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Olivia thought it was bad luck, but it in reality, it was all her own fault. She'd heard the bell go for chapel, but she'd just rolled over and gone to sleep again, thinking 'I'm sure they won't notice that I'm not there'. But Carrie, the Head Girl, did notice and Olivia's fate was sealed.
"Report to my study after breakfast," were the ominous words with which Carrie shook Olivia awake. How could she swallow her cornflakes, let alone any bacon and egg, when she knew what was coming? And her so-called 'friends' weren't much help, giggling over silly remarks like "Spanking good sermon, wasn't it, Cynthia?"; "Yes, all about Cane and Abel"; "He certainly thrashed the New Testament today." Olivia squirmed in her seat, aware that she wouldn't be sitting comfortably for much longer.
After breakfast, she tried to sidle away unnoticed, but by then the rumour that Olivia had an appointment with 'Carrie the Caniac' had spread round the school. One or two of the girls wished her luck but Olivia's throat was too dry to respond. She was aware of girls clustering quietly in the rooms nearest Carrie's study.
She knocked on Carrie's door and was curtly invited to enter. Carrie was standing beside a sofa, flexing her notorious 'cane of office'.
"Have you got anything to say?" the Senior Prefect asked Olivia. Olivia just shook her head miserably.
"Very well, take your skirt off, fold it neatly, and place it on the chair." Olivia did so, although her hands were trembling so much that she had trouble pulling down the zip.
"Now lower your knickers and bend over, hands on the cushions."
Olivia bent, feeling her shirt ride up and expose her bottom. Reflexively, she tried to pull it down, only to find her hand pinioned behind her back.
She felt Carrie place the cane carefully across the width of her bottom. She took a deep breath.