I liked this artwork by Brian Tarsis which was recently posted by the Spank Statement, showing a clumsy maidservant being whipped with a belt in front of all the staff and visiting gentry.
My favourite thing about this image is the looks the lady whose dress is ruined and the maid are giving each other. The hatred in their eyes hints at past hostilities. Did the lady trip the maid, causing her to fall? Did the maid stumble deliberately, as revenge for a past injustice? Or is it just that she finds it difficult to keep her balance in those delicious and utterly impractical heels?
One of my oldest and favourite fantasies, as it happens, follows similar lines. I'm a maid in an Edwardian household; new to my role, and very nervous. The Lord of the Manor, Sir Edgar, has exacting standards, and his intentions towards the younger, prettier female members of his staff are not entirely honourable.
During my short time in service I've already felt the wrath of various senior servants. An unfortunate incident in the kitchens led to my being upended over the stout knee of the terrifying chef, who wielded her beech paddle with devastating effect. And the butler has already taken a dislike to me - I've found myself on the receiving end of his thick belt more than once, after disapproving reports by the housekeeper on my progress.
I'm learning quickly, though, and it's not long before Sir Edgar decides to show me off to his gentleman friends. I'm instructed to serve drinks at a soiree. Sir takes me aside beforehand, telling me in a quiet voice that he thinks I have promise, that he trusts I'll make him proud. I nod, anxious but eager to please.
In the drawing room, the visiting gentlemen sniff around me like dogs. Wherever I go I'm greeted with wandering hands, reaching out for a pat or a squeeze. They discuss my physical attributes as if I wasn't there, as if I were a piece of meat. I'm soon shaking, and it takes all my concentration not to spill the drinks I'm serving.
When Sir Edgar calls me to his side I'm grateful for the reprieve. But the worst is yet to come. He orders me to strip, so his friends can admire me more easily. I'm reluctant, but the threat of punishment prompts me to obedience. I strip down to my corset and petticoats. The comments greeting my exposed skin are raucous, greedy. One of them barks, "That's all well and good, but have you whipped her yet?"
Sir Edgar murmurs that he hasn't yet needed to deal with me personally, and, encouraged by the demands of his guest, offers to let his friend attend to me as he wishes. I'm instructed to bend over the arm of a chaise longue. I feel my petticoats lifted, rustle as they're pulled right up and settle around my head. My bottom is exposed and lifted right up into the air over the scrolled arm of the chaise, which is high enough to force me on tiptoe. I bury my head in a cushion and squeeze my eyes shut. I can hear comments about my bottom, how it's made for the rod. I sense a figure coming to stand by me and crack an eye open. It's Sir Edgar - standing calmly next to me, nothing escaping his scrutiny. I moan quietly as I realise my helplessness, but stifle the sound. I'm scared, but I don't want to make him angry. I can't afford to be chucked out on the street. I don't dare disobey.
The gentleman takes his time choosing a long cane from a selection proferred by a footman. He flexes a couple of them, whipping them through the air, before making his choice. The whole room has gathered round to watch. I don't know what's worse - the ones talking about me as if I was an inanimate object, or the ones laughing and joking about something else entirely, as if a young girl helplessly awaiting a thrashing she hasn't earned were so commonplace it wasn't worthy of notice. But the worst thing of all is that the other staff members on duty can see it all. I may not see any of the guests again, but the footmen, the other maids, the butler - I have to work with these people every day. I can't bear for them to witness my humiliation. I haven't even done anything wrong!
A couple of the guests have moved closer, and I can feel one grip my arms, holding me still in preparation for my whipping. I struggle half-heartedly, then remember Sir Edgar watching and make an effort to stay still.
Then a wild cry escapes my lips as the first slicing stroke falls - whitehot, searing pain, worse than the belt, worse than the paddle. I can feel the cut across both cheeks of my bum, burning and itching. I'm wiggling my bottom in the air in my efforts not to reach back and grab my wounded arse with both hands, and my struggling provokes the hands holding me down to grip my arms more firmly. The second stroke lands just as I'm beginning to regain my breath, and I let out a shriek at the force of it. Blood rushes to my head, and in a panic I realise that because this punishment has no crime, it has no limit: I have no idea how many strokes I'm due. All I know is that I can't bear the next one, I can't, I can't - until it falls, and all thought is jolted from my head as I writhe helplessly in the grip of my assailants.
The whipping is slow and searing at first, painting my vulnerable cheeks with fierce stripes of pain. At a stroke which lands right on the crease between my buttocks and thighs, causing me to emit a particularly high-pitched yelp, I hear laughter from the gentry gathered around, and a smattering of applause. As the caning increases in force and speed, their appreciation rises to match. Soon they're cheering my assailant on with rough shouts - "Harder, you brute!" "Go on!" "Thrash the little bint!" "Come on, don't be a sissy! She can take it!" Sir Edgar's guest, perhaps encouraged by a small nod from his host, responds to the encouragement, and soon the cane is slicing against my thighs and backside with barely a pause between each stroke. It blurs into one long, terrible streak of pain, and it's not until I have to pause for breath that I realise I've been screaming non-stop, unable to escape the dreadful whistling cane.
When it finally stops my head is a roar of noise, my breathing choked by sobs. The cane is replaced by a slightly sweaty hand, mauling and fondling my aching, damaged cheeks. The man whose hand it is is talking to Sir Edgar, probably about me, but the blood is pounding so hard in my ears that I can't make out the words. I can sense the crowd dispersed, laughing and chattering, their attention wandering now that the show is over. The hand gives my bottom a cheeky pat, igniting the tender weals afresh. Eventually I realise that I'm not being held down any more, and in some confusion I struggle to my feet, tears streaking my cheeks, fumbling with my clothes and trying not to meet anyone's eye, although Sir Edgar lifts my chin with a finger to force me to look at him. His guest is bright-edged and flushed, looking at me with a strange intensity. "That's all for now, girl," says Sir Edgar. "Kindly return to your duties. If any of my guests requires your services tonight you are to obey their summons at once. Is that clear?"
"Yes, sir," I murmur, desperate to squeeze my throbbing bottom through my petticoats, but too embarrassed. Funny that I should be worried about propriety when the whole room has just witnessed my most intimate shame.
For the rest of the evening I serve the guests as normal, trying to ignore the amused glances of the ladies and the lustful gropes of the men. My bottom is red raw and the slightest touch makes me flinch, a fact which keeps some of Sir Edgar's guests entertained for some time. The man who whipped me doesn't come near me again, although I keep noticing his eyes on me, darting and lustful as he watches me from across the room. Once I even think I see him lick his thin lips, but perhaps I'm imagining things. I do feel slightly dizzy.
Despite my lightheadedness, there is one good thing about my situation. For the first time since I entered service I'm glad that my waiting position requires me to stand rather than sit.
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