I own a small bookshop in Ilford and, as I am generally serving alone in the shop, there is quite a problem with shoplifting. To prevent this I have a system of mirrors so that I can see what is going on in the shop while I am in the backroom.
About a fortnight ago a young lady about twenty years old came into the shop and started looking at the books. I asked her if she was looking for anything in particular but she said she was just browsing. As she was the only customer and I had to go through some orders I left her looking at the books and went through into the back. After a minute or two I glanced up and was surprised to see her slipping a hardback book into her bag. I came out and asked her if she had found anything she wanted, but she brazenly said she hadn't and started to walk out.
I stepped into her way and grabbed hold of her bag. I said 'Oh no you don't! You haven't paid for that book in there!'
I opened the bag and took out the book. At first she said that she had brought it with her, but when it was opened it still had my shop's marker inside it. I told her that I was going to telephone the police as I always prosecuted shoplifters.
I was surprised at the response. I had expected the 'couldn't care less' attitude I had come across on most similar occasions but instead she was very distressed and obviously near tears (though I suppose she may have put this on to gain my sympathy).
I told her that what she had done was against the law and that she was a criminal and that the law must take its course. She begged me not to phone the police; she was training to be a solicitor and her parents had spent hundreds of pounds on her to get a degree and pass the Law Society Examinations. If I reported her it would all be wasted as she would not be allowed to qualify as a solicitor if she had just been convicted of shoplifting.
I said that was her fault and she should have thought of that first, but she kept on imploring me. She said that she knew that she had done wrong but that her whole life and future career would be ruined if she had to go to court, and that she would not be able to face her parents.
It was only then that I thought of the obvious. Several years ago when my son, Richard, had been a mischievous schoolboy I had occasionally used a few quick whacks from a regulation school cane on him when he was exceptionally naughty. I was almost sure it was still upstairs. Looking at this girl admitting she had done wrong and begging me not to go to the police reminded me irresistibly of Richard aged twelve begging me not to give him his first ever caning.
I said to the girl, 'Well, you admit that you attempted to steal the book which was a crime, so you must be punished. I will only agree not to go to the police if you agree to take your punishment from me.'
She asked hesitantly what I meant, but I think she guessed by then. I told her that I thought I still had a school punishment cane upstairs and that the choice was hers; so far as I was concerned I would phone the police that minute. She asked what her punishment would be if she agreed.
I said that there were two elements to a caning - pain and humiliation. If anyone deserved a sound caning she did and I would give her nine strokes on her clothed bottom and a final tenth stroke on her bared backside. I knew that this would add greatly to the punishment. Richard had always hated taking his trousers down and presenting his already wealed bottom to receive yet another stroke - and it would obviously be very much more humiliating for a twenty year old girl to have to show her naked caned bottom to a strange man.
When I explained my proposals to the girl she didn't speak for a while and then she started to cry. She said she couldn't make up her mind. She didn't want me to go to the police, but she couldn't stand the idea of taking her clothes off in front of a stranger. I said that my only interest was that she got the punishment that she deserved one way or another. I suggested that she go off and walk around a bit to make her mind up and come back at six o'clock in the evening. I would keep her handbag as a safeguard and I told her that if she wasn't back by then I would telephone the police.
I took a good look at her. She was an very attractive young lady, about twenty as I said, around 5'4" tall and slimly built. She had long, light blonde hair and was wearing a blue cotton top with the words from a Coca-Cola advert written across it. It was quite tight and showed off her breasts very well - she didn't seem to be wearing a bra. She also had on a figure-hugging pair of white trousers and a pair of chunky sandals. I could see that she wasn't wearing pantyhose as her toes were free.
The material in her trousers seemed quite thin and I was quite satisfied that she would really feel the effects of a caning if she decided that way. I told her not to change her clothes in any way or put on pantyhose or another pair of panties if she decided to be punished by me. If she did she would get the entire punishment on the bare.
After she left I checked in the handbag to get some information in the intervals between serving customers. I soon saw that she had been telling the truth about training to be a solicitor and she had an orange card saying Law Society Student's Card. I saw that her name was Michaela Peterson and also noted her address. The shop closed at 5.30 and I went upstairs to find the cane. It didn't take me long and I practised a few experimental whacks and left the cane lying on my bed.
I had suggested 6.00 as both shops next to me would be closed by then and no-one lived above them. Should Michaela elect for a caning there would be nobody to hear if she yelled out during the punishment.
Just before 6.00 the bell rang and I opened the door. Michaela was there with a determined look on her face. She said that she had decided that it would have to be the caning and that she wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. I asked her if she wanted to go to the toilet but she said no. So I led her to my bedroom and then left her for a few minutes, telling her to wait. I did this as I knew that waiting would make the punishment worse. When I came back Michaela was holding the cane, obviously trying to imagine what its effect on her bottom would be. At last it was time for me to show her.
I told her to stand by the bed, about two feet away, and bend down, placing her hands on the bed. The tight white trousers stretched themselves over Michaela's lower curves, displaying her bottom cheeks to perfection. I could see the shape of her panties through the thin material. The broad feminine bottom was a real contrast to young Richard's schoolboy backside in his dark grey trousers! I swung the cane lightly on to her bottom and away again to check that I had enough room for a free swing. Then I said 'Right. This is your last chance - shall I phone the police?'
She said in a choked voice, obviously between gritted teeth: 'No!' So I said that as the idea was that no-one should know what she had done, or that she'd been caned it was up to her not to shout out as otherwise people might come in to ask what was going on. I told her I would give her an extra stroke for each time she cried out loudly. Actually, of course, there was no chance of anyone hearing but Michaela couldn't know that and it would not be a very satisfactory punishment if she yelled and shrieked and struggled at every stroke - after all she had, literally, asked for it.
I kept her waiting for the first stroke and swished the cane in the air a few times so as to take her by surprise, watching that pert bottom flinch expectantly each time. Then I lifted the cane as high as possible and brought it down with all the strength of my right arm, putting all my weight - 12 stone 4 pounds - behind it. It landed exactly half way up the target area and there was a very satisfactory Whack!
Michaela gave a convulsive leap upwards and her hands went to her bottom. She could not restrain a high-pitched note of pain, but cut it off short. I admired her courage as she immediately bent down again ready for the next stroke. I counted 'One!'.
Once again I took my time over the next stroke, relishing the sight of Michaela's delectable rear. Then I whipped the cane down again, landing it slightly lower. It was as hard as the first one but she took it well, apart from some involuntary squirmings. I said 'Two!' and slashed down the next stroke almost simultaneously. It had the desired effect and took her by surprise; she yelled out blue murder. So I didn't count that one and gave her another in as near as possible the same place.
She jumped and I heard the gasp of her sharp intake of breath, but she restrained her yell. So the punishment was one third over so far as the over-trousers caning was concerned. I took stock of the situation. Michaela had begun to cry and she was breathing heavily, her breasts wobbling through her teeshirt, she was still in position but couldn't help moving all the time. Her long fair hair was all over the place and right over her eyes.
I released stroke four which landed just on the lower curves of her buttocks - again her hands went to her trousers and away. The next stroke landed in the same place and Michaela yelled loudly again. So I didn't count that one and whacked another one in, just as hard, in the same place.
Stroke six was an experiment. I aimed it just to the left buttock so that the tip of the cane dug in hard halfway across her trousers. She was by now sobbing continuously, but it did not evoke a yell. The remaining three strokes I aimed low, below the pantie-line. I hit as hard as I could, but although she certainly felt them, as she showed by jerking violently each time the cane collided with her drum- tight trousers, she didn't yell out. I was getting tired.
After the ninth stroke (actually, of course, the eleventh!) had reverberated round the room I stood there watching Michaela's trousered bottom and listening to her whimperings. Although I had counted nine she still remained in position.
I told her to get up and she did - slowly and unsteadily. She put her hands to her trousers, stretching out her long, delicate fingers to cover the whole devastated area and tenderly caress it. When she seemed in command of herself I told her to pull down her trousers.
At first she started to protest and refused, but when I insisted and told her it had been her choice she started to undo them. All resistance was gone. With her back to me she very carefully and slowly began to draw her trousers down. I didn't blame her for being slow about it. It clearly hurt like hell sliding those trousers over her swollen and wealed buttocks. She'd been wearing white panties which were almost transparent and the marks showed clearly through them as her trousers fell to her sandals.
Then I told her to drop the panties too and after a while she did. This was an even more careful operation and she was constantly squealing to herself. When they reached her ankles I told her to bend down again and she did so hesitantly, trying to keep her shaky legs as close together as she could.
I stood for almost a minute looking at the pattern of weals on her arse and then suddenly let loose with the hardest stroke I could muster, aiming it diagonally so as to cross the biggest, most raised weals. This time her yell was frighteningly loud even though I knew no-one could hear. So I said 'That's another one then!' and waited for her to position herself again. when she did so I just tapped her bottom lightly with the cane and said 'Ten!'. She didn't deserve any more, she'd been really brave.
I told her she could stand up now and as she did so I saw some blood seep out from that last punishing stroke - no wonder she'd screamed. I told Michaela to get dressed and said that it might be an idea for her to put her trousers back on without the panties, and this is what she did. I also suggested that she washed her face and tidied her hair and then come downstairs, where I would be waiting.
When she finally reappeared I said that she had taken her punishment well and that so far as I was concerned it was all forgotten. I offered her a cup of tea and suggested she stayed indoors for a while till the worst of the pain went and only then went back to her flat. Otherwise her flat-mates would probably guess more or less what had happened. Surprisingly enough she accepted and I quite enjoyed sitting down to my tea watching her drinking hers, standing up and still crying quietly.
Afterwards we went into the sitting room and I switched on the telly. We watched until after News at Ten and by then she had stopped crying and dried her tears. During the news she made an attempt to sit down. Very carefully she lowered herself onto a chair. But as soon as her trousers made contact with the seat she jumped up again with a stifled 'Owww!'. She hopped from one foot to the other and then turned to me and said with a tight smile 'I don't really feel like sitting down at the moment. I'd rather stand!'
After the news Michaela made up her face and managed to control her expression so that no-one would guess what she had been through. She still walked stiffly, though, and could not help an occasional grimace of pain. She told me that if her flat-mates noticed anything she would tell them that she had banged her leg and bruised it badly. I handed her back her handbag and she put her panties in it. Finally, just before 11.00, she left, and I wished her luck in her profession.
This was the last I saw of Michaela until yesterday when she walked back into my shop again. This time she was wearing a printed summer frock. There were other customers, but when they had been served and had gone she walked over to the counter. I was rather surprised but pleased to see her. I asked her how she was.
She knew what I meant and said that she was still sore and bruised though she rubbed soothing cream in every night. She told me that it still hurt to sit down and that she had had to take two days off work. She said, though, that she knew that she'd deserved it and that she'd come back to say that she was very sorry and would not ever do anything like it again.
I told her that she was a brave girl but that she had probably needed a good spanking. She replied, 'Well, if so, I certainly got one!' and ruefully rubbed her bottom. She told me that she had not worn trousers or jeans all that fortnight as they rubbed so painfully but had worn loose skirts and dresses all the while.
In the end she got out her purse and gave me œ4.95. She finally bought the book it had all been about! And then Michaela went out again and I watched her bottom wiggle through her frock and thought about the marks that I alone knew were on it.
So far no-one else has tried to shoplift but I think now that I'll offer anyone I catch the same choice. The cane has probably been a more effective punishment for Michaela than a fine would have been, and she didn't deserve to have her whole career ruined.