Colonel Wolstenholme’s three chins rested on his chest. He had dined rather too well and the hall was hot. Speaker after speaker droned on and on.
He had to keep awake. It was his duty; he was a judge in the Brocklehurst Young Conservatives’ public-speaking competition.
The final entrant was on the platform. Tom Wheeler was speaking in favour of corporal punishment. The colonel’s ears pricked up. Sound fellow, he thought. Of course, we should retain the cane. There would be anarchy without it.
Colonel Wolstenholme peered at the eighteen-year-old through drooping eyelids. Corporal punishment was necessary to remind youngsters that they were not yet adults. Rules were to be obeyed. The confident young man emphasised each word by smashing the fist of his right hand into the palm of his left.
Wheeler was warming to his theme. “Humility,” he said. “Boys and young men must show humility. They must learn to present themselves submissively to their elders and betters.”
A loud, enthusiastic round of applause startled the colonel awake. Wheeler had finished. The contest was at an end. The boy had won.
Two days later, unexpectedly, the Colonel saw Wheeler again. Wolstenholme was wearing his hat as Conservative Association Chairman. Wheeler was Treasurer of the Brocklehurst Young Conservatives and responsible for keeping the financial books.
“They are a complete mess,” Colonel Wolstenholme berated Wheeler. “I have never in my life seen such a poor set of records.”
Wheeler blushed to his roots.
Wolstenholme snarled as he turned page after page of the ledger. Entries were missing, receipts lost and money unaccounted for. Who knew? Maybe the boy had embezzled funds; the Colonel could not be sure.
“Bah! Hopeless! Pathetic!” the enraged Colonel could not speak in complete sentences.
Wheeler twisted his fingers and looked down at the worn carpet beneath his feet. Everything the Colonel said was correct; he had cocked up good and proper.
“Look at me boy!” the Colonel roared. He was used to being obeyed. Without question.
Slowly, Wheeler raised his eyes from the floor. He could not look the Colonel in the eye, so instead he peered at a spot over the old man’s shoulder.
“I heard your speech on corporal punishment,” he said; slowly and deliberately. He was formulating a plan.
Wheeler’s eyes glazed. He feared he knew where this conversation was leading.
“Can you tell me why I should not beat you for this?” The Colonel pointed to the ledger on the desk.
Wheeler’s eyes followed the Colonel’s pudgy hand. His heart raced and his breathing was uneven. After all he had said to win the public-speaking contest there could be only one answer.
“No, Sir,” he croaked. All the salvia seemed to have drained from his mouth.
“Mwmmm!” Colonel Wolstenholme exploded. It was a guttural sound. It meant nothing; but it also meant everything.
Slowly the Colonel’s eyes surveyed the room. It was a small sparse office containing a laminated-topped table, some plastic chairs and a cupboard with shelves. Nowhere could he see a suitable implement to inflict corporal punishment on the teenager who stood before him.
He could use the palm of his hand, he supposed, across the bared-buttocks of the lanky eighteen-year-old who presently was hopping from his left foot to the right in embarrassment. No, that would not do, the Colonel was no fool. His chubby hand would make no impact on Wheeler’s tight, bony buttocks. He needed something else.
“Do you have a hairbrush, young man?”
The request startled the boy and it registered on his face.
“Or perhaps, a wooden ruler?” The Colonel was thinking fast on his feet.
A shrug of Wheeler’s shoulders was the only answer he received.
Then, Wolstenholme spotted the wide leather belt around Wheeler’s trim waist. That would do nicely. The boy would have no need of it, since his trousers would soon be at his ankles.
“Take off your belt; hand it to me.”
“Pah,” the Colonel exploded, “What was it you had said about humility?”
The Colonel was right, the report was rotten, Wheeler admitted to himself. He had been lazy and irresponsible. He could blame nobody but himself. He deserved a damn good hiding.
Not looking at the Colonel, the teenager unfastened the buckle of his belt and in one continuous movement slipped it though the loops of his trousers. Then, without waiting to be asked, he doubled it up and handed the belt to the Colonel.
His black striped trousers now hung loosely at his hips. Instinctively, he pinched the waistband and pulled them up tightly.
“Don’t concern yourself with that,” the Colonel sneered. “Drop them!”
Within seconds they made a puddle at his feet.
It had been some years since the Colonel had seen a fit young man without his trousers. Wheeler was a fine specimen. His stomach was flat and his almost hairless legs bulged muscles. The boy must be some kind of athlete, the Colonel concluded.
The front of his white Y-front underpants was full.
“Down with the pants too,” Colonel Wolstenholme ordered, and if the boy hadn’t fully understood the order, he followed up, “Right down.”
Wheeler was calm. The moment he knew he was to be beaten, he had expected this. A spanking wasn’t a real spanking unless it was delivered on the bare.
He hooked his thumbs inside the elasticated waist and with a mere flick sent them to join his trousers on top of his shoes. Modestly, he covered his private parts with his hands.
The Colonel jeered, “I’ve seen a lot more than that in my time, young man.”
He folded the wide leather belt and waved it in the direction of the table. “Put yourself over that. Flat on your stomach.”
Tom took a deep breath into his lungs, turned on his heels so that his back was now to the Colonel and in one athletic movement lowered himself onto the table. He stretched his hands in front of himself and rested his left cheek against the cold laminate. Then, he raised his bared bottom high and widened his legs by two feet. Soon, he was offering the Colonel the perfect target.
Wolstenholme held the leather strap between his hands and snapped it. A resounding Crack! echoed around the small room. Wheeler lay impassively on the table, controlling his breathing; waiting for the first lash to connect with his tight bum.
Wolstenholme ran his fingers over the belt. It was smooth and wide, but as he tested it in his hands it did not feel particularly heavy. He began investigating Tom’s buttocks with it; resting it on the apex of the boy’s naked curves. It lingered long enough to make the boy tense, then the Colonel lifted it back over his shoulder and let rip. Tom closed his eyes and strengthened his grip on the edge of the table.
A deep pink line formed as the first slash bit into the boy’s pert bottom. A second one an inch lower soon joined it. Then another. And another. Tom’s buttocks were covered in wide marks where the belt thrashed down into naked flesh.
The boy felt each stroke as it smacked against his perfectly-positioned bum; but he hardly registered a thing. The strap was too soft and his bum too hard to have much effect.
Sweat poured from Colonel Wolstenholme’s obese body. Even the slightest physical exertion left his shirt soaked. Up and down went the belt. Bang, bang, bang. Rhythmically, it pounded into the buttocks. A dozen, two dozen slaps bounced into the tough cheeks.
Tom remained stoical. His bottom was warming up and there was a slight throbbing sensation, but nothing else.
Soon, the Colonel realized his belt was too soft and the boy’s buttocks too hard. This spanking was pointless.
For the sake of form, he cracked down another twelve, covering every square inch of flesh, from the top of the mounds near the spine, across the fleshy centre and into the groove where the buttocks meet the thigh.
“Enough!” He intoned. “That will do for now. Stand up.” The Colonel’s dignity was damaged. He had intended to deliver an exemplary thrashing; but had failed.
Tom pulled himself up from the table. His bum was warm, but he could not honestly say he was in pain. He rubbed his bottom gingerly – he thought this might be expected of him – and then pulled up his pants and trousers.
The Colonel was an old soldier; he would not accept defeat so easily. He knew the difference between losing the battle and losing the war.
“Get those books in order,” he pointed to the ledger, and began to waddle towards the door.
As he gripped the door handle he turned to Tom. “I shall return in one week’s time.”
With that, he left, promising himself that he would acquire a thick crook-handled rattan cane before he next visited.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second