The Machine


steampunk babeThis story is a sequel to The Curious Case of Amelia Craven

It began with a humming noise like a slow metallic fly. Dr Marley was out of the workshop so instead of the usual disciplined attention to their work many of the apprentices moved away from their desks and started looking about. Even Amelia Craven, who had so much more to prove than any of the others put down the small cog she had been working on and lifted the right magnifier on her goggle set.

The hum was more of a throbbing purr by now and it was definitely getting louder, so much so that many of the younger men had moved to the windows to see what was approaching.

“It is coming from outside,” Redley said excitedly, his thin reedy voice complimenting his impossibly tall thin frame.

Amelia put down the cog and frowned.

“It’s an engine,” she said thoughtfully and then she too rushed to the high window to look up. “There see?” She pointed to the Zeppelin high above, one of the new German models.

The prospect of seeing a real life airship was too much for the Marley-Dexter apprentices and as one the whole lot of them rushed head long into the Highgate Street and on into Pond Square.

“Boys, boys,” old Mr Vance yelled, but he too was waddling out onto the street, his copious belly just ahead of him.

Amelia propped her goggles onto her head as she followed him, casually slipping her hands into her skirt pockets.

The long thick worsted skirt was the only concession Dr Marley allowed her on account of her sex. In all other regards she dressed as a boy and even wore a smart round bowler like the other apprentices. Her hair had grown out now, but she wore it up so as not to tangle with the machinery, giving her a curious air of a hybrid man-girl that sometimes drew puzzled glances, but not as many as they had for this was a new age of wonders. One where women could wear trousers and become engineers; and machines driven by the latest steam engines could fly.

“That is certainly a thing to see,” Vance marvelled as he mopped his brow.

“It is somewhat larger than the ones that Marley-Dexter builds,” Amelia said critically, “But it is not as fast.”

Amelia pushed her lips into a pensive pout as the airship was as much an affront as a marvel to her. Admiring it seemed disloyal to Ebenezer somehow.

Ebenezer Marley was her employer, mentor and an idol. It was he who had first spotted that she was a girl and instead of dismissing her, he had seen her potential and had promoted her to his Highgate workshop.

Still and airship was an airship and like the boys she stood until the great silver sausage had slipped from view on its way to Hendon no doubt.

“Back to work boys,” Vance said at last, extending his arms as if herding kittens away from the milk. “And you young Amelia,” he added sourly, although Amelia knew for a fact that the old man had a paternal affection for her.

In fact her latest project had been partly inspired by him. For one thing he had never quite worked out how to discipline her. Where Ebenezer did not hesitate to have her drop her overalls or lift her skirt for a lick or two of his belt, Mr Vance seemed reluctant to lay a hand on a girl.

Amelia suspected that it was baring her bottom that he most struggled with. After all he was approaching 60 and he had never been married.

This problem of discipline was the kind of thing other employers might use as an argument not to employ other girls in the workshop; hence her latest project.

It was coming along slowly on account of the secrecy involved. She was really supposed to be improving clock cogs; making a standard set ever smaller until a practical effective size could be found. It was important work but dull. Besides a dozen other apprentices were working to the same end so that they could all compare notes. No Amelia had a better idea.


Ebenezer Marley carefully lifted his myriad-lensed goggles onto the brim of his flat-topped hat and took up a commanding stance. He was a broad heavy-set man who always wore a hat and a long leather coat. He now stood with his arms folded as he tried to make something of the strange contraption he had found under a tarpaulin at the back of his Highgate workshop.

“Mr Vance,” he said at last sounding somewhat exasperated, “Mr Vance can you perhaps explain to me what that is?”

Vance knew from his employer’s tone that something was amiss, but he couldn’t fathom for the life of him what was of such import. Then he saw it too.

“Oh my lore,” he gaped.

The machine looked like a beer barrel set sideways with saddle affixed to it. There was a great iron wheel that appeared to drive various arms set at angles protruding from the barrel. At the end of each arm were various sized paddles and leather flaps, but asides from a crank on the wheel it was not obvious how such a device might be operated or what it might do.

“Dr Marley… I… that is to say Sir, this is the first I have seen of the thing,” Vance blurted.

“Dr Marley Sir, I can explain,” Amelia said eagerly as she entered the back room behind the foreman.

“Amelia Craven,” Ebenezer sighed, “I might have known. Alright, out with it and do pray tell.”

“It’s a punishment machine,” Amelia said brightly, “For girl apprentices so that…”

“What?” Ebenezer gasped in disbelief.

“You know Sir… it’s a-a p-punishment machine,” Amelia said, her confidence leeching from her with each syllable under Dr Marley’s withering stare.

“Who authorised this?” the Entrepreneur-Inventor asked. His voice was as keen as a razor now.

“I… I thought…” Amelia stuttered. “I did it in my spare time,” she added brightly, “Well mostly.”

Ebenezer kicked a stool towards her and then picked one for himself and sat down.

“Sit down while you still can,” he growled and then added wearily, “I think you had better explain from the beginning.”


“Does it work?” Ebenezer asked curiously as he leaned into the machine for a closer look.

“It should, I think it needs some adjustments, but I haven’t actually tried it, I mean…” Amelia shrugged and looked down shyly.

“A steam powered one of these could spank two dozen girls at once,” Ebenezer snorted in amusement. “Perhaps we might interest the work house or a girls’ school in such a device.”

“You think?” Amelia said eagerly.

Ebenezer frowned. “No,” he sighed, “I was merely jesting.”

Amelia was crestfallen.

“So how much of my money did this cost?” Ebenezer asked seriously.

“I made it from scraps, honest,” Amelia mumbled without meeting her master’s eyes.

“And how much of my time have you wasted?” he said pointedly.

Amelia pushed out her lower lip and shrugged. She kicked at the floor as if physically deflecting the question.

“A few hours,” she answered quietly, “That is… a few hours on most days… ah…” she shrugged again defensively, “for a few weeks now,” she added.

Ebenezer nodded and then sighed heavily as he unhitched his belt. “Hitch your skirts up and let down your draws,” he told her in a slow drawl.

Amelia made a purse of her lips and nodded. She turned as she obeyed so that when her bloomers made a puddle at her ankles she did not show him more than she ought. She only wore one petticoat; the works were too hot for more so she was quickly denuded below the waist and displaying her bare bottom.

She did not need to be told to bend over the bench beside the machine, nor too thrust her bottom up and out at him. But she did look back wistfully at him to regard Ebenezer with sad eyes.

“Must I go to the corner afterwards too?” she asked.

“With your bottom left bare,” he growled.

“But what if…? The men, they will come in… you understand, for parts and tools and things,” she gushed in anguish.

Ebenezer didn’t answer but only doubled up his belt.

“Yes Sir,” Amelia said ruefully, she understood, it had happened before.

The belt lashed her like a dragon’s tongue and she made an angry shout. Curses, she thought, they would have heard me. Not that the next few solid thwacks of the belt did not tell their own story.

Amelia tried to stay silent as her bottom steadily burned, but after two dozen or more a sustained keening wail began to force its way through her clenched teeth to join the silent tears already rolling down both her cheeks. The epic round curves of her posterior were already stained a deep red and the growing chaffing soreness would be with her for days, if not longer. Based on previous experience she would eat standing up for three days straight before she would be able to chance a pillow or two for some very ginger sitting.

Worse would be the smirks and knowing glances. Not that the others would tease her, well not much. Maybe in a fortnight it would be forgotten. Then she yelled and made a sustained growl. The belt strikes were coming thick and fast now, Ebenezer was plenty angry with her.

Oh well maybe this time she would eat standing up for a week.

Finally she broke to full sobbing and Ebenezer put up the belt.

“Silly girl, now off to the corner with you,” he sighed.

“Yes Sir,” she replied, her words leaking down her face.

It was hard not to claw at her seared bottom but rubbing was forbidden, as was any attempt at covering her shame.

“This corner, Sir?” she sniffed as she pointed to a place next to the window and not immediately lined up facing the door.

“It will serve,” Ebenezer agreed.

Amelia nodded, but after a moment as she stood nose tightly to the corner and her skirts hitched up behind, she burst into a fresh cascade of tears. Her bottom burned like it rarely had before.


For the adjustments Amelia had been allowed to retain her draws, but nonetheless her bottom ballooned up in the most undignified way as she bent over the saddle and Ebenezer adjusted the mechanism. Knowing that she was going to face this shy-making task she had opted for wearing trousers to work, but perhaps to teach her lesson or more likely because she had designed the machine with a bare bottom in mind, Ebenezer had bid her to strip down as she now found herself.

“This is quite an impressive machine girl,” Ebenezer chuckled, “An exemplary apprentice piece and it may have some practical application yet.

“Are you going to test it?” Amelia asked nervously, but she was genuinely curious nonetheless.

Ebenezer grinned and gave the handle a single crank. In response one of the smaller paddles swung down and delivered a moderate spank to Amelia’s upturned bottom.

Amelia squealed.

“Quite fascinating, it can be set to deliver any one of a dozen string surfaces as required or spank with all of them in turn,” the inventor said quite forgetting the human bottom under threat. “At maximum setting I think it could probably deliver two or three times the number and weight a man could.”

“Yes I know,” Amelia said nervously.

“Why ever did you invent such a thing?” Ebenezer was genuinely curious now.

“A screen can fitted between the… eh… target and the operator, so a conservative man can punish a girl without impropriety. That way there is no excuse for not hiring girls as apprentices.” Amelia explained. “Also a woman can punish as hard as a man or… well harder if needed. If a small steam engine were fitted then a girl could be placed across the saddle and left to her punishment while her master does something more productive.”

Ebenezer frowned. “Ingenious, but hardly… well let’s just say I prefer to do my spanking myself; even if I am only turning a handle. And that isn’t something I am contemplating as a general rule.”

“No Sir,” Amelia felt glad of that, but she was proud too that he liked her machine, if only from a technical point of view.

The inventor made another adjustment and then turned the crank to deliver another spank.

“Oouch,” Amelia hissed.

“You do want me to help finish this don’t you?” Ebenezer Marley chuckled.

“Yes Sir,” Amelia said ruefully, “Yessss Sirrr,” she added in a squeal as she was spanked again.

3 Responses to “The Machine”

  1. I liked the story and the picture of the bare bottom and being naked.

  2. 2 richard

    My father started his hard hillbilly life when steam was under threat of gasoline engines What was not done by these was often done by hand especialy drscipline the strap was a favorite of many hickory switches too were cut and used frequently Times were tough and so were the men and womem that live in them Another excelent effort very realistic

  3. 3 Ripley

    Sheesh the things women had to do to get equal employment opportunities. 😉

    What a pleasant surprise to see this sequel. ‘The Curious Case of Amelia Craven’ is one of my favorite stories.


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