School always started the same; assembly with the Headmaster on the stage, a hymn, headmaster’s ramblings, announcements, a couple of short prayers and then off to our form room for registration.

It was the middle of prayers when I got the urge to blow my nose; this I did! I blew so hard it could be heard all round the hall. All I could do was act as if it came from somewhere else and luckily we all had our heads bowed. Surprisingly the head just carried on, but when we reached the end of assembly he only dismissed the boys, the girls were to remain until the person who disrupted assembly stood up.

I was totally embarrassed. What could I say? Only a good excuse could get me out of this mess and slowly I, a fourth year, raised myself to my feet. Everyone else was dismissed. It was just me and the Headmaster. He walked over to me and demanded an explanation. Clearly it had to be good, for it was only a short walk to his office (or the Headmistress’s for that matter) and it was a walk I did not want to take. I blamed the outburst on trying to hold back a sneeze and had failed to do so. It was that simple. He was surprisingly satisfied with my excuse and I was sent to registration. Wow! A lucky escape, I thought.

It was about eleven and after break, we were sat in class when the school secretary walked in with a note for our teacher and it wasn’t long before its contents became clear. I was to report back to the Head at the start of lunch. For the next hour I kept trying to smile, but underneath I was getting more and more worried and concentration on the lesson was harder to maintain. End of lesson arrived soon enough and it was now lunch. I set off for his office trying to tell myself it was something and nothing. I arrived at his door and knocked. It was opened by the Headmistress; not a good sign.

I stood and faced him at his desk. After all, there was the possibility that I had got the wrong end of the stick in my mind, but this was quickly blown away. Miss Clark, a teacher who had been sat at the side in the hall, had totally disputed my excuse and was adamant I had blown my nose. That wrong end of the stick was now looking more like the wrong end of a very painful cane. I decided to tell the truth and my next stop was outside the Headmistress’s office with my hands on my head.

She left me for quite a while to ponder my downfall. I was becoming totally embarrassed by the number of students who passed by, some smirking knowingly, some guessing at what was to happen. A small crowd was beginning to gather nearby as I was called in. Even I would have given my high teeth to listen to sounds of someone else receiving a caning.

Now for the lecture about truth and honesty, followed by what was to happen; five strokes of the cane, two for the disruption and three for the lies. I just wanted to get it over with and go.

I removed my blazer and stood on the required spot ready to burst into tears even before it had started.

“Touch your toes,” she barked, loud enough for those outside to hear.

I bent over as best I could. I was now regretting my flash of inspiration, for it was to cost more pain than my crime. She raised my skirt out of the way and positioned herself with her cane. I heard myself gasp as the first stroke hit home. My hands shot to my bottom as the tears started to really flow now, and, in the midst of my pain, I was ordered again to bend over. She raised my skirt again. The second, third, fourth and fifth strokes all resulted with much the same effect as the first.

Now it was over. My poor bottom was throbbing with pain, me dancing round her office, my hands were now inside my knickers and I was rubbing furiously at the same time. After the usual paperwork I was dismissed and allowed to leave. I avoided looking at the gathered pupils outside. My hands were still clutching my bottom, so the legs and knickers of a now developing young lady were on show to anyone stood behind me, along with red stripes on my bottom where my knickers did not cover.

A classmate of mine called Susan had my coat and bag with her. She had guessed I might need a bolt hole and took me to her house nearby. Here at least I was away from the stare and embarrassment, able to lie face down on her bed, with my knickers round my knees and my hands still clutching my flaming rear.

As time ticked by, the pain eased a little as had my crying and sobbing. I moved myself over to a long mirror to inspect my naughty rump. What a sight! Five ferocious stripes marked my bottom; each had been expertly placed and were clearly not going to go away quickly.

We had to go back before we were late and as we did I reflected that I had taken this second caning a little better than the first, which made me feel better, until Susan brought me crashing back down.

“You do realise its gym for the first period? Those knickers will have to come down.”

And down they came, revealing my very recent meeting with the headmistress’s cane and much to the amusement of many of my classmates.

Annie