Thinking Position

December 10, 1896
Sarah Waters

“Ouch! One sir.” I counted.

I had very nearly convinced myself I would never again be in this position. Reality intruded and as is customary, it did so rudely.

“Ow! Two sir.” I said.

I strained to keep my fingertips in touch with my toes. The prospect of bending my knees or parting my legs to make the stance any more comfortable was unacceptable on account of my classmates. No doubt several of them were enjoying my spectacle and for those who were not, I do not think they were complaining either.

The paddle slapped down against my bottom again, ringing out like a gunshot while my fleshy cheeks wobbled and bounced. It is amazing how much sting only a few swats can impart.

“Three sir.”

To be fair, I was raised to treat my instructors with more respect than I showed. It is not that I think I was wrong, but sometime in the last year I seem to have forgotten how to disagree without being disagreeable. Not living with my mother anymore probably has something to do with it.

“Four sir.”

Tears stung at my eyes. It is not that being on my own has been such a bad thing, but with mother there were always eggshells on which to walk. It was good practice to keep me from coming off as arrogant or impolite with strangers and friends alike.

“Ow! Five sir.”

My fingers left my toes and flew half way to grabbing my blazing bottom before a shred of self control returned and I forced myself back into position. Tears flowed without further restraint and I sniffled staring at my toes again.

“Stay in position, Miss Waters. That one will not count.” Mr. Stark said.

There were a hundred things I could have said, but only one of them was the smart thing to say. Luck for me, I am not dumb often.

“Yes sir.” I said.

I could hear the girls gossiping in the room. Some of them were even bold enough to giggle. My face was flushed with the shame and embarrassment of having my bare bottom spanked for all to see.

“Five sir.”

It is likely my father would also have given me a spanking had I talked to him the way I had to Mr. Stark. Probably, even if he knew I had spoke to anyone that way. That does not mean I agree with the consequences, only that I understand from where they come.

“Six sir.”

Staring at my toes with my bottom ablaze and the painful awareness of spectators is far from and ideal place to think. Still, it seems only natural to reflect on one’s actions while in such a position. Maybe I have crossed some lines and maybe it is about time someone started holding me accountable again.

“Seven sir.”

I know better than to think myself perfect. Anger has controlled me too often in these recent months and beyond that are feelings I do not yet quite understand, but I think one of them is guilt. The world at large has been the recipient of my anger and with every angry word or action my soul is burdened more with guilt.

“Eight sir.”

Mr. Stark has a ludicrous view of the use of contractions. Hardly anyone speaks without them these day, but he chooses to ignore the reality of life and demand we speak “properly” as he calls it. Part of me understands, part of me rages against it.

“Nine sir.”

Whatever my personal views, it was wrong of me to harass him for his methods. He is the teacher and I the student. When, where and why I forgot that simplicity I do not know, but I think it will be a long time before I forget it again.

“Ten sir.”

1 comment:

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