“Take down your trousers. Underwear too. Bend over the back of the armchair.”
Between his hands he flexed a long, thick and surprisingly springy cane.
Without fuss I did as instructed.
“Head lower lad. Bottom high. Feet further apart please.” Those were the last words he spoke until it was all over.
I wriggled into place. It was an ordinary armchair. In those days you could see them in any sitting room up and down the country. It must have been quite an old chair. I had a close-up view of the indent in the seat cushion and caught the faint whiff of stale sweat.
To my left an open coal fire crackled, roasting my naked flesh. A draught from under the door cooled my other side. I shivered, but I cannot be certain if this was the cold or my apprehension at the predicament I faced.
He paced the room. Naturally, I could not see him but I heard his heavy footsteps disturbing the wooden floorboards. It was quite a large room. At one end there was an ancient sideboard, ugly enough to have been Victorian. Across the wall opposite the fire were shelves filled with dusty china ornaments and sparking religious artefacts.
If I cared to lift my head from the seat cushion I would have seen ahead of me on a wall in a frame an embroidered motto that read:
GOD is the HEAD of this HOUSE
The UNSEEN guest at every meal
The SILENT listener to every
The floorboards creaked once more and I knew he was approaching me. His heavy breath confirmed this. I smelt the coal tar soap on his hand as he leant across me to take hold of the tail of my shirt. His intention was to move it away from the target area. The fashion then was for long shirts. He took his time rolling the tail up my back. Folding it once. Then twice and finally thrice. Now it was bunched up and I was naked from my shoulder blades all the way down to my ankles.
Another scrape of the floorboard informed me that he had taken a step backwards. A second squeak placed him a step or so to my left. I felt the cane touch a spot on my bared backside. My buttocks clenched. They did this of their own accord. A natural reflex action. He laid the cane across the meatiest part of my bum and then ‘sawed’ it back and forth. Only now could I feel how heavy it was. It was an awesome weapon, bigger and heavier than the one he had thrashed me with on my previous trip across the back of that armchair. I sucked down a lung-full of air. I closed my eyes tight. I shut my teeth.
He tapped the cane across the undercurves of my buttocks. I held my breath. The cane moved away. A second that felt like an hour passed. Then: Swish! Swipe! Crack! Another second passed before I felt it and Ouch! YAROOOO! My knees buckled. My hips swayed. My head butted the seat cushion.
A scarlet stripe throbbed across my backside. He had caught both cheeks equally. Already I could feel a thick welt rising (and possibly weeping) across my naked flesh. It was as if he had taken the red-hot poker from the fire and pressed it into my bottom.
Those floorboards creaked again. He paced the room, taking his time. He did not like to hurry. I think he rather enjoyed the rituals of these occasions.
I settled myself. My buttocks clenched once again. Now he sawed his horrible cane an inch or so below the line already burning into my backside. Tap. Swish! Swipe! Crack! Bingo! It landed right on the sit-spot, that most sensitive part of any lad’s backside. That cut would reignite every time I tried to sit down for days to come.
My knees buckled but this time quite involuntarily my left leg twisted around my right foot. My body was trying to stop me stomping up and down like a soldier on sentry duty. My hands gripped the seat cushion for dear life. In no time my knuckles turned white.
Creak-creak-creak. He was off on his walk again. My hair was soaked in perspiration and although I, of course, could not see, I was certain my back was equally drenched. This time he settled his cane across my bared buttocks an inch or so above that initial slash. This was on the higher peaks of my mounds. Tap-tap-tap. Once more my buttocks clenched.
I suppose my bottom was no different from any other eighteen-year-old of my social class. I was well fed and free of illnesses. I was by no means fat, but I would concede that I had a healthy plumpness about me. If I was standing my bottom would be quite full and fleshy, but when I was stretched across the back of an armchair, as now, my bum tightened considerably and hardened. Without doubt it made a terrific target.
He was making the most of it. Swish! Swipe! Crack! I almost lost my control. Now I had a blazing stripe maybe three inches wide across my bare buttocks. Three parallel cuts, each sinking some way into my meaty flesh. He was a master of his trade and no doubt about it. He landed that long, heavy springy cane with tremendous energy on the exact spot where he intended. I was at his mercy, but I knew from painful, oh so painful, experience he was not a man to show mercy. He had me where he wanted me. There was nothing I could do except submit to him.
He had made no announcement about the extent of my punishment. There was no need. It was always six strokes. At school we called it ‘six-of-the-best’. We meant the master would give us the hardest thrashing possible. And, undoubtedly he did. But, if what we received then was truly ‘the best’ that the schoolmaster could offer then I have no word to describe the ordeal I was suffering now over the back of that armchair. The strokes he delivered were by far worst than anything I had ever received: “six-of-the-worst’, I suppose.
At school we boys often debated the best way to take a thrashing. We should take it like a man, we agreed. That is offer up your backside to the master and let him get on with it and don’t make a fuss. That was easier said than done. Pain is difficult to control and the body has its own ways of dealing with it that a boy cannot regulate. Personally, I found my legs had a life of their own and they would buckle or stomp up and down and so on no matter how much my brain told them to stay put. My buttocks alternated between quivering and clenching and were hardly ever still.
We debated clenching versus not clenching. If we tried to make our bottoms harder by tightening the muscles would this give added protection? One school fellow said he had read in a medical textbook that relaxed muscles absorbed pain better than tensed. Frankly, I do not know the truth of that since my bum always clenches and as I said before I don’t seem to be able to control it.
The cane tapped across my backside once more, now he was aiming between cuts one and two. Swish! Swipe! Crack! One thing I have noticed is that there is some kind of plateau of pain reached during a beating. I mean that after maybe three or four strokes the backside is already blazing and this cannot get any worst. I think it’s like a bush fire. It starts at one point and then spreads. It might spread a long way but the fire itself does not get any hotter. So it is with the cane. The fourth cut hit flesh so far untoasted. The pain spread but it did not intensify. Does that make sense? Perhaps I’m not explaining it too well, but readers who have themselves suffered bare-bottomed canings might understand what I’m trying to say.
By the time he sliced me with cut number five (lower than the others and almost across the back of my thighs) my rear end throbbed so much it was almost numb. I had lost control of my breathing and was gulping like a fish out of water. My heartrate was off any medical scale and my eyesight was impaired by prickly tears that I fought hard to stop gushing down my face. One of the things we chaps at school all agreed on was that a fellow must not blub during a beating. Never. No matter how hard a master flogged us. If word got out that we had cried our lives would not be worth living.
Despite being almost totally disorientated by now I could still sense that he was moving behind me. He no longer stood to my left and instead had taken up a position behind me. You might describe me as a veteran of the back of the armchair and I knew precisely what his game was. Knowing what was to come did not however calm my fear. I stiffened my arms and gripped the cushion. My back arched and the muscles along my legs tightened.
He lay the cane across my bottom so that it ran along a diagonal from the lower left cheek to the top right buttock. Even as he found his aim I felt the heavy cane reignite the five stripes that pulsated across my savaged buttocks.
Tap-tap-tap. Long pause. Swish! Swipe! Crack! I did not have the strength to holler the roof off the house. I gasped. I gaped. I swallowed so hard I thought I had lost my tongue. The feet stomped up and down. The hips swivelled. I very nearly jumped to my feet (another no-no, according to us boys) so that I could rub my hands across what must surely now be bleeding buttocks. I lay across the back of the armchair heaving like a beached whale.
Floorboards squeaked. A cupboard door opened and closed.
“Stand up. Get dressed,” he said.
It was a struggle. My legs refused to obey my command. My knees appeared to be made of jelly. I held onto the back of the chair to stop me falling to the ground. There was an indent in it where the weight of my body had been.
He remained standing by the cupboard. Nonchalantly, as if we were spending pleasant time in each other’s company. If he noticed my stiff penis he did not show it. With difficulty I tucked it inside my underwear. The harsh woollen drawers scratched against my raw bottom. I desperately wanted to rub away at the pain, something else forbidden by the boys. We must never show a master he had hurt us.
At last I had my trousers in place and my shirt tucked in neatly. My breathing was once again regular and I supposed the colour was returning to my face.
“You are dismissed,” he said.
“Thank you sir,” I replied before I hobbled towards the door.
Picture credit: Kernled
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
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Charles Hamilton the Second