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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

An Apple a Day

From Blushes Supplement 9
The girl wandered almost dreamily through the heavily-laden orchard, a faint smile of contentment ever and anon flickering over her lips. It was a happy place for her, one she had been coming to now for six or seven years.. Ever since she was ten, when she had first started scrumping with her school-friends. Of course, in those days, it had been something forbidden and therefore all the more exciting.
She recalled the day she had got caught by old farmer Godwin. All of them had run off at his approach, but she had tripped over a fallen branch and he’d been able to grab her. In no time at all, much to her shocked surprise, she’d found herself over his knee getting a good slapping. It had hurt and she’d yelled a lot. But she didn’t go back to Godwin’s Orchard for the rest of that autumn.
It was all different now, of course; in more ways than one. No one minded her helping herself to apples any more. Especially young farmer Godwin. Again that contented smile hovered around her mouth as that old piece of country doggerel came into her mind:
When apples be ripe and nuts be brown,
It’s petticoats up and trousers down.
He’d met her by the stream which ran through Madeley Meadow not half an hour since. It had been no accident either and both of them knew it. The grass had been long and cool despite the afternoon warmth. Everything had seemed so natural. Sheer heaven. I don’t ever want to grow old, she thought. The glow of satisfied, youthful desire was still strong within her as she stooped to gather up the ripe fruit, dropping it into her raised skirt, exposing strong, young limbs. He had said they were beautiful and she had wound them around him tight in the intensity of her passion. Another piece of verse came into her head. They had just learnt it at school; it was by that wicked Lord Byron. One of the few poets she liked, because he was always on about love and that sort of thing. How did it go?
Oh talk to me not of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two and twenty
Are worth all your laurels though ever so plenty.
John would be just about twenty two, she reckoned. Five years the difference. Perfect. Oh yes… and in so many ways!
Her skirt now overladen, she headed for the stile which led from the orchard. She didn’t really want the apples; nor did her Aunt Hattie. She collected them more out of habit, or maybe nostalgia.
It was strange, and rather startling, that as Aunt Hattie’s name came into her mind, she caught sight of the familiar figure seated on one of the thick wooden steps of the stile. And on her thin-lipped features was a look like thunder. Absurdly, the girl felt her cheeks colouring slightly. A guilty conscience? Most likely.
‘Oh hello Auntie, I didn’t expect to see you here.’
‘Reckon you didn’t, young lady.’
Oh Lord, whenever her Aunt called her ‘young lady’, it meant there was trouble brewing. ‘Look… I’ve collected lots of apples,’ she said appeasingly.
‘And more besides, I shouldn’t wonder,’ said Aunt Hattie. What was she on about? She couldn’t have… oh Lord… surely she couldn’t have! ‘Anyway, I’ve got no use for apples. Might as well just dump ‘em.’ She watched her Aunt rise from the stile and, with a touch of petulance, released her skirt and allowed the apples to fall into soft green grass. There they would lie, brown and rotting, a feast for wasps.
‘Seems a bit of a waste,’ she said, walking towards the stile.
Aunt Hattie held up a hand. ‘I want you back in the orchard, Jennie,’ she said. ‘Right this minute.’
The girl found herself colouring more deeply. ‘Why… what for? If you don’t want any apples…’
‘It ain’t apples I’m on about.’ Her Aunt strode into the thickness of ‘the orchard and Jenny followed hesitantly. Something was up — and she didn’t like it at all. Her heart had begun to beat rather fast.
‘I seen you. Down by the stream.’ Jennie’s hand flew to her mouth and she felt a little sick. Oh Lord, how awful! Should she deny it? ‘In that long grass you were. Thought you were alright there, I suppose.’
‘I… I don’t know what you mean…’ she began, but the look on her aunt’s face checked her.
‘That young Godwin. Always up to no good. And now it’s your turn.’ Aunt Hattie shook her head. ‘Never thought any of my kin would act that way. Leastways, not at only 17.’
Jennie remained silent, her cheeks now a bright scarlet. That lovely warmth within her had chilled. There wasn’t really any point in denying it. ‘I… I’m sorry, Aunt,’ she said lamely, head drooping a little.
‘Sorry, indeed!’ Aunt Hattie shook her head. ‘It’s lucky your poor Mother’s no longer here to know all about it.’ Another shake of the head. ‘But I reckon I know what she’d have done about it.’
It had been such a happy, happy afternoon, she thought miserably. Now this. It made her feel… well… somehow it made her feel ‘dirty’. Yet it had been so natural. Green grass rustling, warm autumn sun. That indescribable intensity of desire. The perfect moment in a perfect day. Now this.
‘Perhaps she would have understood,’ said Jennie. ‘She had me when she was only 18.’
‘Understood!’ It was a snort. ‘Your mother was married.’ That word had the finality of a cell-door locking. ‘What she would have done, young lady, is taken you up to your room and given you the hiding of your life! And that’s what I’d do now if your Uncle Jim weren’t home.’
‘She wouldn’t have,’ said Jennie indignantly. ‘She never spanked me.’
‘More’s the pity, it seems,’ came the prompt response. ‘But that’s what I’m going to do right now. Before you go from bad to worse!’
‘Wh-what… here?’ It seemed all wrong in such a place. A place so near… so full of memories.
‘Here and now.’
‘Auntie… please… I’m 17 you know. Not a child. This… this is silly…’
‘You’re still young enough to have your bottom smacked. If you want to make trouble, I’ll tell your Uncle Jim. He’ll do it for me.’
‘Oh no!’ The idea was too much for the girl. Her uncle frightened her; all the more so now that he kept looking at her the way he did. She’d rather die! Well… rather do what her Aunt insisted on anyway. How embarrassing though. How shaming! A little while ago she had felt so much a woman. Acted like one, too. Now she was right back to childhood. Feeling both sick and angry, she watched her aunt seat herself on a fallen tree trunk.
‘Over here, Jennie!’
‘Please, Auntie… s-suppose someone comes?’
‘Guess no one will. Not at this time of day. Wouldn’t matter much if they did, anyway.’
Jennie felt her cheeks hot again. The thought of someone seeing that being done to her was worse than the idea of it being done. ‘It… it’s not right,’ she said.
‘Matter of opinion, young lady. Come over here. I won’t warn you again — but take you straight back to your Uncle Jim’.
The repeated threat was enough. Reluctantly, but with as much resolution as she could muster, Jennie walked across to her aunt. ‘How…?’ she began, feeling again the humiliation of it.
‘Just take your knickers down, Jennie, then get across my lap.’
‘Knickers down?’ A gasping cry. ‘W-why… why must I do th-that?’
‘Because I say so,’ said Aunt Hattie firmly. ‘A spanking has to be given on the bare.’ She spoke as if it were some kind of holy writ.
‘It… it’s not right,’ said the girl again. ‘They’re so… so thin. They’d make no difference.’
A stubborn look settled on the older woman’s face. ‘Take them down, Jennie. Now! or else… do I have to repeat it?’ She knew the threat would work this time. Knew too, with a bitter certainty, just how much her husband would enjoy doing what she was going to do. She’d noticed the way he’d been gawping at the girl of late. Needed watching, that sort of thing.
With a sob, the girl put her hands up under her skirt and got her thumbs into the elastic of the white briefs she wore. Oh how different the last time she had done that! She had hardly been able to wait. But now… oh now! The briefs went down her thighs to her knees and she half fell over the waiting lap before her. At once her skirt was pulled up and she felt the air on her bare flesh. It was the first time she had thought much about the punishment itself. Would it hurt a lot? She didn’t care much. The hurt to her pride, the hurt in her heart, were already sufficient. She felt her aunt’s arm grip her tight… and tensed.
‘It was disgusting behaviour for a girl of your age…’
The voice seemed to come from far away. Jennie bit her lips. How could anything so lovely be called disgusting? It was the world of repression in which her Aunt lived which was truly disgusting.
‘…are you sorry now?’
A spark of defiance ignited Jennie’s heart. ‘No!’ she replied firmly.
It was a brave but foolish reply for it also ignited a spark of a different kind in the heart of her aunt. A spark of genuine cruelty, turning retribution into something more like revenge. ‘Right, young lady, you’ve asked for it!’
A hard, work-worn palm began to rise and fall stingingly, smacking down on each buttock-cheek alternately. Jennie was taken aback by how much it hurt and gasped out her surprise.
‘You are a wicked… wicked… wicked girl!’ Each word accompanied by a vicious smack. ‘How dare you! How dare you!’
‘Owww… ahhh… ooowwww… ahhh… oh stop!’ Oh yes, it was hurting far more than she had thought! Hurting more all the time as one slap fell where another had just fallen.
‘Dis…gusting behaviour! Dis…gusting! You’re still a girl… just a girl… a girl!’
‘A-ahh… stop it… that’s enough!’
Sslllaaappp! Sllaaappp! Lower down now. On the tops of her thighs. It didn’t feel like a hand. It felt like a piece of wood. Oh how it hurt!
The girl was struggling, kicking out wildly. But the grip about her waist seemed as strong as a metal band. She couldn’t stand any more! She couldn’t! Had her aunt gone out of her mind?
‘Wicked… wicked… wicked girl!’
Her bottom seemed now as if it were on fire. She was yelling loudly now. Perhaps someone would hear. Perhaps someone would come and stop her aunt. Jennie didn’t care any more that someone might see. She simply wanted the pain to stop. It had to… oh dear God… it had to!
‘You’ll never… never… do that again! Not till you’re married… you hear… you hear?’
The cascade of slaps suddenly ceased. Above her own sobbing moans, the girl heard the rasping of her aunt’s breath. Serve her right if she had a heart attack, she thought with a sudden fury. Oh how her poor, poor bottie burned! Oh how unfair it was!
Worst of all, it had killed, once and for all, the exquisite happiness of that glorious afternoon. For how would she ever be able to think about the thrilling joy without the painful misery as well! It was as if her aunt had slashed a knife across a beautifully painted canvas.
Jennie found herself pushed down on to the soft, cool grass and the thought came to her it might ease her burning flesh. She turned over but, with a gasping cry, at once turned back. The pressure had made it hurt all the more.
She sobbed, filled with self-pity.
‘I hope that taught you a lesson, young lady,’ said a voice from above. Jennie, who had never liked her aunt, realised she hated her. She clenched her teeth and remained silent. I’ll run away, she said to herself. Yes, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll run away. Perhaps John would come with her. No, he couldn’t do that. Not now he had the farm to look after. Another wave of self-pity swept over her.
‘Well, have you nothing to say, Jennie?’
‘No… nothing!’
‘Not even sorry?’
‘No… No! I hate you! Go away… leave me alone…’
‘One day you’ll thank me.’
‘Go away! I hate you!’ Jennie sobbed into the grass. For a few moments she truly felt like a little girl again. When she looked up, she saw that her aunt had left the tree trunk on which she had been seated. Then she heard the sound of her feet as she mounted the old wooden stile.
I’ll never go back home, she told herself! Never!
Young John Godwin waited a good five minutes. Lying on a warm bank of ferns against a small ridge, he was quite happy to do so. After all, Jennie’s shapely bottom, even if rather brightly coloured, was splendidly on display. He felt rather sorry for any girl who had such a bitch of a guardian. On the other hand, he had to admit that seeing an attractive teenager’s bottom well smacked had turned him on no end. Already that afternoon he’d had some great fun… and the open-air spanking he’d stumbled upon was a real bonus.
Lovely girl. Inexperienced but very keen. There could be a lot available in coming months. If not for a year or two. Oh yes indeed, that young scrumper was a hot little number alright! He gazed at the naked bottom still so provocatively exposed and knew — without any shadow of doubt — that something had to be done about it.
Carefully, John Godwin eased himself up off the carpet of ferns and walked towards the face-down figure. After what she had just gone through, he reflected, this time she’d be hotter than ever.
Both outside and inside!

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