My story today takes place in a typical English village, not far from London. The year is 1926, it is early summer and therefore the sun shines constantly. The Greenes are a typical middle-class family of the time. Mr Greene is a middling stockbroker and commutes to town on the 8.35 train each morning. Mrs Greene does not work. Their eldest son Roger is aged eighteen and recently completed an undistinguished career at St. Tom’s, an elite boarding school situated at the other end of the country. Their only daughter Emily is sixteen and soon to attend a secretarial college so she may be gainfully employed until her marriage. Their youngest Billy is eight years old. His unexpected arrival in the Greene family relatively late in her life is considered by Mrs Greene to be a gift from God. The family are served by a housekeeper, assisted by a maid.
There was disharmony this morning in the Greene household. Mr Greene as usual sat at the breakfast table hiding from his family behind the Morning Post newspaper. He was enjoying his second round of toast when he was disturbed by Roger.
“Father, you must do something about him! It cannot go on like this,” Roger stood in the doorway a towel hanging limply around his shoulders. There was a smear of white cream on his face. “Look what he’s done now!” the boy positively wailed.
Mr Greene ignored his son’s histrionics. Such behaviour often worked, but it would seem not this day. Roger was determined, “He swapped my shaving cream with tennis shoe polish. Look!” He thrust his chin forward and theatrically pointed to it.
His father’s silence encouraged Roger to continue. “It’s not the first time he’s played stupid pranks,” he started confidently and then trailed off. At that precise moment he couldn’t recall any actual pranks Billy had committed, but he felt sure there must be many. Thankfully for him he remembered some of Billy’s other misdeeds. “He smashed the conservatory window with a tomahawk. Did you hear what he did to Mrs Mulholland’s cat. He dressed it up as a pirate.”
Mr Greene had heard enough. “Enough!” he snapped. He did not like his early morning rituals to be disturbed. Roger was not to be silenced. “You know what you should do,” Roger wiped the cream from his face with his towel, “You should give him a jolly good spanking, that’s what you should do.”
Mr Greene’s face darkened. He sighed and carefully folded his newspaper and dramatically threw it down on the table. Roger hesitated. He knew better than to incur his father’s wrath. “This cannot go on father, it just can’t. Look at me,” Roger sniffled as he turned on his heels and stormed off back to his room.
The maid appeared and began clearing away the breakfast things. Mr Greene took the newspaper under his arm and went into the hall in search of his hat. He was relieved to find it where he had left it the previous evening. This time Billy had not used it in a game of pirates. Quietly, Mr Greene left the house for the five minute stroll to the station, pleased to be away from the madhouse for a few hours.
It was two days later that Roger discovered his favourite tennis racquet was missing. William had taken it without permission to use in some confounded game involving an attack on an imaginary castle somewhere (of all places) in the Scottish Highlands. When Roger eventually reclaimed the racquet two of its strings were broken.
Roger was a boy whose character had been forged by his social class. His father had spent a small fortune for him to receive an education suited to the son of an English gentleman. If he had learned one thing at St. Tom’s it was that senior boys ruled the juniors. It might be said that they dominated them if not with a rod of iron than at least a rod of rattan. If Billy behaved that way at St. Tom’s he should soon find himself in the prefect’s room, aesthetically bent over a hard wooden chair while a senior boy twice his size lashed six strokes into his stretched bottom. He’d be jolly lucky if his short trousers were not bunched at his ankles while this went on.
One day, like father and brother, Billy would be sent away to St. Tom’s. They would teach him some manners, Roger knew. In fact, he decided it would benefit his little brother if he learnt today that actions had consequences. Roger’s father kept no cane in the house (unlike many in the village who did) but his mother had a rather fine hairbrush with a heavy head made of ebony. Roger put this to good use.
Billy was his mummy’s little boy and Roger’s action was soon reported. Later that evening upon his return from the tennis club the maid delivered a message. “Report to your father in the drawing room.”
They say an Englishman’s home is his castle. The English man might deceive himself of this. As any family man knows it is the English woman who rules. Mrs Greene’s outrage was palpable. “How could he?” she intoned, “To little Billy.” Since Mr Greene had no newspaper handy to hide behind he was required to take the fall force of his wife’s anger. “What are you going to do about it?”
Mr Greene knew what he would like to do, but he did not share his thoughts with Mrs Greene. Billy was a terror and his wife allowed him to run wild. Even so, it was not Roger’s place to punish the boy. Indeed, something would have to be done. Even if justice was not particularly served well by it.
So it was that Roger attended his father’s summons in the drawing room. The room was mostly considered out-of-bounds to the Greene children. It was a sanctuary for the adults. It was a well furnished room with plump armchairs and a traditional leather Chesterfield couch. A fire (lit despite the warm weather) dominated one wall and french windows led into the garden. There was a glass-fronted bookcase hiding dusty volumes by Dickens and Thackeray. Mr Greene sat in one of the armchairs, his pipe rested on a small table nearby. A copy of the Evening Star was on his knee.
“You wanted to see me father,” Roger spoke nervously. He had never been summoned before. His father looked imperious in these surroundings and Roger felt underdressed in his tennis shorts and white jumper. Carefully, Mr Greene folded his newspaper, he was obsessed with neatness.
“Your mother tells me,” he began and recounted the conversation with Mrs Greene. He spoke quietly and calmly although inside he struggled to control his anger. “Damn stupid boy,” he thought, “Why can’t he leave well alone?”
Roger stood a little embarrassed. It felt like he was in his housemaster’s study getting a wigging for some misdemeanour committed during prep. Once his father had finished jawing him, Roger said, “I thought he deserved it.”
The explosion of anger frightened him. Mr Greene could contain himself no longer. “You thought! You thought!” he roared. “It wasn’t your place to think!” He half raised from the chair, Roger retreated, fearing his father was about to strike him with his fist. Mr Greene slumped back. “I make the decisions in this house,” he wheezed, gasping to catch his breath, “And don’t you forget that.” He pointed his index finger threateningly.
Roger hovered a safe distance from his father. His own heart was racing and he felt certain his face blushed scarlet. He had never seen his father so angry. He hopped from foot to foot uncertain what he was supposed to say or do. He soon discovered his father was in charge.
“I won’t have it Roger. Not in my house. I decide the rules. I decide the punishments.” As he spoke he slowly raised himself from the armchair so that he now stood face to face with his son. The eighteen-year-old was an inch or two shorter than Mr Greene. The boy had a clear complexion, fair (almost blond) hair and bright hazel eyes. He took after his mother. Mr Greene in contrast was stocky with dark hair, greying at the temples. It was slicked down with oil. As befitting a moderately successful stockbroker his waist had thickened in recent years and his number of chins had doubled. He was an imposing figure and Roger recoiled.
“Won’t have it,” Mr Greene repeated softly, as if speaking to himself. He moved slowly across the room and Roger nervously watched him. He halted by a small occasional table. Roger caught his breath, then bit down on his bottom lip. His father picked up the heavy wooden hairbrush, the very same that Roger had borrowed from his mother.
People who knew him would not immediately call Roger a bright boy; indeed he could be exceedingly dim-witted at times. That said, he understood immediately his father’s intentions. Mr Greene gripped the hairbrush in his right fist and brandished it at Roger. “Won’t have it,” he said again and shook his head making his chins and jowls wobble. He squinted around the room as if noticing it for the first time. His eyes alighted on a wooden chair. It was part of a set that belonged with a dining room table. It was ornately carved and had a plush padded seat but no arms. It was ideal for his purposes.
It was lighter than it looked and Mr Greene had no difficulty picking it up and placing it in the middle of the room. All the time Roger stared impassively. In his mind he was transported to St. Tom’s where boys, even senior sixth-formers, routinely bent across chairs to offer up their bottoms to the ravages of the whippy cane. He fully expected that at any moment he would be assuming a similar position for his father.
The old man sat on the chair and wriggled around until he was comfortable. “Come here, Roger.” He spoke softly and pointed to a spot on the floor in front of him. Roger had been well educated, he was a little puzzled but he did as instructed. He stood in front of his father, so close he could smell the tobacco smoke on his clothes and the remains of steak-and-kidney pudding on his breath. “A little to the right please,” Mr Greene took his son’s arm and shoved him. Roger was now standing by his father’s side.
“Take down your tennis shorts and underwear and bend over my knee.” He gripped the hairbrush tightly as if there was any doubt about his intentions. An audible gasp escaped Roger’s lips. His jaw dropped. He thought about a protest, but what could he say? “Take down my shorts. And drawers. Bend over your knee. For a spanking. On the bare bottom. Like a little boy. I’m eighteen, not eight.” In truth, there was nothing Roger could say. His father was in control. It was his castle. He could require Roger to do anything he pleased and the boy had no choice (none at all) but to obey.
His face burned scarlet as with trembling hands he loosened the waist of his white, cotton tennis shorts. He hesitated before letting them fall to his knees; suddenly conscious that in a moment he would be standing in front of his father naked from the waist down with his Manhood on full display. An irritated “Bah!” exploded from his father and now fearful of further retribution for disobedience Roger unbuttoned his woollen drawers and pushed them down.
He stood, his long, thin Manhood dangling. Roger cupped his hands over it. His father looked at it with disinterest. If it embarrassed him to see his son like this he hid it well. Roger could not be so stoic. Sweat soaked the back of his shirt, his temples throbbed; he had never suffered such humiliation. “Get over,” his father gripped Roger’s left elbow and forcefully guided him so that he fell face-down over his lap. Roger who was no stranger to corporal punishment (what boy at St. Tom’s could be?) nevertheless had never been in this position. Across the knee of an older man, submissively waiting to be spanked. He spread his arms out in front of him to keep himself balanced across his father’s lap and instinctively pressed the palms of his hands into the expensive carpet. His knees were crooked and his legs dangled in the air. His head was so low he could smell the dust in the Axminster. He could not see this himself, but in such a position his bottom was now resting at an angle against his father’s right thigh, perfectly placed to be spanked with father’s hairbrush.
Mr Greene was a man of few words. Many at the stockbroker’s office in town might say he was a man of action. He didn’t talk much; he just got on with it. So it was that evening. Satisfied that the boy was submissive, Mr Greene took hold of Roger’s tennis shirt and pushed it further up his back and away from the target area. He wrapped his own left arm around Roger’s waist to make sure he wouldn’t topple. Then, he raised the heavy ebony hairbrush and tanned the boy’s backside. Good and hard.
The head of the brush was oval shaped and relatively large, especially when compared to Roger’s small, tight cheeks. He played a lot of tennis and his buttock and leg muscles were athletically honed. Many of the girls (and one or two of the men also) at the club greatly admired Roger’s bottom. Mr Greene’s hairbrush quickly turned the creamy-white, hairless cheeks a delightful shade of rosy pink. They glowed after the first dozen or so spanks. They glistened with perspiration. Roger who had developed a high threshold of pain at school remained mostly silent. Audible gasps were heard when Mr Greene pounded the brush into the backs of Roger’s naked thighs. The boys legs whirled and flailed: it was the body’s natural reaction to all the pain.
The dark pink was complemented by blotches of purple. There was little flesh on Roger’s backside to absorb the constant battering. Mr Greene was encouraged in his efforts by the patterns of the brush’s oval head that were repeated over and over across his bottom. They were particularly visible across the thighs.
Mr Greene had not set a stopwatch; he did not know for how long he spanked his irritating son. Nor did he count the number of wallops he delivered. He only stopped when it was clear that not a single square inch of the boy’s bum and thighs had been left un-scorched. He had to stop then; he simply had nowhere else to go. He hammered home another six whacks for good luck and released his arm from the boy’s waist. Roger lay face down gulping for air, his legs had stopped kicking. He resembled a beached dolphin. He stared down at the carpet waiting for his heart to calm down. His bum felt like his father had forced him to sit in the open fire.
“Stand up.” As soon as Roger was on his feet his father walked across the room to return the brush to the table. He deliberately kept his back turned to his son; he was not a cruel man, he suspected the boy would want to rub away at his aching cheeks. When he turned back Roger was once again dressed in his shorts.
“You should go now,” he told his son. Roger nodded his agreement. He was a thoroughly beaten young man. The pain in his backside was excruciating. And more than that, he had been totally humiliated. He shuffled toward the door. When he reached it, he tuned to face his father again. He had forgotten his manners. “Thank you father,” he croaked. His father nodded, embarrassed. Roger was about the depart when over his father’s shoulder and through the french windows he spotted young Billy wearing a pirate’s hat and carrying a wooden cutlass. Billy stared at Roger. Never in the history of the whole world could a boy have sported such a broad, cheeky grin.
Picture credit: Cassell’s Saturday Journal
Other stories you might like
More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second