Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - ,

The Disciplined Women of Earth Zero

by Susan Thomas
Published: Sep 9, 2016
Words: 35,268
Category: domestic discipline, romance, fantasy
Orientation: M/F
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The community hall had once been part of a large school; the rest of the building had been destroyed, leaving only the school hall, and that had been adapted for its current use by the small farming community. The stage was not being used; those watching would be very close. She stood, holding her husband's hand tightly, scared, for this was her first public punishment. She doubted she could be any more scared if she was herself about to be punished.

They were at the front of the horseshoe-shaped group of spectators as befitted her husband's standing in the community. A short distance away, and the centre of everyone's attention, was the wooden punishment block. Ironically it had been made by the husband of one of the two women due to be punished. Simon Chandler was the carpenter and joiner of the district. He too was a man of substance, with several men working for him, and two apprentices; but man of substance or not, his wife would not be spared her public spanking.

The wooden punishment block was a fine example of the craftsman's trade: no nails or dowels had been used, only meticulously made complex joints. The finish was exquisite and she couldn't help wondering at the care and love that had gone into something only used to punish. The construction was odd: a low platform at the front was for kneeling on, then an angled riser, and finally a top platform which sloped downwards. The person kneeling would be bent over, their upper body angling down to become lower than their bottom.

From a door in the corner a group made an entrance. There was Master Cartwright, District Overseer; the Rev. Nathaniel Phillips ... a burly man carrying a small case; two women dressed in flimsy white robes that barely reached the knees; and four older women, each properly dressed, supporters for the women in white. Master Cartwright separated himself from the others, and raising himself to his full height addressed the horseshoe of spectators.

"Brothers and Sisters, it is a sad occasion when one of our number offends against the community. Punishment must follow to cleanse and purify us all, but after punishment must come forgiveness. Once these punishments are done with today our sisters will be restored to us and no mention of their past deeds need be made."

She thought that Master Cartwright was as windy and pompous as usual but she gave no sign of her contempt. Her husband squeezed her hand a little to show that he knew what she thought and agreed.

"Rev. Phillips will now lead us in prayer."

The prayer was also long and windy; she thought that if she was standing waiting in that skimpy gown of penitence she would be screaming for them to get on with it.

Master Cartwright puffed up his chest again and announced, "Ruth Chandler will now make her confession."