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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Behind the Iron Curtain

Story by R.T Mason from Janus 42
The subway station was ultra-modern, spacious, brightly lit, and of course spotlessly clean. A far cry from the London Underground or the New York Subway, with not a sign of graffiti marring the sparkling walls. For naturally here in this Socialist State no one would be so antisocial as to wish to deface public property. And if by some faint chance someone did he would only do it once. A clean new train drew quietly in, its doors sliding smoothly open. From the first two compartments came a party of teenagers, 16- to 18-year-olds, laughing and chattering but at the same time orderly and well behaved. Socialist youth, disciplined and self-disciplined; no London punks here.
There were perhaps 20, all in casual summer clothes, the boys in open-necked shirts and shorts, the girls in blouses and skirts or light dresses. They all carried rucksacks. There was an excited buzz for the school year had just finished and they were going off on holiday; but there was no rowdiness or wild behaviour. It would naturally be a working holiday, not a period of idle mindless emptiness. A month of socially useful and physically healthy activity on a collective farm.
They emerged from the subway onto the street. The sun was shining in a clear blue sky; it was a glorious June day. Spirits buoyant, they strode along towards the railway station. One girl’s spirits, though, in spite of all that good socialist training, were a trifle too buoyant. As they reached the corner the lights changed to red. Six of the group had crossed on the green; the others obediently obeyed the red light. Except for that one girl, automatically following the other six across.
She was Natalia Stranska, 17, shoulder-length blonde hair and a well-developed shape in a knee-length blue-and-white polka-dot dress. As she walked against the light all the others, on either side of the street, looked anxiously around. As did Natalia when she realised what she had done. The street was quite busy, mothers with children and shopping baskets, older women, all enjoying the morning sunshine. But thankfully no sign of what they feared to see: a khaki uniform with red shoulder tabs and a red band round the cap.
The light now changed to green and the two groups joined up. There were apprehensive mutterings. Pretty Natalia was a popular girl and though she shouldn’t have done it everyone realised it was an accident. But the State Police weren’t interested in accidents. They began talking more freely as it seemed that Natalia was in luck and had not been seen. Then one boy, Aleksander, glancing back, saw him. A khaki-uniformed figure emerging from a shop doorway.
In seconds they all knew but they kept walking, not turning to look, hoping against hope that the Stapo man hadn’t seen. At the station they got their tickets. The waiting train had an empty carriage and they all got in. Here it was not like the subway which was meant as a showpiece for visitors. Both the train and the station were old and seedy-looking — but none of the group noticed that. The sun was still shining but no-one now was laughing or joking. Once the train started they could presume it was safe. They all sat tense. Natalia’s boyfriend, Stepan, sitting next to her, told her not to worry, it would be all right. There were two minutes to go.
The train in fact was five minutes late in leaving. At four minutes past the scheduled time the Stapo officer entered the carriage. A boy sitting opposite Natalia was curtly told to move. You didn’t argue with members of the State Police. The officer sat down and stared silently at Natalia. She saw he had the stars of a captain on his shoulders. All at once her body was prickling with perspiration under the thin dress. Unable to meet his gaze she looked down — to where his brown polished shoes were almost touching her white sandals. Suddenly her bones seemed to turn to rubber she was just quaking all over.
The train pulled out, through grey concrete suburbs which even the bright June sun couldn’t make attractive. No-one spoke, not the Stapo captain or anyone else. His face was thin with a sharp nose, a bit like some kind of rodent. He wasn’t old, but was not young either. His hands on the thighs of his khaki trousers had not particularly clean fingernails. I am going to be sick, Natalia told herself. Should she speak? Plead? But there was always the faint chance that he hadn’t seen, he was just travelling on the train...
Finally as they passed the city limits he reached in his jacket for a notebook. His mouth opened to show not very good teeth.
‘What is your name, Miss?’
For a moment Natalia couldn’t speak. Then something croaked out. ‘N…Natalia Stranska.’
‘Let me see your Identity Card. And where you are going?’
She scrambled the card out of her rucksack while all around everyone sat tense, on a knife edge. He noted details down in his book.
‘At 17, Miss, you are expected to understand and obey traffic regulations.’
Natalia’s breath came out in a little gasp. ‘I... I...’ She couldn’t find anything to say. He closed his book and returned the Identity Card.
‘You will come with me to another carriage. Then we will have a serious discussion on the matter of obeying the law.’
The big blue eyes blinked rapidly to cope with a sudden increase of moisture. There was nothing to say. He was going to take her to an empty carriage and Natalia knew what would happen there.
‘We will not go this minute; I must first make a telephone call when we reach Sukonice. That is five minutes I believe. There is no hurry, your journey to Projestov is three hours. So for the moment, Miss, sit and think about your antisocial conduct.’
He took out a newspaper and began to read. Swallowing a lump in her throat Natalia turned to look out of the window. Green fields now rolling by, but Natalia did not see them. She saw instead the inside of a Stapo station where she had been taken six months earlier with her friend Tanya. They had missed the last tram home and had been picked up by a Stapo car and interrogated as suspicious characters. They hadn’t done anything but each girl had nonetheless been taken separately into a small room and caned on her bare bottom.
That was going to happen now — something like it — once they reached the next stop. Natalia knew it and all the others sitting silently in the compartment knew it too.
It seemed to take no time at all to reach Sukonice. It was just a drab little place with no one getting on or off. No-one except Natalia and the Stapo captain, that was. He stood up and with a sharp movement of his hand indicated that she was to get up too.
‘Leave your things here. We will be back.’
They got off, Natalia with her face scarlet. The door slammed behind them. The others looked at each other, tight-lipped. One or two of the boys muttered ‘Bastard!’ or similar but really there was nothing to say. Outside, on the empty platform, Natalia stood in the full sun waiting as the officer made his phone call. The light breeze rustled her thin skirt, shaping it to the contours of her ripe thighs and bottom. The khaki figure reappeared. He spoke to Natalia and together they walked off, towards the rear of the train. Stepan watched, then looked away, clenching and re-clenching his fists.
They entered the last carriage. It was empty except for a middle-aged couple who were unceremoniously told to move into the next car. The Stapo man locked the interconnecting door and drew down the window blinds, cutting out the sun and leaving a golden half-light. As the train pulled out Natalia was told to stand up against the closed door.
‘So, Miss, we cannot be bothered with laws and regulations?’
Sharp brown eyes were traversing Natalia’s firm form — the full breasts swelling out the front of her dress, the slim white-belted waist, the womanly flanks. She raised a bare arm to weakly brush at a perspiring brow.
‘I… It was an accident... captain. I wasn’t thinking.’
He moved close.  ‘At 17, Miss, that is not a valid excuse. You are supposed to be responsible, an adult almost.’
Natalia stood trembling, fighting tears. His hand moved out and up. Spread-fingered, it took hold of her breast and squeezed. ‘A young woman,’ he said. She felt that sharp surge of nausea again, as when she had looked down at his shoes.
‘Have you been in trouble before, Miss?’
Natalia shook her head, struggling to keep a grip on herself. She should admit that other time, with Tanya; it would be on their books. But she couldn’t speak. His other hand came up and grasped her other breast. Two hands now squeezing through just the thin dress and the light bra underneath.
‘A little correction, Miss, that is what is needed. This badly disciplined body needs correction. So I am going to whip your bottom.’ There was a certain parched huskiness to his voice.
He gave a final squeeze and let go. His face came close. ‘Take your knickers off, Miss Natalia Stranska. Or if you prefer I can take them off for you.’ His hot breath hit her cheeks; she didn’t really like the smell of it.
It was no more than she had expected, no more than all the others in the group at the other end of the train would be expecting. Nonetheless to actually hear it from his gloating lips was something else. Natalia tried to concentrate on not crying as she reached down. Her hands up under the blue-and-white dress, fumbling. She had only her knickers underneath and she got her fingers in the waistband. They came down, brief white cotton. ‘Right off!’ Down the slim bare legs. Lifting one sandaled foot and then the other, almost toppling over in the process. He took the knickers and tossed them on a seat.
‘Up on the seat then, Miss. Kneel.’
The Stapo officer had produced a leather strap from somewhere and was winding the end round his fist. Natalia gazed at it like a hypnotised rabbit; it was half an inch wide, the dangling end 18 inches long. She had been strapped before a couple of times, by her father, but only across her calves, not on her bare bottom. Trying not to think, Natalia climbed up on the hard cloth-covered seat, up on hands and knees as directed, her blonde hair falling down round her face.
She felt the skirt of her dress being pulled up, over her back. It left nothing below Natalia’s waist apart from the open sandals. Flaring bottom cheeks, full rounded thighs, shapely calves, all bare burgeoning flesh. She tried to shut out the picture of what she was showing to the Stapo man. The hand holding out the strap ran its knuckles over the smoothly swelling cheeks. Natalia tried to blot it all out but couldn’t. Behind her the hard eyes, greedy, devoured every detail. Really it was wicked for this to be happening to such a lovely, pretty, sensitive girl, no doubt the apple of her father’s eye.
‘Keep it still! Now I will show you how we deal with antisocial actions, Miss.’
There was not a lot of room between the facing seats but there was space enough to swing the strap. It hissed through the soft light to crack like a pistol shot across Natalia’s trembling bottom cheeks. Her mouth burst open in a strangled cry; she had told herself she wouldn’t cry out but it came out nonetheless. Her father’s strap across her legs was nothing like this and had been loving in comparison. The pain was quite as bad as that cane in the Stapo station.
The strap cracked in again, squarely across the full meat of Natalia’s bottom. The second, on her now agonising rear, felt even worse than the first. The strangled cry came out again, with a desperate writhing of the ripe buttocks. The pain was still rising, increasing, when a third stroke sliced in. This time Natalia let out a full-blooded howl.
The strap kept coming down, criss-crossing the kneeling girl’s firm-fleshed bottom, biting into the soft thighs. Natalia was crying now, sobbing both with the pain and this whole mortifying scene. At one point she collapsed down on her face on the seat in the swaying train but her tormentor simply hauled her back up again and kept going.
At last the Stapo officer stopped and put the strap down. He dragged Natalia to her feet and his arms went round her, pulling her close. One hand slid down to the shaking girl’s red raw bottom, still exposed beneath her rucked up skirt.
‘A little rest now, Miss, and then we have another session. Unless, that is, you can think of something else.’
His hand was groping Natalia’s raw bottom, holding her in hard against the serge trousers where there was an unmistakable stiff bulge. Natalia had no doubt what he meant, what was being offered. She shook her tear-wet face. The prospect of another bout of that fearful strap was mind-numbing but it was preferable to the other.
He asked her again and again. Natalia shook her head. She gave a yelp as he viciously pinched a handful of bottom and then she was being pushed up on the seat again.
Three quarters of an hour after Sukonice. Natalia re-joined her companions, walking back along the corridor in front of the Stapo captain. They all looked up but seeing that the officer was still with her said nothing. Red-faced, as she had been when she left the carriage, Natalia sat carefully down. Carefully because her bottom was extremely sore and also because she had no knickers on. They were in the Stapo officer’s pocket. All she wanted to do was crawl into a corner somewhere where no-one could see her, but her ordeal wasn’t over yet. The Stapo man had another little twist up his sleeve. He ordered Natalia to her feet again and then addressed the rest of the group.
‘I hope what has happened today will be a lesson to all of you to be ever vigilant in your behaviour and conduct. Never assume you can get away with a law-breaking act. Let it be a lesson you do not forget.’
As he spoke he pulled Natalia in front of him, turning her round so that her back faced the rest of the group. With a quick movement he took hold of the hem of Natalia’s dress and yanked it up round her waist. There were shocked gasps as her bared bottom was displayed, glowing pinkly and criss-crossed with darker stripes. Keeping her skirt raised round her waist the Stapo officer turned Natalia to left and right to ensure everyone had a good look.
‘Please remember this, all of you,’ he observed. He held her skirt high for some minutes before letting go and sitting down. Close to tears, Natalia remained uncertainly standing, her dress still rucked up. Finally there was a nod from the officer and she grabbed the skirt down and collapsed into her seat. At the next stop, after a cautionary, ‘Remember, all of you!’ he got off.
As the door slammed there was an outburst of angry comment, while Natalia turned to sob into Stepan’s shirt front. Displaying her to the others in addition to strapping her had been just about the cruellest thing. But at the same time you knew the law and you knew what the Stapo were like. Stepan, with his arm round Natalia, did his best to comfort her. Apart from knowing what she had gone through, the whole thing had been particularly humiliating for him. Sitting there for three quarters of an hour with all the others in the knowledge that his girlfriend was having to submit to that Stapo bastard. And then having her exposed like that.
But human nature being what it is, sympathy was not the only emotion which had been roused. For a number of the others, girls as well as boys, it had been profoundly exciting. In one or two girls the adrenalin was flowing strongly at the thought of being caned or strapped like that. And more than one boy had felt a sudden tightness in his shorts when pretty Natalia’s bare bottom had been abruptly exhibited to them.
At the other end of the carriage a fair-haired boy, Jan Morabec, turned to whisper hotly in the ear of his companion.
‘That’ll give you something to wank about in bed tonight, Mikhail.’
Mikhail Drosnice flushed red. Opposite them a dark-haired girl, Anna Suslova, rolled big brown eyes. She had a full sensuous figure and was the girlfriend of another boy but that didn’t stop Anna looking around. She couldn’t hear what Jan had said but it had clearly been something sexy about Natalia. She kicked him lightly in the ankle, then crossed her legs. She made quite a performance of it, making sure both boys got a good look at what was under the denim skirt: full creamy thighs and a glimpse of a triangle of brief pink knickers.
Pulling her skirt primly down again she said coyly, ‘Don’t say dirty things about Natalia.’
Jan kicked her playfully back. Keeping his voice low he answered, ‘I wouldn’t mind seeing you whipped by the Stapo, Anna.’ Anna laughed and passed her tongue over full lips. ‘I bet!’ She had been caned by them a couple of times. It had hurt all right but it had also been tremendously exciting, as a drama which had totally engulfed her.
She kicked Jan back again. ‘Nasty boys! You should be sorry for poor Natalia.’
Poor Natalia meanwhile had stopped sobbing into Stepan’s shirt and was wiping her eyes. She looked really wrung-out now. There was a brief exchange with her friend Tanya and then she got up and fumbled in her rucksack. With Tanya and another girl shielding her, Natalia put on another pair of knickers. Soon afterwards it was time for lunch and they took out their packed rations. Eating was a welcome distraction and there was also the thought of the coming month, which up to a couple of hours earlier had been completely occupying everyone’s thoughts. Now most of them started thinking and talking about it again, as they got over the shock of what had happened to Natalia. For of course such things did happen and you learnt to accept them. For Natalia, though, and for Stepan it was not going to fade away just like that.
They reached Projestov soon after lunch. It was a small country town and they were to be taken in two lorries out to the farms. They would be at two different farms but they were close enough that they would be able to meet. As it happened, Natalia and Stepan and Tanya, Anna and her boyfriend Pavel, and Jan and Mikhail were all in the same group. They sat on two facing benches as the lorry bounced over rough country roads.
Anna smiled across at Natalia and Stepan. ‘A rough ride, eh Natalia! We will have to get used to this country life.’
She had almost said something about Natalia’s presumably still sore and smarting bottom but checked herself just in the nick of time. Anna remained aroused by what had happened and when she had a chance planned to have a word with Natalia in private to see if she could get the details. Everyone knew that some Stapo officers could try to get something else from a girl, although sexual coercion was strictly illegal. As well as thinking about this Anna was surreptitiously eyeing Jan who now sat directly opposite in the bouncing lorry.
She had not seen much of him at school as they were in different classes but after the train journey she sensed that he could get interested in her, and for Anna another boy was always titillating. She was squashed against her boyfriend Pavel with her arm linked through his. Anna gave it an affectionate squeeze, then casually stretched her legs out in front of her. One toe ‘accidentally’ touched Jan’s shoe. Anna gave a little push. His eyes met hers.
The farm complex when they got there was a mixture of old farmhouses and barns, with faded yellow walls and moss-covered red tiled roofs, and modern utilitarian concrete block structures. They were met in a concrete yard by the farm manager, Mr Vynenko, and his wife and two assistant managers. Mr Vynenko and his wife were in their fifties, the assistants younger. They all seemed very friendly and some farm-produced wine was brought out and welcoming toasts drunk. Stepan who had been elected group leader replied with a set-piece about hoping they would be able to provide worthwhile help.
They were shown their quarters, the girls were to sleep in the main farmhouse and the boys in one of the modern buildings. Anna, laughing, said it looked like a cow barn and that was very appropriate for the boys as they had animal-like habits. She dug her fingers into Jan’s ribs. Afterwards Mr Vynenko took them on a tour of the farm and described what they would be doing. Haymaking mostly, and some work with the vines, weeding and pruning.
He said they would make a start next morning but could have the rest of the day free. It was hot and sultry and with a cool river nearby most of them took advantage of this to swim and sunbathe on the bank. All except Natalia and Stepan, who went off for a walk.
‘Poor Natalia,’ said Anna to Jan and Mikhail as they lay watching Pavel swim to the other bank. ‘She’s afraid that if she puts on her bikini she’ll show those strap marks. But we have seen them already.’
Anna was in her element, lying in the hot sun and showing off her voluptuous figure in her brief pink bikini, with various boys around to admire her. Later that evening she managed to get Natalia alone but the blonde girl didn’t want to say anything further beyond the fact that it had been really dreadful. That was rather annoying. Natalia could at least be friendly and tell.
They started work the next morning — up at six for breakfast and then a long day in the hot dusty fields. It was exhausting work when you weren’t used to it and by the evening there were many blisters and aching limbs. The second day was even worse but the third wasn’t quite so bad as most of them were now getting the knack of the various jobs, though it was still exhausting. For Natalia, and for Stepan, the hard work and exhaustion at least meant there was little time or energy left for worrying.
The worry was primarily about that other time with Tanya. If the Stapo realised that Natalia had not admitted that fact, that she had had a run-in with them before, there could be serious trouble. And it would be no use claiming she had forgotten or had been too scared to mention it. It would be put down as attempted deception, a serious offence. In theory they should make the connection; Natalia would definitely be on their books as the Stapo religiously recorded everyone who fell foul of them. But on the other hand while the State Police were vicious they were not particularly efficient, so there was a good chance that nothing would happen.
It was almost like waiting on that train all over again. Waiting and praying to the gods, except that there weren’t any gods, were there? Only the State. The long days of hot hard work were therefore welcome in that they gave some relief from the waiting and worrying.
The waiting ended on the fourth day, at lunchtime. They were eating outside at tables in the courtyard when there was a hissed ‘Look!’ from Mikhail. Pulling up at the corner of the barn was the familiar yellow car with its large blue light on the roof. An equally familiar khaki-clad figure emerged.
As he came closer they saw this one had an extra star on his shoulders. A major: a somewhat corpulent figure in a tight uniform topped off with a bland face behind steel-rimmed glasses. He spoke quietly to Mr Vynenko. Natalia was called into the house. Five minutes later, weeping, she was being driven off.
Mr Vynenko told the others to carry on, it was just a routine inquiry; finish up and get back to work. But they all knew what it was. By now they all knew about that time with Tanya. Tanya herself had been apprehensive that she might be taken in, as an accomplice or something. But it was only Natalia going off in the yellow car. They were assigned their tasks, this afternoon out in some fields at the edge of the farm. Jan, though, was told he could clean out a nearby barn that was wanted for new hay.
As Mr Vynenko turned away Anna moved quickly to his side. The sight of Natalia being taken off had sent her blood pulsating. Breathless, she asked if she could help Jan. Mr Vynenko looked, then nodded.
Anna ran to Pavel and kissed him. ‘I’m feeling tired, that’s all, Pavel darling. I’ll see you later, don’t work too hard.’
Pavel didn’t look too pleased but climbed in the wagon with the others. Like most of them he was shell-shocked by what had happened to Natalia.
The barn was large and airy, smelling of hay and feeling cooler after the direct heat of the sun outside. Anna shivered, but from excitement not the temperature.
‘You’d better watch out for Pavel,’ Jan told her. ‘He might think we’re up to something.’
The pretty brunette gave a tight little laugh. ‘Oh don’t worry about Pavel, he knows I love him. But what about Natalia? What d’you think they’re doing to her right now?’
‘What d’you think? Those bastards.’
Suddenly Anna had her arms round Jan and was kissing him, her full moist mouth, her wet tongue, hot and greedy. Jan was taken aback but then responded. Anna felt really on the boil. She could picture Natalia being bent over a table with her knickers being yanked down. She could picture herself in the same situation...
She broke her mouth away from Jan’s. ‘What d’you want to do?’ she whispered in his ear.
The hard bulge in the front of Jan’s shorts and the look in his eyes when Anna turned her head told her well enough. She wriggled herself against him.
‘No, we can’t do that. I’m Pavel’s girl remember. But... would you like to strap me...?’
Jan blinked. ‘What!
‘Strap, Jan dumb-dumb. What Natalia is getting right now probably. You can do it to me.’ She giggled sexily. ‘And then when you’ve finished I’m going to smack your bum. Your bare bum, of course!’
Anna backed away. As Jan stood gaping her hands went to her waist and unfastened her belt. She tossed it to him, her face flushed red. The belt landed on the dusty floor and Jan picked it up; it was pink leather, about two inches wide and quite heavy with a big brass buckle. He flexed it in his hands, feeling the weight of it and feeling also a surge of arousal as what Anna was saying finally hit him.
‘What... what if anyone comes in?’
Anna tossed glossy brown locks. They won’t. Anyway we can go up there.’ She pointed to a vertical ladder leading up to a hayloft above their heads. ‘Come on!
She set off up the ladder with Jan following. Looking up he had a heady view up Anna’s navy skirt of thighs and pale blue knickers. Was she planning to take them off? The skirt… and the pants...?
Jan’s thoughts were quickly answered as in the loft Anna unzipped the knee-length skirt and stepped out of it. There was no slip, just the pale blue pants: tight and brief and semi-transparent, showing the dark of a full bush of hair at her groin.
Come on!’ squealed Anna. ‘I can’t wait!’
And then she skinned off the knickers as well to leave herself in only blue blouse and sandals. Grinning, Anna put her hands on her hips, showing off her full womanly flesh and that thick bush of hair; then she stepped over to the rail at the edge of the loft. It was suitably hip height and she leaned over it, making a low throaty growl as she did so.
Jan gazed goggle-eyed — at the swelling bottom thrust out at him, twin ripe moons with their deep dividing cleft between. He had never strapped or spanked a girl before, never even thought of it, but now with Anna’s ripe female hindquarters submissively and provocatively waiting for it Jan felt a surge of hot lust. The feeling was of maleness, of domination, made much more intense by that fact that this was someone else’s girlfriend offering herself. Eyes gleaming and intent, Jan raised the belt and brought it slashing down.
It landed with a juicy splat, squarely across Anna’s waiting rump. She let out a gasping squeal, her bottom writhing with both pain and pleasure. The red imprint of the belt became rapidly darker. Heart pounding, Jan raised the pink leather and sliced it in again. Once more Anna squealed... and then gasped, ‘Don’t stop!
He didn’t. Jan kept splatting it down while Anna’s mature hips kept churning to the accompaniment of a medley of groans and gasps and yelps. Transfixed and intoxicated, Jan kept going. There was eventually a climactic squealing yelp from Anna who then flopped down on the floor. For a moment Jan thought he had gone too far, that he had done her an injury, but when he bent over he heard moans that were clearly of pleasure.
Still gasping, Anna struggled to her feet. ‘Ooohh, that was super! And now I’m going to do you.’
Jan had forgotten what she had said about spanking him and in any case had not thought she was serious. But it seemed Anna was as she grabbed him. He struggled but not desperately hard as the thought was arousing — and there was also the fact that the girl he was struggling with had nothing on below her waist. Nothing at all! She yanked down his shorts and then his underpants. Not surprisingly Jan was in a state of full arousal, rigidly sticking up and out.
Anna’s hot eyes clamped on it and she bit her lip. Then collapsing back onto a convenient wooden bench she got Jan over her lap. Her hand started making sharp contact with his bare bottom. Jan submitted for a while and then began struggling. They both finished upon the hay-strewn boards of the floor.
‘We mustn’t do anything,’ breathed Anna, her hand greedily grasping. ‘Oooh, I wonder what they’re doing to poor Natalia right now?’
Back in the town of Projestov, in the Stapo major’s office, nothing had happened to Natalia as yet. No canes or straps had been produced and she still had her knickers on under her skirt, but as Natalia stood in front of the Stapo major’s desk she knew that all this was simply a matter of time.
Major Slavek glanced up to give her another frank look, then continued his perusal of the papers. She was a choice-looking piece all right and a city girl as well, not one of the local country bumpkins who were the usual fare in the Projestov office. Yes, quite a stroke of luck. She had cried for most of the drive from the farm, silently weeping, although Josef Slavek had not touched her. That in itself had been rather stimulating; a Stapo officer liked to see tears in a girl as it meant she was getting in the right frame of mind. And a pretty, well-developed city girl to boot — yes, certainly a stroke of luck.
The records were quite clear and when he queried her she confirmed what they said, so for once the system hadn’t fouled up. She had been picked up for loitering in her home town in January, and then four days ago for a deliberate traffic violation. When questioned at that time she had denied any previous involvement with the State Police. Yes, all correct and clear-cut. It was true she denied the charge, loitering, on the first occasion but at the same time she had been caned for it. Yes, clear-cut.
‘Come here, Miss.’
 Natalia walked numbly round to stand at his side. The room felt hot and stuffy but maybe it was only the state she was in. She had just realised that she had on the same dress as on the train: the blue-and-white polka-dot. The dress she’d had yanked up round her waist for the Stapo captain’s strap.
The major’s voice was soft and not unfriendly but what counted was what he was saying. ‘It seems there is no doubt, Miss, and it is something we must take a serious view of. In part for your own good, of course. So I think a period at a corrective establishment will be called for.’
Natalia felt her knees go weak. Everyone knew about corrective establishments. You were under harsh military-type discipline with probably a daily thrashing thrown in. And when you came out, six months or a year later, it was on your record, on your Identity Card; you were virtually marked for life. Natalia shook her head as she felt the tears coming.
The major gave her a bland look. ‘It won’t be at once; you can finish your month at the farm first. I shall want to see you during this time, of course. Yes, I should think twice a week would be satisfactory.’
Natalia fought with the tears. That presumably meant coming here twice a week to be caned or strapped but that was nothing compared to the thought of a Correction Institute.
She wiped her eyes, her voice stuttery. ‘Pl…please. Don’t s…send me to a…a...’
The major cut brusquely in. ‘That is what your case calls for, Miss. I cannot see any extenuating circumstances but a final decision does not have to be made now. Right now I think a routine physical correction session is needed. So please remove your knickers, Miss Stranska.’
At least he had said a final decision had not been taken, Natalia told herself as she reached up under her skirt. Brief pink knickers came down and were placed on his desk.
Major Slavek’s eyes caressed her. ‘Good,’ he murmured. ‘Very good.’ His hand came up Natalia’s skirt and stroked her bare bottom. Then he got up abruptly and went to the door. She heard him call out that he wasn’t to be disturbed for 15 minutes; then he locked the door.
‘Right, Miss Stranska; I think we’ll have the dress off as well.’
With fingers that were all thumbs Natalia unfastened the little white buttons on the bodice, then pulled the dress over her head. She stood in just bra and sandals. The major had a cane in his hand now — a long, quite heavy-looking cane. His face was flushed, his eyes bright behind the glasses.
‘Perhaps we may as well have the bra off too.’
Obediently Natalia unfastened it and slipped it off. She was quite nude now unless you counted the white strap-backed sandals. Her breasts might not be as big as Anna’s but they were nonetheless a very good size, high and firm, the nipples now erect and turgid. Natalia stood straight with her arms at her sides, not attempting to cover her breasts or the soft blonde bush. She would do exactly what he wanted, anything he wanted, just as long as there was a chance of not going to the Correction Institute.
The bright eyes behind the glasses drank in Natalia’s nude form and then he told her to get over his desk and grip the other edge. He had moved all his papers to make one side clear. The polished desk top was cold against Natalia’s flushed bare body. I can take anything, she told herself, just as long as…
Everything went red as the cane exploded into her bottom. Buttocks frantically clenching, Natalia didn’t know if she could take much of that. It was devastating, the cane a lot heavier than the one they had used before and her bottom felt as if it had been sliced in half. She hung onto the desk, battling with the ferocious pain.
The cane cracked in again. Natalia heard herself making desperate animal-like yelps. In gritting her teeth she also managed to bite her tongue. But the horrendous cane kept slashing in, onto Natalia’s feverishly working buttocks. Everything was red; red before her eyes, a red heat in her rear. She felt she was going to faint.
His face was red and she could see beads of perspiration. His hand was on her fiery bottom, stroking. Then he let go and moved away, taking off his glasses and polishing them.
‘Good, Miss Stranska. You can dress now. That will be all for today. As I say I will want to see you twice a week while you are at the farm.’
Still shaking like a leaf, Natalia reached her clothes. What was going to happen? She needed to know.
‘Pl...please... Do I have to...’ Her voice was scarcely audible.
Natalia didn’t know if she did or not. She got eight strokes but she only knew that afterwards when she looked in the bathroom mirror back at the farm. Certainly her mind went blank for a time. And the next thing, shaking and sobbing, she felt the major pulling her upright.
But the only answer Natalia got was a bland enigmatic smile. Major Slavek’s hand intimately groped her bottom again but that didn’t tell her anything. He said she would be driven back to the farm, and would be brought to see him again in three days.
At the farm it seemed deserted, everyone out in the fields presumably. Then Jan and Anna appeared from one of the barns. They were both flush-faced and excited-looking which caused Natalia to momentarily wonder what they had been doing. But it was only for a moment because she had far more important things to think about. Anna at once began bombarding her with questions but Natalia wasn’t going to answer. Not any details anyway. She said briefly that she had been caned and she would have to go back and left it at that.
That was all Natalia intended to say to anyone, including Stepan. She would make no mention of the Correction Institute, it was anyway something she could scarcely bear to think about. Three and a half weeks left. Three and a half weeks presumably for Major Slavek to make his decision. She would do whatever he wanted, so long as she didn’t have to go.
Mr Vynenko appeared from somewhere and told Jan and Anna to get back to work. He was friendly and sympathetic and said he was sorry Natalia seemed to have got in a spot of trouble. He made her some coffee and then said she could have the rest of the afternoon off.
Natalia went off for a walk, grateful to be alone. The countryside was hot and dusty but under the clear blue sky it was also beautiful. Throbbing warmth radiated out of her bottom with every step she took. Resolutely she shut out those thoughts of steel gates and high grey grim incarcerating walls.

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