“Spanked In Her Dreams” Chapter 1
Spanked In Her Dreams
Copyright 2011 by Devlin O’Neill. All rights reserved.
Megan Newbury, a 47-year-old woman who lived in mid-21st century southern California, opened her eyes wide and shook her head, blinking to focus on the face of her mother, her very young and very alive mother, who wore a white ruffled cap on her head. That fact puzzled Megan a bit, and then she looked down at her hands, her hands when she was a teenager perhaps, and then she reached up to touch a ruffled cap of her own and … yes, now she remembered.
She just turned 16 that very day, hadn’t she?
Of course she had, and there was a sewing circle in the morning at the meetinghouse, the largest of fifty wooden buildings in the New England village. Megan had taken advantage of the presence of all the women and girls to talk, to say things that were important to her, and that she thought would matter to them. She did so quite loudly, as suited the large meeting room and the gravity of her words, but her mother, and her sisters, her cousins, and her neighbor girls and women had merely sat, holding their needles and gazing at her as if stunned by the words she spoke when she announced that the Church and all its teachings were based on faulty assumptions, and that in fact God must be a woman, then she proceeded to prove her point using several biblical references.
Her mother and sisters, amazed and appalled, whisked her from the room, but not before the damage was done. The sewing circle continued for a while but broke up early, and several of the women and girls present, including a few cousins and aunts, made it their business to mention Megan’s remarks to Reverend Matthews as soon as they could, and that good man had just sent word via Mr. Appleyard, a Church Deacon, that he, Reverend Matthews, would be pleased to call upon Megan’s household that very afternoon, and would Megan’s mother be so good as to make Megan available for an interview at that time?
Megan’s mother was very far from best pleased at any of the day’s events, but she assured Mr. Appleyard that the Reverend would be quite welcome at any time, and that of course Megan would be present when he called. As soon as they, Megan, her mother, and her two younger sisters, got home from the meetinghouse, her mother had told the other girls to do their chores and had set Megan to work at the spinning wheel, to make herself useful until her father should return from the fields and attend to her.
Megan sat there still, at the wheel, doggedly turning tufts of coarse wool into thin, strong yarn, all the while glowering at nothing and no one in particular. She maintained the glower yet, even though her mother stood scant inches from her, frowning thunderously, following Mr. Appleyard’s visit.
“Now you are in for it, you wicked girl. Not only will your father reproach you for this shameful conduct very soon, and I hope his scolding scorches your impertinent ears, but the parson himself is coming here to berate you for your impudence. What on earth has got into you, girl? I never raised you to blaspheme in such a manner.”
“It is not blasphemy, Mother, merely to speculate on the meaning of the scriptures. All verses are open to interpretation, are they not?”
“Interpretation? Is that what you call these scandalous flights of fancy? God a woman? What then is Jesus? A wet nurse?”
“That is not even reasonable, and you are not listening to me, Mother!”
“Better you had hoped that no one was listening to you, girl, but many have done, and now you had better listen to someone other than yourself, as you never have listened in your young life, else you’ll be very sorry for it! Now get along with your spinning. I must put the kettle on so that there will be tea for Mr. Matthews when he arrives.”
Megan spun the wool slowly, without the least thought to what she was doing, watching out the window that overlooked the small porch. She spied Reverend Matthews marching along the muddy street toward the house, a long, black cloak wrapped round him, his black hat brim tipped down against the gusty autumnal winds off the Atlantic. And just a few dozen yards behind him and gaining rapidly, Megan’s father appeared, to Megan’s utter chagrin.
The reverend reached the porch just a moment before Megan’s father, and waited. Mr. Newbury touched the brim of his battered felt hat in greeting, and opened the door for the parson. Mrs. Newbury entered the front room at the sound of footsteps on the porch, and Megan rose quickly, and stood on quivery legs.
“Good morrow to you, mistress,” said the Reverend.
Mrs. Newbury curtsied, hands clasped in front of her to calm the shaking that manifest in her voice when she replied. “And to you, Pastor. Will you take a cup of tea?”
“Thank you, no.” He turned to Mr. Newbury. “Given your hasty return from work, sir, I expect you are aware of the reason for my visit.”
“Aye, Pastor. I’ve just had an earful from Seth Abercrombie’s girl May, who come out to the hayfield with a water jug.” He turned a baleful gaze upon his daughter. “Quite a tale it were, too, all along of my Meg and her willful and scandalous speeches.”
“Papa, no, it weren’t, it wasn’t like that!”
“I’ll teach you to backtalk me, girl!”
Megan’s legs gave out completely and she sat down on the spinning stool when her father unbuckled his belt and took a step toward her. But Reverend Matthews reached from beneath his cloak and put a hand on the man’s arm, and gently though powerfully restrained him.
“A moment if you please, Mr. Newbury.”
The parson doffed his hat, and Megan’s papa snatched his off as well, and then held out an open hand for the man’s cloak. Reverend Matthews turned slightly, his sharp, even features showing in profile, and making Megan’s heart beat even faster. He turned again after doffing the heavy garment, and his eyes, glowing in the afternoon sun that poured through the casement, burned into Megan’s soul, distracting her so much she did not at first notice what the preacher held in his left hand, concealed until that moment by his cloak.
“I should like to have an interview in private with Megan” Matthews said.
Megan’s father held out the hats and the cloak, and Megan’s mother hurried to take them away and hang them on the wall pegs by the door. Then her father’s eyes alighted on the item in Matthews’ hand, and he snorted and nodded.
“Have all the interview you like with the brazen scamp, Mr. Matthews, and welcome to it.” He pointed with his chin to a door in the corner at the back of the room. “There’s privacy enough in there, I warrant.”
Matthews turned his full attention to Megan, and thrust his free hand, palm up, toward her. She blushed and turned away from his steely blue eyes, searched out her mother’s face, and then followed the woman’s wide-eyed gaze to the preacher’s left hand. She squealed in dread astonishment when she beheld the rod of birch twigs, bound up every six or eight inches along its full yard of length with a few windings of rough cord.
“God have mercy,” she muttered, and clapped a hand to her mouth to stifle another squeal.
“You might well say, girl. Come along now.”
The man’s long finger beckoned, and Megan felt her body move toward him of its own volition, all the while she willed it to run as fast as it could to the door and out and away from the horror she clearly saw before her, and could all but feel already in her hind parts. She glanced at her father, who scowled at her while he replaced the belt around his middle, and she almost wished it were only that familiar, leathery sting she had to look forward to.
Only the big boys at school, or very rarely the big girls, and never, ever Megan, were likely to feel the birch rod. Mr. Fortescue kept plenty of light sticks on hand for maintaining order amongst the smaller children in the one-room school, and Megan had once felt half a dozen strokes of a hickory switch on her rear, through her skirts, when she was a very young girl, that had stung her dignity more than her sit upon.
But she had heard the birch rod in use on one of the older girls when Mr. Fortescue took the unfortunate lass out to the woodshed one spring day. The wailing and sobbing had frightened Megan sorely, and the hurt and woeful look on the girl’s face when she emerged from the shed, both hands unabashedly clutching her backside, nearly broke Megan’s heart.
“Megan, I said to come along.”
The words, spoken with force but without rancor, came from Mr. Matthews’ mouth, and pulled the girl from her reverie. She found herself frozen in midstride, and hastened to give him her hand so he could lead her, frightened to her core but yet unbelievably willing to follow him into her parents’ bed chamber. He shut the door behind them, and pointed at the rocking chair where her mother had rocked her babes to sleep on many and many a night.
“Sit down, Megan.”
She quickly complied, and tried her best to look up at his eyes and not at the awful rod in his hand while he spoke.
He demanded to know the gist of her statements to the sewing circle that morning. She complied as best she could, and surprised herself when she was able to focus on her facts and the scriptural interpretations she had worked so long and hard to formulate.
The pastor listened attentively, swinging the rod idly in his hand while he nodded at her discourse. At last she stopped, unable to think of anymore to say about what she had told the others that morning, then took a breath in preparation for discourse on another, related topic, but he held up a hand.
“And did you expect the sewing circle to accept these, your arguments and conclusions, when you presented them, Megan?”
“Well, yes,” she replied defiantly, though in truth she had no such illusion. “They, they could have listened to me, just as you have. Haven’t you, sir?”
Her heart throbbed when he smiled at her, and then it fell like a stone when he shook his head sadly.
“You knew perfectly well that your assertions would be spurned as ludicrous, because they fly in the face of everything that you and everyone in this country has been taught since childhood.”
“But I was being perfectly reasonable, Mr. Matthews. Even you listened to me.”
“Not ‘even’ I listened, Megan – only I listened, because only I can understand the thought processes in which you have engaged. You understand these deeper discussions of the scriptures because you have comprehension not only beyond your years, but beyond the capacity of most people ever to comprehend.”
Megan beamed at him. “Do you really think so, sir?”
“I do indeed, and I know for a fact that Mr. Fortescue told you much the same thing when you attended his school.”
She nodded, blushing slightly. “He did say good things about my abilities, sir, though he warned me to be not overly bold with my knowledge before men.”
The half smile on his full lips changed not at all, and yet Matthews’ face turned hard an instant later, and Megan jerked back, a hand at her bosom.
“You are bright enough to know that his warning by implication included women, and you should have known full well that your reasoning and your summations would fall upon deaf ears, and further, that they would no doubt shock and befuddle your family and friends. And yet still you proceeded to assail them with your conclusions, is that not so?”
“But, sir, I, I only wanted to explain to them, to, to my friends that, that …”
The coverlet on the bed popped when the reverend smacked it quick and hard with the birch rod, and Megan gasped and jumped at the unexpected violence.
“You behaved arrogantly, Megan, flaunting your superior reasoning skills, but failing to exercise any judgment at all in reckoning out the effect of your words on the minds and souls of those whom you deigned to share the benefit of your thoughts.”
“But I, no, I only wanted to …”
“You only wanted to preen like a peacock, and parade your finery amid the dregs and dross of the ordinary folk, and that is the worst sort of sinful pride I ever can imagine, girl. Now come here at once.”
Again he held out a hand, and she stood and hurried to grab it, hoping against hope that he would relent, that his visage of adamantine would soften, that he would take back the harsh words of censure, and smile at her once more. But this was not to be. He pulled and then pushed, using her arm like a handle, and suddenly she lay with her upper body on the bed, bent at the waist with her thighs pressed against the bedside.
“But sir, I never meant …”
“You never meant to display your self-importance to such inferior beings as are to be found in this grubby little village? Well that is exactly what you were about, girl, and I intend to burn that sort of notion out of your overly developed mind. Now lie still whilst I lift your skirts.”
“Oh no no no no no no …”
Her ears aflame with the horrible scolding, and with tears flowing from her eyes with shame at the thought of what was to come, Megan lay paralyzed, transfixed by fear and embarrassment, unable to do more than mutter that single, useless syllable as the man tugged yards of woolen and muslin into an untidy pile on her back, leaving her quite bare above her stocking tops, and terribly vulnerable to the rod which he had yet to shift from out of his left hand.
Briefly he touched his forehead and shut his eyes to utter a prayer.
“Dear heavenly father, for her sin of pride, make our young sister in Christ Jesus heartily sorry and repentant, amen.”
“Amen, amen, Reverend, and I am sorry, most heartily sorry and repentant, and I never shall …”
“You shall repent after your punishment, Megan, not before.”
“But sir, I …”
Matthews leaned sideways against the bed, the front of his thigh close to her bare breech, his left hand flat and firm between her shoulder blades, the rod in his right hand now, arm lifted, the twigs hovering in the air above her exposed flesh.
Then, with an awful swish, the rod descended. It struck and bounced off Megan’s rear mounds, leaving a trail of sting all across them. She gasped at the shock, then the twigs fell again, and she yelped, and pressed her fist to her mouth, shutting her eyes as if to bar the pain and humiliation that flowed like hot syrup over her body.
A dozen times he stroked her backside with the thick middle of the twigs, then he leaned back so that only the tips of the wands flailed like tiny whips into her sore flesh. Megan shrieked, kicking with both legs in a futile attempt to ward off the burning in her bottom.
“Be still, girl,” Matthews ordered, pressing down harder with his left hand.
“Sir, I beg you, stop! I am most dreadfully sorry for my arrogance and, and my pride, and I aiee! Please whip me no more!”
He set his jaw and struck thrice with the switch ends at the tender crease where cheek becomes thigh, and then released his hold on the girl and stood back. Megan sobbed and shook, and slowly rolled to the right, her face toward him but her tear filled eyes closed tightly, both hands cupping and soothing the fearful conflagration that raged in her behind.
“Very well, Megan, your punishment is done, and you may trust that your heavenly father, or mother if you prefer, will hear your prayers when you ask for forgiveness. You may stand now.”
She nodded, and after a great struggle she managed to regain her feet, and leaned against the bedstead for support, letting go her skirts so that they slowly drifted back into place. Tears dripped down her cheeks, and she swiped them away while she searched for something to say to the man who thrashed her.
“I, I am sorry for being arrogant, Reverend.”
“I know you are, Megan.”
His soft words caressed her ears, and then she sighed when his big hands grasped her shoulders.
“And I never will do it again, sir, honestly.”
“You had best not, Megan, or I might not be able to save you next time.”
She wiped her eyes and looked up at him.
“You saved me?”
“I most certainly did, girl. Your, uh, sit-upon might feel burnt to a crisp at the moment, but you know not the danger you put yourself into, uttering such thoughts to the general ear.”
“How do you mean, Reverend?”
“It is not much spoken of, here in the wilderness of the New World, but in the old country anyone, especially a woman, who speaks out on religion in a way that is unusual, or novel, or even just slightly different from what is preached from the pulpit, becomes suspect, and not just of unorthodoxy, but of heresy, even witchcraft.”
“But I am not a heretic, or a witch, I merely wished to present my views, based on holy scripture, and, and even though I appeared arrogant, I wished that someone might care enough to question me further, to disagree with me even, so that we might discuss these things more deeply, and perhaps enlighten ourselves further.”
Matthews smiled and squeezed the girl’s shoulders. “Then we must do that, we must have those discussions. But it must be you and I alone who do so, for your neighbors and relatives have not the mind nor the stomach for such discourse, and will only think the worse of you if you persevere.”
Megan pouted and sniffled. “They are that closed minded, Reverend?”
He chuckled. “Let us say they are set in their comfortable ways, and do not wish to veer from that path. Now will you vow faithfully that you have finished with spreading your new version of the gospel to all and sundry, and that you will talk of these things only with me?”
She sighed and nodded. “I expect you would thrash me again were I to say no.”
“Yes, and I will thrash you also if you fail to present me reasoned arguments for the conclusions you draw from the scriptures.”
Her eyes widened in fear, and then he winked, and Megan smiled in spite of her pain.
“I shall not disappoint you, sir.”
“I should think not. Come along then, and remember to hang your head in true repentance before your mother and father.”
Megan forced a frown, and then stood on tiptoe to kiss the preacher’s lips.
When she opened her eyes Megan saw Holden Thackery’s wide, wry smile.
“How was that, Meg?” The therapist detached input electrodes from her temples, and pulled up the reclining chair’s back so that the woman sat more or less upright. “Feeling better?”
“Mmm, yeah, Hud.” She smiled, but then pouted and slipped a hand beneath to rub her behind. “Hey, did you turn up the instigators? My butt feels like it’s on fire.”
“Just a little. You needed it after this past week. You were a basket case when you came in. Now go get a big drink of water, and you’d better have lotion if your bottom still feels warm.”
“Warm? Are you kidding me?” Megan’s pout deepened. “I’m totally scorched, Hud. Hey, can you do my lotion? You have great hands.”
“Not this time, Meg, sorry. Full house.”
He smiled and patted her arm, then pulled her to her feet, and her skirt slid down to cover blushing pink flesh. “Sonja will take care of you, but I’m booked. Don’t forget your panties.”
She snatched her crumpled underwear from the steel tray next to the chair and tugged at her wrinkled skirt. “I want the next bit, Hud.”
“Hm?” After a quick look at Megan, he continued to peel the saran cover off the swath of nerve instigators imbedded in the chair’s seat, tossed the film into the bio-bin, and then slicked a new sterile cover into place. “So you want to get physical with the preacher, is that it?”
“I’ve been talking about it with Dr. Dreyfuss, and she thinks it’s a good idea.”
Holden nodded. “I’ll check with her office and write it up, as long as the good doctor concurs.”
Megan pouted. “You don’t believe I need this?”
“Sure I do, but I need her okay or we can’t claim it on insurance. You know how much these extensions cost.”
“Okay, okay.” She sighed and edged toward the door. “But you know what to do?” Her heart throbbed slightly when he smiled and nodded, and she grinned. “You’ll sort me out, right, Hud?”
“I always do, don’t I?”
He winked, and Megan nodded and went out, and he nudged a contact on the little rectangle attached to his forearm, then lifted it toward his mouth when the GrApple9 queeped.
“Next please, Sonja.”
“Okay, boss. It’s Foster, and she’s on her way back.”
He slid a fingertip over the GrApple9 and then clicked a client file, an application, and a treatment option into the device in just a few seconds. The chair hummed and the neural instigators flashed red for an instant as the treatment protocol downloaded into the chair’s interface.
The Foster scenario was a private client custom job he was particularly proud of, and Holden turned and smiled when Mrs. Patricia Foster, wife of California’s Lieutenant Governor, breezed in.
By 2050 the Great Multi-Crash of 2014 and the 10-year triple-dip recession that followed were but distant, nasty memories. Every family had its horror stories, just like the Great Depression of the century before, but eventually the economy righted itself. But then almost everyone dropped back into the frenetic, get it while you can mentality that absorbed the 1980s, 1990s, and even the new century until the Crash.
Holden Thackery arrived on the planet in 1999, just in time to be tossed into the maelstrom of the 21st century. He grew up in Encino, son of a merchant seaman and a part-time computer programmer, full-time at-home mom. His little brother Tanner pronounced the boy’s name ‘Hudden’ which quickly was shortened to Hud, and he adopted the nickname for life.
Sonja waited outside the ladies’ room just off the small reception area. The toilet flushed, and water ran in the basin, and then Sonja smiled when Meg opened the door.
The woman smiled in return and beckoned the girl inside.
“You are such a sweetheart.” Megan closed the door, leaned over with one hand on the seat of the small settee, then reached back and lifted her skirt to reveal a completely bare, lightly pink behind. “He cranked it up quite a bit, the bastard.”
“Bastard, huh?” Sonja smirked, squirted lotion into her hand from a plastic bottle on the vanity, and coated the woman’s soft, round cheeks with slickness. “Last week he was only a jerk.”
“Mmm, thank you, Sonja, and he is both a jerk and a bastard but, God, do I feel better. My Sunday sermon will knock them into next week.”
Sonja giggled. “It always does, Reverend, and I’m sure you know you look about a hundred percent better than when you came in today.”
“Thank you, yes, and I really should watch my language around you young folk, but I needed someone to yell at, I guess.”
“Yell at for what?” Sonja took more lotion from the bottle, and leaned into her work.
“Oh, at Hud, for being too smart for his own good, not to mention an atheist, though not too bad to look at, truth be told, and for getting into my head when three shrinks and several intelligent and compassionate pastors couldn’t sort me out. It’s more than a little bit intimidating.”
“Yeah? Well, you’re right that he’s not hard to look at, for an older guy. He reminds me of the actors in those old timey spy films, all tall and handsome, and wearing dark suits and smoking cigarettes and stuff.” She patted Meg’s bottom gently and turned to wash her hands. “And I’ve only been here a few weeks, but I’m really starting to appreciate the smart part too. He’s kind of like a professor, only without the holier than thou attitude.” Sonja flinched and shrugged. “Um, no offense.”
“What? Oh!” Meg laughed and shook her head, then pulled her knickers from her purse and stepped into them. “Well, take it from me, smart is a lot better than not hard to look at in the long run, and Hud seems to have plenty of both. If I weren’t his patient I’d be fluttering my eyelashes at him.”
Sonja smiled and opened the restroom door. “He makes me say ‘client’ instead of ‘patient,’ but yeah, I can already see he’s a hands-off guy.”
“So he never dates, uh, clients?”
“Well, I can’t say never, but I know two of the girls who had this gig before me – one’s my big sister – and they both say he’s strictly professional, and never takes his work home, not clients, and not the hired help.”
“Really?” Megan sighed, shook her head. “I thought that was the case but it’s good to know for sure.”
“Hey, Ms. Reverend, you’re married anyway.”
The woman’s eyes narrowed slightly. “And you’re twelve years old, missy, so we both have to live with it.”
“I’m what?” Sonja glared and fisted her hips briefly, but giggled when Megan winked and slipped a hundred dollar bill into her hand, then she stepped behind the counter in the reception area, and flicked a fingertip against a floating computer screen hidden behind the countertop. “Same time next week, Meg?”
“Yes, and thanks for everything.”
“No problem. Uh, God bless!”
Megan laughed and waved as she went out the glass door.
When he was 8, Hud’s father built a tree house for the boys during one of his extended stays at home between extended absences at sea. In fact the ‘house’ was more a ‘platform’ but it sat more than 12 feet up the tree in the midst of dense leaves, and Hud and Tanner thought the place magical, although it took a while for Tanner to summon the courage to climb all the way up the ladder of boards nailed to the tree trunk and get there.
From this lofty perch the boys could see over the high cinderblock walls that fenced all the yards in their neighborhood, and Hud quickly appropriated his dad’s old Bushnell binoculars when he discovered that he could look between the branches right into the bedroom of the house next door, where Ginny lived.
Ginny was a few years older than Hud, a bit of a tomboy, and not above hanging out with Hud if none of the kids her age were around. From her he learned all the dirty words he hadn’t already picked up from the other boys, and he used them liberally when he was with her. He felt a little mean looking into her bedroom, but often his instinctive curiosity got the better of him. In any case she usually had her curtains drawn, and he saw very little that piqued his prurient interests, though it made him happy to watch her lying on her stomach on the bed while she read or watched the small TV that sat on her dresser.
She smoked cigarettes too. But Hud noticed that she smoked mostly when her dad was at home, almost like she was daring him to catch her at it. Her dad also traveled on business, though Hud had no idea what kind, and he stayed home even less than Hud’s dad.
When her dad was around Ginny changed. She became irritable and jumpy, talking louder than usual between unaccustomed bouts of sullen silence, and avoided her friends, and sulked about in her yard or Hud’s when she wasn’t at school.