Johanne stood staring down at the floor. His knees were buckling, his pulse raced. The saliva in his mouth had already drained. He could feel the heat of embarrassment in his face. He had been here many times before, but he could never get used to it.
He heard his father preparing himself. A hard wooden chair with a straight back had already been placed in the middle of the room. Now, his father was at a cabinet, opening a low cupboard. He had to stoop down to get a closer view of its contents. He had placed something there earlier in the day, ready and waiting for this moment.
He reached inside. An aroma wafted to his nostrils. A fresh, country smell. Even after so many years, the scent perked him up every time he encountered it. It felt rough in his hand, scratchy. He pulled it clear of the darkened cupboard into the daylight. It wasn’t s heavy. He had made heavier ones in the past. But, not this time. It wasn’t necessary. Not for what he had in mind.
There were about thirty twigs bound together with twine at one end to form a handle. The ‘business end’ was about eighteen inches long. Perfect, Mr Anderson, thought, even if he did say so himself.
He held the birch rod in his hand and leaving the cupboard door ajar, he took the few paces necessary to reach the chair. He settled himself down, wriggling his buttocks until he felt comfortable. He looked across at his son Johanne. How many times had he done this before? He really had no idea, it was literally countless times.
Johanne stood head bowed and fidgeting. His fair complexion now quite scarlet with embarrassment; humiliation even. Mr Anderson studied the top of his son’s head. The thick wavy blond fair hair needed cutting. Why was it so long, he pondered? He hoped some teenaged rebellion wasn’t in the air.
“Look at me.” It was a calm command. Mr Anderson did not believe in histrionics. None of his compatriots at the business he owned and ran, nor his friends (such that there were), nor his family could remember the last time he had raised his voice.
Sheepishly, Johanne lifted his eyes. They were pale blue and already watery. He set his jaw firmly, fighting against his quivering chin. He would not let himself down, he told himself. Absolutely not. Not so early in the proceedings.
“We know why we are here,” his father sighed, as if he was obliged to carry all the troubles of the world on his shoulders. He paused. It was Johanne’s cue to speak. The boy twisted his fingers behind his back and returned his attention to the carpet.
“Look at me, Johanne, I shan’t tell you again,” Mr Anderson bared his teeth.
“Sorry father,” sweat beaded Johanne’s heavy fringe. He wiped it with the back of his hand, alarmed at how much it trembled as he did so.
“The report from your tutor is very discouraging,” Mr Anderson breathed quietly as he recapped his son’s end of term report. “You seem not to be attending to your lessons.” His glare cut through his son like a hot knife.
There was really no “seem” about it. The kindest thing one might say about the nineteen-year-old was that he was idle. Lazy. A slacker. He was undoubtedly all of these things when it came to his studies. But, were the truth to be told, one would also have to include “dull” to the litany. That would be “dull” as in “not very bright”, “unacademic” or just downright “unclever.”
“We have spoken about your attitude and behaviour before, have we not?” It was a rhetorical question and Mr Anderson did not pause, but continued to berate his son.
Satisfied that the case against Johanne had been made, Mr Anderson skipped the part of the trial where the defence gets to speak. Instead, he proceeded straight to sentence.
“Take down your trousers and underpants and bend over my knee.” It was a cold command and one that Mr Anderson expected to be obeyed. And, there was no doubt that it would be.
The room which had been on the cool side until then, suddenly seemed to warm. Johanne’s temperature was rising rapidly. Perspiration stuck his shirt to his back, his armpits felt soaked. He rather wished he hadn’t worn a woollen pullover.
Mr Anderson shuffled his buttocks on the hard wooden chair. He gazed intently at his son as he fumbled first with the buckle of his belt and then the three buttons of his fly. It took sometime before the front of the trousers gaped open and Mr Anderson glimpsed the white cotton underpants beneath. Johanne abhorred physical activity and was no athlete, but he had the slender body of a young man. It would be some years yet before the combination of his laziness and his fondness for food would show on his waistline. For now, his stomach was flat and hairless.
Johanne allowed his grey trousers to slither down his thighs to snag at the knees. Mr Anderson eyed his son’s sparkling tight white underpants. He pondered if they were a size or two too small for him. If that was not the case, the teenager appeared to be generously endowed in the manhood department.
Johanne’s face travelled from scarlet to the colour of a good claret wine. How could he be spared the humiliation of removing his underwear in front of his father? Silently, he pleaded with his father. Non-verbal communication was not one of Mr Anderson’s strong suits. He was a man who spoke his mind. Quietly, but robustly.
He cleared his throat. “Please take down your underpants, Johanne.” When the teenager recoiled at the command, his father snarled, “Unless you should like me to remove them for you.”
Johanne’s flinch was instinctive. He took a half step backwards, steadied his nerve, hooked his thumbs into the elasticated waistband, closed his eyes, and sent the soft white cotton south to meet his trousers. Befuddled, he covered his dick and balls with his hands.
Mr Anderson grimaced. What had his son to hide? He had a cruel streak that sometimes he didn’t try to conceal. “Johanne,” he said, still speaking softly, “Please put your hands on your head.”
His son’s response, “But father,” was a mere whimper. One never argued with father. Ever. Not about anything. If the old man were ever, say, to order Johanne to run naked around town, he would do it. Not gladly, but he would do it in the knowledge that the consequence of not doing it would be awesome indeed.
He closed his eyes once more, sucked in breath and linked his fingers before placing his hands firmly on the top of his head in the classic “naughty boy” stance. Mr Anderson shuffled his buttocks once more and pursed his lips. Johanne’s dick was long and thin and his ball sack hung down by some inches. Mr Anderson was no expert in young men’s genital, but his breast swelled a little with pride at his son’s manhood.
He gripped the birchrod in his right hand and gently tapped himself on the lap with it. “Come bend over my knee.” He was a little surprised with the apparent eagerness his son showed by removing his hands from his head, stepping forward and diving across his knee.
Johanne was no novice. He settled himself quickly. His father had spread his own knees thereby offering Johanne a sizeable platform to lean across. In that position, he was able to put his arms ahead of himself and place the palms of his hands firmly into the harsh carpet.
Behind him, with his knees bent his feet hovered an inch or so from the ground. Thus positioned, his bottom was perfectly placed over his father’s right thigh to receive the administrations of the birch.
Mr Anderson too was no novice in the spanking stakes. Years of administering chastisement had taught him that often “less means more”. He was not one of those fathers who take their errant sons across the knee and then proceed to slap their bottoms a hundred times or more. Often, such “punishment” hurt dad’s hand much more than junior’s backside.
No, a couple of minutes of hard whacks with thirty birch rods tied together would impress on any young miscreant the need to mend the error of his ways. It would deliver red, raw buttocks with no pain experienced by father.
Johanne’s bottom quivered, his hole winked open and shut. His buttocks clenched, as if trying to harden like a rubber ball. All this was instinctive. Johanne was not in control, it was his backside’s natural defence mechanism taking over.
He felt his father rub the birch twigs across the entire expanse of his bottom, the twigs scratched a little, but, he knew from painful (very painful) experience that this was but a prelude to the most excruciating agony.
The birch twigs moved away from his bare flesh, there was a pause, maybe two seconds, then an almighty whooshing sound. Johanne heard the birchrods smack into his bum. He never felt a thing. And, then the most incredible burning sensation spread across the whole of his backside. He wriggled across his father’s lap. Another instinctive reaction.
The sting of the birch is like no other pain caused in corporal punishment. There are at least two types of birch. The one used in the military and the law courts in days gone by was an instrument of torture. It was heavy and wielded with such viciousness the sole intent of the whipper was to cause serious and lasting damage.
The domestic birch, if we may call it that, is something much lighter, comprising thin supple rods. The intention is not to torture, but it is to punish severely. The birchrod has about thirty twigs and once it flies through the air its business end could have a spread wide enough to connect with every square inch of the bared buttocks. Again, and again and again. The burning sensation this creates is intense, even when the birch is delivered at close quarters such as while prostrate over Mr Anderson’s knee.
The worst part of a birching, Johanne would say, was that it lasted for hours. At least it felt like that. The blows would keep coming and coming and coming, on and on and on, until he wondered, if it would ever end.
Eventually, of course, the birching would end, but not until every square inch of bared flesh was scorched with scarlet welts. From the top of the buttocks where the curves meet the spine, across the fleshly mounds and into the under-curves where the bum meets the thighs. Sometimes, if Johanne was unable to control his wriggling and writhing and his father missed his aim, the birch rods might take some skin off the thighs themselves. When that happened, Johanne could be sure, he wouldn’t be able to sit down comfortably for many days to follow.
Even without the miss-hits, the buttocks would be alive and raw for at least twenty-four hours. The marks would last for several days, though some of the worst ones would be around for a week or more.
A birching was best avoided; but it made one wonder why Johanne never seemed to learn his lesson. You could bet your house that very soon he would once again be across his father’s knees, trousers and pants at the ankles, getting his bare buttocks roasted. What is it about that boy?
Picture credit: C of Sweden
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second