The unseen audience

I grew up in Motherwell, central Scotland, in an era (60s/70s) where the belt was still used in schools as a punishment for misbehaving children.

Up to six strokes could be given on the palm of one’s hand. However, I was a well-behaved girl and had never received the belt, or indeed any other school punishment.  

Nevertheless, I was spanked at home by my mother when she felt it necessary. Like most families at that time, my mother was a stay-at-home mum, while Dad worked long hours to try and make ends meet.

Like mothers at the time, as the parent with the main responsibility as care-giver and home-maker, she also tended to be the disciplinarian in the family. I didn’t have any other siblings. My mother was loving and caring, but also strict when it came to my behaviour. Mum didn’t spank often but when she did, it was a memorable affair – and always on my bare bottom.

One day, towards the end of third year in high school, I don’t know what came over me but I got into a little bit of an argument with a young, female teacher. I knew I was being really cheeky, and the teacher was getting quite flustered, but my friends were smiling and egging me on. So, I kept going. 

Eventually, the teacher said in a loud voice – not quite shouting at me, but nearly: “Right, that’s it – I’ve had enough of your behaviour, young miss.” She turned her back on me and walked straight to the little locked cupboard behind her desk. I gulped. I knew what lived in there – and so did the rest of the class.

The classroom became eerily quiet and I was sure the teacher was going to retrieve her belt, and for the first time in my life my hand was going to become acquainted with its pain. I had seen classmates get the belt before, and had witnessed how stingingly red and sore their hand had looked and felt for hours afterwards.

So it was to my great relief when instead, the teacher selected two sheets of A4 paper, marched up to my desk, placed them in front of me and said: “Young lady, pick up your pen! Now write: ‘I shall not be cheeky and disrespectful to my teacher ever again.’ Take this home and I want that line out written over and over until both sides of each piece of paper are filled.

“Make sure you write neatly, and make sure you hand all four pages of lines into me before registration, tomorrow morning. Do you hear me?” “Yes miss”, was my muffled reply, as I bowed my head in embarrassment, and put the pieces of paper into my school bag. “Now, class, take out your workbooks and let us continue where we left off, before I was so rudely interrupted.”

I couldn’t believe that I was getting off with just writing a couple of pages of lines. Although it was the first punishment that I had ever received at school, I felt a wave of relief wash over me. It was only a few pages of lines – it could have been the dreaded belt. Writing out lines might be tedious, and it might take an hour to complete, but it wasn’t painful and I knew I had gotten off lightly. 

Immediately, the mood of the class returned to normal and after a few minutes, I was able to concentrate on my work and the rest of the period (and indeed the rest of the school day) proceeded as usual.

By the time the school bell went at the end of the day, I had almost forgotten about the incident in the morning. I usually walked home with my best friend, Allison. She was a year younger than me. We were also neighbours and lived next door to each other in semi-detached, three- bedroomed houses. In fact, our respective bedrooms were right through the wall from each other. The sound insulation wasn’t very good and if Allison was playing her records too loudly, I could hear it in my bedroom and vice-versa. 

A minute or two into our walk home, Allison suddenly said: “Oh, I heard that you got lines today from Miss Hutchinson. What happened?” I repeated the story. She laughed at what I’d been saying to the teacher and said supportively: “Wish I could have been there! Did her face to that thing when she gets angry, where she gets bright red at the temples?” “Exactly.” I laughed.

I told Allison how relieved I was to only get lines. “Yes,” she said, “but what do you think your mum will do when she finds out?” “She’s not going to find out! I’ll just pretend that I have a lot of homework, go up to my room, complete my lines and finish my homework. Job done! Mum doesn’t need to find out anything.”

Allison looked dubious. “But she will find out because you’re going to have to tell her.” “Why on earth would I do a stupid thing like that?”
“Oh dear,” sighed Allison. “You haven’t had lines before, have you? And you don’t know, do you?” “Know what?” I replied, quite confused by my best friend.

Then she dropped the worst news I had received all day. “You are going to have to tell your mum what you did, and that you got a punishment at school and have to complete four pages of lines. Before you can hand in lines, your mum needs to sign and date the bottom of the last page.”

My head started to spin. This was going to be much worse than getting the belt. “So what do you think your mum will do when you tell her?” Allison asked. I didn’t need to think. I knew exactly what my mum would do – and I wouldn’t be able to sit down for days.

“Do you think she’ll smack your bottom? If I get lines, my mum always smacks my bottom.” My face went red as I replied: “Yes.” “Oh…do you think she’ll take your pants down and smack you on the bare bottom?  My face turned even redder as I heard myself agreeing: “Yes, she definitely will.”

I was nearly in tears at the thought. But I knew Allison was right. My mum would certainly take my pants down and spank me on the bare behind. “I thought so,” said Allison. “If my mum is going to smack me, it’s always knickers down and on the bare bum. Sometimes even in front of my little brother. It’s so embarrassing, isn’t it?” “Very,” I replied.

I would rather have dropped the subject by now but Allison persisted. “Will she put you over her knee? Or will you have to bend over the end of the bed? Or over the arm of the sofa in the living room?”

Still red in the face, I admitted: “Mum will probably take me upstairs to my bedroom, then she’ll sit on the edge of my bed and tell me to bend over her knee. That’s when she’ll lift my skirt up out of the way and take my pants down. And I mean right down to my ankles, or maybe even take them off completely. Then the smacks will start.”

“I thought that’s what would happen.” Allison continued. “I remember when you got smacked last year. You had been misbehaving at church and when your family came home, your mum took you up to your bedroom and smacked you, really hard. And on your bare bottom.”

“How do you know anything about that?” I said, rather incensed that my younger friend had any knowledge of my punishment, which was supposed to be a private affair. Just between me and my mum.

“Well,” Allison replied, “I hadn’t been at Sunday school that day because I had flu, and my mum made me stay in bed. You know that our bedroom walls are very thin. So, when you got back from church and your mum had marched you upstairs into your bedroom, I could hear her shouting at you. I guessed you must have done something at church to make her really angry at you. And when I listened really hard, I could just about hear you saying sorry, over and over.

“I couldn’t make out everything being said, but I did hear your mum saying: “Bend over my knee! That’s it, right over! Hands on the floor!” I could just picture you lying over your mum’s lap. After a few seconds, I could hear you saying: ‘Please Mum, no!’

“I didn’t have to wonder what you were asking your mum not to do. You were already in position for a smacking, so I guessed she must be taking your pants down. After that, I heard the smacking – and I know what a spanking on the bare sounds like, you know? It wasn’t long befored you were crying really loudly.

“While you were getting done, my mum came up to check on me. I had been so busy listening to your spanking that I hadn’t even heard my own family coming in from church. As Mum came into my bedroom, she heard the noises coming from next door and listened with me until your mother had finished with you.

“Afterwards, she came and sat on my bed, and pointed to the wall. Then she said: ‘That’s what happens when you don’t behave at church. She thoroughly deserved that.’ 

Then she felt my forehead and said: “I hope you’re feeling better, sweetie, your forehead certainly doesn’t feel as warm.” Then I made a joke about it not being half as warm as your bum was now. Mum didn’t think much of that joke, and she told me that if I behaved as badly as you had done that morning, my bum would be just as hot as yours was right then, and maybe even more.”

There was silence between us for a while – it was almost as if Allison had been in the same room as me that day, watching my buttocks go from peaches and cream to raspberry ripple. But I didn’t have time to worry about the embarrassment of the past, as we had walked almost home by now. Another few minutes and I’d be facing another sore bottom.

“Do you think I should tell her straight away?” I asked. “Or should I wait until after I’ve completed the lines and tell her just as I’m asking her to sign them?

Allison thought for a moment. “Well,” she replied, “if you tell your mum straight away, she’ll probably spank you there and then, then you’ll have to sit for an hour or more on your sore bum, writing your lines. Probably better to wait until you’ve finished, then confess.”

This seemed like a good idea. I hadn’t thought about the prospect of sitting on a hot, itchy bottom while writing my lines. Besides, I thought, if Mum sees that I’ve taken my time and completed the punishment in my best handwriting, she might go easier on my backside afterwards.

Parting time arrived. As we said goodbye, Allison said: “I’ve got tons of homework tonight, so I’ll be at my desk pretty much all night. No doubt I’ll hear how you get on!” She laughed and I blushed again: the thought of a spanking was bad enough, but the thought of Allison overhearing the whole performance was even worse. 

We were about to open our garden gates and walk down our respective paths, and Allison turned to give me a quick hug, as she did most days. But this time, just before we let go, she ran her hand down my back and gave my bottom a little squeeze. “Good luck!” she said cheerily as she opened her gate and headed for home.

Slowly, I trudged down the garden path, opened the front door and walked into the hallway. I put my school bag down, hung my blazer up on its peg, and called as cheerily as I could,:“Hi, Mum, I’m home”. I knew I had to be as bright and breezy as possible so as not to give anything away until the lines were completed. “Hi, sweetheart!” Mum replied. “I’m in the living room.”

I went in to see her. “How was school today?” I kissed her on the cheek, as usual, and said – as nonchalantly as possible: “Oh, you know, same old, same old. Pretty boring really. Julie has got her braces off. Her teeth look really good. And Angela told us that her mum is expecting again. Can you believe it? That’ll be her seventh child.”

“That’s nice for Julie. I don’t envy Angela’s mother. One pregnancy was more than enough for me,” Mum laughed. “Anything else happen out of the ordinary?” “Nope,” I lied. “Just a plain ordinary day. Anyway, I’ve got lots of homework tonight. I think I’ll make a start straight away and see if I can get it all finished before dinner is ready.” 

I stood up and headed for the living room door – but just before I reached the door, Mum said: “You’re sure you haven’t forgotten something?” “No, Mum. I don’t think so. Like what?”

The look on Mum’s face and the tone in her voice changed in a flash. “Like the fact that during first period you were cheeky, disobedient and disrespectful to your teacher and were given four pages of lines to complete by tomorrow morning.

“I got a call from the school this afternoon. I had to listen to the deputy head tell me how disgracefully my daughter had behaved in class. And how a young teacher was in tears later in the staff room. Not only am I disappointed in your behaviour, but I’m angry that I gave you time to tell me in person and instead of owning up to your bad behaviour, you told me a pack of lies. Didn’t you?” “Sorry Mum,” was all I could muster. 

“Well, young lady, you are about to be a whole lot sorrier. You are going to find out exactly what happens to naughty girls who behave disgracefully and then lie to their mother. Get yourself up to your bedroom, take your skirt off and wait for me while I go and get the wooden spoon. I had decided that if you told me straight away, I’d just use my hand to smack, but if you didn’t it would be the wooden spoon for your backside. So, wooden spoon it is!”

Mum rose at this point, and ushered me into the hallway. As I was trudging up the stairs to my bedroom, I could hear Mum rifling through the drawer in the kitchen where she kept her baking implements.  As I entered my bedroom, I could hear Allison’s music playing, not too loudly, next door. I had just removed and folded my skirt, when all too soon mum appeared, wooden spoon in hand. 

As she took her place, sitting on the edge of my bed, she loudly uttered those dreaded words: “Right! Bend over my knee!” Mum immediately started guiding me into the correct position, so that my head was almost at the floor, my bottom was in the middle of her lap and my feet were off the floor at the other end.

Then she declared, in an equally loud tone: “And don’t think you’ll be keeping these pants up!” At that, Mum started lowering my knickers until they were down round my ankles. As I felt my underwear slide past the back of my knees, I remember noticing that now there was no noise whatsoever from next door. Allison must have turned her music off, when she heard my mum’s raised voice, so she could hear everything that was about to happen on this side of the wall.

I looked round over my shoulder to see Mum rolling up her sleeve. Then I watched as she lifted her right hand above her head and brought it down hard in the middle of my bottom. The pain was intense, but I tried not to make a sound, knowing that we had an audience next door.

My bravery only lasted for a few smacks. Then I couldn’t help yelping and crying out with each new spank. After a couple of minutes of solid spanking, my bottom was burning, I was crying loudly and tears were streaming down my face.

Suddenly, Mum stopped. I could hear her breathing hard, and I was just thankful that it was over. But when I moved to get up, Mum forced me back down in her lap. “Where do you think you’re going, young lady? I haven’t finished with that naughty bottom! I promised you the spoon, and you’re about to find out that I keep my promises.”

Glancing over my shoulder again, I could see Mum had picked up the dreaded implement and was lifting it up high. She brought it down with an almighty crack – and I had never felt pain like it. I cried out at the top of my lungs. Each smack of the wooden spoon got the same response.

By this time, I wasn’t even thinking about Allison hearing me getting my spanking. All I could think about was the hot, fiery, never-ending pain my bottom was experiencing. Mum held me tight with her left hand, as she brought the spoon down time after time on my poor, defenceless buttocks. 

When mum finally finished chastising me, my bum felt like it was on fire. She made me stand up and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was a blubbering mess. After thrashing about so much on Mum’s knee, I’d managed to kick my pants right off and my hair looked wild. My eyes were streaming, my nose was running and I was rubbing my now bright red bottom vigorously. 

Mum held her paper hanky up to my face and made me blow my nose. After a few blows and wipes, she handed me another few hankies to dry my eyes. Then she stripped the remainder of my clothes off and put me into my pyjamas. 

Once I was in my night clothes, she sat me on the wooden seat of my desk. “Now, I want those four pages filled in with your best handwriting. I’ll be up to check in half an hour and if they aren’t perfect, you’ll get another dose of the wooden spoon. In fact, I’m going to leave it right here, on your desk, as a reminder.

“Dinner will be in an hour. When I come up here in 30 minutes, I expect two of the pages to be completed, and I want this whole thing finished by the time dinner is ready. After dinner, it’ll be homework then straight into bed for you, young lady. And I mean straight to bed! No television, no reading, no listening to music. I’ll be putting you straight to bed, curtains closed, lights out and straight to sleep.”

I had to quickly dry my eyes and get started on obeying Mum’s instructions as she picked up and folded my blouse, tie and bra. She retrieved my discarded underpants from the other side of the room and put them in her apron pocket to take down to the laundry basket. She even turned down my bed – emphasising that I would shortly be getting into it like a little child, even if it was still light outside. As she left, she looked over my shoulder to make sure that I had begun to write and that it was up to her standard.

Managing to stop crying and concentrating on the task at hand was not easy. My bottom was throbbing and sitting on a hard, wooden seat, and writing neatly, was exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do right then. What I actually wanted was to lie face-down on my bed, rub my aching bum and cry myself to sleep. However, I knew that after half an hour I would hear Mum’s footsteps on the stairs again – and more than anything, I did not want a repeat dose of that horrible spoon! 

I forced myself to produce my best and neatest work, even while staring across occasionally at the instrument of punishment. Fortunately, my writing met with Mum’s approval both after half-an-hour and when completed. I was spared another trip across her knee. But I certainly wasn’t spared that early bedtime.

Dinner was finished and homework completed by 6.30pm, and Mum put me to bed in disgrace at 6.35, even before my father came home from work. Mum did give me a kiss and cuddle before putting me into bed. She assured me that I was forgiven, but warned that any future misbehaviour at school would earn an even harsher spanking. Then she shut the curtains, closed my bedroom door and went back downstairs.

Even though light was still streaming into my bedroom around the edges of the curtains, I turned round onto my tummy, allowed myself to rub my still aching bottom, had a good cry and fell asleep. I slept right through until morning, as many spanked children will.

In the morning, Mum came in to wake me up as usual. “Hurry up, sweetheart. We’re a little late this morning – Allison’s already here!”

I’d forgotten all about Allison. Her mum went out to work early and Allison always came round to my house on school days to have breakfast, before we walked to school together. As I rushed to get dressed, I caught sight of my still marked bottom in the mirror, and feeling the dull, deep, muscle ache in my backside, a sudden sense of panic overcame me. What would Allison say about last night’s performance? And more worryingly, what would she say anything about it in front of my mum?

I’ll leave that part of the story for another time!

Contributor: Janis

All Maman stories are copyright, unauthorised reproduction may lead to legal action.