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The Petticoating League: The Secret Project (Part Four)
#1
The Petticoating League: The Secret Project (Part Four)

By any account, it had been an interesting day for Amelia Barnes - and it was still only half way through the morning.

It was last night that her son, Max, had handed over his homework: 500 handwritten ones - in his neatest handwriting no less - as to why he had peed his nappy at school. But what had been intended as an exercise to humiliate Max and further his punishment had become something else entirely.

While she was known for being merciless as a disciplinarian, Amelia was a big advocate for fairness. And if there was one thing she had no time for, it was bullying. So when Amelia read - in her son’s letter - of the behaviour of Amber Longley and her boyfriend she was not impressed whatsoever.

Dealing with Miss Longley was easy enough. A quick phone-call to Amber’s mother Camilla - an enthusiastic member of the Petticoating League -  and the girl’s mother had put in place a strict and fair plan to punish her.

Amongst the ladies of the League, there had been an ongoing debate about whether young women should be subject to petticoating - and it was fair to say that Camilla Longley came down very firmly on one side of that debate. Though the Longley household subjected its daughters to a much less strict petticoating regime than the boys (Amelia understood that they were never put in nappies, for example - unlike the two young men who seemed to wear them semi-frequently), the girls still faced punishments when they were deemed to have misbehaved.

Of course being girls it was necessary to give them more than just knickers. Instead Camilla Longley had commissioned a series of ready-made ‘party dresses’ - designed in the outdated style of a young female child in the 1950s but made big enough to fit an older teenager. With the puffy bow sleeves and rows of frilly petticoats, the young woman made to wear them would be made to feel quite ridiculous - particularly when her hair was styled in an equally infantilising way.

‘I’ll have Amber in her best party dress when she comes home and she can walk over to yours to apologise,’ said Camilla Longley - sounding like a woman who held full authority over her household. ‘I should say that she’s grown a bit taller in the last year, so you might want to make sure Max is positioned in front of her - so he doesn’t get an eyeful of her knickers. The dress rises up a bit at the back as it is…’

But it was the call to Ryan Mackie’s mother, Sara, that had been more interesting. Having gone into the call expecting to have to be on the defensive when it came to explaining petticoating - and why her son was wearing nappies - Amelia was pleasantly surprised to find that Sara took an instinctive interest in the discipline, asking several questions - and complimenting Amelia on her own methods. Then just as she was about to hang up the phone, came the cherry on the cake.

‘Stop me if this sounds a ridiculous idea, but I’ve always been attracted to the notion that the punishment should fit the crime - and, well, if it doesn’t sound too crazy a notion… perhaps we could give Ryan a dose of this petticoating discipline as a consequence of this behaviour?’

‘Oh my,’ said Amelia - faking coyness as if this hadn’t been her hope all long. ‘I mean, it’s a great idea - and I’d certainly be happy to help. If you’re happy to send him this way, that is!’

‘Of course - I’ll do just that. When does it work for you?’

‘Well I’ve got the workmen - well, one workman anyway - in today and tomorrow, so how about Saturday?’

And with that the deal was done: Ryan Mackie would experience his first dose of nappy punishment. He just didn’t know it yet.

Pleased with herself, Amelia walked into the dining room to check up on Roger and how the final stages of the project were progressing. As expected, she found him hard at work - concentrating so intently, in fact, that he appeared not to have heard her coming. Rather amusingly, he was positioned in such a way - crouched down with his back to her - that he was unwittingly providing her with a full view of his frilly pink undies. They were even girlier than the ones her husband wore.

‘Oh my! Now that’s a different kind of builder’s bum entirely,’ she laughed loudly - enjoying her own joke.

Roger shot up and tried quickly to pull up the waistband of his trousers. He stumbled for a response.

‘Oh don’t worry, Roger - nothing I haven’t seen before!’

She wasn’t joking. As she was sure Roger would twig, her little joke was a reference to last year’s Petticoating League barbecue. Always a good-natured affair, last year’s event had suffered a small hiccough when two of the male members managed to knock over a large share of the champagne. As a result, all male attendees immediately lost permission to wear their trousers and shorts - a decision loudly communicated by Amelia herself.

Amelia still remembered the look of embarrassment on the menfolk’s faces as two male ‘volunteers’ walked around the garden collecting the various garments to be stored away until after the do. Men who had previously been enjoying a fun chat about sports or holidays, now found themselves cringing at each other’s various shades of pink feminine underwear. Melissa Armitage - the League’s newest member and still only 18 - had relished the chance to walk around the entire party offering a loud commentary on each man’s underpants. No doubt Roger remembered it well.

‘Well how is the project going?’

‘It’s.. erm… it’s almost done. Just need to fix the frame slightly.’

‘Mmmhmmm, very good,’ she said, looking up the almost finished baby bouncer. 

She had to hand it to Roger: it was exactly as she’d hoped.

‘Keep this up and I’ll certainly be letting Madeleine know about your good behaviour,’ she smiled. ‘Who knows - perhaps I’ll even suggest in my own words that she lets you out of that cage of yours…’

----

Amber Longley pounded her first into the duvet again and yelled in frustration. 

‘IT WAS A JOKE…. I. WAS. JOKING!’

Perhaps the deafening silence in response should have been more predictable. She knew as well as anyone that her mother never responded to tantrums.

After thirty seconds sobbing, she heard her mother’s voice assume those familiar sharp, slightly-clipped tones.

‘Well I am not joking, young lady. You have 30 minutes to present yourself in your party dress and ‘best underwear’ or I’ll be forced to escalate things further.’

Ha. Best underwear. You hand it to them, the ladies of the League were truly the mistresses of the ironic moniker. As Amber knew well, the underwear in question certainly weren’t considered ‘best’ by anyone who wore them. With three rows of ruffles and a childish baby-blue lace, the pastel pink underwear were designed to look as childish and infantile as possible.

Still, Amber knew better than to disagree. She pulled herself to her feet, blew her nose and began to undress. She walked over to her wardrobe - the place where Camilla Longley expected all petticoatees to keep their disciplinary outfits - and pulled out the dress.

Given she hadn’t worn the dress for some time, it’s ridiculousness seemed to strike her afresh - as if seeing the ludicrous garment for the first time. The puffy bow sleeves, the several layers of elaborate petticoats, and of course the oversized pink bow on the front. Even a much younger girl would be mortified to wear such a garment.

She pulled on the dress and found herself unable to hold back one last angry groan as she looked in the mirror. She looked ridiculous. She let out a yelp of frustration as she turned slightly only to realise that the skirt at the back was now too short to cover the bottom of her underwear, leaving an obvious row of ruffles plainly on show.

She fiddled helplessly with the back of the dress but with no avail. Though she thought for a second she might have picked up the wrong one, a quick glance in the mirror confirmed that wasn’t the case. Unlike her brothers’ party dresses, her garment lacked the locking rings at the bottom of the shoulder blades. Her mother’s view had been that girls could be trusted to remain in their punishment dress. Andrew and Robert, on the other hand, would find themselves ‘buckled in’ as her mother put it. 

‘Very nice!’ came her mother’s voice from the doorway. ‘Don’t you look just dainty to make your little apology this afternoon at the Barnes' household?’

Amber knew better than to answer back.

‘Now - shall I sort out your little pigtails or shall I?’

Amber held back the sobs as her mother began the final part of the preparation: the styling of her hair to look as childish as possible. As her mother fastened the two school-girl style bunches in place, Amber caught sight of herself in the mirror. She looked like a pathetic toddler submerged in her frilly pink satin dress with oversized feminine features.

And with that, the sobs of embarrassment became uncontrollable. 

---

Amelia had been on the verge of dozing off when the phone rang. Though when she heard the voice of her old friend Madeleine Wasserman on the ohther hadn, she perked up immediately.

Madeleine had been a close friend for years - well before she had met Roger in fact - and two had a good catch-up. They discussed summer plans, upcoming holidays, a bit of League business - all before turning to the real good stuff: the gossip. 

And wasn’t there plenty of that. That was one bonus to being in the League: you really did hear the funniest stories. Poor Alvin Westwick had apparently been sent to a charity fancy dress day - in his office no else - in a french maid outfit and sissy panties. Apparently his boss had congratulated him on being such a good sport!

On top of that, one of the League’s more immature male members had apparently earned himself three months in chastity - his first venture in a cage - after an ill-advised trip to a strip club on a bachelor party. Even better, laughed Madeleine, his wife was apparently planning to surprise him with a repeat visit in 10 weeks’ time. ‘Oh how I wish I could see that,’ she laughed, imagining how the young man would enjoy gawping at strippers next time.

‘Anyway - we must catch up soon. But I should confess I actually phoned to reach Roger,’ said Madeleine.

‘Oh yes, he’s still here. Shall I put him on?’

‘Yes please - I did send him a text but I forgot that his mobile’s been out of action. He’s picking up a new one next week.’

‘No problem - let me just take the phone through…’

Amelia walked over to the dining room and tapped gently on the door. Roger Wasserman turned around and saw her holding up the house-phone. ‘It’s Madeline for you,’ she said smiling, as she handed it over. 

As she turned to walk back to the kitchen she heard Roger chatting away.

‘Yes, it’s almost done - one more day I think. Mrs Barnes seems very happy with it.’

Well now. Amelia had never been one for eavesdropping but surely the use of her name provided an excuse?

‘Yes of course. I understand. Yes I’ll be home in time. 5pm at the latest - that will be no problem.’

Oh how I do enjoy listening to a well-trained male, she thought to herself. After all, what else was the League about?

‘Yes, Miss. 5pm. I will be there.’

She watched as Roger - still completely oblivious to her presence - ended the phone-call. Not wishing to let on she’d been listening, Amelia tiptoed quietly back into the kitchen and waiting for him to return the phone.

How interesting, she thought to herself. Roger has himself a Friday curfew. I wonder what would happen if he missed that? One thing’s for sure: he could kiss goodbye to that early release…

As she looked up at the old grandfather clock just outside Roger’s temporary workspace she began to formulate a little plan…
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#2
Well, you’ve certainly kept us on tenterhooks for this latest instalment but you’ll be glad to know it was worth the wait. 

The petticoating of girls is a subject that has been discussed on here in the past. While women are undoubtedly the dominant gender (as is being reflected more and more in society each day), part of the theory surrounding this assumption is that they are better capable of appropriate behaviours. 

If Amber is struggling with those behaviours, it is better for the long term health of the cause that such behaviour is rectified early.  Big Grin 

As for Ryan, he has the shock of his life coming his way, I expect.  Wink
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#3
(09-08-2020, 04:30 PM)Girlygirl Wrote: Well, you’ve certainly kept us on tenterhooks for this latest instalment but you’ll be glad to know it was worth the wait. 

The petticoating of girls is a subject that has been discussed on here in the past. While women are undoubtedly the dominant gender (as is being reflected more and more in society each day), part of the theory surrounding this assumption is that they are better capable of appropriate behaviours. 

If Amber is struggling with those behaviours, it is better for the long term health of the cause that such behaviour is rectified early.  Big Grin 

As for Ryan, he has the shock of his life coming his way, I expect.  Wink

Yes I apologise sincerely for the wait - I had a half-finished draft sitting on my laptop for a while. To be fair, I think I may have raised expectations but how quickly I bashed out 'part 3' after 'part 2' hahah. Work was rather quiet that day  Cool

Oh there are quite a few shocks to come for several characters. I have a feeling Amelia will escape unscathed though, don't you?  Tongue 

xxx
Read my story here: Part one, two
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#4
I think Amelia knows exactly what she’s doing. Frankly, outside of the penal system, I’m not sure who has the night to take her on.  Big Grin
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#5
(09-08-2020, 04:39 PM)Girlygirl Wrote: I think Amelia knows exactly what she’s doing. Frankly, outside of the penal system, I’m not sure who has the night to take her on.  Big Grin

I do love your reflections on this. I did not expect to spend this year writing a Petticoating novella (thanks pandemic) but I do very much appreciate having my own book club to read it  Big Grin
Read my story here: Part one, two
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