Out of bounds
Of course Jennie knew that the Blue Moon, the general store so temptingly located just across the road from the school, was out of bounds. Everyone did, but that didn't stop daring and enterprising girls from risking a covert dash to the delights available inside: sweets of all descriptions and - for the depraved - tobacco and wine.
Which, of course, was why the punishment for being apprehended during a visit was severe: a mandatory twelve strokes with the Dragon cane. The legendary 'Terrible 12'.
The Headmaster had found that, although he only rarely had to dispense a 'Terrible 12', few of the girls could take such a hiding without leaping up at some point and dancing around, clutching their striped and burning bottoms. This, of course, resulted in extra strokes and risked becoming a kind of endless loop. The HM had taken to giving those additional smacks with a tawse, which the girls seemed better able to endure. But now Mr Masterson had found a 'spanking bench' in a junk shop. It was a sort of leather-padded A-frame over which the girl would have to bend so deeply that getting up would be far more difficult than rising from the traditional positions, bent over his desk or grasping the seat of a chair.
Jennie was to be the first girl to experience the procedure. She knew she was in for a 'Terrible 12' when she was summoned to his study following her 'arrest' by Matron as she left the Blue Moon, but she gasped when she the new contraption standing in the middle of the floor. Butterflies fluttered furiously around her stomach as the Headmaster delivered his usual lecture on the consequences of breaking bounds. Then he had pointed to the bench and told her to 'assume the position'. 'Terrible 12's' were always given at bedtime, to give the victim a chance to recover before having to sit on the hard classroom benches the next day. Jennie slipped off her dressing-gown and slippers and tentatively lowered herself over the leather top, grasping the wooden bar beneath it. To her surprise, the HM didn't ask her to lower her knickers. Although she didn't know it, Mr Masterson was concentrating so intently on the unusually elevated backside, that it wasn't until he had tapped her the regulation three times, and then delivered the first swingeing stroke, that he realised that she was still wearing a last line of defence. He grasped the elastic waistband and pulled the panties to her knees, then took aim again.
A 'Terrible 12' lasts a long, long time. The second six are far worse than the first, and so far - Jennie realised with horror - they had only got to number three.
Images from the Penitents
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