By H. Kerrsutherland
Jamie felt humiliated.
Twenty-eight-years-old and she was standing in the corner wearing only the knee length T-shirt that served as her pajamas when awaiting discipline. She didn't dare move though.
From the first, Pat had made that quite clear and Jamie had no desire to discover what a traditional English caning felt like following the promised hairbrush blistering.
True, she could refuse. Pat wouldn't force her to accept the impending discipline but then what? She'd have to move out of this luxurious apartment and move back into a college dorm. She'd go back to eating popcorn for dinner; if not making it her main meal of the day. She'd stop exercising and regain the hundred plus pounds that she'd lost within the five months she'd lived here and then gain even more weight. She'd go back to scrounging for the money required to pay tuition, books, and various other fees.
She'd be alone again.
Then there was the clothes. In all likelihood, Pat would let her keep the clothes she purchased for her but Jamie, knowing herself, wouldn't take them and she'd be back to wearing clothes that resembled those worn by people living upon the streets.
Jamie sighed, she knew she really didn't have a choice and frankly, deep down inside, she knew she brought this upon herself. An hour after she'd already moved in, she'd signed the bloody living arrangement contract that Pat had presented her without reading the fine print. The fine print that dictated that not only would Jamie abide by the rules laid out in subparagraph 3 through 7, which dictated: proper nutrition, exercise, dress, behavior, study habits, funding assistance by reimbursing rent paid, but that infractions would result in old-fashioned traditional methods.
Moreover, subparagraph 18 (b), which followed 18 (a)'s weakly cleansing enema prescription, stated that failure to comply with each and every subparagraph relating to old-fashioned discipline methods would result in a judicial corporal session or the boarder could look elsewhere for housing.
Said boarder had been thoroughly hooked by all the advantages Pat had bestowed upon her in the month that past before she'd been caught with a Pepsi. At the time, she hadn't yet known what the fine print stated as all her poor nutritional infractions had occurred while upon campus grounds and her daily exercise requirement had originally been satisfied by bicycling to and from campus. On that initial occasion, Jamie nearly discovered what a judicial session would consist of but was granted clemency for that sole occasion. Thankfully, she'd decided to grit her teeth and bend across Pat's lap for her first grueling session with the hairbrush. At first, while standing in the corner prior the impending encounter, she'd thought it wouldn't be that painful but, while standing in the corner following Jamie's initial trip across her landlady's lap, she knew better as tears continued to trickle down facial cheeks while fingers tangled themselves within hair to prevent them from soothing posterior cheeks that had been assured of an immediate re-acquaintance with Ms. Corrector if the attempt was made.
Late that night, snug within a one-piece flannel feeted pajama outfit whose back-zipper prevented easy egress, that Jamie, who'd pouted and threatened to leave in the morning while being put in this garment, realized that she didn't want to leave. She'd found a home. A place where she could be herself and be accepted. She simply couldn't give that up. Thus, Jamie found herself standing in the corner once again.
It had been three years since that initial meeting with Ms. Corrector and, despite the frequent occasions upon which her posterior and the hairbrush discussed her behavior, the law-student knew that her self-destructive tendencies would consume her life if their was no-one to keep said tendencies in painful check. However, this waiting prior having discussions did tend to make her question that self-realization.
With a sniff, she carefully shifted her position in an attempt to find some comfort while her nose was pressed against the miniscule bottom placed against the wall.
Pat looked up from her sewing; "You just earned another five minutes of corner-time before and after your visit with Ms. Corrector, Young Lady. Do you want to make it ten minutes in addition to six with the rattan that you just earned yourself?"
She smiled upon hearing the anxious denial. She realized that she'd fallen in love with her charge and that presented certain dangers. It wasn't unknown for a temporal Governess agent to fall in love with her ward but each operative was given strict instructions, no matter their feelings or the honesty and well-intentions of their wards, that they could never reveal their true identities if such an outcome occurred.
Pat agreed with that rule. James O'Grady would be United Earth's first President but one reason he got that position was that Earth's populace knew that the man was completely honest and candid with them. However, the vast majority of this time-period were simply ill-equipped to comprehend the fact that this man had never wanted to be a male.
He wanted to be female.
He wanted to be a housewife for his lesbian spouse.
He required a spouse who could provide loving domestic discipline when needed.
Temporal Governess Agent Pat knew that James's destined wife, Ann, had fulfilled each need, which permitted the future President to instill his energy into the causes that led to Earth's unification, but tragically she'd been killed as a five-year-old while traversing the Atlantic within a 747.
A 747 destroyed by temporal terrorists intent upon preventing Earth unification.
Her assignment, then, was to take Ann's place and protect James, or Jamie as he was referred to within this home she'd provided, from both future terrorist attacks and him, or rather her, self. Indeed, protecting Jamie from her self-doubt and self-destructive behavior wrought by a physical body that did not conform to Jamie's true self had proved more challenging than the single, and exceedingly flawed, terrorist attack that she'd had to contend with.
Fortunately, before being given this assignment, but not by the individual who'd been required to assist, Pat had been given extensive training in discipline. This, coupled with the growing attraction the two had for another, made the temporal agent's cool analytical process theorize that perhaps, just perhaps, the rumor she'd heard was correct.
The rumor which stated that there were no terrorists; that the temporal agents were actually part of a temporal loop and the people they were supposed to replace were actually fictions created by the Temporal Control Board.
Pat didn't know if this hypothesis was true or not but she wasn't about to lower her guard and not just because Jamie was a great historical leader; but because she loved her ward.
A ward, if her analytical side was correct, who fully intended to propose; a proposal to which Pat's love and duty could only respond in one way. But it was time to cease musing upon a possible Future History, as it was time to demonstrate that working non-stop, without genuine breaks, was not permissible.
Afterall, Pat had to demonstrate that work habits contributing to an unacceptable burnout would only result in a different type of burn.