Her homework wasn't just late, when he checked more closely it turned out that she hadn't even started on it. This was the the third time in three weeks that she alone, out of the whole class, had failed to produce the required essay. Worse, she didn't have the slightest excuse. When he asked her what she'd been doing the previous evening she just blushed and then hesitatantly admitted that she'd been watching television. TV! That blasted new-fangled goggle-box that seemed to so captivate young people. He didn't know why the school had installed one of these contraptions in the students' Common Room. No good could come of it.
Well, he wasn't going to tolerate this sort of nonsense any longer. He told her to stay behind after class. Her stomach curdled; she realised what was coming. She didn't know how she managed to get through the lesson, and then the butterflies really started as the rest of the class filed out, casting curious and sympathetic glances as she sat there, miserable and alone as the last girl left the room.
"Right." he said. "Get up, bend over the desk." She slowly stood, walked round to the front of desk and laid herself across its wooden surface. She reached down and grasped the seat, still warm from where she had been sitting.
She heard the cupboard open, a faint rustle as he took down the tawse from its hook, and then his footsteps returning.
"Take your pants down." Oh no! She slipped her fingers under the waistband and dragged her regulation school knickers down to her ankles.
"Lift up your skirt." She pulled it up above her waist.
"Now, hands behind your back." She hadn't expected that. She folded her arms across the small of her back and clasped her hands together. She closed her eyes, sensing rather than seeing him raise the leather strap.
She wished he'd closed the door. She knew all the others would be listening for that first smack of the tawse across her bare cheeks, and her inevitable yell in response.