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Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Devil’s Due

Story by Jean-Philippe Aubourg from Janus 161, the third in a series of four.
Siobhan had not expected to stay in touch with Elaine, having never met her, or even heard of her, before Bishop Franks’ other niece Rosemary came to spend the summer. If Rosemary had behaved herself it would probably have stayed that way, but needs must when the Devil drives.
Rosemary had led Siobhan astray, encouraging her to listen to rock and roll tapes on her fancy cassette player, brought back from Manchester. When the bishop got to hear about it, Rosemary had planted the tapes and the player in Siobhan’s bedroom, so it was her poor little bottom that was caned, as she counted off the strokes with her rosary. If Rosemary had not gloated quite so much, Siobhan may have let it lie, but she could not let that arrogant teenager get away with such a crime.
From the safety of Manchester Elaine had helped plot revenge, tried by Rosemary’s behaviour during her visit the previous summer. Elaine had acquired a condom and sent it to Siobhan. It had been planted in Rosemary’s bag so as to fall out in front of the bishop. Her howls had been sweet music to Siobhan, as she was caned around an entire rosary, and she felt it only right to describe them, in detail, in what she thought would be a final letter to Elaine.
Far from it. It was the next in a line that would continue weekly for four years, and eventually change both their lives. They met two years later, when Elaine returned to Ireland for a summer holiday in 1972, and spent a weekend at the bishop’s home. In the flesh the girls got on even better than on paper, and when the curly-haired blonde returned to her job as a secretary in Manchester, they wrote with even more enthusiasm.
Elaine knew that Siobhan’s work as Bishop Franks’ housekeeper left her completely unfulfilled. Even apart from the at-least-weekly doses of hard corporal punishment, dished out for the smallest of crimes, and the total ban on listening to her beloved Rolling Stones, Siobhan could never be happy where she was. She was a beautiful, young, independent spirit, and the bishop’s house was a dark, cruel cage.
It was Elaine who opened the cage door.
In March 1974 she wrote to Siobhan. She had been offered a better job, with a larger law firm in London. It was a fantastic opportunity, but she was anxious at moving from Manchester when she had no close friends, and only a few relations in the capital.
Her solution was dramatic, but also gave Siobhan an escape route. She proposed Siobhan come with her.
At first it seemed too far-fetched and ambitions for the young housekeeper to even consider, but over a series of letters Elaine won her round.
She had thought of everything. Elaine’s salary would be enough to cover the rent of a two-bedroom flat to begin with, at least until Siobhan found work. But Siobhan had no qualifications? No problem, a basic typing and shorthand course would at least get her started, and she had experience of running the bishop’s home. She had a little money. Even though Bishop Franks paid her no more than a token wage, there was precious little to spend it on, certainly not clothes, records or a social life, so in four years Siobhan had built up quite a nest egg.
What would her family say?
Would her Father allow her to leave Ireland?
Siobhan always believed he would never have allowed her to move to Dublin, let alone London.
This was Elaine’s master stroke. Were Siobhan to try in do this alone she would certainly be told she could not go, by the bishop and her family. But how could the bishop stop her, if she was going to be under the care of his own trusted and much-loved niece? A girl who had been living in the UK for the last six years! Bishop Franks could hardly tell Siobhan’s father that she would not be in the best possible hands!
So it was arranged, and Siobhan prepared to uproot herself for the second time in her young life. She had hated leaving her parents’ farm, and not just because she knew that going to work for Bishop Franks meant regular sessions of bare-bottomed punishment, but also because she was leaving behind the only home she had ever known. In September 1974 she was also frightened, but excited at the prospects that lay before her.
In the weeks leading to her departure the bishop seemed to find many excuses to punish her. Two or three times a week she would find herself having to lift her skirt, lower her panties and offer her bottom for hand, slipper or belt, sometimes for the most trivial of crimes, such as leaving a light on or spilling tea in the saucer.
It was almost as if he was enjoying inflicting the pain of the spankings, and wanted to hand out as many as possible before she was gone. However, after what turned out to be her final slippering, a week before she left his home forever, he told her why he had been so strict.
‘Siobhan, you may think I’ve been unnecessarily cruel to you in the past few weeks.’
‘Yes Bishop. I mean, no Bishop! It’s not for me to say!’ she whispered, as she bent across the back of the dining room chair, naked from the naked from the waist down to her sandals, her hands on the seat.
‘It’s to remind you,’ he said. ‘To remind you of the standards expected of a good Catholic girl, abroad in a city full of sin and Protestant deviance… To remind you,’ he went on, as the slipper smacked hard against her skinny cheeks, ‘of the need for virtue and purity at all times.’
The slipper smacked again.
‘Ow! Yes Bishop! Oh yes! I promise!’
Ten more hard slaps followed before Bishop Franks was satisfied he had made his point with sufficient force for Siobhan to remember it, and she was sent to her room to contemplate.
At the end of September 1974 Siobhan landed at Gatwick Airport, all her clothes and most valuable possessions crammed into two suitcases and a rucksack. Elaine was there to meet her, and they caught the train to the flat in Clapham she had moved into a month before. From that journey, throughout her first few weeks in England, Siobhan felt as if she were tiny, an insect on the back of a giant beast. Her clothes, her mannerisms, her lack of education, her accent, all made her feel like a child alone in a room full of adults.
Elaine was her saviour, helping her choose a whole new wardrobe, showing her how to apply make-up for the first time in her life, and taking her out to pubs, night clubs and, to Siobhan’s great delight, rock concerts.
At first she was terrified of the crowds, and could not believe how loud the music was. but after a couple of low-key events, she went to see a very strange-sounding and looking band called Mott the Hoople, at a big concert hall in Hammersmith, and she was sold.
It was the following April when her dream came true. She had gained her basic typing certificate, and was learning shorthand at night school, whilst working as an office temp by day. She came home from class one night, tired and wanting her bed, only to be embraced by an over-excited Elaine.
‘You’re never going to believe this, my darling!’ she squealed. ‘I’ve only gone and got us some tickets! FOR THE ROLLING STONES!’ Siobhan was quickly just as excited. Tickets to see her favourite band! She could not believe it!
The days and weeks could not pass quickly enough, but eventually the day arrived. They dressed in their wildest flares and Rolling Stones T-shirts. Elaine’s jeans were particularly tight around her hips and voluptuous bottom, as was her T-shirt, showing off her large breasts to great effect. Siobhan’s natural modesty and flat chest made her wear her outfit much looser, but still far more modern and sexy than anything she would have dared wear at the Bishop’s house.
The concert was fantastic, everything Siobhan had hoped. The two girls jumped, sang, even cried, so intense was their reaction to the music. They both wished it would never end, but end it did. Nevertheless, their high spirits stayed with them all the way home, and they were still singing Brown Sugar as they got back to the street, all the way up the garden path, through the front door and up the stairs to their flat.
Elaine opened the door and Siobhan danced through it, her arms waved above her head and her eyes closed, just as she sung the line ‘hear him whip the women, just around midnight.’ She opened her eyes as she was about to launch into another chorus, and found the words sticking in her throat.
Standing in the middle or their living room was Bishop Franks, with a face of thunder. Elaine had not seen him, having her back to the room as she closed the door. She turned to ask Siobhan why she had stopped singing, and was as shocked as she had been when she saw the reason.
‘What… what are you doing here… Uncle?’ she finally managed to stammer.
‘Saving your eternal souls!’ he replied. ‘Or at least, that appears to be what I’m going to have in do!’
The girls stood humbly before him, suddenly reduced in status. In being caught red-handed doing something they knew to be forbidden.
‘As you know’ Bishop Franks explained, ‘I took retirement three months ago and decided the first thing I would do was to visit my far-flung family. I’ve spent the past month in America with your Uncle Sean, and since I had to fly back to London, I thought I would call in and see how you were coping. Your neighbour let me in — a very nice young man — but I didn’t believe him when he told me you had gone to a concert. It seems I was placing too much trust in you!’
The bishop walked to the comer of the room and lifted the lid of Elaine’s small record player. ‘While I was waiting, I took it upon myself to make sure you were living a chaste and holy life. And I found this, used to play these.’ He indicated the box of LPs, filled with the finest blues and rock.
Elaine and Siobhan both stared at the carpet and mumbled how sorry they were, apparently oblivious to the fact that this was their home and the bishop was an uninvited guest.
‘And as for this,’ he went on, striding across the floor and flinging open the door to Siobhan’s room, ‘words cannot begin to describe the monstrosity, the sinfulness, the sheer devilry…!’ His accusing finger pointed into the room, its venom almost visible as it indicated the life-size poster of Mick Jagger pinned above Siobhan’s bed. Mick was adopting a particularly licentious pose, his hands on his hip and his legs spread wide, as he played to the audience’s desires.
‘And I suppose you’ve been to one of their filthy concerts? No, don’t try to deny it!’ There would have been no point. The girls were both wearing tour T-shirts, purchased from a stall and put over the T-shirts they had been wearing. They just mumbled a barely-audible ‘sorry’, as tears began to fall.
‘And so, what am I to do with you?’ the bishop went on, almost to himself. ‘Well, all this… this devilish paraphernalia will he removed. By tomorrow.’ He waved his hand around the room in a general sweep. ‘And we can start with those disgusting garments.’ Now he pointed directly at the girls’ T-shirts. They glanced at each other, then crossed their arms, lifted the new shirts over their heads and handed them to Bishop Franks.
He balled them up and threw them to the floor, then looked at the T-shirts they’d been wearing underneath with renewed horror.
‘And those!’ he declared.
‘But…’ Elaine began to protest, but knew there was no point. With a groan she pulled the second shirt off and handed it to the old man, leaving her in just her bra and jeans.
‘You too!’ he barked at Siobhan. In a state of utter misery, she peeled off her shirt and held it out. It was snatched and balled up with Elaine’s, then cast to the other side of the room. Siobhan looked sideways at Elaine, and saw she had crossed her arms over her chest to cover her generous cleavage, which strained at the white material of her bra. Siobhan did the same to her own far more humble chest.
‘You’ll both be punished, severely, in the old way,’ the bishop intoned, as if he were back in church. ‘No Elaine, it’s the only way. Unless you’d rather I told your father of the state I found you in. I’m sure he’d find a way of bringing you home to Ireland straight away.’ The threat did the trick, closing off any objection from either girl. Siobhan knew that without Elaine she could not hope to stay in London on her own.
‘The punishment shall be on the bare bottoms,’ he continued, ‘so you will remove those trousers, and your underwear.’ Both hesitated for a second, before deciding resistance was useless. They unbuckled their belts, unbuttoned their jeans, then pushed them down over their hips. Stepping out of their sandals simultaneously, they lifted their feet out of the blue denim and rolled them up, before handing them to the bishop. He took them without taking his eyes from the girls’ knickers, Elaine’s white to match her bra, Siobhan’s blue, almost like a school gymslip.
Elaine put her hands in her waistband and pushed them down to her knees, then lifted each leg in turn to take them off. Siobhan paused for a second, not wanting the final humiliation, but knowing she must submit. She followed Elaine’s actions, and the bishop took both pairs of panties, to add to the pile of clothes in the corner of the room. The girls crossed their palms over their groins in a pathetic attempt to preserve a little modesty.
The bishop pointed at a wall on the far side of the living room. ‘Siobhan, I shall deal with my niece first. In the meantime, you shall face the wall, hands on head.’
‘Yes Bishop’ she whispered. She padded across the room, feeling her slender legs almost give way through fear. She took up position, the wallpaper pattern swimming before her eyes.
She heard a chair being pulled into the centre of the room, then Bishop Franks’ gruff voice. ‘Come here, young lady.’ There was the sound of scuffling, and gasps from Elaine, then silence for a few seconds.
CRACK!
The unmistakable sound of a large, hard palm coming down heavily on a naked female bottom. Elaine squealed, and Siobhan winced, in sympathy and fear for her own bottom.
The sound of the slaps filled the room for a good five minutes, all the time Elaine’s cries getting louder and more pitiful, as her bottom got more sore. Finally it stopped, and only her sobs were left.
There was a scrabbling noise, as Elaine was pushed back to her feet. ‘Over there, hussy!’ he snapped.
Then the bishop’s angry voice summoned with intent.  ‘Siobhan! Come here now!’
Siobhan turned, lowering her hands, just in time to see Elaine rubbing her cheeks. Her bottom was an angry shade of red, with blotchy hand marks all over it. As Siobhan passed Elaine on her way to face the wall, she saw tears streaming down her blushed cheeks.
The nearly-naked Siobhan looked down at the black-clad lap. Taking a gulp and wiping her eyes, she stretched across it, bracing her hands against the carpet. She had gone over the bishop’s knee many times before, always with her bottom bared, but never had it fell so exposed and humiliating.
She closed her eyes and screwed up her face as she felt his hand fondle her small bottom. She hated the way he made free with her body when he punished her. but knew she would hate what was coming even more.
His right hand left her bottom and his left gripped her trim waist tight. Siobhan braced herself for a second and she could hear Elaine sniffling and crying, nose pressed against the wall.
The next second the bishop’s hand landed on her defenceless behind, she felt the air being knocked out of her, then the shock of the blow, then the stinging pain. It was intense, and she swore it was much worse than she remembered it…  even the time she was disciplined in the bishop’s house. The second blow landed and she knew Bishop Franks was not holding back. He was angrier with her than he had ever been before, and was making sure that she knew it.
On and on the spanking went, Siobhan tried to bear it but soon it was too much for her, and she was wriggling and struggling. The bishop’s powerful left hand kept her in place, as his right rained relentless smacks on the small target of her bottom.
Just when Siobhan thought he would never stop Bishop Franks decided it was enough, for the moment at least. Turning her up on her feet, he span her around and sent her to the corner of the room with a push.
‘Stand next to your partner in crime,’ he ordered. Siobhan hobbled to the wall and took the penitent position beside the still sobbing Elaine, her bottom blazing from the spanking.
She heard Bishop Franks leave the living room. Turning her head left, Siobhan looked at Elaine, and found her peering back, through tear-filled green eyes. The girls smiled weakly, each trying to draw strength from the other, before turning back to face the wall.
After a few minutes, when all Siobhan could concentrate on was her throbbing bottom, the bishop returned.
‘Turn around’ he said coldly. They did so, keeping their hands on their heads. The sight which greeted them was not encouraging. Bishop Franks was holding a large wooden spoon.
‘Not having the use of my cane to impose discipline,’ he told them, ‘I will have to improvise. This will do. As will this.’ He began to unbuckle his belt.
As he pulled the wide leather strip through the loops, he indicated the sofa.
‘Side by side, if you don’t mind, over the back,’ Elaine and Siobhan shuffled behind the small couch and stretched forward, sinking their hands into the plump cushions. Siobhan felt Elaine’s naked hip brush against hers, and realised how much her friend was trembling.
The bishop tossed the belt over the back of the sofa next to Elaine, a cruel reminder of what was to come. Then came that terrible silence as he took aim with the spoon. There was a swish and a WHAP!
Elaine squealed. The spoon was not the most severe implement, but its handle was long and the end large, and it was evidently causing her some distress. She took ten full blooded strokes.
Siobhan held her breath. She felt the spoon tapping each cheek. Then there was a whistle and a WHACK! as it landed hard on her right cheek.
She moaned in agony, but only had a few seconds before the next stroke whacked down on her left buttock. She tried to concentrate on counting, five on each, ten in all, hoping to dispel some of the pain. SIX!… SEVEN!… EIGHT!… Just two to go… NINE!… TEN! and it was over.
Except that it was not! Bishop Franks went back to Elaine and gave her ten more hard strokes. Siobhan sobbed as she realised she would also be getting a second dose. It soon came, the spoon smacking down with more venom than before, both girls reduced to blubbering wrecks by the end of it.
The spoon was cast aside and Bishop Franks fumbled in his pocket. He strode in front of the weeping girls and handed Elaine a rosary.
‘It’s been my custom, when disciplining Siobhan and other wicked girls, to make them use the blessed rosary to count the strokes. It reinforces the wickedness of the deed, and will guide you back to holiness and purity. I had hoped never to have to use it on you. You will count off thirty strokes of the belt, each one a bead.’
Elaine’s shaking fingers fumbled for the first bead, as he took up the belt, sliding the smooth leather through his fingers. Taking the buckle and tail in his right hand, he doubled it over and tapped Elaine’s tender flesh, which was already crimson.
‘Count them of nice and loudly! I wouldn’t want to lose track!’ he taunted.
A second later the belt cracked across the meat of Elaine’s bottom. She howled, then fought to regain her composure, and stammer, ‘One, t-thank you Uncle!’
‘Good girl!’ His voice could not have been more patronising. The second blow slapped home, the stinging strap landing just below the first. Elaine let out a long gasp, and counted it off.
The strapping went on, it was severe and it was merciless. Bishop Franks gave his poor niece no relief. Stroke after stroke fell, until she could barely get each number out. She struggled to thirty, a great wracking sob escaping her lungs as she counted it.
Siobhan was terrified. It took all her strength not to leap up and make a run for it, although even if she had of done so, she knew her legs would not be able to carry her.
‘Give the rosary to Siobhan.’
She felt Elaine’s shaking fingers hand her the holy beads, hot and sticky from her grasp. Siobhan gripped the first bead and waited for the torture to begin.
The belt slashed across her tender seat, reigniting the fire of the hand spanking and the spooning. She howled in agony, and then waited for it to happen again. When it did not she remembered Bishop Franks was waiting for her to count it.
‘Oh! One, thank you Bishop!’ she groaned. Twenty-nine more of those to go! She would never be able to take it!
But there was nowhere for her to escape. The next stroke lashed home, and she yelled in futile protest, before telling her tormentor he had administered number two.
Number three followed quickly, as did numbers four and five. Bishop Franks was evidently getting into his stride and Siobhan’s bottom felt as if it were on fire.
On and on he went, the wide thick belt cracking against her flesh. She howled and wriggled, but kept her position, all the while marking the number of each stroke with a little bead. It was as if he held some power over her beyond the physical. It was more than just the strap and his strong arm that kept Siobhan bent over the sofa to receive her punishment.
By the time she reached number thirty she could barely speak, so much was she crying, but still she managed to stammer the words, ‘thirty, thank you Bishop!’
There was a silence as the belt was slipped back through its loops and buckled up.
‘Stand up,’ said the Bishop. Elaine and Siobhan struggled to their feet. ‘Turn around.’ With their arms hanging limp beside them, they turned to face the ogre who had thrashed their bottoms so severely.
‘Now then young ladies. I am satisfied that the mortification of your flesh has been completed. I can return to my hotel. I will, though, be back tomorrow’ he said with menace, ‘to make sure all this satanic music and its trappings have been removed.’
‘Yes Bishop,’ Elaine and Siobhan sniffed in unison, as he picked up his bag and walked to the door.
The next morning, a Saturday, the girls crossed the hall and knocked on their neighbour’s door, the ‘nice young man’ who had let the monster into their home.
He owed them, and he was going to repay that debt by temporarily storing a large number of records, posters and T-shirts.

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