Spanking the Maid – Robert Coover

The tinkling of the chimes crackled through the open door pouring ample sunlight on the lazy mauve interiors. She timidly walked in with her vital office paraphernalia – mops, cleansers, brushes, all loosely hanging in her pockets. The smell of the velvet curtains tightly clinging on to the humidity of her sweaty underwear. Clenching the corners of her apron, she walked towards the smartly aligned display. An old radio station belting, “Oh, teach me, my God and King in all things thee to see and what I do in anything, to do it as for thee!”, made her bottom whimper in its soreness. “What would the Master use this time to chastise her for the wrinkled pillow cover?, “Would he use his hand, a ruler, his belt, cat-o-nine tail, a hickory switch , a bull’s pizzle or the leather strap that proudly shined through the glass display?”, she feared. The world is a complicated place. In this possible chaos why do humans have a desperate urge of organizing the order of chaos? Is the need to cataloging and positioning materialistic things a respite from being unable to organize life’s chaos? Is that why her Master was hell bent on disciplining her to achieve perfection in her domestic chores? She contemplated, the blood from her welts immersing in the cottony abyss. The furry toys on the counter made her sense the embarrassment she had this morning when she saw old razors lying on the bed in between the swarm of ants savoring a measly meal of crumbs.

The tinkling of the chimes crackled through the open door pouring sunlight on the lazy mauve interiors. She timidly walked in with her vital office paraphernalia – mops, cleansers, brushes loosely hanging in her pockets. The smell of the velvet curtains tightly clinging on to the humidity of her sweaty underwear. Above the burly stack of lotions and potions, a poster screamed, “A servant with this clause makes drudgery divine, who sweeps a room as for thy laws wakes that and tha’action fine!”. She picked up two dainty figurines of fairies, words – ‘confusion’ and ‘disorder’ cursively engraved on their torsos. Unexpectedly, to her horror the heaviness of the air was torn apart by a loud thunder. She turned towards the perched edible lingerie; she clenched on to her apron. It was her Master! Why was he trying out the new leather whip? Had he seen the damp towel she has left on the bathroom rack or the pillow that she had forgotten to fluff? The Master looked worrisome. “How did it all began?”, he wondered. He felt trapped in the bedlam that engulfed his vague nightmares. The picture of the ‘bird with blood in its beak’ on the nearby wall made him ponder if it was God who had ordained bodily punishment and he was merely obeying by taking a refuge in the purity of its technique. “Pain is that which brings us closer to God”, he laughed at that very thought as he aroused the leather whip by splitting the air wide open imagining the maid’s bottom quivering to as he gave her a true service to achieve freedom of perfection. “Perhaps today then……at last!”, he deliberated as he ached to take a leisure stroll in the park.

The tinkling of the chimes crackled through the open door pouring sunlight on the lazy mauve interiors. She timidly walked in with her vital office paraphernalia – mops, cleansers, brushes loosely hanging in her pockets. The smell of the velvet curtains tightly clinging on to the humidity of her sweaty underwear. She placed the two fairy figurines on the counter. The welts on her buttocks were awakened by the sticky underwear. Her wincing to every crimson swelling was noticed by a man from the nearby table. He had notices her when she had walked in and she had seen him too. The man went on scribbling something in a book. He was a writer; meta-fiction was his forte. He had long ago surmised that world was a subjective place with its paradoxical demeanor. It could not be objectively comprehended in its entirety because there were too many varied narratives to sort through. Thus, through his writings he played with life’s puzzling fragments by linking the confusion through the regulation of pizzle & puzzle, humidity & hymnody, humility & humor, order & odor. Looking at the maid paying for the figurines, the writer wondered if she could be able to appreciate his written book. Would his audience value his post-modernity? Will his audience dismiss his prose as another Victorian pornography due to its titillation factor? Or would they evaluate as some religious philosophical question? The sensuous language of the prose did not bother the writer and he knew it would not bother his readers too. His book is an open metaphor like the bare buttocks of the maid. Similar to the way the Master found salvation in the chastisement of the maid and the maid who dwelled between the mystifying roles of a master and a servant, the writer’s prose dwells on the absurd nature of myth and life. Just as the writer was about to contemplate if his book would be loved or…. a frog from nowhere just jumped onto the counter canceling the other dreaded word that was about to enter in the author’s mind. The maid followed her Master home. THWACK!!!!!

The writer certainly does not have a thing to worry about…..I’m already being blissfully whipped by this miniature brilliance.

4/5****

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