Copyright 1997 to <pablo@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 Mr Impossible] Sleeping
by Pablo

There's a quiet, nervous knock on the study door.

'Come in, Mija,' the headmaster says, quietly, though loud enough to be heard clearly by the uniformed schoolgirl on the other side of the door. Mija, startled by the use of her name - he's expecting her - flustered, stoops to pull up her knee-socks, takes a couple of deep, calming breaths, then turns the door-handle and enters. The last time, she tells herself, at least she'd known why she was in trouble, why she'd leave the study with a firmly paddled behind underneath the pleats of her blue kilt.

Mija's heart - badoom, badoom, BADOOM, BADOOM - leaps into her throat. Mr. Bailey, usually ensconced behind several feet of walnut desk and disparate piles of academic bumf, is sitting on the desk - on her side of the desk. He watches her carefully, and she can feel the glow of reproachful disappointment. He says nothing, daring her to meet his gaze. She cannot, of course. He is authority personified, and she is just a schoolgirl. His is the lap across which she has been draped many times for traditional discipline.

The girl's eyes gravitate to the floor. She pushes the door shut behind her, but it's more than she can do to move towards the armless, straight-backed chair that stands between her and the headmaster. In his study, that chair is only used for one thing.

There's a long, silent moment, during which much is said. Mija has been naughty. Mija deserves to be punished. The headmaster is going to punish Mija. It's a simple equation.

'Stand beside the chair, young lady,' Mr. Bailey says. Mija shuffles forward, her mind racing. Why was it 'beside the chair'? Why not 'sit on the chair'? Perhaps she won't be sitting down for quite a while.

'Now look at me, Mija,' he says. It's a simple enough task, she knows, but there's nothing more daunting to her. She hauls up her eyes to meet his, trying to maintain eye-contact by examining his green-brown eyes dispassionately, but failing, being swept into an almost hypnotic lock.

'What time did you go to bed last night?' the headmaster asks, in a matter-of-fact way. Mija's mouth dries in an instant. Oh nooooo! At once, she knows why she is destined to be staring at the carpet while her bottom is tanned.

Panicked, she lies.

'Ten o'clock, sir,' she says. All of the senior boarders, including Mija, are required to be in bed by ten, with lights out at half-past. It was an easy lie, but she knows at once that he knows that she knows it isn't true, and she flushes.

'And the night before?'

'Ten o'clock, sir,' Mija insists, the water heating and deepening.

Mr. Bailey sighs with something like regret, like the father who has reached the point where he knows he must chastise his darling daughter, and knows how hard it'll be for both of them.

'Very well,' he explains, reaching behind himself to pick up the wooden paddle, placing it with threatening prominence on his right thigh. Mija cannot take her eyes from the implement. 'I'll tell you that you have already earned two dozen stokes of the paddle on your bare bottom for lying to me twice, and I'll ask you again. What time did you go to bed last night?'

He knows. He knows. Mija fidgets with the pleats of her skirt, girlishly.

'Quarter to three, sir.'

'And the night before?'

'Three o'clock, sir.'

'Finally, the truth. Thank you, Mija. And what were you doing, up at that hour?'

But the temptation of another lie is just too great, and Mija is tempted.

'I couldn't sleep, sir, so I went for a walk.'

Another heavy sigh from the headmaster, which somehow manages to dry the schoolgirl's mouth.

'That's three dozen, Mija. I wonder how long it will take before you realise that the best thing for the future of your bottom is to TELL ME THE TRUTH!!'

Mija's whole body jolts with the sudden, ferocious anger. Her breath is short, and her eyes begin to fill. Oh, how she wishes she were tucked up in bed, her behind already soundly-smacked, innocent once more.

'For the last time, young lady,' the headmaster's voice is calm again, but the edge of threat is still there, 'What were you doing last night until a quarter to three?'

She doesn't have any choice. How much worse can it be?

'I was in the computer lab, sir.'

'Thank you, Mija. And what were you doing in the computer lab?'

And she was convinced she'd done everything to make sure no-one found out, drawing all of the blinds and locking the door behind her, even leaving the lights out, so that her face was bathed in the green light from the VDU as the words from so far away scrolled across the screen.

But there's one final gamble. Perhaps Mija thinks it's worth it. Perhaps Mr. Bailey doesn't know everything. If she admits the final thing, the subject of the long e-mails between the US and her friend on the other side of the ocean, her world would almost cave in.

'Talking, sir. To a friend in Britain.'

Which is certainly true, even if it isn't what she'd feel comfortable in describing as the whole truth. And even the part about not being able to sleep is true. That was, after all, how it had started; how she'd wandered into the lab after hours, still unreasonably awake and alert, full of energy. How she'd discovered worlds within worlds, accessible with the right combination of incantations. How she'd learned so much but always felt there was so much more out there, waiting for her, waiting for her.

She hadn't slept much at all, since then. Somehow her own dreams didn't compare to all this reality, which she'd gobbled up voraciously.

Silence from the headmaster, and a small, rebellious cheer sounds inside Mija's head. He doesn't know everything, after all.

Mr. Bailey looks at Mija, sighs, his mind made up. He picks up a sheet of paper from the desk, scans the figures and tables.

'Apparently, you weren't aware of this, young lady, but records are kept automatically of all computer use in this school. Your night-time activities have been logged, although through various oversights have remained unnoticed. No longer. This will not continue, do you hear me?'

'Yes, sir,' Mija says, her chin against her chest.

'Lies are always found out, in the end, and are always punished.'

The headmaster lays down the paper, and takes up the paddle in his right hand, pats it gently against his right thigh.

'We will deal with the major misbehaviour shortly, but first there is the matter of the lying to deal with. Look at me, Mija.'

She does, hates to see his disappointment.

'There are lots of people in this world who think that a girl of your age has passed the point where being taken across her teacher's lap for a sound bottom-spanking is an appropriate way to deal with disobedience. As I think you know, I am not one of those people.'

'No sir,' Mija agrees.

'Very well. Take off your blazer, Mija, and we will deal with the lying in the appropriate manner.'

Mija removes her school blazer, hands it to Mr. Bailey, who lays it carefully on the desk.

The headmaster takes his place on the wooden chair, and guides the senior schoolgirl across his lap. Mija doesn't feel at all uncomfortable. There's something positively comforting in the nearness of his strength, the reassurance of the time-honoured posture. Her age seems irrelevant, even variable. She could be ten, she could be fourteen. Her legs dangle above the floor in the same way; her school uniform is the same; her bottom will redden with the firm application of the paddle in exactly the same way.

Mr. Bailey lays the paddle on Mija's back, then takes hold of the hem of her pleated skirt, lifts it to her waist, folding the material neatly. He tucks up the tails of her white school shirt, clearing the target area. Mija finds herself instinctively lifting her own hips as her regulation white panties are drawn smoothly over her pale globes, down to her knees. Her bottom and thighs are expectantly bare.

The headmaster takes up the paddle again, and patpatpats it on each of Mija's cheeks. She tenses.

'Relax your bottom, Mija. I don't want to bruise you.'

She tries to forget about how much it's going to sting.

'I'm going to give you thirty-six paddle-spanks on your bare bottom, Mija, and I want you to count them aloud. Do you understand?'

'Yes, sir,' Mija agrees, her voice coming from way down near the floor, while her bottom points shamefully upward.

Patpatpat . . .

WHOP!

'Ahhhow. One, sir!'

WHOP! Right cheek, then left cheek, in even-handed symmetry.

'Aiee! Two, sir!'

And the paddling proceeds, with unwavering precision, Mr. Bailey's arm rising and falling with a merciless tempo, Mija's cheeks burning. By ten, her bottom is uniformly rosy. By twenty, tears have started. By thirty, the tears are transformed into childish sobs, shaking the girl's body as she sways backwards and forwards with the impact of the paddle on her flaming posterior. By thirty-five, the sobs have joined, merged, into a continuum of wet, girlish sorriness.

By:

WHOP!!!

'Ahh ahh ahh aaooowwwww! Th-thirty-six, sir!'

Mija is soundly punished. She lays heavily, sobbing without restraint. The headmaster, his own emotion somewhat spent, lifts Mija's hips himself to replace the white panties over the shiny red cheeks, covers her bum and thighs with her kilt once more, and helps her to her feet. She gladly takes a tissue from him, wiping her stained face and blowing her nose, clearing her head. Then her hands creep behind, to cup, then gently rub, then slowly, slowly knead and massage, her paddled posterior; she can feel the heat even through her panties and pleated skirt.

When she's back to something like normality, Mr. Bailey holds her by the shoulders. Mija finds herself looking directly into his eyes, seeming not to be afraid any more.

'I know it's not yet your bedtime, Mija,' he says, 'but I'd like you to go to your room, wash yourself, change into your pyjamas, and wait for me there.'

The girl starts to protest, knowing what this means, knowing her bottom has more work to do this evening, but she doesn't even form the first word before the insistent arching of his eyebrow tells her that there are no grounds for appeal. None at all.

'When I come to your room, I will expect to find you ready for bed, standing quietly in the corner, with your face to the wall. Is that clear?'

It couldn't be any clearer, she wants to say, but only manages:

'Yes, sir.'

'That's a good girl. Now off you go.'

The headmaster hands Mija her blazer, and the girl moves to the door, with a final 'Yes, sir', and an unexpected - by both of them:

'Thank you, sir.'

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It's perfectly quiet in the bedroom. Outside, in the corridor, girls gabble and squabble on their way to get washed before lights out, but inside, nothing stirs.

Mija's uniform is neatly folded on a chair, ready for the following day. Her schoolwork is tidy and complete on the small desk which stands against the window.

The schoolgirl has put on her favourite yellow pyjamas. They are clean on tonight, and the flowery freshness wafts pleasantly around the small room, assisted by a benign draught from the loose-fitting sash window. There's no clock to tell Mija how long she's been standing in the corner, eyes to the wall, with a countable tick, and all sense of time seems to have disappeared anyway.

Mija is surprised to realise just how happy she feels, surrounded, tucked up, inside all of the rules and regulations, the discipline of uniform and paddle. Even the soft cotton of her pyjama pants rubs tenderly against her bottom, but the worst of the sting has gone, replaced by the certainty of a deep, glowing warmth.

The stillness of the room, and of her body within the room, is peaceful, meditative and - she can't help thinking of the word - disciplined.

The door opens, a man enters, the door closes again. The bedsprings creak a little. Then silence. Mija feels his gaze, feels the glow in her bottom. He's disciplining her just by being there, and he seems not to be in any sort of hurry. She can't even hear his breathing. Nor - she realises - her own.

Then:

'Come and sit down, Mija,' he says, and the voice is quiet, gentle, paternal. He pats the bed beside him, and Mija sits, lowering herself carefully.

'I've been looking through your work, and at the logs from the computer lab. It seems clear to me that the time your work started to deteriorate coincided with the start of your night-time - how can I put this - your night-time wanderings.'

He seems to expect an answer here.

'I don't know,' Mija mutters. 'I'm not sleeping well, and it's hard to concentrate in class.'

'Exactly right!' Mr. Bailey says, as if she's beaten Poirot to the mystery.

'Children need structures, routines, limits, yes even big girls like you, Mija. Freedom is fine, but freedom has no meaning unless it's within some framework. We've been letting you down, by not imposing the limits properly. We all have to take some of the responsibility for that, but here is where it stops, do you understand?'

'Yes, sir,' Mija says, hearing the headmaster's words slot neatly into place, finding the whole picture irresistible.

'Now, one of the most important routines for a growing girl is a regular bedtime. Without a regular bedtime, she doesn't get regular sleep, she can't concentrate, and her work suffers. Most of all, she isn't happy. Am I right, Mija?'

'Yes, sir,' she agrees, and realises that she's crying, without knowing when she'd started. Mija yearns for exactly the rules, routines and limits that she knows she's been missing.

'As a girl becomes a woman,' Mr. Bailey continues, 'she starts being able to decide for herself what the structures and routines should be - she starts being able to discipline herself.

'Sometimes, a girl can seem to have made this transition, but in reality she's still just a little girl. She thinks she's grown up, and the people around her think she's grown up, but she still needs discipline from outside - from parents, and from teachers. Yes, and from her headmaster.

'This is a dangerous time for her. A lot of serious damage can be done, since she's living without any discipline at all. This is not going to happen to you, Mija. I'm not going to let it. The first step is to get your bedtimes back in order. Yes?'

Mija nods, with something like eagerness, wiping the tears away from her eyes with her pyjama sleeve.

'Fine. This is what will happen. In future, you will be in your room, washed and ready for bed, at nine-thirty each night. At ten, your light will be turned off, and you will sleep. This will be checked.

'Now, as punishment for the unauthorised use of the computers out of hours, and neglecting your studies, and in order to reinforce this new regime, each night for the next week you will be given a bedtime spanking.'

'No! Please, sir! Nooooo!' Mija protests, but there is no mercy this time.

'Yes, Mija. You won't be spanked severely, but you will be spanked hard enough to make you cry, and to make sure that your bottom remains sore for the whole week. Each night, I will come in here at nine-thirty, and I will expect to find you ready for bed, standing in the corner. I will then put you across my knees, take down your pyjamas, and paddle your bare bottom with my hand for five minutes. After the spanking is over, you will be given five minutes to wash yourself, before you will be put to bed, and expected to stay there until morning. Is this perfectly clear, young lady?'

Mija nods, glumly.

'Okay then, sweetheart. Let's get the first one over with, and you can get to bed.'

Mija almost climbs across Mr. Bailey's lap, into the over-the-knee posture that brings memories flooding back. As her pyjamas are lowered to her knees, she floats into a different dimension, where bottom-spankings are about something other, something more than just pain and punishment. She fits across the headmaster's lap in more ways than she can count.

Mr. Bailey takes a glance at his watch, and begins paddling Mija's already-warmed behind. The clopping, clapping, slapping of his palm on her bare bottom fills the room, along with her squeals, turning to tears, turning to sobs, deepening, widening, carrying the girl along. The spanks are firm, fatherly, leaving white fingermarks which fade quickly into sore redness.

She wriggles, but there's nowhere to go - she's held firmly, and there's no force on Earth that could drag her away from the discipline she needs.

It's over long before Mija realises. She's in a distant place of pure, purring contentment, and the way back is slow.

Sad that punishment was necessary, happy that it's over - for tonight - the headmaster pulls Mija's pyjamas back up, then gathers her into his arms. She snuggles into his chest for a few minutes, feeding on the safety that's there, luxuriating in the warmth which starts in her bottom but encloses her entire body.

Mija feels herself lifted between cool, crisp linen sheets, the bedclothes soothing against her punished bum. She's tucked in snugly, and curls up instinctively on her side, protecting the tender flesh. There isn't a happier, more well-disciplined girl in the whole world.

Mr. Bailey fades, shimmeringly, into Paul, who stoops to place a single kiss on Mija's forehead, brushing the damp hair away from her closed eyes.

He takes one last look, switches off the light, and leaves Mija to a night of peace, quiet, and the sleep of the innocent. Somehow, he feels sure that dreams will soon arrive.

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