So, as promised, a story, presented for your delight and edification, and written by the estimable Mr Rollin Hand.
For those of you with an interest in science fiction, I should point out that Rollin was inspired to write this story by Connie Willis's splendid novel "To Say Nothing of the Dog".
Rollin kindly offered me any one of his stories for this blog, and I selected this one as it reflects the themes that I see most often in his work, and illustrates the way that he uses humour, tight plotting and honest characters in the service of hot spanking stories.
I love this tale, and I hope that you do to.
Many thanks to Rollin for providing it, and agreeing to allow me to use it here.
And now, onto the entertainment!
It's About Time
This had to be the craziest assignment Harry had ever heard of. Go back to 1942 and replace a bust of Gordon Westwood in the foyer of a girl's school in Connecticut. Who in the world had ever authorized them to take the bust in the first place? Number one, the Department of Temporal Research was for observation of the past only. There were strict protocols. Number two, time travel was authorized only for the most important historical research, not for the purloining of trivial artifacts. Agents were inserted only after the mission had been fully vetted by the board of directors.
He knocked on the door of his superior, Assistant Director Barbara Blaine. A voice bid him enter. As he walked in, his eyes were immediately drawn to the rather attractive, but very young looking, woman attired in the garb of a schoolgirl of some sort. The clothing was old fashioned. It reminded him of movies from the 1940's-white blouse, sweater, knee length pleated shirt, knee socks, saddle oxfords. She was short, about five-two, with dark hair which was formed into two plaited braids, which made her look younger than she probably was. And she was very cute.
"Sorry to call you out on a weekend, Harry, but something has come up." Barbara motioned for him to sit. "This is Anita Reed. Anita, this is Harry Chambers, one of our most experienced operatives." Harry nodded. Anita glanced at Harry, barely acknowledging him. "Anita is new, Harry. You'll be working with her on this one. She knows the terrain as it were. She's been there."
"What is this about?" It must be a problem. In 2088 time travel was in its infancy, but very few problems had emerged as of yet. Agents were careful to observe only, to not take or disturb anything, to refrain from interacting with important individuals, to take no action which could possibly influence future events.
"It was, unfortunately, Mrs. Westwood, the senator's wife. The senator sits on the board and on the appropriations committee, so when the request came....well."
Harry wasn't surprised. The fix was in. The wife of your ultimate boss says frog and you jump.
"Mrs Westwood wanted to surprise her husband with a bust of Gordon Westwood, the senator's distant ancestor, for his 60th birthday. So, she persuaded the Director to send Anita to the school, posing as a student, and, ah, retrieve it. You see Gordon Westwood was one of the founders of Grayson Hall."
"You mean steal it," said Harry, grinning.
"Well, I suppose you could put that way," admitted Barbara, clearly uncomfortable with this. "Anyway, shortly thereafter, engineering noticed a disturbing uncertainty ripple in the Heisenberg Timestream Flux."
"Yes, I'm afraid so. We don't know what it is exactly, but we suspect that it poses a problem with the ancestry related to a certain Charles Canfield Colby."
"Is he related to....?
"Yes, that Colby."
Anita jumped in. "After I removed the bust, Mrs Armstrong, the head mistress of Grayson Hall, announced that unless the guilty party owned up, she was canceling the dance with St Mark's, a boy's school across the lake."
Barbara said, "You see, we know that Charles Colby met his wife, Madeline Shaw at that dance. If they never met....well you can see that that could have long term consequences. They never married, Quentin was never born, etcetera, etcetera...."
Harry pursed his lips. Oops. Indeed. No Quentin Colby, no fusion generators. No cheap unlimited, clean energy. Who knows what repercussions that would cause. The invention had made the West totally energy independent. The geopolitical landscape had changed overnight. It was one of those odd coincidences. Colby and Westwood intersecting.
"That's what we think the ripple is, Harry. So we must act to correct the situation."
"There is more," said Anita. "We have Madeline's diary. It says that she fell in love with him on the lake. In a boat."
"How does that figure in?" said Harry. "What boat?"
"We don't know, Harry. You'll have to figure that out."
"We will insert you and Anita in 1942. You will be her uncle and guardian. It was how she enrolled at mid term. You will bring her back to the school explaining that she took the bust as a prank. Anita will remain as a student through the dance to insure that Madeline meets Charles at the dance. Then get them together in a boat somehow. Use your resourcefulness."
It sounded simple, but with time travel nothing was simple--except the huge amounts of energy required. But with the Colby fusion generator it was easy.
"Now, Anita is new, Harry, so watch out for her. We assigned her because she can pass for 18 though she is really 26."
Harry could see that. She looked like an exceptionally cute schoolgirl.
The 1940 Packard sat on the pad surrounded by the huge coils. Harry and Anita sat inside. Barbara's voice came over the PA. "The schools are in Connecticut. You'll be inserted about three miles from Grayson Hall two days before the dance in April of 1942. There is a village nearby with a hotel for you Harry. You'll stay there until after the dance. You've got your homing devices and communicators. Are you ready?"
Harry gave a little wave and the coils began to hum. The room rippled, becoming wavy. Everything went white. The white dissolved into a country lane. It looked to be about midday. Harry had been outfitted with a proper suit, appropriate for an insurance executive from Hartford.
"You look a little young to be my uncle---and what? My guardian?" Anita looked at Harry through narrowed eyes as they drove toward Grayson Hall.
"And you're no 18 year old schoolgirl," said Harry. "So let's do this and get out of here."
"Look, let's get one thing straight. I'm running this op. You're here only for backup," said Anita. "I've been here and I know the culture. WW II America. A simple time with simple ideas."
"That includes respect for authority," said Harry smiling. "Remember, I am your guardian, so no back talk, all right?"
"Whatever," huffed Anita.
"That's another thing. In 1940's America, schoolgirls don't roll their eyes and say 'whatever'."
"Whatever," said Anita, rolling her eyes.
This is going to be a bit more dicey than I figured, thought Harry. And it got even more dicey when he was ushered in to see the headmistress, a Mrs Helen Armstrong. She was a formidable woman---a solid matronly type wearing a tailored wool suit with her dark hair rolled up in a tight bun.
"So you were saying, Mr Chambers, that Anita took the bust as a prank?"
"Yes," said Harry. "I confronted her about it, and she said she meant to bring it back all along. It was all just a bit of girlish tomfoolery." Harry decided to elaborate. "She's a swell girl, but she can be a bit rambunctious, you know. Anyway, no harm done. I've spoken to her quite sternly and we have brought the bust back."
Mrs Armstrong frowned. "I'm afraid we have strict expectations regarding the behavior of our students, and girlish pranks of this sort are not tolerated. I'm of a mind not to re-admit her."
That wasn't good. Anita needed to be there to insure that Charles and Madeline met. "Well, it won't happen again. I can promise you that."
"We'll see," said Mrs. Armstrong. "Send in Miss Reed," she said into the intercom. Anita came in, eyes downcast, looking rather sheepish. "Miss Reed, what do have to say for yourself?" she asked as Anita stood nervously before the desk.
"I'm sorry," she said, eyes downcast. "I was going to bring it back. Really. I mean, Uncle Harry discovered it, but I took it as sort of a lark and...".
"And did he punish you after you told him?" said Mrs Armstrong.
"No...I mean, yes. He scolded me most severely, and he has promised I will be punished, um...later." Anita tugged on her skirt trying to look contrite.
"And just how will he punish you, Miss Reed?"
"Um, he will, uh... spank me...yes, he spanks me very hard if I disobey him...." She bit her lip and looked down as if embarrassed.
Harry raised his eyebrows. That was laying it on a bit thick. Anita shot him a sharp glance that said 'let me handle this'.
Mrs Armstrong nodded approvingly. "Well, I'm sure your uncle knows best. But that does not square the bill for your current offense."
"Uh, what do you mean ma'am?" asked Anita, now alarmed. She had thought that the promise of a severe punishment sometime in the future would fix this.
"For an offense like this, Miss Reed, Grayson's rules are clear. They proscribe corporal punishment for the guilty party." She opened a desk drawer and pulled out an object. Anita gasped when she saw it. It was a paddle, and its purpose was obvious. "When students misbehave here they are paddled, Miss Reed. And that is what is going to happen now. Your uncle may, of course, be present as a witness. Since you said he spanks you himself, you will, of course, have no objection."
She turned toward Harry. "Mr. Chambers, we will re-admit Miss Reed on condition that you give permission for her to be punished."
Harry gaped. What the hell? Then he realized the problem. Anita had admitted her guilt, she had to. So he had no choice. They could not abort the mission. He fixed Anita with a stern look. Anita's jaw had dropped. She had had no idea that they paddled students here. "Of course," said Harry. "You must do what you must." Anita shot an angry glance at Harry. If looks could kill, he thought.
Mrs Armstrong got up, paddle in hand. "Very well. Come up to the desk, Miss Reed." Anita approached, grimacing. Just how bad was this going to be?
"Please bend over and place your elbows and palms flat on the desk." Mrs Armstrong tapped the paddle against her palm.
How could this be happening? Anita bent over gingerly. She felt her dress being raised and half stood up. "What are you doing?" she said in alarm.
"Miss Reed you are new, so I'll forgive that outburst. Students are permitted only a single layer of clothing during application of corporal punishment." Anita blushed beet red and resumed her position, gritting her teeth.
Harry watched with interest as Anita's skirt was raised to reveal a very fully fleshed and attractive bottom clad in simple white cotton panties. The panties did not completely contain the rather full cheeks of her delectable rear.
Anita was dying of embarrassment. But that was nothing compared to the feel of the paddle tapping her bottom. "It will be eight strokes, Miss Reed. I expect you to remain still throughout."
Anita heard a whoosh of air then the paddle landed with a loud smack. Anita jumped. She had never felt such hot stinging pain. She had little time to dwell on that first smack before another fell.
Anita hated to yip like a ten year old, but it hurt! The smacks of the paddle fell a few seconds apart and burned atrociously. Her eyes watered. She fought to hold still and take it.
Smack! "Yow!" That one stung! How many was that? This was utterly humiliating. Her nearly bare behind was on display to her colleague and this old harridan was paddling it as hard as she could.
Smack! The paddle cracked her right on her sit spot. She scrunched her face and gripped the desk. Whack! "Yow, oh, yow!" That one was a stinger.
Finally after eight painful smacks with that awful paddle she was allowed to stand and pull down her skirt. Her bottom felt as if it were blazing with the fires of Hades. She glanced at Harry. If he is smiling I will kill him, she thought.
"We need a boat," she whispered into the communicator. She was standing, concealed in a broom closet. It still hurt to sit down. "I know where you can get one."
"All right," Harry sighed. "Where?" After the paddling incident she had excoriated him for, as she put it, 'ogling her ass'. Well what was he supposed to do? Close his eyes? That would have looked suspicious.
"There is a dock on neighboring property next to St Mark's school with a boat tied up."
"Look, are you sure about this boat thing? Maybe that was later in the year, when he told he loved her or something while he rowed her in the boat."
"Don't argue with me. There is a photo of a boat tied to a dock that looks like it could be this one. It was in the diary right next to the page where she writes that they met at the dance."
"But does it say they went out in a boat that night? This doesn't make sense. Did you carefully read the whole thing?" They meet at a dance and that same night they are out in a boat on a dark lake?
"Well, no. Not in so many words. I skipped around and got the gist of it. But what else could it be? I know what I'm doing."
"Do you have the diary here?"
"Yes I have it."
"Look, don't do anything rash until I have a chance to look it over."
"Why, don't you trust my intelligence? I found the diary. I read the page about the dance. You just do what I tell you."
She sounded annoyed. Obviously the paddling had not adjusted the bratty attitude.
With the matter of the stolen bust settled, the dance was on again. Anita had made friends with Madeline earlier, and now she was going to make sure that "Maddy" was introduced to Charles Colby. Harry had graciously volunteered to chaperone the dance, much to the delight of Mrs Armstrong who was happy to have a male chaperone representing Grayson Hall.
Harry's job was to make sure the boat was available at a spot on the grounds of St Mark's where Anita would encourage the couple to "take it out for a moonlight row". To Harry this sounded insane, but Anita was convinced it was essential. So the night of the dance, just at dusk, Harry snuck over to the neighboring dock, loosed the mooring rope, and rowed the boat over to St Mark's. Luckily, no one was at home. Anita was waiting just outside the doorway to the hall. Staying out of the light Harry made his way to the hall and met Anita.
"It took you long enough," said Anita, scowling.
"I'm not at all convinced this is a good idea," said Harry. "Do you have the diary?"
Anita gave an exasperated sigh. "Here, take it," said Anita, reaching into her purse and shoving it at him. "See for yourself." Harry took the diary and went inside to resume his job as chaperone.
Maybe there was something to this boat thing, thought Harry, as he flipped through the diary. It was a calm night, lit by a full moon. Very romantic. He saw Anita lead two figures, all three moving stealthily down toward the lake. She must have talked them into it, he mused.
He turned his attention to the diary. As Anita had said, a photo of a boat was wedged in next to an entry in 1942. But the photo was all wrong. First, it was in color. Second it showed a blue nylon tie rope. And, the boat was painted some odd green color. Neither made sense in a 1942 photograph. Harry flipped the photo over. In tiny script along the edge was written, "Lake Cranberry 1964--just like our St Mark's 'lake disaster'." Before Harry could ponder the implications of that statement, his attention was diverted by a shriek from out on the lake. He looked up just in time to see the boat tip over, depositing its three occupants into the water with a loud splash.
It was the second time Harry had met with Mrs Armstrong in her office. With her were Dr Carter, the headmaster at St Mark's, the town constable, her own dean of students, Miss Finch, and Oren and Florence Willis, the apparent owners of the sunken rowboat.
"And it took me damn near all day to haul my boat out. I want those juvenile delinquents punished. I want to press charges. We have damages." Oren was red-faced and angry.
"I can assure you the perpetrators will be punished, Mr and Mrs Willis," said Mrs Armstrong. "We have strict discipline at Grayson Hall." To emphasize her point she slid open her drawer and pulled out the infamous paddle.
Mrs Willis eyed the paddle. "We might be willing to let this go if we saw justice done," she said. "I think a good licking would be just what these kids need."
"Well, I reckon," said Oren. "What do you think, Flo?"
"Worst thing I ever did, my pa gave me ten swats, bare butt, out in the woodshed. We'd drop all charges, but I'd have to see that the girls got it good and proper, and Oren would witness the lad's licking."
The heads of the schools nodded approvingly. Mrs Armstrong said, "What about Anita, Mr Chambers? You are removing her from Grayson, I understand. She is no longer subject to our discipline."
Florence Willis glared. "They all get it right here and now or no deal."
Harry said. "I think we can work something out. But first I must speak with Anita."
"This is a disaster," Anita moaned. "They never went for that romantic boat ride and it's my fault. I tried to push off, but fell in the boat and then trying to go back I lost my balance and then...."
Harry shushed her. "It's going to be all right, but you have to trust me. Play along and follow my lead. No matter what happens. Will you do that?"
"Ohhh....all right," fumed Anita.
"Good. Just remember, whatever happens, happens. Unlike you, I read the whole diary."
"Whatever," she said, rolling her eyes.
"Here's what I want you to say..."
"She has been told," said Harry to the assembled adults.
"Very well," said Mrs Armstrong. "Let's bring in our three miscreants."
The three listened in utter shock as Mrs Armstrong explained what would happen. Madeline and Charles could not take their eyes off of that wooden paddle resting on the desk, probably wondering what it would feel like impacting their bare behinds in just a few short minutes. When she had finished, Harry gave Anita a subtle nod.
"Please, wait," Anita said. "It was all my fault. I took the boat. I encouraged them to go in it. Don't punish them, please. I have talked to my uncle. He intends to punish me severely the way he does when I am naughty, but you must not punish Charles and Maddy."
The Willis's frowned. Dr Carter and Helen Armstrong exchanged glances. The three were dismissed while the adults talked it over. Harry could imagine that there were two very nervous students sitting in the front room and a third who was anxious to just get going back to 2088 and be done with this mission. A few minutes later they ushered them back in.
"Based upon Miss Reed's admission, we have decided to be lenient. You will each receive only six swats instead of ten as we originally decreed. Miss Reed, since you are leaving Grayson, your Uncle will attend to you. You ladies shall wait outside. Mr Colby, you first."
The ladies trooped out as the men stayed. There was a breathless hush and then the sharp sound of a paddle striking bare flesh. They counted six ringing smacks and a muffled yelp or two at the end. Anita held Maddy's hand. Poor thing, she was next. Charles emerged, red faced, eyes blinking back tears. The men came out. The ladies trooped in with Maddy. There was silence for a moment then the sound of a hard smack as the paddle smacked Maddy's bare bottom. Maddy let out a wail. Harry knew that had hurt. He had read the diary.
"...they made me lift my skirt and lower my panties to mid thigh. I was embarrassed beyond belief. I was grateful to Anita for taking the blame upon herself, but six strokes and on the bare was still quite severe. Nothing could have ever prepared me for that first paddle spank. It stung so bad it took my breath away and I'm afraid I shrieked. It was like a blazing fire had been lit on my bare behind. Our headmistress took her time. She would tap my bottom a time or two then deliver another brisk smack with that hard paddle. It stung my bottom worse than anything mother had ever done with her hairbrush. After four strokes I broke down in tears. It was all I could to remain still and take the remaining two strokes. My poor bottom was red as beet when I inspected it later. Poor Charles. He really is a sweet boy and he was braver than I....."
While they paddled Maddy, Harry stood outside regarding Anita. She was trying to appear suitably repentant, no doubt figuring that when Maddy was done, they'd just get up and leave. Maddy emerged, sobbing and rubbing tears from her eyes. Charles stood and took her hand.
Anita looked at Harry expectantly. From inside the room Mrs Armstrong said, "We are ready for you now, Mr Chambers." Harry stood next to Anita. She shot him an anxious look.
"Give me your hand," he said. Nervously, she did so. "Come with me, Anita." He took her by the hand and escorted her into the room. Anita wore a bewildered look. Someone had placed a chair in front of the desk and Harry took a seat. He rolled up his sleeve. As he did he lectured.
"Anita, my dear, the Willis's are willing to forgive and forget if justice is done, but they want to have assurance that you are properly chastised for this incident. You have already described to Mrs Armstrong just how I punish you, so you and I are going to demonstrate for Mrs Willis' approval. Come here."
"What?" said Anita. She shrank back in utter disbelief. Harry seized her wrist and pulled her to him. Before she could react he put her face down across his knees. "You remember how we do this, Anita," he said, lifting her skirt.
Anita finally found her voice. "No, no!" She sputtered. "Uh, Uncle Harry, you can't!"
"Yes, Anita, I can. Just what were you thinking?" Her pantied bottom came into view. She kicked and wriggled. Harry clamped an arm across her back, pinning her skirt up. There was that lovely bottom again. But he wasn't done. Anita shrieked as he tugged her panties down. The twin rounded moons popped into view.
"Stop! Stop!" Anita was frantic.
Harry raised his hand to shoulder height and looked at Mrs Willis. Mrs Willis smiled and nodded. Harry's palm made a swift descent.
Smack! Smack! Smack! Smack!
Harry let loose with a volley of brisk spanks that landed on the crowns of her buttocks. Anita wailed in shock at the sudden sting, "Ow! Ow! Stop!" Harry ignored her and set out to deliver the very thorough spanking of Anita's bare bottom that Madeline had described in her diary.
"...we listened from the outer office as Mr Chambers gave Anita a very sound and dreadful spanking. We could hear the crisp splat of his hand as over and over again he spanked Anita's bare seat. It went on and on, dear diary, for several minutes at least, and Charles and I looked at each other with gratitude and admiration for this brave girl who had taken the blame and mitigated our own punishment. Born in our distress, I think that there is a bond between Charles and I. We seem to have feelings for each other..."
Of course Anita hadn't known that. She'd never read the diary. Harry got back to the task at hand. He marveled at how Anita's bottom cheeks quivered as he spanked her. She had one cute fanny, he'd have to admit that. It was a good thing her bare bottom was full and fleshy enough to take the rather vigorous smacking he was dishing out. If she weren't so bratty he might have thought to see if they had a mutual interest in each other. Oh well---never happen now. He decided to add a little scolding to make it look good.
"Just what (smack!) did you (smack!) think you were (smack!) doing (smack! smack!)? Stealing a boat? (Smack! Crack!) Going for a midnight row? (spank! crack!). I have been much too lenient (smack!) with your behavior, Anita. (smack! smack!) It's going to stop. (smack! smack!)
Anita flinched with each smack of Harry's hand, wriggling over his lap and fluttering her legs. "Ouch! Ow! I'm sorry!" she wailed. "Please stop!" She bounced all over his knee like a jitterbug. Harry looked at the clock on the wall. The diary said it had gone on for several minutes. He sighed and resumed, spanking one cheek then the other, then hard across the divide. She must work out, he thought. She had very firm bottom and his hand was starting to sting. After a last barrage of spanks that elicited a high pitched wail, he stopped. Her bottom was a fire engine red. He looked at Mrs Willis. She smiled in approval.
He pulled her panties back up and her skirt down, then he set her on her feet. "Let that be a lesson to you, Anita. I won't tolerate such behavior," said Harry, wagging his finger. A teary eyed Anita rubbed her seat through her skirt and choked back words that would have, no doubt, been quite inappropriate for an eighteen year old schoolgirl in 1942.
"I have to say, well done. The timestream ripple disturbance is gone." The Assistant Director beamed as Harry and Anita were ushered into her office. "Please sit," she said, motioning toward two chairs in front of her desk.
"I'd prefer to stand," muttered Anita.
Barbara Blaine raised her eyebrows. "As you wish," she said. "Now, I just want to tell you both how much we appreciate..."
She droned on. Harry reflected on the scene in the car when he told her about the diary. Yes, there had been a boat, but not at that time. The Willis's had felt sorry afterwards for Charles and Maddy, since it had been Anita who'd been the real culprit. That spring they had even invited him to take Maddy out rowing in the boat. That's when they fell in love. And, Harry had pointed out, Anita's spanking had advanced Charles and Maddy's bonding in their mutual distress while listening from the outer office. That hadn't impressed Anita. "You didn't have to spank me so hard!" she seethed. Yes, I did, thought Harry. He almost missed the next thing his boss said.
"....and so we have a new assignment for you where you'll be working together again. You're perfect for the job. There are some important historical events regarding the women's suffrage movement in 1916 that we wish to observe first hand. There was a famous disturbance outside the White House. Protestors were arrested. You'll go in as one of the protestors, Anita. Harry will once again be your uncle and guardian and he'll bail you out if you're hauled off..."
Anita gaped at her in shock.
Yes, thought Harry, smiling to himself, but only after she's been suitably punished. A fate quite common among young suffragettes, he'd heard. Maybe I'll be able to adjust that bratty know-it-all attitude yet.