An extract fromChildren of the Void

CHILDREN OF THE VOID EXTRACT

Annalinde gets a Spanking


AT LAST the door opened. Aunt Alice was there in her knee-length, straight wool skirt and her blouse and cardigan. She looked very every-day after the glitter of the Brace of Pheasants, as she always did. Annalinde rose immediately to her feet. Aunt Alice made the Brace of Pheasant and art and music and wit seem somehow phantastical, bringing one back to the grey weight of the Real World of duty and discipline and the hard fact that one was a child. Her heart had lain heavily in her stomach as she awaited her aunt. Now it seemed to rise into her throat.

Aunt Alice crossed the room and seated herself on the sofa.

"Come here, Annalinde," she said. "Closer please. Stand exactly there." She indicated a spot on the carpet. "Now, Annalinde, what have you to say for yourself?"

"I don't know, Aunt Alice."

"You don't know. You know to what I am referring, do you not?"

"Yes, Aunt Alice."

"Six Order Marks. Six! And when did I last punish you for Order Marks?"

"Saturday, I think, Aunt."

"Saturday is correct. And your mother has had occasion to give you six since then. Claire is a delicate blonde, Annalinde. She should not have to be troubled with constant misbehaviour from her daughter. And you are a blonde too. You should behave yourself obediently and with gentle grace. A good deal of the time, Annalinde you behave yourself like a rather unruly brunette. If you were a brunette I should have to discipline you, but as you are a blonde the matter is rather more serious. You do understand the difference between blondes and brunettes, do you not?"

"Yes, Aunt Alice."

"I hope you do. You are getting too old, Annalinde, to behave in a harum-scarum manner. In a child it is allowable, but in an adolescent blonde it is very unbecoming. There is a name for blondes who do not act in a blonde manner, Annalinde. It is not a pleasant name and I should not like to feel that such a name could ever be used of a member of our family."

Annalinde flushed deeply. She did not like to feel that she was risking her good name. Much of her naughtiness took place at home, but it was true that she was sometimes noisy and silly at the cinema. It was true that she sometimes behaved in an un-blonde manner. Perhaps at times she lost a certain connexion with the essence of her femininity--it was a common enough disease in any one who had been exposed to the Pit. Even a brunette should beware of that, but a blonde----.

"I see, Annalinde, that something of what I am saying is beginning to strike home. I am glad. It is not just a question of telling you off. You must take stock of yourself. Your un-blonde behaviour has passed as childish fun up to now. But you are getting older. You are reaching an age when the rather--well, rather rough and sometimes indelicate manner you sometimes affect begins to look ungainly and ridiculous."

It was true. She was growing up. It was a fact she had not entirely taken seriously before. After all, her chronological age was so different from her age in Aristasia; that age seemed to be a thing infinitely malleable, and one felt that one could seize at once the privileges of every age from infancy to venerable maturity. But of course, it was not really true. Different personæ might have different ages, but they must be disciplined and each kept whole and integral: they could not splurge over one another--and Annalinde, her main persona, was definitely growing up. She had gone out with brunettes--well, one brunette. She was starting to be admired as a young blonde. She must not lose the respect of her position. Her remark this evening about petting, for example--and it had been her, not Miss Nightwind--would have been a bit near the knuckle even for a brunette. She excused it to herself on the grounds that it was making a real point, but it must have sounded rather brash and forward and unblondelike.

"This is a small town, Annalinde. A girl's reputation goes with her everywhere. You are admired in some quarters as a charming example of a blonde, and you are such an example at times. Now you must learn to discipline yourself and be charming and dainty all the time, not only when it takes your fancy. I do not mind your being excitable--and even naughty--provided you make certain you are doing it in a blonde way. When I say I do not mind I do not mean that I shall not punish you. Of course I shall. But it is not so vital a matter as maintaining your blondeness. You are not among the newest girls in the colony any more. Your job is to set an example. I hope I may rely upon you to set one from now on."

"Yes, Aunt Jane."

"It is not entirely your fault, Annalinde. I blame myself in part. We both know well enough that the traditional method of keeping blondes blonde is to punish them--in particular to whip them. I have not been on hand to beat you nearly as much as your nature requires. We must try to remedy that, Must we not?"

"Yes, Aunt Alice."

"Very well, then. Come over my knee."

Annalinde obeyed, lying herself across Aunt Alice's lap, her upper body resting on the vacant seat of the sofa.

"Put you hands under me," said Aunt Alice. It was her practice when administering a severe spanking to sit on one's hands. thus rendering one immobile and incapable of struggle. Annalinde manoeuvred her hands under her Aunt's heavy, grown-up thighs. The straight woollen skirt had ridden up a little and she could feel her upper thigh filmed in gossamer Quirinelle nylon. She even fancied she could feel it grow denser and less ætherial as it darkened at the top. The soft weight of her aunt's legs pinned her firmly, and she was aware of that lady turning back the skirts of her--or rather Miss Nightwind's--elegant black evening dress, exposing the deep-pink satiny petticoat with black edging. She tucked the surplus folds of petticoat between her thighs, her hand warm against her most intimate places, and yet with an impersonal. aunt-like warmth. She knew with what she was to be disciplined. She had seen the hairbrush lying on the seat, and watched her aunt pick it up before she positioned herself over her. In truth, it was not actually a hairbrush, although that is what it was always conventionally called. It was a large, oval-headed Trentish clothes-brush, long, heavy and with a slightly convex back flat enough for its purpose. There were numerous of these brushes in the Empire, glistening in their dark-brown burnished Trentish timber. There was a home-like, quotidian severity about these implements, so ideal for their purpose and versatile enough to brush clothes as well.

Annalinde tensed herself involuntarily as she felt the motion of the first stroke coming. The flat, heavy, stinging shock exploded across her skin, penetrating the satiny petticoat and the matching pink, black edged knickers as if they had not been there at all. Such delicate protection was powerless against the heavy thwack of sheening, Trentish wood. Her legs stiffened, her body reared a little, though her hands were pressed immobile by warm, feminine thighs.

"I hope there is not a spirit of resistance in you, child," said Aunt Alice sternly. "We have all night to beat it out if there is. Relax, please. Submit yourself."

Annalinde made her body go limp, letting herself go to the will of her superior. The brush smacked home again, tingling-sore upon the surface, yet deep too. These were heavy strokes. Not the crushing blows that were termed `Victorian strokes', but hard, heavy, full-intentioned smacks. A third, a fourth, a fifth and a sixth fell. Annalinde gasped, tensed, tried to untense and tensed again. She had accepted such punishments better than this in the past, but punishment is a curious thing. In the right mood one can absorb so much, warmly, submittingly, almost voluptuously. Today was nearly the opposite. She could hardly bear to be touched. These ringing, tingling flood-waves of pain seemed almost intolerable. She half expected her aunt to tell her again to submit. Sometimes she scolded her all through a spanking. Today she seemed to have said all she had to say. Annalinde knew what was expected. If she tensed and arched herself. The punishment would lengthen. Submission would come in the end.

Aunt Alice was falling into a rhythm now. Hard, swinging slaps falling with easy force upon the pink-sheened bottom and thighs. The flesh was becoming hot beneath its chastisement. Even her own thighs hot and moist against the adolescent girl's clenching, powerless hands. The girl was sobbing now, but there was less resistance in her sobs. She was resigned to the long, hard spanking.

Angeline, in her little room above was taking off her uniform, unclipping her shiny metal suspenders. She felt glad, at first that some one else should suffer. She was sore still from her beating at the hands of Betty. Inexperienced as she was, she could tell that it was some hard, wooden implement not unlike the spatula that had been used on her this evening, though heavier. She was still sore from that, used so cruelly over her already-lashed skin, and she slid off the stockings from her thin. girlish legs, enjoying the sharp percussion from below.

She crossed the hall in her petticoat and slippers, washed out her intimate garments, brushed her teeth, cleaned off her make-up all in a leisurely fashion, knowing that the other occupants of the house were otherwise occupied and contemplating the events of her first day in bondage. She was tired, sore, a little shaken emotionally, nervous and even a touch resentful, yet she looked upon all these feelings in a haze of tired detachment and with a feeling strangely pleasurable rather than otherwise.

It was no game; that was, perhaps, the salient sensation of all those in which her mind swum. The idea of being a bonded maid, the District Governess, the sentence, all these had seemed half game-like and half chillingly real. The visualisation of the Kadorian bus-station had made it seem more game-like than ever, though it also added another layer of wistful reality. But today, as it were, the reality had clanged to and the lock had clicked. She was a serving-girl, at the beck and call of her superiors, which meant, as far as she could see, every one. A girl to be ordered about, called hither and yon, to answer bells, to scrub floors, to be slapped and strapped, to be always neat and demure and obedient, to say "Very good, madam" and "Very good, miss" and nothing more. Yet the contemplation of these things was strangely rosy. Even her resentment seemed somehow a shade enjoyable, and the enjoyable part of that resentment was her powerlessness to act upon it in any way, as if she felt a certain--yes, a certain cruelty toward herself. She felt herself clench her teeth and vindictively wish suffering upon herself, as one might wish it on another. Not physical suffering either, but precisely the suffering of resentment. "Yes," a part of her was saying. "Fret in silence when you are treated as a menial slave, denied all privilege, whipped and bullied: fret and resent and cry yourself to sleep, and know that you can do nothing about it." She smiled a curious smile, and, in truth, in the days to come found a certain secret disappointment--secret almost from herself--in the thoughtful, kindly mistress and the reasonable household into which she had been bonded.

Her ablutions completed, she put her things into her sponge-bag and made her way back to her little bedroom. She was surprised to hear the spanking still in progress, slow and rhythmic and hard. Had it been as hard as that all the time she was in the bathroom? Had it been going on at that pace? She felt sure it had. How many strokes must it be? A hundred--no more, probably; much more.

As she settled into bed, she heard the rhythmic strokes, each one accompanied by a high, soulful moan. Annalinde's fingertips were digging deep into her aunt's thigh's. The ordeal was far greater than she had expected. The spanking stopped for a moment, and the hairbrush was exchanged for a short, three-tailed strap, hard and heavy, perhaps nine inches long, and made, it seemed specifically for spanking. It was fashioned from real old leather, dark and shiny with use; clearly an old school or home implement. Its harsh tails cut through the surface numbness created by the long spanking with a new, high-pitched pain. Annalinde squealed.

Angeline remembered Annalinde's commanding her to re-tie her shoelaces, and that gave an added piquancy to this audition of her strapping. She could not see it, of course, but being in the room above, it was almost as clear as a wireless broadcast. She felt sorry for the girl, frightened that such severities were possible in this house, but also she enjoyed it. She enjoyed it especially because of the shoelaces. It would have been easy to think that it was a kind of revenge for her humiliation, but really it was nothing like that. She had not minded serving the young mistress in that way. She had been embarrassed, but she could hardly say she had wholly disliked it. Somehow, though, the sound of this girl who held so much power over her, who could toy with her at will, receiving so sound a spanking gave her an exquisite frisson. Her involuntary squeals of acute distress as hard leather bit already-chastened flesh had an effect quite unexpected; pleasing almost to blissfulness and she found that the pleasure warmed and deepened as she pictured herself kneeling at Annalinde's feet tying her shoelaces. She settled herself to listen to the entirety of the punishment, but in the event she was sound asleep before the leather ceased its harsh refrain and the young lady of the house, sore and subdued, made her own way to bed.


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