The old Victorian house was nearly empty now. Everything had been taken away to someplace somewhere or other and all that was left to be cleared were a few boxes in the attic. The only thing that lingered now were memories of all those that had lived and died between its walls…
The workman grunted as he picked up another box of the late Mrs Vanderguards belongings and turned to the young woman who was supervising the house clearing making notes on a clipboard for the auctioneers. "Looks like more old newspapers Miss Black. What do you want me to do with them. Bonfire ?" he asked, not really caring at all. It all looked like the same old rubbish to him.
Jenny Black, 32 years old and working as an collator and auditor for the local Auction house looked inside the box and with a practised eye rifled through its faded yellow contents. He was right, it was mostly old newspapers and from the looks of it the late Mrs Vanerguard was a Times reader. The dates on some went back to the 19th century and early 20th. It would be a shame to just dump them and besides she knew of one or two collectors of Victoriana who just might be interested. "No Jimmy, put them in my car and I’ll have a look at them later. You never know what I might find." She smiled as he grunted and made his way down the atic steps.
Alone, Jenny looked around a last time. The air hung thick with a faint mist of dust lingering. The dust of ages. She could smell its history. Jenny loved her job, she had always had an interest in the past even as a little girl and she felt sad that such a piece of history, the personal history of the Vanderguard family was due to be reduce to a pile of rubble come next week.
As she reached the stairs she paused for something had caught her eye. Looking closer she noticed that on one of the beams somebody had carved a heart with an inscription – "Victoria and Lawrence for ever despite the sting." She whispered . And underneath a date – "December 1894" Jenny smiled, slightly bemused at the intimate message.
"Goodbye Mrs Vanderguard, I hope you and your husband are together again wherever you may be." Closing the door to the attic, Jenny walked slowly down the wooden stairs, turned and locked the huge oak door as she left without looking back. The old Victorian house was silent but to one such as she, far from empty.
"My private thoughts and daydreams both fair and foul."
Victoria Le Saux (nee Vanderguard)
January 4th 1899
Jenny felt herself shiver despite the roaring fire. She had been right. It was a diary of some sort perhap's belonging to the lady who’s name had been carved in the oak beam. It felt like a voice from the past. Turning the page, Jenny read the title at the top and felt her mouth drop open in surprise. Far from what she expected, she read on.
"Mr Forbisher – Spanker of big girls bottoms."
As befitting good manners let me first say that I am one Tilly Hogg. I am in my eighteenth year and have recently gained employ working below stairs for a very well ta do family indeed. I am neither tall nor short, middling some say with sturdy bones and a figure best described as "fulsome". Its my good fortune to be blessed with good health, a clear complexion as well as a full head of hair that reaches down to my waist. This is my story….
As was usual, befitting my station in life, young girls of lesser means sought work as chambermaids in the grand houses along the Thames where the landed gentry and general well-to-do lived, far away from the squallor and slums of the east-end. This is how I found myself working for the Forbisher family who paid me a sum of six shillings a week – half of which I sent to my widowed mama and sisters. The work was hard but fair and those I worked with welcomed me with a smile though I have to say the Butler, Jones, rules the downstairs with a rod of iron and expects everything to run like clockwork. I have a small room on the top floor which I share with another girl my age called Agnes Cobbler who has the mis-fortune to have a head full of unruly ginger hair and a face full of freckles to boot. Despite this handicap she is fey of manner and a chatterbox who never lets a moments silence go to waste to talk about anything and everything under the sun – especially her obvious interest in the Porter, a young man by the name of Barnaby Smith. So as you can see its not a bad life despite having to rise at the sound of 4 bells each morning.
It was during my second week that I discovered the head of the household, a Mr Forbisher – a tall, wiry man with greying hair and moustache, had a peculiar way of dealing with the ladies of his household staff….
It was after six in the evening, I had retired to my room and was lying on my bed thinking of things as one does when the door suddenly burst open and Agnes scrambled in most unladylike and began to hop around the room like a demented frog. I was quite taken aback and jumped up thinking something was terribly wrong with my dear room companion.
"Agnes !!" I cried out in alarm,"what’s the matter ?" I asked worried,"are you alright ?"
Agnes continued to hop and skip up and down in front of me, a painful grimace on her peppered cheeks. For some reason she seemed to be obsessed with massaging her rather big bottom !!
"Oh, oooee ouch. Oh Miss Tilly, " she gasped, her face like a red tomato from cooks kitchen,"It doesn’t half sting !!" she winced as she finally stopped dancing around. She pointed to the small cabinet above our washing bowl. "In there, the green bottle, quickly…hurry." She urged.
Still non the wiser I rushed over, flung open the small wooden door and took out the bottle labelled "In case of Emergencies." It was as I turned back and was about to say "Emergencies ?" that I was confronted with the most surprising site of Agnes, bent over double, bloomers to the floor and her bare bottom stuck right up in the air. I was so shocked I nearly dropped the bottle. "Agnes !!" I blurted out with shock.
Agnes looked at me over her shoulder pleadingly. "Oh hurry Miss Tilly, a dab on each cheek if you please and a good vigorous rubbing in if you’d be so kind !!"
It was only then I noticed the dark blotches on each of her quivering cheeks. Oh my. Someone had taken what looked like a very wide and hefty strap of some sort to my best friends derriere and that was no mistake. Why, even in the fading light I could see the emerging signs of purplish bruises beginning to show !! Oh my goodness. What had Agnes done to deserve this ??!!
It was a little while later that Agnes finally told me what had transpired. Seemingly, she had been ordered to clean the Masters Study and had set about the task with gusto and vigour as was her wont and nature. Unbenownst to her, Mr Forbisher was in the task of writing an important letter to the editor of the Times which he had left on his desk as he went to deal with some matter with his dear wife Mrs Forbisher, a lady of good breeding and looks who always looked a picture no matter what the time of day. Feather duster in hand Agnes had been dusting the desk top when she had gotten careless and to her obvious horror had knocked over the Masters inkpot and nearly fainted as she watched the pool of ink spill over the partially written correspondence just as he returned.
"Oh Agnes, how could you ?!!" I sighed with sympathy.
"It were an accident I swear, Cross me heart !!" she replied, tears in her eyes as she crossed her vast bosom. "I didnae mean to do it !!"
Patting her hand I urged her to continue with her tale.
"He went mad Miss Tilly !!" she gulped, her eyes widening at the memory. "He grabbed my arm and gave me a good shake. I was pleading with him I was. Saying it was an accident and all that but he’d gone purple with rage !!" Agnes groaned as she lay face down on her bed.
"My goodness, what did he do next ?" I asked.
Agnes reached up and rubbed her eyes. "He threatened to chuck me out onto the street, he was that angry. But I begged him not to, that..that I needed the wage to send back home and I’d never live down with the shame of it." She sniffed."A..after a while he calmed down and he looked at me all funny like, like he was considering his options. Twas then he told me, told me I had a choice."
"Choice ?" I blinked.
Agnes nodded her head, looking embarrassed. "He says I could either pack my bags right now, right this minute or I …he could, ermmm…well punish me another way." she gulped, her gaze meeting mine as if asking for understanding due to her predicament. Who was I to argue ? I’d probably have done the same thing…
"And ?" I asked again, wanting her to continue for despite the awfulness of what had transpired a small prick of curiosity flooded through my veins. Though I knew not why.
"Well, he..he told me to..to lift up me..my skirt and pull down..my …..my bloomers." She exclaimed quickly going bright red.
"Nooooooooo, he didn’t did he ?" I blurted out.
Agnes nodded vigorously. "He did, he did. So…I didn’t know what to do. It was then he ordered me or else pay the consequence by getting my notice right there and then. What could I do Miss Tilly. I had no choice. So I pulled up my skirt, slipped my bloomers down and bent over the front of his desk without a moments hesitation and waited."
My gaze went from hers to her still bare bottom which shone with the cream I’d massaged in for her. My mouth was dry. My heart was beating a rapid tick tock and my breath came in great gulps and gasps. How thrilling I thought suddenly with shocked surprise!! I had to know more, everything, down to the last detail.
"What did he hit you with Agnes ?" I asked, trying oh so hard not to sound as excited as I felt.
"You know that belt he brought back from Africa ?" She sniffed. I nodded for I had noticed it too whilst cleaning in his and the memsabs bedchambers one day last week. It was a huge thing, long black and evil looking with a gold buckle. "He was wearing that, just my luck. He told me to stay still and he unbuckled that and lashed me hard six times with that. Oh Miss Tilly, it hurt so much !! And..and he told me not to scream too. Oh it was awful..horrid. I had to bite my lip !!" she wailed, starting to cry again as I held her in my arms trying to bring her succour and comfort.
It was later, night had fallen and I lay listening to the sound of Agnes gently snoring in her bed across from mine. I couldn’t sleep. Over and over in my mind all I could think of was what Mr Forbisher had done to her bottom. All I could see in my minds-eye was his belt. I could feel my heartbeat thudding in my ears as I knew in my heart of hearts that I too wanted one day, one day soon, to feel its devils kiss and torment.
It was surely, given my determination, only a matter of where and when.....
Her own heart beating as fast as the girl in the story Jenny slowly closed the journal and sat back in her chair staring at its leather cover. Glancing at the pile of old newspapers that she intended to take to work tomorrow she paused for a second. By rights she should also hand this over. But she knew she wasn't going to. Getting to her feet she switched off the light and made her way upstairs still holding onto the book, and it was as she passed her dressing table mirror she stopped. Looking at her reflection staring back at her she watched as her hand reached behind her and gently patted her left buttock. Perhaps a little light reading before bed was in order. Undressed and in bed Jenny clicked on her overhead lamp and continued reading about Tilly Hogg.........
Part 2 - "Of Opportunities and Consequences."
As the days of my employ passed and I became acquainted with the workings and rules of an upper-class town house did things become obvious such as who to trust, who to defer to and most importantly who to never ever get in one's bad books. One such was the lady of the household - Mrs Forbisher. Mrs Forbisher was one not to take things lightly no matter how small the indiscretion or how true the explanation. A fine looking lady, despite a hooked nose that lent her an air of hawkishness, but one with severe and strict moral's that woe betide anyone under her auspices would do well to remember. Mrs Forbisher, when her husband was away, ruled her house with a rod of iron. As I was about to find out to my cost.....
It was a warm spring day, the blossom decorated the tree's and the sun was out in its splendor bathing the capital with a radiant glow that made even those less fortunate than myself forget about their squalor and hand to mouth existence. The nearby Church of St Bede's had just struck the quarter past and as was usual at such an early hour I was out with Agnes down by Thames Dock purchasing some fresh cod on Cooks orders that had been brought in by the trawlers and barges from the mouth of the estuary that very morning. The fish quay itself was a hive of activity and colour with the fishermen hawking their catches from make shift stalls set up along the many jetty's that lined the riverbanks. At sunrise a three rigged merchantman had docked with its cargo of tea's and spices and was busy being unloaded. The smell was indescribable with the fresh mixed in with the stench of the river itself and the sewage that was dumped their by the populace each and every day making it a breeding ground for rats and disease.
Swinging her basket, Agnes skipped along side me without a care in the world as if nothing could spoil such a beautiful day. I had discovered that my dear friend was blessed with a mind that was never weighed down by the trials and tribulations of everyday living which was just as well for she was always one to end up in trouble despite her best efforts to the contrary.
My own mind smiled as it cast back to the memory of jars of cold cream and much wailing and gnashing of teeth on her part after her encounter with the Masters belt. Despite the severity, the next day Agnes acted as if nothing untoward had happened and the only evidence it had was the occasional wince and gasp she'd elicit during her chores. An incredible feat for I had witnessed the bruises and welts that adorned her sizeable backside at first hand.
It had been a revelation and a curious fact that still engaged my thoughts and senses since it had happened not a day or so ago. By rights, I should of been appalled at the severity of her punishment and promised myself to make sure such a fate never befell my bottom.
But I wasn't. For nearly every passing daydream seemed to have me discovering ways and means to TEMPT such a fate whatever the consequences. Once or twice I had considered if I was going mad. As we walked by the Church of St Bede I crossed myself quickly. A girl like myself should nay be having such thoughts in her young head. But something always pushed my guilt aside and I constantly found myself imagining, desiring and wanting to feel my Masters ire delivered through his leather across my quaking bottom. "Forgive me my sins Lord for I know not the reason why I feel like I do." I whispered to myself as I grabbed Agnes' arm to hurry her on by the holy walls of my conscience.
Agnes looked at me with surprise. "Why the rush Miss Tilly, we're early are we not ?" she asked as I slowed us to a sedate amble as I glanced over my shoulder nervously as if waiting for the Fathers hand to grasp and haul me to account for my wicked ways. We were approaching the docks and the hubbub rose like a swarm of angry bee's as we were swallowed by its tide as we made our way to a particular fishmonger who knew our faces and who we served. "Be careful." I warned my companion for the Cook had given her the purse and this place was a hive of rouges, sly tongued scoundrels and pickpockets who could not only charm a lady out of her coin but her underwear as well if given half the chance.
Agnes gave me a disapproving glance as if to say."Of couse I will, I'm not THAT feeble-minded silly."
All around us there was the cry and cat-calls of sellers. Some with fruit, some brick-a-brack, some cloth, some even selling themselves but both Agnes and I hid our faces as we walked by those that desperate until we reached the wooden docks where the daily catches were sold.
It was busy. Like a crowd of crows the mingling mass closed around us bumping and barging with muffled curses and the odd apology. Suddenly Agnes gasped for some ruffian had nearly knocked her off her feet and she turned angrily as the figure disappeared. "Ignoramus !!" she called after him but he was gone. I watched as she dusted her coat down and wrapped her shawl about her shoulders.
"Alright ?" I asked concerned.
Agnes nodded. "I should of kicked him in the cobblers !!" she muttered, a look on her face so fierce that I nearly burst out laughing in surprise. Dear, dear Agnes. She wouldn't harm a mouse. Grabbing her hand, I tugged her along.
A short while later....
Agnes had turned deathly pale as she fumbled amongst her clothing in search of Cooks purse. We were standing in front of a stall and had already picked out our requirements from the cod stacked in boxes and with the fishmonger waiting to be paid. I stared at my companion with a mounting sense of dread and forboding as her color returned with a worrying flush. "Agnes ?" I gulped, my heart in my throat. Agnes turned her wide eyed gaze on me, the fear in her eyes plain to see. "Oh no...." I muttered.
Such was my surprise at my younger friends suggestion that I stood for a long moment shocked with my mouth bobbing up and down like one of the specimens we were supposed to be purchasing for Cook. Except we couldn't of course, seeing that Agnes had somehow transpired to loose the purse in her charge. Agnes, as you can well imagine, was beside herself with fear and was clutching at straws in desperation. "A decoy ?" I gasped looking around scared.
Agnes' head bobbed up and down. "We have to Miss Tilly. Do you want to explain to the Mistress where her coin went ?" she hiccupped, dancing from foot to foot. "You attract his attention and thus occupied I'll sneak behind the stall and make away with enough to cover the lost coin, please Miss Tilly I can't bear the thought of what will happen to my bottom if we don't !!"
This was awful !! But Agnes was right, we'd be in real trouble and the outcome would be dramatic in the extreme. I had no doubt that after Mr Forbisher had finished with her, Cook would extract her due for her lost purse as well. But what Agnes was suggesting was thievery!!
I was shivering with fright and could nay think a sensible thought such was my fear. "Attract his attention, how ?" I muttered under my breath as one or two onlookers glanced in our direction out of curiosity.
Agnes grabbed my hands in hers. "Pish tush, you have enough good looks fer two Miss Tilly. Why not act a faint. That would work will it not ? Or perhaps grant him a smile, just enough to distract him."
As I stared at her all I could think was that this was not one of her better idea's.
The deed was done and we quickly disappeared in the maddening crowd hoping to get lost in the throng. Nearly running as best we could, Agnes grasped her bag to her chest like it was the most precious thing she possessed. Her colour was high, as was mine no doubt, her eyes wild as she kept glancing over her shoulder to see if we were being pursued. "You were wonderful Miss Tilly !!" she enthused. "The monger could nay take his eyes off you as you lifted yer skirt and adjusted yer stockin'. His eyes were nigh popping out of his head !!" she laughed.
It had been a measure of the last resort. The fish-seller was a strange looking individual who's eyes pointed in opposite directions and who's personal hygiene left much to be desired. There was no way I was going to give him any funny idea's by granting him a smile. The very thought turned my stomach. So in desperation I had pretended to adjust my stocking, shamefully showing him a length of leg (and no doubt others of his ilk too) to allow Agnes to sneak behind him and swipe three sizeable length's of cod from his stall. Just as we thought our ruse had worked and had made good or escape....
"Ello, ello, ello wot do we 'ave 'ere then hmmmm?" came a deep voice suddenly.
Mrs Forbisher had a face like thunder as she stood listening to the Peeler explain what had transpired at the fishdock. Occasionally she glanced at us with a withering stare tinged with surprise and disappointment. The officer had his notebook out and was relating events that had happened at the Station where he had taken us for our statements. Much to our horror upon entering a room we had found ourselves face to face with our cross-eyed friend who jumped up and cried loudly "Thars them !!".
So, on this most dreadful day of dreadful days, Agnes and I found ourselves in our Masters drawing room side by side awaiting our fate.
Agnes was beside herself with fear and panic, she grasped her hankie in her hands, her knuckles turning white as we waited for Mrs Forbisher to return after seeing the Officer out.
It was then we heard the sound of her footsteps echoing along the hall as she approached the room in which we waited. It was with no shame to admit we both jumped as she opened and closed the oak double doors with a resounding "clang". Agnes had begun to whine and sniffle. I was not surprised. After all she was the one that had been entrusted with the purse and it was upon her head that the final responsibility lay. I, on the other hand, would probably be summirarily dismissed for my part in the escapade. The thought of explaining to my family that I had partaken in theft was not one I was looking forward too. It was thus I found myself hanging my head in shame.
"Look at me !!" ordered our employer suddenly.
Agnes squeaked with alarm and curtseyed with fright. She would of fainted if I hadn't grabbed her by the elbow. Looking up we saw Mrs Forbisher standing over us, judge, jury and executioner.
Fear is a strange thing. Ensnared in its icy grip I could scarce make out a thing our Mistress said as she walked too and fro in front of us lecturing us about our lack of morals and common sense. Her words buzzed about me like a swarm of angry bee's, only breaking through my mind when she paused and stood in front of us hands on hips in that way she always did when she had a certain point to make.
For some strange reason my mind was elsewhere, somewhere deep and dark. Somewhere where pain mixed with pleasure.
"I want no lies do you hear me ?" a voice said. "Who's foolish idea was it ?"
At the question I could feel Agnes begin to quake and moan softly no doubt imagining the swish of "old yellah" across her bare buttocks. The sound of our silence was deafening as we both stood fidgeting uncomfortably. Mrs Forbisher lent forward until her crows beak loomed ominously. "WELL ??!!!"
Besides me I could feel Agnes beginning to gather her courage to say something, out of the corner of my eye I saw her lift her head as her mouth trembled open to admit her guilt. She was just about to speak when suddenly.... "Twas me Mistress." I said aloud. "It was all my fault. The idea was mine."
Agnes stared at me open mouthed as I glanced at her blushing. I could only smile weakly and shrug slightly at her amazed look. Where this path would take me God alone knows but in my foolish heart I had taken the first step along a road to personal discovery. Mrs Foribisher nodded, her lips thin with triumph.
Turning she went behind her husbands desk to where an old oak cabinet stood, opened its doors and took out "old yellah". To my right I heard Agnes gasp and step back a little. I had a mind to do the same for "old yellah" was an evil looking thing and was rarely seen these days only for when the situation merited it. And this was obviously one such situation. Wielding it like a short sword, Mrs Forbisher returned to stand in front of us.
Both Agnes and I couldn't take our eyes off the stick as she folded her arms. "By rights I should dismiss you both to the slums you sprang front." she began."But I won't for despite all this you both earn your keep by working hard. Agnes, you shall return downstairs and explain to Cook what has happened. Tell her the Mistress has instructed that you shall work a week unpaid and that your chores are to be doubled for that period and as a further punishment you are required to help with the mucking out in the stables for a further month. Is that understood girl ?"
Agnes quickly dropped a curtsey. "Yes M'am."
"Good. Now be off with you before I change my mind." she ordered, pointing the cane in the direction of the doors. Quickly giving me a fearful glance, Agnes fair ran from the room....
In my mind, my young and foolish mind, I had convinced myself that my first punishment would have been delivered most smartly under the gaze of the Master of the house, Mr Forbisher. But, alas, twas not to be so. Oh, I should be so disappointed so. Who am I to choose under who's ire I befell? Not I, a mere servant from below stairs. The mind is a most curious thing, it dances, plays tricks and convinces one that what is to befall its host is all for the best. Twas thus I found myself staring cross eyed as the Mistress of the house flexed that awful beast in her grasp bending it like a bow as she lectured me and promising me that I would never, ever, be so stupid again.
I could feel my lower lip sticking out more and more.
I wished she would get on with it. The anticipation was frightful !!
Jenny slowly closed the book and rested her head back against the headboard of her bed, closing her eyes and savouring a most delicious tingle that topped her from head to toe. Reaching across, she picked up a glass of water on her nightstand and took a sip to cool her down. She could feel her hands shaking as her excitement grew. With a free hand she pushed back her loose hair and stretched out the top of her nightgown to cool her down. Typical, so much for the single girl with a career against the world. What she wouldn't give to have a man around her flat right here, right now. Smiling ruefully, she put the glass of water down and continued to read.....
Lying upon my bed later that evening it occurrs to me that a most important part of the ritual is what happens before a punishment begins. In other words the shamefull humiliation of bending and baring before another person. In truth it is hard to describe but I shall attempt it for it shall add to the sum of my self.
Lady Forbisher wound herself up to her full stature and tapped the wood on the front of the desk. "Enough chat, time to pay the piper so to speak Tilly. Bend over, lean on the desk and arrange your attire so that my husbands cane can kiss the flesh of your bottom. Hurry now, I haven't got all day as Mrs Brighes-Norton and the other ladies are due for a mornings game of Bridge and I need to go and freshen up. Quick smart girl !!" she urged, swishing the rattan through the air making it hiss like a snake about to strike.
Oh my, if I had had a steady hand there would have been no problem but I did not !! Such was their shaking that it took me a moment to lift my heavy skirts and fumble underneath to loosen the buttons that held my modesty together. It was as I dillied and dallied, my mind blushing with shame that the first stroke fell knocking me forward with an "Oooof" in surprise.
The Mistress had no doubt felt the need to give me a reminder and had swished a devil of a cut across my plump behind that still lay hidden beneath my cloth. Oh, the stroke had injured both my behind and fingers at the same time !! I jumped up and whipped my hands out in front of me, blowing on each knuckle to ease the sting. "Ohhhhhhh....." I whimpered for it had stung terribly.
Mrs Forbisher was having none of it. "You my girl are far too lax in the doing. Bend and bare quickly or else I shall beat you until the crows come home. If you're not careful you may find yourself with an audience who might appreciate the experience of seeing how I deal with my staff." she warned as I stood sniffling like a little girl in front of her. "BEND AND BARE NOW !!!"
Suffice to say I bucked up my idea's as well as my quivering bottom.
"UHHHHHHHAHHHHHHHH !!!!!" I hissed as my punishment continued. How, how many had I endured ? I had lost all rash nor reason for such was the pain flowing through me I couldn't even think straight never mind count. Though I think Mrs Forbisher was just swishing away willy nilly not bothering to count either from the way she barely let me recover from each stroke.
"AAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHH !!!!!" Awful, terrible and unbearable. But there was something more, something I clung too in this most desperate hour, a faint tremor that twirled and swirled somewhere deep within. Whenever a lash fell and my pain rose to devour me it whispered and calmed me making everything safe and wonderful.
Somewhere I heard someone say "Twelve." I knew not who for I didn't care any more. All I was, am, was centered on the throbbing that was my backside. My backside which even as the stings and torments of the last stroke faded away was rising for more....
To hell with consequences.
I would endeavour to look for more opportunities.
Part 3 - Echoes of the Past.
The following day.....
In the hall, the old Grandfather clock, its pendulum swinging in a hypnotic too and fro, gathered itself to strike ten bells. Sitting at his desk Herbert Wellington glanced up just in time to see the approaching figure of a woman walking up his path carrying something in a bag. The forty year old expert in Victorian antiquity smiled as he recognised her. Ahhh Jennifer, Jenny Black. The lady from the Auction house in town. Pushing back his chair he picked up his cane and hobbled to greet her as his doorbell rang a Victorian chime and he idly wondered what she was doing visiting him on this grey rainy morning..
A rather bemused Herbert Wellington sat puffing on his walnut pipe as he slowly closed the old journal that Jennifer had given to him not ten minutes before. He paused for a moment running his fingers over the stiff leather bindings before he noticed the young lady watching him with an expectant look on her pretty face. This was certainly a fine example of later Victoriana and quite a find.
"Well?" asked Jennifer. She wondered how much he had read.
Herbert took a last draw on his pipe "Interesting. Where did you find it?"
"During a house clearing. It was under a pile of old newspapers from the same period. It's obviously a personal diary of some sort." She sat forward eagerly warming to her subject. She loved anything like this and more so because she was talking to someone who was an expert in the subject. When reading the journal she felt as if she was stepping back into a whole other world with its different attitudes and customs. A better world she thought suddenly. Her heart fluttered when she realised it wasn't so much the journal itself which fascinated her but the thoughts and ideals of the woman who wrote them. Especially her descriptions of punishments in a Victorian household. Jenny felt herself blush crimson and tried to hide her glow by looking around Mr Wellingtons study which was for all intents and purposes one big library with wall to wall tomes of anything related to the era around the turn of the last century. As she looked around her eyes fell on a display cabinet and her heart lurched in her chest for through the slightly dust smeared glass hung what looked like two old fashioned wicker canes and a formidable leather strap of some sort.
"Not so much a day to day diary I feel, more an expression of personal thoughts and desires. The lady in question seems to have used it as a sort of secret confessional journal so to speak."
Jenny jumped and turned to look at the older man sitting behind his desk which groaned under a weight of everything imaginable. "What?" She took a deep breath, giving herself a mental shake. "Confessional?"
"Yes." he said. "It really is quite interesting. You have to remember that at the time it was written society was much more repressed about such things as sexuality, especially a woman's, than it is today. In those days a Master ruled his house with a rod of iron and his lady was seen as subservient to him in all things, though never in front of their servile household you understand." He opened the journal again. "This Victoria Le Saux appears to have had quite a vivid imagination." he smiled as he glanced at the young woman sitting in front of him. He had already noticed the flushed look on her elfin face.
"Oh?" asked Jenny not wanting to sound so eager. She knew exactly what Mr Wellington was talking about. She could feel waves of hot and cold flushes running up and down her spine for the thoughts of Miss Victoria Le Saux were uncannily similar to her own deep desires, though she was too proud - or too afraid - to admit it. She frowned and shifted in her chair feeling suddenly uncomfortable at the realisation that it was one aspect of Victorian Antiquity that had always been of belly-flopping curiosity to her. Victorian repressed sexuality in the form of dominance and submission. In other words, the physical outcome of being under the rule of someone else. Indeed, someone like Mr Forbisher - this Victorian lady's dark nemesis in her stories. Through her projected persona of Tilly Hogg, a Victorian scullery maid, this was the phantom with whom she satisfied her submissive sexual fantasies. Her breath caught in her throat and her lips parted softly as she felt her bottom suddenly come alive and begin to throb for Mr Forbisher had come to visit her last night - in her dreams.
There were so many layers of petticoats and skirts that she felt their unfurling would never end as she lay bent gasping over the low stool. Behind her she could feel him preparing her for her punishment. Her head jerked up when she felt the sudden breath of cool air on her ripe fulsome bottom as the flap of her white knee-length bloomers were tugged agape. Her hands grasped and scrambled at the front wooden legs of the stool as he finally stepped away from her tense form. Through her long free hair she could see hardly anything with him hidden behind the fan of her steepled clothing. He must be drawing his cane she shivered. Drawing it back and up in a graceful arc, measuring, measuring the sweep and curve of the thin wood so that it would strike with biting venom across both cheeks of her defenceless bottom. He said nothing but the room was suddenly filled with the unforgettable sound of the air gasping it's anguish as it parted in that devilish weapons wake. It's cursed hiss exploded behind her and in that next eternal moment she felt its bite of fury blistering across her fair skin. As if from a distance Jenny heard herself scream and shriek....
Jenny blinked rapidly and gasped despite herself for she was back in Mr Wellingtons study and he was staring at her with a most curious look. Calm down she chided herself but it was no good for her heart ruled her head and her blood raged like a torrent. She tried to concentrate and regain her composure as a smile crossed the older mans face.
Interesting Mr Wellington mused to himself for he had noted Miss Blacks momentary spiritual departure. She had still stared at him but with unseeing eyes for in that moment she was one with the ghost of Victoria Le Saux. He promised himself it was a place he must visit one day.
The Reality of Make Believe.
"Are you sure?"
There was a pause. A long one.
"Yes. Yes that one."
Mr Forbisher loomed large not only due to his station but also his very presence in the small upstairs attic. Indeed such was his dominance of the room I found myself quite overwhelmed and feeling quite faint.
Jenny tried to muster what decorum and dignity she had left as she tried to push herself upright but such an exercise soon vanished for the wicked throbbing bubbling across the whole canvas of her swelling arse caused each slight movement of muscle and skin to elicit gasps and groans from between her moist parted lips. Despite being blessed with a vibrant and vivid imagination even that was a mere shade as she tried to come to terms with her firm physical chastisement. Trembling as she finally stood upright she gasped even more as she felt the bands of her welts beginning to burn purple. Immediately, her hands scrambled under the many layers of her Victorian clothing to measure the damage done by both the Buckmaster strap and the Killkenny cane. "Bloody hell!" she muttered in surprise as she gingerly traced each crimson ridge that criss crossed her pained rear. She glared at the man who stood just off to her right watching her antics with an amused smile. She made a face at him. "Mrs Vanderguard had one vivid imagination I think. I wonder if she ever lived out her fantasies?"
"It would be sad to think she hadn't. But for someone who took the trouble to write them down I suspect there was some fact in all that fiction. I'm sure Mr Vanderguard was an apt and able man judging from what I've learned about his family."
Jenny stopped her rubbing and looked at him. "You've researched their family?"
He smiled, feeling faintly embarrassed. He removed his spectacles and used his white handkerchief to give them a quick polish. "Well, not exactly Jenny. You see, my late wife's maiden name was Vanderguard."
Jenny felt her mouth drop open in surprise. Then she started to laugh. "Oh."
Sometimes truth was definitely stranger than fiction.