These Lands Beyond (Part 7 of 8)

13Oct12

Our story started here.

Stephan tossed a stone and watched it skip out to meet the waves. The beach looked different in daylight and without Chelsea it was downright lonely. The skipping stone did not get far before it was swallowed by a breaker; white horses his mother had called them when she was alive. Wild horses, he thought bitterly, wild like Chelsea and out of control like my life.

He had run through the official options that had been open to him. None of these roads led to marrying Chelsea just as all the reckless ones led to where he now stood. He sighed, close to tears. Somewhere over at the Elder House, Chelsea’s fate was being decided. His fate, he realised, for although he faced no direct sanction himself, the Church forbade marriage to a shunned girl. And in any case, what could he do? His mere association with the scandal would end his career.

The wind picked up, tearing through his short curls and he straightened and set his jaw against the assault. For a moment he watched the white-capped herd charging towards him to sweep him away. Then he remembered something his mother had once said to him, “A man with faith can ride any horse.”

Have I faith then or just a semblance of it? He let this idea set for a moment and burn behind his eyes until tears took root there.

God is love; again his mother’s words.

“Love, you fucking bastard, what am I meant to do with it?” He screamed at the sky. “Why did you give me this love only to take it away?”

He would have broken then, but just then the waves reached their zenith and for a perfect moment both he and the sea was calm and clear.

*

Chelsea shifted uneasily in the corner. She had been there some time and her legs were beginning to ache. She had been there so long that she kept forgetting that her bottom was bare to the room. Then someone would move or speak behind her and the shame would come flooding back into her cheeks. And there were a lot of people behind her. All morning they had been coming and going to offer their ‘support’ and ‘condolences’ to Aunt Sarah. Anyone would think someone had died, she thought bitterly. What was the big deal?

Uncle Sedge had ordered that she should stand vigil in the entrance hall to the house while the elders deliberated on her fate. He hadn’t even spanked her. That will come later, she thought ruefully. She only hoped that the ‘crowd’ had gone by then. Damn Alice for snitching on her. All she had to do was keep her mouth shut.

But Chelsea wasn’t really angry. It had to come out sooner or later and now she felt much better about it all. No more sneaking around. Now she and Stephan could get married. Oh for sure the men would think and fuss about it first and bottoms would have to be spanked. Hers certainly, she quailed inwardly and rolled-up her eyes, but that was why God had given her a bottom.

Life is love and love is pain, around the mill we go again, she quoted in her head.

“Chelsea, stand still,” Aunt Sarah scolded her.

Sarah watched the girl until she saw she had been obeyed and then she turned back to her guests and smiled. Or at least that’s what they saw.

Damn these people, she thought, who the hell let the cat out the bag? Sedge could have handled this quietly. He could have found out what the boy’s intentions were. Now the poor girl has been branded a scarlet woman and even the sewing circle wants her flogged in the town square. This was getting out of hand.

“Alice, fetch some more lemonade,” she instructed her other ward on seeing an empty jug on the table.

From Sarah’s left a woman she hardly knew swooped in like a vulture wearing her best pious face and said, “Oh my poor woman, to be so betrayed in your own house. You should take the skin off her backside.”

“Well… eh… quite,” Sarah said, taking a step backwards and extracting her arm from the women’s claw. “I know she will be going over my knee once Sedge has dealt with her and all of this has blown over.”

“Blown over,” Mrs Almond said indignantly, “Do you think this will ever ‘blow over’ as you say?”

Yes, you sanctimonious bitch, Sarah’s mind screamed, but calmly she merely said, “No, I suppose you are right.”

Then in a much misunderstood lapse, she glared at Chelsea in the corner and silently vowed, my girl, I’m going to blister your bottom until your blisters’ blisters have blisters. You will not sit down for a month. Two goddamned months, even if I have to spank you once a week to…

“Poor girl,” Mrs Barrow said gently, “Don’t be too hard on her.”

The younger woman had stood at loss at the other end of the room since she had arrived and looked like she would much rather be somewhere else.

“No, no I won’t,” Sarah said quickly recovering herself and realising that she was turning into a Mrs Almond.

“You have a lot of… friends,” Mrs Barrow said tentatively. “I didn’t want to intrude, but my husband said it would be expected.”

“Expected, hmmm, not by me,” Sarah said glumly, “I’m running out of lemonade.”

*

The votes were all in and Chief Elder Michael stared at the bag as if it were the holy word of God.

“Well,” Elder Greengage said impatiently.

Michael nodded and picked up the small black velvet bag. Small and deadly, he considered. There is no God in this, he realised. A word from the secret sacred texts popped into his head; Damascus. He suppressed it ruthlessly.

“I think you should open it Michael,” Sedge said solemnly.

Michael nodded.

Picking up the bag he undid the drawstring and scattered the beads inside onto the table. A dozen or so black spheres chitter-chattered onto the baize and chased each other into a loose pile. Sedge felt sick.

Then there, gleaming among a host of black, were three white balls.

It seemed to Sedge that he was not the only one who sighed in relief.

“What the… who? This is… I mean…” Greengage spluttered. “I demand a recount.”

“One, two, three,” Samuel grinned. “Count them.”

Sedge smiled at him, I might have known, he rejoiced, but who else? He scanned the table for a clue. Only Samuel and Reverend Gates were smiling and the pastor had had no vote.

“No, Elder Greengage is right. We must cast again.” He was impassive.

Several of the gathered men groaned.

A heroic rear-guard action, Sedge thought resignedly and then he saw Samuel wink and mouth the word ‘hope.’

*

“The Elders are coming, the Elders are coming,” Mandy Mead shouted excitedly.

The sleeping butterflies in Sarah’s tummy grew claws and her stomach all but cramped.

In the corner, Chelsea supressed a sigh that threatened to break out in a sob and shifted a little where she stood.

“Now we’ll see some action,” Mrs Almond said smugly.

Sally Barrow darted a concerned look at Sarah and then Chelsea. Catching the gesture, Sarah pursed her lips in acknowledgement.

“They’re not smiling,” Alice observed.

Nor was Cecilia, she noticed. In fact the girl who was usually full of herself on such occasion looked rather drawn.

“They won’t shun her really, will they?” Cecilia looked as if she might actually cry.

Silence gradually fell as the procession of sober elders grew near. In the lead came Michael, followed by the Reverend Gates and Sedge. The others filed out behind them like soldiers in an advance.

“Greetings ladies,” Elder Michael said brightly, and then added an acknowledgement to the handful of men present, “Gentlemen.”

“Well?” Mrs Almond rudely asked.

The eyes in the room turned on her and then flicked back in a single question to Michael.

“We decided not to even discuss a shunning,” Michael announced.

There was relief all round and some even applauded a little until Michael held up on hand.

“We were deadlocked on a suitable alternative before justice and common sense prevailed,” Michael said sagely.

Sarah thought he sounded rather smug and at that moment hated him. What are you going to do to her?

“The Sisters of Mercy,” Mrs Almond said triumphantly.

“How astute of you,” Michael smiled. “Elder Greengage’s suggestion.”

Chelsea baulked her eyes starting in her head. She would runaway first.

“That was what we voted on in the end. Three times in fact,” Michael grinned. “The second vote had very little support, what was it Sedge? Two?”

Sedge smiled and nodded.

“We formally moved to an open vote after that and…” here he glanced at Greengage, “despite some hesitancy, came to a unanimous decision.”

“Which was?” Mrs Almond asked; she was puzzled now.

“Oh, we decided not decide and leave the matter in Elder Sedge’s hands,” Michael said dismissively. “Where, in my view, it should have been all the time.”

Alice and Cecilia squealed and hugged one another.

Chelsea slumped in relief, but of course she knew it would be okay. It always was.

“I think I want to sit down,” Sarah said, suddenly breathless.

“Yes, so do I,” Greengage remarked drily.

“But surely…” Mrs Almond began.

“The matter is closed,” Michael said firmly.

“The matter is not closed,” a voice yelled at them.

All eyes turned to Stephan who stood in the door glaring at the assembly.

“You have something to add?” Sedge asked him.

“Yes Sir, I do,” Stephan snapped. “Enough of this; what right do you have to hold meetings about my life and about Chelsea’s life? I don’t care what you think. I don’t even care about the church. I intend to marry Chelsea and we’ll go to Europa or Cathay if we have to, to… to escape this… theocracy.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” the Chief Elder yawned. “But I wouldn’t give up on the church just yet. After all you will need a job if you are going to support a wife. This town could do with a curate. Then maybe we wouldn’t have so many young people pursuing heaven knows what mischief down at the beach. What is it with that place anyway?”

Stephan stood open-mouthed while Sedge and Reverend Gates vigorously shook hands.

“Oh and one more thing young man,” Michael said before he turned to leave. “Don’t shout at me.”

“No Sir, sorry Sir,” Stephan babbled.

Then with the notable exception of a few, the assembly descended into happy babbling.

The only voice heard in the tumult was Chelsea’s who suddenly yelled, “Will someone let me come out of this blasted corner please.”

She was mobbed by a rush of giggling women tumbling over each other to congratulate the girl.

“Excuse me Stephan,” Sedge coughed. “Is there someone you should ask first before you go grandstanding?”

“Oh yes sorry,” Stephan blushed. “Eh… Sir, may I, that is… with your permission…”

“Chelsea, you idiot, you haven’t asked Chelsea yet, boy,” Sedge bellowed.

*

As Sarah had once predicted the furore soon died down and even Mrs Almond was heard to remark, “What a lovely couple, so romantic, I always said so.”

“God give me strength,” Sarah had remarked when she heard that.

However, before all the dust settled completely came a day of reckoning.

It had been agreed that Sedge and Sarah would handle things in line with the Elder’s ruling and after Reverend Gates had a good night’s sleep questions got asked names got added to the list of miscreants.

So it was that alongside Chelsea; Alice, Candida and Cecilia came to be standing in row wearing penitent dresses in front of Uncle Sedge in the atrium lounge.

Chelsea had yet to be punished for her central role in the scandal and she bore no grudge. Although she could not help praying that this would be among her last punishments of this sort. Within a year she would be wed. She couldn’t believe it. She would have braved any amount of spanking for that.

Alice too accepted her fate. She knew full-well that she had concealed Chelsea’s affair with Stephan and that if she had confessed the truth earlier then a lot of heartache could have been avoided.

Next to her Candida was still and lost in thought. There were days when she cursed that she was friends with Chelsea and this came close to being one of them. But she couldn’t deny that she had lied, even if it had been for noble reasons. She had felt badly about that since the whole mess had begun and now, she guessed, was a chance to atone.

Only Cecilia felt hard done-by. However, once the crisis had been over, Reverend Gates had remembered her tale-telling and had soon discovered that she had followed the lovers onto the beach and had been herself out of bounds. It wasn’t fair, she pouted. But even Mandy Mead had been unsympathetic.

“I have spoken with your families and to put this sorry business to bed, it has been decided that you all be punished together so that we can finally get it over with,” Uncle Sedge, letting an edge touch his voice. “Are there any questions?”

“No Sir,” they all mumbled and miserably shook their heads.

Sedge regarded the four women and shook his head in open disapproval. He admired Chelsea’s eternal optimism, but he was certain that she still did not realise how close to ruin she had come. And if she or Alice… his jaw tightened, Alice was usually so sensible, if only they had told me the truth.

As for Candida, well he felt sorry for her, but by extension she had played her part and she knew it. As he looked at her she averted her eyes and blushed. He knew she often needed a firmer hand than Tom was prepared to give her; well Sedge knew how it was with daughters sometimes. For all of her quiet dignity, he knew still waters went deep and he wouldn’t be surprised if she had her own secrets. Too smart to get caught out like Chelsea, that one, he mused.

His gaze swept to Cecilia and she swallowed a small gulp. To him she looked like an innocent wide-eyed bunny certain that the fox would eat her. But it was all an act. She was the sort of spoilt brat who devoid of self-knowledge, routinely played with fire and then was surprised when she got burnt.

“Now forget about sitting comfortably, we will begin,” Uncle Sedge smiled, although his eyes forgot to join in.

Showtime, Chelsea visibly winced and Cecelia blinked rapidly still unable to believe that this was actually happening to her. Next to her Alice blanched with cookie-jar guilt and hugged at herself, her hands straying to her exposed bottom.

Only Candida looked calm. She thought of Greg and the thrill of the forbidden. It suddenly seemed too dangerous now. What had she been thinking? God I deserve this.

“We have had enough public displays for a while. Although you will stand in penitent vigil in the outer hall when I am done with you,” Sedge growled.

Everyone but Chelsea groaned. Publically displaying her spanked rear end was becoming a career.

“Be quiet,” Uncle Sedge snapped. “As you can see, the long couches in here have been placed back to back.”

Only Chelsea glanced over at the identical scroll-armed leather furniture; she had been curious about that. The others just hung their heads and became very small.

“When I tell you, you will kneel on the one facing us so that you are bent over it with your hands on the seat of the reverse couch.” Sedge continued. “Then I will deal with you in turn.”

Chelsea sucked in her cheeks and flicked a worried look to her side at Candida.

Sedge didn’t say anything more for a moment and crossed the room to retrieve a long paddle and a cane. Four pairs of eyes were drawn to what he held and the women fluttered like nervous birds.

“When I have dealt with you, you will get up and go around the couch and kneel facing back so that you can see the fate of your fellows,” Sedge explained. “When I have dealt with your first part, I will then deal with you again. And you, ladies, will do exactly the same in reverse.”

All four gaped at him and Cecilia even managed to get her jaw to touch her chest.

“Paddle first,” Sedge said as he hooked the cane over the end of the first couch. “Now take positions.”

Sedge watched impassively as the four women hesitated and then led by Chelsea crossed the room to clamber onto the first couch. Cecilia, he noted, seemed the most reluctant and hopped from one foot to the other like a girl on hot sand as she tried to decide which end was best. Candida as well seemed to hesitate. Then finally, bookended by Chelsea and Alice, the two girls chose the middle with Candida next to Chelsea on the right.

Seeing Candida by her side Chelsea pulled a face that she hoped suggested sympathy. Candida shrugged. It felt strange to have another girl’s thighs pressed against her own, but not as strange as bumping bottoms with Cecilia Gates on her left.

Sedge waited until they had settled down and then regarded the row of bottoms as if it were a hill to climb. Well in a sense it was, he thought ruefully, four hills in fact. He wondered if Chelsea had worked out that she would be first and had taken the right hand to get it over with. But then that sounded more like a sensible Alice strategy and she had taken the left side and would be last. No they hadn’t thought that far forward, he decided. If girls could think ahead then they would be spared an awful lot of spankings, he sighed.

The paddle felt good in his hands, almost like a sword. It was just the right weight and balance. Like all decent weapons, it looked more fearsome than it was and was perfectly designed for the job in hand. He laughed at the analogy. Greengage would have approved. To battle then, he mocked himself.

He tapped the paddle thrice on the underside of Chelsea bottom so that she wiggled and weaved a little. Then he paused. He could see that the other girls were still now.

“All of this could have so easily been avoided,” he sighed.

The first swat took Chelsea’s breath way. From close too, Candida gaped as it looked to her that her friend’s eyes might pop out of her head. Cecilia and Alice exchanged nervous glances.

Sedge waited. There was little sign of red on Chelsea’s bottom, so he struck again. Chelsea gasped and she danced for him. The gesture was erotic and he blushed. Well, she is a woman after all. Come on Sedge, don’t think, do, he chided himself.

He paddled Chelsea hard with six more slow deliberate strokes, pausing only for a moment or two between each. He noted her increasingly bitter gasps and her rapid breathing.

“That’s eight,” he growled.

“Yes Sir.” Her reply had a very wet sound.

“Eight more,” he told her.

There was a collective consternation and a ripple went through the presented bottoms.

Chelsea just gave a little wail.

He placed the next eight paddle swats firmly on the lower part of her bottom where she sat, spacing them at 10 or 15 second intervals so that it took long two minutes to complete.

The last three drew a surrendered wail from Chelsea, but she didn’t break down until he had place the last. Then she lay prone and heaving sobs, dreading the idea that he might set another eight. Her bottom was a heavy deep red with clear signs of welting on the curves of each buttock. Like make-up might serve the eyes, it emphasised the inherent beauty of her figure.

“Alright, face the other way,” Sedge said gently.

Chelsea nodded, but did not move for a moment. Then with a grunt she peeled herself away from the back of the couch and limped around to the other side to take up a position that was a mirror of the first.

Three heads turned to contemplate their future and Cecilia whimpered a little. Chelsea’s eyes, on the other hand, were placed so that she could see three as yet unblemished bottoms, which she now regarded with her wet red eyes.

Hey this might have been fun, she thought ruefully, if not for the blazing throb in my behind.

Candida’s small bottom was entirely embraced by the paddle stroke and unlike Chelsea, she wailed angrily from the first.

Sedge went as slowly as he had for Chelsea, but was concerned that Candida’s gentle curves fared less well under his assault. I pitched this at Chelsea, he cursed, but she is more robust than the others. However, there was nothing he could now do. It was never as satisfying when you had to give more than was comfortable for either party.

There was a long pause after the first eight so that Candida could get her sobbing under control. Then he whispered, “Are you alright?”

She nodded and managed to look back over her shoulder and smile through her tears.

He nodded back and said gently, “Brave girl.”

Candida took the last eight well, but not in silence and by the end her bottom looked as if she might have been gravel-rashed.

“Go join Chelsea,” Sedge said, patting her on the shoulder.

He waited while she obeyed and there were two bottoms pointing back and two still on offer.

On the far side from Sedge, Cecilia lay gaping at the red raw bottoms within a meter of her face and quailed.

“Please Sir, I’ll be good, I’ll ever so good,” she wailed.

“You know, I kind of doubt that Cecilia,” Sedge said as he brought the paddle down hard across her round well-defined bottom.

“Yah,” she screamed, “Oh God, oh God.”

“Extras for language,” Sedge growled.

“Oh no, please, I’m sorry,” Cecilia sobbed.

“Very well, but next time you’ll get an extra swat for each G-word including those earned for that outburst.”

“Yes Sir, thank you Sir,” Cecilia squeaked.

Sedge pulled his swats a little, but he placed each set of eight over four minutes with a two minute break in between. It helped her handle it better, he told himself with a tiny grin, but most of all it helped her learn; never had a girl make so much fuss.

By the time it was over Cecilia was a sobbing wreck and her bottom was pumping up and down like fleeing rabbit in an effort to shake out the pain.

Sedge noticed that Chelsea and Candida were now sufficiently recovered to exchange a small smirk. We’ll see how they smile after a dozen with the cane, he observed drily.

Alice, her turn now imminent, rocked from side to side on her knees as if loosening up for a sprint. Her darker fuller backside was pushed back and up a little as if in challenge.

I’ll show you Cecilia, she said to herself. But it was a challenge she soon regretted.

Unable to resist the proffered target Sedge found his old style again and let rip with a heavy swat that caused Alice to make a strangulated sound as she swallowed a gasp.

Getting no other reaction, Sedge struck again and then after a pause again until Alice was rasping like a cricket. But all-in-all she took it heroically and did not burst into tears until after the very last swat.

Sedge let her cry for a while before telling her to join the others. Then he watched as she painfully did as she was told.

“Now ladies,” Sedge said sharply as he confronted four woeful faces.

The faces however, were not as woeful as the four bare bottoms elevated above each moist-eyed owner. Even from the front, the four pairs of split buttocks looked decidedly marred.

“Six and then six more in two sets. Same drill as before,” he explained. “Any questions?”

“No Sir,” they chirped.

Sedge gave one empathic nod and cut the air with the cane.

*

Chelsea was just about holding it together, but nevertheless tears still rolled down her cheeks as she struggled with a dozen lines of biting pain from the top of her buttock cleft to the point where the globes of her bottom met her thighs. She had forgotten how much she hated the cane.

The others were not faring so well and Cecilia had not stopped sobbing since the first few strokes of the cane, but at least now it was over and even the semi-public space facing the wall felt like a haven.

Just then Aunt Sarah emerged from inside the house.

“Have you finished with them?” She asked Sedge.

“Give them another half an hour before you take Chelsea and Candida upstairs,” he replied.

Not taking her nose from the wall Chelsea started in her place and tried in vain to swivel her eyes around to look in case Aunt Sarah was joking. Candida too must have given a start because Sarah said in a curt voice:

“Don’t act all surprised young lady, you know you lied and we have yet to deal with that; Chelsea too.”

Chelsea’s heart sank as soap and funnels and enema tubes loomed in her immediate future. Then she started to cry again.

To be continued



8 Responses to “These Lands Beyond (Part 7 of 8)”

  1. 1 paul1510

    Damian,
    I’m so glad that the Elders showed sense, except tor a couple of bitter old men who hate what they’ve lost, if they ever possessed it in the first place. 😦
    I’m really enjoying this, thank you. 😀
    Paul.

  2. 2 Raffe

    Poor Candida could do no right, Stephan could do no wrong, and I could be wrong but Chelsea did not lie, and all the production was the Elders doing.

    All is left is to tie down the story, but it be interesting to see which way you would go, radical or conservative. You have certainly gave us enough material on both sides to make us guessing. But I have to say the story has not been fair to the girls so far.

    I wonder what do the women get for their complete submission.

  3. 3 Mark

    Did you revise or re-write parts of this after you posted the first part?

  4. So happy the elders showed mercy. Can’t wait to see what happens next

  5. 5 Kia

    “If girls could think ahead then they would be spared an awful lot of spankings” lol

    So glad there is room for reason and mercy in this theocracy- I was beginning to doubt there was any potential for a happy ending for Chelsea and Stephan.

    Thanks for sharing another intriguing world.

  6. 6 DJ

    Mark- no I have made the least edits to this story than to any yet ridden and certainly no plot changes. I think I corrected one typo once. Why do you ask?

    Raffe – Stephan could do no wrong – well is that not always the way with these kind of situations – the women are always blamed. However, in this case the threat to Stephan was the end of his career as a preacher.

    BHG – committee’s just hate it when someone makes an official complaint and they have to actually make a decision. 😉

    Kia – well I could end it here – but everyone loves a wedding and there are one or two loose ends. 😉

  7. 7 Mark

    DJ — I ask because your later parts did address so well much that was mentioned in comments on the earlier parts. You were out ahead of your readers. Nice. And yes, I recall you did promise in answer to some comments that you would get there, just wait.

    “If girls could think ahead then they would be spared an awful lot of spankings” I noticed that too, and got a good laugh. I thought that even if these girls were not thinking, still many spankings seem to come from girls thinking carefully, or even thinking too much.

    • 8 DJ

      One more part to go – probably Weds – see what you think then. 😉


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