I must make a confession right away. There’s not much to this story. Not by way of plot anyway, but I hope you’ll find it interesting nonetheless. It happened to me a few summers ago. That year when it was really hot for about the whole of June and July and then went a long way downhill after that until August could easily have been mistaken for November.
I was in a lot of trouble at home. I had left school when I was sixteen without a qualification to my name and (who would have thought?) I couldn’t get much of a job. I got into petty thieving; from shops and market stalls. I smoked a little weed. I stayed around at home until Mum got so fed up with me she threatened to throttle me if I didn’t move in with her brother Nigel.
Uncle Nigel had his own little business doing people’s gardens. He mowed their lawns and dug their weeds. He would prune your trees if you paid him enough. He worked the suburbs of Brocklehurst which is a small town too far from where I lived. Uncle Nigel offered to make me his assistant and put me up at his house, so all of a sudden in the wink of an eye I had a new job and a new home: a whole new life.
It started well, business was booming. We would share the work, maybe I would mow the front lawn while Uncle Nigel did the back. After not too long there was so much work, Uncle Nigel said we should split up. He would do some houses on his own and I’d do others. He told me he thought I was a good worker and he trusted me not to let him down. I was walking on air. Nobody had ever said anything like that to me before.
We had a number of customers in a posh street called The Avenue. The houses were mostly hidden behind high walls and some of them had lawns the size of football pitches (well, maybe five-a-side ones). Uncle Nigel said The Avenue would be my responsibility. I was well “made-up”. My own patch to work.
The people in The Avenue were rich. I had never been close to such large houses. And the garages! Some could take three cars, and no exaggeration. All went well with my work, but fool that I am I could never leave things alone. One afternoon I was working on one of the houses. I forget which number and I never knew the name of the owner so I’ll just call him The Man. I was in the back garden getting the mower ready when I noticed the door to the kitchen was open slightly. I couldn’t resist having a peak inside. The kitchen was enormous. Mum would have loved a place like this. There was every appliance and gadget she would ever want. I stood at the open door gaping. A counter ran through the middle of the room, it was as big as the lunch counter at Robinson’s the department store back home. Well maybe not that long, but you could have sat half a dozen people at it. I was just about to get back to work when I spotted a leather wallet on a small table. Even from a distance I could tell it was bulging. A lump came to my throat, my heart pounded. I swear my eyes watered. Maybe the palms of my hands also itched. I was out of control. Without a second’s thought I was inside the kitchen, the wallet was in my hands and I had a five pound note between my sticky fingers.
I couldn’t have timed it more badly. The kitchen door glided open and there The Man stood, open mouthed. He sized up the situation, his face darkened, his jowls wobbled. I stared at him and then looked down sheepishly at the fiver in my hands.
If I found someone in my kitchen stealing from my wallet I am pretty sure I would have leapt across the room and smashed his face in. The Man just shook his head slowly from side to side. “Stand there!” he pointed to a corner of the kitchen away from the door. “While I phone for the police.” My knees buckled. I should have legged it. The Man was too old and too fat to chase after me. I could be gone in a flash. I didn’t. I stood rooted. My mouth opened and closed but I couldn’t get the words out. I wanted to say something like: don’t do it, Uncle Nigel would kill me. Mum would never let me go home again. I’d lose my job. I’d be homeless. I said none of this. I stood meekly, my bright blue eyes pleading.
The Man pursed his lips. He stepped further into the kitchen. He leaned forward as if to get a closer look at me. He had no fear of me. I did the goldfish out of water impression again, still unable to speak.
“No,” The Man towered over me. I caught a faint aroma of coal tar soap on his body. “No,” he repeated, “not the police.” I mouthed a silent, “Thank you.” He peered closely at me. His grey eyes seemed to burn into me, as if he could read right into my soul. “No,” he said calmly, “No police, I can deal with this myself.” The way he said the word deal sent a shiver through me.
“Did you know,” he said as his eyes sized me up from the top of my head to my feet, “I was once a schoolmaster.” He stopped speaking there and his eyes narrowed. The silence was overpowering: was I supposed to say something here? I might have said, “Oh,” but I can’t remember. When it was clear I had no more to say, he continued. “I have a great deal of experience dealing with boys like you,” his lips curled into a sneer. I blinked hard, fearing where he was going with this.
If the look in his eyes was a clue, he seemed to be debating with himself in his head. “It is a great pity that I no longer possess a rattan cane,” he said aloud and lapsed into silence again. Then he said wistfully, “A sound swishing would sort this matter out.” I had never heard the term a sound swishing before, but I instinctively knew what he meant. He wanted to cane my backside like I was one of his naughty schoolboys from back in the day.
The Man’s eyes glazed. A frown covered his face. He was deep in thought again. “Ah, but maybe.” I had no idea what he was talking about, but he seemed to have made up his mind about something. He waddled from the room. This was my second chance to leg it. For the second time I stood rooted. He returned to the kitchen moments later. “Here,” he beamed, his face alight with a wide smile. In his right fist he held a large wooden brush. It was like the one Mum had at home hanging in the passageway. She used it for brushing clothes. He waved it in my face, “This will be perfect.” It was about a foot long, including the handle. The oval-shaped head was probably five inches by three. My eyes followed it as The Man waved it provocatively in my face.
“Right, boy,” he said. His tone of voice had changed. He was speaking to me like I was about thirteen years old. Once a schoolmaster, always a schoolmaster, I suppose. He was in charge. He would order me what to do and I would obey. Without question. “Stand there,” he pointed towards the centre of the room, “By the counter,” he added, in case there was any doubt what he meant. I stared at him, my mouth gaping. He wanted to spank me with that clothes brush. And to do so he needed me to meekly subject myself to his will.
In any other circumstance I could have (would have!) punched him in the face and left him kneeling in a pool of blood before calmly walking away. There was no way he could bodily force me to be spanked. Of course not; but he had no need to do that. He held all the cards; he knew who I was, he could call the police or tell Uncle Nigel. Whatever he did, I was toast. You might not believe this but my best option was to do as The Man ordered. I shuffled the few paces it needed for me to cross the kitchen to the counter.
“Drop those shorts. Underpants too.” It was a hot summer afternoon and I wore no shirt, if I did as he ordered I’d be stark naked. I didn’t speak a word, but the look on my face must have betrayed my inner thoughts. The Man tapped the brush into the palm of his left hand, “It’s not a proper spanking unless it’s on the bare,” he growled, as if delivering a perfectly rational explanation. Like it was normal for him to instruct a nineteen-year-old to strip naked before him in his kitchen.
“Shorts, underpants down,” he repeated, adding, “Bend over the counter.” My heart thumped and although I couldn’t see it I knew my face was burning scarlet. I had never been spanked in my life and the cane had been banned at school years before. Now, here I was being told to strip naked by a complete stranger. “Do you want me to do it for you?” The Man leered. He started to approach me, his hand outstretched. I froze. I guess it was like an out-of-body experience. It was as if I was looking down on us both from a high point. The Man put his fingers into the waist of my cut-off jeans and tugged me forward. The shorts fitted me snugly and had no belt. Still holding the brush in his left hand, with his right he skilfully undid the fastener at the top of my shorts and slowly unzipped me. The weight of a bunch of keys I had in a pocket sent the shorts hurtling to my feet. Seconds later he had my lemon-coloured briefs resting on top of them.
I hadn’t moved an inch. He took my left wrist in his fist and swivelled me around so I faced the counter, then he pushed me hard in the shoulder blades and I allowed myself to fall forward. Even on a hot afternoon the counter top felt cold against my naked stomach and chest. The Man pressed his hand into the small of my back. I had hardly recognised the perilous position I was in before there was a tremendous whack! and the heavy, wooden brush connected with great energy against my left buttock. Two breaths later, it pounded into my right cheek. That knocked the wind out of me, but was nothing as compared to the next eight or nine whacks he pounded at speed into my naked bottom.
My bum was ablaze. Of course, I stomped my legs up and down and I wriggled my hips and I tried to launch myself to my feet, but The Man was stronger than he looked and he had me pinned face down over the counter. I gritted my teeth determined not to cry out. Even at my age and never been spanked before I knew instinctively the code of the naughty boy through the ages: never let your master know he has hurt you.
The pain was intense and each successive spank added to it until the agony was such it felt like I had been forced to sit in a bath of boiling water. But, I don’t know, after the first fifty or so whacks I must have reached a threshold of pain, because after that no matter how many more times he pounded that brush into my bare bum I didn’t feel it, even though my backside throbbed like crazy. I lost count of how long I was face down over that cold counter but at last The Man released his grip on my shoulder.
I jumped up, hopping from foot to foot while at the same time rubbing away at my raw bum. The skin was hard and felt like leather. While I did the spanking dance I kicked my shorts and pants away. The Man ducked down, picked them up and immediately left the kitchen with them. He returned seconds later emptyhanded. He let me calm down and when he was satisfied I was okay, he said quietly, “You have still to mow the lawn. Get on with it. You’ve wasted enough time this afternoon.”
He gently pushed me towards the garden. I was completely naked, except for my shoes. “B…” I began a protest, but the steely look in his eyes spoke volumes and I shut up. He was my master. Decades of schoolmastering could do this to a person. He was in control. I could do nothing but obey. Not daring to look at The Man I took hold of the lawn mower and pushed it across the grass. The pain in my backside has eased a lot by now but my head was spinning but not enough that I didn’t hear the clicking of the camera shutter as The Man photographed my predicament for posterity.
Picture credit: Unknown
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second