Friday, June 4, 2010

The Cheater of Cedar Lake

The following story is something of a prologue for my soon to be released project titled, The Spanking Chronicles of Cedar Lake: For The General Assembly. Cedar Lake is a fictional college where all students live on campus and attend classes according to a rigid schedule. The college has some unusual disciplinary policies which even the best behaved students can occasionally run afoul. This short tale is only a small taste of the characters and atmosphere, but if you enjoy it, I am rather certain you will enjoy Kylie Langston’s full story. Look for it Monday, June 7, 2010.

We all began our tutelage at Cedar Lake in the same year. I never boarded during my primary or secondary educational years and I was apprehensive at the prospect of sharing living space. It was my good fortune to be assigned a room with two young women who shared my apprehension and the reason for it. Our similar origins made us fast friends from the very first night. In the days and weeks to come we shared everything and for most of that first year I was certain nothing would ever tear us apart.

It was a hot night with stale air near the end of Spring term and the three of us were cloistered in our room with only a small oscillating fan to provide the semblance of cooling. Laying on our beds, clad in nothing more than the bare necessities of undergarments, we flipped through our books and notes, preparing for the upcoming, final exams. The hour was getting late, soon to be lights out, and I was less than halfway through the material I needed to cover before morning. Frustrated, I sat up and yanked on the ends of my hairs, emitting a low growl.

Gabby said, “You’re going to be bald by the time we graduate.”

“If I don’t learn this stuff by morning, I might not ever make it to graduation in the first place,” I said.

Rachel shook her head at us and said, “You guys are seriously talking about graduation? It’s like three years away and that’s if we’re all really lucky.”

“Luck has got nothing to do with it,” Gabby said. “Besides, haven’t I told you, I’m on a three year plan.”

I rolled my eyes in disgust and said, “Yeah, you keep reminding us every chance you get.”

“I wouldn’t do that,” Gabby said.

Rachel laughed and I shook my head, smiling. Gabby pretended to be offended for another ten seconds before bursting out in laughter herself. She tossed a wadded up page of paper at me, boinking me in the forehead. I grabbed hold of my pillow and jumped the distance between our beds, knocking her down sideways onto her mattress.

Rachel said, “Hey! Watch the noise or we’re going to get in trouble again.”

“Lighten up,” Gabby said, “we’re just blowing off stress. You should try it sometime.”

“I’d rather not get a spanking the night before I have to spend three hours sitting through an English exam,” Rachel said.

“Are you sure?” I said, “I’ve heard a good spanking before exams can help one concentrate.”

“How is concentrating on how much my butt hurts, going to improve my grammar?” Rachel asked.

Gabby said, “By stopping you from over thinking everything.”

I took my pillow across the room to Rachel and plopped it against her bottom. She looked up at me with quizzical eyebrows. Gabby laughed and I said, “There, a spanking without the long term aftereffects. You should be all set and stress free.”

Rachel said, “I don’t think it’s working.”

I raised the pillow above my head and whacked her bottom again. Rachel blinked at me. I shrugged and repeated the process with a bit more enthusiasm. The pillow bounced up from her bottom after impact and I just followed through bringing it up and back down a few more times until my arms got tired. Rachel laughed at my effort until I stopped.

“Hey, don’t stop! I was just starting to feel nice and cool with all that breeze you were making,” Rachel said.

A knock on the door came as I was swinging the pillow one more time. Rachel rolled onto her side shaking her head between Gabby and me. Gabby shrugged and swung her feet onto the floor, intending to open the door. I tossed the pillow back on my bed and chewed on my lower lip.

Rachel said, “I told you we were going to get it.”

Gabby opened the door. A young woman with an administration badge on her blazer held a note in her hand. She said, “I’m looking for Gabriella Jones.”

“I’m Gabby.”

“The Dean has requested your presence straight away,” The woman said.

Gabby looked back at Rachel and I. We all shrugged. It was fairly unusual for the Dean to request to see anyone after hours. The only thing I could come up with was in the form of something urgent and personal to Gabby, like a family member taking ill. I did not want to be the one to say it and so I kept my thoughts to myself.

Gabby turned back to the messenger and said, “Do you think he’d mind if I got dressed first?”

The woman said, “He doesn’t like to be kept waiting, but I’m sure if you’re quick it will be fine.”

Gabby grabbed her discarded uniform from the floor. Five minutes later she was out the door looking like a professional college student. I sat down on my bed and picked up my papers to study. Rachel looked at her book for a moment and then snapped it closed and sat up on her bed.

She said, “What do you think is happening?”

I shrugged.

“Come on,” She said, “You were thinking something. I saw it in your eyes.”

I said, “I’m not wishing it or anything, but it’s got to be bad news.”

“Isn’t going to see the Dean always bad news?” Rachel asked.

I smiled and said, “Not on graduation day.”

“You think someone died?” She asked.

I nodded and said, “I hope not.”

It was long after lights out when Gabby returned. I woke to the sound of the door closing even though she tried to be quiet. She laid down on her bed without bothering to undress and a few moments later I heard the unmistakable sounds of crying. Her tears were muffled by a pillow and she obviously did not want us to know. I laid still in the dark, not wanting to disturb her and at the same time wanting to offer her some comfort. When her sobs subsided, I drifted off to sleep only to wake in the morning and find her gone.

After first lesson finals, the three of us arrived in the cafeteria and shared a table by the window overlooking the central lake. Gabby looked tired. We munched on a shared tray of french fries and pretended it was just a normal day. Once the initial rush into the cafeteria ended, Gabby leaned in closer to us and cleared her throat.

She asked, “Have you guys heard anything?”

“About what?” I asked.

Gabby said, “About me.”

Rachel and I shared a glance before shaking our heads.

“What happened last night?” Rachel asked.

Gabby said, “I met with the Dean.”

I said, “We know that part.”

“I wasn’t finished,” Gabby said. “I met with the Dean and he started asking me all kinds of questions about my grades.”

Rachel said, “Maybe you’re going to get an award.”

Gabby shook her head and said, “Not any kind that I’m interested in getting. He asked about my grades and then he started asking me random questions, like some sort of oral exam.”

“Did you pass?” Rachel asked.

“I said it was like an exam,” Gabby said shaking her head. “It wasn’t a pass or fail sort of thing. He just kept going with these questions, making my head spin, and then he tells me, I’ve been accused of cheating.”

“By whom?” I asked.

Gabby said, “He wouldn’t say. I told him I don’t cheat, that I never would and all, but then he tells me that I answered a few of his questions differently than I did on my tests. He considered that to be like some kind of indication the allegations are true. Like anyone remembers that kind of stuff months after they’ve taken the tests.”

“I do,” Rachel and I said together.

“Yeah, well you two are freaks of nature,” Gabby said.

“So you’re saying you didn’t cheat?” I asked.

Gabby frowned at me and said, “Come on Kylie, you know me. I would never cheat, no matter what. You both know that.”

“It doesn’t sound good,” Rachel said.

“It’s a disaster,” Gabby said, “They’re calling an official Inquiry into it because I’m refuting the charges.”

“Maybe you should just admit to it,” I said.

Gabby blinked at me and said, “You’re joking right? Cop to something I didn’t do just to avoid an official Inquiry? It’s not going to happen and I don’t think you’d do it either.”

I said, “Look, all I’m saying is you’ve already admitted you don’t remember some of the lessons and your response to the Dean’s questions are going to go against you at the Inquiry. It might be better to just admit to it and avoid the potentially devastating consequences of an Inquiry.”

Gabby said, “I didn’t do it. That has to count for something and as far as consequences go, we’re talking about cheating. Even if I said I did it, the Dean would not go light. I’d probably still get a general assembly.”

Rachel asked, “Can you prove you didn’t cheat?”

“How the hell am I supposed to do that? Could you prove you haven’t cheated?” Gabby asked.

“I wouldn’t need to prove it, my answers would be the same today as they were when I originally took the tests unless I was guessing in the first place,” Rachel said.

“Aren’t I entitled to a presumption of innocence?” Gabby asked.

I said, “This is a Cedar Lake Inquiry, not a court of law. Besides, they would not have accused you in the first place if there was not strong evidence against you. If you haven’t been cheating you need to prove it and if you have, you should come clean before the Inquiry.”

“I can’t believe you both think I would cheat,” Gabby said.

“We didn’t say that,” Rachel said.

Gabby shoved her chair back from the table and stood up. She glared at Rachel and I, clearly angry with us and then turned and stalked off. I glanced at Rachel and we shared a shrug. There was nothing we could really do to help Gabby, especially if she was going to insist on being innocent beyond all reason. I had never really thought much about it before, but her stellar results with minimal study time were more than a little suspicious.

It was not until after the Inquiry we spoke about it again. Rachel and I were waiting in our room, pretending to be busy studying, but with finals over and the Summer term yet to begin, there was nothing to really study. Gabby returned with tears streaming down her face. I was not surprised although I did hope she was going to be proven innocent. The facts had gone against her and for some reason she refused to admit what was blatantly obvious to everyone else; She had cheated.

“I’m sorry,” I said, offering her a box of tissues.

Rachel and I sat on opposite side of her, trying to offer some comfort.

Gabby looked at me and said, “No, you’re not sorry one bit. You think I’m as guilty as they say I am.”

Rachel said, “The evidence was not in your favor.”

“The system doesn’t work,” Gabby said. “I did everything right and they presented lies against me. The only way I could have won was to invent my own evidence in opposition.”

I said, “They would have seen right through it.”

“Then why didn’t they see through the other?” Gabby asked.

Rachel said, “You know it’s probably not too late. You could go to the Dean and apologize. He’s a reasonable man.”

Gabby scoffed and said, “You only think that because you’ve never faced him like I did. Besides, I won’t apologize for something I didn’t do. I don’t care what they do to me, it will never make me guilty and I’ll never be sorry for saying so.”

“If you aren’t guilty, then tell me how you can never study and get better grades than anyone else in the entire Freshmen class?” I asked.

Gabby shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I just do it and I’ll still be doing it next year because I’m not cheating and I can’t change who I am.”

Rachel said, “Nobody is asking you to change who you are, we’re just trying to understand how you can do what you do, how they could find answer keys in your private locker, and you can look us in the eyes and swear you didn’t cheat. Something doesn’t add up.”

“No kidding,” Gabby said, “The only answer is someone set me up, but I don’t know why, who, or how.”

“So it’s a conspiracy is it?” I asked standing up and moving away from her. “I suppose Rachel and I are your chief suspects too?”

“I never said that,” Gabby said.

“You might as well have,” I said. “No one else on campus would have sufficient access to do what you’re suggesting.”

Gabby looked at me and nodded saying, “Yeah, you’re right. Maybe it was you. You’ve always been jealous of my three year plan and you’re always whining about how long it takes you to learn stuff. I should have seen it before.”

Rachel said, “Maybe it’d be best if we all just calmed down a minute.”

“Nothing is going to change in a minute, an hour or a year,” I said. “Gabby is a cheater and rather than admit it and apologize for it, she’d rather blame us and everyone else.”

“I am not a cheater!” Gabby said, jumping to her feet and swinging her hand to slap me across the face.

The noise echoed in our room, punctuated by the silence that fell between us. I shook my head at her and fought back the tears threatening to slip from my eyes. We had been the best of friends, I had trusted her and she had betrayed all of that trust from the very start. Faced with the evidence, she chose blind refusal and pretended to believe someone was out to get her, perhaps even me. I thought of slapping her back, but escalating the situation would not penetrate her denial nor would it serve any good for either of us. Instead, I walked out the door.

I wandered out of the dorm and followed the walking path down to the lake. The air was still and steamy, bringing a sweat to my forehead. I walked the perimeter of the lake, listening to the sounds of birds rustling in the trees and ducks quacking on the water. In time my anger faded. Gabby was having a hard day and I had pushed a little too hard in my effort to help her admit the truth. Maybe I deserved the slap, even the accusation, but Gabby needed her own wake up call as well.

Lost in my musings, I nearly forgot my appointment in the administration office to go over my schedule for the next term. My watch said the meeting was in five minutes and I was on the wrong side of the lake to get there in less than twenty. Sprinting all the way, I had nearly made it to the administration building’s door when a whistle shrieked behind me.

An authoritative woman said, “Stop right there, young lady.”

I skidded to a stop an arms length from the door. Turning around I saw for certain she was talking to me. She approached, walking as if to illustrate what I had been doing wrong. I swallowed my nerves and smiled at her, hoping she would be the kind to accept a reasonable explanation.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was running--

She said, “Yes, you were and you look like you’ve been here long enough to know better.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I said. “I was late for my appointment.”

“You should have left earlier and then you would not be late,” She said.

“I lost track of time,” I said.

“Let’s go on inside and see if you’re late enough to avoid getting a spanking,” She said.

“I rather doubt I am, Ma’am,” I said.

She smiled and said, “As do I, but let’s just make certain. Who is your appointment with?”

“Professor Warner,” I said.

Together we walked inside the administration building and found Professor Warner, waiting in his office. He looked up when I knocked on his open door. The woman escorting me stepped inside and the two exchanged greetings. All eyes turned to me and I looked down at the floor, chewing on my lip as my escort explained about my running.

Professor Warner said, “Miss Langston, I am rather disappointed. You have been an exceptional student, but your recurring tardiness is simply unacceptable. I have half a mind to make you reschedule your appointment with me.”

I said, “I’m sorry, Sir. I’ll do whatever you require.”

“The first thing you’re going to do is get your little bottom spanked,” Professor Warner said.

I nodded. It was exactly what I expected, exactly what my escort expected. Two spankings at the same time, just what every girl dreams about. I looked between them and decided a joke was not a good idea to verbalize. She looked a bit more relaxed than Professor Warner, but neither of them were looking anything less than stern.

“Go and stand by the lockers over there,” She said, pointing to the wall opposite Professor Warner’s office.

I trailed over and was quickly followed by the pair of them. Professor Warner carried a leather paddle with him. The fortunate part was with the school between terms, there was no one around other than the three of us.

“Lean against the lockers, bottom out and lift that skirt out of the way,” Professor Warner said.

I obeyed without hesitation, baring my white panties for them to see. The first swat came almost instantly. She was apparently up first and her aim and technique were quite impressive. My bottom did not want to stay still from the start. She made every swat count with lots of sting and even more follow through. I think she was trying to wear a hole through my panties to get to my bare bottom. It would have been easier to lower them out of the way, but I guess that would have spoiled her fun.

After an even dozen, she stopped and gave Professor Warner his turn. I kept my hands against the locker and mostly kept my feet on the ground, but my bottom pretty much danced the entire space in between. He only gave a dozen himself. The problem was my bottom was already burning when he started so you can imagine the inferno blazing by the time he finished. After the last wallop, I was hopping up and down, holding my bottom like it might fall off. I realize there was no actual danger of bottom droppage, but with the heat and sting emanating from it, I was up for some creative, wishful thinking.

“Straighten up and compose yourself,” Professor Warner said, “You’re a college girl, act like it.”

Getting a hold of myself, I said, “Sorry, Sir. It just hurt.”

The woman said, “When people run on walk paths, someone always gets hurt. Remember that and be glad this time the only person getting hurt was you.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I said.

Professor Warner said, “Seeing as you were both late and running, I feel it is appropriate to take a small additional measure and I hope it gives you an extra reason to think about the things you have done wrong here to day. Remove your skirt and hand it to me. I will retain until tomorrow evening when you can reacquire it here provided you arrive, walking and on time.”

“Yes, Sir,” I said, looking at him before lowering my gaze and reaching around myself to unfasten my skirt.

It slipped away from my body and I quickly folded it before handing it to him.

“When you return tomorrow we will discuss your schedule and then you may have your skirt back. In the meantime, you are dismissed back to the dorm where I am certain your peers will want to know all about how you lost your skirt,” Professor Warner said.

He was right. There was not a chance of anyone seeing me and not wanting to know the story. I walked out of the administration building keeping my head low and forcing myself not to run despite the overwhelming desire to hide inside my room as quickly as possible. The white of my panties was like a reflector beacon on the path with the sun already set and the path lights flickering to life.

“What happened?” Gabby asked approaching me from the direction of the dorms.

I stopped on the path near her and said, “I was running late and running on top of it.”

“Professor Warner?” She asked and I nodded.

She asked, “How long did he take your skirt away for?”

“A day,” I said.

“That sucks,” She said.

“I’ll live,” I said. “It’s not like I didn’t do the crime.”

“Yeah, that always makes it easier to accept,” Gabby said. “I’m sorry about slapping you earlier. It was wrong and I was just mad. Not mad at you, just mad at how badly everything went.”

“It’s okay,” I said, “I wasn’t exactly being the comforting friend you needed.”

“Still friends?” She asked.

I nodded and said, “I’ll still be your friend even if you never admit what you did.”

The thin smile faded from her face and she said, “I didn’t do it and if you don’t believe me, I don’t need or want you as my friend.”

“Gabby, the evidence is plain as day,” I said.

“Believe what you want to believe,” She said, turning and walking away.

“It’s not what I want to believe,” I said to her back. “It’s the truth and sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with it.”

She kept walking away and never looked back. It was not the last time we spoke, we lived together for several more months, but it was the last time we met as friends. Gabby faced her general assembly and put it behind her without ever accepting her responsibility in it. Rachel tried to be a peacekeeper, tried to mediate our differences, and in the end she found as I did, Gabby had lost her way. When Gabby walked away, all I saw was the ending, but now I know it was really just the beginning.

9 comments:

François said...

Ashley,
I can’t believe you are running so many creative projects in parallel, from ‘Jessica’s Toil’ and ‘The Spanking Days of Summer’, to ‘The Retreat’, these new ‘Chronicles of Cedar Lake’ and the just-announced ‘TSCoCL:For the General Assembly’, in addition to the weekly treats of ‘Imagine the Stories’. Do you have a special muse holding your fingers on the keyboard? Do you happen to sleep? You are a prodigy
François

Paul said...

Ash, you may well be a prodigy, I wouldn't know.
What I do know is that you are a wonderful writer and have thoroughly whetted my appetite for Mondays' treat.
Warm hugs,
Paul.

Ashley J said...

François, I'm not really sure about what my muse is up to, but it works overtime. LOL. I usually have several stories floating in my head at once and it can get hard to decide what to work on and even harder to get to the end of any one project because I'm being pulled in so many different directions. Cedar Lake sprang itself on me just a little over a week ago and since then I've been pouring out 3 to 6 thousand words a day on it. The story took a few turns I was not expecting initially, but when inspiration strikes I tend to roll with it.

Paul, I wouldn't call myself a prodigy either. I do love to write and I think my technique is improving but I certainly would not suggest I have it all down as of yet. I'm just pleased what I turn out is so well received and enjoyed.

Hugs,
Ash

Anonymous said...

Ashley,

Are you still working on the Retreat? any update on when that will be ready?

François said...

Ashley,
Having complimented your talent I am curious to see how Cedar Lake will develop. The narrator sounds the confident, positive young woman of the type you introduced so convincingly in Quest Five, but I have reservations about school settings. The genre has serious limitations. The range of characters is restricted, and even more so that of punishments and embarrassments girls may suffer without the narrative losing all plausibility. How are you going to transcend these limitations? I am keen to read more.
François

Anonymous said...

An excellent story. Curious about how it develops.

Ronny

Ashley J said...

Anonymous, The Retreat was/has been delayed for awhile now. I still intend to finish it, but I cannot give an approximate date at the moment. I will mention more details in a coming post regarding the various projects I'm working on and their priority.

François, I love the question you've posed and I'm going to try to answer it in detail with an actual blog post rather than right here. Thank you.

Ronny, Thanks. While this story takes place prior to the events in TSCoCL: For the General Assembly it actually was written when the story was mostly complete. The Cheater of Cedar Lake visits an important event in Kylie's past that has some minor relevancy to her current troubles. It made for a great way to introduce the characters and provide a scene of interest to the larger story. I do however believe the more interesting and better developed tale is TSCoCL: For the General Assembly which I am finishing up with editing and preparing it for availability on Monday.

Rollin said...

If this is the very first installment in the school universe you have created, I'm left puzzled as to why there is a spanking right off the bat without any explanation or back story. When she is stopped for running why is the spanking the first thing that happens? Or am I missing something?

Ashley J said...

Rollin, I wouldn't characterize this so much as a first installment, but more as the back story to TSCoCL: For the General Assembly. The spanking scene here is about showing how the school handles even the most minor of infractions, but the main point of this story is how Kylie and Gabby ended their friendship.

Hugs,
Ash