I was inspired to write a stable yard fantasy. I do, really, have this thing for jodhpurs, riding boots and horsewhips...blushes. But I don't really know that much about it so forgive me if my ignorance shines through. I am sure you don't read this for the technical details anyway.
The sun was shining on me, this lovely August day. I was wearing too much clothes, I knew that. I was glad I hadn't taken the jacket. Now I had only a white shirt on but the jodhpurs and the riding boots almost killed me.
We were walking towards the stable, me and Lightning. He was really a sweet creature and Lightning was a silly name for someone as meek and gentle as he was. Still we were on our way home and he almost fell into a trot.
In the sunshine my thoughts wandered off towards that which occupied all the minds of all the girls in the riding class. He was young, tall, had black hair and was immensely handsome. He was as strong as the horses and as good looking as Mr Darcy, at least the one in the tv series.
He was the teacher. The girls were mostly younger than me but this didn't stop them from almost fainting when he walked by. He was older than me, below thirty, I think, but perhaps close to that. I decided he was 28. He didn't see me. He had only eyes for the horses and no matter how much we tried to impress him he was unmoved. He was above us all.
I blushed as I remembered the one time when I think he saw me, just for a fleeting moment. It was a Sunday and I had volunteered to so some cleaning in the stable. It was a hot day and I had thought I would be alone.
As I said, it was a hot day and I was sure I would be alone sweeping the floor in the stable. It wasn't a plan or anything. I had put the bikini on because it was very hot that day. I had no idea that he would walk in with an great big stallion and two other men.
They stared at me. They smiled at me. Even he smiled at me. Then it was over and I was left with my broom, my bikini and my blushing face.
I was awakened from my thoughts as I approached the stable. I saw that the gate to the enclosure was open and an ice cold hand gripped my heart. Had I forgotten to close it? Had any of the horses escaped?
I dismounted and led Lightning into the stable, removed the saddle and bits and reins and everything. I left him in his box, gave him something to eat and was about to go out and check the enclosure when I heard someone at the gate.
Doom descended on me and my heart stopped beating. It was he, it was really he and he was furious. He was terrible in his anger. I had never seen him so upset before. He asked me how I could be so stupid as to leave the gate open. And I could not answer. I had no answer to give him. I was petrified.
He threatened to dismiss me from his class, to throw me out. He had seen this happen too many times before and he was sick and tired of irresponsible girls who endangered the welfare of the animals. He must make an example of me.
I was devastated. I was to be thrown out. I would never see him again. I would never look at him and dream about him as my own Mr Darcy, my own Mr Rochester.
I pleaded with him. I lost my cool and pleaded with him. Anything but being thrown out, anything. And when I said that I meant it.
I had no idea, then, that he would take those words at face value. I was unprepared for what he was to say as he turned to me.
'There is another way,' he said and there was a glint in his eyes.
'Yes?' I said, not able to think of anything more clever to say.
'I'll punish you here and now and you can stay in the class.'
I don't know still, to this day, what made me stay in the stable that day. Stupidity reigns in the mind of a silly girl who has a crush on her teacher. I didn't run. I nodded consent.
He took me by the arm and dragged me to one of the boxes. He turned me towards one of the wooden pillars that supported to roof.
'Hands on the pillar!' he said and I complied.
I don't remember what I was thinking at that moment. I only remember that I did what he said. I stood with my hands on the wooden beam and I waited.
The handsome riding teacher took a step to the side and returned holding a very vicious horsewhip in his hand. I think I realised what it meant but my mind was still full of a sense of disbelief and a certain numbness.
'How old are you?' He demanded.
'Eight...eighteen,' I stuttered.
'Then eighteen it will be.'
There was a kind of coldness that came over me. My mind was strangely clear. The surreal sense of disbelief was not gone but I saw everything clearly. I realised he was going to whip me eighteen times with the horsewhip. I didn't run. I could have. He didn't hold me.
My mind changed as he hit me. He didn't hesitate as he let the whip land on my bottom. A horsewhip is designed to sting through the thick hide of a horse, not to be used on the soft bottom of a silly girl like me. The jodhpurs didn't seem to offer much protection.
I howled. I let go of the pillar and jumped about. I put my hands on my bottom and cried out. It hurt. I had never felt anything like this. I couldn't comprehend what had happened, the sheer brutality of it, and the pain, the agonising pain.
'Hands on the pillar!'
He looked at me, sternly.
I suppose it was in that moment I really understood and really accepted this madness.
The next whack was as brutal as the first and I bit my lip to stop me from howling.
Was it my determination or was it my stupidity that made me stay, I don't know. But stayed I did. He gave me four more excruciating whacks with that powerful and evil horsewhip. For some strange reason, I didn't scream any more but tears were welling from my eyes.
He stopped for a while and I wished it was over. I wasn't prepared for what came next.
'Take down your trousers!'
All sorts of strange thoughts tumbled through my head. There were rumours and gossip about the teachers and many times we had whispered about what we thought happened in the office behind the stable.
I had a crush on him but I was still convinced that it was wrong, wrong to give in to him. I wanted him to like me and love me. This was wrong.
'Why?' I dared to ask.
'So that you can take the rest on the bare,' he replied and with flashing cheeks I realised what he meant.
My fingers were numb and my head was swirling but soon I stood there, again, with hands on the wooden pillar, turning my bottom towards him. This time I had my jodhpurs and knickers around my knees.
I don't know what was worst, the humiliation of being whipped on the naked skin or the increased agony of having the horsewhip make direct contact with me. I screamed again. I cried and my tears were flowing.
He showed no mercy. He followed the first one with five more. I wasn't sure how many I had got but I knew there were some left.
Then disaster struck. I heard something at the door and I saw two of the girls from my class walk in. They stopped short. They stared wide-eyed at me, at him and at the scene before their eyes.
Then he whacked me again. I didn't scream. Nothing could make me scream. I saw the horror in the eyes of my audience. They could not move, they stared at me.
I closed my eyes for the next whack but as I looked up I saw not only horror in the eyes of the girls but a kind of cruel delight. I blushed as I realised that they enjoyed this. They enjoyed seeing me being punished.
I struggled to keep some kind of dignity, what was left of it, but the last four whacks was delivered in rapid succession and I cried out, tears flowing from my eyes and I thrust my body against the pillar to escape the brutal onslaught of the horsewhip.
Then it was over. He threw down the horsewhip and walked away. He pointed at the girls and said:
'This is what happens if you don't close the gate!'
They stared at him in terror.
I hurried to pull up my knickers and trousers. I wiped my eyes dry with my hand and hurried away. I didn't look at the girls and they didn't say anything. They were stunned and I didn't want to talk about it. I was devastated, humiliated and wanted to cry.
My bottom was still in shock. It felt numb rather than aching but a deep throbbing sensation told me that it would be sore for a long time still. I preferred to stand on the bus on my way home. People looked at me since there were free seats available.
My mind was in turmoil and I wondered how I would cope with the humiliation and shame of it. Everyone would soon know what had happened. Everyone would look at me and know that I was the one who got whipped in the stable. I would have to cope with that. I didn't know how.
Still there was one thought that seemed to drive the others away, a thought that made my lips move in a faint smile. It was the thought that whispered in my ears:
'He saw me.'