It is a sunny afternoon in mid-summer, the sort of day when people would prefer to be out in the open air than at work indoors. When children should be running along beaches or riding bicycles or stealing early apples from someone’s orchard.
In the town’s rather olde-worlde High Street women are shopping and cats are sunning themselves on door-steps and there is an overall atmosphere of ‘Well, if it doesn’t get done today, tomorrow will do.’
Along the High Street, walking several paces behind her mother, comes a young girl who would indeed endorse the ‘tomorrow will do’ sentiment whole-heartedly. She is being taken to her first lesson with her tutor, who has apparently convinced her mother that with his help her daughter will in some magical way recover the ground which she lost during her last school year through idleness, for a fee of course.
Annette doubts it. In fact she is quite certain that no such thing will happen. She has no intention of doing anything at all that might be called work, certainly not on a lovely summer day as this. This ‘tutor’ business is just another of her mother’s fads. Provided Annette keeps her head and maintains her reputation for laziness her mum will soon realise that she is wasting her money.
The couple turn off the High Street down a side road, and the girl’s mother leads the way through a door beside a little tea-shop, her daughter following behind wearing an expression indicating complete boredom with the whole charade. They climb the narrow staircase and the girl follows her mother into a sparsely furnished room which has the appearance of a waiting room, to judge by the scattering of magazines and periodicals on the solitary table. A middle-aged man is seated with his back to the window, looking as though he is indeed waiting. He smiles politely at Annette’s mother, who says ‘Good afternoon’ in return.
They sit in silence for a while, and Annette slumps untidily in her chair, slipping her bottom across the seat and not bothering that her skirt rides up her legs. She doesn’t particularly care when the man’s eyes run up her thighs, look away, then return again as the girl slides deliberately an inch or so further, making her shirt ruck up in her lap and leaving her legs bare for as much as twelve inches above her knees. She is making the point to her mother that she’s grown up; that men look at her; that she’s just too old to be treated like a child anymore. That this tutor business won’t do any good at all.
Having looked too long and risking embarrassing himself should the girl’s mother notice, the man returns his attention to his magazine, though only briefly. His expression comes alive as voices sound from the adjacent room, the one masculine and insistent, the other girlish and protesting. The voices cease — apparently a compromise has been achieved.
‘My niece,’ says the man, nodding towards the door. He has a vague smile on his face. His eyes wander to Annette’s thighs again before he says, ‘Your daughter?’ to Annette’s mother.
‘Yes,’ says her mum. ‘I’m hoping she’ll buck her ideas up at school next year. That’s why we’re here. I’ve booked her in for six weeks with Mr Forbes.’
Annette slouches even more, her normally pretty face clouded by her frowning disapproval of being talked about as though she were not entitled to her own opinions in the matter. The pale triangle of her knickers up under her skirt catches the man’s eye briefly before he speaks again.
‘She’s quite a big girl, isn’t she? How old is she?’
‘Seventeen,’ says Annette’s mother.
‘And two months,’ says Annette petulantly.
‘You be quiet,’ says her mother, smiling apologetically at the man.
‘My niece is sixteen,’ says the man, and adds ‘She’s quite a big girl too. But Mr Forbes can handle her.’ He smiles again, Annette doesn’t know why.
‘I see,’ says Annette’s mum. She seems reluctant to go on, but at last she says, ‘And — how does your niece I mean, — how does she take to the, er, disciplinary aspects of Mr Forbes’ course?’
Annette is looking out of the window and doesn’t catch the drift of the conversation.
‘She didn’t like it at all at first, actually, but what would you expect from a girl her age? But now; well he’s got her eating out of his hand.’ He looks at Annette, who is off in some dream world of her own.
‘She’ll be as good as gold, once Mr Forbes has had her pants down once or twice, you mark my words.’ He grins, ‘You mark my words, and Mr Forbes will mark her bottom.’ He chuckles cheerfully.
Annette’s mum isn’t sure how to respond. She nudges her daughter ‘Sit up, girl.’
Annette comes out of her reverie and stirs herself, but remains slouched on her chair. Silence resumes.
A minute or so later a sound permeates from beyond the closed door. A soft ‘smacking’ sound, or so it seems. The man pulls a face, as if wincing, and sucks air through his lips as though deploring the implications of the slight noise from the next room. His apparent sympathy is contradicted however by the vacant smile which once again spreads across his face.
The quiet, restrained smacking sound comes again, and then again, and the man’s smile grows wider as a plaintive whimper follows the noise. A man’s voice and then a girlish complaint are heard, and Annette is suddenly very alert and sitting bolt upright on her chair.
Smack!! The sound is louder and crisper. The unseen girl bleats dismally.
The man, still smiling, says conversationally, ‘He’s got her pants down now. You can tell by the sound.’
Whack!! The sound of the impact is accompanied by a pathetic wail.
‘Definitely got ‘em down,’ says the man, nodding to himself as if pleased with the vindication of his assumption. He is still nodding as the Thwack!! sounds again, and Annette stares pale-faced at the door while her mother sits stoically looking neither to right nor left. The sound of crying is overlaid by the masculine voice, and then only a few seconds later the door opens and a girl wearing school uniform is shushed through into the waiting-room.
Her young face is damp with tears, her cheeks glowing hotly and her mouth part-open as she gasps out her sobs. The tall man standing in the doorway behind her gives only a fleeting glance to Annette, then he speaks to the weeping girl’s uncle.
‘Her homework is abysmal,’ he says. ‘See that she spends more time on tonight’s work, if you would, and bring her fifteen minutes early tomorrow. If it’s no better we’ll have to have her pants down again.’
The wretched subject of this short conversation stares with frightened eyes at the tutor and wriggles her hips as she fumbles her knickers back up under her skirt. Annette looks wide-eyed at first the girl and then the tutor, and back again, and then Mr Forbes is speaking to her mother, her mother is propelling her through the door into the tutor’s room. She passes Mr Forbes, the key turns in the lock of the door, and suddenly what seemed like only a bad dream a moment ago has become a dreadful reality. Annette stares aghast at the evidence that her eyes and ears have not deceived her. A long, slim cane, its varnish shining in the sunlight from the window, lies smugly on a big desk, gleaming wickedly. She swallows hard several times, and then realises that she is being spoken to.
Mr Forbes looks down at her as if making a show of being a patient man.
‘I said: Good afternoon, Annette.’
‘Oh — er, good afternoon.’
Patiently Mr Forbes says ‘Good afternoon, sir.’
‘Um — good afternoon, sir.’
‘She’s usually very polite,’ says Annette’s mother, though of course it isn’t true.
‘Yes, quite so,’ says the tutor ‘— er, did you bring those items which we discussed, Mrs Simms?’
Annette’s mum produces a little bundle from her shopping bag.
‘I’m afraid it’s just a skirt — and some socks. She hasn’t worn any of her uniform since she was about fifteen.’ She adds, ‘And I couldn’t find any school — er, knickers. I should think they’ve been thrown away long ago.’
‘I see,’ Mr Forbes looks the bewildered girl up and down. ‘Never mind. I should think we’ll find something to fit her.’ He takes the proffered bundle and puts it on the desk in front of him.
‘Now then young lady,’ he says less conversationally. ‘Doubtless you know why you are here. You are here to make up for the time you have lost at school. What you probably do not realise is that should it be necessary, I have your mother’s agreement that any idleness, any lack of willingness to work and work hard, any disrespect and any disobedience of any kind is to be punished, and punished in the traditional way.’
Annette gapes, at a loss for words. Mr Forbes goes on. ‘You probably know what I mean by that, don’t you Annette? The young lady whom you met briefly outside had just had her bottom caned. As you will have noticed, she found it a somewhat distressing experience.’
Annette gulps and looks pleadingly at her mother. Mr Forbes goes determinedly on to make his point.
‘Do you understand me, Annette?’
‘Y-y-yes, I think so.’
‘Yes? And what should you say?’
‘Sir!’ Whispers Annette’s mum.
‘Ooo — s-sir!’
‘Fine.’ The tutor addresses himself to Annette’s mother. ‘Well, thank you Mrs Simms. Will you come back for her later, or will she make her own way home?’
‘Well, I’m afraid I can’t come back —’
‘I see.’ He glances at his watch. ‘Well, it’s three o’clock now — provided we progress satisfactorily, let’s say she’ll be leaving about five thirty. Will that be alright?’
‘Well, yes.’ Mrs Simms seems a little reluctant to go, but Mr Forbes, well-used to these poignant moments, ushers her politely but firmly to the door. ‘Goodbye, Mrs Simms. You can leave it to me now.’
Annette is so shaken that she simply stands rooted to the spot as her mother leaves. The door is locked again, and the suddenly more authoritative Mr Forbes strides purposefully to his desk and seats himself. He indicates a tall cupboard against one wall.
‘In there,’ he says ‘you will find certain items of clothing. What you are looking for is a pair of school knickers which will fit you. When you have found them you will change into them, and into these.’ He gestures to the little heap of clothing on his desk. ‘Is that clear, Annette?’
‘Y-yes — sir.’ In a daze Annette goes to the cupboard. Inside, on a shelf, she finds a cardboard box inside which are about a dozen pairs of knickers; navy blue, green, white, even brown and a maroon pair. Each pair is neatly labelled. ‘Confiscated —’ followed by the date. After several minutes rummaging Annette still hasn’t found a pair which look as though they might fit her. Mr Forbes irritable voice chivvies her to hurry up.
‘But — none of them look big enough,’ she says pathetically.
‘Nonsense!’ Mr Forbes takes out the cardboard box and plonks it on his desk. He fishes out a pair of green ones and holds them up with a finger in the elastic on each side. ‘Let’s have a look,’ he says brusquely.
‘P-pardon — sir?’
‘Show me what you’re wearing now, girl. Let me see what size you are!’
‘At once! or do you want to start off without any knickers.’
Annette’s skirt inches reluctantly up her thighs. Her little white nylon pants appear, close-fitting and semi-transparent. Glancing from the green pants in his hands to Annette’s unwillingly displayed panties and back again Mr Forbes clucks his tongue impatiently.
‘What’s wrong with these?’ he demands. ‘They’ll only be a little snug-fitting, that’s all. Now get those off and put these on, and be quick about it!’ He tosses the green knickers to Annette, who clutches at them in mid-air, drops them, scrambles for them on the floor and then slithers her own pants down before dragging the too-tight school knickers up her thighs. She is ordered out of her skirt, and then told to turn this way and that while her tutor ascertains the fit of the second-hand pants. It is plain to see that they are much too small, cutting into the tops of her thighs and stretched tight around her hips, the smallness most evident at the back where, pulled up neatly to her waist, the knickers cover hardly more than half her cheeks and are rucked tightly up into the division of her bum.
‘An excellent fit!’ says Mr Forbes, and indeed from his point of view they are. So much of the plump cheekiness of her bottom is left bare by the knickers that it would be perfectly possible to give her a knickers-up caning and get a good half-dozen strokes comfortably placed across her bare bum. He picks up the short grey skirt which Annette’s mother has brought. Held up at arm’s length it becomes plain that it is very short indeed. It seems to be hardly more than eight or nine inches long.
‘Did you actually used to wear this to school?’ asks Mr Forbes.
‘N-no sir, not really. It’s a sports skirt sir. For games.’
‘Oh — I see.’ He resumes his authoritarian tone. ‘Well then, put it on girl.’
Annette struggles with the waistband and manages to get the skirt done up. It sits so high on her hips that it seems probable that her pants will be visible from behind. He makes her turn round and finds that amazingly it just covers her pert young bottom.
She is then told to put her socks on. She turns her back and hops about on one foot and her tutor’s supposition that, with the girl bending even slightly forward her knickers would be on view is confirmed, indeed the bareness of the lower part of her cheeks is temptingly exposed sufficiently to make a bare-bottom caning quite possible without even raising the girl’s skirt. Annette puts her shoes on and is ordered to stand before the tutor’s desk, now dressed in a tight white sleeveless top, short grey skirt and blue knee-length socks. Mr Forbes is ready to get on with the next part of his ‘induction ritual.’
He picks up a heavy wooden ruler from his desk. Annette watches him dubiously as he walks behind her. A finger prods her forward, until the fronts of her thighs are against the edge of the big desk.
‘Bend over, Annette.’
‘Oooh —’ She hesitates, but bends over anyway. The tight fit of her school knickers comes into view and she shudders as her little skirt is pulled up to the small of her back. With a couple of paperclips the tutor fastens her skirt to her vest. Her plump young bum-cheeks swell firmly inside the tight pants. The ruler taps impatiently against the bareness below her knickers.
‘Now then girl — as I have said, misbehaviour and disappointing work will always be punished.’ The ruler smacks lightly against the girl’s bottom and continues to do so. ‘This —’ Smack — Smack ‘— is the part of a young lady’s anatomy which is, as it were, ‘tailor-made’ for the application of such punishment —’ Smack ‘— and since, to judge by your mother’s report of you —’ Smack ‘— you are a lazy —’ Smack ‘— idle —’ Smack ‘— girl, you will be spending quite some time in this undignified position —’ Smack.
Annette’s half-naked bottom nips together as the spanks get stingier, and this earns her a sharp slap across her legs.
‘Don’t fidget girl!’ Annette gasps and whimpers nervously, and Mr Forbes proceeds.
‘The cane,’ he says, ‘is sometimes administered ‘over the knickers’ particularly if you are likely to earn more than one caning in a lesson, which an idle, work-shy child such as you is quite likely to do. Understood so far?’
‘Yes s-sir —’
‘Good. —’ Smack ‘— Now then, all other punishments are invariably given ‘on the bare bottom’. Is that clear?’
‘Are you sure, girl? All other punishments are given — how?’
‘On th-the bare b-bottom sir.’
‘Correct. Which means — what, Annette?’
‘Er — I — I don’t know sir.’
Whack! Annette’s bum swerves wildly as the ruler smacks down across both cheeks at once.
‘It means you take your knickers down girl!’ — Smack! — ‘that’s what it means!’
Annette wriggles helplessly, not daring to get up from the desk for fear that dire consequences will result. The picture of that other poor girl weeping as she pulled her pants up out in the waiting room is enough to convince her that she’ll do anything to avoid the cane. Mr Forbes stands back, delighting in the picture which Annette’s half-bared and pinkening bottom makes bent across his desk. So far so good. Now the next step.
Leaving the panting girl over the desk, the tutor saunters to the cupboard by the wall and selects a tawse from amongst a number hanging from hooks along the back. Flexing its thick leather between his hands, and ignoring Annette’s gasps of apprehension, he orders her to stand on a low stool which he says she will find in the bottom of the cupboard. The stool retrieved from its hiding place, she stands anxiously upon it, her skirt still clipped up at the back and her silly, too-small pants making her bum push out pertly as if asking for more.
‘Now then —’ Mr Forbes is enjoying himself ‘— having established that knickers come down for punishments, I think you’ll agree that a little practice is in order, so that no time is wasted during lessons in future.’ He pats Annette’s trembling bottom. ‘Do you agree with that, Annette?’
‘Oh — yes sir, yes.’
‘Yes, of course you do. You’re a big girl now aren’t you? You can see the sense of that.’
‘Yes sir —’
‘Yes — and how old did your mother say you were Annette? Sixteen was it?’
‘Ah yes, seventeen. Yes, you are a big, grown up girl. What a pity that a big girl like you should have to be treated like a little girl, eh?’
‘Sir? Um — y-yes sir.’
‘Yes, of course.’ With a final pat up under the girl’s waiting bottom, the tutor begins the next stage of her humiliation.
‘Now then — this is going to be a little question and answer game, and it’s intended to make quite sure that you understand fully that I am in charge, and that you are here to do as you are told. Right?’
‘Ooo —’ Annette’s eyes follow the strap as her tutor smacks it crisply into his palm.
‘All you have to remember is this — every time I say the word ‘knickers’, you will immediately respond with the word ‘down’, and at the same time you will take your knickers down. Is that clear?’
‘Good. And to make it more interesting, whenever I say the word ‘down’, you will instantly say, ‘knickers’, and, of course, will again take your pants down. OK so far?’
‘I — I think so sir —’
‘We’ll see. Oh — and one more thing. Since you are learning to associate the word ‘knickers’ with their appropriate position around the tops of your thighs, we might as well teach you that a bare bottom is also associated with something. A nice, stinging spank. Do you understand that?’
‘S-sir — y-yes sir.’
‘Fine. Then I’ll begin.’
Annette’s pale face tries to follow the progress of the strap as the tutor paces with deliberate slowness to a position to one side and slightly behind her, her bottom at just the right height for the strap.
‘Face your front child!’ snaps Mr Forbes. Annette obeys at once. The strap swings languidly beside the tutor’s leg. The fun begins.
‘Now then — what is it that naughty girls — like you Annette — have to take down.’
Annette’s response is slow.
‘Um — kn-knickers, sir.’
‘Good girl!’ says Mr Forbes mockingly. He waits. ‘So —?’
Annette’s plumped out pants descend the curve of her bum with excruciating slowness. The cheeky bum-cheeks wobble as Annette fidgets her feet on the stool. The strap swings once, twice, then smacks solidly up under one firm buttock.
‘Oow — ooow —’
‘Too slow my girl! Now pull ‘em up.’
Quicker by far than the way they came down, Annette’s snug green pants are hoisted back up, the quick little wriggle of her hips tempting the strap to smack again across the other cheek. The ensuing squirming of Annette’s young bottom has nothing to do with pulling her knickers up. She gasps and clutches at her bum.
‘Your knickers a bit too tight Annette?’
‘Ooooh — ooh, sir —’
‘What should you say?’
‘Right. So get ‘em down girl!’
The tight green pants are peeled down, more promptly than before. Across the plump cheeks a hot-looking blush is spreading. Annette shuffles away to the edge of the stool but the strap still catches her smartly on both cheeks at once.
Almost twenty minutes passes. Annette’s little knickers have been yanked up and down perhaps sixty or seventy times. She is weeping miserably and shifting this way and that, dabbing at her bottom trying to ease the sting. But she is learning.
‘Annette — if I say ‘down’ what do —’
‘Knickers sir!’ she gasps, and tugs her pants down with one despairing movement.
The strap cracks again, and Annette’s tender and reddened bottom jerks frantically. She drags her pants back up and blubbers up on her stool.
Then, to her vast relief, she sees through tear-streaked eyes that her tutor has crossed to the cupboard and replaced the tawse on its hook. Allowed down from the stool she dabs at her eyes and occasionally at her bum, then she is sent to the one other desk in the room and made to sit down, her skirt still clipped up and the bareness of the lower part of her knickered bottom against the cool wood of the chair. Several books are given to her. Mr Forbes sits down at his desk and the academic part of the lesson gets under way just after a quarter to four.
It is almost five thirty. For over one and a half hours, with two interruptions when the tight green pants have had to come down and Annette’s reddened bottom has felt the smart of the ruler again, the tutor’s new pupil has worked solidly at Mathematics and Geometry. Asked a question she is at once alert and eager to please — told to bend over her desk and take her pants down she is less eager, but obediently does as she is told. She weeps copiously as her bared cheeks jerk and bounce to the rhythm of the ruler but she doesn’t interrupt her punishment. At last she is permitted to change out of her provocative clothing and back into her own.
Homework is allocated. Annette diligently notes it down and then, by way of a reminder, she is told to take the cane, which has remained on the tutor’s desk throughout the lesson, and put it back on its hook at the side of the cupboard. With trembling hands she does as she is told. The tutor, standing behind her as she reaches up to the hook, says, ‘Now — what do naughty girls have to do, Annette?’
The girl hesitates for only a second. ‘Um — t-take their knickers down, sir. For a spanking sir.’
‘That’s right Annette. Now run along, and don’t be late tomorrow.’
‘No sir. I won’t sir.’ Annette hurries to the door. Waits demurely while Mr Forbes unlocks it, then politely says ‘Goodbye’ and leaves, glancing only briefly at the girl who waits outside for Mr Forbes’ next lesson.
The tutor stands in the doorway while the new arrival looks nervously up at him. He knows that sorrowful expression well — it inevitably indicates homework left undone.
‘Come in,’ he says, almost resignedly, and as the girl gets to her feet to follow him through the door he adds as an afterthought, ‘And you might as well get ‘em down straight away, eh, Linda?’
‘Y-yes sir,’ mumbles Linda, and as she disappears into the classroom her hands are already fumbling up under her skirt for the waistband of her school knickers.