Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Worse than the Cane? A Written Imposition with a Twist: A Caption From - and Inspired by - a Tumblr Blog

Just a few words of explanation:  I have had a few personal problems.  But I’m back working.  I have been working on a project with Roger Benson, the spanking and discipline artist who specialises in setting his work in the 1950s – early 60s, and have taken a look at a part-written piece which I originally intended for the Erotic Mind Control Story Archive with an eye to putting together some sort of novel or book, although I’m not sure where it will fit within my present canon, if at all.  Another activity I have been involving myself (usually first thing, for inspiration) is cruising through the more interesting Tumblr blog pages, re-bloging anything that catches my eye to my own account, more often than not adding a caption inspired by the image, which more than once has led on to exploring certain other directions in terms of imagery and / or writing.  And so I blundered across this pic – and below is where my inspiration led me.  I have also been in email dialogue with a contributor who was responding to something I once wrote about the deliberate induction of stuttering or stammering as a method of gaining control and influence over a subject (itself based on real life, anything but ethical, experimentation).

On the 24th of this month I am going in to hospital (The Highgate – in Highgate, North London, funnily enough) for a total knee replacement operation.  I’ll be in for three nights, but will be staying elsewhere for at least a week after, as where I am usually based there are too many stairs to climb initially.  I Hope to be back on my trusty bicycle by my birthday in mid-July and plan (not TOO ambitious I hope) to cycle to Brighton from London at that point (I doubt I will be sufficiently strong enough to join in the actual organised London to Brighton cycle ride in mid JUNE).

Worse than the Cane? A Written Imposition with a Twist:  A Caption From and Inspired by a Tumblr Blog

She had never felt so crestfallen in all her life.  Line writing was one of Aunt Amelia’s favourite impositions.  But it was not the written imposition itself but rather the effect it was having on her, on the way she was thinking, one the way she acted, that was brining her down so.

“I must not think myself an adult until I turn 21.  Until then I am a child and I must expect to be treated as a child.  I will dress as a child.  I will be seen and not heard.  I will speak only when spoken to.  I will do as I am told.  I will do nothing without Aunt Amelia’s implicit permission, and I will raise my hand to ask”. 

It was a lot to write out – as tedious as can be, and made more so by having to undertake the task as if a dictation, her hand moving in time to a slow, measured, recitation, a recording of her own voice.  Aunt Amelia had made her read the statement aloud from a sheet the very first time she had given her those lines to write, when finally she had completed the task.  And what an onerous task it had been:  One thousand times it had been that day; how her bottom had smarted when at first she had refused; but Aunt Amelia had reached for the cane, and that had been the end of THAT little rebellion.  Then Aunt Amelia had set up the tape recorder and the metronome which usually lived on the grand piano downstairs and had her read through the imposition in time with the slow, resonant, ‘tock’ ‘tock’ ‘tock’ of the wood-cased metronome; she could hear its insistent rhythm now on the tape loop going round and around and around, ‘tock’ ‘tock’ ‘tock’ like a dripping tap spacing out each word from the next…  Then suddenly the passage would change – her own recorded voice still, solemn and slow as if reading a prayer in church:

“A good girl is an obedient girl – I want to be a good girl…”  Over and over.

Then it would be back to the original.  Usually it would be 500 times for the first passage, split in to two blocks of 250 lines with a 250 line reiteration of the shorter ‘good girl’ mantra in between.  When she was being punished, as she was at present, this was a task that had to be repeated twice per day; once, before her afternoon nap, and again in the evening before being put down for the night.  Aunt Amelia said that writing lines before bed was the best way of fixing the lesson in the mind. 

Usually it went on for one week, although it was difficult to know for sure when one week began and finished in Aunt Amelia’s house:  When she was under punishment she was confined to her room with the shutters locked across the window.  This time it had simply been for not addressing one of Aunt Amelia’s lady friends as ‘Miss’ and forgetting to curtsy when that woman had enquired as to whether she was well.  “I am well, thank you for asking, Miss” was the prescribed answer she should have given - while dropping the requisite low curtsy of course.  Sometimes, though, it was just TOO humiliating to have to speak in that tiresome manor – she could always see when a guest or visitor was finding it amusing; and there was only so much a late-teen girl could take. 

But Aunt Amelia had imposed such prescribed idioms of speech for just about EVERY activity:  Asked if she had had enough to eat, she could never be ‘full up’.  Oh no: “I have had sufficient, sir, madam or miss (depending on who was asking)” and – if feeling particularly uncomfortable – “May I get down from the table please, Aunt Amelia?”.  As often as not the answer would be: “Yes, you may; but go and stand in the corner please, facing the wall, until we are finished”. 

Of course if she WAS particularly full, if she was noticeably uncomfortable, fidgeting, wriggling, perhaps squirming a little, the answer might not NECESSARILY be in the affirmative:  “No, I think you can wait there a LITTLE longer – until the ‘grownups’ are finished:  Now, you know the rules: if you have finished your dinner, you sit up straight and put your hands on your head and sit quietly to let your dinner get down; there’s a good girl!  Thank you”.  If the latter was the case, how agitated she would become, how long it would be, before her hand would shoot up would just depend; and as much as anything or whether Aunt Amelia had administered a spoon full of caster oil before her meal. 

So she’d need the toilet, her hand would be raised in the air, and in her own good time Aunt Amelia might deign to notice.  And despite the presence of visitors, there was a prescribed way of asking to go to the toilet too: in fact the very word ‘toilet’ was something her aunt was trying her best to eradicate from her vocabulary;  it was NEVER toilet, nor ‘loo’ nor ANY of the usual run-of-the-mill everyday euphemisms that the rest of the modern world used; ‘powder room’ ‘bathroom’, ‘cloakroom’.  In Aunt Amelia’s home the word was ‘lavatory’.  Who had ever heard of such a thing?  ‘Lavatory’:  “Please, Aunt Amelia, may I be excused to go to the lavatory?”.  It always had to be those words – EXACTLY those words.  It was something male guests in particular seemed to find amusing – a girl of her age, old enough to marry under different circumstances, speaking like that, in those deferential, Victorian-child terms.   Usually Aunt Amelia would consult her watch – there were prescribed times Aunt Amelia preferred her to use the lavatory, although she didn’t know what actual times those were, not in terms of time of day; she had no watch of her own, and there were no clocks she could check around the house.  Of course she wouldn’t be allowed to go alone; she was always under supervision.  Aunt Amelia had hired a nurse whose duties, among others, included escorting her to the toilet; she would stay outside, but the door had to be left ajar.  “I don’t think so, not yet, dear.  Not everyone has finished yet; once they have, I’ll call your nurse to take you”.

And Aunt Amelia was right – when it came to these written impositions, and completing them just before bed.  It really did stick in one’s head, it really WAS a lesson well learned :Yesterday Aunt Amelia - in front of one of her friends, a buxom middle aged and well-to-do woman she had never seen before  - had suddenly turned around and said to her: “A good girl is an…” 
It had come out of the blue – and without thinking she had found herself finishing the sentence, answering “…an obedient girl…”.  Both women had tittered – and she had felt her cheeks go red; especially when Aunt Amelia had patted her on the bottom, the woman’s hand lingering longer than necessary over the frills and flounces of her knickers, a finger insinuating itself momentarily under the taut leg elastic. 

Yes, she had never felt so crestfallen in all her life...  Until now!


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your writing very much. Best of luck with your surgery.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is the most exciting piece of your writing I have even seen. And as far as I know, I've seen it all -- of that which you publish on these topics, anyway.

Good luck with the knee surgery. I know people who have had it and it has vastly improved their life.

Toyntanen said...

Hi Greenwellies!

Thank you for the compliment. It was just intended as an example of the sort of caption I sometimes add when re-blogging images that catch my imagination on Tumblr. The captions I add are just rough writing, a flow of consciousness triggered by the image when I come across it. And some of those images can be fairly innocent, mundane affairs and yet can trigger something which on occasion can then go on to spawn longer pieces of writing, a scene in a novel or even the entire premise behind a novel or tale.

If there is much interest I may repeat some of the things I add to my Tumblr blog here, for those who do not visit Tumblr (not all the material I add or reblog to my Tumblr account I annotate in this manner), perhaps adapting or extending the piece to better suit the Blogger environment. Alternatively I may develop a page or section on THE INSTITUTE website within which to group together all these captioned images and show case any pieces of writing they might have inspired.

Any thoughts or suggestions, folks?

Colin said...

Love that pic!
I looked at Chicago Spanking Review,
they have a lot of toons from Marvel etc, they have one of the Superman pics that you want.
ps best wishes for the op.

simonw said...

Loved that piece - and would love it if you developed it further. Good luck with the surgery.

Toyntanen said...

It was only ever intended as a caption, Simonw, but a lot of people are saying that! There are quite a few mor on my Tumblr account, but as I have said before, I am thinking of colating them in a collection on The Institute website

Thanks for the info, Colin. I'll take a look.

Sun's out (unlike yesterday, which was dismal) so I'm off to meet up with the other half. Going to the Victora and Albert museum (wow! I'd much rather go to the pub - still, perhaps I'll manage both!)

Anonymous said...

My Aunt used to actually punish me in a manner similar to this. I had to write repitious and humiliating lines whilst confined to school uniform even after I had actually left school. It is certainly a very demeaning but effective penance. Judith

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for sharing that recollection, Judith. You've left / contributed quite a lot previously, albeit as comments appended to much earlier posts, and in case they have become lost in the archive and rarely seen at some point I intend to colate the best into a single blog entry so all can be more easily found and read. For now, though, I am stuck at my mother's house convalessing from knee replacement surgery and have no WiFi acesss (I am in a coffee bar today as I have had to travel to visit my doctor to have the remainder of the stitches / 'clips' removed)

Anonymous said...

Thankfully those days when I required continuous discipline are now largely behind me. Although I have a much more conservative lifestyle than previously I am in a much better place now. Although very humiliating perhaps others can learn from my mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Very erotic writing, some of your best. More please!

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for that my anoymous friend. Fear not - more shall be on its way before too long. It just needs me to stumble across a suitably inspiring image some place.