Sunday, July 11

Summoned before the court...

I played one of the most intense scenes ever over the weekend. Physically and mentally it pushed me to my limits. Made me wonder what the hell I was doing, saw me draw from strength I didn't know I had, made me bond with near strangers and has left me feeling like I can do anything in the world right now. I am flying!

It's going to be damn near impossible for me to convey the headspace and emotion that went with this scene but I'll try my best. Not just because I am so keen to share it with you but I'm afraid it will all slip away and I'll forget exactly how I felt.

It was a judicial scene, planned for some time. I was summoned before the court accused of being connected to the mafia. Avid readers of this blog may remember the mafia scene I wrote about at the end of last year, this was their source of information. Except they didn't believe me that I was in the secret police at all!

One of the most intense things about this scene was that I knew very few of the participants in advance. Some I had met just once before and apart from online chat and the exchange of the formal papers, I didn't know any of the court officials who administered the punishment. It made the scene far more real. And while all the players came highly recommended (and subsequently proved to justify that) I couldn't help but be nervous about playing with them. For the first time was surrendering complete control to people who hadn't earned it and there was no safety net. And they were taking a leap with me. Trust was paramount.

As part of the process I was assigned legal representation (Mr Lamb) and we had prepared our case beforehand. I was pleading not guilty and he was confident we had a good case. I was worried none the less.

On the day Abel escorted me to the court. It was a long train journey and I was nervous, but pretending I wasn't. He handed me over to Mr Lamb and bid me goodbye. Every inch the protective guardian, giving me one last hug and urging me to be brave. It was far more powerful for me that he wasn't involved and really added to my nerves when he left.

Mr Lamb quickly went over my defence one more time before leaving me in the company of another girl who was also due before the courts, the wonderful Nicky Montford. We chatted trying not to think of what was ahead, giggling nervously and trying to distract ourselves. It felt like the summons would never come and yet when it finally did how I wished it hadn't.

At the door of the court house we were met by the court clerk, Ms Switch I presumed. There were no introductions, she merely escorted us to where our counsel were preparing and bade us wait until called. I was completely unnerved. Her uniform and her manner were so formal and precise. And reality started to hit home. This was actually happening and there was no turning back.

I stood quietly with Mr Lamb, incapable of speech, listening to Nicky and her counsel, Mr S Jenkins discuss some last minute details. And we waited, my stomach churning, sweat dripping. Until we were taken into the court room, placed into the dock and again waited in silence observing all about us. The second court official whom I was to learn was Mr Allen stood gravely in the corner. Then the third, Ms Stoker appeared behind the Judge. Severe and sombre in his robes, we all stood respectfully until he was seated. Seeing him, flanked by all the court officials in their uniforms made it crystal clear that this was a proper court and I was in trouble.

Nicky was called upon first and her counsel submitted a plea of guilty to the charge of contempt of court. Despite the plea she managed to upset the court somewhat with her remarks and was sentenced to a minute and a half of spray birching and 3o strokes with the manx birch.

Then it was my turn. Mr Lamb argued my case valiantly. But our defence that the Judge was corrupt and had links to the Mafia himself was not well received. I had expected if guilty I would receive a spray birching, but almost fainted when I was given not only a minute of the spray but also 20 strokes of the manx for contempt of court.

Before the Judge bade the officials to do their work he cautioned them that they were not to show either of us any mercy. That is was their duty to give every stroke as hard as they could, that no matter how much we protested or begged they were not to be lenient. If this was meant to freak me out more, it certainly worked.

Nicky was dealt with first and that time passed in a blur of noise, pity, terror and stomach churning on my behalf. Strapped onto the whipping bench her bottom was bared to the court officials.

Ms Switch took up one of the spray birches, at her bidding Mr Jenkins took out his stop watch and Mr Lamb took up his pencil to count the strokes. At the signal she began the birching, hitting so fast and hard I couldn't believe it possible. This was the first spray birching of this type I'd ever witnessed and I was very scared. Those 30 seconds felt like 30 minutes, and I was only observing.

But if I was scared during the spray I was undone by the manx birch. Made of 5 water willow rods, each thicker than my thumb it looked intimidating enough as it was. And watching the administrators put their full weight into bringing it down on her bottom and making the most obscene crack as it landed made me feel ill.

By the time they had done with Nicky I was absolutely petrified. I had witnessed all three officials at work, Ms Switch, Ms Stoker and Mr Allen and had never felt so out of my depth anywhere. Convinced that I had made a serious error of judgement, that I didn't play this hard that I wouldn't be able to take it. I was as close as I've ever come to a panic attack in a scene.

But what was I to do? I wanted to see it through, I had signed up for this. I couldn't run away now, that wasn't my style. So I told myself just to get through it. That it was just pain and pain would go away. No matter how much it hurt I would survive and I could leave with my head high and never have to do this again.

In this headspace it actually felt like I was being punished against my will. (Of course I wasn't). I thought of HH and Abel and how they wanted me to be brave and decided to try as hard as I could to be. There was no character to hide behind, this was me Emma Jane and I felt very alone.

When instructed I knelt up on the bench and put aside my concerns about having my legs strapped down. That was the least of my worries. Carefully they tied me in position. Ms Switch gave me some water, asked was I in good health and was I read to begin? And I was. No point putting it off any longer.

I was tied so I couldn't move but I clutched the bench with my hands anyway. Ms Stoker stood at the side of my head, carefully watching me throughout. From very far away I heard Mr Jenkins count down, 3, 2, 1 and then I braced myself, trying not to be sick.

The first strokes landed rapidly but were OK. I expected that. The spray builds to an unbearable point and 6 strokes in it was starting to burn. The pace and intensity of the strokes didn't let up throughout, but the burn was magnifying every second.

I held on for dear life, willing myself to be strong. I didn't move or make a sound, it was all I had. I was truly feeling the horrific pain but I clung onto my silence. If only I could take it silently then I could survive it and that became the mental battle in my head. Hold, hold on. Think of HH, think of Abel, think I'm a brave girl and I'll actually be brave.

When the first 30 seconds were done with I sobbed for the respite, letting out my pain. Almost weak with the relief that I could take the spray at least, even if I was in serious pain. I gratefully took the a drink of water, raising my head to Ms Switch, conscious of the pitiful site I made with the tears running down my face.

Mr Allen then took up the birch and I braced myself again. Breathing in and out, halting the tears, focusing. With just the same pace and intensity the birch rained down again. Once more I clung to my silence and holding still. And my mind went off to strange places. For the rest of that birching I was elsewhere. Each stroke dealing with some life stress: to hell with work, whack; car accident, whack; arguments with friends, whack.

To the point that this 30 seconds seemed far shorter. (I later learned they had managed to give me almost 140 strokes in the minute.) I cried deeper and harder this time. Pain and relief mingled with fear of the manx. I'd never felt water willow before. Didn't know what to expect but from witnessing Nicky knew it would be severe, knew they would use their full force on me.

Ms Switch went first. I braced myself, heard the astonishing crack as it hit my skin and moaned aloud in pain. It was like being hit with a sledge hammer but for all the thud it also seared my skin too. I couldn't believe I had to take 19 more.

It seemed like forever before we got the first 10 over with. No opportunity for my mind to go anywhere, I had to focus on the pain, on manging to breathe. I whimpered and cried through each one and wondered how my bottom didn't break in half.

Nervously I waited for the second ten, afraid when Mr Allen took it up. I expected him to be harder and he was. I howled through the first 3, sobbed at number 4 and thought i'd never see 10. And he was getting harder with each. How mean, I was already struggling to take it.

And then the switch flicked at number 5, a lil bit of defiance came out. I'd show him. I took the next 5 in silence, playing with him in my head. "Yes I'm flinching, yes it hurts, yes the tears are rolling down my cheeks but I can take it, I'm, flying so go on give it your best shot" I argued silently, trying to win this battle I had constructed in my head.

Until it was all over. I clenched my hands in triumph, giddy with pain and adrenalin, giving myself over to the emotions. Except we weren't done. Ms Switch pronounced 2 more to drive the lesson home.

And then my tears really started, this was breaking point. I didn't want any more. And certainly not from Mr Allen. Each was horribly painful and I cried aloud at both. I lay trembling on the bench when he was done, praying it was over.

The Judge questioned me before they let me up and I tearfully promised I had learned by lesson, that I would behave and apologised to the court. I was desperate not to incur anymore.Finally we were released and dismissed and it was over.

Weakly I collapsed into Lamb's arms. I had gone through it and had survived and I couldn't help but feel a sense of achievement. I was inexplicably proud of myself.

For a long time afterwards we chatted and hugged as a group, introductions finally having been made. I was flying high! But when Abel came to collect me I was glad to go home. To reflect, to process to relive one of the most intense experiences of my scene life. Thank you to everyone who made it happen. Today I'm a very happy and floaty girl. This is what this is all about for me, this is why I do this. I love to fly....


indy said...

I'm quite literally dumbstruck by this description, a rather rare event! I can't quite formulate a comment about the scene itself, but oh, my, what a beautifully and powerfully written description!

Abel1234 said...

I was so proud of you yesterday.

I found this so hard to read, just wanting to hold you tight and cuddle - and so amazing, too. And I'm so glad you did play the scene.

Love you xxx

PS I'll post my own account tomorrow of what it felt like taking you there...

Simon said...

Great account. You were fantastic yesterday.

Pandora Blake said...

Wow. This was incredible to read. Thankyou so much for sharing your experience so articulately.

MecIrlandais said...

Well done, sounds amazing. So you didn't need ry*nair to fly you home this time.

Spanking Catharsis said...

I agree with Indy regarding the description. you have very good writing skills. I can imagine you working as a technical writer.

I must admit, as an outsider, that I was confulsed as to a manx. at first i could only think of the language and the breed of cat.

Imp that I am, my first thought was "they used a KITTY on her? such barbarity!". But then I realised that even that could not possibly be the case and that I need to go finish my Iced Tea.

Once again, thanks for an experience and story that was up to your usual high standards. Time to go finish my iced tea.

Mistress A Switch said...

You were incredibly brave, not knowing most of the participants and taking the punishment so well. You react beautiful, tears running down your face, you have a delightful bottom and an endearing personalty. A real sweetheart!! It was such a pleasure to meet you and play with you and I soooooo look forward to seeing you again.

With much love, admiration and respect

Andi xxxx

Johnboy said...

Wow this is the most amazing scene description i have ever read!
I so felt i was there from reading your words.
Thank you very much for sharing your fantastic experience, those kind of feelings really are what its all about and nothing else comes close.

Rebecca said...

Wow what an intense account you brave, crazy girl.

Master Retep said...

What a remarkably lucid description of such an intense scene. My admiration of your ability to participate so deeply is only surpassed by my wonder at the clarity you bring to objectively describing such a subjective experience.

Thank you for sharing your adventures to places most of us would never have the courage to visit.

Rayne said...

This sounds amazing Emma Jane -- beautifully written and truthfully recounted -- thank you so much for sharing such an intense experience! :D

You go, Girl :D

Marlowe said...

This was so powerful to read. Your honesty in reflecting on something so intense is quite something!

The way that you record, reflect on and appear to learn and grow from the use of your blog was one of the things that got me writing, but this is really quite - well I'm not sure if I should say harrowing or inspiring? You definately deserve an extra hug next time we meet.


Anonymous said...

It is like a hero's journey. No, it IS a hero's journey. Facing trials afraid, going forward all the same, determined to withstand, endure.

Witnessing the whipping of the first miscreant. Seeing how agonising it is. Hearing her suffer.

And still you were brave. Still you went forward. A matter of honour.

And what a passion! What terrible, hellish, heavenly pain.
At the end, almost worst of all, when you had faced the last strokes, and won your final battle. Then the two extra strokes. To break you.

Fantastic. I feel full of admiration and love.