When in a hole…



Dr Josephine Chandler was not especially pretty, but as a dedicated archaeologist she probably couldn’t have cared less. She had little time for make-up, new clothes or taking a brush or comb to her indifferent mop of mid brown shoulder length hair.

Today, as on most days, she wore a heavy dark blue cotton smock affair and close grey trousers with zips at the ankles to admit easy access for the donning and the undonning of her boots. Amid the large thigh pockets and an elasticated belt to hold them was her bottom, which appeared large on her skinny legs and frame, almost like some slate coloured ostrich was halfway through swallowing an apple.

For most of the time it was her bottom that was the sole visible part of her as she mostly stood in one great long hole frequently bending to observe a stone or discoloration in the soil.

“This won’t do, won’t do at all,” she muttered as she stood up and stretched her back. She eyed the adjacent unbroken ground of the rector’s garden and sighed.

She was certain that under the reverend’s grass were the outer remains of an old abbey, once part of the parish church. But the rather severe and grumpy man had only grudgingly allowed her team to excavate the glebe next to his house and his garden was definitely off limits.

Josephine sighed again and made a longing face at the virgin grass leading up to the rectory. The outer wall had to be there, it just had to be.

“What are you thinking doc?” an excited Jordy voice said from her left. Karen, her most eager assistant had just got back from sorting out the digs paltry finds and wanted to get back to some real work.

Josephine looked up, “Anything? Anything at all that we missed?”

Karen drew her mouth into a tight line of disappointment and shook her pink-tinged blonde head so that the dangle of beads at her ears rattled. The she scanned the lead archaeologist with her intense blue eyes.

“My ancestors probably burned this lot down,” she offered in pure Byker tones. Karen had once done a DNA a test and had been identified as being of Nordic stock. Not unusual in North East England and not particularly relevant in modern archaeology, but it was a fact that intrigued her.

“Probably,” Josephine sighed, she didn’t want to hear any more about Vikings just then.

“Any point in going deeper?” Karen asked.

Josephine wrapped her arms around her head and crinkled up her eyes. None at all that I can see, she thought. Then aloud she said, “Hard to say.”

Karen looked at the virgin grass leading up to the old churchman’s house and then back to her boss.

“The Rector is away for a few more days isn’t he?” Josephine said pointedly and then with a moment’s further consideration she added, “Fuck it, get the lads and cut a new trench from here right up to…” she bounded across the lawn until she was six feet shy of the house’s back door, “here.”


The Reverend John Salmon, Rector of St Bartholomew’s Church, reached his gate and yawned. It had been a long week and he was glad to arrive home early from the conference in Church House. The yelling from the back of his house and the presence of a JCB on his drive made him wince. He had almost forgotten that the archaeologist would still be around. They were looking for Alfred the Great’s abbey or was it Athelstan’s, he kept forgetting? It was pre-Conquest anyway and small they said. Not like the great monasteries that came later. He would rather read the book after they found something than get into the mucky business of digging.

His coat hung and note case put away he decided to view his roses. Maybe a small beer in the garden would be in order before any of his parishioners knew he was back? He was still pouring his glass as he strolled to the French windows and stopped. His lawn, it was… instead of grass there was a bottom sticking up out of a hole.

“What the blazes?” he gaped and burst through the glass doors onto the patio. “You there, what is the meaning of this?”

Josephine stood up and wiped her brow. “Reverend?” she gasped, “I thought…”

“I said you could excavate the glebe land, not my garden,” John Salmon wailed.

“But we found it,” Josephine said, she grinned. She had found it, nothing else mattered.

“What on Earth?” the Rector shook his head in disbelief.

“The abbey walls, they are here, or at least some of them,” Josephine explained, “A gate house at least, I think maybe the main body is under your house. I thought some of your stone walls looked hand cut. They reused the rubble you see.”

“My house?” John gaped, “But look at my garden.”

“Now you mustn’t get in the way of history reverend,” Josephine grinned and in a faux stern gesture she pointed at him with her trowel.

“In the way of…” the Rector stood in disbelief.

Josephine rolled her eyes and sighed. Then handing the Rector her trowel she clambered out of the hole, certain that once she had explained the man would be impressed.

John Salmon took the foot long flat metal implement like it was a snake and glared.

“Now I know…” Josephine began and drew up herself up to deliver a lecture.

Looking down on the relatively diminutive archaeologist the rather tall churchman frowned. He knew a thing or two about lectures, especially the moral kind.

“Dr Chandler,” he began, cutting her off before she had begun, “Where do you get off digging up my garden without permission. Who the hell do you think you are? You are behaving like a six form brat and if you think…”

“How dare you? I have three degrees,” Josephine blurted. “If you think…”

“Dr Chandler,” the Rector bellowed, “I am the injured party here. I have never…” then he realised that he was still holding the trowel and he had an idea. He took a deep breath and put on his most authoritative face. “Tell me Dr Chandler, have you ever had a good spanking?”

Josephine gaped. “I… you do know I am 36?”

“Dr Chandler, and I am 54, quite old enough to be your father, but that wasn’t my question,” John Salmon sighed.

“If you think I am going to be brow beaten by patriarchal authority…” Josephine snarled.

“It wasn’t your brow was going to beat,” the Rector replied.

Josephine opened her mouth to reply and then closed it again. “Look,” she tried again.

“No, you look,” John Salmon snapped and in a moment he had gathered himself to sit on one of his lawn chairs and had hauled the emotionally overwhelmed archaeologist across his lap. “This will serve,” he chuckled and hefted the trowel.

“Don’t you dare,” Josephine squealed.

John Salmon dared. With a flourish and a heavy hand he swatted Josephine’s upturned rump with a stinging impact and when she yelped he spanked her again.

“You…” Josephine growled angrily in a low gravel voice.

“Yes me,” John snorted and spanked her again.

“Ow, Jeez, please…” the woman babbled.

“Stings?” he asked politely.

“Hmmmm,” she snarled and tried to twist away. “If I ever…”

“Yes,” he said and swatted her hard.

“Bastard, you can’t spank me like this,” she yelled.

“No, I suppose you are right,” John conceded, then with tug of his thumb he yanked down her trousers, careless that her underwear came down with them so that her bottom was suddenly bare. “This works better.”

“Reverend,” she shrieked and her already red face took on a deeper hue to match her bottom.

“I think you have deserved this and it will be my sad duty to spank you silly, as my aunt was fond of saying, ‘until you can’t sit down for a week.’ A silly saying, as I suspect you will be right as rain in two or three days,” he chuckled.

“Reverend, Reverend,” Josephine proffered in an altered tone.

“Dr Chandler,” John said and set about spanking her at a pace with a series of rapid swats to her bare bottom.

“God, oh God, oh God,” she yelled, her voice thickening and becoming damp with the first sniff.

“Taking the Lord’s name in vain,” he chided, “Or were you giving thanks?”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she wailed woefully as her eyes pooled and she felt her face screw up.

“Why pray tell?” he asked.

“I got carried away,” she said miserably.

“Indeed, and now I for that spanking,” the Rector chuckled.

“Oh God,” she groaned.

The spanking was a burner and lasted another 10 minutes until she was a broken sobbing mess.

“I have a good mind to set you in the corner,” John sighed as he finally set her on her feet.

Josephine danced around grabbing her hot bottom, studiously avoiding saying anything that might provoke him further.

The Rector smiled and handed her the trowel. “Now shall I get a lawyer and you get yours and we can sue each other; or shall I just run and fetch a constable?”

Josephine glowered at him and blew heavily through her lips as she pulled up her trousers and knickers. “Give me three days and we will call it quits,” she growled.

He looked at the hole and snorted. “You can have the rest of your three weeks now that the hole has been dug, but cross me again and I will spank you. Next time you will stand in the corner afterwards.”

Josephine rubbed her bottom and rolled her eyes. “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it, I hope it does you good,” John smiled.

“I meant for the dig,” Josephine said in irritation, but all the same she blushed.

The Rector extended his hand.

Josephine made a rueful face and then reluctantly shook it. It was an old public school gesture and she had just surrendered.

“Good girl,” he chuckled and turned to get his beer.

“Oh Reverend,” Josephine called after him.

“Yes,” he stopped and looked back.

“In answer to your question, yes, I have had had a good spanking before,” she told him.

“And how did my efforts compare?” he asked.

“I will report back on that once I can sit down again,” she laughed.



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