Mr West was in for a shock when he opened the front door to his house. Discarded on the floor was a white school shirt, obviously belonging to his eighteen-year-old son. Further inside was a green-and-yellow striped tie, this time abandoned across the back of a chair. A pair of grey trousers lay in the doorway between the hall and the living room.
What on earth was going on here? But, Mr West had a sneaking suspicion. He knew his son was untidy but he had never behaved like this.
It was the middle of the day and Richard should be at school, but instead he was at home and his clothes were scattered across the house.
Voices coming from the boy’s bedroom confirmed his suspicions. This was disgraceful, Mr West fumed, he had a girl in there. Without hesitating he marched through the house, approached the bedroom, turned the handle and threw open the door.
And there was Richard and his pal Des, dressed only in their white cotton underpants.
The boys blushed scarlet and Mr West coloured up too – with rage.
What was going on here? Mr West was speechless. He didn’t ask the obvious question: he was too afraid to hear the answer. Two eighteen year old boys in the bedroom in their underwear, in the middle of the day: you didn’t need much imagination to work out what was it was.
Sheepishly, they stood, like naughty schoolboys caught in an act of misbehaviour. What had they been doing? If he had arrived five minutes earlier what act would he have caught them in? Or maybe they hadn’t yet started and he needed to be five minutes later to discover the full horror.
Mr West found his voice, but he still didn’t ask the pertinent question. Instead, meekly, he inquired, “Why aren’t you two at school?”
Both boys stared at the carpet and shuffled their feet in embarrassment.
Mr West looked at the two lads: they could easily be mistaken for brothers. They were both not much more than five feet seven inches tall and slim. They both had the severe short-back-and-sides haircuts demanded by their school. Otherwise they were quite hairless, but Mr West could see from the bulges in the front of underpants that puberty had arrived. He tried not to notice that Richard’s pants were a little too tight, while his partner’s were slightly too large.
The boys remained silent, still blushing profusely.
Mr West didn’t know how to handle this situation. He was sure he had caught the boys committing an act of abomination.
To give him time to think, he ordered the boys to get dressed.
Five minutes later they stood miserably in the living room, dressed in the white shirts and grey trousers of their school uniform. Neither boy had bothered to put on his tie.
Richard and Des had been friends forever. Mr West knew they did everything together; but he had never thought for one second they also did this kind of thing.
He had a predicament; he had already decided to give his son a sound thrashing. He was eighteen years old. It wasn’t too late to beat the sin out of him. But, what about Des: Mr West had no jurisdiction over him. Should he send him on his way unpunished? For all he knew this boy was a devil who had seduced his own son into this act of immorality.
Mr West was not a man of the world. He could never talk to his son about sex and he had no words to express his disgust at the boy’s behaviour. He knew what the boys had been doing when he came into the house and he knew that they knew that he knew. Perhaps that was enough. Richard would know why he was being thrashed without having it spelt out to him.
“Why are you not at school?” Mr West returned to safer ground. He knew they had truanted and had been caught red-handed. Tearfully, they confessed this crime.
Mr West would use this as his excuse for a spanking but Richard would know he was really being punished for something more serious.
But what was he to do about Des? Then Mr West had an idea. The boy’s mother was a widow and she had enough to worry about without having to deal with her son’s immorality.
“Des, what would your mother say if she knew what you had been up to today?” The boy continued to stare at the floor, hoping he wasn’t really expected to answer this question.
“Don’t you think she would be ashamed?”
Still no sound from Des.
“Do you want me to tell her?”
A response at last, “Oh, no please Mr West, please don’t tell my mother.”
Mr West had hoped he would say this. Now he could put his plan in operation.
“I am going to thrash the pair of you to within an inch of your lives. And, Des I will not tell your mother.”
The boy sobbed quietly. Richard, who until now had scarlet cheeks, turned a deathly white.
Mr West removed a stout plastic Lexan-type paddle from a hook on the kitchen wall, where it was kept as a constant reminder to his sons of the penalties for misbehaviour.
“Now boys, stand behind the couch.” Unnecessarily for there was only one, Mr West pointed to a double-seated couch, furnished with dark blue cushions. It was a perfect height for eighteen-year-old boys to bend across to offer up their backsides for punishment.
Miserably, Richard and Des shuffled to the expected spot. Mr West was an expert in corporal punishment; he had a great deal of experience beating the bottoms of miscreant boys. He knew that boys hated to be thrashed, of course they did, but Mr West fervently believed they benefitted from the experience. He also believed in the ritual of corporal punishment: not for him the taking of a boy across his knee to be followed by a succession of swift slaps into his upturned bottom.
No, Mr West was a man who liked to take his time. He began with a short lecture, “I am going to beat you slowly and thoroughly with this paddle. You may cry out, but if you fail to maintain your position and present your bottom properly for me you will earn yourself additional penalty strokes.”
Richard gulped and felt sick. He had been thrashed by his father several times before, he knew what to expect: it would be agony and the bruises might last for weeks, but the ordeal would not kill him.
He wasn’t so sure his pal Des could take the thrashing so well. This was not helped by the appalled look on Des’s face. Richard knew his friend was never spanked at home but he had been beaten in school; there was hardly a boy who hadn’t, but seeing the look on his face made him realise that what was about to happen was going to be nothing short of dreadful for the boy.
With his little sermon out of the way, one by one the boys were instructed to prepare themselves.
“You first Richard. Please stand closer to the back of the couch and then take down your trousers and underpants.
Des watched mesmerized as Richard went over to the couch back. He admired how well his friend’s buttocks filled out the back of his grey worsted school trousers. He stared, his throat drying up, as Richard slowly unzipped his trousers and then pulled them down until they could fall to the floor around his ankles.
Then equally as slowly, he placed his thumbs into the waistband of his underpants and pulled them down over his slim hips, past his thighs and as far as the knees.
“Now, please lean forward and bend over the couch. Place your hands on the seat cushion and keeping your legs straight push your head down as far as it will go.”
It wasn’t too difficult to comply with the order. He was just the right height.
“Legs further apart, please.” Des’s heart skipped a beat as he saw his friend’s buttocks tighten as the flesh stretched. The bum was so small, but perfectly formed. One swat from the big Lexan paddle would easily cover both cheeks at once.
“Now, you please Des.” Richard was staring face down into the soft cushion of the couch so could not see Des make his preparations. But, he would have been proud of his friend.
Guided by Richard’s example a moment ago, he had his trousers and pants at his ankles in seconds. Then, in one move that would have delighted a professional swimmer diving into the pool, he was positioned alongside his friend, with his bared buttocks exposed to perfection for whatever Richard’s father had in store for them.
Both boys were aware of the other’s close proximity but they tried to ignore one another, instead staring ahead awaiting the first stinging swat from the plastic paddle. Richard could smell the sweet breath of his friend and recounted the taste of peppermint he had enjoyed moments before his father burst into the bedroom.
Mr West continued with his ritual, “I expect you to stay in position until I am finished. If you move I will repeat the stroke. Understood?”
Silence, except for the heavy breathing of two eighteen-year-old schoolboys about to have their bared bottoms blistered.
“Richard, do you understand?”
“Yes, Sir!” came the required response.
“Des, do you understand?”
“Yes, Sir!” said boldly. Richard was feeling very proud of his partner-in-crime.
Mr West took up position. In all the years punishing boys he had never been presented with four buttocks at the same time. Usually, he dealt with troublemaking teenagers one at a time, but for reasons he couldn’t quite articulate he thought it was most appropriate for this crime for the boys to be dealt with simultaneously.
The first swat of the paddle on Richard’s naked flesh was wickedly loud and accompanied by a pitiful: Owww!
Des shrieked loudly and was admonished by Mr West, “Shut up and take it like a man!” as the first of his swats landed and felt as if it had burned a hole through both his bum cheeks.
Both boys were screeching with pain after the third whack roasted their buttocks and enormous welts were beginning to rise. Each boy had the pattern of the Lexan emblazoned across his scorched rump.
It went on like that relentlessly until each boy had received a dozen swats. Not one inch of their exposed flesh escaped; from the top of the buttocks near the base of the spine across the poor boys” globes and into their thighs. Neither boy had much flesh in their rear end and the paddle soon raised dark blue bruises.
So it was that two eighteen-year-old friends were thrashed to “within an inch of their lives.” Perhaps, not literally so, but the flogging would have a profound effect on them, but not in the way Mr West might have wished. Instead it brought them closer together than he might have feared, even in his worst nightmare.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second