Death Comes Slowly…


cane tumblr_mdmd36RDin1r3sv4oo1_500Justice is swift.

The house was tall and forbidding. The grubby yellow London Brick was detailed here and there with what once have been high status red edging. But it had been 50 years since its glory days and now the old school for the daughters of the gentlefolk was not what it was.

Marcus La Grange, a lean arrow straight giant of a man, had presided over the establishment since before the Great War. But now like his school was feeling his age and his once thick mid brown hair was more grey than dark and his hairline had receded. He coughed violently and had to reach for his handkerchief. The fit was a short one this time and the spots of blood weren’t as bad.

“Are you alright Sir?” Grace Hammond asked him.

She was a senior girl, now beyond 18 and who would be leaving them soon. Her solicitousness was out of character and he had no doubt that she was trying to curry favour.

La Grange eyed her suspiciously until she dipped her head to avoid his gaze.

“Don’t worry about me girl,” he growled.

He had once had high hopes for the girl. Despite her wild eyes and cheeky demeanour, she was from a good family, but for a young woman about to leave them she was immature and feckless. He noted the stray strand of dark hair that had come adrift to brush her collar.

“I cannot abide bullies,” he said sharply, scanning the girl for a hint of regret.

“Oh Mable Mossop is so wet Sir,” Grace said in a tone of bored exasperation.

“So you have the right to wash her head in a lavatory bowl and leave her sat and helpless in the paper towel basket?” La Grange challenged her. The poor girl had been distraught and had left in girls’ cloakroom for over 30 minutes until the matron had found her.

Grace shrugged and made to chew at her lower lip.

“I take it you don’t deny it then?” La Grange said quietly.

“No Sir,” Grace sighed.

“Let’s have you then,” he growled reaching for the ever-present cane on his desk.

It was the senior grade one, the one for swift justice. The thin junior cane was for reprimands or persuasion only, but Grace had admitted her fault and the reckoning would be final.

Grace coloured and with an awkward reluctance moved her hands under her skirt and tug at her charcoal school knickers. She knew the drill and as she bent over the leather easy chair she lifted her grey pleated skirt from the back.

La Grange finished the job by tucking the hem into her green cardigan to expose her pale round bottom cheeks so cheekily jutting back at him. A younger man would have been distracted by her feminine charms.

“You have form in this area don’t you girl?” he growled, “And I detect no hint of remorse.”

Acutely embarrassed and as awkward a virgin curate at a wedding, Grace blushed and desperately pressed her heels together to hide any inadvertent ‘show.’

“A baker’s dozen I think girl,” La Grange announced and sliced the first stroke home.

Grace emitted a girlish grunt and rode the pain as a reddish line developed on her bare bottom.

At five or six second intervals the cane fell fiercely, each drawing an ever more shrill gasp from the girl until she was wailing fit to sob under the onslaught.

Once there were six plum lines puffed up on her bottom he paused while she struggled with her tears. Then once he sure she was feeling it he delivered another seven.

Through a cascade of silent tears Grace sniffed her thanks and extended her hand to shake his.

“You’re welcome Miss Hammond,” La Grange said breezily, “Let that be a lesson to you.”

“Yes Sir, thank you sir,” Grace said miserably.


It was 50 years later and La Grange House had long since been repaired. Unlike the 1920s, the 1970s was a new age and the local authority had invested heavily in the halfway house. This was before the indifference of the Thatcherite 80s and the disgorging of former care home inmates onto the streets.

La Grange House was a temporary accommodation for young women freshly discharged form orphanages and other youth facilities while they looked for work and a place to live.

Pam hated it. The other girls were all wankers or sad little misfits who would never amount to anything. At 18 she was a drop dead gorgeous blonde and she was going places. Which places she hadn’t quite fixed upon, no doubt some millionaire boyfriend would pick up the tab for it. If all else failed she would make a few quid as a beautician.

“Pam, some of us are organising a disco in the common room,” Tracy Parker said from nowhere. The reedy little twerp had a reedy little voice to match and Pam winced.

“Fuck off,” she spat.

“Don’t talk to her like that,” Angela said coming up the hall.

Angela was Miss Goody Two Shoes and speccy with it.

“You can fuck off too four eyes.” Pam didn’t wait for the smart mouth answer and shoved Angela hard and when she didn’t react, shoved her again so that she tumbled back down the half step.

“You think you are so much better than the rest of us,” Pam yelled.

“No,” Angela sighed getting to her feet, “You think I am so much better than you and I am not. We are all here together, we can help each other.”

The slap came from nowhere and if Angela hadn’t fallen down again Pam would have pounded her to the floor.

As Pam stormed off up the hall to the stairs to her room Angela went to call after her but was stopped by the appearance of an adult in the shadows beyond the staircase.

“Jim?” she called, but blinking she realised there was no one there.

“Bloody Pam has slapped me batty,” she groaned as she dusted herself off.


Pam was awoken somewhere around six but could not fathom why. For a second she fancied that she heard a small stampede of young feet outside her door, but that was crazy, no one got up this early at La Grange. Then her door knocked hard.

“Who is it?” she called.

The door knocked again harder. The clock said: 6.04.

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” she yelled, “Fuck off.”

The man who entered was unknown to her. Stranger still she couldn’t quite fix on him as if he was in shadow despite the light from the hall.

“Bullying and now obscene language,” he said angrily, “On your feet girl.”

“I didn’t know did I? I thought… who are you anyway?” Pam said in irritation.

“I said, stand up,” the man barked at her.

With a surly roll of her eyes Pam staggered to her feet and yawned.

“You’re not supposed to be in here, this is…” she mumbled, not really caring.

“I will not have such behaviour in my school,” the man snarled.

“Your school?” Pam gaped.

It was only then that she saw the cane. Was this a joke? Now she came to think of it the man looked out of place… no not just that… out of time.

“Turn around and bend over,” she was told.

He snorted in disbelief. The man was clearly ancient she would have known this was a joke.

“Bend and bare for 12 or I will give you 18,” the man said commandingly as he slashed the air with the thin stick in his hand.

“Are you nuts?” Pam gasped, but without another word she felt herself spun around and without realising it she was bending over in the middle of her room. The pyjama bottoms dragged to her ankles almost by themselves and she was dizzy with confusion.

“I suggest you grab your ankles,” the man growled.

As Pam obeyed she almost felt as if she was someone else for the moment.

“Please Sir,” she wailed.

“Please nothing,” the voice snapped, “Make ready.”

A line of pain like a blade sliced her bare bottom and she squealed. Only her hands seizing her ankles stopped her shooting bolt upright. That left her bottom jutting for another stroke.

“Ummmgh,” she grunted, never having felt a sting like it.

There were six more in quick succession and Pam was quickly left gasping for breath and contending with a wash of tears.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she bawled as the cane continued to bite.

An age and a half passed and had Pam ben in a position to consider anything, she might I have wondered why no one came to investigate the noise.

“Alright, that’s enough,” the voice said wearily.” Now shake my hand.”

A sobbing Pam stood up and turned to face her tormentor, but there was nobody there. The clock read: 6.04.

Without pulling up her pyjama’s she dashed to the door and opened it. The house was quiet. She felt foolish standing half naked in the hallway, but her bottom still throbbed unmercifully and her tears would not abate.

An inspection of her bottom in the bathroom mirror revealed a swathe of dark purple welts standing out on the curves of her skin as corrugations.

“Jesus f…” she bit her tongue at the F word and hastily looked around her, “This is bat… crazy,” she sniffed, then finally she went back to bed, although this time she took care to lie on her tummy.




5 Responses to “Death Comes Slowly…”

  1. 1 George

    When justice is done, honest people are happy…

  2. 2 mick9lan

    I love the transactional aspect of the first section – everyone knows their function or status. and nothing is seen as particularly personal – just the natural order.
    Why did you set the second section in the seventies? As there was a supernatural “avenger” it could as easily been set today.

    Not a criticism – I enjoyed the story, just curious.

    • 3 DJ

      It was set in the 1970s because in that decade such institutions as this existed in the UK. Today they don’t and with already one fantasy aspect to the story – it is better not to have two.

  1. 1

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