Subject: New Story: "Cynthia and the Einstein Olympics"
From: oilbuckle@aol.com (Oilbuckle)
Date: 3 Jan 1999 07:48:25 -0800

(This story deals with spanking of, and by, pre-teenage and early teenage children. If the subject matter offends you, don't read it.

Chronologically, this takes place shortly before "Center of Attention.")


Cynthia and the Einstein Olympics

by Gordon X. Oilbuckle

"Come on!" yelled Billy Fallon. "Don't make us wait all day!"

I hefted the big egg-shaped rock that was our makeshift shot-put, and threw it with all my force. Unfortunately, all my force wasn't enough to toss it more than five feet, ten inches. Billy gleefully rushed forward and marked the place where it had landed with a line in the dirt.

"Lou's gonna have to go through the Mill again!" gloated Billy. There was a definite note of relief in his voice, now that his own toss of six feet, four inches was no longer the shortest. Especially since he was almost a year younger than me-- he'd barely turned ten, and I was close to eleven -- and two grades below me. But he was big and athletic for his age, and I'd never been the athletic type. For the fiftieth time I asked myself why I'd gotten involved in the Einstein Olympics in the first place.

In truth, the reason was just stepping up to the starting line. Cynthia Benedetto bent to pick up the rock, hefted it, and gave it a mighty heave that landed it seven feet, seven inches from the line. Which was still over a foot short of where Joe Butler's and Tim Sherman's tosses had landed, and Red Evans and Porky Judson, both nearly fourteen, hadn't even thrown yet.

Billy made a face. "Porky, since when do we let girls in the Olympics, anyway?"

Porky glared at him. "If they're dumb enough to try, we let anyone in! Even girls. OR fifth graders."

Billy glared back and plopped to the ground with an irritated expression on his face, but it brightened when Red's toss landed five feet, six inches away. "Lou's gonna go through the Mi-ill!" he chanted gleefully. "Lou's gonna go through the Mi-ill!"

If I'd known I'd have to put up with Billy Fallon for the two days the Einstein Olympics generally took, I'd never have shown up, despite Cynthia's constant urging. A summer of vigorous play with the Albert Einstein Experimental School's outstanding tomboy had toughened me up immeasurably, "not half bad," at some things, in Cynthia's expressed view. "They'll stop picking on you completely if you even try for the Olympics, Lou!" she had explained. "Hardly anyone picked on me since I got in last year! And I was the only sixth-grader!"

"But I'll be the only one who isn't at least 12, or close to it!" I protested. "I'll have to go through the Mill almost every time!"

"No you won't!" Cynthia assured me. "And even if you do, what's the big deal! You've lived through Aunt Joyce's hairbrush and Coach Cardwell's belt. Surely a few seventh- and eighth-graders can't scare you!" I protested, tried to explain that athletics wasn't supposed to mean anything at Einstein School... and showed up with Cynthia, Porky Judson, and the rest on the second week of my year in seventh grade.

* * *

I've heard it said that the more exclusive the private school, the more unusual the unofficial traditions tend to be that build up among the student body. Which means the Einstein Olympics probably weren't that unusual a tradition as such things go. Our school had an official Field Day every spring for athletic competition, but in the fall, at the start of every term, there was also the informal competition for the minority of Einstein students who had an actual interest in athletics.

Those who wanted to compete... usually fewer than ten, almost always seventh-and eighth-grade boys... would assemble in a corner of the playground during recess and organize their own events. The winner of each contest got an informal title he could flaunt for the rest of the year, and the loser had to go through the Mill.

Which, as I already knew from the bitter experience of having come in dead last in two other events, was no pleasant experience. In later years, I've heard others refer to the same thing as "the torture tunnel" or "the crawling gauntlet" or "the hot oven," but at Einstein School... where, Porky's shot having unsurprisingly beaten everyone's except Red's, it was already taking shape once again that balmy morning in September 1958... it was the Old Mill or simply the Mill.

Porky, on whom the role of unofficial organizer had inevitably fallen (he was already on tap to organize the school's equally informal football team for the upcoming season), had already taken his place at the head of the line, his legs spread as far apart as they would go. The others lined up behind him in the same position, and I suppressed a shudder as I got down on my hands and knees.

I tried to go as fast as I could between Porky's legs before I reached Tim's, but he leaned over and bombarded the thin seat of my school pants with what felt like a hundred painful swats before I got through. No sooner had Porky's final swat landed than Tim started in on me, not quite as hard since he was a seventh-grader like myself, but still hard enough to make me wince every time his calloused hands landed on my bottom. Even so, I began to slow down as I made my way through his legs and then through Red's, whose large hands seemed to cover every inch of their target as I desperately struggled on.

Cynthia tried to shoot me a quick smile as she lifted her dress to let me through, but her hands, much smaller than Red's but still big for a girl, still stung as they came down on my aching bottom. But they were almost a pleasant massage compared to Joe's, which came next. Last but certainly not least was Billy, whom I'd thought wouldn't be apt to hit as hard as the others due to his size and age, but had proved me wrong the first time I went through.

"What're you doing with the big boys anyway?" sneered Billy as his small but hard hands came down right on the most assaulted parts of my bottom. So far, thanks to my presence and a few mishaps on the part of the older boys, he'd only once had to endure the Mill himself. "I think you're the real girl here, not Cynthia!" he went on. What I was sure wasn't a hand but a fist came down with great force as I struggled the rest of his way through his legs. Unexpectedly he clamped his legs together and kept me from going the rest of the way, which was definitely against the rules.

"Hey! Quit that!" I wailed as he landed several more vigorous spanks on the seat of my pants. The others turned to look, just as Billy released his leg grip and sent me flying through with a final double-handed spank. I looked up, trying to keep the tears out of my eyes, but not completely succeeding.

"What a baby!" howled Billy, and most of the others, except Cynthia, snickered. I couldn't resist rubbing my bottom as I staggered to my feet, causing a new round of jeers from the rest. I almost blurted out what Billy had done, but fell silent as I caught Cynthia's almost imperceptible shake of her head. She had no respect for informers of any kind.

"And now we'll do the 100-yard dash!" announced Porky, and I shuddered again, only too aware that I'd most likely have to go through the Mill once more. Then the two-minute bell rang, and I realized for the first time exactly what an infinite relief "saved by the bell" could be.

* * *

Cynthia's eyes narrowed when I told her about Billy's leg-clamp over lunch. She snorted contemptuously. "Don't mind him! He just mouths off and pulls those stunts because he's the one who'd be picked on if you weren't there! But when he heard you were competing, he butted right in, since you're ten, just like him. He may be the biggest kid in fifth grade, but he's not much compared with the others."

"Except me." I resisted the urge to rub my bottom once more.

"Even you! I'm sure you can run faster than Billy, and I know you can climb trees better. If he thinks for one minute..."

"Hey. C'n I sit here, too?"

We looked up and saw Charity Randolph, a talkative third-grader for whom Cynthia frequently babysat, standing there with a tray in her hand and the hurt expression on her face that usually accompanied her table of preference being full. Cynthia sighed, but nodded to her.

"How come you're always busy these days?" Charity whined, after a long digression on the subject of Mr. Moose. Cynthia tried to explain the Einstein Olympics, with which the lower grades had little to do, and Charity brightened.

"Can I play?" she asked in delight.

"You don't want to, really you don't!" shuddered Cynthia, trying to explain the fate of the losers to her. I reluctantly nodded, knowing I'd have no fear of the Old Mill with an eight-year-old girl competing against ten-to-thirteen-year-old boys (and one eleven-year-old girl), but not wanting to subject even Charity to the experience.

But Charity's mouth only set in a firm line. "I can run really fast, y'know! You've seen me, Cynthia, right? When we've gone to the park? And what's after the race?"

"The broad jump. And then routines on the monkey bars."

"I'm good at those! And they have to allow girls in if they let you play, Cynthia. Why can't I?"

"But the Mill..."

Charity only set her jaw further and her voice fell to a whisper. "I'll be all right. You... you know I still sometimes get a spankin' from my Daddy. This can't be any worse."

Cynthia glared down at her. "That's enough! You are NOT going to participate until you're at least in fifth grade! And that's FINAL!"

* * *

Charity looked up at Cynthia as the two of them crouched next to me at the starting line. "My panties aren't showing, are they?" she whispered.

Cynthia sighed. "Never mind that!" she said. "Just run as fast as you can!"

"GO!" yelled Porky (who'd tried and failed to borrow his father's gun for the purpose). As I ran with all my strength, I found myself pleasantly surprised as I quickly pulled ahead of Billy and Tim. At one point I thought I might even beat Porky, but he struggled ahead and dashed past Cynthia, herself going all out as her shoelace flapped in the breeze. Suddenly she stopped and crouched down to tie it.

"What're you tying your shoe for now?" I asked as I approached. "You don't want to lose!"

"I don't want to trip, either!" she shot back. "Don't worry, I'll be OK!"

Joe was first over the line, with Red a distant second, and Porky third. My fourth place was the best I'd done yet, and I couldn't resist remarking, as Billy straggled in to take sixth place after Tim, "Didn't do so well this time!"

Billy's fists doubled up. "Didn't expect to!" he whined, casting a venomous glance at Joe. "Everyone knows nobody runs faster than a nig-" Joe's dark face blazed with fury and he whirled toward Billy, who backed away. "Just kidding," he said unconvincingly, with a sickly smile on his face. Joe reluctantly stalked off.

Billy gleefully watched the two girls straggle in. Cynthia had taken way too long to tie her shoe, and was still catching up to... Charity? The beaming third-grader darted across the line. "I didn't lose! I didn't lose!" she exulted. Suddenly her face fell as she realized the implication.

"Cynthia's going through the Mi-ill!" chanted Billy. "Cynthia's going through the Mi-ill!"

Cynthia stood straight and tall as the rest of us took our positions. She got to her hands and knees and began to crawl through Porky's legs, her determined expression not changing a hair as Porky's heavy hands came down on her bottom. Cynthia continued on as Tim, Red and Joe in quick succession bent down and delivered flurries of swats to the seat of her dress. She continued on through Billy's legs and shot me a reassuring grin..just as Billy yanked up the back of her dress with his left hand and brought his right down hard on the muddy seat of her panties.

"Hey, what's the big idea?" The words were out before I realized I'd spoken them.

Billy's hands continued their assault on Cynthia's underpants. "What's it to you? Or don't you want anyone else touching your girl friend's panties?" Cynthia's eyes narrowed and she gave me an aggrieved look as she finally struggled through Billy's legs.

With Billy glaring at me and some of the others looking back, I didn't dare do anything but swat Cynthia's bottom repeatedly as she crawled between my legs, though at least her dress had fallen back down. Charity's best efforts couldn't have done anything more than massage Cynthia, but by that time nobody was paying much attention.

As Cynthia stood up, refusing to do so much as rub herself where she'd been spanked, Billy shrugged his shoulders. "That's the way you spank girls, right? My mom always spanks my sister on her panties!" Several other muttered noncommittally, and the subject was dropped as Porky announced the broad jump.

As the winner of the previous event, Joe had the honor of going first. He glared down at Billy as his stick drew a line in the dirt where his right heel had landed, looking as if he'd have liked to grind it down on Billy's fingers. But he didn't, getting out of the way to let Tim jump as Billy scratched the letter J next to the line.

Red ran back almost fifty feet before dashing back to the starting line. His feet barely landed several inches beyond where Joe's had... but then he swayed and fell backwards, as Billy gleefully marked the position of his hand in the dirt, with an R next to it. Charity also swayed, but was able to remain on her feet, and I could hear Cynthia's sigh of relief as Billy drew a line in the dirt a few inches beyond Red's mark. "Now I can go all out!" she muttered as Billy made a C next to the line.

"What do you..." I blurted out, but Cynthia put her finger to her lips as she walked away from the starting line. Her dress flapped in the breeze as she raced toward the line and jumped. Her feet hit the ground so close to Joe's mark that it was hard to tell if she'd beaten him or not... but then the question became moot as she overbalanced and sat down hard in the dirt. Billy immediately raced forward and lifted the back of Cynthia's dress.

I started to open my mouth, but Porky jabbed me in the side. "Can it, Lou. You know we measure by whatever part of her body lands closest to the starting line." Billy finished the line where Cynthia's panties met the dirt, thankfully seven inches farther from the line than where Red's hand had been. He added a C... and a Y as an afterthought, to distinguish it from Charity's... as Cynthia got to her feet. Much to my relief, I was able to stay on my feet as well when I landed, so Billy's marks for me... and for Porky... beat Red as well. I could see the sweat bead up on Billy's face as he dropped his stick to jump himself, but he too ended up well ahead of Red's and Charity's marks.

"Red's going through the Mi-ill!" chanted Billy.

Red only grunted as Porky's hands, then Tim's, Cynthia's, Joe's, mine, and Billy's, successively paddled his trousered bottom. "Uh... could you lift your dress a bit?" he asked Charity when he got to her. She reluctantly lifted it a few inches, not nearly as high as Cynthia had, but Red almost had to crawl on his stomach to get under her legs. Charity tried to get into the spirit of the game, but Red instinctively surged up when she started to swat the seat of his pants, and the next instant she seemed to be riding him like a rodeo cowgirl... if she were facing the wrong way. She gamely held on for a few seconds and gave him a couple more spanks, then overbalanced and landed on her back in the dirt.

Red's hand moved back as if to rub himself... almost certainly not as a result of anything his last assailant had done... but he thought better of it as Billy stared at him with a fiendish grin on his face. Charity was frantically brushing the dust of her clothes, with Cynthia's help, and smoothing down her skirt. "My panties didn't show, did they?" she whispered.

"Of course not," Cynthia lied. "Come on, they're doing gymnastics next."

"Now for the gymnastic routines!" said Porky. He led the way to the monkey bars, on which two fourth-grade boys were swinging. "Off of there, kids!" he bellowed. "We need that!"

Joe jumped up to the highest bar and did a quadruple spin. Several of the rest did various routines, and then it was Charity's turn. She looked up, and her face turned red. "I... I can't." she whispered.

Cynthia whirled on her. "What do you mean, Charity! Sure you can! You do double flips at the park all the time!"

Charity looked up with tears in her eyes. "But I wasn't wearing a skirt then!" she sobbed. "I'd show my panties if I tried now!"

Several of the boys broke into gales of laughter, punctuated by Billy's "Didn't I tell you not to let girls in?"

Cynthia clenched her fists and took a step toward Billy, who retreated behind Porky. For a moment Cynthia simply glared at him, then turned and strode toward the bar. She leaped up and grabbed it, then swung her legs up and over in a smooth motion. "This, she said emphatically, "is what a girl can do!*"

Billy walked over and stared. "Hey, Cynthia's got a rip in her panties!"

Cynthia gave her head a startled jerk, which threw off her balance just as she was executing her third spin. She dangled by one knee for an instant before recovering, spinning back around and landing on her feet. Billy giggled as she pulled her dress down much more quickly than usual, and several of the others also smiled.

By a majority vote of 7 to 1 (Billy dissenting), Joe's routine was declared the winner. But it was all too clear who the loser was, and Bobby started off again. "Charity's going through the Mi-ill!" He rubbed his hands together in delight, and Charity looked at them... and everyone else's... and gulped. But she forced herself to get down on her hands and knees as the rest of us lined up.

Just as Charity began to crawl through Porky's legs, she lifted her left hand from the ground and reached back between her own legs. She grasped the tail of her blue skirt and held it down firmly so it couldn't flip up, and Porky roared. Even though it seemed to me he didn't hit her as hard as he'd hit the rest of us, Charity moved so slowly on one hand and two knees that Porky was able to give her at least twice as many swats. Charity tried not to cry, but by the time she'd got through Tim's legs and continued her awkward half-crawl through Red's, she couldn't keep quiet any longer.

"WAAAA!" she bawled as Red's big hands came down on her skirted bottom. "No more!" She finally struggled through, only to collapse completely as Cynthia gave her a not-too-hard swat. "Not you too! Please, Cynthia!"

Cynthia sighed. She gave Charity another, somewhat harder spank with one hand, but used the other to grab her belt and pull the blubbering third-grader back to her hands and knees. "I warned you, Charity!" she said in a low voice. "But you're almost through!" She sent Charity right through her legs with another swat to the seat of her skirt.

All thought of holding her skirt down forgotten, Charity crawled as fast as she could on all fours through Joe's legs, and then mine. I didn't have the heart to give her bottom more than a couple of light slaps, but she sniffled anyway. I knew I'd be glad when she got through Billy's legs and everything was over.

"WAAA! No! Not my skirt!" Charity whined suddenly. I whirled around to find her halfway through Billy's legs, with Billy lifting the back of her skirt with one hand and bringing the other down hard on the seat of her lime-green panties. "Oww! Stop, Billy! WAAAAAA!"

Cynthia rushed up to stand beside me. "That's enough, Billy! Nobody said you could lift her skirt up!"

Billy gave her two more spanks. "What's the harm in giving her panties a good warming? At least they're clean, not ripped and dirty like yours!"

Cynthia swung her fist at him, and he let go of Charity and darted away. "Porky!" he whined. "It's not my fault if she's too big a sissy to take the Mill! I always said we don't need girls here!"

Charity struggled to her feet as she rubbed the seat of her panties, then in sudden realization yanked her skirt down over them. She looked around in despair, then scurried off.

"No, Charity!" Cynthia yelled. "That's what he wants!" Charity ignored her, running straight into the school building before the warning bell had even finished ringing.

"Final round is tree climbing!" announced Porky. "Meet here an hour after school!"

"Why..." Billy began, but closed his mouth quickly. Everyone knew why we had to wait; Porky had been assigned an hour's detention that day for arguing with his civics teacher. And Billy wasn't about to alienate the boy most likely to keep Cynthia from wiping the smug smile off his face

Cynthia glared at Billy, whirled around and stalked toward the school. "Meet me in Room 115 right after the last class!" she whispered to me as she passed.

* * *

"What took you so long?" I asked, as Cynthia entered the empty classroom, where I'd been waiting for thirty-five minutes after class had ended.

She sighed. "I've finally talked Charity into giving it one more try. But she'll be there, or at least she says she will."

"But... but you didn't want her to compete. She'll get the Mill again..."

"That was then. I'm not going to let that Billy Fallon win now!" She turned away and lifted the back of her dress as casually as she'd have rolled up her sleeves. "Tell me, are my undies really ripped? Or was he just trying to screw up my routine?"

I tried to suppress my combined embarrassment and excitement. "Uh... there's a bit of a rip on the right side."

Cynthia reached back and felt where a corner of cloth was dangling, revealing a triangle of pink flesh against the muddy white cotton of her briefs. "Damn! They must've torn when I landed on my butt after the broad jump. I was afraid of that, but I forgot to check when I used the girls' room. But I'm not going to climb a tree with that hole there!"

I gulped. "You... you want to borrow mine again?" That had been what she'd done the last time she tore her panties, and when she'd given them back to me after a football game I never had gotten them completely clean again. But I wasn't going to let my best friend down in her time of need.

She snorted. "Wouldn't work. They're too small for me. I'd split 'em the first time I swung up to a higher branch. That's why I had you meet me here."

I was beginning to understand. Room 115 was used for Home Economics, which at Einstein was as completely elective and rarely taken as the traditional male equivalent of the time, Industrial Arts. Both dealt with skills that children of the economic and social class of the Einstein student body weren't likely to need in their affluent lives. "You're going to sew it up?"

Cynthia nodded, rummaging through a cabinet. Removing a spool of white thread and a needle, she expertly wet the end of the thread, put it through the needle's eye, and pulled a couple of feet through. Her aunt had seen to it that she possessed at least a few basic sewing skills, so I wasn't at all surprised. Until she handed the whole works to me.

"What's this for?" I asked in utter amazement. "I can't sew!"

"It's just a simple rip. Everyone's got to start somewhere. You just put the needle in, then out again on the other side, then across and back."

"But... but why can't you do it?" I stammered as Cynthia leaned over my lap and lifted the back of her skirt again.

Cynthia rested her elbows on the windowsill. "In case you hadn't noticed, it's in a place that's a bit hard for me to reach. You can work a lot faster."

I couldn't believe she wanted me to sew up a rip in her panties... while she was still wearing them! "Do... don't you want to take them off first?"

"There isn't time. 'Sides, last time I did that they were too tight on me. It's hard to climb a tree if your undies are chafing you all the time. And the time before that I ended up sewing the back to the front. So hurry up, OK? We've got to be out of here in ten minutes."

"We've got more than *that!!" I pointed out, forcing myself to jab the needle through the dirty white cloth at the beginning of the tear.

"OWW!" yelped Cynthia. "Don't you know anything, Lou? You have to put your other hand inside so you can guide the needle right! And I told Charity to be there ten minutes before everyone else. We should be there, too."

I put my left hand inside Cynthia's underpants, trying to concentrate on my stitching as I began to sew, rather than on the feel of her firm buttocks under the back of my hand. "How come?"

Cynthia looked out the window and pointed to Charity, waiting patiently in the playground under a tree. "We have to meet by that tree. It's very important." She reached around to feel the seat of her panties. "Seems OK so far. Just keep going like that, across to the corner and then down."

I continued sewing, surprised at how quickly it was going. "Uh, Cynthia? Did you deliberately lose the race so Charity wouldn't have to go through the Mill?"

I could feel Cynthia's bottom tightening under my hand. "DON'T be ridiculous!" she snapped. "You KNOW I always play to win."

I reached the corner and began sewing up the vertical tear, trying to suppress my erection as my hand traveled down the crack between Cynthia's buttocks. "Uh... do you really think Charity should compete?"

"She's got to, or my plan won't work!" she replied vehemently. "Billy pushed me too far when he grabbed Charity's skirt. My undies are one thing, but he knows how sensitive she is."

My needle flew down the diminishing tear in Cynthia's underpants. "I still didn't like it, though. Even with you."

Cynthia sighed. "I appreciate it, but next time don't get involved, OK? 'Girlfriend,' indeed! Billy's too dumb to understand the way things are between us!"

Sitting there with my hand down the back of her panties, I wondered if I was too dumb as well. But this wasn't the time to say so. "Uh... I'm at the end of the tear. What do I do now?"

Cynthia reached back again to feel the seam, and nodded her approval. "What you do now is tie the thread in a knot... no, there. Right next to the cloth. Then tie several more knots on top of it so the thread won't unravel, and cut the rest of it off in the other side."

I quickly pulled my left hand out of her undies and did as she directed, and Cynthia stood up and stretched. "Thanks, Lou. Now, if we hurry, we'll still get to the tree before the rest." She put the needle and thread back where she'd got them, and in sudden realization, grabbed a handful of safety pins before she raced out the door.

"But I can't climb trees in a skirt!" said Charity as the three of us stood by the tall oak tree.

"Don't worry about it," said Cynthia. "Nobody will see your undies if you tuck your skirt up, like I sometimes do."

"But what if it comes loose?" protested Charity.

"It won't if I pin it up." Cynthia took the pins out of her dress pocket as Charity cast me an embarrassed look. "Lou, um, do you mind?" I obediently turned my back until Cynthia told me I could look. Charity looked like a Medieval page with her skirt tucked into the legs of her underpants but bunching higher up.

"But aren't you going to pin your dress up, Cynthia?" asked Charity. "'Specially with a hole in your panties!"

"That's fixed," said Cynthia, lifting the back of her dress to show Charity my needlework. She'd used up all the pins, but she obligingly tucked her own dress into her panties and settled back to wait for the other boys.

As the rest of the Olympic contestants appeared one by one, Billy sneered at Charity. "Didn't have enough last time? Ready to have your panties warmed again?" Charity's face reddened, and Cynthia took a step toward him, so Billy shut up for a few minutes. Then he piped up again, "Why do we have to climb this tree? The branches are too high."

Cynthia shrugged her shoulders. "No, they're not. I could get up easily, and I'm sure most of you can, too. But maybe we should find another one. Or give the little kids a boost."

Billy opened his mouth in protest, but Porky grinned. "Sure, we can give the little kids some help. Everyone under 11. Charity, you first." He bent down and folded his hands.

"I want Cynthia to do it!" said Charity.

"Suit yourself," laughed Porky. With the help of a boost from Cynthia, Charity reached the lowest cluster of branches, and hesitantly advanced by a limb or two. But her confidence was strengthened by the abundance of branches and the ease of the climb, and she swarmed up about twenty feet before Porky called Time. She pulled the marker Porky had given her out of her pocket, and marked the tree's trunk as high as she could reach.

When Charity was back on the ground, Billy sneered, "Don't think you've saved your panties this time!" Cynthia folded her arms and pointedly ignored him, but Porky gave him a boost. He looked down at the girls contemptuously, and then began climbing up as quickly as Charity had.

"He's gonna beat me!" whimpered Charity to Cynthia.

"In more ways than one!" Cynthia whispered back so softly that only I could hear her. "But I don't think so!"

Suddenly there was a great cracking of branches, and Billy swore as he frantically grabbed at whatever he could reach. He tumbled down several feet and broke several more branches before finally catching one that held, and Cynthia emitted a sigh of either regret or relief, I couldn't tell which. Billy hurriedly resumed his climb with a little more care, but the debacle had cost him. When Porky called Time, he was still seven feet below Charity's mark.

"No fair!" wailed Billy. "I fell! You've gotta give me more time!"

"You know the rules!" Porky yelled back. "Make the mark NOW!"

Billy did, and began to descend with a peevish expression. Cynthia bent down to give me a leg up, whispering to me as she did so, "Now, don't forget to test each branch before you put your weight on it. The way I taught you!"

Sudden realization struck me. "You knew?"

Cynthia grinned. "When I climbed this tree last week, I had to be very careful. I figured the branches were strong enough to hold Charity's weight, but I wasn't at all sure about Billy's. OR yours, so watch it."

"You mean Billy...?"

Cynthia laughed as Billy dropped to the ground and gave her a sick, frightened look. "He's never been that good at tree-climbing, especially when he's mad. So be sure to keep your cool. I mean," she whispered, "without you, who's going to mend my undies the next time I rip 'em?"

I grinned back and swarmed up the tree, finding myself in the momentary lead as I made my mark six inches higher than Charity's. Tim, Red and Joe all climbed up unaided and beat me easily, but at least I was in no danger of the Mill.

Cynthia got highest of all, winning the event she'd determined from the start she wasn't going to miss. As she struggled past Joe's mark, the highest so far, her skirt caught on a branch and flapped loosely in the wind.

"Oo! I can see the hole in Cynthia's panties!" said Billy.

"No you can't! They've been fixed!" shot back Charity. I couldn't resist looking myself to see if my stitches had come loose, but, as I could see once Cynthia was close to the ground, the inverted L of thread on the seat of her panties was still holding firm. I was glad I hadn't let my friend down.

Porky barely beat my mark due to difficulties in finding branches that would support his weight, but with a final effort he was able to draw a mark just above mine. He descended even more gingerly as Billy looked back and forth in desperate search of some way out.

"Billy's going through the Mi-ill!" Charity sang out. Billy looked daggers at her, but forced himself to stand and watch as the rest of us began to line up for the final time.

Suddenly Cynthia stepped out of line and twisted Billy's arm behind his back. "Just a minute!" she said. "I thought, since Billy's so keen on spanking kids on their undies, we should get him ready for the Mill!" Joe let out a guffaw as Cynthia reached down and unbuckled Billy's belt. Most of the rest of us joined in.

"NO!" screamed Billy. "You can't take my pants down! None of the others..."

"None of the others lifted Charity's skirt either! Or mine! But YOU did!" Billy yelped as Cynthia yanked at his pants, letting them fall down around his knees.

"No fair!" wailed Billy as Cynthia shoved him toward the head of the line, then took her place in it. "Boys don't get spanked that way!" He tried to pull his pants back up, but a giggling Porky stopped him.

"I sure didn't!" said Joe. Billy's eyes lit up, but only for an instant as Joe went on, "My daddy always whupped me on my bare ass! Maybe Billy should..."

"NO!" squealed Billy as Porky bent down and reached for the waistband of his exposed white briefs. He hastily darted through, even more awkwardly than Charity had done as he tried to negotiate both the hand desperately holding up his underpants and his knees hobbled by his trailing trousers. Porky made no more moves to pull down Billy's briefs, but did land several hard whacks on their thin seat.

Wailing, Billy continued on through Tim's legs as fast as he could, switching to all fours as he tried to get the seat of his underpants away from Tim's hands as quickly as possible. He yelped even louder as Red's bigger hands assaulted his bottom in turn, twisting backwards to protest... and, I suddenly realized, to try to look up Cynthia's dress as he crawled under her, as if he hadn't seen enough of her underpants already. A few extra swats from Red quickly sent him on his way.

Cynthia bent down and applied her own hard hands to the seat of Billy's undies. He squealed and pressed on, suddenly screaming as Cynthia tightened her legs around his waist. "PORKY!" screamed Billy. "No fair! Make her lemme GO!"

Cynthia gave him four firm swats, "That's for Lou!" she muttered. And then six even harder ones came down on his briefs, "And that's for Charity!" As Porky looked around with an amused grin on his face, Cynthia hastily moved her legs apart and let Billy scurry on.

Where Joe was waiting for him. Billy was moving faster now that his trousers were off his knees and trailing at his ankles, but was completely unprepared when Joe grabbed the waist of his briefs and pulled them down to his thighs. "NOOOOO!" screamed Billy at the top of his lungs as Joe's heavy hand came down on his bare bottom. "Don't let Cynthia see! Don't let *Charity..."

Joe whacked Billy again and again before he got through, hobbled by trying to cover his crotch with one hand and pull his briefs back up with the other. "Nigger, eh?" Joe muttered.

Billy finally had his underpants back up, but was sobbing and had tears running down his face when he crawled through my legs. I didn't have the heart to hit even him very much, but gave his briefs several good swats as he went on through, mostly for what he'd done to Cynthia and Charity. A couple of final swats as he went through Charity's legs (for her sake I was glad her dress was still pinned up, though I doubted Billy had the stamina to consider looking up even if it hadn't been), and all was over.

Billy rubbed the seat of his underpants vigorously as he pulled his trousers back up. "Well, it's been fun, guys," he said as he tried to force a friendly expression onto his face. "Uh... see you at football practice, Porky?"

Porky only grunted. Billy looked around and staggered off, still rubbing the seat of his pants, and the others also dispersed. (It didn't surprise any of us that, when Porky posted the list of team members two days later, Billy wasn't on it... nor, of course, were Charity or myself. Nor was it a surprise to see Tim, Red, and Joe... and even, breaking all precedent, Cynthia... included.)

As I walked Cynthia to the bike rack, she said, "You know, I almost made it to the top of that tree. Want to try getting all the way up tomorrow?"

"Thanks, but the school library has a couple of new books I'd like to read. I thought I'd go there for morning recess."

Cynthia sighed. "Well, we can't all be the athletic type. Come to think of it, maybe I'll join you. If you'll pardon the expression, I've had enough milling around to last me a year."