This month's spanking story contest, 'I Broke my New Year's Resolution', was one of the most fun yet. Many thanks to the entrants, who have outdone themselves this time around.
It seems inevitable, looking at the numbers, that most of us will break our resolutions (again) this year - and there also seems to be no shortage of spankos who are willing to offer their bottoms up in trade for sticking to their plans. The lengths that these writers go to in order to see themselves properly disciplined for their expected offenses are quite impressive, and I think you'll agree that each of them should know better next year.
Quite honestly, winners are getting harder and harder to choose. Those of you who've endeavored to commit the time and effort to these contests continue to bowl me over...my sincerest gratitude to each of you. I do hope that every one of you one day brings home the 'prize'.
This month's winner, whom I'll call 'E', will receive his spanking for a job very well done on "Write What You Know". This story is exactly what we've come to recognize from our spanko authors - a wonderfully-written story with relatable characters and absolutely fantastic spanking suspense.
Don't read this one in a hurry...it's too good to rush.
Write What You Know
Have you ever had one of those moments when your life changes in an instant, when circumstances progress beyond your control and the world turns upside down with no time to anticipate?
This was not that.
On this distinctly cold January evening, as I stood at the doorstep of a woman I barely knew, seconds stretching beyond measure while I worked up the courage to take some action, any action... suddenly I had all the time in the world to think about how I came to be in this situation.
I work at a small cafe, just a couple blocks down from my apartment. With food that's only decent and less than mediocre coffee, I suspect it's really the comfy chairs and the brick fireplace that keep the place in business. Hardly the mentally stimulating job I thought I'd have a couple years out of college, serving coffee to people with whose lives involve the very intellectual challenges that I used to aspire to.
But the best part of my week by far would start at 8 o' clock sharp every first and third Wednesday of the month. They're not writers like the ones that come in sporadically, hugging laptops and holing up by power outlets, seeking only free Wi-Fi and a sense of privacy in a public space. They come with their pads, moleskins, and red pens, forming a circle around the fire. They don't all share any one common trait, not one age bracket, gender, education, walk of life... besides an interest writing and sharing their work.
They aren't particularly loud or boisterous, and yet I was hopelessly distracted whenever they met. I found myself misfiring orders, picking shifts based on their schedule, even wiping down tables strategically so as to spend the most time within earshot. It's not even that the writing was so captivating, though some of it was, but rather their ability to produce work on a regular basis that intrigued me. I had never been able to achieve that kind of consistency with my own writing outside of a classroom setting.
Though their individual discipline was admirable, they also clearly benefited from the organizational leadership of one member, a woman whose voice had a particular way of holding my attention. Her name was Ava Marks, and there was a certain crisp, lyrical efficiency when she spoke that could make the most mundane of procedures sound profoundly compelling. She ran the meetings in a way that is simultaneously gracious and uncompromising. She could probably write a best-selling guide to herding creative types, or cats for that matter.
I should have known that the same qualities that caused me to notice her would also eventually lead to her noticing me. After a couple of months thinking I was flying under the radar, one night while closing up I turned to find her standing at the counter, waiting patiently. I worked to contain my surprise and maintain a professional demeanor.
"Can I help you?" No, I didn't just spend the evening hanging on your every word.
"I'm afraid I have something we must discuss."
The possibility of her dissatisfaction bothered me much more than I'd like to admit.
"Sadly I can't do anything about the coffee. Has there been a problem with the service?"
She laughed, relieving me of my worry.
"No, the service has been satisfactory. Attentive to a fault."
"I'm glad to hear it."
"But if you're going to continue to attend our meetings, I'm afraid I must ask that you participate beyond providing oddly frequent refills."
Busted. I should have known it would be too obvious. At least it was nice while it lasted.
"I'm very sorry, it won't happen again."
"I should hope not. Rule number one, you see, is that everyone shares a piece with the group for critique. It helps to preserve the integrity of the discussion when everyone puts a little skin in the game."
Don't cheat yourself - click 'Read More' below to expand the whole story. - Dana)
"I've just enjoyed listening, that's all. I guess I've been trying to start writing again myself, and your group is so prolific. From now on I promise, I'll just do my job and keep my distance."
"No, I don't think that's going to happen."
Surely she won't ask that I rearrange my shifts. It can't be that bad. But a gentle smile decorated her features.
"I have a feeling you're going to start writing again. In fact, I think you're going to write a piece and read it at the next group." No challenge in her voice, just simple, firm resolution. Warmth as well, which almost assuaged my instinct not to just give in on principle. Almost.
"I haven't written anything in years, not since college."
"Well then, it's about time, isn't it?"
I shook my head.
"I'm not like your group. I could barely keep up with my writing prompts in class."
For the first time I noticed the glint in her eye when she smiled at me, accented by her exquisite cheekbones.
"Do you know why the writers in our group stand in front of the hearth when they read?"
Confused, speech failing, I shook my head again.
"I find that creative minds work best with some fire behind them, so to speak. That... and it keeps the pieces down to a managable length."
"What does that have to do with...?”
"Accountability, of course. Without the communal process, I'm sure many members of our group would find themselves stuck, precisely like you. You'll find it easier to start again if you know others expect it of you. You will begin to expect it of yourself. "
I turned this over in my head.
"I guess I do need a new year’s resolution, and setting expectations would help get me motivated. "
"Yes, indeed. But vague resolutions are always the first to fail. So you're going to do what, exactly?"
There was that glint again, accompanied by raised eyebrows. It was my turn to laugh.
"I'll write a piece and read it at the next group."
She grinned, self-satisfied.
So we were agreed. Ms. Marks even offered to host the next meeting at her nearby home so that it would be an environment outside of my workplace. It was set for January 4th, which according to her was plenty of time to come up with something. In fact, it proved to be far too much time for me.
That night, after our conversation, I didn't sleep a wink. Instead I sat at my desk from dusk till dawn, still in my work clothes. My keyboard remained untouched. For the first time in who knows how long I was putting actual pen to paper, the consequence of which is no backspaces, so I discarded sheet after sheet when each new shiny idea lost its initial luster. It was exhilarating to write again, but nothing would stick in my head for more than a few minutes. How did I get through school like this?
The night trudged on, my blood sugar dropped lower, and various associations began to string together like the blinking Christmas lights outside my window. My mind kept leading me back to my days at school, the pressure of a looming deadline, and eventually weaved into the narrative was the watchful gaze of an authoritative female figure, with a voice that was simultaneously soothing and firm. My protagonist thrived under her capable discipline, which he only accepted in order to reach his full potential, of course. No other reason. The words flowed through me like water. As the sun rose that morning, I laid my head down for a proper crash nap on top of work I was actually proud of.
But the next few days provided me with ample opportunity to tear that confidence to shreds. I went over the story over and over again, enjoying it each time despite the sloppy, passionate candor of the character I had created, but troubled at my enjoyment and convinced that this subject matter belonged off the page and safely confined in my head. No one should ever read this. But the story stuck with me, as things we try to ignore often do. Though I tried to develop other ideas, nothing stuck the way this one had.
New Year’s Eve came and went, as did my work shifts, all blended together. Finally, Wednesday evening arrived. I watched from my parked car as each arriving guest was greeted at the door and welcomed inside. Eight o' clock came and went. Ten minutes passed, then fifteen. I folded and refolded the pages. Thirty minutes. There was no way I could read this out loud to a group of practical strangers, Ms. Marks. My hands shook and sweated even picturing it. But what is worse, facing humiliation in front of the group, or letting her down, making her think that she was wrong to encourage me at all? Never seeing that glint in her eye again...
At the very least, she needed to know that I had made the attempt, that I written something and shown up, even if my next move was to turn my tail and run. Not proud, but sure that she would understand, I left the folded pages sticking halfway out of the mailbox beside her door.
In lue of examining my actions further, I tried to busy myself by going in to work. But the flicker of the fire brought my mind back to her door. What if she didn't find my writing? Even worse, what if she did? She's a woman of substance, with no reason to bother with the crooked fantasies of an aimless twenty-something. What was I thinking, leaving it there? Time slowed to an excruciating crawl as I finished out the shift I had volunteered for.
By the time I made it back to her block, the last guest was pulling out of her driveway. There was still light in the front windows. The porch light was off, making for ideal conditions to retrieve the pages from her mailbox. Had they been there... which they weren't.
Which brings me to my current predicament. Standing outside her door, wavering between running and ringing the bell. Certainly not both. And then, just like that, the door opened and the decision was made for me.
I froze. She didn't sound curious as to why I was here, nor the least bit surprised.
"Don't just stand there. Come in."
I blinked like an idiot, glancing at the mailbox and back. She ushered me into her living room, where a fire was lit and empty coffee mugs still occupied every available surface, waiting to be cleared. Like the cafe, but with coasters. Ah, familiarity.
She removed her reading glasses and set them on a desk at the far end of the room, next to the folded yellow pages I had come back for. She then turned to face me.
"You're dreadfully late. But, I suppose you know that."
"I'm sorry... I came to apologize..."
She cut me off with a click of her tongue, one of the many audible pauses I had heard her use before, as she settled into a high-backed leather arm chair.
"That's a good start. But sorry for what exactly?"
"I shouldn't have left the pages... or, I should have stayed and... well, I really shouldn't have written it at all..."
Again she clicked her tongue, mercifully putting a stop to my stammering.
"Let me help. You're sorry that you wrote a story that you clearly had no intention of reading to the group. You're sorry that you failed to keep your word and show up to the meeting at all. And most importantly, you're sorry that you broke your resolution and let yourself down."
I hung my head as her words washed over me. I let you down as well, I wanted to say. Then something in the back of my mind chimed defiantly.
"I didn't break my resolution."
"I started writing again."
She shook her head. "Accountability. You resolved to participate in the communal process of writing. You resolved to write a piece and share it with a group of peers, to listen to their stories, to give and receive feedback. To grow as a writer. What you did was jot down a first draft, entertaining as it was, and abandon it at my door like a coward."
The last word cut through me like a knife. Coward. And yet... did she just complement my story?
"I didn't want you to think that I..."
"Hush now. That's enough talk from you."
As she rose from the chair my heart sunk into my chest. She would show me the door, I would sink back into the daily grind, and flog myself daily for having ruined this opportunity. But instead, she took two steps and made herself comfortable on the ottoman, crossing her heels at the ankle. The look in her eyes reminded me of how neighborhood cats used to stare through the window at my parrot in its cage.
Not a hint of force in her voice, just simple, calm expectation. I blinked, dumbfounded, as if glued to the floor. She couldn't be serious.
"I promise you will regret it if I have to repeat myself."
My feet carried me there as if they had a mind of their own. And so I stood at her side, hands clenching uselessly while she unbuckled my belt like it was the most natural thing in the world. Each movement she made while undressing me, however smooth and unceremonious, was slow and magnified in its contrast. This was not at all what I wrote. On those pages, my protagonist was responsible for these preparations, retaining shreds of control as he shed his own clothes and took his cane strokes bent over but still standing, supporting his own weight.
"I've known several young writers like you, Jeremy. Intrinsically interested, but extrinsically stagnant."
I was catapulted back into the present moment by her voice, and then my jeans were dropped swiftly to my ankles. Goosebumps ran up my legs. My eyes darted, trying not to stare at the tops of her stockings, or anywhere near her lap.
"You clearly need help holding yourself accountable. Do you know how I help boys who can't keep their resolutions, or their word? I think you do."
My stomach tied itself into knots. My legs tried not to wobble.
"No? It's very simple, really. I take them over my knee and I spank their bare bottoms."
I could hear the edge of excited malice in her voice, coaxing a flush throughout my face and chest. She knew this was not how I had written it. She was exercising flagrant editorial privileges, and enjoying it at that. Without pause, she took hold of my shirt collar and drew me over her lap with ease, taking care to push the back of my shirt up and out of the way. Her left hand was in its place, pressing insistently until I finally settled in to her satisfaction.
I tightened, bracing myself, but now she was in no hurry.
"Have you ever been caned before, Jeremy?"
"No." I can't remember ever sounding so sheepish.
"Have you even been spanked?"
"No." Her use of that particular word made shivers run up my spine. That word appeared nowhere in my story.
She chuckled indulgently, patting the seat of my boxer-briefs as her other arm slid around my waist.
"I didn't think so. Silly boy, nobody with nerve endings takes a caning like that, clenched and not making a sound. Ridiculous!"
I resisted huffing, still petrified by the indignity of my current position.
"I should show you what I mean; it would serve you right, truly." She mused as her fingers leisurely traced my waistband, "Haven't you ever heard the expression 'write what you know'?"
She made quick work of peeling my underwear down to my knees. The chill of moving air barely had time to prickle my skin before a single, stinging blow landed across both cheeks. The gravity of what was happening rushed through me in an instant. Suddenly her point about the beating I wrote rang true. Four more to the same spot, steady and measured, had me suppressing yelps and squirming over her lap like a hooked worm.
Her left arm tightened around me and for the first time, the palm which had stung me so effectively rested on my skin while it soaked in, for just a moment.
For a brief while after that, it became easier to take. But as the physical pain became less paramount, the more I burned over my foolishness, thinking I could maintain control through the cane and instead having to be held in place under the first strikes of her delicate, dexterous hand.
I resolved to take the rest with stillness and silence, and at first, restraining myself wasn't an insurmountable task. But she was as organized and thorough here as she was in group, methodically covering every inch of exposed skin and knowingly switching to groupings of three and then five when single strikes no longer made such an impact.
I longed for the correction I had imagined, something hard and fast and over quickly. Being held over her knee like this capitalized on my vulnerability by providing a constant feedback loop. She could feel my every movement, tell when I was tightened up or relaxed, or when I was getting used to it, and adjust with frightening precision. Just when I thought she was predictable, a scalding flurry laid into my previously untouched upper thighs, setting me squealing all over again.
"Beginning to get the picture, are we? You are accountable for your words, including the ones that come out of your mouth and the ones that you put on a page."
She began focusing solely on the spot where thigh meets buttock, beating a rhythmic red tattoo into that small, tender section of flesh, paying no mind to how it made me howl. Spank by painful spank, she stripped away any vestige of my control.
I no longer cared about feeling foolish or staying stoic. I lost all sense of time, how long I had been there, how much longer it could possibly be before she would grant me a reprieve. The entire focus of my being was her stinging palm as it continued to visit my helpless backside, and all that mattered to me was surrendering to this woman who was so apt at exercising control where I could not. I would take everything she saw fit to give.
And then suddenly it stopped. Just as at the start, every detail became larger than life. My heart pounding, blood rushing in my ears, eyes regaining focus on the hardwood below. Her palm rubbing my wounded bottom, providing momentary relief tempered by hints of soreness that had only just begun. It felt strange, receiving such affection from a hand still warm from disciplining me. Being chastised and cared for at the same time.
Her breathing sounded just as exerted as mine. Her palm must have stung something awful. How is it that after the pain she just put me through, I feel concerned for her, and also... grateful.
"I'll have that apology now."
Pulled out of my reverie, I scrambled to find the words.
"I'm sorry, Ms. Marks, for not keeping my resolution, or my word. I promise I'll read the next piece I write to the group... if you'll still allow me."
She clicked her tongue and once more grasped my shirt collar.
"There now, up with you."
She stood me up again by her side, slapping my hands away when they clutched at my bottom, having no intention of relinquishing her control just yet. With that self-satisfied smile, she examined her handiwork from a different angle, fingers brushing my quivering cheeks, paying no mind to how it made me flinch.
"I'm afraid this is what can happen when you put skin in the game." She chuckled, giving my bottom a few light pats.
"Do we understand each other now, Jeremy? Are you going to live up to your new expectations?"
"Yes, Ms. Marks, absolutely."
"Good. I think you'll find the fruit of your labor is much sweeter if you actually show up to share it with others. You'll get another chance to do so, in two weeks’ time. You may get dressed."
As I pulled up my pants, she stood and went over to her desk. I took the opportunity her distraction provided to try to massage some of the sting through my jeans, only to jerk my hands away just as quickly when she turned around. She just smirked and handed me the first draft of my story, put her other arm around my shoulder, and led me gently to the door.
"This is good work. I don't expect that you'll share it with the group, but I do hope you finish it someday."
I looked down at the pages, now with the addition of red marks. Sorely needed edits. Creative fuel.
Before I stepped through the now-open door, I turned to look her squarely in the eyes for what may have been the first time. I didn't know what else to say.
"Thank you. So much."
She smiled knowingly.
"Of course. My pleasure."
Then I took my leave, afraid to do or say anything that would ruin the strange new inspiration I felt in that moment. But I heard her voice from the doorway.
"Oh, and Jeremy?"
I turned, concerned. I had taken my licks, everything had come to a resolution. And yet... that glint in her eye was apparent even from the walkway.
"If you break your word again, I'll see to it that you're able to write a proper caning scene."