Rebecca closed her locker, and looked anxiously up at the clock as it struck noon. In only ten minutes she was expected in the dean’s office, and typically a summons to see the dean only meant one thing. She looked dejectedly at the piece of paper in her hand. It was marked with her Calculus teacher’s sloppy red ink, detailing her crime, as well as the time, and date of her dreadful appointment.
Her legs felt like cement, almost dragging along as she turned and began the long walk to see Mrs. Fletcher. The paper was becoming crinkled from the moisture now collecting on her palms.
How could this have happened? she thought to herself. Did I make enemies with the wrong person? Was there a locker mix up with another student? It didn’t make any sense! The mystery consumed her as she walked, then just as she approached the door, it dawned on her, so suddenly and so clearly that she muttered underneath her breath as the thought occurred.
“Mark!! That little son of a bitch!”
Just then, the door opened. It was Rebecca’s classmate from Calculus who apparently was in some trouble as well. Mr. Derksen was on a vindictive streak, handing out pink slips like they were candy, and sending student after student off to their doom. At least that’s how it seemed to her. She couldn’t blame him completely. Most of her fellow seniors had been on their worst behavior lately, many of them having turned 18 and feeling penned in by the constraints of small town high school life. But Rebecca had always been a good girl. She was a straight A student, sang in her church choir, was active in her school, and had never once been summoned to the dean’s office. She had always done her best to avoid getting into trouble, especially since she knew that Mrs. Fletcher was a harsh disciplinarian. Her classmates had told plenty of stories about the punishments they had received. Now she feared she might have a story of her own.
Rebecca couldn’t help but notice that the girl’s eyes were red, and her normal bubbly demeanor had become sullen. The two looked at each other in knowing silence as the girl passed her. Rebecca’s heart sank knowing that she might be suffering the same fate in only a moment.
Outside the dean’s office the receptionist was sitting in her chair, furiously typing away at her computer. Mrs. Fletcher’s office door was open. As Rebecca walked in the woman looked up from her screen with a forced smile.
“Hi, are you Miss Downing?” she asked. Her tone was gentle and sympathetic.
“Yes,” Rebecca replied, stiff as a board.
“The dean will see you now. Go ahead and walk right in.”
Rebecca swallowed hard and timidly approached the open door way ahead of her. She entered to find Mrs. Fletcher, a blonde haired woman, not yet middle-aged, dressed in a red sweater, calmly seated at her desk. In the middle of the desk were a few items, hidden beneath a large white piece of paper.
“Have a seat Miss Downing, and shut the door please,” said the dean matter of factly.
Rebecca hesitated. She felt weak in the knees, and knew that sitting down would only take her one step closer to feeling Mrs. Fletcher’s infamous wrath.
“I said, have a seat Miss Downing!” she said with a tinge of impatience. Her drawl seemed to grow thicker as she raised her voice. Rebecca gulped, and obeyed. She sat gingerly in the seat across from the dean’s desk, and placed her hands in her lap.
“Thank you,” said the dean. “Now you have been called in today because during inspections this was found in your locker.” She reached underneath the large paper and produced a pack of cigarettes, already opened, but otherwise unused.
“Those aren’t mine Mrs. Fletcher! I promise!” Rebecca blurted out. “I don’t know how they got there!”
Mrs. Fletcher shook her head. “Stop that right now. Do you have any idea how many students tell me that exact thing when they’re caught acting up? I would hardly discipline anyone if I believed even half of them. You, and the other 30 members of your class have been acting atrociously this year, and I am fed up with it. You think that because you’re 18, and one of the prettiest girls in the school that you can do what you want and get away with it. Well today, I plan on providing you with a wake up call.”
Rebecca looked down at the carpet as a small smile formed on her lips. Did she just say I was one of the prettiest girl’s in the school? she thought to herself. That thought had never occurred to her. She did get a fair amount of attention from the boys, but she assumed that high school boys lust after anything that moves. And besides, she often thought, boys these days like blonde skinny girls who wear short shorts, and bare their midriffs. Hers was a classic beauty if anything – a curved figure, and modest style of dress. Plus, she was a brunette with brown eyes, which she assumed was rather boring.
“Rebecca Downing. Look at me when I’m speaking to you,” Mrs. Fletcher commanded, interrupting her tangent of thought. The girl looked up, and saw that the paper had been removed completely. Now on her desk were only three items: the box of cigarettes, a brown leather strap, and a wooden paddle. Her heart began to race. Her fears had been confirmed.
“I have decided that your behavior warrants corporal punishment,” the dean announced. “Do you have any questions about that?”
“No,” the girl replied in a meek voice. She was doing her best to keep eye contact with the dean, but her eyes continually darted down to the items on the desk.
“Well, Miss Downing, here’s what will happen now. As you can see I have both a paddle, and a strap here. The paddle is what I typically use, however since you have chosen to wear a long skirt with a thin material, I think it’s only fair to warn you that the paddle will be worse for you than it would be if you were wearing shorts, or pants. So I will give you the option of taking the strap, or the pad’.”
“I’ll take the strap,” said Rebecca without hesitation.
“Wait,” said the Dean. “Before you make up your mind, I will require you to lift your skirt for the strap.”
Rebecca thought about it for a moment. Lifting her skirt for a spanking wasn’t unfamiliar to her. Growing up in Tennessee, such punishments were commonplace in her home, and in fact in her neighborhood—even for girl’s her age. She had received a spanking from her mother only a few months prior for slapping Mark across the face during an argument. The memory was still fresh in her mind: having to reach down to her calves and pull up her dress, exposing her panties for 10 hard smacks with her father’s old leather belt. And then that sting! God, she hoped it wasn’t any worse than that. But still, it couldn’t be as bad as the paddle, she thought.
“Understood, ma’am,” said Rebecca with resignation. “I’ll take the strap.” Just saying those words again, now knowing exactly what their consequences would be sent a shiver through her body.
“The strap it is, then,” the dean replied. She got up from her desk, picked up the strap and walked to the other side of the room. There was a small sofa, and an ex marked with red spike tape in the worn, gray carpet. “I would like you to come over here and stand right here on the red ex please.”
Rebecca got up from her chair, and walked to her place like a prisoner to the scaffold. She stood over the red ex , and faced the dean.
The dean’s voice was firm, but detached. “Face the wall miss Downing. Lift your dress, bend over, grab your ankles, and keep your legs straight.”
Rebecca winced at Mrs. Fletcher’s command, but knew better than to hesitate. She had heard the stories from her fellow students who had been sent to the dean’s office, and the message from them was always clear: once a spanking has been pronounced, the worst thing you can do is show any sign of disobedience. That would be sure to earn you an even worse punishment, or possibly and additional one at a later date.
Rebecca swallowed hard, and put on as brave a face as she could. She reached down, hiked up her skirt, bent forward and assumed the pose as instructed. Her pony tail draped over to one side, and she could feel the blood rush to her head. There was a sudden stillness. She could do nothing more than stare at her white vans, squeeze her ankles, and wait.
She felt the leather rest against her bottom. She grimaced and grit her teeth.
Suddenly a startling ring rang out from across the room. Rebecca flinched, and inhaled sharply before realizing that it was the telephone on Mrs. Fletcher’s desk. “Stay right there just as you are miss Downing,” said the dean.
She walked to her desk and picked up the phone. “Good afternoon this is Mrs. Fletcher.”
Rebecca could hear a woman’s voice on the other end of the line, but not well enough to hear a word of what was being said.
“Yes?” said Mrs. Fletcher into the phone.
“Yes, she’s here with me in my office. She’s about to be disciplined.”
The faint voice continued on. Rebecca was wildly curious as to who might be inquiring about her presence there. After a minute or so there was a sudden change in Mrs. Fletcher’s tone of voice.
“Ohhhhh! Is that a fact?” said the dean incredulously.
“Oh, well thank God you called me! I was just about to…well, hold on for a second.” Mrs. Fletcher rested the phone against her shoulder. “Miss Downing, come over here please, and sit down.”
Rebecca was all too delighted to obey at once. She stood up, and made her way to the chair. Mrs. Fletcher said goodbye and hung up the phone. She turned to the student, and looked at her sheepishly.
“I’m very, very sorry about this miss Downing, but I just received report that someone witnessed a boy putting cigarettes, and other contraband items into several of the girls’ personal belongings, including your locker. You’re free to go.”
Rebecca, still reeling from the humiliation of her close call with the strap, glared at her in silence.
“I know you’re upset, and again I’m very sorry,” said Mrs. Fletcher. “But I promise you, whoever did this will be receiving a paddling, and possibly one for every girl I disciplined today if I can arrange it.”
“I hope you do ma’am. I hope that that boy gets it good, and hard, whoever he is” said Rebecca in a cold vindictive tone. She thought of giving up her step-brother right then and there.
No, she thought. That would be letting him off easy. I have other plans for him.
She could hardly wait to see him at home.
To be continued…