Nick Strauss didn’t know where the idea to spank Janice came from, when he thought about it later. Nor indeed could he have said exactly how he had decided that she must receive regular anal sex. He spanked her for the first time the night after he found the strange rock, and then the ore deposit, a hundred meters off the trail in the nature reserve north of Fotherville, the rural Ontario town where his family had lived for a hundred years.
He couldn’t have told you, or anyone else, why he had ventured off the trail that day. He walked it once or twice a week, for the exercise and for the peace it gave him, away from the very different quiet of little Fotherville. The town’s stillness, its lack of anything different from what had happened the day before and the decade before, stifled Nick. The stillness of the Fotherville Wildlife Reserve gave back to him some of what he lost to the routine of what was more or less a desk job in forestry management rather than the outdoor life of a ranger he had dreamt of when he decided to dedicate his life to the land in a different way than his lumberjack father had.
Nick loved the land, the forest, and even the little town. He loved Janice, the girl next door (really, having grown up three doors down on Larch Street and ten years younger than Nick), of whom he had only become aware on coming back to Fotherville after his master’s degree, more than he could express.
Something had gone missing from his life, though, by the time he was thirty-three and Janice twenty-three, and the strangest day of his life occurred. That was the day he thought maybe he had heard something in the brush off the trail, went to look, and saw the green rock, of an almost-neon shade he wouldn’t have said before that moment one could find in nature. It had black striations that made Nick think the material must be metamorphic, but he had never seen a mineral like it. Erosion had exposed it, and frost had broken it off, it seemed, from a larger deposit that seemed extensive just from eyeballing the sunken ground where an oak tree’s fall had left hidden depths visible.
Nick resisted his first instinct to pick it up. He had enough education to know that bright green rocks weren’t necessarily radioactive, but that didn’t mean this one wasn’t. Instead, he took a picture with his phone, to send to a friend at an environmental consulting company in Toronto when he got back to town and had cellular service.
On the way back, though, he changed his mind, though he couldn’t have said why. He would send the picture to Pierre LeGrand at Fotherville Mining. Maybe the rock and the deposit—the vein, even, maybe—would prove valuable.
When he pulled into his driveway, he did just that, sitting in his pickup, along with the message,
Found this outside town. Any idea what it is? Left it there in case it’s radioactive.
He didn’t know Pierre very well, which made it a little mysterious to Nick why he had decided so firmly on sending the mining executive the picture, especially since the reason Nick had the man’s number lay in his needing to keep a close eye on the mining company’s activities in the area. Fotherville Mining’s land abutted on the reserve, and, though Pierre hadn’t—Nick thought—been responsible for any illegal action, the company had a history of encroaching on the area under conservation.
Pierre texted him back before Nick could reach his front door.
Looks interesting. Any chance you might take me there to examine it closely?
Nick would have sworn, the day before, that if the head of a mining company had asked to see an interesting ore deposit on reserve land, he would have gotten in touch with higher-ups in Ottawa to ask what he should do. The thought of bulldozers in the park, knocking down ancient trees; of excavators, of blasting caps… yesterday they would have made Nick sick to his stomach.
Today, outside his house, he found that he had somehow developed an appreciation for the responsible, respectful extraction of natural resources.
“Nick? What are you doing just standing out there?” Janice spoke through the screen door, in the accusatory tone he had heard from her very often lately.
Much too often, said an inner voice. Nick frowned. Yes, really, much too often, he saw now—but he hadn’t thought of it that way before. Janice had a lot to think about, and, he supposed, a lot to feel resentful about. Since they had found out they couldn’t have kids, two years before, she had retreated into the house, to spend most of her day scrapbooking both in the real and in the virtual world, collecting happy pictures of both their extended families, living lives elsewhere that Janice never said, but always seemed to imply, had much more to offer than the life Nick had given her in Northern Ontario.
“I’m just sending a text, sweetheart,” Nick said, trying not to start the evening off with a confrontation, though really to have Janice accuse him of wrongdoing just because he had failed to enter the house seemed worthy of some challenge at least—as surely as that challenge would lead to recriminations and a very unhappy scene ending with Nick resignedly watching sports in the den and Janice scrapbooking angrily in the kitchen.
“Well, dinner is ready, and I’m going to eat. I’ll see you when you’re done with your text.”
The way she said the final word seemed to imply that something about the message Nick was sending displeased Janice, whatever that message might be, and that every rational person in Fotherville would agree with her on the matter, and condemn him for sending it. She turned away; he sighed and typed,
Sure. I’ll get you at ten a.m.
Then, as he put his phone in his pocket, Nick thought, Janice needs a spanking, and I’m the man to give it to her. I am her husband, and it’s my responsibility to make this home happy whatever the circumstances. If my wife is going to behave like a little girl, she’s going to be punished like a little girl.
Then, even more to his surprise, he thought about something that hadn’t come into his mind in months: having sex with his wife not the way they had dutifully performed the act most Saturday nights since their wedding, in the missionary position it seemed Janice’s mother had recommended, but according to the desires Nick had known as a younger man, before he had given up those thoughts as disrespectful to his modest bride.
His cock got unexpectedly hard in his jeans, as the unleashed new voice in his head said, And after her spanking, you’ll have to fuck her.
Nick stood just outside his house on the little porch, already reaching for the handle to open the screen door, and he froze as the image came to him: his pretty, petite, blonde Janice bent over the back of the chair her husband had sat in to punish her over his knee. Her skirt up, her panties down around her knees. Nick’s cock, surging in and out of her pussy as she cried out in shame and pleasure, knowing how red her bottom was from the spanking she had earned, knowing how different things would be now that Nick had disciplined her properly and claimed his conjugal rights.
Then the ass, the voice said. Nick felt his eyes widen a little. Where were these thoughts, these younger, wilder—almost animal—ideas coming from?
“Nick,” Janice called from inside, her voice pitched, he felt instinctively, to provoke him. “You’ll have to wash the dishes. I’m going out with Sue to the movies.”
She needs a spanking so badly you can hear it her voice, he thought, more of his mind suddenly owning the unexpected renewal of his younger self. She needs to go over a man’s knee, and then she needs to have a hard cock in her. Janice Strauss—Mrs. Nick Strauss—needs a lesson in what it means to be a wife.
He pulled the screen door open and stepped inside his house. For a moment he considered raising his voice—he almost wondered whether his new instincts would instruct him to do it, a thing very out of character for him. Yelling wasn’t his style, though, and he knew that although Janice had probably confused his soft-spoken manner with weakness, coming as she did from a rather loud family, he wouldn’t need to imitate his father-in-law’s strident approach, in order to make his will known.
He walked purposefully into the kitchen. Janice had her laptop computer out next to her plate, several adorable pictures of teddy bears displayed on a virtual scrapbook page. She didn’t look up until Nick had remained motionless for almost half a minute. When she turned her face from the computer screen, it wore for a moment a look of annoyance, as if Janice meant to say, What now? I made your dinner, and I told you that I’m going out. Are you really going to annoy me any more than your simple presence does?
Then Janice saw the look on her husband’s face, and her eyes went wide. Her cheeks turned pink, but only for an instant before the color drained away and the annoyed look returned, now positively angry.
“What?” she demanded. Then, when Nick didn’t reply within a few seconds but merely looked at his wife steadily, she said, “Fine. I’ll do the dishes after I get home.”
“Janice,” he said, in a stern, quiet voice he had never used with her before but had saved for subordinates who had disappointed him, “you need to call Sue to tell her you won’t be going out with her tonight.”
“What? What’s happened? What’s wrong?” Her eyes narrowed—Janice was extremely perceptive, and Nick sensed she knew nothing could be wrong, or his face would wear a different expression.
“The only thing that’s happened,” Nick said steadily, “is that your husband is telling you you’re staying in tonight.”
Janice’s anger returned, and took on an element of scorn now at her husband’s insane ideas, as she clearly considered them. “What’s wrong with you? Of course I’m going out. I’ll do the dishes when I get back.”
“No,” Nick said. “You’re staying here, and you’re going over my knee for a spanking I should have given you a long time ago.”
When the Zedaar, inhabitants originally of a large moon orbiting a dead planet far out in the planetary system of an obscure star in the Horsehead Nebula, invaded Earth, no one noticed. That ignorance on the part of the human race arose from two very particular circumstances stemming from the Zedaar’s unique biology, which fell under the term biology in a way few humans would have understood.
The Zedaar, that is, were not alive in any organic sense, a fact that led to the two things about their conquest that kept the people of Earth from being aware of it: first that the Zedaar were invisible; second that they invaded not only the physical space of Earth but also and more thoroughly the minds of the humans who lived in the region in which they arrived.
The invaders needed a particular metal found in abundance on Earth, mainly in a relatively small geographic area known to humans as Northern Canada, and they needed a workforce to extract it. This metal, which the Zedaar called ‘move-thing,’ if one pretended that the communication system used by a lifeform so different from humanity could be translated at all, allowed the Zedaar to project themselves from one planet to another. Perhaps the single thing the Zedaar had in common with the earthlings was the restless, nearly unstoppable instinct to spread out and to occupy all available space. With the help of move-thing, they could keep moving.
That drive to explore and to conquer led to the invasion of Earth that began on the outskirts of Ottawa and eventually spread to most of North America. It led also to the enforcement upon several small Canadian towns of a unique social system, designed on the fly by the Zedaar to facilitate the mining of move-thing and the building of the projector-receptor that would form a link in the Zedaar’s growing network of exploration centers. From that time forward, Zedaar would come and go to and from Earth as they liked, occupying the neural nets of human men and women while they saw the sights of the planet and then returned to the projector-receptor to move on, to travel elsewhere and to visit another world.
In the meantime, life in certain parts of Canada changed in ways that led to the initial discomfort but also the ultimate pleasure of many human women, and the initial inconvenience—but, again, the ultimate pleasure—of many human men.
For the Zedaar discovered, as soon as they had invaded a very few male and female minds, that the mode of life best suited to their purpose on Earth involved what many humans called ‘traditional family values’ and a good deal of what the same humans called ‘old-fashioned discipline.’
The Zedaar inside Nick Strauss’ neural network communicated with the one inside Pierre LeGrand’s. It was only the two of them, so far, on Earth. First the one inhabiting the man that called itself Nick Strauss, the human that had come closest to the move-thing deposit. Then the one who had come next, and taken up residence in the mind of the human male whose name Nick Strauss had thought of, when Nick Strauss had wondered briefly whether some other human might want to get the move-thing out of the ground.
The digital communications network the humans used made it trivially simple to begin the process started by which the move-thing could be extracted and then shaped into the projector-receptor that would allow the Zedaar to travel through what would become (in terms that approximate the Zedaar system of reference) the Sol 3 node. The crucial meeting, at which Pierre LeGrand and Nick Strauss, lightly controlled by the Zedaar inside their neural networks—for tighter control of a host’s actions required more energy and generally produced unpredictable results—had taken very little effort to schedule, using the humans’ own ingrained ideas about how such social interactions should take place.
The matter of managing the lives of Nick Strauss and Pierre LeGrand in the meantime now presented itself. The Zedaar in the men’s heads had two goals at present: first, they needed to ensure that each man would continue to be in a position to extract the ore and build the projector-receptor; second, they naturally wished, in accordance with the exploratory nature of their star-hopping species, to provide with amusement themselves and the few Zedaar they would bring to Earth later to assist in their efforts.
Amusement for the Zedaar, when they occupied the neural network of a host creature, amounted to enjoyment for the host they occupied, with a strong bias toward the more extreme levels of pleasure generally experienced by lifeforms in the initial stages of the reproductive process. The principle established by the natural laws of the universe that a species of life will concentrate its most intensive efforts on reproducing itself, or will fail to continue its cosmic journey, meant that in every sort of neural network the Zedaar visited, the sensations that gave their hosts the greatest degree of pleasure occurred in the course of whatever constituted the species’ reproductive activity.
In a silicon-based lifeform this might represent electrical currents running across opposite faces, stimulating the species’ equivalent of pleasure in the neural net constituted by the decay of certain isotopes deep in what would look to humans like a plain gray rock. In a gaseous species, what would appear to humans as poisonous clouds might interpenetrate for days, stimulating the hydrogen-based neural pathways so pleasurably that the creatures came close to a fatal overload.
In every case—and this fact represented the meeting of the Zedaar’s twin purposes of managing the move-thing situation and achieving their personal amusement—nature decreed that by adroitly manipulating a species’ reproductive pleasure the Zedaar could experience their hosts’ enjoyment and keep them well satisfied enough with their lives that the impulse to question their move-thing-related activities rarely arose. In particular the sheer excessiveness of reproductive pleasure that prevailed in every species the Zedaar had encountered, which made non-reproductive sexual activity a universal pursuit, gave the alien invaders the opportunity to do what they now did with Nick Strauss and Pierre LeGrand.
The Zedaar in Nick Strauss’ head sent to the one in Pierre LeGrand’s a message that might be put into human language something like, I found a repressed need in this one to take control, in reproductive activity, and rule his mate in that way.
The Zedaar in Pierre LeGrand’s neural network sent back, In this one too, though he has no fixed mate. It seems he is what they call ‘single,’ having been left by a previous mate when he asked to rule her in reproductive activity. What did you do?
I released his need to rule her, when it rose up a little, the first replied. He is about to discipline her, and the thought arouses him greatly. It is amusing.
The second asked, Discipline her how?
They call it ‘spanking.’ Can you find it in your host?
An instant went by as Nick Strauss looked down at his mate Janice Strauss. Then the Zedaar in Pierre LeGrand sent, Yes, indeed. Pierre LeGrand likes to spank females, too. He has had non-reproductive sexual activity with females who enjoy being ruled that way. Also, there is a female in the area who Pierre LeGrand thinks may feel an attraction for him. He thinks often about her, and he thinks she needs spanking.
Would this not, asked the first Zedaar, present an opportunity to advance the move-thing effort and gain amusement? If the females learn to subject themselves to the rule of the males, they will assist in the effort, as well as providing a great deal of amusement.
I will see, sent the second, if I can release Pierre LeGrand’s need to rule so that he spanks the female and has sex with her. She lives nearby.
The first replied, That sounds amusing. I will continue to release Nick Strauss’ need to rule his mate. He will spank her and have disciplinary sex with her, to train her to be a more submissive mate.
Amusing, commented the second, and the Zedaar terminated the conversation, which had occupied less than a second in the perceived timescale of the humans.
Janice Strauss couldn’t believe her ears.
“What the hell are you talking about, Nick?” she demanded. “That’s just about the stupidest joke I’ve ever heard.”
Janice tried to keep her voice steady, but her face had gotten hot and she heard a quaver in her words that made the whole thing that much worse. Her heartrate had gone way up, too, and it was like insult added to injury. Her weak fool of a husband might interpret those physical signs as some sort of compliance with whatever idiotic attempt this might be to take control.
“It’s not a joke, Janice,” Nick said steadily. “Stand up. I’m only going to use my hand tonight, but from now on if you misbehave I’ll use my belt when I have to, to get through to you.”
She felt her lips part, but no sound emerged. She looked at her hands, one holding a fork with a bite of tuna casserole on it, the other still on the keyboard of her laptop, whose screen showed the Victorian teddy bear wearing the lavender gown that she had been about to pin to the teddy bear board where she collected the cutest pictures, for the delight of her hundreds of followers.
Janice remembered a comment from one of them, a few weeks before—a comment that made her blush hot as the sun, on a picture she had shared with the message Collecting bears instead of making hubby’s dinner, la. Trudy from Oregon had posted, lol hubby oughta spank your butt for that, mine would.
Nick wasn’t like that, but the comment had made her think… about that kind of thing, and about, well, other kinds of things—bedroom kinds of things.
“I said, stand up, Janice.” Nick looked steadily down at her, his eyes narrowed now. So handsome: dark brown hair, blue eyes, forest ranger muscles from regular hard work on the trails. His green uniform shirt, with the badge, that always gave Janice a little jolt of… something… when she looked at the way he filled it out.
Janice couldn’t move. She looked at her hands again, and noticed they had started to tremble.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw his big hand move, deliberately, and she turned her head to watch it as he reached it out and laid it on her shoulder.
The first time he’s touched me in… days? weeks?
And whose fault is that? a second voice in her head, to answer the first.
They had had what Janice thought of as a ‘good run’ going for a few months, up until Easter, and their visit to her sister in Toronto. A good run meant sex once a week, and it made Janice feel that at least if she couldn’t enjoy being intimate with Nick in that way she had satisfied his ‘masculine needs.’ But the past three weeks when Nick had asked her, on Saturday night, to come to bed—their usual… well, their only time for bedroom things—she had been in the middle of pasting a fabric swatch, or answering comments, or talking on the phone. Janice had meant to join her husband in bed and let him raise her nightgown so that he could put his hand down there, where she would have applied the lube her sister had given her to make Nick think he had roused her.
She hadn’t though, and she realized now that he had seemed at the same time to get out of the habit of touching her. How long has that been true? Janice wondered suddenly, sure now that the absence of physical contact had begun long before Easter.
Now he had his hand on her left shoulder, though, and he stood above her, and he said, “Put down the fork, Janice. We’re going to get this punishment over with right now, and then we’re going to discuss the way things will be between us from this moment on.”
The way things will be. Janice’s heart raced.
“I… I need to call Sue,” she protested. Had she just accepted that Nick’s bizarre plan for the evening would in fact go into effect? His hand tightened a little on her shoulder, and she felt a jolt go through her whole body, and the fear that had seemed strangely absent for a moment returned in force. She added hastily, trying to keep her voice steady, “I mean… clearly, we need to talk, and I should stay in… unless you keep saying this… silly stuff about… about that.”
Janice felt lightheaded now, desperate to make it clear that she had no intention of submitting to the thing she found she couldn’t even name in her own mind, now that Nick had told her he meant to do it. More words tumbled from her, as if she tried to build up a barrier with them. “In which case I’ll leave and go to Sue’s and stay there until… until…”
But Nick just kept looking down at her, as the words dried up in Janice’s throat.
“Put the fork down, Janice.” He spoke so quietly, but so sternly, that she automatically did what he had instructed her to do. She dropped the fork onto her plate, and she withdrew her other hand from the keyboard at last. Her two little white hands hovered in front of her as she sat in the high-back wooden chair, from which Nick had commanded her to stand up, so that…
So that what? So that he can sit down and… what?
Janice lowered her eyes from her husband’s face and watched herself fold her hands in the lap of her blue floral print dress. Blue is your best color, Mother had always said, to match your eyes and bring out their glow, Janice remembered idly.
Is it the best color for my husband to raise, and to show my blue panties? Are my blue panties the best color for him to… to take down?
The heat surged into Janice’s face. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t. When she came to bed Janice came in her nightgown, her panties already removed. Nick saw her panties drying in the laundry room. Maybe he had seen them once or twice when they had been dating, all those years ago. Otherwise, though, a good girl never showed her underwear even to her husband.
“You may call Sue,” Nick said, his voice seeming to come from very far above her, “after I spank you.”
“You can’t,” Janice whispered. “Please don’t talk about… about that.”
“That,” Nick said in a slightly louder voice that made Janice look up at his stern face again, “is family discipline, and it will be part of your life from now on. Stand up, or I’ll have to drag you out of this chair and over my knee.”