I would not exactly describe the library where I worked as a warm, friendly, family environment. The Head Librarian, Mrs. Stodge, was a battle-axe; broad, stodgy like her name, and built like a tank. She ruled the environment with a fist of iron; no talking in the library, no levity, no disturbances tolerated at all.
We had one patron, however, who seemed to get away with murder. She had a complete disregard for the rules and seemed to flout them with impunity; how she got away with it, I never knew. In her mid-thirties, she was bubbly and vibrant, her easy-going manner paired with that self-assurance that seems to come with wealth. Her run around clothes telegraphed wealth: slim-line tailored jeans, elegant boots in the winter, high heeled sandals in the summer, embroidered white linen blouses, gold bracelets that sparkled on her wrists. Flowing auburn hair with loose curls that drifted away from her face, caramel highlights that gave her that model’s look.
I nicknamed her Sparkly.
I was working the Info Desk one afternoon, when she came bouncing in accompanied by two late-teen girls. The three of them were chattering away, unconcerned by the disapproving stares that the Head Librarian was throwing their way. In a kind of exaggerated, showy way, Sparkly wound her arm around as if to throw an underhand softball pitch, and smacked one of the girls gently on her bottom.
“Run along girls, I will see you later. Her voice was cheerful, her manner completely un-inhibited; ‘How easy it is to be like that if you are rich,” I thought peevishly. I wanted to dislike her for her sense of entitlement, but I was drawn to her, jealous of the girls that seemed to be part of her circle.
She sat herself down in front of me at the Info Desk with a copy of “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty in her hand. She didn’t look at me at first and I wasn’t quite sure why she had chosen that seat. She read the writeup on the dustcover, and then flipped through the pages, seeming to read snippets from various places in the book.
Eventually she looked up and smiled at me. I hated myself for reacting the way I did; I so wanted to dislike her, but I just couldn’t. Her manner sent gentle vibrations of pleasure through me; without even having being asked anything, I wanted to please and impress her.
“So, what do you think? Is it just porn wrapped up as erotica, or is there something more to it than that?”
I was dumbfounded; what on earth was I meant to answer.
“Well, I don’t know. There is some artistic merit to it!” I stumbled, not sure where to take it.
“Hmm..” Sparkly grew pensive, her manicured nails tapping on the spine of her book. “So do you think it is reasonable to submit to someone else just based on their status in life? That seems to be what was expected of Beauty and Tristan.”
I was at a loss for words.
“How about this one then,” she continued, now flipping through a copy of The Pearl, a classic of Victorian Erotica, “Do you think the women who were birched in these stories were any better for the chastisement they received ?”
I could feel the flush coming to my neck as she looked directly into my eyes.
“I suppose so,” I managed to get out, “sometimes they deserved it.”
“Ah, the librarian can talk! So, do you think it changed the way they behaved for the better?”
I was distinctly uncomfortable with this line of questioning, but there was nowhere to go. Sparkly didn’t seem to have any intention of getting up or leaving me alone. I knew I had to answer.
“Yes, I think they probably did behave better after they were punished,” I responded.
Sparkly eyed me up and down, seemingly assessing me, then suddenly reached into her pocket and pulled out a business card which she dropped on the desk in front of me.
“Come to my office this evening at 7pm, if you can. I think you will find it rewarding.”
She turned and walked away, self confident, not even questioning whether I would do her bidding.
I look down at the card. It was classy, shiny black with a small line drawing of a lady birching another embossed in gold at the top. Her business name was also embossed in gold; large , ornate capital letters, AAC, with the full name, “Attitude Adjustment Coaching” written underneath in a much smaller, discrete font. Her street address was tucked away on the bottom right of the card; I knew that I had no option but to accept her invitation.
“Some clients keep coming back on their own dime well after their employee mandated coaching sessions have come to an end.”
She paused and looked directly into my eyes, waiting for my reaction.
“Well, some women just like to be spanked!” Sparkly continued, “Don’t you?”
I felt myself flush, not knowing where to put myself. She was not to be discouraged.
“Oh, come on Caitlin, you read all those books on your adult shelves, I am sure. You knew full well what I was asking about in the library!”
She was right, and suddenly I felt that things were moving out of control. I was so attracted to this vivacious women, her causal elegance, her self assured manner, but it all seemed to be moving so fast, and in a direction that I had only ever fantasized of and would never imagine myself getting involved in real life.
We were sitting inside her office; spacious and elegant, it took up the bottom floor of an old, free-standing Victorian style house. It was one of a number in a leafy suburban, mid-town street; a green and gold sign of the house on one side showed it to be a lawyers’ office, the clinical white sign of the neighbors was that of a cosmetic surgeon; a high net-worth neighborhood to be sure!
Dusk had fallen, blinds had been lowered across the windows, and the office was filled with a warm, muted glow of recessed lighting. It was a cozy and private space, much as I would have expected of any psychologist’s office.
“You might be surprised at who has been sent here by their organization for some coaching, and then stays on for personal re-enforcement of the regime. Signing the guest book is a must for all my clients; take a look.”
She flipped a leather bound, ledger size book that was sitting in the middle of her desk, around to me, and opened it to the page with the latest current entries.
“Oh my gosh!” I gasped as I scanned down the neatly penned page. The columns were titled and each line was neatly filled out: date, name, a reason for consult, corrective action, client signature. On the fourth line from the top, there was an entry for a person I knew so well. The writing was so familiar, the name was one that gave me headaches every day.
“02/04/17 – Eileen Stodge – Behavior reinforcement – 6 – Eileen”
Sparkly looked at me, an amused look washing all over her face; her eyes were alive, her lips creased into a grin, her fingers twiddled a little pattern in the air.
I was still trying to get over my shock when the door chime sounded and the door swung open. Mrs. Stodge stood still, her block-square body framed by the door, her sullen face frozen in surprise, aghast as she looked at me sitting in front of the desk with the open ledger in front of me. If looks could kill, I would have been dead.
“What is she doing here?” She growled at Sparkly.
“Oh, we were just chilling!”
A pause followed…..
“Eileen, why don’t you go and get ready and wait for me in meeting Room 1. I will be with you in a few minutes.
The standoff was over as Eileen Stodge harrumphed, and walked down the passage to Room 1.
Sparkly waited for a few minutes until she heard the sound of the door closing down the passage. An infectious grin spread out across her face ,dissipating the tension, causing even me to smile nervously.
“I think you might like to observe our coaching session, Cait. Just push the door open slightly and watch through the crack.”
“Won’t she notice? She will throw a frothy if she sees!”
Sparkly’s peal of laughter would even have been heard down the corridor in Room 1. Her bubbly mood and sense of impunity was so contagious; I felt myself caught up in the drama, an eager participant, loving the moment.
“Oh no,” she replied, much more quietly this time, “I think she will have other things on her mind to cope with. She won’t notice your being there at all. No chance in hell!”
A few minutes of innocuous chatter followed; we could have just been friends. Sparkly stood up at last.
“I think she must be ready for me now. Give us ten minutes, and then come and observe.”
She left me, flicking through my smart phone news feed as I waited , unsure what to expect.
Sparkly had left the door to Room 1 slightly ajar, and by standing close to the wall, I was able to get a good view of what was taking place inside. I was stunned; this was not what I was expecting. It was an austere room, standing in total contrast to the warmth of the office where we had been chatting. White walls, white ceiling, harsh fluorescent lighting. A narrow, tall free-standing cupboard stood in the one corner; it was clinical to the extreme.
There was an old, sturdy leather topped vaulting horse in the middle of the room; the last time I had seen anything like that was in my school gym many years before. A straight backed chair was placed near the end of the vaulting horse.
What of the occupants of the room? Mrs. Stodge was bent across the horse, her torso lying flat along the tops, bent at the waist, and her feet just reached the floor as she stood on tip-toes. She was gripping the front horse legs as far down as she could reach She was naked from the waist down; a sharp contrast to the top of her body which still wore her business clothes: a white blouse and formal, tweed jacket.
Her bottom was fat and flabby, painted lightly with rapidly fading bruises. A thick bush of pubic hair pushed out from between her legs; I judged her cunt lips to be slightly aroused; it was hard to really tell from where I stood.
Sparkly sat in the high backed chair, holding a wicked looking cane in one hand and tapping it rhythmically into her other. The bubbly demeanor had vanished; she looked all business like and stern. She was driving a conversation with Mrs. Stodge, and not seeming to like the responses she was getting.
“The atmosphere in the library still seems so down. I really think you need to do something about it. I don’t think much has changed since we last had a chat.”
“No. A library is a place of study. We need to keep it quiet and subdued.” Mrs. Stodge’s voice was flat and icy; she wasn’t used to being told what was appropriate for the territory she controlled.
“We will come back to that shortly.” Sparkly uncoiled herself, and slowly walked around in a loop to Mrs. Stodge’s rear. Her route was exaggerated, the click of her boots on the tiled hardwood floor echoing in the sterile room.
It was a heavier cane, thicker than I had ever seen before. Sparkly told me later that it did not need to be whipped in very hard in order to cause considerable pain. She kept her elbow tucked in close to her body; whatever speed she generated came straight from her wrist. Her shoulder barely turned, her wrist cocked, and then there was a solid smack right across the center of the fat slab of flesh of Mrs. Stodge’s bottom.
The cane seemed to move in slow motion; I had expected the whoosh of the stick whistling through the air, the splat of wood against flesh, but there was none of that. It dug in deeper than I thought it would, and then seemed to bounce back as if in slow motion. A vivid, red welt sprung up immediately, belying the apparent softness of the blow. A sight trembling of the skin, a clenching of her fat bottom cheeks, and then all was still, exactly the same as before – except for the welt.
Looks can be deceiving; Mrs. Stodge must have been hurting more than I imagined. The second stroke was lower than the first, but this time she let out an audible gasp. Her head raised up, her hands broke their grips on the horse’s legs, but moments later, she was back in position, seemingly unhurt.
The third cut caught me totally by surprise; I guessed Mrs. Stodge was equally shocked at the pain. Sparkly lifted her elbow, wound up just that much more, and delivered a much harder stroke. I fancy that I did hear the cane whoosh this time, but I can’t be certain. It cut into bottom right across the sweet spot; flesh quivered from the stroke, and the cane bounced back a good few inches. There was no muted gasp or ‘ouch’ this time; the screech of pain was almost primordial, the anguish palpable. She pushed her torso up with her arms, looking around wildly, a mix of anger and pain and fear written across her bleak features.
She didn’t have a chance to say anything, before the next stroke whipped down towards the top of her bottom, framing the earlier welts that were a lovely shade of red. She collapsed onto the top of the horse, sobbing, pleading with Sparkly, begging her to stop.
“Stop, please, no more, please, I beg you!”
Sparkly threw a glance my way, a smile flickering across her lovely face, before she walked around the far side of the horse, and resumed her seat on the straight backed chair.
“So Eileen, I think we need to pick up where we left off earlier. The atmosphere in the library; how about a but of music over the speakers? A relaxation of the no-talking rules? A few easy chairs for readers to settle back in comfort.”
Mrs. Stodge looked at her blankly.
“I can’t do that.” Was her reply.
Sparkly got up and walked back slowly to the rear of the horse. I watched her tapping her target, wondering if she was deliberately aiming skew. The two strokes that she rained down in quick succession, were no harder than the previous, yet the effect was electrifying. Two diagonal welts now crossed the fat bottom, top to bottom, bottom to top, causing a curious hatch-mark affect on the tortured rump below.
Mrs. Stodge’s sobs were uncontrollable; it was difficult to make out her words.
“Yes, all that you say, music, chairs, talking, I will see to it tomorrow.”
Sparkly threw a triumphant glance my way and waved me away, telling me to head back out of sight as the performance was complete.
As I left, I heard her resume her conversation with her stricken client: “Now next time you come, Eileen, we will be having a little session on manners. Bursting into my office without being invited in this evening, my word!! I think we need some attitude adjustment there, don’t you agree?”
I walked down the corridor to the washroom, and locked myself in, sitting on the toilet seat until I heard the front door chime, announcing Mrs. Stodge’s departure. It took longer than I had expected; she had to pull herself together, compose herself, re-assemble the obnoxious character that she was. Then there was the shuffle to the office; I imagined her standing in front of the desk as she signed the guest book. This time there would be a five in the penultimate column, not a six. I was sure her signature would be more squiggly, not so self assured.
I played the scene out again in my mind, over and over again. The slow motion of the cane, the affect it had on impact. The grunts of pain that soon became squeals of anguish. Sparkly’s masterful performance, her elegance, her control. The way that she could twist even Mrs.Stodge around. I realize that as much as I was drawn to her vivacious character, I was drawn to her dominance. The more I sat there with these thoughts twirling around, the more aroused I found myself growing.
I realized later that Sparkly was a master of relationships. Unbeknown to me, she had been sussing me out in the library; I was her mark, the one she wanted to own. She knew how I would react, how it would make me feel. As we came together in her office, I could sense the scent of arousal on her too. Her neck was flushed, her eyes had extra sparkle.
She led me down the corridor, but it was to the stairs that went up to her private room this time. As she opened the door, and I saw the light cane on her bed, red velvet restraints and a set of velvet twisted chords. I knew what was coming to me, but I also knew that it would be that much more sensual, activities aimed at satisfying rather than for an attitude to adjust