Sally admired the wall. The chalky white surface was pitted with age, stained, damaged in its long past by flooding and yet still it stood. She longed to lean against it, feel its silent strength pressing back against her. Bare and cold, the wall reflected more than light and shadows. It had stories to tell, lessons in timeless endurance. Sally listened.
A dull aching pulsed from her knees. She remained unmoved and unmoving, kneeling on the pew. It was remarkably well preserved, hard and unforgiving. Her hands clenched on the back. The wood was smooth, waxy from years of pious polishing. Its faded stain gave testament to another life of untold endurance. Sally leaned forward on her palms redistributing her weight. The aching in her knees eased.
Her butt glowed with warmth. The skin prickled in the open air, begging for comfort and attention. Sally longed to hold the tender flesh in her palms, to rub away the discomfort. Tears trickled from the corners of her eyes, dampening her cheeks and splashing on the pew’s back between her hands. She focused on breathing, drowning her sorrow in the rhythm. The white wall offered reflection.
Sally had been warned. Miss Donovan was not known for her patience or second chances. The consequences were clear. A small leather paddle, oval in shape, rested in plain sight on her work table. Its purpose was indisputable.
She remembered being spanked. They were always fearful events to be avoided. Her father’s implement of choice was his belt, ripped from around his waist and doubled over for thudding spanks. She had learned to avoid those embarrassing bare bottom moments in private with her father. They had become distant memories, almost forgotten, but the sight of Miss Donovan’s paddle had reawakened them.
Sally had stared weak-kneed at the paddle on her day of arrival. Miss Donovan had looked her over, hands planted firmly on her hips. She spoke in harsh tones, grim and disapproving without any cause. “You’re an intern,” Miss Donovan said, “and that means I can’t dock your pay because you don’t get any. But, don’t think for a second that means I won’t hold you to your responsibilities.”
“I’m here to help and learn ma’am. I assure you I’ll do my very best for you,” Sally said. She forced herself to meet the daunting gaze of Miss Donovan. They were nearly equal in height and yet Sally felt as if she were looking high above herself.
Miss Donovan said, “Let’s hope your best efforts are sufficient to meet my standards because if they’re not, you’ll find my consequences for failure are swift and uncompromising.” Her gaze flickered to the paddle, leading Sally’s eyes back to it.
Sally gulped. “I understand.”
Miss Donovan wasted no more time on warnings or threats. She sent Sally to work in the pit, dismissing her with an indifferent wave of her hand. The pit had once been the site of a modest chapel. Natives had constructed it with the local resources of clay and straw at the behest of their Spaniard conquerors. It had fallen sometime in the latter years of the 19Th century during an earthquake. The earth had long since covered over the remains until a farmer had unburied a few remnants more than a century later. Miss Donovan had plans to restore the site to its former glory in the name of historical curiosity.
The work was slow and methodical. Sally brushed aside dirt and dust with a small, round brush, capturing it in a glass jar. It would be analyzed at length by those with the experience and knowledge to detect the valuable specs from the ordinary dirt. For Sally, it was a mind numbing task that let her thoughts wander. And they kept running back to the leather paddle. Miss Donovan’s vague threat toyed with her imagination. Sally’s ears and cheeks grew hot with embarrassment. She glanced guiltily around her wondering if anyone suspected the thoughts coursing through her mind.
In bed, she dreamed about the strangely alluring prospect of being punished by Miss Donovan and her paddle. The possibility teased her stomach with butterflies and knots she had almost forgotten. A spanking was punishment, shameful, humiliating, tormenting. It was to be avoided at all costs. And yet she wondered what it would be like from Miss Donovan.
A week slipped past. Sally’s work was adequate. Miss Donovan remained stern, uncompromising in her expectations, but Sally met them. The threat remained, the paddle was kept on the table in the open, and Sally stared at it every time she entered the room. It consumed her thoughts during the monotony of her work, filled her dreams with its taunting suggestion. Sally concluded the only way to free herself from it would be to submit herself to it. She took another week to mount the courage necessary.
The night before, she tossed and turned, twisting the sheets like the knots twisting in her stomach. Come morning, she stayed in bed until all chance of backing out was gone. She was late. Sally arrived at the pit, welcomed by embarrassed smiles and shaking heads. Miss Donovan caught her attention with a scowl. Without a word she pointed inside and turned her back, expecting Sally to obey the unspoken command.
Inside the room, Sally looked to the table for the paddle, but it was gone. Miss Donovan held it in her hand. Sally had expected a lecture. Miss Donovan saw no point. She would spank Sally, embarrass her, shame her, and Sally would either choose to stay and do better or leave for good. Miss Donovan would not coddle an adult no matter how foolish or immature their actions. There was the job, the expectations and there was discipline for failure. It was simple and pure.
Miss Donovan lifted the paddle, pointing out the pew at the back of the room. “Get undressed and kneel on the pew, facing the wall,” she said.
Sally gawked at Miss Donovan. “Undressed?”
Miss Donovan gazed coldly at Sally. “Undressed, naked, nude, in your birthday suit. Get to it or get out. You’ve wasted enough of my time already.”
Sally blushed all the way to the roots of her long dark hair. She considered fleeing the scene, never coming back. Ultimately, it was her curiosity that kept her in the room. She went about the business of stripping off her clothes almost without any conscious thought. Her fingers found the buttons and zippers, unfastening them each in turn and exposing herself little by little until she stood fully nude beside the pile of her discarded clothing.
The air tickled her hot flesh as she walked to the pew. She knelt on the wood, stared at the white wall just beyond it and shuddered at the sound of the murmurs from the other interns working outside. Miss Donovan slapped the leather paddle against her buttocks. It echoed loudly in the room and Sally flushed red from head to toe. She knew every soul around could hear the spanking. Miss Donovan whacked the paddle into her bottom, alternating from cheek to cheek. There was no mistaking the effect. Sally’s bottom warmed with every spank, stung more with every passing second. She squirmed to no avail.
For precisely ninety seconds, Miss Donovan spanked Sally at a rapid pace. Sally’s buttocks bounced in every direction, but never far enough to avoid the next spank of the paddle. She cried, unable to endure the discipline in silence. When the time ran out, Miss Donovan stepped back and laid the paddle to rest on the table. Sally quivered in the silence, tensely awaiting another volley of spanks that would not come.
“You will remain as you are for the next hour,” Miss Donovan said, “after which you will resume your duties in the pit. Am I understood?”
Sally nodded and sniffled. “Yes, ma’am.”
Miss Donovan left the room. Sally leaned against the pew. She stared at the wall. Warmth emanated from her bottom. Her thoughts were jumbled. She was naked and spanked, excited and embarrassed. Sally faced the wall and pondered how she would face anyone else.