The Bare - Finis
She grasped my arm, and propelled me almost dragging me along, down the road, through an alley and out into the busy market square in a mad reverse parody of some sadistic fantasy where the slave is dragged naked through busy streets by a clothed owner. People turned to stare, shaking their heads in disbelief not at the absurdity of the scene, but at my foolishness.
At the end of the square stood a bench and a stone horse trough left in the memory of some long dead citizen "...for the comfort of man and beast" in the sanctimonious words of the Victorian inscription. I'd often seen an old lady sitting there, feeding the pigeons with surreptitious glee in contravention of the pettifogging modern by-laws.
The Bare sat down and dragged me, too dazed to resist across her knee, placing a heavy hand on my back, immobilising me. I heard a tearing sound, felt a chill finger of rain-washed air caress my legs and knew that dispensing with formality, she had ripped my trousers away such was her determination to punish my brazen stupidity.
Any temporary relief I felt that I was wearing underwear which kept me decently covered was shattered as these too were ripped aside, baring my backside to the dampened air and the view of the whole town.
Shoppers gathered to watch the spectacle, laughing at my discomfort, enjoying the sight of my goose-pimpled bottom, secure in the knowledge of their own superiority, that they would never suffer my fate, that what I was receiving was my fair due.
What followed was the most embarrassing experience of my life. I'd like to say that I bore up well, taking the stinging spanking she delivered with bravery and in silence, but I would be lying. Within a few minutes her hand had reached straight through my defences and had ripped first cries, then pleas, finally tears from me.
The Bare spanked with the joyous certainty that it was the only thing which mattered in the whole world, and let me tell you for me, it was. My whole being was centred around the fire in my behind, lit and stoked by her powerful hand. I had nowhere else to go, only to exist within the pain she was pleased to inflict.
Without warning, though to be fair, I was too occupied to have noticed had any been given she stopped, lifted me in her arms as easily as if I had been a baby, and deposited me with a splash in the horse trough. I fancied I could hear hissing as my red-hot backside boiled the water, sending clouds of steam swirling around me, though in truth it was probably just the misty rain.
It was the first word she had spoken.
"Let that be a lesson to you."
I must have looked nonplussed, and who wouldn't; spanked bare bottomed in public and dumped unceremoniously in the horse trough?
She must have seen this for she felt the need to explain, as if to an imbecile.
"Surely you know that if you stand on a crack in the pavement a bare will come and beat you?"
Suddenly, and to this day I don't know where from, I found it in me to laugh, and through my growing hysteria at the situation managed to ask,
"You're dyslexic aren't you?"
By Penny Dreadful