An Inspector Calls

26Jun12

an inspector callsSomewhere a seagull sang as it dipped over the bay. The mainland, which had been playing hide and seek in the fog all morning, was now completely out of sight so that Maris looked every bit the remote island it effectively was.

Sometimes it was an isolated life, but at least on the island the remoteness tended to keep visitors away; usually anyway. Today’s visitor had braved the weather and was even now sitting outside his room.

John Dolman hated school inspections. As far as he was concerned it was his school and other people had only two choices about how he ran it. They could like it or they could they could write a fusty report for the trustees to gather dust alongside all the others.

The trustees, he thought as he cast his eyes up to heaven, he had almost as little respect for them as he did for school inspectors; mealy-mouthed assemblage of do-gooders. Every two years they sat down and had a meeting which wound up with some fool suggesting inviting in a third party so that the school ‘is seen to be pursuing good practice,’ he allowed the latest pearl of wisdom roll around his brain. Offsted, bah, Instead more like; instead of teaching or doing anything else more useful these know-nothings pitched up with high ideals and no ideas, telling him how to run a school. He snorted as he remembered the last inspector; a former grammar school Latin teacher of all things. The fool hadn’t actually taught in a school for 30 years.

Now they had sent along a child to tell him how to do his job. Dolman ran firm hand through his grey-dusted hair and cradled his heavy sportsman jaw with the palm of his hand. In his youth he had broken it twice boxing and once playing rugby. The scars and the slightly crooked set gave him the look of an extra from a British gangster movie; a useful demeanour when dealing with empty headed schoolgirls who occasional broke off from illegal texting to share their astoundingly clueless insights about the universe with his staff.

Well Amanda De Sousa could wait while he dealt with Sophie Rains.

*

Amanda De Sousa sat outside the head teacher’s study with a faint sense of irritation. She had been up since six that morning preparing to confront this old-fashioned Dolman character; every report read, every pencil sharpened, her immaculate reddish-brown hair was sculptured on her head to convey her relentless efficiency.

At 26 she had two degrees in education and was working in her spare time on a doctorate. She had even trained as a teacher for a year, actually spending three years in a small rural comprehensive to get some hands-on experience.

Now she was as sharp as her designer business skirt-suit and ready to enlighten, only to be kept waiting for, what, a student. What kind of place was this? Did this Dolman character think he should arrange her valuable time around students?

The student in question was an over made-up suicide blonde with a school uniform that appeared to be two sizes too small for her. If Amanda hadn’t known any better, she could have sworn that the girl was chewing gum when she went in.

Although she did look somewhat more carefully arranged when she came out and Amanda thought she might be crying. What was the brute doing at this school? Hadn’t he read the latest guidelines from the ministry? Directive 179b clearly… no wait, it was directive 192 schedule j, no that one had been rescinded after a meeting by the commons select committee on reducing government directives. Anyway, the important thing was, school should be run along on the lines of child-centric nurturing with parallel evolved student participation…

“Miss De Sousa, sorry to have kept you waiting, will you come in now please,” the rather deep brusque voice broke into her auto-lecture and Amanda gave a start.

The man at the door was pushing 50, but he might as well have been 100. He was wearing a graduate gown over tweeds for God’s sake. Educational styling by Will Hay, she observed drily. Only he looked a lot more serious than Hay and considerably more chiselled.

“Ms De Sousa,” Amanda corrected him.

He paused and looked her up and down and then glanced at a paper he carried.

“Amanda De Sousa? Instead?” He queried.

“Offsted,” she corrected him again.

“Oh yes, I knew it was one of those… anyway, Amanda, do come in, I’m Dr John Dolman.”

Amanda was shaken for a second, usually head teachers were more deferential to school inspectors and his use of her first name was an obvious put-down.

As he ushered her in she saw that his office was indeed something out of an old Will Hay movie. She had loved Will Hay as a child, although even then the ancient creaky black and white pictures were old even then; day time TV padding in the school holidays. But there was something innocent about them; a glimpse into a now lost world.

“Are you a fan?” She said, doubting he would get the reference.

“Fan? What of school inspections?” Dolman frowned.

“Oh nothing, I was thinking of Will Hay,” she smirked.

“Who?”

“Will Hay.” Surely an old man like him would know who she meant.

Dolman shook his head and wondered what new-fangled educationalist she was referring to.

“The actor,” Amanda prompted, “Made movies back in the 1930s and 40s, playing self-serving incompetent officials of one kind or another, often teachers and headmasters.”

Dolman fixed Amanda with a hard stare. Was she trying to bait him or was she some kind of social imbecile? The smirk was a carbon copy of any teenaged girl in his school who tried to get over one on him. She doubtless was taking a poke at his age.

“A little before my time, the Young Ones were more my speed,” he said crisply. “I would have thought Ali-G would be more in your line or is he old hat now days. I find it so hard to keep up.”

Sensing that he was perhaps getting the better of the exchange Amanda replied tartly, “Perhaps we should get to the point.”

“Excellent suggestion Miss De Sousa, what exactly is the point?”

Amanda opened her mouth to remonstrate again but thought better of it and instead said, “Well take that girl who was in here before me, what did she do and why was she crying?”

“You mean Sophie? Sophie Rains? She was rather impertinent,” rather like you, Dolman thought.

“I see,” Amanda said thoughtfully as she nodded sagely as if she understood, although in truth she had no idea what shape impertinence might take in practice. “But why was she crying?”

“Why was she…? Well after a bloody good dressing down I gave a short sharp lesson in the form of six of the best across her sassy little derrière. What did you think?” Dolman frowned at the foolish woman.

“You did what…?” Amanda spluttered. “You can’t do that, I mean Directive…”

Amanda couldn’t think of the exact directive just then, it had never come up before.

“But that’s… I mean… illegal surely,” Amanda continued.

“Is it? Surely not. At this school it is expected and sanctioned by the trustees and the legal guardians of the students here.” Dolman’s eyes crinkled up as he spoke, as if he couldn’t quite make the woman out. Where did they find these people, he thought.

“But the…” Amanda pointed away to some unnamed point as if her arguments were supported by an actual place in space and time. “I mean to say, the laws of England and…”

“England? What has England got do with it? You do remember that little boat ride you took?”

“The ferry across the bay…” Amanda was pointing again; in the wrong direction as it happened, neither geography nor orienteering being part of her studies.

“The island here is part of the Duchy of Maris, with its own parliament called the Witan going back to, oh AD 926. Or should I say CE 926, after all we wouldn’t want to give the impression that we were out of touch here,” Dolman said, by now quite puzzled by the fact that the inspector didn’t know any of this. But then again in his experience these off-whatsit people didn’t really know all that much.

“You mean like the Isle of Man?” Amanda said, by now feeling an utter fool.

“That kind of thing yes, but unlike our Manx cousins, we haven’t caved to external pressure. I suppose because most people out there are like you and have never heard of us.”

“Then… eh, what am I doing here? I mean… well nothing I put in my report is binding on you is it?” Amanda said, blushing to her ears.

“Oh heavens no,” Dolman chuckled. “It’s just to make the trustees feel more progressive, you know, tick a few boxes, that sort of thing. Apart from the odd suggestion, they never act on anything in the inspectors report. Did you have any by the way?”

“Any what?” The words stuck in Amanda’s throat and she was by now utterly lost.

“Why, suggestions of course,” Dolman said pointedly.

“Eh…” Amanda was speechless now and shook her head vigorously. Maybe there was still time to make the ferry. She could write her report from the hotel on the mainland and post it.

“Pity,” Dolman said ruefully. “So your visit has been a complete waste of time and I have endured your impertinence for nothing.

“My what… I mean you…”

“My dear Miss De Sousa, you have called me an old, out of touch fool, by implication at least and if you didn’t actually go that far, you thought it. I saw it engraved on your face the moment we met.”

“Yes, I mean… no… look…” Amanda looked hopefully at the door.

“You know what,” Dolman said suddenly, “I think you would benefit from a damn good thrashing before you go. I think you should bend over the back of that chair there.”

As he spoke he crossed the room to his desk and picked up the cane. He remembered threatening a 42-year-old mother of two with some of the same, three inspections back. She had had the audacity to tell him he was a barbarian and that corporal punishment didn’t work.

He had replied, “How do you know? Have you tried it?”

The woman had fled and never did make her report.

Amanda just stood there transfixed by the cane in his hand and feeling a little sick.

“Look you can’t do this,” she finally managed, as she backed away.

Dolman narrowed his eyes and saw for the first time that in fact he could. He knew when a woman would wear it and when she wouldn’t.

“Look, I’m sorry if I… well I’m sorry, but look now, I mean to say…” Amanda had reached the edge of a table on the other side of the room and had nowhere left to retreat to.

“Look, must I? Mean to say, do you? It is you who must look. And as far as I can tell you don’t mean anything you say and aren’t exactly saying what you mean,” Dolman growled. “Now Miss De Sousa, I want you to bend over that chair before I require you to do so with your skirts raised and your underwear around your knees.”

“Please Mr Dolman… I mean Dr Dolman… I mean…” Amanda held an impotent arm out like a nervous traffic cop in forlorn attempt to keep him at bay.

“Oh for heaven’s sake,” Dolman said in exasperation, “Sophie Rains made less fuss than this and she was up for a dozen on the bare.”

Putting the cane down, Dolman crossed the room and took Amanda by the arm. He led her barely resisting to the chair he had ordered her to bend over, but instead of pressing her to obey he sat in it and pulled her across his knee.

He spanked her thrice sharply on the seat of her skit, which was domed up over her prominent bottom in a vulnerable position. Amanda responded with a wide-eyed gasp.

“You can’t spank me like this,” she protested.

He struck her three more times before he considered her words.

“You know, you’re right,” he said, taking hold of the zip at the back of her skirt and tugging it down. “I think you would benefit from a sound bare bottom spanking to take some of the shine off that arrogance of yours.”

“Dr Dolman, please,” Amanda shrieked.

Dolman ignored her, he was an expert at this and if anything her struggles only served to lift her hips in short burst to allow her skirt to be removed and her knickers to follow then at her ankles.

“This is… this is an outrage… you can’t do… this!” The last word was yelled as Dolman resumed the spanking in earnest.

Amanda’s tight well-rounded bottom was tightly split and resilient, but nevertheless, it was soon as red as her face rather more stinging.

“Are you ready to be a good girl?” Dolman asked after five minutes or so.

“Yes Sir, please,” Amanda wailed.

“Not so impertinent now are you?”

“No Sir,” Amanda panted choking back the first hints of her tears.

“Very well,” Dolman said helping her to her feet. “Now I want you to bend over the back of this chair as you were told to.”

“But…” Amanda gaped in disbelief as she tugged at the front of her blouse in an attempt to shade her exposed pubic region.

Dolman picked up the cane and examined it carelessly.

“We can always proceed to the taws if required or you can bend over for your six as you were told,” he said.

Amanda gulped and looked in horror at the chair. The prospect of the leather across her bottom did not bear thinking about. Besides, she wanted to get this embarrassing ordeal over as soon as possible. So shaking her head she walked to the chair with as much dignity as she could garner.

Dolman wasn’t easily pleased and it took some moments of shuffling and pushing back her bare bottom in the most undignified way before he was completely happy. Then he set about laying on a sharp six with 20 or 30 seconds between each stroke.

Amanda swore twice and at one point kicked her leg up to obscure her bottom for a good while, thereby incurring two penalty strokes. So by the time the caning was over, it had taken almost as long as the spanking had.

“Please rise Miss De Sousa,” Dolman said at last.

She took a moment to gather herself and then she rose stiffly, desperate not to let him see her rub at her bottom. As it was her eyes were rimmed with tears.

“It is customary to shake hands at this juncture,” Dolman said as he extended his arm.

Amanda shook his hand with a blush, acutely aware that she was still naked below the waist.

“I trust you have had a useful supplement to your education this morning Miss De Sousa,” Dolman said somewhat drily.

“Yes Sir,” Amanda gushed, for some reason she had a tremendous urge to kiss his hand.

“Good, now you may get dressed,” Dolman said pleasantly.

Once Amanda had repaired her clothing, Dolman having turned his back as she attended to it, she didn’t know what to do, but stood meekly averting her eyes.

“I look forward to reading your report,” Dolman said, “Thank you and good bye.”

“Thank you Sir,” Amanda whispered.

At the door she paused and then offered him a tight smile, before hastening through it.

*

The day was sunny and the school on the cliff-top looked much closer than it was. Amanda remembered her first visit here had not gone so well. She hid a smile and her blush from the ferryman as she thought back to her encounter with Dr Dolman.

In the end her report had been more than favourable, although she had left out certain details about disciplinary procedures from the version she had registered with the ministry. In the days that had followed she could not get Maris out of her mind and the more she thought about it, the more she had come to the conclusion that she led a pointless and useless existence as an inspector.

Her attempts at getting another teaching position had been hopeless, and she now realised that she was barely qualified to teach anyone. Then she had hit upon the idea of applying to Maris and to her surprise, Dr Dolman had agreed to take her on.

“You do realise that I will not compromise my procedures one jot to accommodate you,” Dolman had told her on the telephone.

“No Dr Dolman, I quite understand,” she had replied.

“I am not at all sure that you do,” he had said. “You will toe my particular line or there will be consequences.”

Amanda had become quite light-headed at the threat, but had managed to reply breathlessly, “I understand.”

“We will see,” he had said. “Let’s try a year’s probation and see how we get on.”

Now there were seagulls overhead mocking her gently with their calls and her new life had begun.



10 Responses to “An Inspector Calls”

  1. 1 paul1510

    Damian, this certainly cheered up a wet June morning, here in Cornwall do we have any others. 😀
    Paul.

  2. 2 annelis

    Very sweet and cute story! Would love to live it out myself….blush…
    Annelies

  3. Oh, that was fun! I liked this: “Dolman narrowed his eyes and saw for the first time that in fact he could.” There is that moment when things move from the possible to the likely, and then to the inevitable. Nicely captured.

    • 4 DJ

      The Duchy of Cornwall eh Paul – that’s almost as far as Maris. 🙂

      Annelis – come on fess up – are you an Ofsted inspector?

      Scarlet -its in the eyes. 😉

    • 5 DJ

      Its nice to be quoted 😉

  4. 6 Poppy

    I think you should be given some powers over reality, DJ.
    I loved this story.

    • 7 DJ

      I do have powers over reality – how could you not know that? 😉

  5. Please Sir may we have some more? 😉

  6. The cane will pain, this naughty ladie’s naked rear end. And rightly so.


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