Monthly Archives: June 2010

Startle: Swots

First, a confession, I’ve definitely got a thing, so to speak for BBC radio quiz shows and panel games for purely vanilla reasons (as pure as anything is for me).  I’m devoted to News Quiz, Just a Minute and a number of others.  The comedians working off each other just plain appeals to me.

On the kink side, I love that comments about CP seem to appear at pretty regular intervals in all of them.  My all time favorite was the moment on “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” when the irreplaceable Humphrey Lyttleton said “I was caned at school at it never did me any harm” ::3 beat pause:: “…though it did almost make me late this evening” or something close to it.

The Radio Scotland program, Swots, which was hosted by Miles Jupp and Susan Morrison and broadcast last summer, takes this to a whole other level.  The premise of the quiz show is that it’s set in a 1960s Scottish classroom where “the belt” (in the form of sound effect belt slaps and “ouch”) is used for any wrong answers to spelling and maths questions.  Wonderfully funny with an added thrill (for me anyway) of the sound of belt whackings and references to having to report to school masters “in vest and pants.”

Startling and delightful!

For more information (but you’ll need to find a download site yourself).

SSC10: Red Darn

This story was written for the 2010 SSC (Short Story Contest). It was inspired by the following picture.  Go on, play along.

Copyright 2010 to mijita (AT) the treehouse (DOT) net . Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.


A shout startled the daydreaming girl from her novel.

“Fairfield, what are you about?”

Fiona (aka Fairfield) looked up, annoyed. A pair of navy wool knickers were being shaken in her face.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Miss” said the girl resentfully.

“These knickers, *your* knickers, are shredded. Clearly you took a shortcut on your run.”

“Only once. I–I got lost. I’ll write to my mother — she’ll send me a new pair by return post.”

The matron drew herself up as her annoyance visibly increased.

“No you won’t. Bad enough cheating, but as our headmistress made it quite clear at the start of the term, we are *all* were expected to conserve and ration as part of the war effort.”

“But I can’t do gym without knickers,” replied Fiona, sounding hopeful. Perhaps she would be excused gym.

“Right. And so,” said the older woman, thrusting out a sewing basket “you will give up your free time until each of the tears is properly darned. And remember you have gym class Monday morning.”

As the older woman sailed from the room, the sixteen-year-old eyed the basket with disdain. Fiona hated sewing and darning. Further, it was Friday evening and she’d looked forward all week to finishing her book. With a sigh she examined the long tears in her tattered knickers before opening the basket.

Inside were slim darning needles threaded with several rows of wool stitching, a perfect darn. Perfect save the color.


“Fairfield! What are you wearing?”

Fiona looked up at the games mistress, sulking.

“Matron had me mend my knickers, Miss.”

“I doubt she had you mend them in red, but be sure I will ask. Now stand forth and touch your toes.”

The girl felt the eyes of her classmates burning into her as she stepped forward and bent over. At least one classmate giggled. Her pleated games skirt rose. Tears pricked the corners of Fiona’s eyes as the slipper thudded into her darned knickers, once, twice…

…six times.


Fiona’s bottom still ached as she stood in Matron’s study. The woman’s face flushed as she examined the knickers.

“What a lazy sneak you are! Fairfield, these knickers are truly ruined; they’ll have to be replaced.”

Nervous as she was, Fairfield couldn’t help but feel pleased there’d be no more darning. Unfortunately she couldn’t keep the delight from her voice.

“Sorry Matron. I’ll write to my mother tonight.”

Matron eyed the girl grimly, making Fiona blush.

“Well you should be, and will be when I finish with you. Have you forgotten clothing is rationed, you horrible girl?”

Fiona felt hot with fear and embarrassment, anxiety rising. She was unable to say anything as the matron removed a heavy wooden hairbrush from her side table.

“If only your mother had spanked you longer and harder I dare say you’d be more responsible and considerate. Knickers down and across my knee, Fairfield.”

The matron raised the brush and continued.

“Think of this as me doing *my* part for the war effort.”


Category: A Picture is Worth 500 Words (Your Ration Book*)
Word Count: 500

(*Note: I didn’t notice until after I’d written the story that the ration book in the picture is for food rather than clothing. Doh!)

Restraints Startle

So this morning I biked to the gym just after 7AM (not usual for me on a Saturday morning but I had a bout of insomnia). The morning was foggy misty grey, something which added to the surrealness of this startle which almost caused me to ride my bike into a parked car.

You see, coming up on the sidewalk beside me, there was an older (at least in their 70s) Japanese couple. This is not unusual — lots of people go out for walks early in the morning. However, as I got closer, I noticed the woman was carrying what looked like a dog leash, but there was no dog. As I go closer, I realized to my surprise the leash was attached to the wrists of the male half of the couple which were
fastened behind him. Cue double-take and me almost riding into a parked

My first thought was, well maybe he has some sort of dementia and she
needs to keep hold of him. But were that the case, why pin his hands
behind his back? There seemed no explaination beyond the obvious — she
was taking her husband for a walk.

Even after thinking about it throughout my workout, I still came up
empty so I thought I’d share. Any ideas?

[The restraints looked a lot like the ones in this picture if you imagine them fastened behind and the strap being held by his female companion.]

SSC10: The Adjustment

This story was written for the 2010 SSC (Short Story Contest). Go on, play along.

Copyright 2010 to <mijita (at) the treehouse (dot) net>. Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.


The dog chased the tennis ball across the garden, then pelted back to Alice.  The girl watched, marveling at Dobbie’s focus.

She threw the ball harder, farther.  Time slowed as she threw and he fetched, the blue sky and green grass of June wrapping them in a perfect day–

— shattered by a shout of “Alice Michelle, you get in here right now.”


“Hey Mom.”

The house was dark after the bright sunshine.  Alice blinked.  Darker yes, but cleaner too.

“Don’t you ‘Hey Mom’ me, young lady. I told you not to leave this house until you cleaned your room.”

Did she really? Alice didn’t remember.  Wait, when did Mom wear a dress or apron?

While Alice was musing on this, noticing the much tidier house and her unusually tidy mother, her mother landed a ringing slap on the seat of her shorts.

“Pay attention!  I’m very cross with you, Alice Michelle. Your room’s still a disaster. Go in there right now and wait for me. You’re in big trouble.”


Alice slammed the bedroom door.  Her mother had *hit* her.

Double-take.  The bedroom…

Yes, it was messy with her papers and drawings everywhere. But the room was furnished in a completely different style.  No mis-matched IKEA and garage sale finds coupled with her mother’s art. Instead a white bed and desk set with pillows and matching bedspread.

This was not her room.

As that realization struck, her mother, her suddenly *taller* mother, open the door. She was holding a wooden hairbrush.

“Slamming doors Miss? And why aren’t you in the corner with your shorts down?”

Alice looked up and screamed as this woman who was clearly *not* her mother pulled her across her lap and pinned her arms behind her back.

“No! Get away from me you crazy bitch!”

She kicked helplessly as the brush briskly smacked her thinly clad bottom.

Fifteen minutes later, a sobbing, red-bottomed Alice let herself be led to a stool waiting in the corner.

“You stay there until you calm down.  Then get to work on this room. I want it spotless, do you hear me? Then you can stay in here and think about your behavior.  I wouldn’t want to be you when your father hears what you called me today.”

Unable to speak, Alice could only nod.


The Clerk’s eyes narrowed.

“Report, Agent D.”

“Unhappy, but cleaned her room and waited for her father. Cried on me.”

“Adjustments are never happy. Hers isn’t the worst.”

“Why the change?”

“They determined 2020 wasn’t working. Much as Alice needs creative space, she needs to develop self-discipline but wasn’t.  Or something.  1950 suburbia is the adjustment.”

“She’s not happy.”

“Happy doesn’t matter. Alice has to grow up creative but disciplined. That’s what *They* require. You’re required to watch and report… unless you want a new assignment.”

“No sir.”

Dobbie shrugged. He had no idea why They needed Alice to grow up creative and discipline but the Clerk was right. His job was to watch and report.

A dog’s life.


Word Count: 509

This story is inspired by — and very loosely based on — the much more brilliant story “The Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick (1954).  Like the original, this story’s intended genre is science fiction.

SSC2010: Tag

This story was written for the 2010 SSC (Short Story Contest). Go on, play along.

Copyright 2010 to <mijita (at) the treehouse (dot) net>. Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.


Yes, yes, you don’t have to tell me.  I already know there are pages where I can go and look for “trending” topics, find out what words and letter codes are being used to discuss this or that.  I =know= all that.

… but it just doesn’t feel quite fair.

Better to try and peer through the words and guess the “right” word, all the while knowing what term I’m =really= going to search.

Twitter is like the IRC of a decade ago in that almost anything is being discussed at any time but, unless you’re already following someone who’s writing on that specific topic at an exact given moment, you have to look.

But rather than looking for a specific room dedicated to, well, to an individual subject, we now search for tags.

I search for my thrill, my heart-throbbing rush.

You see, I’d been tweeting for almost a year, even tweeted a Shadow Lane party (badly for what its worth) when it occurred to me to search for =the= hash tag.  I still don’t look for it very often.


I’ve learned in the past 13 years that I can become jaded.  Even the most powerful eight letters in the world can have their edges knocked off.  And I deeply love feeling that secret and ever so naughty, blushing-hot shock.

Of course now, having written that, I can’t resist, won’t resist, didn’t resist.  I had to look, had to search.  To see what’s there, right now, right at this moment.  That’s always the lure.

There are those odd people who’ve got (or lost) something new.  (Has anyone who’s kinked this way ever said the word so casually?  Used it to talk about a car or an iPhone?  I couldn’t – it would feel creepy and almost like a sacrilege.  =The= word has to have more power than that.)

Then there are the personals – in 140 or fewer characters – offers to give or receive.  Or offers of video clips. (I never click the links.  Don’t know why — for the same reason I didn’t answer the ads in the LA Weekly.  But reading them?  Always, so glad they’re there, those ads that taught me that in this world there are Others to be found.)

Then there’s the flirting.  The taunts that someone “deserves it,” someone’s “going to get it,” “wants it,” “is asking for it.”  Their (shameless) desire right in front of me, so sweet.  Right or wrong, I imagine there’s part of a generation now that can flirt with our “topic of greatest interest” as easily as sex.  Maybe even more easily.

I hope so.

But what about the shame-*full*?  Those who can’t chirp or even type in tweet tag?  They’re so much harder to find, yet that hint of shame, the hand-trembling embarrassment, makes my pulse race with recognition.  Longing and remembrance.

That’s why I search the Twitterverse for Other Words.  It’s why hash-spanking [#spanking] will never be enough.

Category: The Age of Twitter

Words: 500