The knock on the door was the first indication that the two young students were in trouble. Mme Beauvoir, their landlady, had a very characteristic knock-knock-pause-knock that they had learnt to dread. Alice looked at Belinda, her German flatmate, with wide eyes.
“Bel?” she asked in French, “You did pay the rent on time, right? Right?”
Belinda didn’t answer. She was blushing, the wheels in her head turning, trying to remember words, trying to form a sentence in French. Nothing came. Alice put her palm to her forehead and bit her bottom lip.
Knock-knock-pause-knock, the sound came again, a little more forcefully. Clearly, Madame Beauvoir was losing patience. Alice had a quick glance around to make sure the mess wasn’t too awful, then went to answer the door while Belinda hid some takeaway boxes away and closed the door to her bedroom, where clothes had a tendency to pile up on the floor, unexpectedly. When she came back to the living-room, Alice was looking down at the floor, blushing hard, and Madame Beauvoir was in the middle of one of her dreaded tirades. Belinda wasn’t sure she understood every word, but she knew that tone, and where it lead. Instinctively, her hand went to her round, shapely bottom, and rubbed.
“Ah! Belinda!” Madame Beauvoir said, in her nasal accent, when she saw the blond girl. She switched to English, “I was saying to Alice here that again, the rent hasn’t been paid this month! This is completely unacceptable!
“Oui, Madame…” was all that Belinda could say. Alice said nothing, her eyes still firmly on the polished hardwood floor.
“And that’s after you promised last month that it wouldn’t happen again!”
“Oui, Madame,” Belinda replied with a shameful nod.
“I had warned you last month about what would happen if you were late again… didn’t I?” the landlady asked. Belinda just nodded this time.
Alice lifted her gaze and looked at her flatmate, equal parts fear and anger. “You said you would do it on time for sure!” she hissed. Belinda pouted. She had said it, that was true, and she had meant it too! She had just been… Distracted! There was this cute American boy at University. An exchange student, like her. And the Spanish one as well, plus a couple local French guys who found her accent charming and her ability to drink pint after pint of beer even more so. And… Well, maybe there had been a night or two —or five— at the bar, but that wasn’t so bad, was it? There was plenty of money… Or so she thought. After another fun night out, she had received a text from her bank… Not he good kind of text from the bank —if such a thing existed. She had been too afraid to ask Alice for money again. Surely, she would find a way to fix it before the rent was due? There was her little job at the boulangerie…
Then Clément had invited her to a party at his place, and she had forgotten all about it. Until now. Time seemed to snap back, and Madame Beauvoir was pointing to the sofa in the living room and saying something in French. She rustled in her little leather handbag and produced a key. Putting the bag down, she walked to the locked closet door at the other end of the lounge, the one that tenants couldn’t open. She unlocked it with a turn of the key. Alice gasped as she saw the dozen or so implements hanging on the inside of the door. Martinets, belts, leather and hardwood paddle, a crop, a tawse… Belinda wondered whether the strict Madame Beauvoir had been a Dominatrix in a past life, or whether she had had a lot of problem tenants. Either way, she let out a little moan of anguish when the landlady took one of the wooden paddles off its hook and closed the door. The woman’s heels clacked rhythmically on the hardwood floor as she made her way back to them, tapping the paddle ominously in her open left palm.
She barked something in French, and Belinda looked at Alice in confusion. The dark-haired French girl glared. In English, she said “Take your leggings down…”
“Was? Quoi? What?” Belinda stammered. Getting punished was one thing, but surely, not on the bare?
Alice shook her head and started to undo her jeans. “It’s so unfair!” she hissed again, “I gave you the money!”
“Ja, I know, Alice, I’m sorry…” Belinda said, hesitantly pulling her leggings and underwear down.
“After this, you and I are going to have a talk!” Alice promised, anger in her voice. Belinda said nothing.
“Mesdemoiselles!” Mme Beauvoir called, “I have other things to do today, so I would advise you to get in position quickly!”
As she said so, she gave the implement cupboard’s door a glance, a promise of what would happen if they didn’t hurry up. Within seconds, the two flatmates were in position over the back of the sofa, their trousers down to their thighs and their round white bottoms up in the air. Alice was muttering in French, and Belinda wondered how she always ended up in these situations.
Her questions were cut short by the sound of Alice screaming when the paddle came down on her ass with a loud ‘WHACK!” that she swore made the windows tremble. She looked up behind her and saw the paddle swing down again toward the French girl’s derrière. Alice screamed again, and again, and again as more swats landed on her tender cheeks. Belinda closed her eyes and gritted her teeth, knowing that she would be next. Then, suddenly, pain exploded in her rear. She opened her eyes wide as tears streamed down her face and she let out a pained cry. Just as with Alice, Mme Beauvoir poured hard smacks on her bottom, warming it to a burning sear within half a minute. As suddenly as it had started, her torment stopped, and she heard Alice screaming again. A few moments later, the paddle came back for her, and on and on it went, the two girls taking turns screaming, begging and kicking their legs.
“I will give you until the end of the week to pay your rent, ladies,” the woman was saying. “And I’ll warn you now, next time, my husband will be the one to come — and he’s not as nice as I am… Understood?”
In between sniffles and cries, the girls nodded vigorously and said, “Yes ma’m, sorry ma’m.” The paddle came down again, a dozen smacks each until their bottoms were covered in red, throbbing marks.
Seemingly satisfied, Madame Beauvoir put the paddle down on the sofa. Neither of the girls dared to move. Belinda felt a blissfully fresh hand on her bottom, inspecting the marks. She heard a grunt of satisfaction, and the landlady moved on to Alice. Belinda heard her gasp. “Well well, Alice,” Mme Beauvoir said, “It seems you didn’t hate that as much as I thought…” Alice closed her eyes and buried her face in the sofa, blushing as hard as one could. Standing between the two punished girls, the landlady slapped both their bottoms in unison with her open hands. They yelped.
“To the corner, girls!” she announced, and they both got up without protestation. “Take your trousers fully off,” Mme Beauvoir continued. Again, they said nothing, sliding their trousers over their shoes and leaving them on the back of the sofa. They made their way to the corner and Alice put her hands over her head. Belinda looked back at the landlady, who gave a sharp nod towards the French girl. Belinda put her arm over her head as well.
They heard the sound of the paddle being hooked back in the closet, and the door being locked. Madame Beauvoir walked around the flat, commenting on the mess, the dirty dishes, the recycling that needed to come down. She opened Belinda’s room’s door, and from the gasp, she wasn’t happy about it. Mercifully, she said nothing and carried on. Both girls could feel their bottom burning, and wanted nothing more than to rub it, dance around to ease the pain, but they didn’t dare, for fear more punishment would come their way. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the front door opened and closed.
For a full five minutes, neither of the girls moved, not wanting to tempt fate. Finally, Belinda took a deep breath and looked back.
“I think she’s gone…” she said
“Shhhh!” came the reply, “Don’t!! My butt is bruised enough already…”
They waited another five minutes, just to be on the safe side, then finally put their arms down and rubbed their crimson bottoms with little cried of pain and big sighs of relief.
“I have some lotion in my room if you want,” said Belinda, shyly.
“I think you’ve done enough, quite frankly!” said Alice.
“Alice, I’m sorry…” the German girl said, biting her lip, “I didn’t mean to get you in trouble…”
Belinda said nothing, still rubbing her round bottom.
“What will you do?” she asked, finally.
“Well, you said we would have a talk…”
“Oh!” said Alice with a grin, “Well, first, I’m going to figure out how to unlock that closet!”
“Ach, scheiße…” whispered Belinda.