Authors note: Now that I’ve finished my spanking novel and novella and writing the Bumhampton Chronicles, this 500-word excerpt is a possible story line for a new novel based on a fellow blogger’s posted information written here with her permission. Feedback on the concept is appreciated. The title is a ballet term literally translated as ‘Whipped Behind’ when the foot is placed in back of the body during a dance position.
Kate was at the barre – that’s not a urban renewal hipster watering hole – exercising her etiré passé and battement fondu when she received the news that caused her life to pirouette into a dizzying life of discipline and submission.
“You are still here.”
“Hello Hazel.” Kate gave her mentor a big hug. For twenty years she’d been dancing for the woman she considered her second mother and had noticed a disturbing lack of energy from her during the summer. Every time Kate had inquired, Hazel had brushed aside the concern and continued with the lessons.
“Thanks Kate. I still remember the day when you toddled in here as a two-year old, all wide-eyed in your pink tutu, white tights and black shoes. I am so proud of you for passing along your passion for dance to the little ones these last four years as a teacher. I know that finishing college is your priority right now but have you given serious thought to owning your own studio?”
“I’d love to,” Kate said wryly, “but I still live at home because I can’t afford to be on my own. Maybe in the future I can give dance and piano lessons part-time, who knows, if a tall, dark handsome man sweeps me off my feet, I’ll have a passel of kids at home soon enough tooting the clarinet.”
Hazel gave a slightly guilty grimace and glanced around at the mirrored walls as if seeing them for the first time. “I’m going to miss this place,” she whispered softly.
Not softly enough. “Hazel?” Kate asked her carefully. “What’s going on? You haven’t been yourself all year. I’m very worried about you. Are you sick? Please tell me.”
While Kate talked, Hazel slowly strolled around the perimeter and ran her hands over the smooth wooden rails tacky with resin and chalk residue left behind from decades of aspiring hopefuls. “Kate… I have something to tell you.” Hazel took a deep breath and faced her favorite student, her friend and someone she admired deeply. “I’ve sold the studio: the entire building actually.”
“You’ve what?” Kate’s mouth dropped open in shock.
“I bought this building over thirty-years ago as an investment for my later years; and those years are here now. To put it bluntly Kate, yes I’m sick and I need the money.”
Kate rushed over and grabbed Hazel in a tight hug. “I’m so sorry. I knew something was wrong. Why didn’t you tell me? What can I do to help?”
Hazel patted Kate’s back and said, “I’ll be alright my darling. I’m moving back to New York to be with my daughter. She’s got room for me and I haven’t seen my grandchildren in too long. I’ll be fine.” Tears flowed freely as they both realized they might never see each other again.
When they had composed themselves slightly, Kate asked, “Will I be able to continue teaching here?”
“That would be up to the new landlord.”
“And who is that?”
A rapid double knock on the door jamb. “That would be me.”
“Ah.” Hazel cleared her throat and wiped her eyes. “Kate, this is your new landlord, Montgomery Jefferson Spencer III. Monty, this is my best student and fellow teacher, Kate Welden.”