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Swinging; or Fear of Flying
Standing on tiptoe beneath an open, but screened,
second-storey window, a girl in a crisp, neat, gray and green
uniform shades her eyes to try and peer into the gloom. She
'Psssst!! Tasha, ya in there? Tasha?!'
'Shhh, Mija! Of COURSE I'm here! Be quiet
or they'll hear you! I'm not s'posed to even talk to you for
a week! I don't wanna get in trouble again any time too soon!'
Mija nods, knowing what her friend means.
Her hands reach back unconsciously to rub her bottom. The stinging
memory of the friends' failed history as gamblers still lingers.
'I know. When I went to the front door, that
housekeeper said that you couldn't play for a week . . . or
'least not with me. I'm s'posed to be doing some dumb book report
for school, but I wanted to talk to ya for just a minute and
make sure you were still alive.'
Despite Tasha's shushing, Mija's voice again
rises out of a whisper into the danger level. Tasha turns and
looks fearfully over her shoulder, listening for the warning
sounds of footsteps on the stairs. Instead, she hears the reassuring
noise of the vacuum cleaner starting up.
Making a decision, Tasha motions Mija away
from the window. As Mija watches, the screen swings outward
and her friend emerges feet first. With the confidence of one
who has made the trip many times previously, Tasha's legs wrap
around the oak tree branch and she climbs quickly down. Like
Mija, Tasha is dressed in a neat gray gymslip, starched white
shirt and dark green knee socks. Tasha is, however, minus the
required striped tie and green blazer. Mija removes those items
from her own uniform and slings her blazer over her arm. Now
the two are dressed identically.
Tasha and Mija chat happily and soon find
they have walked out of the relative safety of the shadows into
the warm spring sunshine. They reach the park down the street
from both their houses. What a beautiful day! Warm and clear,
the sky a deep, bright blue, framed by the town's large leafy
green trees. Any thought of where they are actually
supposed to be, or what they were told to do, vanishes.
The two girls run excitedly toward the swings, a high set in
a sandy enclosure. At first they take turns pushing each other
out over the yellow sand, yelling 'higher, higher!' Then each
girl takes her own swing, pumping with their legs, pleated skirts
The momentum builds until the arc of the swings
is so great that the chains suspending the seats dance. Mija
feels her face flush with excitement, her hair slipping the
constraints of her barrettes, which fall into the sand and are
instantly lost. Her dark brown hair now flies free, back and
forth, tangling in front of her eyes and mouth. She watches
Tasha's black hair whipping her face, falling in front of her
'It feels like we're flying! We are
flying!!' Mija yells to Tasha.
'No, Mija, you're not,' replies Tasha,
'But I am!'
With that, Tasha pumps one final time with
her legs, releases her hold on the swing's metal chains and
launches herself into space. She lands a short distance away
on her hands and knees, then flips over on her back, lying on
the dusty sand, laughing.
Sitting up and turning to Mija, whose own
swing slows as she looks on in amazement, Tasha cries,
'Your turn, SchoolBrat! . . . Come on, let
go! 'S fun!! Do it!!! 'Less you're too scared!!!'
Tasha has said the magic words since Mija
never refuses a dare. She pumps her legs hard, increasing her
momentum and the height of the swing, then finally, her heart
pounding, she pushes herself out into the air. She is flying!!
Mija screams with delight as she lands painlessly on the loose
sand a few feet left of Tasha.
The two girls look at the sand on each other's
faces and in their hair and laugh.
'I've got sand in my teeth!' shouts
Mija, spitting little grains onto the ground beside her.
'Well I've got it in my nose!'
replies Tasha, rubbing the offending feature.
'Yeah, but I've got sand in -' But Mija can
say no more as the two dissolve into hysterical laughter.
Still giggling, both Tasha and Mija kick off
their shoes and socks, watching the sand pour out of each. Laughing
and barefoot, the two, now in decidedly less-neat uniforms,
race back to the swings and repeat the process, again and again
screaming as they propel themselves into space. . . .
Meanwhile, Paul arrives home a bit tired. The
house seems strangely cold and empty. Sniffing, he realizes
at once Mija forgot to put the casserole in the oven. He goes
upstairs to their room, where he expects to find her hard at
work at the computer on her book report. Instead, Paul finds
an empty room. The desk chair is pushed aside, and the screen-saver's
been left spinning endless concentric circles on the monitor.
Perplexed, Paul moves the mouse to see what's on the screen.
As he looks, his confusion turns to annoyance. The report is
little different than it was when he left. What has the girl
been doing all afternoon? And still more important,
just where is Mija?
Paul's quick inventory of the various rooms
proves futile as Mija is obviously nowhere in the house. Just
as he starts to open the front door, his heart stops at the
sound of a frighteningly-familiar and high-pitched scream. He
yanks open the door and rushes out, only to pause with relief
at the sight of two girls playing on the swings over at the
park. A spring breeze carries the sounds of their shrieking
laughter to him.
At first glance, he is charmed by the sight.
He takes a few steps down the walk, his impulse being to let
go of adult responsibility and join the girls in their play.
At that moment, as if daring him, Paul sees the girl he identifies
as Tasha (hadn't he heard something about her having to say
in for a week after the two's last debacle?) launch herself
off the swing, closely followed by Mija. The two's graceful
flights contrast with their sprawled landings. The sounds of
rising giggles and teasing about who had traveled fastest, furthest,
highest, confirm for Paul that neither is hurt.
Paul's irritation returns as he considers
Mija's still unfinished book report. He recalls her
late nights and somewhat testy conversations of the past few
days. Thus far he's been very patient, knowing, or believing,
that despite her procrastination, Mija is taking her work seriously
and is already quite stressed out over the already-late assignment.
Now here she is, playing at the park, her
homework still unfinished. It would seem Mija needs
a reminder of the proper order of her priorities.
Paul pushes down his desire to go play on
the swings himself and takes a deep breath.
Paul's voice sounds across the block, up and
down the street. Its volume and depth surprise him. This sounds
for all the world like The Voice Of Authority. The somewhat
pompous tone causes a laugh to rise in his chest, but he squelches
it, pulling on a sterner mask.
His shout has the desired effect. As Paul watches,
Mija's swing comes to an abrupt halt as she looks toward him
with what he imagines, though he can't see her face, is alarm.
He motions with his hand and arm for her to come home immediately.
Their dance has begun yet again. . . .
Mija's toes ache from digging
into the sand to stop her swing. She sits frozen on the seat,
the sunshine forgotten. The pain in her feet reminds her that
her heart hasn't stopped beating, that she isn't dead just
'Shoot,' Mija hisses under her breath. (At
least the word sounds like 'shoot'.)
'Uh-oh!' says Tasha, giggling nervously. 'Girl
you are tot-tally bu-u-u-u-usted!'
Tasha's voice, though teasing in tone, betrays
her own nervousness as she considers that this might be a really
good time to slip back in through her own window.
Mija just gives Tasha a bad look but doesn't
reply. She's too busy trying to gather up the discarded pieces
of her uniform: tie, blazer, shoes, socks (make that 'sock'
- one is lost in the sand and cannot be found), scattered about
during their play. Mija is suddenly aware she's filthy. Her
face feels grimy, covered with a layer of perspiration and sandy
dirt. Watching the tall figure she's sure is Paul motion for
her to come home, Mija tries vainly to dust off her shirt and
gymslip skirt, whacking at them with her dirty hands, adding
smudged fingerprints to the grime. She pulls on her relatively
clean, though still dusty blazer in the hope of covering her
dirt-streaked, formerly-white shirt. Mija yanks her tie into
place, though her nerves make it impossible to do the knot correctly.
Without her sock she can't very well put on her shoes so she
carries them down the street in her left hand and walks slowly
When had their house moved so darn far down
the street anyway?
In a final gesture of defiance she does not
feel, Mija pauses at the edge of the park, turns back toward
Tasha, and raises one fist in the 'Power to the Brats' salute.
(This isn't all that brave on Mija's part as
Paul is actually quite nearsighted!)
Tasha answers with a (quiet) version of the
yell and a loud whisper, 'Call me if you can.'
Her eyes darting between Paul and her shoeless
feet, Mija feels confused. What's happened? She feels so happy
to see Paul, he looks like home, waiting for her on their front
walk. Mija's heart skips lightly and her steps quicken. She's
always glad to see him.
'Yes,' Mija's too-often-quiet super-ego warns
her, 'but you were supposed to be waiting for him.'
Her unfinished report drifts across her consciousness and her
feet again begin to drag. She drops her gaze to the sidewalk
as she studies the cracks for the perfect explanation.
Mija sighs. There is no way to explain
any of this. Maybe Paul just won't think it's such a big deal.
Maybe, she tells herself, he's just calling me home for dinner.
. . .
Dinner! Mija slaps her forehead, remembering
the note on the refrigerator, complete with temperature, asking
her to put the dish in the oven at 3:30. She realizes it must
now be well after 5:00 and the casserole is still in
the fridge. Maybe Paul will feel more like a freshly-delivered
pizza anyway. From the way her stomach is churning, a light
supper seems more in order in her own case.
A distant shout of 'Anastasia Juliet Geller!'
does nothing for Mija's nerves as it is now obvious her friend
is in trouble as well. My fault, she thinks. A wave
of guilt rolls over her.
Paul smiles inwardly, pleased he won't have
to call Richard to 'inform' on Tasha. He watches as Mija very
slowly trudges home. Despite the distance, he can almost hear
her thoughts as he observes her steps speed and slow. Paul often
finds Mija's tendency toward dishonesty humorous given the expressive
play she gives her emotions. At the moment, every move, every
step betrays the child's feelings of guilt and some considerable
When she is within a hundred feet of him,
Mija's steps slow until only the fact she is facing him betrays
forward motion. Her right hand smoothes at her hair, tries hopelessly
to dust off her skirt. The smacking sound of her hand hitting
the fabric causes her to finch inwardly, a reminder of the palm-to-skin
contact that Mija fears will be her reward for this latest adventure
The sound of her name again propels her forward,
her heart thudding against her ribs. She can hear it beating
inside her ears. From the expression on Paul's face when she
dares look in his eyes, Mija can tell that despite her ministrations
she is still quite a sight. She stops walking ten feet in front
of Paul and the two stand face to face.
Mija shifts nervously from foot to foot, her
lack of shoes making her feel even smaller. Paul's gaze isn't
harsh or cold, but calm, quizzical and more than slightly disapproving.
She cannot maintain eye contact and looks down at her toes,
around at the grass, up at the sky. Paul waits, watching her
obvious discomfort wordlessly. As he expects, within a minute
the silence becomes more than she can take and Mija starts trying
'Paul, um . . . hi sweetie! Are you home early?
I was just about to - . . . That is, I didn't . . . I mean -
it isn't . . . You never told me that I couldn't - . . . Well
sheesh, my report is almost done!'
The lie slips out almost before she realizes
it. Is in the open, immediately too far into reality to be called
back. Her only hope is to stand by it, support it as though
it were the truth. Mija looks down quickly, hoping her face
doesn't betray her. After all, it could be almost done
for all he knows. She begins madly planning a late night writing
session to make her lie true.
Paul crosses his arms and looks down at the
grimy urchin in front of him, her gaze apparently held rapt
by a fallen leaf just in front of his left shoe. He shakes his
head slowly, not believing she would attempt such an obvious
falsehood. Focusing on keeping his voice low and even, he says:
'Go inside, young lady. I'm not going to discuss
this out here. I shouldn't think you would want to
The maddeningly calm tone of Paul's voice
makes her shake inside. Mija considers how many of her neighbors
must have seen/heard her called home and know she's
in trouble - as surely as she now knows she's in trouble
- and her face burns. Without looking at Paul, she walks past
him up the steps to the front door. He follows and stands behind
her on the front porch. When she goes to open the door, the
girl is so nervous she turns the latch to the right, forgetting
for the moment that it opens to the left. She shakes the handle
in frustration, deciding finally that the door must be locked.
Mija reaches into her blazer for the keys, and then realizes
they must have fallen out when she was on the swings, another
probably-permanent casualty to the fine yellow sand.
She continues to search for a minute, two,
unwilling to admit to Paul she's lost yet another set of house
keys. As she checks the blazer pockets for the fifth time, she
feels Paul's arm brush against her shoulder. Mija instinctively
moves slightly closer to him, lengthening the contact. After
nudging her smaller hands away with his larger, he turns the
knob a full turn to the left and opens the door. He follows
the girl through the portal.
Instead of heading toward the front room, Mija
turns in the entry way, heading upstairs. Paul lays a detaining
hand on her shoulder. There is no force, no real restraint,
yet she halts immediately. A moment passes . . . two, then suddenly
she turns and says,
Her tone is definitely at odds with her acquiescence
to his touch.
'Come right in here with me.'
Releasing her arm, Paul turns and walks into
the living room. Mija sighs slightly but doesn't follow. She
stands frozen on the bottom step, her heart pounding. Paul's
'request' and her instinct to obey it war with her desire to
go clean up and have a little time to think up an explanation
before she speaks with him. She takes one deep breath, two.
She hovers only for a moment, takes a last look in the direction
of the living room, then gazes upstairs. She grits her teeth,
feels her jaw muscles tighten and ache. But there is no way
to stop them coming; her eyes have already begun to prick. Mija's
eyes fill with tears of frustrated self-pity as she realizes
that she is going to be spanked, the only real question
is when. As her tears start to spill over, she runs up the stairs
into the bedroom and slams the door.
Hearing her footsteps on the stairs, then the
sound of the door slamming from the living room, Paul closes
his eyes and sighs. Why does Mija continually resist what she
so obviously needs, and, on a deeper level, wants? He considers
waiting for her to come back down. He knows she will; had she
truly desired to escape she could have gone out the front door.
Mija is simply very impulsive, without any self-discipline.
Had his hand remained on her arm, she would not have pulled
it away and run upstairs. Yet left on her own, her judgement
Paul realizes he's come back to today's original
problem. Had he been home today, Mija would have sat in her
crisp, neat uniform and worked dutifully on her homework. But
with him gone, she had given into her desire to go play and
had forgotten she was supposed to be studying. Wearing her uniform
all day was supposed to remind her that her report was already
late, but she simply forgot the assignment and wore it to the
playground. Apparently a stronger reminder is required. Mija's
lack of self-discipline is something Paul knows he needs to
help her correct, that she wants him to help her correct, for
her own good. Sighing again, he walks up the stairs.
As he approaches the door, he hears Mija rush
toward it. He knocks once and turns the knob. Though the latch
turns, the door does not push open. Paul realizes that she is
leaning her weight against it, holding it closed. It would be
easy to simply force the door open, push her back and physically
overwhelm her resistance. But that's not what he wants. He wants
Mija to get on top of her defiance, to confess her wrong and
admit her need for correction. Paul lets go of the knob and
steps back from the door. He imagines he can see her leaning
against it on the other side, her dirty hands leaving smudged
streaks on the door's white paint.
Using a calm, almost conversational tone,
'Mija, we are going to talk, and
it is not going to be with this door between us, love.
I'm not going to shove my way in. You're going to let go of
the door and take a step back right now.'
He stands nervously waiting, wondering what
to do if she refuses.
Paul's calm, even voice is both comfortingly
familiar and fills her with a still more familiar dread. Without
making a conscious choice, Mija nods her head and steps backward
to the middle of the room. She whispers the 'kay' that he's
waiting (hoping) to hear. He again knocks once, turns the handle
and walks into the room.
Mija stands in the center of the room, looking
down at her still-bare, dusty feet. She has already taken off
her jacket, sash and tie. Paul notes that two buttons on her
gray gymslip are undone. Her arms are at her side and her fists
are clenched as her brain struggles to decide between self-control
and resistance. Inside her head is an almost deafening roar.
Paul's quiet voice penetrates the din.
'Look at me, Mija.'
Paul has stopped a few feet in front of her,
his back to the bed.
Mija gives no sign she's heard, but her hands
fist a tiny bit tighter.
'Young lady, look at me.' Paul finds that
he's still trying to speak to the top of her brown head. As
he watches, Mija's arms cross over her chest and her head lowers
'No, I won't.'
The words are defiant, yet uttered in a plaintive
and childish whisper, the tone of Mija's voice rising at the
end as though asking him a question.
Paul mentally counts to ten. His voice will
remain calm and even.
'Mija, look up at me right now. This
is a very simple request.'
Mija's head turns up slightly. Paul touches
her chin with his index finger, encouraging her to meet his
eyes. The glow of defiance in them surprises him and his gaze
become more severe.
As Mija stares up at Paul, she has to force
herself not to look anywhere else. She longs for a rewind button
for her life; there are so many places where the day could have
been stopped and her judgements made better. The 'if onlys'
are infinite. Her emotions, reeling toward tantrum a moment
ago have calmed a bit. But she's surprised to feel anger. Why
won't he just leave me alone? she thinks.
A small voice inside tells Mija that she's
not angry with Paul, but with herself. Were he to turn and walk
back downstairs her heart would break. But she tries to silence
the voice. She doesn't want to be sorry or fair. Being mature
is sometimes so hard. She crosses her arms tightly over her
chest, unconsciously hugging herself to resist her desire to
hug him, to tell him she's sorry and ask him to make it all
right. Paul senses a crack in her resistance, takes both her
hands in his right and steps back, sitting down on the edge
of the bed so that Mija has to stand very close, facing him.
'What's going on here, Mija?'
Mija's mind reels as she considers possible
answers to this question. She discards 'nothing' as not acceptable.
'I took a study break and Tasha and I were
playing on the swings at the park -'
'Stop - that's not what we're talking about
right now. What just happened?'
'Whatever do you mean, Paul?' Mija, struggling,
keeps her expression wide-eyed and innocent.
Paul lets a bit of his exasperation show,
'Why, young lady, are we up here,
rather than in the living-room?'
Covering the prick of tears in her eyes, Mija
looks down at the rug and shrugs her shoulders.
'I dunno. We just . . . are. . . .'
Mija's voice trails off. She knows this is
not a real or appropriate answer.
'Mija, I'm asking you for the last
time, why did you run up the stairs and then try to shut me
out? I want the truth. What is going on?'
Mija looks at Paul helplessly, her eyes filling
with tears. She starts to shrug again, sees the warning expression
in Paul's eyes, and sighs.
'ididn'twanttotalktoyou,' she mumbles.
'I'm sorry, what were you saying?'
Mija takes a deep breath and tries to explain.
Her voice comes out high, a little-girl whine.
'I wanted to wait until I could change to
talk to you. I feel all dirty. I came upstairs to clean up first.'
Paul nods, indicating she should continue.
His expression is gentle and concerned.
'I didn't think you'd really mind. . . .'
Mija feels her voice dry up as Paul's expression
shifts from concern to sternness.
'That, Mija, is not true. You knew
I'd be annoyed with you and that's why you attempted to keep
me out. Right?'
'No, what I meant to say was -'
Mija tries to argue but can't without telling
another lie. Her tears start to spill over.
She feels Paul pull her toward him and does
not resist as she feels herself lifted over his lap. As the
world shifts perspective, the blood moves to her head and her
feet leave the floor, everything seems to click back into balance.
Mija feels Paul's left arm slide around her waist, adjusting
her body so she is in the correct position.
'This is the second lie you've told
me in the past hour. We'll deal with this last one first. I
don't want you lying to me, you know that, sweetheart, right?'
Mija nods miserably.
'And you know that because I love you, you'll
always be punished for it, right?'
She nods again. But this is not enough of
'I expect an answer, young lady. Right,
'Y-y-e-ss, Paul. I'm so-r-r-r-y,' comes out
as a half wail.
'Thank you. I know you are, love.'
Mija hears his reassurances as she feels her
skirt lifted and folded to her back. She lifts her hips slightly
almost without even thinking about it as Paul slides her panties
down. He rests his hand on her bottom, giving each side a smallish
pat. Then his hand rises and comes down flat and hard on first
her right cheek, then the left: smack, splot.
Mija jerks her body slightly and feels Paul's arm tighten around
her waist, securing her. Her mind empties as she gives herself
over to the inevitable. She is over Paul's lap again, being
spanked - hurt, yes. But also safe, loved. As the red marks
move out from his hand's impact, the sting does as well. Her
feet kick up slightly, alternately.
Knowing he and Mija are due for further discussion
of today's procrastination and lying, Paul only uses his hand,
but he quickly covers her entire bottom with firm, crisp hand-spanks.
The color shifts from pink to reddish as the spanks continue,
her whimpers of protest changing to sporadic then steady crying.
After several minutes, Mija is crying in earnest
and her bottom looks red and sore. Her kicks are no longer expressions
of protest, but pain - as if by moving she might somehow escape.
Paul delivers six more hard spanks to each cheek, then carefully
replaces her panties and sets her gently on her feet, giving
her a reassuring and loving hug. She embraces him tightly, crying
into his chest.
'Are you okay now, sweetheart?' Paul asks,
his voice gentle, his eyes soft and warm.
Mija's sobs quiet, her tears have already
all but stopped. Her hands reach back to rub under her gray
skirt. She hesitates over her answer however. She knows what
will happen when she says yes. Even Mija is not so much of a
brat to think this spanking was all today merited. She straightens
'Yeah,' she mumbles.
Paul's voice becomes sterner - still gentle
but with a firm undercurrent. This is not a tone meant to encourage
expectations of productive debate.
'I want you to know what's going to happen
now because I want you to follow these instructions exactly.
Is this clear? If you have questions, stop me and ask, because
I'm going to expect you to do this perfectly. Understand?'
Mija's heart drops into the pit of her stomach,
but she nods.
'No. I want an answer from you, Mija.'
She bites her tongue to keep from pointing
out that a nod is an answer, and says, 'Yes, I do understand.'
'Good girl. I want you to clean yourself up,
put your hair back in a single braid and change into your plaid
strict uniform. Take your time, love. Make sure you have it
right; there will be an inspection. For each infraction you'll
get an extra dozen with the hairbrush. Is that clear?'
Mija pales slightly, flinching at the words
'extra', 'dozen' and 'hairbrush'. Their use signals a long hairbrush
spanking - the sort she knows that Paul knows hurts the very
most, not just during, but for hours (once, even days)
afterward. She wants to ask 'how many?' How many times will
the brush rise and fall? Not because she wants to negotiate,
but just to know. Ultimately, she can't ask, the words are not
able to pass her lips. Besides, she knows he'd not tell her
anyway. There is no reason for her to know. There will be as
many as there needs to be. That is her answer, that is the only
'When you are finished, take your hairbrush
from the bathroom, bring it downstairs and report to my study.'
'kaaaay,' in a very quiet whisper.
There is a hint, the smallest hint of a whine
of a pout in Mija's reply. The change doesn't go unnoticed.
Paul's gaze becomes sterner, his voice more firm.
'What will happen then, Mija?'
She shifts her weight from foot to foot, fidgeting.
Telling herself it isn't real until she says it. Avoids saying
The hum of the electric clock fills the room.
Mija is suddenly aware of street noise. She reminds herself
to close the window.
She shrugs, how should she know?
Paul takes both of her hands, but does not
pull her to him. The threat is clear however.
'Mija, what will happen when you come downstairs?
In fact, what will happen if you force me to ask you to answer
Yielding to the inevitable, Mija finally replies.
'I'll get punished.'
'That's right. Because you've been a very
naughty little girl. And how are naughty girls punished?'
Mija looks up at Paul, her eyes pleading with
him, 'don't make me have to say it.' But there is no sympathy
there. His eyes tell her that she answers him now or is spanked
and then answers. She takes a deep breath.
And stalls once more.
'They get corner time.'
Paul's mouth twitches slightly, either in
anger or amusement, she can't tell. But his voice is calm as
he follows up.
'Yes. And after you do corner time,
what will happen?'
'You'll talk to me.'
Paul's eyebrow rises, his foot silently tapping
annoyance. 'Yes, I will. And then what?'
Can she stall longer? His eyes say no.
'You'll spank me.'
This last in a whisper, finally a relief to
'That's right, Mija. I'm going to take you
over my lap and spank your bare bottom very hard because you've
been a very naughty girl today and you deserve it. Don't you?'
There is a long pause and they both seem to
hold their breath. Mija blushes hot, shakes her head slightly
once, but can't say no.
Then it comes, the admission.
'Off you go then. Get ready and I'll expect
you in my study.'
As she hears Paul walk downstairs, Mija begins
changing out of her sandy uniform. A quick check of the gymslip
and blazer confirms both will go to the dry cleaners before
she wears them again. As she shakes the two out, sand falls
in showers around the room. But, she's happy to note, most lands
and vanishes into the rug and not on the hardwood floor.
She goes into the bathroom, hides the bathbrush
under the sink (not out of fear, you understand, this is simply
instinctive), then showers and washes her hair quickly and emerges
clean. After glancing at the clock, Mija opens the taps and
runs a hot bath, complete with a large quantity of vanilla-scented
bubbles and a pink duck-shaped sponge. No point in rushing this.
As her bath fills, Mija begins calmly laying
out at the end of the bed the strict plaid uniform Paul has
'requested'. First the shirt, white and crisp, practically crackling
with heavy starch, fresh from the laundry. Next the dark green
and navy kilt, its pleats carefully pressed in. She rests the
crested navy blazer next to it, lint-free and perfectly brushed.
On top she lays her school tie, dark green with fine yellow
stripes. From the closet she takes a pair of black leather oxfords,
shiny and polished, and places them on the floor at the foot
of the bed. Then, finally, she walks over to the dresser, and
removes a pair of navy blue cotton knee-socks and navy regulation
She looks critically over the clothing spread
out across the bed and decides each element is there and perfect.
Despite her fear of the coming punishment, Mija feels a sense
of calm as she looks at the uniform that marks her as a carefully-cared-for
child and holds her in bonds of security and discipline. She
retreats, less nervous now, to her slightly-too-full bath, noting
that only a very small amount of water has sloshed over the
After emptying the hot water tank (twice),
and shrivelling her fingers and toes to pinkish prunes, Mija
realizes it is clearly time to get out of the bath and dress.
She dries herself, leaving the plug in the tub so there will
be no sound of water draining to tell Paul her bath is over.
After drying her hair and braiding it, Mija slowly dresses in
the carefully-assembled uniform: heavy cotton school knickers,
newly-ironed shirt (collar ever so stiff and starchy) buttoned
to just below the neck. She leaves the last button undone for
as long as possible. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Mija pulls
on her navy cotton knee-socks, then stands to fasten the kilt
around her waist, slowly smoothing the already-perfect pleats
over the starchy shirt. She slips her feet into the black shoes,
tying each in a quick bow, then tying them again in a deft double
But Mija's hands shake as she attempts to tie
the tie in a careful knot. On her first try, the thin end pokes
out from behind the fat. Her second attempt falls apart completely.
Walking to the mirror, Mija tries again, this time watching
her own hands fumble as if they belonged to someone else. She
feels slightly queasy - her brain busily telling her that her
still-lightly-stinging bottom will soon be very sore. There
is dread, fear, but under it all - hidden even from herself
- a delightful anticipation of the moment when it's all over,
atonement inscribed on her body and forgiveness verbalized.
She ties the tie one last time, this time
ignoring the thin end, still a few centimetres longer than the
thick. Finally, she crosses over to her dressing table and chooses
a one-and-a-half-inch wide green and navy striped grosgrain
ribbon, then makes a bow at the end of her braid. Looking in
the mirror, Mija sees her schoolgirl self looking back and smiles
a wry and ironic grin. It is time to go downstairs.
The girl stands outside the study a long while,
listening for noises within. Even inches away from the heavy
door, Mija can hear nothing. Yet she is sure Paul is in there,
maybe marking papers, maybe doodling, certainly waiting for
her. She imagines his breathing, his heartbeat. After several
hour-long minutes pass, Mija takes a deep breath and knocks.
There is a pause as she waits for the inevitable 'Come in'.
But when the invitation comes, she's suddenly panicked.
She's come down without the hairbrush.
Not answering, but spinning on her heel, Mija
races up the stairs to her room, slams open the bathroom door,
grabs her brush and rushes back down the stairs. As her shoes
hit the bottom step, she sees Paul at the study door and knows
he heard her run upstairs. She looks down, sure - or thinking
she's sure - he thought she had run away from him again. He
holds the door open for her, ushering her into the study. In
the corner she sees her slant-top school desk, a stack of clean
white paper on the surface. But her attention is riveted by
the high stool set in the middle of the room. Despite the fact
that she's holding the hairbrush, the ping-pong-bat-shaped school
paddle rests on the stool, its pine surface gleaming wickedly.
Mija looks up at Paul, her eyes suddenly wide. She feels her
heart thump with panic, her mouth drying.
Paul reaches out, takes the hairbrush from
her and sets it on his desk. He looks at her a second, seems
to sense her fear, and pulls her into a tight embrace. She stands
there, still in his arms as her heart slows and she can breathe
again. She smells the cotton of his shirt and wants to stand
'I'm sorry, Paul, really I am,' Mija whispers
as she feels herself held tightly, fiercely.
'Shh, shh, mi'jita. I know you are. And we'll
make it right. I promise you that.'
Paul squeezes Mija, holding her close once
'But we still need to go through with this.
It's really very serious. You know that, don't you?'
Paul feels Mija start at the word 'serious'
and then nod slowly, sadly. He pulls her away from him gently,
turns her face upwards toward him.
'However much this hurts, Mija, never forget
that I love you.'
'I won't,' she whispers. 'I truly am sorry.'
'I know, love.' Releasing her chin, Paul leads
her over to the chair he's set in the space before his desk.
She sits carefully, gingerly, moving as though she has already
been spanked. She sits, at first perched on the edge of the
seat, feeling the gentle pressure on her shoulders from Paul's
hands guiding her back so she is making use of the backrest.
'Mija, I think we have some things to discuss
here today, you and me.'
Mija nods, slowly, not looking forward to
the talk, but dreading the coming spanking even more. Remembering
her voice as Paul remains silent, she expands her reply to 'yes,
'But first, let me inspect your uniform.'
Mija stands obediently, knowing this drill
well. As she feels Paul's eyes travel quickly over the smartly-shined
black shoes, her neatly pulled-up and folded socks, the perfectly
pleated plaid skirt, kilt pin modestly placed and fastened.
But she all but hears them screech to a halt at the collar of
'Wait!' she exclaims, hearing her voice rising
with a child's anxiety. 'I can explain! I just couldn't get
the skinny end to go straight, I really did try.'
Paul nods as though in agreement.
'The tie is always a difficult part of the
uniform for you, isn't it, love?'
Mija nods slowly as Paul reaches out, unties
the tie and pulls it slowly out of the collar. He stops and
looks at her collar then back at her face. At that moment she
remembers her still-undone button and closes her eyes. There
is no way to excuse this, the instructions had been clear, so
very clear, no shortage of time.
Still she must explain.
'I forgot it, Paul. Really!'
Paul says nothing.
Her hands rise to button the collar, but his
hands push them firmly away. Lifting her chin, he uses both
hands, slowly fastening it. The collar is snug now, just barely
uncomfortable. He then turns her around, puts the tie around
her neck and ties it neatly at her throat. Mija feels his hands
on her shoulders as he turns her firmly back around. Patiently,
he straightens her collar, tie, smoothing so everything is just
so, perfect at last. Mija stands up still straighter, strangely
proud now that everything is right and she looks as smart as
She stands very still as Paul paces back to
the desk and then turns towards her.
'Two uniform violations, Mija. How very careless.
I'll assume your knickers are regulation -'
Mija gives a small nod of agreement.
'- I'll find out for myself in just a moment.
Sit please.' Paul indicates the chair.
Mija sits again, her stomach already churning.
She knows where she will be that 'moment'. Paul sits on the
edge of his desk. Opposite to her, close enough to touch. His
hands grip the desk on either side of him. His green-brown eyes
seem to stare too deeply into her own and she looks down quickly.
'Mija -' Paul's voice is soft, but in it there
is warning there as well as reproof. She pulls her gaze back
'We need to talk now, me and you. I'm very
disappointed in your behavior today.'
The girl gulps hard. She is ashamed and cannot
answer, but swallows again and nods sadly. Hearing that he's
disappointed in her hurts so. Mija wonders if he knows that.
'Whatever were you thinking? You promised
only this morning you would finish that paper today.'
There is a very long pause as Mija grows more
and more tense, shifting a bit on the hard chair. As the silence
lengthens, she realizes she must speak. She starts and stops,
her voice sounding strange and small even to her own ears.
'I want-wanted to go and play. . . .'
Paul nods slightly, indicating not that he
agrees, but that he hears her. His voice is very stern as he
'I wanted, no, I expected
your work would be done today. I had a right to expect that,
Mija feels her eyes start to prick and she
blinks hard behind her wire-frame glasses.
'Young lady, why should I have been
able to expect that?'
This last demands an answer and Mija answers
in a still-smaller voice, 'because I promised.'
She breaks his gaze and stares down at her
lap, slipping off her glasses to wipe her eyes. Paul reaches
out and gently takes her glasses from her and lays them beside
him on the desk. He lifts her chin so she must look up again,
and softens his voice at her answer.
'That's right. Because you promised. And I
expect and must trust you to keep the promises you make to me
and, most importantly, to yourself.
Mija nods again. She wants to argue, wants
somehow to show him how hard it is, that life is not so simple
as this. But she can't. There are no words to explain that she
knew what she was doing was wrong, that it was the
very wrongness that had made the day so bright and the play
with Tasha so wild and fun. Listening to Paul, who always
keeps his promises to her and trusts her, Mija feels the shame
become overwhelming as the pangs of guilt hit.
Paul's voice continues, going quite stern again,
sounding resolved and determined.
'But you didn't keep your word, did you?'
Mija closes her eyes and a tear trickles down
each cheek. But she squares her shoulders a bit and answers.
'No, I didn't.'
'How much of the paper is still to be done?'
'It's almost finished, really.'
Mija is surprised to hear her own voice repeating
the earlier lie. She looks away quickly, knowing she's too ashamed
to tell Paul how little she has done.
'Almost finished? As in, much further along
Mija nods, hesitantly at first and then with
'How much did you do after I left today, Mija?'
She shifts a little in her chair and shrugs.
'I'm not sure really.'
Paul's expression changes, hardens, indicating
that he doesn't find this answer acceptable. His voice leaves
'Miss, I'm not playing here. How much work
did you do today?'
Panic rises in Mija's chest. For a single
heart-thudding moment she considers the possible 'big lie'.
But as she stares into Paul's eyes, she realizes he knows. There
is love and softness in the green-grayness there. How could
she disappoint him with the truth? Yet, how could she stare
into them and tell him another lie?
Her chest rises and falls once. Twice.
'Abouttwentyminutes.' She spits the truth
out, speaking the words as though she fears telling yet another
lie should she speak too slowly.
Paul, she realizes, has braced himself for
something - her lie, she thinks. He relaxes upon hearing the
truth. There is a long pause during which Mija considers how
very nice it would be if she had finished the paper,
what fun the two of them might be having now instead of this
painful conversation. She grimaces slightly as the word 'painful'
passes through her mind. The conversation will only become more
'Twenty minutes. I am disappointed
in you, Mija. You didn't even give yourself a chance, did you?'
'It wasn't going very well -'
'How late is the paper now? Very late, isn't
'Two weeks?' Mija replies, the question in
her tone arguing that perhaps two weeks isn't really a very
'You've inconvenienced your teacher, yourself
and me, haven't you?'
Mija nods and wonders how could she have been
so very bad. Regret washes over her in waves.
'Going to school is your job, Mija.
There is plenty of time to play with Tasha and do all kinds
of other fun things after the work is done.'
Mija looks down at her lap. She repeats, 'I'm
sorry.' Tears fall, landing on her hands.
Paul nods. 'I know you are, Mija.' A longish
pause. 'Stand up and remove your blazer.'
Saying this, Paul walks over to the high stool,
picks up the paddle in his right hand and sits down.
'Come here. Let's get this done with.'
Mija stands slowly, removes her blazer and
lays it neatly on the chair she has just vacated. Then she freezes
a moment, watching Paul hold the paddle in his right hand. She
walks across to him, her brain madly calculating plans of escape
while, at the same time, knowing there are none. The punishment
is inevitable, and, she finally admits (but only to herself),
deserved. Though she walks slowly, it takes her only a few seconds
to cross the room and stop, standing just in front of Paul.
He says nothing for now, but guides her to
his right side. She bends over his lap without being told. This
ritual of correction is far older than either of them, the steps
repeated with growing confidence by the two of them. Familiarity,
repetition, increasing the dance's breathless power.
Laying her weight on his lap, she starts to
pull herself forward, rising to her toes as her head moves toward
the floor. Mija feels Paul's hands on either hip lifting her
the final distance. She gasps, surprised always at the feeling
of childishness as her feet lose contact with the floor.
From her position over Paul's lap, Mija's
eyes seem to swirl as they trace the carpet's lacy vine pattern
of red and green. Her breath comes in ragged gasps sounding
half sigh, half sob, her face flushes red. She tries to slow
her breathing, tries to resign her body to the pain, sting sure
to come. Her collar tightens around her throat and she slides
her finger underneath it, trying to loosen it with her finger.
She closes her eyes then opens them. How long
has she been over his lap. A minute? Two? Forever?
Every nerve now raw with anticipation, Mija
feels Paul's fingers brush the back of her thighs with a feather
touch as he grasps the hem of her kilt.
The air feels shockingly cool on her warm
legs. It chills and tightens the skin. Mija stifles a surprised
giggle as her skin prickles into goose flesh. As she feels Paul
fussily folding the pleats of the kilt then tucking up the tails
of her shirt, Mija's anxiety rises further. She says nothing,
but protests mutely with her body, squirming as his fingers
slip beneath the tight elastic of her knickers.
'Be still, Mija.'
Despite this direction, Mija whimpers as she
feels her knickers gathered below her bottom, then pulled down
to just above her knees. She tenses and relaxes, anticipating
and even feeling the start of the spanking a hundred
times over in the seconds before the first smack.
Paul's hand descends gently in a pat. Mija
gasps, ready for it to hurt, ready to cry out. Instead there
is a caress, another pat. She whimpers again, trying to tell
him to stop - to start. Mija's ambivalence causes the
moment to lengthen to a lifetime. Can Paul possibly feel this
Her musings are shattered as his hand smacks
hard into her bottom - a surprise finally even after all the
warnings. The sting is immediate, located at the single point
of contact. It is followed by another on the other side and
she breathes deeply, not counting as the smacks land harder
and faster, shutting her eyes and seeing only darkness punctuated
by brilliant bursts of color as each spank finds (and makes)
Mija can say nothing at first, her mind repeating
to her over and over, 'I'm being spanked.'
But as she takes a deep breath she feels tears pricking behind
her eyes. Her breath becomes little gasps and she wiggles and
whimpers a bit.
There is no pause, but she hears Paul's voice
through the cadence of spanks.
'It's supposed to hurt. I mean it to.'
Twelve more spanks land at the tops of her
thighs. Mija feels her tears flow freely.
'Why are you being punished, Mija?'
It takes several moments, during which six
more smacks land, for Mija to gasp out, 'Because
I didn't do what I was supposed to.'
Paul's hand lands twelve more hard spanks,
bringing Mija's bottom to a uniform hot pink. Without pausing,
he picks up the paddle and continues to spank Mija hard and
fast. She stiffens her bottom and begins to kick and even try
to get up. But Paul's left arm simply wraps around her tighter.
He begins to spank the tops of her legs again. Right, left,
back and forth, landing each in almost the same spot as the
'Nooo! Please! Not there!'
Mija chokes out a protest as her cries become
sobs. The burning sting of the paddle feels unbearable.
'Lie still and take your spanking like a good
She grips the chair rung and lies quietly,
struggling to move only as the paddle impacts. Paul delivers
a final hard twelve, all at the point where her bottom and thighs
meet. Resistance spent, Mija lies across Paul's lap and sobs,
feeling like nothing so much as a naughty girl.
Paul reaches down and pulls her knickers up
to just below her bright red cheeks and tucks her skirt into
its waistband. He lays his hand on her bottom and feels the
heat of her smacked skin. The he takes a firm hold of both Mija's
upper arms and guides her gently to her feet. Her hands reach
back at once, but he takes her two in his own before she can
rub away the sting. Her sobs have stopped, but tears still fall
and she looks to him for comfort. Paul squeezes her hands gently.
'That spanking was for not doing as you promised,
'I'm sorry, Paul.'
Tears spill over her cheeks and slide unchecked
to her chin.
'I know you are. But you also lied to me,
and not just once.'
He watches as Mija looks both fearful and
rebellious, her hands trying to tug themselves from his grasp.
'No, please. No more.'
'Mija, you are not deciding this. It is going
to happen. Accept it and do as you are told. This is not the
first time I've had to punish you for lying to me, is it?'
Mija looks down. The expression on her face
is no longer fear. It is instead more of a pouting sulk.
'Answer me, young lady.'
'No,' she reluctantly agrees. 'Not the first.'
'In just a moment you are to go and stand
with your nose in that corner, feet together and your hands
at your sides. You are to think about all the time you've wasted,
how much better things will be when you finish this paper. Is
'You will keep your skirt and panties just
as they are. Understood?'
Mija flushes and looks away then back.
Paul gives her hands one last squeeze and
turns her toward the corner.
'Right then, off you go.'
Looking resentful but acquiescent, Mija walks
slowly over to the north-west corner of the study - her corner.
There she stands as directed, feeling Paul's eyes upon her,
embarrassing and reassuring. Her eyes follow the hair's-breadth
crack six inches above the floor to where it disappears in the
baseboard molding. There could be a spider in there, she thinks.
Shivering slightly, she tries to remember what Paul asked her
to think about. Idly she strokes her skirt, fingertips brushing
the hem. Her eyes close as she remembers. How much time has
she wasted? Hours. Maybe days. The assignment should be long
finished. Her brain drifts past the question into the silent
meditation that corner time has left her familiar with. There
is nothing she can do about the past. The spanking to come will
happen. Then this naughtiness will be past and she can start
anew, be a good girl and finish the paper.
Mija wonders how long she's stood there. Her
feet suddenly hurt in her shiny shoes. She wonders what Paul's
doing. He's so very quiet, there is no sound of pages turning,
papers rustling, or even breathing. She cannot turn to look,
however, and so focuses again on standing still.
Finally, an eternity (or some
space of time close to one) passes.
'Alright, Mija. You can let down your skirt
and pull up your knickers.'
Mija complies, feeling the smooth cotton give
her bottom a soothing rub, wincing as the tight elastic bites
into the very tender skin just below her bottom. It's easier
to stand still knowing that her bottom is covered by her skirt
rather than being on display as though an object of sorts.
'It's time, Mija. Come over here to me.'
Suddenly, knowing the spanking still to come,
the corner looks better, safer. Mija turns around reluctantly,
walking slowly over to Paul who's seated on the edge of the
desk. Her bottom still stings a bit and she knows it must still
hold a least a pink glow beneath her temporarily replaced knickers.
This next spanking will be received by a tender target indeed.
She sits gingerly on the chair, discovering with relief that
while her bottom still stings, sitting is not painful. Mija
looks across at Paul, but his expression tells nothing of his
He starts without preamble.
'You know better than to lie to me, Mija.'
It is a statement, not a question, but still
she nods in agreement.
'Why did you, then?'
Mija's brain reels as she asks the same of
herself. Why? Does he really expect her to answer this?
Her tone is somewhat defiant as she offers
him the truth.
'Because I wished it was true.'
Paul's face softens a bit.
'I know you know the difference between the
truth and a lie, don't you, Mija?'
Looking shamefacedly down at her lap, Mija
bites her lip and nods.
'Lying does a lot of damage; you know that.
I believe you when you tell me things and I can't help you with
your work if you lie to me about your progress. I don't want
to mistrust you.'
Tears well again in the girl's eyes. What
a terrible day!
'I don't want you to either. I'm sorry.'
'You're not going to lie to me anymore, Mija.
Lying is stupid - it solves nothing and always always
makes problems worse.'
As she listens, Mija hears the frustration
in Paul's voice and her shame deepens. Any urge to correct him,
to tell him she will lie to him again of course, vanishes.
She just wants this to be over and convinces herself there will
never be a 'next time'.
'I promise. Please, Paul. I'll get to work
right now. Don't - don't spank me any more, please!'
Her voice rises with an edge of desperation
and panic by the end.
Mija catches her breath as she watches Paul's
emotions play across his face. He loves her, she can see that.
He's tired and looks sad. She follows his gaze to the stool,
to the brush lying on the floor beside the stool.
Mija looks over at him and shakes her head.
She hears him sigh, watches as he walks over
to the stool and sits down.
'No, Mija, you chose this. If you hadn't lied
to me your punishment would be over now. But you did. And that
made what you did much worse. We agreed that lying was very
serious and that you would always be punished for it.
So now it's time. You are going over my lap for a very hard
His hand indicates both the brush on the floor
and the open space on his lap.
Mija swallows hard. She hates hearing the
words, which bring with them images, and worse still, memories
of the sensation of getting paddled sore, so very far beyond
'Come right over here, Mija.'
Mija notices her hands are gripping the seat
of the chair, holding her rooted to the wood.
'Please, Paul. You already spanked me way ha-a-ard!'
Her voice rises at the end. Whining more than
Paul's voice is even, firm and resolute.
He notices her foot kicking the chair rungs
and his eyes narrow.
'Right now. Are you going to make
She throws him a pleading look before pushing
herself onto her feet, knocking over the chair. Mija looks at
it, and at Paul, then rights it. She trudges slowly over to
the stool, eyes firmly fixed on the floor, stopping just in
front of Paul.
He reaches out and guides her to his right
side, bending and lifting her across his lap. She feels her
feet leave the floor, struggling a bit as he slides her further
over. His left arm wraps around her waist as her balance becomes
his to control. Mija kicks, scissoring her legs, but she is
'Stop it! Mija, do want me to spank the backs
of your thighs too?'
Mija freezes as two hard slaps sting the backs
of her legs. She feels tears rise into her throat.
'Wait! Please, I stopped ki-'
She silences herself as she feels her skirt
folded up again, panties gently drawn down to just above her
There is no reassuring patting. She feels
Paul reach down and pick up the hairbrush, sees his arm through
her view framed by the chair rungs and her feet. The oval wooden
head, hard and cold, hovers above her bottom a second
as Paul pauses, tightens his grip, pulls back
his arm, and wallops the hairbrush down onto her bottom.
Mija's response is immediate: she gasps and
kicks out her legs straight behind her. As she gasps for air,
the brush comes down again and again. She struggles to get up,
yelling out that it hurts, but Paul holds her with
ease. His arm doesn't slow but swings up and down, connecting
with Mija's tender bottom, marking her upper thighs, her sit-spot,
with crimson ovals.
Her gasps blend together as her body tenses,
then screams out in hurt. Still Paul's arm swings up and down,
the brush landing, swat, swat, SMACK, fast and hard.
When she runs out of air, the crying starts in jagged sobs,
her brain shattering into white pain as she wails. Her eyes
are squeezed shut and she no longer sees the carpet, Paul's
leg, or even the darkness. Her hand grips the chair rungs tightly
as she squeezes, seeing blue sky, earth, herself falling.
'Sooooooorry!' breaks out as a scream from
the cries as her body goes limp.
'I know,' says Paul. 'Now take your spanking
like a good girl.'
His voice is solid, centering, as the brush
swings pain into her bottom again.
Finally, after landing three more on each
side, he puts down the brush and continues spanking with just
his hand, but hard, as she lies over his knees and sobs.
At last the spanking stops - but the crying
doesn't. And as she lies over his lap, Paul slides her panties
off, pats her backside, and turns her over so she's sitting
on his lap. He whispers to her plans for the next week. There
are lots of rules, structure, early bedtimes, lines, strict
uniforms and spankings. Mija cries, her tears wetting his shirt,
and agrees to everything.
Swallowing hard, she tries to speak.
'I'm gonna be good you know. Really really
'I know you are, sunshine. You know, no matter
how naughty you are, you're always my good girl.'
She nods again, barely noticing him leading
her up to her room. Faced with going to bed, Mija starts to
cry again, somehow feeling lonely. Paul helps her get ready
and sits beside her as she curls up on her side, bottom still
glowing beneath the covers.
Paul thinks a moment, then takes down 'Alice',
opens at the marker and begins to read. He smiles as she falls
asleep before he reaches the bottom of the first page.
Late that night, across town
the phone rings.
'Tasha! Psst, Tasha! Are ya there? Do ya wanna
tell first or should I?'
stories about us
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