Scenes from a life

29Dec11

corner timeAnn watched Susie as she sat fidgeting on the dining room chair. It was about as far from her usual armchair as it was possible to get and stay in the same room where she had been told to wait. It was almost as if Ann’s future daughter-in-law was practicing being uncomfortable. That or else she didn’t want to form any negative associations with the chair she had made her favourite since coming to live with her future in-laws.

Susie was 19 and a good girl. Even her clothes were modest and looked as if they belonged to Ann’s era more than her own. Her hair was just past her shoulder and was a natural brown, not bleached blonde or dyed black as many girls her age did.

The girl had been living with the family since she had been 17 when her own parents had disowned her.

“Mum, I am going to marry her anyway, so why wait? She has nowhere else to go,” her son Peter had argued.

“She’s far too young to get married, so are you come to that,” Ann had countered.

“I’m 20 Mum and Susie is old enough now.”

“Look, she hasn’t even finished school. If you are serious about the girl then…” Ann had paused; she really had to talk to John before making any rash offers. She had learned that much over the years.

In the end John had agreed that Susie should move in and finish her education so that Peter could finish his and make a career for himself. Susie had seemed relieved and soon Ann and the girl were firm friends.

The theft had come as a great shock to Ann. It felt such a betrayal and it might have finished everything between them, but Susie had been ashamed and had confessed all even before Ann had realised what she had done.

“It’s been 25 years since I left my father’s house,” Ann had said hugging herself with tears in her eyes, “If I ever… he would have…” But these were modern times and Ann didn’t speak further.

“He would have hit you… with that stick, wouldn’t he? The one you told me about?” Susie had whispered.

“The cane yes, by the time I was your age,” Ann had sighed. She had been brought up on spankings and then the cane right into her early 20s. It had been an old-fashioned upbringing even then. Ann had regaled Susie with stories of her youth and they had both laughed.

“I’ll have to leave won’t I?” Susie had been crying when she had said this not two days before.

Ann had felt a pain, a daughter lost, she realised as she looked away; the garden beyond the girl look so new and heavy with the nascent spring. It should be a season of beginnings not endings. But Peter would forgive her and besides she was young. Susie leaving was unthinkable. “No, of course not, I am just… disappointed.”

“Oh I’m sorry,” Susie had wailed rushing into Ann’s arms.

“It’ll be alright,” Ann had sighed.

Susie hadn’t looked up. “I,” she began, letting the word hang.

“I know, you’re sorry,” Ann let her exasperation show.

“No, but… I mean yes, but I was going to say…” Susie chewed her bottom lip. “I… should be punished. I mean… please I’m sorry.”

Ann had smiled indulgently, “I had to ground you once, remember?”

Susie had nodded. “That was… nice, sort of.”

Ann had frowned then, but she had understood. Susie’s parents had been useless; were useless.

“Well I can hardly ground you now can I?” Ann had lifted the girl’s chin and reassured her with her eyes.

“No but… you could do what… you know?” Susie had bitten her lip again and waited.

An odd conversation had followed and Ann had spared the girl no details of what to expect. Then she had given her two days to think it over.

*

Twenty-nine years before a much younger Ann had waited in her father’s study. It was 1981 and she was 18. She too had ‘borrowed’ £20 that wasn’t hers.

“I was going to…” Ann had begun when her father had discovered the stash of notes under her china pig on the dressing table. He had cocked an eyebrow and dared her to continue with his look. Words were futile now. Ann was destined to have a very sore bottom.

That was why she waited in his study.

Father always made her wait. It was part of the punishment. The longer she had to wait the more serious he viewed her transgression and the more severely she would be punished.

Ann had been waiting for over an hour now and that meant she was in shit city with big fat knobs on. The last time she had waited this long she had been the time she had expressed her displeasure at her mother in decidedly colourful terms. In those days Father hadn’t introduced the cane to their little sessions, but the spanking over his knee had scorched her teenaged bottom beyond all endurance. Then still bared and decidedly red she had stood in the corner in the hall for all to see for hours and hours before being sent to bed without her supper. This time it would be worse, she decided.

By the time Father came she was shaking.

“Stealing? What were you thinking?”

Ann ducked her head and let her unkempt dark hair tumble over her face. She was tall and athletic and at school she was a senior prefect. If only they could see her now, she thought miserably, although she was very, very glad that they couldn’t.

“Well,” Father snapped.

Oh shit, she thought, he’s given up rhetorical for lent and actually wants a stupid explanation. “I just didn’t think.” It was a standard answer. It usually worked at school, well up until a quick six-of-the-best anyway, but that was the price of getting caught.

“You just didn’t think,” Father repeated. “What? You just had an attack of… what, absent-mindedness?”

“I…” Far from not thinking, Ann had planned the heist down to the last detail. How was she to know that her parents would buy her a new dresser and discover the stash before she could put some of the money back? Some of the money because Mother never kept a particularly good count of the notes she kept behind the clock on the mantle.

Little by little-the-little the story was extracted from her. Every detail: right down to the boys, the Madness tickets and the bottle of wine for… afterwards, or before the afterwards at any rate. She might have even confessed the joint, but Father’s glare told her she had said enough.

By the time she had finished her sad little monologue, Father was standing with his head right back to examine the ceiling. Then after an age and a half he let out a long heavy sigh and dropped his chin onto his chest.

“Remove your…” Father wafted an arm in her general direction, an embarrassed cough issuing form his throat.

Ann needed no further telling. Explicit instructions from him would make a humiliating experience even more unbearable. She worked the button at her hip and then slipped down the zip on her blue knee-length skirt and stepped out of it, dropping it on the seat of the chair. Then turning to face the back of the same padded leather chair, she hooked her thumbs into her yellow and black striped knickers and slid them down and off.

They were her favourite wasp knickers, as she called them. Well she was certainly in for sting in the tail now, she thought ruefully.

Her firm pale bottom cheeks peeked from under her Harlequins rugby shirt, a legacy of her more innocent days and she leaned unbidden over the back of the chair.

“Further over,” Father barked, “right down, get your elbows flat on the chair.”

Once upon a time the position would have left her toes barely touching the floor, but these days she fold herself in half easily. However, that left her bare bottom more exposed and vulnerable than ever it was.

“I am not going to count these,” he sighed. Ann could hear the clack of the wooden cane as he took it from the table behind her. “You’ll look fondly on school before I’m finished. I won’t have stealing. Not ever.”

“No Daddy,” she whispered, the tears arriving early as they always did when she was sorry. And suddenly she was.

The caning was slow and hard. Father was furious and much of his energy was diverted into holding his temper. However his careful strokes still had bite and Ann issued a wet wail with each plum line that he drew across her bottom.

At school Ann would have been brave and almost silent, but with her Father she indulged herself with hearty sobbing, knowing full-well that her distress would not lessen the weight of her father’s arm one jot. Anyway, a quick six was nothing to a slow double-dozen or more.

“I’m sorry Daddy, I’m sorry,” she blubbered once the caning was over.

“I know,” he said sounding very tired. Now go to the kitchen and stand in the corner. You can wait there until your mother comes home so you can apologise.”

“But…” Ann was about to say that Mrs Hart the char would be there, her young daughter too in all likelihood, but she knew her father was already aware of that, so Ann fell silent and eased herself upright.

“Leave those,” he growled, when he saw her eyeing her skirt and knickers.

So it was with slow careful and very embarrassed steps that she made her way to the kitchen. To make matters worse her mother wouldn’t be home for hours, she thought miserably. But there was nothing for it, so with a deep breath she entered the kitchen.

Cupping her hands to her exposed sex she was almost reconciled to her humiliating exposure as she entered the room then she saw the workman puzzling over the half-dismantled boiler. He gaped for a moment and then he blushed and began to splutter.

“Oh… she’s the owner’s daughter, in trouble again, take no notice,” Mrs Hart explained. Mrs Hart’s daughter giggled until she was shushed. “Will it take long?” She continued, addressing the workman.

In the end the job took the rest of the day, which was a triple eternity when you are 18 and bare-bottomed in the corner.

*

Ann’s college never found out about the joint. Heaven knows as far as her father was concerned the five pound fine for an illegal party was bad enough. But Ann’s father had a knack of getting to the truth.

“You could have been sent down,” he had raged. “You are, what weeks away from graduating. You think the army wants a druggy for an officer. You do want to go to Sandhurst don’t you? What were you thinking?”

Ann stood downcast in front of him. There was nothing she could say, Father was right. She had her heart set on an army career and these kinds of lapses could not be tolerated; least of all by Ann herself.

“You’re going to punish me aren’t you?” Ann sounded like a child again. “Daddy, are you going to spank me?” She might have said once upon a time. But sporty 21-year-olds about to enter the army don’t get off with a smacked bottom over their father’s knee.

“Some years ago I acquired a military grade cane; more for my collection than with any intent to use it. Although I did consider showing it you once or twice as a warning,” her father said quietly. “I think it would be appropriate today, don’t you?”

“Yes Daddy,” Ann whispered, her hands already working at the buttons of her stylish ski-pants and easing them over her hips.

“Yes well… eh quite,” her father coughed and looked away. Ann was a woman now and he suddenly felt uncomfortable.

Ann turned away as she slipped her trousers and briefs down to mid-thigh and then so hobbled, she crossed the room to the padded leather chair. After a short pause she folded herself over the back so that the cool leather pressed into the front of her thighs and her tight well-defined bare bottom was defiantly presented in her father’s direction.

To get it over with Father removed his cardigan and took up the cane from where he had left it on his desk in readiness. Ann didn’t move.

In past times Ann would fidget and her animated bottom would wriggle girlishly as she waited. That day the room was still and a hush of expectation descended on the room. Ann’s bottom looked like it belonged on an alabaster statue of the type one saw in museums, its perfect cold hard white surface curving up at him expectantly.

Perhaps this would be her last ever punishment from him, he thought as he squared up to the target and tested the weight of the cane.

The first stroke was like nothing Ann had ever felt before. It had been preceded by mere wisp of noise, perhaps the sound of the wood dancing on his palm, but there was no time to consider it. The dull full thwack across both cheeks of her bottom took all her attention. She gasped and felt her eyes rattle in her head. My god, she thought, but then the line of pain really bit in, like the main event after the support act of the initial contact.

“Ahhh-yah-yah-yah-yah…” Ann couldn’t help herself and what began as a breathy gasp ended in a hearty wail.

Never before had she cried out so at only the first stroke.

As she lay panting she wondered if a ‘sorry’ would be too late. It was. The next stroke cut under the first and sang with pain even as Ann did. She tried to supress it, chuckling through her nose and hissing; a single tear rolling down her nose. Two lines of hurt now sawed into her bottom, both getting ever worse.

After the third stroke he waited as she made a short series of raspberry noises, which were a prelude to open crying.

Six would not have been enough, she knew that. By why not eight? Why not stop at 10? Surely Daddy, 12 is enough? Please Daddy, she begged silently as she growled and gasped through her laboured breath; she couldn’t have articulated these questions, even if she had dared.

Perhaps in the end there were only 15, but she could never be sure. Afterwards the purple welts had merged too much for her to be certain of a count; so many vivid marks to the end of her very last recreational drug.

*

There were 18 of them shivering at attention behind the army lorry that had brought them there. All dressed in old style British Army great coats over their camouflage battle fatigues. Most of them were men, but among them there were five women, one of them being Ann.

It was raining hard, making the surrounding forest even more miserable. Ann had no idea where they were, except that they had been blindfolded in the back of the truck for little over an hour since leaving Sandhurst. That put them somewhere on the Berkshire-Surrey-Hampshire border she guessed.

Basic training had been hard enough, but there was one last exercise before Ann was posted to operations. She had been determined to do well, especially after the training sergeant had told her that as a woman all she needed to do was finish the course.

Finish the course, she would show him, she would ace it.

“Don’t be a wise arse,” Casemore, a fellow student said to her once they hit the treeline. “You are never going to get a combat assignment anyway, just keep your head down and don’t blow it.”

Casemore had been one of the few men to catch her eye since she had hit Sandhurst. He was tall and kind of cute in a rugged sort of way, with short rust-coloured hair, a well-defined chiselled face and broad shoulders; straight out of British Army officer central casting.

Although he was not as overtly rude about her sex as some of the other public school buffoons, he had the habit of putting her down in small condescending ways that made her furious.

“I have got better class grades than you Casemore,” Ann replied.

“All the more reason to keep your head down; what have you got to prove?”

“I am as good as anyone on this course and better than you.” Ann spat and then pretended to fix her attention on her surroundings.

“I didn’t make the world, sure it’s a rough deal for female officers, but you don’t have to break my balls like some of those other bull-dykes with something to prove.”

“You sexist homophobic… you pig,” Ann slapped out at his face, but he caught her wrist easily.

“Jesus. You trying to get us blown. If you weren’t a fellow officer I’d show you what I do to brats like you… I ought to…”

“Ought to what?” Ann challenged, “you haven’t got the balls to do anything.”

“I’ll tan your backside for you if you want to mix it out of uniform,” Casemore hissed back. “If you go at the world with that attitude, you’ll crash this course before…”

Ann blushed and immediately thought of her father. Casemore reminded her of him, she now realised. For a moment she was a girl again, but where was her pride. “Bet you,” Ann spat the words into his face. “I bet you I clear this exercise ahead of you.”

“Ok, you got it. Fifty quid,” Casemore grinned.

“Oh let’s make it more interesting than that. Tell you what. I am no stranger to a bit of stick. If you beat me, then you can… well beat me like you threatened. If I win, then…”

His eyes narrowed and he glared at her until she quailed.

“…then you pay my mess bill for a month,” she continued quickly.

Casemore gaped at her and leaned back to look at her as if seeing her for the first time. The look on his face alone was worth the bet. Then he smiled. “You…” He laughed, “…have a deal.”

They parted company, each with a new resolve to complete the course. Although Ann was left with a strange sense of foreboding, what had she got herself into now? A hush had fallen on the forest and Casemore melted away from her in the darkness without her even seeing where he went. The man was good.

The next few hours were a muddy trudge through dark damp woodland, punctuated only by the occasional owl and the flares launched by her pursuers that from time to time hovered overhead.

The whole point of the exercise was to find a certain river and cross it without being caught. She had no map, no compass and officially not the least idea where she was.

Looking up she could see that apart from the orange-red flares the sky was solid black. The rain had brought a heavy cloud cover that knackered any chance of astral navigation.

Instead, Ann gauged the direction of the launched flares. It gave her a wind direction and therefore a guide to holding a course. She reasoned that if there were flares then she was near the heart of the exercise, so it followed that more flares would be launched near the river.

Of course that meant that the opposition, in this case a battalion of combat engineers from Aldershot, would be thicker on the ground. At least she wasn’t up against the Para’s; she had heard horror stories about exercises with them.

Sure enough as it got light she was nearly caught twice by heavily camouflaged regulars ensconced in the undergrowth. Damn these guys know their business, she cursed. It was only by dint of a colleague walking into their trap ahead of her that she wasn’t caught herself.

Finally she reached the bridge just as it became fully daylight. It was clear with not a soul in sight, but it was too good to be true. The ‘enemy’ was bound to be nearby so as soon as she broke cover she expected to be jumped. Instead she worked her way to the water’s edge through the undergrowth and crossed the river under the bridge.

The truck on the other side stood in a clearing with the home markers in plain sight.

“Well done soldier.” WO2 Martin clamped her on the back and directed her to the truck.

Ann blinked expecting a trick, but the warrant officer repeated his instruction more forcefully and she broke into a run.

There were just seven men in the back of the army lorry; at least she was the first woman. She scanned their faces for a sign of Casemore. He wasn’t there. She was relieved, wasn’t she? No of course not, she knew she could beat him. But yet there was an odd sense of disappointment she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

“Has anyone seen Casemore?” She asked.

There was open laughter. “The bastard got back first. The jammy sod gets to sit up front with the driver in the heated cab.”

Ann would remember the sick feeling for the rest of her life.

Later back in the mess she felt rather sheepish as she went to congratulate him.

“You did well,” he said casually. “John, call me John. I’m sorry I was bit of a prick about it. You’re right; one should always do their best. You broke the women’s record I hear and finished above average overall. Beat most of the chaps anyway.”

Ann was blushing and glanced nervously around to see if anyone had noticed.

“Don’t worry. I won’t hold you to our… little arrangement. You proved your point,” John smiled with genuine warmth and handed her a drink.

Ann was angry again. How dare he patronise her. “Tell me John, if you had lost our bet, would you have paid my mess bill?”

Anger flashed across his face at the implied insult and then he softened. “Well yes, of course but…”

Ann blanched and licked her lips nervously; perhaps she hoped he would say something else. “Well then… I don’t see how… I mean…”

“Alright on one condition,” he grinned. “Afterwards you let me buy you dinner.” He winked and a thousand butterflies lining her stomach joined him. Unconsciously, she cupped her bottom with both hands and blushed to her ears.

To be continued



10 Responses to “Scenes from a life”

  1. 1 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    An entirely plausible story, with more to come. Thanks Damien!

  2. 2 paul1510

    DJ,
    I agree with Karl, this feels real, very nice.
    Paul.

  3. Looking forward to the next part!

    Love,
    Kitty

  4. 4 annelies

    NICE.. I love it
    regards,
    annelies

  5. 5 George

    A warming to start could be useful to remember how childish she has been.

  6. Great story, looking forward to Part 2!

  7. 7 saucywriter

    Welcome back after the Christmas break, DJ, and thank you for the first part of this gripping new story – I loved every word of it and am waiting for the next part just as soon as you can rush it into publication!

    Another masterpiece of the genre is born!

  8. 8 DJ

    Glad you all liked it.

    It was going to be a single story and is really, but as it got quite long I broke it up. The next and probably the last part tomorrow.

    DJ

  9. 9 keen reader

    I’d like to think this would become another epic in the vein of the Angela series, is that too much to hope for. It’s so plausible and eeven paced.

  10. 10 Pete

    Wow! Great story.

    It brought back a forgotten memory for me.

    Thanks, and a fantastic 2012 to all.

    Pete


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