Time Enough for Regrets


1950 corner timeJoanna looked at her watch and then shifted impatiently in her seat. What was the big deal? She picked up the Attainder Notice again and re-read it.

The indictment read, petty fraud, tax evasion, failure to report to a hearing, failure to pay preliminary fines and assorted other picky little offences. Well the tax, late interest and all the fines had been paid now, both her manager, agent and even her damn family had insisted upon it.

No doubt they wanted to give her another financial sanction or maybe some community time, but the speculation about jail time was a joke. Joanna laughed as she remembered some of the lurid press speculation. There was no such thing as bad publicity in her game. Nevertheless these justice department people were taking their own sweet time to see her.

Joanna Gatsby gave a heavy sigh and got to her feet and went to the large picture in the waiting room. The glass plate on it gave her a reflective surface to work on her lippy; not that she needed to.

The wide-eyed ‘innocent’ that stared back at her had a practiced pout and neatly groomed piled up business-like blonde hair. The hat was a nice touch too; old-fashioned and told the world she was solid and not just another 23rd century bimbo.

It was the image that had fronted a dozen albums, three movies and a TV show on the Tri-vid; she forced a smile. What the hell, if they didn’t buy her excuses this time she would pay them off again. After all money was no object.


The man behind the desk wore all black. Even his hair was slicked back and shiny jet; a bureaucrat right out of central casting. The hint of grey at his temples was a nice touch though, very theatrical, he must have let it remain as a sign of authority. Maybe if this went well she would give him a date.

“Ms Gatsby,” he said officiously, “I am so glad that you deigned to attend this time.”

Joanna returned a tight smile and felt like poking her tongue out at him.

“So what’s the damage this time?” she replied in a bored voice.

“Damage?” he frowned.

“Cut to the chase, I am busy,” she yawned, “How much?”

The man regarded her with disdain and then leant in close.

“There are no outstanding fines,” he said wearily, “But you have three consecutive transgressions to your name. This time there will be… other sanctions.”

The man opened a floating console on his right and regarded the scroll of options. Not that Joanna could make them out. But for the first time she allowed herself a hint of apprehension. She thought of the serious po-faced editorials about celebrity excess and how an example was needed. She thought too of the jail option that many had thought was a forgone conclusion. Joanna decided to say nothing and sat back defiantly as if untouchable.

Finally the bureaucrat turned his attention back to the arrogant starlet and seemed to weigh something up.

“You were found guilty in absentia,” he said carefully, “You know this?”

Joanna pursed her lips and nodded.

“And you have declined an appeal and have resolved matters by pleading guilty?”

She shrugged and looked bored.

“So all that remains is the sentence,” the man said brusquely as if confident that they were making progress.

“Sentence?” Joanna asked nervously.

“Your lawyer explained?” he suddenly looked concerned.

“Y-yes,” Joanna ventured uncertainly. She had sat through a boring meeting with the lawyer and her agent and manager. “Be polite and accept the lesser option,” they had all said. That had brought her here.

“Okay then,” he sighed with relief. “Assuming you want the psychotropic-temporal option and not prison?” he waited for her to nod or agree but she stared at him blankly. So he continued, “Anyway I have to give you the prison options before you disregard them.”

Joanna gaped and was suddenly alert.

“Thirty-six months in an open prison set against 6-24 months dependent in a punitive regime; dependent on good behaviour that is,” he told. “You can apply for either and as a first-timer they would probably accede to your preference.”

Joanna blanched. Three years could kill her career but what did ‘good behaviour’ mean? A possible two years did not sound good at all.

“And the psycho what-not, what is that?” she asked with an almost eager panic.

“Yes, your preferred option your representative tells me,” the man stabbed the air, presumably set open a screen option. “It is experimental and takes between nine and 28 days,” he told her suddenly warming up to a lecture.

“Nine days,” Joanna said breezily and nodded enthusiastically.

“Well that depends on you, on your subconscious so to speak. But as you know temporal…” he launched into another boring set of words about procedures and emersion therapies that went over her head.

It wasn’t until he said “effectively it is a personal time machine” that she began listening again.

“A time machine?” she gasped.

“You must have seen the news and the hoo-ha about military training by visiting past wars and the like, well this is a peaceful application of the same technology,” he said.

“Oh yes?” Joanna thought it actually sounded fun.

“We have three options for you, it doesn’t matter what you pick, not at the moment, although opinions differ about offering choices to future candidates,” he continued.

“More options?” she said wearily. Sometimes she wondered why they didn’t just get on with it. All these choices seemed a bit mealy-mouthed for a justice department.

“Yes, you can be an inmate at a Victorian women’s prison, or at least a 23rd century idea of one, obviously we can’t actually interrupt the timeline,” he explained.

“Well obviously,” she agreed sarcastically.

He looked at her disapprovingly before continuing.

“Or there is the young ladies’ Prussian School circa 1780, quite a favourite of mine, our last young lady had an interesting side trip to 18th century Vienna and had a bit of a grand tour…”

Joanna didn’t like the sound of either Spartan history and began to feel her heart sink.

“I can see that… well this one is our least popular strangely, but it might suit you…” he ventured.

“Yes?” Joanna leaned forward.

“You can visit the past as an exchange student in 1950s America,” he said, “Subjectively the scenario lasts at least for the duration of one summer, which is why I think it is not popular, although frankly on average they all come out the same. You see the time spent interacting is determined by the participant. But I can say that this one usually completes within two weeks real time…”

“Never mind about subjective scenarios, you are saying that this one lasts no more than two weeks?” Joanna cut him off. She wished he didn’t talk so much.

“Usually… that is… well we don’t have all the data yet, but this is the shortest real time scenario yes,” he agreed, “But there are no guarantees.”

“What if once I am in… or down whatever… what if I don’t cooperate? I mean what if I just take off and follow my own agenda?” she asked.

He frowned and looked at her hard.

“The set-up is quite robust, but if you go too far off-piste then… well you will be extracted and then I am afraid we will have to explore the prison option.

“I get it,” Joanna said quickly, “But I guess I’ll take it.”


For a long time Joanna was in kind of a dream. She remembered who she was and everything that had happened but somehow it wasn’t real. What was real and increasingly so was a 20-year-old New Yorker also called Joanna who was on some kind of summer exchange from college in the so-called bible belt of 1950s America.

“Is it real?” she asked no one in particular and a blurry voice answered her.

“Oh yes,” he said in a distant voice, “But don’t worry, remember you can’t be harmed or change the past.”

“But how is that possible?” she asked fuzzily.

The same voice had told her that was classified but that was a memory now and this time another answered her.

“What did you say Joanna?” The speaker was young a feminine.

Joanna blinked and worked her mouth. Her face was pressed up against glass and through blinking eyes she saw fields of wheat race by. She groaned and shook herself.

“You slept then?” the girl who had spoken was speaking again.

The inside of the bus was vivid Technicolor and smelled of bleach and lavender. The people looked like characters in a period movie only, she gasped, the details were too real.

“Oh my God,” she gasped, “This is amazing.”

Several people glared at her and the young woman sitting next to her shushed her with wide eyes. The most disapproving looks came from two middle-aged black women who immediately began talking between themselves.

“Don’t curse,” the girl next to Joanna scolded her in genuine shock. Lesley-Anne, Joanna remembered, the girl’s name was Lesley-Anne or Lanney as she was called at college.

College, she was in college with the girl and at Easter she had visited with Joanna and her folks.

“But I am Joanna Gatsby,” Joanna protested, “I didn’t go to…”

“I know that silly, mercy you have been in a deep sleep,” Lanney giggled.

“Yes,” Joanna said absently, “Yes I was, Jesus though, this is f…”

“Joanna,” Lanney exclaimed punching her arm.

Thank God I didn’t complete that sentence Joanna smirked inwardly. Then she saw the sign on the inside of the bus.

“State law requires all colored passengers to ride in the rear of the bus,” it read.

“Christ on a bicycle,” she gasped, “You are shitting me.”

There were more glares this time but not from Lanney who only blushed and looked into her lap.

“It is kind of crazy ain’t it?” she whispered, “I guess we aren’t in New York anymore.”

“Or even Kansas,” Joanna quipped.

“No silly, this is Missouri.” Lanney found her giggle again.


The family Joanna and Lanney were staying with weren’t related to Lanney, although she was from the state and lived in a nearby town. As the Linklater’s were good church-going people Lanney’s folks had agreed to it readily.

The Linklater’s were eager to support young people and further their education which was why they had joined the Interstate Educational Programme and were taking in students. They had a son in the army, a married daughter and one still in college like Lanney and Joanna.

Joanna knew all this as well as she knew the street in New York where she hadn’t grown up or the school she hadn’t attended and the parents she had never ever met. But under it all she was Joanna Gatsby, famous for being famous and several TV shows to her name off the back of it.

“Now girls I don’t know what you are used to in New York but here you will observe a curfew of 10 o’clock. You will be at meals on time and your rooms will be spotless,” Mrs Linklater told them pleasantly as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Joanna snorted with amusement at the quaint posturing but nodded politely and even muttered ‘yes Ma’am’ a beat after Lanney did.

“I know I don’t have to tell you not to smoke, cuss or anything like that do I?” Mrs Linklater added.

“No Ma’am,” Lanney said earnestly, but she shot a look at Joanna hoping that she wouldn’t slip up and tar them both.

“Your folks wrote to me Lanney and said I had full permission to take you in hand,” Mrs Linklater said sternly, “You know what that means?”

Lanney blushed and nodded.

“I use much the same methods I think you know, in fact your father and I had quite a talk on the telephone,” their host continued. “Yours too Joanna, your Pa said you would fit in with whatever we thought best and that it would be good for you for a change.” The woman smiled pleasantly and then added in a bemused tone, “Then he said something about Romans or Rome or…”

“When in Rome do as the Romans do,” Joanna said having no idea how she knew that, “That sounds like Dad.”

Not my Dad, Joanna bristled inwardly, but had the sense to stay quiet.

“That was it,” Mrs Linklater beamed, “What a clever man your Pa.”


A week had gone by and frankly Joanna was bored. I get it now, she thought, this whole time travel gig is to bore me to death. The coffee shop chatter between Frankie, Mr and Mrs Linklater’s 19-year-old daughter, and Lanney was inane. These kids don’t know anything, she groaned inwardly.

Still she had an uneasy feeling she wasn’t getting it. For one thing she had had time to think about subjective days versus actual days out there in the future. Joanna was beginning to think that although two weeks away from her precious career didn’t matter she could be stuck in this historical theme park for weeks from her perspective.

“Hey, what do you say we skip out and find us some action later,” she said suddenly to the two dumbstruck girls. “There must be a bar in this town or what about a movie house? Maybe we could hook up with some boys.”

The last thought made her grin. Of course, this place was full of young men not getting any. And she had been told point blank that she couldn’t alter the past. Sex with no consequences, what a hoot, and this was supposed to be a punishment. Hell, with what I know I could rule this planet if I had long enough.

But even as her fantasy played out in her head she was suddenly aware of the look of anguish on Lanney and Frankie’s faces.

“Are you nuts?” Frankie gasped, “My Mom would slay us.”

Joanna scoffed at this and rolled her eyes up.

“What is she going to do? Ground us?” she snorted.

The trouble was that the experience of this 1950s Joanna from New York was lacking in certain areas; mainly areas on which they were all at that moment sitting. It was an embarrassing and painful fact of life which any self-respecting unmarried woman living in Missouri was all too aware.

“I-I had better go,” Frankie muttered and without waiting she hastened off.

“I know you were only kidding Jo, but go easy on the kid will you? You know perfectly well what will happen, you heard Mrs Linklater,” Lanney chided her.

Joanna frowned; she didn’t entirely as there were subtleties that a 23rd century girl could not quite compute even with the heads up from her counterparts acquired knowledge.


Much later Joanna wondered if the parameters of the scenario were pre-programmed in some way. She knew there was no script, on her first day she had written out two or three paragraphs of future history and pulled a couple of dance stunts that no one in this world would ever do. There was no metaphysical balance of nature, she knew that much. To the universe a blade of grass was as important as a war. True history was deaf, dumb and blind. If she could alter little things then she could alter big stuff, except that is it wouldn’t stick so it didn’t matter. However, had she been set-up to fail here, set-up to crash the social system and real the consequences?

The day after the coffee shop discussion Joanna came home to find Frankie standing in the hallway. She was facing the wall with her hands on her head like a toddler doing a time out.

“What the hell are you doing?” Joanna asked her new friend.

“Joanna,” Frankie gasped in horror, “Go away.”

Mrs Linklater wasn’t sure if she had heard correctly so decided to let the H-word go for now. Instead she came into the hall and motioned Joanna away.

“Frankie left her room in an awful mess for the third time this week,” she told her older charge and guest, “I have warned her. Now as soon as Mr Linklater gets home she is going to get a spanking.”

“Jesus H, are you kidding me?” Joanna blurted.

“Joanna Gatsby, I will not have that language in my house nor will you question me with such disrespect. I thought I heard you cussing just now but I… I chose not… well I never. Joanna go to your room at once,” Mrs Linklater all but roared at her.

Joanna jerked back and almost obeyed. Then her true self reasserted itself and she felt a sense of true outrage.

“What the f… now you are seriously joking. Who do you think you are anyway?” she snapped back.

“What did you say?” the older woman gasped. She was beyond shocked for a moment.

“I said…” Joanna began.

“I know what you said,” Mrs Linklater bellowed, “I heard you, but I don’t believe it. Very well, if you won’t go to your room you will go and stand in the corner next to Francine.”

Joanna opened her mouth to protest and then she remembered where she was. What would her 1950s counterpart do? As she considered Mrs Linklater seized her by the arm and projected her to the corner.

“Alright, alright,” she said angrily, “This is nuts but I get it.”

“Oh you’ll get it alright, just you wait until Mr Linklater comes home,” the indignant housewife scolded.

Facing the wall with it just an inch from her nose Joanna suddenly felt very silly and about a foot high.

“This is crazy,” she muttered.

“Don’t Joanna, you’ll only make it worse,” Frankie whispered.

It was only then that something began to gnaw at the pit of Joanna’s stomach.


Mr Linklater was 45 going on 60 to Joanna’s eyes. But he had this stern paternal manner that up to now she had quite liked. In some ways she wished that she had had a father like him and since coming to his home she had quietly realised what her own society was lacking. For one thing, although he was friendly he didn’t try to be a friend or indulge in undignified ingratiation with the girls. But as soon as he came home Joanna felt nervous.

As it was Linklater took one look at the girls and snorted before ignoring them.

Two minutes later Frankie and Joanna heard a rather shrill Mrs Linklater telling her rather calm husband what they had done or so they presumed. The details were lost in dark tones and muttering but after a few minutes they heard well enough.

“Francine, get in here,” Mr Linklater barked.

Joanna waited with baited breath while an unheard stern lecture was given. Then a few minutes later there was the sound of clapping. No not clapping, smacks; a dozen short sharp ones at first and then they alternatively were fast and then slow while a scolding male voice berated his daughter with deep tones and unheard words.

A little after this the spanks got louder and Frankie began mewling and giving out with little squeals and yelps. There was a solid definite thwack to the sounds and Joanna guessed that a hand had been substituted for something else.

By then of course Frankie was crying loudly and even from the hall Joanna could hear a chorus of “I am sorry daddy, I’m sorry.”

Fifteen minutes after it began Frankie was brought back and set to face the wall again. Only this time her skirt was rolled to her hips and her panties were at her knees so that her bare bottom was left red and exposed.

Joanna gulped and steeled herself for a concerted round of denials, refusals and objections.

“Miss Gatsby, please come in,” Mr Linklater said in a reasonable voice.

Joanna took a breath and obeyed.

“Now Mr…”

“Joanna,” he cut her off, “May I ask why you were so rude to my wife?”

Joanna blushed and worked her mouth to futile effect. She had been rude hadn’t she? Shit, why hadn’t she just rolled with it and kept her mouth shut?

“I… I’m sorry Mr Linklater, I… was just a little surprised at… well I am sorry.” She sounded sincere and after a fashion she was.

“And did you cuss at her and then refuse to go to your room?” he pressed her; a study in calm reason.

Joanna resorted to mouth breathing and could only nod.

“Hmmm,” the paternal man offered as he studied her over his glasses.

The latter he removed and polished for a moment as he considered something.

“Can you think of a reason why I shouldn’t deal with you just as I just dealt with Francine?” he asked matter-of-factly.

“Don’t you think I am too old for that?” Joanna squeaked. She felt like a schoolroom ninny and wondered where her scorching temper and attitude had fled to.

“No,” Mr Linklater tossed back casually, “As a matter of fact I don’t.”

“Oh,” Joanna winced and scoured her brain for something else to say.

The next series of events happened too fast for Joanna to consider. One moment she was upright and the next she was hauled across the room and down over Mr Linklater’s lap as he sat on padded couch at the end of the room. Her voluminous skirts and petticoats were tossed carelessly over her back in a trice her panties were efficiently pulled down her thighs to expose her pert neat bottom.

“Whooo-at?” she gasped in surprise. Then it got worse.

Punctuated with a solid volley of spanks to her bottom Mr Linklater growled, “I will not have disrespect in my house. You will not, I repeat not abuse my wife.”

Joanna was robbed of breath as she felt more spanks than words blasting on her bottom. But as soon as the initial shock left her she let go with a cascade of yelling until these were overtaken by her struggle to breathe.

By then her bottom was two stinging domes of fire and she kicked her feet in tight little pumping motions.

“Your behaviour is an outrage and I won’t have it,” the man scolded her as he spanked on, only pausing to take up a hairbrush that had been left on the couch by his side.

Joanna’s eyes widened as she guessed what was coming.

The next round of biting fire was beyond words or shouts and for the next 10 minutes she would have happily converted to every religion on Earth just for the chance to pray for her bottom. Now devoid of dignity she bawled like a half-pint brat until her cries might have been heard out on the street.

“Right,” Mr Linklater finally barked at her, “Go and stand next to Francine in the hall and don’t you dare move. Like her you will stay there until we have had supper and then you will go to bed without. Am I perfectly clear?”

“Yes Sir,” Joanna wailed miserably.

She knew instinctively not to cover her bottom as she danced from foot to foot. In fact at that moment there was not one solitary thing she would do without an instruction.

“Good and no rubbing mind, get those hands on your head,” he growled.

Joanna obeyed at once and in a tumble of sobbing she scampered out to the hall trying to shield her nudity half bending as her scarlet behind trailed after her.


For Joanna it was a wakeup call. No one had ever treated her like that and never had she been so embarrassed. Not only that but when it came to it and against all expectation she had just caved in to a scolding and gone along with it. Then to top it all she had been sent to bed without an evening meal like an errant teen. It was so early that there wasn’t even the comfort of darkness to hide her shame.

Now the night was dark and hot and somewhere a cicada gently sang in a chirruping throb. The sound matched the ache in Joanna’s bottom and she felt her face flush as she relieved the very public spanking earlier that evening.

Her mind raced even as her fingers oh so slowly explored the tender curves of her bottom. With the sheet pulled down to her thighs the relative chill of the night air cooled her prickled skin to afford some comfort, but not much. Cupping both buttocks with her hands she weighed them and marvelled at the illusion of increased size. Despite her shame there was some sensuality to the act and she blushed unseen in the darkness.

As she tossed things over in her mind she could not recapture the sense of justified outrage at either Frankie’s or her own treatment. It was almost as if she had deserved it, but that was crazy. They were crazy and come to that the whole damn… she swallowed hard. ‘It ain’t you girl it is the others’ she thought.

“You can’t just do what you want and let the whole world go hang,” her mother had once told her.

Well it was crazy, that’s what it was, just effing crazy. Then she giggled. Even alone she didn’t dare swear in her thoughts properly. Man this place was getting to her.


The next morning it was almost as if nothing had happened. Oh for sure Frankie couldn’t look her in the eye, but then Joanna felt the same. Only Lanney seemed to risk a curious look or two in their direction. But Mr and Mrs Linklater were all smiles and patience as if wayward young women were a fact of life.

The least said, soonest mended. Now that was something her father had always muttered after a family row. Or was that her other… she sighed and shook herself. It is not real, not really real, she told herself, but the smell of bacon gave made that a lie.

The days passed and thoughts of spanking faded like a closing wound leaving things much as they were before. Well almost. Joanna had stopped voicing rebellion and instead of coasting around town she kept a weather eye on the clock least she be late.

This is worse than prison, she thought, here I am my own jailer. It is almost as if they make me responsible for me, she railed inwardly. But she didn’t dwell on the thought, it made her too uncomfortable.

It was a week after her first spanking that things went awry again.

The girls had gone to a party. It was kind of kooky (kooky was a Lanney word) that there was no booze of any kind, but the wall-to-wall crinoline, bobby socks and pony tails made it the ultimate 1950s theme event.

Lanney had thrown herself into it with an infectious wild abandon so even when Frankie had made her excuses and gone home Joanna had just joined in with the fun. So it was that 10 o’clock came and went and then 11 before either girl noticed the time.

“We are so busted,” Lanney wailed.

“You think?” a grimaced-faced Joanna asked, “I mean we are only…”

Lanney shot her a pitying look, but then added brightly, “But maybe they went to bed already; once Frankie got in I mean. You know, we are older after all.”

Joanna shrugged. What had happened before had been a one-of. She had been taken unawares and this time she would tell them where to get off. But then maybe if the Linklater’s had gone to bed then there would be no issue. After all they were only an hour late.

Two hours after curfew two young women crept toe-before-toe up the garden path with shoes in hand. On account of the heat, the back window was ajar and it was a simple matter to reach in and unhook the backdoor too.

The screen door was a bitch, the hinges screamed like a night jar and both girls froze for a second. Then hearing no other sound they edged forward until they were both standing in the kitchen.

“Well good night,” Lanney whispered as she crept away.

“Good night,” Joanna replied.

The sudden light was blinding. Mr Linklater was just a dark outline from the hall, but even in silhouette they could see his dour demeanour.

“Good evening girls, or should I say good morning?” he growled.

“Mr Linklater we…” Lanney began, her hands nervously wringing.

But he just pointed sternly up the stairs and then folded his arms.

“I’ll speak to you both in the morning,” he said.


This time Joanna and Lanney faced the wall in the family room rather than the hall. They had been divested of her PJ bottoms by an uncompromising Mrs Linklater and before either girl could string a word of protest they were nose to the plaster with their bare bottoms cooling in the breeze.

“They can’t do this to us,” Joanna whispered, but not so loudly that anyone but Lanney heard.

Lanney risked a turn of her head to make a face that yelled, ‘oh yeah right.’

“Stand still,” Mrs Linklater snapped. “If either of you move, just once or give me any backtalk… I swear I’ll send you both into the yard to cut a switch just as you are.”

Lanney gulped in a way that convinced Joanna to take the threat seriously. Why am I going along with this? She berated herself, if anyone could see me now… but they could, they really could. For one thing the drapes had already been drawn back to greet the morning and the nets were French-style half-lengths. It didn’t take much to be seen from the street. Also Frankie, and when came in Mr Linklater, were well able to view their shame. Nor was it a comfort to Joanna to tell herself that it wasn’t really real. It was as real as the coffee that assailed her nose.

“You can stay there until after breakfast,” Mr Linklater said when he finally put in an appearance. “I will deal with you then.”

“Yes Sir,” Lanney agreed sullenly.

Joanna worked her mouth but no word of support or contrary would leave her lips.


“Is this really necessary?” Joanna asked some 20 minutes after breakfast with still no resolution. With her bare behind hanging in the breeze, so to speak, and with her face hot against the wall the submissive posture was really working on her nerves. She was utterly mortified.

“Yes,” came the terse reply from Mr Linklater.

The man nonchalantly tapped his pipe on the mantle and then carefully began thumbing tobacco into the bowl. His demeanour was Solomon-like as he weighed up the girls’ sins. Then coming to a decision he placed the bit in his mouth and paused to light his pipe.

“Now girls have you any idea how disrespectful your gallivanting to all hours was?” he asked. “Not to mention the risk it posed to both your reputations and your personal safety. My wife and I are responsible for you, what were you thinking?”

He sucked down and allowed a huge ring of blue smoke rise to the ceiling.

“And don’t get me started on the example you have set for Frankie,” he continued.

Lanney bit her lip at this point and managed to feel even more ashamed.

“Yes Sir, sorry Sir,” she groaned.

Joanna merely rolled her eyes and sighed.

“Joanna,” Mr Linklater barked.

“Yes Sir, I am sorry too,” she said huffily.

Joanna wanted to be more genuine about it, but under the circumstances her attitude was her only defence. Anything else was an admission he was right and she was wrong and she wasn’t ready.

“I think you will be,” Mr Linklater sighed. “Miss Gatsby, you first I think.”

He didn’t say anymore but put down the pipe and took Joanna’s arm. Then like before she was manoeuvred across his lap on the couch with her bare bottom uppermost.

The spanking was quick and fast to begin with and Joanna greeted the onslaught with sustained and unseemly wail.

“We haven’t even started yet,” Linklater scolded, his hand slapping down in shorter hard burst that really connected.

Then after five minutes or so he stopped and reached for something. Joanna glanced back over her shoulder, shocked at the twin red hills looming there. The hairbrush in his hand was no surprise.

“I’m sorry, I mean it, I’m sorry,” she pleaded.

The brush didn’t listen and in moments pistol like shots really shook the room. They even rivalled Joanna shrill yelling as over the next 10 minutes or so the fire redefined her bottom for her.

She didn’t hear much of Lanney’s spanking. Once returned to the wall it was all she could do not to grab her behind as she hopped and danced in time to some hearty sobbing. It was only when Lanney joined her again at the wall did Joanna become aware of the rest of the room.

“I am sorry,” she said in a miserable voice, hiccoughing out a sob.

“I know,” Mr Linklater said somewhat kindly. “Think on it for a while.”

A while turned out to be the rest of Saturday morning.

Saturday was not a good day to be in the corner at the Linklater’s. For one thing some of Frankie’s friends dropped by. The hoots of laughter and supressed giggles made Lanney start to cry again, although Joanna just glowered into the wall.

At least the fellows stayed outside, although from the masculine chuckles when the girls finally left, Joanna was in doubt that they had been fully put in the picture.

Nor did things get any better after that.

Around 11 Mrs Linklater’s friends dropped by for a coffee morning.

“Oh my, someone has been a naughty girl,” observed one of the women.

“I haven’t seen bottoms like that since my cousin and I were caught skinny dipping,” chuckled another.

“Oh I think my Marnie sported as much the weekend before last, I caught her kissing that Taylor boy you know,” said another.

This prompted a discussion on the youth of today and lax morals. This was accompanied by not a few stories of spanked teenagers and the need to give even college girls a good sound spanking now again.

“If my Marnie sees that Taylor boy again then she won’t sit down for a month,” Marnie’s mother told the group.

“My Jenny is seeing a nice college boy over at Stanford. But even she has let her grades slip and after I found out she went to a hop three nights running… well let’s just say that I know a girl who is as indisposed as these two over at her sister and brother-in-law’s place.” There was a disapproving sigh before first woman added in an amused voice, “Well I couldn’t leave her in the corner alone at home, her little cherry tail might have got lonely.”

“Doesn’t your son-in-law have the boys over for… well on Saturday’s before the game?” the skinny dipping woman said.

“Oh that is later, but I wouldn’t care if they did see her tender hiney, it will do her good, like these two here. They all get far too big for their boots,” the first woman explained.

Joanna wanted to die and Lanney was so beside herself that she had begun gently crying again.

The rest of their corner time was excruciating and by the time they were released Joanna was ready to obey any rule anyone ever made for her.


Both Joanna and Lanney had real issues sitting down for about a week after that and neither of them were quite comfortable at Saturday coffee mornings again. Although any embarrassment about being around Frankie’s friends soon faded as the girls learnt that most of them were spanked at one time or another and as in the Linklater’s home, that usually came with rather challenging corner time for everyone.

Other than that the matter with the missed curfew seemed resolved and neither Mr nor Mrs Linklater mentioned it again.

Of course that summer the girls were all spanked several more times for one reason or another, both severally and individually. Joanna soon found that fessing up and a level of acceptance often got her a more discreet session over Mr Linklater’s lap and after these spankings she always felt much better.

So in the end far from dragging the summer was soon over and Joanna almost forgot that there was no college waiting for her in New York.

“Why don’t you both come back later in the year?” Mrs Linklater gushed. “We can even light a fire maybe if it is cold and roast some marshmallows.”

“That won’t be all that gets roasted knowing you Ma,” Frankie giggled.

There was general laughter at this but although Joanna and Lanney were blushing wildly they both joined in.

“I would be glad to,” Joanna said, but in her heart she knew she never would.

Did these people even really exist? They certainly wouldn’t remember her after she had gone if they did. That thought weighed heavy with her all the way to the bus station and well into the journey back north. Then finally Joanna slept.

She was awoken in what looked like a hospital room.

“Was there a crash?” she asked.

Then she remembered.

“I guess I won’t be going back then,” she said ruefully on seeing the same stern bureaucrat from before. “Was I even there?”

“Oh yes,” the man smiled, “Did you learn your lesson?”

Joanna blushed and nodded. Then she grabbed his arm and asked again, “Were they okay? I mean did things work out fine for Lanney and the Linklater’s… the town?”

“As far as I know about this time line, as for the one that was created by you and your actions… well what do you think?” he asked.

“But you said… you said there would be no consequences,” she said animatedly.

“There are always consequences, I said there was no danger,” the man shrugged, “But you seem concerned, would you like to go back some time and see?”

“Could I?” Joanna asked; she was suddenly excited.

“We could call it a holiday and it would be invaluable to our research,” the man replied.

“Has anyone ever done it before?” Joanna said now rather puzzled.

“It is more common than you would think,” the man said quietly, “Some don’t even come back.”

Joanna gaped. “But you said…”

“I said ‘usually’ and that ultimately it was up to the individual. You found what you needed and completed your rehabilitation. This time anyway.”

Joanna frowned and looked away.

“If I had told you before would you have agreed to go?”

Joanna shrugged.

“Are you sorry?”

“Not about going, no,” Joanna gave him a tight smile.

The man picked up his notes and turned to go.

“You seem changed, less of a…” he shrugged and left without finishing.

“Less of a brat, yes I know,” Joanna said wistfully to the door.

It was only then that Joanna realised that she hadn’t asked how long she had been away. But, she supposed, it didn’t really matter. After all, she had all the time in the world.

6 Responses to “Time Enough for Regrets”

  1. 1 George

    Exactly what needed.
    It could be interesting to exchange emails with adult daughters -I mean at least 25 yo- still on the receiving end and acknowledging the good of fair and regular DD. Of course only Real Life & Truth!
    Also wise parents of the kind are welcome to share.

  2. 2 Casey

    Loved it! A great scenario that leaves one wanting to know more of what happened next. Thank you:)

  3. 3 DJ

    Thanks guys 🙂

  4. Great story, loved it!


  5. 5 Lawrence Kane

    Very interesting but logical as unfolded

  1. 1 chross.blogt.ch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: