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Into the Woods
Discipline is important.
Geology is always tedious, but Fridays it's unbearable.
I take meticulous notes, forcing my brain to focus on
my notebook and the professor's monotone.
When the class is finally over, I grab my backpack and
cram the notebook inside, not allowing myself a glance
at what else is in there.
Behind the labs, there's a nature trail. I shoulder my
backpack and walk the trail briskly. To anyone watching,
I'm just a student out for an afternoon stroll.
Exactly 567 steps later (yes, I count them -- that's just
the way I am), I turn off onto a small deer trail that
ends in a meadow. There, in the green-lit sunlight, I
strip off my shoes, my jeans, my tee-shirt and socks.
My pale blue panties.
Everything. I fold everything carefully.
Stones in the grass feel sharp under my feet, but I dance
anyway, naked in the clearing under the afternoon sunlight.
My dance has to circle the clearing twice before I can
open my backpack. Sometimes I can't help myself and I
cheat, peeking inside before my dance, but he always checks
Sometimes, I think he watches.
Finally, breathless, I open my backpack and take out the
uniform. It's very simple. A stiff-collared white cotton
shirt, navy games skirt, white knee socks, black gym slippers.
And navy blue knickers. Fastening the collar makes my
knees feel weak. Going from nakedness to my uniform makes
me aware of the collar.
I leave my pack and folded clothes at the edge of the
clearing, taking only a towel and pocket knife with me.
As I walk this second trail, I'm eager but walk carefully,
looking at saplings on both sides of the path before choosing
and cutting three supple switches.
Almost there now.
Why there's a field stone wall in the middle of the woods,
I can only guess. There's no other sign of human habitation,
but there must have been a farmhouse here long ago. The
wall is solid.
I fold my towel in half and lay it and then myself across
it, rising onto the very tips of my toes, the shirt collar
now cutting into my throat.
I think about him arriving, reading my notebook to find
out about my week, lecturing me about discipline, obedience,
submission. Imagine him slowly folding my skirt onto my
back and tugging my knickers down, if I've been a bad
I've always been a bad girl.
I whimper softly as I think of him taking each switch
in turn and whistling it through the air, choosing the
best. I always pray one will be acceptable. The alternative
Finally, he'll lay one hand on my back, and slowly thrash
my bottom and legs, each stroke leaving a single red lacy
welt, the sting building until I can't cry hard enough
and begin to scream . . . .
. . . I'm alone when I stand up and take my towel with
me back to the clearing. The uniform is back with my notebook
as I walk back to the university, counting each step.
I won't return until next week.
Discipline is important.
to Mija's stories
to the treehouse