Tuesday, October 22, 2013

After the Rapture, Part 1

© Guyspencer 2013

                                                               After the Rapture, Part 1


AUTHOR NOTE: Through the ages, mankind has had difficulty interpreting the Bible.  In particular, various religious scholars have calculated many dates predicting the rapture, the predicted mass assent of believers up into heaven.  A quick research of popular literature yields at least a dozen widely-publicized specific dates.  Most recently the radio evangelist Harold Camping predicted the big day would be on September 6, 1994.  When that date disappointed, he changed his estimate to October 21, 2011–oops!  We now know that all previous dates were wrong, because the actual rapture happened early on the Sunday morning of August 5, 2029. 

Harvey Simmons was truly bummed.  It all started when he woke up at 3 AM to find his wife gone.  He thought at first that she must have simply made a bathroom trip.  But she never returned.  Finally, he got up, switched on the lights, and searched the house.  She was gone!  The car was still in the drive, so she couldn’t be far.  First he walked around the block.  He didn’t find her, but he ran into other similarly confused folks who were wandering around looking for vanished family members.  Back home, he found her pajamas laid out under the blanket as if she had simply evaporated from inside them.  He began to fear the worst!  Could it really be?  Could it be the rapture?  If so, then it appeared that Susan had been taken, but not him!

Then things got stranger.

He tried calling the police department to report her missing, but only got a busy signal.  By now, it was almost time for him to start preparing for work.   As the Pastor of a medium sized church, Sunday was always a work day for Harvey.

On the drive to church, Harvey noticed several cars stopped in the street, causing minor traffic jams.  He peeked in one and found the key in the ignition, the engine still running, but no driver in sight. 

And then things got worse. 

He unlocked the doors of the church and waited for his flock to arrive.  By the normal time for morning service, only a few had showed up.  By now, it was clear to Harvey what had happened.  It truly was the rapture!  The problem was, Harvey hadn’t made the cut, and neither had these few folks who showed up for church.  Pleading an emergency, Harvey canceled the day’s church service and sent everybody home, something he had never done before.

Harvey felt sick!  When the rest of his flock realized that the rapture had occurred, leaving not only them but their Pastor, they would certainly wonder why.  He was the person who was supposed to have served as an example to them, yet he had been left behind with the rest of the sinners.  How could he ever face them again?

Harvey was a good man, but a very imperfect man.  He was modest and humble as befits a man of God, but in his heart Harvey knew why he was still here in earth.  He had been secretly and guiltily stealing from the collection plate for the last several years.

Downhearted and disgraced, Harvey locked up his church, never to return.

By Monday morning, the world was finally starting to comprehend the enormity of what had happened, and was starting to figure out who was gone and who was left behind.  The folks left behind were pretty much the ones you would guess!  Yes, many were folks that humanity could well do without! 

Monday morning found the world’s capitals still full of elected politicians and lawyers, although hired public servants represented a more mixed bag.  Used car lots were still full of salespeople, and most rich people were still present.  The prisons were still mostly full.  There were still plenty of wrecker drivers left to swoop down on those thousands of abandoned cars.  Little did they know that their owners would never return to pay the ransom on their vehicles.  

On the whole, the clergy didn’t fare well.  Following the rapture, well over half were still here!  In particular the rich and famous clergy were still well represented here on earth.  Harvey knew why he had been left behind, and was humble enough to be ashamed and contrite.  But others offered more self-serving explanations for their continued presence, usually claiming that God had left them behind specifically to guide humanity through the “tribulation” period.  Certain of those scoundrels even claimed that the only remaining path to heaven was through them!  

It was trivial to count who was left behind, but harder to appreciate who had disappeared, because many of those were folks you would never notice anyhow.  Those taken in the rapture were mostly humble people, people you’ve likely never heard of, people who quietly did their jobs and then went home to their families.  They were people you would cherish had you been lucky enough to know them whilst they were here on earth.  In short, they were the salt of the earth.  That’s why they were gone!

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Mary Blackburn slept until nearly noon that Sunday.  Slightly hung over from a long night on the town, she showered, put on a fresh pair of pajamas, and spent the afternoon on the couch enjoying a book.  That evening she turned on the television for a bit, but was irritated by the news, which kept focusing on a strange outbreak of missing persons.  Missing persons had nothing to do with her, so Mary turned off the TV, made herself a simple supper, and then spent Sunday evening curled up with her book.

An attractive woman in her mid-twenties, Mary still lived alone.  Mary had a body that attracted men like ants are attracted to a picnic, yet somehow she hadn’t managed a long term relationship.  She would tell you that she just hadn’t yet met the right man, but actually her stubbornness had much to do with it.  A college graduate, Mary had a good job in the financial district and an active social life.  Active and social as she appeared, Mary still lived a lonely life. 

Mary always liked to dress sharp, but when away from her job she particularly liked to dress in a way that showed off her God-given anatomical assets.  She could often be seen jogging around her neighborhood wearing little more than brief shorts and an equally brief halter.

Thanks to Mary’s solitary Sunday at home, it was Monday before she figured out that something truly big had happened.  Still, being the stubborn person she was, her human response to the worldwide tumult was to ignore it and carry on with her private life as if nothing had happened.

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Following the rapture of a large part of the world’s population, you would expect world chaos, but that’s not exactly what happened. 

First, after seeing this worldwide miracle, there were few unbelievers left in the world.  A new, rather optimistic eschatology soon emerged.  The theory was that those taken on August 5 represented only God’s “first cut” to populate heaven for eternity.  Judgement Day was still somewhere in the future, so there was still time for a person to change his or her ways and therefore be redeemed sufficiently to make it into heaven. 

There was wide disagreement as to when Judgement Day might happen.  Some said it could be as early as seven years, but others argued that a thousand years was more likely.  Everyone agreed that it would happen without notice, and that everybody needed to be ready if they wanted any chance of going to heaven. 

Therefore the world was suddenly filled with people competing to be godlier and more devout than anyone else!  Hence, much of humanity was suddenly trying to live by the ten commandments.  Crime didn’t disappear, but it was greatly reduced.         

Oh naturally there were changes, big changes!  Government still existed, but had to quickly shrink because there were fewer people to pay taxes.  The same was true for corporations, businesses and many other forms of human endeavor.

Most devastated was local government.  Tax collections plummeted, and millions of vital workers and first responders were simply gone.  Police departments only had the resources to deal with the most serious of crimes.  They had no time to deal with such things as petty crimes, lost property and traffic infractions.  Fire departments operated on skeleton crews and had no time for any tasks beyond basic fire protection.  The rest of local government was barely able to collect trash and keep the sewer plants running. 

At first, many things simply didn’t get done, but increasingly concerned citizens “stepped up to the plate” to take over the things that established government simply could no longer do.  For example, misdemeanors, petty crime, code infractions and traffic infractions were now dealt with by a network of “Christian Guard” organizations that popped up in almost every county.  It’s easy to imagine what these “Guard’ organizations were like, just imagine part condo board, and part Christian Taliban!    

With leadership and staff consisting mostly of retired volunteers, but financed by fines and limited taxation powers, these organizations became ubiquitous throughout the civilized world, usually operating at the county level. 

Naturally these amateur enforcement organizations had some false starts and some rather terrible excesses at first, but all that was quickly ironed out.  In the USA, a  new federal law was quickly passed that had the double-edged effect of legitimizing Christian Guard-style organizations, while limiting their powers.  Typically, the Christian Guards raised a police-style force of semi-trained volunteers, and operated their own court system that dealt mostly with routine and petty legal matters.  These courts, usually operated as tribunals, had the power to fine, to impose “public shaming” style punishments, to impose reasonable corporal punishments, or to impose a jail term up to 30 days.  Christian Guard organizations were literally a law unto themselves.  They had the power to make new regulations, and to interpret and enforce them.  Therefore no lawyers were allowed inside Christian Guard courts (except as defendants).  This great power was balanced by the citizens themselves, who periodically got to vote for (or against) their organization’s leaders.  The tribunal system (3 judges) limited excesses because any defendant was innocent unless all three justices agreed to his or her guilt.  Also, all punishments had to be agreed on by all three justices.  This procedure had a huge moderating effect on the punishments doled out by the tribunals. 

Naturally, the Christian Guards couldn’t resist the temptation to attempt to legislate sin out of existence.  New regulations quickly outlawed strip clubs, massage parlors and other “sin” establishments.  They instituted new dress codes, particularly for females.  Some organizations even tried to outlaw alcohol, but that was less successful!

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At first, life was difficult for Harvey.  When he lost his congregation, he lost much of his reason for living.  Also, he missed his wife in every way that you could expect a man to miss a woman.  When he went to bed at night, he found it quite impossible to keep his thoughts pure.  He felt guilty about the things he did under the sheets, but hoped that the lord would forgive him because his randy thoughts were (at least at first) strictly of his wife.

Money was a problem, but he had friends who helped by finding him temporary employment.  Finally though, a few paying jobs became available at the courthouse, which was now operated by the Christian Guard.  Harvey applied, thinking that perhaps he could land a janitorial job.  However, when the leaders saw his Ministry Degree and realized how known and respected he was in the community, they floored him by offering him a position as a Tribunal Justice!  At first he demurred, but then he rethought.  On reflection, he saw a way for him to redeem himself by being a force for good in the community.  But not in the way you might think!  

Frankly, the idea of having religious organizations involved in governance worried Harvey, although he dared not say so lest he be branded a heretic.  Through the ages, religious governments have been far more known for their excesses and their fanaticism than for their benevolence.  Harvey decided to accept the prestigious and powerful position of Justice, but he secretly vowed to be a force for moderation.     

And so Harvey Simmons became Justice Simmons.  He donned a black robe, took his place with two other Justices at the head of the courtroom, and became a genuine pillar of the community.

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Harvey Simmons and Mary Blackburn first met in the courtroom.  Mary was a defendant, and it had been Harvey’s clear duty to find her guilty of violating the Public Modesty Act. 

Naturally, the court session started with a prayer.  All stood while one of the Justices intoned a plea for the wisdom to separate the guilty from the innocent and for the firmness necessary to help the Tribunal lead the guilty back to the path of righteousness.   Finally the prayer was over and all sat down.  Court was in session!

Mary happened to have been the first defendant to be judged that day.  As is typical of her, she had failed to change her ways when the Modesty Act’s dress regulations came into effect.  Inevitably, she had been caught and cited by a Christian Guard patrol person.   Oh yes, she had bought a few long dresses that conformed to the new dress code regulations, but that was partially because they were now in style.  She had foolishly assumed that her jogging outfit would be tolerated.  “After all” she had told the Tribunal, “it shows no more skin than a bathing suit at the beach”.  The gentlemen of the  Tribunal were quick to remind her that her neighborhood was no beach.  Besides, even bathing suits were now regulated.  Two-piece suits were a thing of the past!  

The Tribunal first accessed a fine against Mary, and then sat back to consider her “real” punishment.  Two of the Justices thought that Mary deserved at least a severity five spanking, but in his usual (to them) frustrating manner, Justice Simmons held out for less.  He felt that besides the fine, a stern warning should be sufficient.  As required by the court’s procedure that required a unanimous vote of the Tribunal, the lesser punishment ended up being imposed, but the other two justices insisted that Mary should be required to witness any spankings that might be given that morning. And so it was decided, Mary would remain in the courtroom until the end of the morning session and then would be released, but would hopefully be wiser for the experience.

Mary had been dressed exactly like the other defendants, in an itchy burlap shift.  A matron had escorted her and the other female defendants to an improvised lady’s locker room where she had been made to strip naked.  Then she was given a sackcloth shift and cloth slippers to wear into the courtroom.  Simultaneously, a similar scene played out in the male locker room.

The courtroom had about 100 seats facing the Tribunal, most filled with gawkers.   The front row was reserved for the defendants.  The defendants were led into the courtroom and shown to their seats.  Sitting in their itchy shifts without the benefit of underwear, they all fidgeted.  Besides being appropriately biblical, the sackcloth made all defendants appear similar to the Tribunal, regardless of their station in life.  The outfit also served to put the defendants into a properly humble mood.

After her judgement, Mary had no choice except to reclaim her seat and watch the proceedings.  The Tribunal acted quickly and decisively, taking no more than five minutes with each defendant.  Still, Mary had to admit that the Tribunal tried to be fair.  Two defendants were found innocent and were immediately released.  Another had a good excuse for his actions and so was only fined and released. 

Two were found guilty and singled out for corporal punishment.  One young man was there to answer for his second traffic infraction.  He was fined and then sentenced to an in-court spanking, severity five.  The remaining lady, Brenda Hobson, was less fortunate.  Found guilty of theft, she gasped as the Tribunal sentenced her to a severity eight spanking followed by two hours of public shaming.

As she watched all this happen, Mary noticed one of the Justices eyeing her.  She knew that even burlap couldn’t hide her ripe curves, and so correctly guessed the motive for the man’s interest. She might have been more upset at the stare, but the man watching her was the same Justice who had saved her from corporal punishment.  She caught his eye, and was mildly charmed when he blushed and looked away.

Then the Tribunal session moved to the punishment phase!    

They summoned the two defendants to be punished to stand before the Tribunal.  The oldest looking Justice addressed the crowd, “We are about administer corporal punishment to these two defendants.  Any minors should immediately leave the courtroom.  We minimize nudity, but accidents happen.  If that would offend you, I suggest you leave the room.”  He looked carefully around the courtroom.  Nobody moved, few people even seemed to be breathing!

He addressed the two defendants, “This will be embarrassing and it will certainly hurt, but you won’t suffer permanent injury.  We tolerate normal involuntary squirming and kicking during your chastisement.  However, if you are unable or unwilling to basically cooperate with your punishment, you must request restraints.  Also, you may make all the noise you wish while you are being chastised, but you may not swear nor take the name of the Lord in vain.  If you wish, you may request a gag.  Do I hear any requests?” 

He looked expectantly and the defendants.  Except for Brenda’s slight sob and sniffling, neither had anything to say.

As this was happening, the bailiff slid a sturdy armless chair into the open area behind the two defendants.  Brandishing a Lexan paddle, he sat down facing the crowd.  A matron set up a flimsy “modesty panel” in front of the chair.  Set up on a small tripod, the panel was just large enough to cover the area over the spanker’s lap and a bit to the sides .  The crowd would know exactly what was happening, but would see little actual flesh.

The Justice pointed at Mary, “Miss. Blackburn, you will stand where you have a direct view of the punishments.  Remember that this is the punishment you can expect should you ever offend again!”  Shakily, Mary stood and unwillingly moved towards the front if the courtroom.

Next he addressed the man, “You will be first.  Go stand to the right of the bailiff and then follow his orders.        

Woodenly and reluctantly, the man obeyed.  The bailiff pointed him to a spot next to his right hip, and then ordered, “Raise your shift high, almost to your armpits.”  He gaped for a moment, but then obeyed.

Mary did indeed have a good view!  She felt an unexpected frisson of excitement when she noticed that the man was both well endowed, and mostly erect!  The bailiff seemed to neither care nor notice, but simply ordered him into position.

Without further ceremony, the spanking started.  Almost immediately, the man was reduced to tears as Mary watched his squirming and bouncing buttocks and thighs turn livid red under the onslaught of the paddle.  He struggled, but the tough, experienced bailiff easily controlled him.  The bailiff didn’t prolong it, so it was over in less than five minutes.  By then the poor man was shrieking from pain and desperation.  The spanking over, the bailiff encouraged the distraught and livid-bottomed man to his feet.  Before gravity had its way with his shift, Mary noted that there was no sign of the man’s previous tumescence.  Tears running down his face, he danced a bit and ruefully rubbed his bottom through the coarse burlap of his shift.

The thief, Brenda Hobson, had also been given a direct view of what was soon to happen to her own bottom.  She watched horrified, her knees quickly turning to rubber.

The bailiff stood so the matron could take the spanking chair.  The Justice pointed to Brenda, “Ms. Hobson, you’re next.  Go stand next to the matron and obey her orders.”  Frozen, Brenda just stood, open mouthed.  Gently, the bailiff took her arm and led her to the spanking chair.  “Gather the hem of your shift and raise it to your breasts,” the matron ordered in a businesslike voice.  The courtroom went dead quiet, everybody waited to see if she would obey.  Finally, stiffly and slowly, Brenda reached for her hem and raised it high.  “Higher,” the matron urged, “I need it nice and high front and back so that it’s totally out of the way.”  With a frustrated sob, Brenda lifted higher.  The bottom of her breasts came into view.  Looking lower, Mary could tell that Brenda was a natural blond.

Finally satisfied, the matron urged Brenda across her lap and adjusted her position slightly.  As before, the spanking started quickly.  The lady used that Lexan paddle with devastating effect.  Brenda kicked and bellowed as the first angry paddle marks appeared on her nether mounds.  It was quickly apparent that the matron spanked every bit as hard as the bailiff!  As the spanking continued, Brenda bawled, squalled and even screeched as the sting continued to build in her nether regions.  Her hand shot back to protect her bottom.  The matron didn’t react quickly enough, so Brenda received a nasty rap on the knuckles of that errant hand.

At one point, Brenda managed to stall her spanking by curling her legs tightly against her bottom.  At a nod from the matron, the bailiff stepped forward to gently but firmly grasp the thief’s legs.   He pulled them out straight, and then took the opportunity to spread them wide apart to expose virgin, unspanked inner thigh for attention.  With a quick nod of thanks, the matron went back to work.

Oddly, or perhaps not oddly at all, neither the matron nor the bailiff appeared to receive any particular enjoyment from this part of their job.  They both were competent and thorough spankers, but they did their jobs with all the emotion of a cabby picking up a routine fare.  In fact, while he was holding Brenda’s legs apart, the bailiff seemed to take no notice of the unique gynecological view before his eyes.  Mary wondered if the bailiff was married.  Would a similar intimate view of his wife still excite him?

Having been sentenced to a spanking of higher severity, Brenda’s spanking continued much longer that the man’s had.   By the time it was over, all the fight had been spanked out of poor Brenda.  She also wouldn’t sit comfortably for a few days.  The matron helped Brenda to her shaky feet and held her firmly by the arm.  Her punishment wasn’t quite over.

The Bailiff called for all in the courtroom to stand.  After a final word of warning aimed at Mary, the three Justices stood and regally filed out of the room.

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The matron escorted Mary and Brenda back to the female locker room, where Mary was allowed to dress, but Brenda was made to change into a different shift. 

Her new shift, a “display shift” was exactly like the old one, except it had a large window cut in the rear so that her spanked bottom would show.  The matron used a large magic marker and a square of cardboard to make a sign to hang from Brenda’s neck on a string.  It said, “Brenda Hobson, THIEF”.  Then the sobbing lady was led to the courthouse steps where she was handcuffed to the porch railing for her two hours of “public shaming”. 

Moments later Mary walked out of the courthouse and walked past Brenda Hobson with barely a sideways glance.  Mary was a free, unspanked, yet hopefully smarter lady.

But did she truly learn?    

To Part 2 >>>>

© Guyspencer 2013

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