Melanie Bandford felt nervous, but decidedly brave about her current situation. She was tied, bending over onto the punishment frame at the front of the Carter County Courthouse. The frame had its victim bending forwards at almost a 90-degree angle, her ankles tied to the lower end, a strap around her waist to keep her from moving her hips out of the way of the cane, and her wrists tied to the frame above her.
Melanie would wait in this position for the next 15 minutes, wearing the prescribed punishment uniform consisting of form-fitting gym shorts and a prison top. The shorts were only for the sake of modesty and would offer no protection at all. They would just satisfy a minimum requirement for public exposure. In fact, before the commencement of the caning, the shorts would be sprayed down with water to increase the sting. The medical doctor in charge of making sure she was fit to receive the punishment sat on a bench nearby with a laptop, looking over his case records.
File No: 21230101-MBand
Name: Melanie Bandford
Convicted of: Misdemeanor Armed Theft
Sentence: 50 official strokes with cane (series 2A) and to remain framed for public caning from 12:00 – 2:oopm.
Dr. Bellinger had taken her vitals and examined Melanie’s medical records. He saw no reason that she couldn’t take the sentence. With these kind of cases, she could expect to receive an additional 100 to 150 cane strokes from various individuals and groups with points to make, typically political points. But occasionally there were those who simply wanted to cane the prisoner for revenge or entertainment. It was his job to make sure they couldn’t permanently injure the prisoner, by selecting a cane with as high a pain yield as possible, but which, even if used for the duration of the public caning time, could not do her permanent damage. The series 2A seemed like the best alternative. It was long enough to whip into her so she’d take notice of each stroke, but not so long as to wrap, given the width of her hips and the position of the line behind which her caners were required to stand. Given the medical scanners analysis of the musculature of her buttocks, the series 2A was of a density to cause her serious pain, but would be unlikely to cut her skin much. She might not even pass out and have to be revived. Of course she might wish she could pass out…
Melanie contemplated her plight. She felt good about her decision to protect Martha from meeting this fate. Martha was a friend Melanie met at school and whom she immediately felt the need to protect. Martha was a sensitive, artistic soul, but with a quick temper. This unfortunate combination of traits meant that it wasn’t easy for her to make friends, and the few friends she did make often turned out to be “fair weather” once they found themselves involved in some tirade she chose to unleash on a department store manager or government official. But Melanie felt like she should be Martha’s protector and friend. It was almost like she felt it was her duty and her destiny.
The “armed theft” in question was a result of an incident where Martha challenged a department store manager about the sexist messages coming across in a certain line of female dolls. When she didn’t get a satisfactory response, Martha began raking the dolls off the shelf and onto a shopping cart. She exclaimed that she was rescuing them from rampant chauvinism. The store owner was unwilling to see it this way and tried to stop her from taking his inventory. Not wanting to be stopped at this juncture, Martha pulled out a can of mace and sprayed it on him. Then she and Melanie ran off with the cart.
Later, when the police interrogated Melanie and Martha, based on the store manager’s description, an impulse came over Melanie and she stated that the manager had been confused, and that it had actually been her, Melanie, that swept the dolls off and maced the manager. Martha, stunned upon hearing this, didn’t say anything. She really couldn’t, being to afraid and too overwhelmed. So Melanie ended up tried and convicted for the crime. She didn’t want to be caned, of course, but she knew that she could deal with it and she knew that Martha simply couldn’t. It was horrible to think what Martha might have gone through if she found herself awaiting a caning of at least 50 strokes and then be left tied down for public caning.
Melanie looked at the time display on the front of the courthouse – 11:59. The official caner was a woman, which increased Melanie’s nervousness. With a man she felt like she had a decent shot at making him feel sympathy towards her. She was pretty and most heterosexual men tended to cut her some slack because of their need to feel like heroes and protectors. This woman looked very serious, however, and strong. She picked up the series 2A cane and slashed it through the air, getting a feel for its weight and whippy-ness. At 12:00 the caner picked up the spray bottle of water and sprayed down the back of Melanie’s punishment uniform shorts, making the soft material of it seem to meld into her skin. She was going to feel this, certainly.
The woman began whipping Melanie with the cane, taking a deliberate two-second interval between strokes. As the cane strokes whacked their place on Melanie’s bottom, she began yelping at each white-hot flash of pain. As the strokes increased to ten, her face seemed to slowly melt into tears. But as the pain increased, her fear decreased. The strokes hurt like hell. Passers by could hear by the sounds of the cane hitting her buttocks, that it clearly was real and clearly hurt a lot. Some thought about how they might take such pain. Many felt sorry for her. Some giggled in their discomfort. But Melanie cried. And in her crying, she realized a valuable truth. Not only was she doing the right thing in protecting her friend and taking her friend’s punishment, but she also knew she’d get through this. After all, there was nothing to do but take it. If she cried, she cried. If she screamed, she screamed. Whatever happened, this wasn’t a performance to be judged or graded. All she had to do was take it and she didn’t mind crying.
The remainder of the relentless 50-stroke caning continued. Melanie tried in vain against the straps, to evasively move her hips. Her hands clenched to fists and un-clenched, unable to free her wrists from their bondage. She cried with abandon, like a severely spanked child. This wasn’t unusual, however. It was said that sometimes even the toughest of men cried this way when given the right kind of caning.
After reaching 50 strokes, Melanie’s punisher stopped and turned to the doctor to let him know he could re-examine her. Dr. Bellinger stood up with his medical scanner in hand while Melanie continued to shudder sporadically, her face wet with tears. She whimpered, unable to comfort herself by rubbing her bottom. The doctor came up behind her and putting himself between Melanie and any onlookers, he pulled back the waistband of her punishment shorts and looked at her skin. As expected there were many angry-looking welts and bruises. A heat seemed to radiate from her punished bottom. This had to have hurt. His scanner indicated a pain-damage rating of 23.4% indicating that the public caning exposure time would need to be reduced from two hours to an hour and a half. He told Melanie’s punisher this and she then changed the display near the punishment frame to accurately show the end time of her public punishment.
Melanie only waited five minutes before a local preacher walked up and picked up the cane. He turned to face the current crowd, brandishing the cane and began giving a speech about the wages of sin and so forth. After stirring up the requisite amount of interest, he turned to Melanie and began caning her again. He waited three or four seconds between strokes, seeming to relish in watching Melanie’s eyes widen and her hips writhe and waiting for another tear drop to roll down her face. It seemed clear he reveled in the punishment, but he would have sworn to you that he was giving it to her slowly out of mercy only.
As the whipping went on and on, Melanie thought about a conversation she’d had with another school friend. He’d told her that he had a cousin who was one of the elite rich and they actually had a ‘whipping girl’ to take his cousin’s punishments for her. Melanie recalled being fascinated by this, and not just because it was such a strange concept. She didn’t know why at the time, but this occupation had been calling to her. She suddenly came to the awareness that this was her first job as a whipping girl – unpaid for now. She could call this an internship. How much would people be willing to pay to get out of being whipped? How could she market herself?
After the preacher had given her thirty-nine lashes with the cane, he began to look visibly uncomfortable. He tried valiantly to hide his arousal at whipping her. Besides, he knew he hadn’t broken her. Of course she cried. But he knew that as long as he whipped her, she’d just continue to cry and never be broken. He couldn’t make his point this way and would only further embarrass himself in more ways than one. So he quoted briefly from the Old Testament about how one should not give a prisoner more than forty lashes, and he left the stage.
At 12:15 Melanie, still tied to the punishment frame, was given water through a straw and re-examined. All was well.
At 12:20 she saw a clique of women from one of the rich and elitist sororities approaching with evil smiles on their faces. As they got closer, Melanie remembered the prank, she and her sorority sisters had played on them last month. Clearly their presence was no coincidence. They immediately formed a queue and the one who seemed to be leading them reminded them that they were to limit their turns to twenty lashes each.
Melanie tugged at her bonds again, involuntarily seeing a queue of ten women forming, a gleaming look of sadism in their eyes.