Ellie nudged the screen down to shut her laptop and pushed it away towards the end of the bed with the tip of her foot; then she lay down on her back and stared at the ceiling for just a moment, before twisting to reach her phone on the bedside table. She checked the screen without unlocking it, shrugging when she saw no new notifications. She put it back down and grasped the ipad instead, pushing herself higher on the bed and resting her back against a couple pillows. She flipped the cover open, unlocked the screen and then briefly considered what she could do.
Draw, perhaps? She didn’t really feel like it. Her eyes briefly flickered over the “Docs” app, but she quickly moved them away onto the next icon. She could read some more of that fanfiction she’d been captured by recently? Ellie thought about it for a few seconds, then decided that she’d spent most of the previous night and some of the morning devouring it, chapter after chapter. Her reading thirst was momentarily satisfied and, besides, if she kept up that crazy rhythm, she risked she risked finishing the story and finding herself without anything to read.
A little huff escaped her lips, and her eyes wandered around the room, lingering on the curtains-covered window. The light was bright outside. Perhaps she should consider a brief walk in the small garden later.
Spring was warming up the world and everyone was growing a bit tired of spending all their time in the house. She was already restless as it was, even when she didn’t feel trapped inside, and the nice weather was starting to make it even harder. It was one thing to keep busy working or studying or messing around when it was rainy, but now Ellie had read and seen enough news about wild animals poking out of their safe-zones and wandering in the streets. And the roads were kind of neat when they were empty.
The whole idea of going exploring had a nice ring to it; it felt tempting. She could be careful and stay safe and out of anyone’s way and keep the others safe while still strolling and looking for squirrels and foxes. She was positive Mishi would be happy to join her too. Mishi loved foxes. Maybe they would get to pet one.
She made a mental note to share her newborn plan with the other brat, but for now she merely tapped the icon of one of her games to start it.
A few seconds passed before Ellie caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. Taken aback, she found herself staring at a lovely-as-ever-looking Amelia, with her brows raised and her eyes locked on Ellie.
“Oh, hi, Amean-I mean, Mellie.” She greeted her cheerfully after a moment, sporting a smug innocent face. It might sound like a contradiction, but she kind of had a talent with puppy dog eyes and had been mastering other versions of the main “I’m so sorry” distraught face; one of them just happened to be the smug-innocent face, with her eyes looking so angelic and her little grin challenging anyone to prove otherwise.
Amelia was leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed. Her brown hair was tidy as usual, her eyes lively, and she was dressed properly and nicely, as if she weren’t going to spend the whole day in the house.
She was wearing a strange expression, though Ellie saw it change slightly as if Amelia had decided not to address whatever had passed through her mind. Instead, Amelia raised her brows in a friendly way, and Ellie looked at her curiously.
She was pretty sure she wasn’t in trouble – yet. She had done nothing to worry about, had she? Her room wasn’t the tidiest, but it wasn’t as messy as Mishi’s and apart from staying up longer than she should have, which she was sure Amelia knew nothing about, she’d been behaving. Oh, and apart from Mishi and her switching salt with sugar, but Ellie figured Amelia didn’t know about that either, yet: for a start, she hadn’t heard her screeching in disgust and, secondly, she was probably going to find that out around dinnertime. That wouldn’t be for a few hours.
“Whatcha doing?” Amelia asked with a grin, and that was what made Ellie actually suspicious.
“Uhm…just chilling and playing some. Why? Is everything ok?” Ellie looked intently, but Amelia kept smiling sweetly.
“Of course. Are you playing Animal Crossing?”
“I don’t play that weird game where you just need to earn money and pay for the house and fish and hit villagers on the head using a fishing rod.” Ellie rolled her eyes.
“Strange. One would think that’s exactly the kind of aggravating activity a brat would enjoy.”
“Yeah, that’s more Mishi’s style.” Ellie grinned slyly, thinking of what Mishi would have said had she heard her. Mishi would have probably swatted Ellie with a pillow.
“So…what are you doing?”
Ellie looked down at her ipad, but she just realized she didn’t feel like playing anymore. She shut it down along with the rest and put it on top of her laptop.
Amelia came inside, shaking her head, and took the laptop and other device in her arms, moving them to Ellie’s steady desk. Ellie considered protesting, but it wasn’t the first time Amelia had warned her about being mindful of her devices being too close to the edge of her bed, where she might have kicked them off accidentally.
She bit her tongue and instead let out another huff, rolling on her belly and checking her phone again.
“Feeling restless, are we?”
Ellie barely looked up from her phone. Amelia was standing by the bed with her arms crossed again. Something twisted inside Ellie’s belly, but she merely swung her lower legs, carelessly.
“It’s kind of hard not to when you run out of things to do.”
“And did you? Run out of things to do?”
“We-e-ell,” Ellie thought for a moment before resting her chin on her hand “…I ran out of *fun* things to do, maybe. But worry not, I can find some more!” She hurried to add before Amelia could give her a list of chores, things that would keep her busy, but that Ellie really didn’t feel like doing right now.
“How about you read a book?” Amelia sat down on the bed and rested a hand on Ellie’s upturned bottom, making the girl squirm. Ellie pouted a little, but hid her face in her arms and refused to let Amelia see it and gloat about her reaction. It all got even harder when Amelia’s hand started patting her jeans-clad cheeks.
Ellie wanted to yank Amelia’s hand away, but she found herself just squirming some more…and then she decided it was in her best interest to keep the conversation active.
“No, I already read – a lot. I’m on a break.”
“I see. Why don’t you write some, then?”
Before she could help herself, Ellie let out a groan, and she was sure she felt a harder pat than the others land – gently – on her bottom.
“It’s Mishi’s turn to advance our story,” she remarked. Her face lit up a bit. “Perhaps you should motivate her some, eh?” Mishi was going to kill her.
“Perhaps I will.” Amelia nodded, and Ellie rolled on her side, surprised and once again suspicious.
“Yes, after I’m through with you.”
“Well…” Ellie felt herself blushing, for some reason. She hated that she couldn’t resist all that squirming and blushing even when she knew she wasn’t in hot water.
“As I said, it’s Mishi’s turn to write. So I have no need for motivation!”
“Is that so?” This time, Amelia’s hand fell on the available portion of her backside in a light swat.
With a pout and a little groan, Ellie decided to secure her whole bottom by sitting on it on the bed, back against the pillow, legs up and arms around her knees. She rolled her eyes upon noticing the amusement on Amelia’s face. Sometimes Amelia could be so…infuriating.
“I already told you, it is so.”
“Ah, but I think you’re forgetting something.”
Ellie was ready to shoot back an answer – any answer – but, as she opened her mouth, a sneaky doubt crawled on the back of her mind. She sealed her lips again.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t you now? Should I remind you that I, too, read your blog, young lady?”
Ellie pressed her lips into a tight line. The sneaky suspicion was already less sneaky and much harder to push down. She searched her brain for an escape, a loophole, some smart way to move out of the corner before Amelia could play “checkmate” on her but one look at Amelia told her the woman already had a strategy. As usual, in that annoying, toppy way of hers, Amelia was just letting Ellie writhe her way to the same conclusion.
“It’s curious, but I have this very distinct memory of you admitting on your blog that you had skipped a deadline for your writing challenge, and promising you would write a punishment story to make up for it.”
Ellie didn’t want to give Amelia the satisfaction of a guilty reaction, so she toughened up and raised a brow.
“Curious indeed how your mind works, considering that was like a few months ago.” She let out through gritted teeth.
“Yes, I see your memory does work too. Yet I didn’t happen to read any new story on your blog addressing the matter. Should I think, if it’s not a problem with your memory, that it is a problem with your self-discipline?”
Ellie eyed the trap carefully, trying to step on the edge instead of diving in. She knew what would happen next. Amelia would suggest a way to help with said “self-discipline”, by providing an external source of incorruptible drive.
“But you see…I never mentioned any deadline for my skipping a deadline story.” Ellie threaded carefully, searching Amelia’s impassible face for a hint that she better get out of arm’s reach. “Which means I can really wait until I feel inspired.”
Much to Ellie’s dismay, Amelia’s grin widened.
“Do you feel inspired right now? Because I’m pretty sure I could provide some – ah – inspiration. Some real life creative idea that you could start putting on paper.”
“No, I’m alright!” Ellie said quickly, sliding off her bed and walking sideways around Amelia until she reached the chair at her desk “In fact, I think I might try jotting something down right this moment.” She pulled out the chair and raised her laptop’s screen, showing Amelia her sudden, sincere interest in writing some.
Amelia beamed proudly and slowly got up, at which point Ellie hurried to sit down at her desk. She fumbled with her laptop and hurried to get a new blank Doc open.
Ellie’s skin tingled when she felt Amelia suddenly very close to her, leaning over Ellie’s shoulder to gently kiss her cheek. Ellie’s skin was blazing and she was positive she was blushing profusely, but not as much as when Amelia’s lips stopped close to her ear.
“You better sit there until you’ve written at least half of that story, or I might consider making you sit on your bare bottom, just to help you stay focused.”
Ellie was positive her neurons were close to self-combustion.
“Yes ma’am, no ma’am! I’ll be fine. I’ll start writing now.”
“Good.” Amelia squeezed Ellie’s shoulder, then Ellie heard her step back and move towards the door. In a mad impulse, she turned around and looked at Amelia with a frown.
“Where are you going?”
“To motivate the other brat to get some writing done.” Amelia answered simply, her smile back in place now that everything had been taken care of with Ellie “I’m pretty sure Mishi will be happy to know her little friend worries so much about her needing a little push to get going.”
As Amelia finally left the room, Ellie bit her lip and raised her eyes to the ceiling. Mishi was going to kill her. Then she let out her breath in a relieved huff. That had been close. Ellie shifted uncomfortably on the chair remembering Amelia’s suggestion: she had no doubt the woman would swat her a few times and have her sit at her desk on her bare, if she felt it was necessary, and Ellie wasn’t looking forward to spending hours squirming and fidgeting on the chair, her skin resting on the annoyingly hard, smooth wood.
Still, it was such a nice day and the light filtered through the curtains, dancing on her desk and drawing some funny shapes on her things scattered all over the surface.
Another dramatic sigh. This was quite a predicament. Before Amelia’s visit, Ellie had started planning for a nice afternoon outside with Mishi. She’d wanted to find a fox, or some other little creature that would be hard to meet in normal conditions. This was probably the only pro with the whole quarantine ordeal: animals were starting to feel bolder and wander around more often, sure that humans wouldn’t be disturbing them nearly as much as when they used to own every inch of the town.
Ellie shook her head. Perhaps, if she could write something quickly, then she would still have time to go out and about on some adventure.
Yet, about half an hour later, she was still there, feeling more miffed than ever, her blank doc filled with no more than two lines. Peeking over her shoulder and towards the door, Ellie considered zooming in the doc to make it seem like she’d been writing more than that. Or she could make the digits larger, like at about 16 points. But, even if she fixed the line spacing to look like the one of a fifth grade paper, she still thought there would be no way Amelia would be fooled.
Frustrated, Ellie got up slowly, eyeing the door, ready to plop back into the chair at the first sign of movement. No Amelia in sight. She stood all the way and decided to take a walk around the room, rubbing her temples. She stopped briefly by the window, looking outside longingly.
And then she knew what to do.
Biting her lower lip, Ellie eyed the door again before going back to her desk and browsing through her old files. She opened one that she’d written in italian, 6 pages long. Amelia had told her to write, but she hadn’t specified which language she was supposed to write in. And, with the woman not knowing the Italian language, Ellie could just tell her she’d started the draft in Italian so she could translate it later. There was no way the woman would know it was not a story, but an old paper about eating proper meals. Ellie copied and pasted the text and trimmed it to four pages just to make it all more realistic.
Then, satisfied with her work and feeling a rush of adrenaline, she put on her shoes and slowly made her way to Mishi’s room, careful not to make any noise.
She found her friend sitting at her desk, slouching, her right hand moving on the touchscreen of her phone rather than on her laptop’s keyboard.
“I see someone else is having trouble coming up with something,” Ellie said softly, making Mishi jump more than she had expected. Ellie stifled a laugh, but she sombered upon spotting Mishi’s glare.
“Aw.” Ellie let herself fall sitting on Mishi’s bed, a slight pout on her face. “Come on, you can’t blame me. You know how easy it is to misstep with Amelia. One supposedly harmless word and her whole mean soul can snap at attention and come up with awfully evil ideas.”
“Still.” Mishi replied coolly. “You’re the reason I’m stuck here and I got swa-” Mishi’s voice trailed off, but Ellie felt a pang of guilt. Mishi had been swatted? Amelia hadn’t reached that stage with her, and Ellie was usually the one to test Amelia’s patience until she snapped.
“I’m sorry. I had no idea she would swat you. It’s just unfair for her to swat you just because you don’t feel too much like writing…”
“Who said that was why she swat-well, why she did it? She just seems to think my room is too much of a mess. Which is totally dumb, considering it is my room and it is perfectly fine by my standards.”
Ellie nodded in sympathy, trying her best to refrain from saying that Amelia did have a point: Mishi was so messy and her plushies were all over the place, along with clothes and all sorts of nerdy contraptions.
“She’ll get over it.” She said instead, dangling her legs, before warily adding “…so…I was thinking…”
“What? You don’t even know what I was about to say!”
Mishi rolled on her chair and looked at Ellie with her eyebrows up. Ellie was unsure whether to smile or grimace at how similar Mishi and Amelia could look when they got that stance.
“You’re just going to get me into more trouble.”
“Like you’re usually so allergic to trouble.”
Ellie was glad Mishi found nothing to retort to that.
“Well, if you want to stay here trading barbs all afternoon, when it’s such a nice day outside, be my guest.” Ellie shrugged, getting up nonchalantly.
“But…Amelia will see us outside and she will want to check on our work.”
“Not if we stay out of sight.” Ellie explained matter-of-factly.
“Sorry to break it to you, but the garden is not so big that Amelia will not be able to spot us just by looking out from any of the windows.”
Ellie smirked at Mishi’s sass and waited for the answer to dawn on her friend. Mishi was smart – smarter than Ellie would ever be – and it took her a whole of 10 seconds to put the pieces together.
“How am I crazy?”
“We’re not supposed to leave the property. There is a curfew going on and you know it.”
“Mishi, this house is literally surrounded by open fields and a bit of woods and we don’t have to go towards the neighbors, we can stay in the area where nobody will be about. We will wear all sorts of protections and, if we spot anyone, we’ll stay way out of reach and come back home as soon and safely as we can.”
Ellie paused to look at Mishi with pleading puppy-dog eyes. Her friend was usually impervious to those, but Ellie knew Mishi would have it hard to refuse such an appealing offer, even with a law in place that said they better stay home.
It was true that they should remain isolated, Ellie acknowledged that, and she would never risk it if she had the slightest doubt that she could meet and infect someone, or be infected. But, she did mean to stay on the wild side of the surroundings and she had no intention of risking anything more.
“I’ve seen a video with a bunch of fox puppies going about.” She added casually, but she knew that the bit of information had done it, right then and there. Mishi’s doubtful face had turned longing and her hand had subconsciously moved to her laptop. Ellie victoriously watched as Mishi shut it down.
“Go check where she is while I get dressed,” Mishi directed, still with a note of displeasure towards Ellie and her previous act of treason. “And if she catches us, I’m going to say it was your idea.”
It wasn’t true, they both knew it, but Ellie gave Mishi a hug and then snuck out to the top of the stairs, to make sure Amelia was keeping busy in some other corner of the house.
Ellie and Mishi had snuck outside from the backdoor, shutting it softly behind them. They both wore masks and gloves, which made it very uncomfortable for them to chill into the spring sun, but still it felt good after being stuck inside for so long.
As promised, they stayed onto the empty path, careful not to meet anyone. They enjoyed the touch of the sun and the light breeze, chuckled a lot as they picked some flowers and ran in the fields, squatted down to look at what presumably was an animal lair just to see if any fox would come out. Ellie tried to lure them out by offering a snack she’d stuffed in her pocket, but with no luck. About half an hour later, both girls decided they were tired of waiting and that it wasn’t worth it anyway: it was probably a badger’s lair and no foxes would poke their head out. Mishi was a little sad about it, but Ellie promised that, when the quarantine was over, she would take her out and about for a fox safari and refuse to go back home until they had found some.
Speaking of which, both girls agreed they should probably head back when Mishi checked her watch and realized they had been out for over an hour and a half and it was getting close to dinner time.
They looked at each other, sharing an unspoken question over their masks. It was unlikely that Amelia hadn’t checked on any of them at all during that time. And, the girls had left both phones in sight on Mishi’s desk, along with a post-it that said they’d be back soon and ended with a smiley face.
“Perhaps we should stay out a little longer.” Ellie said on their way back. Her stomach churned. She was starting to feel a little hungry, but that was not the reason for her worries at all.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Of course. That was a well-known script. Every time they got in trouble, Ellie was usually the one to stall or try to run away or in any way delay the moment Amelia would deal with her. It wasn’t to say Mishi couldn’t try to sneak out of a punishment as well, she just usually did that in a less suicidal and slightly more reasonable way.
However, when they made it to the front gate, both Ellie and Mishi swallowed hard, knowing there would be no reasonable way out of this one. Amelia was standing at the door, mask and gloves on, arms crossed tightly. They could only see her stare – her deadly, murderous look – but it wasn’t hard to imagine the way her lips would be bent in displeasure under the soft texture of the mask.
They exchanged a horrified look, and Ellie whimpered.
Shebcouldn’t remember the last time she’d seen Amelia so furious.
At a snail’s pace, Mishi and Ellie made it to the front door, each desperately trying to avoid those piercing eyes.
Ellie stood just a few steps behind Mishi.
“Shoes off. Clothes off and on the floor. Gloves off in the correct way and then masks. You will go inside without a word and march into your showers and once you both have washed cleaner than you ever have been, I will deal with you.” Amelia instructed, her voice cold and even.
“But we-” Ellie started, but Amelia cut her off.
“You better save anything you want to say for later. If I hear one word out of any of you that isn’t ‘yes ma’am’, you’re going to make your situation even worse. And you’re already in much more trouble than you could ever imagine.”
After that, neither of them dared to say anything. They just obeyed and gracefully took their clothes off until they were in their undershirt and knickers, clothes on the floor. Mishi went inside first and, although she tried to sneak in with her back to the doorframe, Amelia caught her arm and yanked her around delivering three mighty swats to her exposed behind. Mishi squeaked, but didn’t dare protest. Instead, she hurried upstairs and to her shower.
Ellie knew there was no way her welcome would be different. She dropped the last bit of clothes on the floor, pulled out her gloves and mask and whispered an unconvinced “we didn’t meet anyone”, which almost died in her throat upon seeing Amelia’s hard look. As she entered, she braced herself for the three swats, not even bothering to try and sneak around, but Amelia captured her under her arm and landed six stinging zappers that made her skin warm and tingly right away.
Got it! I’ll shut up! Ellie thought, hurrying up the stairs herself and getting straight into the shower, where she washed carefully with plenty of soap and warm water.
Once dry, Ellie pondered whether she should go downstairs and meet her fate or wait for that fate – a fate which had a name and a face – to come for her. The first option seemed like the responsible one, but, at the same time, perhaps if she waited there she could avoid being spanked in front of Mishi. Or spare Mishi the embarrassment of being spanked in front of her.
Not that they hadn’t been there countless times before, but there was something about the fierceness Amelia had greeted them with that suggested she was way more than unhappy with them at the moment.
She wished she could text Mishi to know what she was going to do, but her phone was still in Mishi’s room, so she ended up pacing between the door and the window, waiting for an epiphany.
The epiphany came not much later in the form of Amelia and her bag of instruments.
Ellie’s eyes widened at the sight and that was when she knew things were really bad: Amelia couldn’t pick just one or even two implements for them. They were dead.
Ellie gulped and retreated until she was by the desk, in front of the window.
“Come here, Mishi!” Amelia summoned, her voice loud enough that it would be impossible for Mishi to pretend she hadn’t heard. Still, Mishi tried to play that card, to which Amelia added a thundering “NOW.”
Ellie almost smiled when Mishi’s head poked in the room, reluctantly followed by the rest of her. Mishi gulped just like Ellie had when she noticed the bag Amelia had brought with her. Shrinking under Amelia’s stare, Mishi outflanked her until she reached Ellie, handing her her phone.
Ellie thanked her with a nod and rested it on the desk.
For a moment, the room went still. Amelia didn’t have any mask or gloves on now, just a dreadful expression and arms crossed over her chest as her eyes went from one of the girls to the other, and Ellie found she couldn’t do much other than fidget and regret her bright idea about going out exploring.
“Let me get this straight,” Amelia started, and the girls did everything in their power not to look her in the eye. “You were getting bored and restless. In spite of our little chats this afternoon, neither of you remained where she was supposed to. And since you both were feeling naughty -” Ellie squirmed at that word, blushing wildly, and she heard a distinct groan coming from Mishi, “-you not only decided to disobey my orders deliberately…but that you would break the law as well. Just like this.” She snapped her fingers, and both girls winced at the sound. “On top of that, you made the brilliant choice of leaving your phones behind, so I would have no idea where you were or how to find you, nor could you use it to call me if something bad happened.”
“We hadn’t planned to be away for long…” Ellie muttered, lowering her eyes.
“Yes, and we stayed where we would meet no one. I swear, there was no contact with other people, we just played a bit in the field.” Mishi followed up, biting her bottom lip.
“And say, what would you have done if the police had found you before you could make it back? What would be your excuse for being out and about playing?”
Neither of the girls tried to answer this time. Ellie hadn’t really thought about it. She supposed, if anything like that had happened, then they might have just tried to do a run for home. Of course, that might have just led cops to Amelia’s door, which sounded even less nice an option than them coming back to find her standing on the threshold.
“We were just around the corner…we would’ve never pushed it too far.” Mishi added in such a low voice, Ellie felt heartbroken.
“Honestly, girls, I am disappointed. Not to mention incredulous that you would even think about doing something like that. You very well know that this is not a joke. I understand you were careful not to risk anything for yourselves and others, but still, if everyone thought and behaved the way you did, no one at all would be safe anywhere. Besides, as careful as you could be, you can never reduce the risks to zero percent.”
Ellie wanted the floor to swallow her. She was staring at it intently, clutching her right arm with her left hand. She thought she heard a quiet sniffle coming from Mishi, and she didn’t have to struggle to relate. It wasn’t often that Amelia said she was disappointed in them.
“We’re sorry.” Ellie said, raising her eyes and biting the inside of her cheek nervously.
“Yes, we really are.” Mishi chimed in.
Amelia’s expression seemed to soften just the tiniest bit.
“I plan on making sure you will be even sorrier, and for a good while.”
That Ellie could deal with. In fact, she kind of found herself eager to get on with it, and gain Amelia’s forgiveness. She hated the idea Amelia could be disappointed in any of them.
Amelia started rummaging through her bag and both girls looked on warily, curious and scared about which would be their death. She pulled out a few things and lay them at the end of the bed in who-knew-which order. The girls exchanged a quick look, both swallowing hard upon noticing the thin cane. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but Ellie felt herself tighten her muscles. It was going to be a sore evening.
“Now,” Amelia started again, straightening up and looking from one girl to the other, then around the room. “Ellie, I want you to go to that corner over there and stick your nose to the wall. Pants and panties down.”
Ellie groaned, rolled her eyes and headed to the blasted corner, Amelia watching her like a hawk. She didn’t immediately lower her clothes, however, but no one could be surprised. Was there ever a time Ellie could obey an order the first time she was asked?
“Bare bottom.” Amelia spelled again, and Ellie squirmed awkwardly.
“Bare. Bottom.” Ellie knew that tone and it was dangerous. She fumbled with the hem of her pants, but she still couldn’t make herself oblige.
Why, why, why must I be so…
“Ellie, I’m starting the timer. The longer it takes you to get your pants and panties down, the longer it’ll take me to pause it. And whatever time we spend here now will be added to the punishment you will receive once we’re done dealing with you two sneaking out and breaking the law.”
Ellie wasn’t the best at math, but she knew how to put two and two together. She was more than aware that they were in over their head about the sneaking out and now her heart was sinking because she’d just heard a second punishment awaited her. Did she really want to test it further? Or add more painful minutes over Amelia’s lap after what was coming?”
With a whimper of protest, she finally pushed her pants and panties down, wondering what that second punishment might be for. Insubordination? Talking where not allowed to before she stepped into the house earlier? Or maybe…for coming up with the idea in the first place? Or…could it be the salt and sugar prank? Her mind buzzed with thoughts, but they all went quiet as she heard the soft noise of Amelia taking a seat on her bed.
“Come here, Mishi.”
Ellie heard Mishi whimper, but she must’ve shuffled forward, because the next thing she heard was Amelia demanding that Mishi pull her own clothes down and lie over her lap.
Ellie knew Mishi hated having to do that, and she waited as her friend stalled and Amelia tried the same timer trick. That was one evil idea the top had come up with, and Ellie could see just how versatile it could be. They’d have a hard time fighting it without it coming back to bite their butts.
“Whyyy,” Mishi was whining, surely still struggling to do as requested.
“You’re up to two minutes, young lady, and I’ll remind you that these will be felt on an already very sore bottom.”
That last threat must’ve been convincing enough, for Ellie heard Mishi’s groan and then Amelia praised her friend for finally doing as she’d been told.
“Remind us why we’re here.”
Another thing Mishi hated. Ellie almost beat her forehead against the corner, hating how well Amelia could read them and use their weaknesses against them.
“I’m waiting, Mishi. I’m about to start the timer again.”
“Because we snuck off!” Mishi relented, her voice pained even though Ellie knew no swats had fallen yet.
“You did. Care to expand the concept?”
This time there was no doubt as the clear noise of flash slapping against flesh made both girls jump, and Mishi yelped. Mostly in surprise, Ellie assumed.
“In that case, let me rephrase. I want you to tell me exactly what happened this afternoon. And if I’m not satisfied with your story, your warm up will start directly with the wooden hairbrush.”
Another groan came and a little pause followed, but before Amelia could threaten to start the timer again, Mishi opened her mouth.
“Well, you came into my room while I was playing.”
Amelia’s hand fell hard on Mishi’s cheek, Ellie could tell from the noise and from how broken Mishi’s voice sounded as she tried to explain in between swats.
“What happened then?”
“You weren’t very happy with the state of my room, which I don’t really agree with because – I mean – it’s my room and – OW!!!”
A barrage of what sounded like fast, hard swats rewarded Mishi’s position on the subject.
“Fine, fine! I’ll tidy up and clean some! I promise!”
“You already promised this afternoon. Did you work on it at all?”
The embarrassed silence on Mishi’s side was such a clear answer that Ellie barely grimaced when another flurry of swats followed.
“So, moving on. What next?”
“Next…you gave me a speech about getting to work on my writing.” Mishi whimpered.
“Which I’m guessing had the same results as you promising you’d tidy up your room.”
“I did get started!” Mishi objected, swats following her every other word in a steady rhythm.
“So I must assume that I’ll be able to check on your progress and actually read something after we’re done here?”
“Well…there isn’t that much written, but there is something.” Mishi insisted. Ellie could hear the hint of a pout in her friend’s voice and she smiled, until she heard yet another bunch of swats rain on Mishi’s bottom.
“Go on. What happened next?”
“Next…” Mishi’s voice trailed off, and Ellie understood why. She squirmed, wishing she could disappear into the corner.
Amelia must be close to losing her patience, as she decided to address Mishi’s hesitation with slower but harder swats, possibly on the poor girl’s sit-spots. Ellie thought it was a good move: that way Mishi wouldn’t have had enough clear a mind to come up with a lie.
“Next Ellie came into my room.” Mishi finally blurted out. There was a quiet pause.
“I see” was all Amelia said, and Ellie squeezed her eyes shut.
“Yes, but she just wanted to check on me…guess she felt guilty for getting me in trouble in the first place.”
Ellie admired the effort. Mishi had omitted the real reason for her visit but still hadn’t lied. Someday, she wanted to be able to think just as quickly while her backside was being mercilessly peppered by Amelia’s implacable palm.
“Then we just realized that we didn’t feel like writing anymore…and we thought it might be nice to go out for a bit, get some fresh air…”
Ellie noticed the noise had changed, so Amelia was probably back to swatting between Mishi’s cheeks.
“But – ow – we didn’t want to be in the garden because you would most likely see us there and – OW! – not so hard! I’m just trying to be honest-ouch!”
“So you just decided that going out of the property while leaving your phones behind would be a good idea.”
There was a brief silence, interrupted only by the sound of Amelia’s relentless hand lighting up Mishi’s rear end.
“Pretty much, yeah.”
No more talking followed, as Amelia sped up the tempo and soon all they could hear was slaps and Mishi’s pitiful ows and ouchies. It lasted longer than the usual, way longer than any warm-up. Up into a full-blown hard spanking.
Then everything went still.
Ellie felt a new pang of anxiety and heard a sniffle as Mishi was being pulled up and sent to a different corner, with her underwear still down.
“Ellie.” Amelia called in a low, firm, cold voice.
Ellie looked down at her pants wrapped around her ankles and considered how to move. She pulled them up and sadly made her way to Amelia’s side.
She hadn’t meant to, but as she passed she inadvertently peeked at Mishi and swallowed hard upon seeing how bright red her bottom was.
Amelia didn’t even try to ask Ellie, she yanked her pants and panties down and dragged her down over her knees, adjusting her position so that Ellie would be uncomfortable while still certain she couldn’t fall. Knowing far too well Ellie’s tendency for kicking, Amelia rested one of her legs over Ellie’s beforehand. Then she hastily started swatting, sending Ellie into a chorus of “hey” and “ow” and “damn” right away.
Ellie could not believe that after the one hell of a spanking Mishi had received, Amelia still had such energy in her arm, yet her smarting behind proved otherwise. Amelia lost no time peppering every single inch of it with hard, stingy swats, until Ellie could not help but try to squirm away – something that hardly worked.
After a set of very hard blows right on the middle of her backside, which sent what Ellie considered a deafening echo around the room, Amelia finally paused for a moment, resting her hand on the throbbing behind without rubbing any of the sting away.
“Tell me why we’re here.” She demanded, her hand pressing down on the sensitive skin.
Ellie groaned, but she wasn’t about to fall into the same timer trap twice in a row.
“We disobeyed you.”
“That’s a good start. Go on.” Amelia’s hand started falling again on alternating cheeks, hard.
“We deliberately ignored what you told us to do, snuck out of the house and broke the law?”
Amelia’s hand spoke the woman’s approval for the answer, up until when she prodded Ellie again.
“We disappointed you.” Ellie whispered in a hushed voice, her shoulders dropping.
Somehow, that convinced Amelia to start a new fire on Ellie’s backside, and the woman began to swat faster and harder than ever, involving Ellie’s poor sit-spots as well, until the girl was whimpering and promising she would be good forever – something that would’ve sounded hilarious, if she hadn’t been in so much trouble.
“You did not disappoint me. Your poor choices and behavior did.” Ellie was about to argue that the two things sounded the same to her, but Amelia’s previous assault to her bottom made her think twice. Besides, for some reason Amelia’s version of the facts made her feel better. At least until Amelia spoke again.
“So what would you do differently?”
Ellie, by default, gave a whiny moan.
“You realize that this is not the best position for thinking, right?” She let out of her mouth, just to wish she hadn’t a few seconds later, when Amelia focused the next flurry on her sit-spots and made sure she would feel heat radiating from her bottom every time she tried to sit down for the next few hours.
“I wouldn’t go disrupt Mishi!” Ellie admitted, in a pleading tone that made Amelia’s spanks slow down but not even remotely stop. “We wouldn’t try to sneak out and make ourselves unreachable over the phone.” She added.
Even though Amelia’s swats were now falling steadily, after the good blisterings she’d gotten so far even the lightest pat would feel like torture, and Amelia wasn’t really going easy on her. She hissed, but forced herself to continue. “If we really wanted to go outside for some fresh air, we would ask you and then stay in the garden.” She finally concluded, and then waited as Amelia slowly brought her spanking to a pause.
“Good girl. One last thing.” Ellie froze, “Did you work at all on your story, like I told you to do?”
Ellie swallowed hard, thinking about her trick. Even as the swats kept falling on her upturned backside, she could still consider her options: she could lie and go all in with her plan, or she could give in and tell Amelia the truth.
“I worked on it some.” Ellie answered carefully. So far so good, that wasn’t really a lie.
“How much is some?”
Ellie raised her eyes towards Mishi, who was shaking her head at Ellie from over her shoulder, well aware of what Ellie’s trick had been. She held in her breath for a moment, desperate. If she told Amelia she’d only written a couple lines of her story, she would be in trouble. But if she told her she’d written some more in italian first, maybe she would have a chance to actually write something in English before Amelia came to check on it.
“I…kind of wrote some notes in Italian so I could then start in English without having to think it all up.” She let out in a low tone.
Amelia’s hand paused on her very hot, very stinging backside. For a moment, not a leaf moved. Ellie thought she heard Mishi gasp, but, a moment later, Amelia was again getting her whole attention.
“You better remember that lying is a serious offense. I would hate to have to address that too once we are done with this.”
Ellie shivered, but Amelia was pulling her up and off her lap, and Ellie avoided looking directly at her, so she hoped it had gone unnoticed.
“Both of you bend over the bed so we can get this first spanking over with.”
Ellie and Mishi groaned at once at the word “first”. Even though they had only gotten a hand-spanking so far, Ellie thought it had been one of the hardest they had ever received from Amelia’s hand. In fact, Ellie wondered if Amelia’s palm had gone numb.
But, when Mishi was by her side and they both had to bend over the bed, that thought kind of slipped her mind, replaced by more urgent worries.
Amelia was moving around them to go gather an implement, undoubtedly, and Mishi used that moment to whisper something to Ellie
“You’re crazy. Just tell her the truth before she finds out!”
“She’s going to kill me.” Ellie shot back in the faintest tone.
“She’ll do that twice as much if you don’t…”
“Would you like to share with me whatever important discussion you are having right now?”
Both girls jumped and Ellie shook her head at Mishi, giving her a pointed look.
“No, ma’am. Sorry.” Mishi said, blushing but eyeing Ellie with a “your death” kind of stare.
“Good. Then, let’s move on. Since I want this lesson to stick, you both are going to get ten strokes of the cane. You each will be counting the last five.”
Ellie let out a sigh, which was taken by Amelia as a sign that the girl was eager to get it over with first.
Amelia landed a brisk smack of the cane on Ellie’s right cheek, then one on the left, making the girl whimper.
Next came two smacks across Mishi’s cheeks, which the other girl took stoically.
Then it was back to Ellie for two more, across her bottom, and two more fell on Mishi’s cheeks, one on each. This time the girl did make a little noise of protest.
Ellie braced herself for the next one and, as she suspected, she felt a hard swat of the cane land on her sit-spots. She hissed and almost jumped up. It didn’t go much differently for the poor Mishi, whose face was scrunched up in a grimace.
“Good girls, both of you. We’re almost done. Now I want you to push your bottom up a little and count as I go. Am I clear?”
“Yes…” Mishi pouted.
“Yeah.” Ellie added shortly after.
“Yes what?” Amelia prompted, and Ellie could picture her raising a brow.
“Yes ma’am.” Both grumbled, though it was probably better than nothing.
The first of the hardest swats fell in the middle of Mishi’s bottom, and the girl let out a “Ow!” before she could blurt out the number 1, followed by a quiet “ma’am”. She also got the second swat, which landed lower on the tender skin.
The sixth smack on Ellie’s bottom came right after, hard enough for her to want to kick away the sting.
“One.” She growled.
“Say it all together.”
“Whatever…one…ma’am.” Ellie gave a challenging stare to her blankets, pouting. She hated when she had to count, but what she hated even more was…
“Bottom. Up.” Ellie rolled her eyes, wishing she could hide her face into her hands. She pushed her bottom up a little and counted the second swat as politely as she could with her sudden urge to grind out a swear word instead.
The last three fell without mercy on Mishi’s backside, leaving just the time for her to count in between, and then on Ellie’s, at the end of which she was torn on whether to let go and sob in Amelia’s arms or stubbornly sulk forever.
Amelia told them both to get up and enveloped them into a tight hug.
“I’m really sorry.” Mishi admitted, hiding into Amelia. Ellie smiled a bit, noticing how Mishi was always a bit more inclined to let go of pride and be cuddly and apologize after a good spanking, instead of throwing sass at Amelia.
Ellie, on her side, did not say anything at all, just contented herself with sniffling Amelia’s scent.
“Alright, you two little brats. I promised you we would not be done yet.”
“What? But we just got spanked!” Ellie protested, and Mishi bit her lip, nodding along.
“That was for sneaking out and breaking the law. And if you say one more word, I might think I went too light on you both.” Amelia answered firmly, anticipating Ellie’s next sentence.
“Now it’s time to work on your insubordination, and I will want to see your stories and check out your progress. Mishi, as you were the first with the warm-up, I want to see yours first. Go to your room and wait for me. Might as well take this with you.” Amelia handed Mishi a wooden ruler, which Mishi eyed and handled as if it was some very nasty and stinky piece of slime.
“You may sit at your desk, but you will keep your pants and panties down or out of the way.” Amelia instructed Mishi further, and Ellie feared she knew what was coming next.
As soon as Mishi had left the room, Amelia moved Ellie’s chair and motioned for her to sit down. Ellie shifted under Amelia’s firm stare that seemed to still be reading through her. She looked down at her clothes, but knew it was no use. With a little sigh, she went to sit at her desk, not bothering to hold back a grimace when her heated skin touched the hard chair.
“I’m going to burn this chair someday.” She muttered, and Amelia’s lips twitched in what Ellie was sure ached to be a smile.
“Work on your story some more. I’ll be back to look at it as soon as I’m done with Mishi.” Amelia warned, giving the top of Ellie’s head a tap.
Once alone in her room, Ellie sighed. For a moment she crossed her arms over her desk and hid her face into them.
What had she been thinking, lying to Amelia while being over her knee in an already very precarious situation?
Forcing herself not to give up just yet, she retrieved the file where she’d just pasted the first two lines of her story, followed by lots of useless research quotes in Italian.
She pouted and tried to add more to those first lines, though her head felt light and her stomach weighed with guilt and she winced as the muffled but clear sound of swats came again from the other room, where Mishi was already facing her doom.
Ellie hid her face in her hands. Should she hope that Mishi had been so naughty her spanking would drag on forever? She felt awful for even considering that.
Even with the embodiment of motivation coming loudly from her friend’s room, Ellie only managed to add three new sentences to her story.
Mishi had been swatted for a few minutes, possibly short of ten, which Ellie supposed included those the girl had gained with the blasted timer. Even with those, though, Mishi’s second spanking hadn’t been too long, compared to their first. Although Ellie could bet it had been felt a lot more on a bottom as sore as Mishi’s.
When the swats stopped, Ellie paused her writing as well. There was no point continuing to try and write anything that made sense, especially since the guilt in her chest was eating up a lot of attention. After another ten to fifteen minutes, which Ellie figured Mishi had spent getting cuddled on Amelia’s lap, enjoying the aftercare, the woman made her way back to Ellie’s room.
Ellie envied Mishi for having it behind her. She knew she was about to get it good herself, but she couldn’t muster taking her face from the comfy nest of arms she’d rebuilt on her desk. She didn’t even move when she felt Amelia’s gentle hand on her shoulder.
“Are you okay, little one?”
Ellie shrugged it off, trying to downplay anything she felt. It was her fault she had those stupid feelings anyway.
“Ellie,” Amelia said firmly, “look at me.”
Ellie sighed and forced herself to look up and into Amelia’s eyes. She even held her look, hoping Amelia would be able to read all her emotions in that one shared stare. Judging from how long Amelia kept the eye-contact, Ellie supposed she might’ve read a whole encyclopedia.
Then Amelia’s eyebrows twitched.
“Let’s see what you’ve done.”
Ellie sighed and blatantly pushed her computer towards the woman, initially watching as she read. When she noticed Amelia’s eyes narrow, Ellie looked away.
“What is all this stuff down here?”
Ellie bit her lip, unable to find a logical answer. She didn’t really want to keep lying, nor did her survival instincts want her to.
“Ellie…how much of this have you written just now?” Amelia asked then, trying another tactic.
Ellie kept looking at the mug containing her colored pens, as if she was entirely absorbed in their contemplation.
“Pretty much everything beyond the first two lines.” She confessed at last.
Amelia didn’t immediately talk. She kept staring at the screen.
“You know…you may think I am not an Italian expert, but I’ve been friends with an Italian since long before you came around. I am not as clueless as you make me to be.”
Amelia’s eyes were back on Ellie now, and the woman tilted Ellie’s chin so she had to look back at her. Amelia lifted a brow.
“You lied to my face.”
Ellie swallowed, trying to avert her eyes, though with Amelia holding a finger under her chin that didn’t really work.
“Technically, it was the carpet. I was staring at it from over your lap.”
Amelia’s eyes narrowed again.
“Get up.” She ordered at once, standing straight, and Ellie felt immediately bad for the lack of physical contact. She obeyed, though, surprisingly without a single word of protest.
“While you’re at it, fetch the wooden hairbrush in my bag.”
Ellie closed her eyes for a second, but she dragged her feet over to the bed, retrieved the damn implement and looked back at Amelia, who had taken Ellie’s place on the chair. Amelia crooked a finger at her and Ellie advanced, feeling her cheeks blush and her stomach flutter even though she didn’t have the will nor the energy to fight her punishment.
She found herself draped across Amelia’s knee again, painfully aware of how little she’d missed being there upside down.
“You know, I think I’ll order a new carpet on Amazon,” she muttered, trying to break the tension. “This is getting quite boring.”
Amelia answered by cracking down the brush on Ellie’s sit-spots, hard. Ellie hoped Amelia would not start asking questions again, though she didn’t hold that much hope.
For a while, the only thing that talked was the brush, dancing against the scorched flesh of Ellie’s bottom and reigniting the fire.
Ellie started squirming much sooner, this time, and her legs weren’t trapped under Amelia’s, so she also kicked a couple of times.
“You, young lady-” Amelia hesitated and Ellie closed one eye, “are such a brat!”
Two painful swats landed on her right cheek.
If she hadn’t been in such a predicament, Ellie would have laughed. Had she left Amelia at a loss for words for her lecture?
“The next time I give you an order…” Amelia started again, focusing on the other cheek. “I will expect you to actually try to obey me and to actually put the slightest effort into doing what you’re told. At least as much effort and creativity as you can put into finding loopholes or cheeky solutions or new absurd ways to get yourself into a heap of trouble! Do you understand me?”
Ellie kicked uncomfortably as Amelia’s brush landed on her backside in earnest. Ellie hated the blasted evil thing, she decided.
“And you will never,” Amelia aimed for Ellie’s sit-spots, “ever,” Ellie let out an “ow” or a whimper with every swat now, “EVER lie to me like that again!”
Three especially powerful blows landed on the middle of her bottom, making Ellie buck up.
“Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes ma’am! Crystal clear! I’m – damn – I’m sorry! I’ll never lie to you again!” Ellie let out, tears finally glistening into her eyes.
“You better not.” Amelia threatened dangerously, but Ellie barely realized Amelia’s soft hand was now gently rubbing her scorched skin. If she thought about it rationally, this last spanking hadn’t been as bad as she would’ve thought a spanking for lying would be. It had been tough, however, as in emotionally tough. Ellie hated feeling like she’d broken Amelia’s trust.
“I don’t like lying to you.” Ellie sniffled, as Amelia rubbed circles onto her bottom.
Calmly, Amelia pulled Ellie up to sit onto her lap, grinning at the face of pure distaste Ellie made when her cheeks rested on Amelia’s knees. Amelia was smiling now, but Ellie burrowed into her and hid, glad to feel Amelia’s arms tighten around her gently.
“You better remember this, little brat. I don’t want to have to doubt your word every time you tell me something.”
The look of horror on Ellie’s face as she peeked at Amelia should’ve been enough for the woman to know the lesson had been learned. At least for now. Neither of them had any doubt this was one lesson that needed more than one “class” to be fully absorbed. Though right now Ellie sincerely intended to be good for a while. She wondered how long that while would be.
“Love you.” Ellie told the woman, snuggling into Amelia.
“Love you too, little walking Mischief. And you’re forgiven. Well, almost.” Amelia said, drawing Ellie out of her hiding spot. The younger woman squirmed on Amelia’s lap, trying to find a comfortable position. She would probably have to accept that that was just impossible.
“Almost?” Ellie asked, instantly giving Amelia her best puppy dog eyes.
“Yes, almost,” Amelia playfully swatted Ellie’s thigh. “You will be writing your punishment story now as I go downstairs and work on dinner. And you will keep writing after dinner, and until bedtime.” Amelia let that sink in.
“When I come to tuck you in, I will read what you have so far and, if it’s not satisfactory, you will be grounded from any form of entertainment tomorrow and for as long as it’s necessary, until you finish this up.”
Ellie’s puppy dog eyes would’ve broken any person’s heart, but Amelia – who was probably melting inside – didn’t show any sign of weakness. She looked straight back, instead, raising her brows. Ellie reasoned that Amelia hadn’t even cared about the story per say, not so much. But now that she and Mishi both had made it a point to push and test her…
“Fine,” Ellie let out resignedly, with a little pout. “Is Mishi in the same situation?”
“Of course, she is. We’ll see who of you can finish up sooner. Oh, and your groundings obviously include playing with one another.”
Ellie gave Amelia an outraged look and a pouty “awwww”, but she let the woman cuddle and lull her until she felt fully relaxed.
Then Amelia pushed Ellie up gently and the girl took back her place at the desk, still hating the chair deeply as it made contact with her bare skin, but feeling much more relaxed than she had in a long while.
After all – she thought as Amelia left her to go work on dinner – they had had fun playing outside. And then they had been in a lot of trouble, but also been cuddled a lot.
Before fully dedicating her attention to her story, Ellie typed a short message to Mishi:
“Yeah. You tell me.”
Ellie smiled at the kissing emoji that closed Mishi’s message. Her friend wasn’t mad at her. It was ok. Everything was going to be ok.
“MISHI! ELLIE! WHO ON EARTH SWITCHED THE SALT WITH THE SUGAR!?!?!?”
After Amelia’s loud screech, in the deafening silence that followed, Ellie stared at her laptop wide-eyed.