June 7, 1896
Charles Birchwood was not what I expected. The very name exudes pompousness. I imagined a short, stocky man with round cheeks and a pig nose, perhaps a small pair of spectacles lying crooked on the bridge. Instead, he was actually quite handsome and charming. He is tall and slender and rather than pompousness he exudes confidence. Some might mistake one for the other but let me assure you there exists a definite difference between the two.
I met him for the first time in the music classroom in Primrose Hall. Mr. Green was just leaving for the last time as I entered. He smiled at me and I was suddenly struck by an odd sadness. I could see it in his features, there was a sense of loss as though he was leaving a part of himself behind and suddenly unsure if it was the proper course. Perhaps there was more truth to the rumors saying he was forced out than I previously believed.
“Ah, Miss Bowen. I am just on my way out but I am glad to have caught you.” He said.
“I was hoping we might have a chance to say goodbye. I want to wish you well and good fortune.” I replied.
“Indeed? Thank you. I wanted to ask you to return the storage room key to Mr. Birchwood. While I had no use for the room, Mr. Birchwood should decide for himself, do you not think?”
I was a little surprised to say the least. I had no idea he had known I had taken the key. I blinked in silence, unsure what to say.
“You honestly thought, I did not know? I was rather tickled with your subterfuge and if I am not mistaken Miss Bassett’s as well. If you had asked, I would have given it to you and no one else would have known.”
“I believe I missed judged you, sir.” I said with a slight blush.
“It comes with the territory for teachers. I am certain you will be one of the great ones someday. I must hurry off now, but if I may, I would very much like to correspond with you. May I write to you at the Carrington’s?”
“Yes, please do. I would enjoy that very much.” I smiled.
Mr. Green bowed and took my hand in his and then kissed it and let it go. We shared a smile and he righted himself to leave.
“Until our paths cross again, Miss Bowen.” He said and left.
I watched him walk away until he was gone from sight. My heart felt the slightest tug of pain and I wondered how in our last moment together I had suddenly found a friend where before there was none. Maybe there is a lesson in this? Could it be not everything or everyone is as they seem? A philosophical question for another time perhaps.
“Ahem.” Charles Birchwood cleared his throat behind me.
I turned around to face him, embarrassed that I had stood there ignoring him for an unknown number of minutes. It was definitely not the first impression I had set out to make upon him.
“Good morning. I am Edith Bowen, your summer assistant.” I said.
“Yes.” He replied.
His dark eyes seemed to penetrate right through me. I felt suddenly small and insignificant. I have been in the presence of men of varying authority and kept my back straight, but with Charles it was different. His authority came not from some mandate of position but from simply who he was. I can explain it no better than to say were he a beggar or fishermen or politician and lawyer, his will would be done.
“I have a key for the storage room downstairs. I neglected to bring it with me but I can retrieve it quickly if you wish to see it now?” I said.
He remained quiet for a moment longer and I shuffled nervously before him.
“You must forgive me, I have never had an assistant before. You are younger than I would have expected.”
I smiled at last relaxing as I realized he was no more certain of the protocol of our situation than I.
“Quite all right, sir. I have never been an assistant before. I am only a summer intern. I begin my senior year here in the fall.”
“Interesting. Why were you chosen?”
I paused for a moment to consider. I had never before asked myself the very simple question and was therefore unprepared to answer it.
“I was told it was because of my involvement and dedication to an issue before the school board.”
“You were told this? Do you believe it not the case?” He asked.
“It is not that I do not believe. I have not honestly questioned the motivation and when you asked it made me realize I did not know for certain.”
“You could have said that to begin with.”
“I could have.” I replied nodding my head.
“Honesty, Miss Bowen. It is something I value a great deal. I am new to this school, true, but I am not new to teaching. I have much to do to prepare for the fall term and if you are to assist me we must have an understanding.”
He paused in his speech and looked me over. I had the impression he gauging my attentiveness. For my part I made certain he had my complete and undivided attention.
“When I ask you a question, I expect an expeditious and honest answer. If you do not know something, you will admit to it simply and directly. Are we agreed?” He concluded.
I nodded my head and then realized he was waiting for an oral response.
“Yes, sir.” I said.
“Good. I understand there is strict code of conduct here?”
“Yes, sir. Student are held to high standards of behavior both in and out of the classroom.”
“Does that code of conduct include honesty?”
“What penalties would apply for dishonesty?”
I suddenly realized our conversation had taken a turn for the worse, at least as far as my immediate comfort was concerned. I looked down at my feet before replying.
“A spanking, sir.”
“Speak up. I cannot hear you.”
“A spanking would be the typical punishment, sir.” I said louder.
“I see. Would you then agree it would be fair if I were to spank you in the event of dishonesty?”
“Were you dishonest in answering my question before?”
I was about to respond in the affirmative when it occurred to me that I was not dishonest in anyway. My answer was not expeditious but it was honest.
“No, sir. I was not dishonest.”
Charles nodded at me and I felt surge of pride as I realized I had just passed a test.
Charles gestured for me to sit in one of the student desks and he turned another so it was facing mine. We both sat down and I must admit to a sense of relief to be doing do comfortably.
“Tell me, what do the teachers spank with?”
I laughed. He smiled.
“If it can be swung it has probably been used.”
He raised and eyebrow and I suddenly recalled ‘expeditious’.
“Most use a few standards such as, the birch rod, the paddle, or the yardstick. Some will use other items like a typical hairbrush, or a small strap, I have even heard the gym instructors use a shoe.” I said.
“And are these spankings given in front of other students?”
“Yes, sir. Most often they are delivered on the spot with few exceptions.”
“On the bare skin?”
“That is up to the teacher.”
“Is there a set of guidelines for what is considered appropriate?”
“I believe the Dean has something of that nature, sir.”
“You believe? Is that a yes or a no?”
“It is a yes, sir.”
“I can see we are going to have to work on your directness, Miss Bowen.”
“Yes, sir. I am sorry I am not accustomed to being direct, it is usually frowned upon.”
“Do you have a suggestion on how we can get you accustomed to my expectations?”
“Time?” I said with a glimmer of hope.
“I think we can be more direct than that. Don’t you?”
I closed my eyes and exhaled before responding.
“And what would that direct method be?”
“You could spank me for being indirect.” I replied.
“What an excellent suggestion, Miss Bowen. I believe we could accomplish two tasks at once in this way.”
“Two tasks?” I asked almost afraid of the answer.
“Yes. Surely you know I have limited experience in the disciplinary methods employed here. I believe in training you to be direct, I can also gain valuable experience in administering spankings.”
I should have known.
“I see.” I replied.
“You did say it was up to the teacher as to the bareness of the bottom?”
“I think I should very much like to see your bottom completely bare.”
His eyes filled in what he meant by completely. I blushed all the way down to my toes. I know because Charles mentioned it a few moments later when I stood naked before him waiting to be spanked.
He walked around behind me. I shuddered. It was not fear though or cold, it was anticipation and excitement. For the first time I looked forward to a spanking. There was something about him, about his manner which left me feeling safe and secure. I did not even care what he saw of me, only I hoped he liked what he saw.
His calloused hands brushed my shoulders and he leaned close to my ear.
“You are very beautiful.” He whispered.
I closed my eyes and smiled, pleased that he approved. He pulled out a chair and sat in it. He motioned for me to stand at his side and I obeyed. My heart raced like a thoroughbred when he pulled me down over his lap.
He rested a hand on my naked buttocks and the other on my naked back. He massaged my bottom in small circles, squeezing the fatty flesh and releasing it. I tried to control my breath but it was erratic and heavy.
“I think we will start with this.” He said and slapped his hand down on my right buttock.
The smack sent a tingling sensation throughout my body and instead of tensing for more I relaxed and pushed my bottom up, eager for the next blow to fall.
“Next time we can explore one of those various implements you mentioned. I am certain we will find the time and need to explore them all before the end of the summer.”
I smiled wondering if that would be all we would explore. His hand began a steady rhythm of smacking, alternating from cheek to cheek. I felt the blood rush through my veins to give his efforts their reward of color.