The Dean’s list

new story 2

zused paddle jeans touch toes american school

Bruce is standing with his nose centimetres from the wall. The smell of damp plaster is cloying. He thinks he is about to sneeze. The passageway is hot and humid. The mid-afternoon sun blazes but none of the windows are open. They have been stuck closed for years: no budget for maintenance Bruce stares dead ahead as instructed. To his right two other students stand obediently. To his left are a further three. All stand in silence. All Bruce can hear is rhythmic breathing. No one dares speak. All afraid of breaking more rules.

Bruce was the third to arrive. All were summoned to attend at three o’clock sharp and don’t dare be late. All arrived early. Some earlier than others. None knew that the rule was first to arrive, first to be dealt with. Bruce feels under dressed. He is in blue jeans and green t-shirt. Both of the two ahead of him in the queue are in smart business suits. The others are in smart trousers. All wear neck ties. One wears a blazer. Bruce thinks he looks like a schoolboy. Now he thinks about it, less than six months ago he was.

The heavy oak door at the end of the passageway opens. Nobody turns his head, but they all sense what is happening. A tall, thin teenager shuffles out. His face soaked in perspiration, eyes dampened by tears. His neck is scarlet. He hesitates slightly, whispers to the boy at the head of the line and then darts down the passageway, both hands clutching the seat of his trousers. The air is thick with expectation. Still nobody speaks. The boy at the head of the queue fastens the button of his suit jacket, checks his tie and sucks in a lungful of air. With absolutely no enthusiasm he knocks on the door. The boy catches the faintest sound from the other side, he turns the handle and pushes against the heavy oak.

Another day at Brocklehurst University. The same ritual is played out every afternoon at 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday. Week in and week out. The Dean of Discipline likes to spend Friday afternoons at the golf club so he brings forward the line-up to one o’clock.

This is Bruce’s first time on the Dean’s List. It is his third month at the university. It is a wonder to him he has escaped for so long. The list of rules at Brocklehurst is endless. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Be on time. Get good grades. Keep your nose clean. Don’t make waves. Or else. It’s the Dean’s List. And, that means only one thing. The door creeps open again. Another sorrowful boy limps out. “Six!” he gasps. “Bare arsed,” he says disbelievingly. “Bare arsed!” he repeats to make certain they all understand he is incredulous. “Your turn,” he nods at his companion in the suit. “Bloody hell!” He waddles down the passageway towards the staircase and freedom.

Bruce continues staring at the wall. Six. Bare arsed. He shuts his eyes. Bloody hell indeed. Corporal punishment. At university. Aged eighteen. The world is turning upside down. It started when Britain crashed out of the European Union. The government collapsed. The opposition parties were useless. There was turmoil everywhere. Food shortages. Riots on the streets. Suddenly from nowhere came the New Democratic Party to save the nation. They knew what Britain needed. A little bit of gardening. They had made that joke a lot at the time the NDP came to power. Lawn Order. Cut the grass neat and tidy. They meant law and order, of course. And they meant it too.

In the flick of an eyelid new regulations were passed. Curfews were introduced. Food was back in the shops. The immigrants were sent home. The public loved it. Especially, when the NDP went for the no-good layabout youth. That gormless politician who spoke like he had a plum in his mouth and the funny double-barrelled surname called, “bring back the birch for juvenile delinquents”. So, they did. And the cane at school. Before you knew it no fellow under the age of thirty was safe from corporal punishment. Students at university, apprentices in factories, office juniors and many more suffered.

Bruce has a tenuous grasp of all this history. It matters little to him. All he knows for sure is he flunked his mid-term examination. Too much time spent with his lips around a beer bottle and not enough with his nose in a book. He knows he has no one to blame but himself.

His heart is trying to pound through his ribcage. His head aches a little. Six. Bare arsed. This is unchartered territory. Like many eighteen year olds he has never been spanked before. The laws are that new. The door opens. Bruce gets a whiff of sour breath as the boy leans towards him and croaks, “Your turn.”

Bruce faces the door. His eyelids flicker. His heart races. His hand is unsteady. He raps his knuckles on the oak panel and waits for the call. His palm sweats as he turns the handle and pushes his way into the Dean of Discipline’s office. The room is large. A conference table runs almost its entire length. A heavy sideboard takes up one wall. A window – this one also jammed shut – faces him. Dean Cooper holds a tablet in his hand. He peers over the top of his spectacles at the screen. “Name?” he does not look up at Bruce. Bruce answers, his voice cracking. Dean Cooper uses his thumbs to find Bruce on his list. “Ah,” Dean Cooper says, still not looking at the student before him. “First time. I see.” He doesn’t give Bruce time to confirm this. “Stand there.” Dean Cooper speaks but does not say where it is Bruce must position himself. Bruce stands in a space between the conference table and the door. He is surprised he is so calm. He watches Dean Cooper, a short, dumpy man in his fifties, reach over to the top of the sideboard. Only now does Bruce see the dark-brown rectangular paddle that rests there.

Dean Cooper grips it in his right hand. It is about thirty centimetres long and maybe ten wide. Bruce has never seen a punishment paddle before but he knows instinctively that this one has been lovingly crafted. Twelve holes are neatly drilled in groups of two along its length. Sunlight reflects off its thick coating of varnish. “Face that way.” Dean Cooper nods towards the far wall. Bruce swivels on the balls of his feet. Any moment now, he will be ordered to bare his arse. He knows he has no choice. He must do as instructed. If he refuses punishment he will be expelled from the university. He won’t be able to get a job and he will end up in one of those camps for the young jobless that the NDP has just set up.

Bruce scrunches up his face, bracing himself for the humiliation. Bent over, arse bared to the wind, his crack and balls on full view to this oily old man. “Assume the position.” Bruce hesitates. Assume the position. What does that mean exactly? Take down your jeans? Underpants too? Dean Cooper snarls, unable to hide his irritation. He wants to get this over with. He doesn’t have all afternoon. There is a gin and tonic with his name on it waiting for him at the Three Fishers.

“Assume the position,” he repeats. Then, mindful that Bruce is a first-timer, he adds, “Bend over. Grab your ankles. Keep your knees straight.” A wave of relief washes over Bruce. Bend over. Grab your ankles. Keep your knees straight. So it isn’t to be bare-arsed at all. Almost with gratitude, Bruce leans forward. It is harder to assume the position and keep his knees straight than he thought. He feels his jeans tighten across his buttocks. He winces when Dean Cooper places the paddle across the centre of his cheeks and pats gently. Bruce stares down at the patterned rug beneath his feet. It is brown and full of dust. Absurdly, at that moment he remembers most of the cleaning staff lost their jobs recently because of cuts in budgets. The wood feels heavy as it taps across his bottom. Dean Cooper is getting his aim.

Bruce closes his eyes tight and tenses his buttocks. The paddle raises and returns, crashing into his cheeks with tremendous speed. The force knocks him forward and it takes some doing for Bruce to stop himself falling headlong onto the floor. He grips his ankles more tightly. The paddle crashes down again. It feels like Dean Cooper has pressed a hot iron into his flesh. Within seconds Dean Cooper whacks the paddle six times into Bruce’s bum. “Stand. Go.” Dean Cooper returns the paddle to the sideboard and takes hold of his tablet waiting for the next boy.

Bruce is winded. His bottom hurts. Quite a bit. But, he is not in agony. The pain is sharp at first but quickly it turns to an intense throb. Even as he prepares to leave the room, it is becoming a dull ache. It will be gone entirely by the time Bruce reaches his room and can inspect the damage.

Bruce tugs open the heavy door and pushes himself through. He is breathing heavily and he thinks his face must be either deathly pale or bright scarlet. He nods at the next boy in the line. “Good luck,” he says as he makes his leave. “It wasn’t so bad,” he thinks to himself and wonders how long it will be before he finds out what it feels like to get it on the bare.

Picture credit: Unknown

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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

You, caught smoking

new story 2

z used school corner sting

You stand in the headmaster’s study facing the wall. Hands behind your back, forehead so close it almost touches. This cannot be happening. It’s bizarre. A dream. Nobody would ever believe it if you told them.

Behind you and out of sight the headmaster makes his preparations. First he must deal with Barker. Then it will be your turn. The wall smells musty, you think there must be damp somewhere close by. That wouldn’t surprise you as a lot of the school is ancient and crumbling. That’s tradition for you.

You hear the headmaster say, “Take off your blazer Barker. Put in on my desk.” There is a pause and then he says, “Hurry up boy I haven’t got all day.” All day, you think. You wouldn’t mind if they took all day about it. You are not looking forward to this. Not at all.

You hear movement. The floorboards squeak. Barker is moving about. “Stand there boy!” the headmaster barks. He seems incapable of speaking in a normal volume. You cannot see but you do imagine what is going on behind your back. This is complete madness.

A window is open and you can hear voices of dozens of pupils returning to school from lunchbreak. There is laughter. They seem very happy. Lucky them. You take a deep breath, you shuffle your feet slightly. It is surprisingly tiring standing like this. An involuntary shudder runs through your body. The headmaster is swishing his cane. Jesus Christ. This cannot be happening.

But it is and there’s nothing you can do about it. You sniff loudly, brick dust (or whatever it is was) tickles your nostril. What a morning it has been. It started at morning break. You thought it was just a normal day. You went across the playing fields to the cricket pavilion to smoke a cigarette. Nothing unusual about that. The sixth-form have always smoked at the pav. Always. Everyone knows that. Smoking is against school rules, but come on we are eighteen years old. It’s perfectly legal for us to smoke when we’re out in the real world. The masters turn a blind eye to us.

The swishing has stopped. There is a deathly silence. Then you hear heathy breathing. You can’t tell if that’s the head or Barker. There is a loud thwack. The headmaster has swiped his cane against an armchair. You suppose he is ready for action. You grimace. You still can’t believe this. So, you went for a smoke and were puffing away like always when Mr Thompson, the mathematics master ambles by. “Smoking!” he cries. “I don’t believe it!” We are puzzled and think he’s joking. He has seen sixth-formers having fags many times before. “After all the headmaster had to say.”

The headmaster is new. He’s been at the school about two months. You know he’s a bit old-fashioned, even for this school. He has been rabbiting on about standards, endeavour and attitude. He’s spoken a lot about discipline. “You know the headmaster spoke about smoking,” Mr Thompson tells us. You know what he means. The headmaster said smoking was banned throughout the school. Yes, you agree with Mr Thompson, you heard the headmaster. But, you tell him you are a sixth-former. The rule doesn’t apply to you. “Tell that to the headmaster!” Mr Thomson fumed.

You never expected to get a call. A note was delivered to you during double English Lit. Report to the headmaster’s study at lunchtime. The lads in class ribbed you a lot. “Better wear your rugger shorts under your trousers,” Clarke said. “No point,” was Smethwick’s rejoinder, “I hear he gives it bare-arsed.” “It’s six of the best for you m’lad. Swish. Swish. Swish.” That was your so-called “best friend” Albertson.

A caning? Don’t be daft, you told them all. You’re a sixth-former. It’ll be a wigging, nothing more. Even so you weren’t looking forward to your visit to the head’s study. You became seriously concerned when you found Barker waiting in the corridor. “Smoking?” he asks you. You confirm this and he says, “It’s to be the cane. Rooster’s just been done.” Your jaw goes slack, Rooster is a senior prefect. “B..b..b..” you don’t quite know what to say. Telling him that you’re a sixth-former won’t help.

Just then the door opens. The headmaster stands on the threshold. “What’s all this chattering!” he growls. “Don’t dawdle. Come inside.” He retreats into the study leaving the door open behind him. You exchange glances with Barker. His eyes blaze. He is seriously concerned. You both stand gormlessly. “Hurry up!” the headmaster calls, his impatience is clear. You bump into each other as you both try to get through the door at the same time.

“Stand there.” The headmaster is now seated at his desk. It is an enormous block of walnut. It is almost bare and you can see it has a green leather top. There is a large rectangle of blotting paper and an ornate holder for three fountain pens. The headmaster is wearing his academic gown over a neat dark-grey business suit. His mortar-board cap is resting on a straight-backed chair nearby.

“You know why I have sent for you,” he tells you. You want to reply, No, actually I don’t. You don’t say this because you are too scared. You could tell him about being a sixth-former and eighteen years old and how sixth-formers have always used the pavilion for smoking but what would be the point? He elaborates on his opening statement. “You have been caught smoking.” You look down at your feet, You are nervous and embarrassed at the same time. The headmaster questions you both. You confirm that you do know that smoking is against the rules. You agree that you heard him say as much during school assembly.

“So,” he intones, “Not only do you break a school rule, you deliberately ignore a direct instruction from the headmaster.” It annoys you that he refers to himself in the third person, but you have to let that pass. “That,” he growls, “is intolerable.” You try to shut out the rest of his speech. You now know where this is going. You are to get the same treatment as Rooster.

When he hauls himself from his chair and moves from behind his desk you realise he has finished. You daren’t move as he strolls across the study. For the first time you notice there is a wicket basket in the corner. Standing upright inside it are five curve handled canes. Even from a distance you see they are of different lengths and thicknesses. They are various shades of yellow. The headmaster reaches into the basket and selects a cane. His lips purse as if he is thinking very hard. He bends the cane between his two hands and, obviously finding it unsatisfactory for his purposes, he puts it back. He takes a slightly darker and thicker cane and tests that. His eyes brighten. You watch him flex it. He seems happy. Then he swipes it through the air. It makes a terrific whooshing noise as it travels. His mouth curls a little at the edges.

He points the cane at you. “You boy, stand against the wall.” He swishes the cane toward a noticeboard. Your mouth dries instantly. Your body won’t allow you to move. “Quickly boy,” he swishes the cane one more time. Now, you shuffle across the study. You stand hands behind back and get as close as you can to the wall. Absurdly, you wonder whether you are meant to put your hands on your head also. Isn’t that how it’s done? You decide to wait for further instructions but none come. The headmaster is more concerned with Barker.

Floorboards squeak and you can work out that both the headmaster and Barker are moving. Your pal has removed his blazer and is standing where instructed. “Lower your trousers and bend over the chair.” The words are spoken clearly. There can be no doubt what has been said but you can’t believe it. You turn your head away from the wall and see Barker standing behind an armchair. His face is bright red. Even from a distance you can tell his eyes are welling. “Face the wall boy!” The headmaster has spotted you. “Turn around again and it’ll be extra strokes.” You turn and place your forehead against the wall.

I hear he gives it bare-arsed. You remember what Smethwick had said earlier. Your heart races and you can feel your own face glowing red hot. You have never been caned. Not even spanked. The headmaster was correct when he said discipline was lax at the school. You can’t remember anyone being caned. The floorboards squeak some more. “Head lower boy. Bottom higher.” You don’t need to be able to see, it is clear Barker is submitting to the headmaster’s instructions.

There is a strong whistle, followed by a thud, followed by a noise sounding like a banshee’s cry. “Don’t make such a fuss boy!” Your temples throb and your throat is raw. There is a second whistle and thud. This time Barker yelps. You think he sounds exactly like a hurt puppy. You know he is not taking this well. He must be in agony. The third swipe falls. Your own eyes glisten. You know you won’t be able to take it when your turn comes. You hear three more thuds and associated groans, yelps and wails. Then, “Stand up. Pull up your trousers. You boy. Turn around and take his place.”

You are in a daze. It is all too unreal. You turn your head and are startled to find Barker standing close behind you. His face is scarlet and tears wash his cheeks. His hair is standing upright, like he has just received an electric shock.

“Blazer off.” The headmaster is talking to you. “Put it there on the desk.” He gives directions with his cane. You don’t know how you manage to shrug the jacket off your shoulders, your whole body seems to be quivering. “Stand by the chair.” You shuffle. “Closer boy.” The headmaster’s voice seems a million miles away. “Take down your trousers.” You turn your head slightly toward him. Incomprehension must be etched on your face because he says, “Get on with it boy. Right down to the ankles, if you please.” Your head pounds blood rushes through your arteries to the temples. You are unsteady on your feet. You gulp in air, afraid you might faint to the floor. At last your shaking fingers cooperate with your brain and the front of your trousers are open.

Without help from you the trousers slip down your thighs and over your knees before settling in a puddle on top of your shoes. Your white Y-front underpants are a little small and hug the contours of your buttocks and cock. “That will do,” the headmaster tells you hurriedly. “Bend over the chair please.” He touches the top of the armchair with the cane for emphasis. So it’s not to be bare-arsed after all.

In terror you bend forward; your bottom, a little wobbly when you are standing tightens into a smooth curve. You cannot see this but your buttocks are presented submissively over the back of the armchair at a perfect angle. Your thigh muscles and bottom tense as you stretch your arms out to grip the armchair’s cushion at the front. You feel the headmaster lift your shirt away from your backside. This makes  you shiver; not with cold but fearful anticipation.

“Keep very still, boy and push your head right down into the cushion.” You push yourself further down into the chair, raising your bottom well up for the cane.

“Don’t forget, don’t move around too much or you will get extra strokes.”

“Yes, Sir,” your reply is muffled as your head is in the chair cushion. You are now in the required position. Legs apart, knees straight, hands gripping the seat cushion. “Brace yourself! I shall make these hurt, boy. If you move out of position, I will give you extra strokes.”

The headmaster taps your bottom with his cane as he takes aim. You are conscious of the cane patting your bottom. It disappears and then lands, followed, after a brief interval, by an overwhelming sting. “Oww! Gosh, oww!” you gasp, trying to keep your scorching bottom still after your first-ever stroke of the cane. The cane taps again and with a swoosh! it lands in the same place as the first.

“Ow! Ow!” you yelp sashaying your bottom from side to side as you try to ease the sting. It takes maximum resolve for you to remain in position. It hurts horribly. The stroke cuts across your buttocks like a knife. You swear you are bleeding. Once again the cane sizzles across your upturned rear end. You cry out between gritted teeth. Your back arches, your eyes close and your face screws up with pain. Tears are starting at the back of your eyes. You close your eyes and grit your teeth and hang on to the chair. You are aware of nothing except the pain burning like a furnace in your bottom.

Then the rod whistles through the air and lands with a heavy thwack across the lower bottom where the cheeks meet the thigh. Your buttocks rock from side to side and you wiggle your hips frantically, attempting to stop the pain. Your whole body tightens as the next stinging lash cracks across the soft mounds of your backside. You wait for the final crack which is angled across the bum, crossing about three of the others. After a half dozen strokes you are amazed that there is this much pain in the world: it doesn’t seem that anything could hurt so much.

The caning seems to go on forever, but finally you hear the floorboards creak and headmaster is walking across the study. You feel a terrific sense of relief that it is over but remain across the chair, breathing heavily and in great distress.

“Stand up boy.” You draw a deep breath and exhale slowly as your head comes up just ten or twelve inches. You take another deep breath and slowly push yourself back on your elbows and rise unsteadily up. Your legs are weak and you have to lean on the chair before you really get your balance. Tentatively at first, you touch, then carefully clasp, your raw, ravaged buttocks and standing on tiptoes begin kneading them, as though you can somehow squeeze the pain out. Tears run down your nose.

“That concludes your punishment. I hope you have learned your lesson.” Your eyes are wet and blurry, but you get your trousers back up and find your blazer. You make your way to the bogs where you stay for a few minutes until you regain some composure. You cry a bit more and your bum throbs madly. The pain is killing you. You arrive at double Geography ten minutes late, but the master does not ask for an explanation and you are glad of this.

z used school cane pants armchair (7b)

Picture credits: Sting Pictures / CP Services London

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The Choice is Yours

new story 2

z used drawing cane quelch (100)

Cuckfield stood feet slightly apart on the worn rug in front of the desk, arms clasped behind back, head bowed, trying not to notice the thick, long curve-handled cane being flexed in the hands of the headmaster.

Dr Fortescue leaned forward, his steely gaze burning a hole into the sixth-former before him. “Pah!” he excelled air through clenched teeth. “So, Cuckfield you think you are above the school. That the rules do not apply to you,” he growled. “You think you should not be treated like a child. That punishments are not for you.”

Cuckfield recoiled. Even at a distance of three paces he could smell the headmaster’s foul breath. “So, Cuckfield, you feel you should be treated like an adult.” The headmaster sneered at the word “adult.” Dr Fortescue flexed the cane some more creating a perfect arc. “Let me tell you Cuckfield adults are required to make decisions. Often harsh decisions. Often complicated decisions. Do you understand boy?”

Cuckfield breathed deeply, remained silent, unsure if he was really expected to answer the question. “Bah!” the headmaster exclaimed, his face reddening. “All right Cuckfield. Let me give you a choice. It is your decision to make. You shall choose,” the headmaster dripped sarcasm.

“Here is your choice. Look at me boy when I am speaking to you.”

Cuckfield forced his eyes from the ground and looked at the headmaster. He was a weasel of a man, his narrow eyes staring through round spectacles. His long nose and pointed chin were those of a witch. His body was gaunt, his skin grey. A tattered academic gown draped loosely from his body. His tweed suit was unbrushed. He gave off the faint aroma of coal tar soap.

His lips curled into a snarl. “Here is your choice Cuckfield. You can accept that you are a schoolboy at St Septimius and accept my authority – the school’s authority. So doing you will lower your trousers and bend across that chair.” He nodded towards an over-stuffed armchair. You will then submit yourself to a thrashing.”

The headmaster’s eyes blazed. Cuckfield’s heart thumped, he felt blood rushing to his face. “No wonder the boys call you the Tyrant Headmaster,” he thought silently. He stared at a photograph of the school rugby team on the wall a little to the left of the headmaster’s shoulder and waited for him to continue.

“You will then receive six swipes of this cane,” he pointed the rod at Cuckfield and snarled. “Six very hard cuts. Six-of-the-very-best Cuckfield.” He paused and observed the eighteen-year-old on the rug in front of him. “You will take your beating without fuss because you know you deserve to be punished. You know you have broken the rules and this is your just desserts.”

Cuckfield clenched his hands into fists. For tuppence he would sock the smug headmaster on the jaw.

“Then, Cuckfield,” Dr Fortescue intoned, once I consider you have been punished enough, you will thank me for correcting you.” He paused for effect and rather annoyed that Cuckfield remained outwardly impassive he continued. “You will shake me by the hand and thank me for beating you. I will make a note of your punishment in the book and it will be over. You will walk,” he paused again because he was about to make a little joke, “You will walk with some difficulty out of here and we shall both get on with our lives.” Another pause. “Do you understand, Cuckfield?” Still, no response from Cuckfield.

The headmaster was now visibly annoyed. “That is one choice you may make, Cuckfield. The second is that you refuse to accept just punishment. In that I case you shall be immediately suspended from school pending the next meeting of the governors when your suspension will be confirmed as expulsion. You will no longer be a member of the school. You will not be permitted to take your examinations.” He paused to allow the full import of his words to sink in, then continued. “Your records show you are an academically-gifted boy, destined for a place at university. Not any longer. You will not be qualified to go to university and thereby you will not be able to pursue the career of your choice. A life wasted, Cuckfield.”

The headmaster sighed as if he bore the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. “Think of your mother’s disappointment, the shame you will bring on your family.” He nodded his head gravely. “The shame when your fellow chaps learn you would not take your beating.”

He took a deep breath, his lecture had taken more out of him than he had expected. “Yes, Cuckfield, the choice is yours.” He growled, “But you have only thirty seconds in which to make it.”

Cuckfield’s eyes blazed – with indignation. Soon they would be aflame for an entirely different reason. The injustice of it. Why should this vile creature be allowed to treat him this way? What gave him and others like him the right to do this? His local vicar was just as bed. Was there a boy’s backside in the parish that had not been bruised at one time or another by his leather strap.

There was no argument to be had. Dr Fortescue held all the cards. He was quite right Cuckfield had no choice; no real choice. As the Americans were fond of saying it was his way or the highway. And, the highway led nowhere. Cuckfield spoke no words; he wouldn’t give the headmaster the satisfaction. He would not agree verbally that he had won once more.

Instead, he reached for the buckle of the belt that held his long pale-grey trousers aloft. They were typical of the time; tailored from heavy serge material, cut generously. Cuckfield’s fingers quivered, unable to grasp his belt buckle. His face reddened with frustration. He wanted to undo his belt with a flourish, pop the button on his waist rip open his flies and send the trousers sailing to his feet with a theatrical flourish. “There Fortescue!” was the message he desired to send, “Do your worst. See if I care!”

Instead, the prong in the buckle snagged and he pulled once, twice, three times before at last the belt was loosened. The top button was easy but the button flies resisted. How he wished the trousers had the new style zipper. Whoosh! he would be undone with the merest flick of the wrist. His theatrical intent was somewhat spoiled. At last the front of his trousers was open, the weight of the belt and the material sent them slithering down his thighs to snag at the knees. So much for his defiant flourish. He spread his legs a little and the trousers continued their journey and rested in a puddle on top of his black lace-up shoes.

His white cotton shirt was long and the tail covered his buttocks and continued half way down his thighs. Cuckfield stood, eyes still transfixed by the grimy rug beneath his trousers. He supposed it had once been coloured shades of blue, but the feet of generations of schoolboys shuffling had turned it to a dirty mush. A draft wafted across the study, originating from the unlit open fire. It breezed against his naked legs causing him an involuntarily shiver.

Dr Fortescue continued his antics with the cane. Headmasters can be ham actors and the head of St SIGS was one of the best. He flexed the whippy rattan cane. Then, he examined it carefully; with an index finger, caressing its tip and rubbing gently each of the notches that appeared every six or seven inches along its length. Finally, he peered closely at the curved handle; as if this was the first time he had set eyes on it. As school punishment canes went, this was a modest specimen. It was about thirty inches long and a little thicker than a pencil. It was a dark yellow Malacca rod, whippy and dense; eminently suitable for a senior boy, needing a lesson.

Satisfied in his mind that the cane was up to the job, Dr Fortescue swished it several times through the air. This action served no purpose at all, but it was one of those rituals beloved by schoolmasters up and down the land. One supposes it is intended to intimidate a boy. If that is the case, the little display was lost on Cuckfield. He was too angry for intimidation. His sense of injustice burned brightly. If he deemed to speak at all at that point he would probably only say, “Oh get on with it, do!”

Dr Fortescue was ready to do just that. He waved his cane towards an ugly armchair. Its leather was scuffed, the seat cushion deflated by untold numbers of visitors with heavy buttocks who had rested there. The leather on its back had been polished to a shine by cotton shirts. “Bend over.” It was a calm instruction, there was no need for histrionics, the headmaster was in charge and he knew this. The eighteen-year-old sixth-former would obey his every command.

Cuckfield was no stranger to this chair. Without further instruction he turned to face it, he was some distance off so he shuffled two paces forward. Still he would not look at the headmaster. He hesitated for a moment; behind him Dr Fortescue was pacing the room, the floorboards creaking with every step. “Come on boy,” he growled.

This was Cuckfield’s cue to reach down to the tail of his shirt and unceremoniously lift it high so that it cleared his buttocks and left a portion of his lower back naked. He left it hanging and with a single athletic movement he fell forward over the chair. He was a good height, his stomach rested comfortable on the apex of the chair’s back. He reached forward and gripped the front of the chair, his striped necktie dangled in front of his eyes but it did not obscure his close-up view of a large depression in the seat cushion.

The steady creaking of floorboards continued. Dr Fortescue was waiting for the boy to present his bottom submissively. Cuckfield’s white cotton Y-front underpants were a little too snug. The headmaster noticed this with his boys, often their blazers or trousers were a little too small; they grew so quickly. Of course, mothers compensated this by buying school uniforms that were too large so that their young ones would grow into them. So it was that schoolboys often wore clothes that did not fit them.

The smooth cotton of Cuckfield’s underpants dug into his crack and as he stretched forward they lifted and separated each cheek. He was a burly boy with square shoulders and a strong back. His waist hardly tapered into large meaty buttocks. They made a tremendous target. The headmaster ceased his pacing and slowly approached the boy, noting the fine downy hair on the teenager’s legs. His move served no practical purpose, but Dr Fortescue gently took hold of Cuckfield’s white cotton shirt and pushed it further up his back. The boy was naked from his waist to shoulders. In contrast with the legs, his torso appeared totally hairless.

He was nearly ready, but not quite. There was one last ritual. He puckered two fingers and took hold of the elasticated waist of Cuckfield’s underpants. The boy tensed, shut his eyes tight and held his breath. With three tugs they were over Cuckfield’s buttocks and down his thighs. The headmaster could have left them out of harm’s way at the knees, but instead he carefully transported them still lower until they bunched on top of his grey trousers.

The hairless buttocks twitched. Cuckfield had no control, a bottom about to be thrashed are apt to do such a thing. It is the anticipation of the agony about to come. “Legs further apart boy.” Another bluff command and again it served no practical purpose. Cuckfield eased his knees apart by an inch, conscious that Dr Fortescue could now see right into his crack. His hole winked a greeting.

The headmaster sucked in a lung-full of air, wiped sweat from his eyes with the back of his hand, and gripped the cane in his right fist. He straightened his arm, his elbow locked. Tap-tap-tap. He brought the arm back, twisted his wrist and with a forearm smash brought it forward with maximum force. A dark pink line blazed across the centre of Cuckfield’s bottom. The boy muffled a groan, dug his hands deeper into the seat cushion, and shook his head from side to side (rather like a horse does when it neighs).

Dr Fortescue took his time. He was on a mission. He had a duty. He had to save this young man’s life. The stupid boy would thank him one day. When he had climbed his way to the top of his profession; when he was a High Court Judge or a captain of industry or what-not, Cuckfield would look back on days like this with gratitude. “Thank you, Dr Fortescue,” he would say. “I owe it all to you.”

Dr Fortescue laid twelve stingers across the bare white bottom. It looked like a map of Clapham Junction railway by the time he finished. Lines criss-crossed across Cuckfield’s bum. They ran from north to south; and left to right, often intersecting. The cheeks glowed red hot with a claret-coloured sheen. Even now bruises were forming, within the hour they would be a deep purple. By the time Cuckfield crawled into bed they would be mauve. A week later the final yellow traces would disappear.

The cuts were already welts. When gingerly he traced his buttocks with the tips of his fingers they felt like corrugated cardboard. No, not card, but leather. It was as if a crust had formed on his cheeks. The agony was intense, but even as Cuckfield rose from the chair and unsteadily reached down for his underpants and wriggled until they were back in their rightful place, it was easing. The ache was tremendous, like someone had assaulted him with a cheese grater. He found his trousers and abandoning any attempt to button his fly, he did up the waist and hands shaking buckled the belt.

His behind throbbed like crazy, he wouldn’t be able to sit for an hour. How could he travel home on the school bus? His head ached almost as much as his bottom. He didn’t see Dr Fortescue return the cane to its home. But he smelt the vile stench of his breath as he stood in front of him. “Something to say Cuckfield?” he jeered.

We all sometimes have that fantasy, that if we had a machinegun in our hands we would mow down all our enemies in a single sweep. Later that night in bed, bruised and battered Cuckfield would indulge himself with his version. For now, careful not to look at his tormentor, he took a deep breath. “Thank you for punishing me, sir. I deserved it,” spoken with a clear voice. He watched Dr Fortescue stumble to his desk, open a drawer and delve inside. He heard a dull thud as something rolled across the drawer. The headmaster growled, slammed the drawer shut and opened another. “Ha!” he exclaimed to nobody in particular. He took out a large hard-backed book, leafed through its pages until he found the right one. He took a pen from his pocket and wrote the date, noting that it already appeared five times. He wrote Cuckfield’s name and the details of the punishment.

He tossed the book onto the desk, turned it round so it faced Cuckfield. “Sign!” With a steady hand, he did so. “Dismissed Cuckfield. Send in the next boy!”

Picture credit: C H (Charles) Chapman – The Magnet

Other stories featuring The Tyrant Headmaster are here

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My houseboy Nate

Changed Times 6. Birched live on TV

Summer holiday camp

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

 

Portrait of an artist

new story 2

z used drawing quelch study boy (4) (2)

Oh Lor! Oh Crikey! Chris ‘Corker’ Corcoran was a schoolboy in trouble; but dashed if he knew why.

Anxiously, he made his way through school hall and out of the building. Turner Minor, one of the junior boys, had delivered the message. Well, it was not so much message as a summons. Attend at the headmaster’s study. At once. Brook no delay.

It could only mean one thing for the senior boy. The headmaster was not inclined to invite pupils to his study to partake in afternoon tea. There was no hot buttered toast awaiting Master Corcoran. But, undoubtedly the wretched boy would catch it hot when he finally arrived at Dr Wentworth’s oak-panelled study.

A sentimental onlooker might have misjudged the scene. Here was a boy dressed in his smart blue blazer with its red braiding around the collar, cuffs and pockets and dark grey flannel baggy trousers. He was extremely dapper in his grey waistcoat, orange and blue diagonally striped tie and a blue-and-white hooped school cap.

What could be more quintessentially English? The sun shines as Corker dawdles through the ivy-covered quadrangle and past the mullioned-windows of the library. Many a young boy might wish he were in Master Corcoran’s shoes. What a magnificent school! The privileged boys who attend here must have a wonderful time.

Crumbs! What was up? Corker was no angel. Indeed, at times he could be incorrigible and like most schoolboys he accepted the unwritten rule: if you are found out take your punishment like a man.

But, the boy was certain he had done nothing to warrant a summons from the head and the inevitable swishing that awaited him at Dr Wentworth’s study.

Was it the smoking? He and some of the other chaps had discovered cigarettes. Not that there was much that needed to be ‘discovered.’ All the chaps smoked even though it was strictly against the rules. The school playing field was the place to go. Corker and his chums had found a way into the old storage hut. It was the ideal venue to light up a Woodbine and share it with his fellow conspirators.

Corker did not much like cigarettes. It took only one puff to make him feel sick. Two or three draws on the obnoxious weed would make him choke. He tried to keep this secret from the other fellows and hoped in time he would get used to Woodbines.

But, he reasoned, as he continued his crawl to the execution block, this could not be about smoking. To be caught smoking was indeed a swishing offence. The tariff upon conviction was six on the bags, the boys accepted that: rules were rules and St Tom’s was a no-smoking zone for the schoolboys, even the seniors. He was guilty, but the whopping would be delivered by a chap’s form master, not the head. The head did not whop, he flogged. It was an awesome punishment and reserved for the most heinous of crimes.

Corker’s knowledge of such things was more in the abstract. He had been whopped many times, but not by his headmaster.  Dr Wentworth was not a tyrant, but boys at his school knew that the old man believed he had a duty to perform and when he was required to flog a boy, flog a boy he did.

Corker entered Founder’s Building, took the stairs at a pace that would be bettered by a snail, and reached the study door. Here he paused, took a deep breath and tapped his knuckles softly against an oak panel, so lightly that he hoped Dr Wentworth would not hear him.

“Enter.”

What dashed bad luck, he had.

Corker fumbled with the knob, and meekly pushed open the door.

“You sent for me sir,” his voice faltered a little.

Dr Wentworth, sitting at his study table, turned his keen grey eyes on Corcoran as the sixth-former entered.

“Yes, Corcoran, I most certainly did.”

Dr Wentworth’s study was huge. Corker took up position in front of the old man’s desk. It was a modest size, but expensively made, with a dark green leather top. Dr Wentworth had a separate writing table with a small wooden chair with a red-and-white patterned seat cushion where he sat to prepare his Latin classes. It rested beneath a stained glass widow alongside a fireplace, still unlit for that day but with the traces of burnt wood from the night before. A dark wooden bookcase with open shelves stacked high with musty volumes in Latin and Greek ran alongside it.

The other wall had a number of cupboards, one of which was rather taller and narrower than the others: many visitors to Dr Wentworth’s study knew from painful experience what was contained within.

The room was large enough to house a number of chairs: two of them modest wooden numbers with curved backs and armrests, just the right height for junior boys in need of correction.

But, Corker would soon become more acquainted with one of the two expensively upholstered ‘comfortable’ armchairs that faced each other in front of a small table close to the bookcase.

Dr Wentworth had a red face with a heavy frown on his brow and his thin lips were set tightly. The boys could never be sure of the headmaster’s age; but to them he was as ancient as the mariner they were forced to learn about in English classes.

Dr Wentworth was an angular man with grey hair, balding on top with great tufts sticking out to left and right from his temples. He wore a traditional academic gown on top of a very heavy tweed jacket and a dark brown cardigan. His trousers were shiny, with black and grey stripes, and exceedingly crumpled.

He read out the case for the prosecution.

“I have here,” he waved a piece of paper torn from a school notebook, “a drawing.”

Oh, scissors! Corker didn’t need to be told, he knew exactly what it was:  a figure in a cap and gown brandishing a cane and the figure of a schoolboy bending bare-bottomed over a desk. He knew, because he had drawn it. And, the wretched boy knew also it had the words OLD DONKEY WENTWORTH GOES ABOUT HIS WORK written in his own hand upon it.

“What have you to say?” Wentworth thundered. Corker did as generations of schoolboys before him have done: he stared at his feet and mumbled.

“Pah! Speak up you impertinent boy!” Dr Wentworth’s face was puce with rage. He could hardly contain his anger. Never before in his thirty-five years as a schoolmaster had he encountered such insolence.

Corker knew the game was up. He had, as the boys in his form would say, been caught bang to rights. The thrashing of a lifetime was imminent. But, even in this moment of great travail, Corker wondered how the good doctor had discovered the drawing. Had one of his fellows snitched on him? Corker could not think such a thing possible. The boys at St Tom’s had a code of honour and at its head was, do not split to a master.

The eighteen-year-old had been very proud of his artwork and he was delighted to see it passed surreptitiously from fellow to fellow. Oh, how every one of them had enjoyed the little joke! They admired its great likeness to Wentworth. And the schoolboy: the boy bare-arsed awaiting the swish of the ashplant was a stroke of genius.

Dr Wentworth was the headmaster of a fine English public school and as such he did not possess a sense of humour. Nor, did he encourage such a trait in his boys. Schooling was a serious matter. Europe was heading for war; there was no place for satire.

What little patience Dr Wentworth had was exhausted. “Well boy, what have you to say for yourself?”

There was nothing much Corker could say. So he coughed to it. Yes, he agreed he had drawn it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it did not. In honesty, the fellows in the class had appreciated it highly.

Dr Wentworth respected the confession but was in no mood to hear how much the boys had relished the headmaster’s humiliation. Dr Wentworth’s voice was not loud, but it had gravitas. His face was inflamed with rage. Corker stood in front of him staring resolutely at the rug beneath his feet as the headmaster jawed and jawed him. He was “insolent,” “wretched,” a “cad” and “ugly.”

Dr Wentworth was in full flow, and Corker allowed his mind to wander a little so that he almost missed the command, “Bend over that chair.”

Corker hesitated, not sure he had heard what had been said.

“Bend over that chair!” Dr Wentworth rapped out the words. Oh lor! There was no mistaking his intentions. He pointed to the armchairs. He had not yet selected the cane he was going to use to whop the deviant artist, but waited to see that the boy had indeed taken up position before approaching the tall cupboard.

The armchairs had high backs, far too high for even the tallest, lankiest, schoolboy to put himself over and stretch out his arms to clutch the seat cushion for dear life.

Corker knew the routine in such cases was for a boy to drape himself over one of the upholstered arms, tuck his knees into the side of the chair and thereby raise his bottom high to meet the thwack of the ashplant.

The sixth-former took several deep breaths and then after one continuing movement he had his face in the seat cushion. It was dusty with a faint smell of sweat where visitors had previously sat in comfort to enjoy conversation, and who knows tea, with Dr Wentworth.

Corker could be assured that after what he was about to receive he would not be able to enjoy a comfortable sit-down for some time to come. That night he would be taking supper standing up, it was for certain.

With his face in the cushion he could not be sure of Dr Wentworth’s movements, but he heard the cupboard door open and the shuffle of canes being sorted as he selected the weapon to attack him with.

Evidently he had a prospect. Corker heard the sound of a cane being swished through the air. Was he testing it out? The boy moved his back slightly, intending to look round to see what was going on.

Dr Wentworth seldom flogged, but he had a sure and a strong hand when he did. He would make the young scoundrel wriggle for this.

“Keep perfectly still.” That’s all he said, but it was enough. Corker burrowed my head in the cushion and clenched his teeth shut.

Up went the cane with a whiz and down it came with a fearful slash.

“Ouch!”

Swipe! “Yow!”

Dr Wentworth’s ashplant cane came down across the seat of Corker’s bags as if he were beating a carpet. He might be an elderly man but he could still put a lot of beef into thrashing a boy.

Swipe! “Yarooooooh!”

This time the savage cane rang across his backside like a crack from a pistol. Corker compressed his lips to keep back a cry of pain.

Swipe! “Yow-ow-ow!”

He wriggled. He squirmed. Dr Wentworth did not care. He had a duty to perform and would have gladly cut the boy to pieces.

Swipe! “Hisssssssssssss!”

The cane bounced across Corker’s seat and dust blew off his trousers.

Swipe! “Yarooooooh!!”

He was breathing heavily, but he was taking it. A boy was allowed to howl during a whopping. How could he not do so, when the ashplant was laid on with such enthusiasm by a master. A boy could yell as much as he needed to, but he must not blub. That was out of the question. A boy must not weep tears. To do so would be a disgrace, a chap must never let the master see him cry. And if he did blub and the other chaps found out, he would never hear the end of it.

The execution was over. Corker hoped so at least. Nobody he knew had ever got more than six cuts.

Then, Dr Wentworth delivered two more fearful slashes.

Swipe! Swipe! “Oooooh!” Double crikey.

Dr Wentworth’s knuckles grew white with the hard grip he was putting on the cane.

Swipe! Swipe!

Corker let out howls of pain as the cane rose and fell without mercy.

Swipe! Swipe!

They were blows such as no master ought to ever have dealt, but Dr Wentworth was too furious to care how much he hurt the boy.

That was a dozen cuts. Corker lay limp and suffering trying his best not to blub, waiting for the headmaster to give the command to get up. He seemed to be taking an eternity.

“You may remove yourself.”

It was not merely six.  It was as thorough a licking as Corcoran had ever experienced before. He rose a little unsteadily; eyes shining, face pale and breathless, rubbing his bottom furiously. His bum was in shreds.

Dr Wentworth laid down the cane at last.  He looked quite tired with his exertions.  Corker was more than tired.

“Go!” he snapped.

And Corker went. He wriggled his way down the passage.  He squirmed out into the quad.

 

Picture credit: C H (Charles) Chapman – The Magnet

Other stories you might like

The Poker School

The Visitor

A Fragment of a Memory

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

The Private Tutor

school shorts touch toes (1)

I recently uploaded my 500th story to this website – thanks to everyone for your support.  I know it can sometimes be difficult to navigate your way around to find stories on the topics that interest you. To help you a little, back in 2016 I started to collect together stories on the same theme and upload them as free-of-charge e-books.

Here is one of the earliest: The Private Tutor

What can fathers do when their sons fail their school exams because they spend too much time out with girlfriends, clubbing and playing in a rock band?

 Call for The Private Tutor. Using traditional educational approaches, he will soon lick them into shape.

 The whippy rattan cane, the taws, the paddle and the gym slipper are some of methods he uses as he guides them towards their A-levels.

Click the link below for the book in a PDF file

 The Private Tutor by Charles Hamilton II

 

Picture credit: Unknown

A further episode involving The Private Tutor is here

The private tutor: 4

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

You, the housemaster

new story 2

z used school pyjamas cane armchair London

You turn the pages of your newspaper. The world is going to Hell in a handcart. War, pestilence: everywhere. The bus drivers are on strike in Manchester. The Barbarians are at the gate. You lean back in your comfortable armchair and puff on your brier pipe. The aroma of sweet tobacco is somewhat consoling. You glance around the study: your terrain. It is a dominated by a dark, leather-topped desk. It might be a hundred years old. You know it is solid and enduring. It also weighs a ton. It has six drawers in two columns of three. There are two armchairs, each made of a wooden frame covered by a tough fabric coloured green. There are three equally heavy straight-backed wooden chairs arranged along one wall. Glass-fronted bookcases cover two sides. In one corner is the a coatstand with mortar-board cap and flowing academic gown dangling. In another is a tall, thin cupboard. A fireplace is unlit. Whatever might happen in the wider world nothing changes here. That is the way you like it.

The minute hand of the clock on the mantelpiece crawls to number twelve. You rustle the Daily Telegraph and turn the pages. Perhaps, there is better news in the sports section. No! England are failing miserably in the Test. The room is stuffy, only one window opens, the others have been stuck fast since long before you took over as housemaster. The bursar promised to get them fixed. That was two years ago. The muggy air makes you a little drowsy. You should like to abandon the study and return to your home, but you cannot. You have one more duty to perform before your day’s work is done.

All is silence. It is time for lights out. The school is preparing for bed. You hear the floorboards squeak in the passageway outside. You glance at the clock one more time. Your visitor is punctual. The squeaking stops. You imagine him standing outside your door, apprehensive. Not wanting to knock. Anxious, fearful even, about the fate that awaits him. Good, you allow yourself a half-smile, that is exactly how it should be.

At last there is a rap on the door. He has plucked up the courage. You wait counting time in your head. Let him sweat a little. Perhaps he will think you are not at home, that he has been given a reprieve. Ha!  “Come!” Your call is imperious. It is a command that must be obeyed. Your eyes are fixed on the door. Slowly it eases open. You see the top of his head first, the hair dishevelled. It is followed by a chubby face. It is the kind of face that loves to smile: but not this evening. It is etched in misery.

“Close the door, boy!” you bark.  He shudders, turns, looks at the door as if he had never seen it before. It is old and heavy and takes some of his strength to shut. You watch, puffing your pipe, as he moves further into your study. He stands, head bowed, feet slightly apart, a typical schoolboy pose. He is a large boy, a sixth-former, eighteen-years old, but in his dressing gown and bedroom slippers he appears much younger. He wipes his sweaty palms down the side of the thick woollen robe, then clasps his hands behind his back.

You are in no hurry. Your boys prefer you to “just get on with it”. They know why they are here; you know why they are here. But, you think, where’s the sport in that? You carefully fold your newspaper, shuffling the pages so they are carefully aligned. You put it down on a table then you lift yourself from your chair. The boy’s eyes burn into you as slowly you walk across the study and stand in front of the open, unlit fireplace. You turn and face him. He is sweating. Not for the first time he stealthily rubs his palms against the dressing gown. You place your hands behind your back, this is the posture you always adopt when delivering homilies.

You know there is little you can say in such situations. You summarise his misdoings. You demand his confession. This time it is breaking bounds. The young oaf has been at the Three Fishers, a notorious public house in the village. You know many of the senior boys frequent that den of iniquity. You have dealt with many of them in your study. But, you are certain, not all of them. You know that the schoolmaster and schoolboy play a “cat and mouse” game. The boys break the rules, often undetected. That is (if you will) fifteen-love to them. Of course, when they are caught they must accept their punishment (fifteen-all).

“Well, what have you to say for yourself?” you intone. You expect him to say, “Sorry, sir,” or some such banality. Then you can get on with the business at hand. But, the young fool stays silent. Suddenly, he frowns. Ha! He hasn’t been listening to you. “Pah!” you exclaim. (Is, you wonder, “Pah!” actually a word. You use it a lot but never in an adult context. That is, you only utter the word (sound?) when exasperated with silly boys.) “Do not add dumb insolence to your list of crimes,” you tell him.

His fearful stare tells you he has no idea what question you have asked of him. You repeat it and as expected he has nothing pertinent to add. You say nothing, but, hands behind back, you saunter across the study. You cannot see him, but you know his eyes are following you. You stop at the tall, thin cupboard, straighten your back and plunge your hand into your right trouser pocket. You know it is empty save for a small silver-coloured key. It is so tiny and the pocket so deep that you cannot at first locate it. You fumble around looking to all the world that you are playing pocket billiards. Your ire rises. At last you find it and at the second attempt you get it in the lock of the cupboard.

You are certain the boy is now standing in a state of great anxiety. He knows what is located within the cupboard. You lean into it and delve around for a while before you withdraw a long, thin yellow cane. You peer at it intently and replace it. You pull out a second cane. This one is longer and thicker than the first. It is a darkish-yellow-almost-brown colour. It is a Malay cane. It is denser than your standard “senior” canes but still has the traditional crooked handle. You know it will pack a punch.

You hold the cane at the handle with one hand and its tip with the other and flex it. Then you swipe it through the air. It travels at a terrific whoosh! You always do this. You think it adds to the drama of the occasion. It is meant to intimidate a boy. You have no idea if this is successful, certainly the sixth-former standing before you is no stranger to your study, or your canes.

“Take off your dressing gown and place it on my desk,” you speak slowly and softly. You are in total command there is no need to bark orders as if you were a sergeant-major on a parade ground. You watch as he unwraps the robe from his body and carefully folds it. Now, he wears only pyjamas. You swish the cane through the air, enjoying the rushing noise it makes as it flies. Your pulse quickens.

“Put the chair into place,” you tell him. He knows exactly what you mean and takes a grip on the armchair you were not sitting at and turns it so that the back faces into the room. The task completed, he stands back and respectfully puts his hands behind his back. You stand behind him and swish the cane, you notice with satisfaction perspiration soaks the back of his head. You are ready to go. You thwack the arm of the chair with the cane – you know this is completely unnecessary but you like to add to the drama. “Bend over.” You intone the words dreaded by every schoolboy summoned to your study.

He pauses as if sizing up the chair. You know he is familiar with the process. He is tall and the chair low, he leans forward, rests his elbows on the arms and spreads his legs. His face hovers above the old, worn seat cushion. The boy’s bottom is angled across the apex of the chair, it is perfectly positioned for your purpose. You can best describe him as “chunky”; that is, he is not fat, but nor is he slim. His buttocks, loose when he is standing, tighten considerably when stretched for a caning. Now they are firm and round. The cotton material of the pyjamas fits snugly across the buttocks, each cheek is well defined. He has presented you with a terrific target.

He tenses as you “saw” the cane across the fleshiest part of his bum. You tap it three times to get your distance. You stand about three feet to his left (a cane’s distance) and make sure the tip of the cane reaches the far cheek. You lift it off and raise it to the height of your shoulder, then with a slight turn of the body you crack it down at some pace across the centre of his buttocks. It is a manoeuvre you adapted from the golf links. The crack is satisfying (to you, not the boy since he gasps with the shock.) The cane whistles and thuds as you deliver the second stroke. He grips the chair stifling a groan.

You take in a deep breath and hold it there while you lift the cane once more calling up every ounce of strength. You let fly. Bingo! It swipes him on the back of the thighs. Ha! He’ll feel that every time he sits down for the next week. His hips sashay, his head bounces up and down. His neck is scarlet and so (you know from experience) is his bottom.

You lick your arid lips. Your heart pounds. Your palms are sweating. This time you stand on your toes as you swipe the cane higher across the boy’s quivering rear end. He punches his fists into the seat cushion and emits a “sssssss!” through not-quite clenched teeth. The sound reminds you of a steam train settling down. He stamps his feet up and down.

You tap the cane across his bottom again, taking aim. This time higher on the crest of the mounds, closer to his back. The bottom quivers with anxiety. The cut slices his meaty bum with a downward motion. You take a step or two back to admire your handiwork. You are delighted to see thin white lines from the cane embossed across the seat of his pyjamas. There are welts throbbing underneath. The boy’s face and neck are crimson.

You can’t see your face crack into smile. You have a special treat for the boy this evening. You alter your position. Now you lay the cane across his bottom so it runs the bottom of the left buttock to the top of the right cheek – a diagonal shot. Quickly, you raise the cane and with tremendous force (you might be beating a carpet) slash it across the four welts already pulsating across his backside. He wails like a banshee. His feet stamp, he headbutts the seat cushion. He is in great distress. You know he will remember this thrashing for the rest of his life.

Calmly, you reposition yourself and set the cane along the opposite diagonal. Within a second you have imprinted a perfect “X” across his backside. He repeats the shrieking and the stamping and shakes his hips from left to right. You suddenly realise that your nose is dripping. You wipe it with the back of your hand. Slowly, you move to the cupboard and replace the cane.

That done, you turn and survey the scene. An eighteen-year-old schoolboy is draped across the back of the armchair. His bottom still quivers and his knees remain buckled. His face is contorted like a gargoyle. “You may remove yourself,” you quietly tell him. The punishment is over. He has atoned for his misdeed. You must both now get on with your lives.

You return to your armchair and stare down at the pipe in the ashtray. “Go,” you say and wave a hand at the door. He grabs his dressing gown and struggles with the handle and heavy door on his way out. You relight the pipe and pick up the Daily Telegraph. The world outside may be changing, you think, but in this study things will always remain the same.

Picture credit: CP Services London

 For a version of this story from the boy’s point of view, click here

 

Other stories you might like

What would his girlfriend say?

Expelled from school

Rory and Alistair 4: Young Ferguson

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com

You, in the housemaster’s study

new story 2

z used cane pyjamas up armchair school london (2)

You walk slowly, pacing yourself. You are in no hurry. You turn the corner and enter a narrow, gloomy, dank passageway. Natural light never intrudes here. A whiff of damp walls, mildew possibly, hits you. That smell is everywhere. Ivy-covered walls and mullioned windows may speak to history and tradition but they fail to hide decay.

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Your bedroom slippers never did fit properly and you shuffle along like an old man. Your dressing-gown is loosely tied. Away from this cold passageway the sun is still awake and late spring saunters into summer. The evening is warm, you have no practical need for the gown. You wear it as a matter of modesty; your pyjamas are protection enough.

The passageway is not long. You walk at a snail’s pace but you reach your final destination soon enough. A dark panelled door. Heavy wood. Chipped and scratched. Like so much of this place, it has seen better days. You pause, your heart beats faster. Your palms sweat. You look closely at the familiar sign, noting not for the first time that one of the screws that attaches it to the door is missing. H. L. T. Haddock, Housemaster. You and your pals long ago exhausted all the jokes attached to that name. You run the back of your hand under your nose. It helps to curb your growing nervousness a little.

You crane your neck forward, almost, but not quite, placing your ear against the door. You don’t know what you expect to hear. Maybe you are not the only visitor this evening. The door is made of oak (you think); it is certainly thick and muffles sounds from inside the room. In your head you count slowly up to ten. One hippopotamus … two hippopotamus … You cannot put this off any longer. You rub your palms against the thick woollen dressing-gown once more, suck in a gulp of air, ball your right hand into a fist, raise it against the door and with more confidence than you truly feel, rap your knuckles against a panel.

Silence. It seems to last forever. You have doubts. Is Haddock at home? Do you have the right time? Was Rustington Minor ragging when he delivered the summons to you? Was this the fags’ idea of a joke. Was there to be a reprieve?

“Come!” The call is imperious. You hear it loud and clear despite the deadening thickness of the door. Your spine tingles as if caught by a draught. This is it, you think. Over the top. Time to go. You can’t put this off any longer. You wipe the palm of your hand again. You reach for the dull brass handle. Twist it. Put some weight against the door and slowly ease it open.

You are hit by the familiar aroma; pipe smoke and stale human sweat. You clear the threshold and stand for a moment transfixed. Nothing has changed since your last visit. Haddock sits in a worn armchair, the Daily Telegraph open on his lap. His pipe smoulders in an ashtray on a small table to his left. He is dressed in his civvies; baggy black trousers with bold white stripes, a shirt with soft collar attached, a cardigan buttoned to his chest. Bedroom slippers on his feet. You see his housemaster’s “uniform” of mortar-board cap and flowing academic gown hanging from a hat stand in one corner of the room.

The atmosphere is close and fuggy. You see wisps of pipe smoke reflected in a sunbeam that streams through the only window in the study that is capable of opening. “Close the door, boy!” Haddock barks at you. Like Pavlov’s dog you obey the command instinctively. That done, you stand submissively, hands clasped behind back. You wait. You are in no hurry. You know how this scenario will play out.

Haddock carefully folds his newspaper, ensuring that all the pages are carefully aligned. He puts it down on the table next to his pipe, safeguarding that it is not so close as to cause a fire. He lifts himself from the chair. You watch him as he moves across the room and stands with his back to the open, but on this sultry evening, unlit fireplace. Like you, he places his hands behind his back. You face one another: man to man. Haddock is a man in his later years (you suppose, but you boys believe that thirty is old). Despite his age he stands with a ramrod back. He is maybe five-eight tall at the most but his presence dominates the room. His chest is broad but his stomach soft. His forehead is high and his hair thin. His jowls sag and his once clear, blue eyes no longer penetrate as they used to.

He begins to speak. Your brain switches off. You know why you are here. You know what is going to happen. You understand there are rituals to this. He talks of your “breaking bounds”. You have been warned before. Disobedience. Intolerable behaviour. You have been to the Three Fishers. Again. It is a disreputable pub. You go there to beat the oiks from the village at billiards. It is an easy task. Billiards, like chess, is a game of intellect. They are no match for you. You despise the working classes. What is it that Cameron calls them? “Thick as two short planks” (whatever that means).

Suddenly there is a silence in the room. You realise with a start Haddock has finished jawing. He is glaring at you. Oh scissors! he must have asked you a question. You see Haddock’s face redden. Soon it will be puce. “Pah!” he ejaculates. “Do not add dumb insolence to your list of crimes.”

You wait for him to repeat the question. No, you have nothing to say for yourself. You are guilty as charged. You do not tell him that you made several visits undetected to the Three Fishers this term. You know it was bad luck this time. Seagrass, the new junior mathematics master, was in the “snug” bar? You are pragmatic: you win some, you lose some.

Your eyes follow Haddock as he walks across the study. It is a medium-sized room mark dark by mahogany wall panels. It is dominated by a huge, leather-topped desk. You guess it weighs a ton. It has six drawers in two columns of three and would need several men to move it. There are two armchairs, each with a wooden frame covered by a tough fabric coloured green. Like so much at the school they are not in the full flush of youth. There are three equally heavy straight-backed wooden chairs arranged along one wall. Glass-fronted bookcases cover two walls. In one corner is the aforementioned hat stand, in another is a tall, thin cupboard.

You know where Haddock is headed. You see him pause at the cupboard, straighten his back and with his right hand delve into a pocket in his trousers. You see it is deep and his hand rummages around. To you the pocket seems to be empty. You see his impatience as he fishes around. At last he withdraws his fist. You see between his fingers he holds a small silver-coloured key. You suck down on your bottom lip, rub sweaty palms against the dressing-gown. You watch as he fumbles to get the key in the lock, his irritation growing. Success. The key turns, the door squeaks open. From where you are standing you cannot see inside the cupboard. You watch Haddock lean into the cupboard. It is not large. A rattling sound confirms what you already know. You see him withdraw a long, thin yellow cane. He peers at it intently and replaces it. You wipe your palms one more time.

You watch Haddock pull out a second cane. It is longer and thicker than the first. Your throat tightens as he turns to face you. It is a darkish-yellow-almost-brown colour. You recognise it. It is his Malay cane. It is denser than Haddock’s standard “senior” canes but has the traditional crooked handle. You know it will pack a punch. You are not impressed as Haddock holds the cane at the handle with one hand and its tip with the other and flexes it. Then he swipes it through the air. It travels at a terrific whoosh! You know schoolmasters always do this with their canes. It is another part of the ceremony. You know this is designed to intimidate a boy. Not you. You have seen it all before.

You know Haddock is nearly ready, but there are more formalities to come. Your hand is steady as you undo the belt on your dressing-gown and shake it off your body. You fold it lengthways and then widthways and place it carefully on his desk. You are now dressed only in your pyjamas. You know Haddock only beats a boy at lights out. You think this is supposed to add to the tension. You have spent the entire day anticipating this moment. You know housemasters have their own formalities; Forester always canes at lunchtime. With Corbin it is immediately after school. Haddock does it at the end of the day.

Haddock swishes the cane through the empty air as you manoeuvre the armchair into position. You swivel it around so that its back now faces into the room. The task completed, you stand back and respectfully put your hands behind your back. Waiting. The room is stuffy, the pipe continues to smoulder in the ashtray. The only window that opens provides no air. You feel sweat trickle down your spine, your scalp inches. Your heartbeat quickens. You can no longer see Haddock but you hear him swishing the cane. You sense his movement. He is standing directly behind you. Then he steps forward. You see him from the corner of your eye. He grips the cane in his right hand. His arm stretches. He whacks the tip of the cane across the back of the armchair. “Bend over,” he intones.

You look down at the familiar armchair. The fabric is faded in places and the material has worn through along the seams. You know as armchairs go it is modest in size and ambition. This is not a plush leather Chesterfield couch. Such furniture befits the headmaster’s study. Haddock has to make do with something that would not be out of place in a suburban sitting room. You have the measure of this chair. You know that when you bend across it and rest your elbows on the wooden arms your stomach will clear the chair’s apex by some inches. In this position your bottom should be perfectly positioned for Haddock’s purposes.

You rub your palms one last time, take a deep breath, and lean forward. You part your feet by about twelve inches and your back is arched. “Head a little lower boy. Bottom out.” You wriggle around to Haddock’s satisfaction. You feel the cotton material of your pyjamas tighten around your buttocks. You know you pack a lot of meat back there. They are firm and round and much admired by the fellows in the baths after rugby.

You don’t consider the incongruity of your situation. Here you are eighteen years old offering up your bottom for an older man to beat with a whippy cane. To you it is just how things are. It doesn’t occur to you that none of the oiks from the Three Fishers are submitting to similar punishment. You stare down at the squashed seat cushion. It is stained with the sweat of countless backsides. How many hundreds of visitors have sat in that chair? And, how many generations of schoolboys have bent over its back?

These are not questions that concern you much. You sense Haddock moving again. Then, you feel him touch your buttocks with the cane. He is sawing it across the fleshiest parts. He is taking his aim. You know this is going to hurt. A very great deal. A caning from Haddock across trousers and underpants would be awesome, when delivered with only thin cotton pyjamas for protection it will be tremendous. You know some chaps have tried to sneak underpants under their pyjama bottoms. Barchester was busted for this. He failed to realise that once a chap is stretched over the armchair their outline becomes clearly visible. Barchester’s backside resembled a map of Clapham Junction railway once Haddock had delivered a bare-arsed flogging as retribution.

You feel the cane tapping. Your buttocks tense. They always do this. It is a natural reflex. You grind your teeth. Swipe! Crack! Pyjamas are a poor protection against a cane well laid on. The Malay cane struck just on your undercurve, where the bum meets the thigh. You gasp with shock as an intense line of pain bites deep. It feels like Haddock has pressed a red-hot poker into your flesh.

You can’t see the ghost of a smile as Haddock’s jowls wobble in satisfaction. You might not know it but many believe your bottom cries out to be beaten. It has certainly been caned many times before and might be again before you leave school in July.

If the bottom cries out, you do not. You feel the intense pain subside a little. The cane rises and falls whistling as it goes. You grip the chair and stifle a yelp. Now you have two lines of pain throbbing across the bum, a quarter of an inch apart. The pain sears from your buttocks and runs up and down your legs. Your knees buckle, but you keep in position. Waiting for Number Three.

You hear a grunt behind you. Haddock puts all his beef into it. The cut takes you on the back of the thighs. It is a deliberate act by the housemaster; he has had enough practice with the cane. You struggle to stay calm. It sucks the breath from your body. Your hips sway and your head bounces up and down. This is a natural thing to do. It is how a boy’s body reacts when under attack.

The next slashes higher. You bunch your fingers into fists and punch them into the seat cushion. “Sssssss!” air escapes through your lips. The pain is beyond belief. Much harder than anything you have endured before. It starts on the crown of your bum and travels north-south-east-west through your body. Each stroke has been a swipe. It’s as if Haddock is beating a carpet.

Beneath the stretched pyjamas you feel weals forming. You know each is raised off the surface of the bum and as thick as a pencil. They run in almost perfect parallel from left to right. You stamp your feet up and down like a soldier on sentry duty. The agony is overwhelming. You can’t take much more of this.

Haddock does the tapping thing again. Taking aim. This time higher on the crest of the mounds, closer to your back. Your bottom quivers. Behind your master takes a step or two back and admires his handiwork. He sees your face and neck are scarlet. He knows your bum is just as red. He can see lines embossed in your pyjama trousers showing exactly where the cane landed.

You tell yourself, “Four down, only two more to go.” It is nearly over. You regain more control of your breathing but your temples throb and blood is cascading through your arteries. Then your heart almost literally stops. Haddock has changed position again. This time he lays the cane across your bottom not from left to right as before but from the bottom of the left buttock to the top of the right. You realise at once what this means: it is to be diagonal shot. Before you can prepare, a crack like a pistol shot resounds around the room. Haddock slashes the cane down with considerable force across the four welts already emblazoned across your rear end. You shriek as each of the previous cuts are brought back to life. The tempo of your military marching doubles. You bang your head up and down against the seat cushion, but nothing, nothing at all, eases the agony.

Your buttocks are ripped to shreds. They might even be bleeding. Your eyes blaze as much as your bum but you do not cry. You will not cry. A chap under the cane is allowed to holler. It can be mightily difficult not to. But you know you must not blub. Even the junior chaps know that. You must take it like a man.

You fear the very worst. Haddock moves to your right and places the cane along the opposite diagonal. Within a second you have a perfect “X” imprinted across your bum. It seems to have swollen to twice its normal size. But it also feels numb as if you have reached some threshold of pain that cannot be surpassed. You hear Haddock step across the study and open the door to the cupboard. You continue to stare at the seat cushion. You bum is raw but even now, only seconds after the final cut flogged you, the pain is easing down. Soon it will be a constant throb. The worst is over. You have survived. The cuts will still be painful for some time to come. You know you will be sleeping in on your side tonight. Tomorrow you will not be able to sit comfortably on a hard surface. You will have welts and bruises for many days.

“You may remove yourself,” the instruction seems to come from a far distance. You take a deep breath and using your elbows as levers you resume a standing position. The seat of your pyjama trousers are stuck to your bum. You worry that you might be bleeding. You desperately want to caress your cheeks to discover the truth but you know this must wait. You know Haddock doesn’t like a fuss after he beats a boy and soon he will dismiss you.

He returns to his armchair and peers down at his pipe in the ashtray. “Go,” he says absent-mindedly and waves a hand at the door. As you struggle with the handle and heavy door you see him pick up a box of matches. It rattles as he shakes it. He clenches the pipe between his teeth then opens the box, takes a match, strikes it and shielding the flame he sets light to the tobacco in the bowl.

You leave and run along the passageway towards the bogs.

 

Picture credit: CP Services London

Coming soon: The story from the housemaster’s point-of-view.

 

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The movie mogul

Warren’s awakening

The milk bottle thief

 

More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website

Charles Hamilton the Second

charleshamiltonthesecond@gmail.com