Two weeks ago I got what was easily the most embarrassing punishment of my life. Mind you, it's no use going "oooooh", and starting to scroll down in search of all the mortifying things that a man can do to a woman's body (and I'm sure we can all imagine plenty of those). The embarrassing thing about my punishment was its cause: it was a stereotypical thing that a stereotypical wife does in your dull, stereotypical spanking story; the sort, you know, that you never read to the end. How would you like to be a walking, bending over, squealing stereotype?
And what did I do that was so terribly stereotypical, you ask?
I forgot to mail a rather important cheque. But not just that. I completely forgot it had ever existed. Eventually the people for whom the payment was intended asked Abel about it (and of course, it was still sitting in its little envelope atop the microwave, where all our outgoing envelopes wait to be mailed), and in turn he asked me whether I was sure it had gone. I had no memory about it either way. Quite a few envelopes leave our house, you know; it's not like I have a farewell party for each of them.
But did I check to see if it was still hanging around the house? Did I hell. Instead I supposed that it was far more likely that it had gone than not, and that the Royal Mail had a worse record of lost post than I did, so statistical thinking won. Abel sighed, wrote another cheque and rang the bank to cancel the old one.
A few months passed, and in a feat of domesticity Abel decided to clean the kitchen while I was away. And what does he find?
(By the way, we shall have no comments to the effect that in our house several months go by between bouts of tidying of the stuff on top of the microwave. Thanks.)
Thus, in the middle of a little stay with my parents I learned from a non-amused email that back in England there was a cane singing out my name.
On my first evening back Abel gave me a choice. The punishment would happen the next day: either at eight in the morning, or at eight at night. It was my choice: when I felt I was ready, I had to ask for it.
I don't generally take a spanking well when I'm tired, and these days by 8pm I usually turn into vanilla-flavoured plankton... so I couldn't imagine wanting to wait until that night to ask for the cane. Not that an early morning caning would be, you know, *desirable*, but at least I'd be able to handle the pain. Or so I hoped. Falling into deep, inexplicably jet-lagged sleep, I hoped I would wake up on time.
My eyes flew open in the morning, trained immediately on the radio-alarm. It was twenty-to-eight. I'm a slow waker; immediately after waking I'm capable of walking (sort of), cuddling (quite well), but not speaking. Yet, my time was limited. I stuck my face into Abel's shoulder, right where he is soon going to have a face-shaped hollow, and mumbled into his skin that I'd like to be punished, please.
He told me to have a shower. And then to come to the spare bedroom, the usual location for any punishment that requires a decent swing. And not to bother dressing. He sounded most sympathetic.
Once there, he didn't need to offend my intelligence with a lecture: I knew exactly what a bad, stereotypical wife I had been. He gave me a hug and asked how many strokes my longest ever caning had been. I had to think about it for a minute. Occasionally we play hard, cathartic scenes where the count goes up and up. And I've had some rather spectacular canings from other people. But a punishment? Hmm. A punishment had never needed to be as hard. My best guess was twelve. Twelve strokes was plenty. I'd even give change from twelve.
I had to understand, Abel answered, that nothing I'd ever done to deserve a punishment before had ever been as bad in the impact it's had on serious things. Like paying bills, which is a serious thing.
Yeah. I understood that.
So I had to realise, he continued, that nothing but a double number of strokes would do. It had to be twenty four.
My stomach made a very scared leap. I've been known to cry after three strokes, you see. Twenty four?
Yeah, I said aloud. That would be fair.
Abel was silent for long enough for me to imagine what every one of those twenty four would feel like. And then he told me that, because I was so gracious about accepting the guilt, and hadn't given him a word of argument, he was inclined to be lenient and reduce the punishment to eighteen strokes. (If you infer from this that the instances of me *not arguing* are pretty rare, you'll be right: I always, always have an excuse. Unless I totally don't.)
I bent down with my elbows on our spare bed and my backside arched up as invitingly as I could manage. It was in my best interest that Abel had a perfect shot at it: the last thing I wanted was a wrap, or a stray stroke on my mid-thigh only because there's so little space in the room to take a good aim. I dug my fingers into the blanket and concentrated on breathing.
If you think it was atrociously painful, you're right: I saw stars on every stroke; Ursa Major and all its cubs. Despite my best efforts I wriggled, and put my hands back, and behaved like a girl who should really know better. And actually, I did know better, but I couldn't help it: I had no control over my hands, or my wiggling behind. I just wanted it over.
But I didn't cry, not this time, and I was glad. Somehow, every stroke feels so much harder when the tears have broken through, and I feel abused if the punishment continues far past that point. Yet here I trembled on the brink, but held on to the end, screaming, but dry-eyed.
There were plenty of cuddles afterwards, and breakfast, and a day out, where my jeans felt warm all the time from hugging my welted bum. And it was all OK, really after the punishment was over.
But I still wish these eighteen strokes could have been for some other reason, not as thoroughly explored in substandard spanking literature.