Sally got her first strapping the same day we returned to Elizabeth’s Secret. Both she and I wanted the matter finally off of the agenda. We took time for a brief introduction of Sally to the 16 girls and some general description of what help Sally would need from all of them during her apprenticeship.
Then I stated that there was a purely private matter between Sally and I that occurred on the trip which could only be mended by her first strapping. Since it was private, there was no need for any of them to be present either inside or outside the Punishment Room double doors. I didn’t have a special smile for this like Lady Chief, but I was holding my venerable tawse (after over 20 years, and countless strappings, well broken in) rolled up in my hand, and when I said this, I let the tails of it unroll to the floor. That was enough.
Except for the four on call for Johns, the sun had set, dinner was over, as were the dishes, so the ladies went back to there various entertainments. At a superficial glance, I saw nothing indicating that they sloughed off their work, but I’d make an in depth inventory later. You always hope not to bring the strap out after that inventory, but sometimes….
Sally was looking a little white around the gills as she stripped off clothes from her lower body. I said, “You’ll have to take that jacket off, too. The hem of it will get in the way.” She was shaking a little but briskly got on the punishment block and I strapped her down. I went to the right side of her butt, tossed the tails over my shoulder, got my arm in position, and then brought down the first righteous smack. Sally cried out once, more in surprise than pain, then winced as the burn started to build. I heard the doorbell ring, and the eldest of the girls welcome the nighttime John in just like she’s supposed to. She collects the room fee then introduces the four girls on call.
The FEM/DOM prison guards showed me that the way to keep from tiring out was not to overengage the muscles, use only the arm muscles and snap of the elbow and wrist to swing the tawse to the top of the swing and then let gravity do the work, keep the rest of the body relaxed, and get in a rhythm that is not hurried, but is thorough. Smack! Shift left, Smack! Shift left, Smack! Shift left. Every smack should land on part of the previous one, and the red on Sally’s body was rising inexorably like the red alcohol in a thermometer. Sally is very fair skinned and the first run of strapping burns hotter because of it.
Up at the top of her butt the swelling was starting to rise in a ripple following the red. Once you reach back of the knees you change to a shift right. Now you’re strap is slapping on previously strapped skin and the pain level increases. Another ripple of swelling starts up from the knees following the strap. Smack! Shift right! Smack! Shift right! Smack! Shift right! The two swellings meet about 2/3 of the way down the butt and legs. At this point most girls start the howling and opening the waterworks as you strap the first time on a truly swollen welt and the flame of the swelling begins to burn higher over all the surface. Still the rhythm is easy, almost lazy, and you put your attention on keeping each smack exactly like the previous one. The doorbell rang again. Then rang again shortly after. A slow night, probably of randy non-citizens
That burn of the swelling never ceases as a background pain to each horrible new smack of the leather and becomes ever more painful as you strap a surface now completely covered in the swelling welts. Sally was moaning and in tears, but still toughing it out. When you get to the top of the legs you see the first bruising, an angry dark red shifting into red purple underneath the swelling. As you strap on it the pain of your immediate strapping rises further from the bruising starting at just about the bottom of the butt that presses into the chair when you sit. And then you immediately go back over the same butt bruises in the opposite direction.
At this point a lot of the girls start begging you to stop or start venting their anger. Sally’s moaning slipped into howling. You mustn’t let your rhythm break by getting angry at a girl for cursing and start trying to strap her harder. Let gravity keep doing the work. Give the girl a break. At the moment she’s under something of a strain and you shouldn’t hold her language against her. The bruises move down slower than the welts which are still rising as the leather lays welt on top of welt on top of welt.
Somewhere about the second pass down legs the welts behind the strap start merging into one swollen mass. The pressure of the swelling presses both ways, pushing the bruising deeper into the muscle and spreading it widthwise, so that bruises start to show on even the surfaces not touched by the strap, at the sides, and even around into the front at the knees, where the leg diameter is narrowest. And you can see the visible swelling of the whole butt and the thighs behind the movement of the strap. Smack! Step left! Smack! Step left! Smack! Step left.
The bruises move more slowly up and down than the welt swelling so you have one or two more times when the strap suddenly hits bruised flesh and the victim howls. When that ends and the bruises completely cover both butt and thigh, the pain that continues to develop is deep in the flesh as the bruises are pressed further and further in and all turn a dark blue-black. That is the color you are looking for. When you have that all up and down each butt cheek and thigh you have guaranteed that those areas won’t stand being sat on for at least two weeks.
When I looked at the damage to Sally’s pale clear skin, I knew it would take her three weeks. At least she’ll have plenty of time to memorize her new legend.
And you will still be breathing normally, only marginally tired, and not even with a serious sweat in cooler weather. Nothing, of course, was more tired than poor Sally’s butt and her irregular heavy breathing slowly diminished as she pressed her face into the block. When it had mostly subsided I started loosening the straps and folding them away. I caught Sally’s sidelong look with mouth open and body shivering. I went up to her head and said softly, “Just stay there a couple of minutes until you gain more control.”
After the wait I put my arms around her and rolled Sally onto her hipbone, then pivoted her on it off of the block while avoiding touching most of the bruises. On her feet I held her up until her balance was firm. At that point she did something no one else has ever done. She squeezed me harder and briefly kissed my mouth, not a peck but no where near the outrageous buss she had given Lady Chief.
“Elizabeth I love you and will never stop. You can’t beat that out of me. You’ve tanned my bottom beyond anything like my Dad and his strap did out in the garage the 2 or 3 times it happened in my teens. This was the worst pain I’ve ever felt and halfway through it became the worst minutes of my life. You and Lady Chief were right, no possible words can describe this pain. But somehow I understand the Matriarchals more now. This pain is an entire life outside of this front door, and everything else pivots around it. Here it is merely an avoidable punishment (at least most of the time) though it feels no better. But this was also an act of love, the last we’ll share for many years…..Good bye.” And she let me go with my tears starting.
Then she stood looking at me, stood straight with a major grimace, said, “Ms. Elizabeth, I’m sorry about what I did and won’t do it again. I don’t ever want to be strapped like this again. I will always obey your rules the best I can.” She never talked to me any other way until she became the Madam of Elizabeth’s Secret and I retired.
I went into my office, closed my door, poured myself a glass of brandy, and cried my eyes out.
In the larger perspective, the expulsion of all Israelis, stripping them of citizenship, and deporting them was a public relations disaster for both sides. Too many people knew the real story of the killers and their victims for it to be hidden, though no intelligible report of why Mossad had done this ever reached the public.
The Zone lost a great deal of face, citizen applications, and particularly non-citizen travel by choice; these still have not recovered after 4 full years and the Matriarchs have had to expedite their commitment to artificial insemination, though they have not yet faced what has to be done when the babies start showing up. Their economy has never been very vigorous. It has been held back by the enormous cost of police and prisons to sustain their ideal of the Matriarchal state. It is not clear how they will manage the current lack of Maternity Care in the Zone
Israel has always taken the posture that they WILL kill their enemies wherever and whenever they find them, but none of the 23 dead had any connection whatever to Israel and it’s issues, and, except for a few of the most radical in Israel, no Israeli in public life made any attempt to assert that the dead were in any way “enemies” of the Jewish state, and the ordinary Israeli public expressed an incredibly uniform revulsion at the events. The Prime Minister’s Party narrowly avoided the fall of it’s government principally by drum beating the “retirement” of the head of Mossad and the replacement of his entire top staff and forcing a reorganization of the agency to contain the number and direction of it’s future “black operations”. The opposition in the Knesset seized the opportunity to ram through legislation compelling more oversight of intelligence by the Knesset themselves.
The Chief Matriarch made two very unpopular decisions; first, she rejected the proposal that the Matriarchal Cabinet cease to be a lifetime position, though the members who actively promoted Mossad there were all convinced to “voluntarily” resign. Including Angie. Many in the Zone, quite reasonably, had blamed the Cabinet for the intelligence and security failings of the past 20 years; second, relatives of the murdered non-citizens were simply pushed rudely away by the Chief Matriarch from the discussion of what to do with the captured murderers.
It was decided not to pursue charges after a number of Dictapad calls between the Chief Matriarch and the Israeli Prime Minister featured some very tough negotiating, the final result was that ALL Israelis, even the killers, would be repatriated, but no citizen of Israel would be allowed into the Matriarchal Zone for 20 years. The Chief Matriarch also offered to cede to Israel some of the land in New England and Nova Scotia for a colony, that the Matriarchs had dismally failed to populate, as they had committed to do in the Six Genders Compact.
They jointly appealed to the current Head of the World Negotiations Agency to broker such an agreement between both countries. The behind the scenes result of this has yet to be known. The most popular solution in both Israel and the Zone is a withdrawal to the old Maine/New Hampshire border, with no exchange of any kind between a new colony and the Zone. Some sort of monetary compensation by Israel to the Zone for the loss of the land is to be worked out.
At the beginning of this narrative, I said the following, “Sally is young for a Madam at 27, but level headed and well schooled by me. Don’t ever tell her, please, but several years ago, when I began planning to retire, I had to pull every string I could on both sides of the GLC/Zone border to find a girl to teach to be a high class tart that had both the brains and the ethics to move up to Management. They’re not scarce as hen’s teeth, but they aren’t that common.”
This is, of course, the part of her legend as “Sally Bayer” that extended to and past the crossing of the Matriarchal Zone border. I won’t tell you how much is true and how much is false, much less so whether or not she’s anything besides a Madam or done any training anywhere, outside of Elizabeth’s Secret. Those were her choices to make.
But I did very recently receive another one of those letters from GLC, this time with a one way ticket to Chicago and a note that read “Get your ass over here or I’ll come and drag it over. LC”. So maybe, just maybe, Elizabeth of Montpelier might vanish on her next trip. And someday Sally Bayer might be a very, very wealthy woman, whether under that name or another.