Duncan wheeled his bicycle up the pathway of No. 17 The Avenue. He let himself in and parked the bike in the hallway.
“Duncan!” It was his Uncle Henry and he sounded angry.
Duncan had expected this. He was twenty-two years old and in his final year at university. Things were not going well. His grades had plummeted and he had skipped a number of classes. If he didn’t buck up his ideas, he might fail his finals.
It was a woman of course. That was the distraction. She was a mere slip of a girl. Almost boyish. Most people probably wouldn’t have given her a second glance on the street or at a club. But Duncan was smitten.
“Duncan!” It was his uncle again. His anger had risen. “In here! Now.”
“Here” was the room Uncle Henry called his “study”. In fact, it was an ordinary living room, or “reception room” as the more snobbish neighbours called their version. Duncan took a deep breath, wiped the palms of his hands against the legs of his trousers and turned the handle of the door.
It was a small room, sparsely furnished. There was a small leather-topped desk in one corner, a sideboard, a single worn blue vinyl armchair and one dining-room chair. Incongruously, in another corner stood a wicker basket. And, inside were two yellow rattan school canes.
The only window in the room overlooked the back garden. A heavy green curtain was drawn across it blocking out most natural light. A single bulb in the ceiling, partly obscured by a shade, provided the only light in the gloomy room.
Duncan had been in this study before: many times. He probably knew every inch of the room. He definitely knew how this encounter with Uncle Henry would play out.
Uncle Henry launched into a prepared sermon. He read out the young man’s latest grades. “You have a C+ for one,” he intoned. “Is that better or worse than the previous grade?”
He already knew the answer and Duncan knew that he knew. Duncan also knew this little charade would have to be endured before Uncle Henry was ready for the finale.
The university student shuffled his feet in embarrassment and stared down at the plain carpet. He had been through this routine many times previously with Uncle Henry, but he never got used to it. It was like being up before the headmaster at school. And the outcome would be the same too.
Uncle Henry also knew about the skipped lectures. Duncan had no choice. He admitted the lot, he was guilty as charged. There was no mitigation he could offer, except for his relationship with Sheila and Duncan was certain Uncle Henry did not want to know about her.
Uncle Henry wasn’t Duncan’s real uncle. He wasn’t a blood relation. Henry was a middle-aged man Duncan had met during his first year at university. There had been trouble then too. Like so many eighteen year olds let loose at university, he had no self-discipline. He got drunk, took drugs and partied. It would be a miracle if he survived the first year. Then along came Uncle Henry. He took care of what Henry called the boy’s “moral welfare” and turned around the young man’s life.
Uncle Henry rose from the seat behind the desk and strode a couple of steps to cross the room. Duncan stood motionless but his eyes followed the rather squat man as he gripped the vinyl armchair and swivelled it so that its back was now facing into the room.
No words were spoken between the older and the younger man. None needed to be. They both knew what was going to happen now. This wasn’t the first time this scene had been played and it wouldn’t be the last before Duncan finally graduated with his degree.
Satisfied that the chair was in a suitable position, Uncle Henry continued his journey across the study and rested at the wicker basket. There were two rattan canes waiting in front of him. To an inexperienced observer they looked identical. Both were a little over three feet in length (not counting the curved handle) and as thick as a pencil. But closer inspection revealed one was denser than the other; it would pack a considerable punch when whipped down at speed across the haunches of the young man standing before him. And more so on this occasion, since Uncle Henry intended to thrash Duncan on his naked bottom.
Uncle Henry flexed the rod between his two hands. Despite its thickness and density, it was a wickedly whippy cane. Duncan was still rooted in front of the desk, but he observed the older man swish the stick through empty air. The student had felt the sting of that cane across his backside many times in the past, but the swoosh it made as it flew through the air still intimidated him.
“Are you ready?” It was a strange question from Uncle Henry. It sounded as if the young man had a real choice and might reasonably reply, “No, I don’t think that I am. May we postpone this beating for a month or so?”
Duncan knew better than to smart-mouth Uncle Henry. He swallowed a “Yes, Uncle” and awaited further instructions.
They came immediately. “Stand by the chair. Up close.” Duncan took a deep gulp of air into his lungs and took up position.
“Trousers down please.”
He was wearing rather unfashionable cheap clothes. They used to call them “leisure trousers” or “sweat pants.” They were mostly polyester and had elastic at the waist. Duncan pinched the waistband at his hips and guided the trousers down over his buttocks and let them rest on his thighs.
Uncle Henry wheezed, exasperated. “All the way down. Down to your feet.”
Duncan blushed scarlet. Uncle had seen his bare bum and his cock and balls numerous times, but this part of the ritual caning always embarrassed the young man.
Soon the trousers were at his feet. Duncan’s snug-fitting canary yellow briefs did little to disguise the size of his private parts. His penis was still soft but it bulged against the tight cotton as if struggling to escape the confinement of his briefs. The briefs also emphasised the flatness of Duncan’s stomach. He was a very lean boy. He never worked out at the gym but he cycled everywhere. His muscular torso and slim legs were a testimony to that.
“Pants down,” Uncle Henry waited patiently. He tapped the cane against his own right leg and watched the young man before him slide the pants over his hips and then down his tight buttocks until they rested at his knees. His cock stirred as fresh air wafted against it. It was awake, but not yet ready to crow.
Obediently, Duncan leaned forward over the back of the vinyl chair and gripped the seat cushion. It was old and worn and had the faint aroma of body perspiration. It was impossible to sit on this chair if the room was hot without leaving a puddle of perspiration behind.
Uncle Henry gripped the cane in his right hand and took up position. His preferred method of caning was to stand about three feet to the young man’s left (a cane’s length) and place the rod across the centre of the bottom, with its tip resting on the furthest cheek. Then he would withdraw the cane and arc it up before returning it at great force. That way Uncle Henry could ensure that the swipe would hit both buttocks equally. It was an effective technique and ensured the lad on the receiving end endured the most painful caning. It was method borne out of much experience.
Uncle Henry took his aim. There was the tiniest nick of a razor blade on Duncan’s crack where he had shaved that morning.
Swipe! The cane rose and fell and a pink line appeared immediately across the centre of Duncan’s buttocks. He mouthed a silent groan and screwed up his eyes. That hurt. A lot. But Duncan was no stranger to the lash of the cane. It would take much more than that to make him holler.
It was not a warm day, but perspiration already soaked the back of Uncle Henry’s shirt. His heartbeat raced and his breathing was heavy.
Swipe number two hit a fraction below the first. Duncan bunched up his fists as the pain registered first across his bum and then travelled up and down his legs. Huff, huff, huff, he wheezed.
Uncle Henry leaned over the young man. From his vantage point he could already see two deep welts had formed across the lad’s hairless cheeks. They were turning from a snowy-white to crimson. The back of Duncan’s neck was also scarlet, but when Uncle Henry leaned over further he saw the twenty-two-year-old’s face was deathly pale.
Uncle Henry stepped back and let fly with the third stroke. Duncan choked down a cry which triggered off a dry cough. Hack, hack, hack. He cleared his throat and clung on tightly to the chair’s seat and waited for the next cut to land.
Uncle Henry admired Duncan’s tolerance. He could take an almighty thrashing and show very little reaction. That didn’t mean it was not hurting the boy. It was. The agony was terrific. Sometimes it felt like the middle-aged man had pressed a hot wire into his cheeks.
Uncle Henry fondly remembered the first time he had ordered Duncan across the back of this same chair. It was six strokes for missing his curfew. It wasn’t even six-of-the-best; the strokes were lightly laid on, but Duncan roared when the first cut hit him and jumped up from the chair dancing up and down rubbing his backside furiously. What a palaver, Uncle Henry had thought. And Duncan still had his trousers and pants on.
Uncle Henry took aim again. Duncan felt the stick touch the underside of his cheeks, just where they met the thighs. “I’d better stay perfectly still,” he thought to himself. If he jumped about there was a real possibility the slash would miss his bum altogether and crash into the back of his legs. The agony would be unendurable if that happened.
Uncle Henry was an expert and he landed his stroke right on target. It was the “sit spot.” The weal that was forming across the bottom of the cheeks would be tender for some considerable time. Duncan would feel it each time he sat down, especially on a hard surface.
Number five was aimed right at the top of the cheeks, just at the base of the spine. Duncan sucked in great draughts of air. Despite his fortitude, his feet stamped up and down. That was the most painful cut yet. Sweat poured from his body. His black wavy hair was so damp it looked as if he had stepped from the shower.
“Steady boy. Keep still.” It was a kind instruction, not a barked order. Uncle Henry had a great affection for Duncan. He didn’t despise the young man. This was not a vengeance beating. The student needed the guiding hand of an older man, one more experienced in life. This caning would do Duncan the world of good. Uncle Henry knew without a shadow of doubt that was how Duncan felt too.
The sixth and final cut struck parallel to the previous five. Duncan repeated the military dance. His arse was on fire. He wanted to get up and rub away furiously at his rear end. But, he was well versed in the caning etiquette. He must first wait for permission to rise.
Uncle Henry was in no hurry. His own breathing was returning to normal and his heartrate was slowing. Quietly, he returned the cane to its place in the basket.
“All right Duncan. That’s over. Well done. You took that well. You may stand up.”
The student hauled himself to his feet. The agony was already easing, but he could not resist kneading his cheeks with some vigour. It didn’t help. But, within minutes the pain would turn to a powerful throbbing and very soon that would become a warm glow. Some of the welts were very tender and the pain would be reignited if he touched them. But, even now, only a minute or so since the beating stopped, the worst was over.
Unbidden, Duncan pulled up his briefs and trousers. He stood before Uncle Henry, his shining eyes cast down at the floor, awaiting the next move.
Uncle Henry could not look the boy in the face. He waved his hand in the general direction of the door and said, “Go to your room.”
Seconds later, Duncan stood in front of the bedroom mirror, poking his bum at the glass. There were six deep cuts, perfectly positioned parallel to one another running from the top of his buttocks to the bottom. Uncle Henry was a craftsman.
Gingerly, Duncan rubbed the palm of his right hand across the buttocks; they were still warm to the touch. His penis saluted and stood rock hard at forty-five degrees. Duncan stepped out of his trousers and briefs, kicked off his shoes, dealt with his socks and then tugged his shirt over his head. He stood completely naked.
Outside the door he heard floorboards creak. Then he knelt on the bed, spread his legs wide and buried his face in a pillow. He was ready to receive Uncle Henry.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second