Copyright 2000 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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For QM, with respect.

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[Image of Little Miss Naughty] A Meeting with Our Headmaster
by Mija

Miss Vera Kingsley
C/O Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Kingsley
4 Carlton Park Road
--shire.

18 March 19--

My Dear Vera,

I know this is days early for my weekly letter and hope this finds your lungs mending and your plans to return in the autumn still in place, but I had to tell you about this horrid afternoon. God help me should there ever be a repeating.

How right you were about my deceptions catching up with me with a vengeance! I'm having to write to you while standing. Let me just say that I can sit, but certainly have no desire to. The reason should soon be clear, if you haven't already guessed.

The reason I had been summoned to our headmaster's office wasn't entirely a mystery to me. I'm not sure why, but sometimes I can't seem to focus on my work and things gradually start to slide. And then I start feeling overwhelmed. After that, events sort of spiral out of my control. (I can imagine you rolling your eyes at that, but it's true.)

Anyway, as you know, maths has never been my best subject. I'd been meaning to catch up for a couple of weeks, especially after that note went home, but without your cool mind, well, let's just say my intentions hadn't gone as far as one might like. Today, when I got to maths, Mr. M-- passed me a sealed letter and instructed me to take it to our headmaster immediately and wait while he read it. Of course I'm sure my face turned ashen as anyone's might under the same circumstances. I slowly put my books and pens away while all the while that horrible Mabel Oliver (whom I shall hate until the day I die) smirked and nudged Diana. My hand positively itched to slap her nasty, spotted face, but I restrained myself, knowing I already had an ordeal of sorts before me. Poor Fiona was almost in tears!! It was the loving look she threw me that made me determined not to show the others how afraid I was.

I went up and took the envelope (it reeked trouble) and slowly walked toward our head's office, making a quick stop at the loo just for a once-over of my uniform. Dear Vera, how I missed you right then! You can go over our uniforms so well and catch the nasty little details that the head's keen eyes never seem to miss. As it was I did my very best. Retied that silly tie at least twice. And pulled my shirt down tight beneath my gymslip. I thought I looked rather smart for nearly the end of the day. But I'd forgotten to check my knee socks. I'm sure you'd have remembered, of course.

As I stood in front of the headmaster's door, my heart felt like a hummingbird's. Honestly, it was beating that fast. I couldn't help but remember the last time I was there, with Fiona and you after our disastrous argument with the housemistress over table manners. Knocking, I recalled the three hard strokes of the tawse we each got across our palms, followed by a no less painful, but much more humiliating six across our knickers. You were so brave, Vera dear. I tried to remember your strength as I knocked softly on his thick walnut door.

It seemed he was waiting for me and at once called out permission for me to enter. I entered and stood before his desk. Vera, he walked around me in his robes like some sort of horrible circling bat, looking me up and down. At first I was confident all was right, but then I noticed his glance lingering on my knee socks. They were crooked (I had forgotten the undergarters, you see) and I soon was scolded and hurried to set them right.

He asked why I'd come and so I handed him the note. He handed it back, demanding that I tell him what was in it. When I claimed not to have read it, which was the truth, he became still more annoyed and asked what I thought it said. I confessed to not having been as attentive to my maths as I should be. And, in fact, when he directed me to read him that note, that seemed the sum of its contents. Surely nothing bad enough to warrant this manner of treatment!

But there apparently were other reports. As he rattled on and on about my irresponsible attitude toward school, I gathered he'd managed to talk to all my teachers who apparently had the opinion I needed "waking up". He must have repeated that expression five times. My bottom fairly tingled with fear each time he said the word "waking". I shuddered as it was made clear I would feel the tawse today.

But the worst was to come! Have you guessed it? Yes, that note. He had the note commenting on my lack of prep in maths that I was supposed to have taken home to Mr. B-- for his signature. I know you warned me, but I was sure I could keep it from him. But now my guardian's signature was being questioned. I tried to deny it, but when our headmaster began a letter to him to be posted that afternoon asking what his reaction to news of my laziness had been, I was forced to confess my deception and forgery. Had I not, Mr. B-- would have likely brought his answer in person! And I was clearly in enough trouble already.

Our headmaster's disapproval radiated from his every word and glance as he scolded me and demanded a full admission of guilt. I gave him that, my shame surely rendering me as crimson as our blazers, but I was informed in no uncertain terms that my atonement would be inscribed on my body. I felt a strong urge to use the loo and repressed it, fearing his sarcasm were I brave enough to ask.

My nervousness must have brought a smile to my lips, one I tried to hide, but which our headmaster of course noticed. "So you find this humorous, do you, miss?" What on earth can one say to that I ask you? I tried to deny it of course - there certainly was nothing funny from my perspective. "It's nerves, sir," I said.

Still he ignored me and mentioned again that I needed "waking up" and stated I'd soon be "taking things a bit more seriously". I ask you, Vera dear, how can one not simply sigh in the face of comments like that? Still, I tried to reply. Something along the lines of "I'm sure this conversation has woken me, sir."

Our headmaster held my gaze until I was squirming with discomfort. I looked away once, only to be reminded to look him in the eye. He said in a moment he was going to see for himself how badly behind I was in maths, but first he would see about my "wakening up". I dreaded seeing the tawse, but stood with my head up as he opened the side drawer of his desk and reached in.

The heavy tawse was indeed what emerged. I clenched my hands behind my back, remembering its sting. Our headmaster snapped it cruelly, his eyes never moving from my own. I swear, Vera, I could hardly swallow. I'm not sure how I managed breathing.

At his direction I went over to a low bench. He had me bend all the way over, so my elbows rested on the bench. I could feel the skirt of my gymslip rise over the tops of my thighs. I could do nothing but pray for the strokes to be given over my skirt, but after a moment of smoothing, he lifted the gymslip and folded it onto my back, gravity raising it in the front as well. I then felt his finger touch bare skin where I would expect there to be knicker and knew I must be wearing a pair with a small tear along the hem, thus meriting yet another lecture on my carelessness.

My face flamed so I almost wished he would start. Almost. Finally he pronounced the sentence. Six strokes as my "waking up" plus an extra two for carelessness about my uniform. He delivered them slowly, having me count each in turn. The first six landed low on my knickers, the tips wrapping to my hip. I cried out in pain, and was told to be still and keep my feet flat on the floor. The final two were across the tops of my bare thighs. Each hurt more than the other six together. Finally, after a long wait and inspection he allowed me to rise and directed me to the desk in the corner.

[I'm taking a break here, Vera dear. Writing to you has been so engaging I've almost missed tea. I'll finish this after my prep.

I'm back now with nothing to do until lights out except finish this letter. And yes, I finished my prep so you don't need to nag.]

The next portion of this "trial" was to be a test of how far behind in maths I'd got myself. Our headmaster sat me (ouch!) down at the corner desk and opened a copy of our maths text to a mini-test on problem sets. My heart started beating again. This was work I remembered from last term and I moved through the problems with some confidence. Still, the time limit he set wasn't sufficient to do careful work. Since I was to get three cane strokes for each error, I prayed to have as few errors as possible.

When he called time and collected my work I was found to have made only two errors. The headmaster seemed surprised, pleased even. I allowed myself to relax, hoping that this embarrassing scene could soon be past. He told me he was pleased to see I could work when properly motivated and he would offer me the chance to skip being caned entirely. There was but one problem more he wished me to solve. Having seen the remainder of the chapter, I felt sure I could answer another problem and agreed calmly to his 'double or nothing' terms.

So you'll understand that my heart stopped when he pulled some ancient text from his shelf and began flipping through the pages. I tried to plead, only to have it pointed out that I'd agreed I could do one more problem. The problem he gave, Vera, was to find out the surface area of eight metal tubes of a certain length and width. As if a young lady would ever have any use for this knowledge! I tell you I sat there holding my pencil with my head fairly reeling and no idea where to begin. Finally in desperation I began to multiply numbers, keeping in mind that area equals length times width. Still, I knew that that formula was for squares and such and that these tubes were round. But I had to try despite knowing as I worked it was all hopeless.

It seemed I'd only started when he called time and picked up my paper. He gazed at it with what I can only call contempt. Finally he handed it to me and asked me to please explain my reasoning. I stammered something about multiplying the numbers and then adding them to each other. The headmaster loomed still closer and asked if he was to understand that I thought I could calculate the area of a tube by multiplying the length and diameter. I nodded, my throat totally dry. In a voice dripping with sarcasm he wondered if I'd ever been "enlightened" on the subject of "radius" or "pi". I could not answer, but only stared. I remembered the terms vaguely from moments in class when my daydreams dropped me into the reality of lessons.

"Miss," our headmaster demanded, "I asked you what 'pi' means." I told him that it was three-point-something or other, but that I couldn't remember and I'd always been terrible at word problems and anyway, what was the use of learning things like this? He made my blood cold by telling me he could now see what my maths master had to complain about and that I'd clearly not been even attempting to learn any of my trigonometry lessons. He continued with some nonsense about me needing to order carpet or wallpaper. As if I will ever find myself living in a series of tubes?

I soon found myself standing before the bench again, bent over so my elbows rested on its surface. He took some time folding up my skirt, telling me I'd be getting twelve strokes with the senior cane. My knees were shaking even before I felt his fingers on my knickers' waistband or heard the dreaded phrase "bare bottom". It was with aching slowness he lowered my knickers to just above my knees, finally picking up the cane and swishing it through the air several times. I'm not sure what all he said - something about this being the most severe of punishments given at this school for girls who refused to learn any other way. I tried not to listen, tried only to focus on my breathing.

The caning did not begin immediately, Vera. He tortured me with half-strokes and tapping for what seemed like hours, until the back of my calves ached with holding this humiliating position. Until I could feel myself begin to perspire with fear and tension. Finally he laid the stroke on hard across both my cheeks. I swear I felt as if I'd been branded. That lighter cane the young history master uses is a mere noodle compared to this rod. After a longish pause the headmaster informed me I was to count and thank him. I did just as he asked, wanting to do nothing which would make this punishment more severe.

Still, some sort of stroppy rebellion must have found its way into my tone for at the half-way point he stopped and stated that however hardened I was, he'd find a way to get through to me. I was truly horrified as I could not imagine bearing any greater pain then he was already inflicting. After cautioning me not to rise, he began to lay the cane on again, not in the strong hard cuts he'd been using, but swift and rapid swishes which flicked across my bottom and thighs feeling like nothing so much as a swarm of attacking bees. I clawed at the bench and must have made quite a sight, squirming with the struggle of keeping both feet on the floor. The rumour that our headmaster is an expert with the rod is true and I soon found myself promising to improve my behaviour if only he would stop, tears falling down my face onto my clenched hands.

Finally he did stop and I, almost maddened with pain, began to sob. He laid his hand on my back and told me that I was now to start the count at nine - that I had four more strokes remaining. I swear, Vera, I almost fainted. He was counting those strokes as but two off the total twelve!! It seemed most unreasonable and unfair and I wished to argue but feared he would have me resume at eight or even seven were I to seem at all resistant. So I merely replied "Yes, sir" and began counting off the final four strokes.

I'm sure I need not tell you how awful they were, each one landing but a hair lower than the one before it across the very base of my bottom, the final two crossing in the crease where my bottom and thighs meet. I think even the headmaster was concerned the strokes had been too much, for after I counted the final one, he kept me in position, examining my bottom for damage and running his fingers lightly along each weal. One would think I'd have felt embarrassed, but I honestly felt only moved at his concern and a desire that he assure himself I was well and truly punished.

After satisfying himself as to the state of my bottom, the headmaster raised my knickers and directed me to a corner of his office just behind his desk. There is something about the phrase "get your nose right in that corner, miss" that is just sooooo lacking in any dignity. Still, I was still as a mouse, not wanting to give any reason to incur further punishment.

Standing there in that corner my bravado finally slipped. I began to cry, quietly, but tears nevertheless. I stiffened my shoulders, trying not to let my shame show, but sobs began to shake me. I felt just so overwhelmed with guilt at what I'd done, wishing I could undo it all. I felt, well, bad and ashamed, wondering why anyone would bother with me.

The corner-time lasted an eternity, but finally the headmaster called me over to him. I wiped my eyes and turned to see him sitting in the armless chair before his desk. As I stood before him, I searched his eyes for the contempt I was sure I'd find. But there was none, but rather warmth and a determination that made my knees quake a bit. Despite my shame, I held his gaze.

"And now, miss," he said, "we must deal with your lying and forgery."

Even though I was expecting nothing less, my heart dropped at his words. Yet I nodded gravely, standing as if frozen in place. He held up a large, long-handled clothes brush. I gasped at the sight of it and quickly explained that I'd only lied because of not wanting to disappoint my guardian.

"Lying and cheating in that manner was a childish thing to do. You'd already disappointed him by falling behind on your work and now have only added to that."

I nodded, tears falling again as I hopelessly pleaded with him to keep this a secret. I have to admit I wasn't surprised when the headmaster explained that he would of course be sending a letter with the account of the entire incident to Mr. B-- by the end of the week. My only choice is really to write to him first which I shall do as soon as I send this letter off, though I admit to dreading it.

"For such childish actions," he continued, "I think I know just the right sort of punishment." And with that he gestured for me to bend over his lap, which I did, only to feel him lowering my knickers yet again. I'm sure my face purpled with shame as the closeness seemed to underline my humiliation. So I would know that this was his intention, he commented on how disappointing it was to find a girl my age still needing to go across his lap. I, of course, had to agree.

Vera, that brush hurt every bit as much at sixteen as it had at nine. I tried to be stoic, but, sooner than I would have thought possible, heard myself cry. Still, the spanking and quiet scolding continued a bit longer. Finally it was ended and my clothing adjusted as I stood before our headmaster, with my bottom too sore to even tempt me to rub.

I expected further scolding, but he was quiet and listened as I pledged to do better, even agreeing with me when I said I knew I would. Finally he commented that I had a great deal of potential (little did he know!) and that this correction, unpleasant though it may have been, was needed to ensure that I didn't waste any talents.

When he finished speaking, I nodded and signed the punishment book in the space he indicated. And then I surprised even myself by thanking him.

I'm still musing over his words. Did our headmaster really punish me so severely because he cares about me? I've always thought of being punished as a sort of revenge, by the school or my guardian, for my transgressions - a sort of payment in kind. But if he spoke the truth then there must be something more.

Or it could just be something he says. Please let me know your thoughts and keep yourself well. I'll write with more pleasant news on the weekend.

In deepest friendship and wishing you speedy good health,

Mariana

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