28 December, 2005

Better Not Pout

W. yanked open the door to the guest room and snapped, “Get into the bedroom!”

I looked at her blankly.

I had been stressed and tired, and by the end of the week, it had spiraled into a sharp bout of depression. Everything was going wrong. Christmas was going to be horrible, I was sure. Chanukah would be even worse. I didn’t have the energy to do anything, nothing I tried to do was working, and the house was a wreck. W. asked Friday afternoon if there was anything she could do to help me feel better.

I asked her to cancel with her mother for Christmas Eve and Day, because I wasn’t feeling up to it. This is more reasonable than it might seem on the face of it, since they’re Jewish, and Christmas isn’t really their holiday. Or so I told myself. And if Christmas is my holiday, and it wasn’t going to be good, then I didn’t want to bother.

To make it all worse, W. seemed to be mad at me, and she went off with her friends on Friday night, leaving me home alone. It was a sign, of course. She was angry, she didn’t really love me. The usual litany.

So logically enough, I went to hide in the guest room. I felt crummy, and all I really wanted was for W. to come in and make everything better. And instead, the first thing she asked when she saw Saturday morning was if I would do her a favor and stay out of the bedroom for about an hour. “Ah!” said my brain, “She really doesn’t care about how horrible I’m feeling.” And so on.

In my depressed state, the best way I could think to be open to conversation was to walk into whichever room she was in for long enough to get something (say, a book), in the hope that she would ask me to stay and talk. You know, giving her a 30 second chance; really helpful.

By late afternoon, I was feeling incredibly frustrated. She didn’t seem to be responding to my overtures. I couldn’t convey that I was angry and hurting. So I did one of the more stupid and petty things I have ever done. I gathered all of her stocking presents from my sock drawer, and dropped them in the kitchen, where she was baking cookies. “I didn’t feel like having Christmas, but here are your stocking presents,” I blurted, and went back into the bedroom. She just looked at me and sighed, and let me go off by myself.

Somehow, I had decided she wasn’t going to respond to me at all. So I stared at her, blank and numb, when she told me to get into the bedroom. “Now!” she snapped.

I followed her into the bedroom, trying to figure out her plans. Usually, when I’m depressed, she is incredibly gentle with me, and it drives me utterly insane. Usually she coaxes me to talk, and I struggle to do so, and we spend hours on it. But not that evening. She was sitting on the bed. The bathbrush, the blue flogger, the loopy thing, a belt, and some other toys were beside her.

I just stared. Was she really planning on spanking me? It was so out of character. I didn’t want a spanking. I wanted to be held and comforted, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to accept the comforting. W. had other plans.

“Come on, you know what to do.” But I just stood there.

“You know you need it.” Slowly, reluctantly, I climbed onto the bed. The depression still had hold of me, and I couldn’t force words out, couldn’t tell her that I didn’t want the spanking, couldn’t tell her why I was so unhappy. Honestly, I really didn’t know the answer myself.

When I had pulled down my pants, I nuzzled my head into her lap, trying to convey my need for comfort, my preference for cuddling over a spanking.

She rubbed my back for a few minutes, then arranged me for the spanking. She gave me a short warm up with the blue flogger, and then started the spanking in earnest. The strokes came hard and fast.

“Let it out,” she whispered. But the last thing I wanted to do was cry. My eyes were sore and my head ached because I had been sobbing off and on all day. She switched to the belt. “Come on, sweetie, let it out.” Her left arm held me tightly against her lap. I couldn’t let go.

She held me more firmly and switched to the bristle side of the bath brush. It hurts just as much as the flat side, but is far quieter. I tried to pull away, but she was holding me too tightly. My right hand went back to cover my bottom, but she put it back in front of me. There was no escaping.

She paused, rubbed my back, stroked my hair. And then she picked up the loopy thing. My bottom lit on fire, and I couldn’t escape. Finally, I relaxed, and let out some of the tension and frustration. She continued for what felt like a long time, but can’t have been more than a few minutes.

It was all over in less than fifteen minutes. Afterward, she held me, and I explained how I had been hurting and frustrated and overwhelmed, how I had felt like Christmas wouldn’t be nice, how I was discouraged and pre-emptively disappointed. I also explained my dismay at one of the gifts I had received that seemed to be a joint gift from W. and one of our friends. I had felt guilty at not wanting it, at the prospective expense to the people who had given it. And I had felt resentful at getting something that was both expensive and not something I wanted or could really use. W. explained that she hadn’t actually paid anything for the present yet, and we discussed how I could manage to avoid having the friend spend the money without giving offense.

The tension drained out of me. I was able to apologize for my rather snotty behavior. I gave W. the chance to explain that when she left me (sobbing over broken cookies) on Friday, she had been going out to finish her shopping for my presents. She had only been going away because she wanted to do things for me.

It was amazing—fifteen minutes of spanking, five minutes of talking, and I felt better. My eyes and head still ached from crying, but the depression was gone. I wasn’t so angry, I wasn’t so despairing, and I was ready to make a pleasant Christmas celebration. So we went to get the last supplies for the presents I was making, and drove around to look at Christmas lights, and came home to have a mellow and pleasant evening, just the two of us together.

And a note to myself in the future: if broken cookies make me break down sobbing, odds are I have PMS, even if I don’t think I do.

04 December, 2005

Story: Cheaters Never Prosper

I wrote this story several years ago, as a break from grading student papers. It's another of the "Janey and Michelle" stories. Hope you enjoy!

Cheaters Never Prosper

I stared at the paper. What was I supposed to do? Clearly, large chunks of it had been plagiarized. But I couldn't bear to face the facts. I put the paper down, and went back to checking my email. Maybe I could come up with a solution if I didn't think about it too hard.

"Hey, Michelle." Janey stuck her head in my study door. I looked up guiltily from the email. "All done with grading?"

"Well, no. I just needed a break."

"What's up? You said you were determined to get it finished with by tonight." Janey sounded peeved, but also concerned.

"Well...." I couldn't quite explain myself. Janey walked over and leaned on the desk.

"How many more?"

"About five. See, I got to this one right after I took my lunch break, and I haven't been able to read another one since. It just really bothers me."

"That bad, hunh? Or maybe it's so good, and you're dying of jealousy...."

"No. It's that it seems mostly lifted off the Web. And I can't decide what to do."

"Can't decide?! That's called plagiarism. The kid flunks."

"Well, but I called her, and she said she didn't mean to...."

"Didn't mean to... get caught," Janey snorted. Then she looked at me. "Wait! You're considering not flunking her?!"

"Well, I mean, it's a lot of pressure, and she might not have realized...." my words faltered off at the furious, disgusted look on Janey's face. "What?"

"It's people like you who allow cheating to go on. This kid was cheating, Michelle. It's not something you should let your students get away with."

"Well, I was going to have her write a new paper, and I'd drop the grade by two points."

"No. That's not acceptable. She cheated. She can't have the equivalent of an extension. Because I know perfectly well that students' grades get dropped by that much, if they were just two weeks late. You're going too easy on her."

"But Janey, I don't want her to hate me. If I flunk her, she'll hate me."

"And what about those other students? Is it really fair to them, if you let her get away with this? I know that most of them handed in rough drafts, and busted their butts to do well on this paper. I saw some of the kids in your class in the library until midnight last week. How about this one? She pops online, gets a few different sources, and thinks that will count? And now you're going to let her have a second chance? I don't think so."

"Well, if you put it like that.... But what if she is mean to me?"

"So what. Okay, let's go upstairs."

"What? I still need to do these papers."

"It's Wednesday, and you don't have to turn in grades until Monday. You're fine. Come upstairs. We need to have a.... talk."

My eyes bulged. We don't normally "play" on weeknights. Although, it wasn't a school night anymore. And it was earlier than usual, too. I logged off the computer and followed her upstairs. She motioned me ahead of her into my bedroom, and then shut the door firmly behind her.

"Now, we've got to talk about this whole cheating thing."

"What?! I didn't cheat!"

"But you were all set to think of a way to let someone else cheat. And that 's really worse, because you're in a position of authority. Look, Michelle, I know you feel guilty about flunking the student. So I'm going to let you have the punishment you want for doing it, and then you can do what you need to do in clear conscience."

"Okay." I still wasn't quite sure about it, but I was starting to feel less tense.

"Now, you know that cheating is wrong?" Janey took on her "teacher" persona, so I followed suit.

"Y-yes, ma'am." I hung my head, stared at my toes.

"And you know that cheating needs to be punished?" I nodded. "What was that?" she asked, sharply, "I didn't hear you."

"Yes, ma'am, it needs to be punished, but..."

"But nothing. This is a serious offense. You'll get a firm handspanking over your..." Janey broke character. "Hey, have you ever considered a school uniform?"

"No! Absolutely not!"

"Okay," Janey sighed, and got back into character. "A firm handspanking over your pants. Then we'll pull down the pants, and it will be the ruler over your underpants. And then those will come down, and you'll get the strap on your bare bottom." I nodded, back in character myself. "Okay, assume the position." I leaned over the edge of the bed. Janey didn't walk over.

"What now?" I asked.

"Let's go downstairs. I've got a good idea for how this can play out."

"Where downstairs?" I asked, suspiciously.

"Your study. It'll be nice and private. Besides, it's what I have in mind. You wait up here for five minutes, and then come on down."

"Geeze, Janey, get me all set up, and then call it off? This isn't funny."

"Just you wait, Missy, this is going to be better this way."
I sat down on the bed. Four minutes later, I went downstairs, and jotted a note to the housemates on the white board: Playing in study, all is well, don't interrupt, -Michelle.

I opened the study door slowly, to find that Janey had tidied things away enough to give a semblance of order near the desk. She had twisted her hair up in a severe bun, and had found some bizarre reading glasses. It took me a few seconds to catch on that she meant to make this like a principal's office. Or, knowing Janey, like a headmistress's office.

"Well, young lady," she said sternly, and picked up a piece of paper from the desk. "This says that you were caught helping another student cheat."
All of a sudden, I started to get into the scene, and felt both nervous and aroused. "I wasn't really going to help her, ma'am," I protested.

"But you didn't stop her. This is a serious offense, don't you think?"

"Y-yes, ma'am."

"The official policy requires suspension."

"But, but, I can't be suspended." My voice cracked just like there were a real danger.

"Okay. But you need to find out how serious this is. I think that corporal punishment would be in order."

I hung my head. "I've never been spanked. What will happen?"

Janey snorted, as herself, but quickly became the headmistress again. "You will lean over the desk. I will spank you firmly with the paddle until I feel like your bottom is warm enough. Then you will pull down your pants, and get a thorough spanking over your underpants, with the ruler. Then, just to make sure you're never going to allow this to happen again, you will get an even more thorough spanking with a strap, on your bare bottom. Do you understand?"

"Y-y-y-yes, ma'am. And I won't be suspended?"

"Not if you take your punishment well. Lean over the desk."

I walked over, wondering what she meant by "the paddle." Then I realized that she'd made a detour into the kitchen on her way to the study, and had a particular wooden spatula she's had her eye on since we last went to the kitchen store. It came in the package of wooden spoons, and, so far as I could figure out, was good for little but spanking. But I'd insisted that she buy her own spanking implements, and left the spatula in the utensil drawer. Clearly, Janey was getting bold.

Janey smacked my bottom with it repeatedly. It didn't do much, because it was too light, so she gave up on that pretty quickly. I had a suspicion she 'd use it the next time we started out playing in the kitchen, and I had nothing on but a bathrobe, though. Well, presuming the curtains were drawn, and my housemates were out! Hopefully..

"That's enough of that. Take down your pants."

I complied. SMACK!! The ruler crashed down on my bottom. We played with the ruler often enough that both of us were familiar with its impact. SMACK!!! Janey was making up for the failure of the paddle. My bottom started to get warmed up. "What happens to cheaters, miss?"

SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACKK!!! "Well?" Janey panted.

"They get punished," I responded. She gave five more smacks with the ruler, then put it down on the desk.

"Let that be a lesson. Pull down your underpants."

I found myself getting very much in character. I held on to my underpants, and started to beg. "Please, ma'am, I'm sorry. I've learned my lesson. I promise. Please, don't spank me. Please. I'll be good. I promise."

"Begging won't get you out of this. Pull down your underpants, or I'll give you five more with the ruler, and we'll try again."

I pulled down my underpants. Janey stood to my side, and doubled the strap that usually serves as the shoulder strap on her satchel. I knew from experience that it hurt, but it wasn't unbearable. The leather thudded into my bare bottom. I wiggled, but Janey wasn't even bothering to lecture. She balanced one hand firmly in the center of my back and continued spanking me.

She put down the strap, and said, "Pull up your pants. I want you to go sit on that chair while I write a note for your parent or guardian to sign when you get home." I looked at her, trying to figure out what she was up to. I sat gingerly on the chair she'd indicated.

She handed me the note, and whispered, "Kitchen, in about a minute."

I sat and counted out the minute. When I went into the kitchen, Janey had changed her hair back closer to its usual style, and was mucking about with dishes. "Hi," I said, trying to figure out what was going on.

"Hi, sweetie. How was school?"

I blushed. "Well...." She raised an eyebrow. I handed her the note.

She read it. "Oh. I see. Go upstairs to your room."

I turned to go up, and she was right behind me.

"What have I told you about school?" she asked, sounding play-furious.

"Um, to be a good student?" I guessed.

"I have told you, over and over, that if you ever get punished at school, you can expect more of the same as soon as you get home. I guess you'd forgotten all about that, hadn't you, Michelle?"

"Well, no, but..."

"No buts about it." Janey sat down on the chair I usually use to pile my clothes on. She patted her lap. I went to lay across it. "Bare bottom," she snapped. I stood again, and pulled down my pants and underwear. Or I started to. All of a sudden, I was a little reluctant to get yet another smacking. "NOW!" she snapped.
I decided I didn't want to use my safe word, and pulled them down. "You may as well take them all the way off." I complied, and lay down over her lap. Janey began to smack my bottom. Her hand got harder and harder. I started to squirm. "Hold still!" I tried. The smacking went on. I wiggled. "Okay, you're nice and warm. Go get the hairbrush."

My stomach clenched. My bottom was burning already. She glared at me. I walked over to the nightstand. I walked back with the heavy, solid hairbrush. Then I stood in front of her. "Please, I'm really sorry. I really am. Please, don't spank me!"

"You should have thought of that sooner. Lean over. If you weren't smart enough to not stop cheating, well, I guess I'll have to teach you." She began to whack my bottom with the hairbrush. It really started to hurt.

"Cheating is serious. You need a serious punishment to teach you to never do it again," she said, and "Now I'll give you five more hard ones, just to remind you."
It wasn't the hardest she'd ever spanked me, but it did hurt a lot. She let me up. I stood in front of her, pants on the floor, bottom burning. "Okay," she said calmly, "Now, I want you to go downstairs and email that student. Let her know that she's failing." I couldn't tell whether this was Janey, or my "mother" speaking. I looked at her quizically.

"Look, Michelle, the sooner you do it, the better. I'll wait for you up here." I reached for my pants. "Don't bother with those. Just put on your robe. I'm sure you'll want the kind of comfort only your girlfriend can give you when you're done," she smirked.

I slipped on my bathrobe and went down to write the email. It was still uncomfortable. I sympathized with the student. I wondered how she'd cope with the failing grade. I wished I didn't have to do it. But then, I remembered Janey's comment about the other students. It certainly wasn't fair to them for this one student to get away with cheating. I sent her a firm email, including the number of lines in the first couple of pages that I'd easily found online. More than two thirds. I started to get ticked off. I hit send. Then I went back upstairs.

"You did it?" Janey asked lazily, sprawled across my bed.

"Yeah. Thanks. I guess I just needed a reminder."

"Uhm-hm. Take off that robe." I complied. "Turn around." She had that girlfriend-commanding tone in her voice. I complied. "Oooh. You're going to have a few little bruises. I hope you don't mind."

"Well, gosh, Janey, now is a great time to ask, isn't it? No, I don't mind." Amazingly, I no longer felt the slightest bit guilty about having to fail the student. So I curled up in bed, to get the kind of comfort any good girl deserves when she's had to do something hard.

03 December, 2005

Story: Collective Bargaining

I was inspired to post this story because Pink of Pink Bottomed Girls requested some ideas. I wrote this story several years ago, and posted it to the SSS newsgroup. It's fiction--sorry to those of you who might want to transfer!

Collective Bargaining
or, A Voice in the University Community

The latest membership meeting of the incipient graduate students’ union was nearly finished, when Marjorie stood up. “Okay, everybody, it seems like we’ve got a credibility problem. We’re telling the university that we need a union because it will enhance our status as professionals. The problem is, apparently, a lot of you have incompletes. If we’re not getting our work done, then how can we convince people we’re professionals?”

The room erupted in irritated whispering. Marjorie continued, “I know, I know, everyone’s got a very good reason for all of their incompletes. But the fact remains: we’re acting like kids, and waiting for someone to make us get our work in. The administration is never going to take us seriously if we can’t even manage our time well enough to do our own work!”

The buzz continued, as people thought about this, and continued to voice their excuses.

“So, what should we do about it? We shouldn’t expect the faculty to nag us to get things finished on time. So, I’ve got a proposal: the union should have a discipline committee. And the discipline should be…” she paused, and then went on, “I think the punishment should be a sound paddling, and then five strokes of the cane for every incomplete. It would certainly inspire us to get our work done, but it wouldn’t cost us any money.”

The air in the room electrified. Eyes widened, and graduate students looked around the room. A hand went up in the back. “Ummm, who would administer the discipline?”

“I think there should be four members of the committee, freely elected by the membership of the union. If someone has an incomplete, the committee member of their choice could administer the discipline after the next meeting.”

People considered the suggestion. I wasn’t sure what I thought. On the one hand, I thought, it would encourage people to get their work finished. On the other hand, I had three incompletes, and I certainly didn’t want a paddling or a caning. But, after discussion, we decided it was the best move. Most people thought it would provide us with incentive to finish our work, and any incentive seemed like a good idea. The graduate students voted overwhelmingly in favor of Marjorie’s idea.

Just as everyone began to stand up, a guy in the front row raised his hand. “Marjorie, since this was your idea, I think you should be the first to go.”

Marjorie blushed. “But, um, I thought we agreed there would be a grace period until the meeting next month. And, well, we don’t have a discipline committee set up yet.”

But the woman sitting next to him said, “I think you should go first, just so people can get an idea of the consequences for not getting their work done.”

Marjorie stalled, but she finally acquiesced. The meeting officially ended, and we agreed to take a break while Marjorie selected someone to give her the punishment, and while the guy in the front row went to his car to get a cane and paddle he “just happened” to have in the trunk.

Very few people moved from their seats. Five minutes later, when everyone was back in the room, and the pamphlets and empty coffee cups had been moved off the table in the front of the room, Marjorie and another woman stood at the front of the room.

“Ummm, this is Helen,” Marjorie offered, and then stared very firmly at her feet.

“Hello.” Helen spoke calmly, with great assurance. “I think this will help to set the tone for the rest of you. Depending on how this works out, I may decide to run for the discipline committee.” She smiled at us, and added, “I haven’t had a single incomplete since coming here, and I’m well on my way to finishing my dissertation. I am very much in favor of discipline.” She motioned to Marjorie, and Marjorie leaned across the table.

I was in an excellent position, in the front row, well over to the side. I could see both Marjorie’s red face and her bottom, in profile.

Helen placed the paddle and cane on the table. She pulled Marjorie’s pants and underpants to her knees. “In my experience, discipline is most effective when applied directly to the skin.” She lifted the paddle, and (to my great relief) she stood on Marjorie’s other side. I watched people on that side of the room shifting into the few empty seats, and even standing up, for a better view.

SMACK!! I think everyone in the room gasped. Helen caught my eye, and I shivered. The paddling continued. Even though I could see her bottom turning bright red, Marjorie took the paddling well. She only squirmed a little bit. Helen continued the paddling, and Marjorie began to grunt and sniffle.

No one else in the room moved as we watched. I know I wasn’t the only person planning on a more rigorous work schedule. Finally, Helen put the paddle back on the table.

“Marjorie let me know she’s got two incompletes,” Helen announced, “so she will be getting ten strokes.” If it’s possible, the room became even more still.

Helen held the cane, and flexed it. She turned slightly towards the audience, and waved it briskly in the air. I flinched as I heard it whistle. Helen turned back to her task, catching my eye again. I felt an unpleasant electric shock in my chest. Somehow, I suspected Helen would easily win a position on the discipline committee.

Without warning, the cane lashed through the air, and landed on Marjorie’s bottom. “OWWWwww.” The next four strokes came almost without warning. Marjorie’s knuckles turned white, grasping the far end of the table, and she cried out with each stroke.

“Oh, no more, I’m sorry, I’ll get it in, I promise, I promise.” Marjorie’s voice was barely more than a whisper, but I could hear her desperation. Helen ended the respite, and the cane was a blur as she delivered the next five strokes. Marjorie didn’t cry during this set. Instead, she desperately repeated, “Nomorenomorenomore,” almost as a mantra.

And then it was over. Helen lay the cane on the table, rearranged Marjorie’s clothes, and then led her gently towards the bathroom, shutting the door behind them.

The rest of us regarded each other nervously. I know I wasn’t the only one squirming. But, gradually, we returned to normal. Except, instead of our usual post-meeting drinks, most of us either went to the library or home to our computers. And I don’t think we were checking email….

18 October, 2005

Name That "Toy"

Miracle of miracles, our digital camera decided to start working again, for reasons I cannot discern. So I finally got a chance to take a few pictures, among them some of the so-called “loopy toy.”
Here is the item in question:

I made this because I was reading a description of something similar for sale, and said to myself, “I can make this with under $2 worth of supplies, in under half an hour.” And so I did, although it was closer to 45 minutes if you include the time it took me to go to the 99¢ store.

When I remember to buy duct tape, I’ll post illustrated instructions on how to make it, but basically, you make loops of cord (such as is used to connect speakers to a stereo) and secure them with layers of duct tape. If you’re feeling all creative, you can pad the handle created by the duct tape with some cotton fabric.

W. has dubbed it “the loopy toy.” But calling this a toy is, to me, a misnomer (a word which here means “utterly misleading name for something that makes my butt HURT!!”). It is possible, marginally, to use this in a way that doesn’t create instant, stinging, uncomfortable pain; it’s even possible to give fairly hard strokes that don’t leave welts that sting for several days afterward. But mostly, when used with any force, I feel it for days.

My challenge, should you choose to accept it: come up with another name for this. You can, if you like, make one yourself and experiment with it. I just want to call it something other than “loopy toy,” a name that makes me think of pool noodles and Saturday morning cartoons and friendly, fuzzy things. Which this is not.

14 October, 2005

Story: Caught

It's dreary and raining, like it's been all week. I'm going to console myself by posting the very first Janey and Michelle story I wrote. I particularly like the deus ex machina whereby they found out about each others' kink.


"Michelle, I have a confession to make." I looked up from the book I was reading. Janey looked... different. Not really nervous. But not like herself. Then she added, "Or, perhaps, you have a confession to make."

I raised my eyebrows in a question. She didn't add anything. "I don't know what you mean," I said, puzzled.

"I was using your computer while you were at class, to type up that grant proposal," she said. My heart paused for a second, but then I thought, 'no, she wouldn't look through my private documents....'

Then she continued. "I had saved the document to your hard drive, just using my name, because I didn't have a disk with me. But when I came back from lunch, I couldn't remember which folder I put it into, so I just did a search for files titled with my name, so I wouldn't have to dig through your private stuff." I started to blush uncomfortably. "Imagine my surprise," she said, "When I discovered that there are about a dozen files under my name. And I only saved one."

She hadn't! She couldn't! I looked at her face. She had....

"You didn't...?" My voice caught.

"Oh, I read them. The first one was a bit of a mistake. I thought it was the letter, so I opened it. But then, um, the story caught my attention." My mouth was dry. I just stared at her. She added, somewhat wryly, "I think we need to talk." I continued to stare.

"Well, are you going to tell me about the stories?"

"Ummm...." My mouth was still very dry. I swallowed. "I just wrote them, you know, to see if I could."

She raised an eyebrow. "They were very specific. And quite graphic. Try again."

I stalled. "What did you think about them?"

"We'll talk about that later. Tell me why you wrote them." Her voice was firm. I hadn't heard her like this before. Although I was desperately embarrassed, I was also getting a little bit turned on. Even if this was going to be the end of our relationship, there was a kind of a thrill in getting caught.

"Well, um, I kind of have these fantasies," I said, and paused.

"Yes, you clearly do," was all she offered.

"And, well, I just wanted to, um, imagine what it would be like, if you..."

"If I?"

"If you and I did those kinds of things together." I licked my bottom lip nervously. Now she'd say I was weird and perverted, and that would be the end.

But she folded her arms across her chest, and frowned at me. Not in a distant way. "Don't you think you should get my permission before writing things like that about me? Or perhaps you thought I'd never find out."

"Well, I didn't think you'd ever find them," I admitted.

"But now I have." The look she gave me left me half-turned on, and half-terrified. Maybe she had fantasies like this. Maybe she'd act them out with me. Oh, shit.

"So, what did you think?" My voice cracked a little, but there, I'd asked the question.

She smiled at me. Relief flooded through me. I like our relationship, and I'd rather not lose it. "I liked them. A lot. I think we should talk."

"About what?" I asked innocently.

"About doing something to make it more than a fantasy," she said calmly. I swallowed. "You've never done this except for fooling around at parties, have you?" I shook my head no. "Neither have I. I guess we're all talk and no action. But if the stories you wrote really reflect what you like, I think we’ll do just fine together."

"So you'd spank me?" I asked, nervously. There. I'd said it.

"Oh, yes. I think I'd like that. And I'd do the other things, too." I blanched. Some of those fantasies were a little more heavy than I really thought I could handle.

"There's no one in the house right now," she said, calmly. "Perhaps I should give you a little taste of what we're talking about. Besides, I'm a little ticked off that you'd write stories like that about me, and keep them on your hard drive, where anyone could find them." My heart began to thump. She sat down on the ottoman, and patted her thighs. "Come here."

I got up from the armchair and took the three steps to the ottoman. I stood in front of her. "Well?" she asked, and patted her thighs again.

I awkwardly knelt on the floor beside her, and then she helped me to position myself across her lap. I could hardly believe this was happening. She rubbed my butt gently for several seconds. Then, I felt one of her hands leave, and she brought it down--neither hard nor soft--on my bottom. I let out a little squeak of surprise.

She paused. "Is this okay? Just say stop, and it's over."

I blushed even more furiously. "No, it's fine. I like it. I was just a little surprised, that's all." My reward was a sharp crack on the bottom. And then another, followed by several seconds of hard smacks. She stopped, and rubbed my bottom a bit.

"Maybe we should pull down your pants," she suggested. "I don't want my hand to get sore too soon."

I stood up and turned to face her. I couldn't believe I was about to pull down my pants for a spanking. I hadn't done that since I was a kid, and I certainly hadn't enjoyed it then! But this was different. She wasn't doing this because she was angry, even if she had given the excuse of the stories. All of a sudden, I remembered that it wasn't the spankings I hadn't liked when I was a kid. It was the lack of power. But I didn't feel powerless now.

I slowly unbuckled my belt, and then unbuttoned my pants. I pulled them down, just about to my knees. "That's enough," she said. "Get back over my lap for your punishment." The care in her eyes was enough to remind me that we were both adults, and that this wasn't really a punishment. I lay back down over her lap, and she began to smack my bottom, hard. I had forgotten what it was like to actually get a spanking. I began to wiggle my butt a little bit, writhing to get away from her hand. She stopped.

"It's okay," I panted. "I like it."

She didn't say anything, but then I felt her fingers slide under the waistband of my panties. I wasn't sure what to think. I mean, sure she'd seen me naked before. We were lovers. But to get a bare-bottomed spanking from my lover... was I ready for this? But I didn't tell her to stop, and my panties joined my pants, at my knees.

SMACK! Her hand cracked down hard, several times. My bottom began to burn. It was really starting to hurt. "I think just a couple more," she said, breathing hard. The spanks covered my bottom and thighs.

"Your butt's nice and pink," she said, happily. Then I felt fingers between my thighs. "Oh, my. And you're very wet."

I sat up, wincing slightly at the touch of the rough fabric on my tender bottom. I slid my fingers under her skirt. "You're pretty steamy yourself," I commented. We smiled at each other.

07 October, 2005

Story: Road Trip

I've decided the blog is getting way too serious, so I thought I'd dust off a couple of my less serious stories and post them for your enjoyment.

I posted this story to the SSS short story contest in 2001. It was inspired by a road trip in horrid traffic, but the events are otherwise completely made up.

Road Trip

Hot. Sticky. LOWS in the 90s. Janey called. “Let’s get out of town. I’ll finish work at noon tomorrow. How about you?”

“I should be done with this paper tomorrow morning.”

“Good. I want to get into the ocean.”

Janey made reservations for a camp site. She has a friend working at a state park, so we managed to get one.

When Janey came by early Friday afternoon, I was in the living room, eating a popsicle and watching television. She knew from my guilty start that the paper wasn’t done. She turned off the television. I finished my popsicle quickly.

“How much more?”

I bit my lip. “I’ll work quickly.”

“I’ll put together a bag for you.” Janey went upstairs. I typed. Janey went to the store to get road food. I continued typing. By three-thirty, I finished, and we drove away.

Of course we ran into traffic.

“Why can’t all these people go somewhere else? Why can’t they drive faster? Why do they have to tailgate?”

Janey made soothing comments. She even let me choose all the CDs we played. It wasn’t enough. “I HATE traffic. Why couldn’t we go earlier this week?”

No response.

“When are we going to GET there?!”

Janey half-smiled, half-snapped, “You won’t like what happens if I pull this car over, Missy.”

And then it started to pour. “This is stupid. I hate rain.” Janey glanced at me, and kept driving. “These people don’t like to be outside in the rain. They can go home. I HATE traffic.”

“Michelle, enough. Take a nap, or talk to me. Stop whining.”

I glared out the window. How can she be so calm?

We needed to change lanes. No one would let us in. “Why can’t these idiots learn to DRIVE?” I flipped off a particularly offensive motorist. Janey put her signal on again, and pulled off at the next exit.

“Where are we going?”

“I’m pulling over.” She pulled to the shoulder in a small wood. She unbuckled both our seatbelts, and got out. Tropical air rushed into the car. Janey walked around, opened my door, and then the back door of the car. She pulled out the hairbrush.

“I’m sorry. I’ll stop whining, Janey.” Even that was a whine.

“Get in here. NOW.” Reluctantly, I climbed across her lap. My bottom was immediately on fire. The brush seemed to stick to my sweaty skin. She paddled my thighs until I was nervous about whether I’d be able to sit at all.

Hairbrush smacks and drumming rain filled the car. I finally stopped wiggling and kicking, and lay across her lap.

“Janey, I’m sorry, I won’t whine anymore. I promise.”

“Good,” she said, finally. “Now get back in your seat, and think about what I’m going to do when I get you to the camp site.”

06 October, 2005

Punished... and disciplined

Yeah, so the reason I was feeling so very cranky last Friday is this: I really didn’t work well last week. I procrastinated more thoroughly than I’ve procrastinated in a long while.

Appearances on this blog to the contrary, academic writing is pure torture for me. Last week on Monday, I spent seven hours actually working, and got, I think, one paragraph finished. It was miserable, frustrating, and very discouraging.

Tuesday came, and I couldn’t seem to force myself to get started, because it just meant more of the same misery. And so it went. I managed to work at least a little each day, but it wasn’t good work. And a lot of my so-called “work time” was actually spent playing solitaire.

W. says that guilt is counterproductive. She’s right, but I can sure manage to produce a whole lot of it. And when I add guilt to other anxiety and stress and frustration… well, to say that I’m not pleasant to be around is something of an understatement. So that’s where I was on Friday.

Friday evening, I finally admitted to W. that my vagueness about how my work had been going was due to my failure to do any work. I might not be a good liar, but I think both of us were willing to let things slide, because neither of us really wanted to go through with a punishment spanking.

We made a plan for Saturday. We’d do our usual morning stuff, go to yard sales with a friend, and then I would come home and work for three hours. This was W.’s diabolical method of getting me to do the work I was supposed to do, and not be able to weasel out of it by taking a punishment spanking. She said I would also get a punishment spanking, and it was my choice whether it would be before or after I did my work. I waffled, since part of me wanted to put it off for as long as possible, but the other part of me knew that I wouldn’t be able to work well with the spanking hanging over my head. I finally said I thought I should have it before, and W. agreed that it was the best plan.

Saturday came, and I was nervous. I wasn’t looking forward to the punishment, and I wanted it to be over. We went through the morning and early afternoon, but then W. realized that she’d invited the friend over for the evening as well.

Ack! This meant that I had to face three more hours of work before my spanking. I was anxious, and this only made me crankier. I managed to force myself through the work as W. and her friend played with the Nok Hockey set W. got at one of the yard sales. Finally, I was done, and finally, the friend went home.

I might not have been looking forward to the spanking, but heaven knows I wanted to get it over with. Also, in my highly trusting way, I needed her to prove once again that I could rely on her, and that she would follow through with what she had said she was going to do.

But W. didn’t mention the spanking, and so I sulked.

I already described the half-punishment spanking I got for that. Afterwards, I managed to get myself to talk. I said that I really needed her to follow through with the punishments, and that I was feeling really guilty about not getting work done, and that I needed the external structure to make it possible. We processed, like good lesbians.

W. said she needed something to make it easier for her to hold me accountable, and suggested a more detailed log of what I had done with my day. In addition to the number of hours, we agreed that I would make a note not only of what I had done, but also of how well I had used the time. W. suggested checking in about my work each day, but I wanted to spare her the stress of having to worry about it every single day, so I convinced her that once a week would be often enough.

This seemed handy, W. joked, because we had made a bet the summer before last, for which the forfeit was her giving me a (fun) spanking every week for a year. For a variety of reasons, that hadn’t actually happened, so she was looking forward to paying off her debts. (I admit, it was a total sucker bet, and I knew what the outcome would be. But she insisted I was wrong, and I took her up on it.) Anyhow, we decided that I would get either a reward or a punishment spanking each Sunday night, depending on how my work had gone the previous week.

I also asked her specifically to hold me to the part of my work schedule/rules that benefits her the most: that I have to be done with at least the minimum amount of work by four o’clock. This doesn’t say I can’t work after that, but it means that any work after that is extra. Otherwise, I have a tendency to procrastinate all morning, and I end up not getting any work done for the day.

So my diabolical wife came up with yet another evil plan. In addition to my punishment (to be delivered at some point on Sunday), I now have to get up when she gets up in the morning. This means getting up at SIX AM!! Ugh. And for this week, anyways, I have to start work by nine.

This helps me by giving me plenty of time for breakfast and reading the paper before I get started with work. But it also helps her, because she is decidedly not a morning person, and if I’m sleeping, she doesn’t turn on the light or the radio. So me getting up means that she has an easier time getting up. I don’t enjoy it, but I do like giving her that support.

The unfortunate part is that I also have to go to bed early. I’ve never liked having a bedtime, and W. has been reminding me every night that I have to come in to bed. And I have no doubt that she would enforce it if I didn’t.

So all of that is the discipline part.

On Sunday, W. came in at 9:15 to let me know that I had fifteen minutes before I needed to come to bed. This was the first night of our deal, and I admit I was rather surprised that she was following through so strictly. I came in and got into bed, and W. finished with her own preparations for bed. She hadn’t mentioned the punishment, and I was feeling just a bit cranky (‘cause I never do seem to expect her to really follow through).

She decided that I had earned both the punishment spanking we had discussed, and a reward spanking for getting my work done well on Saturday (and because I had managed to work all of the hours I was supposed to). She gave me the reward spanking first, and it was a good warm-up. While she was spanking me, she talked about how nice it would be to only give me reward spankings, and how much fun they would be.

Then she put down the various toys she had been using, and picked up the “loopy toy.” It was time for the punishment. She noted that she had spent half an hour on the reward, and was going to spend five minutes on the punishment. If I did good work all week, she pointed out, I would get at least thirty-five minutes of reward every week. The punishment spanking was hard, but she paused between the strokes, so I didn’t get too many of them.

Afterwards, she checked in about how I was feeling. I couldn’t really explain everything that was going through my head. On the one hand, I hoped that the increased structure was going to help me to work. On the other hand, the spanking hadn’t hurt, and I was concerned that it wouldn’t be effective. And it was incredibly strange to have the physical arousal from a play spanking combined with the decidedly non-aroused mental state induced by a punishment spanking.

Perhaps the jumble in my head explains why I didn’t sleep well, because I kept waking up all night. And perhaps this explains why Monday was such a wash in terms of getting work done.

To my credit, it was also just a frustrating point in the writing process. But even though I kept at it for the requisite number of hours, I didn’t work very hard.

Tuesday was pretty much the same story. Deep down, I knew I needed a “real” punishment spanking, just to clear the slate. But, oh, how I wanted to avoid it.

W. had checked in about how my day had gone before she got home. I mentioned my frustration with the work, and admitted that I hadn’t gotten much done. But then I went back to reading my email (this is after working to one level or another for six hours, and I knew I wasn’t going to get anything worthwhile done that day anyhow).

Then my study door opened, and my wife said, rather grimly, “Get in here so I can give you your spanking.”


I slowly walked into the bedroom. She asked about my day, I repeated what I had said. She asked to see my work log. When she saw that I had worked 6 hours, I could tell she wanted to back down. But then she asked me about the grade I had given myself (C = moderate focus, many breaks).

She asked what I meant by “breaks.”

I hemmed and hawed.

She specified: did I take a walk? did I read a book? did I have a snack? Or did I play solitaire.

I admitted that it was solitaire. She sighed, and told me I had to go remove solitaire from my computer. I complied, because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to avoid playing solitaire. And then I went back to the bedroom.

The loopy toy was out. I didn’t let myself beg or whine, because I know it’s just as hard for her as it is for me. And, honestly, much as I wanted to weasel my way out of it, I had more than earned the punishment I was about to get.

This time, she hit me like she meant it. Two days later, my bottom is still sore. When I twisted away from her, she paused long enough to hold me in position, and started again. She stopped at one point, because she realized that she had broken the skin. She made it clear that she didn’t like the necessity, but she was going to continue with the spanking anyways She spanked me with her hand for a while, and then went back to the loopy toy.

Afterwards, W. explained that she really does not like giving me punishment spankings, but for as long as they work, she is going to do it.

And then she said she didn’t think a weekly check-in was going to work. We have to check in every single night about what I’ve done, and if I’ve earned a punishment spanking, I’ll get it right then.

I’m very grateful to W. for taking up this disciplinary role, for a lot of reasons.

I know it doesn’t come naturally for her, and I know that both of us still struggle with the external meanings of what it is that we’re doing.

Somehow, having structure imposed externally, even if I pretty much created that structure myself, makes me feel safe, and makes it easier for me to hold myself to a schedule.

And spankings work much better for me as a consequence than being booted out of grad school. Because being booted out of grad school is such a big thing, and such a distant, abstract thing, that I can’t quite make myself cope with the possibility. So it just hangs there every day that I’m unable to work. And it’s such an all-or-nothing problem that either I feel like I can keep slacking off with no consequences, or else I feel so overwhelmed by the consequences that I can’t manage to work.

So here I am, both punished and disciplined. Hopefully, the two will combine to help me get through the writing-induced panic, and the procrastination-induced wastes of time. And who knows, maybe with the threat of a spanking hanging over me, I’ll actually step away from the computer and go for a walk when I need a break, and end up being in decent physical shape into the bargain.

05 October, 2005


By the time last Friday rolled around, I was in a supremely cranky mood (more on that in a different post). In the interest of being slightly more pleasant to be around, I made my usual mistake of substituting brattiness for cheerfulness.


My official excuse for crankiness, I suppose, was the fact that one of my friends needed to drop by to pick something up from me, and she was incredibly late. I had opted to hold dinner until she had been here and gone, so that W. and I could have Shabbos* dinner uninterrupted. My friend took far longer than she had expected to get here, and dinner was getting progressively overcooked. I finally gave up and served dinner, and just as we were about to light the candles… yup, my friend made it here. I went to let her in, and she needed to come into the apartment for something or other, and told us to just start dinner. So we lit the candles and said the blessings and started eating, even though that seemed rather rude (we had invited her to share dinner with us, but she said she had to leave and couldn’t stop for dinner). While my friend was here, I found I couldn’t help teasing W. in front of her, because W. blushes so very nicely. My friend finally left right around when W. and I finished eating. This was just as well, because in my dedicated procrastination (and, ahem, my dedication to my wife’s needs, of course), I had looked up the Torah portion for the week. We read this, and I was getting silly and snarky. Wen teased me for being a brat.

But then, just as soon as we were finished with dinner, she stood up suddenly and said, “Get into the bedroom.”

I was a little mystified, and asked why.

“You’re being a brat. Get into the bedroom now!”

So, of course, I followed her into the bedroom. I stood near the door as she rummaged through our toy cupboard, and under the immense pile of laundry by the side of the bed. Finally, I asked, “What are you looking for?”

“I can’t find the loopy toy,” she said irritably. “Go get the bath brush.” She had picked the two implements that are most likely to make me submit in a matter of seconds. I went and got the bath brush. She ordered me to pull down my pants and lay across the bed, and I complied.

She settled herself on the bed, and then informed me that I was getting the spanking for being irreverent about the Torah. And for being a brat in general. This was a useful indicator to me that the spanking was mostly in play.

She delivered firm smacks with the bath brush, with pauses in between while she lectured me on irreverence. Then she shifted to talking about me being a brat. The smacks came even harder. She paused in the spanking, and mused, “When I’m waiting for my students to do something, I start counting. And if they don’t get it, I keep… on… counting!” She emphasized each word with the hardest smacks yet.

I was torn between my desire to be good and submissive and do what she wanted, and my desire for more spanking. Also, I couldn’t quite figure out what she wanted me to do. (I hope she gives her students more guidance than she was giving me!)

Then she mentioned teasing her at dinner, and I got it. After about half a dozen more smacks, I apologized for teasing her to make her blush. The spanking stopped, and I was forgiven. At least for the time being.


I was still a little cranky on Saturday, pretty much for the same reasons as on Friday. We spent the morning having brunch with one of our friends, and then spent the afternoon going to yard sales, where we made many decidedly non-kinky purchases. I worked on my dissertation for three hours in the evening, and then I went to spend a little bit of time with W. But, as I said, I was incredibly cranky, and not feeling up to talking about it.

I realized pretty quickly that I was not fit for human company, so I went into my study, so I wouldn’t be inflicting myself on W. Now, I know this is not a great way to deal with anything that’s bothering me. I just stew, and she feels shut out. But it’s a very difficult habit for me to get out of, and when I’m in a bad mood, I probably don’t put nearly enough effort into breaking the habit.

So there I was in my study, putzing around on my computer, feeling irritable. The door burst open, and W. said, “Get in here!”

“What?!” I asked. This is not her usual method of coaxing me to talk about my worries.

“You heard me. Get in here!”

I slowly followed her into the bedroom, and saw that she had found the dreaded loopy toy.

For the second evening in a row, I was ordered to pull down my pants and lay down across the bed. She brought that evil “toy” down across my bottom with moderate force. I can’t remember the specifics of her lecture, but she made very clear to me that sulking and shutting her out was not an option. She didn’t care whether I was angry or sad or whatever, but I don’t have the option of just blocking her out and ignoring her. It wasn’t precisely a punishment spanking, but she was doing a very good job of making her point clear.

She finished, and I was surprised at my ability to actually talk to her about what was bothering me. So I felt a bit less cranky, things were a little better between the two of us, and we managed to have a reasonably pleasant evening together.

*W. has been wanting to be somewhat more observant of her Jewish faith, and I’ve been trying to be as supportive as I can in this. Fortunately, W. is pretty reconstructionist in her Judaism (which means adapting it to her actual life and beliefs), so we mesh pretty well. Thus, backslid Southern Baptist and current pagan that I am, every Friday, I bake challah and make a special meal for Shabbos. Maybe 52 weeks of observing the Sabbath somehow makes up for the three weeks of having a Christmas tree.

28 September, 2005

Fairy Tales

I had wanted to remind myself of the story line of a few fairy tales, so I found them online. I sometimes wonder why people bother to retell them, since they're so creepy all on their own. I also really wonder why people give copies of these to children!

The two I just read are The Six Swans and The Girl Without Hands, but even the most familiar ones are pretty disturbing in their older versions.

27 September, 2005

Fantasy # 2

Fantasies change as I write them, morphing into something that exists halfway between fantasy and what would make a good story. And, really, I do have a variety of fantasies, so I thought I’d write up another of them.

(And, sweetie, just in case you’re concerned, I’m writing this Tuesday night, not Wednesday day!)

She knocks on my study door, and opens the door. “Come into the bedroom.”

“In a couple of minutes,” I say, not really looking up from my email.

Not in a couple of minutes. Come with me right now.”

I turn my head, but she has already gone into the bedroom. I go in, wondering what she needs, a little irritated at being interrupted. As I close the bedroom door behind me, she says, “When I tell you to come, you come. Understand?”

I raise my eyebrows in surprise. This isn’t like her.

“Take off your clothes and get onto the bed.” I hesitate, and she says, “Now!”

My hands tremble as I undress. My heart pounds as I climb onto the bed.

She looks at me appreciatively, and then reaches her hand to grasp my cunt. “Whose is this?” she asks.

“Yours,” I murmur, slipping into a submissive state of mind.

“And when can I touch it?”

“Whenever you want to,” I reply.

“Good. Come here.” She strokes me, then grabs the back of my head and kisses me roughly. She lifts her other hand to twist my nipple, and electricity jolts through me, centering on my clit. She moves her head down and bites my other nipple. Then she pulls me across her lap.

Her hand is strong, firm, unstoppable. Spanks cover my bottom, and the tops of my thighs. She pushes me a little away from her, and lifts the blue whip. She lets the strands of it drift across my sensitive flesh. She begins to tap me with it, gently, then harder and harder. I shift to look at her, and she grabs my hair to point my face towards the bed.

She picks up a rhythm, and begins to strike more fiercely. I squeal, and she pauses to stroke my bottom. Her hand slides between my thighs, and I hear her moan softly as she feels the slick wetness. She lifts the whip again and continues. I would swear that I can feel the heat radiating from my bottom.

“You’re so red,” she sighs, and pulls me back over her lap. Her hand feels even more powerful now that my skin is so tender. She alternates smacks with lingering caresses of my asshole and cunt. When I clench my legs, trying to squeeze my clit, she pulls them apart. “You will come when I say you can,” she says firmly. And then she begins to spank the insides of my thighs. I squirm, but she holds me.

She finally pushes me off of her lap. My bottom and thighs are throbbing, and a different rhythm is beating in my cunt. “On your knees, facing the door,” she orders. I comply. She settles herself behind me, and begins to slide her fingers into my cunt.

“You’re so wet, so open,” she says. “I love your amazing body.”

I blush, knowing that anything I say will seem trite. And most of my powers of speech have been overtaken by the sensations somewhat further down.

As she begins to slide her whole hand into my cunt, I tense. “Maybe some lube?” I ask.

“Whose cunt is this?” she says, and slaps me with her other hand. “Don’t you think I know your body? Do you trust me to know what you need?”

“Yes,” I say, and relax. She does know my body, sometimes better than I know it myself.

“I know when you are ready, and I know what you can take,” she says. I ride the sensations. I hear the half-sigh, half-growl she sometimes makes when she slides her hand into me, and I know she is inside me to her wrist.

The sensations are electric, and overpowering. My cunt is burning, and the glow is spreading through my whole body. She makes me come, but she doesn’t stop. Her fist moves in and out, in and out, and I come over and over again. By the time she is finished, I can’t feel my toes or fingers.

Slowly, she pulls out her hand, and strokes it over me. She comes beside me, and kisses me, only slightly more gently than before. She growls slightly in the back of her throat, as she bites and sucks. “Mine,” she says, over and over again.

“Yours,” I agree.


I want it to be a surprise. Perhaps it would go something like this:

She sends a text message on her way home from work, when the train comes above ground. “Put on the clothes that are in the bottom drawer of the dresser, and stand in the corner of the hallway until I get home.”

I text back—“What?!”

And she responds—“Do as I say. Or you’ll be in even MORE trouble.”

My clit starts to throb from the mere fact of bottoming. I go into the bedroom and open the drawer, wondering what I will find. It’s a school uniform, or a close approximation: knee-length plaid skirt, white button-down shirt, striped tie. Knee-high socks, my lace-up oxfords, plain cotton underpants.

I blush as I change, and knot the tie carefully. I consider my hair, and put it into two French braids, because that seems to fit.

My heart is pounding, and I feel quite silly as I go to stand in the corner. I wonder how long it will be before she gets home. I wish I had my watch. I stare at the wall, and think about what she might have in mind. I wonder whether she’s really going to spank me, or if something will happen to distract her before she gets home. I wonder how long I have been standing in the corner, and consider whether I have time to go check my cell phone to see how long it’s been since she called. She will have no way of knowing how long I have stood in the corner, after all.

But, deep down, I’m a good girl, so I do as I’ve been told. The wait seems longer and longer. I wonder whether something has happened to the train, or whether she has stopped to talk to one of the neighbors before she comes in. I wonder why she decided to give me a spanking.

And then I hear feet on the stairs outside our apartment, and a key in the lock. I force myself to keep facing the wall. She walks up beside me and looks closely at how I am dressed. When I turn my head to see her, she firmly points it back towards the corner. She lifts my skirt to be sure that I am wearing the full uniform. “You’re properly dressed,” she murmurs. “That might help.”

She opens the bedroom door, and turns to make sure I haven’t left the corner. I hear her rummaging through the cupboards, and then going into the bathroom. I am dying with curiosity, but I keep my eyes to the wall. Much as I want to know what’s happening, I am grateful that the situation is so completely in her control. I take a deep breath as I stand there.

Finally, she says, “Come here.” I notice that she is wearing a uniform that is identical to mine. I wonder when she got them, and how she managed not to mention it to me. I grin, to think of how hard it must have been for her to keep the secret.

“What are you smirking about? This isn’t funny.”

“I—“ I start to protest, but then I decide to be “in character.” I look down, and examine my shoes, waiting to find out what our role-play is going to be.

“You know that as the head girl of our form, it’s my job to keep order, right?”

I look up at her, and nod.

“You are a senior student at this school, and I would think that you would help by being a good example to the other students. But you haven’t been, have you?”

“I am a good student!” I protest.

“You may be very smart, and you may even behave in your classes, but outside of class, you have been a very bad example to the other girls. Just look at this!” She hands me a sheet of paper.

September 2. Convinced entire first form that the common room is haunted by the ghost of our first headmistress. Four first form girls caught sneaking out of their dormitory at midnight to see the ghost.

September 5. Helped two first form girls put salt into all of the sugar bowls in the dining hall before breakfast.

September 9. Short-sheeted the beds in all of the senior dormitories.

September 12. Left the dormitory after lights-out, and read a novel in the common room until two a.m.

September 13. Overslept and caused the house to lose 10 points because bed was unmade and drawers were untidy.

September 15. Convinced five second form girls that it was the headmistress’s birthday, and that she would like to receive a singing telegram to mark the occasion.

September 16. Left the dormitory after lights-out, and read a novel in the common room until two-thirty a.m.

September 17. Replaced all of the articles in the school newspaper with parodies of the school songs. Disaster was narrowly avoided, as the assistant editor discovered the substitution shortly before the paper went to the printer.

September 20. Went to town and bought all of the supplies for the third form to have a midnight feast. Hid their food in the craft cupboard in the common room, and loaned them a travel alarm so they would be able to wake up.

September 24. Inserted two long passages from Enid Blyton boarding school stories into the school newspaper. Disaster once again avoided when the assistant editor discovered the insertion.

September 26. Hid ten alarm clocks, set to go off at different times, in the school auditorium. These interrupted a speech by one of the trustees.

Now I had to grin. These were entirely silly crimes.

“This isn’t funny. You are undermining the authority at this school, and you are setting a very bad example for the younger girls. The only reason the head hasn’t found out about this is that the other seniors, especially the prefects, have been making sure you aren’t caught. What are you thinking?”

“Well, it’s my last year here, and I thought it was time to have some fun,” I grin. “Besides, that was the most interesting speech that particular trustee has ever given, and you know it. Even the head looked relieved.”

She frowns at me. “I can see you aren’t taking your behavior seriously. You know that most of the items on this list would get you caned if you had been caught.”

“But I was careful, and I wasn’t caught, was I?”

“Yes,” she says, “you were caught. I caught you, and you know that I have the same power to punish misbehavior outside of class as any of the teachers have in a class.” She points to the bed, and I notice that she has both a cane and the bath brush arranged beside a pile of pillows at the edge of the bed. When I don’t move, she says, “I’m sure you remember the drill. Go lean over the edge of the bed.”

I walk over, my heart thumping. I wonder how seriously she is going to take the game. Very seriously, it seems. She stands beside me, and lifts the hem of my skirt.

“I am starting with a hand spanking, because many of the misbehaviors on this list are the kind of thing a silly first form girl would do, and silly first form girls don’t get the cane.” I can tell that she has been reading up on how to give a hand spanking. My bottom is uncomfortably warm, and I am squirming with each slap by the time she is done.

She pulls my underwear to my knees, and lifts the cane. “There are eleven items on my list. I’m sure that you have done more than that, so I’ll make it an even dozen cane strokes. If you move out of position, I will start again from the beginning.” I brace myself.

Swwiiissshhhh-CRACK! I squeal as the pain hits, but I stay in place as the second and third strokes come whistling down. She must have been reading about caning, too, because this is far more intense than she usually is with a cane. I really feel that momentary pause between the impact of the cane and the pain from the stroke.

She picks up the pace. I can’t help twisting to the side after the seventh stroke, just to get a break. She pushes me back into position.

Swwiissshhh-CRACK! “One,” she says, letting me know she is starting over. I clench my bottom and draw a slow breath. She keeps to a slower pace for the next several strokes, and then begins to go quickly again.

“Owww!! Slow down! Please! It really hurts!”

“Of course it hurts,” she says. “It’s a spanking, it’s supposed to hurt.”

CRACK! “Nine.” I clutch the bedspread and tense my legs, doing everything I can to stay in place. Just three more strokes, two more strokes, one more stroke…. I breathe a sigh of relief when it is over, and resist reaching back to trace the lines I knew she has left on my bottom.

She lays the cane down and climbs up on the bed. “Now that I’ve gotten your attention,” she says, “I want to make sure the lesson sticks. Give me the bath brush, then take off your skirt and underpants, and come lie over my lap.”

I look at her, my heart pounding. She can’t really mean that there’s more of a spanking. “I think the lesson will stick,” I say, rubbing my bottom gently.

“This will be over when I say it’s over,” she says firmly. “Come here now.”

I slowly do as she says, and find myself face down over her lap. She strokes my back for several seconds. I break character just enough to look at her, and we smile at each other, reassuring ourselves that this is all right with each of us. Then she gets back in character and firmly turns my head towards the bedspread.

“I want you to think about the behavior appropriate to a senior at this school,” she says firmly. “What you do reflects on all of us. And if you behave poorly, it makes me look like a bad head girl.” She emphasizes her last sentence with firm smacks of the bath brush, and then begins to spank me in earnest.

When I kick my leg just a little too much she stops, pushes me forward so that I am resting mostly over her left knee. She puts her right leg over the back of my legs and starts the paddling again. I squeal and squirm, but the brush keeps coming down. I know that she could hit me harder than she is, but the steady cracks are taking their toll.

Despite the increasing pain in my bottom, I have room to wonder how far she will go. Experimentally, I reach back to cover my bottom. She stops long enough to grab my wrist. “This spanking will continue until I think you’ve learned who is in charge,” she says resolutely.

Without the option of moving, I find that I can’t pay attention to anything but the steady smacks of the bath brush. Each one burns across my bottom and thighs. I relax completely into submission. I allow myself to squirm, but I also allow myself to yelp. As my bottom gets warmer and warmer, I slip further into the role-play. I promise to be good, I apologize for my misbehavior. The bath brush keeps slapping my bottom.

Finally, my emotions have nowhere else to go, and I start to cry. I cry because of the pain, but also because of the fact that I know it is safe to let go. I am not in charge, I do not have to be in control. No matter what I do, I will get this spanking. She is giving it to me not as a punishment, but simply because she knows that I need it. Several more smacks land on my bottom and thighs, and then she puts the bath brush to the side.

She slowly rubs the small of my back, and runs her hand over my bottom. Then she slides down and we rearrange ourselves so that we can snuggle. I rest my head against her chest, and she strokes my hair.

“Thank you,” I whisper.

“You’re very welcome, love,” she responds.

26 September, 2005

The Relief of Bottoming

We had a busy weekend, pretty much as usual. W.’s younger sisters came for a visit, and we went to see their cousin in a play on Saturday. After dinner with the extended family, we came back home, and then ended up driving her sisters back towards their own home (about an hour and a half from where we live). On the way back, W. asked whether I wanted a spanking on Sunday. Of course, I said yes.

I’ve been stressed out and edgy lately, and I really needed to bottom. On the way home from doing the weekend’s shopping yesterday, I checked in about W.’s energy levels, and mentioned that I really needed to bottom.

We got home, had some dinner, and did our usual early-evening things. Then, about an hour before bedtime, W. announced that it was time. She told me to choose music with a beat, which I did. She instructed me to kneel on the bed, facing the wall (we have no corners that aren’t filled with stuff, so this was perhaps the only way to do “corner time” in our bedroom).

I knelt and stared at the wall. I alternated between contemplating the fact that I was about to get a spanking and figuring out exactly how far-sighted my eyes have gotten (I absolutely cannot focus on something that is less than a foot from my face). W. finished reading the chapter she was on, and then went out of the room to do something else for a while. Then she came back, and rummaged through our toy cupboard. She arranged me for the spanking, and began.

And here is where I feel kind of guilty. She did a nice warm-up, and even had me over her lap, but it was… unsatisfying. I really, desperately needed to bottom, and I just wasn’t getting that last night. The spanking felt, I don’t know, perfunctory. And the sex afterwards also really felt like we were failing to communicate, or failing to get what we wanted.

I’m still too edgy to really be able to talk about it with her. I’m not sure how to describe what it is that I need, and I feel badly about wanting something that she isn’t giving, and about not being happy with what I’ve got. I could tell that she was being gentle and loving—but it’s like I was watching a television with the sound off, and although I could tell what was going on, it wasn’t coming through very clearly. It feels really selfish to say, “I know you gave me what you thought I needed, and I could tell you were making efforts, but it really didn’t meet my needs.” It’s like how I feel when I know someone spent a lot of time or money on a gift for me, but it’s not what I want. So I find myself grateful for the thought and love behind the gift, but also kind of resentful that they spent so much effort on something that I don’t like or want.

Maybe that means I should try to articulate what it is that I do want. I guess what I need is to not be in control, but that’s the usual situation. It’s not just about not being in control of the situation in general, though. I need to not have to be in control of myself.

I guess it’s a side effect of being responsible about so many things lately—I’ve been doing my work like I’m supposed to. I paid the bills instead of spending our money just on fun stuff. I spent my extra day off on Friday doing the laundry and grocery shopping, instead of hanging out doing something just fun.

Part of my frustration comes from my usual conflict. W. wasn’t into spanking before she met me, and so I feel like I should try to avoid asking for much from her in that area. And I feel like I should be grateful for what I get, even if it isn’t what I need. But what good is that? I don’t know if she enjoyed giving me the spanking, but for me, it was the equivalent of a finger just barely brushing my clit during sex—it’s nice in moderation, but it just increased the need for a different kind of stimulation.

But it’s not just that. On some levels, I see the spanking as where we can make other aspects of our relationship balance out. I feel a lot of the time like I have to be the “grown-up.” I make sure that bills get paid and groceries get bought and money gets managed. I’m the one who remembers to pick up the mail, and take out the trash, and all of those kinds of things. Honestly, none of this is precisely a problem. I don’t mind doing most of this, most of this is stuff it wouldn’t occur to me not to do, and it often makes better sense for just one of us to be in charge, you know? It’s not even like W. doesn’t do one of the most important grown-up things in our household: she goes to work every day, and brings home the paycheck that provides the bulk of our financial support while I work on my dissertation.

But I still need a space in my life where someone else takes charge, and for me, that tends to be during a spanking (and, to a lesser extent, during sex). I suppose it would be healthier if I could let her be in charge of other areas of our life, but it’s still a lot of work for me to let go in most areas. And there are times when I need the relief of bottoming.

I need a space where I can let go, where someone else is in charge of what happens. I crave the opportunity to know that I have no say (aside from safewords, because, well, those also make me feel safe). I want to be able to squirm without the spanking stopping. I want to have W. take charge like she means it.

The funny thing is, I could have ended up with something very like that sensation today. W. called on her way home from school to ask how my work had gone today. It hadn’t gone well, but that wasn’t because I didn’t spend the day in front of the computer typing and trying to get work done. When she asked, I was kind of vague about how the work had gone (who wants to admit that they typed and retyped the same six or seven paragraphs all day, getting absolutely nothing?). Besides, I couldn’t honestly say I had been productive, because I had no product to show for my work. She simply said, “Okay, we’ll deal with that when I get home.” And she made a point of checking in with me about my work, and about how I had spent the day. We agreed that I didn’t deserve a punishment, because I had worked, I just hadn’t had a good workday. And some days are like that (even in Australia).

It was clear that if I hadn’t been working, though, that I would have gotten a punishment spanking. And that made me feel good, and cared for. I made sure to thank her for checking in, and holding me accountable, because it makes it easier for me to hold myself accountable.

What I need right now is not really a punishment spanking, exactly. I need something a little bit firm, perhaps disciplinary, but not as a punishment. The words that come into my head as I think about it are that I need to be held together for a little bit, just to ease the strain of doing it myself. I need a structure around me, and I need the release of the spanking. I need to feel like there are boundaries, and like I’m not the one in charge of maintaining them. But I really don’t know how to find our way to a compromise on this, since it’s not something I think W. wants.

Yes, it might make more sense to just talk to her about it. But right now, I’m so needy that I can’t get to a place where I can talk about anything like a reasonable human being, let alone having a conversation where I have to force myself to be vulnerable and take risks.

And I still struggle with the question of “why spanking?” Why not something like playing with blocks, or coloring? Some of that is that I can separate even disciplinary spankings from age play, and when I’m this vulnerable, ageplay is the last thing I want. Some of it is that bottoming meets some need I haven’t yet figured out how to articulate. It allows me to let go of control, it holds me together, it allows me the space to release emotions I can’t seem to stop bottling up. And it makes me feel really good.

I really wish, sometimes, that something else gave me those feelings, or that W. got equally good feelings from topping.

13 September, 2005

Breaking bad habits

I guess I got a little cocky after my first punishment. I thought that just knowing neither W. nor I liked the experience would be enough. And I did make myself do some work that week.

But I bewildered myself—I was doing the absolute bare minimum, holding (just barely) to the letter of what I had agreed to do. And, as it turned out, I hadn’t even been doing that, since it wasn’t until we checked in about my work later in the week that I remembered I had agreed to work five, rather than four hours a day, until I had “repaid” the hours that I wasted this summer.

I couldn’t understand it: I do like my dissertation topic, and while the chapter I’m working on is less interesting, it’s not completely boring, and I do understand why I need to do it now, rather than after I’ve written some of the more “fun” chapters. Thinking about it, there were probably two reasons I wasn’t working well.

First, I really dread writing, and I haven’t written a paper less than a week before it was due… in my life. I wrote my first last-minute paper at eight. I pulled my first all-nighter in the sixth grade. It’s just how I operate. Unfortunately, it’s absolutely not going to work with a whole dissertation (or even with a single chapter).

And second, I was testing my wife. Much as I hate to admit it to myself, a huge part of me needed to see if she was going to come through with the punishments, just so that I could relax into having a reason to force myself to write. And I hate to admit even more how I needed the punishment to be a disincentive all by itself. Because as it turned out, the fact that I knew W. didn’t like to give the punishment just fed into the guilt I always feel about how not doing my work hurts both of us. It’s too abstract to work very well as a motivator.

Actually, there are two more reasons that I hate even more to acknowledge. I wasn’t going to bed until quite late, and I wasn’t eating properly during the day. Both of these combined to give me a lot of trouble concentrating. I don’t have the sheer stamina I had in college, and I’m just not able to do without sleep and good nutrition and still get to have good use of my brain.

I brought the first two reasons up two weeks ago, and she gave me what felt like a very token spanking. She was looking at things from the outside, and felt very proud of me for having managed to get any work done at all. From the inside, I knew I had been setting the goals too low, and really failing to meet them even then. But I kept trying to make myself work, and getting at least a little bit done each day, which was an accomplishment of sorts.

And then came Labor Day weekend, and things went truly awry. Somehow, I couldn’t get back into the habit of working after taking three days off. Reading a dissertation that should have taken me perhaps two days of serious work was filling up my workdays. In a manner of speaking, because those “work days” were really much more filled with reading email and surfing the web. And even though I know perfectly well that my best work hours are in the morning and early afternoon, I would come into my study and check email before I started work. By the time I was done with all of my fooling around, I was lucky to get started with what I was supposed to be doing before noon. And even though I had suggested a perfectly reasonable rule—that I do my required work by 4 in the afternoon (to have some down-time before W. got home from work)—I was just not getting it done.

When W. asked what I had accomplished each day, I was appropriately vague, trying to make the small amounts of work I had done seem like enough to have filled up four or five hours of diligent work. She finally called my bluff last week on Wednesday. When I vaguely said that I had read two chapters, she asked me whether that was really sufficient. I admitted that it wasn’t. It was painful, because much as I didn’t want the punishment, I needed to know that she was going to follow through. But I felt so guilty for that, and I had soothed my guilt in perhaps the worst way possible—by not being open about my procrastination. I didn’t want her to have to punish me, since it seemed so self-indulgent, if a punishment can be self-indulgent. So I was keeping my guilt to myself.

She finally said, “I feel like I should do something about this.” I couldn’t look at her, because I didn’t want to prompt it. We moved on to other topics, and I went to take out the trash. When I came back to the bedroom, I noticed the loopy toy on the bed. Relief and fear: she was going to follow through.

But either because she had noticed the power waiting for the punishment had on me, or just because she wanted to finish up with everything we had to do that night, she didn’t initiate the punishment yet. I tried to casually read in bed while she finished with her online stuff, and talking to her sister, and all of the other things she was doing.

But finally she told her sister she was going to sleep, and hung up. I felt mingled disappointment and hope—if she was going to sleep, that meant I wasn’t getting punished. But we cleared the bed, and she told me it was time. We chose music, so we could avoid disturbing the neighbors with the noise of the spanking. I took off my shorts and underwear, and lay across the bed in front of her, clutching a pillow to muffle my squeals.

This was not a token punishment in the least. It started off hard, and before I had gotten three strokes, I was desperate for it to be over. This wasn’t about not wanting W. to have to do it again. This was about not wanting to get the punishment again. And it kept going on.

I don’t reach back to cover myself, because I don’t want to be hit on the hands any more than I want to be hit on my backside. What I do is twist to the side to get my bottom out of the line of fire. But I remember with perfect clarity the second time I did that, when W. paused, put her hand firmly in the middle of my back, and calmly said, “You have to accept it.” And she went on.

She has given me harder spankings, in total. She has given me much longer spankings many times. But this one was, bar none, the worst spanking I had ever gotten. It was hard and fast, it didn’t give me time to relax between strokes, and it was completely unpleasant.

When it was over, she held me and comforted me. But we talked some more. She warned that I really wanted to avoid getting another punishment spanking.

“Because the consequences are worse for repeated offenses,” I acknowledged.

“No,” she said, “Because I’m getting more able to give a hard punishment spanking.” It wasn’t that she is comfortable with it, she explained, but that she was understanding how to give a punishment spanking and not back off from it.

We cuddled some more, and went to sleep. And on Thursday, I got up, read the paper, and got right to work. It was amazing: I had done a good solid five hours of work, and was finished by 2 in the afternoon! I had tons of time free! I could read my email without guilt, and surf the web, and even bake a little celebratory cake for the first day of school.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the increasing ache I’d been feeling in my back all day was due to a case of the flu. By evening, I had a temperature of 102°. So I spent the next four days in bed drinking fluids and sleeping.

But when I was finally able to be out of bed today, I remembered the spanking I had gotten last week. And even though I knew neither of us expected me to get any work done today, I also know myself. And spending the day fooling around online would just reinforce bad habits. So I decided to just do a little work, taking breaks as I needed them. Because while the theory of not reinforcing bad habits is little motivation, the reality of getting an even harder punishment spanking not too long in the future is not one I look forward to. So this time, I really think I’ll be able to start changing my habits. I hope.

06 September, 2005

Vibrating Buttocks Key to Driver Alertness

Someone on a list I'm on posted this link. It's about how a car manufacturer has come up with a way for the driver's seat to vibrate when the driver is apparently inattentive (such as when crossing a lane too slowly, or when about to rear end another car). The article claims that a Japanese carmaker says that all cars will be equipped with this technology by 2010.

I'm sure there is a good spanko application for this: either a vibrating massage to ease pain, or perhaps a more, um, targeted vibration to keep people behaving correctly.

05 September, 2005

Story: What I Need

I posted this on the SSS newsgroup probably four or five years ago. It's another of the Janey and Michelle stories, and I figured it would do some of the work of lightening up the mood on here, since it's not depressing at all.

“What I Need”
F/F, consensual

I had been in a rotten mood for weeks, and I had no idea why. I would force myself through necessary interactions, controlling my temper with sheer force of will, and then hole up in my study trying to make myself work in between times.

I felt guilty for neglecting Janey, but that was better than sniping at her, which is what I did when we spent time together. But Liza invited her over for our house’s “family night,” when we would each clean one room, and then play games afterward. I’d volunteered to clean the bathroom, and I’d tried to take out my irritation on the mildew in the grout. I was sweaty, but just as irritable as I’d been before I started.

I washed up, and joined the rest of my house, plus Janey, for pizza and Scrabble. The first game was fine, because I started out with a word that used all seven letters, and continued kicking butt for the rest of the game. It was easier to be nice when I was winning. But I didn’t do as well during the second game, and I found myself wanting to snap at people.

Everyone teased me in a friendly way, trying to cheer me up. They could tell that something was wrong, but they’d all given up on figuring out what it was by that point. So they tried to be nice.

Finally, I managed to get a word worth a measly six points on the board, and then discovered there were no more letters in the bag. “AAARRRGGHH!! I HATE this game!! I’m no good at it! I’m TIRED of being so STUPID!” Everyone looked at me curiously.

“You kicked our collective butt in the last game,” Liza pointed out.

“You’re not stupid,” Gwen reassured me.

I glared at both of them, trying to keep myself from flinging the board across the room.

“Do we need to have a talk upstairs?” Janey joked, hoping that the spanko reference would cheer me up.

I was stunned by the surge of relief I felt when she said it. I looked at her thoughtfully. “Actually, maybe we do.”

Janey looked at me; Liza and Gwen glanced from me to her. Finally, Janey broke the silence. “Will you two excuse us for a moment?” Liza and Gwen nodded, half smirking. Janey led me out of the living room and upstairs to my bedroom.

She sat at the edge of my bed, and patted the spot next to her. I sat down in the chair instead. “What’s going on, Michelle?”

I stared at the floor. Finally, I said, “I don’t really know. It’s not PMS, since I’ve been edgy and irritable for almost a month now. And I’ve had my period. I… I just want to snap at people. I seem to need to get into an argument and shout and throw a fit, and that’s not okay. Nothing is helping, and I just keep getting more and more and more tense.”

“We’ve noticed,” she said wryly. I felt a surge of irritation. What right did they have to notice?! I swallowed it, and didn’t say anything.

“So why are we up here?”

I examined my fingers, and the end of the bed, and the grain of the wood on the floor. Finally, I whispered, “Um, well… Okay, when you asked if we needed to come upstairs, I felt so… relieved. I had this image of you giving me a spanking, and… I think it would make things better.”

Janey looked at me consideringly. “Fine. Let me go down and tell Gwen and Liza to play without us.” She stood up.

“Wait! If you go down there, they’ll know exactly what’s going to happen up here!”

“Michelle, whether or not I go down there, I think they’ll have a pretty good idea,” Janey laughed. “Even if you’re really quiet,” she added.

I sat on the chair waiting for Janey to return, half nervous and half relieved. I got up and rummaged through the toy box and found the stingy little hairbrush. I put it in the middle of the bed, and then sat back in the chair as though I hadn’t moved.

Janey was laughing as she came up. She composed herself at the doorway, and then closed the door quietly behind her. She raised her eyebrow when she noticed the hairbrush, but she didn’t say anything to me about it. She sat on the bed with her back against the wall. She patted her thighs. “You may as well take off your pants and underpants right now,” she said. I complied, and then got into position over her lap.

Janey rested her hand on my bottom. “I’ve wanted to get you in this position for a few weeks,” she mused, rubbing gently. “You’ve been a real pill lately.” SMACK! “You need to realize {SMACK!} that you don’t have to be perfect.” SMACK!! SMACK!!

“What?” I protested. The last thing I’d been for weeks was perfect. I had been more imperfect than ever, and I have never approached any kind of reasonable standards.

SMACK! “Michelle, we will {SMACK!!} still love {SMACK!} you, even if you’re crabby.” Janey stopped talking for a few moments while she smacked my bottom. “It’s okay to just let us know you need some comfort.” She delivered several stinging smacks to the tops of my thighs as she said this. “You don’t have to lock yourself up all alone just because you’re feeling hurt.” Janey punctuated each word with a sharp smack.

My bottom began to feel tingly and warm. Some of the tension started to ebb away. Janey stopped long enough to pick up the hairbrush. “Why, where on earth did *this* come from?” she joked. “Perhaps someone really needs a sore bottom tonight.”

CRACK!!! I yelped. That brush had never hurt like THAT before! “You need to learn to relax,” she said. She continued whacking my bottom and lecturing me. Instead of the usual sting, the hairbrush was setting my bottom well and truly on fire. My irritability and frustration seemed to radiate out of me along with the heat in my backside. Finally, Janey put the hairbrush down on the bed. She slowly rubbed my bottom and back.

“How are you feeling?”

“Better,” I sighed, and took a deep breath. “Thanks. That helped.”

“Shall we go back downstairs?”

I followed Janey downstairs, and I felt better enough that I didn’t even mind the teasing I got from Gwen and Liza about “learning to play nicely.”

Story: I Have Learned My Lessons Well

I've been thinking about this story a lot, lately. In part, it's because my wife thought Make Me Whole Again was a story from my own life. That one isn't, but this one is. I posted it to the SSS short story contest in 2003. I placed it in "edge" because it's quite edgy for me to talk about negative parts of my childhood. Things are only hinted at in this story, but I "tell" by not telling.

Parts of me kick in, wanting to say, "It wasn't that bad, there were good parts, too." And there were. But it's the not-good parts that I struggle with, and that add so much extra, unneeded confusion to my relationship.

I have learned my lessons well:
Good girls don’t remember.
What they remember, they don’t tell.

It’s hard to forget things. Especially when you’re only supposed to forget some things.

“I thought I told you to fold the laundry.”

“I forgot.” My voice is small. I make myself as numb as possible, so I won’t try to protect myself. That only makes them angrier.

Chores sometimes get mixed with the things I’m supposed to forget. “Don’t tell your mother I was in here.” “Don’t let your teachers know.” “Don’t remember what I did when you were five… when you were three… when you were eight….”

Don’t remember. Don’t remember.

It’s a more important rule than don’t feel, don’t need, don’t tell.

How can I help it if the forgetting leaks out?

It’s easier this way. I cannot let them know at school what happens at home. Nothing here is bad enough for us to be taken away, and when social services did come, after… I don’t remember.

But I remember not to tell.

There are lots of ways of telling. Drawing pictures is telling, unless you’re careful to draw happy pictures, with smiling suns. Forgetting your homework is telling, fighting is telling, crying is telling… I practice being good very hard, because everything else is telling.

I become the perfect student. My teachers love me. They say how proud my parents must be. I don’t say that no matter how smart I am, nothing will make them proud of me. I’m too horrible, and I keep on remembering.

I learn that a lie can be just as good as forgetting what I can’t erase. My mother is drunk and remorseful. “I still feel guilty for when you were five and I beat you for half an hour because you lied to me.”

“I don’t remember that,” I lie.

But I do remember. I found a quarter. I remember the glint of metal between the seats of the car, fishing it out from between them. She insisted I had stolen it. I insisted I hadn’t.

I remember her rage. I see the wooden spoon. I remember her eyes, and the smoke floating up from the cigarette. “I’ll teach you to lie!” My heart pounds until… I can’t remember.

But I learned my lesson: No matter how innocent I am, it is better to accept the punishment.

I only lie when I must. “Yes, I did it.” “It’s my fault.” “I don’t remember.”

I make my mind large, to encompass the forgetting. I skirt carefully around the places I must not travel, relaxing only in the safe grounds of classrooms and story books.

I lock the memories behind thick walls. When I was ten and took too long coming home. When I was three and wouldn’t eat enough dinner. When I broke the dinner plates. The memories loom, threatening until… I don’t remember.

I have learned my lessons well.
Good girls don’t remember.
What they remember, they don’t tell.