Copyright 2001 to <mijita@thetreehouse.net>. Please respect this copyright. Don't distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it's not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.

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[Image of Little Miss Naughty] Emily's Report
by Mija

Emily Anne Marshall gulped hard as the train pulled into the station.

Normally by now she'd be standing by the door, eager for a first glimpse of her Daddy. But not today. Today she felt a chill, even through her coat and school blazer. Without thinking, the slim, dark-haired child bent and pulled up her knee socks.

Her fingers fumbled for her pocket, unconsciously fingering the edges of the report, the way a tongue can't help but poke at a sore tooth. Though written on heavy St. Clare letterhead, the edges were starting to feel a bit fuzzy - Emily had nervously folded and re-folded it too many times during her three-hour train ride. Despite re-reading, the words were always the same.

She gathered her bags and slowly made her way to the door and onto the platform, only then looking up to see her father smiling and waving.

It had always been only the two of them, and Emily knew with the wisdom of a ten-year-old it hadn't been easy for him to send her away from the Devon farm, let alone hundreds of miles away. But St. Clare was her mother's school. Emily had never known her so the school was supposed to be their connection. She had loved the school immediately, loved her house and housemistress, falling in love at once with the dark-haired athletic prefect. Even so, leaving the farm and her father had been very hard indeed.

"Did you have a good trip, missy? Were you a good girl for the conductor?"

Emily neither laughed nor rolled her eyes at his overly cute teasing. She just nodded, smiling slightly.

Her father hugged her tight and then pulled her away. His eyes looked her up and down with concern. It wasn't like her to be so quiet. School was changing her, making her quieter, more thoughtful and reserved. It was to the good, he knew, but still. He missed the eager bouncy child.

"I was good, Dad. It was just a long trip."

"Indeed it is. But we'll soon have you home."

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The drive home passed in silence. Emily watched the countryside pass as the car sped on. Their farm was far outside the village, one of many reasons it was sensible to send Emily away to school.

Emily's old excitement seemed to return as the house came into view. This was her house. Her garden, her tree. The flowers had started pushing up in the months since Christmas break. This was where she belonged. She longed to leap out of the car and dash to the swing.

"It's really spring now, Dad."

"Indeed it is."

John Marshall swallowed hard, thinking again of how much she'd changed - she sounded more and more grown. Like a woman. Like her mother.

He'd watched her get off the train, crisply starched shirt, red plaid kilt, tie, neatly trimmed blazer, knee socks and black shoes. Her coat, hat and gloves had made him think of a young lady. It was hard to remember Emily splashing in mud or even swinging in the garden.

John felt awkward, not sure how to talk to this child (woman?) next to him.

"I expect you'll want to see how the treehouse fared over the winter."

His voice trailed off as he noticed her staring out the window again, not really listening. Maybe she was too mature now for such things. How does one know with girls, after all?

He removed her suitcase from the boot and helped her carry it into the old stone cottage in silence. John felt far too awkward to speak. And Emily seemed lost in her own world, her movements a little too graceful, like someone in a dream.

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Emily could feel her father's eyes upon her. She bit her lip anxiously. Could he know somehow? He was so quiet. No stories, no questions. Was he waiting for her to tell him?

It was so hard. She wished it all back, that she'd worked harder, that she hadn't ever talked to Leticia. It was really her fault. If Emily hadn't met her she'd be joking with her father instead of feeling his disappointment. Maybe he'd be so upset he wouldn't even bear to talk to her. She followed him up to her room, her school shoes sounding loud on the old wooden risers.

"I expect you'll want to wash and change before tea. Nothing special tonight. We'll go to the village tomorrow for our shopping, how about that?"

Emily nodded absently as she looked around her room. She touched the report again. Should she give it to him now? Get it all over with? She shivered a bit. He'd be so very angry with her. Maybe there was another way? But no. The report was very specific. She'd read it on the train.

"Dad? I wanted . . ." her voice trailed off as she lost her courage.

"Yes, Em?"

"I - I just want to change. You know."

He knew. She wanted him to leave. He nodded and left, gently closing her door behind him.

After she heard his footsteps vanish on the stairs, Emily pulled the report from her pocket, unfolded it and read it yet again. Seeing that the words hadn't changed, she threw herself on her bed, pulled her bear tight to her and gave over to silent sobs.

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Wearing jeans and a tee shirt just a bit too small for her, Emily sat silently, eating sandwiches at the kitchen table with her father. Her face looked narrow and pale.

Inwardly her father sighed and tried again.

"So, Emily, how's this term going, missy? Are you making your old dad proud?"

That got a reaction. Emily looked up from her plate like a startled deer, eyes searching his face, registering his surprise. She looked down again quickly.

"Why, Dad? It's going fine. I mean, same old same old. You know."

Well he'd thought he knew. But not with that reaction. He prodded a bit further.

"Going well then is it? All your teachers still fond of you? You couldn't tell me enough about them at Christmas."

"Oh, well, um. Yeah. It's all good. I mean, mostly that is."

This Emily he knew. Oh sure, maybe she was heading toward womanhood, but this was a child covering her crime. Not wanting him to think it serious. Waiting. But waiting for what - that he needed to know.

"Emily Anne Marshall, put down that sandwich and look at me." He paused while she obeyed, reluctantly looking him in the eye. She'd always been such an easy child, so eager to please.

"I'm going to ask you once more. Think before you answer me because if I find out afterwards you weren't telling me the truth you're going to be in very serious trouble, young lady. Now, is there anything at school that isn't going well?"

Her eyes filled with tears as she shook her head no. John clenched his jaw a little. Emily couldn't have said "yes" more distinctly. His surprise at her lie stabbed at him.

"Emily Anne!"

The shake turned to a reluctant nod. Something wasn't very well at all.

"What isn't going well, Emily? Tell me now."

She swallowed hard, trying to open her throat enough.

"Igotareportsenthome."

The words were finally choked out, their release making her shudder.

John couldn't quite make out the mumble for almost a minute as he watched the tears trickle down his daughter's face.

"Please don't be mad, Dad."

"I'm not mad. Where is this report?"

Emily slowly withdrew a folded square from the pocket of her jeans. Of course he wasn't mad. He hadn't read it yet. She slid it across the table to him then put her hands in her lap, twisting her napkin until it was a small linen rope. Eyes lowered, she watched him read, his brow furrowing as his eyes moved across the page.

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When John realized Emily had had trouble at school he was almost relieved. She tended to make too much of things. He'd pushed her of course, wanted her to know he expected her to do good work. Still, he knew maths was a struggle for her. Spelling too, come to that. Her grades might not be up to snuff. But a stern talking to, a bit of a threat, was all it had ever taken.

But as he read the report from her school, from the headmistress no less, he wondered again if he knew this new creature at all. She'd been given three strokes of the cane, unheard of apparently for someone under 12. Cheating, lying, being disrespectful! These were crimes his Emily would never have committed. Thrashed at school?! By her headmistress? And none too soon from the sound of it. Plus there was the detail of her previous report, one he hadn't seen yet had apparently signed. And him being expected to return Emily in person so he could speak to the teachers in question.

He looked across at Emily, eyes piercing.

"Well?" he said after a moment. "What have you to say for yourself, miss?"

Emily shrugged.

"Nothing? You have a report like this for me and nothing to say for yourself? Is it all true then? And what about this term report from your maths master? I don't remember signing any such thing."

Emily nodded miserably. It was all true. Forging her father's name on her last term's note from her maths master had seemed only logical at the time. She could raise her grade over the spring, no need to trouble her father. And then the new term had come with maths harder than ever. It had seemed a simple solution to copy Leticia's prep. And then lying about it was her only choice. Otherwise she'd have had to tell on Letty too. The disrespect was really all the other girl's doing, but by then the head had seen them as partners in crime, caning them both - three harsh strokes across their bare bottoms.

And since Emily had had to admit her father hadn't known about her earlier report, the horrible inclusion that he was to return her in person so this report had to get through. She knew it was being followed by a letter to arrive tomorrow as well, taking all choice out of her hands. Emily shrunk a little on her chair.

"I'm sorry, Dad. I won't do it again."

Her father clenched his jaw.

"Well, now that's a relief. It's all right if you never do it again. And of course I can trust you not to." His voice was sarcastic, cutting, and made tears run over onto her pale cheeks. Still he continued, letting his anger guide his words. "After all, why should I mistrust the word of someone who hides my mail, forges my name, cheats on exams and tells lies?"

She bit her lip. He wasn't really expecting her to answer. But Emily did.

"I don't know."

"Don't you now? And you know what I mean? I mean for the two of us to take a trip out to the barn, just like I used to with my father. You'll think twice before you disgrace us again, missy."

The words were out before he'd thought. Still, it seemed right. Behaviour like this deserved a damned good thrashing. He'd use his father's razor strop. Severe, but clearly merited. Behaviour like this wasn't to be tolerated. And obviously the school thought her old enough for the cane.

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"You've earned yourself a trip to the barn, missy."

Emily felt the blood drain from her face, felt her hands tremble. She'd heard her father and uncle joke about "trips to the barn" with her grandad. He'd stropped them until they couldn't sit - or so they'd said. Emily had rarely even been spanked - a few bottom smackings when she was six or so. He'd never really even threatened anymore. Surely her father didn't mean to thrash her.

Not like that.

Fear of punishment helped her find her tongue and she babbled explanations - about Leticia and how the cheating was really all her fault, about how she'd panicked and lied and was sorry, so very sorry.

"Please, please no, Daddy."

John Marshall was a simple man, however, and he had already decided.

"Come with me, Emily Anne. No fussing now. It says here you took your thrashing at school bravely. I expect nothing less at home."

At that, Emily did start "fussing" just as she had when she was much younger, whining, begging that he not spank her, not take her to the barn, swearing that it was a mistake and she'd never do the like again. Her hands gripped the side of her chair, holding her tightly in place.

John tried to be patient, but his annoyance visibly increased.

"Miss, if you know what's good for you you'll get yourself out to that barn this second. Don't make me tell you again!"

Much to her father's surprise, Emily's response was to drum her feet against the floor like an infant in a pet and shout: "No, I won't go and you can't make me!"

John's temper snapped. Emily's father pulled her bodily out of her chair and firmly over his knee in one swift motion. Not bothering with further talk he landed ten smart whacks to the seat of his daughter's jeans and then ten more. Her kicking stilled and he set her on her feet in front of him, shaking his finger at her.

She stood frozen, too startled even to rub, looking up at him with a stunned expression. Fear and something else seemed to war in her eyes.

"We'll have no more of that! It's about time you did as you were told. Now out to the barn with you."

With that John Marshall took his dark-haired daughter by the wrist and led her from their house to the large whitewashed barn some fifty yards away.

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They say when someone's about to die their life flashes before them. On the way out to the barn, Emily's life didn't flash before her, but her caning did.

Beginning with the smug notice from her maths master that she and Leticia would be meeting with the headmistress after lessons. The realization that her cheating had been found out. Changing into her formal dress uniform and sitting neat and starched outside the office.

"It's quite clear to me you girls cheated. Lying to me isn't going to make it any better. I don't believe you."

Emily felt her stomach shrivel inside. She went pale as Letty sneered disrespectfully.

"Well, you can't prove it. Emily just made the same mistake I did. We have the same teacher after all!"

The headmistress looked at Letty coldly until the girl finally looked away.

"Child, I don't need to prove anything. Either you admit to cheating and apologize to me for your rudeness or I shall call your parents and have them come claim you."

There was a longish pause. The headmistress turned her stare to Emily as well as Leticia.

"Emily Marshall? Do you have anything to say?"

Emily swallowed hard, and whispered, "I'm sorry, Miss."

"Sorry for what?"

"I'm sorry I copied Leticia's assignment. It was all my fault. I hadn't understood the work and so I couldn't do my prep." Emily's eyes overflowed.

The headmistress had smiled slightly at her confession and turned to Letty.

"There now. And do you have anything to add?"

The game was clearly up so after shooting Emily a glare, Leticia had grudgingly confessed.

The lecture on honesty went by her in a blur. Emily, at heart an honest child, was relieved at not having to lie anymore. Still, it came as a shock when the headmistress had them stand up and move their chairs toward the walls.

She was going to cane them.

Emily felt oddly thrilled as the order came to take her knickers down to her knees and put her fingers on the floor between her feet. The plaid kilt tickled against her bare bottom, all of her senses feeling more acute. She heard Letty breathing beside her, heard the closet latch click, then a whistling sound.

Even though this was the first time Emily had heard it, she knew this was the sound of a cane cutting through the air. Caning was a grown up punishment, which made her feel brave and determined not to shame herself further.

"Three strokes each. You will count them out and thank me for each stroke. Extras will be given for getting out of position. Girls your age usually aren't caned at this school, but I can see you've made yourselves exceptional."

Emily bent still further over at the sentence of three strokes. With her palms flat on the floor, fingers digging into the carpet, she prayed to stay silent and in position.

The caning was painful, but Emily found it easier to take than she imagined. Leticia was given her stroke first and shrieked loudly, needing to be prompted before she gave the "One and thank you Miss" count. Emily pressed her teeth together tight, focused on keeping her knees straight. The first stroke she didn't even feel before she gave her count, the pain hitting only as she heard Letty yelp again and the voice of the headmistress scolding the other girl for getting out of position.

"Bend right over, Leticia Corpi. Or you'll be getting two extras instead of just one.

The second stroke, given slightly below the first, hurt a great deal and made Emily's knees bend slightly. She struggled to keep her voice steady for the second count. Still, she kept brave and in position by thinking over and over, "I have only one left. Letty has two."

Actually, Letty had two even after her third stroke as she sprang out of position and stood rubbing her bottom before the headmistress shamed her into bending back over. The other girl sobbed openly at the news she would receive two more strokes.

"Last one, Miss Marshall, if you can conduct yourself properly."

The last was the hardest yet. Emily felt her eyes tear up at the pain, but managed to make the count, perhaps a bit louder than she meant to.

"Three! Thank you Miss!"

Remembering tales from older students, Emily stayed bent over, waiting for permission to rise, the desire to run her hands across her scorched nether cheeks almost overwhelming. She hoped Letty would get these last strokes over with so they could both leave.

But Letty wouldn't. Each time the headmistress raised the cane, Letty leapt up and out of position.

"That was your last chance, Miss Corpi. You now have three strokes remaining. Since you won't be still, I shall enlist Miss Marshall to help you as you both have helped each other with your punishments thus far. Emily, pull up your knickers and come over to me."

Still dizzy from the rush of blood to her head, Emily replaced her knickers, wincing as the soft cotton rubbed against the raised tram-lines.

"I'm sorry, Ma'am," Letty sobbed. "I just can't bear any more caning."

"That's too bad, because you shall. Emily, place that stool in the center of the room and kneel in front of it."

Emily trembled a little and obeyed, sighing a little with relief as the headmistress guided Letty to the stool's other side.

"Bend over, Letty, and place your elbows on the stool." The girl obeyed the headmistress. "Emily, since Miss Corpi can't behave for her caning, you will hold her wrists tight and help her stay in position."

Watching Letty's face during the caning, Emily felt each stroke's impact as though it passed through her own body, feeling and fearing these far more than her own. Letty had sobbed openly, her teardrops landing on Emily's hands.

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Walking the distance between house and barn, John Marshall was lost in his own memories. Of days long past when he made this walk slowly, a naughty boy with his father's hand heavy on the back of his neck. Knowing that when he got there he'd be ordered to drop his trousers and pants, then bend right over the stable bars.

The air always felt cool on his bare bottom as he waited for his father to fetch the strop from its hook on the barn's center support. John knew better than to stand or argue. He was meant to stand there silently, waiting for justice to descend on him. John's father had punished severely, but never unjustly.

From across the barn, John would hear the metal across metal scrape of the strop being removed from its nail and curl his toes hard into the soles of his boots. There was always a pause after his father walked back. John couldn't see the man, but still remembered feeling the chill of his disapproval across his bare skin. And, as he walked, he remembered the searing burn of the strop.

His father never spoke during these punishments, unless he or his brothers were foolish enough to try to stand. And then always the same, "Do you think you'll get off so easily?" and a strong hand pushing a shamed boy back over the rail as the stropping continued.

John hadn't been punished often, but each was memorable. And he had rarely needed to be punished for the same crime twice. As he reached the door of the barn, this time with his daughter's arm firmly in his, he swore to himself this punishment would be something Emily never forgot, so she might never need it repeated.

He cleared his throat.

"Emily, you know what you did was wrong and admitted your guilt. And I know you're sorry. But sometimes sorry isn't enough. Part of taking responsibility is taking your punishment. This is one of those times. I expect you to behave at school - not to shame yourself in this manner."

His daughter looked up at him and nodded, tears spilling out of her dark eyes, over her long lashes.

"You go on over to that rail now," he said, pointing. "And take down your jeans. Bend right over the top, grabbing the bottom rail tight. I'll give you your punishment and then it'll be over and we'll say no more about it."

John watched as his daughter nodded up to him, her tears now flowing freely. He could tell she was scared and his heart felt heavy as he went to fetch the strop from where it still hung on its nail.

The familiar metallic noise sounded loud to his ears as he removed the old leather from the wall - it had darkened and stiffened with age. The leather felt thick and hard in his hands. As a boy he'd been afraid to touch it; sometimes even looking at it had been enough to send his heart racing. Now, it was stiffer than he remembered it and he wondered if perhaps he should oil it. Not now of course. Tomorrow. It was supple for dealing with Emily tonight.

Looking down at the strop he decided on twelve strokes laid on hard. His father had generally given twenty, but that seemed too many. Despite the crime, twelve seemed too many. Perhaps six laid on full would be enough.

John Marshall turned back toward Emily. She had already taken her jeans down and was struggling to bend over the barn rail, which hit her at mid-chest. Too high to bend over, she seemed to be trying to pull herself up then over but failed. Emily was just too small.

Suddenly the punishment he planned seemed far too harsh. He rehung the strop.

"Get away from there, Emily."

She turned to face him, face streaked with dust and tears, meeting his eyes for an instant before the jeans at her ankles tripped her to the floor.

He said nothing more, but scooped her up and, seated on a milking stool, turned her over his knees, spanking her crisply over her panties.

Surprise kept her silent for a few minutes, then she began to whimper.

"Not such a big girl now, are you, miss? You just try and be good while I give you the bottom smacking you deserve."

With that, he pulled her panties down to her ankles and resumed the hand spanking. His hands were heavy and hard and he held little back, focusing his attention on her lower bottom cheeks, noting that his hand still spanned both globes in a single smack.

"I don't need to use that strop on you yet. I'm sure I can make you one sorry little girl with just my hand."

Emily's bottom was getting hotter by the second, and she squirmed and kicked.

"Please, Daddy, I'm so sorry!"

"Yes indeed. And you're going to be a lot sorrier because I'm nowhere near finished with you." With that, John sped up his spanks, reddening the tops of her legs.

He didn't enjoy spanking Emily, but was pleased to hear her fussing, see her trying to put her hands back, whining for him to stop. It made it clear to him that this was hardly a young woman, but his child who needed a child's punishment. Hearing her sob, he told himself to continue, counting the spanks from that point, to one hundred, the last ten delivered with all the strength he could muster.

Emily's bottom was a dark crimson, with some raised welts on the right where his fingers had struck repeatedly. He let her lie there a moment, hearing her sobs, before turning her over onto his lap. As she had when she was six, Emily buried her face in her father's chest, crying and apologising for her crime.

"Hush, sweetheart. It's over now. Shhhh." He stood, still holding her, and carried her back toward the house, her jeans and panties long since forgotten.

Emily Anne Marshall would be a child for a while yet.

The strop, back on its nail, watched from the far wall.

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