A story about imagining
In the dark castle of your imagination are many rooms
You could spend a lifetime roaming its stark alluring corridors
Peeping through the keyholes
To be aroused and thrilled
By sights unseen
* * 1 * *
The opening door silenced the hubbub of two dozen voices. One of the idiosyncrises of their teacher, Mr Bowman, was he often arrived in class a couple of minutes late. As his new class would soon discover, he had a taste for theatrical flourishes, a penchant for engineering drama and building anticipation. As if the whole class was itself entering a story that had already started.
Even his clothes had the air of a showman. Today he’d dressed in a black thigh-length Edwardian frock coat. A snow white cravat bulging out from his iridescent blue silk waistcoat. He removed his tall top hat as he stepped into the classroom, doffing it respectfully to the young ladies present.
Mr Bowman’s class was incredibly popular. Always oversubscribed, it was one of only two classes in the school to have a waiting list. Preference was given to students with a strong academic record, as this was not a subject for the indolent or immature, but for grown-up minds who wanted to push their boundaries. A class of the school’s best and brightest. He entered the room to a buzz of expectation, to survey a sea of wide and eager eyes.
After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to write? To communicate, to reach out to and inspire and arouse their imaginations of strangers they’d never met. To be able to harness the most powerful creative force in the known universe, the one that covertly lurked between their own two ears.
He paused before the class, his eyes roaming his audience’s faces, nodding, as if in agreement with whatever they were silently thinking. He could sense their curiosity, the murmur of prolific potential straining to be unleashed.
Mr Bowman could feel himself being charged up by their enthusiasm, pulling off his frock coat and melodramatically flinging it over the hook of the nearby coat stand, before striding up to the blackboard. The chalk squeaked and scratched as he wrote two short words in neat block capitals.
“Erotic Writing”, he began, regarding what he’d written for a moment before turning back to face the class.
This was no ordinary creative writing class. His pupils were not silly little girls, but young ladies, each now keenly aware of their own simmering sexuality. The enlightened board of governors believed this course would help them express the powerful feelings that often surged through their febrile minds, and the pyretic urges that now surged through their burgeoning bodies.
Mr Bowman let the class stare at what he’d written for a moment. He wondered how many were fixated on just the first word, and what visions those six little letters had already conjured in their minds. He waited, then broke the silence.
“On our journey through life, each of you will write a veritable library of words. Instructions, memories, descriptions and proposals. Words of joy, expressions of sorrow, words of apology and gratitude. In your years at this school each of you has learnt how to write essays, poems and reports, the art of expressing the ideas within your head. Yet…”
“Hands up. Who’s ever imagined a scene of a sexual nature?”
A murmur of suppressed gasps swept the room. From his vantage point at the front of the class the variation in sexual confidence within his class was obvious, but unsurprising. There were the girls with their jaws open, taken aback by the bluntness of his question. Others were looking around furtively, waiting to see if anyone else had put their hand up…
A few bold girls duly obliged, some raising their hands proudly, others tentatively displaying their palms at shoulder height. Each palm emboldening its neighbours, as the more timid girls realised not only did everyone else seem to be having these naughty thoughts, but even worse, if they kept their hands down their teacher might pick them out, to publicly chide them: “Really, young lady? No fantasies…? Ever?”
So fifteen seconds after he’d spoken, a forest of hands swayed in front of him. He waved them down, and then directed his next question to one of his class. She was sitting in the front row of desks, one of the first to raise her hand. He lowered his eyes to address her.
“Have you ever written down any of your fantasies?”
Her body answered before her mouth could, provoking her to shake her head before adding: “No Sir”.
“That’s a shame”, he replied, “Because in a few years’ time you’ll have forgotten all about them. All that will remain will be a vague recollection, an afterglow of a once fiery inferno.”
“But why are your erotic thoughts important?”, he asked provocatively.
There was a pause as the assembled class digested his question. There was the obvious answer of course, that naughty thoughts got you off, but that seemed rather crass to say out loud. But eventually a couple of hands did tentatively rise to his challenge. He pointed to a girl with short black hair near the back of the class.
“They’re important because they’re are ours, Sir”, she answered. He nodded, a flutter of his hand encouraged her to elaborate.
She coughed nervously before continuing.
“Er. Because if we don’t cherish our own thoughts, we’ll fill our minds with someone else’s. We’ll become consumers rather than creators”
“An excellent point. Very well made”, he nodded. “We all know there’s plenty of sexual content out there…”
That provoked an outbreak of coy smiles and a nervous giggles.
“… but all those pictures, all those videos, they’re other peoples’ view of sex. Not yours. Erotic writing is about expressing your own sexual identity.”
His gaze returned to the girl in the front row.
“So Yuuna, why haven’t you committed your fantasies to words?”
“Er…”, she squirmed awkwardly in her seat, “Um… I wouldn’t know where to start, Sir.”
“Ah. Well, you’ve come to the right class then…”
More giggles. She looked to the floor and smiled, her cheeks blushing.
“Interesting insights”, he observed, before looking up and addressing the whole class again. “How many of you know how to write a diary?”
Almost as one, everyone in the room raised a hand.
“And how many know how to write up an event, for say, a school newsletter?”
Everyone could remember writing something like that in English classes, so all the hands remained upright.
“Now how many know how to write a short story?”
Now arms began to wobble with uncertainty, and over half the hands disappeared.
“And how many would feel able to write a novel?”
At that, the remaining hands suddenly wilted, leaving only two self-confident palms hovering in the air.
“Ah! So what does that tell us?”, he asked rhetorically.
“You already know how to write. You just need to start from something familiar. Don’t intimidate yourself. Don’t write a novel. Well, not unless you want to…”
The pair who’d kept their arms raised exchanged glances and smiled, he waved their hands down.
“So, start simple. You could pretend you’re writing a diary. Everyone knows how to write a diary. The events of one day, written looking back. For example… someone shout out a fantasy…”
The room filled with nervous giggles again.
“Strict headmistress!”, called a voice to his right, provoking a short burst of laughter.
“That’s good! OK, so imagine you’ve just started at a new boarding school. What happened on your first day? You don’t need to specify plot or characters, it’s just like your first day anywhere, you’ve barely met anyone yet…”
“Perhaps you’ve only just encountered the headmistress, you don’t know anything about her yet. Maybe she gave an introductory address to the new pupils. What was it about her makes you think she’s strict? Did she mention school rules? Or punishments? How did she dress? Is her air of authority intimidating – or erotic?”
“Then, when you’ve finished, start writing the 2nd day. After that write the 3rd. Start elaborating. Start introducing elements of your fantasy. Perhaps you’ve heard rumours about what happens to rule-breakers. What goes on behind her office door? Is it true she conducts late night inspections in the dormitories? Whatever lights your candles.”
“What’s her backstory? What did she fantasise about when she was young age? Was she strict growing up too? Did she like to play spanking games? What were her formative sexual experiences?”
“Isn’t that simple?”, he announced, opening his palms like a magician at the denouement of a magic trick.
“Everyone can write a diary. No fancy plot gimmicks, just you, imagining a story unfold day by day. Everyone should be able to do that. Call out if you disagree.”
No one demurred. He turned to the blackboard again, the chalk squeaked and scribbled.
You already know how to write
“Our textbook has a story called ‘Cosmopolitan’, part-written the style of a magazine article, for those wanting to read an example of that kind of storytelling, and who’d like explore more.”
He paused and surveyed the classroom for evidence of furrowed brows, “Any questions?”
A girl in the centre of the class raised her hand.
“How do I turn an idea into a story?”, she asked.
“A good question”, he acknowledged.
“Your challenge, as a writer, is to turn an initial idea that you might be able to express in a few sentences, into a story that’s hundreds, or potentially thousands, of sentences long. But no one can keep that amount of detail in their heads. Instead, what you can do is initially write your story out in note form.”
“For instance: say you have a scene in a restaurant, the idea might be they flirt, tamely at first, then ever more outrageously, until they finally fuck each other senseless.“
He spoke unselfconsciously, he did not expect anyone present to be offended by his choice of language. In the scenario he imagined, fucking was the perfect term to describe the resulting crescendo, the finale to some unstoppable escalation of desire. Choosing the right words was important.
“So, how would you go about expanding that idea into notes? Just break it down. First the couple. Write 5 things you could say about them. Next the restaurant or their reason for being there, again 5 things. It doesn’t matter if they’re underwhelming, just get writing, you don’t need to use everything.”
“Do the same for the initial flirting and the outrageous misbehaviour parts. Perhaps they start by surreptitiously exchanging naughty notes, and by the end, he’s telling her to go to the ladies and bring back her underwear. Finally do the same for the wham-bam ending. That’s 5 notes for each of the 5 subparts – and bingo! Your initial idea has now been expanded to 25 lines.”
“Then, if you want, you can go back and refine each of those 25 points until the story has the level of detail you want. Finally, you’ll elaborate each point you’ve sketched out into prose, into proper sentences – and that’s your story!”
“And here’s a tip: write down the ending, or at least the idea of how the tale will end, before you write the story itself. A story needs a destination, if the destination isn’t worth reaching, the story isn’t worth writing. Telling a story is like telling a joke. It’s moving towards a punchline.”
“You’re going to be practicing expanding an idea into a story in this week’s homework assignment…”
He paused, and looked back at his desk, where a time-worn top hat sat rather incongruously. Beneath the table top, what looked like sturdy brass handles glinted.
“That was a good question. Who’s next?”
He pointed to one of the raised hands, floating in front of him.
“Why are kisses harder to write than penetration, kink and orgasms?”
“Oh! That is a good question. A marvellous one, in fact.”
“Perhaps it’s because a kiss is so familiar, we think we know it. We miss its subtleties, how it involves each one of our senses, in the time it takes for lips to meet. Have you ever thought how it starts? A glance, that bounces between the lovers’ eyes like two reflecting mirrors, faster and faster as the gap between the lips near.”
Too often, stories focus on the events of sex, not the senses of sex. The scents. The sounds
The tastes. The touches…”
“Let me give you an example”
He walked to the nearby bookshelf, scanning the spines until he found what he was after. He plucked a thick paperback, and quickly located the dog-eared page of interest.
“This description of a kiss is from the novel ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor.”
“… She tastes like nectar and salt. Nectar and salt and apples. Pollen and stars and hinges. She tastes like fairy tales. Swan maiden at midnight. Cream on the tip of a fox’s tongue. She tastes like hope.”
He paused afterwards, replacing the book, and letting his audience render what he’d read aloud in their own minds.
“That, is how you describe a kiss. Sensually. A kiss is not an event, not a news report. It is a transient sensation, an emotion. The worlds of two characters intimately coming together for a moment, to share a scent, a touch and a taste…”
“A great question. Who’s next?”
“How do you write authentically about a scenario you’ve not (yet) experienced yourself?”
“Yes. Good! That’s a question that gets to the heart of creative writing. If we only ever wrote about personal experiences, the fiction section would be a small and tedious place. Shakespeare was not a king, Agatha Christie never killed anyone. And certainly no sci-fi author has ever been into space!”
“Creation is about using your imagination, going beyond what you’ve physically experienced. If you’d like to practice making things up, then I’d highly recommend Ms Goldstein’s after-school improv drama classes.”
“I worry that what I write won’t be stimulating, Sir.”
That question provoked both embarrassed chuckles and hums of agreement.
“Don’t worry whether what you write stimulates others. If it stimulates you. That’s enough. Because a writer writes because there’s a story to tell. Because if it isn’t told, the story dies and is lost forever. And if it arouses you, it will arouse others. Because there’s plenty of people out there who think the same way as you. Across the whole of humanity, we’ve more in common than our differences.”
The room was now full of raised arms as the class warmed to his challenge, and the questions were becoming much bolder in nature too.
“Sir? Is it alright to touch yourself, in, um… those… places.. while you’re writing…?”
* * 2 * *
Later that evening, Yuuna was in her bedroom, working on her writing assignment. Earlier, before the class had ended, their teacher had toured the classroom with a old top hat, inviting each of them to pick a card from it. Each card had a single sentence written on it, a writing prompt, a rudimentary story idea. Their challenge was to expand what was written on their card to 5 notions, and then refine each notion into 5 sub-parts.
Her hand had rummaged around inside the hat, feeling its soft silky inner lining and the pointy edges of the remaining cards pricking her palm. Her fingers quickly closed around one, which she pulled it out and read to herself: “A character goes shopping for a sex toy”.
Yuuna had contemplated the possibilities of this prompt during her walk home. One notion was obvious, the shopper. She imagined the shopper entering a shop – wouldn’t it be lovely if it was quirky and well-decorated, more like a boutique than a supermarket. Then her shopper would begin browsing, and perhaps try out what she was buying, and then take it home.
But what would her character buy? Something phallic seemed crude, and too obvious. If Yuuna was going shopping, she imagined being lured towards the cabinet of beautiful butt-plugs, but they weren’t really the kind of items you could try out in store, that wouldn’t make much of a story.
Yuuna contemplated the 5 parts of her putative story. There would have to be a shopper, and a shop. The shopper would browse, and then try out an item she liked. And then she would purchase it.
Shopper. Shop. Browsing. Trying. Buying. The five parts. That was easy! she thought with a smile. Now she just needed to refine them. To do what her teacher had advised, and improvise.
Her hands hovered over the small black squares of her keyboard, close enough to feel the device’s warm breath blow across her fingertips. She began to type her first heading.
Its big bold capitals glowed on her screen, as if she had just inscribed a series of magic runes, some mystic enchantment capable of summoning the character into her imagination. Yuuna closed her eyes, and it didn’t take long for the imagery to emerge; her protagonist would be a professional lady, someone who wouldn’t be embarrassed by her intended purchase. The more she thought about her, the more details Yuuna could see: what she was wearing, her hair, her face, even what had motivated her to go shopping. This was good stuff! Her fingers landed gently on the warm flat plastic keys, and she began to tap out her imaginings to her screen, as she dictated her thoughts to herself under her breath.
“1 … she’s a professional lady, confident and uninhibited”
“2 … Christmas is coming, and she intends to surprise him”
“3 … he liked telling her what a naughty girl she was, and she liked hearing it”
“4 … she enjoyed feeling the heavy slap of his hand on her arse, and fantasised about receiving something stronger, something to take her breath away”
“5 … one day after work, she decides to go shopping for a cane in a hip area of town”
And that was the 5 points. Her story now had its protagonist; Yuuna felt like she’d just been introduced, that she’d felt the soft touch of her handshake, exchanged smalltalk and learnt a bit about her. Wasn’t it funny how putting what she’d imagined into words made it seem even more real? She tapped the return key a few times, held shift down and tapped eight more keys in quick succession.
Yuuna closed her eyes again, and began to picture a street, a strand of glinting shop windows and distressed rosy brown bricks. This was an area of town once rundown, but now reclaimed, gentrified, safe to explore. A place of quirky stores, artisans and boutiques. It smelt of delis, baked pastries and flower baskets. One never knew what one might find here, and that was what lured its visitors. Her fingers began their keyboard ballet again.
“1 … she wanders down a quiet mews, windows filled with cashmere, cafetieres and kaftans”
“2 … and then, a window where the mannequins are dressed quite differently, maids and schoolgirls, amongst figures dressed in barely anything at all”
“3 … tummy fluttering, she pushes the door, a small bell welcomes her”
“4 … inside is laid out like a small boutique, simple, uncluttered, just a desk with a few canes adorning the wall behind”
“5 … a smartly dressed gentleman appears and greets her, and asks if she’d prefer to talk to a male or female assistant, she says she’s happy to talk to him”
Her writing was quickening now, as her mind began to flow. She paused to imagine the interaction that might take place, would she be sheepish, or know exactly how to ask for what she wanted? Yuuna would have been mortified to be placed in her protagonist’s shoes, but this was her fiction, and she was in complete control, she could write it as she wanted it to be. She continued typing.
Now, thought Yuuna. How would one go about buying a cane, if the customer service was as attentive as those in a prestigious boutique?
“1 … she states what she’s interested in: a cane for her, for bedroom use”
“2 … he talks her through the options, explaining difference between whippy and thuddy canes, illustrated using pictures within a leather-bound folio”
“3 … this one produces thin stripes, he says, pointing to a glossy photo of a girl bending over a desk in a vintage schoolroom, rows of thin pink lines clearly visible on her bare bottom”
“4 … this one gives a more all-over blush, he explains, turning to a page showing a lady standing in the corner of a mahogany-panelled library, her bottom glowing a bright radiant pink”
“5 … the idea of thin stingy stripes makes her heart pound and her mouth dry”
Imagining the consequences of a proper caning had got Yuuna’s pulse racing. When she lifted her hands from the keyboard she could feel the moistness of her palms. But she couldn’t stop now, she was flowing, a cascade of ideas and imagery tumbling through her mind, and she found herself typing rapidly in an attempt to capture it all.
Now Yuuna’s imagination demanded her character experience the cane for herself.
“1 … he selects a couple of canes and asks her if she’d like a demonstration, she gasps in surprise, but finds herself nodding, he invites her to follow him”
“2 … they enter a small side room, four metres square, decorated like a miniature classroom, maps and pictures on the walls, a blackboard and a teacher’s desk at front”
“3 … ‘Please remove your skirt, Ma’am, and bend over’, he says”
“4 … she experiences whacks of increasing force, then tugs up her panties to feel them on her bare cheeks”
“5 … being caned by a stranger feels outrageous, but so exhilarating!”
As she typed, she let her left hand stray to her lap, reaching under the hem of her uniform skirt. Her crotch was hot to the touch, her lips tender and slick with arousal.
Yuuna fingers skittered across her keyboard, transcribing what her mind’s-eye could now see so vividly.
“1 … she enjoys one cane especially, it makes her bum sting and her clit throb”
“2 … sensing the sale, he closes the deal with six quick strokes, she calls ‘I’ll take it!’ on the sixth, back at the shop counter, she has the cane put in a tall thin box and gift-wrapped”
“3 … she sits squirming on her stinging bottom on the train home, imagining the erotic possibilities of their new toy”
Yuuna paused to contemplate too. The outline of her story was almost complete, she wanted to end it with some strong imagery, something that suggested the story would continue after her words had ceased. Something that would be elaborated by her readers’ imaginations to their own satisfaction…
“4 … maybe she’d borrow it, she imagines coming home from work, bending over the sofa or ottoman, maybe with a vibe inside, ipad in front of her, a kinky story slowly scrolling, and occasionally reaching back to give herself a well deserved whack”
“5 … somewhere under a christmas tree, a long thin box lies inconspicuously among the boxes wrapped in snowflakes and fat jolly robins. It was going to be a very merry christmas…”
And that was it, one line turned into twenty-five. Her assignment complete.
She’d left space at the top of the page for a title. She pondered it for a moment, then it fell into her mind like a plummeting fruit.
“The Caning Emporium”
Suddenly, the story came alive in her mind. She could imagine it as a book, with a moody ambiguous monochrome cover. Like a pair of knickers around feminine ankles. Perhaps they might be the underwear of someone being caned. Or perhaps they belonged to a reader masturbating as she imagined it.
Yuuna read what she’d written back to herself with quiet satisfaction. Homework done, she locked her bedroom door and laid back on her bed. What a good girl I am, she thought. I deserve a treat.
She wondered what her own classmates were writing about right now. And how many were are aroused as she was. Her friend Jane had pulled “A character is tied up and left” from the hat. Her friend Talia had pulled “Kisses in the countryside”.
As for Yuuna, images of canes and canings dominated her thoughts.
She laid back on her bed, and as her fingers strayed, her mind wandered.
* * 3 * *
Yuuna finds herself in the warren of hip alleyways she’d imagined, with the smell of freshly baked croissants filling her nostrils. She is walking with purpose, after all, there’s one particular store she is eager to find.
She turns a corner, and there it is, The Caning Emporium. It’s wide windows uncluttered, merely revealing glimpses of the bare brick walls within. Yuuna strides quickly to the door, which opens with a welcoming tinkle.
Yuuna surveys the canes of varying lengths adorn the walls, each resting on little brass hooks protruding from the vintage brickwork. Canes to arouse, canes to smack, canes to fear and canes to whack.
Her reverie is interrupted by the assistant, an immaculately dressed gentleman, in an eye-catchingly iridescent blue silk waistcoat. She recognises him immediately as her teacher, Mr Bowman.
His deep eloquent voice welcomes her, then informs her she’s late for her appointment. Something in his voice suggests there will be consequences for her tardiness, but what kind of shop would punish you for being late?
Follow me please Madam, he requests.
Yuuna complies, without ever even asking what her appointment is actually for.
He stops by the wall, pausing to regard the row of canes illuminated by the elegant downlighter, before plucking one from its holders. He swishes it experimentally, causing a whistling whoosh that makes Yuuna’s slit ache.
Satisfied, he continues walking with the rod he has chosen, which to Yuuna now seems increasingly likely to be destined for her own bare bottom. But rather than turn and run, she follows her tutor obediently, to whatever he has planned for her.
They stop in front of a door, which he opens, before ushering her inside.
Somehow Yuuna steps into Mr Bowman’s familiar classroom, his meticulous writing from today’s lesson still legible on the blackboard. To her considerable relief, the room is empty.
He walks towards the bulky wooden desk on the low raised stage at the front of the class, laying the cane reverently on the tabletop. Come here please, he says. Yuuna shuffled forward as instructed.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the special feature of this fine old Edwardian school desk?
These brass hoops at the front aren’t what you think. They’re not handles, there are no drawers on the side that faces the classroom.
Let me introduce you to the tethering rails.
Undo your tie please, then take it off and give it to me.
Yuuna does as she is told, and handing her teacher her thin black school tie, which he passes through one of the brass hoops, forming a knot to fix it tight, so its free end dangles down towards the floor.
Stand in front of the hoop please.
Pull down your panties.
Yuuna feels her legs tremble at his instruction. This is how naughty girls get spanked, isn’t it, their bottoms bared.
She complies without complaint, reaching underneath her skirt to locate the elastic of her underwear, then pulling it down towards her knees.
Legs wide apart, he tells her, and then – to Yuuna’s genuine surprise, he reaches between her thighs to fetch the end of the dangling tie, pulling it back through her legs so it rests on the panties stretched between her knees.
His command makes Yuuna’s clit throb.
She does as instructed, stretching over the desk, nervously feeling the cool breeze beneath her skirt as it edges up her thighs, teasing her tingling slit.
Any moment now, she thinks, he’ll lift my skirt and lay the cane against my poor bare bottom.
Except, he doesn’t. He surprises her by grasping the free end of the tie and tugging up upwards, so she suddenly feels it rubbing against her slit. He feeds the end of the tie underneath the waistband of her skirt, tugging it tight until she could feel it intruding between her lips.
Then, a further surprise, as he pulls her panties up, before tying the loose end of her school tie into the waist of her panties. And in a final flourish, he flips up Yuuna’s skirt, and tugs up the edges of her panties between her buttocks so her cheeks are exposed.
There, young lady, he announces with some satisfaction. Consider yourself tethered.
When this desk was made, he explains, it was customary to leave those about to be caned in this position, with their own school tie tight between their legs.
Yuuna was now excruciatingly aware how her own tie was intruding between her wet lips, and the growing heat as it rubbed against her bottom hole as she squirmed. Yet frustratingly, the tie was just at the wrong angle to touch her clitoris, no matter how much she tried to grind against it.
Place your hands behind you please, on either side of your hips, palms upwards.
When she does as she is told, he takes the cane off the desk and places it on her fingertips, adjusting it so Yuuna could feel the cool rattan rod against her own bared buttocks.
I’ll be back later to cane you, young lady. You’ll find it an exquisitely tormenting experience. The whacks you’ll receive will make you squirm against your tether. Rubbing on what will be, by then, a soaking wet and highly sensitised vulva.
And with that, he leaves her.
The door closes, and she is alone.
In her bedroom, Yuuna lay across the beam at the bottom of her bed. Aching to visit the Caning Emporium she had so vividly imagined.
Her school tie undone, one end tied to the beam, one end tied into the waist of her panties. Tightly tethered, just like all naughty girls should be.
She rocked her hips, grinding her tender slit against her tether.
Anticipating the moment her tutor would return.
Beautiful, hard, strict canings.
Beautiful, hard, strict canings on her bare bottom.
Until she came.