The Forum - Vo. 99 - Apps & Other Tools
8 hours ago
Although she had feigned to be unaffected by her second strapping in the same week, Karen did, in fact, keep herself out of trouble for a while. After Juliette and Joanna had made their unconventional pact of peace, Karen even seemed prepared to offer an olive branch to Juliette.We know Miss Parkin is a stern disciplinarian, so the girls are in for it now. But what about the birching bench? When will it be used? Stay tuned and you will find out.
Although they were kept pretty busy during the week, the girls were allowed to please themselves how they spent their weekends, provided they were not rowdy. Even the dress rules were relaxed, and jeans and T-shirts replaced the traditional uniforms. The Carstairs staff simply made it their business to wander around the place unobtrusively to keep an eye on things.
On her second weekend at the establishment, Juliette decided to enjoy the fine weather on the Saturday afternoon and sat watching a hockey match being played between two rival classes. The game held no interest for her, but there was nothing else to do. Lacking any companionship, Juliette allowed her mind to wander as she gazed at the playing field. She wondered where this chapter in her life was taking her. Her encounter with the judicial strap had been traumatic, but her brief spell at Carstairs had already unlocked a side of her personality that she had not suspected existed. She would never really enjoy being punished, although she recognised that the act of submission did hold some excitement, even for her. What really got to her was how she felt when the other girls were punished and especially the incredible sensations she had felt as she wielded the cane across Joanna's pert bottom, and what had come afterwards. That had really hit the spot in a way she had never previously experienced.
Deep in her own thoughts, Juliette sensed rather than saw another girl approach. Her feelings were too intense to tolerate interruption and she did not look round, hoping the intruder would go away. To her surprise, it was Karen's voice which broke her train of thought.
"Mind if I join you?" The tone seemed friendly enough; in any case there was little Juliette could do to prevent it, so she gestured at the grass beside her. Karen sank down beside her and turned towards the games field. For several minutes there was silence, but Juliette could tell that Karen had something to say.
"You know, you and I are pretty much alike."
"I don't think so." Juliette was not in a very conciliatory mood.
"We are, you know." Karen persisted. "I watched you when you thrashed Joanna and I think I know what makes you tick."
"I don't know what you mean," Juliette protested, a little too quickly for the words to carry conviction.
"Oh come on, Juliette, I watched you. You enjoyed beating her. You can't deny it."
"What if I did? Are you telling me you wouldn't have liked to have been in my place? I think I was entitled to teach her a lesson, after what she did to me."
"Well, maybe I wouldn't have minded putting a few stripes across that pretty little behind. But if it comes to changing places - if you really want to know, it was Joanna I would have traded with."
Now Juliette really was stuck for an answer. "I don't follow," she mumbled, rather lamely.
"Oh, come on, Juliette, don't be so dense. Different strokes for different folks - literally in this case. I told you, I've watched you. You don't much like taking a tanning, but you certainly love dishing it out. With me it's the other way round. I get my jollies when someone gives me a good thrashing, hadn't you guessed? It's just that, for it to work - work for me, I mean - the person dishing it out has to be really strong. Not just physically strong, but in control. I get such a high, knowing I have to submit and take whatever I'm given. So you see, we are alike, in a different sort of way." She stared at Juliette almost defiantly.
"I don't know what to say. Why are you telling me this?"
"I want to be friends, silly. Don't you see? We are complementary."
"You mean you want me to spank you? Eugghh that's vile. I won't! Go away and leave me alone."
"No, no I don't mean that." Karen was really concerned. The last thing she wanted was to frighten Juliette off. "I just want to be friends. You must feel lonely here, I know I do."
"Lonely? You? Why should you be? All the other girls look up to you." Juliette felt a pang of jealousy as she realised the absolute truth of what she had just blurted out.
"That only makes it worse. Most of them are so weak and none of them understand. Surely you can see that?"
Juliette thought for a minute and grudgingly conceded that perhaps Karen did have a point. "Well, what if that's true? What do you expect me to do about it?"
"I just thought it would help to have someone who understood, that's all."
"But I don't understand. You said you enjoyed being beaten. I don't understand that for a start."
"Don't you? Don't you see that how you feel and how I feel are part of the same thing?"
"No." Even as she spoke, Juliette knew that she was being very unfair and perhaps Karen was not so far off the track which her own thoughts had been leading her to, just a few moments before.
"Look, I know you think I was rotten to you when you first arrived. Perhaps I was, although you did deserve it for what you did to Lucy. But will you just trust me? Let me show you something and then perhaps we can talk."
"What do you want me to see?" Juliette was unsure of herself and even less sure of Karen.
"I want you to come and see something; perhaps it will help you to understand. Come on, trust me. It won't do you any harm, I promise." Karen got up and held out a hand to Juliette. "Friends?"
Juliette was only too aware that she could use some friendship to help her over her present unhappy state, and against her better judgement accepted the offered hand. Karen began to lead her to the back of the main building. It was an area that Juliette had not explored and she thought that only the domestic staff ever used it. As they rounded the corner of the building, the view seemed unremarkable. There was an area of gravel forming a square bounded on one side by the kitchen garden, which also partly encroached on the side facing the back entrance to the main house. The rest of the side facing the house was taken up by the rear drive, which twisted back through an area of woodland and dense undergrowth. The far side of the square was taken up by some old brick buildings which must have originally been stables. It was to these buildings, the walls heavily festooned with ivy, that Karen led her.
"These old stables are only used for storage," Karen explained. "Except for the end one, which is the carpenter's shop. Have you met our carpenter?"
"No, why would I?"
"Oh, let's say most of the girls have, at one time or another," Karen said with a grin. "He's not really a carpenter, Mr Parry-Jones. He's just an odd-job man they keep on to do the maintenance around the place, and a spot of gardening. He's a bit of a bad-tempered old goat, though, and the girls like to tease him.
They arrived at the side door of the building Karen had indicated was the carpenter's shop. Trying the door, Karen found that it was not locked. She had not expected that it would be. She opened the door slowly, peering inside to see if there was anyone about. Seeing that the coast was clear, she opened the door wider and went in, motioning Juliette to follow her. Once they were both inside, she shut the door behind them.
The workshop smelt of freshly cut wood, which made Juliette want to sneeze. It was a large room and, as she looked around, Juliette could see all kinds of tools laid out neatly on the benches which lined the walls. In the centre of the room was a large wooden frame which was clearly in the process of being worked on.
"That's what I wanted to show you." Karen pointed at the wooden structure. "Wouldn't you really love to use it?"
"I don't know what it is." Juliette examined the structure. It consisted of a sort of trestle, the top rail of which was heavily padded. Half way down the legs on the side nearest to her, the cross-bar which linked the two legs had been turned on its edge to form a shelf about six inches wide. Extending out towards her from the outer ends of the shelf were two bars, terminating in short leather straps. These two bars projected right through the trestle and stuck out a similar amount on the other side, again terminating in leather straps.
"It's a birching bench, silly! Miss Parkin had had Parry-Jones do it up for this term. It hasn't been used for ages but I think she believes I am going to give her the excuse. I'm not sure even I'm brave enough to take a birching!"
Juliette felt a spark of excitement ignite within. "How does it work?" she couldn't resist enquiring.
"I knew you'd be fascinated," Karen stepped towards the apparatus. "It's called a birching bench but of course it can be used with anything - the cane or the tawse perhaps, but generally, for those, people can stay in position and don't need to be restrained. That's the theory, anyway. With the birch, it's different. It takes longer for one thing; the strokes are counted in dozens not sixes; and even I wouldn't be able to hold still for two dozen of the birch on my bare bottom."
Karen took hold of the top rail and lifted her legs so that she was kneeling on the shelf-like plank. "The idea is that you kneel like this, then your ankles are secured in those straps." She looked over her shoulder and pointed at the straps on the outriggers, which Juliette could see would just come about level with her ankles if she spread her legs.
"Of course, the birch covers a much wider area of your bottom than the cane, each time it strikes. The idea is to hold your legs well spread so the little twigs at the ends can penetrate right into your botty-crack." She laughed, seeing Juliette's horror-stricken features. "Just in case you feel like putting your hands in the way or anything, they are held in front by these straps." She leant forward and grasped the outriggers on the far side of the bench. "Do you think I will look all right when my time comes? Is my bottom big enough and curvy enough?"
She was teasing Juliette now, and Juliette began to wish she had not allowed herself to be persuaded to come. True enough though, Karen did fill out her jeans very nicely; the material was pulled very taut as she mimed the birching position. Juliette could clearly see the line of her panties under the denim and the thought suddenly came to her that she would like nothing better than to bare those plump cheeks, then watch them turn red as she applied a nice whippy cane.
Suddenly there was the sound of gravel crunching outside. "Oh, hell, someone's coming!" Karen's voice was hoarse. "Quick, we must hide. If we get caught in here, we're for it!" She leapt off the frame and dived to the far side of the room.
Juliette did not stop to think that if Karen was so entranced with the idea of being put across the birching block, the best way she could experience it for real was to have stayed where she was and let herself be found by a figure of authority. It didn't in fact occur to her until quite a while later, by which time she was in no position to suggest it.
She looked around frantically for somewhere to conceal herself. Karen dived behind a big rack at the end of the workshop, but the only place Juliette could reach as the door handle began to turn was the work-bench next to the birching frame. She got down on her knees and tried to curl into a small ball, but she knew as she did so that it wouldn't be good enough. To make matters worse, she stumbled as she made her dive for concealment and knocked the leg of the bench heavily enough to dislodge a large squeezy bottle of glue from the work top. The container fell with a squelchy sound and began to ooze glue all over the floor.
The door swung open and a middle-aged man wearing old-fashioned bib-and-braces overalls entered. His eyes instantly alighted on the fallen glue bottle and from there were drawn to the terrified Juliette, who was barely shielded at all by the frame of the bench.
"Come on out, you little wretch, I can see you." His voice was deep and rasping, with no hint of subtlety. As Juliette stood up, she could see that his physique matched the voice. Not very tall, he was, nonetheless, quite broad in the shoulders and he did not look to be carrying an ounce of excess weight. He was wearing a short-sleeved shirt which revealed muscular arms covered with thick dark hair. His hands were raw-boned with veins in the back which stood out like knots. His square jaw was set in an angry frown and Juliette was reminded very much of the ogres she had seen in childhood fairy-tale books.
"Just what the 'ell do you think you're doing in 'ere?" He gave her no time to answer. "What a bloody mess you've made of my workshop. It's nothing short of vandalism, that's what it is. Come along, my girl. You and me are going to see Miss Parkin and I'll make damn sure she tans your arse for this, you see if I don't!"