Here's a short story for you to enjoy while I get round to finishing some of my proper-length books.
It is available as a free PDF here so that you can download it onto your kindle, kobo, phone, tea-kettle or similar. Enjoy!
Millie and the Mill Owner by Etta Stark
It was just before half past five in the morning; Millie pulled her shawl tightly around he shoulders as she stood outside the gates of Northam Mill ready to begin her day’s work.
The other girls who worked at the mill chatted to one another as they waited. As usual, they did not include Millie in their chatter. Millie pretended not to mind. She knew that she did not fit in. She wasn’t one of them. She had the wrong accent. These girls had all grown up together whereas Millie had been raised in a different world, a privileged life with wealthy parents, a good education and all she could wish for. But everything had changed after her father’s death.
Poverty and shame meant that she had to find work quickly doing whatever job she could find. She had been relieved to be taken on by Northam Mills as a weaver. The days were long and the work was difficult and exhausting. Millie could bear the work itself but the attitudes of the other girls was difficult to cope with.
The gates opened and as Millie moved forward with the crowd, someone barged into her from the side causing her to stumble.
“Oh I am sorry, Lady Muck” her assailant said. “Did your diamond shoes trip you up?”
Of course, Millie wasn’t wearing diamond shoes nor anything like it. She wore heavy boots like the rest of the workers. But it didn’t matter; the girls thought her a posh snob and were determined to hate her.
Millie reached her machine and set about cleaning it ready for the day’s work. She noticed that the other girls’ chatter was more animated than usual this morning.
“Did anyone else hear that Lord Northam is coming to inspect the troops today?” a girl called Bet remarked.
“I heard that too. You know he’ll find fault with someone here. He always does.” This response came from Jane whose machine was next to Millie’s.
Bet gave a ribald laugh. “From what I’ve heard maybe I wouldn’t mind his Lordship finding fault with me.”
The girls all laughed much to Millie’s bafflement. One girl, Molly, didn’t join in the merriment. “You wouldn’t laugh if it had happened to you, I can tell you” she said.
“Aw, Molly,” said Jane. “You still sore about it?” More laughter.
“I was bloody sore for days afterwards, I can tell you!” huffed Molly before returning to clean her machine.
“Why is Lord Northam visiting the mill floor?” asked Millie, her curiosity getting the better of her.
The laughter stopped immediately. Jane turned to Millie with a look of contempt. “Oh I dunno, y’Ladyship. Maybe he heard we had an actual fucking Duchess working on the looms.”
“I’m not a Duchess,” Millie retorted.
“Well, you’re too high and mighty for the likes of us, aren’t you?” Jane then lunged forward and grabbed Millie’s bucket and threw its contents at her machine. Cold, dirty water went everywhere.
Millie was completely dumbstruck for a moment. Only for a moment though. When her voice returned she was furious. “Why the hell did you do that, you stupid bitch?” Millie yelled.
At that very moment the foreman, Mr Weavind came round the corner into their view. He was accompanied by the mill owner, Lord Northam.
Lord Northam was not what Millie had expected at all. For some reason she had imagined the mill owner to be an old man. Yet Lord Northam was clearly no more than five and thirty. He was well-attired with dark hair and a rather forbidding expression. His gaze was immediately fixed on Millie and then turned to her machine which was dripping wet. “What, may I ask, has happened to your loom?” he asked.
Millie, still furious, replied through gritted teeth “It was sabotaged by one of the other workers, Sir.”
Jane gasped. She clearly hadn’t expected Millie to grass her up. But Millie was too angry to abide by any sense of workers’ solidarity. She was going to lose her job, most likely. She was bloody well going to take Jane with her.
“I see. And did this person have any reason to carry out such an action?”
“No, sir” replied Millie.
“No reason except you’re a lazy stuck-up snob who thinks she’s better than everybody else” spat Jane.
Mr Weavind looked absolutely furious at the unprofessional behaviour his workers were displaying in front of the mill owner. “This is completely unacceptable,” he barked.
Lord Northam held up his hand. “I will deal with this,” he said, calmly. “Both of you will go to my office. Now. Weavind, escort the girls there immediately.”
“Yes, sir,” replied Weavind gruffly.
Jane shot Millie a look of pure venom. There was no doubt that she held Millie entirely responsible for the trouble that she was in. However, Millie’s mood was already so low that Jane’s anger could not sink it any lower.
This was it, she thought. She was going to lose her position. Jobs were not easy to come by in this town. She might not have had any great love for working in the mill but any job was better than none at all.
When they reached the door to the mill office, Weavind told them to stand and wait in silence. He stood with them and made no effort to speak further.
Millie was already trembling in fear; she kept her eyes focused on the floor so that she did not risk having to look at Jane or the foreman.
Ten minutes later, Lord Northam appeared. “You may leave us now, Weavind. I will handle matters from here.”
Millie’s eyes were still firmly fixed on her shoes; she heard Weavind mumble his acquiescence and depart.
“Very well, girls” said Lord Northam. His authoritative tone made Millie look up to meet his eye. “I shall see you, Jane, in my office first. Follow me. Millie, you wait here.”
Millie managed a mumbled “yes, sir” as Lord Northam opened his office door and walked through it, followed by Jane.
She had no intention of eavesdropping but her position just outside the door meant that she had little else to occupy her attention. She heard muffled voices – mostly those of Lord Northam – and then a few minutes later a sound which made her jump with surprise.
It was a loud “thwack!”. Millie had never received any corporal punishment other than the odd pat on an errant backside by her father when she was a child. However, she was no fool. She knew that the sound she had just heard was the beginning of a beating. Some sort of implement was connecting with flesh. Bare flesh.
Moments later, the sound came again. Then again. And again. Over and over the same sound of something colliding with what Millie could only assume was Jane’s exposed bottom. After half a dozen strokes, the sounds of the beating were accompanied by new ones – the shrieks and wails of its unfortunate target. The beating continued. Jane’s evident distress at her punishment clearly wasn’t going to put a stop to it any time soon.
At long last the door opened and a very tearful Jane exited the room. Her eyes were wet and bloodshot and her hands were instinctively clasping her now-covered backside.
“Return to your work immediately, Jane, and do what I have told you” said Lord Northam. “And I trust we will see an improvement in your behaviour going forward.”
Jane nodded and hurried off back to the mill floor. Millie watched her go thinking that however much Jane had hated her before, this was only going to increase following the hard spanking that she had had to endure. And yet she felt a sense of excitement deep in the pit of her belly that she couldn’t readily comprehend.
“In my office now, Millie” said Lord Northam. On entering the room, Millie’s eye was immediately drawn to a thick leather strap lying on the desk. No doubt this was the implement which had been so loudly used on Jane. She could not stop looking at it.
Was she about to receive the same punishment, she thought. She wished that this was the case with a fervour that surprised her. She told herself that this was because being beaten, however harshly, was a hundred times better than finding herself without a job.
Lord Northam sat behind his desk and looked Millie up and down as she stood before it.
“Camilla Leamington, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Any relation to George Leamington?”
“He was my father, sir.”
“I thought as much. George Leamington was once a prosperous and respected man in this town. And yet his daughter is now reduced to working on the machines in my mill? Why is that?”
Millie had no idea why his Lordship was asking such questions of her but she replied honestly.
“There were debts that needed to be paid off, Sir, after his death.”
“I see” said Lord Northam standing up and coming to the front of the desk. He picked up the leather strap. “Right let’s get on with it. Bend over the desk. Feet on the floor. Hands holding onto the far edge.”
Her heart hammering in her chest, Millie did as she was bid. When she was bent over in position, she felt Lord Northam lift her skirts and fling them over her back. He parted her drawers so that her bottom was fully exposed. She had scarcely time to consider this undignified position before she felt the first smack of leather against her skin.
The pain was incredible. She had never felt anything like it. Tears welled up in her eyes but Millie was determined not to move from her position. She wanted to take her punishment as well as she could. After all, her job depended upon it.
Moments later, the second strike cracked across her flesh. Lord Northam barely paused as he brought the strap down repeatedly on her bottom. As Millie tearfully endured the pain, she became aware of another, rather more baffling, reaction.
She was aware of a warmth suffusing her body. Not just on her bottom which was fast becoming fiery red from the harsh application of the strap. No, the warmth she was embarrassed to discover was somewhere else, somewhere more intimate.
She could feel her breath becoming faster as Lord Northam continued the spanking. She was almost panting. As the blows rained down hard and fast on her tender bottom, she did not move an inch. When his Lordship stopped, he gave a low whistle.
“You took that remarkably well. Have you been beaten like that before?”
“N-no, sir” stammered Millie. She could barely get the words out.
Lord Northam put his hand on Millie’s still-upturned bottom and began rubbing her cheeks. Millie let out an involuntary moan in response. Lord Northam chuckled. “I suppose you are just a natural then. I do believe that you enjoyed that almost as much as I did. You didn’t struggle or cry out at all. A rather unusual response, I must say.”
Millie felt she should rightfully feel embarrassed by his Lordship’s touch and by the words he was speaking to her. But she could not manage to feel shame. Instead she felt longing. She welcomed the feel of Lord Northam’s hand on her sore punished bottom and felt herself raising slightly to meet his touch.
“Oh you wicked girl,” said Lord Northam in a voice that sounded almost affectionate. “You are enjoying this far more than you should.”
Millie gasped as Lord Northam moved his hand so that it was no longer rubbing her buttocks but was instead fondling the soft folds between her thighs. Her most private area. The area that no man should touch until her wedding night.
She was powerless to stop it. This was not because she was cowed or intimidated by her Master. She may have been before the beating but she was not even thinking of such things now. The sensation of his fingers inside her felt so marvellous that she wished he would continue to touch her in this way forever.
“So very, very wet,” said Lord Northam approvingly. He withdrew his fingers and gave Millie a sharp slap on her bottom.
His voice became commanding. “Right, you naughty girl, stand up and adjust your clothing. I believe you and I need to have a talk.”
Millie righted herself from her procumbent position with some difficulty; her body simply did not want to move. Her skirts fell back into place and she smoothed them down while turning to face Lord Northam. Her senses were beginning to return to her and she became aware once again of her surroundings. What on earth had just happened?
“Well Millie, you have certainly made my decision a good deal easier.”
“You do not belong in your current job. You should not be working on the factory floor.”
Sense and reason returned to Millie in an instant. She was going to lose her job after all. No wonder, she thought, after the behaviour she had displayed. Surely Lord Northam did not want a woman as wanton as her on his payroll.
However, Lord Northam continued. “Tell me, Millie, can you read and write?”
“Yes sir,” replied Millie, slightly baffled by the question.
“Did you go to school?”
“To Rodean, sir.”
Lord Northam smiled. It was a brief smile but it was dazzling. “Perfect. I have a proposition for you. My Clerk has just quit his position and I urgently require someone to fill the role. I see no reason why a woman could not do the job as well as a man. I would like to employ you as my Clerk on a month’s trial basis. The hours would be eight to six with a half day on Saturdays.”
Millie could scarcely believe it. The hours were so much better than the long shifts she currently spent on the looms. When Lord Northam named a wage far in excess of her present one, her spirits soared at the thought of her new job. A job which would take her away from the hatred and taunting of Jane and the other girls on the factory floor.
She managed to find her tongue. “Thank you, your Lordship. That would be most agreeable. I will endeavour to do whatever you require of me.”
“I’m sure you will,” said Lord Northam. “Of course, if you fail to please me, I shall beat you thoroughly. You have already met my junior strap but, believe me, I have a fine collection of straps, canes, whips and tawses that I will not hesitate to use on your bare backside. Is that acceptable to you?”
Millie felt her blood rush to her face. And to her nether regions. “Oh yes, Sir,” she said emphatically. She tried not to smile. She failed.
Lord Northam considered her thoughtfully. “In fact, it occurs to me that I shouldn’t wait for you to displease me in order to punish you. What if you never put a foot wrong? Then I should never have any reason to spank your bottom. I don’t believe that would please either one of us.”
He picked up the strap from the table and slapped it against the palm of his left hand in an almost absent-minded manner.
“I have decided that you are a girl who should be disciplined regularly regardless of your behaviour. We shall consider them Guidance Spankings.”
“Yes, sir. I think that would probably be wise,” said Millie mischievously. She was relieved that she would not have to be bad on purpose to be bent over and spanked by Lord Northam.
“Good. You will start your new role tomorrow morning. Arrive here half an hour early at half past seven. Before you start your clerical duties, I plan to plan to put you over my lap and administer a sound hand spanking to your bare bottom. Then you will bend over the desk and receive a most thorough caning.”
“I will be here at half past seven promptly,” said Millie, excitement rising in her belly.
“I shall look forward to it. As, I am sure, will you.” Lord Northam flashed Millie another of his brilliant smiles. “Don’t bother returning to work today. Take the rest of the day off. I will see you tomorrow morning and not a minute later than agreed.”
“What about my machine?” asked Millie thinking of the thrown bucket and its dripping contents.
“Jane will be instructed to thoroughly clean and dry your old loom,” replied Lord Northam.
Millie bid good day to her Lord and Master with profuse thanks. She exited the huge external gates of Northam Mills as though floating on a cloud. What an extraordinary day this had turned out to be. She had a new job which was eminently more suited to her talents than her old one. And, she thought, there was the other thing… The spanking. She had no idea what had happened there but she knew she felt utterly calm and happy about it. And that she was excited at the thought of experiencing it again.
She smiled a beatific smile and walked home. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, her bottom felt hot and sore and bruised and Millie felt truly happy. She was eager for the new adventures that life had in store for her.