The last few years had not been easy for Robert Osbourne. His wife had died five years ago leaving him with a business to run and a six years old son to bring up. But he had been lucky with Clive. The boy, now eleven, had never been the slightest bit of trouble, a naturally well behaved lad, who was, needless to say, the apple of Robert`s eye. Robert wished that he could spend more time with the boy, but the business was taking up a lot of his time. He had been determined, however, to take Clive away for a long Christmas break, so he had booked a twin bedded room at a seaside hotel for eleven days; five each side of Christmas day.
They had arrived in the evening. The hotel was an old building which had just had a brand new wing built onto it. Their room was at the end of the corridor in the new wing.
"We`ve only had the new wing open for four weeks," the manager told Robert, "and you are the very first to occupy that room."
They unpacked their cases, explored the room, tried the television and then changed for dinner. After dinner they went to the bar; Clive, of course was drinking soft drinks while his father enjoyed a pint or two of real ale. It was well past Clive`s bedtime but this was his treat and Robert was quite happy to let the boy stay up late over the Christmas holiday. At eleven o`clock they retired to their room and went to bed.
Clive was suddenly awakened by a noise. It was a clapping sound - not very loud but it sounded as if it was in the room. Then Clive froze! He could hear a faint voice repeatedly shouting "Help me! Help me!"
He fumbled for the switch and put the light on. His heart missed a beat at the sight before him! There, at the other end of the room, was a ghostly semi-transparent image of a man sitting on a chair spanking the bare bottom of a boy across his knee! The boy was wearing only a pajama top.
It was at this point that Robert woke up and shot bolt upright in his bed. He too, was transfixed by the spooky scene! Clive felt a little relieved that his father was awake and obviously seeing the same thing as he was.
"Help me! Help me!" the ghost of the boy was shouting out, "I am condemned to an eternal spanking unless another boy is spanked in this room! Help me! Help me!"
Robert and his son could only stare in disbelief. After about five minutes the image faded away and all went quiet.
"Dad, were they ghosts?" asked Clive.
"Well, I`ve never believed in ghosts!" replied Robert, "but what other explanation is there? I`ll get our room changed first thing in the morning!"
"No! Please don`t do that dad!" said Clive, who was now more fascinated than frightened, "They are not hurting us! Let`s see if anything happens tomorrow night!"
They left the light on. Clive, who had had a long day for an eleven year old, dropped off to sleep, but Robert remained awake throughout the night. In the morning they decided that they would try to find something of the history of the hotel. The manager could not help much; he had not been at the hotel for very long. He understood that it was once a school but had been empty for many years before it was converted into an hotel.
Robert asked Clive if he could amuse himself in the hotel for an hour of so while he went into town to find the library in the hope of getting some information. It turned out that the library and the museum were in the same building and here Robert struck gold! He met the curator who had a thorough knowledge of the history of the town. Robert returned to the hotel and found Clive in the lounge reading a magazine.
"Find anything out dad?" asked Clive.
"I certainly have!" replied Robert, "It`s a very sad story. I met the curator of the museum. He told me that this place was once a boarding school and one night in nineteen twenty-three a ten years old boy named Harry Lotson was ordered out of his bed to go to the headmaster`s study to be punished for something or other. Apparently it was a common occurrence to get boys out of their beds to be punished! It seems that there was a gas leak in a cellar below the headmaster`s study that night. Suddenly there was a massive explosion which destroyed all that end of the building. Both the headmaster and the boy died. The boy`s twin brother, Donald, was also at the school and is still alive. He`s in his nineties now! The school was closed down and stood empty for years until it was converted into an hotel."
"Then our room must have been built where the headmaster`s study was!" said Clive excitedly.
"Are you sure you don`t want me to change our room, Clive?" asked Robert.
"No dad! I want to help that boy!"
"Help him! How?"
"If they come back again tonight you`ve got to spank me, dad, to release him!"
Robert looked horrified! He had never laid a finger in anger on Clive in his life!
"Don`t talk such rubbish, Clive! I couldn`t hurt you!"
"Dad, we`ve got to do it! I would never forgive myself if I didn`t try to help him!" Clive seemed determined!
"Well! We`ll see!" was as far as Robert would go.
They went to bed that night but kept awake and left the lights on. At about eleven-thirty they heard the slapping noise start up and then the voice!
"Help me! Help me!"
Then the image of the man spanking the boy slowly appeared! Clive jumped out of bed and slipped his pajama bottoms off!
"Come on dad! Sit on the end of your bed!" pleaded Clive.
Robert could see that Clive really meant it! He climbed out of bed and sat on the end of it. Clive threw himself across his father`s knees!
"Go on! Quick dad! Smack me!"
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Robert was not hitting him very hard. Even so, he felt awful doing this to to his boy who had never done anything in his life to deserve a spanking! He could not help thinking, however, what a lovely spankable little bum Clive had got!
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Then the ghost boy shouted over to them, "Harder! Harder!"
"Do as he says dad! Hit me harder!" called out Clive, "Please dad do it!"
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
Clive`s soft, tender, little bum-cheeks were looking painfully red!
"I can`t go on doing this to you!" said Robert.
"Please dad! Keep doing it!"
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
Suddenly Robert stopped spanking! He realised that there was no slapping sound coming from their spooky visitors! He looked up. The headmaster had disappeared! There was just a hazy image of the boy. He was standing up.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now I can rest in peace at last! You will both be rewarded!" said the boy, then he too disappeared from sight!
Robert came back to earth with a start! He lifted Clive up. Clive was crying heartily and rubbing his stinging bottom!
"Oh! My boy! What have I done to you Clive?" he said as he flung his arm around him.
"It`s alright dad!" sobbed Clive, "I wanted you to do it! We`ve released that boy``s spirit from that terrible fate!" Clive was now half crying and half laughing! "Dad. What did he mean when he said we would be rewarded?"
"I don`t know, son. Sometimes people say things like that and don`t really mean it. Perhaps ghosts do too!"
They got no more spectral visits for the rest of their stay! They both enjoyed their Christmas holiday; Clive in particular was over the moon because he had been able to help that poor pathetic spirit.
Three months went by. The telephone rang one afternoon.
"Is that Mr Robert Osbourne?" inquired the voice at the other end.
My name is Thomas Cannon, of Cannon and Cannon. We are a firm of solicitors (lawyers) in Chasington. You also have a son, Clive, I understand, Mr Osbourne?"
"Er. Yes. What`s this all about?"
"I have some good news for the both of you, Mr Osbourne. You and your son have been left a considerable amount of money in a will!"
"Is this some kind of a hoax?" asked Robert.
"No sir! You can check with Telephone Inquiries and ring me back to confirm that this is genuine!"
"Who has left us this money and how much?" asked Robert.
"A Mr Donald Lotson! He died last week. He changed his will just after Christmas. He has left half a million pounds to each of you! Your son`s inheritance to be put in trust until he is twenty-one! Mr Lotson said it was for services rendered to his family!"
Robert felt like fainting! "Er. Yes! That was a private little matter. How did you get my telephone number? I`m ex-directory!"
"Oh. He put your address and telephone number in the will!"
"Look! My minds in a whirl! Can I hang up and call you back later?"
"Yes of course, I quite understand! Please ring me back whenever you like Mr. Osbourne."
Robert replaced the handset and, in a daze, went to the foot of the stairs.
"Clive!" he called out.
"Come down here, son. I`ve got something to tell you!"
A sound spanking had certainly done Clive a power of good!