Thankful Thursday: The Last Library I Visited
8 minutes ago
"We shall go to the attic," he said. His hand held mine--enclasped and covered it. As we rose his foot nudged the wine bottle and it fell. We gazed at each other and smiled.
"You will come, Beatrice? It is for the last time." There was a sadness.
We ascended, our footsteps quiet...no one had ever seen me go to the attic with him. It was our game, our secret. Our purity.
We entered by the ladder and stood. In the far corner near the dormer window stood the rocking horse, grey and mottled. Benign and handsome--polished in its varnished paint--it brooded upon the long gone days. His hand held mine still. He led me forward. My knees touched the brocaded cloth of an armchair whose seat had sagged. Upon it lay a mirror and a brush, both backed with tortoiseshell. They were as I had used of old up here.
He turned his back to me and gazed out through the glass upon the tops of the elms. A trembling arose in me which I stilled. With slow care I removed my dress, my underskirt, and laid them on the chair. Beneath I wore a white batiste chemise with white drawers whose ribbons adorned the pale of my thighs. My silk brown stockings glistened. I waited.
He turned. he regarded me gravely and moved toward me. "You have grown. Even in three years you have grown," he said. "Where shall you ride to?"
I laughed. "To Jericho," I replied. I had always said that though I did not know where it was. Nodding, his hand sought the brush. I held the mirror. With long firm strokes of the bristles he glossed and straightened my hair. Its weight lay across my shoulders, in its lightness. Its goldness shone and he was pleased.
"It is good. The weather is fair for the journey. Will my lady mount?"
We stepped forward. He held the horse's reins to keep it still. Once there had been a time when my legs could hold almost straight upon the horse. Now that I was grown more I had to bend my knees too much. My bottom slid back over the rear of the saddle and projected beyond the smooth grey haunches. He moved behind me and began to rock the horse with one hand. With the other he smacked my outstretched bottom gently.
"My beautiful pumpkin--it is larger now," he murmured. My shoulders sagged. In the uprising of my bottom I pressed my face against the strong curved neck of the horse. It rocked faster. I clung as I had always clung. The old plank floor swayed and dipped beneath me. His palm smacked first one cheek and then the other.
"Oh! no more!" I gasped. All was repetition.
"it is far to Jericho," he laughed. I could feel his happiness in my head. The cheeks of my bottom burned and stung. My knees trembled. The bars of the stirrups held tight under the soles of my boots.
"No more!" I begged. His hand smacked on. I could feel the impress of his fingers on my own.
"Two miles--you are soon there. What will you do when you arrive?"
"I shall have handmaidens. They will bathe and perfume me. I shall lie on a silken couch. they will bring me wine."
I remembered all the words. I had made them up in my dreams and brought them out into the daylight.
"I may visit you and share your wine?" he asked. His hand fell in a last resounding smack. I gasped out yes. I fell sideways and he caught me. He lifted me until my heels unhooked from the stirrups. I sagged against him. My nether cheeks flared...I clenched my bottom cheeks and hid my face against his chest.
"It was good. I should bring the whip to you henceforth," he murmured.
The words were new. They were not part of our play. Had I forgotten the words? Perhaps we had rehearsed them once. In their smallness they lay scattered in the dust. Dried flecks of spokenness.
"It would hurt," I said.
"No, it is small. Stand still." I did not know what to do with my hands. He was gone to the far corner of the attic and returned. In his hands was a soft leather case. He opened it. There was a whip. The handle was carved in ebony, the end bulbous. There were carvings as of veins along the stem. From the other end exuded strands of leather. I judged them not more than twenty-five inches long. The tapered ends were loosely knotted.
"Soon, perhaps. Lay it for now beneath your pillow, Beatrice."
So saying he cast aside the case and I took the whip. At the knob end was a silky smoothness. The thongs hung down by my thigh... Broad trails of heat stirred in my bottom still... The handle of the whip felt warm as if it had never ceased being touched.
"Should it be your wish to weep, wenda, there are other means of achieving that," he said in that dangerous, deep-voiced way of his. "As my efforts in this manner fail to please you, it shall likely soon become my duty to fetch a switch."
[She replies] "Threatening the teacher isn't allowed."
"Perhaps, woman, it would be best if I were to fetch the switch after all," he growled angrily. The look in his eyes hardened as he began projecting that deadly promise effect...
"There is no choice before you: you shall obey."
"Truly do you sound as though you had been beaten, wenda," he said with a dryness that surely covered annoyance, taking his hand back to hang the arm on one broad thigh. "As you seem to feel the need so greatly, perhaps it would be best to grant it to you."
"Not all beatings have to be physical."
He'd waited to find out if I really had been trying to sneak ouit of the apartment, and once he'd known for sure he'd punished me for trying to disobey him...The group, including our heroine, leaves on horseback:
"I gave you no insult...Merely did I weigh your words and find them unsubstantiated, and then did I strap you for disobedience. Insult was neither thought upon nor given."
The strapping he'd given me had been very short, but he'd made sure it would hurt; I wasn't going to be allowed to disobey him, and that's all he cared about.
I, of course, was on the saddle fur behind the barbarian, my arms around his body as I'd been ordered to keep them. The saddle fur was a lot softer than the saddle itself would have been, but I was still in a a good deal of discomfort from the punishment I'd been given. The discomfort was meant to be an extension of the punishment, an object lesson on the consequences of disobedience, and I'd been forbidden to use pain control to make the time any easier. I tried to tell myself that I didn't care about the beast any longer, but after only a few minutes I gave up the effort. It hurt to sit and rid like that, hurt in a way that was terribly humiliating, but I wasn't being allowed to avoid the sensations. I was being made to feel them and learn from them even if I didn't want to. I was a banded wenda being taught to obey her l'enda.