'I hope you'll dress smartly for your appointment,' said Abel as I curled up in my bath robe at half past 10 in the morning.
'What do you want, a ball gown?' I said. Nevertheless, I dragged myself upstairs to put some clothes on. At 11am exactly I was supposed to knock on his office door, reporting for my punishment.
This used to be a fantasy of mine: hours of anticipation, self-conscious squirming, minutes ticking away - walking up the stairs with enough time to spare that I can take a few deep breaths at the door to calm my nerves. We sometimes role-play with scenes like that, and I love it. Reality has shown that I'm just so good at compartmentalisation, that the first time I thought about the punishment that morning when Abel reminded me to get dressed for it. Not that I wasn't happy to get over with it: the punishment had been hanging over me for more than a day.
We Punishment Book babes get spanked for a variety of reasons, and some times our misdeeds are pretty contradictory. We simply can't use each other's experience for guidance. One day I'll be spanked for working too hard, and then Mija will be spanked for not working hard enough. One day Sparkle is in trouble for not locking the front door - and guess what I get strapped for next.
Abel arrived home the other night to find the front door latched. He doesn't like this. I always have the latch on, particularly when it's almost midnight, and I'm alone in the house, but when he's due to come home from a trip, I unlatch it before he comes back.
Or anyway, I'm *supposed* to unlatch it. Unless I forget. Or put the latch back on automatically. When this happens, I usually hear a crash as Abel tries to open the door, and then some very bad words when he fails.
Only this time, there was a crash - and complete silence. Bad words were mentally provided by me, because I'd suddenly remembered that last time this happened he'd promised me retribution. I wondered whether it would be safer just to leave him outside, but then figured that at some point I'd have to leave the house to get food and stuff, and by that time he'd be really unhappy, so I sighed and trotted to the door.
'You'll be spanked for this,' were his first words.
'Hello to you too,' I said. I really wanted to explain to him about serial killers, monsters from the outer space, and maniacs who get into your house *just* as you're about to have a shower, but thankfully I was too tired to say anything witty, so we just hugged and went to bed.
The next day he didn't mention it at all. All day.
Until that night, when he suddenly remembered. But then it was quite late, and we'd had a glass of wine, and I reasoned maybe he should put off my punishment to some time when I'm not comatose. I have this thing where I prefer not to be spanked when I'm too tired to understand what's happening. Although, if you think about it, maybe it would be better to sleep through the punishment, and wake up pleasantly refreshed in the morning, wondering why my bottom is sore and striped...
Anyway, my spanking was put off again. Only this time Abel told me to report to him the following morning.
At exactly two minutes past eleven I was touching my toes in the spare bedroom, in the middle of a vast space he had just cleared for his swinging needs.
He had picked out a strap - not the scariest we own, but one of the pretty scary ones, with a nasty wooden handle and a nasty black leather tongue, and announced that I was getting six strokes.
Well, that's not too bad, I said to myself, I can take six; I've had six before - I've had many more; no big deal, I though: it's only six.
When you need to tell yourself something so many times, it's because deep inside you know that it's a lie.
I knew it was bad after the second stroke, which bit so heavily into my skin that my ears rang before I could even feel anything. I couldn't stay in position for anything. After each stroke I shot straight up, hollering and clutching my bottom. I went straight back to touching my toes, though, because I wanted to get through this, and I didn't want any extra strokes: it was hard enough to get through the strokes I'd had.
I didn't cry, but I came close to tears, particularly after the last stroke, when I crouched on the floor, thankful I didn't need to present my bottom to the strap again. I had a band of fire across my cheeks, so sore that I didn't even look at it in the mirror. I just didn't want to see it.
Abel gave me a hug - a really long and warm one - and I gingerly pulled my trousers back on.
I'm still going to keep the door locked, thankyouverymuch, but maybe I'll put a big sign on the inside of it, saying something like "Husband Alert, Take Off Latch."