(This and the following parts under the same name represent a block of chapters from my novel "The Slaves of the Amethyst" which I am posting here as a mini-series in the hope that Xhamster readers will enjoy them. Although there is a strong erotic theme throughout I feel obliged to warn readers that not all of the series is erotic in content for which I apologise. Also one of the chapters has been previously posted on here and I apologise for the repetition. There will be I think about fifteen chapters in this series representing about one tenth of the overall body of the novel. I hope you en... Continue»
See Part One For Preamble.
Lady Mathom lingered over her coffee and read Rachel’s first report on her computer screen with amusement. Rachel had just E-mailed the report to her from the computer terminal in the cellars so it appeared that Jennifer was on for an early start. It was a little after five in the morning. Rachel was evidently taking her responsibilities seriously. The first indications were that Jennifer had much to learn. Well there were no surprises there! Lady Mathom was pleased with her idea of making Rachel Jennifer’s mentor. She’d already taken on the role to some degree ever since first meeting Jennifer and she was a natural choice. Rachel was tough too. She’d been through the mill herself and she wouldn’t be too soft of Jennifer. Now she was pregnant she’d be doing less work with her business and it would be eminently agreeable to have her around the Hall more often for the rest of summer. Rachel was a great favourite of Lady Mathom’s. Lady Mathom smoothed the folds of her negligee and smiled to herself. Poor little Jennifer wasn’t going to know what had hit her!
There was a knock on the door of her chambers and Lady Mathom said, “Come in.” As the door opened she continued “Well Robin you are making progress! Knocking on a Lady’s door before entering no less! We might even manage to make you halfway civilised at this rate!” Robin laughed and entered the room not even bothering to inquire how his mother had known it was he before she had even seen him.
“Good morning mother.”
“And a good morning to you too Robin. You’re out and about early today.”
“Yes I’ve shed loads of work! I have to do a presentation at the conference in Switzerland a week on Tuesday!”
“I hope your workload isn’t so all time-consuming that you can’t spare a moment to kiss your poor old mother good morning.”
“Bugger the work!” Robin crossed the room in a few easy steps to embrace his mother.
After several long seconds Lady Mathom patted him gently “Now, now Robin! Behave yourself! I’ve lots to do and so have you. Is Rebecca up as well?”
“Yes. She’s sat at her computer and saying unladylike things at it so I presume she’s working too!”
“Well you’ve time for a cup of coffee Robin. Sit down for a minute.” Robin pulled up a chair and took a cup. “I’ve cancelled your flight on Friday Robin.”
“What? Whatever for?”
“Oh it’s only delayed until Saturday. It’s just that Rebecca wanted to give you a little going away party and we can’t schedule it until Friday evening. Don’t worry the conference won’t get properly underway until Monday. The first couple of days are just a jolly really, networking time and all that. I’ve cleared it with White Mountain. They’ll be expecting you on the afternoon flight into Geneva on Saturday.”
“Well Ok! What’s this party anyway? Rebecca hasn’t mentioned anything to me.”
“Be patient Robin. It’s a little surprise! I don’t think that you’d pass it up for a night in a Swiss hotel!”
“Ok! I’ll let Rebecca have her little secrets.”
“She doesn’t know where you are going or what you are doing does she?”
“Good! Keep it that way! There have been new developments Robin. I’ve had coded communications from Russia. They’ve got a visual on it.”
“What already! Impossible!”
“Not at all. They have it in visual spectrum. The Andrei Anatolyev observatory has been tracking it since Tuesday! Apparently they looked out along the coordinates and picked it up at magnitude 24.5. They might have missed it but it flared up temporarily to magnitude 17.2 on Tuesday night.”
“Quite! They’re foaming at the mouth at White Mountain! I’m worried Robin. How the hell are we going to keep the lid on this thing if it keeps doing things like that?”
“Damn! I don’t know!” Robin’s mind was reeling. “Damn it! It must be huge!”
“Yes and apparently in some working order too. That thing out there emitted a massive energy source.”
“This is scary! I’m out of my depth here.”
“We all are Robin. We’d better start learning to swim quickly! Anyway this is just to warn you. Don’t expect peace and tranquillity in Switzerland. They’ll be hopping up and down like a frog in a bucket at White Mountain!”
“I can well believe it.”
“Not a word of this to anybody now!”
“Do I look like I’m suffering from senile dementia?”
“Anyway don’t worry about it until Saturday. Oh there’s another thing Robin. I have business to attend to in the city this afternoon. I shan’t be back until late. I understand that your friends from Bolswick Bay are arriving this afternoon.”
“Yes that’s right.”
“Well would you please host them and make my apologies for me. I’ll see them tomorrow. I hope they won’t feel insulted.”
“No they’ll be all right mother. If anything they’ll be somewhat relieved. They’re a little nervous about meeting you.”
Lady Mathom sighed, “Sometimes it does become tedious being a tyrant.”
“You’re not a tyrant! It’s just that they’ve never been formally presented at a House such as this and they’re naturally nervous. It’s probably a good thing your absence. They’ll be able to orientate themselves before meeting you. It’ll give them time to relax.”
“Well perhaps you’re right. Make my apologies in any case.”
“Ok! Will we be able to see Jennifer today?”
“No Robin. Best leave her where she is for the time being. The poor girl has enough on her plate at the moment.”
“Rebecca says you sent her straight to the cellars. Wasn’t that a bit harsh?”
“She’s just undergoing some evaluation and preliminary orientation Robin. Rachel is looking after her. She’ll be all right.”
“You certainly believe in throwing people in at the deep end! The poor little dear’s barely out of nappies!”
“She needs to toughen up Robin. She can be a little shrinking violet after she’s put on a bit of backbone.”
“Well you know best. But it’ll be hard on her.”
“Yes. Yes it will.”
Down in the cellars Jennifer was beginning to realise just how hard it was going to be. She woke up from sweet but strange dreams and found herself alone in Rachel’s cell. She was still rubbing the sl**p from her eyes when the door was flung open and Rachel strode in. Rachel pecked her quickly on the cheek and then pulled the bedclothes from her. Jennifer’s tender careful lover of the night was gone and her stern mentor of the daylight was ordering her out of bed. “Up Jennifer! It’s six o’clock now and breakfast is at eight. You have some work to do before you break your fast so let’s be having you!” Jennifer scrambled out of bed blinking. Rachel pointed to her collar and cuffs. “Get dressed Jenny!” Hastily Jennifer fastened her cuffs on her limbs and buckled her collar to her throat under Rachel’s impatient instruction. “Good! Now then! Into the gym with you young lady!”
For over an hour Rachel put Jennifer through a regime of excruciating exercises. She had her do press ups, squat jumps, weight lifting, pull ups on the bar and finished her off with a spell on a running machine. She was quite ruthless as she barked commands at Jennifer and accepted no protestations whatever. At the end Jennifer was sweating profusely and she had muscles aching that she didn’t even know she possessed. Then Rachel ordered her into the bath chamber to shower. “Yes Pixie.” she said but her meekness was unsatisfactory to Rachel.
“You’re being disrespectful Jennifer! Whilst under instruction you will afford me a formal title. When we are relaxing you may call me Pixie or Rachel or whatever. In class however you will address me as ma-am or milady. Do you understand?”
“Good! Now get showered! Don’t be long or you’ll get no breakfast!”
Jennifer rushed into the bathroom, left her manacles on the dressing table in the anteroom and showered herself quickly. When she returned to the anteroom Rachel was waiting for her. “Good Jennifer! Now we’ll wake you up and focus your attention properly for your day ahead. Please stand facing the wall about a metre or a little more away from it with your legs well apart.” Jennifer obeyed in some confusion. “That’s about right. Now bend forward and lean against the wall with the palms of your hands flat against it. Excellent! Now stand up on your toes!” Jennifer followed instructions thinking that this was another part of her morning exercise. She squinted over her shoulder however and saw, with shock, Rachel open a drawer in the dressing table and take out a broad leather paddle on a wooden handle. Rachel took a practise swing with the frightful looking instrument and addressed the trembling Jennifer. “You’re to be spanked every morning Jennifer. In future I shall expect not to have to tell you. You will fetch me the paddle each morning and request your spanking before breakfast. Understand?” Jennifer nodded miserably. “Good! Now maintain your position until I am done.” The thick leather implement echoed loudly in the anteroom as it swatted against Jennifer’s up thrust buttocks. Jennifer stared furiously at the wall through a veil of tears as Rachel applied it time and again to her burning rear. Finally Rachel regarded the crimson coloured orbs of the sobbing girl’s bottom and relented. “Very well Jennifer! You may stand up straight now.”
Jennifer straightened up rubbing her bottom in tearful bewilderment. “Why am being spanked? I haven’t done anything wrong! It’s not fair!”
Rachel looked at her in irritation. “Didn’t you take on board what I said last night? You’re being spanked because your Mistress has said you must! Are you daring to question her commands?”
“Very well! Tedious though it is I shall repeat myself. If you are spanked, caned, whipped or beaten in any other way it is because your Mistress has ordered it! It is not your place to question her commands or protest against the justice of her commands. All that is required of you is your instant obedience to her wishes! Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes ma-am!” murmured Jennifer sotto voce.
“I can barely hear you Jennifer! Louder!”
“Fine. Now resume your position against the wall. You can take an extra dozen for your presumptuousness! This time you can count the strokes out loud as you receive them!”
Jennifer bit her lip through a flood of fresh tears and took up position once more for Rachel’s paddle. “One!” she squeaked in anguish as the thick leather curled once more around her burning posterior. “Two!” she ground out through gritted teeth. “THREE!” she howled. By the twelfth stroke she could barely blubber out her count.
“Very Well Jennifer! I hope that serves as a salutary lesson! I have taken the extra trouble to instruct you in your duty of obedience. Now what do you say?”
“ Th… thank you!”
“Thank you what?”
“Thank you ma-am.”
“Excellent! Perhaps we are making progress. Now you have twenty minutes before breakfast to dry your hair and apply make up to your face. Now stop blubbering! I have not the slightest desire to have my breakfast ruined by the presence of some snivelling young wretch incapable of comporting herself like a lady. I want you at the breakfast table attractively made up and with a smile back on your face or you’ll be back against the wall for another dose!”
Jennifer was quiet at the breakfast table. As extra punishment she had been denied the concession of a cushion and she sat in considerable discomfort on the hard wooden bench. She was trying to keep as still as possible since Rachel had commanded her to stop wriggling. Breakfast was quite frugal with poached eggs, toast, marmalade and, Sebastian’s infamous brew, tea so strong it stained the cup and named by generations of prisoners in those chambers “Cellar Stew”. Rachel was being businesslike referring to the file she had started on Jennifer the night before and informing her charge about the tasks ahead. “I’ve been thinking it over Jenny and I’ve made some revisions to your program. This morning we’re going to put you through a barrage of tests to see what you are made of. The tests will be demanding and any failure will be punished so I do hope that your powers of concentration are well honed today Jenny. Do you feel up to it?”
“I…I’ll do my best ma-am.”
“A good answer Jenny but you don’t have to call me ma-am now. Out of class I’m just Pixie ok?”
“Yes Thank you Pixie.”
“Good girl! You did your make up very well by the way and you even managed a smile. It was a bit watery but it was a smile so you’re excused another session with the paddle. Well you’re excused it for that potential offence anyway. You’ll probably be getting your bottom tanned for something else during the course of the morning I should imagine.”
Jennifer sighed “I’d already figured that out Pixie!”
Rachel laughed “Oh Jenny! It’s just a little spanking! Nothing to look all glum about. Water off a duck’s back to a lady of the House of Mathom! You’ll see! You’ll get to a point where you’ll feel disappointed if you don’t get your daily spanking Jenny.”
“I find it hard to imagine.”
Rachel laughed again “Well honey we’d better get started. Finish your tea off sweetheart. It’s awful isn’t it? Sebastian’s a dear but he doesn’t seem to think that tea is worthy of the name unless you can stand a spoon up in it!”
Jennifer laughed and Rachel was encouraged. Her young charge was showing admirable qualities of recovery and resilience. She reminded herself that here was a young girl who had just lost her entire f****y, had had her world turned upside down and was now imprisoned and undergoing a harsh regime of discipline yet she could still on occasion be made to laugh. There was something fundamentally sound under the timid retiring exterior of this young girl.
Rachel had been right Jennifer reflected later. The morning’s schedule was very demanding and long before lunchtime a bewildered Jennifer was beginning to despair of it. Rachel set her a series of apparently meaningless yet challenging tasks. It wasn’t only that the tasks in themselves were difficult it was more that Jennifer never knew quite what was being tested in them. At one point Rachel gave her a piece of paper, a pencil and a rubber and told her to draw three squares. “Ok” she said “Those three squares represent three houses. Now draw three more squares wherever you want. Those three are utilities, the gas works, the electricity station and the waterworks. The object of this exercise is to connect up all three houses to all three utilities with a line representing the supply to each house. You are not allowed to pass one line through a house to another and in no place should the supply from one utility to a house cross that of another utility’s main. Do you understand?”
Jennifer bit her lip in concentration “Yes ma-am. I think so.”
“Good! I’ll be timing you to see how long you take to find the solution.”
On the face of it the task was deceptively easy but after a few minutes Jennifer realised that it was by no means as simple as it looked. Wherever she placed her three utilities and however tortuous and deviating was the line she drew from them to her three houses there always seemed to be a point where the line crossed that of another. Soon she was in deep trouble. Her piece of paper was filling up with projected lines and she was desperately erasing failed solutions with her rubber. Rachel was sat at the end of the table with a stopwatch in front of her and the leather paddle in front of her like the Sword of Damocles. Jennifer felt a light sweat break out on her forehead as she desperately tried to find a solution to the irritating puzzle. It couldn’t be done she thought. However you placed your squares and lines there was always a point where the lines crossed. Surely the task was impossible! But then how could she turn around and tell Rachel that she simply wasn’t able to complete her task. That paddle would surely be redecorating her bottom almost as soon as she said it. Fiercely Jennifer focussed her mind on the conundrum. Nearly half an hour had passed before she knew she was beaten. It was time to bite the bullet. “I’m sorry ma-am but I just can’t do this!”
“Are you confessing failure Jennifer?”
“I… I don’t know ma-am. I… I just don’t seem to be able to work out the solution.”
“I shall be very displeased Jennifer if you tell me that you are incapable of doing something.”
“I’ll try some more ma-am.” For another quarter of an hour Jennifer wrestled with the puzzle but it was hopeless. Finally she decided to take her desserts. “Ma-am this can’t be done. It’s impossible! No matter what I do it just won’t come out!”
“That is the correct answer Jennifer. The puzzle is impossible.” Rachel consulted her stopwatch. “It has taken you forty seven minutes to tell me this. Would you please explain why you have been so tardy?”
Jennifer gulped. “Well I thought it was impossible before but you told me to find a solution.”
“At what point did you believe the puzzle to be impossible?”
“I’m not sure. After about twenty minutes I suppose.”
“So now! Correct me if I’m wrong but for another twenty seven minutes you persisted with a problem you already knew to be impossible?”
“Well…. Yes ma-am.”
“Well you told me to find a solution so I thought there must be one.”
“Am I correct in thinking that you were too afraid to tell me that the task I set you was impossible?”
“So for another twenty seven minutes you attempted to do the impossible because you lacked the conviction to state it. In fact you wasted my time and your own through cowardice! You were too pusillanimous to stand up and declare that the problem had no solution!”
“Y.. yes ma-am.” Jennifer’s voice was very small.
“That’s not good enough Jennifer! There is not the slightest reason for possessing a brain if you lack the courage to use it! Where would human progress be if every time somebody came up with a solution to a problem it was never utilised because the person in question was too frightened to tell anybody about it? There is such a thing as intellectual courage too! The courage to articulate what your brain tells you to be the truth.” Rachel pointed to Jennifer’s paper “Even if you were wrong Jennifer it would be immaterial. I would not have punished you for a false solution. I will however punish you for your failure in integrity for your own convictions!” Rachel picked up the paddle and rose to her feet. “Please bend over the end of the table!”
Then there was the test with the marbles. Rachel gave Jennifer a cloth bag full of one hundred marbles and a large earthenware mug. With these objects in her hands Jennifer was instructed to go into an adjoining chamber. “This exercise will test your sense of spatial awareness Jennifer. Place the mug on the floor in the middle of the chamber. When you have done that I want you to stand at arms length from the mug, close your eyes, turn around three times and then, with your eyes still closed attempt to drop the marbles into the mug. You are not allowed to open your eyes for an instant until you have used all the marbles in the bag. I shall be waiting in the dining chamber. When you’ve used all the marbles bring the mug to me and I shall count how many marbles you actually managed to drop in it. If I consider that your total is unsatisfactory you will be caned. Do you understand your instructions?”
It was another task that was apparently uncomplicated but with her eyes closed and after turning around Jennifer realised that she really had no idea where the wretched mug was. She tried to do it by sound. The marbles dropping on the stone floor would sound different from one that fell in the mug she thought but however many she dropped they all had the same ring as they hit the stone floor. She could hear her wayward misses rolling away across the floor. She tried to adjust her position and find the mug by random chance. If she got one in then she hoped that, having found the length, she would be able to drop a good proportion of the rest in. But they still all sounded the same! Only once did a marble seem to have a little different a tone to it as it fell but she was not sure and the next one bounced away, she could hear it rattling away across the chamber. Jennifer knew she was failing badly. Her bottom clenched in anticipation of the caning and she was nearly weeping with fear and frustration. Finally she reached the last marble. By now she was resigned to her fate. She didn’t seem to be able to do anything right! With little remaining hope she opened her eyes. The evidence of her abject failure was s**ttered all over the chamber. When she picked up the mug she discovered a solitary marble reclining within. It was a total disaster! Wearily she picked up her mug and walked back to the dining chamber to face the music. Rachel was sat at the long table reading through the notes she was making on Jennifer’s progress. There was a long cane on the table.
“So Jennifer how have you done?”
“Not very well ma-am!” Miserably Jennifer held out the mug for Rachel’s examination. Rachel’s eyebrows lifted in sardonic amusement.
“Only one Jennifer? You’re not very good at this are you?”
“N… no ma-am!”
Rachel made a note on her pad. “Excellent! We’ll proceed to the next task now.”
“But what Jennifer?”
“Aren’t you going to cane me?”
“Whatever for? You passed that test with flying colours. I’m very pleased with you!”
“But I only got one marble in!”
“I’m surprised that you got that many! It must have been a fluke!”
Jennifer was bewildered. “But what was the point then ma-am?”
Rachel chuckled deeply. “Oh Jenny! You’re not being very bright are you? I wasn’t present was I? At any time you could have opened your eyes. You could have even picked up the marbles at the end and filled your mug with them! But you didn’t! You remained obedient and, more importantly, honest! This single marble is a testimony to your integrity. It’s difficult enough to drop those marbles into the mug with your eyes open! With them closed it’s bl**dy near impossible!” Rachel picked up the mug and shook it “If you’d brought this mug back to me full of marbles then right now you’d be bending over for the cane! I couldn’t give a monkey’s toss about your spatial abilities Jennifer. What I do care about is the moral integrity of your character! I’m very pleased with you.” Jennifer blinked in astonishment. It was that kind of morning!
By lunchtime it was a much wiser Jennifer that faced Rachel at the end of her last task. She was beginning to see the point of all the multitude of apparently trivial tests she had been set. Rachel had been examining her character in depth and it was a sobering insight. She had managed to survive the morning with just a couple of punishments with the paddle. Both of those had been earned for an excess of timidity and it was plain that Rachel was beginning to identify this as Jennifer’s most obvious failing. Rachel was however satisfied that Jennifer’s innate sense of honesty and decency allowed her on occasion to overcome the frailty of her courage. Rachel was pleased with her protégé. It was time to reward her charge.
“Well generally I’ve been pretty pleased with your progress Jennifer.” she told her “So as a concession, you’re allowed to take luncheon out in the garden. Jennifer was delighted. There was sunlight pouring through the skylight of the dining chamber and the prospect of spending an hour in the open air under its warming balm was sheer pleasure. The tiny little walled garden that they reached by way of the steps from the cellar was lovely and it was clear why it was such a favourite of Rachel’s. The little fountain and the statue of the Goddess were as Rachel had described them and the flowerbeds and bushes were ablaze with sweetly scented flowers. Butterflies danced about the flowers and there was an extraordinary insect that Jennifer had never seen before. It was like a great bee darting and hovering on whirring wings in front of the flowers and dipping an enormously long proboscis into then to suck out the nectar. Rachel saw her watching the creature in fascination and smiled “It’s a Hummingbird Hawkmoth Jennifer. We get quite a few of them in the late summer most years. They migrate here from the continent.” Two trees hung over the wall at one end of the garden providing shade and perches for the songbirds that serenaded them during their light luncheon. Jennifer also discovered that the trees provided a route into the garden for the red squirrels, which were unbelievably tame. These hyperactive little creatures skipped along the walls to drop into the garden and even scamper up their table to beg pieces of fruit and bread. Rachel warned Jennifer not to let them climb up onto her lap for they ate naked and squirrels, Rachel told her, have very sharp claws.
Sebastian served them as usual but he begged leave to excuse himself from attending to them for the afternoon. “I do hope that you will be able to manage by yourselves my ladies. I do however have pressing duties requiring my attention this afternoon.”
“That’s all right Sebastian. I’m sure we’ll get by.” Rachel reassured him.
“And will you be able to attend to Miss Jennifer’s requirements Miss Rachel. I wouldn’t wish you to be over exerting yourself.”
“Oh that’ll be fine Sebastian. I’m only a little over three months pregnant and I’m sure that I can administer Jennifer’s whipping without due stress.”
“My…..” Jennifer began. Then she shut her mouth quickly.
“Sorry Jenny?” asked Rachel “You were going to say something?”
Jennifer shook her head vigorously. “N… no.”
“Good!” Rachel noted. “Yes do carry on Sebastian. I have chores of my own this evening so I wonder if we could dine a little earlier tonight?”
“Yes Miss Rachel. Would about half past six be convenient?”
“Then if you’ll excuse me ladies?” Sebastian left them alone in the garden.
Rachel turned to Jennifer “You’re rather quiet Jennifer.”
“I’m sorry ma-am!”
“Are you frightened of being whipped Jenny?”
Jennifer bit her lip “I…I’ll d… do my best ma-am.”
Rachel regarded the trembling girl compassionately. “Jenny you’ve been whipped before. We go through the pain to the peace beyond. I know it seems cruel but we carry the Goddess and the Goddess must be tamed. You’re a slave Jennifer! Slaves get beaten Jenny. You’ll never find harmony in your servitude until you accept that your submission to the lash of your Mistress is the necessary price of your slavery. You will learn to accept your whippings as the sign of your Mistress’s love and concern for you. When the pain of the whip is as sweet as the caress of a beloved then you will truly be a slave of the Purple Lady and a lady of the House of Mathom. Believe me! I know!”
“Yes ma-am.” whispered Jennifer miserably.
“Come now! If you’ve finished eating we can begin. I’ll show you the whipping chamber we have prepared for you.” Jennifer followed Rachel into a large chamber she had not seen before. In the centre of the chamber was a long, narrow, rough wooden bench perhaps two feet high. It had ropes attached to its trestle legs. “This is a birching bank.” Rachel told her. “It was a commonly used item of furniture for the administration of punishment in rural Russia so I believe. Would you lie face down along it please Jennifer?” Jennifer obeyed fearfully. The bench was just a little wider than her hips and the hard wood chafed against her naked body. Rachel pulled her arms down below the bench and secured her wrist cuffs to the ropes on the front legs. Jennifer was blinking back tears already and her ordeal had barely begun. She cringed as Rachel straightened her legs and passed a rope from the back legs of the bench, looping it through the rings of her ankle cuffs, pulling it tight and stretching Jennifer’s body along the bench. Rachel was taking great care over Jennifer’s bonds securing her firmly in place but making sure that the circulation to her hands and feet was not obstructed. As a final preparation she took a length of rope and tightened it twice around Jennifer’s waist and the bench, firmly securing her stomach against the wood. This elaborate binding of her to the birching bank terrified Jennifer and she looked over her shoulder fearfully as Rachel walked over to an alcove in the wall. She could just make out a dreadful array of instruments hanging from hooks there, whips, canes, leather straps and birch twigs. Rachel perused the selection at some length before coming to a decision. She lifted down a long thin switch and bent it thoughtfully in her hands. Satisfied she returned to the quivering, prostrate figure of her pupil on the bench and addressed her.
“You’re to receive fifty strokes Jennifer. At least I hope you will receive fifty! You may receive more. That will all depend on your comportment of course.” Jennifer wriggled futilely in her bonds horrified at the thought of fifty strokes with the evil looking switch. “It’s not the slightest use squirming Jennifer. You’re securely held and you will take the fifty strokes! You just have to accept it Jennifer. It will hurt and make your bottom swell but there is nothing you can do about it so you must just get on with it. It will be far less an ordeal if you don’t try to fight it. There will be an end to it and only by suffering through to the end of it will you obtain relief and perhaps a semblance of harmony. Do you understand?” Jennifer could find no words and managed only a pitiful nod. “Very well then! I’ll begin.”
Rachel raised the switch above her shoulder and Jennifer closed her eyes in dread anticipation. Her head flew up in shock as the switch lashed across the orbs of her seat. She was still gasping from the sudden searing pain of it when a second blow impacted on her. Rachel methodically worked the switch over her buttocks and the chamber began to echo to Jennifer’s screams. After ten strokes Rachel walked around to the other side of the bench and belaboured the target from the opposite side so that no part of Jennifer’s bottom would escape the attention of the lash. The pain was frightful and Jennifer howled in fever, struggling against the securing ropes. After twenty strokes Rachel returned to the other side and raised the switch. Jennifer lost all remaining control and began to beg, “Please ma-am no! Please! No more I beg! Don’t hit me again ma-am! Stop it! Please stop it! I’m begging you!”
Rachel lowered the switch looking disappointed. “As you wish Jennifer. I shall stop. For the moment.” She walked back to the alcove and hung the switch back up on its peg. Returning to Jennifer she looked down at the weeping young woman sadly. “I have told you that you must take fifty strokes Jennifer. Whether now or later is immaterial to me. I shall leave you alone now. In one hour I shall return and start again…. from scratch! If you beg me to stop once more then I shall and come back an hour later to recommence. I will continue to do that until you take the whole fifty in one session. If it takes all night then so be it. When you are able to take your full whipping without this derisible c***dish bleating then I will consider releasing you!” Rachel turned and strode from the chamber leaving Jennifer weeping pathetically in her wake.
The hour that followed seemed one of the longest in Jennifer’s life. For a long time she merely lay there crying. She wondered how Rachel could be so kind and gentle one moment and so harsh and cruel the next. She wanted to appeal to Rachel’s kindness. She harboured a fantasy of beating her forehead on the wooden bench until it bled or she lost consciousness. Surely then Rachel would take pity on her! Even in her distressed state however she realised how irrational it was to harm herself in order to avoid further pain. She wanted the sweet woman that had caressed her so lovingly in the dark enchantment of their cellar the night before not this implacable stern creature who so cruelly beat her. Slowly, by increments, she began to realise that the way to that caring lover was through the torment of her other persona. Rachel had talked about the candy and the stick. If she would taste the candy she must first partake of the stick. It was only fifty strokes! That would be an end to it! There was the promise of sweetness and love beyond it. Jennifer began to recover her calm. It was only pain wasn’t it? It was only a fleeting few minutes of agony in exchange for a loving that could last a lifetime. Didn’t she want Rachel to look in her eyes with that shine that told her how proud she was of her? Weren’t a single caress and a benevolent kiss worth all the strokes Rachel could inflict on her? And what of her Mistress upstairs? Oh yes she was her Mistress all right! Jennifer saw the purple eyes gazing into her soul, remembering the joy that she’d felt when her Mistress took her for her own. She recalled the lesson she had learned at her Mistress’s hands; the lesson that it was far better to endure a temporary pain than face the unutterable agony of being exiled from her Mistress’s favour. It was only fifty strokes! She gritted her teeth. She would scream the cellars down perhaps but she would not beg for mercy again. A great calm descended on her with her resolve. By the time that Rachel returned to the cellar Jennifer had achieved a serenity of acceptance.
Rachel saw it immediately and exulted in triumph beneath her stern exterior. What a girl c***d of the Goddess this was! Almost trembling with relief Rachel took down the switch once more and whipped Jennifer with it… fifty times. When she had finished Jennifer’s bottom was a tormented relief of raised, angry red weals with flecks of bl**d on them and Jennifer lay limp, weeping softly but not a word of pleading had escaped her lips. In such terms was victory of the spirit measured in the cellars of Mathom Hall. Rachel knelt by Jennifer’s head and stroked her hair. “Lie still for a few minutes Jenny. I just have to fetch something. I’ll be right back.” When she returned she was carrying a book. Gently she released Jennifer’s hands and rubbed her wrists to ensure that the bl**d flowed freely to her hands. “Are you alright Jenny?”
“Yes ma-am.” The voice was soft and Jennifer brushed tears from her eyes.
“”Well done! I’m going to leave you now for two hours. I have things to do and so do you!” Rachel placed the book in front of Jennifer. It was “The Art of War” from Jennifer’s handbag. “I’ve released your hands so that you can read Jennifer. Your Mistress wants you up to scratch on this book and you have an essay to write on it. You have two hours to read through it. It shouldn’t be difficult. It’s only a slim volume. I want you to examine some of the points in the book and see how they might be applicable to you in your own life. Consider it as a philosophy of life, the art of war as an allegory for everyday existence. This evening you’ll be making some notes on it for your essay but when I return in two hours I expect you to be able to discuss the book intelligently at least from a preliminary viewpoint. I shall be questioning you on it on my return. If I feel that you have not put a reasonable effort into reading it I shall whip you again!” Jennifer moaned in despair although, had she known it, Rachel’s threat was a hollow one. Rachel had not the slightest intention of beating her again and neither did she believe that it would be necessary. She felt certain that Jennifer would apply herself to her task. She left the chamber thanking the Goddess that she wouldn’t have to beat her beloved pupil once more this day.
For long minutes Jennifer stared through a haze of tears at the book. It seemed that there was no respite after all. At least her hands were free! She could possibly reach down and untie the rest of her bonds. Free her self completely! Then what would she do? Run away? Run naked back to the village? She lay along the birching bank and knew that there were tighter bonds confining her now than the ropes about her waist and ankles. But she could free them. She could read! She could untie the knots of her torment with the words written by a man over two thousand years ago. The pain in her bottom was ebbing as she opened the book. There were three long black hairs coiled within the page. Three black hairs she had covertly taken from her Mistress’s head resting on the strange words “The commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.” Very soon Jennifer was engrossed.