It had been a perfect day. They had all finished work at lunchtime, collected their wages and managed to spend something in every shop they had entered. They were elated, giggly, ravenously hungry and almost late for their training session. A take-away seemed the obvious solution, although it didn’t feature on their strict diet sheets.
As soon as they arrived at the gym, they wolfed down the burgers, fries and shakes as they changed from their street clothes into their work-out gear. Technically, they should all have worn an extra layer during the warm-up session, but none of them was willing to tote a track suit around all day: they would just take the warm-up at a leisurely pace and hope nothing got strained.
They were sitting cross-legged, scraping the bottom of the wrappers for salted-chip debris and lamenting their lack of foresight in not ordering apple pies, when the door opened and their trainer entered.
‘So this is what you call “serious training” is it? A full-day’s calorie allowance in every mouthful and dossing about on the floor. Get up.’
Laurie Gilpin was a total professional. An Olympic gymnast, he was committed to bringing out the best in all his pupils and brooked no infringement of his strict rules. The three girls were all borderline in terms of their potential, but he was willing to invest his time and energy if they were able to match his dedication.
He was feeling let down.
At least Jennie and Marla had the grace to look contrite. Naomi, as usual, made a production out of the simple act of standing up and in the end he simply grabbed her elbow and dragged her to her feet.
‘Not a very auspicious start to the session,’ he growled. ‘Too much junk food inside; not enough clothing on the outside. Let’s see what the energy levels are like. Take up your positions.’
The girls ran to form a tableau around the vaulting horse — their opening exhibition pose.
‘Okay, since you can’t be bothered to dress appropriately for it, we’ll dispose with the warm-up and get straight on to the equipment — take it slowly for the first five minutes, then get to work properly. Remember, we’ve got the demonstration in just five days’ time and your sponsorship is riding on it!’
They did as they were told: without sponsorship they could not continue training for competitions and their prestige at work would be lost, taking with it all the little perks to which they had become so accustomed.
Naomi mounted the exercise bike. Actually, the company that made it (and employed the girls) gave it a brand name that sounded a cross between a Japanese lawn-mover and a banned substance, but everyone persisted in referring to it as the “exercise bike”. She took her instructor at his word, and pedalled as softly as was humanely possible, posing in her fashionable cropped t-shirt and black shorts that were little more than regulation knickers.
Marla, meantime, selected the weights and began a series of bench-presses. She was desperate to launch a career in modelling and had an entire wardrobe of costumes which she rotated in such a way that nobody had ever seen her in the same outfit twice. Today’s offering was a navy and white stripe leotard worn over a stripy cropped top and dark cycle shorts, topped — as if an afterthought — by a casual navy cardigan. She had no real interest in competitions and prizes — the only trophy she sought was a good portfolio of photographs and a contract with a decent agency.
That left Jennie to work out on the vaulting box. A little old-fashioned compared with most of the equipment the company made, it remained a popular line with social clubs and penal institutions. Jennie’s long legs and strong back made her an ideal demonstrator for the appliance and she had to admit to deriving a grudging pleasure in stretching and propelling herself over and across its padded top.
Laurie Gilpin allowed them their promised five minutes’ warm-up time, then set them to work in earnest. They had known what to expect, but their hearts still plummeted when they saw him fetch the cane from the store cupboard. Like the vaulting box, it was an old-fashioned but effective implement which they had all experienced.
‘Okay, ladies,’ he boomed, ‘Let’s see some serious work. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that at the advanced age of nineteen — or twenty, in the case of our dear friend Naomi — you are fast reaching that time when you will be seriously past your prime. Now, we can’t actually halt the aging process, but we can mitigate its effects with… what?’
‘Regular exercise, discipline and good diet,’ they chorused, knowing what was to follow.
‘Very good. The exercise and diet is largely up to you, but in my kindness, I am willing to supply the discipline. Say “thank you”.
They thanked him, but without conviction. They knew he spoke the truth: there were girls a fraction of their age waiting in the wings to topple them from their current positions — just as they themselves had done to reigning champions only a couple of years before. Instinctively, they drew deep breaths and set about their routines with new vigour.
Behind her, Naomi could hear Jennie receiving some “encouragement” and the keening whistle of the descending cane and thud of its impact on Jennie’s behind made her redouble her own efforts. In fact, Jennie only received a few light swipes on her knickered rear as she lay sprawled along the top of the box. It was their instructor’s personal warm-up exercise, designed to let him practice his stroke and warn the girls of what was to come.
In fact, it was Naomi who had to endure the cane to full effect first. Laurie Gilpin was as much of an expert with the rattan as he had once been on the parallel bars. As Naomi arched her back and pedalled to her full capacity, the cane came up with a deft twitch of the instructor’s wrist, searing into her out-thrust buttocks.
Her beautiful face became contorted into a grimace as her stretched mouth let forth a piercing shriek.
She cycled faster, getting nowhere, trying to escape the vicious sting of the rod. She watched with unseeing eyes as the dials on the handlebars told her the speed with which she was covering the mythical kilometres, she could not get away from Laurie’s urgings. Naturally, he would be careful not to leave marks that would still be visible during the forthcoming display, but he was still able to impart some painful stripes.
She was grateful when he turned his attentions to Marla, although she did not allow herself the luxury of slackening practice pace in case he returned. Her short t-shirt with its cute “Babe” legend emblazoned across her bosom adhered to her with sweat: the unglamorous, unspoken aspect of a good athlete. Marla was simply not trying hard enough, so she received a classic “six of the best” by way of encouragement as she stood by her apparatus.
He returned to Jennie. Her efforts were far from satisfactory: he’d seen raw army recruits perform with more grace and poise — and lost no time in telling her so! He had her work through her most difficult moves and gave his verdict.
‘Too late with the spring, not enough stretch, lazy follow-through. Up against the side, please.’
His hand held the small of her back, pressing her body into the padded leather, urging her bottom to reach out for his ministrations. However, with her long legs, her thighs presented the greatest part of his target, and he knew better than to mark the soft flesh that could take over a week to shed the tramline weals. Instead he sat on the weights bench and hauled the hapless girl across his lap.
A swift tug at the lycra shorts revealed Jennie wore nothing underneath, which pleased him greatly. Her embarrassment was palpable as he took his time arranging the elasticated fabric so that he had a clear zone in which to administer a thorough hand-spanking without fear of encroaching on areas that would be visible to the public. Jennie knew better than to protest or resist. He had spoken the truth about the three of them being relatively old for competition gymnastics and if he abandoned them they would be hard pressed to find somebody else to undertake their training.
Laurie Gilpin’s hand struck the pneumatic flesh firmly and unhurriedly. The aim of the punishment was to bring the miscreant into line, not inflict severe pain or injury. The psychological impact was increased by his total silence. Jennie juddered and kicked out, cowered by her trainer’s severe attitude, offering little real resistance as her buttocks took on a blushing hue that matched her skimpy vest.
Naomi and Marla looked on, sensing this to be a departure from Gilpin’s familiar, if esoteric, discipline routine. They were disturbed by his cold deliberations and the speed with which Jennie had been subdued. Unbidden, a nervous giggle escaped from Marla.
Immediately, Gilpin abandoned Jennie and turned his attention to the girl with the audacity to laugh at him. He spluttered clichés about her laughing on the other side of her face and not finding it so funny when she was on the receiving end and all the while he was unceremoniously removing her skimpy protective clothing.
Now it was her turn to lie face down over his thighs while his stinging palm struck over and over on her quivering bottom cheeks. Determined not to react, she consoled herself with images of a lucrative modelling contract which would mean she need never undergo such treatment again.
Even before he spoke, Naomi knew that she, too, would be required to undergo the same fate as her friends, but she could tell that the game was beginning to pall somewhat for their trainer. She was spared the indignity of having her shorts pulled down, but suspected that this was compensated for by her receiving a much harder spanking. The sound echoed around the high-ceilinged, hard-walled gym, chased by her anguished shrieks.
He had intended to get the girls back to work once he had dealt out their “encouraging” spankings, but Naomi’s vociferous response gave him other ideas.
‘I have grave reservations about your commitment and ability,’ he told them. ‘More importantly, I am concerned about my reputation being put in jeopardy by the shortcomings of a group of workshy adolescents. I have a proposition for you.’
The chastened trio stood in mute concentration as he issued his ultimatum.
‘I am going to leave you here alone for exactly five minutes. During that time, I want you to think seriously about why you are here and whether you really want to continue to train. If any of you decide that you have had enough and you want to quit, please leave immediately. If you are still here when I return, I shall expect you to accept whatever I demand of you, be it about diet, exercise, training, clothing or recreational activities. If you choose to stay, I will expect immediate and total obedience: think carefully before you make your choice.’
He paused for effect. ‘If any of you decide to remain, I expect to find you naked, standing on the low form facing the wall when I come in. No negotiation or argument. Those are my terms. Think and decide what you are going to do.’
He left them to contemplate, both individually and collectively. At first they were all too stunned to say out loud what they were each thinking and by the time they had found their voices, they had changed their minds anyway. Naomi summed up their feelings.
‘Look, we’ve come this far; we’re beginning to get a reputation. Whatever we decide to go for: competitions, exhibitions, teaching, modelling or whatever, we’d be pretty stupid to jack it all in now. And don’t forget, we’d probably lose our jobs eventually as well — we’re hardly going to promote the right image for a manufacturer of fitness equipment if we publicly give up using it.’
Marla and Jennie nodded in agreement. The three pretty girls looked at one another, tearful and pouting, and began to strip.
When he returned, Laurie Gilpin was both surprised and relieved to find all three of the girls as he had prescribed. Clad only in trainers and socks, they all stood along a wooden form, slightly bent to present their bottoms for his inspection and their hands placed steadyingly on the wall. It was a breathtaking sight and he had to brace himself to administer their punishment rather than submitting to his baser instincts.
He fetched the cane. Tapping each of them with teasing intimacy, he outlined their new regime. No junk food, two training sessions a day, proper practice clothing, full warm-ups, maximum effort…
The list went on. As each point was outlined the cane tapped a little more heavily. Reflexive tics began to pucker the smooth, pink flesh of the three pairs of buttocks. The girls began to rise up on their toes as the rhythm became more insistent; their backs began to arch and their hips to gyrate as the stinging bit more deeply, starting to land heavily, deliberately on the meaty rumps and thighs.
It was a wonderful sight. He abandoned his litany and concentrated on building up their punishment. His pupils seemed unaware of the lewdness of their responses: the welcoming pelvic plunges; the slight parting of their thighs: the musky scent they each gave off, all of them slightly different but emanating from the same primitive source. And the sound: the gentle mewlings that seemed midway between suffering and ecstasy. With a pleasingly surprising dexterity. he brought each of them to their toes in turn, the cane catching them from a rising arc on the delicate fold between thigh and buttock.
Their voices rose.
Their hips bucked.
Their tears flowed.
Their bottoms turned crimson. streaked and ridged in darker hues.
He had won. As would they in future.