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Part 9. THE MOMENT ARRIVES: PRISCILLA IS CANED

[Note: When Priscilla was finally caned by Dr. Stanton, she received 18 strokes. The caning lasted approximately five minutes, perhaps eight if one includes the time it took her to partially undress and dress again. To Priscilla, it seemed to go on for ever. Even Dr. Stanton, if he'd been asked to estimate how long it took on the basis of how he felt, rather than on past experience, would probably have greatly over-estimated the time. To describe the occasion as it appeared would be simple - there were, after all, only eighteen principal events, each of them very similar and each lasting approximately second from the start to the finish of each stroke. But the mind moves much faster than the clock - almost as fast as the cane -- and by the time that silence followed Dr. Stanton's final stroke across Priscilla's bottom, a great many thoughts had passed through both of their minds. This is an account of something of what they thought.].

Priscilla was helplessly bending over to touch the floor in the center of the room, her blouse hanging in front of her face and the coolness of the air on her skin making her acutely conscious of her nakedness from waist to socks. Her eyes wandered for a moment in frantic panic around the now upside-down world around her. Then, irresistibly drawn back to her left by both the feel of the cane resting across her bottom and the sight of the headmaster's legs as he held it there, she saw a sudden twist of the his body above his firmly planted feet. She may even have heard, for a split second, the hiss of his cane sweeping down from high behind his shoulders but, as the cane cut across her up-thrust bottom, awareness of her position and her surroundings was instantaneously obliterated by the explosion of chaos in her brain

After a moment, blank like the pure whiteness with which the mind reacts to a sudden, brilliant light, the explosive surge of sensations in her brain ebbed back down her body, back into her bottom where it now flamed in a furious burn. For a few moments the fire seemed, almost impossibly, to burn hotter and yet hotter. She heard herself giving a wretched howl that faded for a moment, rose and fell again, as the searing agony in her bottom intensified in a crescendo she felt she could hardly survive, and then slowly receded to a level of pain that at least allowed her mind to recover itself.

It was only then that she became aware again of where she was, and what she was doing. She was half upright, staring at the wall opposite with wide open eyes, her hands clutching her bottom, her fingers digging into a line across her cheeks where a deeply throbbing line of pain was now telling her exactly how the sizzling impact of the headmaster's cane had wrapped itself around the crown of her bottom.

Her mind, finding itself again, was also once more splitting willfully into its obstinate fragments. One part was still trying to locate herself in a place she could understand. It was thinking, "So that's what it feels like ... I could never have imagined anything so painful ... it's not like anything I have ever felt before ... or maybe it is in a peculiar way ... what was it that Anna said? ... something that seemed so peculiar I gave up trying to understand it .... Like slamming your bum in a door? ..." Now, even as her body was trying to recover from her first stroke of the cane, she remembered whacking her thumb with her father's hammer and, another time, slamming her big toe into a rock as she was running across her garden with bare feet. She remembered how the world around her had suddenly ceased to exist for a blinding moment before the pain flooded into the damaged thumb, or toe .... or bottom. So that was what Anna had meant! Another part of her mind was remembering how Anna's bottom had jerked under the impact of the cane, and the white line rapidly turning red ... she could almost feel that line now, growing across her own cheeks ....under her still clutching fingers.

Then another part of her mind suddenly took over. She became aware of the room she was now in, silent except for her own heavy breathing, and of the headmaster standing to her left. She turned slightly to look at him, at first without thinking and then, seeing the cane flexing between his hands, knowing where he had brought her. Their eyes met for a moment, before she lowered hers in despair. "So, Miss Priscilla .... You are no better than your friend Miss Anna. You know the school's rules and you disregard them. You receive orders and you promptly disobey them." His voice was quiet and calm, but she knew it was the voice of doom. "You also, therefore, have earned yourself two extra strokes ...and we shall see whether your knowing that is sufficient to correct your behavior .... Back in position, at once! Step back to where you were before and bend over! ... keep your legs straight and your hands to the floor from now on!"

Priscilla gave a deep, sobbing sigh. Tears were oozing from her eyes. She dragged her hands away from her painfully throbbing bottom and reached down to touch the carpet. She felt the tip of the headmaster's cane pressing down on her back. Without even thinking she arched her back in readiness for a second stroke.

***

The headmaster may have looked and sounded quite calm, but he was not. He was, in fact, almost as shocked as Priscilla, but in a very different and quite invisible way. From the effort he had put into the stroke, the sound of its impact across Priscilla's bottom and the resonance that had traveled back up the cane and into his hand, he realized that he had given her a ferociously hard stroke, much harder than he had intended. As the cane had landed on Priscilla's bottom, indeed, she had almost toppled over, staggering forward a couple of steps to regain her balance.

He had delivered strokes as hard as this before, but deliberately. But now even he thought it was too much to have given such a severe stroke to a young woman who had never been caned before at all. But he also knew it had been peculiarly satisfying to feel the thwatt of the cane's impact as it laid its first claim to so attractive a bottom. The welt was beginning to show clearly, between Priscilla's clutching fingers. In clutching at her cheeks she was also pulling them apart, in a movement that the headmaster had learned to expect and appreciate in a great many of his canings. It parted the cleft exactly where the anus had been hiding. She was pressing more deeply with her right hand than her left, pulling her cleft away from him, but she offering him a first glimpse of that most embarrassing orifice.

There was no doubt that his opening stroke been a champion one. What disturbed him was the further realization that he had not really been in control. The mere sight of Priscilla's proffered bottom seemed to have compelled him to deliver such a severe stroke, regardless of his intentions. He did not for a moment think that Priscilla herself had somehow willed such an assault on her virgin rear, but he did feel that she had somehow exercised power over him, even against her own wishes.

As he contemplated her still protesting stance, hands clasped to her bottom, his mind was working very quickly. He needed to reassert his authority, over himself as much as Priscilla, and he had to continue her caning with a plan that he knew he could hold to. His voice contained no hint of his anxiety as he ordered her back into position and he was relieved when she obeyed, even to the extent of arching her back in that strangely cooperative gesture. The welt resulting from his first stroke was now startlingly apparent. Right across the crown of her bottom, it was already purple, the deep hue darkening beneath the skin. It curved fully around both cheeks, dipping visibly into her cleft, showing how the cane had, for a split second, fitted its thin length so perfectly to the shape of her bottom. The imprint was already beginning to swell in a line across the otherwise completely smooth cheeks. The cane had stated its claim over this particular bottom in no uncertain manner.

***

Priscilla, now head down near the floor again, was terrified. The first stroke had been so painful that she didn't know whether she could stand another one. Visions of herself collapsing on the floor ... that might provide relief ... or running from the room, leaving skirt and panties behind, flitted through her brain ... she saw the headmaster raising his cane and felt its thin pressure across her bottom again ... it was coming any moment now ... she glimpsed his quick movement and, willy-nilly, her hips jerked to one side.

The stroke didn't come. Instead, she heard the headmaster's voice, as matter-of fact as before, "Miss Priscilla, I told you to keep still. If you move out of your position, the cane will land in a place other than intended and the result will almost certainly be even more painful. You will also receive another penalty stroke. Remain exactly as you are, please."

Priscilla was still too terrified to think the politeness peculiar, but she suddenly wished that he had made her bend over the table, where she had seen Anna holding so grimly. That would surely be easier than balancing on her feet while bending right down. She felt the pressure of the cane again, closed her eyes and instinctively took a deep breath.

Thwack! Priscilla gasped as another line of fire seared her bottom. But it hadn't exploded in her brain like the first stroke and she had managed to retain her position. She didn't know why, but she felt something that was strangely like a tiny hint of relief. Her bottom was throbbing painfully... she could definitely still feel the first stroke ... but she stayed down, waiting. It was an agonizingly long wait and she didn't know whether to be grateful, or not, when she saw the headmaster raise his cane again and felt it across her cheeks. Again she closed her eyes and took a deep breath ... shthwack! This time she heard it quite clearly, even as another line burned across her cheeks. She gritted her teeth, staying in position as the burn ebbed into the throbbing pain that was now taking over her bottom. Time seemed to have stopped. She was becoming more and more uncomfortably aware of the room around her and her painfully central place in it. She registered Anna's presence again, which had been driven from her mind by the terror of her first stroke. Because of the angle she had been standing in when she first bent over, she could see Anna, at least from the waist down and still naked, of course, slightly to the right of her own legs. How peculiar it was, to see Anna's nakedness in this place and even more to be looking up at her softly downed mons from this angle.

She was just beginning to remember what Anna's bottom had looked like in the middle of her caning and to wonder what Anna had been thinking at that moment, when the headmaster raised his cane to her bottom again, pressing it against her cheeks just below where the throbbing pain was located. She quickly took a deep breath, trying to prepare herself for her next stroke and willing herself to keep her eyes open this time. swisSHthwaCK! She saw his body twist as he delivered the stroke and found herself hearing the hiss and thwack of the cane even more clearly this time, almost as though her ears belonged to a different person, even as she felt her own hips jump at the shock of the cane's impact and the instantly renewed line of fire across her bottom ... burning even hotter for a few moments before spreading into the painful throbbing. The way it seemed to get worse and worse for a few moments was really awful ... it seemed somehow to be especially humiliating, as though she were being forced to say, "That was the cane and now I'm going to tell you how much its hurting!"

As she let out her breath and quickly gasped for more air, she began to have a strange feeling that some irresistible force had taken over her will, making her choose to stay in this bizarrely embarrassing posture and turning her body into a puppet at the end of the headmaster's cane. The sharpness of the pain in her bottom dulled into a kind of throbbing heat that felt almost strangely comforting and her body seemed to relax a little, even in the strained position of bending right over, hands stretching to the carpet. The passing seconds became like a movement of time, the stillness in the room like the trough of a wave. She saw the headmaster's movement as he raised the cane another time and she felt its thinness pressing lower across against her bottom again and it was as though another wave was rising in her mind ...

SshwissSHthwaCK! The pain and the sound were both even sharper than before and her will froze her body in place for a moment, before the burning ebbed enough for her consciously to keep herself in place. Her mind was losing itself in an expectation of one stroke after another. As they followed each other, seemingly inevitable, a strange sense of floating on an ocean grew steadily more overwhelming, both her body and her mind suddenly flung up to the crests of successive waves of pain and then sinking slowly down into each following trough. But another part of her mind seemed to floating elsewhere, on a strangely calm surface, listening almost carefully to the hissing of the cane through the air and its explosive impact across her own bottom, and even registering quite objectively the abrupt reactions and slow recoveries of her own body ...

SshwisshhthwaTT! ....... SshwisshhthwaTT! ...... SshwisshhthwaTT! ..... SshwisshhthwaTT! ..... SshwisshhthwaTT! .... SshwisshhthwaTT! .... SshwisshhthwaTT!

Priscilla was realizing, but almost as in a dream , that the strokes were getting harder and coming faster, until she quite suddenly felt as though it had become so painful that she was about to fly off the top of the next wave. She was on the point of leaping up to scream "Stop!" And then, equally suddenly, she realized that the next stroke had not arrived ... in unthinking relief she started to breathe more deeply and her body began to relax again, when ...

SshwisshhTHWATT! The fire that sizzled across her bottom was so unbearable that she started half upright, remaining paralyzed for a moment ...

SshwisshhTHWATT! The shock almost winded her and her mind was once again obliterated for a moment by the explosion of pain signaled frantically by her bottom. When she got her breath back again and opened her eyes, for a second time she found herself almost upright, clutching desperately at the excruciating pain in her bottom cheeks, and staring at the opposite wall.

But for a few moments she barely knew where she was, or where she had come from. It was as though she'd been in another world and then been abruptly ejected back into this one by the explosion of pain. The first thing that brought her back to a knowledge of this reality was the sight of the small table with that cushion threateningly positioned across the end, over which she had seen Anna received her caning a short while before.

At first, she just pressed her fingers desperately into the cheeks of her bottom, as though she could squeeze the agonizing burn away. Then, as the burning slowly softened and spread out into a wider area of pain, she moved her hands over the crown of her bottom, trying to assuage its throbbing discomfort. As she did so, she began to feel not only its heat but also the increasingly hard corrugations that the cane had imprinted in her flesh. She was momentarily shocked anew.

***

Dr. Stanton's sense of control was by now entirely restored. After the shock that his first stroke had given both the young woman and himself, he had urgently summoned the authority of his long experience and it had not failed him. He had guessed, correctly as it turned out, that this young woman was one of those in whom an almost trancelike state could be induced by administering strokes of the cane as regularly and evenly as possible. But he also knew from experience that such a beating could often be even more effective if the intervals between each stroke were steadily decreased while their severity was increased, until a climax was reached when the young woman's self-control would suddenly be on the point of breaking down.

This was the method he had just employed with great effect. He had been expecting Priscilla's bottom to suddenly swerve away when he was about to deliver his second stroke. This often happened when he had administered a particularly severe stroke and followed it by a short interval.

When his actual second stroke had cracked across her upper bottom, he had immediately known that the beating was back on track. It had landed in exactly the right place, a little less than a couple of inches below where her bottom cleft began, where the cheeks were well enough padded to absorb the stroke but still firm enough for the impact of the cane to have a slightly harder sound than lower down the bottom.

Now that Priscilla's bottom was marked by its first two strokes of the cane, he had forgotten his initial reluctance to mar its perfection and was entirely focused on the well-planned task ahead. He would concentrate most of the first half of her caning on the upper half of her bottom and leave the lower cheeks for the more severe strokes to which he would return, this time deliberately. He already had six penalty strokes in hand and he was sure that these would be increased. He was now glad that he had ordered her to bend while over keeping her feet together. It was indeed preventing him from seeing her more intimate anatomy at this moment, but the sight of so perfect a bottom, with its twinned spheres crowning the paired pillars of her long and elegant legs, was gratifying in the extreme. And the more intimate revelations were guaranteed to come shortly.

He waited almost half a minute after her second stroke. He had found that the discomfort of such a wait for a girl in this position was usually quite apparent and believed that he could even discern some relief when the pressure of the cane let them know that the next stroke was imminent - at least until it actually landed.

By the time he raised his cane again, the mark of the first stroke was already purple, marking in a very satisfactory fashion that area of her bottom, from this highest mark down to the creases at the junction of bottom with thigh, in which all his subsequent strokes would fall. He measured his next stroke very carefully, a fraction below the first, and delivered it with perfect control.

The solid thwack, the little jump of Priscilla's bottom and her sudden gasp, startled but not panicked, told him that his judgment was faultless. As he lowered his cane for the next interval, his regained confidence allowed his mind to circle rapidly through some more relaxed observations.

The marks across Priscilla's bottom, briefly showing white on the surface of her cheeks after the impact of the cane and then turning pink for a few moments, were then seeming to disappear before reappearing as mauve lines beneath the skin, growing rapidly and distinctly purple as they returned to the surface and began to rise into welts. The welt from his first stroke was now prominent and almost black with a tinge of scarlet along its edges. He recognized the marks as one kind among several with which bottoms responded to his cane and he was always intrigued by their variety, never being quite sure exactly what combination of bottom, cane and technique would produce a particular result. Anna's bottom had been much more colorful. He thought that he perhaps preferred the more artistic combination of pinks, reds, crimsons, blues, mauves and purples of which her bottom had been a spectacular example. But then, he thought, perhaps that was rather ungrateful of him, considering the pleasure that Priscilla's bottom was giving him at this moment. And, in any case, the deep purple clarity of the marks which her bottom, rather than Anna's, presented, also offered a gratifyingly exact record of each stroke. He also noticed that the formerly perfectly smooth contour of her cheeks as seen from the side was now interrupted by the little bumps and dips that marked the cane's impressions. This detail, seen from his vantage point, always gave him a satisfactory sense that the beating was progressing effectively.

He glanced to his right, where Anna was standing. He would have liked to order her to turn round and show him her bottom again, to provide the opportunity for a careful comparison. Too bad that would have been outside the rules, and he could not go back and turn this occasion into one of those where he had the girls present their bottom together for a concurrent caning (as his records termed it). Perhaps he should have done that. But then again, his glance at Anna, even though her bottom was entirely invisible from this angle, had afforded him an utterly delightful view of her full frontal, positively pin-up-worthy nakedness. A pity he could not have it all at once ...

The aching pressure in his crotch made him glad, even more than usually, of his thoughtfulness long ago, when he had developed a way to keep hidden the erections that almost always accompanied his administering of a caning. He had found some underpants with particularly thick material in the crotch and some trousers that were at once stiffer and somewhat looser than usual. He would tuck himself neatly into this package and had become expert at surviving with an erection unnoticed. This was partly because he had also found that that the cane seemed to act as a kind of substitute. As long as his cane was in action, his erection seemed less pressing. On this particular occasion, however, with the excitement of unveiling and caning these two unusually attractive young women, the pressure in his crotch was somewhat more urgent than usual. His method of dressing it down, so to speak, was nevertheless efficient enough to keep him functioning. Realizing that the seconds since administering Priscilla's last stroke were ticking away rapidly, he quickly returned his attention to the cane and raised it to measure his next stroke across the bottom proffered in front of him.

He knew exactly how hard and where it would be. As the young woman bending over for it jumped slightly in reaction to the sharp crack of its impact and the thin white line appeared briefly across her cheeks to confirm the sureness of his expertise, Dr. Stanton's caning relaxed into a completely assured pattern. He delivered the next six strokes in an exactly timed rhythm, slightly quicker and slightly harder each time. The young woman's' reactions began to change in response to the changes in his delivery, but at first only slightly and seemingly delayed, as though already predetermined by her expectation.

Each mark was just a fraction below the preceding one, just slightly longer and just slightly pinker each time. A tell-tale little splodge began to appear at the further end, showing how the increasing force of each stroke was starting to make the tip of the cane dig more deeply into the skin. The eighth had landed just above the swollen welt of the first, spectacular stroke, so Dr. Stanton carefully landed the next two just below it, not yet ready for his first deliberate change of pace.

This came after the tenth stroke. Exactly as he had intended, the young woman's reaction to the tenth stroke, considerably harder than the second, was one of suddenly increasing surprise, almost as though she were about to clap her hands to her bottom for a second time.

He paused slightly longer, waiting for her to relax again, gathering his concentration, then measuring his cane very carefully across the bottom, just below his last stroke, lifting it high above his shoulder while keeping his gaze fixed firmly on the line of his aim, and finally swept the cane down in an extra-hard stroke exactly on target.

THWATT!! He felt as much as saw his cane curl around the abruptly flattening bottom cheeks. The young woman jerked and gasped violently but her feet stayed in the same spot as her body lifted slightly then remained motionless, seemingly paralyzed for a moment.

Dr. Stanton waited just long enough to see a white line across the clenching cheeks marking where the previous stroke had just landed, and then swept the cane down for a second scalding stroke.

THWATT!! For second time he felt the peculiarly satisfying, resonant pulse in the cane as it momentarily buried itself in the depth of her lower bottom cheeks ... and watched with equal, though calmer, satisfaction as the inevitable results unfolded before his eyes.

She gave a wild shriek, leapt half upright and grabbed her bottom desperately, stamping furiously on the carpet.

Since these were precisely the reactions on which the headmaster had counted, he stood watching with no apparent surprise. The hands clutching her bottom cheeks had once again stretched apart her cleft, only this time in such a way that she was pulling harder on her left cheek.

It looked almost as though she were deliberately showing her anus to him. It was pink, small and neat, even neater than Anna's, with the force of her clutching fingers enough to pull it just slightly open, clearly showing itself as a hole rather than just a button. It was yet another ideal revelation to Dr. Stanton, who appreciated all the many glimpses of anuses he was offered, but who found those that were darker and more wrinkled to be a little less delightful than those that were neatly and modestly confined in the pale skin of the cleft. This was a perfect example.

He sometimes wondered whether the girls ever realized that they exposed to him this most embarrassingly personal detail of their anatomy in this way. Presumably at the moment they were suffering too much pain even to think about it but, on occasions such as this one, their friends must surely notice it. He imagined, with some interest, Anna later saying to her friend, "Oh Priscilla! You showed your bottom hole to the headmaster in such an embarrassing way!" and Priscilla trying to remember doing so, while replying, "Oh Anna! You did exactly the same thing!"

Dr. Stanton had also, from time to time, tried to decide whether he got more pleasure from glimpses of anuses within clefts, or of labia between thighs. He had been unable to decide, and concluded that, since he was usually offered both, perhaps he didn't have to choose. This was certainly going to be just such an occasion, he thought, as he waited for Priscilla to collect herself so that he could move on to the next stage.

***

Priscilla, trying to recover from the pair of horrifyingly painful strokes and also to be as obedient as possible in an effort to avoid even worse punishment, had bent forward again, reluctantly taking her hands away from the throbbing pain in her bottom and wondering what was coming next. As she glanced fearfully to her left, searching for some clues in those movements of the headmaster which she could see, she suddenly and for no apparent reason, noticed a remarkable, if trivial fact. The headmaster was wearing mismatched socks. This (which was in fact a result of the haste in which he had dressed for the occasion), struck Priscilla as so peculiar, especially in contrast to her own feet, which were right in front of her nose, carefully encased in their white socks, that she almost laughed, despite her even more peculiar position. For a moment this seemed to restore her courage, until she heard the headmaster unexpectedly order her to stand up. Her mind was now beginning to emerge from its preceding swirl, partly with the help of the mismatched socks, but the significance of the order was not clear. Did it mean that her caning was over? That seemed almost too much to hope for. She really didn't know how many strokes she'd received already, but she feared that it was not everything.

Her fears began to intensify again when she saw the headmaster walk around in front of her, put his cane on the table with the cushion, and start to pull that threatening piece of furniture out from the wall again. He turned to face her with that disconcertingly everyday look. "Since you apparently can not keep the position that is required for your punishment, I must have you bend over the table. As a penalty, the strokes you receive will be more severe. In addition, I should tell you that if you cannot hold your position over the table, then you will be secured to it and will, at the least, receive six extra strokes as a further penalty. You presumably observed how your friend, who was foolish enough to have acquired experience in this matter, positioned herself ... so will you do the same, please ... now!"

Priscilla felt her knees go wobbly again. She had forgotten about the mismatched socks, and she half-guessed what the headmaster was going to say before he said it. Specifically hearing that the remainder of her punishment was going to be even harder, however, was frightening. Once again, she was becoming scared that it would simply be too painful for her to take. But she had no choice and stepped forward to the table over which she had earlier seen Anna receive such a terrible caning, even as a part of her mind was remarking that to hear the word "please" in these circumstances seemed somewhat odd.

"Stand at the end of table ... place your feet apart where the table legs are ... and now bend over ... right down, flat on the table!" Looking down at the table-top, with its seemingly friendly but actually terrifying cushion, part of her again felt like running madly from the room and part of her felt like sinking to the floor. Unable to do either, she was trembling as she bent forward and over. She lowered herself to the tabletop and felt the cushion pushing up into the base of her tummy as she pressed her waist down. There was still a part of her mind asking herself why she did that even before being told to and she still didn't know why. It was another part of this very peculiar condition in which she felt herself compelled to assist in her own punishment. A sudden, light, almost ticklish, touch on her back made her wince. It was the headmaster, folding her blouse back neatly above her waist.

As she pressed her waist down, making her hips tilt up, the fact that she was presenting her private parts to his view suddenly hit her with full force for the first time. Even though she had seen Anna do exactly this, and indeed had found herself gazing into Anna's intimate places with a peculiar fascination, she had been so bewildered by her own situation that its effects had been only gradually entering her consciousness.

Her full realization now of her own acutely embarrassing exposure was immediately driven even further home when she heard the headmaster announce, "On careful consideration, Miss Martin, since this is the first time Miss Priscilla has been caned, I think you should advise me about continuing at this point!"

Priscilla could not see the room at all, but she heard Miss Martin come from behind the table and could tell that they had both come right up to her and were examining her bottom closely. She had seen Anna in this position and knew that she was presenting everything between her thighs to their inspection. She could feel the blood rushing to her face. Shutting her eyes, she was trying not to pay attention, but a sudden touch of fingers running down one side of her cleft startled her, making her wince again and bringing an even hotter flush to her face. Remembering how Anna's cleft had looked so startlingly pale and untouched by the cane, somehow this seemed even worse, knowing that they were not only staring straight between her thighs but also examining so closely the marks that the headmaster's cane must have raised across her bottom cheeks. Why should the marks on her bottom seem as embarrassing as showing her private parts? She didn't know.

She desperately wanted them to finish examining her and return to their business ... except that the headmaster's business was caning her and she was rapidly becoming more and more nervous. When she heard Miss Martin pronounce her verdict, just as with Anna, that it would certainly be alright if the headmaster placed the remaining strokes lower down across her bottom, she knew what was coming and tried even harder to send her mind somewhere else, to some less terrifying place.

But it wouldn't go, and instead she heard the headmaster's footsteps, followed by sounds that she could tell, only too clearly, were those of picking up the three canes in turn, swishing them sharply in the air, replacing them on the desk and trying another. He did it several times, so that she could even tell the difference between the swishing sounds, from those that were quicker and swishier to that were slower and swooshier.

Anna had told the best thing was to stop thinking, but why couldn't she do this? It was, to begin with, as much the thought (once again), that he was giving such peculiarly careful attention to the matter of which cane he would use on her bottom, as the simple expectation of the cane, that profoundly disconcerted her. The sounds ceased and she heard him return across the room. She found herself desperately wondering which cane he had selected, and why? What results did he want ... and what would they feel like? She didn't know, and she was terrified again.

****

Dr. Stanton, having seen the young woman bend forward again and having heard a strange little snort, feared that she was about to burst into uncontrollable sobbing. Crying was inevitable and certainly appropriate, but uncontrollable sobbing was a hindrance, unless the girl was secured to the table ... and he was not yet ready for this. So he ordered her to stand up. Then he began to prepare for the next stage by going to the caning table and pulling it once more out from the wall.

He then ordered her into position over the table, a position that immediately gratified him, both by the manner in which it presented her bottom and by the view now provided between her parted thighs. He concluded his preparations by folding her blouse back above her waist. Although his opportunity to have her completely undressed was yet to come, he already wanted to see the clean upwards curve of her back, from just below the strap of her bra to the crown of her bottom. The pleasure of seeing her breasts pressing on the table would come later. His call to Miss Martin to come and offer judgment on whether the caning should continue was, of course, carefully premeditated. He knew what her answer would be and he was now ready for the opportunity to look at her most intimate secrets with as much attention as the situation allowed.

His inspection, side by side with Miss Martin, might have been thought a very odd circumstance, but it had long been sanctioned by habit. The bottom afforded very gratifying evidence of his expertise in the caning up to date. There was, of course, that by now very prominent, black welt curving right around the fullness of its paired spheres, the result of a stroke which he had now accepted as entirely justified. Above this equatorial line, the marks of the next eight strokes were already clear and purpled, satisfyingly parallel and exactly spaced. The next two strokes continued this pattern immediately below the first welt. He could even tell from their appearance how each stroke had been successively harder, except that the two highest strokes had bruised more, as strokes across the top of a bottom often tended to.

This impressively regular pattern was surrounded by a suffusion of pink in the cheeks and its lower edge was equally impressively marked by the rapidly rising and purpling welts of his last two explosive strokes. They were already showing the characteristically tram-lined and indented impression of the cane that usually resulted from severe strokes across the more fleshy lower bottom cheeks, and they ended in the even darker and more swollen marks, which Dr. Stanton liked to think of as his finger prints, miraculously transferred to the bottom by the tip of his cane.

Below these perfectly administered marks lay the smooth and unblemished swell of her lower bottom, symmetrically parted by the sharpening curves opening her cleft in between her thighs, and still awaiting the conclusion of his by now fully confident plan for her caning. At this precise moment, however, he was more intently interested in a delightful close-up of the intimacies that her position had revealed to view. Her bottom cleft was only slightly spread, just enough to provide a squeezed glimpse of her anus, still modestly half-hidden. But below that and just a little in front of where the cleft suddenly turned outwards and inwards into a miniature symphony of smooth curves and soft skin, the parting of her legs fully revealed an inviting little pocket of secrecy opening up into her body. In that soft hollow between her inner thighs he could see the dipping groove between the pressing lips of her labia, curving downwards with the rise of her pubis and up into the slit in her mons, discretely edged by soft, dark hair. Just in front of where the groove rose out its hollow, a little pink button poked out between its lips.

He would have found it difficult to describe exactly what it was about Priscilla's private parts that he now found so perfect. There was, obviously enough, a considerable degree of sameness among the many examples of such anatomy that he viewed - and in particular at this moment he would have been very hard put to find anything at all unsatisfactory about Anna's private anatomy, but he did indeed feel that he was looking at perfection between Priscilla's thighs.

Dr. Stanton knew, from information he had carefully gathered, that the little button poking out of her labia was a switch for female pleasure, and he also happened to know that this switch could even, on some occasions, be turned on by the cane, even if this certainly was not the usual case. Whether it ever happened under his cane, of course, was a matter about which he was intensely interested. He occasionally suspected so but had never worked out any way to verify it in the case of his pupils. In Priscilla's case, he would have liked to think there were signs of it, but was sufficiently intent on the severity of her punishment to put this question aside.

He had, perhaps, about five seconds to examine her private parts and to think these very private thoughts, but they threatened to expand into an infinity of pleasure. He had first briefly and tantalizingly glimpsed the discrete details of her pubis from the front as she had undressed and approached to be caned. He consoled himself that it was very satisfying to put his present inspection together with that view.

He felt it entirely appropriate that this complete revelation should have waited until this point in her punishment, and that he could enjoy it as it now appeared between the clear, dark marks with which his cane had claimed her bottom. He was also grateful that his arrangements with Miss Martin provided such opportunities and, when her expected statement gave him permission to continue, he straightened up without regret to do so.

He had earlier debated with himself as to which cane he should use, and the bottoms of both young women had seemed so obviously suited to the medium, 5/16" cane that he had proceeded to use it. But he also felt the need to mark the conclusion of Priscilla's punishment with a more specific choice. Should he make it now, or should he wait for the second round of penalty strokes that he knew would follow?

He decided to choose now, and so he returned to his desk where he had left both the " and the 3/8" cane. This incidentally gave him an opportunity to take another look at Anna's bottom, by now even more deeply colored and ridged, and he found himself idly wondering what it would look like now if he had used either the thinner or the thicker cane.

Which should he use on Priscilla? He was genuinely uncertain, and picked up each in turn, swishing them up and down, listening to the sound, and glancing over to where her bottom was raised and waiting. The thicker cane could be very satisfying to use, with the feel of its very solid thwupp across a well-formed bottom. Priscilla's bottom was certainly firm enough ... and the resulting heavy bruises could be quite spectacular, at least for as long as he was able to see them. ... But the thinner cane also had its attractions. He always felt that it could be more satisfyingly precise and knew that when wielded with just the right degree of additional force, it would bite even more deeply and intimately into the bottom cheeks, leaving marks that rose very quickly into especially colorful prominence. He swished them all again, thoughtfully, and finally decided on the thinner, " cane.

Excited by this prospect, he returned to where Priscilla waited helplessly over the caning table, and prepared to continue. Six very hard strokes would be sure to bring her to her feet, and then he would tell her to remove the rest of her clothes and return to the table, to be secured for a final, explosive eight. He would stop after six and request Miss Martin's opinion. She would say that even two more strokes would be too much and then Priscilla would have to return for inspections of her bruised bottom, until it had recovered sufficiently for further caning. Then he would give her eight more strokes, at least. He was ready.

He pressed his cane down across Priscilla's waist, which was bare below where he had folded her blouse back, "Bottom up!" She was more or less in position already, but her bottom came up a little higher in response to his order. "Keep your position ... grasp the edge of the table ...and keep your hands there. If you don't ... you will receive further punishment. Prepare yourself!"

***

Priscilla's thoughts kept swirling around exactly the spot she was in, bent over the headmaster's punishment table. The table itself was oddly comforting, something to hold on to tightly, and she pressed her body to it even more firmly. But she felt even more isolated from her own fate than when she'd been touching her toes. She could now see nothing but the table and the wall immediately in front of her. It seemed almost impossibly peculiar that she was allowing herself to stay put in this position, with her bared bottom thrust up behind her, offering itself apparently quite willingly to the headmaster's cane. She was even more in a world of her own than it had seemed a few minutes before. And now again she didn't know how much this was going to hurt ... he had said it would be even more severe. Her bottom was already extremely painful, even after the burning of those last two awful strokes had faded ... how much more could she stand?

She heard his orders and felt the cane pressing first on her waist and then moving once more to her bottom, low across her cheeks. ... starting to tap them slowly, just hard enough for her to hear. She tried to look back to her left out of the corner of her eye and managed to catch sight of a quick twisting of the headmaster's body. She squeezed her hands around the table edge and her eyes tightly shut just as the cane swished down and a line of fire sizzled across her bottom. She took a huge gasp of air and her body jerked on the table, but she clung to the table so tightly that her mind somehow stayed more or less in place, keeping the pain where it had started, in her bottom cheeks, even as it burned hotter and hotter for a few moments. She heard herself squawk and gasp again ...how was it possible for the cane to burn so fiercely?

She let out her breath and gasped deeply, holding herself mentally and physically in place as the burning in her bottom slowly sank back into the throbbing pain that had now become its continuing state. Her attention had abandoned the headmaster as it concentrated on her own dismay and she had not even started to wonder how long he would wait between strokes when he delivered the next one. This time she heard its swish and thwatt quite clearly, almost objectively again ... didn't it sound even sharper than before? ... a split second before the furious burning flared up once more in her bottom. She found herself rising slightly from the table, one foot lifting of its own accord as she struggled to keep control.

Her mind abruptly moved into very rapid activity as she realized that the headmaster was starting on a sequence of fierce strokes like the ones with which he had ended Anna's caning. She knew he was trying to extend her caning even further. But Anna had kept her position ... she would keep hers ... she had to .... But how could she?

The socks! In the swirl of her terrified brain she abruptly remembered the headmaster's mismatched socks! The sudden thought somehow gave her a peculiar sense of control and lifted her determination ... she would not to be defeated by a headmaster who couldn't even get his socks right. But his cane was back across her bottom, even before the fierce burning of the previous stroke had completely died away ...

THWATT! THWATT! THWATT!

Three strokes came quickly, and very hard. Priscilla hung on despite them, clinging to the table as though it were a plank floating on the sea of pain in which she felt she was drowning, clinging to the bizarre image of the headmaster's socks, clinging to her memory of how Anna had survived the last few strokes of her punishment, clinging, somehow, to the knowledge that she could survive this. She heard herself venting a string of squawks, howls and groans, knew that her bottom was bucking up and down, twisting from side to side as if it could avoid the pain even if not the cane, felt her feet stamping as she tried desperately to bury the pain by moving her bottom cheeks in whatever way she could without letting go of the table.

And then she realized that the cane had not returned, that the room was quiet except for her own noises of anguished protest, and she finally knew, as her breaths came in deep gasps and the tears ran down her face, that her caning was over.

It was over. The unbearable fire in her bottom was slowly ebbing away for the last time. The throbbing was fierce, still agonizing, but the feeling of utter panic that had accompanied the swishing and thwatting of the cane had almost all gone. One moment she had felt she could barely survive and now she knew that she had, that it was terrible while it lasted but had suddenly become surprisingly survivable almost as soon as it ended.

The throbbing heat in her bottom made her desperate to let go off the table that had just been her boat in a furious storm of pain and to grab her cheeks again. She still didn't dare. But she was also becoming aware that the aching heat in her bruised cheeks was seeping into her lower body, especially between her thighs, where it seemed to be filling her quim with a strangely comforting warmth. Without knowing whether she was trying to regain the privacy which she had been so rudely forced to give up, or whether she was trying somehow to protect that peculiar warmth, she brought her legs together, half-expecting to hear the headmaster order her to get them apart again. But nothing happened. The room was still silent except for the slowly softening sounds of her sobbing gasps

****

Dr.Stanton, preparing for the final, or, as he hoped, introduction to the final, phase of Priscilla's punishment, contemplated with great pleasure the position she was now in. The well rounded twin spheres of her bottom, now also well marked, were presented to him with exactly that combination of resilience and firmness that could best sustain the severity of the strokes he was about to administer. Her legs were sufficiently parted to afford him a view of her private parts when he wished, but were not so far apart as to spoil the symmetry of her bottom by stretching its cheeks too far apart. Her body lay in submission along the caning table, her hands gripping the end. He expected that she would remain in position well enough for him to deliver his strokes with satisfactory accuracy, but he did not doubt that she would abandon it at the crucial moment and provide the cause for a grand finale.

Satisfied that he was completely ready, he raised his cane across her bottom. Would he administer the strokes with equally careful aim, each just below the previous one as he had done so far? There was certainly enough of her lower bottom cheeks remaining untouched to accomodate six more strokes with comfortable spacing, but the final group of strokes would certainly have to overlap. And her bottom was bound to jump around to some extent .... He decided he would concentrate on the severity of his strokes a bit more than their accuracy, and would simply aim them all within that pale stretch of her lower cheeks.

He placed his cane across the middle of the delightfully paired under-curves of her two cheeks, settled his stance, and began a slow tapping of the still smooth skin. He released the almost full-force stroke without even having to think and, as the hissing cane cracked across his target, breaking the smooth swell of the bottom cheeks for the briefest instant, he knew he had been right to select the ". Priscilla's gasp of pain and the sudden jump of her bottom told him that its effect was just as he had wanted.

He delivered the next five strokes with rhythmic deliberation, at intervals of about three seconds, the last three even harder and slightly quicker, seizing the exact moments when the increasingly desperate movements of Priscilla's hips presented her bottom for a moment in the most accessible position. His calm and practiced eye, fixed relentlessly on his target, saw each blurred stroke shivering the lower cheeks, as the hissing of the cane, explosive impacts of rattan on bottom and gasping squawks of the recipient ran together in a turbulent river of sound lasting about 20 seconds.

And then Dr. Stanton realized that he had delivered the last stroke, and Priscilla was still hanging on to the table. For a moment he was sufficiently engrossed in examining his last field of action, where purple lines were already springing up across the base of her bottom. He knew from experience that, after such severe strokes, the smooth skin would soon become grooved and ridged. Because he had delivered the strokes so hard across a bouncing bottom, the marks were rather untidily criss-crossed, with darker purple bumps already appearing where they intersected, and a couple of purpling fingers went over the crease into the top of her thighs. But it was a performance to be proud of ... except that she had not left the table, and that this was therefore the end of the caning.

Not even now, however, with his urgent desire to see Priscilla take of all her clothes (except for her socks), and his equally strong hopes of continuing her caning, now and on a later visit, could he break his rules. With great astonishment he realized that both Anna and Priscilla had finally defeated him.

****

Every one in the room knew that something extraordinary had occurred, and they all thought about it later. Anna, talking with Priscilla afterwards, said that, from her own experience and from what she saw at the time, she knew that the headmaster had caned her with most unusual ferocity, especially as it was her first punishment. She also told her that she had survived it extraordinarily bravely, especially, again, since it was her first experience of caning.

Priscilla.agreed and was even quite proud of herself, although neither of them felt they understood, either why the headmaster had been so ferocious or how Priscilla had stood up to it so well. Miss Martin, who had seen a great many canings, and many bottoms that had in fact been caned more severely (even Anna had received more strokes, even if none as severe as the worst of Priscilla's), knew that there had been some kind of confrontation between Dr. Stanton and Priscilla. Dr. Stanton himself, of course, understood more than any of them, including Priscilla. He knew that her caning had begun with some kind of cooperative bond, although he didn't really know what it was. And he knew that Priscilla had somehow contributed substantially her own caning itself, even though he had only an uncertain idea of how, and no idea of why. He prided himself on never forgetting any caning, even the most minor. But he knew he would do more than remember this one. Simply in terms of what was obvious, of course, with two such bewitchingly matured bottoms offered to what had been, at the least, two severe punishments, this was especially memorable. But also, he suspected, nothing would be quite the same afterwards.

At the time, he had finally ordered Priscilla to stand up and, as the two young women faced him in their nakedness, one complete and one partial, he had given them his usual conventional (and singularly insincere) speech about learning and not returning, and then ordered them to dress and be gone.

He was often slightly disappointed when the girls he had just caned finally turned their backs to him to get dressed. The wonderful clarity with which their bottoms revealed the immediate history of their caning while they were actually bending over was always obscured by the sudden compaction of their cheeks when they stood up. And that enchantingly protected preserve of pale flesh in the clefts of their bottoms would disappeared as their cheeks pressed together once more. Even so, he also appreciated these views, because they let him know how these bottoms looked, hidden beneath the skirts of the girls as they went back to the daily affairs of the school. When he later saw them, walking around the quad or standing up to sing in chapel, for instance, he liked to revisit the appearance of their recently beaten bottoms in his mind's eye.

Priscilla and Anna were bending over their clothes, hurriedly fumbling to get them back on again as quickly as possible, Priscilla still crying, Anna still looking shocked. He watched without any pretence of impropriety as the last glimpses of bare intimate flesh and bruised bottoms finally disappeared under hurriedly pulled underwear. Anna knew that they were expected just to leave at this point, and his last glimpse sight of them was of hands clasped to skirted backsides as they opened the door to disappear. He was, of course, regretful that the business was over, and that he been thwarted. But he was also glad because, by this time, the aching in his crotch was severely in need of relief.



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