Sunday, January 24, 2010

From the Top Shelf - Rocking Horse

This is a charming passage from Maid's Night In, written in 1988 by that prolific writer, Anonymous. I hope you enjoy it.

"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 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.

From Hermione's Heart


Katia said...

That was so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing Hermione.

Hermione said...

Katia - My pleasure. I thought it was lovely too.


ronnie said...

That was delightful Hermione. I love these little finds you share with us.

Thank you.


Hermione said...

Ronnie - I'm so glad you liked it. It gives me a chance to reread all my old favourites.


Paul said...

Hermione, Anonymous can be a surprisingly good writer at times, that piece is excellent.
Warm hugs,

Hermione said...

Paul - S/he writes in such a wide variety of styles too!