A Bad Day At School

Mrs Brenda Thomas is headmistress of a mixed school split into upper and lower school buildings, separated by playing fields. Whilst generally a well-behaved school, she is never afraid to hand out punishments, where appropriate. Her husband died six years ago and she threw herself into her work after that. The school has outstanding exam results as a result.

It was a Friday morning in early May. The trees were in blossom and the new green life of the plants was bursting forth. Although it was a warm and sunny morning, rain was forecast for the afternoon, likely heavy rain. As Mrs Thomas was driving into school, she rounded a corner around 400 yards away when there was a loud bang and the car began to shake. A tyre had burst and she had no spare. Something similar happened last month when she ran over a nail, and Mr Alan Price, the metalwork and motor maintenance teacher, had swapped it over with the spare, but she completely forgot to get a new tyre. Crawling ever so slowly so as not to damage the wheel, Brenda took nearly 15 minutes to get to the lower school gates. Mr Price's workshop was just by the main gates, so Brenda pulled up outside and looked at the damage. Whilst the wheel looked ok, the tyre was smoking hot. A familiar face greeted her as she opened the door.

"Oh, Brenda, you've not gone and burst another one! Give me the keys and I'll pop the spare on and drive it round to the upper school at lunchtime for you," Alan said cheerfully, always glad to help a colleague in distress.

Brenda looked at the floor with a guilty look on her face.

"You've forgotten to get the spare replaced, haven't you?" Alan said, rolling his eyes in mock disgust. “I'll tell you what, I'll take both wheels to the tyre shop at lunch time in my car and get them both done. You can settle up with me later," he suggested. "But you'll have to come and get it after school. I am working on Dave Carter's motor bike and said it would be ready for him to pick up at 6.00 tonight, if that's alright with you."

"You're a hero!" Brenda said, smiling. "That is perfect. I can't thank you enough!"

Indeed, those were not idle words. Alan Price landed in Normandy in the second wave on D day, 6th June, 1944. He was commander of a tank which, although it made it off the beach, was taken out by a German 88mm anti-tank gun, not far inland. The tank was knocked out, and all but one crewmember and himself died instantly. Alan struggled to get the gunner to safety before the tank exploded. Pushing him through the hatch with superhuman strength, Alan clambered up after him just as another round hit the stricken tank. Shrapnel took the bottom half of his left leg below the knee. After recuperating in the hospital back in England, rather than be discharged from the army, he persuaded the powers that be to allow him to serve elsewhere, training tank mechanics, which he did until being demobbed in 1946. He married his childhood sweetheart and had a happy life until two years ago when she was taken from him by illness. He now spent all hours tinkering and working, anything but going back to an empty home. Brenda beamed at Alan as she bustled off on the five minute walk to the upper school building via the path around the playing fields which, despite the warm weather, was muddy from a heavy shower last night. By the time Brenda got to the door of the upper school, her smart trousers had mud speckles over them, her shoes were wet and dirty and she was already late. Thankfully, Mrs Sims, the deputy headmistress, was conducting the assembly this morning. Brenda had an appointment with Mrs Fetherwell, the chair of the Parent-Teacher-Association, who would not be best pleased at being kept waiting. Deliberately looking at her watch as Brenda rounded the corner, Mrs Fetherwell then looked at the state of attire of the headmistress as she rushed to her office. "I am so sorry to keep you waiting," Brenda said, extending her hand to shake Mrs Fetherwell's, which she reciprocated in a wet and limp way, her hand almost crushed by Brenda's. "My car had a puncture and I had to run around the school field and the path was wet and muddy,'' she said, catching her breath. "Please, come on in. Abby, could you get Mrs Fetherwell and me a coffee please? Please take a seat, Mrs Fetherwell, and I will be right with you." Moments later, the two ladies started their meeting with two steaming cups of coffee promptly delivered by Abby, the headmistress's secretary. "Mrs Thomas, the school spring gala is only two weeks away and we still don't have a catering van, a tannoy system or much else." As Brenda listened, she was willing this silly woman to shut up, stop moaning and get off her backside and sort some of these things out rather than running to her every week like this. "Well, do you have any suggestions?" Mrs Fetherwell paused for a response. The headmistress took a deep breath and smiled. "The catering is being taken care of by the wonderful ladies in the lower school canteen who have a van on loan from one of their friends for the day." Soon Brenda had solved all of Mrs Fetherwell's queries, but was now well behind on her other tasks. "If there is nothing else, Mrs Fetherwell, I have a mountain of work to get through.' Thankfully, Mrs Fetherwell did not need anything else and at last shook Brenda’s hand once more and left. "Err, Mrs Thomas," Abby called. "I am so sorry, but we have a small problem," and she pointed at Jessica Bell who was sitting uncomfortably next to Abby's desk. Brenda's shoulders visibly sagged. 'Oh, not now!' she thought to herself.

"Come on in, Jessica," Brenda said, closing the door behind them and taking her seat behind her large dark wooden desk. "To what do I owe this pleasure, Jessica?"

"Please Miss, Mrs Purser sent me," Jessica said, holding out a white slip of paper.

The headmistress took the slip and read it.

Mrs Thomas, Jessica has been disruptive and I am trying to complete a work unit so do not have time to deal with her. Could you slipper her for me please. Mrs Purser.

‘Great!’ Brenda thought to herself. She looked at her watch.

"Very well, I will deal with you. Bend yourself over the back of this chair and put your palms flat on the seat," she said with a headmistress's authority.

Brenda took her slipper out of her bottom drawer and slapped it tellingly against her left palm.

Jessica was now bending over the back of the chair, her skirt stretched tightly across her bottom.

"Hold still!" was all Brenda said before swatting the first stroke of the slipper onto the girl’s bottom, taking Jessica by surprise. She yelped and jumped up, before immediately retaking her stance. No sooner had she done so than the drum-tight material across her bottom was struck by a second blow. This time, she did not move. Two more swats followed, and almost as quickly as it had started the slippering was concluded.

"You may go back to your class, Jessica,'' the headmistress announced.

Jessica jumped up, rubbed her bottom and looked slightly bemused at the sheer rapidity of the punishment. Most teachers usually made it last much longer, Jessica thought to herself.

"Er, thank you, Miss. Sorry, Miss," Jessica mumbled on the way out as Mrs Thomas returned the slipper to its hiding place and started to work through the pile of files on her desk.

Before Brenda realised the time, the lunch bell rang. She glanced at her watch and decided lunch would have to wait, for herself at least. However, there was a gentle tap on the door before Abby popped her head around and, knowing her boss was snowed under, presented her with a jug of coffee and a cheese and pickle sandwich that she had asked one of the kitchen staff to make for the headmistress.

"Oh, you are a lifesaver, Abby. You read my mind. Thank you. You run along and get your own lunch." A grateful boss smiled back at Abby.

Before Brenda knew it, her coffee was nearly cold, but still she gratefully consumed it. When the bell rang to signal the end of lunch, the pile of files on her desk was just about worked through. She was teaching the lower sixth poetry during the first period after lunch, so she bustled off out of her office. This was the one hour of direct teaching time she had now, and it was one of the week's highlights for her as she was still a teacher at heart.

However, half-way through the lesson, the thundering sound of the fire alarm echoed along the bare brick corridors. It would likely be a false alarm, but they couldn’t take chances.

With a well-practiced fire drill only recently having been completed, Mrs Thomas announced to the class, "Please leave all of your things and quickly and quietly make your way to the staircase and down to the fire exit. No running and no talking."

She ushered the pupils out of the classroom and followed them down the staircase, shouting occasionally for people to get a move on or to stop fooling about. Within three minutes, the building was evacuated and everyone stood in the playground just as the forecast rain arrived. Whilst just a few spits of rain at first, it soon turned into drizzle. The teachers took a register to confirm everyone was out of the building and safe.

Less than two minutes later, the first of three fire engines arrived. Whilst the crew ran in to search for any sign of combustion, Mrs Thomas spoke to Fire Officer Fellows.

"None of the teachers report any signs of smoke, but I know you have to be super careful. I know you were called out last autumn for a false alarm, but thank you for getting here so quickly," she said gratefully whilst looking up at the sky.

Darker clouds were rolling in and she hoped they would get the all-clear sooner rather than later. Ten minutes passed before one of the firemen came jogging over.

"We've found out what has happened. One of the alarm glass plates has been broken, the one on that corridor by the window with the blinds half way down. We have double-checked and there is nothing out of the ordinary, so I am satisfied this is a false alarm."

"Very well, Jack. Thank you for that. Mrs Thomas, you can take everyone back inside where it is dry,” Fire Office Fellows confirmed. "I hope you find out what went on."

"Oh, don't you worry, I intend to!" she said with an air of determination. Turning to Mrs Sims, her deputy headmistress, she asked, "Could you please finish my poetry session with the lower sixth whilst I get to the bottom of these shenanigans? We were just finishing one of Keats’ poems. I have left the book open at the correct page."

Next, Mrs Thomas dropped in on Mrs Malone's class, who would be the closest to the fire alarm.

"Was anyone outside of your classroom before the alarm sounded?" the headmistress asked Mrs Malone.

"Yes, Mark and Lucy. I sent them out of the room for disturbing the class. Five minutes later, just before I was about to call them back in, the alarm sounded and we all headed outside. There was no one else about, so it could really only have been them," Mrs Malone confirmed.

"Very well, Mark, Lucy, my office please!"

Mrs Thomas bustled away down the corridor, leaving the errant two teenagers in her wake. They arrived at least two minutes after she did.

"Alright, you two, who is going to tell me what happened? What really happened!?"

"Well Miss, we were passing notes and Mrs Malone told us to stand outside for ten minutes, which we did," Mark began.

"Look, I don't have time for this charade. Tell me who activated the alarm!"

"Well, Miss," Lucy stumbled for her words. "I dared Mark to set it off. I thought he'd say no, but he hit it with his elbow. The glass cracked and a piece fell out and, well, you know what happened after that, Miss. Sorry Miss."

"Thanks for dropping me in trouble, Lucy!" Mark grumbled.

"That's alright, Mark. She's equally guilty as you are, in my opinion," the headmistress announced. "As a result, you will both get exactly the same punishment."

Mrs Thomas walked over to a cupboard and retrieved the seldom-used school cane. The colour drained from Lucy's face and she began to cry.

"Come here, the pair of you, and stand by my desk."

The two teenagers looked at each other and shuffled to where they had been instructed to stand. Lucy, having heard from her friend how girls were caned, held out both her hands, one on top of the other, and closed her eyes in fear of what was to come.

"No, Lucy. You girls often get the cane on the hands, but boys are always caned on their backsides. You are both getting exactly the same!"

Lucy was visibly shaking. "But Miss, that is just not fair!"

"This is not a debate, Lucy. Mark, bend over that chair and put your palms on the seat of the chair. Do not move until I tell you to stand. You will both receive six strokes of the cane."

Lucy whimpered as Mrs Thomas declared their sentence.

Seconds later Mrs Thomas swished the cane and then lined it up with the seat of Mark's trousers. She tapped, lightly, two to three times before drawing back the cane and bringing it down briskly with a loud whoosh and a crack as it struck home. Mark jumped, but remained in position. Whoosh, crack, whoosh crack! Mark groaned at the third stroke, but for the fourth and fifth he remained silent. Only when the sixth and last stroke bit into his bottom did he finally yelp with pain.

"You may stand and wait by the door, Mark."

"Miss," Mark started with a croaky voice. "Please don't punish Lucy. I set the alarm off."

"And she told you to. Lucy, bend over the chair with your palms on the seat, and hurry up or you will just make things even worse for yourself."

Shaking like a leaf, awkwardly, Lucy did as she was instructed and bent herself over the back of the chair, still slightly warm from where Mark had been moments earlier. Her skirt tightened markedly as she leaned forwards, and a distinct panty line was clearly visible.

Once in position, Mrs Thomas presented the cane to Lucy's bottom. Lucy jumped with fright at the first gentle tap.

"Hold still and do not stand, Lucy. I am sorry that I have to do this, but you have left me with little option. This will hurt but stay still and you will get through it."

With one last gentle sighting tap, the cane rose and whooshed down towards Lucy's bottom. Crack!

"Oooww!" Lucy exclaimed as she held the chair seat as though her very soul depended on it. Crack! "Owww!"

For the next three strokes, Lucy made no sound but just cried silently and profusely. The sixth and final stroke of the cane found it's mark with a crack which this time did have Lucy howling once more.

“You may stand."

Lucy did so, very slowly, such was the pain coursing through her bottom.

"You don't seem to understand the possible repercussions of your little prank. What if a real incident had occurred elsewhere, whilst three valuable fire engines were tied up here on a false alarm? Who knows what unintended consequences may have unfolded. Now dry your eyes and both of you get to your classes," Mrs Thomas said, her tone distinctly warmer now that the matter was out of the way. She hated using the cane, but occasionally it really was necessary.

The two pupils left the office, heads bowed and eyes red and puffy. The sound of rain starting to lash against the window reminded the headmistress that she faced a wet trudge over to the lower school to retrieve her car. Still, it was no one's fault but her own, she told herself. Checking her watch, the last lesson would finish in 15 minutes’ time, so she would wait until the pupils had filed out and then make a dash for it.

Thankfully, in the intervening time it sounded very much like the rain was starting to ease off somewhat, though the sky looked dark and threatening all the same. The bell rang, announcing school was finally over for the day.

Then the headmistress's telephone rang. The police wanted to inform her regarding two of her pupils caught shoplifting in town. That kept her on the telephone for 30 minutes, although there was little she could do to help. She promised to give the pupils a telling-off in the morning.

By now, the rain had intensified once more. Donning her coat and a fold-up rain hat, Brenda braved the elements and dashed around the playing fields and over to the lower school building. Alan Price's outline was standing out sharply from the brightly lit garage area against the ever darkening clouds and sky. Drenched from head to foot, Brenda Thomas rounded the corner of the workshop and garage block, looking forward to shelter and a warm cup of tea. Alan always had a pot of tea on the go.

Bang! The headmistress tripped over something and went sprawling over the tarmac beneath a small covered walkway. Slightly stunned but otherwise unhurt aside from a grazed knee, she turned and saw two girls on the floor who had clearly been having a tussle on the ground. One had a slightly bloody nose, and the other had torn her stockings.

"Inside!" the headmistress said as she pieced together what had just happened.

The three walked inside in silence, one fuming and two quaking in their shoes. Alan Price popped his head around the corner as he heard the door closing.

"Just what was going on there, girls?" Brenda demanded.

Sally Whipple and Claire Brown looked at each other, then at the ground.

"I asked you a question!" Mrs Thomas said.

"Well, Miss. Sally said I was kissing Alan Manning behind the toilets this lunch time. I can't stand the boy. His face is all spotty, Miss," Claire Brown said in her defence. "I told her to take it back, but she wouldn't. I pushed her, she pushed me, and we ended up rolling on the floor, which is when you came and found us, Miss." "Sally, what have you to say? Is Claire correct?" Mrs Thomas asked. "Sort of, Miss. She was kissing him, or so I was told. Claire pushed me first, Miss. I just pushed back," Sally protested. "Oh for goodness sakes, girls! Act your ages and not your shoe sizes, please. Mr Price, may I borrow your chair for a moment. I think these young ladies have just earned themselves a spanked bottom, don't you Mr Price?" "Please, help yourself, Mrs Thomas. I wouldn't argue with your conclusion, headmistress," he replied. "May I borrow your slipper, please?" Brenda asked Mr Price. "I am sorry, Mrs Thomas, I don't have one, not even for my one foot," he quipped. "I do have a wooden twelve-inch ruler, if that would be of any use in this situation,” he offered. "Girls, I am not cross that you tripped me up. I see that as an unintended consequence of you fighting. But, you know we have a zero tolerance to violence, and so I am duty bound to punish you both." "That would be perfect Mr Price, thank you," Brenda said, as the metalwork teacher handed her the ruler from his work bench. “You are very welcome, Mrs Thomas. I'll go and make us a nice cup of tea whilst you, er, deal with these two rascals." He quietly closed the door and went to the small kitchenette just along the corridor. "Get your coats off, girls and stand by Mr Price's desk!" Brenda barked as she took her soaked and now dirty coat off and hung it on Mr Price's coat stand, the water dripping slowly. The girls dejectedly removed their equally wet coats and stood, heads down, awaiting their promised punishments. Mrs Thomas drew back the chair and sat down. She then took hold of Sally's hand and, with just a gentle amount of force, guided her forwards and over her knee. Drawing the back of Sally's skirt up quickly, she picked up the wooden ruler and landed it sharply in the centre of Sally's bottom, which made a satisfying slapping noise. Whilst Sally did not say anything, she did take a sharp breath, and again as the second spank landed on the opposite side. Six sharp spanks landed in total. Mrs Thomas told Sally, "Do not be so silly in the future or it will be my slipper that greets your bottom next time. Now get up! Claire, bend over my knee at once!" the headmistress barked. Claire did as she was told immediately and bent over the headmistress’s lap, presenting her bottom for the inevitable spanking that was coming any second. Without delay, Claire too felt her skirt being pulled up and the first spank with the ruler landed on her cotton underwear. She whimpered and yelped as the first two spanks landed in rapid succession, and by the fourth spank she was clearly on the verge of tears. Two final smacks and her spanking was finished too but, unlike Sally, Claire was in floods of tears.

"Now get up, Claire, and the pair of you get off home. If I hear of any more trouble from either one of you, you will both get a taste of my plimsoll, I can promise you both."

Both girls grabbed their coats and left quickly. As they did so, Mrs Thomas heard a footstep behind her and turned to see Alan Price holding out a steaming mug of tea.

"You look like you need that!" Alan said, smirking at the double spanking he had just about been able to hear from along the corridor. "Sounds like you haven't lost your touch!" He chuckled, holding out a packet of digestive biscuits.

"You're a mind reader," she said, taking a biscuit and dunking it in the tea. "What a day!"

"Care to share?" Alan asked.

"Oh, what with the puncture this morning. I can't thank you enough for sorting that out, by the way. How much do I owe you? Then I had a meeting with that ghastly Mrs Fetherwell, which was made worse by my tardy time keeping and muddy shoes. Then I had to slipper a girl straight afterwards. Then the fire alarm was set off, and I had to cane Mark And Lucy for doing it. Then I got soaked and tripped up. Then I had to spank those two whilst I am soaked to the skin. Yes, it has been a pig of a day all round, one way or another. So how was your day, Mr Price?" she asked fondly.

"I got both wheels fixed for £5 and ten shillings, fitted one back on and put the spare away, had a great lesson with my car maintenance group and have just about got Dave Carter's old rust bucket of a bike finished, much sooner than I expected. I think I can say my day was much better than yours, Brenda!"

"They are all good kids, really, but I do hate it when I have to punish them.”

Finishing her tea, Brenda Thomas reached into her handbag and gave Alan £6.

"Put the change in your tea and biscuits fund."

"Thanks Brenda. It looks like the rain has just about finished. Here are your keys. I'd get off home if I were you, before anything else happens."

"Oh don't Alan, not even in jest." Brenda punched his shoulder and gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek. "Don't stay too late, I know it must be hard going back to that empty old house. You should sell it and get somewhere a bit smaller, you know."

"Good night, headmistress," Alan said, taking her empty mug and getting back to the motorbike.

"Night Alan."

The End

© Jo Green 2022