Pins And A Paddle

May 20, 1896
Margaret Spooner

“Miss Spooner.” Mrs. Carrington called.

“Yes, ma’am?” I replied inquisitively.

I had only just finished breakfast and was about to head upstairs to gather my books for classes. I racked my brain for what misstep I had possibly made and came up empty.

“Might I have a word in my den?” She asked politely.

Of course it was not as if I could say no and expect it to be left at that.

“Yes, ma’am.”

My peers wore amused looks, no doubt expecting my immediate future would involve some motherly chastisement. Were I only in their shoes I would have done the same.

Mrs. Carrington closed the door.

Standing silent in front of her desk, I waited to be told off. I was even prepared to pay attention, although only because I wanted to know what it was I had done this time. I silently reviewed all the things I thought I had gotten away with in recent weeks and wondered which of them she had discovered. Perhaps my tattling on Lucy has had unforeseen consequences?

Mrs. Carrington was in no hurry to alleviate my worry. There was a package on her desk, wrapped in brown paper. She carefully cut the ties and set about neatly unwrapping the thin but long, rectangular box. She pulled a small note from it and read it silently. By the expression on her face she was amused by its script.

The silence and long wait began to eat away at my patience. Not that I have a tremendous amount of it to begin with. The uncertainty was the real problem. If I knew why I was called before her, it would be much easier to stand in silence waiting. Obviously then, I would know what to kick myself about. I could accept the inevitable punishment as just, but to simply stand waiting for punishment with no knowledge of the offense is nearly unbearable.

Mrs. Carrington lifted the lid of the box in such a way as to shield the contents from my view. Perhaps it is a sixth sense I have, but I had the distinct impression I preferred the contents to remain anonymous. Mrs. Carrington dropped the lid back down keeping the contents hidden but not closing the box either. She looked up at me, a foreboding twinkle in her eyes.

I shifted uncomfortably where I stood. I felt nervous and naughty and still I had no idea why I was present. My tongue ached to ask the simple question and yet I knew it was best to remain silent and wait for her to state it. She seemed amused by my discomfort.

“Dr. Phallic and I had the opportunity to discuss you over the weekend.” Mrs. Carrington began. “Thus far this year your behavior in his class has be inexcusably disrespectful.”

“I would not categorize that as a fair statement. I have the utmost respect for Dr. Phallic.” I replied.

My nervous voice carried an annoying whine in its tone and I do not think it was only me it annoyed. Mrs. Carrington gave me a look which managed to communicate disbelief and mild annoyance all at once.

“This is not a forum for debate of the facts, Miss Spooner. Your actions and words in class have proven you lack of respect regardless of your claimed intentions to the contrary.” Mrs. Carrington said.

“Sorry, ma’am. Yes, ma’am.” I replied.

No point in saying anything I do not have to at this point. It is clear the more words I use to defend myself the deeper I will sink into the trouble about to befall me. I wonder how many of my peers are capable of following this simple wisdom?

“As I am certain you recall, you have been punished repeatedly for this disgraceful behavior throughout the last year.” Mrs. Carrington continued.

I nodded.

“Rather than deterring you it seems to have spurred you onward. In recent months your behavior in Dr. Phallic’s class has gone from mild mischief to downright disobedience and disrespect.” Mrs. Carrington continued.

I bit my tongue to keep from arguing.

“After lengthy discussion, we have concluded more serious measures are required.”

“Which is why I am here.” I said allowed although I had not meant to be heard.

“Precisely.” Mrs. Carrington replied.

I swallowed contemplating my immediate future. I guessed the contents of the box on her desk to be an integral part of the ‘more serious measures.’ Mrs. Carrington picked up a small box of pins and walked around her desk to the stand on the same side of it as I.

“Lean over the desk and lift the back of your skirt.” She ordered.

I hesitated for a moment. Random bits of knowledge articulated themselves into my conscious thoughts and established a temporary but paralyzing fear. It was the pins in her hand to blame. A few months ago I read an article at length which described an ancient technique known as acupuncture. The procedure is such that pins are inserted into the skin at specific locations so as to directly influence the victims nervous system. Manipulation of the nerves is then possible and depending on the intentions the victim can be made to feel everything from intoxicating pleasure to intense pain.

“Now, Miss Spooner.” She ordered interrupting my thoughts.

I leaned forward on her desk and reached back, gathering my skirt up and pulling it up above my buttocks. I reassured myself my fears were unwarranted as it is doubtful Mrs. Carrington is an expert at acupuncture. In fact, it is doubtful she has even heard of it.

She soon relieved my fears by proceeding to pin my skirt to the back of my blouse. I was tempted to ask if it would not be easier for me to simply remove it but in further analysis deemed her motivations to be in opposition of ‘easier.’

I had plenty of time to consider the contents of the box in front of my face. Judging by the relative size of the box, it’s shallow depth and lack of padding I concluded the contents were likely either something made of wood or leather. Given Dr. Phallic’s propensity for wood, I bet on the contents being a paddle of similar design to the one hanging in his classroom.

Mrs. Carrington finished her task of pinning up the back of my skirt and then set about removing my bloomers. I realize the matter was far from humorous but I was unable to contain a few giggles do to my embarrassingly ticklish nature. I was helpful in lifting my feet as required for the complete removal.

Mrs. Carrington seemed relatively content and happy with her work thus far. I read that as a positive sign for me. A happy Mrs. Carrington is a less fearsome disciplinarian. When her mood is such I do try my best not to spoil it. Two years in Carrington Manor has taught me that much.

“Go ahead, open the box.” Mrs. Carrington said interrupting my thoughts yet again.

“Yes, ma’am.” I replied.

I carefully lifted the lid and set it to the side. Inside the box lay an oak paddle with six holes drilled through it in two parallel columns or three parallel rows, depending upon your perspective. I tend to think of it as two columns but I suppose that makes little difference in influencing the opinions of others. Obviously I was not surprised by the contents.

“Lift it out and hand it to me.” She said.

For such a thick and large implement it is surprisingly light weight. Its impact is anything but light weight and thus it is easy to comprehend Dr. Phallic’s obsession with the implement. It certainly is far easier to use and more precise than say a birch rod and yet it remain relatively easy to swing without significant effort or force. Add to that its lifespan which is much longer than the birch rod’s typical one to two punishment’s span and you have to admit it is a logical alternative.

The main drawback for the paddle is the limitation on effective swats. A birch rod can be used until it disintegrates and then another fetched and the punishment continued until the disciplinarian is too exhausted to continue (I shudder to think of the poor victim in such a case!). The paddle on the other hand has a finite usage before it either begins to cause to severe of damage or the victim is totally desensitized and oblivious to further efforts.

Personally I think anything beyond thirty or so punishing strokes with any implement is ineffective. Not for the obvious reason of desensitization but because the attention span of the punished will likely fail after a longer punishment leaving the victim confused about the original purpose of the discipline being applied. If one can no longer remember why their buttocks are smarting it is likely that regardless of intentions to avoid further chastisement they commit similar offenses in the future because the necessary connection between cause and effect will have been disrupted.

“Any day, Margaret.” Mrs. Carrington’s impatient voice interrupted my thoughts yet again.

So as to avoid pushing my luck I handed the polished wooden implement to her. She lifted from my hands clearly expecting a greater weight from it. I smiled despite knowing its imminent effect on my posterior.

She waved it through the air experimentally a few times, causing a light breeze. It felt nice in the heat of spring. I was tempted to request she continue so as to fan me a few degrees cooler. Yes, I thought better of it before the words left my mouth.

Mrs. Carrington took careful aim on my bare backside. She slowly raised the paddle up in the air and then just as slowly brought it back down to tap my buttocks.

“One, ma’am” I said unable to resist an attempt at levity.

Mrs. Carrington chuckled.

“I hope the laugh was worth it. You have just earned one more than you would have gotten.” She said.

I sighed. I should have figured as much. Oh well.

The next time the paddle touched my overly plump buttocks it had a lot more momentum.

“One, ma’am.” I said.

She took her time and allowed the swat to tingle its way up from a light sting to a simmering heat. Then she swung again.

“Two, ma’am.”

Smack! Smack!

“Three, ma’am.. Four, ma’am.”

The simmering heat was becoming a full blaze. I shifted my feet from side to side a little to help moderate the pain.

Smack! Smack! Smack!

“Five, ma’am. Six, ma’am. Seven, ma’am.”

Stray tears stung at my eyes. I wiped them away on my sleeve. My feet stamped involuntarily from side to side. It was no longer helping but I my reflexes demanded the action anyway. If I thought she would listen, I would have begged for mercy.

Smack! Smack!

“Eight, ma’am. Nine, ma’am.”

More tears spilled out from my eyes and I found myself sniffling. My legs continued to kick in response to the biting warmth elicited in my posterior region.


“Ten, ma’am.” I said in a whiny voice that even surprised me.

I watched a tear drop fall on the desktop. The act seemed significant in some way, like a damn bursting with only a single drop of water. Sure enough a flood of tears followed and in them I claimed absolution for sins as yet undiscovered. I have often found it comforting to look at an undeserved punishment in this light. There is always something hanging over the past for which I have not been punished but no doubt should have been.

“If you had kept your mouth shut that would have been all, but since that was too difficult…” She trailed off.


“Eleven, ma’am.” I said through sniffles.

“Stand up.” She ordered.

I stood and faced her, tears still falling at an embarrassing rate.

“Now I believe you have class with Dr. Phallic in about an hour?”

It was not really a question but I felt compelled to answer it anyway.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then you had best hurry along.” She said.

“Will you help me with these pins?” I asked trying to reach back.

“No, leave them alone. Your skirt stays up until tonight.”

Understanding finally dawned on me. I felt a bit silly and a lot stupid for not realizing sooner.

It was quite the embarrassing journey to Primrose Hall. I am certain a hundred pairs of eyes stared at my glowing cheeks on my way. Some made themselves more well known than others with finger pointing and uncontrolled laughter.

Lucy Meyer in particular felt a need to point out my embarrassment to me.

“Do you know your skirt is pinned to your blouse?” She asked.

“Is it?” I responded.

“You also seem to have forgotten your bloomers!” She laughed.

“I did no such thing. It is far to warm for bloomers.” I replied.

Fortunately, she elected to give up on teasing me. I am not a good sport about it and she would soon find it out had she continued.

Dr. Phallic was pleased to see me. I was less pleased for him to see me, especially my buttocks which were of particular interest to him. He had me bend over a student desk so he could study the markings from the paddle and the relative redness of my cheeks. I wonder if the was taking lab notes on his observations. No doubt they would be useful for future comparisons.

He was extra nice after his inspection and granted me a seat at the front of the class. The stool was acceptably uncomfortable and the fashionable cap on my head made me feel a bit like a princess. Now if only Prince Charming would make an appearance…


Paul said...

Margaret is becoming a favorite of mine right behind Sarah. Excellent chapter. Thank you.

Paul said...

I find Margaret a little boring and indeed prosaic.
Warm hugs,

Anonymous said...

the story is good but the author should get the pins and th paddle for her terrible spelling\(=;=)