New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

July 1, 2009

Measuring Up: No Place Like Home

All I wanted to do was sleep. Two hours on a plane might not seem like much to you, but spend a week away at a camp where they make you rise before the sun and then we’ll talk. Of course what I want and what I get don’t seem to have much in common lately. If I really wanted to stay awake I’d bet good money I’d come down with an incurable case of narcolepsy.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when upon boarding the plane I was immediately recognized as the mystery woman from the morning’s paper. It wasn’t the most flattering image, grayscale, a little blurry and really focused in on my massively swollen eye. The story was only slightly better as it exaggerated my role in rescuing the survival camp from an unidentified terrorist group.

Apparently, I’m a two gun toting badass able to leap tall buildings, and razor wire fences, in a single bound. The half dozen shots I remember taking were obviously only a small portion of the hundreds of rounds I fired, holding off two dozen terrorists for more than an hour as state police raced to the scene. The fact that the state police had a dispatch station less than 30 minutes away was conveniently missing.

I guess I should be happy the story stopped short of putting me in a red cape and gold bracelets, although the ridiculous picture did make it appear my shorts were adorned with white stars. It was probably a trick of the light but I wouldn’t put it passed Gina to have photo-shopped them in.

A young woman kept looking at her copy of the paper and then pointing at me while talking to her boyfriend. He had the good sense to look embarrassed for her at least and I almost felt sorry for him. I sat down and she stopped walking right next to my seat, staring down at me as if there were a one-way mirror between us. I smiled and waved up at her.

“It’s not me.” I said.

She looked incredulous. Her boyfriend tried to pull her away with an apologetic smile in my direction.

“It has to be. You look just like her.” She said.

“I’m flattered, but really, it’s not me.”

“But, but you have the same black eye!” She said.

“Mine wasn’t earned in such a glorious fashion. I was out drinking last night and managed to walk right into a light post. It stood its ground and I landed on the ground.” I said.

“I don’t believe you. You are her, I know it.” She said.

“If I was her, do you really think I’d put up with your obnoxious behavior?”

Her face paled slightly and her brow furrowed as she studied me closer.

“I was mistaken. The woman in the paper is obviously much younger than you.” She said.

I guess I was supposed to be insulted. I yawned, leaned my seat back, and closed my eyes, remembering one of Cherise’s better pieces of advice, “Don’t feed the trolls.”

It wasn’t long before footsteps assured me of her retreat. Sleep was nearly mine, but of course it was not to be. A gentle tap on my shoulder I might have ignored but the firm grip made my eyes flash open, half expecting Olivia’s pierced mug to be leering over me. It was not, but the elderly woman dressed in flight attendant blue was nearly as bad.

“That looks awful! Can I get you some ice?” She queried.

Because ice makes everything better or at least grandmothers all seem to think so. I count myself fortunate she didn’t offer me a raw steak, although come to think of it, I was hungry.

“No, need to trouble yourself. I’ll just take a nap.” I replied.

“It’s no trouble dear. I’ll be right back with it.” She said.

She was gone before I could object again. I sighed and resigned myself to a cold day in hell, non-stop to Los Angeles.

Naturally, I was in a mood by the time I exited the limousine at home. I had my sunglasses on, a heavy bag in hand and one thought on my mind as I walked through the front door. Talking with Mom and Dad was not the thought but apparently it was a staple on the agenda.

“Welcome home.” Dad said.

“How was your week?” Mom asked.

I glanced at the stairs, longing to climb them and collapse on my bed for what was left of the weekend. I tugged my sunglasses off and smiled, giving my best effort at politeness. Mom inhaled sharply and Dad’s grin turned into a scowl. Then I remembered my eye.

“It was educational.” I said. “How was yours?”

It was a ridiculous attempt to avoid the obvious question and it was ignored as such.

“What on earth happened to your eye?” Mom asked.

“Obviously she was hit.” Dad said. “Care to explain yourself young lady?”

Dad’s tone was hinting at some personal responsibility for my black eye. The assumption seemed rather unfair, but then the last time I came home with a black eye it was with a police escort. No charges were pressed, but the officers had taken the time to explain in excruciating detail just how events had unfolded. They had left no doubt as to who was responsible for my black eye, it was inarguably me. That this time might be different seems to not have occurred to Dad.

“There isn’t much to tell.” I said. “One of the other girls got jealous of me and whacked me with a hairdryer.”

“And I’m sure you did nothing to provoke her.” Mom said.

“Thanks for the support Mom.” I said.

“Don’t you dare talk to your Mother in that tone.” Dad’s stern voice boomed.

“It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t even retaliate.” I said.

“Women don’t just walk up to other women and hit them with hairdryers because they are jealous.” Mom stated.

“The competition was tough and she didn’t like me in the first place. I guess when I foiled her plans to come out on top she just snapped.” I said. “By the way, not that you care, but I’m fine.”

Dad snapped his fingers right in front of my face like one might to get a dog’s attention. I felt like barking. His expression was far from amused though and I thought I’d better shut up before I dug myself a grave with my tongue alone.

“What did I just tell you about speaking to your Mother?” Dad asked.

I sucked my lips in and chose silence over another indignant oral response. The secret to surviving a father with a paddle in the closet is knowing when to shut your trap. You’d think I’d have figured it out by now, but there are days I still manage to get it wrong.

“Am I talking to myself here?” Dad asked.

Mom crossed her arms in front of her chest and glared at me.

“No, sir.” I said.

My head tipped down while I felt like I just couldn’t win.

“Then what did I tell you about speaking to your Mother?” Dad repeated.

I ground my teeth before being able to force the expected answer out.

“To watch my tone.” I said.

“You leave home for a week and come back with an attitude bigger than the house. I won’t tolerate it so do yourself a favor and lose it right now before I do it for you. Understood?” Dad said.

I nodded my affirmation. He scowled at me with disappointed eyes that told me I’d better put a voice to my gesture.

“Yes, sir.” I said.

“Good, now without the attitude, explain to me why you are standing here with a black eye.” Dad ordered.

I debated the assortment of lies I could tell him. Most of them were completely lacking in credibility and the one he’d believe the most would spell trouble for me without any doubt. For a single insane moment I was tempted to pull out the newspaper in my bag and tell my parents the whole story.

Then I remembered the look on Gina’s face, the tears streaming down, when a man I didn’t even know aimed a gun at her. He had every intention of ending her life because of me and she was just unlucky enough to end up in a training camp with me. What would these people do to my parents if they found them? I knew the answer and for the first time I knew Mr. Candle was right when he suggested I keep my parents in the dark.

“I got in a fight at school.” I said.

Mom and Dad both nodded. It was what they wanted to hear and so they believed it.

“What was it about?” Mom asked.

“Nothing. It was stupid. I don’t even remember.” I said.

“I’m guessing since you lied about it you do remember what happened last time though.” Dad said.

I nodded.

“I don’t think I need to tell you how disappointed we are.” Dad said.

I shook my head.

Mom and Dad managed to look disgusted and nod at the same time.

“Go get the paddle.” Dad ordered.

I hesitated a moment wondering if I could pull off amnesia on account of being hit in the head. Rather than risk making things worse though, I started walking for the closet underneath the stairs. The paddle hung on a hook on the left side and it always sways a little as if taunting me when I open the door. I lifted it off the hook, closed the door and trudged back to Mom and Dad with the heavy wood, carried limp in my hand. I stared at the ground, beaten, and the paddle had yet to be raised.

“You know the drill.” Dad said.

Black and Decker or Dewalt? Oh you mean the routine where I drop my shorts, bare my ass and bend over something so you have a good target to swing at. Silly me.

I rolled my eyes at the floor, careful enough that Dad wouldn’t notice, but I caught a glimpse of Mom. Her face wasn’t exactly approving, but she was nice enough to keep it to herself. My fingers found their way to the button on my shorts. A quick glance at Dad confirmed a last minute reprieve was off the table and a moment later my shorts were being worn like socks. Rather than delaying the inevitable, my panties quickly joined them.

My hands took up residence as fig leaves while Mom and Dad pretended to ignore the half naked daughter standing before them. I glanced around wondering if it would be the sofa or the coffee table I was destined to lean over. Meanwhile, the grandfather clock earned its name with an eternity passing between its ticks and tocks.

“Over the side of the sofa.” Dad ordered.

I looked at the far side of the couch, only three or four inches out from the wall, and longed for the courage to actually bend over that side. Of course, Dad would not find it amusing, at least not while I am in the room. I moved to the closer side of the sofa and laid myself over it like a rug, ready for dusting.

The first swat followed less than a tock but more than a tick later. I groaned in instant discomfort and noted rather wearily that the three or four inches between the sofa and wall were no more. A second swat confirmed the fact when my butt flattened and then sprang back at Dad with a hot fire burning just below the surface.

“Ow!” I hollered.

Dad swung harder. My hips ground into the side of the sofa, but there was no place to go. I balled my hands into fists and gave up fighting the tears that demanded to spring from eyes. Dad swung again and again, allowing only the briefest of pauses between impacts. I could feel his disappointment through the wood, jarring its way from wobbly flesh to stubborn brain.

I cried. I wanted to tell the truth as if it could somehow ease the burning pain or shame. Somehow I found the strength to endure in some semblance of silence. The last stroke fell and I sobbed unabashedly into the cushion my head was resting upon. I raised myself slowly and turned to face my parents. All thoughts of modesty were dashed as my hands had only a forbidden desire to rub away the heat behind me. Instead, I jumped in place and shook my hands in the air before me as if I could fan enough of a breeze to put out the fire.

Dad pointed at the corner behind me.

“Hands on your head and don’t even think about moving until I tell you.” Dad said.

I shuffled to the solitude of white walls awaiting me. My head rested against the paint while my hands interlaced together on top of my head in an all too familiar pose. I was just tired enough to feel numb though and while it should have been a time for contemplation and consideration, it was not. I stood their dozing, basking in the warmth and content to be home.


  1. Ashely, great story they keep getting better and better. Great line black and decker or dewalt. and there are other excellent one liners. I am really enjoying the story

  2. I loved these one liners too, laughed a few times. Poor Allison, great story!

  3. Ashley, I love your writing, but I think Allison should leave home ASAP.
    Dad is totally unreasonable and a sadistic bully.
    Warm hugs,

  4. Perfect welcome home. Circumstances may change in life but some things never do I guess. Rather than call Allison's father a bully I'll praise him for maintaining a very well structured home.

  5. Trouble at school=trouble at home: nice touch!