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.

November 19, 2009

Casting Shadows: Swing & Sting

Olivia paled at the sound of the man's voice. I enjoyed the small victory even though it was not me causing her to cower. In truth, I knew I should be more worried because if she was afraid, then I certainly had reason to be afraid as well. She turned around toward the sound of the man's voice, trembling as she took a step toward him and the darkness shrouding him.

"I just need a little more time," She said.

Silly perhaps, but I could not shake the image of a schoolgirl pleading with an imposing teacher. Olivia would be dressed in a conservative school uniform, her hands smoothing down the pleats of her skirt, staring up with big sorrowful eyes from the small student desk trapping her in place. The teacher approaches, his face masked in shadows and although there was no sense of anger, he was obviously disappointed, demonstrated by the wooden ruler slapping against his open palm. If only I was just another girl in the classroom instead of the one already in trouble and being punished in front of the rest of the class. Of course, we were far from a classroom and punishment in this place had nothing to do with being good or bad.

"Playtime is over," He said, drawing closer, but remaining in the shadows.

"I can make her talk," Olivia said, desperation bringing a whine to her voice.

"Strip,"He said, not deigning to argue with her assertions.

"But—" She said.

"Guards," He said.

"Okay," She said.

Olivia kept her back to me as she quickly stripped off all her clothing at the man's command. I watched in quiet fascination while the ground at her feet became littered with clothing. Once she began the process of disrobing there was no hesitation in her movements, but I could see the tension between her shoulders increasing with every exposing fall of fabric. Naked, she kept her hands at her sides and stood at almost military attention, waiting for more orders, as certain to come as they were to be disliked.

"Take her below," He said, obviously speaking to the men who had been enjoying their view of me.

They moved to Olivia and two of them stood on either side of her, each grabbing an arm while the third collected her discarded clothing. The third man led the way into the darkness and away from me with Olivia obviously trying to move as slowly as possible. I actually felt sorry for her even though I was still the one hanging naked like a piƱata. My thoughts should have been more focused on what this man would do to me, but instead I wondered what fate he had in store for the abject woman being led away.

"Fifty lashes for failure," He said, as the darkness swallowed Olivia, "And another twenty-five for attempting to argue."

There was no acknowledgement, only the receding sound of boots clanging on metal. Olivia's fate was her own doing and yet part of me felt guilty. If I had cooperated, I could have spared her the indignity of stripping herself naked and the pain of a forthcoming punishment I could only imagine in correspondence with the word, "lashes." Why any part of me cared or thought I should is an intriguing question I am not prepared to answer.

Beyond being embarrassed at my own nakedness, I gazed into the darkness with a bold stare meant to intimidate the man in the shadows. I could hear him moving around and like a coward, he avoided being revealed by the dim light surrounding me. In the distance I could hear the steps of Olivia and the guards as they descended an unknown quantity of steps on an equally mysterious staircase. I had intuitively felt the place we were in was large and it seemed to be confirmed by the noises echoing around me. It was comforting to know I had gleamed at least some truth about my situation from the scarce evidence at my disposal. If only I could figure out who the man in the shadows was and what he wanted with me.

"You will forgive me if I am staring," He said. "It is not because your are naked, although you are a lovely display stretched out as you are, but I have been searching for you for such a long time it is surreal for me to be here with you."

"Maybe you could let me down then?" I said, hopeful I might finally get a rest from the strain on my arms.

"I am tempted however, you have proven to be rather resourceful and I think we are both safer like this," He said.

His voice resonated in the chilly air between us with a familiar warmth I could not place. I considered the questions I wanted to ask and which of them he might be willing to answer. Something about his pattern of speech and the way he had sentenced Olivia for failure told me the answer was probably none. He wanted control of the situation, of me, and so long as he dictated the topics we would discuss and the information he would share, he maintained that control. It was clearly in my best interest to allow him the luxury of believing his control was real.

"Are you going to tell me what you want from me?" I asked, hoping the question was suitably phrased to avoid ruffling the delicate ego I perceived through the shadows.

"Would you give it to me if I did?" He asked.

He stepped closer to me, stopping when he was standing at the precise point where the light revealed the lower half of him and the shadows kept the upper half of him obscured. His shoes were highly polished black oxfords with perfect laces tied tightly in perfectly uniformed bows. The hem of his black trousers hid his socks from view, but I imagined he wore black ones tightly stretched up his calves and perfectly straight. My eyes followed the seems of his slacks up to his waist where a silver buckle, small and rectangular with an intricate pattern at its center, accented a glossy black belt. From his waistline I estimated his height at just over six feet and his weight somewhere in the neighborhood of a 150 pounds.

"I might if I thought I could trust you," I said.

"Therein lies our problem," He said. "It is a pity Joey found you first."

I had only once before heard anyone refer to Joseph Candle as Joey and while I might be meant to think the men were one and the same, the voice coming from the shadows was not that of Alexander Kemp. Did he expect me to believe he was or was there another purpose for the choice of nickname? Perhaps he expected me to conclude a connection between himself and Mr. Candle that was not favorable to Mr. Candle, but this revelation was nothing new to me. Long before I ever met Joseph Candle I had decided he was something less than a good man and even after agreeing to work for him, I have never allowed myself to fall prey to the assumption he was a pure and decent man. Further, if I had ever thought Mr. Candle approaching me was a random event those thoughts have long since been pushed aside leaving me with a distrustful opinion of the man and a healthy expectation that I was being used in ways I had yet to understand. Maybe that should make me more willing to consider betraying him and the people I work with, but so far every indication told me I was still on the side of lesser evil and until that changes I will be keeping my loyalties intact.

"Had things worked out differently, you might be more comfortable during this conversation," He said.

"That's hardly reassuring," I said. "I'd be more comfortable with cinder blocks under my feet."

"It was not meant to be reassuring," He said. "Your comfort is of no importance to me."

Talk about stating the obvious. If he had cared even the smallest bit about my comfort he would have had me lowered to a point where I could at least support my weight on the tips of my toes. Given he had seen fit to leave me as I was, I held no pretenses in my wildest imaginings that he cared whether I squirmed like a worm on a hook or not. What I still did not know, was what was of any importance to him and more importantly, what it had to do with me.

"Now that we've established what you don't care about, perhaps we could get around to what you do?" I said.

"All in good time. First, it seems you could use a lesson in manners," He said.

A man I had not known was there, stepped forward out of the shadows and into the light. He reminded me of Tom, not overly tall, but well proportioned and clearly athletic. His head was shaved smooth and the light reflected off the top of his head as he walked toward me. He wore his desert fatigues loosely in a way no military officer would allow which told me if he was former military, it was a service to which he was not proud.

In his right hand he held a length of brown leather split in half length-wise. It was the leather, waving ever so slightly in the air as he walked, which drew my attention. I was firmly aware of the purpose and when the man stepped passed me to stand behind me, I expected the painful kiss of the leather against my buttocks at any moment. Instead, I was first pushed forward until I was swinging high in the air.

My arms burned with the intense pain caused by my shifting weight and my legs clawed at the air helpless and wild. On my way back down from the height of my forward arc, I heard the leather cutting through the air and when I reached the lowest point of my backward swing, the leather connected across the center of my buttocks eliciting a high pitched scream from my throat. The process was repeated twice more before the man's strong arms brought my swinging body to a stop.

"I do not expect you to like me," The man in the shadows said, "However, I do expect a respectful tone when you address me. Learn that lesson now and it will not need to be repeated."

A few choice words in response to his expectations entered into my conscious thoughts, but my instincts for self-preservation kept them from slipping off my tongue. In light of my situation I decided silence was the best policy for the moment, although I suspected if I remained silent too long there might be another lesson forthcoming. The leather had elicited a burning pain in my buttocks to rival the strain induced pain on my arms, but it was all becoming dull, as if I was becoming used to it.

Somewhere below us, Olivia shrieked in pain no doubt echoing my own cries only moments before. I could feel his cold stare assessing me amidst the backdrop of Olivia's cries. Whatever effect he hoped the sound would have on me, I hope he found it utterly lacking. Not that I had no empathy for Olivia, but if ever there was a woman in need of a good spanking, she was that woman and of course I had my own pains to worry about.

"What did you find in the Arctic?" He asked.

"Ice," I said, before I could think better of it.

Was I surprised to find myself swinging in the air again? No. Did it hurt when that leather strap bit into my buttocks again? Yes. I think it was four times over before I was brought to a stop by those big, powerful, mean arms. My concentration was quickly consumed by the blazing inferno behind me and yes, I did regret my answer, a little.

"Let us try again," He said. "What did you find in the Arctic?"

I thought about it. I swear, I really did.

"Melting ice," I said.

It was more specific. I could have described it a few other ways I guess, but it just seemed like that was the right answer. He did not seem to agree, but what do shadowy men know anyway? Okay, apparently they know how to get other men to push you high in the air and whack your backside with split strips of leather for their morbid amusement. It still hurt of course, but I was feeling rather satisfied as well. Maybe I was having a bad day and all, but his was no walk in the park either and that was all my doing. Not bad for a naked and supposedly helpless girl swinging on a hook eh?

"I will make this easier," He said.

"Now why would you do something silly like that?" I asked.

Have I ever mentioned how much I liked to swing when I was little? No? Well, I would spend hours sitting, yes sitting, on the swing set my Dad put into our backyard. I would swing back and forth and kick myself higher and higher until the tension in the chain would give out and the seat would sort of jump and take me back down low. I loved that feeling when the swing just gave out underneath me and for an instant I would be falling as if there was nothing in the world to stop me. It all started though, from this desire, impossible as it was, to swing high enough that gravity would not push me back down the way I had came, but instead allow me to fly upside down for a moment and come down on the other side of the swing.

As a child, I was convinced with enough focus and effort I could eventually make that desire a reality and so I spent hour practicing and kicking for the sky believing that if I could just gain that little bit of extra momentum, I could do the impossible. My parents told me I was wasting my time and that if I was not careful I could hurt myself. I did not listen, not that it surprised anyone, least of all my parents, but that all those hours of dreaming and attempting the impossible might actually be of use at some point, like while being interrogated by this unknown man, would most certainly have surprised us all.

I think it is safe to say that the guy holding that split piece of leather was most definitely surprised, when at the top arc of my latest swing forward from his pushing arms, I kicked out just enough to break the tension on the chain holding my arms so that I could twist myself around to face him on my way back down. If he was not surprised I dare say I know not why he stood there blinking stupidly, while I swung down at him, feet first, and kicked him with the full momentum of my swing as an ally.

It was rather satisfying to watch him flail backward, head first, into the wall and then fall to the ground. Even more satisfying was when on swinging back, my foot caught on his head and allowed me to stop myself and indeed take some of the strain off my arms while I stood atop his unmoving head. The man in the shadows did not move, which honestly surprised me. I expected he would quickly move in on me and leave me wishing I had just taken my licks like a good girl, but I was not going to complain if he was just going to stand there and watch either. I turned myself around so that I was looking once more at what I could see of my shadowy friend.

"I hope you don't mind," I said. "I thought I'd just make myself a little more comfortable while we talk."

"Not at all," He said. "I was beginning to wonder if Joey was wrong about you."

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"All in good time," He said. "Tell me, what clue did you find on the longship?"

I was far from surprised he already knew what we had found in the Arctic. He probably even knew about the map, but how he knew those things was more of a mystery. It was the phrasing of his question which truly captured my attention though. Was it possible he did not know about the second map or what it meant or was there something more I had missed?


  1. Thanks for another great episode, Ashley.

    One can imagine your story is just a glimpse into a world in which spanking in all its various forms is much more of a common practice and not that unusual in terms of its human interactions.

  2. ASH,

    Another great chapter, a lot of humor, like the line (melting ice). great title.

  3. Ashley, nice touch, V kicking her tormentor.
    You like to vary the implements used on V, how effective do you think the tawse would be, after all, V as Allison is hardly a novice spankee.
    Warm hugs,

  4. Karl, I like to think of it as a world underneath our own in which people are a little more bold and a lot more daring when it comes to acting upon spanking impulses. I have some side stories that will be coming along soon as downloads which will try to expand upon the Quest Five or more precisely Quondam Innovations' universe.

    Al, I laughed as soon as that line entered my head and I just knew it was exactly what Virginia would say.

    Paul, I thought it was great way for her to get even. I'm not really sure what to make of the tawse. I've got limited personal experience with it but I have extensive knowledge of a razor strop and those things are far from a joke. I guess I just assumed the tawse could be wielded as wickedly. I would love to hear details if anyone has some personal experience they'd like to share about the tawse or even some other unique implements because yes, I do very much like to keep Virginia guessing as to what is coming at her backside next. lol.

    Thanks and hugs to all,
    Ashley J

  5. V is obviously a tough cookie, but how long can she keep it up? Usually I'd expect a heroine in this situation to be rescued or escape before the interrogation got too heated. The man seems to know a lot already, simply confirming the facts or revealing a minor detail or two would be awfully tempting. Maybe keeping the information secret is less important to her than simply refusing to bend or break?

    "There are FOUR LIGHTS!"