Two 14-Year-Olds

by Mr Hicks

Simon Paish

I had been smoking when I could manage to steal some fags out of my dad's work jacket since I was about ten. Never very many and never so I could get caught. There were a couple of close shaves when mum smelled the tobacco on me, but I always managed to convince her that I'd been sitting next to someone smoking on the bus.

And in all that time I never got caught. We used to go down by the canal after school and spark up, and because we always had someone keeping a look-out none of us ever got into trouble. At school, it was a different story. Lads were forever getting caught smoking and it was always the same thing: up to the headmaster, letter home to parents, six of the best with his cane. My mate Lee had been caught twice and the second time his dad gave him a follow-up dose of the bamboo with nothing but his pyjamas on. He showed me his arse after that and it was a mass of purple bruises.

Me I led a charmed life. Both the times Lee was caught I was off sick. Actually, I was skiving the second time, but I was never found out. Other times I either turned up at the smokers' corner just as the teacher was taking their names, or I'd just left. Once I was there and thought I was done for, but I'd just given my fag to Ben Allerton. The stupid bloody teacher said that since I didn't have the fag in my hand she couldn't very well send me up to Mr Tresham. So Ben got the cane and his old man strapped him as well and I got away with it! In a way I wish I had been caned because it caused a bit of tension between me and the others, but I wasn't going to argue about not getting the cane, now was I?

I don't know what my dad would have done if I'd brought home a letter saying I'd been caned. He'd whacked my backside half a dozen times or so with the slipper, and he kept on saying that he'd wallop me if I got the stick at school, but something about the way he said it made me doubt that he really would. I wasn't all that bothered about it anyway because the slipper didn't really hurt all that much. The last time he did it he threatened to take my pants down because I was laughing so much.

But my luck changed the day Lee and I decided to go round behind the cricket pavilion one day during the lunch hour. This wasn't one of the regular smokers' corners, but we reckoned we were pretty safe because no-one ever went there. Actually, smoking wasn't the main reason for going there. Lee's older brother had been arrested the night before for burglary and he was upset and worried about it, because he reckoned his brother was a bit of a hero and now he was likely to be put away. He just wanted to talk about it and the fags were a natural accompaniment to any serious talk.

We were sitting there on a pile of old rugby posts and, of course, we didn't have a lookout because it was just the two of us. Needless to say, we were caught. 'Madman' Donnelly, the PT master, walked round the end of the building _f_u_c_k_ knows what he was doing and we were bang to rights. A bit like Lee's brother, really.

"You'd better go and wait outside Mr Tresham's office, hadn't you?" he said.

"Oh, sir," said Lee. "D'you have to report us?"

"You're smoking, Dockerby. You should know by now what happens to boys caught smoking. In fact, hasn't Mr Tresham caned you already for it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, I'm glad I'm not in your trousers. Off you go."

"Oh, come on, sir. Do us a favour. Why don't you whack us instead?" Madman often used a gymshoe on boys that displeased him and I'd seen what it was like. It was pretty bad, but not like a caning from Mr Tresham.

"Yes, sir," I joined in. "If you was to give us the slipper, sir, we'd be getting a whacking just the same, but our parents wouldn't have to know."

He thought for a moment, eyeing us up and down. "Inside the pavilion."

We trooped inside the building behind him. He went into his little office and after a minute or two came out again with a kind of leather strap in his hand. It wasn't very long but I could see how stiff and heavy it was. There was a kind of handle one end and the other was split into two thongs about an inch wide. He showed it to us, just waving it up and down in front of our faces.

"There. This is called a tawse. Lads in Scotland get it instead of the cane. I'll give you six apiece with this. Across the seat of your gymshorts. Or you can go up to Mr Tresham and have the letter home to your parents."

This was a different thing altogether from his gym slipper and I wasn't sure what to choose. And I could see that Lee was in two minds also.

"No need to decide straight away. If you want me to strap you, just turn up at the gym after school this afternoon and get changed into shorts. If you're not here by four fifteen I'll go to Mr Tresham. Off you go now."

We had Geography followed by Latin and then Maths that afternoon. It seemed never ending. By the time we'd got back to the school building after leaving Madman we knew we were going to let him punish us, and now it was just a case of waiting for four o'clock. Part of me wished that he had done it there and then, but the other part knew that I couldn't have sat through three boring lessons with my bum on fire.

When we went into the changing room at the gym, Madman was there and facing him were two first formers stark naked.

"Ah, lads," he said. "Just get changed and I'll be with you directly. Now, you two, what did I say would happen to the next boy who chucked soap in the shower?"

"Get the slipper, sir," said one of them.

"Right then. Turn round and touch your toes."

They did it. One of them looked as though he was about to cry. Madman produced the gymshoe from behind his back and without any delay planted two cracking slaps on each boy's bare bottom. The one who had been nearly crying yelped a bit but the other didn't seem too bothered. They rubbed at themselves and scampered off to their clothes, while Lee and I finished changing into the white gymshorts.

"Dockerby," said Madman, when we presented ourselves. "I've been thinking about you. Caned twice for smoking already. I don't think I can let you off with the same as Paish's getting, can I? So a little extra choice for you. Three extra or all six on your bare backside."

It didn't bear thinking about. I would never have been able to make a choice like that, but Lee decided instantly.

"On me bare arse, sir."

"Get 'em off then. Paish. Into the gym, please."

He led me into the echoing gym, which was cold even though it was June. The little vaulting horse was out and I could see straight away that he was going to make me bend over the top of it. I was right. I had to lie over the horse with my head hanging down one side and my legs the other. That way my backside was the highest part of me and I could feel the thin cloth of my shorts pulled tight over my poor flesh.

He didn't hang about, I'll say that for the cunt. I was hardly in place before I heard his feet shuffle on the floor and the strap came lashing down on my barely protected buttocks. Both cheeks got it, full force and you can bet your life I yelled. I must have tried to get down off the horse because his hand on my back kept me still and in place. The next one landed a bit lower and the pain was even worse, but this time I was ready for him and only gasped a bit. It was like all the breath was being knocked out of me, and I had no idea how I was going to hold still for the rest of the beating.

Somehow I did, of course. After the third the pain didn't really get much worse, till the last one, which he lay into me as hard as he _f_u_c_k_ing could. I slid off the horse and clapped my hands to my wounded rear end. It felt like the whole of my bottom was going up in flames and when I opened my eyes again the cunt was grinning at me.

"Off you go, laddie. Next time there'll be no escape from Mr Tresham's wee cane."

I made it into the changing room somehow and there was Lee, waiting for his turn, stark naked. Madman waved him inside with the strap and I was on my own and could get my shorts down and give my arse a really good rubbing. There was a mirror by the showers and by standing on the ball racks down the middle of the room I could get a look at myself in it. The strap had made great red weals across both sides and they were turning purple at the edges. Even though it still hurt like _f_u_c_k_ I felt kind of proud that I'd got such a good set of marks. It would be a good laugh showing them off when we had gym tomorrow.

I heard every one of Lee's lashes with the strap. _f_u_c_k_ knows how he managed to take four without a sound. I couldn't begin to imagine what it was like getting it with no protection at all. The last two made him yell and when he came out he was really hopping and rubbing at his tail. He let me have a look and there was a bead of blood down the side of his right cheek where the strap had broken the skin.

Neither of said anything as we got dressed and then Madman turned us out and we could go home. Walking felt funny because the whacking seemed to have made my knees go stiff, but already, by the time we got down by the canal most of the pain had gone and my backside was throbbing and glowing.

I would have gone straight home, but that wasn't good enough for Lee. Under the bridge he stopped and leaned against the rail. He fished in his jacket pocket and brought out his packet of Weights.

"The stupid _f_u_c_k_ing bastard didn't even take our fags off us." He gave me one and I lit us up with a match from the box I always carried.

"How's your arse feel now?" I asked him.

"_f_u_c_k_ing sore." We smoked for a while. Then Lee spoke again. "I know where the cunt lives. Let's go and put a brick through his _f_u_c_k_ing window."

Neil Roper

I was down to my underpants and the cards in my hand added up to eighteen. Stu Hattersby and Paul Jacobs looked at me. The tension in the room was pretty high. Paul had nearly all his clothes on but Stu was stripped to the waist just his trousers and cacks to go. Both of us had suffered a losing streak with Paul winning hand after hand.

"Twist," I said and closed my eyes. There was a shout of laughter from the other two and I opened them to see the seven of diamonds looking up at me.

"Bust!" crowed Paul.

There was nothing for it. They had to come off.

It was the last evening of term. We were packed and ready for the holiday. Everyone else in our common room was watching some dopey film on the headmaster's TV. We preferred just to sit around and talk about girls until one of us had hit upon Strip Pontoon as a way of passing the time.

Paul and Stu started clapping their hands and chanting, "Off! Off! Off!" kind of quietly. I stood up, feeling a right idiot, but then I reckoned the best way to deal with this was not to make a big deal of it. It's not as if I wasn't used to them seeing me with nothing on in the showers and stuff. The only difference was that now we were in the common room and I had a bit of a hard on. Even that wasn't a huge deal since three nights ago our dorm had a wanking race which all three of us, plus about six others had taken part in.

I whipped down my drawers, stepped out of them and threw them on to the pile of clothes in the corner. I did a bit of a pose for them and then sat down.

"Deal," I said.

"How you going to pay if you lose again?" Paul asked.

"I dunno."

"He can pay with slaps on his arse," said Stu.

And just as Paul started to deal the cards is when we heard the footsteps coming along the corridor. There was no mistaking it. It was matron!

Stu and I scrambled for our clothes. Despairingly I knew that was no good. There was no way in the world that I could get anything back on before she passed the door. Perhaps I could hide under the table there was nowhere else! The footsteps were right outside. Maybe she'd just go past. Not a hope. A light on in a common room when everyone was supposedly watching the film? In our dreams!

She opened the door and came right in. Stu was on his knees by the pile of clothes. He'd got my shirt in his hand. I was halfway between the pile and the table. I clutched my groin and tried to smile as though I wasn't doing anything unusual. And even at that moment of maximum embarrassment I had time to think: If only matron was some old battleaxe this wouldn't be so bad; but she was an attractive woman, no more than thirty-five and, as we all knew, our biology master was regularly _f_u_c_k_ing her.

"Well " she said. "What is going on?"

"Nothing, matron," we said.

"Strip pontoon, I see. And you seem to have lost, Roper."

"Yes, matron." She was smiling. There was hope. She thought it was funny.

"And Hattersby not much better."

"No, matron," said Stu.

"It must be your lucky day, Jacobs."

"Yes, matron."

Her smile disappeared. There was hardly a boy in our dorm who she hadn't reported for something and whose bottom hadn't suffered as a result. I had forgotten how much she enjoyed sending us up for corporal punishment.

"Go to your dormitory and get ready for bed. I was just on my way to see Mr Atkinson. We'll see what he has to say about it."

She turned on her high heel and stalked out. The old man! The headmaster! We were as good as dead. Only Dawkins in our form had been whipped by the old man. Dawkins had had eight on his bare bottom and he still had the stripes two weeks later. Notice that other masters 'caned' us: the old man 'whipped' us. The difference was that the old man always, always made you drop your drawers and gave it you on your bare backside.

Doom-laden, we trudged up to bed and put our pyjamas on. It could only be a matter of time now before the message came to come down to his study.

But it didn't. The others came up from the film show. Of course they asked why we were there already and then pissed themselves laughing when we told them. They went down in their dressing gowns to supper but we stayed where we were. Still no message came. They all came back upstairs. No message. The old man had taken prayers the same as always. He hadn't looked any different. The prefect put the light out and we were left to sweat.

Next morning all three of us confessed that we hadn't slept much: the thought of being whipped in the morning was too terrifying. Breakfast passed off without incident. We cleared the last things from our lockers, went to our form rooms where the morning was spent. No-one came with a message. Hope began to rise. He wasn't going to whip us after all. He thought it was funny.

The last assembly of the term was always a jolly affair. A good hymn, the usual prayers and 'be good over the holidays' speech from the old man and then the school song, and through the windows I could see cars of parents arriving to take us home. And there yes! my dad! Salvation was at hand!

Still nothing from the headmaster. At last we were out. Dad shook my hand as he always did and I gave him the envelope with my report and the bill for next term in it. While he opened it I went to get my trunk and stuff. Stu's father drove in and parked his car right next to ours, and I noticed that Mr Jacobs wasn't far away either, with his old Land Rover.

I dragged my trunk across the yard to the car and my heart turned over. The old man was there, talking to dad and Mr Hattersby and Mr Jacobs. And suddenly oh! how I could read what they were thinking! all four men burst out laughing!

"Roper," said the old man. "I'd like a word with you before you go home. I'm sure your father won't mind waiting."

"Not at all," said dad.

"Ah, and here are Hattersby and Jacobs. How convenient. To my study, please, boys. Why don't you leave your jackets with your fathers?"

Of course we did as he said. My heart was beating like a drum, and the crowd of boys and their parents seemed to have shrunk and gone a long way away suddenly.

We stood in a line, praying that maybe this was just to scare us and it wouldn't be too bad after all. He arrived almost immediately, bounding down the corridor, singing. _f_u_c_k_ing well singing!

He ushered us inside and we stood in a line. He threw off his gown, took off his jacket and went straight to the umbrella stand beside his desk and pulled out a cane. It was longer than the ones other masters used, but no thicker so I knew it was going to sting like absolute _f_u_c_k_.

"You know what this is about, I take it." We nodded. "I won't keep your fathers waiting any longer then." He turned the big armchair so that anyone sitting in it would be looking out on to the garden, not that we were going to be sitting. "Hattersby come to the chair, please. Trousers and pants down. And then bend right over as far as you can. Head down on the seat and you'll find a rail at the front you can hold on to."

Stu walked forward unbuckling his belt. He unbuttoned his trousers and pushed them and his pants down together, right down to his ankles. He draped himself over the back of the chair and the old man hoisted his shirt up his back. Stu was a tall, muscular boy and his bottom was solid with muscle. He was quite dark skinned and there were a few curls of black hair on the backs of his thighs.

The head was still a young man - and athletic. He stood back and launched himself into the whipping. Paul and I could hardly bear to watch. Stu took it reasonably bravely. One or two of the six strokes he even managed to take in silence. After six slicing cuts there was a band of dark red and purple across his backside no more than two inches wide, each individual weal within the band clearly visible and absolutely parallel. It was a professional performance, finely judged, perfect in its way. I would have said vicious, except that there was no malice in it.

"That will do, I think. Up you get, Hattersby."

Stu forced himself upright and then stooped to pull up his pants and then his trousers. Only then did he rub at his bottom, but the agony was clear on his face.

"Jacobs."

Paul went to the chair and dropped his trousers, then pushed his pants down over his bottom. He was about to bend over but the old man stopped him.

"All the way down, Jacobs, if you would."

Paul pushed his pants down to join his trousers round his ankles. He stretched over the chair back and the head hauled up his shirt. His bum was rounder and smoother than Stu's. His skin was white where his swimming trunks covered him, but across the middle of his right cheek were the faint mauve marks left by three strokes of 'Bull' Norris's cane the day before yesterday.

The old man danced into it and lashed the cane down across the exposed white flesh. Paul yelled, and each succeeding stroke increased his yells, till the last one almost made him scream. I didn't know how he was managing to stay bending over like that. His willpower was pretty impressive.

"Thank you, Jacobs." Paul stood up, his hands going immediately to his bum. His teeth were gritted and hi s face twisted with the pain. Awkwardly he groped for his pants and then his trousers, and kind of staggered away from the chair which was now vacant for me to take possession.

"Roper."

I stepped forward with blood singing in my ears. The floor seemed about five miles away and my hands had turned to nothing but thumbs as I undid my belt. Numbly I let my trousers fall and then pushed my pants down.

I thought I was used to being beaten. I had seen my report which told my parents that I had received corporal punishment five times that term. But nothing could have prepared me for the dreadful feeling of letting down my clothes so the old man could beat my naked bottom. But it still felt, partly, as though it was someone else that this was happening to.

I bent over the chair. Its back put my backside in just the right position and I had to stretch to reach the rail. I gripped it with both hands as though it was going to save me from death. I felt the old man's hand lift my shirt tail, way up to my shoulders. I was naked from shoulder to ankle. The air was cool round my bollocks. And that was when the true reality of the situation hit me. I was stripped, stretched over the chair with nothing to protect me, and the man behind me was going to hurt me as much as he could.

He didn't linger over the punishment like some masters did, but it must have lasted a full minute even so. That minute was the most horrifically painful of my entire life. The cane seemed to slice deep into the muscles of my bottom, driving the agony deeper and deeper into me. It was pure undiluted pain. It was more, much more than I could bear. But somehow, like my friends, I did bear it. I couldn't count the strokes. I have no idea whether I yelled or not.

"Thank you, Roper. Stand up."

I did it, but I don't know how. With pants and trousers back on, I stood with both hands rubbing at the most intense fire I had ever felt after a beating. My buttocks seemed to be made of fire, two molten globes of fire.

The old man put the cane away in the umbrella stand, and turned to face us, hands on hips.

"That was ...." He stopped. "No, I'm not going to lecture you. You know how stupid your game was. Have a good holiday."

He stepped towards us, holding out his hand. First Stu, then Paul, then I, we shook his hand and tried to respond to the grin with which he dismissed us.

Back in the yard, the crowds had dispersed and our fathers were standing in a group waiting for us. I half expected mine to be angry, but there were nothing but grins even laughs from the three of them.

"Ready?" asked Mr Jacobs.

"Yes," said Paul.

My luggage was loaded into the car. Gingerly I climbed into the passenger seat. Thank God, I thought, for the Riley's soft upholstery. Even so, the journey was _f_u_c_k_ing uncomfortable, with the weals pressing and burning beneath me. Dad only spoke about it once, after we had been driving for nearly an hour.

"How was it?"

"All right," I said.

"How was it really?"

"Terrible."

"And how are you feeling now?"

"It's wearing off," I lied.

And that was it. Not another word.


More stories byMr Hicks