Part 7. THE MOMENT ARRIVES: ANNA'S TURN FIRST
Anna pushed open the door, but both girls hesitated on the doorstep. "Well," Anna finally said, "Sooner we go up, the sooner we'll come down again!" "Yes," muttered Priscilla, "but it's what happens in between that I'm worried about!" "Try to turn off your brain and just do what you're told to ... that's about all I can tell you ... come on ... if we're any slower he'll give us extra ..." She went in and Priscilla reluctantly followed.
Pinned to a wall inside was another notice: "All girls coming for an appointment with the headmaster should go up the stairs to the SECOND floor, follow the signs to the door marked 'Headmaster's Study', and knock." Anna didn't even glance at this notice, being all too familiar with the arrangements, and started up the stairs. They had been the servants' entrance long ago, when the school was staffed in a Victorian manner, and were narrow, turning at right angles around a square stairwell. Priscilla began to follow Anna up, trying also to follow her suggestion and keep her mind blank. Unfortunately, climbing the stairs behind Anna she was watching her friend's shapely legs and her bottom moving to and fro beneath the skirt, a bottom she had often seen in the changing room. She found herself wondering what it would look like this time after the headmaster had finished with it and, at the same time, found herself thinking that this was probably the most peculiar thought that had ever passed through her head.
The stairs came to a small landing on the second floor, with doors opening on either side, and Anna, with a quick look over her shoulder and a gesture of encouragement to Priscilla, continued up to the next floor. Here, there was another notice, with an arrow pointing down a long corridor. Along the corridor there were several doors and another staircase, before it ended in front of the final dreaded door. It had a sign: "Headmaster's Study. Please knock." But it was slightly open and their footsteps had been heard. "Come in!" ordered a voice from within without their having to knock. Priscilla felt as if she were being swept along, faster and faster, into some awful nightmare. The two girls barely had time to exchange one last, despairing look before obeying the command and entering the room.
The headmaster's study was large, brightly lit and, for a moment, silent. As she entered, Priscilla noticed some chairs along the right hand side, with a small table in the middle. There was some kind of cushion perched oddly at its edge. Windows filled the far wall and to the left was a large desk, with several doors rather mysteriously placed in the wall behind it. Her attention left all this aside, however, as her eyes met those of Dr. Stanton. He was sitting at the desk looking at them, while off to his left Miss Martin was sitting in an armchair.
"Close the door behind you!" he ordered. Priscilla was almost paralyzed but Anna, knowing the customs, did so. Priscilla noticed an uncomfortably hefty clunk as the door latched shut. "Don't just stand there! Come over here!" Dr. Stanton continued, indicating a spot in front of his desk. They did as they were ordered and found themselves standing side by side before him. He sat contemplating them across his desk, upon which some large notebooks lay open. He stared at them in silence for a moment before speaking again. Priscilla's heart was pounding so loudly that she could hardly hear him.
"So! Having been extraordinarily foolish, both of you are now here for punishment. Do you have anything to say?" Anna mumbled, "No sir." Priscilla could only open her mouth silently. "Well, in that case, there is no point in wasting time and we can proceed. Miss Martin, will you take your position please." As he got up from his desk, Miss Martin arose from her chair and moved behind the chair which Dr. Stanton had just vacated. This meant that they were now looking at her instead of him. Miss Martin's face was almost expressionless, but had just a trace of a smile, as though she were trying gently to encourage them. Priscilla felt that she didn't really understand Miss Martin.
Her attention, however, was immediately drawn back to Dr. Stanton, who had gone to a large, diagonally placed cupboard door in the corner and opened it. The view of its contents nearly made Priscilla's legs buckle. There seemed to be rows and rows of canes, each hanging from its crooked handle. Priscilla stared in disbelief as Dr. Stanton reached out his hand and moved it meditatively from one cane to another. Eventually, he took one off its peg, and with evident concentration transferred it to his left hand and swished it gently up and down. It was so bendy! As it straightened and stilled, Dr.Stanton seemed satisfied and brought it over to place it on the desk in front of the girls. Priscilla stared at it in dismay, as it lay for the moment silently on the desk. Then she realized that Dr. Stanton had returned to the cupboard and was repeating the exercise with another cane. This he also placed on the desk. And then he did the same with yet a third cane.
Priscilla had actually never seen a cane before and now she found herself staring at three of them. They were so long and thin, all the same length, with that strangely shaped handle which somehow seemed to make them look even more threatening ... it seemed to say that a hand would hold that end, while the other end served a purpose too unpleasant to think about. Anna's earlier advice to turn off her brain and simply do what she was told was, unfortunately, not very effective with Priscilla. The incessant curiosity which normally served her so well now simply served to increase her anxiety. "Why three?" she wondered, before noticing that they were of different thicknesses. A portion of her mind was still working busily. Different sized canes? What did this mean? The realization that someone was taking such care to think about how they would cane her seemed astonishing. How would he pick one cane over another? One of them was going to be used to beat her own bottom ... which was it? She stared at the three long, smooth, instruments of punishment. She wanted to know which one it would be, even though she also knew that knowing would not help in the least.
Dr. Stanton's voice interrupted her strangely detached thinking. "I think it would be appropriate to cane you first, Miss Anna, since I have no doubt that you were the leader in this escapade. Miss Priscilla will you turn around please and face the wall behind you. You can watch where your so-called friend's foolishness has led her while you await your own turn."
Priscilla swallowed hard as yet another aspect of the coming event struck her for the first time. She was going to watch Anna getting caned? She hadn't even thought about this. Not even knowing how to deal she with the news and not daring to look at Anna, she turned around as if in a daze. She found herself looking at Dr. Stanton again, who had walked over to the small table that she had noticed when entering the room and which, now that she had turned around, was directly opposite her. He pulled it slightly out from the wall. Its purpose suddenly struck Priscilla with a jolt ... that cushion was obviously for girls to bend over.
Priscilla felt that the nightmare she'd walked into was becoming like the train that brought her to school at the start of each term ... it would start from the station slowly and then, as the chuffs of the engine and the clack of the wheels came faster and faster, it would soon be rushing through the countryside, always giving her a strange and uncomfortable feeling of being inexorably carried away. Her meeting with Anna down in the garden, a few minutes earlier, now seemed a whole world away, like the train station, almost impossible to remember. This train was already going so fast that she was hardly able even to understand the headmaster's actions as they followed one after the other, like scenery slipping past the carriage window
He had now walked back behind her to the desk, where Anna was still facing the other way. Priscilla heard a slight rattle ... he was picking up cane, she guessed ... but which one? There was a short silence that seemed to go on forever, then she heard him giving Anna instructions, instructions that led immediately to further horrific revelations. "Miss Anna, since you have been caned before but apparently did not learn sufficiently from those experiences, for this punishment you will remove all your clothes ... except for your socks. ... Go over there and take everything off ... you may place your clothes on the chair."
Priscilla still did not dare look directly at Anna but, out of the corner of her eye, saw her turn and walk slowly across the room to a chair beside the door through which they had just come in ... even that now seemed so long ago.
Dr.Stanton now reappeared on her left, carrying a cane, and went to the table he had just moved. He tapped its top with the tip of his cane, "When you have undressed come over here to the caning table."
Priscilla realized that, although she and her friend were in the same room, communication between them had been completely severed. All that she could do was to watch helplessly. She didn't actually want to watch, but found herself unable not to do so.
Anna was standing, facing the chair in the corner. Priscilla jumped as Dr. Stanton suddenly rapped the table top sharply with his cane. "Well, young woman, are we going to have to wait all day for you? I will repeat ... remove all your clothes except for your socks ... if doing so embarrasses you then you shouldn't have embarrassed the school with your disgraceful behavior."
Priscilla wondered whether Anna had expected this. She hadn't said so, but then there was obviously a lot she hadn't said. Now she had bent down to remove her shoes and then slowly stood up again. Her hands had moved to unbutton her cardigan, which she shrugged off. It was the only garment she could remove without exposing something and when her hands moved to the buttons of her blouse it was with obviously greater reluctance.
The blouse fell loosely about her bra-cupped breasts as Anna unfastened the last button and slipped the garment off her shoulders, dropping it on the chair with her cardigan and straightening again to reveal the sharp, white prominence of her bra. Her hands then went, even more reluctantly, to the clip and zipper of her skirt. This fell quite suddenly to her ankles as its connection to her waist was undone, affording the three other people in the room a first clear glimpse of the swelling lines of her bottom as it filled the white embrace of her panties. She then had to offer them a preview of how its swelling curves could thrust out as she stepped out of the ring of her skirt, bending down to retrieve it and add it to the chair. Priscilla glanced at the headmaster, who simply stood there looking at Anna as though she were a pupil in a class ... except for his cane, the tip of which he kept on the table with that disconcerting cushion.
A rage began to bubble up within Priscilla, as she saw him calmly watching her friend undressing. She wanted to scream at him. For a moment even imagined herself running from the room, dragging Anna half undressed behind her . Instead, she stood there paralyzed, wishing that Anna would at least throw off the rest of her clothes in a rush of protest and bring to a hurried end that horrible man's excruciatingly evident satisfaction. But Anna was having to force her reluctant fingers to perform each increasingly unwelcome task. She had now moved them to the hem of her panties, where they paused again before she pushed down with a sudden determination and the panties slipped over her bottom, dragging momentarily at its fullness, before she bent down once more to yank them from her feet. Her panties joined the pile of clothes on the chair and she straightened up, finally displaying not only the swelling lines of her bottom but also the smooth, pale skin of its cheeks and the clean, dark division of its cleft, so perfectly repeating the curve of each cheek.
Even Priscilla drifted into a momentary dream, admiring the perfect lines of Anna's rear view that were interrupted only by the brilliant white strap of her bra. At one level, the tendency of Priscilla's mind to disconnect from the immediate situation while it explored some fantasy contributed to this moment of dreaming, but at another level she was conscious of the fact that she had never seen Anna's nakedness isolated like this, as though it were being put on display for them to admire. Indeed, in a way it was, but with another purpose imminent and this other purpose suddenly made itself felt. Priscilla's skittering brain sensed that Anna's undressing seemed to have stopped and that the headmaster's silence was threatening to break. Frantic messages to Anna flew around her brain, "For heaven's sake! Quick! Get on with it before Fuzzy Face explodes! Your panties are off already ... what does your bra matter?" But even as her brain sensed the futility of these thoughts, her intuition also sensed the reason for Anna' strange delay Fuzzy Face was going to beat their bare bottoms anyway ... their panties were coming off whatever happened. But why did he have to make them expose their breasts too? Couldn't they keep just that one part private? Her own, increasingly intense, feelings about her own breasts made her understand Anna's odd reluctance and also, for a brief moment, allowed the realization that she herself would be following Anna and made her hope against hope that she herself wouldn't have to show herself to him ...
"CRACK!" She jumped as the headmaster whacked his crane on the table. "So what is this? A peculiar lack of consideration in keeping us waiting? Outright disobedience? I have already warned you ... so you have now earned yourself an extra two strokes of the cane, and if you don't sharpen up quickly, it will be even more!"
This explosion seemed to provoke Anna back into life and she hurriedly fumbled to undo the fastening of her bra, which soon became the last item of clothing to join the pile on the chair, finally granting those in the room a view of her body completely naked (at least from the knees up!), the sharply tipped prominence of her beasts contrasting with the smooth swell of her bottom.. For a moment she started to move her hands to hide herself, but then simply gave up and turned towards the headmaster and the table that was waiting for her. The fury began to foam up in Priscilla again, but dissolved again in another fantasy. As Anna was moving toward the caning table, naked (except for the socks), Priscilla was again awed by how startlingly different was Anna's nakedness now from that she had so often seen in the changing room. Because everyone else in the room was fully clothed, Anna seemed somehow far more naked than Priscilla had ever seen her. Indeed, even her nakedness itself seemed oddly to be something that Priscilla had not even seen before. Priscilla noticed that Dr. Stanton was still staring at it without any signs of embarrassment and this somehow began to seem quite natural.
Priscilla found herself reacting in a way that she knew was peculiar, even while not knowing why ... she hardly saw Anna's downcast face but looked, almost as if it were for the first time, at those high, firm and sharply nippled breasts that the girls had voted best in the school, the narrowed waist and smooth belly of the maturing young woman so envied by the younger girls, the sharply flaring hips that so obviously identified even her skirted figure, and then there, somehow now so prominent in this terrifying room with its clothed occupants, the softly downed mons veneris that a teacher had named for them seemingly so long ago, its downwards pointing triangle disappearing between her thighs, little glimpses of what lay between them offered by their movements as she walked towards the caning table.
Priscilla's mind span through all these strange thoughts, even as Anna moved slowly towards the table, and the instantaneously blossoming fantasy overwhelmed her mind. Anna had suddenly become the sacrificial virgin in an ancient rite, chosen as the most perfectly formed of all the young woman who secretly yearned for this horrifying privilege. Stripped naked (except for those white socks, Priscilla's still active sense of humor commented), she was approaching the altar ... for a rite that Priscilla did not yet even comprehend.
Anna reached the table. Although her previous canings had been while she was bending over and touching her toes or grasping ankles, she knew well enough what was expected and turned to face the cushioned end. Dr. Stanton at once inserted the tip of his cane between her ankles, tapping it to and fro, "Place you legs apart ... as far as the legs of the table will do ... and now bend over."
Anna leaned forward over the table, placing her hands on its top, and started to lower her chest towards its surface. "Bend over ... right over! Get you chest to the table ... better! Grasp the edge of the table ... right, like that! Your hands are not to leave the edge of the table until your caning is over and I tell you that you may stand up again ... do you understand that? Did you hear me? If your hands leave the edge of the table before your caning is finished you will earn yourself penalty strokes ... do you understand?" Anna managed to mutter an assent.
He placed his cane across the small of her back and pressed it down. "You will also position yourself properly before each stroke by pressing your waist to the table and keeping your legs straight and your feet apart ... waist down, I said ... that's better. Do you understand these instructions?" Another muttered assent. "Good ... perhaps we can finally begin."
Priscilla was staring, mesmerized. As Anna obeyed the headmaster's orders, from Priscilla's viewpoint she seemed to become all bottom as she was forced to thrust it up and out, making it seem both rounder and larger. The position, of course, also spread her bottom cleft apart and brought her privates into view. Priscilla noticed this fact but the fantasy still possessed her imagination and her friend's humiliation did not immediately fill her with horror in the way that might have been expected. Instead, her mind seized on the revelation that, of course! It was the bottom, that most perfect aspect of the female form, and it was utterly appropriate that it was the bottom now being offered in sacrifice! What, exactly, that sacrifice should be, was not at this moment declared in the fantasy. She was vaguely aware of a long, thin instrument being raised and placed across the center of Anna's bottom ...
THWATTeeeeoOWW! The sound of the headmaster's cane landing across Anna's bottom almost made Priscilla her jump out her skin. She had never heard such a sound before, nor had she ever heard her friend give such a shriek. As she landed in reality again, Priscilla found Anna half upright, one hand clasped to each bottom cheek, one foot lifting.
Anna was still gasping. The headmaster was standing quite calmly to one side, for all the world as though he had just asked a pupil to answer a rather difficult question, except for the cane, which he was now holding in both hands, alternately bending it almost double and straightening it again. A small, disconnected part of Priscilla's brain was again astonished by its flexibility. The room was silent for a few moments, except for Anna's heavy breathing. She was looking down in dismay, realizing only too clearly that she had become yet again a victim of the headmaster's calculated practices.
"So, Miss Anna? It is a question of disobedience? You hear my orders and you immediately flout them! Two more strokes for you! Now bend over again! And get your bottom back up in position!" He pressed the tip of his cane against the small of her back again and Anna slowly resumed her position to await her next stroke. As she moved her hands back to the edge of the table, she revealed her bottom again.
A deep red line glowed beneath the skin, curving around its center, stretching almost equally across its left and right cheeks. The disconnected part of Priscilla's brain immediately recalled the almost doubled cane between the headmaster's hands and realized how such a flexible instrument must have wrapped itself around the twin spheres of Anna's bottom. Most of Priscilla's mind, however, was trying, so to speak, to wrap itself around the realization of how a caning by the headmaster was, in fact, so deliberately designed to cause such severe damage to her friend's bottom ... and to hers.
Despite her flurry of conversations with Anna and despite the glances at cane-marked bottoms she had allowed herself in the changing room, she had not really grasped the idea of how a stroke of the cane could be administered across a helpless bottom with such force. While her mind was spinning she registered, a little more clearly than the first time, the headmaster raising his cane again to stretch it across Anna's now proffered bottom. Still afraid to watch, she closed her eyes and held her breath ...
SssthwaTT! ...oh oh oh.OWW! Priscilla jumped again as the impact of the cane and Anna's cry of dismay echoed through the room for a second time. Priscilla opened her eyes, letting her breath out with a gasp. Anna was still bending over the table, motionless this time, but a second stripe, still only pink, had appeared across her bottom, a couple of inches above the first. The headmaster was standing still, cane resting across his left hand. "Better!" he said, as though complimenting a pupil for a corrected answer. Priscilla's mind was still almost unable to grasp what was happening. A few moments passed in silence before the headmaster raised his cane again to Anna's bottom. Priscilla, still unable to watch, quickly closed her eyes ...
swiSHThwaTT ... oh oh oh oh OWW! This time Priscilla's mind was prepared and the explosive sounds of cane and pain suddenly seared their impact on her memory. She never forgot them. She had to force herself to open her eyes and was almost surprised to find everything looking just as it had after Anna's second stroke, except that a third pink line had appeared just below the second. The disconnected bit of her mind noticed that the second mark had grown redder, and the first mark was turning from red to purple.
Priscilla was grappling with her panicky mind. She had to bring herself to watch. Why, she didn't know. She just knew she was here and so had to watch. She kept her eyes open this time as the headmaster once again raised his cane, and watched as he tapped Anna's back. "Position! I do not want to have to remind you!" Although Priscilla had already seen Anna present her bottom as ordered, her mind was in such turmoil that she was not sure what she had seen, and so once again was startled to see how Anna's bottom seemed to rise and swell as she pressed her waist to the table and once again suddenly felt anxiety welling up within her as the headmaster responded to Anna's cooperation by laying his cane across her bottom. He measured it carefully just below where his third stroke was rapidly reddening and meditatively tapped it lightly against her cheeks. The room became completely silent again and Priscilla's anxiety rose almost to a scream ... she saw a sudden movement of the headmaster's arm and winced in anticipation as it swept down into the stroke.
SwiSHTHwatt ... oh oh oh OWW! The sound exploded in the silence again. Priscilla had caught only a blurred glimpse of the cane as it wrapped itself around Anna's bottom for a split second and then rebounded into view. Anna's bottom mysteriously seemed to lift for a moment as her "oh's" of anguish trailed the sound of the cane's impact. Priscilla sight was still flickering with the anxiety that had exploded inside her at the same sound ... she had even held her breath again ... and as she collected herself she saw Anna's bottom, seeming to sink again with the subsiding of her sounds of anguish, even as another pink mark of the cane started to glow across its cheeks.
Priscilla had to regain her breath, just as Anna was also apparently having to do, while the headmaster once again stood calmly by, looking. But then he moved. To Priscilla's discomfort, he stepped across to behind Anna's bottom and, with an apparently shameless curiosity, bent down to examine more closely the results of his first four strokes.
This action of the headmaster simultaneously shocked Priscilla and caused her to react to something she had already seen but not really absorbed. Anna's private parts had been opened to view by the arching of her back. Perhaps because the sight of each other's privates was a normal part of their lives, perhaps because she had been so confused by events, she had not consciously responded to the fact that, when Anna had tilted up her hips, the intimate area between her thighs had become completely visible, from bottom hole all the way through to her mons veneris. Priscilla now stared in fascination for, in fact, she had never before seen the female private parts so overtly displayed. There, just in front of the bottom hole (Priscilla liked the neat little pinkness of Anna's, and the dissociating part of her mind that was momentarily in charge thought "Goodness! What a good thing I showered so well!), was that soft hollow between the thighs which, in her own body, Priscilla often explored like a little cup of pleasure. There, emerging from this cupping of soft flesh and on display for all to see, was the slit of Anna's quim, with its little button peeping from between the pressing lips, swelling and then sinking fowards into her mons, modestly ornamented by the soft pubic hairs that Anna herself (on other, very different occasions) so loved to stroke. It was, indeed, as though Anna, with her characteristic charm, were modeling the description offered by their teacher that afternoon in the class on female genital anatomy. Except for those angry red stripes spreading out from her cleft across both cheeks.
The headmaster had completed his inspection of the condition of Anna's bottom and had returned to his position. But Priscilla was still in a dream. The startling pattern of these cane marks, merging with the bizarre recollection of the afternoon's physiology class, rather than bringing Priscilla immediately back to the present, triggered another recollection of the story Anna had told her after their meeting with Miss Martin (who, indeed, was standing somewhere behind her right then). The girls in the class had listened with silent fascination to the description of reproductive functions, but there had been some tittering at the diagrams showing how close the organs of pleasure were to urinary functions. Priscilla remembered the diagram exactly, and she transferred it without even thinking to the revelation of Anna's anatomy. And she immediately recalled Anna's story about her unfortunate friend who didn't go pee before getting caned. Priscilla, staring between Anna's legs, could see precisely from where that jet of pee would have spurted forth and she even imagined its liquid arc ... it would probably have landed exactly where she was standing! Lost in another momentary dream, she looked down at her feet, almost expecting to see a stain on the carpet.
SwiSHTHwaTT ... oh oh oOH! For a fleeting moment she seemed to see that jet of pee spray all over her, waving in response to the jerk of Anna's hips, as the cane that Priscilla had forgotten about slashed down across her bottom for a fifth stroke. Priscilla winced and blinked, trying to fasten onto reality again by staring at the emerging pink line as Anna struggled to control the protesting movements of her bottom, to straighten her legs and resume the required position again. The headmaster responded at once, measuring his next stroke and sweeping his cane down with another resounding THWATT!
This time, Priscilla's eyes were glued to the place where the headmaster had measured his aim across Anna's bottom and, as this lifted once more in reaction to the cane, she saw emerging from the blur of the cane's impact across the paired cheeks a thin white line. She was surprised, in that part of her mind that still seemed to be acting as a detached observer. Why did the cane leave this white mark? Then, as the blood beneath the skin of Anna's cheeks began to seep back into the thin streak from which it had been so rudely expelled, Priscilla saw the mark turn pink, then start to redden, and she realized how the darkening hues of the six cane stripes that now crossed her friend's bottom were a kind of clock, each marking successive moments in the inexorable progress of the caning. She knew which was the mark of the first stroke ... it had been right across the crown of bottom and its appearance now shocked Priscilla even more, for it had swollen into that narrow track of parallel lines so well known to those who administer the cane, but quite unfamiliar to Priscilla. The swollen parallel ridges were already purple, rimming a paler indentation that she realized with horror was a perfect imprint of the cane. That the cane could strike the cheeks so hard as to leave not only a bruise but even its physical shape horrified her.
That the cane could decorate the bottom with such a regular geometry, however, disconcertingly caught another fancy in the swirling reactions of Priscilla, who did not like the study of geometry but did love the geometrical paintings of some modern artists. She now found herself strangely fascinated by the regular geometry of the evenly spaced, reddening stripes that were embracing the upper half of Anna's bottom, almost equally divided between the left and right cheeks as they neatly bridged her cleft. The stripes looked so odd and so alien to the smooth, soft-firm, roundness that Priscilla loved to feel, and yet they also looked so inevitable and even proper, like lines firmly and confidently ruled by a painter's brush across the two open pages of Anna's paired bottom cheeks. Just as the cane was imprinting itself across Anna's bottom, so the sight of this was imprinting itself in Priscilla's mind.
At one level, these reactions were stirring depths of Priscilla's psyche that she could enter only in fantasy, at another level these observations were being entered, so to speak, in a peculiarly objective archive of experience deep in her mind. At another level, what she was seeing and hearing was intensifying a growing panic, as she realized how painful a caning was going to be .... far worse than anything she had imagined before.
The headmaster was standing there, calmly observing the results of the cane for himself, as Priscilla was doing with quite different emotions, but he was flexing the cane between his hands again, apparently deep in his own thoughts. Then, seemingly satisfied, he reached out with the cane to tap Anna's back again, ordering "Position!" and, as Anna proffered her bottom accordingly, shifting the cane to the center of her bottom. Another few, light taps across her cheeks. Another silence in the room. And then he suddenly delivered his next stroke with an especially explosive sshHTHWATT!
Priscilla saw Anna's long hair fly up as her body jerked across the table and, just at the moment when her bottom was clenching in very visible protest, she was shocked by a second, even more resounding sshHTHWATT oh oh oh yeeEEOW! Anna, helpless, shot upright from the table again, hands once more desperately grabbing her burning cheeks.
As Anna's gasps of pain were slowly subsiding, Priscilla was slowly letting out the air that she had gulped. Her head seemed to spin for a moment, her mind almost as battered as Anna's bottom. But even she by now knew what the headmaster was about to say. "Miss Anna, this is a wretchedly undisciplined performance, and the only way I can think of improving it is by increasing your punishment accordingly ... two more strokes!"
Good heavens! Was Anna's beating going to go on for ever? But Priscilla's profoundly empathetic feelings were, once again, pushed aside by her incurable sense of amazement, as she saw the marks of the last two swingeing strokes begin to redden after only a momentary streak of white. The second had landed almost on top of the first and they had both landed almost on top of the first stroke of all. Priscilla could see the ends of separate strokes where they had splayed out around Anna's right cheek in long, purple-tipped fingers of deep red, and where they had crossed each other more purple splodges were beginning to rise. What had that awful girl in her class said? That her sister's bottom had looked as though it had been painted? Anna's cheeks indeed looked as though the headmaster were wielding a brush loaded with oil paint ... how long could she possible survive this punishment?
Priscilla had yet to learn how much punishment the female bottom can actually absorb, causing its owner great anguish without lasting damage. But she was in the process of finding out.
"We can make this last all evening, if you wish to! I suggest that you try to control yourself during your punishment, even if it was a lack of control that brought you here! Do you understand?" Silence. "Do you understand?" Anna managed a whispered, "Yes sir!" Priscilla was amazed she could still talk. "Well get your bottom back in position before you earn even more penalty strokes! And get your feet apart and your legs straight again! Your position is positively sloppy!"
Anna's position, draped over the edge of the caning table was indeed a little sloppy, if that was the right term, even with her hips lifted by the cushion. She struggled to return to the position demanded by the headmaster and, once more, her increasingly colorful bottom was raised above parted legs, to become the focal point of everything that was going on in that room.
The headmaster, satisfied, raised his cane to measure his next stroke. SshHThwaTT! ... SshHThwaTT! ... SshHThwaTT! ... SshHThwaTT! His next four strokes followed at very regular but quite leisurely intervals, the aim of each one creeping a little lower over Anna's bottom cheeks. Priscilla now saw that these seemed to shiver for a moment with each impact of the cane before the rest of Anna's body reacted. The most obvious differences between each stroke, apart from the increasing area of her bottom that was being claimed by the reddening marks, were in Anna's reactions. Her sounds and movements of distress changed from stroke to stroke, now more vigorous and now less so, with seemingly little change in the headmaster's delivery. She and her bottom were now obviously in a world of their own, even as its rules were being dictated from elsewhere. Priscilla remained rooted to the floor.
Then she realized that the current pause seemed longer, a fact soon explained by the headmaster's remarking to Miss Martin (about whom Priscilla had again entirely forgotten)."Well, Miss Anna has only received twelve, very well deserved strokes ... but since I have been obliged to make them comparatively severe, I think, Miss Martin, that you should advise me as to whether I may continue."
Priscilla was almost startled to hear a murmured assent behind her, and even more so when Miss Martin appeared on her right and converged with Dr. Stanton immediately behind Anna's still well proffered bottom (she had managed to retain the "position" throughout the previous four strokes). Priscilla's amazement continued as the two of them bent to examine the damage that Anna's bottom had suffered, almost as though they were commiserating over a damaged flower in the garden. Miss Martin even ran her fingers, lightly to be sure, down along the inner edge of the welts on Anna's cheek, where they were raised almost entirely evenly along the right side of her cleft.
"Well, the strokes so far have indeed been quite severe, but if you continue the caning on the part of her buttocks that have not been touched so far, on the lower half, then I think you will be able to complete her caning without a problem ... how many strokes more is it? Six more allotted strokes and six more as a penalty?" Dr. Stanton confirmed her count. Miss Martin confirmed her approval. And they both returned to their previous positions.
While they had been discussing this issue, standing in front of Priscilla and partly obscuring her view, the welts on Anna's bottom had been darkening even further. Prompted by Miss Martin's gesture, which she had seen, Priscilla was now struck by the extraordinary contrast between the brilliantly striped cheeks and the equally brilliant white of Anna's cleft, surviving untouched by the cane as each impact had stretched across from the summit of one cheek to the other. Priscilla's peculiar mind suddenly fastened on its appearance as a kind of vertical mouth, white instead of red, the dentation of the welts along each side like teeth, red instead of white ... the bottom hole and the lips of Anna's quim like mysterious openings within a parted mouth ... but then she saw the long, thin, hardness of that implement that was being laid across the mouth, from lip to lip, from cheek to cheek ...
SwisSHTHwaTT oh oh oh OH! Before Priscilla could even think to herself how bizarrely her mind was working, the headmaster had taken up his stance again, measured his next stroke, and administered it vigorously.
Priscilla was once more shocked back into the moment, but with a peculiar feeling that she didn't even know which reality was real. Anna's caning continued, stroke after strokes, six more of them, her bottom lifting with some, seeming to bounce with others, turning to the left, to the right, and back again desperately as though trying to wring the pain out her cheeks, alternate feet raised and then slowly lowered. But her hands remained firmly attached to the edge of the table through the unforgiving hissing and thwatting of the cane.
Priscilla's mind was switching in and out of different realities, now floating back to some antique sacrificial rite, now into a surge of agony for Anna and rage at the headmaster, now in an effort to find some way of understanding the extraordinary sense of concentration with which the whole room seemed focussed upon the cane and Anna's bottom. She started thinking of her own father, a peculiar and remote figure. He was not particularly kind to her, but he did not abuse her either. What always intrigued her was watching him play billiards, with that completely impenetrable concentration on his queue and the brightly colored ball, a concentration that had seemed to possess the entire room in which he was playing and the interruption of which made him so angry. Somehow, she seemed to be coming to understand the headmaster's complete absorption in his administration of the caning, as she floated between him and the anguish of her suffering friend.
She realized there was another pause as the cane stopped its work and the only sound in the room was Anna's sobbing. But her caning was not over, Priscilla was somehow aware, even though Anna's bottom seemed to be almost completely covered with welts. Each cheek was visibly corrugated, each a large patch of deep red, crossed by purpled parallel ridges, some individual strokes clearly visible, some merging with others,
The headmaster was waiting and watching, as he seemed to have been doing during most of the caning, so sudden and brief were the moments when he moved to actually deliver a stroke. What was he waiting for this time?
She - and Anna - soon found out. "Miss Anna, you have had your allotted punishment, and you have earned yourself a further six strokes. You will receive these as a group ...and if your hands leave the edge of the table you will earn more penalty strokes and your caning will continue ... get in position and prepare yourself!"
Anna did so, helpless as before. She straightened her legs, stuck out her bottom and, as Priscilla could easily see, grasped the edge of the table as tightly as she possible could.
The headmaster shifted his feet, as though seeking a more comfortable stance, laid his cane across his left palm for a few moments while staring fixedly at the bottom proffered in front of him, then stretched it out over his target, laying it low across Anna's bottom cheeks, only just above the crease where they met her thighs and where there was still a narrow strip of unmarked skin.
He paused and the room was quite silent. Even Anna's sobbing seemed to have stopped. Then, suddenly, swisSHTHWATT ! Six times, in rapid succession.
For the first three strokes Anna seemed to remain miraculously still. Not even her bottom moved as the cane exploded into her cheeks, followed only by sharp, deep, intakes of breath. On the fourth stroke, her hair flew up, her bottom began to twist and turn and she uttered a strangled gasp. . Priscilla could see that each stroke was cutting deeply into the undercurve of Anna's bottom, seemingly each one on top of the other. On the fifth stroke, her hair flew again as one leg lifted high and a loud squawk escaped her. The headmaster brought his cane down with even greater force for the sixth stroke, catching a moment when her leg was lowered and her bottom back in position. Anna's feet stamped furiously, twisting her bottom first this way and then the other as she half raised her chest from the table, giving vent to what Priscilla thought was the most ghastly shriek she had ever heard. But her hands still clung desperately to the edge of the table.
The headmaster lowered his cane and simply stood there, watching again. It was impossible to know what he was thinking, as he continued to watch Anna's slowly subsiding movements and sounds of her anguish slowly faded into quiet sobs and gasps. Finally, she let her body subside on to the table again, sobbing more loudly now. Priscilla, her eyes and mind working oddly as ever, noticed for the first time how Anna's breasts were flattened on the tabletop, little jellying movements visible as sobs shook her body.
The headmaster, finally and simply, said, "Very well ... your caning is finished ... you will stay there until I tell you can get up, however." He then walked slowly behind Priscilla and she could hear the slight rattle as he placed the cane on the desk, the scraping of chair legs as he sat down, a rustling of pages and the scratching of a pen.
"Miss Priscilla ... will you move one yard to your left please?" The request was so unexpected that Priscilla did not understand, until the command was sharply repeated and she did so. She then understood that, sitting at his desk, he wished to look at the finished result of his work ... as she was doing herself, almost as though she were her father, contemplating the pattern of balls on a billiard table.
Never could she have imagined how a caning would transform Anna's bottom. The once smooth and pale cheeks were now deeply ridged, from near the top of her cleft down to where they met her thighs, and brilliantly hued with colors that seemed to be glowing under the skin. The plain geometry of parallel strokes, which had marked her bottom so clearly half way through her caning, was now half submerged in those brilliant colors. The broad swaths of red on each cheek now had mauve haloes of bruising, while even darker purple marked the parallels of the cane's imprints. In places where several strokes had overlapped, the stripes were darkening even further, almost to black. Along the lower curve of each cheek, where the last six furious strokes had landed in quick succession, the colors and corrugations were still deepening.
Priscilla realized for the first time that the expression "beaten black and blue" was simply a literal description of what the cane could achieve. And, still just as startling to her as when she had first noticed them, were the corrugated edges aligned along each side of Anna's pale central cleft, where the cane had leapt across her bottom from one to cheek to other. And then the splay of long, blue-tipped fingers of deep red curving further around the side of Anna's right cheek, each marking with startling clarity where individual strokes of the cane had wrapped its tip around the mounds of her bottom. Priscilla's relentlessly observing mind noted how obvious it had now become from which side the caning had been delivered, with the beginning of each welt rising suddenly on the left side of her bottom and the splay of the cane tip so colorfully imprinted on the right. She was even starting to replay in her mind's eye how the headmaster had delivered each stroke, standing to one side of Anna and staring intently at her proffered bottom, right arm lifting the cane high ....
Priscilla was still staring, as though at a painter's masterpiece, revisiting its moments of creation, when she was shocked into the present, once again, by the headmaster finally announcing, "Alright! Get up! ... And stand beside your friend, facing the same way, with your hands on your head." Anna lifted herself awkwardly and stiffly from the table, her hands going to her bottom as she did so. She was facing Priscilla for a brief moment, as she moved, still naked except for her socks, to the position the headmaster had instructed. But the two girls could not even exchange a glance, for tears were streaming from Anna's eyes, her face was still grimacing with pain and she was still sobbing. Priscilla did not dare look at her when Anna turned to stand beside her. Indeed, she was still in a kind of daze. "I said hands on your head!" came a sharp order from behind them and Priscilla sensed Anna moving her hands from her bottom to her head. But even when she finally heard the headmaster standup from the desk behind her and he reappeared to her left, even as he moved across the room to push the table back against the wall, even as he returned behind her to reappear once more, this time with cane again in hand, even then she seemed still to be in some kind of trance.
Only when he turned towards her, saying, "Right, Miss Priscilla, it is now your turn," only then did the horror suddenly dawn in her mind. And when it did she was paralyzed by fear, unable to speak, move, or even think.