The house had been deserted for years. It was painted a bluish gray with white trim, but it was old, faded and peeling. Whatever beauty the structure once held was hidden beneath years of neglect. The grounds, an isolate bluff overlooking the ocean, had fared no better than the house. Yellow patches of grass, grayish brown dirt, leafless brittle trees were all that remained of the formerly lush surroundings. Still, there was a sense of tranquility within the old rusted gates.
Charlotte Thomson walked along the gravel drive, having left her car parked outside the gates. She pulled her sweater tight, insulating herself against the cold ocean wind. Her autumn leaf skirt whipped against her nylon clad legs. The day had begun much warmer, but with the sun dipping below the horizon, a winter chill was rising. She walked carefully up the rotted, creaking steps to the front porch of the house and knocked on the door.
The door creaked open and slammed against its stop. She stood outside the threshold and leaned her head inside. It was dark. The musty odor of dirt, dust and old mold tickled at her nose. The diminishing sunlight, shining through unshaded windows revealed hints of cobwebs covering everything from the floor to the ceiling. A sitting room off to her left sported sheet covered furnitured. The sheets were yellowed with age and covered in dust and cobwebs.
“Hello,” she said. Her voice echoed throughout the house.
She turned her back on the house and leaned against the rotting railing lining the porch. Her eyes scanned the grounds. Nothing. No one. She turned back to the open door and walked inside, escaping the cold wind. At the foot of the stairs, she stopped, looked toward the top and said, “Hello.”
A gust of wind rattled the windows. The front door slammed shut. Charlotte jumped, spun toward the door. There was nothing, no one. She took a deep, calming breath. The house creaked and rattled under another gust of wind. She giggled, happy there was no one to see her fright. It was a big house, vacant, isolated, and there were dark clouds moving in from the ocean. A stormy night all alone in an old house was just the sort of thing ghost stories were made of, but ghosts were not real.
Charlotte pulled her phone out of her purse. There hadn’t been a signal at the gates, but without a landline in the house she decided to check again, not that she expected better results. The phone’s display lit. It beeped once, twice, three time. She blinked at it. Signal strength showed a full two bars. She pressed her number one speed dial and put the phone to her ear while it rang.
“Hey Babe. Don’t worry, I got your costume and I’ll be home in less than ten,” said her boyfriend, Billy.
“That’s great,” she said. “Unfortunately I won’t be.”
His tone changed from cheerful to serious. “What’s wrong?”
“I got a flat.”
He chuckled. Disasters were always somehow funny to him. “You want me to come fix it?”
“Absolutely,” she said. “How fast can you get here?”
“Depends on where ‘here’ is?”
She cleared her throat. “Well yeah, that’s sort of the problem.”
He sighed into the phone. “Don’t tell me you got lost again.”
“OK,” she said, “but I still don’t know where I am.”
Billy said, “Do you know what road you were on before you got lost?”
“I think so,” she said.
“Don’t keep me in suspense. Which one?”
“Well it was paved and close to the ocean, kind of winding,” she said.
He chuckled again. “Should I ask which ocean?”
Charlotte shook her head at the ceiling. He wasn’t going to let her live this one down for ages. “Not unless I’ve been missing a lot longer than the couple hours it feels like.”
“Well that’s good news. So, you were driving along by the ocean for two hours and got a flat tire. I should be able to find you by morning or at least tomorrow night.”
“I’m in a big deserted house that’s sort of on a bluff overlooking the ocean,” she said.
He asked, “Does it have an address?”
“Probably,” she said.
He chuckled some more. “Do you want me to guess at the numbers?”
“Do you want to sleep on the couch?” she asked.
“Are you going to keep me company?” he asked.
“Not in your dreams,” she said.
“So you’re in a big deserted house by the ocean of a winding paved road that runs beside the ocean?” he said.
“Umm, well the road here isn’t paved anymore.”
He chuckled. “Did someone come by and unpave it while we’ve been talking?”
She scowled at her phone. “You must think I’m an idiot.”
“No, no,” he said. “You just didn’t mention that you left the paved road.”
“You didn’t give me a chance.”
“Well, I’m giving you the chance now,” he said.
“I was driving on the road by the ocean and I turned off it on some small street that should have been heading inland, but I think it took me back toward the coast. Anyway, I turned off that street trying to get back to the main road and I ended up on this dirt and gravel road. That’s where I got the flat and when I stopped I was like right in front of these big rusting iron gates and inside the gates is the house where I am now.”
“And you can’t find anything to tell you the address of the house?” he asked.
“The numbers are worn off the house, if they were ever there in the first place and the gates probably had a number on them but all it has now is a 9 or it might be a 6 that is hanging upside down.”
He chuckled. “So you’re at 9 or 6 dirt gravel road by the ocean. That should be easy to find.”
“Stop laughing. This isn’t funny.”
He chuckled harder. “What about your gps in the car?”
She rolled her eyes at the ceiling. “It stopped working after I turned off the main road. I told you that thing was a worthless piece of junk.”
“What do you mean stopped working?”
“The screen went black and it kept saying ‘Off map’ over and over until I hit the thing about a dozen times.”
“Believe it or not,” Billy said, “that actually helps. There aren’t many places by the ocean that aren’t on the grid.”
“So you’re going to come get me?” she asked.
“I’m thinking about it,” he said. “Are you going to make me sleep on the couch?”
“If you don’t stop teasing me.”
“I think I’ll stop by the apartment first and pick up your hairbrush,” he said.
“What on Earth for?”
He chuckled. “Don’t worry, I won’t tease you with it.”
“Just relax, Babe,” he said, “I’m coming to get you. Call me if anyone shows up or if you figure out more about where you are. Otherwise, just sit tight.”
The call ended. Charlotte put away her phone and scouted out the downstairs. She wandered from room to room, lifting sheets on various tables, yanking open drawers, all in search of a piece of mail or something that might give her a better idea of exactly where she was. In the end there was nothing.
She returned to the front of the house and entered the sitting room. The room had two armchairs, a sofa, three side tables and a coffee table, and a small desk against the side wall underneath a window. Charlotte carefully uncovered the sofa, folding the sheet so as to trap as much of its dust and cobwebs inside of itself. She laid the folded she aside on the coffee table.
The sofa, like the rest of the house, was old. Its fabric was silky, untorn and a muted green color somewhere in between lime and sage. The framing was a dark wood, mahogany perhaps or cherry. The dim light provided by the moon made it too difficult to tell for certain.
She sat on the sofa. It was springy and soft. She looked over its back out the front window. No signs of life. It would likely be a long while before Billy found his way to her. She kicked her heels off and put her feet up on the sofa. It took only a few moments before the temptation to lie down was too great. She rested her head on the arm and curled her toes into cushion and underneath the padded arm on the opposite end. Her eyes fluttered closed and she drifted off to sleep.
Charlotte dreamed of the house the way it should have been. Bright. Clean. Occupied. She was upstairs in a bedroom. The bed was unmade. Clothes were scattered on the floor in piles and individually. They were mostly dresses, but there were skirts and blouses, bras and panties, nylons and pantyhose, and shoes all over as well. The closet door was open, clothing blocking it from moving. Dresser drawers were in various states of openness, clothing hanging out or pinched between the drawer and the frame.
She looked in the mirror and saw herself, only younger. A teenager. The age fit. She had kept her room quite the mess in her teenage years. Her mother had often complained. The old scolding taunted in her ears. When are you going to clean your room. It looks like a tornado hit it. How do you even walk around in there?
Charlotte turned toward the door. She kicked clothes out of the path and pulled the door open. The chandelier above the stairs was lit, providing light to the upstairs hallway. There was no dust or dirt or cobwebs. She looked around. The other bedroom doors were closed. She left hers open and headed down the stairs. At the bottom, she stopped.
An authoritative masculine voice rattled her bones. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Out,” she said as if it were the most natural response in the world.
The man was tall. He wore a black wool suit with a matching vest that had a gold chain watch hanging from it. The white shirt looked like it was silk as did the strings of his untied bow tie. His black hair was trimmed neat in a timeless fashion. He moved quickly toward her, his right hand blurred through the air and slapped against her cheek in an echoing blow.
He wagged a scolding finger in front of her nose. “I won’t be having any of your sass tonight, young lady.”
Charlotte coddled her stinging cheek in her hand. She stared at the man open-mouthed.
He kept wagging his finger. “Now, I asked you a question, Charlotte.”
She closed her mouth, stopped holding her cheek. “I was going to see Billy.”
His hand dropped to his side. “I told you to stay away from that boy.”
She stomped her foot on the floor, just like what she would have done when she was a teen. “I love him and he loves me.”
“If it’s true love it will wait and if it’s not it will pass,” he said. “Right now you’ve got more important things to focus on than boys.”
She folded her arms across her chest and glared up at the man. “It’s not fair.”
His face softened. He smiled. “I’m sure it seems that way right now, but someday you’ll look back on this and understand that I’m only looking out for your best interest.”
She pouted at him, but there was nothing to be said. No argument was going to win anyway.
He looked up the stairs in the direction of her bedroom. “Did you clean your room today like I asked?”
She shook her head.
“Why not?” he asked.
She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
He grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her with him into the sitting room. “I warned you what was going to happen if you didn’t.”
She struggled fruitlessly against his hold. “I’ll do it now. I promise.”
He sat in the center of the sofa, holding her next to his leg. “You’ll do it tonight alright,” he said. “Right after I’ve finished heating your buns.”
“You don’t have to. I’ll do it. I’ll do it,” she pleaded.
“Stop struggling,” he said. “I’m going to let go of you and you’re going to stand right where you are and strip down to your panties. If you make me get up and chase you, it will be twice as bad, understood?”
She stared down at him. There was no escaping his grasp. She looked out the window behind the sofa, but she could only see herself and the room reflected in the blackness. Her gaze returned to him. She nodded.
He kept his hold. “I want to hear you say it.”
She sighed. “Yes, Sir.”
He released his hold on her wrist.
The instinct to run was only barely manageable. Trepidation thudded in her chest. Her legs felt wobbly and her hands trembled. She glanced at the window again. “Can I close the curtain?”
“No,” he said. “If you want to avoid these sessions, you’ll learn to behave and do as you’re told.”
Resigned to the inevitability of her situation, Charlotte unfastened her skirt and allowed it to fall to the floor. She picked it up, folded it and placed it on the coffee table. Her finger quickly unbuttoned her blouse, remembering at the last moment to undo the cuffs before pulling it off. She folded it as well and laid it on top of the skirt. Her shoes came off next, she left them on the floor next to the foot of the coffee table. She carefully rolled her stockings off her legs one at time and wadded them together, laying them on her blouse. Her fingers reached up behind her to the clasp of her bra and she looked pleadingly in the man’s direction, hoping he might allow her to keep it on. His eyes gave no reprieve. She unclasped the white garment and let it slip down her arms away from her breasts. It folded methodically in her hands and rested atop the pile of her clothes.
He picked up a small paddle that was resting on the cushion beside him. It was oval like a hairbrush without the bristles. The wood was stained dark and had a gloss to it that reflected the lamp light from the corner of the room. He patted his lap with his free hand. “You know the position,” he said.
Slow. Reluctant. She laid herself across his lap, her toes and hands resting on the floor. The touch of his hand on her naked back sent a shiver along her spine. She felt the paddle rest against the thin cotton of her white panties. It too was cold. She felt the paddle leave and an instant later it returned with a loud smack that temporarily indented her right cheek. It left behind a fierce sting. She blinked and stared at his pant leg. A simple glimpse of her freely swaying breasts sent a fresh wave of embarrassment flooding through her skin and made her face burn hot.
The feeling faded quickly, replaced by the sting of another swat from the paddle. Her left cheek bounced. The paddle smacked the right side again and returned to the left an instant later. She breathed heavily as the sting increased and made her legs jostle. The swats kept coming. She lost count. Tears stung at her eyes. Her legs kicked involuntarily. She squirmed over his lap. His free hand kept her pinned in place with ease.
Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes. She was breathless. Her butt was bouncing, breasts were swaying, legs were kicking and then the spanking stopped. The paddle rested against her bottom. It felt cool against her hot butt. Her breathing evened out and the tears stopped falling. She sniffled and wiped at her face with the back of her hand.
He tapped the paddle lightly on her panties. “Time for these to come off,” he said.
She looked up at him, over her shoulder. “Please, I’ve learned my lesson. I promise.”
He delivered a rapid six swats that left her yelping. “You’re going to get just as many with them off as you get with them on. Do you want to take them off now or shall I continue a while longer?”
Charlotte pushed herself up off his lap and rose back to her feet. She wanted to stand there taking as much time away from being over his lap as she could, but she knew his patience would be strained. Her fingers found the waistband of her panties and she pulled them down her legs until they fell all the way to the floor. She folded them into a square and placed them with the rest of her clothes on the coffee table.
He patted his lap.
She bit her lip and laid herself back down. His cold hand secured her to him and the paddle resumed its smacking of her bottom. The sting doubled and redoubled. Tears spilled from her eyes again and she began yelping in an almost rhythmic response to the paddle’s loud smacks. Her butt burned like standing too close to an open fireplace. She kicked and squirmed, but as before, he held her in place.
The spanking came to an end. It took a few moments before her breathing returned to normal, before the tears stopped falling, before her legs stopped kicking. She sniffled and wiped at her face with the back of her hand. His hand remained pressed against her naked back, the paddle rested against her burning hot buttocks. She waited.
He said, “You’ve got at least a half hour before dinner. In that time you are going to go upstairs and clean your room, like you were supposed to do earlier today. If, when I come to get you for dinner, it’s not done, you’re going to spend all of dinner in the corner and afterward we will be taking a trip out to the stables. Now tell me, what happens when we take a trip to the stables?”
Her thoughts swirled around the mess in her room upstairs. Half an hour would barely make a dent in the disaster. “Please,” she said, intending to ask for more time.
He swatted her butt a dozen times with the paddle. “What happens?”
She pushed back against the sobs threatening to overrun her. “You’ll use the strap,” she said amidst sniffles.
“That’s right,” he said. He lifted her off his lap and onto her feet. “I suggest you get going.”
She reached for her clothes.
He slapped her hands away. “I told you to clean your room, not to get dressed. Now get going before I put you back over my knee.”
She coddled her burning butt in her hands and rushed toward the stairs. Her hands massaged at her cheeks all the way up the stairs. Inside her bedroom she closed the door and began shoveling clothes off the floor and into the hamper as fast as she could manage. She straightened the dresser and closed its drawers properly. The shoes stacked neatly inside the closet. Her ears prickled at the sound of footsteps on the stairs. The bed remained unmade. She hustled toward it. Her hands pulled at the sheets, desperate to get them into place. The door opened.
Charlotte gasped. Her eyes snapped open. She blinked and the room came slowly into focus. Sunlight shined in through the window. She sat up and realized she wasn’t in the sitting room, but rather one of the upstairs bedrooms. It looked eerily similar to the one in her dream. Her butt ached, no doubt a remnant of the spanking she dreamed. She shivered. It was cold. A glance down at herself told her why; she was naked.
She rolled off the bed onto her feet. Her butt still ached. She twisted for a glimpse and saw red. It couldn’t be. She pulled the sheet off the dresser, exposing its mirror. The reflection left no doubt. Her butt was vibrantly red with the marks of an oval paddle the size of a hairbrush. She searched the room for her clothes and came up empty. Embarrassed, she tiptoed downstairs, hoping no one would be around. Her hands did their best to cover her nakedness.
In the sitting room, she found her clothing. It was neatly folded and piled on the coffee table. Her shoes rested on the floor at the foot of the table. It was all just like in her dream. Impossible. She dressed and heard the sound of car on the gravel outside. Billy had arrived.
She ran outside and hugged him as soon as stepped out of the car. “You’re here.”
He hugged her back. “You have no idea what I went through to find you.”
She kissed him. “Thank you. Let’s fix my tire so we can get out of here.”
He chuckled. “Not so fast.” He pulled her hairbrush out of his jacket pocket. “Let’s go inside and take care of this.”
She shook her head. “It can wait until we get home.”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ve got a strap waiting for you when we get home. Now get inside or do you want me to spank your bare bottom right out here?”
Charlotte rubbed her sore butt. “Please Billy. You don’t understand.”
He grabbed her wrist and pulled her toward the house. “I understand perfectly,” he said, “and in a few minutes you’re going to understand.”
She followed him into the house, straight into the sitting room. He sat in the center of the sofa. She stood by his leg. He looked up at her, holding the hairbrush firmly in his hand. She undressed. He pulled her over his lap.
“You’ve already been spanked today?” he said.
“I was trying to tell you,” she said.
He patted her butt with the back of the hairbrush. “Considering you broke into this house and spent the night without permission, I guess you deserved it. Hopefully the owners won’t mind me following suit.”
Charlotte imagined they wouldn’t.