The next portion of the lesson was a quick review of the implements themselves. Burnside had an impressive collection of leather belts, straps, floggers, martinets, crops, whips, canes, and paddles of various shapes, sizes, and materials. She also had some standard kitchen items such as breadboards, bath brushes, and hairbrushes to show how ordinary items that could be used for impromptu discipline. She handed the implements one by one to the pledges and discussed the advantages and drawbacks of each. As she talked, the pledges carefully examined the items and passed them along to their companions.
Burnside held up a very old paddle-shaped breadboard, "This breadboard and I go back a very long way, because it’s one of the first implements I ever had. I was only 13 when I punished my first boyfriend, and this is what I used on him."
Lisa and her companions glanced at each other. They couldn’t imagine what Burnside must have been like when she was only 13 years old, but apparently her personality and sexual tastes had not changed much in the ensuing quarter century.
The two freshmen that had stood quietly the entire afternoon now were ready to perform their duty as practice subjects for the pledges. Burnside called them forward and told each to stand next to a chair. She directed Heather to unlock and take off their handcuffs. She tapped her right eye, a signal that she wanted Heather to blindfold the subjects.
She held up some printouts and addressed the pledges, "Now for your practical exercise, combining implements and positions. I have prepared these worksheets to help you with the evaluation. I want you to identify the best position for each implement and the best implement for each position. You will need to explain why and also tell me what implements are not appropriate for a given position. You will use your practical experience to experiment and tell me what’s most effective."
She passed out the papers and continued, "Don’t worry about hurting your subjects. That’s what they’re here for, to give you the chance to have some hands-on practice inflicting corporal punishment. They understand that they’re going to be feeling some real pain in a couple of minutes, and it’s what they expect. Do not try to speak to them, because they are instructed not to interact with you. The only talking I want to hear is you telling them to move or to assume a position. Whatever you tell them to do they are instructed to obey."
"You’ll be working in two-member teams. I want you to take turns, for each of you to strike your subject at least twice with each implement on the table. Now, I’ve explained what positions I think work best and why. However, if you think you can do better, by all means, try out your ideas. Some things work better with some disciplinarians than others. If your experience differs from mine, then I’d like to see your reasoning and the results."
"I will be assessing not only your written statements, but also the markings themselves. I do expect you to exercise responsibility. Be careful about breaking the skin of your subjects. If you think you’re close or you see blood blisters, stop and let me know. I’ll tell you if it’s safe to continue. OK, enough talk. Pair up, choose your subject, and apply what you’ve learned."
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
As the pledges got ready to begin punishing their subjects, Heather pulled out her digital camera. She planned to photograph the discipline session and add the pictures to the Four-Beta digital archives. At first Lisa and Kathleen were going to pair-off together with Steve, but their mentor stopped them. She told Kathleen to go with Bernadette and Cherine to join Lisa. The Sergeant-at-Arms assumed that Kathleen and Lisa would concentrate better if not allowed to work with each other.
Cherine had none of Lisa’s experience disciplining guys. The experience was totally new and at the beginning rather frightening. Lisa told her companion to put Steve over her lap for a spanking with her hand, and then with a short, thick hairbrush. It was a totally strange feeling for the freshman to be sitting naked in a chair and have a silent, but equally naked young man over her lap. She could feel his penis and testicles pressing against her thigh. She did not slap very effectively with her hand, but her confidence started building when she started using the hairbrush. She began to enjoy herself and the satisfying rhythm of the POP... POP... POP of the wood as it made contact with Steve’s skin
Lisa briefly took her turn with the hairbrush before they instructed Steve to put his hands on the table. As instructed, they made sure his legs were spread and his back was arched so they could see his bottom-hole. Lisa gave Steve two smacks with the paddle, and then handed the implement to Cherine. After Cherine delivered a couple of respectable paddle swats, the two women stopped to fill out the first portion of the forms and note their observations.
Lisa picked up a heavy leather strap, a leather paddle without holes, and one with holes. She struck with the two paddles first, fascinated at the pattern left by the paddle with the holes. Cherine followed suit. The two women wrote their observations and continued with the strap.
Lisa struck hard with the strap, darkening Steve’s already reddish bottom. She shifted position to hit him with a backhanded swat.
Lisa handed the strap to Cherine, who took a deep breath, stepped back, and delivered a truly vicious swat.
Steve broke from the force of Cherine’s swat. He twisted from the pain, which, of course, was a stupid thing to do. Cherine snapped, "I’m not done with you! Get you’re hands back on the table!"
After a couple more swats with the strap, some hits with a belt, and some more with a martinet, the two women paused to enter their information into the worksheet. The next implement they decided to experiment with was the riding crop. Lisa decided to try something new. She ordered Steve to lie on his back and hold his knees up. Once his legs were held in place by his interlocked arms, Steve’s bottom was spread wide, his anus pointing straight up, his testicles and penis on full display, and his bottom and upper thighs stretched tight. Lisa decided to test his endurance and his resolve to stay quiet no matter what.
Lisa and Cherine took turns viciously striking at the tender skin surrounding Steve’s bottom-hole and the insides of his upper thighs. They struck over and over as the fiery pain mounted around that intimate region. Steve moaned and gritted his teeth, but just as the pledges were determined to break him, he was just as determined to resist as much as possible. Steve’s face was wet from tears and sweat under his blindfold and he was grunting from the pain. Steve’s inner thighs and area around his anus turned quite dark as Lisa and Cherine struck over and over. Lisa, whose aim was very good, concentrated on his bottom, while Cherine, who was still a novice, concentrated on his thighs.
Heather told Lisa and Cherine to stop for a moment and to pose next to their subject. Heather snapped a couple of pictures while the two pledges stood to his sides, each resting a hand on one of his knees.
Bernadette and Kathleen already had their subject attached to the ceiling for the final whipping. Rather than wait for them to finish, Lisa decided to have Steve lie on the table with the cylindrical pillow under his hips and his hands and feet tied to the table legs. He would have to take the whip strokes lying down instead of standing up.
Because Steve’s bottom was in such bad shape, his two tormentors had to concentrate on his thighs and upper back. Lisa discovered that flogging downwards was somewhat more difficult than flogging sideways. She was careful to note that observation, because she suspected Burnside would critique her for not using the best position for the whip. Steve was crying by the time the two women let him off the table.
Lisa decided to end Steve’s punishment. She asked Heather for a pair of handcuffs, cuffed his hands, and got ready to lead him to the corner. Heather took a final picture of her two pledges and their victim before Lisa guided him to the corner and told him to get on his knees. Bernadette and Kathleen wrapped up shortly afterwards, posed for a final picture, and led their subject to the corner to join the others.
While the three young men knelt uncomfortably, Burnside took the worksheets from the students. Heather ordered them to line up and kneel while Burnside went over the papers.
"Yes, Dr. Burnside!"
"You made an observation about using the lying position for the whip. Stand up and share that with the rest of us."
Lisa stood up and explained why she felt it was harder to use the whip on a subject that was lying down than on one that was standing. Her answer seemed to satisfy the professor.
The pledges’ final duty was to pose for a picture with the professor. Burnside picked up a riding crop and stood in the middle of the group while Heather ordered the pledges to kneel upright with their hands at their sides. The picture was a formal portrait and would be included in the Four-Beta yearbook.
Heather and Burnside ordered the pledges into the kitchen to prepare a late meal for the household. Meanwhile they helped themselves to the services of the punished males. They figured Steve would not be of much use because of his recent orgasm, but the other two young masochists were certainly ready for some fun. Burnside took Mark for herself and let Heather take the other freshman. Heather led her partner into the guest bedroom while Burnside took Mark to the main bedroom. The two doors shut and the pledges were left alone.
With four sets of hands working in the kitchen, the meal was ready in a few minutes. Heather and Burnside showed no sign of coming back out anytime soon, so Bernadette decided to go back out into the living room and play with Steve. She began talking sweetly to him and gently rubbing her breasts up and down his chest. Her original intention was just to tease him, but soon he was very hard. She decided to take a small risk. She unlocked his handcuffs and led him to the bathroom. She checked the medicine cabinet for condoms, and sure enough, she found a box. Excellent.
Bernadette passionately kissed Steve and ran her hands over his welt-covered backside. He responded immediately, the physical sensation of the delicious throbbing combining with the feel of the lovely young body pressed up against him driving him wild with desire. He desperately kissed her.
Bernadette planned to have Steve lie on his back and straddle him, but suddenly he took control of their love-making. As soon as he had the condom on he pushed her to her hands and knees. She was wet with lust and desire and did not resist. He gently massaged her vulva, then grabbed her hips and plunged in. Bernadette gasped with delight. Oh, this was good. It turned out that Steve was an excellent lover and capable of multiple orgasms in one day. Like Lisa’s boyfriend Ken, all it took was some good sensual pain to unlock his sexual being.
Fortunately the bathroom had a shower, so Bernadette and her momentary lover decided to clean up. They closed the door of the stall and soaped each other’s bodies. Steve massaged Bernadette’s body, first her back and then her breasts. Finally his hands wandered towards her stomach. She did not resist as he continued his way towards her vagina. He soaped and massaged that sensitive area and brought her to yet another orgasm. The couple kissed desperately as she climaxed a second time.
They toweled off. Bernadette put Steve’s handcuffs and blindfold back on and led him back to the corner. She didn’t know if he’d get in trouble if Burnside and Heather found out about their love-making session, but, why take chances? She cleaned up the evidence in the bathroom as best she could before rejoining her companions in the kitchen.
While Bernadette was occupied with Steve and Cherine was busy cutting vegetables, Lisa and Kathleen slipped out into Burnside’s back yard. They were surprised to see an old friendly-looking dog struggling to his feet in the grass, but the dog simply wagged his tail, barked once, and lay back down. Obviously he was used to strange people in the yard and had long since stopped being bothered by them.
The lovers had gone outside with a simple idea of exchanging some hugs and kisses. As much as they wanted to make love, the lack of time and the presence of an old friendly dog staring at them deterred them from completely indulging themselves. Even so, they kissed for a long time and ran their hands up and down each other’s bodies. They hugged tightly, enjoying the feel of each other’s bare skin in the warm summer air.
As they held each other, Lisa’s secret desire to spank her lover’s thin bottom returned. She had no desire to do anything serious to her, but did hope to someday put her over her lap. She decided to try a small test to see if Kathleen would submit to a spanking. She rubbed her lover’s bottom and gently patted her bottom-cheeks in a spanking motion.
Kathleen buried her mouth into Lisa’s, leaving her unsure whether her unspoken message had been understood. Lisa kissed Kathleen’s neck and again patted her bottom.
"So... have you been a good girl today?"
"Or maybe just a bit naughty?"
Once again Lisa patted Kathleen’s unprotected bottom, a bit firmer this time, almost lightly slapping it. "Because if you’re being a bit naughty on me, we’ll just have to fix that, now won’t we?"
Kathleen responded by kissing her hard. Lisa had her answer. Her lover would be perfectly willing to take a spanking. Her heart raced, because now she knew that the next time she was alone with Kathleen, an erotic spanking would be part of their foreplay.
Bernadette returned to the kitchen just as Cherine finished cutting vegetables. It was obvious she had showered, but it was even more obvious she was content and relaxed. Cherine gave her companion a very hostile look, angry at having been left alone to deal with dinner. "Where were you?"
"I was in the bathroom."
"No. I was with Steve."
"Thanks a lot. Real nice of you three to leave me alone in the kitchen. I really appreciate it."
"Look, Cherine, I’m sorry. I was horny. He was horny too. I didn’t get the finger fuck from the VP like you did. I was just horny, OK?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Anyway, where are Lisa and Kathleen?"
"I guess they’re in the backyard."
"I go get ‘em."
"No, I’ll get ‘em. You deal with lunch. I’ll get ‘em."
The patio door went open and Maynard let out a half-hearted bark. Maybe he wasn’t that great of a watchdog, but at least he saved Lisa and Kathleen the embarrassment of being caught making-out by their fellow pledge. They separated before she went out into the yard, and were just standing when she finally found them.
"What are you doing?"
Cherine tightened her lips. It was obvious they were flustered from the interruption and that they had been doing a lot more than "just talking". Cherine was angry, but decided not to push that point. The three pledges went back inside and finished preparing the meal.
The dinner was a very strange one. Burnside and Heather were the only people at the table who were dressed. The pledges and the three male subjects sat at the table naked. The pledges were nervous while the males moved stiffly from having been so severely punished. Still, Burnside’s guests had worked up a good appetite and the food put everyone in a better mood. They relaxed and ate at a very leisurely pace.
After eating the pledges knelt while Burnside gave them some final thoughts on erotic discipline. She noted that they all had done very well and had passed the afternoon’s practical exercise. As she spoke the three males cleaned up. "Alright, that’s a wrap from my end. Always remember that discipline is more about psychology than it is flagellation. Take your time and think through anything you do."
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
"PLEDGES, STAND UP!"
The pledges scrambled to their feet. They put on their shower shoes and filed out the door. They were exposed on the driveway while Heather fumbled for the key to open the vehicle, but fortunately it already was getting dark. Finally the pledges got into the minivan for the trip back to the sorority house.
The house was empty with the exception of Tracy, who was back from her Reserve drill and dressed in a Four-Beta PT uniform. At the moment the pledges didn’t think there was anything significant about Tracy wearing a PT uniform, but they had forgotten that they had not done their PT for the day. Instead their minds were on the inspection.
The pledges and their two mentors spent the next hour carefully going through the house. Tracy found a total of 26 violations. That was not bad considering the size of the house, the detailed rules laid out in the manual, and the fact that only four women had been available to conduct the clean-up.
The pledges returned to the sitting room, assuming that either one or all of them was due 26 swats with the strap. Tracy explained the rules, emphasizing that yes, indeed the rules had been violated and the women were facing punishment. Then she sprung a surprise on them:
"I’m giving you a choice, because 26 violations is not that bad. You haven’t done your PT for the day, and today we’re doing lower body. I was thinking a good three-mile run might be a good substitute for 26 swats for each of you. So how about it? What’s your choice, three miles or 26 swats?
Of course the pledges chose running the three miles, not yet realizing there was a catch.
"Good choice. Alright, line up and get ready to stretch."
While Tracy led the pledges stretching, Heather went to the basement to pick up their running shoes and socks. She laid the footwear near the front door.
Once the pledges finished stretching, Tracy ordered them to put on their shoes and socks. The four women became increasingly concerned, because their uniforms were nowhere in sight.
"Get in the van."
The pledges looked at each other with very worried expressions, but did not dare hesitate to go into the driveway and load themselves into the vehicle. Tracy jumped behind the wheel while Heather got into the passenger seat. The van quickly pulled away from the safety of the sorority house. It was Heather who broke the news, "You’re doing a three-mile run, but we’re gonna make it interesting. What you’ll really be doing is a three-mile streak."
The Sergeant-at-Arms smiled slightly as Cherine and Kathleen gasped.
"That’s right, ladies. We’re making you streak three miles back to the sorority. This is one of your tests. We’re giving you an hour to get back, which, if you keep moving, will be plenty of time."
The only ‘butt’ will be your red butt if you don’t make it back in time. We’re making you do this for a reason. We’re testing you to see how well you deal with a dangerous and stressful situation. We want you to stick together and work with each other to get across campus. That’s your PT for the night. A simple three-mile run across campus, but in the nude. It’s Sunday night, so things should be pretty quiet."
The pledges sat in horrified silence as the van exited the opposite side of the university and continued in the direction of Burnside’s house. Tracy turned into a small neighborhood park and opened the door.
"Everyone out. This is your starting point. We’ve measured it, and it’s exactly three miles from here to the sorority."
As the pledges huddled next to each other in terror, Tracy handed Lisa a cell phone. "If you get in trouble, just hit the speed dial. But if you hit that speed dial and we have to come get you, you’ll fail the exercise, you’ll get your butts whipped, and you’ll have to do it all over again tomorrow night. Don’t forget; tomorrow’s Monday and there will be a bunch more people out on the streets. So, you might as well save yourselves the trouble and do it right the first time."
Y... yes, ma’am."
"If you go straight down this street, you’ll end up by the duck pond next to the parking lot behind Huntington Hall. From there you’ll need to get to the main library. Sergeant-at-Arms Heather will be waiting for you in the courtyard. Whatever route you take to get there, you’ll have to run past her and make sure she sees you and gets your picture. The pictures will be important, because that’ll be our proof you didn’t try to cheat. Once you get to the academic buildings area you’ll need to be very careful to avoid Campus Security. Don’t forget they’re on bicycles, so they can move pretty fast. If you’re chased, it won’t do you any good to split up, because all of you have to complete the run as a group. You’re working as a team. If someone doesn’t make it, you all fail."
The pledges were silent, even Lisa. This was going to be very, very risky. Tracy continued, "Once you get through the old part of the campus you’ll have to cross a couple of busy streets. I’d suggest you stay on campus as long as you can and run parallel until you get to Pageant Street. Don’t cross at the light; try to use the crosswalk instead. Then cut straight across and run like hell to the sorority. If you move fast enough the city cops won’t get you."
Tracy and Heather got back into the van. Tracy backed out as Heather called out the window, "Have fun! I’ll see you at the library, with my camera!"
The van pulled away, leaving the pledges stranded. Now their only choices were to get back to the sorority or face getting arrested. The others immediately took off, but Lisa snapped, "WAIT!"
As her panicky companions stopped, Lisa called them back into the shadows behind some bushes.
"Look, you just can’t go running off! Do you even know what route we’re taking?"
Bernadette responded in an exasperated, panicky voice, "Yeah, we’re going to the duck pond and then running to the library."
"Right across the quad, with a bunch of people running around? I don’t think so! There’s a back route, a paved nature path that’s hidden right up until you get to the library. That’s the way we’re going! We’re hitting the duck pond, but then we’ll be turning right. We won’t need to cross the quad at all! That’s the first part. You guys OK with that?"
"We’ll have to get off the path to get to Heather. Once she gets our picture, we go right back on. That path continues to the Student Center. Yes, once we get to the Student Center we’ll have to run in the open, but that’s only gonna be for the last mile."
Lisa’s companions nervously nodded.
"Now, here’s another problem. Who isn’t used to running three miles non-stop?"
Cherine and Bernadette raised their hands.
"Then we’re gonna have to walk part of the way. This’ll sound crazy, but we’re gonna have to walk that stretch of path between the duck pond and the library. If we don’t, you’ll be winded right when we leave the campus, and that’s when we’re gonna have run the fastest."
"Walk on a back trail? At night? In the nude? Are you out of your mind?"
"It’s what we’re gonna have to do. Either we walk the trail or you’ll be puking on Pageant Street. Heather will bitch us out for being late getting to her, but that’s my plan. If there’s no one on the trail after the library, we’re walking a bit more and saving our breath for the final part. I’m not worried about the trail. There’s four of us, and anyhow it’ll keep us away from the academic buildings. From the Student Center we run straight through Old Campus and we’re not stopping until we get to the sorority. I want you guys rested for that final part."
"And we’re walking?"
"Why do you think they’re giving us an hour? There’s no way we can run straight across campus and they know that. If any of you has a better idea, I’d love to hear it."
No one spoke up.
"A final thing. If we get separated we’ll meet up behind the big pine tree near the Pageant Street crosswalk. If you lose the rest of us, don’t panic, just head to the pine tree and wait."
The other three pledges calmed down considerably. Now they had a workable plan other than simply trying to run three miles non-stop across campus. Lisa’s route ensured that as few people at the university as possible would see them and minimize the chance of being caught by Campus Security. There was a back-up plan for anyone who got separated. The pledges realized that if they stayed calm and stuck to Lisa’s strategy, in an hour they would be back at the sorority house laughing about their experience.
"OK, it’s show-time! First stop, the duck pond!"
The pledges ran along the sidewalk at full speed past the quiet houses. It seemed that every dog in the neighborhood was barking at them, but fortunately the streets were deserted. In an eight-block stretch only once did a car go past. The pledges jumped behind a hedge to let it go by. They scrambled back onto the sidewalk when the porch light went on and continued running.
The four women crouched near the intersection leading back on campus. Traffic was fairly light, which gave Lisa an idea. They would not try crossing at the red light when the drivers were stopped, would have a good look at them, and possibly have time to call the police. Instead they would cross when the light was green and not give their spectators a chance to react. Hopefully no one would get hit and there would be no accidents, but the point was to cross quickly with as little warning as possible.
As they huddled in the darkness, Lisa got behind the others and looked for a gap in the traffic:
Four naked young women ran across the wide street in front of several very astonished drivers. One driver swerved and another beeped, but they made it across without incident and disappeared into the dubious safety of the duck pond area. Lisa led her companions to a stand of trees and the entrance to a path that would have been invisible had she not known it was there. Their hearts were pounding as they stood in the darkness.
"OK, in we go!"
The women shook with tension and tried to catch their breath as their eyes tried to adjust to the dark wooded area. Lisa had another observation that did not put the others at ease at all, "I know that Campus Security patrols along here. If they come through and we see them in time, we jump into the bushes. If they catch us, I’ll just try to reason with them. Don’t any of you say anything if that happens. Let me do the talking."
For the next 15 minutes the women walked in the darkness, following the same path Lisa’s friends Jason and Ken followed the previous fall when they went streaking after losing that card game. They walked at a fast pace, but Lisa warned them not to try to run.
"After we get to the library there’ll be plenty of running."
After spending what seemed an eternity walking the women saw lights shining between the trees. They had made the halfway point, when they would have to go out into the lit courtyard, get their picture taken, and then hopefully retreat back to the trail.
Lisa drew a deep breath and led her companions running into the courtyard where Heather was waiting for them. To the pledges horror it turned out she wasn’t alone. Almost every member of the Tri-Alpha Fraternity was with her. Each one of those guys was cheering and had a camera.
The pledges reluctantly ran up to Heather as the cameras flashed wildly. She admonished them, "Too slow, ladies, too slow! You’d better pick up the pace if you don’t want to be doing this again tomorrow night!"
"Ma’am, have you seen Campus Security?"
"Don’t worry about them, Pledge."
"I said, don’t worry about them..." she pointed at two guys in uniform on bicycles: "...now move your asses!"
Knowing that Campus Security was in on the adventure put Lisa at ease and changed her plans. Instead of going back on the trail, the pledges would jog straight across the academic area towards the Pageant Street crossing. The only hard part would be the final stretch through three blocks of shops and then running past the houses along Fraternity Row.
Knowing that there was no danger until they left campus, the pledges jogged at a leisurely pace and actually began enjoying themselves. The night air felt good as it blew against their naked bodies. The academic area was almost completely deserted and very peaceful. Of course, whenever they did run past someone their spectator either stared at them with disbelief or clapped and whistled.
Lisa glanced at the Economics Building as the pledges ran by. For once the light in Burnside’s office wasn’t on, which led Lisa to wonder what she was doing to Mark and those other two guys. She pushed that thought aside as the group continued past the Student Memorial Center and crossed the guest parking lot. That short cut put them on the sidewalk near the dreaded crosswalk. The pledges stopped to catch their breath under Lisa’s pine tree as they worked up the courage to run across the street. Now came the hard part, the final half-mile stretch to the sorority house.
Lisa glanced at her cell phone. They had only seven minutes to make it. Shit!
As soon as she saw a break in the traffic she shouted: "Let’s go! As fast as you can, after me!"
Lisa and her companions ran across Pageant Street. Once again she heard several beeps and a couple of screeching tires. She couldn’t worry about that. Once the pledges made it across they ran past three blocks of student stores, bars, and pizza places. Unfortunately some of the pizza places were open and the students sitting outside were treated to the spectacle of four panicky naked women running by.
Lisa kept glancing back at her companions. The awful detail was that she realized she had miscalculated the time it would take them to cross campus. She was the only one who knew that, even running at full pace, they would be very lucky to make it before the time ran out. Cherine and Kathleen seemed to be doing OK, but Bernadette already was winded. Lisa shouted, "Kathleen, get out front and set the pace!"
As soon as Kathleen moved to the front of the group Lisa dropped back to run alongside Bernadette.
"Move... move... move!"
She started landing hard slaps on Bernadette’s sweaty bottom to get her to run faster.
"Ow! Stop it!"
Just as the women exited the shopping area a flash went off in their faces. Another Tri-Alpha member had taken their picture to document their passage through the business district.
Now for Fraternity Row. This was going to be hard, because there were plenty of guys out and about. As soon as the naked pledges came into sight, the street was filled with clapping, cheering, and whistles. Guys came running out the houses to catch a glimpse of the Four-Beta pledges as they ran by. Plenty of them had cameras.
The pledges were panic-stricken as they made their final dash to the sorority. As the noise and flashing got worse, the only thought on their minds was "run... run... run". Lisa no longer had to smack Bernadette to get her to run faster; she was doing just fine on fear and adrenaline.
The pledges left their cheering audience, ran past a block of older houses, and finally closed in on Sorority Row. At last the sanctuary of the Four-Beta house was in sight. However, the pledges had to endure the final indignity of running past the members of rival sororities and listen to their sarcastic clapping and cheering.
Finally the Four-Beta House. Of course, the entire sorority was standing outside on the front lawn, and every last one of them had a camera. The pledges’ approach and entry into the house was thoroughly documented by multiple photographers.
Tracy was waiting in the sitting room with a stopwatch. She announced the pledges had made it with only 15 seconds to spare.
Lisa nearly fainted. Just 15 seconds to spare. Had they missed the deadline it would have been her fault, because had been her idea to walk the trail.
However, she looked over at Bernadette, who was bent over with her hands on her knees. She was coughing, gagging, and horribly winded. Bernadette almost didn’t make it. Had Lisa not forced her to save her strength and then pushed her at the end, she would not have made it. Lisa could feel good about that. It had been a very close call, but because of her, everyone in her group had passed the three-mile streaking test on the first try.
Once again, Pledge Mistress Tracy looked at her pledges, and especially their leader, with deep satisfaction.
The pledges slept soundly that night. They were each as
exhausted as a person could be, considering they had spent most of the weekend
cleaning, Sunday afternoon and evening at Burnside’s house, and finally, to
conclude that traumatic day, a very stressful hour running across the
university in the nude. Even after they were finished with the run, Tracy
insisted on a post-run stretch and a few minutes in the pool to relax their
muscles. They had to clean up after the pool and drink a bunch of water to stay
hydrated. Finally, well after midnight, the four women collapsed onto their cots.
They went to sleep immediately. By the end of their first week they had become
used to sleeping uncovered.
The fact several hundred pictures had been taken of Lisa and her companions that night and were sure to circulate on the Internet barely registered in their minds. One reason was the pledges were too tired to be worried about their very public performance. However there was a second, and much more important reason. The pledges were changing, because a week of living in the nude already had greatly reduced their personal inhibitions.
Monday started just like any other weekday between classes. Tracy entered the room with her usual, "OK, sleeping beauties: UP... UP... UP! Let’s go... let’s go... let’s go!"
As usual, each pledge got a sharp slap on her bottom as she passed Tracy to go upstairs for the morning PT.
The pledges began their day with stretching and the normal upper body workout with the sophomores. There was the usual cooling off in the pool, a shower, and the usual healthy breakfast. They cleaned up from the meal while the sophomores left for the university. Heather left as well, after reminding her charges that the routine would change somewhat starting the next day because the new Tri-Alpha pledges would start coming to the house and take over some of the chores.
At 9:30 a.m. Lisa and her companions knelt in the sitting room for a day-long class to be given by President Alexandra. Pledge Mistress Tracy was present as well, but only to assist the president with props and the projector.
The first presentation was about the history of the Four-Beta pledging experience. Alexandra emphasized that the pledges were part of a long tradition that went clear back to 1926, when the sorority decided to distinguish itself from other sororities and use a harsh hazing philosophy to make sure the pledges really wanted to join.
Alexandra’s slide show contained numerous photos of sorority members and pledges taken between 1926 and the present, with an emphasis on the first decades of the sorority. Styles had come and gone, but the four new pledges saw a lot of themselves in the faces of the young women who had gone before them. Seeing the photos gave them a strange sense of personal mortality. Decades before, those women in the black and white pictures had been little different from the current generation, with the same hopes and fears for the future. However, they had long since lived out their lives and passed away. Lisa and her companions realized that decades in the future they also would become little more than memories in some future slide show presentation for a new generation of pledges. Nothing more than a photo. That thought was rather scary.
The pledge program had developed since the 1920’s, but its basic purpose had not changed much in the ensuing eight decades. From the very beginning Four-Beta pledges had to undergo a rigorous personal transformation to be eligible to join the sorority. During the 1920’s and early 1930’s pledges had to bob their hair and be struck with the riding crop on the shoulder on the very first day of pledging. One detail that made the Lisa and her companions giggle was the original Four-Beta pledge uniform. Before World War II, the pledge uniform consisted of white drop-seat bloomers. The seat of the bloomers was cut out, which meant the pledges always ran around the sorority house with their bottoms and the backs of their upper thighs completely exposed, but the rest of their bodies covered.
During the first two decades any junior or senior could discipline a pledge. A metal washtub full of willow switches was kept by the back door. If a pledge faced discipline she had to go to that tub, retrieve a switch, dry it off, and return to her disciplinarian. She had to kneel and hand over the switch, then stand up and put her hands on her ankles until the punishment was finished. There were several pictures of early pledges dressed in the drop-seat bloomers, and even through the grainy black and white images switch marks were clearly visible on the bare bottoms of some of the freshmen.
The Four-Beta pledging program underwent several important changes in 1946. That was the year that the sorority created the positions of Pledge Mistress and Sergeant-at-Arms. From that point forward pledges answered only to those two officers, instead of having to answer to any senior member of the sorority. That also was the year when housing developers filled in the pond from where the seniors were getting their supply of willow switches. With its supply of willow switches cut off, the sorority turned to using razor straps to discipline pledges, provided by a member whose father was a barber. Tracy held up an old razor strap and passed it to the pledges for a closer look. Finally, 1946 was the year the sorority replaced the pledge uniform of drop-seat bloomers with open-back hospital gowns. The gowns exposed much more of the pledges’ bodies than the bloomers, because all of the drawstrings except for the one at the very top were cut off. From the front pledges were adequately covered, but from the back they were completely exposed, especially if they had to lean forward or bend over.
The hospital gowns lasted until 1965. That year the Pledge Mistress punished a pledge by strapping her, but then took her punishment a step further by ordering her to remove her gown and burn it in the barbecue pit. In an act of solidarity the other pledges stripped off their gowns and burnt them as well. The entire group then bent over and insisted on taking the same strapping their fellow pledge had taken. The Pledge Mistress wore herself out disciplining the entire group and refused to replace any of their gowns. As a result of their rebellion, the pledges spent the rest of their time in the house that semester in the nude. After a while the young women took a strange pride in their exposure, since they were in their situation together and confronting the Pledge Mistress as a team. The idea caught on and the incoming class of 1966 was the first group to spend the entire semester pledging completely in the nude.
Alexandra expressed her clear admiration for the 1965 pledge group, holding them up as an example of how pledges should behave. They refused to let a member of their group be singled out for special punishment, but rather than argue with the Pledge Mistress, they chose to stand with their classmate and strip off their own gowns. What they did was in one way an act of defiance, but on the other hand they had rebelled within the rules laid out for them as pledges. Their group mate had to suffer, and they insisted on suffering with her.
The chapter president ended her observation with a picture of the infamous 1965 group, a black and white photo of 14 determined-looking young women, all standing completely naked as they waited to be sworn-in as full members of the sorority.
Alexandra moved on to the final change in the pledge program, one brought about by the sexual revolution of the late 1960’s. Medical education traditionally had been part of the sorority's training program, and sexual education eventually became an extension of medical education. Sexual health always had received priority as an orientation topic, but in 1970 the Four-Beta Sorority decided to expand the medical lessons into an aggressive and comprehensive program of sexual instruction.
The first goal of the program was to completely separate the concept of sex from substance use and popular culture. Rather than encourage its members to either abstain or plunge blindly into the culture of "sex, drugs, and rock & roll", the sorority insisted they "get all the facts" before starting any sexual relationship. "Getting all the facts" meant having an accurate idea of what sex really was, how to safely practice it, how to maximize orgasms, and how to avoid pregnancy and venereal disease. Above everything else was the goal of keeping sex in proper perspective in a woman's life. By 1975 the Four-Beta sexual education program had gone way beyond just memorizing facts out of books, by encouraging the pledges to experience real orgasms under the supervision of their instructors. Over time variants such as oral sex and erotic discipline were added. The Tri-Alpha Fraternity developed their sexual education program at the same time as the Four-Betas, and in 1982 the sorority and fraternity formally merged their two programs into one.
"Everyone keeps calling us 'the sex bitches', but that's only because we want you to know what's really going on with sex. Knowledge is power, and to be honest I think that's what scares the other sororities. It scares the fraternities even more, because the only guys who can handle us are the Tri-Alphas."
From the development of the pledge program Alexandra moved to discussing significant events in the history of the Four-Betas. She discussed the participation of the sorority’s first members in the suffragette movement, the official founding of the Chicago chapter in 1925, and the early members’ service at soup kitchens during the Great Depression. She continued with the biography of a member who became a nurse during World War II and was killed during the London blitzkrieg, and finished off with a list of women who had graduated and gone on to hold political office or lead universities. Lisa recognized some of the names and was quite impressed.
Alexandra backed up in time to display a picture of the 1947 pledge group. It was a group photo of 18 young women in hospital gowns, but there was something very significant about the picture. There was a Japanese freshman standing with the others. Just two years after the end of World War II, the sorority accepted a Japanese student as a member. Five years later, in 1952, two sisters, Pearl and Violet Baker, joined the sorority as its first black members.
"The Baker girls joined us more than 10 years before any of the other sororities even thought about integrating. What was really great, however, was the way it happened. At the end of the summer they simply showed up at the front door and asked if they could join. The sorority wasn’t trying to make any social statement; they simply took in the Baker girls like they’d take in anyone else. Now you gotta remember, this was 1952 that we’re talking about. Having the Baker sisters pledge with us caused a real stink among the other sororities. We got boycotted by everyone except the Tri-Alphas, and I think that whole experience tested us and really helped set us apart. We’re different from the others. We’ve always been different."
Alexandra put up a group portrait of the 1952 pledges standing in their hospital gowns. Standing among the group were Pearl and Violet with very nervous but determined expressions. Another picture, taken in 1956, showed Pearl and Violet standing in formal gowns among the graduating seniors.
The pledges took a break to stretch and eat lunch before re-joining Alexandra and Tracy in the sitting room. The next presentation was titled: In case you are wondering: why are you naked and why are we being so rough on you?
Alexandra answered that question with her next words, "The reason you are naked right now is the same reason we dressed pledges in bottomless bloomers in 1926. The outfit may be different, but its purpose is the same. We believe you need to give us a gesture of humility as pledges. The right to wear clothing again, just like membership, is something you have to earn. We won't be giving you anything -- you have to earn it. Just like me, Pledge Mistress Tracy, and every other member of this house, you’ll have to earn everything you get. You will suffer, you will be scared and pissed-off, you will be tired, and your body will be subjected to both real pain and real pleasure. You have to be tested in order to make you a person worthy of respect. When we push you, challenge you, or punish you, that's what we're after, making you someone worthy to join us. We expect you to obey us, but we also want to transform you. If you make that transformation, four years from now one of you will be standing where I am right now."
"So, why pledge in the nude?" The president explained that the practice of naked pledging was a crash-course in killing any modesty or personal inhibitions. The Four-Beta pledge program considered eliminating modesty from prospective members top priority, because modesty was a holdover from a time during which religion suppressed women’s aspirations.
The pledge program of the sorority and its associated fraternity openly confronted religious reasoning concerning modesty. Most religions argue that the body and its needs and desires are evil and impediments to spiritual development. The Tri-Alphas and the Four-Betas argued exactly the opposite; that unless a person first satisfied the needs of "the temple of the body", there was no point in seeking spiritual development. Every person’s soul was given a body, and it was the duty of the soul to take care of that body before taking care of itself. The argument was that if the body was denied the care and sexual pleasure it needed and deserved, the soul became damaged. The damaged soul sought to satiate itself with material wealth and possessions, but acquiring those possessions never resulted in happiness because the basic needs of the body were still being denied.
Therefore, in order to free herself from the repressive past, a member of the sorority had to openly reject modesty. If a woman could be open and comfortable with her body, it would be much easier to reject all other efforts by society to suppress her intellect. The sorority considered constantly being naked a necessary first step in radical re-education away from a sexually repressed culture that drowned a person’s true needs with materialism.
Pledges completing the program always finished very different than when they started. They returned to wearing normal clothes in public simply because that was what society demanded of them, but in private and among each other there was very little distinction between being dressed and being naked. Lisa noticed that total lack of inhibitions the first day she was in the sorority, a complete casualness about what each person in the house chose to wear or not wear. There were several sorority members who were a lot like her, who never bothered to put anything on unless they had to go out. If there were guests in the house, that made no difference to them. They could calmly sit down in the nude and have a conversation just as easily as they could have a conversation if they were dressed.
That detail of sorority life very much appealed to Lisa. She knew that once she became a full member she would be one of those residents who casually went about her daily routine without ever bothering to get dressed. If Kathleen remained her lover she would expect the same from her. Whenever in the house she would expect Kathleen to set aside any remaining modesty and remain undressed out of principle.
The pledges ate dinner with the sophomores. Following dinner Tracy took them back to the sitting room and ordered them to set up for a formal presentation to be given in the evening. The setup included President Alexandra’s speaking podium and 40 folding chairs set up in rows. Another row of six chairs was set up behind the speaker’s podium, where the officers of the Tri-Alpha fraternity would be sitting. Finally Tracy ordered the pledges to clean up and brush their teeth, then return upstairs for a formal presentation.
The sorority members filed in and took their seats in the chairs. The seniors sat in the front, followed by juniors and the sophomores in the back. The pledges knelt on the floor in front of the seniors. Sitting in a chair during a formal event, just like wearing clothing, was a privilege they would enjoy only after being sworn in as full members.
The doorbell rang and one of the juniors let in the six officers from the Tri-Alpha Fraternity. The men handed a list to the Four-Beta president and took their seats. Lisa noticed Vice-President Jacob and Pledge Cherine flirting with each other as they exchanged looks.
Alexandra began by briefly reciting the tradition of the sorority and fraternity participating in each other’s pledging responsibilities and in hazing new members. As of the next day the Tri-Alphas would be swearing in six prospective new members. Tracy dimmed the lights and turned on a projector while Alexandra named the six new male pledges and showed their pictures to the audience. She gave brief biographies of the six young men, their interests, and finally some information about their sexual orientation and sexual fantasies.
Lisa felt a pang of emotion when Ken’s picture was displayed. It was very strange to hear her boyfriend’s biography given in Alexandra’s matter-of-fact tone along with the others. She held her breath when Alexandra approached the topic of his sexual orientation, grateful that Tracy had warned her about what was coming. Sure enough, Alexandra stated that Ken had described himself as bi-sexual. He had indicated that he wanted to experiment having sexual contact with other men, given that he already had experimented with women. Among his expectations for joining the Tri-Alphas was to finally determine his orientation. He needed to settle in his own mind once and for all whether he should focus on gay relationships or straight relationships.
Alexandra added, "Due to Pledge Ken’s sexual situation, his medical examination will be conducted by male examiners. If he needs to be masturbated, my guess is that will be by males as well. I ask, however, that you respect Pledge Ken in the same way you would respect any other pledge. Ken has a journey in life to fulfill just like the rest of us, and given the struggle in his own mind, that journey will be more difficult than what most of us have to deal with."
Alexandra did not mention anything about Ken being Lisa’s ex-boyfriend, for which she was grateful. Lisa wondered how she should deal with him once she saw him in the sorority house. Her thoughts ranged from tormenting him as much as possible, to ignoring him completely, to making him watch her flirt with Kathleen. As tempting as the idea of making him watch her flirt with Kathleen, Lisa realized that would be a very bad idea. Tracy had told her that under no circumstances should she make any type of public spectacle out of the relationship, but also Lisa realized that to use Kathleen to make Ken jealous would be a betrayal of her trust. So, that left her with the options of constantly beating the crap out of Ken or ignoring him entirely.
Finally she decided to ignore Ken as long as he didn’t say anything to her. The moment he did try to talk to her, Lisa would teach him the real meaning of the word "hazing", and do what she could to totally humiliate him.
When the meeting ended and the Tri-Alpha officers left, Tracy ordered the pledges to fold up the chairs and put the sitting room back in order. Lisa noticed that Cherine seemed to be in a particularly bad mood, probably from having Jacob so close to her without being able to talk to him or interact with him. Cherine’s bad mood became more evident when Lisa told her to move some of the folding chairs and she let out a disgusted sigh. Tracy came back into the room just as Cherine banged several of the chairs together as she tried to pick them up. Instead of taking two chairs at a time and making several trips, Cherine tried to pick up all eight of the chairs in the row at once. Of course she was not capable of carrying that many, so the chairs fell back to the floor with a loud crash. Tracy became clearly irritated.
"Pledge, what hell are you doing?"
Cherine, instead of answering Tracy’s question, rolled her eyes and reached down to pick up the chairs.
The pledge mistress was on her in an instant, directing the full force of her wrath on the unfortunate freshman. She stuck her face in Cherine’s face and snarled, "Look here, PLEDGE! You do NOT roll your eyes around me!"
She jabbed her finger hard into Cherine’s chest. "You do NOT roll your eyes around any officer! That is nothing but total disrespect, and I resent it!"
Again Cherine suffered another sharp poke to the chest.
"And you do NOT talk out of turn, Pledge! You know what you just did? You just pissed me off!" She turned to the other three pledges, "All of you, front-leaning rest position! Now!"
The four young women scrambled to comply.
"In cadence, EXERCISE! ONE... TWO... THREE..."
"ONE... TWO... THREE..."
"ONE... TWO... THREE..."
Heather poked her head in the doorway to see what was going on. She and Tracy exchanged nods and Heather briefly disappeared as the pledges continued doing pushups. Lisa glanced at the doorway with apprehension. Sure enough, Heather returned to the room carrying two leather straps and a set of handcuffs. She gave the handcuffs and one strap to Tracy, but kept the second strap for herself.
"Pledge Cherine! STAND UP!"
Tracy lost no time ordering Cherine to put her hands out in front to cuff them. She grabbed the trembling freshman by the wrist and led her to a table that Heather had pulled out into the center of the room. Cherine bent over the table and grabbed the far end with her hands. Tracy tapped the insides of her thighs to force them apart.
"Tilt your butt up so we can all see it! Now... here’s a question for you! How’d you like your three friends to get it too? Would you like that?"
"Then you will not move until I’m done! You move, and all four of you are getting it!"
Tracy put her face next to Cherine’s and rolled her eyes.
"How do you like that, Pledge? You like it when I roll my eyes?"
"No, ma’am. I don’t like it."
While Tracy was positioning Cherine on the table, Heather was busy tormenting the three pledges still in the front-leaning rest position on the floor. She tapped the strap she was holding in the palm of her hand. "You three better get your backs straight! I didn’t say anything about you relaxing!"
Lisa tried to straighten up, but it was too late...
A painful smack exploded across her unprotected backside.
"I told you to straighten up, Pledge!"
Lisa struggled to stay quiet as the burning from the two strokes mounted in her bottom.
"OK, you three, in cadence, EXERCISE! ONE... TWO... THREE..."
"ONE... TWO... THREE..."
"ONE... TWO... THREE..."
It wasn’t long before the strength gave out in the three pledges’ arms and they
could barely support their weight. Their bodies trembled and their arms shook
as they tried to continue doing push-ups. As their arms weakened they knew
better than to allow themselves to collapse on the floor. Their only
alternative was to relieve the pressure on their arms by pushing their bottoms
into the air. However, every time one of the pledges pushed her backside up,
the response from Heather was a painful smack. The pledge cried out and tried
to straighten herself out as best she could. Heather admonished them,
"Anyone who drops to the floor will be getting the full treatment along with Pledge Cherine. Get it?"
"Now keep your backs straight!"
Bernadette let out a yelp as the thick leather marked the pale skin of her trembling bottom. She straightened up as best she could as Heather menacingly tapped the strap in her hand.
While Heather tired out Lisa, Kathleen, and Bernadette doing push-ups, Tracy patiently waited next to Cherine. She tormented the frightened pledge by gently rubbing the strap on her bare bottom to raise her anxiety. Finally she was ready to start punishing the young freshman extended over the table. She positioned herself, tapped Cherine’s dark bottom one final time, and twisted back...
Lisa flinched in sympathy, in spite of the burning from Heather’s two swats and the physical discomfort from trying to stay in the front-leaning rest position.
Tracy paused between the second and third swat to gently rub the burning skin of her trembling victim with her free hand. She tapped Cherine’s bottom with the leather and twisted back a third time.
Tears began running down the pledge’s cheeks after just three swats, but she struggled to stay quiet. She bit her lip and pressed her forehead against the tabletop as she waited for the fourth stroke...
Again Tracy paused to pass her hand over Cherine’s dark bottom. Already her skin was swollen and hot to the touch, after just four swats. Good, thought Tracy to herself. Looks like my little lesson in manners is starting to sink in. Tracy repositioned herself, tapped the freshman with the strap, and struck hard a fifth time.
Tracy continued to wait between swats and casually rub Cherine’s bottom. Following Ruth Burnside’s advice, she punished her charge at a very leisurely pace, letting the passage of time and the painful anticipation wear down her victim’s resistance. As she remained bent over in agony, Cherine actually wished Tracy would hit her and get closer to finishing her torment. Instead the Pledge Mistress casually patted and rubbed her bottom and walked around admiring her attractive figure.
The waiting was very hard not only on Cherine, but also on her three companions who remained in stuck the front-leaning rest position. They desperately struggled to keep their backs straight and avoid additional swats from Heather. Kathleen took a stroke when she moved her bottom up, and then Bernadette took a couple of strokes.
Staying in the front-leaning rest was hardest on Lisa, however. Her tall body was not suited to hold that position for an extended time. Her arms shook and her back ached as the minutes slowly went by and Cherine’s punishment seemed no closer to ending. She dared not let her knees touch the floor, so every so often she had to push her bottom up to relieve the stress on her lower back. Every time she pushed up her bottom, Heather gave it a vicious swat with the strap. Every time Lisa straightened her body, her lower back started throbbing.
Finally Lisa decided to sacrifice her bottom to save her lower back. She pushed up and felt yet another painful swat, but did not bother to go back down. Heather struck hard several more times. Finally Lisa couldn’t stand the swats anymore and straightened herself. Instantly her back started throbbing. Tears started running down her cheeks, not just from the increasing physical pain, but from the fact her suffering seemed no closer to ending.
Cherine remained as quiet as possible as she withstood Tracy’s slow-paced punishment. At that moment she totally hated the Pledge Mistress. All she did was roll her eyes, and just for that she was being so viciously treated? For that simple gesture her companions were being so cruelly treated? And yet, she was determined to finish what she started. She would deal with her punishment as bravely as possible and ignore what was happening to the others. Unless she was willing to quit the pledging program (which she wasn’t) there wasn’t anything she could do for her companions, just like there wasn’t anything they could do for her. Her only choice was to endure her ordeal in silence and hope to get through it.
CRACK!!! CRACK!!! CRACK!!!...
Tracy delivered a total of 25 swats. Nearly 20 minutes had gone by before she finally set the strap on the table. During that entire time Cherine managed not to make any noise or move. When Tracy told her to "recover" she stood up with difficulty and the tears were running down her face. However, she had taken her punishment very well. Her stoicism impressed the Pledge Mistress.
As soon as Cherine struggled to push herself off the table and Tracy unlocked her handcuffs, Heather ordered her three subjects to "recover" as well. Bernadette and Kathleen seemed not much the worse for their experience. However, Lisa was in bad shape, with her back aching and her bottom covered with painful welts. The pledge’s expression indicated she had come very close to being broken. Heather realized that she had found Lisa’s weak point; apparently she couldn’t handle pressure on her lower back.
The two officers ordered the pledges to stand at attention. Tears continued to run down the faces of Lisa and Cherine while Tracy gave them a long lecture about the need to always show respect.
Even after so cruelly punishing Cherine and nearly breaking Lisa, Tracy was still incensed over the eye-rolling incident. The pledges realized that eye-rolling was a pet peeve of the pledge mistress, a trivial gesture that really set off her temper. She poked Cherine in the chest and snarled, "Don’t you EVER roll your eyes at me again, Pledge! If you ever pull that shit on me a second time, I will cane you! If you think the strap hurt, wait ‘till you feel the cane! GET IT?"
Upon being released the pledges resumed cleaning the sitting room. Cherine sullenly picked up the chairs to put away. She carried them out of the room two at a time and was very careful not to bang them.
The pledges were quiet as they went downstairs for the night, each one full of doubts about whether or not she should continue with her effort to join the sorority. Finally Lisa spoke up, "I guess we should’ve seen this coming. I mean, they kept warning us it was gonna be rough."
None of the others said anything. Lisa took a deep breath and continued, "A couple of things to remember. We... we can’t hold any of this against Tracy. Or Heather. They’re just doing their jobs. They... they’ve been doing the same thing since 1926."
Cherine snapped, "She’s a fucking bitch! She’s just a worthless, psychotic, mean-spirited..."
"She isn’t! I know I sound crazy telling you this, but I know for a fact she’s not! She... I mean... I can’t believe I’m saying this... but... she actually does care about us. It’s just that... she’s gotta follow the rules."
Tears began running down Cherine's face again. Lisa tried to reassure her, "And don't blame yourself. It's not your fault. None of this is your fault. This is... I guess... what they're doing... it's sort of like Basic Training. They're gonna fuck with us no matter what. We could be a group of perfect goddesses and they'd still fuck with us. It's just the way it is."
Cherine nodded. Lisa exchanged glances with the others. The crisis was passing, but that was mostly because the pledges were getting too tired to think about anything else besides sleeping.
"Come on. Let's get some rest. Tomorrow the Triple A's are bringing over their new guys and it's us who'll get to mess with them."
Once she was sure the others were asleep, Lisa afforded herself a small luxury. She broke down and for a long time quietly lay crying in her cot. She was convinced she couldn't let the others see her break down, because she felt her companions looked up to her and to see her cry would disillusion them. They were asleep, so now Lisa could express her real emotions, even if only to herself.
She had to be strong for the others, but she wondered: could she be strong enough for her own needs? Could she really make it through an entire summer of this pledging crap? Three months of not letting her doubts and weaknesses show to the others? Could she really do it?
The following morning was Tuesday, exactly one week since Lisa and her companions started their internment in the Four-Beta sorority. The day would be significant for two other reasons. First, it was the day the pledges would begin going to the university to attend to their academic responsibilities. For brief periods of time, the pledges would get dressed and be allowed to see something besides the inside of the Four-Beta house. That day also was the day the Tri-Alphas would initiate their six summer pledges. In the afternoon the pledges would watch Tri-Alpha pledges' medical exam and in the evening attend their swearing in ceremony.
Of course, before anything else there was morning PT. For the freshmen and sophomores the day's PT would be the lower-body workout. Tracy entered the pledge room, and as always, woke up her charges by shouting, "OK sleeping beauties! UP! UP! UP! Let’s go... let’s go... let’s go!"
While the pledges took turns at the toilet, Tracy unlocked their lockers to allow them access to their running uniforms. She announced that the pledges should take out an extra t-shirt and shorts along with their backpacks, because she planned to take them to the university orientation lecture and summer class registration immediately after breakfast.
Lisa would be the exception and would not accompany the others. Ruth Burnside had sent an e-mail to President Alexandra to inform her that Lisa needed to go to her office.
"Sergeant-at-Arms Heather will escort you, Pledge, while I take care of the others."
"Uh... thank you, ma’am."
The arrangement of going to the Economics Department with Heather did not thrill Lisa at all. Not only did she resent the humiliation of being escorted to her boss’ office, but she also was concerned about the fact that the Sergeant-at-Arms had punished her the night before. If Heather and Burnside engaged in any conversation (which seemed very likely) it was certain the incident would be part of their discussion.
The pledges put on their shoes and carried their uniforms upstairs. As always, Tracy stood at the door and gave each pledge a sharp slap on the bare bottom as she went by. The swats were especially painful to Lisa and Cherine, who were still tender from the previous night’s punishment.
Running with a bruised bottom was not pleasant, but the relief of getting outside and working off some stress put Lisa in a somewhat better mood. By the time the group returned to the sorority, stretched, jumped in the pool, and had breakfast, the four women had mostly forgotten the previous night’s unpleasantness. The pledges picked up their clean uniforms and walking shoes before going upstairs to kneel in the sitting room.
Heather and Tracy entered the room. Tracy was holding four large plastic hangers, which she passed out to her group.
"OK. Here’s the deal on your uniforms. As soon as you come in through that front door, the uniforms come off. If you’re going back out later in the day, you’ll put your clothes on the hanger and put ‘em in the closet. There’s gonna be one exception to the rule about taking off your clothes. If there’s Triple-A pledges in the house you’ll keep your uniforms on. Whenever they’re here, those guys are subordinate to every female in the sorority, and that includes you."
Tracy pointed to a nightlight plugged in near the closet door. "This nightlight will tell you if there are male pledges in the house. When it’s on, there’s pledges here and you’ll keep your outfits on. When it’s off, your uniforms come off. Real simple: on-on, off-off. Get it?"
"The light’s only for Triple-A pledges. If there’s Triple-A’s in the house but no pledges, the uniforms come off. Either way, just check the light when you come in."
"Another detail. Classes and going out in public. Pledge Bernadette, please read what’s on your shirt."
"PLEDGE. This pledge is property of the Four-Beta Sorority. If found unescorted, please return to rightful owner."
"Remember, until you swear in as full members, you are property of the sorority. You have no rights, except the privileges we chose to give you. You have no independence and no freedom. You’ll be under our complete control, even when you're on campus. Under no circumstances can you get out of our sight, which means whenever you’re not in the house you must have an escort. You’re gonna have to take your general requirement classes together and we’ll set up a duty roster for the sophomores to escort you to and from class. Pledge Lisa’s situation will be a bit different, because she’s got a job with the Economics Department. But, we’ve already talked with her professor and we’ve got everything arranged."
Lisa took a deep breath. They’ve "got everything arranged". What’s that supposed to mean?
Tracy continued, "Remember your handcuffs and blindfolds? You’ll have those with you for a reason. If you disobey your escort or get out of her sight, she’ll cuff you and bring you back to the sorority house. If that ever happens you can expect to have a VERY miserable night. When you’re on campus the only words that ever need to come out of your mouth are ‘yes ma’am’. Get it?"
"OK, you now know what’s expected when you’re on campus. If you want to save your butts, you’d better remember what’s written on your shirts."
"PLEDGES! STAND UP!"
The pledges scrambled to their feet.
"OK, get your uniforms on and stick your hangers in the closet. Get ready to move out."
Heather, Tracy, and the four pledges walked to the university. The two officers were wearing Four-Beta logos on their shirts, while the pledges walked behind in their pledge outfits. Fortunately the presence of the two severe-looking sorority officers silenced many of the giggles and comments the pledge uniform might have elicited from passers-by, but still, the message on the shirts was totally humiliating:
This pledge is property of the Four-Beta Sorority...
Tracy took the three freshmen to the campus auditorium to attend an orientation lecture for first year students given by the president of the university. From there they would go to the main gym to pick up their class schedules and from there go to the student bookstore to buy textbooks. Meanwhile, Lisa would spend her first day at work in Burnside’s office.
Heather escorted Lisa to the Economics Department. Once in the building Lisa saw several classmates from her freshman year. Saying hello to them was hard, given what was written on her t-shirt and that she clearly was being escorted by Heather. The two women went into Burnside’s office, where the professor already was waiting for them. Burnside shook Heather’s hand and greeted her in a manner that indicated the two women already knew each other. The professor’s bemused and rather sarcastic expression was not re-assuring at all.
"Good morning, Pledge Lisa."
"Good morning, Dr. Burnside."
Heather took out an envelope containing two copies of a contract on Four-Beta letterhead. She passed the documents to the professor, who looked them over. Burnside signed both copies.
"Pledge Lisa, please kneel and read this contract. If you want to continue working for me and also pledge the sorority at the same time you need to concur with this agreement."
"You... you want me to kneel, Dr. Burnside?"
"Pledge, you’re not supposed to be questioning orders. I told you to kneel. Now do it."
Lisa’s heart sank as she reluctantly got on her knees. Burnside handed her the two copies along with a pen. Lisa read:
The directorate of the Chicago chapter of the Four-Beta Sorority agrees to share provisional training custody of Pledge Lisa Campbell with Professor Dr. Ruth Burnside during university summer work hours. This shared provisional custody will allow Pledge Lisa Campbell to fulfill her responsibilities as a pledge to the Four-Beta Sorority, while simultaneously fulfilling her duties as a student aide for the Department of Economic Studies.
This agreement authorizes Dr. Burnside to act in capacity of Pledge Lisa Campbell’s campus escort and grants Dr. Burnside the same authority over her as the authority normally exercised by the Four-Beta Sorority’s Sergeant-at-Arms. As a result of this agreement, Dr. Burnside will submit a written summary of Pledge Lisa Campbell’s daily activities to the Pledge Mistress of the Four-Beta Sorority for entry in the official pledge-training log. Because Dr. Burnside is acting in official capacity on behalf of the sorority, her authority includes, but is not limited to, the right to inflict corporal punishment on Pledge Lisa Campbell for any violations of Four-Beta pledging protocol.
This agreement obliges Pledge Lisa Campbell to treat Dr. Burnside with the same deference and respect as she is expected to treat any elected officer of the Four-Beta Sorority and accept her as a campus escort. Specifically this means that Pledge Lisa Campbell agrees to obey any orders issued by Dr. Burnside and to stay within her sight at all times. Pledge Lisa Campbell agrees that Dr. Burnside, by acting as a campus escort, reserves the right to discipline her within the guidelines of the Four-Beta pledging program. She also agrees that whenever she is in Dr. Burnside’s office or private residence, the regulations concerning the Four-Beta pledge uniform will be enforced.
Under this agreement, at the request of Dr. Burnside, Pledge Lisa Campbell will address her as "Dr. Burnside" and not address her as "ma'am", as normally stipulated in the Four-Beta Pledge Handbook.
Pledge Lisa Campbell reserves the right to report any perceived misuse of authority by Dr. Burnside to the Pledge Mistress of her Four-Beta Sorority chapter. The complaint will be forwarded to the chapter president for resolution. Any command or disciplinary incident determined by the Chapter President not to fall within the guidelines of the Four-Beta Pledge Manuel will result in the immediate termination of this agreement.
If the president of the Sorority determines Pledge Lisa Campbell’s complaint is without merit, a report will be forwarded to Dr. Burnside with a formal apology. Pledge Lisa Campbell will then present herself to Dr. Burnside for corporal punishment.
Unless violated, this agreement remains in effect until Pledge Lisa Campbell becomes a member-in-full-standing of the Four-Beta Sorority on August 25. Upon swearing in, Lisa Campbell’s current status as sorority property will be terminated and she will regain full rights guaranteed to her under the Constitution of the United States of America.
Lisa’s hands shook as she finished reading. Several questions ran through her mind, not the least of which was what would be "the pledge uniform" when she was alone with Burnside in her office. Was it possible...
Burnside handed Lisa a pen. The student took a deep breath and reluctantly signed the agreement. She had no choice, because she needed the job for her future and still wanted to join the sorority. Still, she felt she had just signed her life away. It was for sure she had just signed away her dignity. As for that pressing question on her mind, the one about the pledge uniform; that was answered when Heather took a hanger out of her backpack and handed it to the professor.
"On school days we have the pledges keep their uniforms near the front door on these hangers. I brought you an extra, just in case you didn't have one."
"And so, they only put on their uniforms if they go out?"
"That is correct, Dr. Burnside. Just when they go out."
"OK, I wanted to make sure about that. From my end there won't be a problem. She'll be working at this extra desk here in the back office. Nobody comes back here unless I buzz them in, so it's fairly private."
Burnside turned to Lisa. "Stand up, Pledge."
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
"Alright, Pledge, you know the score. Get your clothes off and put them on the hanger."
Lisa swallowed. Very reluctantly she kicked off her shoes and pulled off her socks. She took a deep breath and lowered her shorts and stepped out of them. She folded them over the bar of the hanger. She pulled her shirt over her head and hung it on the hanger as well. She handed her clothes to Burnside and went back on her knees. Burnside put the hanger in the office closet along with the shoes and locked the door.
Lisa felt horribly exposed as she knelt completely naked in Burnside's office. She couldn't understand why she felt so ashamed, given that Burnside already had seen her nude several times over the past year. The professor and Heather did nothing to put her at ease as they casually talked about the four pledges, their progress, implements used for corporal punishment, and the program in general.
As Lisa had feared, the conversation turned to the previous night's strapping and push-up session. Heather described the evening in detail, focusing on Lisa's rebellious behavior and her disgraceful refusal to stay in the front-leaning rest position.
"The other two pledges seemed to hold their positions just fine, but Pledge Lisa kept moving around. To be honest I lost count of how many times I had to smack her, but she just wouldn’t go down or straighten her back."
In a matter-of-fact tone of voice, the professor asked the sorority Sergeant-at-Arms to describe the strap. She seemed satisfied with Heather’s choice of implement.
"Let’s see how well your strap marks." She turned to Lisa: "Pledge, stand up, turn your back toward us, and place your hands on the desk."
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
Lisa complied as her professor and the sorority officer carefully examined the marks on her bottom. Both women ran their hands over her skin and commented that the bruising wasn’t too bad. Heather concluded with, "I don’t know about this pledge, Dr. Burnside. She’s so strong-willed. She’s taken three punishments in just a week, and that doesn’t seem to have calmed her down at all."
"Some pledges take longer to break than others. Just keep doing what you’re doing. I’m sure she’ll come around eventually. Anyhow, I’ll make sure she behaves properly whenever she’s with me. She knows what to expect if she doesn’t."
Burnside concluded by patting Lisa’s bare bottom. The professor then asked Heather if she wanted some tea, to which she replied yes. Burnside told Lisa to take out some cups and boil a pot of water, and then kneel pending further orders. Ordinarily Burnside would not have ordered a student aide (with the exception of Mark, whose situation was special) to serve her tea. The work relationship between the two women would have been limited to what was in Lisa’s university contract and fairly normal, with the exception of the ongoing threat of punishment if Lisa did not meet Burnside’s academic standards.
Lisa got up to prepare the tea, completely dumbfounded at the extent to which the other two women were humiliating her. What totally changed Burnside’s behavior towards Lisa was the contract with the sorority. The purpose of that contract was to give the professor the same rights over her that the sorority officers enjoyed. It was obvious that Burnside’s intention was to treat her like a Four-Beta pledge, not a university employee. The moment she signed that contract, Lisa went from being Burnside’s employee to being sorority property on loan. As sorority property, her submission would have to be total and unquestioning.
What was frightening was that Burnside would clearly enjoy having the chance to totally dominate Lisa. She now had extra justification to punish the student if she made any mistakes either with her pledge duties or her student aide duties. Apart from the domination there was another concern. Lisa knew that Burnside was bisexual and enjoyed looking at young women. Having an attractive naked student working in her office for the entire summer would be a real treat; especially one formally obligated to do anything she was told to do.
Unfortunately Lisa had no argument against her situation, because she knew that morally she was no better than the professor. Placed in Burnside’s situation, she would have done the exact same thing. Had any of her fellow pledges been placed under her control, Lisa would have treated them in a manner similar to the way Burnside was about to treat her. The professor knew that, and undoubtedly Heather must have known it as well. Both were sure to jump on her for being a hypocrite if she dared say anything.
Lisa continued to kneel while the other two women drank their tea and discussed a recent academic cheating scandal involving a rival sorority. As she stayed quiet, Lisa became more agitated, because on top of everything else, now she was becoming aroused. Suddenly the thought of being naked and submissive to Burnside for the entire summer seemed very erotic to her. She knew that she would be scared and embarrassed whenever she was in Burnside’s office, but there was something very sexy about her nakedness, submission, and fear. She wondered if what she was feeling was what her boyfriend Ken felt when she was about to punish him.
The exhibitionist in Lisa's personality surfaced. She would be working naked, which was something many people fantasize about doing, but almost never happens in modern society. She would be living a fantasy, sitting at her workstation for hours each day in the nude. That was something she actually had wanted to do. Well, now she would know what it would be like to hold down a job while not allowed to wear any clothing.
As she continued to kneel in front of her two superiors in the professor’s office, Lisa’s thoughts about her situation changed somewhat. She knew that she was about to undergo the most intense summer of her life. Years later she would look back at the pledging period as the most erotic experience of her youth, something she wouldn’t exchange for anything.
Upon finishing her tea Heather left. Burnside ordered Lisa off her knees to clean up the dishes. She put everything on a tray and set the tray near the door to take out later. As she moved about with the teacups, the student felt the professor’s eyes studying her body.
For the rest of the morning Burnside instructed Lisa about her requirements for grading and proctoring tests and class assignments. The professor also began teaching her assistant about websites used by students to obtain plagiarized term papers. Some of the sites were free and some of them charged, but all of them came with a guarantee. If any of Burnside’s students downloaded and used their material, they were sure to be caught by the professor. Lisa found the websites and her newly acquired knowledge about academic plagiarism fascinating. As she went through the posted research projects, she momentarily totally forgot that she was sitting naked next to her well-dressed instructor.
At noon they stopped. The professor commented, "Put on your uniform and we’ll go out for lunch."
"Yes, Dr. Burnside."
As Lisa got dressed, Burnside called her co-worker Jim Halsey to join them. A minute later Halsey showed up with two of his Ph.D. candidates. The older students looked at the message on Lisa’s t-shirt and smiled sarcastically, which ruined her mood.
This pledge is property of the Four-Beta Sorority...
Fucking shirt, she thought to herself. I’d rather go out naked than have to wear this idiotic logo.
After eating lunch off-campus, Burnside escorted Lisa back to her office. Lisa quietly took off her clothing and returned it to its hanger in the closet. However, no sooner had she sat down to review the textbooks for Burnside’s summer classes than Tracy showed up with the three freshmen. The three younger women quickly knelt while Tracy talked to Burnside. As soon as the pledge mistress went into the back room where Lisa was sitting, she immediately jumped out of her seat and went to her knees.
"PLEGDE! STAND UP!"
Lisa scrambled to her feet. Burnside released her employee for the day, but told Tracy she wanted her back in the office at 10:00 the next morning.
"OK, Dr. Burnside. I’ll make sure she’s here at 10:00."
While the others watched, Lisa put on her uniform. Once she was dressed, she knelt with her fellow pledges as they waited to be escorted back to the sorority.