his feet, his shadow passing across the girl’s half-naked body as he steps away from her. He is heavily built, with a paunch that considerably overlaps the waistband of his trousers. He turns aside and fishes a packet of cigarettes from the pocket of his discarded jacket. Bluish smoke floats in the air as he looks down at the exhausted girl.
‘Get up.’ He says it mildly enough, but his gruff voice startles the girl. She takes her hands from her face and looks nervously up at him.
‘It’s nearly nine o’clock.’
She scrambles up, inelegant, clumsy, acutely embarrassed by her semi-nakedness. She stands on the blanket, her hair touched by the lamp-light, tears bright on the rosiness of her flushed cheeks. Her blouse is creased, a badge has come loose and flaps down from her sleeve, the flash at her shoulder — Rangers — picks up the same light that is in her hair She is naked from the waist down, except for her socks, which are smudged with dirt at the heels. Her knickers still trail from her ankle, forlorn in the dust. She keeps her knees pressed together, the little upside-down triangle of hair at the base of her belly snuggles down between the tops of her thighs as if trying to escape attention, while her bottom hides itself self-consciously behind her. Her eyes refuse to rise from the floor even when he speaks to her.
‘Pull your knickers up then. It’s time you were gone.’
She stoops and hops on one leg as she tries to put her foot back into her pants. She pulls them up, turning a little aside as she does so, the navy blue material stretching around her hips and close up between her legs. She steps from the blanket and slips her feet into her shoes, and then turns her back as she looks round for her skirt. Her knickers are streaked with dust marks, and the tenderness of her punished buttocks spills out in hot crimson blotches and sensitive-looking cane marks from under the elastic curving up diagonally across either cheek. She finds her skirt on top of a pile of folded groundsheets but before she can put it on the gruff voice makes her jump again.
She obeys, though timorously, and turns to present her bottom when told to. He brushes at the dust on her knickers but his heavy-handedness on her sore buttocks makes her swerve her bum away. He slaps her thoughtlessly on one plump cheek.
‘You look a mess. You’d better tidy yourself up before someone wants to know what you’ve been up to.’
She tugs mechanically at her cuffs and pushes her hair back out of her eyes. She still looks a mess. The tear streaks on her cheeks are very obvious, but it’s almost dark now and probably no-one will see her. She’ll have to do as she is.
‘Run along then.’
She steps into her skirt and fastens its short pleats around her hips, then shuffles over to the hatch in the floor, her eyes anxious. He precedes her down the stepladder then stands at the bottom while she climbs unsteadily down, a hand against the back of her legs sliding up under her skirt as she reaches the floor. He pats her nervous bottom, feeling its warmth against the palm of his hand, then goes to let her out of the back door. He sends her on her way with a farewell squeeze of her buttocks that makes her flinch from the contact, then she pulls her bike away from the fence and wheels it around the angle of the building.
The man waits while the sound of her feet on the cinder path fades away, then waits a little longer for discretion’s sake. At length he locks the door from inside and walks the length of the hall in the darkness. Standing back from the window beside the main entrance he watches to see whether there is anyone to note his exit. Across the road, at the vicarage, he thinks he catches sight of a face at an upstairs window. He waits, but there is no further sign that there is anyone to see him leave. He slips out into the night and locks the door quietly, then walks away along the road.