As I stood waiting to open the door, I was getting more and more nervous. I knew this was deliberate on his part. I had texted him nearly twenty minutes previously to say that I was ready. I knew he was a mere couple of minutes away. I knew he was waiting for my text. And yet still he would make me wait, make Alice wait, knowing that the anticipation would build.
The scenario was that this was Alice's first day in Mr Thomas's household, after her previous successful interview. She had already been given a whole list of rules, including not being allowed to look at Mr Thomas directly, and having to call him "Master". I had been trying to recall these rules over the past 20 minutes, not wanting Alice to be punished before the evening had even started.
It was not to be though. Not long after Mr Thomas had arrived, I was sitting opposite him at the table, edging deeper and deeper into Alice's head. He dictated all the rules again. Even as he dictated, I earned punishment for looking directly at him, and then for calling him Sir instead of Master. One rule that he dictated was that I must ask for punishment every time I knew that I had done something to deserve it.
It was to prove a hard couple of hours for Alice, and for me. Within the first 10 minutes I had been beaten at least three times, including with a wooden spoon. Most of these beatings were for accidentally saying Sir instead of Master, and it was relentless. Every time I made a slip, I was bent over again, beaten again. At one point I made the same mistake for the fourth or fifth time and the conversation just stopped. Mr Thomas just looked at me, and looked at me, and I knew what I had to do, but I (or rather Alice, important distinction) was already so upset by this point that it was a huge struggle. I picked up the wooden spoon, stood before him, tears streaming down my face, and asked him to punish me for calling him Sir by accident. Probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. He made me go and fetch him the cane instead of the spoon. I was utterly broken by that. The five strokes of the cane that followed felt like brands of fire. When receiving 20 strokes of the belt, I moved on stroke 19 and had to suffer all twenty again.
The thing that really stands out for me looking back is that no one has ever been that unrelenting with me. There seemed to be no mercy, no rest, every tiny thing that Alice did wrong met with the most severe punishment. Every stroke burnt like a brand, and was excruciatingly painful. And yet I know looking back that that wasn't the case. There were things now that I know "Mr Thomas" let slide. And the fact that there was barely a mark on me 10 minutes or so after we came out of role is testament to the fact that these beatings that felt like fire were in fact probably some of the lightest I've taken in a scene. All of which goes to show just where headspace can take you! You can go to places and play with characters where people barely need to touch you to achieve their aim, so much in your head, or that of your character's, are they. And while I know that's not for everyone, it works for me!
9 hours ago