Damien sat waiting at the dining room table nursing an empty coffee mug in his hands. Waiting. Waiting for dad. Dad said he wanted “A little word.” He thought he knew what that word was. Damien was off to university for the first time that weekend. He hoped dad didn’t want to tell him about “the birds and the bees.”
Damien had lost his virginity when he was fifteen. He knew all about the bird and the bees thank you very much. He was good looking in a boy-next-door kind of way. He had an air of arrogance which made him very popular with a certain type of girl. He had no trouble getting some. He had no worries there.
Except that one time, last year. Sharon, a girl who lived two streets away had to have a termination. That suited Damien fine. He sure as hell wasn’t going to marry her and what nineteen-year-old wanted to be paying maintenance for a kid?
Dad brushed into the room, holding a steaming mug. He sat down opposite his son. He had a little speech prepared. He blew into his tea, trying to cool it, and then started. It wasn’t about sex; it was about “discipline.” Self-discipline and imposed discipline.
Damien must work hard when he got to university. Pass his exams. Do well. Graduate with a good degree. Make a success of himself. His parents were paying a small fortune to send him to university; he had better not let them down.
Damien listened quietly. His dad had a point. Damien had failed all his A-levels at school. It was his own fault, he gave up studying and spent too much time in bars and clubs. Dad paid a huge fee to send him to Brocklehurst College, a “crammer” where they coached layabouts like Damien how to pass exams. It was an extraordinary place. They made the boys wear school uniforms with short trousers. They said it would stop them absconding to the pub in the evenings. And they used corporal punishment. The cane had been abolished in schools thirty years ago, but dad made him sign a form to say he agreed to be subjected to corporal punishment. He got six-of-the-best on the first day (they said it was for all his past laziness) and had his buttocks toasted regularly for the next three months.
He would never say this to his dad, but it worked. The regime made him knuckle down to his studies. A sore bum concentrated his mind wonderfully. He passed his resit A-levels with grades good enough to get him into a half-decent university.
“So,” his dad said menacingly, “Remember I’ll be keeping an eye on you. Don’t make me have to pay you a visit.”
Damien had no time to mumble a suitable reply. His task completed, his dad picked up his mug and went to the kitchen to report his conversation to his wife.
The autumn turned to winter. First came the mid-term exams; then the grades were released; then came the text message from dad.
“I’m coming up at five this afternoon. Be in.”
Damien could blame no one but himself. Free from the constraints of home life, Damien lived the life of an undergraduate to the full. Cheap beer, parties, easy sex. He enjoyed them all. He hardly set foot in a lecture theatre.
At five o’clock on the dot, Damien heard a slight tap on the door of his room. Dad was always punctual. He pushed the porn mag he was reading under the mattress, zipped up, and opened the door. Dad was an imposing figure. He was six-two and stockily built. He towered over his son who took after his diminutive mother. In his hand he carried a Tesco plastic carrier bag.
Dad had no time for pleasantries. He was no good a small talk; never had been. He got right to the point. Five exams taken; four Fs and one D. He said it spoke of Damien’s indolence, his laziness, his idleness. Damien stood silently, listening. It was as if his dad had swallowed a thesaurus.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know what happens next.” He reached into the bag and pulled out a long black leather taws. It was a magnificent specimen, twenty-one inches long. The business end was a foot long and split into two tails. It had been lovingly crafted. Two strips of leather had been expertly joined so that is was a quarter inch thick.
Damien’s eyes saucered. He had never seen it before. It looked brand new. Dad read his son’s mind. “I bought it on e-bay,” he sneered and then as if Damien cared, he added, “It cost forty-five pounds.”
Dad held the taws by its supple handle and tapped it into the palm of his left hand. He surveyed the room, working out how he was going to do this.
The room was tiny; prison cells were built larger. A single bed took up much of the space. Dirty clothes were strewn around the floor. A wardrobe, small table and a plastic chair comprised the rest of the furniture.
“This is no good,” dad muttered. And, it wasn’t. There wasn’t enough room to swing a cat, let alone a twenty-one-inch taws.
“Is there somewhere else we can go? With more space? What about the kitchen?”
Damien’s eyes blazed. “No! Dad No!” he blurted. It had gone five, his fellow students would be finishing lectures and returning to the halls of residence. They would want cups of coffee. He didn’t want them to find him spread-eagled across the kitchen table and bare-arsed while his dad leathered the skin off his backside.
Dad’s eyes lit up. He had an idea. “I know, the television lounge. That’ll do perfectly.” He stared across at Damien who was rooted t the spot. “Come on!” dad barked and grabbed his son by the arm and pulled him through the door.
Moments later, still dragging his unwilling son, dad shouldered open the door of the television lounge. It was a big room with a large-screen plasma television in one corner and an array of mismatched chairs scattered around.
“Take that chair,” dad nodded to a straight-backed dining room chair. “Put it in the middle of the room.”
Damien was resigned to his fate. He had screwed up. Big time. Dad had warned him. He couldn’t have been clearer. Matters had to take their course.
He picked up the chair. It was heavier than it looked. He placed it to his dad’s satisfaction then stood awaiting the inevitable command.
“Take down those jeans. Pants too. Bend over the back of the chair.” Dad gently tapped the supple leather taws in his palm. Then he flexed the strap between both hands as he watched his son slowly unbuckle his belt, pop the rivet of his jeans, lower the zipper and wriggle his hips to encourage the jeans to fall his feet.
Damien paused, looked imploringly at his dad. The look said, “Please no, not the pants too,” but the nineteen-year-old idle student did not utter a word.
“Pants too, c’mon, I haven’t got all day.” Dad watched stony-faced as his son hitched his thumbs behind the elasticated waist of his bright green Calvin’s and with the merest flick of the wrist sent them down to join his jeans. He cupped his hands to cover his cock and balls.
“Don’t worry,” dad laughed. “I’ve seen them before.”
Damien flushed. His dad might have seen him naked before, but not since his tackle had arrived.
“Bend over the chair.”
Damien turned away from his father, shuffled two steps so that he was immediately behind the chair. Its back wasn’t high and he was easily able to lean forward and grasp the chair’s wooden seat.
“Step back a little. Stick your bottom out more. Keep your head down.”
There were so many instructions and Damien obeyed them all. Soon his naked posterior was perfectly positioned to receive lashes from his dad’s shiny black leather taws.
He waited. His buttocks twitched in readiness for the first painful impact. He wished dad would get on with it; people would be wanting to use the room.
Dad rested the leather strap across Damien’s left buttock. Instead of going across the boy’s buttocks from left to right and lashing each mound equally, he stood slightly in front of his son and aimed the leather across one buttock only so that it fell north to south. A thick bright red mark immediately was emblazoned across the left cheek. Then dad turned to the right cheek and repeated his stroke.
Left cheek, right cheek, left cheek right cheek. Soon both buttocks were bright red. Damien puffed air through his mouth, contorted his face, screwed up his eyes; all to help him contain the pain. He would not yelp. He was nineteen years old, probably too old to be spanked, he thought, and he wasn’t going to behave like a kid.
As dad continued leathering his son’s backside, Mo, a final-year Political Science undergraduate, scooped up his books from the library desk. He was in a hurry. He wanted to catch CNN on television. He was doing a project on Syria for extra credit and wanted to catch the latest news. He swiped his ID card at the library turnstile and hurried toward the halls of residence.
The colour of Damien’s backside had turned from red to cherry. Not one square millimetre was untouched. He held onto the wooden seat as if his life depended on it. One hand on each corner. The searing agony had numbed a little. It was as if he had reached a pain barrier. No further lash could increase his suffering.
Mo was walking at pace toward the halls. He stopped short, startled at the sight. Through the window of the television lounge he saw a young man bent across the back of an old wooden chair. His jeans were at his feet and his bright green underpants were bunched up at the shins. He couldn’t see the student’s face. But he could see his backside was deep red. Even from a distance he could see welts and blisters.
A middle-age man, sweating profusely, lashed a leather taws at incredible force into the stretched buttocks.
Confused and embarrassed, Mo hurried through the entrance of the residences. He went straight to his room. He would wait until later to watch television.
Damien’s dad wasn’t counting. Perhaps he had slashed his son fifty times, maybe it was more. Eventually, he stopped.
Damien’s eyes shone, but no tears flowed. He had allowed his father to beat him. He deserved it, there was no question of that. He didn’t like it, but he did not resent it. His father had promised him a whipping if he didn’t study hard and he had delivered on his promise.
Damien pulled his underpants up. He would inspect the damage more closely later, but his buttock cheeks felt rough, almost like leather. He zipped up his jeans. No word was spoken between father and son.
Damien shuffled back to his room, while his dad found his car and started his journey home.
Back in his room, his jeans and pants once more at his ankles, Damien pointed his bum at the mirror. His bottom looked like raw hamburger meat; it was various shades of red, with tiny cuts, some starting to seep blood. It would take some time to heal, he thought. That would put a halt to his love-making for a week or so. He didn’t want a girl to see him in this state. Mind you, he giggled to himself, with some of the girls he knew it might give them ideas.
Back in his own room Mo looked at his watch. Ten minutes had elapsed. Surely, it would be safe to return to the television lounge. He smiled as he pictured the fellow student bent over the chair getting a severe bare-arsed spanking. And, he told himself, he had thought his own father was the only one who visited campus to spank his misbehaving son.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second