by Susan Thomas
Miles LaPage groaned loudly and put his head in his hands. "I can't do it any more," he groaned out loud, "I just can't bloody well write this stuff any more."
His study was elegant and comfortable with French windows overlooking a large well-tended lawn. It was lined with books and spoke plainly of comfort and wealth. Wealth indeed, for Miles was the world's best known and most successful writer of spanking literature. He had under his writing belt some 3000 short stories, 5 volumes of collected short stories, 12 bestselling novels, 4 plays, 2 TV dramas and 3 film scripts for highly successful films. In a world with an insatiable appetite for spanking fiction, he was the undisputed king.
So why was the undisputed king of spanking fiction groaning out loud in his study? The problem was he had six months to write his new novel and not one single idea was in his head. He had taken a leaf out of the book of a once famous author, one Ian Rankin. Rankin had been a highly successful writer of crime fiction though crime was now so passť that even the charity shops no longer stocked crime novels. However, in his heyday, Rankin had revealed some of his methods to British television. He had a folder full of clippings and notes of ideas which he maintained constantly. When a new novel loomed he would trawl through his folder until just the right idea appeared and then he was off on his writing.
Now Miles sat with his folder which, when opened, seemed to him full of dead ashes, a folder full of sterile ideas and rubbish. Abruptly, he turned the whole lot straight into his waste bin and within five minutes his Facebook and LinkedIn pages had notices heralding his retirement from spanking fiction. He sent out a Tweet and a text and lastly an email to his agent. Within minutes the world reeled with the horrifying news that Miles LaPage had scribed his last spanking. Naturally, there were responses but he saw none of them. Miles had put on his walking gear, donned his boots, and was already striding from the car park on the long winding path up onto the moors.
It had rained for days in heavy bursts interspersed with steady drizzle and everywhere dripped, but today it was dry. The sun shone and there was sparkle on everything as the sun caught the wetness and turned it to beauty. He had left his mobile on his desk which of course is foolish when out on the moors where the weather can change in the blink of an eye, but he knew he would have no peace with it.
Miles was a big man with the build of a labourer, though he had never done manual work. He had dark hair and a strong jaw and women across the globe longed to be spanked by him (as well as other things of course). Now he indulged himself in his favourite hobby of walking the moors, striding fiercely, ignoring the uneven path and the ever present mud to set a fast pace. He had no idea how far or even where he was going, he just wanted to walk, rejoicing in his decision and leaving the future to take care of itself.
There is a glorious freedom in having made a decision and acted on it and Miles was happy, really happy for the first time in a long while. In fact so happy that he didn't notice the mist as it began to creep up or the fact that the sun was now hiding behind clouds. Then, in the way it can on the moors, the mist was all around him and he could see little in front of him. He knew what he should do but he was happy so, confident that he was familiar with this stretch of the moor, he carried on walking. It was then, in the midst of what was now fog-like more than mist-like, that he slipped and suddenly found himself careening down a steep muddy bank where none had been before. He landed in a heap of mud and uprooted bushes and realised that there must have been a landslip because the rain had taken out what was once a good path. Looking back up, he realised that there was no way he could with any ease go back up and so he turned his attention to where he was.
He could see very little and to his bemusement his compass appeared to be going wild, so he edged his way cautiously along thorough the tangle of uprooted vegetation and found a path. Upwards, the path began to peter out and it appeared as if it was going to be a dead end, so he turned back and began to walk slowly downwards. The banks on either side began gradually closing in and getting higher, so that he felt more as if he were in a tunnel than anything else. He was wishing desperately he had his mobile with its map and communication facilities, or even that his compass worked when he came across a stream. The path went right through it. It turned out to be quite shallow (perhaps just a wet-weather stream) but even so water got in his boots. He carried on until abruptly the path widened, the mist disappeared and he found himself in a valley he had never seen before.
There were houses and farms and what was clearly a village, so he headed towards it hoping to get a taxi back home. As he approached the village he was spied by a policeman, or at least Miles assumed that's what he was by his officious manner, but the uniform looked wrong. It was more like something from the 1930s, blue serge with two buttoned down pockets on the chest and a row of metal buttons right up to the neck. It had a high collar with metal numbers on each side, epaulettes on each shoulder, a sturdy leather belt with an S-shaped buckle and a helmet of the traditional sort (though few wear them today) but with a spike of some sort coming out of the top.
"Stop there a moment, Sir. I don't know you so I'd like your name and business if you please."
Miles felt like telling this 'Pirates of Penzance' oaf that he didn't please but he had a sense that something was very wrong in this situation. "Actually officer I am lost. I was walking on the moors and fell afoul of a mud slip and what with the mist and all I have no idea where I am. I was hoping to get a taxi home."
"Ah I see. The mist, was it? We haven't had a mist visitor for some years now. Oh dear, oh dear. Well you'd best come and see Sir George straight away."
As they walked together, Miles gave his name expecting a start of recognition as he really was extremely well known and often interviewed, but the officer merely said, "LaPage, French is it Sir?"
They approached a handsome manor house and went in not by the main door but by a side door into a corridor with a highly polished old oak floor. Miles heard a sound he knew well, it was the swish of a cane followed by the crack of it landing on a bottom.
As a spanking writer, Miles had attended many spanking events, it being an essential part of his work. Now his keen ear sorted out the sounds: swish, a medium cane, crack, a cane landing on an unclothed bottom. The muted sound of pain, a youngish person but one used to being caned.
The policeman put a hand on Miles and muttered, "Wait until he has finished."
Swish, crack, yelp came the sound again. Swish, crack, yelp. That was three he had heard and Miles found himself counting in his head - three, four, five, six, seven. The sounds stopped at eight.
"Must have been twelve, we just missed the earlier ones." Miles was amused to realise the policeman had been counting too.
The door in front of them opened and a young woman came out. She was in his view around nineteen or so with brown hair that hung down to her jaw line. Her face, while not plain, was certainly not overly pretty and was now blotchy red with tears in her eyes. She was clutching her bottom and hurried past them down the corridor. The policeman ushered Miles in.
The room was an attractive study with a coal fire in an eighteenth century fireplace. There were some chairs against the wall and, sitting on two of them, were a defiant looking boy in his late teens and a shy nervous looking girl of possibly eighteen years.
"Excuse me interrupting a discipline session, Sir George, but we have a mist visitor."
Sir George was a tall strong man wearing a tweed suit. "Oh, damn, I had hoped that had all come to an end. Oh well," he said and extended a hand to Miles. "George Armitage and you are?"
"Miles LaPage, but I suspect that you are not going to have heard of me. Am I right?"
"Right, and you are in for a shock old chap, but hang on a while. I must just finish off my session for today."
"Now then Giles." Sir George was really quite severe. "I have warned you about this before."
"I know, Sir George, but Miss Smithy will lecture me about my tie and she is no relation of mine and all I said was that I liked my tie like that."
"I see, hmmm, well the best thing to do with Miss Smithy is just say, 'Yes Miss,' and move on quickly. Do not answer her back. However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt this time and just give you a sixer. Drop them and bend over Giles."
It looked to Miles as if the boy would like to argue the point but with a somewhat theatrical sigh he undid his trousers and let them drop, then without a glance at anyone else pulled his underpants down, bending over to touch his toes. Sir George pulled the shirt clear of Giles' bottom, picked a cane up from his desk and, taking position behind the lad, laid the cane across his backside. He then stepped back and, with a quick movement that included a little half step and a wicked flick of the wrist, he brought the cane down on the boy's bottom. There was a nasty meaty crack sound and a strange white line appeared which immediately turned red as the cane lifted. Giles made no sound.
Miles was astonished all this was taking place not only in front of him but a girl too. He noted she seemed more worried about herself than the bare backside of the lad not two yards away. Crack! A second vicious stroke produced another red line across the bottom being punished. Again Giles made no sound.
Swish, crack and that one was the hardest yet, burying itself in the bottom before springing out. The first two red lines had now started to swell and Miles guessed that this third would be the largest yet, but still the boy made no sound.
Swish, crack and a fourth nasty red welt quickly joined the other three, and yet Giles made not a sound. It was the fifth that produced a grunt of pain which brought a slight smile to the face of Sir George, who then took an extra step back before making what can only be described as a hop and a skip, bringing the cane down in a ferocious blow at a diagonal across the previous five welts. This time the boy let out a strangled "aaah" of pain and when told to stand did so slowly and carefully, bending his knees to pull his clothes back up.
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