The Semester of Standing for Supper


a switching in the woodsHilary Cline had always been fascinated by her aunt’s alma mater. Set among the rolling woodland of New England, it had a proud tradition of educating women that went back to 1879.  It took its motto seriously;  respiciunt futura praeteritis ad honorem, which meant something like respect the past to honour the future, or maybe the other way about, Hilary was never too sure. But Clyburn had always pursued progressive thinking while maintaining traditional methods of discipline. It had been one of the first ladies colleges to advocate the vote, one of the first to admit black women and boasted one of the first lady state governors among its graduates.

Hilary’s young aunt had graduated back in 1965 and it had always been her and the family’s wish that her niece follow in her footsteps. Hilary had been in her teens back then and more than a little impressionable. Not that she had been immediately convinced that she even wanted to go to college. Then one Thanksgiving she had come to find her aunt had come to visit on her way back from Clyburn.

Hilary had flown up the stairs to the guest room and had swept in without knocking.

Aunt Clarice was lying half naked face down on the bed with an ice pack on her tail end. Even obscured by the ice bag, it wasn’t hard to see her aunt’s purple rear and for Hilary to work out that her heroine had been very soundly spanked.

“Busted,” Clarice blushed. “You won’t tell your mom will you? She will just have to tell mine if you do.”

Clarice rolled her eyes as she spoke and then winced.

“But you’re… you’re way too old to be spanked,” Hilary had said with something like awe.

“Not at Clyburn kiddo, there it is practically mandatory,” Clarice said ruefully.

“But what did you do?” Hilary had asked with wide innocent eyes.

“Best you don’t know kiddo, let’s just say I had it coming,” Clarice grimaced.

“Was it a paddle?” Hilary asked as she came nearer. She had seen the girls’ at high school’s backsides after a trip to see the principal. She couldn’t take her eyes from her aunt’s tail end.

“This time it was, but they can use just about anything at Clyburn,” Clarice told her. “They have some very quaint traditions.”

That had been a turning point for Hilary. After that and for reasons she could not then or since fathom, studying at Clyburn was all that she ever wanted.


A dozen troublesome thoughts ran through Hilary’s head all competing for her consideration. But only one of these notions came with free tummy-butterflies and that was the one she tried to supress. Well she couldn’t say she hadn’t been warned beforehand and she certainly should have known better now, Hilary thought as she picked her way between the trees back to block house.

The block houses at Clyburn were like small mansions set higgledy-piggledy among the trees. They generally stood at the end of winding paths that led to and from the red-brick study halls. Hilary shared hers with eleven other girls at different stages of their student careers.

It was a fairly neat arrangement, with older girls able to support the newbies and show them the ropes. Also there was none of that bitchiness that came from a house full of sorority rich girl clones all competing over air and nothing in particular.

Hilary herself was fairly tall which gave her a slender look, and her shoulder length dark hair curled in from her narrow shoulders in two points at the front to frame her face. Her features were a little sharp for true beauty, but she had high cheekbones and her aunt’s dark smiley eyes.

It was 1971 and Hilary was in her final year of a four year course in English and History. She had already been offered a place at Stanford to do her master’s and if it hadn’t been for her recent troubles with her tutor she wouldn’t even have considered it. She was a Clyburnian girl through and through.

The trouble with John Harmon had begun routinely enough. She hadn’t got back into the swing of things after the summer vacation and had skipped a few lectures was all. The summons to his study the week before last had come as no great surprise nor had his instruction to drop her pants and panties and bend over for swats.

Professor Harmon’s paddle was old school; a short stout affair carved from teak and with thumb-sized drilled holes. It was said that it had been at Clyburn since its founding, a possibility supported by the smooth shiny face on the striking surface.

Hilary had felt it many, many times since her first semester and she had never lost respect for it. Not least because when Professor Harmon was particularly pissed at her he could have at her behind for some seriously prolonged workouts that not only left her unable to sit down for days, but gave her strange mincing step that was hard to shake and announced to all who saw her that she had been a bad girl. But the laughter and smirking was usually short-lived as all too soon her fellow students knew there time would come around.

Usually a serious spanking from John Harmon went in sets. First came the warm-up with his culprit bared and bent for several hard steady swats. Then the girl was sent to the corner to think about her sins. The second set of bottom-blisters was delivered while Hilary or whoever was bent over the back of an old padded chesterfield. Holding on to ones ankles for a second instalment was all but impossible, so one had to admit that it was a fair enough pose. Hilary for one, was always grateful for the added support.

Usually, it being an hour or more since being summoned, that was the end of it. Bye-bye paddle, goodbye sitting privileges for another week. But sometimes a girl had to go back to the corner for another goodly while to contemplate a serious dose of the cane. This was never ever fun. Her aunt had told about such extended corrections and Hilary had been enthralled, but the reality was not to be borne. Still it was what she had signed on for and such corrections were not handed out unless they were thoroughly deserved.

Then there were the other punishments.

Hilary had never fallen afoul of the campus nurse, but she had heard dark stories. Added to this were tales of dark initiations among the various faculties. Hilary prayed nightly in thanks that she was an English-History major; they were such a staid lot and did not go in for some of the more colourful rituals found amid the sports faculty, medicine or even law. But more than this, there were worse things.

Besides the legendary campus judicial bottom blistering; this carried out in public with a range of medieval devices all designed to unseat a girl for a whole semester. There was debagging.

Now strictly speaking, debagging was not as bad as a full judicial. But then a full judicial was less than rare and could only be carried out after a disciplinary hearing. You had to be caught with a reefer or have stolen a car or suchlike for it to come into play.

But debagging was rare enough to get you noticed in the very worse way and entirely within the gift of anyone with authority over one.

Debagging was a quaint term for what amounted to a very public correction. Firstly, as the name suggested one was devoid of ones bags. Bags being a quaint old term for trews, pants, panties, breeches and anything pertaining there to. This of course included skirts and the lower portion of ones dress should one be so attired. There was a time honoured tradition that predated Teddy Roosevelt that a girl’s skirts should be pinned up above her tail end and everything beneath to be left sans culottes; that is to say removed.

But a public display of one’s behind on a mainly all-girl campus was not the worse part, although the heavens knew it was bad enough for a delicate flower’s nerves. No, indeed not. The worse thing was that such a presentation both proceeded and followed a rather sharp punishment or punishments of an elaborate nature. And furthermore the one debagged usually had to remain so for at least a week.

Mockery was the friend of such a girl well beyond the punitive semester, and indeed whole academic careers could become associated with such colourful corrections. It is this last point that brings us back to Hilary picking her way home through the trees.

It had begun with the aforementioned summons two weeks ago. John had greeted her tersely and enquired about her health. He was a tall sturdy man in his late 40s. His dark parted hair was touched with white at his temples and streaks of white emanated from the sharp comb-track that divided it. This cumulated in a broad patch of white that hung in a quiff to his forehead. Only his eyebrows were completely dark and these sat as expressive hats above his slate-grey eyes that seemed to miss nothing. Today they seemed to regard Hilary sternly and find her lacking.

The usual polite exchanges had taken place while Professor Harmon had patiently stirred his tea as he listened. Hilary noted at the time that he had not offered her a cup, a sure sign that she was for the high-jump, but then she had known that already.

Then he had come sharply to the point.

“Your grades are slipping,” he said looking up.

“I know I…” Hilary blustered.

“You have been missing lectures,” he continued without pause, motioning her to silence. He looked down at his desk at this point and then back to meet her eyes. “Seven lectures I believe, one of which you especially asked me to arrange.” He let the last words sink in.

Hilary shifted uncomfortably as she stood in the middle of the carpet.

“We will come back to that last point later,” he said pointedly, “Much later. Now I will just get old faithful while you get ready.”

Hilary flushed to ears and felt her nerves jangle. It was always like this. Usually though she got to apologise before taking her licks. Apologies first and then swats, all followed by an expression of gratitude. That was the ritual. Something was amiss.

John coughed at her inaction so she had flipped her hip button and drew down the zip on her dogtooth ski-pants then neatly stepped out of them. With her back turned the panties had followed and then she had stood meekly with her hands cupping her sex in front to preserve some measure of modesty. By then John had returned with the paddle and an expression that would have wilted the roses outside the campus main entrance.

“Now bend over Miss Cline,” John said in a business-like manner. He only ever called her Miss Cline when she was in trouble.

“Yes Sir,” she whispered and then turning around she doubled over and grabbed her ankles so that her bare bottom was adequately presented.

The motion left her legs parted a little and small pools of hot blood gathered on the crowns of her cheeks in embarrassment at what he might see. Professor’s perk, went the quip among the other girls. If one wasn’t due a parcel of pain then one laughed.

The first swat was a killer. It always was. Hilary grunted and shook her tail in acknowledgement.

The second was always worse than the first, but this biting impact nearly sent her forward into the wall. Man, he is really pissed at me, she had thought. The place where the paddle had landed sizzled like sausages in a frying pan and she could feel the oblong pad on her rear throb. Every searing hole drilled in the board was seared there even though the paddle was now safely in his hand and not touching her behind.

Tears pricked behind her eyes in response to the third swat and by now she was breathing loudly and was totally unable to keep her bottom still under its assault.

“I do hope you are feeling this Miss Cline,” John intoned.

“Yes Sir,” Hilary hissed through clenched teeth.

“Good, very good,” he said as he swatted in hard once more and then in a twist he spanked her quickly again.

The unexpected follow-up swat made Hilary yelp and a struggle began as she was determined not to cry. Tears this early usually embarrassed him and it wasn’t fair on her part. After all she was the one being punished not him.

In the event she had taken all 10 with wet silent tears and a bottom that felt like two baked potatoes.

“Please address yourself to the corner Miss Cline,” he said at last.

Hilary was relieved. Ten was an average starter dose and from his manner she had expected more. But then there was still time enough for that. As it was, the corner was a million miles away when one could scare put one foot before the other and she took small pigeon steps as she oh so carefully crossed the room to place her nose at the point where the two walls met.

John took a moment to study the raised pad of spanked flesh and the circular welts. Then he put the paddle down and went back to his marking.

The corner held Hilary for more than an hour before John directed her to the chair. By then Hilary knew he was very, very pissed at her.

Hilary’s second go round consisted of a full two dozen as she dangled bottom up over the back of the chair. This time she had bawled for America from the 11th or 12th swat. Scratch one bottom for the duration, she thought miserably.

She had cried like a proverbial baby for a good 20 minutes as she stood again in the corner, but then she didn’t care too much where she stood. That was until Professor Harmon had said, “I could quite easily have you stand in the hall.”

Hilary swallowed. Yep he was pissed at her; she had screwed up this time. She felt a caning coming on, but it had been a while and she guessed she was due.

“You know what this is about, don’t you?” John asked her as he faced her with the cane in his hand.

Hilary shrugged. Her attitude had stunk and missing seven lectures was a kick in the face for her parents. For her it was an all-time record, but she guessed the grade hit was worse.

“The lecture series on the impact of religion in 16th century Spain was oversubscribed. I cashed in some favours to get you a place,” John said wearily. “You missed the first and again I had to go to bat for you. Miss another and you and I are going to have a very serious falling out.”

Hilary winced. That lecture had not been on her miss-list. Tammy Radcliff’s car had broken down and they had crashed at a pad off-campus. She had gotten the notes from a friend and had definitely meant to catch-up.

“Sorry Professor, I really didn’t mean to goof off,” Hilary said apologetically.

He nodded and then pointed significantly at the back of the chair.

The cane was bad. It always felt to Hilary that she was being cut with a great blade that went so deep a little piece of her soul was stung. The cane on a twice-paddle behind felt like a small piece of hell. The small piece that she earnestly hoped Dr Arnold had been consigned to.

There was no way she could not have yelled. Not at that first stroke or the last. It was so undignified and this time John did not mind her heartfelt tears. Not then or after the caning. Not even when they lasted well into the afternoon as she stood yet again in the corner and Professor Harmon had to cancel his next tutorial.

“I damn well ought to have my student in anyway and leave you there as an example,” he threatened under his breath. “The only reason I don’t is because she has problems of her own and you would be far too distracting standing there.”

“Yes Sir,” Hilary said miserably.

That had been two weeks ago. She hadn’t sat down for almost a week and every drop of cold cream in her block-house had been begged, stolen or borrowed. This had been at the price of displaying a good eyeful of tail for the amusement of her housemates. It had then taken her three days to walk straight and even now she could make out some faint stripes and perfect circles on her behind.

That might have been the end of it. After all it had happened before and it would happen again and not one of the girls had or would escape at some time. Luckily the next lecture had not been for another two days after her punishment and it was well-attended enough so that she didn’t look a total dork standing up at the back.

Not that she was alone standing there and by shoving people along there was adequate seating for everyone. Hilary guessed that John and the other professor had been busy that week. No one commented. This was Clyburn after all.

No, the first week had gone well and she had recovered a grade on her next paper and had got to the Spanish religion lecture without a hitch. In fact she had only missed one lecture that first week and that had been an optional.

It was entirely possible that John would take her to task for it and if he paddled her again then it was no biggie. Well apart from some residual tenderness in the sitting equipment, but hey-ho that was Clyburn. In fact he hadn’t. Largely, she suspected because it had only been the day before her tutorial and he might not yet have heard she had missed it.

Then Wednesday had rolled around.

Wednesday was an orphan day on the calendar. The week was getting old but the weekend was still two days away. Wednesday night was when the weak and the party-minded got a little high and sneaked a little booze just to mark the mid-week.

Vodka shots had seemed such a good idea. After all, her paper was in and there was only one bottle. What harm could it do?

The next morning her head felt like an old rusty biscuit tin and twice as empty. It also seemed to her that a bird had made a nest in her mouth and it was entirely incomprehensible that the room wouldn’t keep still. The nausea was the worst thing and Hilary did not want to know a thing until she had some coffee.

“Did they kick you off that course?” Tammy said as she breezed back from that morning’s lecture.

Her blonder bunches bounced perkily which at that moment Hilary found very irritating. The girl was always like a high-school senior on speed and even dressed the part. A typical ex-cheer leader, Hilary thought bitterly. Does she never have a hangover?

“Eh,” Hilary said thickly, “What did you say?” A vacant expression hanging from her eyes and reaching her slack jaw.

“I thought you had that Spanish thing?” Tammy gushed and gaily bounded over to the fridge.

When she turned back Hilary was banging her head repeatedly on the table with exaggerated irony.

“Forgot it huh,” Tammy said with a shrug.

“Oh yeah,” Hilary groaned.


John had not been mad with her. He had said very little. She had gone there as a bag of nerves expecting to be paddled within an inch of her life and then caned again. She even wondered if he she would have to stand in the corner outside his office while a parade of students went for their tutorials. It had happened, although not to her.

“Miss Cline, I will consider your punishment and put my decision in your pigeon-hole before the end of the day,” was all he had said.

Being addressed a ‘Miss Cline’ was warning enough that she was in the hottest of hot water, but that was as far as her imagination would run.

The yellow envelope had been in her mail box at 4.30 before she went home. She placed it in her purse unopened as she picked her way through the trees. She hadn’t had the courage to look at it there and then, and anyway the bright yellow discipline note had drawn some stares.

The house was in view now. Up to then it had been obscured by the trees, but now the wind got up and a low shush began a way off and then got louder until it passed overhead and showered her with leaves.

It is like a ticker-tape parade, she thought bitterly, only I am no heroine. Up ahead the house looked a million miles away, a refuge denied to her. Whatever the note said she would get no sleep tonight, especially if she didn’t open it.

Some of the girls would be home now and she hated the idea of opening it with everyone there. She pictured the envelope being snatched from her hands while boisterous Karen or one of the others gleefully read out her fate.

Hilary reached into her purse and pulled out the yellow square of paper. What the hell, she thought, it was probably just a formal caning, after a firm paddling of course. It wouldn’t be Clyburn if her bare bottom wasn’t soundly paddled. This one would go on her record somewhere. Maybe there would be an embarrassing entry on the college notice board. She had seen them.

Hilary Cline, soundly paddled, 24 strokes of the cane.

She quailed inwardly. It would be more than 24, she just knew it. She had gotten 18 last time, and that had been to get her attention. The note would put her on campus restriction with a severe tail-warming threat to her behind in the shape of a disciplinary visit to Professor Harmon’s study. An afternoon in the corner followed by, well she if she had to guess, 30 strokes on a paddled rear end.

Maybe she had just been thrown off the course. The idea saddened her, especially as she hadn’t been paddled yet. Was John that disgusted with her? Well he should be, she guessed.

Hilary sighed and then hastily tore open the envelope. Her name was in red on an otherwise mundane college note. Professor Harmon’s name was signed at the bottom and she was relieved. It hadn’t occurred to her until that moment that part of her had secretly feared a referral to the Dean. This disciplinary slip had been issued on John’s authority. Then she slowed down and took a deep breath to read the rest of the note in the gloom of the forest.

“From six tonight until further notice consider yourself debagged,” the note read, “You will post this note, a copy of the one now on every notice board in college, on your house board and observe all restrictions while out of your room. You will report to me suitably debagged at 9.30 sharp for the first part of your punishment.”

Hilary licked her lips feverishly and reread the words twice over. She felt sick. In her heart of hearts she had also considered this possibility. Dark thoughts of extended cane time had run through her head all afternoon in an attempt to blot out this option from her mind.

She could go to him now and take her punishment. Maybe afterwards he would… she glanced at her watch. John would be at supper and it was already well after five. A trip to campus this evening would be carried out sans culottes as per Clyburn tradition. Her heart not only sank, it caved and ran like gloop into her belly and made her feel sick.

Hilary gulped down nausea and slowly reread the letter again. In her first semester here a sophomore, Candy Chandler, had been made to wear only a fire warden’s tabard and serve two weeks as parking attendant. It had been hilarious. She had been naked back and front and you could have fried an egg on her welted behind. She had never seen anyone look so miserable. Unless, that is, you counted Rachel Ryan.

For a week Rachel had been made to walk around campus picking up litter with her pants and panties around her ankles. The paddle spore was something to see and it had taken an age for her to walk anywhere so everyone had time to take it in.

Then there was the technique adopted by Professor Lindsay. She liked to the traditional approach and had girls where pinafore dresses pinned up in back and was given to handing out public over-the-knee spankings in embarrassing and inopportune places.

Daisy Schindler had been spanked in front of an entire class before a lecture Hilary had attended. She had spent the rest of the 90 minutes in the corner at the front.

All of these girls crimes had been long forgotten but their punishments lived in the mind and took up a home there. Hilary let out a long heavy groan and ducked her head as if to hide. She was about to enter the Clyburn history books and been added to a long line of punished students.

At least Professor Harmon had not insisted on any embellishments. She turned the note over. No. It was a simple debagging. She would have to get the handbook out but she was pretty sure bare bottom drill was the only stipulation.

“Okay girls,” she addressed the block house up ahead, “Prepare to be entertained.”

Hey-ho world, here I come.


4 Responses to “The Semester of Standing for Supper”

  1. 1 paul1510

    I imagine that place would scare the pants off almost everyone. 😛

  2. 2 K

    Absolutely beautifully written and enthralling! I adore this story!

  3. Absolutely loved that one….now must dash for part 2 🙂

  4. 4 DJ

    Thank you for the kind words.

    Third and probably final part (for now) on Tuesday.

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