Previously in The Helpful Neighbour
I convinced myself that I was right. Young men today were undisciplined. They hadn’t been set boundaries. They didn’t know right from wrong. They needed to be reined in. And, when necessary they needed a damn good spanking to set them straight.
So it was with Oliver, my next door neighbour. His mother Peggy had asked for my help when her son went off the rails. I obliged. My whippy rattan cane had lain unused on top of my wardrobe for a number of years, but when I took it down it proved to be a mighty fine motivator for the lad. That and later sound over-the-knee maintenance spankings kept him on a straight and narrow path.
It worked so well that despite his mother’s and my fears he passed his A-level examinations and obtained a place at university. He decided not to go to the local one where I teach; he wanted to be away. I wasn’t surprised. My own children left home as soon as they could to make their way in the world.
I didn’t think about Oliver much after he left until one morning his mother Peggy knocked on my door. She was in some distress. I boiled the kettle, made a pot of tea and settled down to hear her tale of woe.
It was Oliver, of course. He had been at university for nearly eight months now and was living in a house he shared with other students. Late the previous night she had received an unwanted telephone call. It was the police. Oliver had been arrested with some fellow student. He was being charged with being a passenger in a stolen car. Except the police didn’t use the word “stolen.’’ In this crazy world of ours they call it “taking and driving away.” The police believed the stupid louts hadn’t intended to deprive the owner of the car permanently. I wouldn’t be too bothered about the distinction if I was the car’s owner.
What should she do? She asked the question as if she didn’t already know the answer. But, I obliged none the less. She should call the boy home and if she wished I would fetch my rattan cane from upstairs and put it across his backside with some vigour.
“Oh, no,” she said.
I was staggered. She had said to me many times in the past that my disciplinary regime had saved her son. He wouldn’t be at university today with the prospect of a fine career ahead of him if it hadn’t been for a liberal use of corporal punishment.
But I had misunderstood. When she said “No” she meant he should not be called home. It would disrupt his studies. She didn’t want that. Would I, she asked, with that pleading look in her eyes that I could never resist, would I please go to the university and deal with him there?
The university was no more than an hour’s drive away. Oliver could have returned home, taken his thrashing, and returned to his housemates inside an evening. But, I didn’t argue the point.
That was how the following evening I found myself in Brocklehurst, a growing town on the south coast of England. The university was one of the new ones. Until recently it had been a technical college and now it was a university. That’s what mass higher education does for you. Oliver was doing a degree in Sport Studies. Sport Studies? What kind of a Mickey Mouse course was that?
Mind you, I shouldn’t complain too much. My own university is pretty bog standard; but Sport Studies? Even we don’t stoop to that.
Oliver’s house was a run-down terrace in one of the older districts of the town. It was the kind of area where unscrupulous landlords charged young people to live in accommodation that older, wiser, people would never do.
Oliver had been told to expect me. He was in no doubt that before I left he would have a very sore backside indeed. I knew he lived with other students and the chances were that they also would be at home. That wasn’t my problem. I would take Oliver to his bedroom, take the skin of his buttocks with my taws and then leave. It was none of my business if his friends were around to witness the spectacle.
I rang the doorbell and to my surprise it was opened by a young man who I took to be of West Indian heritage. His huge dreadlocks down to his shoulders was the giveaway. The usual racial stereotypes flew through my mind, but the moment he opened his mouth to say, “Good evening, you must be Oliver’s guest,” I could tell he was as English as the rest of us.
I wasn’t sure that “Oliver’s guest” was the best way to describe me, but I suppose the nineteen-year-old had to explain my presence away somehow.
The boy, whose name I later discovered was Errol, led me into a sitting room. It was untidy in the way that only student homes can be. I didn’t even try to count the number of discarded take-away boxes and empty beer cans that littered the place.
I heard the footfalls outside the room. It was Oliver making his way down the stairs. He entered the room. He and Errol exchanged meaningful glances. That was when I realised that the purpose of my visit was no secret. I expected Errol to discreetly withdraw at that point to leave his friend to his fate. But, instead he showed no sign of doing so. Nor, it seemed to me, did Oliver want him to go.
I felt my own cheeks colour up. I was more embarrassed by the situation than either of the two university students standing in front of me. Was I supposed to deliver my speech of reprimand to Oliver in front of an audience. And what about the punishment I intended to inflict. Had Errol been invited to watch?
The silence was awesome. We couldn’t meet each other’s eyes. Oliver shuffled from one foot to the other. Errol stood erect, like a statue. Eventually, Errol spoke up. It seemed he too had prepared a speech. What he said astonished me. Truly.
This is the drift of what Errol said. It was his fault. It had been his idea to take the car. Oliver was only a passenger. They had both been drunk. If it wasn’t for Errol none of it would have happened.
Then, he concluded, “If Oliver is to get a spanking. I should too.”
I don’t know if my jaw actually dropped, but it should have. Yes, I thought, you deserve to have the skin taken off your backside. You shouldn’t be able to sit down for a month. Drink-driving! Someone could have been killed. I would have been delighted to whip the kid into the middle of next week but I knew it couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to live with the scandal if word got out. The police could be involved. Magistrates. I could lose my job.
So, reluctantly, I said, “No Errol. It is your father’s job to punish you, not mine.”
“But you’re not Oliver’s father,” he shot back at me.
I hadn’t been expecting an argument. “No, but I have Oliver’s mother’s permission to spank him.”
I might have imagined it, but the lad looked crestfallen. “But,” I blurted, without really thinking about it, “If Oliver thinks you deserve to get the same as him, he should be the one to spank you.”
The two boys exchanged looks. No words were spoken but they seemed to be weighing up the idea. Then, Oliver glanced at the door. It was an instruction for Errol to leave.
Alone with Oliver, I went through the prepared speech. It was standard fare. Stupid, thoughtless, dangerous, criminal record, hurting future job prospects. I gave him the works.
He knew, and I knew what would come next. I opened a plastic carrier bag I had brought with me and withdrew an old worn leather taws. It had the manufacturer’s name G. W. Dick & Son Lochgelly stamped into its side. It was an authentic taws as previously used in a Scottish school. At least that’s what it said on the eBay site where I bought it.
It was nearly two feet long and the “business end” was split into three tails. It was about a quarter inch thick and surprisingly heavy. It had been designed to be used across the open palm of the hand, but it would also be very effective delivered across a bending backside. A bending bare backside.
Oliver watched transfixed as I gripped the taws by its handle and tapped it across my own palm. Even a slight smack hurt. The teenager could see that. I left it to his imagination to think about how sore his backside would be by the time I had finished with him.
He didn’t have to wait long to find out.
“Please take down your trousers and pants and bend across the back of that chair.” I nodded towards an old dilapidated armchair. Its back was the right height and strong enough to take Oliver’s weight.
Even though Oliver had been expecting to be thrashed he still had great difficulty in obeying my command. His hands shook as he unbuckled his belt and released the metal clasp on the waistband of his trousers. Eventually, he had them at his knees. His underpants were garish. Four different colours fought for attention. I didn’t have much time to contemplate Oliver’s fashion sense because he put his thumbs inside the waist and with the merest flick of the wrists he sent them down to meet his trousers.
He took a deep breath, made two steps towards the armchair and threw himself over its back. He was anxious to get it over with. He pushed his face into the dirty seat cushion and then interlocked his fingers and placed them on his head, rather like a naughty boy might do when sent to stand in the corner.
Behind him he spread his legs wide. I hadn’t instructed him to do this, but it had the effect of spreading his buttocks and giving me more to aim at. He closed his usually shiny blue eyes tightly shut; ready to absorb the intense pain he was expecting. His breathing was even; he was relaxed. Ready and waiting for the thrashing he knew he thoroughly deserved.
I gripped the old Lochgelly taws and stood a yard or so to Oliver’s left side. I laid the top end of the tails against his left cheek, trying to find my aim. The teenager’s buttocks tensed, it was a natural act. In my experience a boy always tenses the moment before the first lash lands.
Satisfied that I had the right spot, I lifted the leather away from his buttocks until it was at about the height of my shoulder then with a terrific forward movement I landed it across the centre of both cheeks. I was rewarded with two dark pink lines. Oliver gasped and wriggled his hips. The first stroke had hurt him; a great deal indeed.
I saw him clasp his hands together more tightly as he awaited the second lash. I wondered how he had discovered this spanking posture. I had never seen it used before. I whipped the taws down again. It fell, as I had intended, a little below the first. Now, most of his bottom was coloured dark pink and only two strokes had been delivered.
Oliver repeated his wriggling. His knees buckled and his feet slipped a little on the carpet. I did not need to rebuke him because he immediately steadied himself and ensured his backside was once again in the perfect position to receive punishment.
I paused while he did this and heard a movement in the passageway. Errol was standing outside the room, listening. He was a truly irritating young man. If only I could have him bare-arsed across the back of that armchair; I’d teach him some manners.
I aimed the taws higher, on the top of the curves, just below Oliver’s back. The loud crack of leather on bare flesh resounded around the room. I was sure Errol could hear it also in the passageway. Oliver failed to stifle a yelp. It was the first time he had made a sound. It wasn’t much of a noise, but I knew he was breaking.
The next whack landed across an already sore part of his bum. That really hurt. His yelp became a definite yell. “Wowwwwww!” he cried. Then, for the first time, I thought about the neighbours. The houses were so cheap the walls must have been paper thin. Could the people next door hear what was going on? Would they think someone was being assaulted? Would they call the police?
But, I supposed they were also students; they would be used to neighbours making noise. They probably did it themselves sometimes.
Undeterred, I lifted the leather once again and smacked it low, into the under-curves, just above the thighs. It burned deeply into his arse, with penetrating intensity. Oliver hissed. It sounded like air being released from a balloon. But otherwise he made no further sound. He was determined to take his beating like a man. With previous spankings and certainly on the first time I had caned him he had broken down quite easily. Not so this time. Perhaps he was developing a “pain threshold”. Perhaps, he didn’t want to let himself down with Errol listening in.
The boy remained obediently in position with humbleness and obedience. I slashed two cuts in quick succession, right across the centre of the bum. The tails landed on already sore spots. Oliver gave a sudden quick shudder and then clenched every muscle. Every nerve across his bottom was stretched taut waiting for the next blows.
The next swipe hit low. A little too low to be honest. Two crimson lines glowed across the back of the boy’s thighs. Oliver let out a yell like a scalded cat, shot bolt upright and clasped both hands to his burning flesh and rubbed like mad. His eyes watered.
I opened my mouth to admonish him and order him back over the chair, but before I could form a word, he repositioned himself. This time he gripped the chair cushion with all his strength. Even from where I was standing I could see his knuckles turning white with the strain.
The lines on his thighs looked mighty painful. I hadn’t intended to hit him on this spot. I had been targeting the lower part of his buttocks, but had missed my aim. I felt sorry for the boy. I had intended punishment, not torture.
I resolved to give him three more strokes and end the thrashing there. I took careful aim, much higher up his globes and struck home. Bang. Bang. Bang.
It was over. His backside had turned from a dark pink colour to scarlet. There was already signs that some of the marks were turning purple. The imprint of the taws decorated both cheeks and was especially visible at the outer edges of his buttocks. He would be sore for a considerable time. The marks would probably last for a few days, before they faded to yellow and then disappeared.
Oliver lay across the back of the armchair. His face was almost as red as his bottom and his hair was damp. He had endured one heck of a thrashing. I could hear his breathing was shallow. It seemed to me that he was allowing his body to recover to something like normality before he stood up.
Then I realised, I had not given him permission to stand. He was remaining in his submissive position until I did.
“Get up Oliver. It’s over.” I said quietly and watched as the nineteen-year-old hauled himself from across the chair. Deliberately, he did not look at me and instead busied himself with pulling up his trousers and underpants.
I packed the taws away in the plastic bag and left the room in search of tea. I found the kitchen and it was even more untidy than the living room. I boiled the kettle and poured water over a teabag. While I did this I could hear voices in the adjoining room. Errol and Oliver were in conversation, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
I was sipping my tea when Oliver appeared at the door. He seemed to have regained his composure. Certainly, his face was its usually pale hue.
“Tell mum I’m sorry,” he said. I think at the moment I loved the boy. Not sexually, but I adored the way he recognised he had behaved badly and had deserved the bare-bottomed leathering I had delivered. He would, I felt, be better behaved in future.
“No more joy-riding around in stolen cars,” I said, rinsing my mug under a running tap. I picked up my plastic bag and made my exit. My car was parked in a nearby street. I hoped it still had all four wheels intact when I got there.
I hadn’t reached the car when I had a hunch. Curiosity got the better of me. I turned on my heels and retraced my steps to Oliver’s house. When I arrived I peered through the dirty net curtains. There was Errol bent across the armchair, his trousers and pants at his ankles. Standing next to him with a wide leather belt doubled up in his hands was Oliver. I knew I should have left and returned to my car. This was an intimate moment between two friends. It did not need an audience. But, I stayed and watched Oliver flog the belt across his friend’s naked buttocks. Hard and fast.
That’s my boy, I thought. That’s my boy.
Other stories you might like
More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second