She had seen him before. Mr Alling his name was. Not old, fortyish perhaps with a trimmed dark beard. He was in charge of one of the other branches she thought but she wasn’t too sure what. There were a lot of things Jill wasn’t sure about yet as she had only been there a week. The stacks were one of those things she didn’t know about. ‘It’ll be in the stacks,’ Mrs Harfield who was Jill’s supervisor said. Jill looked a bit lost. And then Mr Alling said, ‘I’ll show her.’
Was there a quick glance between the other two in the room? Mrs Harfield and Sue Prendal who was the other clerical officer. Jill thought afterwards that there might have been, but not at the time. They didn’t say anything, sitting at their desks — but what would they say? ‘Don’t go into the stacks with Mr Alling… because…?’ No, they were hardly likely to say that. As for Jill — well naturally she wouldn’t query it. Mr Alling was being helpful. She got to her feet and followed him out.
Jill had seen Mr Alling before and so presumably the reverse was true. He had seen her — and possibly sized her up? Perhaps he wasn’t going to notice every new recruit but a young and pretty female one, with soft, shimmery blonde hair and cutely rounded figure. Oh yes, he would have noticed her, as no doubt would have other male members of staff. New and very attractive and also seemingly hesitant, unsure of herself in her newness. As any young person might well be in a new job but Jill Milford did give that impression of hesitancy more than most. Such an impression of unsureness — of innocence as well can be highly attractive to some, enhancing the already highly attractive physical appearance. Making her sufficiently attractive that a man might find himself hard pressed to keep his hands off such an enchanting object…
The stack room was piled high with document folders and files, some of them gathering the dust of many years. You needed to know your way around this paper jungle to find anything. Jill thought: I could never find anything in here, not without help. But there was Mr Alling. Close at her side. He said, ‘Is it Jill or Gillian…?’
She was starting to answer. It was really Gillian but Jill was what everyone called her… when suddenly… Mr Alling’s hand was on her bottom. A firm, no-nonsense grip on one cheek through her quite thin skirt. Jill almost jumped out of her skin. Stumbling forward with a yelp — as if on the beach she had accidentally sat on a crab and its claw had automatically reacted, closing on a segment of soft flesh. Or if indeed a man’s hand had done the same thing. Which it had of course.
Jill’s lurch forward had taken her away from the hand — but not very far because they were in an alcove of the stacks, a dead-end. Mr Alling closed in on her again, laughing. And did the same thing again. Once more grabbed Jill’s bum.
‘No!’ she squealed. ‘No! Stop that!’ Trying to twist away but now there was nowhere to go, she was up against the stacks.
‘Don’t be silly,’ Mr Alling said laughingly. ‘We’re just having a bit of fun.’ He reached for her again; reaching behind for Jill’s bottom. She tried to struggle by him but he grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. Holding her to him, front to front, and one of his hands had reached round behind again… to get another shocking grip on her quivering rear cheeks.
‘You’ve got such a lovely bum, young Jill,’ he was gasping a bit with the effort of holding her. ‘That… I can’t keep my hands off it.’
‘Let me go.’ Jill was getting hysterical. ‘Let me go!’ On the point of tears. It was so shocking what he was doing, so impossible. ‘I… I… I’ll report y…’
Mr Alling abruptly let go of her and stood back. With all the force she was struggling against suddenly gone, Jill stumbled and fell to the floor. It was as if all the fight had gone out of her. Sprawled on the floor she began sobbing, immobile except for her shaking shoulders.
‘Get up,’ Mr Alling said. ‘Don’t be a silly girl.’
‘You… you’re h… hateful,’ she stuttered between the sobs.
He bent and took hold of her arm, hauling her up. ‘You know what silly girls need, Jill. They need their bottoms smacked.’ His voice was half teasing. ‘They need to have their knickers taken down and be given a good spanking on their bare bottoms.’
Jill was on her feet now, face red, hair in a mess. ‘I… I… will report you,’ she managed. She wasn’t crying now but she had difficulty speaking. She could still feel that awful hand…
‘Of course you won’t,’ Mr Alling told her. ‘Everyone would just think what a silly girl you were if you make silly complaints. Acting like a silly schoolgirl. A grown-up girl doesn’t object to a little bit of fun. Now I should go to the loo and wash your face. You don’t want people to see you’ve been acting like a baby.’ His face came close to hers. ‘And like I told you, young lady, what you really need is a smacked bottom. Should we do that now? Take your knickers down and spank your bottom?’
Jill thought she was going to burst into tears again. He was joking but it was an awful, horrible joke. Mr Alling took hold of her arms, grinning. She let out a strangled shriek. Mr Alling laughed and let go of her… and then one hand, like a darting snake, was reaching behind her. Grabbing her bottom again.
She didn’t know how she could face them, how she could go back in the office and face Mrs Harfield and Sue. They would somehow know what Mr Alling had done, perhaps they had known he was going to do it and had been joking about it all this time. Waiting for her to get back, to burst out laughing when she reappeared. She couldn’t report it of course: it would be too humiliating to say that it happened… Or they wouldn’t believe it. ‘Did what, dear?’ Mrs Harfield would say. ‘Are you sure you’re not making it up. Well if he did you must have let him. You let him and then decided you’d be awkward and make a fuss…’ No, there was no way she could say anything, she would just look like a little fool.
Somehow Jill managed to go back in the office. After visiting the loo and looking askance at her face but when she’d washed in cold water it perhaps didn’t look too bad. She went quietly to her desk like a little mouse, not looking at anyone. Were they staring at her? Their faces tight with suppressed giggles?
As Jill sat down Mrs Harfield said, ‘So now you know, Jill.’ Her voice sounded normal. Jill mumbled Yes. Was her face scarlet? She kept her head down, shuffling some papers. Perhaps no one did know…?
But later, when Mrs Harfield was out of the office, Sue said, ‘How did you get on with Mr Alling. Did he feel your bum?’ Jill’s face was immediately scarlet. There was no need to answer. So they did know. She felt sick. Sue gave her a sympathetic smile. ‘That had to be why he wanted to show you of course. He’s a bit of a sod for that.’
Conscious of her burning face, Jill said, ‘Someone should report him. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.’
Sue shrugged. ‘There’s no point making a fuss. You have to accept a certain amount of that sort of thing. I mean that’s what men are like.’
Well he won’t do it again, Jill told herself. If she wasn’t going to report it — and she knew she wasn’t — she would make sure he didn’t do it again. She certainly wouldn’t go in the stacks with him another time — or go anywhere near him. Luckily he wasn’t her boss so she didn’t normally have anything to do with Mr Alling. As she wouldn’t have on this occasion if she hadn’t been so green and naive. Senior people didn’t take time out to show new girls around unless they had a reason.
Jill thought she would never get over that horrific shock but after a couple of days the memory of it was not quite as intense. There was the thought of course that Sue and Mrs Harfield knew what had happened but as nothing more was said about it Jill could most of the time forget that as well. As for Mr Alling, she kept well out of his way. She saw him once or twice in the corridor but only from a distance. A distance was plenty close enough, thank you. Yes she was able to forget about it for most of the time. But then…
Almost two weeks later. The Thursday. When Jill arrived in the morning Mrs Harfield said, ‘Oh Jill, we’ve got a problem, I’m afraid. Apparently one of Mr Alling’s girls is off, they’re not sure for how long. Anyway Personnel have asked for you to fill in.’
Jill couldn’t believe it at first: this impossible thing that Mrs Harfield was saying. She shook her head in disbelief. Mrs Harfield smiled at her. ‘It’s unfortunate but there it is. It may not be for very long.’
Red-faced, Jill breathed a shocked ‘No!’ as the full import of it hit her. ‘No. Not Mr Alling.’
Mrs Harfield gave Jill another bland smile. Thinking, Jill thought: Silly girl. Scared of having her bottom played with. Well that’s her hard luck. Smoothly she said, ‘Mr Alling’s not too bad, Jill. Now go along to his office right away please.’
Jill felt a desperate urge to run out of the building, out into the street, but she couldn’t do that. Instead she had to pick up her things and walk along the corridor and up the stairs… to the room that had Mr Alling’s name on it. Jill had had to go up in that direction once before since that awful business in the stack room. She had passed his office with her heart in her mouth but she hadn’t of course had to go in. Now…
He grinned at her. ‘Hello, pretty Jill. How lovely to see you. Yes, my Angela’s off sick. So I told Personnel I knew just the girl I wanted as replacement if she could be released. And your Mrs Harfield was most obliging. Come here then. Close the door and come here.’
Mr Alling, sitting behind his desk, was indicating the spot at his side. Right next to him. Jill’s knees felt like they were going to collapse. Somehow they kept her upright, though. ‘Come closer,’ Mr Alling said. ‘Nice and close…’ He reached for Jill’s skirt and firmly tugged her to him. ‘That’s better.’
‘So how’s my pretty Jill been? Has she had that lovely bottom pinched since our little bit of fun in the stacks? I expect she has, I expect everyone in the building’s trying to pinch it.’
‘No!’ she yelped, pushing at Mr Alling’s hand. It was going up her skirt. It was at her knee and going up the back of her leg. ‘No!’
‘Look, Jill…’ Mr Alling’s voice had lost the bantering tone. It was harder. ‘You’re working for me now. For the moment. I’m your boss. And I don’t want you being silly. All right?’
She didn’t have to let Mr Alling do this. He couldn’t do it. She’d make a complaint. But Mr Alling was doing it. Sliding his hand up her skirt. She was saying ‘No… please…’ in a desperate hissing voice… but the hand, with Mr Alling saying ‘Don’t be a silly girl…’ was nonetheless doing it. Sliding up the backs of her legs. Up to Jill’s stocking tops. And beyond. His hand on the hot, bare thigh-flesh. She was going to faint. Shaking all over. Her legs were going to collapse. She was going to be sick… Mr Alling’s hand was up at the tight seat of her knickers…
‘We’re going to have to stay later tonight,’ he told her. ‘Not long. It won’t take long but I’ve got something I need to do. You don’t mind, do you, Jilly dear? You’ll get overtime of course.’
It was 4 o’clock, an hour before the normal finishing time. Still Jill’s first day with Mr Alling, with the memory of that shocking start to the day still enormous in her head. His hand up her skirt, stroking the bare backs of her thighs… and then up on her knickers, her bottom. He had simply done it and Jill hadn’t been able to stop him. If Mr Alling had tried it again… well, she wouldn’t have been able to stop that either. But he hadn’t. He hadn’t touched her since.
Jill tried to protest that she couldn’t, but Mr Alling in that brisk authoritarian voice said of course she could. It wouldn’t be for long…
She had been thinking about the stack room all day of course. Working with dreadful Mr Alling and especially after what he had done first thing. What if he said, ‘Come along to the stack room, Jill.’ But he hadn’t — and anyway perhaps he didn’t need to, he could do things right here in his own office. But now at just after 5 he looked in and said it. ‘We’ll go along to the stack room, Jill. I need something there.’
Jill sat petrified. ‘Come along,’ he told her. ‘Don’t be a silly girl.’
In that awful room again. The narrow corridors with the high shelves of dusty files looming on either side. It was like a bad dream, a nightmare. At any moment Mr Alling was going to grab her. Grab her bottom. He held her arm, directing her though the maze of shelves. Suddenly he said, ‘Have you got a boyfriend, Jill?’
It came out of the blue and she was almost too tense to reply. Jill mumbled an affirmative.
‘Does he fuck you, Jill?’
She didn’t answer. It was a shock but not the shock she had been expecting. Mr Alling had stopped. Turning towards her. ‘Does he, Jilly?’ Trembling she shook her head.
‘No? Well he should do. A girl your age should be fucked regularly. It’s good for her. And as well as that, what she needs is to have her bottom spanked. If she’s a silly girl. I told you that before, didn’t I? So that’s what we’re going to do now. We’re going to smack that bottom.’
It was a nightmare. A nightmare in all these stacks and dusty old files, and Mr Alling. And a step-ladder for climbing up to get things. Mr Alling was telling her to get up on the ladder. And then to take her skirt off. This couldn’t happen in real life of course, nothing as awful as this could possibly happen… bending over… Mr Alling sliding down her knickers… so that her bottom as she stood up on the ladder was bare…
The spanking… it seemed to go on and on. As nightmares do sometimes go on and on. At the end of it — the spanking, not the nightmare — Mr Alling said, ‘Now about that other thing. Your boyfriend, Jill. Does he really not fuck you…?’