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Anton's End

by Crispin

Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 20 Nov 1994

Organization: Anonymous contact service
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 1994 17:46:29 UTC
Subject: STORY - ANTON'S END - M/M - CP - Birching
Lines: 512


Which is what this story is chiefly concerned with...

Anton had set his heart on the little blue Citroen 2CV, which had been in the nearby showrooms of the former blacksmith for a week. At the price of 5,000 francs it could only have been a dream for him. His father had lived and died it the home which was theirs, and Anton's widowed mother had now to scrub floors and take in washing to raise the money to keep Anton at the Lycee. His father's last wish had been that Anton should complete his education and gain the full baccalaureate, and although he did his best to keep to his studies, he was madly jealous of the richer boys with their motor scooters and impending cars.

Pocket money was meagre, and Anton had tried to find a suitable job to get money for himself. Delivering papers did not pay well and he found the early morning rising difficult. market portering was well paid, but there was always a large throng of older boys after this work so that Anton was told, as often as not, 'No more today'. he had even tried running errands for the neighbours, but this work was unreliable and returns were not great. Wondering about his future and the 2CV, Anton was wandering down his street quite oblivious of anyone else when he dreams stopped very suddenly as a number of long parcels landed on his head and shoulders. As he stooped to pick them up, he found himself looking into the angry eyes of M. Dubois who lived four houses away. M. Dobois snarled;

"As you've made me drop them all, you had better help me carry them to the Post Office!"

As they entered the Post Office together, the Postmaster exclaimed "Good day, M. Dubois. You have a lot for me this week!"

"Yes," replied M. Dubois. "This fool of a boy walked into me, so I made him give me a hand." By now he was more good humoured and when all the parcels had been stamped said to Anton;

"If you've nothing better to do after school, you can carry these for me every day instead of my having to hump them once a week."

Anton knew better than to ask how much he would get and was pleasantly surprised to be given five francs for a week's work - almost a franc a day. He was intrigued by the size of the parcel, almost always long and narrow and he wondered what on Earth they could contain, but his enquiries were neatly parried whenever he asked.

He knew better than to be too inquisitive, and his patience was rewarded a few weeks later when M. Dubois said;

"My wife is not well today. If you can keep a secret you can help me with my work." Anton was delighted, but tried not to show it too much as he assured M. Dubois that he could indeed keep a secret. He was lead into the garden at the side of M. Dubois house. This garden always had been a source of wonder to him as nobody knew what it contained; but he now found it to be full of trees, with no fruit of any kind visible. M. Dubois led him on to the large garden shed, and before opening the door, said;

"Tell me have you ever been caned at school?"

Anton indeed had, and his father had also made free use of his martinet before he died. - the thing which had always puzzled Anton was that he never understood the cries and yells extracted from the other boys at school, and the impression that his father expected him to be in tears during a whipping. He felt a little embarrassed as he told M. Dubois,

"Yes Monsieur, frequently."

"Then you may know that there is a more powerful weapon called the birch," M. Dubois answered. "And that is what I make here."

As the door opened, Anton saw masses of twigs from the trees hanging round the walls - some still with their green leaves, and others stripped of leaves standing in a vat. M. Dubois explained that his birches travelled all over the world, but especially to England where they were still used in schools of correction. Then he got Anton to hold a bungle firmly while he applied rope round the end to hold it together. Anton proved to be a rapid learner, and after he had been shown a few times how to trim the ends and finish off with rubber tape M. Dubois would confidently leave this job to him while he answered the telephone in the house. Often on his return he would say;

"That's another dozen wanted for an English school, Court Lees this time. They wear them out quickly there."

Anton had been fascinated by the sight of the finished birchrods since he had first seen them, and as he found that M. Dubois left him alone for longer times, he began to take the rods ready for packing and swish them through the air - wondering what their effect would be on him. From these preliminary flourishes, he progressed to trying them with increasing force on his bared calf. One day he was so engrossed in this pursuit that he did not notice M. Dubois' return until he heard him say;

"Ah, you test them as well now! Good, but don't try too hard or they will break easily while they are so dry." He went on to say that the birches had to be soaked in water or brine before use to make the twigs supple, and that he could not get the full effect by using one on his calf.

Anton did not take much notice of this warning and whether by accident or design, the very next birch he tried proved to be very stiff and he was found by M. Dubois with the shattered rod and a multitude of twigs.

"Wretched boy," cried M. Doubois. "Will you pay for that one or will I take it out on your skin?"

Thinking of the 2CV, Anton sound found himself, minus his trousers, bending over the workbench while M. Dubois applied a fresh birch to his backside. He found it only a little more painful than the cane, and took the six firm strokes without a murmur. To his surprise, he heard M. Dubois say;

"That's just what I wanted to know. You can take it quite well!" Anton asked what he meant and M. Dubois replied that he must have noticed that many of the parcels did not go to schools, but to private citizens.

"These gentlemen love the birch, but most of all they like to birch - or see birched - a boy of 16 like you. They are prepared to pay dearly for the privilege - enough to buy that car you make sheeps eyes at down the road! Does the idea interest you? NO! Don't answer now, but sleep on it and let me know tomorrow."

Next lunch time, Anton went to the garage and asked M. Dupres if he would take his savings, 25 francs, as a deposit on the 2CV. He was surprised to find that the money was readily accepted with no comment on the small amount. When he entered the shed after school, again he was surprised to feel that M. Dubois seemed to know of his decision already.

"Would you like to see where 'La Fete de la Verge' will take place?" asked M. Doubois. And much to Anton's surprise they went to the large flat above M. Dupries' garage, where the owner welcomed them. After measuring Anton's height, then his body and legs separately, M. Dupres announced himself satisfied.

"How many will I have to take?" Anton asked.

"You and I, my boy, are going to enact a birching as was given to boy criminals in England some years ago. The devotees of the Birch will, I am sure, pay 20 francs a stroke and there are 10 of them, so if you take the full punishment of 24 strokes you will earn 4,800 francs."

"I don't know if I can take so many," Anton replied.

"Nor do I," M. Dubois said. "But if you remember that each stroke is worth 200 francs, I think you will survive. Anyway we shall have a doctor in attendance as part of the proceedings."

Anton didn't sleep to well during the next fortnight which was needed to make the arrangements, but kept the image of the car in his mind. He nearly backed out but found that M. Dupres could not keep the car much longer, and he knew no other way to get the money. Apart from his fear, he felt fascinated by the idea - in all rather confused He even asked M. Dubois is he would give him a more severe private birching, but he just laughed and said Anton would have to wait for 'La grande Fete de la Verge' to find out if he could take it.

At last the fateful Saturday arrived - Anton was glad it was Saturday, as Friday was his bath night and his mother would have been curious if he had wanted to bathe any other night. He had asked already if he should come dressed in any special way, but was not reassured when he was told he could come in any clothes he liked - it would not matter at all. M. Dubois had also told him he would be treated in every way like a criminal.

Soon after lunch M. Dubois announced it was time to go and they walked to M. Dupres' flat where Anton was shown a bedroom and told to undress completely. As he did so, he ran his hands over the smooth, firm skin of his buttocks, and wondered if they would ever feel the same again. The door opened and M. Dubois entered, carrying a white blouse, which he told Anton was an English 'Tee-shirt' and a pair of dark blue shorts, longer than Anton was accustomed to wearing.

"This is the English Approved School costume - you'll find a pair of boots under the bed, and they should fit well enough." As M. Dubois left again, Anton dressed, and found the shorts fitted tightly round his thighs and buttocks. The boots were enormous - highly polished in black leather. Waiting seemed an eternity, but the door opened at last revealing M. Dubois in a brief costume of black leather.

"Don't take what I say to heart - we want to make everything as realistic as is possible!" Then with one firm hand on Anton's shoulder, he propelled him into the room which was dimly lit - except for the centrepiece on which bright lights shone. And what a centrepiece! M. Dupres had called on all his blacksmith's skills to fashion an impressive Birching Block from iron girders and black leather.

Anton could see nothing of the observers except the glowing cigarette tips, and an occasional glimpse of features as they smoked; As in a dream, he heard M.Dubois say;

"Prisoner, you have been found guilty of robbery with violence and have been sentenced to the maximum - twenty-four strokes with the Birch. Have you anything to say why sentence should not be administered?" Anton tried to say something, anything, to get away from that terrible bench, but his tongue stuck to his mouth and no words came.

"Let us proceed then," said M. Dubois. "Get those clothes off!" Anton soon found his hands unwilling to move, and shrunk away, but his tee-shirt was gripped by M. Dubois and pulled over his arms and away.

"Off with those shorts, boy or it will be the worse for you." As he undid the buttons, Anton felt a quickening of interest in the room, and felt himself gazed upon as he slid the garment down past his knees and over the heavy boots.

"First the doctor will examine the prisoner to see if he is fit for punishment," said M. Doubois. And Anton now recognised M. Lucas, who was the veterinary surgeon of the nearby town. M. Lucas was obviously greatly aroused to see a naked boy in front of him, and so far forgot himself as to look at Anton's teeth and gums until prompted by M.Dupres to produce a tattered stethoscope from his pocket. A nod of approval followed, and M. Dubois stepped forward with a broad leather belt which he buckled firmly round Anton's waist. then he snapped handcuffs on the boy's wrists, and Anton's manhood sprang to life at this. As he instinctively covered himself with his hands he found himself drawn towards that impressive bench and tried to pull away, but his other arm was now held and in spite of his struggles found himself placed across it with his hands pulled towards the top.

Now he felt other straps fastened to the leather belt, and an experimental wriggle told him he could not move very far - but worse was to come, as his thighs and ankles were firmly secured to the uprights of the bench. Finally his elbows were fixed, leaving only his head and hands free to move. He now saw that there were no less than six of the longest birchrods, 1.2 metres, soaking in two separate vats. Then he heard M. Dubois say;

"Strokes will be given at intervals of ten seconds - counted by M. L'inspecteur. A fresh birch will be used after each six strokes and the prisoner will be examined when a birch is changed or at any time felt necessary.

Anton saw one of the birches removed from the first vat and shaken to remove the surplus liquid. Then he heard M. Dupres start counting, and his muscles of their own accord tightened in fear. In fact the first stroke came as a relief, but he now found the slow counting of the seconds terrifying. The first two strokes were not too painful, but the swish of the third was louder, and he cried out as the buds lashed his flank. He noticed that drops of water from the birch were flying all around the room and landing on various cigarettes, and by concentrating on this sight was able to take the next three strokes without further noise although the pain was severe. Now a brief respite as a fresh birch was taken from the first vat, and M. Lucas solemnly put the stethoscope under his chest.

The next birch was heavier, and he yelled in pain at each stroke - after the fourth he felt something warm running down his thighs and heard a unified gasp of satisfaction from the avid audience. The next two seemed a little lighter, and then came the business of changing the birch again, but now a difference! He heard M. Dubois say, "Now that the skin has been broken, we must change to a birch soaked in brine to prevent infection." As the thirteenth stroke fell, he found it was no worse than before - though that was bad enough - but the time of waiting between strokes now became a time of agony as the strong brine solution seeped into his torn buttocks and set them on fire. Without knowing it, Anton found himself biting fiercely on the links of his handcuffs, which was some comfort, but still a cry was forced from his lips at each stroke, only the duller agony was assuaged by his biting on the metal. He waited in hope after the 18th stroke was given while the birch was change and while M. Lucas checked his heart. 'Bon dieu,' Anton thought. 'If only he will say I have had enough"' But he heard M. Lucas say;

"Although this boy has been making a fuss, his heartbeat is strong, and he is quite fit to take the full punishment."

As if to savour the opportunity, M. Dubois gave him the nineteenth stroke harder than ever before and without waiting for the count of ten. Now that his hope was gone, Anton burst into tears like a baby - tears which died down between strokes and rose to crescendo at each. By now he had lost count, and when the last savage stroke fell he did not realise that his sufferings were nearly over. Then, to his horror, he heard M. Dubois say;

"Finally it is necessary to make sure that any abrasions are fully salted to avoid infection. Who would like to help?" Within a moment Anton felt a number of hands on his buttocks, forcing salt into his wounds; and he fainted clean away.

He awoke to a feeling of contentment until the pain in his buttocks came strongly to remind him of his ordeal. As his eyes grew accustomed to the light he found he was still at M. Dupres' flat - in a warm bath. The faint smell of roses was strangely comforting. M. Dubois was bathing his brow and looking concerned.

"Tell me, boy, how do you feel? Do you think you can still walk? You have been unconscious a long time, but there are still a couple of hours before your mother will expect you home yet." Then M. Dupres entered the bathroom, looking very relieved as he realised that Anton was conscious. His enquiries were cut short as M. Dubois said "He seems to be all right, but we must get him on his feet and back to normal so that he can return home in good time - otherwise his mother will beat him and she might notice the damage."

Anton couldn't help smiling as he visualised his mother's horror and realisation that she could not add to his punishment, and his smile was noticed by M. Doubois with a cry of delight. "See he can smile now. Quick, show him the money and that should complete the cure."

M. Dupres took a large role of bank notes from his pocket and said;