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Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Crammer

From Blushes Supplement 11
The girl’s upper lip protruded slightly over the lower one — which was long and thin. Rather attractive. Her blue eyes, very oval, outlined by mascara had an elfin look. Her nose was slim. The whole face, and head, quite small. Overall, the effect was one of innocence, but one could not deny that these teenage features had a certain pertness about them.
Mervyn laid down the colour picture carefully on his desk. So, this was his next pupil. Intriguing. Most definitely. Promising. Most positively. He flipped through the pages of his diary and saw the entry left by his secretary. The girl was due for her first lesson on Tuesday afternoon next.
----//----
‘It’s Amanda Dawson, isn’t it?’ The girl was even more appealing than her picture made out. She was very simply dressed in a white blouse and grey skirt, with a grey jumper. Rounded breasts were prominent but not obtrusively so.
‘Everyone calls me Mandy,’ she said in a soft, hesitant voice that suited her innocent looks.
‘Very well, Mandy’ said Mervyn. ‘You know why you’re here, of course?’ He wondered if she had noticed the cane he had placed on his desk. She could hardly miss it, yet she had made no sign. Perhaps, in her nervousness, she was looking nowhere. Just straight ahead.
‘For… for cramming…’ came the answer.
‘Yes. That’s another word for a short, intensive course of education.’ She nodded. Her hair was short, light brown and soft-looking. ‘As you will know, your stepmother wrote to me. She has a friend whose daughter came to me — in order to ensure she got through her ‘A’s. You know her perhaps?
‘You mean Mrs Radlett’s daughter, Jennifer?’
‘That’s right, Mandy. She came here last year when she was the same age as you — 16. She passed very well when the time came.’
‘I know…’ The voice was small, almost miserable.
‘Did she tell you anything about the course?’
A silence. Mervyn waited patiently. She was pretty, but would be prettier yet. ‘She… Jennifer… told me you made her work very hard.’
‘Yes,’ he nodded. ‘Did she say anything else?’
Colour seeped into those pale, girlish cheeks. Another silence before she answered. ‘She… she said you were very strict.’
‘Ahh! Well, that is true, Mandy. Over the years, I have discovered it is the one sure way of getting results.’ Mervyn moved the cane slightly with his left hand and saw the startled look in the girl’s eyes as they flinched away. She had seen it at last. ‘I have explained to your stepmother that I have to be strict — and she approves. She has said so in writing. You understand?’
A sigh came from her; fingers twisted, one foot turned. ‘I…I suppose so…’ Again that small voice.
‘Your stepmother is determined that you get your ‘A’s. So am I. You do want to succeed, I suppose?’
‘Yes… oh yes… I try, but I’m not… well, not very bright, I’m afraid.’ She was not looking at him; and certainly wasn’t looking down at the desk.
Mervyn smiled understandingly. ‘Your friend Jennifer said much the same thing, if I recall,’ he said. ‘However, she discovered hidden reserves of brain power. It may not be pleasant to make oneself do that, but it’s worth it in the end. You realise that?’
‘I… I suppose… so…’
Mervyn looked down at the paper before him. ‘It has been arranged Mandy,’ he said, ‘that you attend here, after school, every other day until the end of term. That’s six weeks off. So that means we have eighteen lessons of two hours each. That’s thirty six hours in all. That may not sound a lot, but it can make an awful lot of difference to your progress.’
She said nothing but looked at the carpet, waif-like and miserable. He wondered just how much her friend Jennifer had told her. Best to find out. ‘You will doubtless have heard that, on this course, bad work is punished.’
‘Yes,’ she nodded, head still down. ‘Jennifer… she told me… you…’ The voice dropped to a whisper. ‘…caned her.’
‘That’s right, Mandy,’ said Mervyn firmly. ‘Whenever I thought she was not making sufficient effort, I caned her. I used the cane you can see on my desk. She soon found it preferable to use her brain than to have to take her knickers down.’
A gasp of dismay. Well, he couldn’t have put it more bluntly, could he? ‘Y-you… caned her… th-there?’
‘Where did you imagine, Mandy?’
‘W-well… I mean, she was 16… like I am now. Grown-up, really.’ A pause, cheeks now a bright pink. ‘I thought… on the hands.’
‘Hands can too easily be damaged,’ said Mervyn. ‘In any event, they have to be used for work. A girl’s bottom is capable of absorbing a good deal of punishment, without being damaged. Only temporarily. Then she only has to sit on it.’ Was he being too direct; too brutal? Often it was the best way. To make them fully understand from the outset. ‘She didn’t tell you then?’
The soft-haired head shook. ‘She just said… she got caned sometimes…’
‘Well, she did,’ replied Mervyn. ‘I simply hope it will not be necessary in your case.’ You damn liar, he thought. ‘It depends on your work.’
Another sigh; almost a sob. Obviously the girl did not have a very high opinion of her capabilities. Perhaps rightly so. ‘I… I’ll try… hard…’
‘Good,’ said Mervyn. ‘We might as well begin at once. I am going to set you two simple tests so that I can get some idea of the level of your ability. One will be a mathematical test; the other will be a passage to learn by heart. You will have two hours to complete these tests and afterwards I will examine your efforts.’ He pushed the examination papers across the desk. ‘Take these — and you work over there.’ Mervyn pointed to a school desk facing out from the far wall. The hand was small and white, soft-looking. Most unsuitable for caning. It shook slightly as it gathered up the papers. Young, nervous eyes darted nervously at the cane lying there, then away again. Pinkness had left those cheeks; they were now white with nervous apprehension. It was understandable.
It must be quite an ordeal, especially for youngsters, reflected Mervyn. Away from her normal environment. Alone with a complete stranger. Knowing what lay in store for her if she did not achieve what was required of her. Yes, all very unnerving. Still, he thought, it got the best out of them. It got results, over and over again. That was what he was there for.
Mervyn got up from his desk and strolled to the door. ‘I’ll be back in a couple of hours, Mandy,’ he said. ‘But, if there’s anything you don’t understand, or anything you want, you may press this.’ He pointed to a bell-push on his desk top. ‘Alright?’
‘Yes…’ came a whisper.
‘Yes, sir,’ he said. Then he opened the door and left.
Mandy sat numbly at the desk. It’s seat was hard and uncomfortable. Jennifer used to sit here once, she thought. Did she feel as wretched and as frightened as I do? Mandy couldn’t even bring herself to look at the test papers she had been given. She knew maths was one of her weaker subjects and learning lines of poetry was always a horrible chore. In any case, her brain felt as if it was made of cotton-wool.
This was all her stepmother’s doing. Her real mother (killed in an air crash, poor dear) would never have done such a thing to her. Would Daddy have approved? She doubted it; but he was away in Australia and would be there for months yet. Perhaps she could write to him. But would he believe her? And, by the time he was back, ‘A’ levels would have come and gone. Whatever he thought, or did, could not help her at that moment.
Oh I must get on with these horrible tests, she told herself. I can’t afford to waste time. Would he really cane her, if she wasn’t good enough? She still couldn’t quite believe it. Jennifer had said he’d caned her, though. One couldn’t get away from that. What was that awful phrase he had used? Something about ‘better than having to take her knickers down’! Good Lord, would she really have to do that? What a humiliation! She didn’t think she’d be able to make herself do it. Mandy clenched her fists. I’ll ask him if I can keep my knickers on. They’re so small and thin, they wouldn’t make any difference. Yes, I’ll ask him if I can do that. Oh… why am I thinking like this? It might never happen. Perhaps he’s just bluffing; perhaps Jennifer was really a lot dimmer than I am.
She opened her handbag and discovered she hadn’t brought a biro with her.
A quick search in the small desk revealed that there wasn’t a pen there either. Perhaps on his desk? She got up and walked uneasily across the silent room. there didn’t seem to be a pen on his desk either. There was the cane, though. Still and menacing. Her eyes could not help being drawn to it, despite the fact that the sight of it terrified her. It was smooth and pale yellow with a hooked handle. Quite slim. Nervously she touched it; then jerked her hand away as if the thing had been red hot. It had felt hard and somehow evil.
There was only one thing for it. Mandy pressed the bell-push.
That was very careless of you, Mandy,’ said Mervyn as he presented the girl with one of his spare biros. He noted that, though a quarter of an hour had passed, no work seemed to have been done. Promising.
‘I… I’m sorry…’
‘That’s alright. Just check you’ve got everything you need in future.’
‘I will, sir,’ she said and he once more left the room.
He went back to the drawing room on the ground floor, poured himself a second scotch and picked up a copy of The Times. That day’s crossword was proving particularly difficult.
----//----
‘Well Mandy, we’d better start as we intend to go on.’ She was paler than ever. Not surprising. Two hours had passed. Six out of twelve mathematical problems had been incorrectly solved and Ode to a Nightingale most scrappily learned. ‘This work, as you must be well aware is very poor.’
‘I… I’m not used…’
Mervyn held up a hand. ‘Don’t interrupt, Mandy. You’ve obviously got to raise your standards considerably. This, I am sure, will make you do it.’ He picked the cane up off his desk and flexed it.
The girl cried out and a hand flew to her mouth. ‘O-ohhh… you’re not going to c-cane me today, are you? Not… not this first time!’
‘And why not?’ demanded Mervyn sternly. ‘It will ensure a greater effort on your next visit.’
‘Oh… please… sir… give me another chance. I’ll do better next time. I will… sir!
Now she’s remembering, he thought. Trying to butter him up with her ‘sirs’. Well, it wouldn’t work. ‘They all say that Mandy.’ He stood up. ‘You will bend over your desk, take off your skirt and take your knickers down part way.’
‘Oh no… please… please… oh this is a-awful!’
‘Just do as I say, Mandy. I want no fuss and nonsense. It is obviously the only way to make you learn.’
‘I won’t… I won’t!’ The girl rushed to the door and was shocked to find it locked. She covered her face in her hands and burst into tears, it was, reflected Mervyn, just about par for the course. They all reacted like this. The first time anyway. Some of them, several times. Mervyn picked up the telephone and dialled.
‘Mrs Dawson?’ The girl had stopped crying and was now sobbing quietly. ‘I have to tell you that your stepdaughter is not co-operating…’
The voice on the other end of the line was sharp and to the point. Mervyn got just the answer he had expected; and wanted. ‘Thank you, Mrs Dawson,’ he said and put the receiver down. He stood up again. ‘Mandy,’ he ordered, ‘come over here.’
She came slowly, forlorn, face tear-streaked. A frightened and defeated little thing. ‘That was your stepmother,’ he informed her, rather needlessly. ‘She insists that you co-operate. If you do not, she has empowered me to employ force. And I don’t want to have to do that.’ Mervyn spoke almost sorrowfully. In fact, he didn’t like using force and had never yet had to, except in the most minor degree. ‘I hope therefore, you will do as I say and let us get this matter over and done with.’
Those elfin eyes, brimmed with tears, looked at him so pleadingly. They might have melted the proverbial heart of stone but Mervyn did not let compassion interfere with duty. He nodded towards the desk… and watched the girl move reluctantly towards it. Everything was going much as usual.
Her bottom was very white and soft-looking, like her hands. Excellent material for caning. It had taken quite some time to get her to push those tiny knickers down. She had begged and pleaded, but he had been adamant. ‘It is a matter of principle,’ he had informed her, smiling inwardly. What principle? Did it matter? At all events, the knickers finally came down. The cleft was deep, lightly decorated with soft down. Quite enchanting. She was still sobbing, now more deeply.
‘Have you ever been caned before, Mandy?’
‘No… no… of course not!’
‘Sir,’ he said. ‘And why of course not?’
Sir!’ she almost shrieked but did not answer his query.
‘Then I shall be fairly lenient with you. I shall not cane you very hard but you will receive six strokes for each failed test.’
‘O-oooohh!’ He tapped the young bottom lightly and watched it twist nervously. It could be that of an 18-year-old, he thought. Yes, Mandy was very well developed for her age.
He raised the cane to waist height and gave the girl a wristy cut, instantly marring the milk-white flesh with a weal of pale pink.
‘Owwwoowww!’ gasped Mandy, pressing hands to her bottom and turning almost right over so that Mervyn was favoured with the sight of a neatly-trimmed triangle of light-brown down. ‘Oh… that hurt!’
‘It was intended to,’ said Mervyn mildly. ‘If necessary, I could make it hurt a lot more. Come along, let’s have that bottom presented again.’
‘Oh please… not so hard…’ Mervyn smiled. Obviously the girl had no conception of what a hard stroke from a cane felt like! He watched the nervous, flinching buttocks come around again. Quickly he laid it on again before the girl changed her mind.
Once again, with ‘Aahh’s’ and ‘Oww’s’ she went through her twisting routine. Mervyn found the motions most satisfyingly enjoyable. Really, he told himself, I shouldn’t like doing this so much. I should consider it more of a necessary responsibility. Difficult, though, when a girl’s bare bottom was twisting and bouncing like that.
‘Come along, Mandy, back you go. We don’t want this to take all night.’ Mervyn paused and then said heavily: ‘But, if necessary, it can do.’
The girl moaned as she forced herself into position again, soft nates suddenly clenching with apprehension, thighs pressed together. ‘Not so hard… not so hard…’ she kept repeating.
In the same fashion, Mervyn gave her the third cut.
I can’t bear it… I can’t! It bites and burns so. But I must bear it. supposing he tied me. Then I’d have to. Oh how awful it was! The pain and the shame. Equally awful. That’s what she thought, until the cane actually fell across her tender flesh. Then pain outweighed everything. Burning and burning unbelievably.
Oh how many was that? He must have reached six. He must! Ah yes… that was six. He had stopped. He had put the cane back on the desk. Oh, thank heavens, he was going to let her off the rest. Thank heavens. He must realise she simply couldn’t stand any more.
‘You can have a short rest before I give you the second six, Mandy,’ said Mervyn. This simple statement produced the most awful moaning-groan from the girl. He poured himself a glass of water from a carafe on his desk. ‘Like some?’ he offered but the girl simply shook her head.
‘C-can’t you… let me off the rest’ she whimpered. ‘I… I’m now…’
‘No,’ replied Mervyn firmly. Once you started doing that sort of thing, you never knew where it would end.
‘P-pleee… eeease… I… I’m going to work harder… try harder…’
‘No!’ said Mervyn even more firmly. Another moaning-groan was forthcoming. He seated himself. ‘You may sit at your desk, if you wish.’
‘I… I’d rather stand…’ Yes, I expect you would, he said to himself.
‘In fact, Mandy you will sit at your desk.’ Mervyn suddenly liked the idea of her bare, burning bum pressed to that hard wood. Come along… off you go.’ He almost grinned as he heard her gasp as she made contact. ‘Perhaps you are beginning to understand why such a thick-head as your friend Jennifer passed her ‘A’ levels,’ he said.
The girl made no reply, but pouted quite deliciously. Tears were trickling softly. What thoughts must be tormenting your young, inexperienced being. Mervyn felt rather sorry for her, but that in no way diluted his pleasure. I’ll give her another five minutes, he thought. Reflection will be good for her soul.
And he didn’t care in the slightest just how long it took to give her those second six.
All night if necessary…

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