The man across the hall

The party was jumping; the music blaring, the vodka flowing, the air was thick with dope. Kenny was staggering around holding on to his friends to stay upright. The night was a success and soon everyone would get laid.

Kenny’s parents were away on holiday and as the saying goes: while the cat’s away. He wasn’t allowed to use the family apartment for a party, but as that other saying goes: what the eyes don’t see.

Kenny was vaguely aware of a hammering on the door. He was too smashed to do anything about it, but one of the boys opened the front door to see what was up. It was Mr Posner, the old man from the apartment across the hall. He didn’t seem too happy. He was protesting about something.

“Hey Kenny! He wants you!”

Mr Posner wanted the music turned down. The guys were taking the piss, he was getting nowhere.

Kenny staggered over to the door.

“Turn the music down will you. Please.” Mr Posner was trying to stay polite.

“Oh f()ck off will you,” Kenny sneered and slammed the door in his face. “That will show him, the pathetic old man,” he laughed to his friends.

They partied until dawn and then it took another hour to get everyone out of the apartment. Eventually, Kenny crashed into bed.

When he awoke, the apartment was empty and he was left alone to clear up the mess. Mum and dad were due back tomorrow and he had to make sure they never got to know about the party.

He was busy clearing up the debris and vacuuming the carpets when he was interrupted by a knock at the door.

Unsuspectingly, he opened it. “Oh!” It was Mr Posner. Kenny flushed, he couldn’t remember much about last night, but he had a vague image of the old man complaining.

“I don’t suppose your parents are at home?” Mr Posner knew the answer, but couldn’t think of an opening gambit. He was very friendly with Kenny’s parents and knew they were away on holiday; he also knew the problems they were having with Kenny.

Without being asked, he walked past Kenny into the apartment. “Good, you’re cleaning up the mess, that’s something at least.”

Kenny was irritated with the man and didn’t mind letting him know in the tone of his voice, “What do you want?”

“Don’t take that tone with me young man. You’re in enough trouble as it is.”

Trouble? What was he talking about?

“How much do you remember about last night?” It was a question with threatening undertones.

Kenny mumbled something about being “Sorry.”

But, Mr Posner wasn’t letting him off lightly. He wanted his pound of flesh from the boy, and if he got his way it was going to be a pound of flesh from his backside.

His neighbour knew much more about Kenny than the boy could ever imagine. He had the brat over a barrel and very soon he intended to have him over the back of his couch as well.

Mr Posner knew Kenny wasn’t getting on with his parents. He had been at university for two years now and things weren’t going well. He spent too much time partying, drunk or high on drugs. His studies were suffering and he might end up failing his degree. His dad had just about had enough and told him if he didn’t straighten himself out (he meant stay sober for a while and do some studying) he should move out permanently and leave his parents in peace. That would be a disaster for Kenny, there was no way he could afford to live away from home: he really had to keep on their good side.

The old man was calm and calculated as he tore into Kenny. The noise, the booze, the drugs, the sex and most of all his disgusting language were among the highlights that he would be recounting to his parents at the weekend. He didn’t say it out loud, but he knew and Kenny knew, that would be the end for him. His father would certainly say: when you return to university don’t come back.

Kenny was silent; there was nothing he could say. Everything Mr Posner said about him was true, but he didn’t feel remorse. He really didn’t care that he had upset the old man with his noise or that he swore at him. He just didn’t care. But, he did care that he would be thrown out of his parents’ home because of it.

Perhaps he could make a deal with the old man for his silence; but what? He had no money so he couldn’t offer a bribe, besides he was the kind of old sod that wouldn’t take a king’s ransom if it were offered. He probably wanted revenge; the vengeful old git.

How right Kenny was; but not in the way he thought.

Mr Posner had devised a plan. He would get his revenge and he would make Kenny suffer, but he would allow the boy to keep a roof over his head.

Still very calm and deliberate, Mr Posner said, “What you need is a damn good thrashing.”

He left the sentence dangling in the air. There was silence. Kenny had heard correctly, but that didn’t stop him saying crossly, “Do what?”

“I said you deserve a damn good thrashing and that is what you are going to get.”

Kenny’s face went deathly pale as he tried to comprehend the new information. He wants to “thrash” me. What does that mean? He wants to tie me to a tree and whip me until the skin peels off my back?

“A damn good caning.”

Kenny was still struggling to find a way to respond. He wanted to cane him, what like a schoolboy or something? Did they still have canes? Weren’t they abolished years ago?

Corporal punishment was unknown to Kenny; the schools didn’t use it and certainly it would never have occurred to his mum or dad to spank his backside when he misbehaved. A caning? This was unchartered territory for him.

Still calm, Mr Posner said, “I will give you a choice, either take a thrashing from me or I will report your behaviour to your parents.”

This stark choice woke the boy up. He summed up his situation in an instant: he had no choice. With no conviction, he said, “No way. You must be crazy.”

Mr Posner knew he was going to win this argument: he had the whip hand, so to speak.

“There will be no negotiation. Consent to your punishment and we will go across to my apartment.”

Kenny’s head whirled; how could he let this old man beat his arse? But, then again, in the circumstances, how could he not? Could he stand a thrashing? What would it be like; how many strokes would he get? God Almighty, why was he thinking like this?

Mr Posner turned his back, opened the front door and said over his shoulder, “Come with me now to my apartment.”

For Kenny, it was like an out-of-body experience. He didn’t seem to be in control, he could see himself meekly following Mr Posner across the hallway and into his own apartment.

He was led into the living room and what he saw there brought him down to Earth with a bump. There on the table was a long, thin cane. Kenny stared at it for some moments; he had never seen one before; it must have been longer than three feet and curved at the top.

Mr Posner could see the boy was fascinated. “Never seen a rattan cane before boy?”

“No,” he gulped.

“Well I shall be glad to introduce it to you.” He picked up the cane and effortlessly bent it between his two hands until it formed a perfect arc, then he swished it menacingly through the air and brought it crashing down with an almighty Whack! across the back of the leather couch.

What a satisfying sound it made, he thought and in a very few moments it will be coming down across the buttocks of this vile brat.

Kenny jumped as the cane thwacked into the leather. He considered running for his life and was just about to when the reality kicked in. There was nowhere to go; he had to stay here and let this man have his wicked way: the pervert.

Mr Posner swished the cane a few more times. “I used this on my two sons and they grew up into fine disciplined adults. What a pity your father didn’t do the same with you.”

Kenny was breathing heavily and he could feel sweat forming under his armpits; even though it was quite cool in the room.

Mr Posner could see the cane was intimidating Kenny, so he swished it some more.

“Are you ready?”

Ready? Ready for what exactly?

“Do you consent to be caned by me?”

Consent? What does the bastard mean?

“I need you to say that you agree to me punishing you.”

What the Hell?

“I have a paper here; I want you to sign it. It says that you agree that you have committed these crimes and that you consent to be beaten with a cane.”

Mr Posner had worked it out; it might not be a perfectly legal document, but if sometime in the future the boy wanted to cause trouble over it, he could always wave his piece of paper in his face.

This cannot be happening, Kenny thought. There is no way this is happening.

“Here,” Mr Posner handed him the document and a pen. His hands were shaking but Kenny managed to scrawl something, but it wasn’t really his signature.

“Come over here. Stand behind the couch,” Mr Posner guided him to a place two feet away from the couch. Kenny was shivering and tears were already forming behind his eyes.

Now, it would get tricky. Mr Posner wanted to beat the boy on his bare buttocks, but, in Kenny’s present state, he wasn’t sure he could stand it.

Should he risk it? Damn it why not. Kenny was wearing football shorts with elastic around the waist; it shouldn’t be too difficult to organise.

“Bend over the back of the couch.” Kenny stood firm. “Kenny,” he spoke gently, ‘this has to happen. It will be better for you, if you are brave. Bend over, take your beating and it will be over. I promise I will not inform your parents.”

Kenny was openly crying now, the tears started slowly, but within seconds turned to floods.

“Now, be a good boy. Bend over.”

Humiliated and gulping back his sobs, Kenny lowered himself over. It was a large couch and he had no choice but to place the palms of his hands flat on the seat cushions to steady himself. In that position, his buttocks were perfectly presented to Mr Posner.

Kenny was breathing heavily as he awaited the first stroke of the cane. But, Mr Posner was not yet ready. With no word of warning he grabbed hold of Kenny’s shorts and tugged them to his thighs; his underpants fell with them.

Before, Kenny had time to protest, the cane rose and fell twice, slashing across the boy’s tight buttocks. He screamed and was about to jump up to clutch his burning bottom, when Mr Posner shoved him in the back and forced him to return over the couch.

“You will stay in position. If you get up before I give permission, I will give you two extra strokes each time you try. Is that clear?” Kenny was sobbing uncontrollably, so Mr Posner had to assume he had got the message.

Two deep welts had already formed when the old man lashed down another two cuts a quarter of an inch below. Kenny wailed and gripped the cushions hard. His knuckles were already white.

Two more slashes and Kenny was coughing saliva over the couch. His bum looked like raw hamburger. He had never in his life experienced such agony. His bottom throbbed like mad and so did his head. He couldn’t take any more of this, he was sure he was about to faint.

Slash! Slash! Arrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhh! The shriek could be heard in neighbouring apartments and Mr Posner was pleased it was the afternoon and his neighbours were at work. Surely, if they had been at home they would now be dialling the police to report a murder in process.

Kenny desperately tried to remain in position; his legs drummed away at the carpet and his fists pounded the seat cushions. Who would have known a caning could hurt so much, no wonder they banned it in schools.

Of course, as any experienced caner could see, Mr Posner was not administering a schoolboy’s six-of-the-best; this was the most vicious thrashing he had ever delivered. To have beaten his own sons this harshly would have been unthinkable. He caned them because he loved them; he was caning Kenny because he hated him.

Twice more the cane rose and fell, Kenny’s rear end thrashed about over the couch as he desperately tried to stay in position. Every fibre of his body willed him to get up and run from the apartment; he was literally a beaten man. If he could only turn back the clock to last night, he would never have used obscene language to the old man. No better, he would never have thrown the party.

Tears, snot and saliva rolled over the cushions; Kenny was gasping for breath, his blood pressure was so high his ears were popping. If he had to endure more intense pain he felt his heart might give out.

Slash! Slash! The final two were flogged into the buttocks with such force they even scared Mr Posner. He didn’t know he had such strength. Kenny let out a scream so loud it induced a coughing fit. Unable to control his breathing he flailed around, arms waving and legs kicking.

Mr Posner panicked and he pulled the boy to his feet, pushing his head between his legs. Slowly, his breathing slowed and became more regular, but the uncontrollable sobbing went on and on.

Kenny’s arse was red hot and covered in deep red welts and bruising had already formed on the outer edges of his buttocks, where the tip of the cane repeatedly fell. Kenny was running on the spot trying to make the agony go away. Attempts to rub at his buttocks only aggravated the pain, increasing it to searing torture.

Mr Posner had seen enough, he had completed his task; revenge was his. Now, he wanted the boy out of his home.

“Come on, pull yourself together!” he snapped. Slowly, agonisingly, Kenny tried to pull up his pants, but the kiss of the thin cotton briefs on his blistered buttocks only reignited the pain.

“Leave them,” Mr Posner commanded. “Take them with you. Go now.”

He took hold of the boy’s arm and guided him to the door, opened it and pushed Kenny, naked from the waist down, into the hallway. In the distance he heard the sound of the elevator whirring.

Petrified that someone would see him in his present state; Kenny pushed open the front door and fell into his apartment. He lay feverishly on the carpet, struggling to catch his breath; he thought he was having a seizure. Then he heard a key scraping into the lock of the door; followed by the sound of it opening. He turned his aching body to see his mother and father enter the apartment; they had decided to come back from holiday a day early.

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

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