Cometh the Krampus

20Dec18

krampus3“Father please, I didn’t…” Elizabeth Kalstein gulped as she trawled her brain for a magic word to placate him.

She was a comely blonde with an aristocratic bearing. Her perfect nose was perhaps a little turned up for her own good; serving as it did, to give her a haughty standoffish demeanour. Otherwise even in the green riding habit she was well-rounded at hip and breast.

However, at 23 she was well past marriageable age for her people and her once indulgent father was fast losing patience with her.

“Here before the court you will be pleased to call me your majesty,” her father growled as he regarded her with a look usually reserved for rebellious nobles or bandits sent for judgement.

King Mark was a large overbearing man with shoulders like an ox and hands like shovels. His black-blue hair was already shot through with silver, but that was the only feature that hinted at his age.

“Your majesty,” Princess Elizabeth ventured.

“Is this the part where you blame your sister or that cousin of yours?” Mark said wearily. “I really don’t care.” He shook his head. “You should be away from here with a court of your own, not playing childish games and trying to outmanoeuvre those younger than you.”

“But they…” Elizabeth bit her tongue when she saw his eyebrow arch in a warning. “No Sir,” she sighed.

She was seething. Ingrid and Astrid had lured her to a glade in the forest and then ridden off with her horse. It had taken hours to walk back and she had missed supper and the gathering arranged so that she could meet some potential suitors.

Mark waited a beat longer for some sort of explanation and then he waited no more. With a snap of his fingers the male courtiers all executed a curt bow and left, while Lady Holstein, the Chamberlain’s wife, and one of her maids carried a backless saddle stool to the middle of the room. Elizabeth did not need to look to know that the clank that followed was a bucket of birch rods steeping in brine.

“Prepare yourself,” the King sighed as he divested himself of his heavy velvet robe. Under it he wore soldier’s breeks and a simple linen shirt which he now rolled up at the sleeves.

Elizabeth swallowed hard while her face made up its mind if it was glowering defiantly or burning up with shame. She eyed the impassive faces of the assembled women and ladies’ maids and sighed.

The stool beckoned and she edged towards it with all the dignity she could muster.

“Prepare yourself, I said,” her father bellowed and she startled before hastily kneeling before the leather seat and raising her skirts behind.

Once her behind was exposed to the gaze of everyone in the room she bent forward over the stool until her bare bottom was directed at the vaulted ceiling. Then she heard giggling and knew that Ingrid and Astrid were not so very far away.

Without waiting her father strode the chamber and took up the first rod offered to him by the bucket.

“You know if I ever do find you a husband I will get one who has a strong right arm,” King Mark sighed as he eyed the target with some regret.

“Yes your majesty,” Elizabeth said in a trembling voice, already determined not to cry.

There was no more preamble; one moment she was hot faced and chilled tailed and then a thousand fiery wasps bore down on her bared bottom. Her eyes bulged in her head and she gave out an angry gasp.

King Mark did not pause and struck again and then thrice more while he gauged the right place to lash and wrap the thin birchen rods. Each blow made his daughter grunt and groan, although he was pleased to note that she thrust back her bared bottom without overmuch wriggling.

As they watched from the minstrel gallery, Ingrid and Astrid were beside themselves with glee. Already the oh-so superior Elizabeth’s bare bottom was turning from a seasonal white to a more appropriate holly berry red. Given the tender texture forming on her once smooth flesh and her increasingly pained cries and heavy breathing, it would not be long before she… ah there she goes.

Below Elizabeth wailed more keenly and ever after she yelled out at lash. She was obviously crying now, as well she might, given the state of her bottom.

Mark paused and wiped his brow. His daughter’s bottom now resembled two textured plums and she was bawling like a peasant brat.

“I trust you think on before you miss a reception in your honour again,” he snarled.

“Yes Father,” she sobbed.

“Good,” he said, “Better then that you take this,” and added a quick dozen extra swipes.

Once he was done Elizabeth rose with dignity and although still crying hard made to lower her skirts. “Thank you father,” she sniffed.

“Thank you,” he replied sharply, “But you can leave your skirts raised while you contemplate the corner seam of the chamber.”

Elizabeth raised her eyes in dismay but averted them again and nodded. She should have expected this. The rest of the afternoon was a horror, especially after she finally stopped crying. For then her father’s men were readmitted and had to spend the rest of the day pretending that the King’s eldest daughter did not have her bare bottom displayed to the whole court.

That night, face down in bed Elizabeth cried herself to sleep and swore vengeance on not only her sister and cousin but on every smug matron and maid who had dared enjoy her punishment. Of course her father had been right to birch her and soundly too, she admired him for it. Even if she hadn’t intended it, she had defied him. But Ingrid too had defied him, by actively preventing her from attending to her duty. Why had she too not been punished?

As soon as she could sit a horse she would ride into the Black Forest and consult the wise woman.

*

“You are the lady, Elizabeth Kalstein, are you not?” the wise woman asked as she calculated how she might exploit this visit.

Elizabeth drew herself up in her usual haughty manner and said, “I am.”

“Your highness,” the woman bowed low, all the while keeping her eyes firmly on the young princess.

The wise woman was not as old as she was expecting, certainly much less than 40 and despite her eccentric rags and wild hair, she had obviously cultivated her image with care.

“How should I call you?” Elizabeth asked out of a grudging politeness.

“Most call me Marta, but I have other names,” Marta said modestly as if it was of no particular importance.

“Marta I…” Elizabeth began, but looking around she was distracted by the half-hovel, half-herbalist den in which she now stood.

“I know why you are here,” Marta said sharply.

Elizabeth eyed her suspiciously.

“You are after revenge,” the wise woman suggested in an oily voice.

“Justice,” the princess snapped.

Marat conceded the point with a toss of her head and spread her hands placating.

“How do you know…?” Elizabeth began.

“The one you seek is four leagues east from here, between the Eerie and Hell Point,” Marat broke in.

“I don’t seek anyone, I…” the princess blustered.

“You will know it when you see it,” Marta shrugged, “Pay me what you think it worth when you next see me.” With that the woman turned to go deeper into her little empire.

Elizabeth regained her horse and contemplated half a day’s ride deeper into the forest. What else could she do now? It also troubled her that Marta seemed to know what she was seeking. If she had any sense she would ride home and forget the indignities she had suffered. This was magic now and dangerous. She sighed and kicked her horse into life.

To be continued



3 Responses to “Cometh the Krampus”

  1. Absolutely loving this one!!! Please continue….

  2. 2 bob

    Excellent start – waiting for more. Krampus knows best.

  3. 3 sailncapt

    So erotic for the King to maker her address him as “”Your Majesty “. Very good arousing beginning.


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