It’s that time of year again. Seniors are graduating and some traditions are invoked, most notably the senior prank. Classes try to outdo one another and sometimes it works, but sometimes there are disastrous consequences. In this story things are complicated by the close relationship between the assistant dean and the perpetrator of the “crime.”
The Best Senior Prank Ever
Wendy carefully rolled each scroll and tied them both with a purple ribbon. There. The legend LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT was clearly visible on the outside. Usually the seniors just wrote their “last will and testament” and published it in the yearbook. But Wendy had a special bequest for Carly and Heather and it wasn’t for general publication. She would deliver these personally.
One month earlier…..
Wendy and Helen were in animated conversation as they walked down the long hallway. Helen was taller, a bit older, and moved with a confident athletic stride. Wendy, the younger one, was short and cute. She looked eager to impress the older woman, who seemed to be in agreement.
“It was the best senior prank ever, Wendy,” she laughed. It was a hearty laugh, filled with genuine mirth. “I’d have given anything to see old Dr. Wingate when he opened his office door.” She shook her head. “Can you imagine? He opens the door and he sees—-what? Goats!” She threw her head back and laughed out loud. “Goats! All over his office! I heard one was up on his desk eating papers out of his in box.”
Wendy beamed with pride. “Aunt Helen, we set out to play the best prank ever played by the senior class at Hargrove Academy and we succeeded.”
“Boy, did you ever, Wendy. Did you ever. My own class prank back in ’84 was so lame by comparison. I have to hand it to you. I’m envious,” and, she said conspiratorially, “I’m proud to be your aunt. To know we’ve got someone with some spine in the family. To plan and pull this off.”
“We planned it for weeks,” said Wendy proudly. “And to get the goats in there required split second timing.” She was clearly very pleased with herself.
“An amazing feat, Wendy. That will show that stuffy boys school, won’t it. Let’s see them top this.” She smiled broadly at Wendy and arched her eyebrows. “Wherever did you get the goats?”
“We rented them,” said Wendy smugly.
Helen chuckled. Rented goats yet. Every year it seemed, there were competing senior pranks between the girl’s school, Hargrove and the next door boys’ school, Waterford. Bragging rights went to the senior class who came up with the most elaborate prank. And this year the girls had blown them out of the water.
But now they were approaching the door at the end of the hallway. Wendy gulped.
“Nervous?” asked Helen.
“A little,” said Wendy. “No. A lot.” Her knees were shaking.
“It’s still up to you, you know. You have to decide what is the right thing,” said Helen. She stopped and eyed her niece. The look on her face was one of sympathetic compassion. “Whatever it is, you are still my favorite niece.”
“It’s really not fair,” said Wendy, looking into Aunt Helen’s face. “You’d think that with such a great prank, we’d get an award or something instead of….” she didn’t want to say it…”this.”
“But I guess I’m glad it’s you.”
“Yes,” said Helen wistfully. “I know, dear. This falls to me.”
“It’s ok, Aunt Helen.”
“And I agree with you. It’s a shame. No harm was done. It was a great joke. But, you know….” She looked at Wendy with a rueful smile and didn’t finish her thought.
The sign on the door said “Storeroom.”
Helen shook her head. Her sister’s daughter was her favorite niece. Wendy was a great kid—-a bubbly, energetic, and at times, mischievous girl. She had a sharp mind and a quick wit. Let’s see what kind of stuff she’s made of then, thought Helen. She opened the door and they went in.
Three hours earlier….
Everyone else was already there. Wendy reported as she was told. There was the Headmistress, Mrs. Findlay, the secretary Jean Clooney, her Aunt Helen the Assistant Dean, and old Dr Wingate himself. He glowered at Wendy. She tried to ignore him by not looking him in the eye, but the intensity of his gaze was unnerving.
Mrs. Findlay addressed them all. “Well, we are all here.”
Then she spoke to Wendy. “Miss Hodges, would you stand here please, and face Dr Wingate?”
Wendy turned and faced the boys’ school headmaster. “Just for the record, Dr. Wingate, is this the girl you saw peering in the window at your office?”
Wendy realized that hadn’t been the smartest thing, hanging around to see old “Windbag’s” reaction when he confronted an office full of goats. She had laughed out loud and Wingate had turned and had seen her face. Her friends had been luckier. They had run away before they could be seen. Only Wendy knew who had been in on it.
“Yes, that’s her,” he said.
“Miss Hodges, do you have anything to say?” asked Mrs. Findlay.
Wendy swallowed. Her mouth was dry and her heart beat wildly. “Just that I’m sorry,” she said.
“Sorry?” said Wingate. “Sorry? Goat dung all over my office and you’re just sorry?” Wingate’s face was red. “I want all of the perpetrators brought to justice and punished severely!”
“Who were the others, girl?” demanded Wingate.
Mrs. Findlay made a motion with her hand, imploring him to calm down. “We will find out, Dr. Wingate. She will tell us. Otherwise, as she knows, there are consequences.” Mrs. Findlay looked Wendy in the eye as she said it, leaving no doubt as to her intentions. That look sent a chill down Wendy’s spine.
Mrs. Findlay cleared her throat. In a very formal tone she asked, “Miss Hodges, who were the others who assisted you?”
For a moment there was silence. “I…I can’t say,” said Wendy.
Mrs. Findlay stiffened. “You can’t or you won’t?”
“Does it make a difference?” said Wendy.
“I see,” huffed Mrs. Findlay. She sat at her desk and drummed her fingers on the desktop. She looked at Dr. Wingate. “Dr. Wingate, thank you for coming to confirm Miss Hodges as one of the perpetrators. We will take it from here. When we identify the others, we will let you know, but rest assured we will deal with them appropriately.”
They waited while Dr. Wingate rose and took his leave.
“So is that the way it is, Miss Hodges? You will not tell on your friends?”
“I can’t tell you who they were,” said Wendy.
“I see,” said Mrs. Findlay renewing the finger drumming. She looked up sharply at Wendy. “You know what this means?”
Wendy squared her shoulders but she didn’t feel all that brave. “I think so.”
“You think so.” Mrs. Findlay paused. “The penalty for pranks that result in damage here is and always has been a solid month of detention, plus….” She paused, “ten swats of the ruler paddle. Bare.” She let that sink in. “We rarely use corporal punishment, but for vandalism of this sort it has been the traditional penalty. I assume you knew that.”
Wendy visibly winced. She sort of knew. It was whispered about, it was the risk you took. In a way that’s what made it exciting, the possibility of an embarrassing and childish punishment if you were caught. It was worse for the boys, she’d heard. She’d heard about the ruler paddle, too, a thin slat of wood about eighteen inches long, just like a wooden ruler but with rounded edges for safety and a handle to grip.
“Moreover,” she continued, “we know there were three of you. Dr. Wingate saw three. So that is thirty swats, Wendy.” Her eyes bored into Wendy’s. “And under our tradition you get them all unless you name the others.”
Wendy’s legs shook. Thirty Swats! She had known it would be bad. But thirty swats—and on the bare! The bare part was tradition too, its origin lost in the mists of time, but still followed to this day.
“One last time. Who are the others?” demanded Mrs. Findlay.
This time Wendy stammered, but said, “I can’t say, ma’am.”
Mrs. Findlay sighed. “Very well. Wendy Hodges, you will report for detention every day for the next month and attend Saturdays as well.”
She turned to Helen Brauner. “Mrs. Brauner, at four o’clock today you will escort Miss Hodges to the storeroom. Jean will go with you as witness and I’ll inform our nurse, Miss Greene. I will meet you all there at the appointed time.”
“Until four then. Miss Hodges, you are dismissed. You have until then to change your mind.”
They stopped outside the door.
“What should I do, Aunt Helen?”
“I can’t tell you what to do, Wendy.”
Wendy looked around, as if someone might magically ride to her rescue. Her pals were not about to come clean. Why should she protect them? The code, that was why. All for one, one for all. Nobody rats. Nobody talks. They’d all agreed on that.
“Aunt Helen, can’t you go easy on me? Aren’t we friends?”
Helen fixed her with a serious look. “We are friends, Wendy. But we are other things too. On the other side of that door, I am the Dean of Discipline and you are a student who broke the rules. You have taken responsibility and have accepted the consequences. I must do my duty.” She put her hand on Wendy’s cheek in a gentle gesture. “Buck up. It’s only a spanking. And,” she added sardonically, “nowhere near as bad as your grandmother’s hairbrush. I should know.”
She opened the door and escorted Wendy in. It was a large room. Boxes of supplies were stacked against the walls. An ancient desk sat in the middle of the room. There were some old chairs and filing cabinets. The light came from flickering fluorescent lights in metal fixtures hanging from the ceiling. It was dead still. The room was tucked away in the basement where no one ever went—except for this, it seemed. Mrs. Findlay was there with the school secretary who carried the book. The nurse was there too, as required by school policy.
“Well, Miss Hodges? Are you prepared to name your accomplices in this matter?”
Wendy took a deep breath. “I can’t, Mrs. Findlay.” She had agonized about it all day, but in the end she wasn’t going to be the rat. That would not be her legacy, one of the crew who pulled the greatest prank of all time and then squealed to save her butt.
“Well then. You give us no alternative.” She turned to Helen. “Mrs. Brauner, do your duty.”
Helen nodded. She shot Wendy an apologetic glance that Mrs. Findlay could not see and went over to the old desk. Wendy watched, her heart hammering, as a drawer slid out with a grating sound. Her aunt pulled out the ruler paddle. Wendy eyed it with growing alarm. It was scary looking, a long narrow blade on a handle, all rounded edges. It looked thin and whippy.
Helen moved to the side of the desk and tapped it absentmindedly against her leg. “Wendy, step up to the desk,” she commanded.
“Yes, ma’am,” said Wendy and stood, legs pressed against the front of the desk.
“Now lift your skirt and bend over the desk, resting on your elbows, hands flat. Grip the far edge.”
Wendy gathered her skirt and lifted it. She bent over, resting her palms on the bare wood as ordered. Underneath her skirt she had on white nylon panties. She had a chubby bottom and she knew her lower cheeks peeked out the fabric stretched taut and pulled up as she bent. This was so embarrassing! Her butt was sticking out for all to see. It was just other women, but still….
“Miss Greene, her panties please,” said Helen.
The nurse nodded and approached Wendy’s rear. “Move back just a little,” she whispered. Wendy did, shuffling her feet a few inches. That enabled Miss Greene to slip her fingers in the elastic of the panties and peel them down. The fully rounded moons of Wendy’s bottom were exposed as the panties slid down to puddle at her ankles. Miss Greene briefly inspected the bare flesh poised to receive punishment.
“No bruises or cuts or abrasions,” she reported to Mrs. Findlay.
“Noted,” said Mrs. Findlay. “Mrs. Brauner, you may proceed.”
Helen took up a stance next to Wendy and rested her left hand in the small of Wendy’s back. “Push down,” she said. “Arch your back.”
Wendy did. The effect was to make her bottom stick out, presenting it for the ruler’s attentions. She blushed beet red. It was mortifying.
“Wendy, it’s thirty whacks. I’ll stop after each ten and you can rub, but then it’s back over for the next ten. There will be no swearing or cussing, no jumping up, no putting your hands back. You must stay in position or we’ll have to repeat. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Au…er, Mrs Brauner.” She huffed, blowing in and out nervously. This was it. It was going to sting bad, she just knew it.
She felt the ruler tapping her seat. Her aunt was lining it up, getting ready. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth.
Whack! The blade cracked down across the crowns of her buttocks. Wendy felt a sudden rush of intense sting. Ow! It hurt!
Whack! Another crack fell just below the first.
Crack! A third smack applied hot pain to her exposed sit spot.
Wendy held on as the ruler smacked her bared bottom, creating wave after wave of sharp sting that made her want to cry out for mercy. But she gripped tighter and managed to endure those first ten swats.
“All right Wendy, you may rise and rub now.”
Wendy stood up and her hands flew to her inflamed seat. She rubbed vigorously, her mouth wide open in an “O”, her knees flexing as she bobbed up and down.
Mrs. Findlay watched for a minute. “All right, Miss Hodges, that’s enough. Care to name your accomplices now?”
Wendy just shook her head.
“Very well, then. Back over,” she said pointing at the desk.
Wendy assumed the ignoble position once again, thrusting her bottom out to receive the second ten cracks from that awful stingy ruler.
At least, thought Helen, we now use this ruler. A regular 18 inch ruler rounded and sanded with a carved out handle. Stings like fire ants but no deep bruising like with a standard paddle. She sighed. The kid was plucky, she had to give her that. Would not rat her friends out, even with twenty more stingers coming up. She wondered if Wendy’s friends would be so stalwart if they were in her shoes. She lined up to deliver the next ten licks. Hold, on Wendy she thought. Here it comes.
Crack!…..Crack!…..Crack! The swats fell at timed intervals. Helen observed that each swat made Wendy’s bottom cheeks ripple and the red stripes began to overlap more. She knew how much a spanking stung and she felt for Wendy, but she knew the pain was fleeting, especially with this ruler. It was really more to make a point than to cause serious pain. Wrapping it all in such grim ceremony made it memorable, like a scary story for the punished to tell the others lest they take that long walk to the storeroom. But the sting was real. Wendy’s cute bottom cheeks clenched and she rose on her toes slightly with each smack.
Ow! Yow! It was really stinging now, the intensity of the burning sensation threatening to overwhelm her. Her fanny felt tender and ultra sensitive and that’s why it stung so much. Each swat was worse than the last. At the tenth swat in this set she lost her grip and stood halfway up.
“That’s ten. You may rise, Miss Hodges. But get out of position again and we will repeat the stroke.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Wendy, once again rubbing for all she was worth. Her bottom must be swollen, she thought, and it was hot to the touch too. Ow! She was on fire back there. For the first time, she had to think about telling Mrs. Findlay what she wanted to know.
“Last chance, Miss Hodges,” said Mrs. Findlay after a minute of observing Wendy’s frantic efforts to mitigate the sting.
Wendy closed her eyes for just a minute. Should she? There would be ten more just like the last. Aunt Helen wasn’t cutting her any slack. She was doing her job quite well.
“No, ma’am,” she said. “I can’t tell.”
Mrs. Findlay shook her head and sighed. “Mrs Brauner, please resume. Last ten. Make them good ones.”
Aunt Helen said, “Bend over Wendy.”
Wendy assumed the position, arching her back and thrusting her bare fanny out as if to invite Aunt Helen to do her worst.
She must have tried. How she made it through those last stinging licks Wendy did not know. Each swat sent a new hot wave of unmitigated sting that began on the surface of her bottom and spread through her entire being, it seemed. At each crack of the ruler, tears welled up. Her grip on the table loosened. She fought the urge to stand, to shield her bottom with her hands, anything to make it stop.
Then it did.
The ordeal was over. Helen escorted Wendy out after the nurse had pronounced her ok. “Rub some aloe on it at home. The sting will subside in an hour or so,” said Miss Greene.
“If I tell you something, will you promise not to tell anyone else? And to do something for me? It’s about justice and your duty as Dean of Discipline.”
It was a conversation between Wendy and her Aunt Helen a few days later.
“Is it about your friends?”
“Yes. If they are really my friends they will accept this.”
“As long as it’s of their own free will.” Helen had an idea of what Wendy had in mind.
Wendy handed the scrolls to Carly and Heather and watched as each unrolled the document and read it. It said:
“To my very best friends Carly and Heather I bequeath warm memories of having played the best senior prank ever. I have other warm memories too, and those should be shared among friends. Therefore, as my Last Will and Testament I bequeath to each of you a meeting with Mrs Brauner, the Dean of Discipline in the Storeroom at four o’ clock on Saturday. Remember we did this ‘all for one and one for all’. Don’t be late and don’t chicken out. I didn’t.”
And so at four o’clock on the appointed day the two girls took the long walk down the hallway of a deserted school and nervously opened the door to the Storeroom. Wendy stood there waiting. Beside her was her favorite aunt holding the ruler paddle, tapping it against her leg—- and smiling.