[I was in the middle of drafting this real life account when the news came about Alex’s death. One week later I’ve decided to finish writing it. Aside from everything else, it’s a story he likely would have liked.]
Paul and I haven’t been playing as much as we usually would and his Sunday thrashings of me have (largely) been on hold for most of the past month. The reasons are mostly that my dad’s been living with us again. This is not because of any problems in my parents’ marriage, but rather problems they’re having selling their house in Portland. I’ve had mixed feelings about this — on the one hand I miss it, of course, because I think about such things all the time. However, at the moment of truth I tend to feel great relief at any reprieve. It’s probably evidence of how regularly thrashings (as well as “That Thing”) had been happening that generally I’ve felt like a kid who’s skipped out of detentions.
Last Tuesday had all the marks of just such an “almost” thrashing. The night before what I was to wear for the day was planned (nothing too exciting — but a collared shirt, tie, grey games skirt, knickers and knee socks). The plan was that I’d do some schoolwork and then, when he felt like it, we would go over my returned calligraphy homework and then he would thrash me for the mistakes my teacher marked. It was to be “fun” in the sense it wasn’t a punishment for anything serious (Paul doesn’t actually care much whether or not my calligraphy is improving), but on the other hand, reflected on my lettering practice having been cut down by real life events.
That was the plan. Then there was real life.
We stayed in bed a bit later than I’d intended. But then, promised some coffee and a croissant, dressed in my uniform, except for the kneesocks (I wore tights so I could go out more easily in public), and we headed out for coffee — well coffee for me, chocolate tart for Paul. The revised plan was we’d get back, I’d change out of tights and into knee socks and Paul would think about thrashing me. I was excited about it — lettering has always seemed such a perfect premise for punishment. It’s impossible for anyone, even someone like my teacher who’s been a professional scribe for 30 years, to do 100% perfect calligraphy. I’ve been doing gothic textura for a total of 7 weeks.
But after we got back, just as I was starting to change into my uniform, the phone started ringing. After we had dealt with several calls, our building’s handyman came to the door and said he’d come to inspect the bathroom. Apparently there was a leak somewhere and it needed to be fixed immediately Plumbers were then in and out for about two and a half hours. By the time they’d left (and then come back for things forgotten and left again) it was mid-afternoon. My father would be coming home in a couple hours.
I guessed this was another thrashing deferred and felt both disappointed and relieved. That is, until Paul went to get his canes and told me to change into knee sock and to fetch my homework. My heart started thudding.
Less than five minutes later I stood nervously in front of Paul as he questioned me about each mark. When he reminded me there were to be six strokes of the cane for each mark, there suddenly seemed a great many. The first twelve strokes would be delivered over my knickers. Then those would come down. For each mistake (for I’d made the same mistakes multiple times), the first twelve strokes would be with the lighter cane, the rest with the heavier one. I shivered involuntarily; both canes hurt. The lighter one is whippy and stings fiercely, while the heavy cane also stings but is heavy enough to leave bruises like those caused by a hairbrush or paddle.
As an aside: Although we’ve been together for a long time, Paul has only just started using canes on me regularly. Until he bought the complete set from Canes4Pain, canes had always been an implement for which he didn’t have much enthusiasm. While I love a traditional school scene, I wasn’t sorry about that, he’s strong and more than capable of creating a lot of pain with his hand or a hairbrush or tawse. All that has changed — whether because of the quality of the canes (high) or a great deal of practice in the last 6 months, Paul has become both more skilled with canes and far more likely to use them. Me? They fill me with dread.
So I was drifting toward this thrashing, part of me not believing it was really really going to happen even as I was being tied down. In my head, I somehow thought that because this thrashing was for “play” it somehow wouldn’t hurt as much. But then he started talking about my work, the mistakes I’d made (the first one had to do with me not slanting the lower stroke on the letter “a”) and, finally, delivered the first stroke with the whippy cane. Even over my knickers it had me gasping with shock and pain. My first reaction was panic, total panic as I realized I had dozens more of these to go and, all too soon, my heavy school knickers would be coming down.
I began to babble that this was impossible, that I couldn’t, that it hurt too much. Paul’s response was his usual, that there was nothing for me to do and delivered another stroke. I pulled my tied hands up to cover my face and cried a bit against my arm.
“Keep your hands in front of you. If you pull them up again, I’m going to smack the back of your legs.”
Aside number two: Paul ties me mostly to make it easier on me, though I’m sure my not being able to put my hands back makes things easier for him as well. Because as an adult I’ve almost always been spanked / thrashed in spaces where we might be overheard, I don’t tend to yell out very much. My pain reaction is all about trying to move away. When I’m tied I tend to yank my hands up and cry out into them. I worry a lot about being overheard, both because of fear of the cops showing up and embarrassment that our neighbors (some of whom know WIIWD) might, well, hear me crying over being thrashed. Paul, as far as I’ve been able to determined, doesn’t worry about either situation, damn him.
My hands went back down. The first 18 strokes hurt a huge amount (and we were still on the repeated “a” mistake), while at the same time I was constantly aware that my knickers wouldn’t be up much longer. At the same time, I was internalizing the mistake and feeling bad that I’d repeated it so many times. I started to sob.
t thinking, my hands pulled up so I could cry into my arm. Instantly, or so it seemed, hard, stinging smacks started raining down on the backs of my thighs. The thing about a traditional caning is that however much it hurts, the careful spacing generally means I can absorb the pain and stay somewhat in control. Fast smacks on my legs though leave me with nothing to do but howl and try and escape. Escape being impossible I heard myself apologizing and promising to be good.
And I was.
For the rest of the thrashing, my hands stayed down (partly on account of me having a death grip on the coffee table’s wrought iron bar). Midway through, as we switched from one one marked practice sheet to the next, I got to take a break. Rather than helping though, which is what I thought would happen, it just raised my anxiety and let the pain from the thrashing soak in.
Finally we’d gotten through the last mistake, by which time I had found a little bit of courage. But the last few strokes with the heavy cane were amazingly hard. I could tell Paul was quite proud of them, something I didn’t understand until I escaped to the bathroom to wash my face and examine my marks.
He’d managed to land the marks so the tramlines went almost equally across both of my bottom cheeks.
As I sat, doing my nightly practice on a very sore bottom, I couldn’t help but wonder at how my fantasies and real life have managed to meet so perfectly.