Thwack! The first feel of the hardwood against my buttocks convinced me that I had just lost use of my legs. A sharply delivered second blow to my back immediately killed any sensory nerves I had so I did not know when I had received the rest of the six strokes. My hands seemed to lose the urge to live. My grip on the pole loosened and I sunk to the ground. Never in my twelve years of existence had I felt so much pain. I must have drifted into a swift doze because by the time Peter shook my shoulders, Joseph had flogged twelve of us and gone to his room.