Amanda wiped the rich Minnesota soil from her hands and surveyed her sister's flower garden. Zinnias and marigolds were already popping up into the May sunshine. Amanda was satisfied by a good afternoon's work among the seedlings Carol had lovingly started weeks ago. It was warmer than usual this year, Amanda thought. Hotter than back East. But Amanda was very glad she had accepted her sister's invitation to visit with her and Jason and the kids.
The kids! Cindy, the younger Stafford child, was still in school and Amanda had promised to pick her up while Carol shopped for groceries. Amanda looked at her watch. Half past two! She'd better get going. She looked over her outfit. She had on a very brief pair of white shorts and a bright red sleeveless top. It wasn't that she wanted to traipse through the hallowed halls of the Henderson School for Girls dressed like this, but she really didn't have time to change. They would understand.
Amanda parked her Escort under a Scotch pine behind the school library. She had hoped to see Cindy among the knots of girls walking toward the huge wrought iron gates of the school, but evidently the younger students were not permitted the liberty of such free exit. Amanda walked toward what looked like a side entrance.
"Young lady, where are you going?"
Amanda was twenty-four, almost finished her graduate work in sociology, and she was not used to being addressed as "young lady." She turned to find an older woman, a teacher perhaps, peering at her through old-fashioned pince-nez lenses.
"I was looking for Miss Norman's third grade class. I'm here to pick up Cindy Stafford."
"Not looking like that, I'm afraid. This is a private school, young lady, and we have strict rules of dress."
"I just need to pick up my niece. I'll only be a minute," Amanda replied, a little heatedly.
"It's out of the question. You cannot go through the halls looking as you do. It will set a bad example. My name is Miss Harper. I'll lead you to the office and you can wait until Cindy is called. Please follow me."
The woman turned and started down the hall. Amanda felt that she had in some way triumphed, until she suddenly considered that she was being conducted along like some miscreant schoolgirl.
Miss Harper opened a door at the end of the hall marked "Administration." Beneath was the inscription: "Dr. Olivia Bannister, Headmistress." Miss Harper turned to Amanda and said, "Please wait here. I'll bring Cindy to the office."
Amanda stepped in and a gray-haired secretary looked up from her desk. She could not suppress a look of surprise tinged with amusement.
"Are you here to see the Headmistress?"
Amanda could imagine the "...looking like that?" which belonged at the end of the question.
"No. Miss Harper insisted I wait here while she fetched my niece," replied Amanda in what she hoped was a civil tone of voice. Miss Harper--! Miss Busybody was more like it! She took a seat on a row of wooden chairs placed along the wall.
Boy, sighed Amanda, I lose track of time and look what happens. How do I wind up in these situations? Oh, well, Cindy will be here any minute and we can get out of here. Feeling the cool of the wood on the back of her bare thighs made Amanda very self-conscious.
Just then the door to the office opened and in walked a vigorous woman of about forty years. She was tall and imposing, with dark, piercing brown eyes and an attractive frankness of expression. She wore a pencil skirt of summer-weight wool and an elegant crepe blouse adorned with a brooch. Her long auburn hair was piled neatly atop her head. She had about her an air of quiet command.
Amanda felt herself shrink a little under her gaze. This, no doubt, was the Headmistress.
"And what have we here?" the Headmistress queried.
"I-I'm here to pick up my niece," Amanda stammered.
"I'm Dr. Bannister, the Headmistress. I think I should tell you, that we have certain rules of dress here that pertain to everyone who comes into the school. And your dress certainly does not meet standards."
"Well, if you would simply allow me to get my neice, I will be glad to be out of here," replied Amanda icily.
Dr. Bannister looked down at her for what seemed to be ages.
"Young lady, you and I need to have a talk."
The office of the Headmistress was cool and quiet. It was more home-like, Amanda thought. She noted a formal yet comfortable-looking sofa with end tables along the far wall as she took a seat in one of two straight-backed chairs facing Dr. Bannister's polished mahogany desk.
Why, oh why, hadn't she slipped on a skirt before she left the house? Oh, well. Amanda resigned herself to a talking-to, but she certainly wasn't going to sit still for much. She would listen politely and then have her say.
It was quite a scolding, no doubt about it. Amanda couldn't get a word in. Dr. Bannister was emphatic about the need for good example. The dress code must be followed at all times. And look at the situation Amanda had put her in: if she simply allowed Amanda to take Cindy home, then anyone could show up wearing anything they pleased, as long as they were in the school for only a few minutes. The school might as well have no dress code at all. The students could show up in jeans! But what bothered Dr. Bannister the most was Amanda's uncooperative attitude and lack of respect.
Amanda was stung. But still, she felt she had to plead her case. She was in a hurry this afternoon, that's all. She had lost track of time. Was that so terrible? And maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the students did show up in jeans! She wouldn't be talked to like this - she was not a schoolgirl! She was a busy graduate student on vacation and she wasn't going to allow some silly rule to spoil her time off!
Amanda finished her tirade, furious, and folded her arms. Dr. Bannister gazed at her steadily. Then she spoke.
"I will not allow you to take that attitude, nor use that tone of voice with me, Amanda. Perhaps it's not a vacation you need. Perhaps what you need is a good spanking."
Amanda gave a little laugh. "Really, Doctor," Amanda said, then her voice trailed off. The expression on Dr. Bannister's face was not one of levity.
"Yes, Miss?" asked the Headmistress. "Do you think yourself too old for a paddling? It's quite within my line of work, you know. You wouldn't be the first young lady to go across my knee and have her bottom warmed."
Amanda was momentarily taken aback by Dr. Bannister's words. It should have occurred to her that this woman was capable of administering such punishment, but unthinkingly Amanda let her temper get her even deeper into trouble.
"You petty tyrant, you wouldn't dare!"
The Headmistress remained calm.
"This is not a petty affair, Amanda, believe me. Though you are of mature years, you are lacking in discipline and comportment. You shall receive a paddling for your intemperate behavior, and I shall give it to you."
There was no edge at all in Dr. Bannister's voice. She had seen many feminine outbursts before, and she would handle this one as she always did, without losing her composure.
"Really, Doctor, can we not discuss this some other time? Cindy and I have got to be going." Amanda hoped the whole business would be instantly forgotten.
"Certainly, my door is always open for a discussion later," said Dr. Bannister, "but this afternoon-- you have a spanking coming."
She arose and went to the door. Opening it part way, she asked the secretary to see to it that they were not disturbed "for the next several minutes." Then she turned and looked at Amanda.
"Well, are we ready?"
Amanda could hardly think at all. She had always feared corporal punishment. In fact, she had never been spanked as a child. The one time she had been threatened with a spanking she had lied her way out of it. Was she now to get the paddling she deserved then?
Perhaps she could just leave. Just march out the door. And be thought a coward?
"Don't dawdle, dear. It's usually better to get it over with quickly."
Dr. Bannister walked toward the sofa. Before she sat down she went to an end table, and, opening the drawer, took out a handy little leathern paddle.
Oh, good gracious, I am really, really going to get it, thought Amanda. Should she plead? Would tears save her?
"Dr. Bannister, you're right, I'm sorry we had this argument..."
Dr. Bannister cut her short.
"I can see, Amanda, that you've not yet made up your mind that you're to be punished. I suggest you do so, because you are going to be spanked. Now, take off those shorts, and come here across my knee. You may keep your panties on."
It was with some effort that Amanda kept back the tears. She couldn't believe this was happening to her, but she resigned herself to her fate.
Slowly, she did as she was told. She slipped off her shorts and put them aside. Automatically she assured herself that her panties were completely covering the cheeks of her buttocks. They were a pair of white silk panties, perfect for warmer weather. They were, Amanda thought suddenly, very sheer. Amanda felt very exposed. She stood shyly before the Headmistress, hands crossed behind her.
Dr. Bannister simply held out her hand and said, "Come now, child." Amanda closed her eyes and took a deep breath. As she stepped toward the sofa she bent herself over Dr. Bannister's lap. She felt the slight scratchiness of a wool skirt under her thighs as Dr. Bannister grasped her firmly about the waist. Amanda now knew for sure there would be no reprieve. She turned her head, but could catch only a glimpse of her upturned buttocks. Amanda fervently hoped it wouldn't hurt too much. Her bottom felt cool and defenseless, tingling with anticipation of the first blow.
But, oh, it did hurt! Each spank stung and sounded loudly on her poor bottom. Amanda tried to be brave, but she just couldn't bear the smarting. After about a dozen spanks, she began to wiggle around, vainly trying to escape the paddle.
"Amanda, the more you squirm, the longer this spanking will be. Now be still!"
Amanda swallowed hard. No angry retort came to mind now.
"Yes, ma'am," she quavered meekly.
Dr. Bannister resumed, administering another series of swats. Amanda felt her buttocks quiver under each stinging smack. She did better this time, but as her bottom grew hotter and hotter, each spank hurt all the more! She felt herself at wit's end when Dr. Bannister spoke again, in a soothing and encouraging tone.
"First spankings can be so hard, Amanda, and yours is not over yet. I will just remind you that it's no shame being spanked, even at your age. The real shame is bad behavior that goes uncorrected."
First spanking? How did Dr. Bannister know? Was her lack of discipline so obvious to everyone? Humiliating as it was, Amanda resolved to persevere to the end of her punishment.
Dr. Bannister decided on ten more swats to each cheek for good measure, firmly applied. Finally, it was over.
"You can get up now, Amanda."
Dr. Bannister released her grip but Amanda just lay still, feeling the sharp warmth in her bottom, as tears rolled from her eyes.
"You were very brave, child. How do you feel?"
"I'm OK, ma'am." Amanda got up a bit shakily, relieved it was over, but she was proud that she had been called brave.
"In fact," she smiled, "I'm better than when I came in. Oh, Dr. Bannister, I'm almost glad you spanked me. And I'm really sorry about how dreadfully I acted towards everyone, including you."
"All's forgiven, and forgotten, dear."
With that, Dr. Bannister gathered Amanda in her arms and gave her a big hug.
"Now I think you'd better get back into your clothes, and together we'll get Cindy. I'm not such an old meanie, you know. Do come to visit again before you leave."
Amanda managed a grin.
"Properly dressed?" she asked mischievously.
"Properly dressed," replied the Headmistress.
[Photo by lavilleautady at flickr.com]