Tuesday, October 25, 2016

From the Top Shelf - Where There's a Will... part 2

Last week we began the story of an aunt who had bequeathed her estate to one of her two nieces, with certain conditions attached. Before we resume, you may wish to refresh your memory by reading part 1 here.
"Jane, why are you standing back there?" asked Lucy, perplexed by the distance that Jane was putting between herself and Gillian's rump.

"I'm going to take a bloody good run-up at her," answered Jane casually.

"Oh no you're not! There will be no run-ups; you must stand still, square behind the...er...spankee for want of a better legal word. My God, your aunt was right, you both have a pathological hatred of each other," Lucy intervened, apprehensive that the two women would try to do each other real harm. Jane rather sullenly marched up to the armchair and, without warning, slammed the paddle hard across Gillian's unprepared nates. The loud crack which resulted echoed round the empty room surprising both the contestants and the spectators.

"Owwwwwwww you bitch! That wasn't fair, I wasn't ready," yelled Gillian, twisting round to lodge an anguished protest with Lucy.

"Well, cry-baby, do you submit?" enquired Jane, more in wishful hope rather than any serious belief that her younger sister would give in that easily.

"No, I bloody well do not. Now get on with it and give me the other five whacks," came Gillian's defiant reply. Jane, for the first time that afternoon, did not look the picture of total confidence, a glimmer of doubt having entered her head which registered in her facial expression. The resounding smack she had given Gillian had not had the devastating effect she'd expected. Her sister had been right when she said that, for the first time in their lives, they were competing on an equal footing. Jane lifted the paddle high over her head and brought it down as hard as she could, repeating the process in rapid succession four more times to finish off the first batch of spanks. Although Gillian cursed and yelped at the painful assault on her bottom there didn't seem to be any immediate crack in her armour and she appeared determined to stay the distance. Slowly rising from her position, she turned with a huge smile on her face.

"Now it's my turn to deal out the punishment! I've been waiting all my life for this!" Gillian declared, her eyes ablaze and nostrils flaring at the delicious thought of her imminent vengeance. Jane slumped over the back of the armchair and hitched, with some difficulty, her tight dress up and over her hindquarters.

"Look!" Gillian beseeched Lucy and Annette, "Sheer stockings and fancy suspenders...for a funeral? Really, Jane, were you hoping to shag the vicar? You always were such a tart!" Gillian took great delight in baiting her older sister.

"Oh shut up! I didn't have any black hose and anyway it didn't occur to me that later in the day I'd be bent over flashing my underwear around!" came Jane's muffled explanation from the other side of the chair. Gillian roughly grabbed Jane's lace panties and snapped the elastic, causing them to fall uselessly down the side of Jane's left thigh.

"You'll bloody well pay for those, Gillian, they were expensive," said Jane, furious at her sister's act of wanton vandalism on her undies.

"Sure, no problem. I'll buy you ten pairs as a going-away present; after all, money will be no object when I get my inheritance!" exclaimed Gillian. She then drew back the paddle and powered it down onto her sister's twin globes of milky-white flesh. Again the room reverberated to the sound of leather slapping loudly against womanly bottom-cheeks. At the end of the second session the psychological advantage had swung back to Jane, who decided to take her dress right off so that she would have unrestricted freedom of movement when she administered the next six smacks.

Annette could hardly believe her eyes at the scene which was materialising before her. Two grown women, both with their reddened buttocks completely exposed, were trying to beat the living daylights out of each other in a frenzy of undiluted greed and revenge. Gillian survived her second session but her eyes were now clearly watering from the increased stinging and now the moans she was emitting were deeper and more heart-felt. This time, at the end of it, she sprang to her feet, but her first action was to frantically rub her bottom and try to lessen the pain rather than to grab the paddle and immediately set about her sister's posterior. Jane once again positioned herself over the chair, her suspender straps at full stretch and pressing into the still pale skin at the sides of her flanks. She was only too aware that if her resolve buckled at this point during the next six stingers, she would lose everything. Gillian started the second lambasting of her sister's buttocks but this time she allowed a longer duration between each swipe. This tactic was for her own benefit and designed to give herself a longer recovery period before it was her turn to bend over the chair again.

Annette noticed that Jane had, outwardly at least, dealt reasonably well with the pain during her second session of being on the receiving end. Definitely better than Gillian had coped. It was the younger sister's turn to drape herself over the chair for a third time, and she was taking a long time over it.

"Come on, you chicken, you are deliberately playing for time," sneered Jane sensing that her younger sister was weakening.

"Do you want to call it a day, Gillian?" asked Lucy, concerned that the girl might be suffering too much.

"No, no! I'll never give up, there is too much at stake," she snapped back and dramatically plunged herself over the chair again, Jane landed three quick blows - her sister twisted, bounced and screamed at the ferocity of the lightning blast, there was a short break and then the second three rained down at speed all on the same stinging buttock. Gillian gave a frightening, almost bestial, wail and almost fell sideways off the chair. She groaned, staggering for a few feet to the right hand side of the room, clutching her blazing behind with one hand and , with the other, she supported her racked body, leaning against the wall with tears literally streaming down her face.

"Gillian, you poor baby, why don't you give up?" Jane implored with mock concern for her sister. "You know you can't win. Aunt Amy knew I have always been the stronger. I could go on taking these whackings all day. She must have wanted me to inherit or she would have invented some sort of intellectual challenge. You were the clever one at school so why don't you use those brains and quit now - save your bottom from further punishment," Jane continued to pressure Gillian verbally as the weeping woman shook her head in tearful defiance.

The young solicitor's assistant was fascinated to observe how these two young women could keep coming back for punishment. Gillian's posterior was now a deep plum colour and Annette couldn't help but think that Jane's advice, although clearly intended to undermine her sister, was probably correct. Six more smacks bounced off Jane's taut, cherry-red, backside with hardly any visible detrimental effect on her, it was as though she was becoming immune to the sting of the paddle. The two women changed places yet again and the body language was now very significant. Gillian, her face pale, lowered her head to avoid eye-contact while Jane stared at her, a self-satisfied, nauseating grin on her face.

Jane took careful aim and then administered the nineteenth blow to Gillian's tortured bottom, resulting in the now familiar howl, accompanied by the rippling of Gillian's gluteous flesh and a St. Vitus dance-like trembling as her body and mind fought to resist the sanctuary of submission. The twentieth blow of the paddle smacked down hard on Gillian's bottom and a thunderclap resounded around the hollow room. Gillian let out a high-pitched shriek, burst into floods of hysterical tears and rolled off the chair onto the floor, holding up her right hand to signal that her resistance was over, she simply could not take any more.

"Do you submit?" Jane bawled and the tear-stained Gillian nodded her head in affirmation. "Come on, say it! I want to hear you say it!"

"Oh God, I submit," Gillian managed to whisper the required words loud enough for the other three women to hear.

"I am the winner!" proclaimed Jane, holding the paddle aloft in triumph.

"Not yet," Lucy interrupted Jane's premature celebrations," you still have to take three more strokes to overtake Gillian's final total of twenty."

"Oh yeah, I know. But I've got this in the bag. Do you seriously think I'm going to capitulate now when I can almost smell all that lovely money?" Jane announced as she lowered herself across the chair for the last time. Goading her sister, she continued, "Come on, Gillian, do your worst. It's too late for you anyway. I don't mind having to stand up to count all that lovely money."

Annette had never met either sister before, but for some reason she found Gillian the less odious of the two and was secretly hoping she'd win. But it was pretty clear that Jane was not going to give in now and when Gillian slammed the paddle down for the twentieth and equalising spank, it must have hurt like hell, but Jane remained staunchly bent over awaiting the next. She knew she had won, laughed and raised a clenched fist in celebration. At that moment Gillian knew her hopes of inheriting the house had disappeared. In a spite-fuelled act of detestation of her elder sister, she held her sister down with one hand, then suddenly unleashed a flurry of violent blows, raining them down on her victorious sister's bottom and thighs. She must have landed ten extra, uncalled for, thudding slaps of leather across an already searing expanse of reddened flesh, before Lucy could step in and stop her.

"You bloody bitch! You always were a bad loser," Jane took a last opportunity to metaphorically rub salt into her younger sister's wounds, "and 'loser' is the right word to describe you. You have always lost to me - as children I beat you at every game we played, as teenagers I could take your boyfriends whenever I wanted and now I get Aunt Amy's house...all to myself."

Gillian had no intention of staying for a slanging match when the truth of her sister's jibes was there for all to see. She had already, and very painfully, replaced her knickers and trousers and was stomping out of the room and out of her sister's life forever.

"That's right, loser, go on, get out of my house!" Jane screamed after her, whilst hopping from one leg to the other, vigorously kneading some of the pain out of her inflamed buttocks.

"Strictly speaking, the house does not belong to you until the papers have been signed," Lucy solemnly informed the jubilant but still-smarting Jane.

"Right, let's do it now. I've waited years for this moment, I can't wait a second longer," replied Jane.

"Before you sign, I must go through the details and make sure you fully understand what you are taking possession of," Lucy cautioned the over-excited winner.

"Oh no, I can't hang around listening to all that legal crap. I just want to sign the damn papers and go off and get drunk on champagne."

"Very well, but you must sign this lawful disclaimer absolving my company from any future accountability arising from any unforseen disputes regarding ownership of this property," Lucy droned on in monotonous legal parlance, but Jane was not listening, all she could think of was celebrating her good fortune. Lucy concluded her monologue, "Annette will be my witness that you refused counselling over the deeds of the house."

"Yes, yes, yes...whatever...just give me the pen," Jane impatiently ordered Lucy. She then quickly scribbled her signature next to the crosses that Lucy had already marked for her. After which, Lucy and Annette officially witnessed the fact that by adding their names.

"Well, that's it, Miss Etheridge, the house legally belongs to you now. What are your immediate plans?" asked Annette.

"Right now I'm off to buy a case of Champers and a couple of bags of frozen peas," answered Jane, laughing as she flounced out of the house.

"Frozen peas?" enquired both Lucy and Annette, simultaneously perplexed by this curious intent.

"To sit on! I've got a two hour car journey and my arse feels as if its just been stung by a swarm of bees. I need something to cool it down. Lock up for me, I'll be in touch," Jane waved and then wheel-spun out of the drive in her urgent quest for the soothing effect of frozen vegetables.

"I feel sorry for Gillian, going through all that pain and embarrassment and not getting a penny," muttered Annette, ruefully, as she watched Jane's car speed out of sight.

"I wouldn't feel too sorry for Gillian. Today she was very much the winner," Lucy answered , rather enigmatically.

"What do you mean? All she got out of it was a very sore bottom whilst Jane acquired this house which I know is a bit dilapidated but must still be worth two hundred grand."

"Yes, you're right about the value of the house," Lucy paused and smiled, " but when John Etheridge acquired it almost a century ago for the princely sum of two hundred pounds, he did so on a lease basis. The original lease has never been amended and in seven months' time, the house becomes the property of Mr Justin Hartley, the grandson of Jacob Hartley, the original owner. The Hartleys have farmed the area since the mid-eighteenth century and John Etheridge was their estate manager. The house was sold to him in recognition of his good work in maintaining and increasing the Hartleys assets. Justin Hartley was a life-long friend of Amy and he promised her many years ago that she could live in this house for as long as she wanted. So she never had to bother about renegotiating the lease."

"That was generous of him," Annette noted.

"Yes, but it was also out of self-interest, because for the last fifty years, Justin and Amy have been having an affair. As teenagers they wanted to get engaged but Justin's parents would not give their approval because Amy's family were low down the social pecking order. Shortly after this, Justin, who at the time was a young subaltern in the Army, was posted with his regiment to the far east for a couple of years. Time and distance quelled their youthful ardour and eventually Justin married a girl his parents approved of. A few years later, when he left the Army to take over the running of the Hartley family business he crossed paths with Amy again, and she agreed to become his mistress."

"How romantic!" sighed Annette and then, after collecting her thoughts, she concluded, "so the upshot of today's ludicrous contest is - Jane has won a house she cannot sell."

"Well, I doubt whether she will find anyone who is going to pay a fortune for a lease which has barely six months left to run. Plus, there is another sting in the tail for Jane," Lucy giggling at her own pun. "Under a clause in the lease the house must have had the roof and window frames replaced at least once in the ninety-nine year period, and, of course, they are still the original slates and fittings, so Jane could have to fork out a tidy sum for her short lived tenure."

"Good! I'm glad she won't profit from her aunt's death. And I'm also glad she won't be able to sit down comfortably for a week or so," professed Annette, giggling at the thought of Jane driving home sitting on two packs of frozen peas. Then, after a few moments contemplation, she added, with a trace of concern in her voice, "On the other hand, she is going to be awfully miffed that you didn't tell her about the conditions of the lease. She'll probably roar over to the office and take that paddle to our rear ends!"

"Don't worry, before the...er...contest, I was acting precisely on Amy Etheridge's instructions, but I did urge them both not to go through with it. And remember that Jane refused my offer of advice before she signed all the papers - one of which testifies to this fact in writing," Lucy reassured her young assistant

"So you don't think she will blame us then?"

"No, I don't think she will want to make too much of a fuss in case Gillian found out. The humiliation would be just too much to bear. And I very much doubt whether Jane would want to be known as the woman who was so greedy she was quite prepared to have her bare bottom thrashed in order to get her hands on her aunt's non-existent legacy. She would become an utter laughing-stock."

"What an astute lady Amy was when I visited her to arrange for today's execution of the will. She predicted precisely how it would turn out."

"The old lady knew that Jane would take more swats than Gillian?" gasped Annette.

"Yes. She reasoned that Jane would be motivated by pure greed, whereas Gillian would be sustained by a mixture of fragmented emotions including hatred, jealousy and revenge. She deduced that Jane's single minded fixation would win the day or rather, as Amy hoped, land her in a dreadful financial mess."

"Phew...quite a plan. I'm surprised that an old lady could have concocted such a neat act of retribution," said Annette.

"Well, she did have some help from Julian Hartley," explained Lucy. "He arranged for the video and organised the funeral so that only he and the two sisters were present. He has invited us both to join him and a few friends at the Bull Hotel for a meal to give Amy a proper and fitting send-off."
"Oh how nice! I only hope they have my favourite on the menu," exclaimed Annette with a grin.

"And what would that be?" enquired Lucy as she unlocked the car door.

"Why, rump steak, of course! Very well done!"

It never pays to be greedy!

From Hermione's Heart

Monday, October 24, 2016

Recap: Spanko Brunch 2.0 for October 23

Do you have a Tumble blog? What are your thoughts on them?

Fondles: Gosh I just started my tumblr a few months ago and BIKSS too. We use it mainly for sharing sexy pics (aka porn), and short posts. Sometimes when the blog feels like too much effort I type a sentence on Tumblr and hit send.It's just easier. It feels like a more Facebook version of blogging where re-blogs, shares, and one line updates are the order of the day.

kdpierre: I don't have one.

They are great.....truly great.....for images. Some of the best stuff I find for either personal appeal or fodder for spoofing, is found via Tumblr. But I don't think they should be called "blogs". They are photo collections. Rarely have I found a Tumblr with more than a "Tweets" worth of commentary.

As such, they are one more nail in the coffin of good conversation, interaction, and intelligent analysis. No need to formulate a thought let alone a clever one, just click "like" and move on.

Enzo: Great questions Hermione and to answer them:
No I do not have a Tumblr, but have considered it many times and may do so shortly. They have a purpose like blogs and websites and books do, yet overall it is just another vehicle of communication; although it is definitely a visually driven format. I think they fit in the wider community just the same as anyone else.

The plus side, in my opinion, is that Tumblr makes publishing so much easier as mentioned by Fondles above. Feedback also seems easier as recognition is given by either a quick like or a minimal-effort repost.

The negative side is they just don’t seem as personal to me, even the ones that post actual pictures from their lives. I am not sure why exactly, but something seems more detached than on a blog.

As mentioned, I have considered starting my own so that I can avoid my long gaps between posts. Yet, overall I am hesitant as I do not like it as much since blogs seem more like a conversation over the phone where as tumblrs seem like a passing thumbs up on a busy street.

All that being said, I will give an example of a tumblr that I find a nice exception; a cross-breed between blog and tumblr - Scarlet’s Real Magic - she seems to have a nice balance going on with what she does there.

Roz: I only have the blog and don't have any social media accounts. Not sure why really lol

Michael M: I tried my hand at Tumblr, see le Cul d'Or.
It was interesting finding out how to get it to work, but it is not as enjoyable as having a blog where you can get to know people that little bit better.
I have three different tumblrs on the go at present which I keep returning to.
I certainly enjoy tracking down interesting spanking images on other people's Tumblr.

Yorkie: I have a Tumblr but it's for following all my vanilla interests and I've never actually posted anything. I reserve that for Facebook and Twitter.

Simon: I don't have a Tumblr or come to that a blog or a Facebook account. I do have a Twitter account on which I occasionally post pictures of my punishments or the ladies who have punished me. I look at Tumbler regularly as I enjoy the pictures but on the whole it does seem to encourage an incredible amount of misogyny and the comments are often exceptionally degrading and abusive about women. Blogs that I read on the other hand are friendlier and rarely contain anything I find offensive.

Leigh: No, I don't have an account.

Bonnie: Yes, I have an account and technically, I have a blog, but there's no content. I use the account to explore Tumblr in search of links for the MBS blogroll. I played around with Tumblr a little and it is really easy to create a site.

Yes, I do visit Tumblr blogs, mostly for the purpose described above. It's as difficult to generalize about Tumblr blogs as it is for Blogger or Wordpress blogs. There are some excellent diary-style blogs hosted on Tumblr that would work as well on one of the other platforms. Conversely, I see Blogger blogs that primarily host photos and that too can be effective.

I hear people say that they don't care for the pornish pictures found on many Tumblr-based spanko blogs. I completely understand. I definitely don't need to see someone's gynecological examination before breakfast. But it's not fair to characterize all Tumblr blogs as objectionable porn. In selecting links for the blogroll, I ask three questions:

Is the majority of content spanking-related?

Would the content appeal to sizable segment of MBS readers (based upon what they've told me over the years)?

Is the content free of elements I find unacceptable (minors, non-consent, graphic brutality, purely commercial, misogyny, etc.)?

I don't really consider the blogging platform. There is strong content hosted on all of them.

I believe that spankos on Tumblr are like-minded members of our community and I suggest that we should include and embrace them as our friends.

Katie: Hi Hermione, I have heard of Tumblr, but don't know much about it. It is interesting to read what people are saying about it here.

Wilma: We have a tumblr account but we only use it to read/look at other accounts. Some of them are not just photos and gifs. I regularly read The Submissive Coffee Club for example. There are some great prompts and even better responses on there.

Lucy: Hi! No I just found blogger so haven't gone looking at other platforms. Hoping to make some friends here and learn more.

Welcome, Lucy!

Ronnie: I prefer blogs to Tumblrs, more personal and I like that you can get to know the people behind the blogs so no Tumblr account. I do search out Tumblrs to find any to add to my 'In with the New' posts (depending on their content) as I do agree with Bonnie they should be welcomed.

Loki: I do have a blog on Tumblr. Originally it was set up to showcase and promote my fledgling video productions. But as time progressed, it evolved into covering political events pertaining to the African American Community and our well-being. As well as sharing information for and of The BDSM Community.

Jenn: No Tumbler account for me. I've seen a few. Only visit occasionally.

Hermione: I don't have a Tumblr account or blog, but I do visit many of them regularly for the purpose of keeping Bonnie's blogrolls up to date by identifying those that have been deleted or are inactive. I find many of them far to explicit for my taste; I'd rather leave the details to the imagination than see them up close and personal.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm in participating this week!
From Hermione's Heart

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Spanko Brunch 2.0 #148

Come on in! You're just in time for our weekly spanko brunch. This week I have been chatting with blogging friends about Tumblr blogs and their rise in popularity, and I would like to invite you to join the conversation.

Do you have a Tumblr blog? What purpose do you think it serves? Do you regularly or occasionally visit Tumblr blogs? Do you ever leave a comment or 'like' a post? How do you think our Tumblr blogging friends fit into the wider spanko community?

Leave your response as a comment and I will publish a summary of our conversation once everyone has had a chance to participate.
From Hermione's Heart

Saturday, October 22, 2016

You Completed the Caption

kdpierre: Francine's emphatic refusal of a second cocktail wienie forever secured her "Drama Queen" status among her friends.

Leigh: Please, give me a moment before you continue.

Michael M: "Please put that away young man. What you are suggesting is most improper and I shall tell your Aunt."

beth: But mother I feel so guilty after caning him 50 times in a row...does the guilt go away when you get to 75?

Ronnie: Oh I have the most frightful headache and I still have 2 more shows to do today.

Sir Wendel: All I wanted was a spanking from the Music Man.

Simon: No you misunderstood me, I'm a flapper not a slapper!

Anon: "Will it be the paddle or the switch? Oh, I can't look, just tell me."

js666: Florrie had no chance of getting the part after the way she overacted the lead-up to the spanking scene in her audition.

Hermione:  As the invisible man drew her closer to him and prepared to pull her over his lap, Francine realized it was futile to struggle.
From Hermione's Heart

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday FAIL

We're back in the office today, dealing with co-workers whose actions are extremely irritating to their co-workers. Spanking is out of the question, so the next best solution is to leave them a note.

Happy Friday!
From Hermione's Heart

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Complete the Caption

This photo has intrigued me for a long time, so I thought it was about time I shared it with you. What do you think is this lady's agenda for the day? Is something troubling her?

Complete the caption by leaving a comment and I will publish your suggestions on Saturday.
From Hermione's Heart

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

From the Top Shelf - Where There's a Will... part 1

This is a story, author unknown, which appeared in Janus about twenty years ago. I hope you enjoy it.
The coffin glided almost silently through the closing velvet maroon curtains and Amy Etheridge's mortal remains made their last earthbound journey towards the incinerator. Inside the small Chapel of Rest at the crematorium sat just three mourners; a smartly dressed elderly gentleman who sat alone at the back and two women who had made a point of sitting geometrically as far apart as they could; on the left and right front pews.

Befittingly for these sombre occasions, the two ladies were dressed from head to toe in black; however their behaviour did not follow the conventions commonly observed at funerals. There were no tears being shed for the dear departed and when both had arrived at the chapel there were no exchanges of condolences or comforting embraces, not even a brief nod of acknowledgment, which was all very strange as the two women were sisters.

As soon as the curtains had closed both women shuffled along the constricting pews to the central aisle in an obvious race to be first out of the chapel. Outside, the waiting pall-bearers and crematorium staff looked on in astonishment as the sisters ran awkwardly in their high heel shoes over to their respective cars. A few seconds later the two vehicles sped off from out of the memorial car park with contemptuous disregard for the sign which requested drivers to observe a respectful speed.

Mile after mile they raced, the lead changing several times, but never were more than a few hundred yards apart. Zooming recklessly around a labyrinth of narrow rural lanes as though they were competing in a stage of the British Rally Championship. Finally, both cars came to a screeching halt in the front drive of an isolated country house. The doors of the two cars flew open and the women jostled and pushed each other in their frantic attempts to be first to enter the house.

"I did it!! I'm first!" announced a breathless Jane Etheridge to a rather startled looking woman who was sitting at the head of an old oak table, "I win the lot, don't I?"

"She cheated! She pushed me over, the bloody cow!" Gillian Etheridge, Jane's younger sister howled indignantly, as she lurched in an ungainly fashion into the room.

"Oh shut your face, you whining bitch, don't you know all's fair in love, war and inheriting money!" Jane triumphantly crowed at her ruffled sibling.

"Ladies, PLEASE! I don't know why you would assume that whoever arrived here first would be entitled to all your aunt's worldly goods," said the woman at the table, trying to restore some semblance of calm and sobriety to the proceedings.

"And just who might YOU be?" asked Jane, suddenly suspicious that the mysterious interloper in the fashionable but businesslike attire, might be another claimant of her aunt's will.

"I'm Lucy Hooper, a local solicitor. Your aunt appointed my firm to make sure that her dying wishes were carried out to the letter."

"The letter!" Jane remembered just why she and Gillian had raced each other to the house. "I received a letter from my aunt that she had written on her death bed, explaining that she couldn't make up her mind to whom she would bequeath the house. The letter said Gillian and I would have to compete in some simple test on the day of the funeral, the winner taking everything. So we guessed it would be the first of us to arrive for the reading of the will. So do I get the lot?"

"No, I'm afraid not. That isn't the sort of test your aunt had in mind. But I think it's best that she explains," answered Miss Hooper, amused by the looks of bewilderment on the faces of Gillian and Jane. "Your aunt made a video-will." Miss Hooper then took a video-cassette from her executive briefcase, crossed over to the far corner of the room and inserted it into the VCR. The television screen went a lime-green colour for a few seconds and then some wording appeared.

"This is the last will and testament of Amy Elizabeth Etheridge" the block typeface proclaimed. Some more irritating buzzing sounds accompanied the flickering of the title page and suddenly there she was - Aunt Amy! Sitting in her favourite armchair and exuding a relaxed confident air in the manner of a presenter who about to introduce yet another cooking or gardening programme.

"Ewwwww, isn't this creepy! To think we've just been to her funeral," commented Gillian, wringing her hands in a gesture of distaste at the sight of her now-dead aunt.

"Sshhh! She is going to tell us who gets the house," snapped Jane who was staring, wide-eyed, at the television and desperately hoping she was to be the lucky one.

"Well, girls, today must be the first time that you have seen or spoken to each other for almost a decade," Aunt Amy began her much awaited audio-visual recital, seemingly talking to them from beyond the grave. "Let me see, what was the last occasion on which you spoke to - or should I say 'screamed at' - one another? Was it the time when Gillian found Jane in bed with her own fiance - or maybe it was the time Gillian went on a spending spree with Jane's credit cards?

"My memory fails me now but there were so many times when you were at each others throats over some act of jealousy or spite. Even as small girls you were always fighting over something trivial, and of course your indulgent parents never corrected you, as they should have, for your dreadful behaviour. It is little wonder that you have both turned into such thoroughly despicable adults. But, as they say, "blood is thicker than water" and as all my other relatives are dead, it's Hobson's choice , I'm afraid to say. In my letters to you both I informed you that I shall leave the house to just one niece - the winner of my little head-to-head contest. After all you did both visit me, spasmodically, over the last ten years.

"Unfortunately these visits always seemed to coincide with the disappearance of some of my jewellery or small china ornaments - which I suppose you didn't think I would miss. Not to mention the sizeable loans that I made to you both, which of course, were never repaid. The truth is,I despise you both, in equal measures, therefore, to amuse myself in these, my last few days, I have devised a fiendish little contest which I trust you will both participate in. The winner will inherit the building only, all the furnishings and knick-knacks , or at least those you haven't already pilfered, are being collected by a charity and this TV set and video are rented.

"The house was purchased by my great-grandfather - your great-great grandfather - nearly one hundred years ago. I have lived here all my life so my main concern is that I leave it to the right girl, the one who wants it most. The one who can prove that she is mentally and physically the stronger."

Aunt Amy paused and, savouring the moment, she smiled to herself; reaching over she picked up something from the table beside her.

"The aim of my contest is quite simple. The winner will be adjudged as the woman who can take the most swats on her rear end with this."

Amy held up and offered to the camera lens the object she had just picked up.

"It's a leather paddle or, as it's sometimes known, a 'spanking bat'. I have chosen this implement as opposed to a traditional swishy cane because, experts tell me, due to surface air resistance it is impossible to apply it too vigorously and, knowing how much you both hate each other, I don't want to be held posthumously responsible for inciting grievous bodily harm. However, the punitive effect of the paddle is a cumulative one which relies on a reasonable number of whacks to be given before it becomes too excruciating to endure any longer.

"Now listen carefully. The rules are these:

1. The paddle will be applied in rotation - six smacks given, then six smacks received. This will continue until one of you girls decides she has had enough, and at this point she must shout 'I submit'. Then, if necessary, it will be incumbent on the other sister to surpass that final total to be victorious.

2. The paddle will be applied to the bare bottom so there are no arguments about thickness of knickers and the like.

3. There cannot be a draw, should this happen or if you both decide you do not wish to take part in such a contest, Miss Hooper has alternative instructions regarding the disposal of the property.

"There is, of course, one obvious way in which you can both benefit without having to go through with my rather sadistic game. You could - for the first time in your lives - agree to trust one another. One of you could take a token whack and be proclaimed the winner, then she could promise to share equally any future profit accruing from the house with the losing sister. If Miss Hooper would kindly pause the video, you might like to discuss this option."

Lucy Hooper pressed the correct button on the remote control and Amy's image was frozen eerily onto the screen. "Well," she said, "your aunt has given you an ideal way to reconcile your differences and, at the same time, become like real sisters again. All it needs is a little trust on both sides and we can avoid going any further with this vicious charade which your Aunt has thought up, presumably as some kind of malevolent joke." Lucy implored the two sisters, who were suspiciously contemplating each other. A long period of tense silence ensued as both women awaited a conciliatory gesture from the other. Finally Gillian's patience snapped.

"You must be joking! I wouldn't trust Jane with a second-class stamp, the cheating cow!" she blurted, clearly deaf to Lucy Hooper's appeal for sanity and logic.

"And that goes for me too!" Jane responded, with equal venom to her sister's insult, "Anyway this house must be worth at least two hundred grand, so why should I share it with her when I can win this contest with ease. I can remember when we were girls, I only had to pull her hair for a few seconds and she was bawling the place down. Gillian has got a very low pain threshold. I reckon it will only take a maximum of three smacks on her bare arse with that paddle and she'll be begging for me to stop."

"You realise that you have to take one more blow than your sister to win, don't you?" interjected Lucy, making sure that the rules of the contest had been fully understood.

"Yes, of course I do! But I think I could stand four of the best from the Heavyweight Champion of the World if I was getting 50 grand a whack," retorted Jane, brimming with self-confidence.

"Pah! Being two years old than me as children, you were always bigger and stronger, therefore you could make me cry, but now we are both adults in our early thirties we will be on equal terms at last and, believe me, I am looking forward to making you suffer for all those years of pain you caused me," Gillian aggressively warned her sister.

"Well I think you must both be mad but it is clear that you wish to proceed with this foolishness," Lucy commented disdainfully, as she released the pause button and Aunt Amy came back to life, albeit only on the TV screen. There were a few seconds of the old lady staring vacantly into the camera and then she smiled and concluded her performance.

"I knew you wouldn't be able to agree," she cackled, "so Miss Hooper, please take the girls into the front parlour and oversee what I fervently hope is going to be a long, painful and drawn-out battle. At long last you will both be getting the spankings you should have had twenty years ago!"

With this last, final statement, Aunt Amy's image faded and disappeared, leaving the screen a mass of black and white meandering horizontal lines. Lucy switched the set off, opened the living-room door and invite the two women to join her in the next room. "Well, ladies, shall we retire to the front room where everything is set-up and waiting for you both?"

The three women trouped down the hallway and then into the large front room. On entering the two sisters were surprised to find that all the furnishings had already been removed by the charity referred to. Everything was gone except for Aunt Amy's favourite armchair which had been placed in the middle of the room. In the chair sat a serious-looking young lady holding in her hands the aforementioned paddle. "Oh, you're not going ahead with this ridiculous mediaeval trial-by-ordeal, are you?" she asked.

"This is Annette, she will be the second witness which is legally required," Lucy introduced her office assistant to Gillian and Jane. "Yes, Annette, I'm afraid that the two ladies could not come to an agreement, so, against my advice, they are going to do battle with each other to decide the inheritance."

"Gosh! This bat thingy looks like it will cause an awfully nasty sting, especially on a bare bottom," said Annette, then, unable to contain a smile from forming at the thought of the sights she would be required to witness, quickly looked away from the two sisters.

"Right, we must toss a coin to decide who goes first," Lucy interjected as she balanced a fifty-pence piece on her crooked forefinger, ready to spin. "Miss Etheridge...er...I mean, Jane, would you please call."

"Heads!" called Jane as she watched the silver coin rotate through the air and land, making a clinking sound on the bare wooden floorboards.

"Heads it is, I'll...er...I'll..." Jane wandered down to the window end of the room, pondering her tactics like an England cricket captain examining the state of the wicket before deciding whether to bat first or put the opposition in. "I'll spank Gillian first," Jane eventually decided, "so get those pants down and bend over the back of that chair."

The moment of truth had arrived for both women. Gillian fumbled with her belt and then unhooked the clasp of her black trousers allowing them to slide down her legs. She then pushed her panties down in the same direction and carefully leant over the padded top of the armchair. Jane took up a position at the far wall, some twelve feet away from her intended target.
This story is rather long, so I'll save part two for next week. Sorry to leave you hanging!

From Hermione's Heart