Yet another kinky story

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The measuring tape was produced and the switches assessed for length, thickness and durability. Two were discarded as unsuitable, leaving Evan with three candidates.

He gave them back to me. ‘Trim them,’ he ordered. ‘We need them nice and smooth. Don’t want to cut that peachy skin, do we?’

It seemed topsy-turvy that I was expected to prepare the rod for my own back, or rather, bottom. I sliced off the knobbly buds with a growing sense of humiliation, imagining my three observers later on, watching me writhing underneath the lashing willow. There was more to it than simple humiliation, though, and the doughty denim crotch of my jeans began to dampen as I hacked.

‘They look ready now,’ commented Evan, who had noted my not-so-subconscious efforts to drag out the task, perhaps in the hope of some postponement further down the line. ‘Let me have a look at them.’

Three slender wands of pale green-brown, looking so delicate, so pretty, so harmless.

‘What do you think, guys?’ He passed them around the trio, who bent them and whipped them through the air, testing them for flexibility, durability, speed of swish, vicious velocity.

‘Hard to tell,’ said one of them slowly. ‘Think we need further tests. In a bit more depth.’ His eyebrow was tipped towards me. I backed unthinkingly into the trunk of a tree.

‘Good idea,’ said Evan disconcertingly. ‘Turn around, Faith. Stretch your arms up above your head.’

‘Evan!’

‘It’s all right, love. You can keep your jeans on. It won’t hurt. Much.’ He tapped the end of one rod in the palm of his hand, narrowing his eyes as if making mathematical calculations.

I hesitated.

‘We could always use all three. Extend the ritual.’

I turned around, displaying my rump in its spray-on skinnies to their practised eyes. My hands reached upwards, tracing the patterns of the bark. I pressed my palms into it, firmly, and laid one cheek against the rough texture, gazing off sideways towards the river.

‘I think if we all have a go at all of the rods, that will give us an idea. Then we can vote,’ suggested Evan. His voice wafted closer, the ground crackling beneath his feet as he approached. ‘I’ll go first.’

Before I even knew it, in the space of no more than a second, the air was singing, the willow swinging and my bum was stinging. ‘You LIAR!’ I shouted indignantly, once I had caught my breath. ‘That HURT!’

Even through the denim, the switch had painted a streak of fire, and I dreaded to think how it would feel on bare flesh.

‘This is a good one,’ Evan surmised, and then, heedless of my yelps, he laid the next two on quickly. Neither of them were as painful as the first cut, but they were certainly deeply felt all the same. My torso danced against the tree trunk, but movement simply caused my sore bum to rub the rough denim, so there was no relief to be found that way. I brought a hand down to soothe and pat the affected area while Evan handed over the weapons to the first of his friends.

‘Thing is,’ said my next experimenter, ‘will she be standing for the ritual? I thought the girl was bent over?’

‘Good point,’ mused Evan. ‘We might be diluting the effectiveness of the willow. Faith, see that tree stump over there? Can you put your palms down flat on it for us?’

‘You want me to bend over? Do I have to?’

‘Yes,’ he said firmly.

I did as I was told, stretching my jeans so taut in the process that my buttocks were spread and separated by the seam that ran between them. The crotch rode up between my slick sex lips, rubbing against my clit and my soaked knickers. I badly wanted to unzip and push my hand inside but not with an audience.

‘Mmm.’ It seemed the picture my straining denim backside presented met with universal approval. ‘Now that’s a target.’

The three lines left from Evan’s efforts were throbbing now; the idea of six more to come was hard to bear. But the next man was merciful, after a fashion, and struck me less hard, though the position I was in did intensify the effect.

The final willow-wielder had no such delicacy, though. Three full-powered swishes fired up my vulnerable behind, and at the last, I had to leap to my feet, clutching my bottom and yowling.

‘Definitely this one, I think,’ he grinned, slicing it through the air one more time.

‘Yes, I vote for that one too,’ agreed Evan. ‘It seems to produce a strong reaction.’

The third man simply nodded, and the two losing rods were discarded.

‘I’ll see you later,’ said Evan, dismissing them. ‘As for you, my lady, who told you to stop bending over?’

‘Oh, come on,’ I protested, but when a man of six foot two and powerful build comes towards you with a willow switch, resistance tends to be futile. I bent back over, wincing as abrasive cloth made close contact with punished flesh once more. ‘You aren’t going to use that on me again, are you?’ I muffled from my inglorious position.

‘No, no. Plenty of that to come later.’ His hand landed on one stretched globe. I hissed a little and wondered if he could feel the heat through the heavy-duty fabric. ‘Nice and warm,’ he remarked. ‘What about further down?’ The hand flipped sideways and slipped between my thighs, forcing me to spread them a little. His fingers probed at the seam, finding it damp and hot.

‘Oooh.’ The friction of it against my swollen clitoris was wonderful, cancelling out the burning soreness above. All it would take was a cursory rub and I would …

‘It’s a shame about that clause they introduced after the execution of Charles I,’ he said sympathetically, moving his fingers away and pressing his erection into my bumcrack.

‘What … clause?’ I whimpered, longing for him to hoist down my jeans and ram that thick length into me.

‘No relief until the ritual is complete,’ he murmured into my ear. ‘You are going to have to wait ’til after midnight before you get that itch scratched, love. Shame, because I’m as hard as a rock. Still there’s nothing to stop you sorting me out in the rules … as far as I remember …’

I was grateful for something to take my mind off my own need, so I dropped to my knees, unzipped him and sucked him dry in the dappled shade of the willows, his moans of ecstasy covered by birdsong and the gentle rustle of the leaves.

It was hard to concentrate on the festivities after we returned to the fête. Every step I took caused my jeans to chafe against the switch marks, which were now only mildly sore, but they served to inflame much more than the area they decorated, so that I spent the afternoon in a torment of frustrated lust. So intense was the longing awakened by the earlier experimenting that I began to look forward to my midnight humiliation. Every adult who crossed my path would later be examining my backside, watching me whipped. Several came over to our table in the beer garden and commented on the chosen willow wand, which lay blatantly across the wooden surface, surrounded by pints of cider and half-empty crisp packets.

I longed for a soothing glass of the fermented apple beverage, but Evan told me that the consumption of alcohol was forbidden, in case I should numb any of the sensation that was coming to me. I put a hand on his well-muscled thigh and began to stroke it suggestively beneath the table, moving upwards, hoping he would forget the stupid damn rule and take me behind the church hall for a knee-trembler anyway. But he closed one hand over mine and said, ‘Somebody really does need that spanking if she’s thinking of breaking the rules.’

I had to clench my teeth and my pussy both in order to get through the mask judging and brass band recital. I sat squishing in my own juices on the hard wood bench while my nipples dimpled my T-shirt, watching the sun drop, agonisingly slowly, towards the crest of the horizon.

At dusk the children began disappearing, one by one, to their beds. Wooden stakes, to act as torches, were driven into the village green, surrounding it with flaring firelight, and I watched as the area was prepared, not sure whether to be aghast or excited.

‘We’d better get you prepared,’ said Evan, once the church clock struck ten and the last few juveniles were packed off home.

‘Prepared?’

‘It’s all part of the fun,’ he said with a smile that had an edge of nervousness about it. He was worried I might back out, I realised. ‘Nothing to worry about. Come on.’

As soon as we stood, heads began turning, nudges were exchanged. Evan walked me up to a pleasant cottage on the fringe of the village, a place I had passed before without knowing who lived there, though I had admired the honeysuckle that curled around the door and windows.

It was opened by the same elderly lady who had given me advice in my tea shop – Evan’s great aunt.

‘Oh,’ I said, in mild surprise.

‘Ah, Faith,’ she said with a benign smile. ‘We are all ready for you. Please come in.’

In the low-ceilinged living room, a group of village elders had convened. They stood drinking sherry amongst the horse brasses and overstuffed cushions, looking for the most part vaguely embarrassed to be there.

‘Faith, I just want to say on behalf of the village that we very much appreciate what you are doing tonight,’ opened the ringleader, a tweedy ex-colonel type with a beetroot complexion. ‘Jolly good of you. I can assure you, you will be well thought of for this.’

‘Thanks … no problem,’ I said awkwardly, feeling like a museum exhibit, which, in a way, I was. A living bloody folk legend.

‘Well, then,’ said Great Aunt breezily. ‘Shall we get on? Faith, dear, we shall need you to undress, if you don’t mind.’

If I don’t mind?

‘I have to do this naked?’

‘No, no. You just need to be washed with the waters of the river, and then robed. It’ll take two ticks, dear, that’s all.’

Her reassuring tone hypnotised me, and before I had time to think, I was pulling off kinky files my T-shirt, then lowering the jeans I had been wanting to lose all afternoon.

‘Can’t I keep my underwear on?’ I asked, standing on the hearthrug in knickers and bra.

‘I’m afraid not. Don’t worry. These people aren’t going to hurt you. They are all good people.’

I deliberately shunned the faces of the half-dozen village dignitaries, reaching around to unhook my bra.

‘Now your knickers, dear,’ prompted Great Aunt gently. I pulled down the thong and stood, bare and vulnerable, on display in the tiny room.

‘She’ve been marked already,’ commented one in a rich local accent. ‘Them switches’m good’uns.’

‘She picked well,’ said Evan from behind my shoulder.

‘Here now,’ said Great Aunt, watching as one of the elders brought a washbasin into the room and placed it at my feet. ‘The waters of the river. Let’s get you washed.’

‘It’s the spirit of Grimgerda,’ said Evan conversationally as his great aunt sponged me all over with the tepid, slightly earthy-smelling water. ‘It is in the flow of the river that claimed her body. If you have it on your skin, the switches can whip her spirit out of you. I think that’s the idea.’

‘Does it ever occur to you,’ I said, watching rivulets run down into the valley of my breasts and over my belly, ‘that you are …’ I paused, realising that ‘barking mad’ might not be a diplomatic turn of phrase. ‘I mean that this … Grimgerda … probably never existed.’

Hisses and sharp intakes of breath all round the room. Sheesh, maybe kinky files they all believe in the tooth fairy too.

‘Though who can tell?’ I amended hastily.

‘The story has been passed from father to son for over a thousand years,’ the Colonel ticked me off.

‘And from son to female incomer,’ I muttered. For one split second of terrible doubt, I wondered if they really had made all this up to humiliate me. But no. There were other traditions like this. Beating the Bounds, for instance. So I stood, statue-like and emotionally disconnected from the fact of my public nudity, while Great Aunt finished the job of painting me with the spirit of Grimgerda.

‘Nice to see a proper bush on a gal these days,’ commented the Colonel embarrassingly. ‘Not like the ones in the magazines ahem ahem ahem.’ He lapsed into a coughing fit, realising too late that he had outed himself as a connoisseur of male interest publications, while various others shook their heads and clicked their tongues.

‘I think you’ll do,’ decided Great Aunt. ‘Evan, dear, fetch the robe, would you?’

The robe. It was white linen and reminded me of nothing so much as one of those awful hospital gowns that cover the front of your body but lace up behind, like an apron, exposing your bottom. The fabric was lighter and cooler, but the principle was the same. Evan tied it at the nape of my neck and stood behind me for a minute or two, tweaking and fussing with the material as it sheared away across my shoulder blades and flapped at my hips.

‘You’ve a fine figure,’ said Great Aunt, smiling at me. ‘Here. You must carry this. And now I think we are ready for the procession.’

She handed me the willow switch, which I had to carry diagonally across my chest, it seemed, and then she threw open the front door and I shrieked.

Outside by the gate, the entire village had congregated, their avid faces flickering in the torchlight.

‘Evan!’ I said in a panic. ‘I … I’m not sure …’

‘They love you, Faith,’ he said, kissing my cheek. ‘They are here to support you. Hold your head high – you have nothing to be ashamed of.’

It was easy for him to say, but I was spurred forward all the same, placed at the head of the procession like a perverse Queen of the May, flanked by Evan and Great Aunt, with the entire village filing behind me, eyes glued to my fortune-determining bottom. My arse, I realised with a hysterical jolt of amusement, was not just my arse to them. It was their harvest and their well-being and the future of the village all in one curve-cheeked package.

As our flaming-torched crocodile meandered towards the village green, I became aware of a low humming in the air. A chorus of nocturnal bees? No – it was the villagers themselves! I looked around wildly – even Evan was doing it! What did it mean?

‘What’s … why are you doing that?’

He made no reply, but placed a big batsman’s hand on top of my head, turning it back to face the front, keeping the momentum going. The village green hove into view, the Maypole starkly outlined in the moonlight – and next to it there was something else. Something like … no, not like, it was … a medieval pillory!

My feet kept moving forward as if on automatic pilot, while the humming swelled and swooped, growing louder until the villagers were opening their mouths, sending their one-note song of praise out into the far corners of the night, surrounding the village green with its mystical power.

My audience began to file left and right, forming a barrier around the Green, a circle of light and noise inside which I was sealed. Evan and Great Aunt took hold of my upper arms and supported me the last few steps of the way. Beside the pillory, we stopped and Evan motioned the crowd into silence.

‘We know why we are gathered here tonight,’ he said, his deep tones ringing across the heads of the congregation. ‘Our lovely friend and fellow villager, Faith, has agreed to perform our traditional ritual. We are grateful to her, and will show our gratitude in every way possible for as long as she chooses to stay here. Which we hope will be a very long time.’

The people applauded, and Evan stroked the crook of my arm before turning to ask for the switch, which I handed over. I felt dumb and numb at this juncture, as if I were watching myself in a film. I allowed Great Aunt to lead me to the pillory and bend me down so I could place my wrists and neck in the lowered grooves. There was a cheer from behind as I felt the robe fall completely open, exposing my taut buttocks to general view. With my back arched so low, I would have to work hard to keep my thighs pressed together if I did not want to give everyone an eyeful kinky files of my sex cleft – would this be possible? From my recollection of the rehearsal over jeans, it would not be. I clenched my teeth and fists, determined to maintain a modicum of dignity, but the way Evan was slicing the willow wand through the air in preparation did not bode well for my resolve.

I could hear appreciative whistles and comments coming from some of the male members of the audience and, crude as they were, I began to feel aroused by the consciousness of my display – a closet exhibitionist, or so it seemed. Evan moved behind me and began to run the slender rod ticklishly up and down my helpless bum, causing me to squirm and rock on the balls of my feet.

‘Ten strokes,’ he said. ‘I have to make them hard, Faith. You understand, I hope.’

‘I understand,’ I managed to whisper.

‘Good. Then let us proceed.’ He tapped the rod lightly and quickly against the broad swell of my buttocks before shouting, ‘Out with you, Grimgerda!’

Amid cheers and whoops, the switch was flicked back and then forwards, with a significant speed and swoosh, snapping on to my backside with angry, exquisite intensity.

‘Ohhhhh!’ I wailed, kicking a leg up behind me, but having nowhere to go with it.

‘That’s one!’ shouted a good proportion of the watchers, used to the form, I supposed. The people lining the Green facing me were grinning, some of them leering, and then they began to move sideways, crab-style, so that the faces I saw were replaced by new ones.

‘Give her another!’ yelled a male voice.

‘Make it a hard one!’

Then the second stroke took my breath away, burning just below the first, igniting a fresh burst of cheering and some cries of ‘Two!’

This peculiar ring-a-roses around the Green, I realised, was to ensure that each villager got to witness my whipping from every perspective, missing none of the detail, from my scrunched-up reddened face to my criss-cross reddened bum. They could savour every aspect of my disgrace, keeping the images alive in their memory for the rest of their days.

A third cheer was synchronised with the flaring line of pain at the underhang of my cheeks – a particularly tender spot. Goodbye, jeans, at least for a few days.

Evan continued to lay the lash diligently and with a will, but I had to assume he was not using the full strength of his arm, as I was not in agony – just hopping around as if the target in a devilish game of darts. My bottom throbbed and seared, but my sex was more humid and itchy than ever – Evan would have to do no more than scrape that willow across my clit to set me off on an explosive series of climaxes.

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