A New Corner

June 26, 1896
Sarah Waters

From the moment I stepped off the train in Denver I knew I did not fit in. It was as simple as being out of fashion but certainly not the extent of my status as a misfit. Sam was right at home and Deborah was as well. No doubt in sufficient time I will be a city dweller as well but for the moment I am lost.

Mother and Deborah instantly began to chatter and I felt cast aside. Sam walked proudly toward his home with Deborah on his arm. I followed behind like a bewildered servant out of place and time. I smiled wryly to myself remembering times now gone when Deborah had been my friend and not my sister-in-law.

The apartment was huge. It made our small home seem like a closet by comparison. Mother was shown to a private room upstairs which Deborah had made up for her in anticipation of our arrival. I waited patiently in the living room while she was settled in. I wonder if there will ever come a day when I no longer feel the stranger in this house. I will not hold my breath for it to come.

At last Deborah returned and smiled at me. It was the first time she had truly acknowledged my presence since we had arrived. I returned the smile without the happiness. Deborah sat next to me and rested her hand on my knee for a moment.

“How are you holding up?” She asked.

“Well enough, better than mother.” I replied.

“I was really sorry to hear about your father. He was always good to me. I’ll miss him.” She said with water eyes.

“Thank you.”

“You must be tired. Let me show you where you’ll be staying. It’s not much but Sam tells me you’ll only be here for the summer and then off to school.”

“Yes, I will be as little a burden as I can manage. Whatever space you have is more than I expect and certainly not less than I need.”

Deborah bit at her lip as if uncertain what to say and then decided on nothing. She led the way up the stairs and then to a second set of stair leading to an attic. There was a small bed to one side and set of six drawers beside it. A small table was next to the head of the bed and it held a candle stick.

I nodded as I looked around.

“It’s cozy. This will do just fine.” I said.

Deborah only nodded. Our eyes met for a moment and I could see hers were still watery. I offered an empty smile. She left the room and closed the door behind her. I slept soundly that first night and while I am certain many would have taken the location as an insult I did not. It was fitting in a strange way and made me feel a little more at ease, as if I was where I belonged.

Not quite a week later, life had settled back into a routine. I was then startled by a ringing sound I had never heard before. We were sitting at the dining table, enjoying dinner when it happened. Deborah’s face lit up like a child at the mention of Christmas and she looked at Sam with a gleaming smile. He chuckled and nodded and she immediately bounced up from the table and ran to a device mounted on the wall where the noise seemed to be coming from.

Mother and I were equally confused as Deborah lifted what looked like a cone and placed it to her ear.

“Hello.” She said.

In the distance it sounded like there might have been a voice coming out of it. I decided it was that or Deborah had gone completely insane.

“Oh, yes. My husband told me you would be calling. Sarah is right here, let me get her for you.” Deborah talked into the device on the wall like it was slightly deaf.

She motioned for me to come over to her and after a nod from Sam, I did.

“It’s Mr. Stone.” She said.

“It looks nothing like him.” I said unable to resist stating the obvious.

“This is a telephone silly. Mr. Stone is talking on the other end.”

“Why doesn’t he just come here and speak with me directly?” I asked.

“Here, just put this against your ear and talk into this piece here. I’ll explain when your done.”

I rolled my eyes and got a scolding look in return.

“Hello.” I said into the device feeling utterly ridiculous.

“Hello, Sarah.” A tiny voice said in my ear.

“Mr. Stone is that you?”

“Yes, yes. Isn’t this thing wonderful?”

“Magical perhaps.”

“Well yes, that too. I wanted to let you know right away that I got all the papers back from you scholarship and have sent off the tuition to Primrose College with your letter of intent.”

“That is wonderful news, Mr. Stone. I cannot thank you enough.”

“Nothing to it, Sarah. I’ll be coming to Denver on Monday next week and we’ll get started on finishing your requirements for your diploma.”

“I am looking forward to it.”

“I must be going now, tell your brother and mother hello from me.”

“I will. Goodbye, Mr. Stone.”

“Goodbye, Sarah.”

Deborah took the cone from my hand and placed it back in a cradle of sorts. We returned to our places at dinner and I for my part was feeling a little like Rip Van Winkle.

Deborah went on to explain the telephone in infinite detail which had mother and I completely captivated but apparently had my brother bored to tears.

“I am quite certain Mr. Bell invented the device to give his wife something to do other than talk his own ear off.” Sam interjected when he had listened to more than enough.

“You’ll be glad enough we have it if there is ever a fire like the big one in Chicago.” Deborah replied with a glint of mischief in her eyes.

I immediately realized this was a common bit between them. They were accustomed to teasing each other over it. Mother caught my eye and it was clear she agreed with my estimation as well as being inclined that we should grant them some privacy.

We cleared the table and cleaned the dishes despite protests from Deborah and Sam. It was the first thing mother and I had done together in our new home and it felt almost natural. We did not talk as we worked but then we rarely did in the best of times. It seems these days we have nothing left to say to each other, at least nothing nice to say and that has always meant it is better left unsaid.

After cleaning, I chose to retire to my room. I lit my candle, settled back on my bed and began to read from history textbook. It would undoubtedly be a good idea to refresh my memory on the things I have all ready learned before Mr. Stone arrives on Monday.

I was not left alone for long though. A soft knock on my door, and Deborah entered. She closed the door behind her and the look on her face was a serious one. I put my book aside and sat up straight.

“Is something wrong?” I asked.

“Yes, as a matter of fact.” She replied.

“Is it something I did?”

“Yes. You are guest in my house and I have made allowances given the circumstances, but I will not stand for disrespect.”

“I have not been disrespectful.” I argued.

“And I suppose it was only my imagination that you rolled your eyes at me when I was trying to help you with the telephone?”

I bit at my lip remembering I had done exactly that.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

“You certainly should be. I’ve been nothing but accommodating of you and your mother and don’t think this isn’t a disruption of our lives. We are willing to do what we must because you are family and we love you but we are entitled to expect some consideration in return not the least of which is respect.”

I could not meet her gaze while she lectured. She was right in everything she was saying and I had not even a lame excuse to offer up. It was somehow worse knowing that I was being called on my bad manners by a woman only a year older than me.

“I’m sorry” I repeated in a softer tone hoping to convey that I really was.

“Remove your things and fetch me your hairbrush.” Deborah ordered sitting down on the edge of my bed.

I looked at her in shock for a moment. I was about to argue when I remember at the last moment that I was indeed the one in the wrong. Any punishment was fair and not at all unjust.
I removed my dress and gown, feeling hugely embarrassed in front of my one time friend. I opened the top drawer and pulled out my hairbrush. Hesitantly, I handed it to her. She took it without hesitation and patted her lap, signaling for me to lay myself down on it. I trembled a little as I did.

Deborah set to work as soon as my weight was on her. She swung the brush with fervor and the loud claps echoed in the small room like thunder. I began to squirm almost instantly as the intensity transferred from her wrist to my bottom. The heat built up quickly and it was only seconds before tears fell from my eyes.

“Keep still.” Deborah ordered with a touch of annoyance in her voice.

“I’m trying.” I replied before thinking.

“Try harder.” Deborah replied.

Her spanks increased to an even faster pace and I went from squirming to kicking. I clenched fist into my bed sheets and steeled myself to stop the movements of my legs. I gasped for breath as the pain in buttocks became all consuming.

I cannot say with any reliability how long Deborah spanked me but it was long enough for me to lose every essence of fight in me. I cried into the sheets and lay still on her lap until it came to an end. Deborah let me rest a moment before helping me up.

She looked at me with the same somber expression on her face. I smiled a little ashamedly at her.

“I trust you will not disrespect me or my husband in our house again.” She said.
“No, ma’am.” I replied.

It felt awkward to address her in such a way but no more awkward than standing naked before her with a sore backside she had given me. She handed me my brush and I put it away.

“You can join us in the living room for the remainder of the evening. As I’m certain your bottom is too sore to sit upon you can stand in one of the corners.”

I nodded my head not trusting myself to speak. I reached to pick up my things.

“Did I instruct you to dress?” Deborah asked.

“No ma’am.” I replied stopping in my tracks.

“You will learn to do as your told. Now come along, little Sarah.”

I followed her out of my privacy and down to the living room where mother and Sam were talking quietly. They both looked at me as we entered the room but neither said a word. Deborah guided me to a corner and left me there to face it with red cheeks facing the room and the corner. Thankfully, I did not have to look at anyone but it was shameful enough to hear them, especially when they elected to discuss my behavior and my backside.


Paul said...

Melanie, nice post, but I find this scenario somewhat unrealistic.
Warm hugs,

Jen said...

I definitely enjoyed the latter half of this post. Well done.