Always, before, he’d either used his hand or a slipper. When he had first showed her that split tawse, earlier in the afternoon, she had though she was going to faint.
‘N-no… you wouldn’t!’ she had gasped.
He gave her a funny sort of look. ‘Don’t be silly, Pauline,’ he said. ‘Why on earth wouldn’t I?’
She hadn’t really got an answer to that. His hold over her was far stronger than she liked to admit. Would she ever be able to escape him? It must happen one day; meanwhile she must endure it all. ‘P-please… not that. It looks so awful.’ She watched him running his fingers over the dark brown leather thongs. They had a rather oily look. It was like something they used in Victorian schools, she thought. Wherever had he got it?
‘I’ve spanked you often enough,’ he said. ‘I’ve slippered you too. But it doesn’t seem to have had any effect. You still go on doing it.’
How did he know she did, Pauline wondered? A spy-hole? A listening device? It was humiliating to have him forever probing into her secret life. Like having him permanently occupying a piece of her mind. One day, I’ll run away, she said to herself. But, secretly, she knew that wouldn’t do any good. He’d find her, bring her back. Or the police would. Then she’d be in really serious trouble. He’d warned her often enough about doing anything like that. There was no way she could break his hold over her.
‘Be up in the spare room at four o’clock. You’ll find everything ready. Meanwhile you can go on with your work.’ It wasn’t a suggestion, she knew, it was an order. Pauline turned miserably away. There were two hours to wait. She hated waiting.
The time crept by, until, at last, there was none left.
Nervously she went into the room. He was right. Everything was ready. Horribly ready. There was a huge pile of bolster-like cushions on the bed. There was also, for a reason she could not fathom, some sort of rubber sheet lying there. Could it be that, owing to the excessive pain she was going to have to endure, he had thought she might wet herself? How very thoughtful! Still, it was certainly a possibility.
Pauline shivered as she saw the tawse lying on the dressing table top. Curiosity made her want to pick it up but she was too frightened to do so. Always, he liked her to be absolutely ready when he arrived. His intention on this occasion, was quite clear. She was to place herself over that great mound of cushions. Skirt up; knickers down. As usual. Reluctant to begin… reluctant to endure once again the humiliation of taking her knickers down and presenting herself ready (for how long, she never knew), Pauline wandered around the room, her mind bubbling with agitation. How much was it going to hurt? Oh how much? She caught sight of a jar of what looked like Vaseline on a shelf. Why should that be there? Accidental? Or was he going to find some use for it? Somehow, the sight of that jar worried her. For something so ordinary, it had evil implications.
Slowly, Pauline lifted her skirt and pushed her knickers down. She knelt on the rubber sheet which had been placed on the bed. It felt clammy. Most unpleasant. It smelt strongly, too. The bolster-pillow was made of some sort of clingy satin material. The sort of thing one saw some Eastern houri reclining against in the Harem. Where had he found them, she wondered vaguely. Why all this special preparation? Her belly rested on that top cushion, her bottom uplifted high. A bottom that was so naked and vulnerable, feeling the coolness of the air upon it.
Suddenly, he was in the room. She could hear him breathing, that was all. It made her quiver all the way through. He said nothing but she could almost feel his eyes boring into her raised and naked hindquarters. The tension became almost unbearable. Then there was a faint slap-slapping sound. Pauline realised he must be patting the tawse against the palm of his hand. Still looking at where he was going to lay it. The thought made her nates give a sudden twitch of dread. Why oh why couldn’t she be more strong-willed? Then this would never be happening.
‘After this, Pauline,’ he said quietly, ‘I shall expect a considerable improvement in your moral behaviour.’ A pause. ‘I am only going to give you six, but I’m going to give them to you hard. Each one will hurt a great deal.’ She felt her nates twitch again. The dread was mounting within her. She had become accustomed to pain but this time, she was aware, it was going to be different. She tensed, shivering, her bottom twisting to one side a little.
There was the faintest of sounds; a floorboard squeaking. Then came the agonising blaze of pain across her buttocks, the twin thongs of the tawse curling round and flailing into her flank. It was literally like a flame across her flesh; a flame that then burnt deep. It had her gasping breathlessly, head jerking up, her whole bottom twisting and juddering out of control.
Oh she couldn’t bear six like that! She turned, eyes imploring, shaking her head. He looked intent; grave; quite unemotional. ‘I told you it would hurt,’ he said calmly. ‘Get right back over the cushions again… and don’t keep twisting your behind away.’
‘Oh please… no…’
‘Do it!’ Somehow she made herself do it, clenching her teeth, clawing at the bolster-pillow. Again that squeak of the floorboards as he swung. Then again that sheet of flame across her flesh. Breathtaking! Unbelievable! She almost writhed right off the bed.
‘No… ooo… no… ooo… I can’t st-stand it!’ She meant it. This was ten times worse than any slipper. Immeasurably worse than any spanking — which she had once thought intolerable too.
‘Of course you can, Pauline,’ he said easily. ‘Anyway, you’re going to. Even if we have to stay in here together all afternoon.’
She knew he meant it. He was always quite relentless. Deep sobs shook her. She felt so weak and helpless. How could he be so cruel! She wasn’t really wicked; simply lacking in willpower. ‘Not… not so h-hard pleeeess… ease…’
‘Just as hard. Get your bottom square, girl.’ Pauline began to sob unrestrainedly as she positioned her clenching buttocks once more. Then, for the third time, the strap cracked resoundingly across the softness of her flesh. She howled, throat straining, eyes wide. Halfway, she thought, mind reeling. There were still three more to come like that! ‘Please… please… please…’ she was whimpering.
‘I’m sorry, Pauline,’ he said in that calm way, ‘but you have to learn.’
But, as she tensed, trembling with dread, for the second part of her punishment, Pauline knew she would never learn. In life, there were forces too powerful for even the tawse to overcome!