Humiliating Military Punishment

I’m not convinced that the President’s Guard in this particular mythical post-colonial African country is what we’d call a professional military organization by any stretch of the imagination. But they sure do take a stern line on punishing resistance to sexual harassment:

For Trudy Ramsay the day promised to be long.

She suspected it was no more than half done. She longed to scream at the injustice of what was being done to her. But she had been warned about screaming. It would be wiser to suffer in modest silence, with perhaps just an occasional moan.

The flat top of the post was about the same diameter as her bare bottom. Obviously they had been made for each other. The post was in the middle of the Barrack Square. Naked, she sat astride it for all to see. She had disgraced the guard uniform, so it had been taken from her. She would not have sat upon this four-foot-high perch had it not been for the ankle clamps. They were metal. At a cunning angle they fastened one of her feet to each side of the post, bent so that her knees stuck out and all her weight rested on her bottom. To complete the ensemble of penitence her wrists were unkindly tied at the small of her back. Trudy Ramsay was most definitely a fixture.

But, this being Zindawba, there had to be more. Unhappily she recalled her first sight of the coarse sandpaper glued to the circle of wood on which she must sit. It would have been bad enough without Sergeant Galla’s dictum. “Sandpaper’s better with a tender rump, love. Lie over my lap.”

The spanking had been shaming and hurt more than she would have supposed.

When the sergeant was breathless there was another girl proffering her knees and the impacts of her palm. And another, and another… In all, nineteen. By the time they were through with spanking her, Trudy’s bottom was ablaze and a fiery red. There had been no animosity in any of the slaps but they had hurt just the same. They had then all helped hoist her up on the stub of timber and fastened her ankles in the clamps, tightening the bolts with a spanner. It was all very efficient, and most unkind.

Sergeant Galla had summed it all up succinctly: “You shouldn’t have bit the warrant officer’s dink, love.”

“He shouldn’t have tried to shove it in my mouth.”

But that had all been gone over at her trial. It was generally conceded she had got off lightly. W.O. Ringbolt had demanded she be flogged. He had been conciliated only by the sergeant’s insistence that she was very new to Zindawba and would probably be a more obedient girl next time she was so honored.

“We have to, love. Al of us. He’s a terror, he is! But it makes a change from getting it up the other place below.”

Trudy had gained no solace from the sophistry.

With her blazing seat solidly planted on the sandpaper, and quite unable to move it an inch, she saw no solace anywhere. The day stretched endlessly. After it there would be others. Making the best she could of her plight, she mentally reviewed her life, so far, in the President’s Guard…

From Beloved Bonds by F.E. Campbell.

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