As a writer, corner time is wonderful. While it slows down the action of the story, it allows for anticipation, and sometimes, a revelation, by the soon to be spanked heroine of the story.
All of these excerpts come from my collection of short stories, The Long Arm of the Law.
This excerpt is from The Candidate's Wife, which can be found in its entirety in a couple of other posts. Although this story doesn't exactly involve corner time, there is a long period of waiting which serves the same purpose.
When they got to the door of the bus, her husband sent Kennedy ahead with a whispered “Wait for me in our room. Be ready to discuss your behavior.” And then he turned to address the reporters.
“My wife and I both regret the fall that my opponent took and wish him a speedy recovery. However, I can assure you that neither my wife, nor anyone affiliated with my campaign had anything to do with what happened. It was simply an unfortunate accident. But, like all the other members of his party, my opponent likes to place the blame for every mishap on everyone except himself.”
Conversation on the campaign bus stopped when Kennedy entered. She walked the length of the bus in an eerie silence. The usually short aisle seemed to stretch on endlessly. Mercifully she got to the bedroom at the back of the bus that she shared with her husband. It was their only zone of absolute privacy in a very public life. She shut the door behind her and leaned her head against its coolness.
She longed to crawl into bed and pull the covers over her head, but she knew that there was still the matter of her “behavior” that needed to be “discussed” and the thought of what that meant created a knot in her stomach.
Kennedy allowed herself a few seconds to collect her thoughts and then began her preparations.
She knew without looking that the brown wooden box was in Grant’s nightstand. It always was. She pulled open the drawer, removed the box, and set it on the bed. The box always brought out mixed emotions for Kennedy.
Across the top Greek letters symbolized Grant’s fraternity. Her fingers traced the shapes and she traveled back in time to a world that seemed a lifetime ago.
The fraternity lounge was crowded and noisy and Kennedy, despite her outward appearance of confidence, was scared to death. Boarding school had taught her many things that prepared her for life; Latin translations, haute cuisine, and ballroom dancing. The one subject about which she was totally uneducated was men. There hadn’t been any at the school and very few in her world outside of it.
So there she stood, with her roommate, Carla, both trying to act cool and like they went to frat parties every weekend.
The boarding school had also not taught Kennedy much about alcohol, so when she found herself puking under a bush in the wee hours of the morning, with Carla nowhere in sight, she wondered if perhaps she was in over her head.
She stood up and tried to focus her attention in what she hoped was the direction of her dorm when a male voice made her jump.
“Maybe you’d like to use this.” A very handsome young man, whom Carla had pointed out as the president of the fraternity, offered her a handkerchief.
“Thank you,” Kennedy said. She took the offered bit of fabric. She wiped the cold sweat from her brow. Now what? She wondered. Do I return the sweaty thing to this gorgeous man or do I keep it? Yet another piece of her boarding school education that had been lacking.
Perhaps sensing her confusion, the fraternity president took the handkerchief from her and put it in his pocket.
“I’m Grant Johnson, ” he said and held out his hand.
“Kennedy Wilson.” She put her hand in his and hadn’t let go of it for nearly twenty years.
Kennedy smiled at the memory and then remembered the task at hand. She opened the box and removed the contents—a faded t-shirt with the words “Sig Ep Little Sis” on the back and a long wooden fraternity pledge paddle with the initials GQJ etched along its length.
She carefully removed her candidate’s wife’s suit and blouse and hung them in the closet—another useful lesson learned at boarding school---then donned the t-shirt. She was proud to see that it still fit, but just like all those years ago, it still didn’t cover her bottom.
Kennedy put the box back in the nightstand, laid the paddle carefully in the center of the bed, and positioned herself next to the paddle crouched on her knees and elbows with her rump exposed to the cool air of the bedroom.
And then she waited.
The waiting was the worst part, which was precisely why Grant insisted upon it.
He’d always known what was best for her and what she needed from the night that he handed her his handkerchief and then walked her back to her dorm, to this night when the stress and fatigue of the campaign were nearly overwhelming. Kennedy trusted that he’d do the right thing tonight too. But, that didn’t stop the butterflies from dive bombing her stomach.