1 members like this


Views: 440 Created: 2017.03.24 Updated: 2017.03.24

Arabella and the rod by stephen rawlings

CHAPTER 3 - INITIATION

The moment of truth had arrived. It was one thing to seize the moment when the opportunity for adventure opened, but quite another, now that she had seen what that merciless ash stick could do to female flesh, to go down and offer to have her own hinds beaten to butcher's meat. Well, if Lady Meredith had found courage from being a General's daughter, then so could she. Her father had died serving under Wellington in the Peninsular when she was still a baby, and she and her brother had cut their teeth on tales of heroism and duty. With her face set in a carefully controlled expression of indifference she walked to the trestle to join Jenny. The woman who was to have the honour of raising the first welt on her aristocratic flesh, was a fair match for her, of similar build, about twenty-two or three, and no more acquainted with the trestle and rod than herself. A coin spun and Arabella found herself raising her silk chemise to press her bare pubis to the trestle's padded end, warm now, and slightly damp from the sweat, and perhaps, other secretions of the women who had mounted this place of pain before her today. She leaned forward and, reaching behind, drew up the tail of her flimsy covering. The feel of the air on her skin confirmed that her naked buttocks were now on view.

The crowd roared its pleasure at seeing a high-born lady bared to the rod, like any servant girl.

"White and round and ready for the rod."

"Lookee there. Ladies have arseholes, just like common folks."

"Put it to her, Jenny. You'll not get a chance at flesh like that again."

The shouting died down and Arabella felt the tip of the rod touch gently on her right cheek as Jenny got her measure. She sensed the girl step backwards, and braced herself for the coming cut into her very vulnerable feeling hinds. An eternity passed and then a ripping in the air heralded a touch like ice water that instantly became red hot iron searing her flesh. She gasped and set her teeth as a wave of agony started to flood in.

"One." called the scorer.

As the pain reached a crescendo the air parted again and a second glowing bar struck her. Better aware now of what to expect, she took the stroke without sound, but drew in her breath between her teeth as the after wave rolled.

"Two." came the call.

Again, on the peak, the sickening sound of rod on its way, and she let out her breath in a gasp, but she was clear now, and could rise from her perch. Determined to give nothing away, she resisted the urge to grab her wounded hinds and took the proffered stick from Jenny with an expressionless face.

She hurt. God! How she hurt. It was not just the stinging pain of her lacerated skin but a deep-down throbbing ache. She realised that brutal ash stick had weight as well as whip, and that she'd feel the bruises long after the skin had ceased its protest. And she had only had three. If she was going to avoid the ignominy of losing in the first round, past form suggested she would have to take another two-dozen pain laced cuts to her naked buttocks. Even if by some miracle her opponent folded at the first round, she'd have to take another ten to enter the next round, and the 'clerk' had shown, only too clearly, when she'd hewn Dolly's peasant hams, that she was an expert with the rod.

Besides, Jenny was no child, like the poor girl who'd fled in her shift, and looked well equipped to hold out. Well, she'd sought

adventure, and new experiences, and the chance to see what her body could endure, and she could scarcely grumble if it all came her way. Nor did she. Despite her pain, she accepted the challenge, even welcomed it. She had a curious feeling she could not explain, at submitting her body to another's will. Perhaps it was something to do with never having to submit before in her life as a pampered child of the aristocracy. In any event, she grasped the rod, and tried to think rationally, despite her throbbing arse.

Jenny was well built, at twenty-two a grown woman with nicely fleshed buttocks that looked as if they might take considerable punishment from even this brutal stick. Arabella had learnt much from the three bouts that preceded her own, and had observed that accuracy was the key to any long drawn out contest. Stripes distributed over the whole surface of a woman's swelling posterior dissipated their effect, especially as the nature of the contest allowed a break for recovery every six strokes, but, if the cuts could be laid one on top of another, the skin would be broken, and few women had the strength to resist once the rod was biting into their very flesh itself. She would concentrate on maintaining accuracy, made confident in her coordination of hand and eye by long experience of schooling horses, fencing with her brother and wielding the carriage whip when she drove her own carriage and pair to visit friends.

She directed Jenny to spread her legs until she had her on tip toe, as seemed to be the approved position to receive the rod. The girl seemed very nervous and flinched when she laid the rod lightly across her buttocks to mark her spot, just below the centre. She wanted to keep low, where a woman always feels it most, but was not yet sure of her aim, and disliked intensely the thought of that wicked length biting into her thighs, should she go too low. She brought her arm back and then down again, reinforcing the blow with a wrist that had been strengthened above most women's by her exercise with foil and epee with her brother.

The rod sank in with a gratifying thunk, then sprang clear of the indented flesh. Jenny gasped, Arabella realised that her shock was as great as her own at the first experience, and then hissed through her teeth at the after pain.

Arabella let it build until she judged it at its peak, and then delivered a second stroke, a little lower this time. A second angry red line appeared to chase its fore-runner in the race for height of welt and depth of hue, and Arabella waited for Jenny's sibilant breath to tell her it was time to lay on another, again edging lower as her confidence increased. Three times more she repeated the process, keeping the lines close together now, a safe inch or so above the crease, but still in very tender territory.

Jenny took them bravely, once the shock of the first on her virgin arse had passed, and conceded no more than grunts and sharp intakes of breath. Arabella surrendered the rod and placed herself in position for her first full set of six. She was ready for them now, and took them much as Jenny had. She was surprised to find that, contrary to what she had feared, the six, although agonizing, were endurable. After watching Jenny's performance, she had reconciled herself to a drawn-out battle of attrition, and instinctively yielded to the rod, accepting it rather than fighting it, letting the pain flow through her while she clung on so as not to be swept away by the red tide that engulfed her.

Jenny too seemed to have settled in for the long haul, although the concentrated nature of her stripes was beginning to show in the angry black bruise on her right flank. Though the intensity of her own hurts made it difficult for Arabella to judge where individual cuts lay, she fancied that Jenny, without the benefit of exercise, was more wild in her aim. She was a little surprised that Jenny had not gone for the dreaded cunt stroke in view of the vulnerability conferred on her by the physiometry of her upper thighs and pouting vulva, and was grateful that the girl either lacked the confidence in her own aim, or simply was so carried away by the traumatic circumstances that she gave no thought at all to tactics.

The battle continued as Arabella had predicted, and as she had predicted, accuracy won out over enthusiasm, but only at the cost of twenty-seven blazing cuts to her own aching buttocks. Jenny bent bravely enough to try and level the score, and did, indeed get half way through her six, but the last stroke undid her. Arabella's concentrated fire had opened up a raw wound on the right, and, for some time now, the girl had been showing signs of distress as cut followed cut into an oozing mass of empurpled flesh. For the last round, she had cried out at every stroke, and lain sobbing in between as she awaited the next. Arabella sympathised, knowing the pain in her own, less deeply scored fesses, but could afford to show her no mercy if she was to survive herself. In the final round, Jenny shrieked at each cut, and after the third, pushed herself up from the trestle and knelt, sobbing, on the floor, holding her hands protectively to her wounds. Arabella withdrew to the ranks of the spectators, and was touched when a stout motherly soul said, "Hold onto my shoulder, dear. You'll not want to sit with an arse like that, and you should rest before you go on again." She shuddered at the prospect of renewing her too close acquaintanceship with that dread-making rod, but accepted the offer gratefully.

Meg now took the field again against the canny Pru, whose carefully calculated cunt strokes had broken Peg's resistance. She had no

opportunity to repeat the manoeuvre, since the tops of Meg's plump thighs blocked access to her cunt from behind, and had to try and match Meg in another battle of attrition. There was nothing to choose between them in relative accuracy, and the contest was decided on stamina. Both women went into the bout heavily marked from their first rounds, and this probably accounted for Pru's relatively early exit, with only a further eighteen strokes laid on her, despite the lure of a chance to fight for those ten golden guineas. She seemed discouraged by the apparent equanimity with which Meg accepted each new wound in her buttock. Arabella, watching closely, concluded that it was part a brave face put on things to unsettle Pru, as it undoubtedly did, and partly the result of the phenomenon she had herself experienced, when letting the pain flow through her, rather than trying to fight it off. Her speculations were interrupted by the need to go to the trestle again to face the bovine Dolly, who had dealt so cruelly with the fifteen-year-old.

She didn't care for her situation. Her own somewhat smaller buttocks, already carried the damage inflicted by twenty-seven strokes of the ash stick, while this lumpish peasant carried only thirteen, she fancied she could detect a peasant's greed for gold in those piggy eyes. Well she'd paid her guineas to ensure the women were prepared to flog her bum and it appeared she was going to get her money's worth. She lost the toss this time also and laid herself on the trestle. Three horrendous blasts later she had an accurate assessment of the peasant's power, expressed in an arse that throbbed and ached in blazing pain, the intensity of which left her breathless as she tried to collect herself for her own effort. She could see nothing for it for the moment, but to try and maintain her speed and accuracy, and wound this stolid creature, as she'd wounded poor Jenny before, but it was going to be a long painful ride.

Eighteen strokes later she knew it was not going to work. The peasant was soaking up the blows, apparently without distress. Admittedly she howled now as the rod cut into wet flesh on the right, but it seemed only to relieve her feelings, while Arabella had bitten her lip until it bled in order to restrain her body's urge to scream at the blows that hewed into her hinds, like a woodcutter felling a tree. Dispassionately she considered her options, like her father, the general, faced with a desperate situation in the field. Surrender was unthinkable, but simply to maintain her position meant surrender, and sooner rather than later. Had her opponent a weak spot? She'd dismissed the idea of cunt strokes at the outset, in view of the broad buttock presented to her, but now she reassessed it carefully. Was there a chance? On further consideration she could see that the buttock was muscular, rather than fat, and the thighs also. Even in her present position the fat lips of the vulva were just visible through a wisp of coarse hair. Perhaps it could be done. It was a frightful risk, of course. She might not get the tip to bite just at the right point, not so far across that its force was deflected by the inside of the far cheek, and not so near as to miss the cunt entirely, wasting the stroke. Even worse, there was the risk of a low shot, wasting the stroke and sacrificing her own thighs. Moreover, she calculated, she had to get in enough good shots in one set of six to settle the matter, once and for all. Dolly's slow brain had so far simply led her to belabour the bum presented to her, without thought of finesse, and, given her bovine physique, she was probably right, but, provoked by an assault on her own intimate person, she would certainly reply in kind, and to an open target, impossible to miss. Arabella knew that there was no way she could endure six massive blows such as she had been taking on her hinds, if they fell squarely on her unprotected vulva. It was all or nothing now, but hadn't she prayed for a chance to gamble, with a meaningful prize? Her brother would wager a thousand guineas that he could hit three birds with three shots, and she would gamble her cunt that she could score on the other woman's intimate purse, half-hidden as it was between her legs, six times in a row. "Come back, Dolly, and put your belly on the pad." There was a gasp from the crowd and a buzz of excitement. Something was about to change, but surely this strange lady who had descended into their gathering like a visitor from the moon, and acquitted herself beyond their expectations of a soft upper-class female, surely she didn't think she could bring off a cunt stroke on a great lump like Dolly?

Dolly came back with some reluctance, and grunted and protested when ordered to swing her legs for to give maximum exposure to her plump lips, and Arabella could see that she had guessed correctly that there would be a target, but the margin between success and costly failure was dangerously thin. She measured her aim with extra care and struck.

Too low and too far. 'Thighs' was called and given, and Arabella surrendered the rod to stand to the trestle for the penalty. It came, taking her breath away as a new and different kind of pain swept across her thighs. she groaned as it surged through her, and then rose to accept back the stick that had been dealing out such misery. She steeled herself. There was nothing left but to go on.

As she ordered Dolly back into exposing her cunt again, the crowd oohed in disbelief. Surely, she could see it could not be done? It was madness to continue. She measured Dolly's narrow gap again and once more her arm and supple wrist sent the silver ash streaking in, low and rising.

Dolly shrieked. The tip had caught her in her very centre, a full true stroke, burrowing into the soft vulva, parting the lips, and barely missing the delicate bud of the clitoris.

"Ah," thought Arabella, as the wretched woman writhed her agony on the trestle, "our peasant has an Achilles heel, or rather, cunt."

"Lady, or no Lady, I'll tear your cunt out for this." screamed Dolly, clinging to the trestle, and her hopes of gold.

"I'm sure you will, when your turn comes, but I get four more tries at the bull's eye first, or should that be cow's. Open up Dolly, and put it on the line."

Ten gold guineas beckoning, she made herself vulnerable again, and Arabella swung in another perfect stroke. Dolly shrieked in agony and cursed her assailant, but somehow forced herself into place. Arabella swung again and it was over. Three cunts with three shots. Brother William would have been proud of her. As Dolly writhed on the floor, clasping her wounded vulva, she laid the rod on the table and went to find her friend with the supportive shoulder.

Time was called for a break before the final, and Arabella found herself the centre of a little knot of admirers and backers who had taken the long odds offered against her defeating the ox-like Dolly. A stone bottle was produced and she drank gratefully the strong local cider, the shot helping to calm the reaction from the dreadful risk she had taken, and fortify her for the coming ordeal. It seemed only a minute, not ten, when she was called to the trestle again.

Meg took the trestle first this time. Both women were showing signs of exhaustion, their buttocks carrying comparable levels of damage from the prolonged beatings then had endured to date. Arabella delivered three close pitched and wristy strokes to Meg's lower bum, eliciting sharp grunts from each, and then took her place in some dread. She was sure that such an experienced player as Meg could not fail to notice how open she was to a cunt stroke, and was sure she'd be ordered to rest her belly on the pad, but, to her surprise and relief, she was allowed to remain with the secretion soaked cloth pressed against her mons. Her relief faded into a distant memory as Meg proceeded to lay on a set of six searing cuts, carefully spaced in time, and closely spaced in her under-buttock. Her tiredness sapped her control, and she responded with strangled cries, and little moans as the secondary wave flooded in. The next exchange saw her repeat her wristy six to force a distinct mew of distress and then it happened!

As she took her place upon the trestle, she heard the words she had been dreading. "Get your belly on the pad, and open up behind." As she obeyed she felt cool air on her sweat covered vulva and knew she was totally vulnerable. There was nothing she could do, or was there? Any strategy was better than mere hopelessness, and she resolved to try and bluff Meg into thinking she was less sensitive below than would be expected, by taking the stroke without screaming. Easier thought than done. She nearly broke before she started, when she felt the tip of the rod probing her labia, as Meg measured her up for the cunt-cutter. And then it fell. Red hot iron? More like white hot steel. She ground her belly onto the pad to stop her rebellious legs jacking back but though she strangled it in her throat, she could not stop the scream altogether. She was still writhing on the trestle, fighting for control, when a voice said

"Thighs." Saved! She had been granted a reprieve, a blessed respite to gather up her strength before she had to submit her cunt to that atrocious pain again.

Meg took the trestle, looking more worried than Arabella expected from her past performance, and when the ash stick slashed in at the top of her thighs, gave the first cry that could be truly called a scream. Arabella was too occupied with her own apprehensions to wonder why her hitherto imperturbable opponent should break at this point.

Her own courage nearly failed her as she obediently opened up her vulva to further attack, but she drew on her family tradition of steadiness under fire, and stoicism when wounded, and held her ground as the ranging tip sought her again. When the onslaught arrived she screamed openly, it was more than woman flesh and blood could be expected to endure, but kept her body to its post, though not exactly steady. In fact she writhed like a cut worm. And again the voice called, "Thighs."

Arabella could not think what God might be looking after her but surely some God, or was it a Goddess, must have deflected that awful tip just enough to give her this blessed respite, once again. She struggled to her feet and, when the time came, drove the rod into Meg's braced thighs. Once again Meg reacted strongly and followed her scream with a racking sob.

Arabella was over the trestle again. Surely this was the end. In a moment she would be ordered to open herself to the rod, and when, seconds later, it slashed into her labia, perhaps even her clitoris, it had come dangerously close each time, she would have no defence. But the order never came, and she received the four cruel blows to her weeping rump almost with relief, after the tension and fear she'd felt with her vulva exposed.

As she waited for Meg to take her place, she tried to understand what had happened. One thing was certain, she could not go on like this. She was weakening rapidly, Meg's accurate cuts had opened up the skin split in her earlier contests, and were now striking into an open wound. She could feel the blood trickling down the back of her thigh. Why had Meg given up her assault on her most sensitive spot, and why did she react so badly to blows on her thighs when she apparently could cope with strokes to her battered buttocks? She remembered how she herself was learning to cope with the strokes to her buttocks by giving to the pain, rather than dissipate her energy in fighting it. Perhaps Meg, with her greater experience, had learned how to exploit this further, perhaps even harness that quasi-sexual feeling generated by the impulse delivered by the blow, but could not cope with the unblunted cuts to her thighs. it was after two strokes to her thighs had caused her obvious distress that she had abandoned her attempt to force Arabella into submission via her cunt.

She resolved to put the theory to the test. It would be another desperate gamble, but that was what she was here for, and she had won the first. Perhaps the Goddess, she was sure it was a Goddess, perhaps Artemis looking out for bold girls, would not let her down now. Stepping forward to the mark, she brought the rod slashing down to cut Meg's thighs four inches below the crease. Meg howled in shock and agony, as the cry went up

"Thighs." Gritting her teeth, and praying she was not wrong, Arabella handed over the rod and bent in her turn. She was still gritting them as the rod fell and held her body in check. Anything was better than the cuts to her tortured cunt. Meg resumed her place, and once again Arabella, with quiet determination, slashed the cringing thighs in front of her. Meg screamed again, and the cry of "Thighs" was followed by a buzz of speculation, for her actions now left no doubt that Arabella was quite deliberately trading blow for blow on their thighs.

It wasn't going to work. She'd sacrificed everything in vain. Meg had survived the fourth thigh stroke, though in some distress and there were only two more to go before she would have to take her own six to her bleeding buttocks, or maybe after this provocation, to her cunt again. In any case she had no hope she could survive. In desperation she took a run of three paces and put all her remaining strength of wrist and arm into the blow. It was enough. As her legs gave way beneath her, and she sank to her knees, she heard Meg's shriek of anguish, and saw her rise from the trestle and crouch, her hands on the backs of her abused thighs. Slowly she sank to her knees and leaned her shoulder into Arabella's.

"I can't take any more, Milady. You win."

The villagers crowded round cheering both of them. It had been a memorable contest to finish a memorable day. The stone bottle was passed round again, and from somewhere came brandy for the exhausted

contestants. The raw spirit down their throats revived them somewhat, enough to stumble, clutching supporting arms and shoulders, to the trough, where they lay over the rim while gentle hands carefully bathed their wounds, before applying an emollient salve. Gradually Arabella felt some strength returning, until she felt she could stand unaided, and return to the table to retrieve her clothes, and claim her reward. When she was once more fully attired, a process accompanied by many groans and winces, she picked up the eight silver shillings from the table. The 'clerk' looked at her ruefully.

"No-one can grudge you your prize, you won it very hardily, but there's some will be disappointed. We'd taken sure that there'd be ten guineas of money in the village, and that most would see and sup at least some of it. Now they'll not even have the eight shillings amongst them." Arabella raised a smile.

"No, they will certainly not have the shillings. I intend to have them made up into a bracelet to remind me of my achievement, and perhaps my folly also. I shall wear it always, though I do not suppose that many of my friends will ever learn what it signifies, but as to the guineas, they remain in the village. Give one to each woman that entered, and an extra one to each that survived the first round. Make sure that poor child gets hers. It was not her fault she was thrust into a place suitable for grown women only."

Enthusiastic applause greeted this speech, and the spoils having been divided, the women left in little groups attached to each newly enriched contestant. The 'clerk' promised to take the youngster's prize round to the house she shared with her sisters, who, Arabella understood, could expect a 'prize' of their own later, in the form of a limber ash stick. "And how will you fare, Milady?" asked the 'clerk' solicitously. "If you'll pardon my saying so, you're in no state to travel. You could stay at my house tonight, and gladly. There's only my man at home, and he's a man as'll keep his mouth shut"

"You are very kind, but I have been so bruised, doubt I'll be too stiff to move at all by morning, and if I stay here, I fear I'll be the subject of much speculation, once the rest of the village hears what has occurred. No I must get back to my own people, while I can still walk, for I have no hope that I can sit a horse. I can give out some cock and bull story of being thrown by my horse and being dragged over half a mile of stony track, my foot caught in the stirrup and my weight on my arse."

In the end she went back, kneeling, in the 'clerk's' man's cart. He helped her down half a mile from her hostess's door, and she limped in to deliver her alibi.