by Susan Thomas
When her cousin, Erin Bilsborrow, went to stay with her maternal aunt in the United States, Jessica was jealous. In fact she was always somewhat jealous of Erin. Erin's dad had done extremely well in business and was well off but her dad, although he had done alright, was nowhere near as well off. True they had a nice four-bedroomed detached house in a quiet cul-de-sac but compared to Erin's house with its huge garden and view over the moors, it was nothing. Jessica's dad had been a lorry driver but had quickly realised that driving was no life and had moved into training others to drive. He and a partner had a small company training HGV and PSV drivers and it did OK.
Erin was extremely clever and had been sent to an extremely expensive private school for girls. Jessica wasn't particularly clever and her dad hadn't been able to afford private school so she went to the local comprehensive which was a good school but since it wasn't as selective and couldn't push the way Erin's school could, didn't get such outstanding results.
Erin was exceptionally good at sport whereas Jessica was only mediocre - sure she made it to the school netball team but was never going to be the star player. She couldn't ride a horse at all unlike Erin or play the piano half as well or play tennis like her.
Jessica was sick to death of hearing how wonderful Erin was, especially as they were of much the same age, and indeed were only three weeks apart in age. It affected her behaviour and when she became a teenager she became rather difficult; her work was erratic and... Oh blow it I shall be blunt - she was a pain in the derriere.
So by the time Erin was storming through her "A" levels, getting grades that would make a genius green with envy, Jessica was only just coming out of her difficult phase. Her grades were clearly not going to be great and she was not going to make it to any university worth attending. After discussion, it was decided that Jessica would go to the local college which did run a few degree courses and take a degree in computer science as that was the one subject she did work at.
All this made the name of Erin Bilsborrow stink in Jessica's nostrils because she simply could not compete with her, except in one respect: she was as pretty and attractive as Erin. The silly thing was Erin seemed unaware of Jessica's jealousy; she was always friendly and cheerful with her and when they were together Jessica warmed to her cousin and simply stopped being jealous.
When Erin went to the US she asked Jessica if they could keep in regular contact via Skype and of course Jessica (warming as usual in her company) agreed. Thus it was that Jessica was in right at the beginning on Erin's decision to accept the church behaviour contract with its spanking penalties. She heard all about Erin's first spanking almost before Erin's parents. She heard all about the subsequent spankings and the frightening possibility of the strap.
At first, Jessica thought Erin was barking mad to accept all these restrictions and spankings but then she noticed the effect it was having on the wider family and friends. Everyone approved and it was "Oh that Erin is such a sensible brave girl" and "Look at Erin, she understands she needs some correction from time to time" or "That Erin, she hasn't let all her brains go to her head, she is down to earth enough to accept getting her bottom spanked sometimes."
Jessica may not have been as clever as "our Erin" but here was something she could compete with. Erin needn't get all the fuss and attention, especially as she was right over the other side of the Atlantic and she was here and now. Jessica decided she would ask her parents to initiate the same routine (paddle and strap included) as Erin had with her Aunt Nicola and Uncle Jack. She had money from her part-time job which was another 'not as good as Erin' issue as it was only in the local café, The Friendly Kitchen. She asked Erin to get one of the church publications, "Behaviour Pack: Your guide to using Godly corporal correction with an errant teenager, includes: behaviour agreement, guidance on dealing with misbehaviour, punishment guide, record keeping pack and CD Rom," plus a paddle and a strap and send them to her by post. Erin was more than a little puzzled but did as she was asked and Jessica awaited the arrival with some eagerness. At last she could be equal with her cousin.
Fortunately, Erin described what was inside the package as "personal family possessions", otherwise British customs might have taken an interest. It didn't take long before Jessica was signing for them and giving her friendly postman a big smile.
"Summat nice is it lass? Well enjoy, you're only young once."
Jessica read through everything very carefully, especially the punishment guide. That bit was rather scary to be sure but Erin had been through it so she would too. She had to read the part about standing in a corner (or against a wall) with hands on head several times because she couldn't understand what the purpose was. In the end she had to accept that the writer thought a period of penance with the results of the spanking on display to anyone in the home was of help to the girl: "...the submission to her penance will help restore the good Christian girl to a Godly state."
At the time Jessica got the pack, Erin could only get the paddle or the strap; later of course Erin's uncle allowed her to receive a spanking with just his hand. However, Jessica spotted something in the guide that evidently Erin and her aunt and uncle had not noticed. It was a single line easily lost in a welter of detailed guidance: "...the father, or other person with responsibility for the Christian girl, may wish to consider a lesser punishment by using only the hand for the spanking." Jessica made a careful note of that in drawing up the proposal for her parents.
Since her mother was an active member of a local church with a fairly traditional view of things, she thought the lines, "...the good Christian girl welcomes Godly corporal correction. Her humble submission to it is a matter for great rejoicing in the church" would go down well. She also knew her dad was pretty cheesed off with her behaviour and wanted his little girl back again so even if he had doubts he would very much like: "The smart of corporal correction will help her to repent and return to her former Christian behaviour." In any event, her trump card was that they could hardly approve of Erin getting her bottom spanked for being 'naughty', as her grandma put it, and not her.
It is true that Jessica was scared of how much it would hurt to be spanked. She knew from Erin that being spanked really did hurt, and no matter how much you might deserve it, a sore bottom is still something unpleasant; but greater still was her desire to be equal in something with her cousin. Also, and this thought developed only gradually as she read the manual, she knew she wasn't behaving or working that well and it was possible that she might actually benefit from all this. Erin certainly seemed to think there was something in it and all her new friends were spanked.
The bit that she kept coming back to over and over again with reluctance, was the bit about getting it on her bare bottom; it made uncomfortable and embarrassing reading for a girl of just eighteen: "The good Christian girl must prepare for her correction by removing clothing beneath the waistline. It is advisable that all clothing, even panties, be removed completely as they can become an encumbrance during the chastisement. It is never appropriate for her father or other person responsible for her chastisement to remove any article of clothing. She should not redress until after her period of penance in the corner is over and only with permission from her father. Some have expressed the view that baring is immodest but not the good Christian girl; she should not flinch from baring herself for her correction as this is not immodesty."
She actually spoke to Erin about it, who shrugged and said, "You get used to it; we all do." So in the end she accepted that if her parents agreed, she was in for embarrassment as well as a sore bottom. Jessica wrote out her proposal most carefully, illustrating it with highlighted quotations from the "Behaviour Pack" and from Erin herself plus (she was pleased with this) various positive reactions about Erin's situation from the family and friends here in England. She decided that after church on Sunday was a good time as her mum would be fired up with the rather strong version of Christianity held by the church. Jessica and her dad went mainly out of duty (and then she went to help with the crèche whenever she could) but even so it was an optimum time she felt, even for her dad.
When they got home, Jessica asked her mum if they could all sit down and talk before putting lunch on, as she had something serious to discuss with them. Her mum sighed immediately and her dad looked worried.
"Are you pregnant, Jessica?" Her mum is a woman who comes to the point quickly.
Jessica was delighted as it gave her the opportunity to be shocked and put them at a disadvantage, though to her parents she just looked shocked.
"Mum, how could you? Of course I am not, what an awful thing to say. What kind of girl do you think I am?"
So, totally wrong-footed and humbled, the two contrite adults sat down on the sofa while Jessica began her proposal which would have done credit to an advertising agency. As she expected, they looked more and more surprised but not, as she had feared, hostile. In fact, at the end, they looked rather pleased.
It seemed she had calculated her dad correctly and he was only too happy to feel he had some authority again over a daughter who seemed not to be daddy's little girl any more. In fact, he had been rather envious of the Erin situation and wished he could take his stroppy daughter over his knee and spank some sense into her. Of course, it isn't politically correct to say such things but here was his daughter asking for that very arrangement. He was delighted.
Jessica had also calculated her mum rather well. Her church had strong views on such issues as marriage and sex outside it, and though it kept a discreet silence about corporal punishment, the informal views of the congregation were much in favour. Having just been fired up by the service, her mum was equally delighted and it was easily agreed.
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