Susan W. Bell
Susan took a deep breath as she walked into the dance studio of 'Miss. Chambers'. The twelve year old had been drafted into these class's by her mother, who thought her little girl would enjoy them. She, her mother had also hopped that the class's would be a source of fellowship to her little princess. And secretly she prayed that these semiweekly lessons would curve her tomboy nature and teach her grace and charm.
Susan on the other had been thrilled to be enrolled under the tutelage of 'Miss. Chambers' who was in the young girls mind the perfect lady. Everything about her seemed perfect, she always held herself in a manner that suggested grace and commandership. And indeed, Miss. C as her students often call her was the splitting image of a what her students aspired to become.
Graced from birth with dark, raven black hair and slim frame and modest chest and hazelnut colored eyes and a built that most people would consider 'Petite' and it seemed to suit her like a glove. Her small size and stature severed her well as she moved with untold grace and skill across the polished wooden dance floor.
"Good evening." She said as she spotted Susan walking through the studio doorway. "I was hoping." She said folding her arms across her chest and peering down at the young girl down her nose. "That you and I can talk before the others get here." Her tone of voice left little room to move around.
Susan felt her cheeks flush with heat, normally when a adult wanted to talk with you before a lesson started it meant only one thing. And that one thing was never a good thing because nine out of ten times it meant that you where in some deep trouble, very deep trouble.
"Okay.." Susan said taking a deep breath as she eased her pastel pink gym bag down in her cubbyhole. Moving then with unsure steps she followed her instructor toward the very back of her dance studio. And before long she found herself standing in Miss. Chambers office.
"Take a seat Susan." Miss. Chambers said peering toward the girl. Though the way she said it and the way she used her full name put Susan on edge. Part of her wanted to think that Miss. Chambers was suggesting that she take a seat or was she forcefully telling her to take a seat.
"Now Susan, I'm sure your wondering why I called you into my office today." Miss. Chambers said as she eased her bottom down into the high back leather office chair. Once seated she smoothed out the wrinkles in her jet black pencil skirt.
"Yes ma'am.." Susan said taking a deep breath as she peered up at the women. The first thing she noticed was not the stern look she wore upon her face, but the dozen or so plagues and awards lined up behind her. All where neatly arranged by year. Atop of those, where three diplomas, the first was her high school one, the other two where her collage degrees.
"You have very good manners Susan." Miss. Chambers said, "That's one reason, I chose to take you under my wings. You're very polite and despite your tomboyish looks. I can tell you're trying in all your lessons and your doing what you can to become a proper lady." She said and with a small sigh she peered toward Susan.
Susan felt her high cheek bones flush with color as she peered toward her instructor. Taking a deep breath she peered down at her hands that where now folded in her lap. A felling of embasement was creeping up on her and out of this feeling there came the deep, dark roots of shame.
"As you know," Miss. Chambers said pushing on with the conversation. "That Christmas time is just around the corner and with that special season comes are yearly production of Petipa's epic 'The Nutcracker'." She said in a very series tone of voice.
"Right." Susan said taking a deep breath. Of course she knew, they been going over the same routines over and over again. Repeating often the same step over and over again till it became almost nature to them. Even the ones who had been taking lessons since the cradle where becoming tired and jade, a novice like Sue was finding the daily three to four hour lessons pure torture.
"And I'm sure I don't need to tell you, that as lead women in this play, you're performance these last weeks have been.. Been dreadful at best and insulting to the arts at worst." She said pushing her glass's up her noise. "I'm not being funny, Susan. I'm in fact being dead series. I've seen you giggling and gossiping to your girlfriends during lessons." She then took a deep breath.
"I hope I'm making myself clear Susan. The success of this production depends on all of us, starting with you mainly because your playing the lead roll." Miss. Champers paused and drew in a deep breath. "I know.. I'm putting a lot on your shoulders. But if the other girls see you training hard, and buckling down, they themselves will buckle down." And with that she released her breath. "So I'm depending upon you Susan.. To inspire by your own actions, the others."
Susan slowly raised her face to greet her instructor. Slowly a little smile came upon her face as her ears picked up one the faint tail of praise that passed from the older women lips.
"I hope I make myself clear." She paused. "I'm sorry for being critical here.. But you have the talent girl, you just need somebody to push you." With that Miss. Champers turned around and peered toward the wall clock that hung above her head. A small frown appeared upon the bow of her lip, the rest of the students would coming in now and lessons where due to start in ten or so minutes.
Susan said nothing, but only gave a little nod of her head as she collected herself and stood up and made her way out of the office and toward the large space set aside for them the practice in. Never before in her brief twelve years of life had she felt like this, it felt like the whole weight of the world had been placed upon her slender shoulders.
One by one the other students arrived, soon the room was filled with students from all walks of life. Some where very Girly-Girl types, these girls wore pale pastel pink leotards, the more tomboy ones wore colors of green and blue. Susan though, despite being something of a tomboy had chosen to go the more traditional route.
She wore powdered blue leotard, with a light pink tutu wore over it, Her shoulder length coco brown hair had been styled back in the classic French braid. Before long, Miss. Chambers had the girls lined out, and like a old leatherneck drill instructor she drove the girls to master there moves and to press the bounds of there own limitations. Though her critical eye fell upon all, Sue stood out to her.
There was something special about that girl, she reminded her of a gem stone in the rough, one that required a good amount of polishing and buffing to uncover its true beauty. But once that true beauty was brought to the surface, she was more than positive that it would shine out like a spotlight. And though she could tell the girl was trying, she still felt like she was holding back. And that little hint that she was holding back was causing her blood to boil.
"Bell.." Miss. Chambers said taking a deep breath, she then pointed to the space in front of her. "Front and center young lady." She said in a stern tone of voice. Without blinking a eyelash she then walked over to the corner and from a umbrella holder she pulled out a long thin cane.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she stepped forward and peered toward Miss. Chambers. A deep blush colored her face as she peered toward the long, thin tool she held in her hand. Taking a deep breath to calm her beating heart she shifted her pastel pink eyes upward.
"You will do everything I tell you, is that clear young lady." Miss. Chambers said taking a deep breath as she peered toward the young girl.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she nodded her head. She blushed a little as she felt all the eyes of the students turn toward her. A dozen or so girls started to whisper to each other as they peered toward Susan, them like her where waiting to see what there teacher had in store for them.
"Bend down and touch your toes." She said taking a deep breath. As she lowered the cane down and quickly she brought the cane inline with Susan's bottom. "I'm going to honest with you girls, your performance these last few weeks have been poor at best, and vile at worst." She said taking a deep breath.
"I'm going to more honest there going to critics from 'The Clarion-Ledger' and the 'Vicksburg Post' and yes even the most cynical, 'Vicksburg Observer' will be here to see you girls perform." She said taking a deep breath. "And you girls have to ready, you must be ready." She said in a firm, commanding tone of voice.
"Yes ma'am." They all responded in unison.
"Very good." Miss. Chambers stated as she turned her eye back toward Susan. "From now on, till the ending of the world. This is what will happen to girls who slack off in there lessons and spend there time gossiping about who's seeing how. Save that for the slumber parties and lunch table ladies." She said in a sharp tone of voice. And with that being said she brought the cane down upon Sue's bottom. The cane made a wicked sound as it sliced through the air and struck her bottom, cutting the tender flesh.
Susan could not help but whimper as she felt the cane striking upon her bottom. The pain was blinding and caused her to press hard down upon her lip as she wrapped her thin fingers around ankles.
Miss. Chambers took a deep breath, truth be told her heart was starting to break a little as her ears soaked in the pain filled whimpers ushering forth from Sue's mouth. Quickly though she brought the cane down once more upon her bottom again, then again and then again. Three quick strokes where laid down upon her bottom. The first one was just hairs breath below the opening strike.
The second one, was directly below the first one. The third one followed closely behind the second one, not more than a inch below the two above it and finally the fourth one was a perfect inch above the three strips above it. All told there where four perfectly spaced red lines running from one left to right across her bottom.
The whole class could only stand there speechless, never before had they seen this side of there instructor, a side only hinted at by a few, who had come across the information second hand from a older sister who had taken the class before them.
Susan at this point though could only close her eyes and watched as each crack of the cane brought another splash of red before her eyes, each passing stroke of the cane was like tossing a shovel full of coals into a blazing bonfire. Soon she could not help but groan as the title wave of pain, overpowered her mental defenses.
With a small nod of Mercy, Miss. Chambers brought the spanking to a quick close, without blinking a eye she delivered the last batch of three strokes of the cane to Sue's bottom, as if by magic three angry looking welt marks appeared upon her bottom.
With a small sign and a tear streaked face, Susan slowly removed her fingers from around her ankles. She was shaking now, the whole thing had only last for three minutes, a very long and drawn out three minutes. Choking upon her tears she tried to steady her breath as she rose up.
"Now lady's no more of this talking, from know till hell freezes over, you will come dressed and prepared for work. And I will drill you hard, and you may hate me for that. But you will all learn and grow. Once are production of the 'Nut Cracker' is over with. We will move onto mastering 'Swan Lake' is that understood." She said in a firm, no nonsense tone of voice.
"Yes ma'am." Came the chores of tiny little voices.
"Very good, your all dismissed."