Teaching Ms. Maple (Part One)

June 18, 1896
Charles Birchwood

When I was a youngster, summertime was the best time of the year. There were no stuffy family members around like at the holidays and nothing but time on my hands. I could spend endless hours doing nothing more than walking the corridors of my imagination. I would hum melodies that sounded much better in my head and most importantly I would enjoy being free.

Naturally that all changed at some point. I think it was really the day I met Caroline, but the change was so gradual I hardly noticed. Suddenly summertime became a curse of warm weather and endless hours of work in stuffy rooms with inadequate ventilation. Even thirst becomes harder to quench in the heat of summer. There is little refreshment in a warm lager.

Caroline first strayed from my side in the summer. The smell of sweat and the sticky dampness of bedclothes seemed to drive her away. The nights turned from blissful to sleepless and so in time I learned to hate summertime.

That was until I arrived at Primrose College. The place must be magical as it for the first time in more years than I care to recall, I am happy in the summertime. Edith Bowen is a delightful assistant. She fawns over me as Caroline once did. She blushes at my every glance, jumps to my every command and smiles wistfully at me when she thinks I am not looking. Her youthful crush lightens my heart and makes everyday worth rising.

But it is not the only reason for my new fondness. Primrose Hall is a wonder itself. The ample windows and proper orientation of the structure leave it several degrees cooler than the outside as the breezes seem to flow naturally through the building. I would stay there all the day and night were it not likely to evoke complaints from more than just my wife.

Then there is the power. Yes, the power to discipline. I have rarely given it a thought but even from the first time I disciplined Caroline I felt the spark of it in my soul. I look on those women who are under my authority with new eyes. I wonder with obsession what each would look like lying over my knee, bent over my desk, standing submissively in a corner with tear stained cheeks and blushing bare buttocks. At every misstep I consider if it is sufficient cause to strip and stripe them. It is often all I can do to withstand the temptation.

Patience, I tell myself. In time they will each give me ample cause without need for grasping at straws. It is the nature of women to be mischievous and especially so when they find they can escape retribution for little things. For every time I look the other way, they will push the boundaries further and further, testing the limits and increasingly believe they have none. My life with Caroline is ample proof, but should more be needed there is Ms. Maple.

The woman is beautiful and she is most aware of it. She does her best to sound older than she is which I find intriguing. She is clearly not more than a couple of years older than Edith. Her actions prove it constantly. Strictly as an observer I would say she wields her authority over students as often as possible in an effort to prove she is in control and deserving or respect. In reality she is in control of little, not because she is a woman or because she is young but because she has yet to discover that authority and respect are mutually exclusive traits. It is in this inexperienced manner she reveals her youth.

Then there is of course the most serious matter of laziness. She has repeatedly taken advantage of Edith but that is not the extent of it. She harasses janitorial staff about the cleanliness of her desk and classroom. Rather than retiring to her home, an apartment provided by the college, she ventures into Providence each day after work. It is clear she is too lazy to prepare a meal for herself and so she wastes her meager pay on prepared meals at the local tavern.. I followed her three times and spoke with the proprietor to ensure it was not a fluke.

It was in fact this very habit which gave me a convenient opening in which to deal with her as I had promised Dean Steadward.

I knocked lightly on her open door in the middle of the afternoon. She was sitting behind her desk, staring out the open window. In the soft light she reminded me of a wistful schoolgirl daydreaming of summertime fun in the early spring. I smiled as she jumped at my knocking.

“Charles! You startled me.” She said standing up.

She looked as guilty as the aforementioned schoolgirl which made me smile even wider.

“I did not mean to interrupt.” I said with a glance at the open window.

She shuffled a little in place and blushed a wonderful pink. If she had wrung her hands I would have concluded she was expecting to be turned over my knee. As it was she knew she deserved to be.

“I was thinking over a change in my lesson plans.” She lied.

I nodded as if I believed her and the matter was settled. This seemed to relieve her considerably.

“What can I do for you, Charles.” She asked.

“I thought I might invite you to supper tonight if you did not have other plans. The Carrington’s have plenty of room and I believe it would be advantageous for us to get to know each other better.”

“Have you changed your mind about asking?”


She giggled at me. I could tell she thought she was being clever.

“In my youth, the question was phrased as such before directly inquiring so as to allow a young woman the opportunity to decline without appearing rude and embarrassing the gentleman with a negative response.” I explained.

Ms. Maple nodded her head in understanding but her eyes were still tickled.

“How very proper of you, Charles. I would be delighted to attend if it is not an imposition.” She replied.

“Excellent. We can walk together at the end of the day if you wish.”

“I have to make a stop in the early afternoon but I will meet you at the Carrington’s at six o’clock?”

“That will be fine. Good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon.” She said.

The afternoon passed quickly. I was kept quite busy reviewing at least six months worth of unopened mail sent to the college’s music department. Edith and I discovered a dozen interesting pieces worth pursuing further. I cannot but wonder what possessed my predecessor to ignore the outside world.

Dinner was quite enjoyable. Mrs. Carrington and Caroline had gone to a bit of trouble but no more than made them happy. Ms. Maple ate heartily, as though it had been months or even years since she had last had a good home cooked meal. The conversation was light although it did turn briefly toward politics as the ladies all swooned over the young Democrat, William J Bryan. Alexander and I shared a look of amusement as neither of use dared to contradict the ladies in their stunning political and economic knowledge.

For dessert, the ladies had prepared something new, chocolate pudding. I had of course heard of the confection but never having seen it before I had nothing to compare it to. It was sinfully delicious but clearly the ladies enjoyed it even more. They raved on about it long after the dishes were scraped clean.

As affairs were wrapping to an end I quietly asked Alexander to borrow his study. He nodded knowingly and then I firmly took Ms. Maple’s arm and asked her to come with me. She looked annoyed but smartly avoided making a scene as Mrs. Carrington and Caroline politely looked away.

Inside the study I locked the door and placed the key in my jacket pocket. Ms. Maple turned to me. Her face was slightly red in what must have been a mixture of anger and embarrassment.

“What is this all about, Charles?” She demanded.

“We have matters to discuss and I thought it would be better done in private.”

“What matters? You are a music teacher, I am an English teacher we have nothing but the name of teacher in common.”

“Calm yourself, Ms. Maple.”

“Let me out of here.”

“That is not going to happen until we are done.”

“We are done now.”

“That is not your decision.”

“You are new here, you do not have authority over me.”

“I am and I do.”

“What gives you the gall to claim authority over me?”

“If you require it come from another source, the Dean has approved.”

Her eyes flashed a spot of fear. I could tell she knew it was true but just the same she would deny it. She pulled on the door and when that failed to open it she began kicking it.

“Let me out of here!” She screamed.

I sat down in one of the armchairs at the back of the room. Clearly there was no point in continuing until the woman calmed herself and accepted the inevitable. She continued to pound on the door and shout for assistance.

I availed myself to a glass of whiskey and sipped it slowly, enjoying the warm tingle as it slipped down my throat. The young Ms. Maple was looking increasingly like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. I chuckled at the thought.

Suddenly, she turned toward me. She marched the distance between and leaned down placing her face directly in front of mine.

“Give me the key this instant!” She shouted.

“When you are ready, I will unlock the door and you will leave.” I replied keeping my voice calm and even.

“I am ready now.” She said trying to sound calm.

I smiled.

“You will be disciplined first.”

“I will not.”

“I have as much time as is needed. When you are ready to accept punishment you may remove your clothing and stand in the center of the rug.”

“When Hell freezes over.” She seethed.

I sipped from my glass.

Ms. Maple paced the room. At every turn toward me she glared anger. The time ticked by slowly but I could see in her eyes she was slowly beginning to realize she would not win this battle. At last she stopped in the center of the rug and stared at me with a hand on her hip and the other hanging loosely at her side.

“Tell me why first.” She demanded in a whiny voice.

I sipped from my glass and remained silent. Another lesson I have learned from my dear wife is that to give an inch is to give the mile. My instructions to Ms. Maple were clear and until she followed them, I would wait patiently.

She stomped her feet.

“Tell me.” She pleaded.

I only looked at her.

A lone tear drop fell from her right eye. She bit at her lip and then sighed.

“Okay, you win.” She said.

She turned her back to me and began undressing. Her hands were shaking and she made a point of sniffling as loud as possible. I allowed myself a satisfied grin as her last shreds of clothing fell away and her naked back was exposed to my view. Her arms were wrapped around the front of her and I did not need to see to know what they were hiding.

She stood silent and shivering for a long quiet moment. I sipped my whiskey and enjoyed the sight before me. Her milky white skin reflected the lamp light and gave her a soft almost dream like appearance. Had I been enjoying a cigar, I might have mistaken her for an alcohol induced hallucination.

“I did as you asked.” She said.

Her voice sound small and afraid.

“Turn around.” I ordered.

“You do not need to see the front of me to punish me.” She replied.

I chuckled and took another sip.

“Please just get it over with.” She begged.

I remained silent. She sighed and turned to face me. Her face was a brilliant red of shame and embarrassment.

“Better. Now put your arms at your sides.”

“Why?” She whined.

I remained silent. I stared unblinkingly and unabashedly at her chest covered by her trembling arm. If my eagerness to see her bits showed, I was not concerned.

She let out a sob and more tears dropped from her eyes. Then finally, her arms dropped to her sides. Her shoulders dropped in surrender. Her body, in all its glory was mine for the viewing and enjoying. I did both at once and sipped from my glass.

There was impatience in her and I aimed to teach her patience in the course of the evening. I considered my options carefully and decided a conversations was the place to start. She would be eager to receive the pain and forget about the embarrassment; I would not allow it to be so easy.

“It has occurred to me, I do no know your first name. Given the circumstances I think it appropriate I know it. Do you not agree, Ms. Maple?”

“I do not.” She replied stubbornly.

I chuckled and waited for her resolve to wear out.

“Pollyanna.” She said finally.

“Pollyanna, that is a very nice name.”

Pollyanna Maple winced at the sound of her name from my lips. I wondered if I should pursue the reason and decided against it. There was plenty to pursue all ready.

“I will never use your name unless we are in private, like now. Unlike you, I will give you appropriate respect in public.” I said.

“I have never been disrespectful to you.”

“Indeed, you consider it respectful to address me in a familiar fashion irregardless of the situation. If my wife were given to fits of jealousy you would have created a scene by now.”

“If you want to be called Mr. Birchwood, you could have just said so.”

“I am now. You have to earn the right to address your superiors in a familiar fashion.”

She huffed a little as I could tell she did not agree but was past the point of verbally challenging me. I sipped my whiskey, pleased with the minor progress.

“In addition to my name you are further disrespectful to me through your interactions with my assistant, Miss Bowen.”

“She is an intern, a student, a spoilt brat and she is badly in need of discipline.”

“You dislike her.”

“That is irrelevant.”

“No, it is the root of the matter. Miss Bowen has served me ably in our short time together and from my personal observations she behaves with more maturity than you on almost every occasion.”

“That is preposterous.” She spat.

“It is apparent you are jealous of her. Whatever the reason, you will set it aside for this day forward.”

She crossed her arms in defiance. I shook my index finger at her and after a sigh she dropped her arms to her sides again.

“Yes, sir.” She replied, though it obviously pained her.

“Furthermore, Miss Bowen is my assistant and not yours. This brings us to the most serious of issues, Pollyanna. You are lazy.”

I stood up and crossed the distance between us. She quivered and nearly backed away. I could see the resistance in her eyes though and deep inside the frightened schoolgirl was also brave. I reached a finger under her chin and pinched it with my thumb. Were it not for my close proximity I am certain she would have objected to being called lazy.

“Dean Steadward tells me this is not the first time he has had your laziness brought to his attention. Tell me, what do you require for motivation?” I continued my lecture.

She breathed heavily through her nose. Her soft brown eyes stared nervously into my own. I could nearly hear the excuses in her brain being discarded one by one until they were gone and she was left with nothing but the truth.

“Punish me.” She said at no more than a whisper.

“Punish you how?” I asked.

“Spank me like the lazy little girl I have acted.” She breathed.

“I will think about it.” I replied, releasing her chin at last and turning my back on her.

I drained my glass at long last and sat it empty on the stand. I walked around Pollyanna so I was behind her and began collecting her discarded clothing. Carefully I folded each garment, taking my time to ensure she knew precisely what I was doing.

I stepped to the door with the bundle under my arm. I pulled the key from my pocket and unlocked the door. Pollyanna shuffled but did not turn around. I opened the door and stepped out into the hallway.

“Where are you going?” She asked sounding frightened.

“To bed.” I replied.

I closed the door and turned the key in the lock.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Melanie, you are a tease, poor pollyanna isn't going to enjoy the night.
Warm hugs,