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Thursday, 14 June 2018

The Hostage - Part 1

From Roué 22
Millicent had been born into the kind of family that a novelist might have contrived as a background for a story of privilege and influence, politics and high finance, and the family, as in all the best novels, had the obligatory skeleton in the cupboard. Uncle Simon.
That family fortunes had, in the intervening years, declined to the point where Uncle Simon had ended up as the only member of the family to have hung on to his share of the joint inheritance was, to put it mildly, humiliating for the respectable side of the family.
Only one of Uncle Simon’s relations had had the insight to recognise that his weakness for pretty girls, the thing which had condemned him in the eyes of the family hitherto, was in a fact a very exploitable side of his character now that he had all the money; Millicent’s mother, Cicely.
Which explains why, on this particular day, young Millicent is presently half-naked in the drawing room of Uncle Simon’s house, and why she will not be listened to should she try telling any tales on her return to the bosom of her family. It explains too why Uncle Simon has proceeded, and indeed is proceeding, without that regard for discretion which one might have expected him to observe in his dealings with his ‘niece’, albeit a niece by marriage only, since Millicent is actually his sister’s step-daughter.
The word ‘hostage’ has never passed anyone’s lips in connections with Millicent’s now prolonged stay in her uncle’s house; neither have the words ‘sacrificial lamb’ been used openly. Respectability would not be able to accept the continuance of the situation if such ideas were actually voiced abroad. That such expressions would describe the arrangement rather well is not to say that it would be desirable to bandy them about. Millicent is staying with her uncle for a holiday, which, so far as anyone else is concerned, is all there is to it.
Millicent herself is by now more than a little confused, however. Her letters home have elicited prompt replies from her mother which have blandly ignored poor Millicent’s fervently expressed desire to be allowed to leave Uncle Simon’s house as soon as possible, and her telephone calls have had no better result.
When her mother told her to ‘be a good girl’ and she’d promised that she would, she’d had no idea that ‘being good’ could involve being so thoroughly naughty, and that being naughty could be anything like so painful!
At this precise moment Uncle Simon is glancing amusedly through Millicent’s latest missive to her mother, which had been given to the housekeeper to post but which has been redirected by that worthy lady before she pops it in the post box tomorrow. The plaintiveness of Millicent’s written pleas to be allowed home trouble his conscience not at all, but they do add a certain poignancy to the situation which obtains here and now in the drawing room. Uncle Simon slips the letter back into its envelope.
Though she can see in the tall mirror over the fireplace that her uncle is reading something, Millicent is in no position to speculate as to what it might be. She is too busy coping with an emotional little drama of her very own. Her knickers are clinging sympathetically to her thighs, as if trying to comfort her in her distress, but her bottom still smarts and trembles and squeezes its fresh-smacked cheeks together with tiny convulsive tremors, and blushes prettily under Uncle Simon’s eye. She feels dismal in the extreme, humiliated by the casual way in which she is expected to keep her bottom bared and on display while her uncle idly considers what to do with her next.
She catches the fleeting smile which passes across Uncle Simon’s face as he replaces the letter in the envelope, and thinks she can see in that momentary expression a hint of playfulness. It makes her feel yet more wretched, knowing only too well that when Uncle Simon is in a playful mood, tea-time, even bed-time might come and go before she is allowed to slip miserably off the hook.
Uncle Simon then, knowing full well that his young guest’s imagination will be working overtime now, lets the unfortunate girl simmer gently in her nervous anticipation of she knows not what, and is not at all surprised when, a minute or so later, he detects the merest suggestion of a gasped breath, together with an involuntary pressing together of bare thighs as if to stifle the sound. He knows that she can rarely keep her tender emotions in check for long when they play these waiting games. She has a gift for self-inspired fits of tearfulness on such occasions, and her bottom begins to shiver gently while her sobs become steadily more audible.
She cries for several minutes, averting her eyes from her uncle’s in the mirror, and one hand wanders irresolutely down her bare flank to the knickers hitched around the tops of her legs. Her fingers pluck ruefully at the elastic, betraying her ashamedness, and her pathetic wishing that she might be allowed to pull up her pants and tuck her spanked bum-cheeks away out of Uncle Simon’s sight.
She whispers ‘Please, Uncle Simon — please —’ though her voice has no tenor of hope in it. Her plea goes unremarked, indeed perhaps even unnoticed, for all she knows. Her hand withdraws and goes back to clutching her dress at her waist, and she seems to regain a touch of dignity.
She stands more erect, shoulders pulled back a little, and even her bottom, bared and spanked and shamefully exposed though it is, seems to hold itself differently; more formally, self-conscious still but a bit braver now.
Uncle Simon eyes his guest and her saucy insolent bottom, and fancies that in its blushing pertness, its insouciance, it is wanting to apologise for being irresistibly smackable. And who could not forgive a girl, and her bottom, who present themselves still with such hesitant yet deliberate submissiveness, trembly and afraid though they both certainly are?
Forgiven then, though not yet absolved, Millicent and her bottom shiver mutely in a limbo of unknowingness, while Uncle Simon, who knows, shudders a faint thrill of anticipation. He watches her face in the mirror; her expression more composed though still anxious. She parts her lips, perhaps unthinkingly, but he wants to find some suggestion there, of willingness to please, of complicity in this ritual of smacked bottoms and humiliation. It seems that she makes moist promises with her mouth. She touches her lips with her tongue, then slips it back, inside her soft slippery mouth, perhaps asking to make amends, to say her sorrys without the words.
He allows himself to be surprised at her forwardness, though it may only have been his imagination, but puts the thought safely away for reference on some other day. She’ll say her sorrys this afternoon in another, more sorry-making way.
He has the instrument of absolution at hand, though as yet this afternoon she has not glimpsed it. He watches her face in the mirror until he’s sure he has her fullest attention, and then eases it from its hiding place, leaving it casually in his lap and in Millicent’s full reflected view.
Millicent’s round young bottom tweaks convulsively at the sudden appearance of this instrument of correction. To say that she is familiar with it would be misleading — in truth she has seen it only once before, yet she remembers the awfulness of that occasion with such clarity that tears are welling hot in her eyes even as she stares disbelievingly at that most shuddery of sights. She pulls her eyes away and strives not to look back. Within moments, however, dread curiosity makes her stare at it again, now unable to drag her gaze away.
Uncle Simon almost smiles at the comic look of apprehension on her face. Yes, my sweet — you remember it well, don’t you! And the lesson it taught you, eh?
And to Millicent, with her knickers already taken down and suffering that awful feeling of vulnerability which goes with the nakedness of bottoms in such circumstances, the plainness of her uncle’s intent is enough to release her tears in a swift flood of desolate self-pity. For one moment she dares to look over her shoulder at the cause of her distress, finding it no less awful to behold face to face.
It rests lightly in Uncle Simon’s hand, held between two fingers somewhere about its mid-point so that its length curves up towards the tip, jaunty and wicked, he tilts it up a little so that it points blatantly at her naked bottom, and Millicent stutters and stumbles over her sobbing entreaties until they are swamped by her tears.
He cannot find it in his heart to blame her. He too can recall the last time in fine, intimate detail, and knows what poor Millicent went through. But it can’t be helped — smacked bottoms might be alright for little girls, but Millicent is no longer a little girl — and big girls have to be dealt with differently, with altogether stiffer penances to pay.
One finger crooked and beckoning, brings the tearful but still obedient girl to his chair. Two fingers, one on either side, slip Millicent’s knickers down to her knees, then to her ankles. She steps out of them hesitantly, clumsily, and catches the fastening of her shoe in the material. She stumbles awkwardly, still weeping and unable to see clearly through her tears.
He slaps her hard on her legs, pretending impatience, and Millicent teeters above him, smooth belly and soft pubic hair inches from his face as he yanks at her tangled knickers.
It doesn’t matter. He sends her out of the room in front of him, knickers still caught on her shoe and dragging forlornly along underfoot. He makes her wait at the foot of the stairs while he goes to the study and seeks around for the little pot, the soothing balm which she’ll be grateful for a little later. Then he sends her upstairs, following the unhappy bounce of her still smarting cheeks two stairs behind. Stupidly she stands on her knickers and at the next upward step they rip away from her shoe. Uncle Simon scoops them up and follows weepy Millicent into her room.
Upstairs the sun is beaming cheerfully into the bedroom and catches in Millicent’s hair as she stands at the foot of her bed, dress still hoisted up to her waist. There seems little need to undress her further, she is after all naked from the waist down to her ankles. He nudges her gently forward and she has no option but to kneel on the bed, supporting herself with her hands. He pushes her dress up her back, up beyond the strap of her bra, and slips both hands round under her hips and coaxes her into the right position, back hollowed, bottom tilted up. Nudged again, she collapses onto her elbows, face pressed against the bed, tears soaking the quilt, while Uncle Simon slips the lid off the little pot.
Then, bottom hot and crimson, yellow dress up to her armpits, socks rumpled, shoes over the foot of the bed, Millicent manages to strangle her sobs into sniffly silence while she is adjusted to precisely the right angle, though it is the quiet of dread anticipation when there is no spirit left even for weeping. With her eyes wide and frightened, Millicent waits for the first touch, the first experimental pats on her trembly bottom, the first tear-squeezing stroke.

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