From Blushes 29
An unusual custom you might say. Perhaps. Though not unique. Forms of trial marriage have been practised from time to time in various cultures. For instance in parts of medieval Europe, and also certain Esquimo groups are known to have engaged in such customs. It has tended to be found in situations where the land or the elements are harsh and it is consequently a struggle to make a living. In these conditions a man needs to be sure that he has a willing and amenable help-mate. Harsh would certainly be a true description of the Kelpen Islands in the Western Hebrides: battered by gales for many months of the year and formed of inhospitable granite rock. Yes, a man here might well decide that he wanted to be fully sure of what he was getting before signing his life away. And the Kelpeners were in any case a notably independent and individualist breed. So is it any wonder then?
They did not call it trial marriage. No. Not only were they independent and individualistic, they tended to be puritanical as well. That is you may be doing something but you pretend you are not, and you call it something else. ‘Living in’ it was called. A girl came to ‘live in’ with a Kelpen crofter. If all went well, if she proved to be all he expected during the long winter months, then their vows would be heard in the little stone church when summer briefly returned. If not, well, he would in all likelihood be advertising again for a girl to ‘live in.’
Hugh McAirdley was not a Kelpener. That is to say not one born and bred. He had gone to live on Little Kelpen after achieving some success with his writing, for he was an author of adventure stories. He bought an isolated plot with a typical Kelpen stone cottage — except that Hugh McAirdley’s cottage was somewhat more luxuriantly furnished than the average and also boasted central heating. Why do without creature comforts when it is unnecessary? He liked Little Kelpen because of the marvellous solitude it afforded — so conducive to writing, he found. The lonely communion with elemental nature. However a man didn’t need to go overboard about it. And therefore why not follow that somewhat unusual local custom. And place an advertisement in the paper.
Girl required to live in. The usual Kelpen advertisement. The paper had a wide coverage over the mainland. And no one, or hardly anyone, thought the advertisements strange. Men of Kelpen had always done it, or as long as anyone could remember. There were always plenty of replies. Kelpeners had their own property and made a living. They were not penniless or on the dole. And many a girl might fancy a life on one of those rugged but at times beautiful islands.
Please enclose recent photo, Hugh McAirdley’s ad requested. In a follow-up letter he asked for full details about yourself. And not being a man to beat about the bush also your measurements: height, bust, hips, etc.
His choice came on the boat on a lovely June day, a clear pale blue sky with hardly a breath of wind. The Kelpens could be like this, for a few short weeks in the summer. Moira Mitchell, petite, red-haired, apple-cheeked; just turned 18 and looking hardly that. A truly lovely girl, a fit companion to this rare Kelpen day. Hugh McAirdley’s eyes widened, in anticipation. She was even more attractive than the photo. The measurements quoted had been 35, 22, 35 on a 5’5” frame. He could well believe those 35s in this trim pink suit as she stepped ashore. Oh yes. Mr McAirdley felt quite overcome.
And Moira, what did she see? A tweed-suited man in his late forties perhaps. Tall, glasses, a trimmed beard. She knew something about him. He was not a native Kelpener for one thing. And he wrote books. Therefore he had more money. Maybe quite a lot according to Moira’s mother. ‘What an opportunity,’ she had said. ‘You had better make sure he likes you.’ But why shouldn’t this Mr McAirdley like Moira. She was a lovely girl and a sensible one. She knew what ‘living in’ meant on the Kelpens, Mrs Mitchell had made sure of that. Moira had blushed. ‘Do exactly what he wants.’
But what did Hugh McAirdley want? He was a man of the world to some extent. Writing those books he had travelled around a bit, and a man travelling around can at times pick up what some might regard as rather exotic tastes. For one thing behind the sideboard in Hugh’s living room there was a long, thin, whippy cane.
What was a sweet young girl going to make of this? A girl who certainly had never experienced the impact of such an implement across her soft and tender rear — or for that matter any other part of her anatomy. What would she think if she knew that there only feet away, as she sat with Mr McAirdley over an introductory cup of tea, was that object which has in the past been so widely used in matters of domestic discipline. We need not doubt that here on the Kelpens the cane had been very freely used, in earlier times, on live-in girls, prospective wives. And also after their becoming fully-fledged spouses. But no longer. Certainly not. Not now in the 1980s.
Except seemingly here. Mr McAirdley’s little house. For Hugh McAirdley in his travels has on more than one occasion been privileged to observe, and with keen interest, the cane being put to effective use on the domestic scene. In Germany, the Rhineland, he has watched a farmer vigorously putting a rattan across the seat of his sturdy wife’s knickers. And in Italy, Calabria, a gentleman meting out the same treatment to his daughter’s bare and unknickered bottom. On each of these occasions Hugh McAirdley experienced a strong stirring, and at the same time a feeling of the essential rightness of what he was witnessing. This surely was what should happen. The archetypal submitting (not necessarily very willingly) female. Yes. And when he was ready to sample domesticity himself…
Moira was his first live-in girl. Though when he came to cane her she would not in fact be the first young female he had ever caned. No, he had had some experience, in his travels. And that surely was all to the good as far as young Moira was concerned. One would hate to think she was going to be dealt with by an inexperienced man, a tyro. Caning requires skill. An over-enthusiastic beginner can inflict damage.
Not that Moira, sipping her tea, had any idea she was going to be caned, by either beginner or expert. She couldn’t see the cane and she couldn’t see into Mr McAirdley’s mind. It was true he was looking at her in a certain way. But that Moira was perhaps expecting. Something of that sort. She knew, she understood. She had known even without her mother making it crystal clear. What living in meant. What Mr McAirdley would probably want. Would he want it tonight? Her very first night here?
She must anyway stop thinking of him as Mr McAirdley. He was Hugh. The trouble was that Mr McAirdley — Hugh — looked a lot like the rector back home. You couldn’t call the rector by his first name — and also you couldn’t contemplate getting into bed with him.
Would she like to go out for a look around? Hugh McAirdley asked.
It was still looking idyllic: the stone cottage nestling in a fold of the green hills under the wide blue sky, and beyond the deeper blue mill-pond sea. Mr McAirdley’s arm came round her waist. ‘It’s not always like this of course. You’re seeing it at its best, my dear.’ A pause. ‘Well what d’you think?’
What did she think? About this delightful spot or that fact that the hand had slid down and was now holding one trembling cheek of Moira’s bottom. Mr McAirdley didn’t really seem to need an answer. He was too engaged with that splendid bottom. Anticipating no doubt…
‘Tell me about school,’ he said. ‘The, uh, disciplinary side. What was that like?’
Not knowing what Mr McAirdley was getting at and with her mind inevitably distracted by the overly friendly hand, Moira took some time to get on the right track, to realise what he wanted to know. Eventually he spelled it out. Oh. Oh no. Nothing like that.
And not from, ah, her father for instance? Or anyone else?
No. No. Why was he asking…? And that hand. Although conscious of what her relationship with Mr McAirdley — Hugh — was presumably going to be, the hand and what it was doing was unsettling. Moira wasn’t used to that sort of thing. She was generally inexperienced. A strict upbringing. Sex lessons at school of course, so she knew about that. But no actual experience. Maybe perhaps, she wondered, she should have. Then she wouldn’t be feeling so nervous.
They went back inside. Mr McAirdley seemed a little excited. Perhaps it was playing with Moira’s bottom, and also gazing at the swell of her suit jacket: that other 35-inch statistic. And there was of course what was waiting behind the sideboard. He said he would show her the rest of the house, and then perhaps they could play a little game. Did she play Chinese Checkers? Moira shook her head. ‘Oh, it’s a very good game. And it can be made even more intriguing with special rules.’
There were two bedrooms. Moira had been worrying about the bedrooms. So at least… hers was a lovely little room, all pink and white. She looked round with pleasure at Mr McAirdley. ‘Matches your suit,’ he observed. ‘Now would you like to change. Have you got anything in yellow? That matches these things.’
A parcel tied with yellow ribbon. She opened it. Yellow. A set of underwear in buttercup yellow. Bra, suspender belt, knickers. A very sexy outfit. Moira blushed. There was a pair of beige nylons as well.
Hugh McAirdley smiled, his face pinkish. ‘Put them on. It’s a welcome present.’
Was he going to…? No, he was going out, and closing the door. Moira felt relieved. If Mr McAirdley had wanted to watch her get undressed she presumably couldn’t refuse. But she preferred that he wasn’t. Although she was going to have to learn not to be shy. It was a very sexy outfit, she had had nothing like it before. She got undressed.
Hugh McAirdley watched. Through a little spy-hole from his room. Not that he was really a spying sort of chap but he did want to see. Naturally. And so soon, a mere half-hour after getting off the boat, it might well embarrass her to undress in front of him. A nice, sympathetic thought. Although in a few minutes, downstairs. The Chinese Checkers game. He watched. With mounting excitement. Oh dear. That bottom! The Calabrian girl’s could not compare, and neither could any of the others that Hugh McAirdley had subsequently experienced. Mouth-watering. And in his choice underwear, a recent London purchase. Oh my word!
Moira came out, a little flushed, in white blouse and mustard yellow skirt. The knowledge that Mr McAirdley knew what was underneath made her feel funny. The same sort of funny as having his hand playing with her bottom. She forced a nervous smile.
Downstairs in the cosy sitting room Mr McAirdley got out the Chinese Checkers. He said something about how it was played and there were some printed instructions. ‘And to add to the interest we will play my special house rules. Special penalties for when you lose.’
What were these rules then? He told her. Moira blinked. Was Mr McAirdley joking? No, he said he wasn’t. ‘And actually it relates to what we were discussing earlier. That discipline business. I am surprised you haven’t had any of it. I feel strongly that a girl should. She should have experience of corporal chastisement and be able to accept it in the proper manner. So incorporating it into the game, as a penalty, has a double benefit. It adds that extra interest and at the same time you will get your disciplinary training.’
It was a lot of serious-sounding talk. The gist of it seemed to be that when Moira lost she would have the choice of either having her bottom spanked or removing an item of clothing. ‘The element of choice will probably stop when we are down to your suspender belt, nylons and shoes,’ declared Mr McAirdley. ‘After that all penalties will be spanks on the bottom. And in any case all spankings will be to the bare bottom.’
Yes, Mr McAirdley made it all crystal clear. What could she say? She was here to do Mr McAirdley’s bidding. To be industrious and obedient, as a wife should be. She was here to work for Mr McAirdley and also to give him pleasure. And he had to be sure that she was the right type, had the right qualities. All of that. So if he wanted her to do this sort of strip-tease then she had to do it. With a willing smile.
‘OK?’ queried Mr McAirdley. Moira nodded. Nothing had been said of the rules if she won. But she knew she wasn’t going to. Mr McAirdley knew how to play, and she didn’t. It was as simple as that.
It was as simple as that. Mr McAirdley won very quickly. An eager look on his face. There wasn’t much choice. She was going to be spanked, she could only delay it a little. ‘My skirt,’ she said.
And after that, ‘My blouse.’
So very quickly she was down to Mr McAirdley’s saucy undies. Sitting across the table from him in just those skimpy items and an abundance of nubile pale pink flesh on show. ‘The next time,’ he said, ‘it has to be a spanking. We can’t have three refusals in a row. That’s another of the house rules. Maybe I didn’t tell you.’
He was simply making the rules up. But why not: it was his game, for his enjoyment. Moira could imagine that if she ever learnt to play the game the rules would change, so that she was still on the receiving end. What was it like, being spanked, she wondered. Painful, if he did it hard. And also… very personal. Very embarrassing, over his lap and with her bare bottom up. The thought made her quiver as she studied her pieces in the vain hope of averting yet another rapid defeat.
Yes. The inevitable. ‘Come on then, Moira dear. Over here.’ And over his lap. Over those tweed trousers. The skimpy knickers being pulled down. Mr McAirdley holding her firmly with his left hand, so that his right had a nice, stationary target. A ripe, round target; a full plum of a bottom. Lying still and submissive. Because there was no point in struggling and anyway her mother had said…
The hand began splatting down. Causing sharp involuntary ‘Ooof’s’. It hurt all right. It really stung. It wasn’t just a game, this part, Mr McAirdley was really making it hurt. She squealed out ‘Please… No…’ Hugh McAirdley only gripped her more firmly and continued cracking his hand down. Oh yes indeed! This was what he had been waiting for. This and also naturally certain other pleasures which he would sample in good time. There was his cane for one thing. And for another, well, there were those other pleasures that a young woman’s body is designed to provide. These certainly would be sampled. But first things first. She had to be trained. Every young woman had to be trained. And the first stage of her training… was now taking place.
Hugh McAirdley’s hand continued its sterling work until he felt a pleasant sense of mild exhaustion. Then he pulled her upright. ‘Good. Now are we ready, for another game?’
Play shortly resumed, Moira with her yellow knickers pulled back up over her glowing bottom. When she duly lost the next game Mr McAirdley said she could choose to remove another item, and it would be her bra. Flushing, she took it off. Hugh McAirdley gazed, critical but admiring. They were very nice. ‘Lift your arms, my dear. Hands behind your head. That’s it. Oh yes.’
Moira’s knickers came off in the next round. From Mr McAirdley’s rules that meant every further loss brought a spanking. Play continued for quite a while. In fact, a long while. Moira’s poor bum was really getting the treatment. Round after round of these dreadful Chinese Checkers, with Moira losing every time. Somehow this wasn’t at all what she had imagined as she had stood on the deck of that boat watching the island of Little Kelpen getting bigger and bigger.