It was the beginning of afternoon break and Debbie Storey was running along the school corridor pursued by her friend Lucy Cook. There was a strict rule at Mayhew Road school about running in the corridors, but neither of the girls was thinking of that. Debbie ran happily around a corner at full speed - and collided with Miss Copsey, the Geography teacher, knocking her to the ground.
Debbie herself was rather shaken by the impact, she had been running very fast, but her mouth fell open in absolute shock when she saw whom it was she had ran into and realised that she had actually knocked a teacher over. She stood rooted to the spot in horror. Behind her Lucy, alerted by the noise, approached the corner at a more sedate pace.
It took Miss Copsey some time to recover her breath and stand up, straightening her clothes. When she did so she was, understandably, very angry.
'How dare you run about the school like a madwoman, girl?' she asked when she had regained her feet. 'Don't you know there's a rule against running in the corridor?'
Debbie remained silent. She was still shocked at what had happened, and anyway there was no answer to the teacher's questions. The only thing she could think of was to say that Lucy had been chasing her. But that would only get her friend into trouble as well, and she would still be the one who had knocked a teacher over. So she remained silent.
'Right!' said Miss Copsey. 'You need a sharp lesson, young lady! Will you accept punishment from me, or do you want me to send you to Mrs Livesey?'
Even in her dismayed state Debbie did not take long to reach a decision. If the headmistress, Mrs Livesey, thought that a girl sent to her deserved corporal punishment then her minimum infliction was six strokes of the cane, whereas other teachers could not give more than four strokes. Furthermore Debbie had heard that Mrs Livesey often made girls take their panties down for a caning, which the remainder of staff were not permitted to do.
So Debbie had to balance the small chance that the headmistress would not judge her offence worthy of the cane against the certainty of more severe punishment if she did think so. And Debbie could not dare to hope that a severe disciplinarian like Mrs Livesey would allow a girl who had knocked down a member of her staff to leave her office with her bottom uncaned. In fact it was much more likely that Miss Copsey would, after getting over her initial shock, let her off with a lighter punishment.
The Geography teacher had, in fact, a reputation as one of the teachers most reluctant to resort to corporal punishment. Debbie knew that she hardly ever used the cane and only rarely made use of the slipper. Of course the circumstance that she had just been bowled over by a fifth year running along the corridor in flagrant disregard of the school rules might alter the case! But Debbie realised that anything must be preferable than a visit to Mrs Livesey's study and answered Miss Copsey accordingly.
'I'll take your punishment, miss,' she mumbled.
'Very well, Debbie. Go to the staff room and wait outside for me, facing the wall. I'll be along in a few minutes.'
The other girls had disappeared by now and the corridors were deserted as Debbie made her disconsolate way to the staff room. She walked slowly now, not thinking of running. The next few minutes were not likely to prove very pleasant, she thought.
Finally she reached the staff room and stood outside the door gazing into a large landscape painting which adorned the corridor wall there. She hoped that anyone seeing her would think that she was just interested in the picture and not that she had been sent to stand outside the staff room like a naughty little girl. But this ploy was unsuccessful as she soon realised.
'Debbie Storey. Who sent you here?' It was the voice of Mrs Bennett, her form mistress.
Debbie turned around and blushed slightly. She hadn't been getting on very well with Mrs Bennett recently and just the previous week had received from her only the second slippering of her school career. It had only been two whacks and hadn't actually hurt all that much, but Debbie had felt humiliated at having, at sixteen years of age, to offer up her pantie-clad bottom for the form mistress to hit and at the thought that all the other girls in her class knew what had happened. Unhappily she told the teacher that Miss Copsey had sent her there.
'I warned you what would happen if you didn't pull your socks up, didn't I?' grunted the form mistress as she opened the door and entered the staff room. Debbie felt her dislike of Mrs Bennett rise to a new peak. Surely her form mistress should be on her side and take her part against other teachers such as Miss Copsey! But it seemed she had little to hope for there.
It was some minutes more before the Geography teacher approached the staff room. Some part of the delay was in order to give Debbie time for reflection and repentance, but mostly it was because Miss Copsey, having had all the breath knocked out of her, was not yet feeling ready to meet her colleagues in the staff room. The twenty five year old teacher was quite fit, but it still took her rather longer to recover from such a tumble than a teenager like Debbie. And she had collected quite a few bruises and aches in that unexpected fall. Nevertheless Miss Copsey was not a martinet and didn't want to be unfair to Debbie on account of the fact that she had been hurt herself. She resolved to punish the girl no differently than she would have done had it been another pupil she had knocked over.
When she reached the staff room door she opened it and, tapping Debbie on the shoulder, told her to go in. When they had both entered the room Miss Copsey saw Mrs Bennett sitting in an armchair and, knowing her to be Debbie's form mistress, thought that it would be proper to consult with her. So she told Debbie to go to the end of the room and go into the storeroom which opened off to the left.
Debbie did as she was told, trying to ignore the interested looks which she was attracting from the various members of staff. She walked into the storeroom and closed the door behind her. Debbie knew from the accounts of her friends and classmates that the storeroom doubled as a punishment room, although she had never been there before - both of her slipperings having been administered by her form mistresses in the form room.
Looking about her Debbie saw piles of old textbooks, exercise books and boxes of stationery. Dozens of music-stands were leaning against one wall. But Debbie's attention was drawn to a shelf on the far wall. Two large, and evidently well-used, plimsolls were lying on the shelf; and dangling from the shelf by their crook handles were no fewer than three yellowish-brown canes, varying in length from a little over two feet to almost three feet long. Debbie bit her lip and her hands went behind her back to the seat of her pleated skirt. It was the first time Debbie had ever seen a cane but she could imagine only too well the effect one of those pliant rods would have on her tender behind.
Debbie had kept out of serious trouble at school, until now, partly by being careful and mostly by being lucky. But many of her friends had not been so lucky. Lucy, for example, had been caned twice and Debbie well remembered her tear-stained face and reluctance to sit down after her first encounter with the cane. The memory was the more poignant as Debbie was well aware that she had deserved the cane fully as much as Lucy on that occasion and had just escaped through her usual good luck.
Even more frightening was the fate of the really naughty - or really unlucky - girls in her class who had been sent to Mrs Livesey. Earlier that term Elaine Moore and Teresa Renshaw had been reported to the headmistress for bullying a first year girl. Elaine was rather a 'hard case', a real bully, always in and out of trouble. But Teresa was a quiet girl who had never been in serious trouble before and had acted as she had partly out of fear of Elaine.
Mrs Livesey had made no distinction, however, and both girls had received eight strokes of the cane on the bare bottom. Terri had cried like a baby for the whole of the rest of the morning and had then gone home without permission at lunchtime, staying away from school for the rest of the week. Even now, about a month after the punishments, Debbie thought that Terri was still being rather careful about sitting down. Many girls had asked Terri for details of what had happened but she just shook her head silently in reply. Elaine was more forthcoming but even she had been very subdued after that caning and had not yet completely reverted to her old ways. So, despite never having felt the sting of a cane on her own hindquarters, young Debbie was in no doubt that it would hurt!
Next to the plimsolls was a large black book with the words Punishment Book embossed upon it. Debbie felt tempted to open it. It would be interesting to find out which girls had been caned or slippered and had succeeded in keeping it quiet. But she did not think it would be safe to open the book when Miss Copsey might come in at any moment. Her eyes moved back to the two large plimsolls, consideringly.
She hoped desperately that Miss Copsey would feel that a slippering would meet the case. She was well aware of the irony of this. She could not have imagined, only last week as she bent over a desk for two solid whacks from Mrs Bennett's slipper, that she would so soon actually be hoping for a slippering!
Outside, in the staff room, Miss Copsey was discussing the same subject.
'What's Debbie Storey done now, Susan?' Mrs Bennett had asked the Geography teacher.
Miss Copsey had explained what had happened and asked the form mistress what punishment she thought was appropriate in the circumstances. 'I was really angry at first,' the teacher continued, 'because she had actually knocked me over like that. But I suppose it was really an accident. So I thought that if she apologises to me properly then a few whacks with the slipper will meet the case. What do you think?'
'I disagree! That young lady needs a good lesson in my opinion! I gave her a "few whacks with the slipper" last week. It doesn't seem to have done much good, does it!? And whether or not it was an accident, why was she running like that in the first place? No, I think you should give her a full four with the number one cane. If it had been me I'd have marched her straight to Mrs Livesey, no arguing!'
'But I thought Debbie was a well-behaved girl. I've never seen her sent here for punishment before!'
'No, Susan. Debbie Storey is rather a con artist. She's very good at going to the absolute limit and then just wriggling out of trouble at the last moment. She's at the root of a lot of disruption in my form but she's clever enough to fix things so that other girls get punished and not her. This time she's finally made a mistake and gone too far. You would be doing me a favour if you give that little madam a sore bottom that she will remember for some time.'
Then, lowering her voice so that the other teachers in the room couldn't hear her, the form mistress continued: 'I should have thought that you, Susan, of all people would be aware of the beneficial effects of a caning in bringing a silly girl of Debbie's age back to her senses!'
Susan Copsey blushed. She herself had been a pupil at Mayhew Road some years before. Of the present occupants of the staff room only Mrs Bennett had been a teacher at the time, and now she was recalling an incident which Susan would rather have had forgotten. About ten years before she herself had stood in that same room - but as a culprit, not a teacher! Like Debbie she had been in the fifth year when she herself had gone too far, in her case by cheeking her English mistress and using a swear word. The rules had been different then and Susan's one and only caning had been a full six strokes. She remembered Mrs Bennett sitting in that same armchair as she had stumbled out of the storeroom in tears, clutching her exquisitely sore bottom.
But she knew that Mrs Bennett was right in as much as that caning had certainly had a good effect on her. After that painful and shaming experience Susan had knuckled down to hard work and had passed all her exams. If she had not been brought back down to work in that unpleasant way she would probably not have gained any qualifications at all and would certainly not be a school teacher now. So, still blushing a little, she nodded slowly and left the form mistress, passing into the storeroom.
The door closed behind her and Debbie turned from her contemplation of the punishment instruments towards the young teacher.
'Well. Have you anything to say for yourself, Debbie?' asked Miss Copsey.
'Yes, miss. I'm really sorry. It was a complete accident. I know I shouldn't have been running in the corridor, but I honestly wouldn't have hurt you for the world! I was horrified. I know you've got to punish me for running, but please don't add anything on because I knocked you down. That was an accident and I never meant it!'
Debbie was very good at conveying an impression of injured innocence. Just then she looked as though butter would not melt in her mouth. At any other time the Geography teacher would probably have let herself be persuaded and have let the girl off with a merely symbolic slippering. But after her conversation with Mrs Bennett and the revived memory of her own schooldays, she felt differently.
She looked at the teenager grimly. 'Debbie, I don't like using the cane, as you probably know.' Debbie shuddered involuntarily at the word "cane". The teacher continued: 'But the "accident" would not have happened if you had not been rushing along the corridor in complete disregard of the rules of the school and completely reckless of any other people going about their normal business.
'If a car driver has an "accident" as a result of being drunk than he is punished more severely than the a drunk driver who is not involved in an accident. And in the same way your punishment will be more severe as a result of the consequences of your breach of the rules.
'Also I have discussed your general behaviour with your form mistress and she is not very pleased with you at all! We talked about what would be an appropriate punishment in all the circumstances and we are in complete agreement. I am afraid I feel, reluctantly, that anything other than the cane would be a mistaken kindness. I think that you have ridden your luck at this school for a long time. Well, now your luck has run out!'
And Miss Copsey walked forward to the end wall and removed the longest of the three canes from its place on the shelf. She turned and faced the now obviously very scared teenager. Taking the cane in both hands she slowly flexed it, almost into a semi-circle, demonstrating to Debbie that despite its length and thickness it was still wickedly supple and pliant. Then the teacher released her left hand and the cane immediately sprung back straight again with a sudden hiss.
'Right, Debbie, take your blazer off and hang it on the hook on the door.'
Instead of obeying the frightened girl made one final attempt to escape with a lesser punishment. 'Please, miss,' she said, 'I've never had the cane before. Can't you give me the slipper instead. It was an accident and I promise I won't ever run in the corridor again. Mrs Bennett has got it in for me and I bet she's made me out to be a troublemaker, and I'm not - honestly!'
But this time all Debbie's wiles were no use. Miss Copsey knew that the truth of the matter was that the girl was getting off lightly. If Mrs Livesey had been brought in she would undoubtedly have awarded a much more severe punishment.
'No, Debbie. Arguing with me will do you no good at all. I have made up my mind, and if you do not obey me this minute you will receive additional strokes for refusing to accept punishment. Now remove your blazer and hang it up!'
Sullenly Debbie obeyed, in silence.
'Right. Now pull that stool out and bend right down over it, holding onto the bar. I'm going to give you four strokes, and I advise you to stay in position throughout or it will be the worse for you.'
Once again the fifth former did as she was told, cursing Mrs Bennett under her breath as she slowly bent over the stool. She knew that it had to have been she who had put Miss Copsey up to it. The Geography teacher used the cane very rarely indeed and never gave the maximum. Strands of Debbie's long, light brown hair fell forward over her eyes as she bent. Suddenly she felt Miss Copsey's hand on the hem of her blue school skirt.
Her whole body trembled as she felt the skirt being slowly lifted to reveal more and more of her bare thighs and then her navy blue school panties, straining across her curvy teenage rear. Debbie could hear her heart suddenly beating very loudly as she felt the teacher pin the hem of her skirt high up in the middle of the back of her cream-coloured blouse.
The school panties had ridden up slightly and the lower portions of the girl's delightfully shaped rear were on view to the Geography teacher. Susan realised that this would mean that the cane would largely fall across bare flesh but she did not feel inclined to be any more lenient as a result. Mrs Bennett had convinced her that if any girl at Mayhew Road deserved a very sore and stripy bottom it was Debbie Storey.
Miss Copsey placed the cane carefully across Debbie's trembling bottom, eliciting a deep intake of breath from the bending girl, then she took a step back and lifted the cane high. Debbie closed her eyes tight and tried to tense herself for the now inevitable caning. She heard the hiss as the cane swiped down and then, a second later, felt the impact as it lashed at full force onto the lower part of her bottom, its tip digging deeply into bare flesh unprotected by her navy blue panties. It was another second more before she felt the unimaginable stinging pain explode through her behind - the force of the impact having momentarily numbed her nerves.
But when she did feel it her reaction was dramatic.
'Aieeyee!! Owwww! Owww!' she yelled at the top of her voice. Debbie had wanted to take her caning in silence, knowing that the teachers in the staff room were bound to be listening, but she simply couldn't help herself as she felt that awful sting. It was simply not of the same order of magnitude as a slippering - she had never dreamt that even the whole four strokes would hurt that much, let alone just the first stroke! Debbie lost her grip on the stool and jumped upright, her hands going to her outraged posterior. Still gasping with pain she danced around the room, holding her bottom. She could feel a weal already swelling up under the thin cotton material of her panties.
Susan Copsey watched her impassively. She knew that many girls reacted in this way to their first ever stroke of the cane, although she herself had bravely taken her own punishment by remaining quiet and in position throughout. She waited a few seconds so as to give Debbie a chance to pull herself together.
The fifth former continued to hop from one foot to the other, hands pressed to her smarting rear, and looking at the Geography teacher with a mixture of shock, accusation and appeal showing on her pretty face. She cut an odd figure with her blue pleated skirt still pinned up at the back, revealing her school panties. Very cautiously she tenderly allowed one of the fingers of her right hand to touch the mark made where the tip of the cane had landed on bare flesh. Then she withdrew her hand and looked at the finger. She could not believe that there was no blood! It felt as though she had been cut open! Her hands went back again to her stinging bottom, trying to hold in the incredible pain and also, if possible, to delay, or even escape, the rest of her punishment.
Miss Copsey allowed her about half a minute and then addressed the squirming and moaning schoolgirl. 'All right, Debbie, that's quite enough. I know it hurts. I meant it to hurt! But you still have three strokes to come. Now get back over that stool right away. And if you stand up again I will take that as a refusal to accept punishment and call in Mrs Bennett in to hold you down! In that case you will receive extra strokes and I'm sure you don't want that. Now be a sensible girl and get yourself back down over the stool right now!'
With a terrific mental effort Debbie forced herself to walk back in front of the stool and bend down. Now that she knew just how much that cane hurt she could hardly believe that she was presenting her bottom for further strokes. But there was no alternative! As she stretched herself downwards she felt large tears welling in her blue eyes and dropping onto the wooden flooring.
'Good! Now stay there, young lady, unless you want extra strokes!' Miss Copsey reminded her as she drew back the cane. Debbie certainly intended to stay in position, but when the second stroke smashed down almost exactly on top of the first, it was too much for her.
Once again she yelled wildly and straightened, clasping both hands to her injured behind and squirming away out of Miss Copsey's reach. She was now sobbing unashamedly. The Geography teacher was not prepared to accept this. She had told Debbie what would happen if she didn't remain in position for her caning and she had every intention of carrying out her threat.
Ignoring the weeping sixteen year old she went to the door and opened it. 'Mrs Bennett,' she said, 'I must ask you to assist me. Debbie is refusing to accept her punishment.'
The form mistress did not hesitate. Straight away she rose and joined Miss Copsey and the tearful fifth former in the storeroom. She sat down on the stool and ordered Debbie to go across her lap so that she could hold her in position. But the weeping girl made no movement towards her.
'All right,' said Mrs Bennett, 'If you will have it!' And she stood up and darted across the room to catch hold of Debbie's arms. Then she dragged her back by main force and manoeuvred her over her knees as she sat down on the stool once more.
'How many strokes has she had so far?' she enquired when she had the squirming girl held securely in her strong grip with her wealed bottom once again in position for punishment.
'Two!' answered the Geography teacher, rather impressed at the ease with which Mrs Bennett had restrained the teenager.
'All right! If I were you, Miss Copsey, I should not count those. This little minx deserves at least two extra strokes for refusing to take punishment and for putting me to all this trouble. The easiest thing is to start from scratch and give her another four! Rely on me to make sure she keeps still!'
Miss Copsey found it much easier to administer the rest of the caning now that Debbie was being held. The girl struggled desperately in the form mistress's strong grip and screamed loudly at each stroke, but there was no escape.
As the sixth and final stroke bit viciously in Mrs Bennett released her hold and, squirming wildly, Debbie fell off her knees on to the floor and stayed there, howling. The form mistress stood up and, ignoring the caned schoolgirl, spoke to Miss Copsey.
'Well, I'll leave it for you to write this up, then. Glad to have been of assistance!'
The door closed behind the form mistress and Miss Copsey put the cane back in its place and moved towards the still howling teenager, wriggling on the floor. She tapped her on the shoulder, 'Come on, Debbie,' she said, not unkindly, 'stop making that awful noise and stand up. It's all over now!'
But it took the sixteen year old more than a minute before she stood on unsteady legs before her chastiser. Miss Copsey made the entries in the Punishment Book. Debbie Storey; Form 5B; Four strokes for running in the corridor, colliding with a member of staff; Two strokes for refusal to accept punishment.
Finally Miss Copsey told Debbie to turn round so that she could unpin the skirt. It fell down, covering the caned area. Debbie thrust her hands back under her skirt to try to comfort her wealed bottom, but the Geography teacher angrily told her to take her hands away. Sullenly Debbie obeyed and instead pressed her hands to the seat of her blue school skirt. 'All right, Debbie, you may go,' said Miss Copsey, opening the door to the storeroom, 'And remember - no running in the corridor!
Poor Debbie could hardly walk, let alone run. Bent slightly forward and with her hands still clasping the back of her skirt she hobbled slowly through the staff room oblivious to the interested stares of the teachers. Miss Williams, who was nearest the door opened it for her with a slight smile on her face and the well-caned girl stumbled out into the corridor. Miss Williams closed the door behind her and the assembled staff broke into a round of applause.
Mrs Bennett expressed the feelings of them all. 'Well done, Susan,' she said, 'I don't think our Miss Storey will be sitting down comfortably for the rest of term. That's exactly what that little madam has been asking for a long time.'
Outside Debbie was making her slow, painful way back down the teachers' corridor. When she reached the vestibule she was met by Lucy Cook. 'Oh my gosh! What happened Debbie, did you get the stick?' she asked, shocked to see her friend still in tears, with her hands clamped behind her skirt.
'Christ, Lucy! Do you think I'm doing this for the fun of it!' Debbie exploded. 'Of course I got the cane! And it bloody well hurts! My bum is on fire!'
'Sorry, Debbie. I know what it's like. I've been there, you know! How many did you get?'
'Oh . . . four.' Debbie did not want to admit that she'd had to be held down.
'Yes, that's the maximum. The Copper must have been in a godawful mood after you knocked her down. It was terrible luck. You didn't say anything about me, did you?'
At last Debbie was able to provide a sop for her wounded self-esteem. She hadn't given her friend away.
'Lucy . . . ' she asked, wriggling at a sudden spasm of violent pain, 'You've had the cane. How long does this awful pain last? Is there anything I can do to stop it hurting so much?'
Lucy shook her head sadly. 'No. There's nothing you can do. The worst of the stinging will wear off in an hour or so, but if she's laid it on you're going to have some nasty bruises for a long time. You're lucky the next lesson's Home Economics - at least you won't have to try to sit down! Now let's go to the washroom and get your face tidied up. And, Debbie, I'd stop holding onto your bum if I were you. It won't stop it hurting and it'll just make the other girls make fun of you.'
Most of the other girls were not unhappy that Debbie had finally received her overdue comeuppance, but they were sympathetic as it was obvious how much she'd been hurt. Debbie's parents had been warning her for a long time that if she didn't mend her ways she was going the right way for a caning at school, and their reaction when they found out was that their daughter had got what she had been asking for.
The shock of that caning gave Debbie a long-needed jolt, and her behaviour and schoolwork both improved. In time she came to realise that she had got no more than she had deserved and even came to like and admire Susan Copsey. But she and Mrs Bennett preserved a mutual dislike for the rest of her time at Mayhew Road.