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Arya Tickled (Season 2)
ARYA
She found that she disliked her new companion at first glance, being reminded so much of her sister, Sansa. Pia, or Pretty Pia as she was known around Harrenhal, was long-legged and full-breasted, with clean straight teeth and chestnut brown hair. She had the kind of easy effortless beauty that made Arya feel so very self-conscious about her own boyish appearance.
Yet the tears in Pia’s big brown eyes triggered something in her, and two of them were in this together, trapped in small cell in the Harrenhal dungeons. She was sitting on the straw pallet. She was fidgety with her hands, constantly running her hands through her hair, or hugging herself with her arms.
 Arya walked over and gave her an awkward pat on the shoulder. “You okay? How did you end up here?”
“Ser Amory was making some speech in Harrenhal’s Great Hall.” the young girl’s voice was shaky with anxiety. “And this Lannister man-at-arms whispered a jape in my ear and
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Mature content
The Inker Part 4 :icononeortheother:oneortheother 14 9
Literature
Percy Jackson TK: Testing the Tough Girl
Percy Jackson TK: Annabeth and Percy
O-O-O
Not for the first time, Percy Jackson found himself staring at his girlfriend, Annabeth Chase. You would think that after being together for so long, the awe would have worn off, but he had learned that in every relationship, no matter how long it had endured (or dragged on for, in some cases), there were moments that took you straight back to those budding first moments of attraction.
This was one of them. She was lying on his bed, focusing on a thick leather-bound book. Resting on her stomach, her tanned legs would slowly sway up and down. There was something about her studious cuteness with the way her mouth moved silently as she read, the way her bed-head blonde curls crested across her forehead, and the way she would turn those pages so eagerly,. Even clad only in an orange t-shirt and short grey shorts, she was still stunning. The book in Percy’s lap was no contest for his attentions. He abandoned it and sidled up to her.
“Re
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The Inker Part 3 :icononeortheother:oneortheother 19 7
Literature
Harry Potter TK: Rirebatons 1
Harry Potter TK: Rirebatons 1
O-O-O
“So this is the fabled tickling academy.”  Lavender Brown eyed the crumbling structures that once been the respected magical school, Rirebatons, shaking her head at the fallen towers, broken stone bridge, and statues overgrown with ivy. “Doesn’t look like much.”
“Well, neither do you,” Daphne Greengrass muttered. Daphne had thought that she, Pansy Parkinson and their best friend Millicent Bulstrode had been the first pioneers of the method of tickle torture for interrogation, but when they discovered a whole school had been dedicated to this system, she felt a strange kinship towards her ideological comrades and had to protect them; if she didn’t stick up for them, who would? The ruined fortress filled her with a strange melancholy. It must have been a beautiful place once, even if it were just ruins now.
“What was that?” Lavender sneered.
“You heard me. Can’t you feel the m
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The Inker, Part 2 :icononeortheother:oneortheother 15 8
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part X :icononeortheother:oneortheother 33 15
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part IX :icononeortheother:oneortheother 32 16
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part VIII :icononeortheother:oneortheother 26 17
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part VII :icononeortheother:oneortheother 35 19
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part VI :icononeortheother:oneortheother 31 6
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part V :icononeortheother:oneortheother 35 14
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part IV :icononeortheother:oneortheother 34 23
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part III :icononeortheother:oneortheother 31 19
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part II :icononeortheother:oneortheother 35 28
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Pokemon: Sapphire, the Ticklee, Part I :icononeortheother:oneortheother 34 29

Opening Commissions Officially.

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 17, 2014, 6:47 PM
Hi.

I've been doing commissions for a while now, but I've never made a proper journal about it, so I thought it was high time I got around to making a journal to let potential commissioners know about how I operate.

Usually, how it works is we first agree on a price - my going rate is $30 for 4000-5000 words, though that is liable to change if I don't know the character and need to do research. If you want to commission me for multiple stories, then maybe we can talk about a package deal. In terms of payment, you pay half up front, and half when it is finished. Unfortunately, I don't accept points. 

Then you tell me what features you would like to see in the story - lee(s)/ler(s), tools, the situation/context, techniques, that sort of thing. I'm open to writing both /f or /m. I've done a variety of sadistic stories and light-hearted casual stories (check my gallery) with upper-body/feet focuses, so I'm alright with writing pretty much everything - You just need to be specific and state what you would like to see.

I don't charge more if you want multiple lees/lers or multiple tickle scenes, though I remind you there is only so much you can cram into 4000 words, so too many lees/tickle scenes will invariably lead to brief and watered-down content.

In terms of characters/'verses: 
While it is obviously easier to write characters I know about, I like to think given time to research I can write adequately about characters I am not so familiar with. My latest stories about Percy Jackson and Kingdom Hearts were two stories I was fairly unfamiliar with both (I only read the first Percy Jackson and I've never played Kingdom Hearts). Perhaps you will say it shows, but both commissioners were happy with the result.

So there's no limit when it comes to characters, as long as you give me the basic plotline/context and give me a bit of time to do some online research.

Let me know about the details and features you'd like to see in the story. A sample commission info page might look like this.

Sample Commission Firstly, the general points. All characters will wear nylons since that is my preference. Tickling should focus primarily on the stockinged feet but other area are perfectly acceptable for variety. My favourite tickling implement is the feather, but again other implements are fine, as are fingers or even the tickler using their own feet as a weapon (nyloned of course). The nylons should not be torn off at any point.
Even though some of the scenes will feature interrogation type scenarios, I prefer the tickling to be reasonably playful. I enjoy dialogue and teasing.
Feel free to use as much Star Wars lore, locations, creatures as you see fit. You know far better than I that such things have a huge impact on bringing a story to life. Feathers from Star Wars creatures would make sense. Tickle bots, creatures, plants etc can be used as long as there is still a 'direct' tickling element. For example, the Endor scene could involve a tickling plant but Leia should still be feathered directly


After we've decided on most of the details, I start writing. 


I will send regular snippets (weekly of at least 500 words) to let you know about my progress. And eventually, I'll send you a final draft, you'll send me the second half of the payment, and then I brush it up one last time and upload it. 

Oh, another thing about the payment. I usually ask the commissioner to purchase clips/comics/giftcards for me that add up to the agreed price. 

Send me a note if you're interested or if you have any questions. 

And I don't do requests. Be unfair to my commissioners. Art Trades maybe, though we'd have to discuss. 


Activity


ARYA

She found that she disliked her new companion at first glance, being reminded so much of her sister, Sansa. Pia, or Pretty Pia as she was known around Harrenhal, was long-legged and full-breasted, with clean straight teeth and chestnut brown hair. She had the kind of easy effortless beauty that made Arya feel so very self-conscious about her own boyish appearance.

Yet the tears in Pia’s big brown eyes triggered something in her, and two of them were in this together, trapped in small cell in the Harrenhal dungeons. She was sitting on the straw pallet. She was fidgety with her hands, constantly running her hands through her hair, or hugging herself with her arms.

 Arya walked over and gave her an awkward pat on the shoulder. “You okay? How did you end up here?”

“Ser Amory was making some speech in Harrenhal’s Great Hall.” the young girl’s voice was shaky with anxiety. “And this Lannister man-at-arms whispered a jape in my ear and touched me in the side, and I laughed. Ser Amory didn’t like that.”

Arya had met Ser Amory—a cruel, humourless man with a high, pinched voice. She was not surprised.

“He said since I liked laughing so much, he would send me to the Tickler…”

“Seven hells,” Arya swore. “Are we going to die?”

Pia shook her head.

“Then what? Is the Goat going to cut off one of our legs? Our hands?” Maybe you could still be a Braavosi water-dancer with one hand, but Arya wasn’t sure. You certainly couldn’t be one with only one leg, could you? It felt so unfair that she had ended up in here just because she had missed a few spots scrubbing the floors.

“The Tickler isn’t named that just because of that awful rat thing he does. He knows other ways to make people… sing.”

That send chills down Arya’s back. She didn’t want to show her fear in front of this older girl, though Pia seemed fearful enough for the two of them. She was a Stark of Winterfell, a wolf, and wolves weren’t afraid of anything. But she was all by herself now, separated from her pack, with only this shapely, comely girl for company.  

“What’s going to happen to us?”

“He’s going to remind everyone what happens when you don’t do your part. ‘A task for every tool, a tool for every task,’ Lord Tywin likes to say. “We’ll be in the stocks for hours., shrieking till everyone in this castle can hear us.” She gave Arya a brave smile. “I’ve done it once before… it’s pretty bad. But maybe you’ll be okay. Maybe you won’t be ticklish?”

“Ticklish?” Arya repeated, but before she could puzzle out what that meant or ask more questions, the iron gate of the cell crashed open and several guards in crimson cloaks came to march them away.

The guards led them to an elevated wooden platform beside the sparring grounds. Arya shivered at the sight of the pillories, the stockades, the whipping posts. Some were carved out of wood, stained with use, but many were fastened into the ground with metal which had long rusted red from rain. It seemed Harren the Black, the Ironborn who had built this cursed fortress had not been remiss in his implements of torture. She found herself absurdly thinking of Theon, who in his cups had always boasted how the Ironborn were the mightiest sailors, bravest warriors, and skilled lovers. She had once seen him with a buxom stable hand in the oft-unused dungeons of Winterfell. He had locked her in a stockade similar to the one Arya was in now, and Arya had thought to rescue her, but the woman had not seemed to mind her situation since she was smiling and kissing him.

But this was so different. She had seen women being put in devices like this to be whipped, or burned, or flayed. Was this what was about to happen next? Fear cuts deeper than swords, she kept reminding herself, but Syrio’s words failed to soothe the dread in her heart as she was forced to bend over as they forced her arms and legs through holds in the wooden stockade. Pia was pleading and begging with the guards, promising them all manner of things in return, but they ignored her. Arya saw the crowd gathering around them—a smirking crowd, where many were ogling or making catcalls. Were the people of Harrenhal really so bloodthirsty?

The guards plucked off her shoes, and then Pia’s and then Arya could do nothing but wait. Her hands and feet were small, but there were several stockades of different sizes, and they had found one which was a snug fit. Pia was in the one beside her, similarly barefoot.

From where she was sitting, her back forcibly bent forward like she was doing some stretch, Arya found herself gazing down at her feet. They were short and a faint shade of pink, with small, round toes. The tops of her feet were a little grubby with dirt, and she presumed her soles were the same. Beside her, Pia’s feet looked much more feminine and attractive. They were slender and thin, with long toes and a birthmark near the big toe of her right foot. They were all scrunched up in anticipation of what would happen soon.

Then, he came. The truth was, had a tall knight with a spiked helmet not walked alongside him, Arya would not have recognised the Tickler. He was of medium height and build—not scrawny, but not muscular. And his face, with brown hair, a small noise, and dark eyes, was so plain and unmarked that Arya couldn’t tell how old he might have been.

Arya remembered how he had tortured so many at Harrenhal. She knew all his questions: “Is there gold hidden in the village? Silver, gems? Is there food? Where is Lord Beric Dondarrion? Which of you village folk helped him? Where did he go? How many men did he have with him? How many knights? How many bowmen? How many were horsed? How are they armed? How many wounded? Where did they go, did you say? Is there gold hidden in the village?” What was about to happen to her?

A knight with a spiked helmet moved forward, cleared his throat, and spoke in a loud, ringing voice. “Lord Tywin has been kind enough to show you lot mercy, but some of you continue to disappoint him. Poor service will not be accepted. You lot are lucky to not be hanged for outlaws, as we many of you have been helping Starks and Tullys rebel against your rightful king.”

The mention of those noble houses made Arya sit up a little straighter in her bonds. She would be brave like her father and strong like her mother. She wouldn’t let them break her, no matter what was about to happen.

“But Lord Tywin is not one to waste anything, even the likes of you. Be grateful for that fact.” The knight grunted, nodded to the Tickler, and then stepped aside.

The Tickler eyed the two of them, his eyes flitting to their bare feet. Arya willed herself not to wiggle, not to show her distress, but Pia was squirming and scrunching up her long toes as he looked.

“Clean them, and then we begin,” he said in bored voice.

A pair of pages—young boys who were Arya’s age with Lannister lions on their tunics—ran forward, with pails of water and rags in their hands, not unlike the ones Arya would use during her cleaning duties. They dunked them in the water while Arya looked on, tilting her head quizzically, but then she shuddered and gasped as the cold, sudsy clothes began to rub against her bare feet. This sudden sensation did not hurt, but it did feel rather odd due to the temperature difference. It was the fingers beneath the cool cloth that began to make more of an impact. It was when Pia burst into rapid squeaky laughter that Arya saw what they were trying to do. They, they were… tickling her? It was happening too often for it to by chance. Oh, she should have guessed this was coming, she thought with an angry furrow of her brow at herself, just look at his name! Seven hells, he was called the Tickler! The page in front of her bare feet was quite purposefully scratching and rubbing his fingers along her feet as he cleaned. His fingers would slide and stroke the arches through her cloth, weave between her toes, and circle her heel. The cloth itself was rough and scratchy, and the page too care to snake it through Arya’s small toes to really work on that sensitive nook there.

Cleaning was also clearly the secondary aim of this, for the cloth was spending a great deal of time on the bottoms of her feet and the soles, and sparing scarcely a wipe on the tops of her feet, where Arya was much less sensitive. The same could not be said for Pia, who seemed to be equally ticklish all over those shapely feet.

Arya's feet had gotten tough as leather during her treks across the Riverlands, but her time spent stationary in Harrenhal had allowed her soles to heal and soften. Ser Amory was also forced all workers to bathe regularly, even his men-at-arms, insisting cleanliness would keep away bugs, the flux, and other sickness. Soon, Arya found herself shouting with laughter as cloth and fingers attacked her toes, going between each of them nine of ten times.

“This is how proper cleaning is done,” the Tickler said in a bored voice. “And I hope none of you lot plan on shirking your duties.” He didn’t shout, but somehow that made his casual nonchalance as he tortured them more unnerving.

As the boys continued their work, Arya forced herself to watch him while he stood there with his arms crossed and he plucked a withered red apple from his pocket and bit into it. It was easy to lose track of him or for your attention to dart to other movement. Much of the crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle was cheering or jeering. Arya saw wizened old women tut and shake their heads. Young boys whispered to each other chuckle. Scornful women pointed at Pia and smirk. Old men with beards as white as winter watched with sadness in their eyes. Some of the crowd were jostling for a better view, but many more stood in sullen silence with lips twisted in indifference.

Look with your eyes, Arya remembered as she stared at the Tickler through eyes that were beginning to become bleary from forced laughter. He stood with a slouch and his apple crunched as he chomped into it. He was halfway finished, and his eyes were watching the two boys tickling Arya and Pia. He had the eyes of a teacher, and he gave subtle approving nods, quizzical tilts of the head, or disapproving frowns as they plied their craft. He was also watching the two girls trapped in those stocks. His eyes flitted to their feet to their faces and then back again with the eye of the keen observer. Not once did Arya notice his eyes wandering to Pia’s breasts as they bounced in her rough-spun tunic as other men did—the knight with the spiked helmet looked at nothing else. But then again, her eyes squeezed shut every time the boy working her feet with the brush hit that spot on the joint of her middle toe, so perhaps she just missed it. She didn’t think so, though.

“Alright, lads, that’s enough,” the Tickler said. He tossed his apple aside and wiped the juices on his tunic. “Brax, you’re doing well on that slattern.” He fixed Pia with a thin smile. “She’s still a mighty ticklish wench, so see if you can get her to make that loud squealing noise that she did last time she was here.” The Tickler tsked and pointed at the other boy. “You, Sarsfield, come sit with me.”

Arya grimaced as the Tickler walked towards her with a slow, unhurried gait. Sarsfield, the young page, gave up his stool to let the Tickler sit down. The boy had his head down and chewed on his lower lip. “Don’t look so glum, lad. You’re not in trouble. Just watch and see how I go about me business. I’m sure you’ll learn much and more.”

The Tickler sat down gave the lad a pat on the shoulder and pulled out a pair of smaller brushes—ones about the size of her finger. They were used for getting particularly small nooks and crannies, and Arya had a powerful dread at exactly what kind of spaces they would be cleaning next. Sure enough, this little brush was dipped in a pail of soapy water and after a theatrical flourish for the crowd, he started in right between her toes. Arya shook and rattled the stocks with her all her wiry strength, but there was nothing to do but shout and blubber with laughter as the bristles slowly, ever so slowly explored everywhere between her big and second toe. She was laughing like some stupid little girl, like the serving wenches who gossiped too loudly and would have earned her mother’s ire back in Winterfell.

At her right side, Pia wasn’t doing much better, based on her shrieks and begging. When the brush moved away, Arya thought it was finally over, but he was only dipping the brush into the water to rewet it before it dipped back between another pair of toes.

“Seven hells, you’ve got to keep your toes clean, girl. I might have to give them another wash after.”

When the Tickler was satisfied the gaps were as clean as could be, the base of her toes—that ridge where the joint met the rest of the foot—were next. When the brush began to work along that spot, Arya’s toes strained so hard against them that she actually broke the string tying her toes back, and she curled her toes, sighing and huffing with victory. But her victory was not a lasting one. “The coin for new string will be coming out of your food rations, girl,” the Tickler said, though he sounded more amused than displeased. Thicker string was brought out to force her toes back and keep the foot taut, and then he scrubbed even harder in that area.

“Alright, now that she’s warmed up,” the Tickler said, putting the brush away and using his fingers for a moment. Since the soles of her softened feet were all wet and soapy, his cruel, wicked fingertips slipped, stroked, slid, and scratched about with devilish effectiveness. And Arya couldn’t even curl or wiggle her toes a little, either. “You have a go, lad,” the Tickler stood up and the boy took over again.

Arya welcomed the change as she panted for breath. His tickling was hurried and sloppy. He kept going at the same sweet spots again and again, which consequently, meant they were no longer sweet spots. Any man grows sick of the same dish served day after day, no matter how good it is the first time.

After a while, the tickling didn’t seem quite so bad. It was almost like someone was giving her a massage, like the one Winterfell’s maester had once given her after she strained her leg from running too much. Her laughter had subsided to a few boyish splutters and chuckles, but nowhere near the guffawing and roaring it had been with the master at the helm. Thankfully, Pia was still chortling up a storm, so they might not notice.

It was for this reason that Arya jolted upright when she felt a pair of hands begin working on her foot in addition to the Sarsfield boy. The Tickler was attacking her right foot while the boy kept up his undisciplined assault on her left! That quickly ramped up her laugher. His touch was delicate. He had sharp nails for a man, as sharp as the ones Sansa had—her sister had once, in revenge for a prank Arya had pulled, snuck into Arya’s room during the hour of the owl, rolled her little sister up in the deerskin covers till she was cocooned, and woke her sister up with a thorough foot tickling on her bare feet. Of course, Arya had gotten back at her for that, borrowing their mother’s hairbrush for a similar ploy, but that playful tickling was completely different from this ordeal. All these people watching her thrashing and convulsing with laughter were not great, too.

“You got to watch the face, lad,” the Tickler said to Sarsfield. “Lookie, here, you see this? You see how she howls with laughter when I do this?” Arya would very much have liked to defy him, to prove him wrong, but she couldn’t stop the scream of laughter from bursting from her lips when he used both his index fingers to rapidly scratch at a small, particular spot right on the centre of her arch.  “There’s no need to be so bloody timid! If you fancy the wench, you can have her brought up to your bedchambers in a few years.”

The thought of that made Arya sick, and she so badly wished she had Needle in her hand to show them all who she really was. That would show them that she was no mouse, no serving wench to be bullied and abused. She was a direwolf. Though she didn’t feel like one, right now. What wolf was ticklish? She thrashed her body everywhere to try to escape, leaning forward as far as she could go so her forehead almost coming into contact with the stocks, but all she achieved was letting people know she was being tickled to insanity.

“Remember, there’s no need to hold her feet in place. She ain’t going anywhere. Start just under her toes—see how she likes that.” Arya did not like that, nor his new aggressiveness.

She sighed in gratitude when the Tickler moved over to Pretty Pia to make her really screech with laughter, but she found herself ashamed at her selfishness. Pia didn’t deserve this. None of them did. But that wasn’t the sort of thing that matter in Harrenhal, not with Lord Tywin in charge.

“Pleheheehehease stahahahap! I’ll dohohoho anythihihing!” Pia shrieked, her brown hair a tangled mess as she threw her head from side to side.

This was a proposition that might’ve intrigued many men in Harrenal, Arya knew, but it seemed the Tickler was not one of them. “Is there gold hidden in the village?” he asked. “Do you know where’s Lord Beric?”

“Nohohoho! I dohohohon’t!”

“Well, ain’t that a crying shame,” he said. “I reckon you’ll just have to sit there and laugh, then, eh?”

This must have continued for another hour or two, but Arya wasn’t sure. She closed her eyes and lost herself in a flood of relentless, hammering ticklish sensations from her soft, pink soles. She laughed and shouted and cursed till her throat was raw with noise, her uncouth boyish cackles intermingling with Pia’s high-pitched squeaks and squeals. But when she opened her eyes, the crowd had thinned by more than a half, with many of the folk at Harrenhal sent back to their duties—they had been marched into the stockades during the time designated for the smallfolk to eat and rest before their next bout of labour, she knew. The sun also seemed much lower in the sky, her stomach was starting to growl, and the desire to make her water in the nearest privy was becoming harder and harder to ignore.

“Alright, boys, let’s finish here,” the Tickler said. He had abstained from the tickling to sit back and watch the two lads at work. He was chewing on another apple. “Ser Gregor is sending us to visit some inn keep near the Trident.”

“Thank the Gods it’s over,” Arya muttered as they pulled away.

“It’s not,” Pia said in a soft voice.

Arya frowned, looked at her with a raised eyebrow, and was about to ask her what she meant when a new feeling on her foot made her yelp. Sarsfield was at her right foot with a wooden bucket and a wide scrub brush in his hand. The bucket wasn’t the one from before, nor was the brush one of the ones that had been involving in the ‘cleaning’. Arya craned her neck and saw the bucket was filled with a thick whitish-grey paste that looked a bit like mushroom soup from the kitchens that had congealed disgustingly. Sarsfield began applying the paste to her soles, and although it wasn’t quite as horrendously hellish as the fingers or the brush from before, as it wasn’t applied with quite as much force, it still twisted Arya’s face into a ticklish grimace.

“Wha-what is this?” she asked him.

“Food,” was all he said as he continued to coat Arya’s feet in the substance, making sure that her small toes and the webbing between were slathered in it too. As further layers were applied, she smelled water, flour, and salt.

“For whohohoho?”

“Theehehe gohohohoats!” Pia said in between giggles as her own feet were caked in the paste.

But her words didn’t make any sense. There were no goats here aside from the banners flying above Harrenhal. All the livestock were kept in the stables and grazing pasture away from here. The answer came as four of bleating goats were lead in.

“No,” Pia cried at their sight. “Please no!”

“Calm as still water,” Arya repeated over and over under her breath as she tried to steady her breathing. After the paste dried, the boys applied two more layers to each of their feet until they were caked in it. The small horned brown and grey goats were as harmless as creatures could be, and it couldn’t be that bad, could it?

Her world was once more engulfed in the furiously fiery sensation of blazing laughter when those rough tongues made contact with her soles—she had two goats on her, one for each foot. She shuddered and her entire leg twitched and shook as the tongues quickly lapped up and down.

“The goats are hungry today,” she heard someone say, but her eyes were squeezed shut from the roaring sensations so she couldn’t have said who. The bristly, scratchy tongues were firmly pressed against her foot, always hitting the same spots with the same up and down motion from heel to toes, yet so maddeningly effective.

It felt like the goats had been at this for hours, but when she forced her eyes open to glance down at her feet, they had barely made any kind of noticeable dent in the goopy paste. And her feet were still tingling so much from the insistent licking… She should have been grateful that it was the goats, and not the Tickler or his boys. The Tickler was cunning and the boys were earnest and hard-working, while the goats just… licked and licked. Yet that was all that was needed to set both girls to screaming in hysterical laughter. 

The knight with the spiked helmet wandered close to them, and Arya gritted her teeth as Pia whimpered and pleased with him to stop. But he simply reached for the brush and applied more food on their feet despite their screams of “no more!” “What, you think it’s over? You’ve got hours to go, wenches!”

Once Arya found out his name, she would add him to her list of nightly prayers, the list of all the men who needed to suffer, needed to die. She focused on the names as forced laughter continue to bubble out of her. Joffrey, Cersei, she thought, clenching her fists, Ilyn Payne, The Hound, The Tickler…” She had to remember. She had to remember despite the tickle torture of rough tongues endlessly slurping away at her bare soles…

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The Inker Part 4

O-O-O

Alex kicked off her shoes, collapsed into her bed, and closed her eyes, though she knew her chances of sleep were slim to none. How could she sleep when her sister was in the foul clutches of that madman? And to think it was all her fault… It made Alex want to scream, want to pound the walls, want to whip out her gun and fire it till the chambers were all empty. But none of those things would bring Vanessa back, none of those things would save her.

She had begged leave from Matthews citing a personal emergency, and she had been so desperate she almost asked Stevens for help, till she remembered how he had scoffed at her and the very mentioning of the Inker and his tickle torture methods.

So she had needed to do it all herself, canvassing Vanessa’s flat for clues, but all she found was confusion and conflicting information from her witnesses—the neighbours were either blind, deaf, bought, stupid, or high, as none of what they said seemed to make any coherent sense. Some had heard the sounds of a scuffle but dismissed it as a lovers’ tiff. Some had said police had come to arrest Vanessa. Some had seen an old woman lurking around the area. Some had heard shrill laughter and the sound of intercourse. She groaned into her pillow. There were red herring jumping and splashing in every direction, and she didn’t even know when to begin. Was there really nothing she could do but wait? She dug about in her pockets and took out her phone to look at the picture he had sent her to mock her. She was in some basement, but there was nothing else to pin down a location—a few cleaning utensils, pipes, an air conditioner unit… it wasn’t enough.   

Alex heard a creak and groan from another corner of her flat and didn’t move—she must have left a window open and that was the sound of a draught gusting through. She closed her eyes and slammed her fists into the mattress. How could she have let this happen? How? She thought that by being an officer, by going through military training, by studying martial arts, she could always protect herself and those around her. She heard the sound again, which she suddenly realised sounding a lot like… laughter. Had her neighbour’s hearing aid gone off so they were watching their soap operas and telenovelas at full volume? She tried to ignore the cackling and focus on her own anguish, but when she recognised the shrill, feminine laughter, she stood upright, all thoughts of fatigue purged from her body. That laugh—could it be?

She stormed to her feet, cupping her hands over her ears so she could hear the sound more clearly. There were words jumbled into that frantic laughter, and she recognised a few of them—her name and pleas for help. She threw open doors in search of the sound, with her gun in hand. If she had learned anything these past few days, it was better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. 

Her heart hammering in her chest, she identified the source of the laughter. There was a cell phone left in the sink of her kitchen—Vanessa’s cellphone. Too numb to think, her mind rattling in a dozen directions at once, she ran towards it. Someone had sent an alarm and changed the ringtone to, there was no mistaking it now—the sound of her dear stepsister’s frantic, wailing laughter. Alex’s hand were shaking with anger as she fumbled with the phone. The sound of the ringtone was so very loud, scratching away at her brain while she tried to comprehend what she held in her hands. How had this gotten in here? She unlocked the iPhone to turn off the alarm. She gasped at the sight of the phone’s new wallpaper. It was Vanessa all in tears, the close-up one her bare feet, which had something written on them. The detective squinted as she tried to zoom in on the picture. Her fingers felt too large and unwieldly as she tried to press the Photos icon to allow herself to zoom in.

The words written on her feet were, “You are too late, detective. P.S. Turn around” written in a tiny font across the toes and soles of both feet. Confusion, wrath, and trepidation gusted across her features, and then she felt the prick on her neck. Alex tried to lift her gun, tried to turn to see the figure who had sneaked into her house, the one responsible for all this, but her muscles refused to obey. Everything was going limp and dark, the floor spinning up to hit her. She didn’t even have time to be angry as the ground rose up to greet her. She blinked and saw the sneakers of the man looming over her. She tried to turn her head to look at his face, but the room was spinning and spinning and spinning…

---

She woke to anger and panic. The anger was at herself, at her own awful stupidity. How could she have fallen for such obvious bait? She had been tired, she had worked all day, and she was so desperate to believe the Inker had blundered and left her a clue, the nice, benevolent voice in her mind said, trying to reassure her. You were stupid, end of story, said a louder, more certain voice.

The panic was from the realisation of where she was and whom she must be with. She was sitting in what felt a lot like a dentist’s chair. The chair was almost vertical, with her staring up at the black ceiling. Her arms had been strapped upwards so her armpits were stretched and vulnerable. Her feet were similarly secured. It felt like nylon cords, but she couldn’t be sure. She tested them experimentally, and they seemed iron-strong. She was trapped in the dentist chair of nightmares. And similar to when one was at the dentist’s, there was a gnawing sense of unease as she realised how exposed she was. She was still wearing her pyjamas, which was simultaneous comforting and worrying, for she was not wearing much besides her white t-shirt and navy-blue sweatpants. Her feet were bare, for the first thing she always did when she got home was kick off her shoes and strip off her socks, which would invariably be disgusting after a day spent walking beats or chasing after crooks. She imagined they must not smell very pleasant right now, but for a freak like the one who had abducted her and Vanessa, who knew? Maybe he liked it ripe. But thinking in that direction was a dark path that went nowhere, especially as it would lead to exactly what sort of fate would soon befall her. And she knew, oh, how she knew. It had haunted her as soon as the first witness had come forth, and the dread had been building ever since. Well, in a way, it was good to be here—time to face her fears. If she could arrest them, then it would be even better.

Such optimistic thinking did not last long. The wooden door of the lightless room creaked open, and he entered. The Inker, the Tickler, whatever his name was, had one of those plain, forgettable faces. Clad in a long-sleeved top and jeans with traces of tattoos trickling out his sleeves and up his neck, he had short dark hair, a bit of stubble on a pointed chin, and brown eyes. The fact he was showing himself to her, however, suggested something far darker. He had never shown himself to his victims, keeping himself hidden in a mask or keeping the helpless women blindfolded—what did it mean that he was so brazenly revealing himself now? It means he plans on killing you, whispered a quiet voice in Alex’s mind, but she pushed her pessimism aside. That wasn’t his modus operandi, she knew, and she was willing to stake her life on that. She might have to. But then maybe he plan was to keep her as his hostage long-term? The thought of having to endure that sort of ordeal for days, weeks, months, and years… She remembered hearing tales of kidnappers who would keep their victims hidden away in bunkers for years and year, sometimes even till they themselves died.

“Detective, it’s so good to finally meet you,” he said in a soft voice. He smiled. “Better late than never eh?”

“No,” she napped. “Never would be far better than this.” She squirmed in her bonds, trying to break free to strike him for all he had done, but she failed utterly.

He shook his head and chortled. “You like it? I got an upgrade just for you. And your sister is kind of… using my other chair. She says hi, by the way. Want me to pass along any messages?”

“You fucking bastard.”

He tsked. “Now, that was uncalled for.” He made to stand up. “I can see you’re not in the mood right now, so maybe I’ll go pay Vanessa a quick visit till your temperament improves.”

“No, wait!” The thought of being responsible for her sister’s continued torture forced her to speak.

He gave her a smug, slimy smile. “Let’s have a quick chat, shall we?” He reached out a hand to stroke her left foot, only pulling his fingers back at the last moment. His eyes were on her the whole time as she gasped and scrunched her toes when the appendage strayed dangerously close to the sensitive skin of her soles. “I can understand your reluctance to converse with someone like myself.” He gave a long, hearty laugh. “So let’s make this interesting. I’ll let you ask me one question about anything. Then I ask you one. You can ask me about anything in the world, and I promise I shall answer your question faithfully.”

Alex chewed on her lip and did not deign to reply. She glowered at him as if trying to drill holes in his head as she pondered her question. “Where are we?” she said.

He laughed at that, giving his knee a slap. “Of all questions, that’s what you choose first? Oh, you don’t disappoint, my dear, dear detective. Don’t you care about your sister’s condition? About your own particular fate?” He rolled the words around his move as he spoke, savouring each arrogant word over his apparently vanquished foe. “But no, that’s not who you are. You’re pragmatic, practical. I can see you’re already plotting escape.”

He wasn’t wrong. All the while during their conversation, she had been working furiously at the bonds at her arms and legs—rubbing at them, picking with her nails, and even trying to break them with raw strength. Of course, she had attempted to give her movements minimal so as to avoid drawing his attention. So far, she had only received friction burns and sore fingers for her efforts, but she was planning on taking it slow, not allowing herself to panic, and play the long-term game, despite how skin-crawlingly, mind-meltingly reprehensive it was so accept she might be stuck with this freak for a long time. She was young, flexible, and strong thanks to a body toned from gym, yoga, and martial arts, and with a determined sustained effort, any slight technical flaw could be made large enough to facilitate escape—any tiny hole could be worn at and made big enough over time. She forced herself to steady her breathing, steady the anger boiling away in her veins, steady the impulsive to attempt to burst forth from her dentist’s chair. She would need to save her strength. She would need it.

“You’re in the basement of my home. It’s in one of the rougher neighborhoods, which rather suits me. The rent is slow and most people don’t pry.” He tapped his nose and grinned. “Well then, I guess it’s my turn to ask you a question now…” He stroked his bristly chin. “I hope you realise what a golden opportunity you’re getting to probe my psyche. For most of my guests, it’s blindfold, gag, and bang, bang, off we go.”

“Guests? That’s how you see the girls here?” She was cheating, not following the rules of the game by asking a question when it wasn’t her turn, but from the slow drawl of his voice, she judged him as the type who wanted to talk, needed to express his inner self and inner voice which he must have had to stifle in whatever occupation he had.

He gave a shrug and smiled at her. “I don’t hurt them my houseguests. We spend a little time together, and then we go our separate ways. I don’t give them any horrible diseases. I’m not a serial killer. I don’t think I would even make a very entertaining unsub on Criminal Minds, for that matter.” He chuckled.

“You call giving them a permanent tattoo not hurting them? You think the mental and emotional trauma you put them under isn’t abuse?”

He waved a dismissive hand. “They all enjoy it by the end. Even your sister. I’m sure you will, too. As for tattoos—what are you on about? They aren’t permanent. The tattoo is more for me, anyway. Wouldn’t want to accidentally invite the same girl twice. And I already reimburse them for their efforts. I put in a few hundreds into their purse when I send them back on their merry way.” He leaned forward. “You look surprised. Did your witnesses not mention that?” He guffawed at Alex’s blank, stone-faced expression. “They probably were worried you’d confiscate the cash!” 

“You make it sound like you gave these girls a choice.”

He shrugged his bony shoulders. “There’s always a choice, in every action we make, in every step we take, and in everything we do.” He spread his arms wide and grinned. “Those choices are what have lead us to here, dear, sweet Alex.”

When I get out of here, Alex thought, vowing silently to herself, to God, to her sister, I’ll show you exactly what happens as a result of your choices. Her train of thought was derailed when she suddenly felt a hand brush against her bare right foot to make her flinch. She gnawed hard on her lower lip and forced herself not to smile, not to react, as that itchy, itchy sensation slid up from the heel to the arch before ending with a lazy flick across her big toe.

“And I have so many choices now,” he said in a low whisper. His hand continued to stroke up and down Alex’s feet in slow, casual strokes. Alex wasn’t even sure it could be considered tickling, as he was hardly using his nails. It was more like caressing or clumsily patting her feet, like a massage by someone unskilled. Yet there was no denying the electrical tingles shooting up her shins and along her spine that sent her nervous system into a tense panic.

He grunted. “I was hoping they would be softer, but I guess that’s unrealistic to expect from a police officer, isn’t it? And you’re hardly a girly-girl like that sister of yours.”

“What, what did you do with my sister?” she asked through gritted teeth. Girly-girl or no, he was wiggling her toes now, taking his time as he examined the stems, the base, the pad with precise, inquisitive fingers. She wanted to scream as she became acutely aware of how much time he was spending with the littlest toe on her left foot, delving and probing each minute millimeter—the freak probably planned to do the same thing for every last one of her poor toes.

He chuckled. “No, I think you’re taking advantage of my good nature, Alex. I’ve let you ask me more than one question already. If you want me to answer that, you have to answer this simple question: where do you think you are most ticklish?” He continued his toe teasing. “If you want some time to mull it over, I quite understand.”

“M-my… my, my….” Alex’s mind worked furiously over the agony of her toes being worked over by some meticulous fingers. His touches were still so slow, so light, but somehow that made it even worse. It was a jumpy sort of touch that put your nerves on edge and hypervigilant. And what to say? Aside from that nightmare she had, she ever didn’t know when she had last been tickled. All she knew was that what was happening right now to her feet was agony, and she had to get him to stop somehow. “Armpits. My armpits.”

He hmmed and moved his fingers away, and Alex gasped for breath. She realized how tense her body had been. Her muscles ached as if she had just been holding a plank for fifteen minutes or ran a marathon.

“Your sister was really ticklish there too, you know. I wonder if such things are genetic.” And with that, he dived straight into them without any mercy. With her arms stretched up and scarcely protected by the black cotton t-shirt she wore for pajamas, her armpits were his to explore in any way he liked. Alex forced her jaw shut, clamping her teeth together, yet gusting laugher spilled from the corners of her mouth nonetheless.

“Wow, I’ll have to remember this reaction for comparison when I get your other spots,” he said with a laugh. “Good thing I’m recording everything. Tickle tickle tickle, Detective. What’s wrong? Can’t pull your arms down? What a shame… I guess my fingers are here to stay then…”

The belittling babytalk made it even worse. She wailed and slammed her head forward, but he was too far away to headbutt. And then she slammed it back into the dentist’s chair to try to block out the unignorable surge of sensation from her underarms.

“Oooh, aren’t you a fighter! I must say, that’s a welcome contrast to that sister of yours. I don’t mind a bit of defiance or colourful language, but the weepers are just boring. You’re a cop, so I guess you would know what I mean.”

“Shut up, shut up, shut up,” Alex wailed, tossing her head from side to side, trying to whip him with her head or at least her hair, but it had no effect.

“You’re telling me to shut up? I thought you wanted me to talk! Isn’t that how you profiler detective types work? Make up your mind!”

Alex hung her head as reluctant laughter continued to splutter from her dry lips. He had long fingernails for a man, and she could feel every one of them itching and scritching away in her underarms. The thin fabric of her pajama top provided little resistance, and she each cruel touch was keenly as he drilled away at her pits. She wanted him to talk, to give information away, but to hear about her sister’s own torment, with the painful, painful knowledge they were currently bound and strapped in the exact same torturous boat was just... Maybe if he weren’t squeezing into the very centres of her armpits with his thumbs she would be able to come up with a witty retort, but for now, all she could do was gnash her teeth and grunt as forced laughter took away any attempt at sentences.

“This spot seems be a good spot, he said, sounding chipper and excited, like a child playing with a new toy, which she supposed was exactly how he saw this whole situation. “Let's see how you handle a toothbrush there.” 

She handled it about as well as a cat being forced to have a bath, evidently. When he procured a toothbrush and put it to work furiously in her right armpit, she yowled and shrieked like a wildebeest. Again, that cursed pajama shirt failed utterly to protect her, as he was easily able to slip it into the loose sleeves or under it to get at any spot he wanted on her body. The direct contact of all those prickly bristles with her skin was a special sort of agony. She would have given anything to tear her arm out, just to stop all that brush from pillaging away. Alex was starting to perspire from all her gyrations, giving the toothbrush a natural lubricant to work with. He kept the other armpit occupied with his fingers, of course.

A few moments later, or maybe hours, or maybe days—it was never clear through such a deep haze of insistent tickle mayhem blacking out your mind—the fingers tormenting her other armpit went away to be replaced with the sharp shaft of a feather prodding and poking. He said something about imagining the feathers being too soft for her, as she had not reacted to the fluffy end of it like her sister, and he was disappointed, for Vanessa had loved the feathers. Alex was finding it hard to care while her armpits were under such extreme duress.

And then suddenly, it all stopped. Alex’s sight was bleary and the pale skin of her armpits felt reddened and tingly. She tried to gulp down a deep breath while she could and ended up with some of her hair in her mouth. She spat it out and coughed. Then, a glass of cool water was being pressed at her lips. Her throat so sore and dry, she drank.  

“You’ll need your strength,” he said, smiling. “I’m sure you’re dying to know about your sister.” He put down the glass and reached for the feather. Alex tried not to twitch or give anything away as he lightly stroked the shaft of the feather up her foot, along her shin, across her stomach, then along her collarbones, before turning it around and twirling the fluffy end in her ear. She still had pajama pants and top on, but the firm point of pressure still sent tingles across her body. It itched a bit, rather like a snake slithering along her body, but it wasn’t enough to make her laugh or even crack a smile. “The feathers drove her absolutely up the wall,” he told her as she looked at him stonily.  

“She couldn’t stand the feathers anywhere,” he said in a slow voice, smiling as if fondly remembering what unspeakable atrocity must have happened. “And I mean anywhere.”

Alex felt the feather on her foot now. It was light, like the touch of a fly, but just like the touch of fly, it was a niggling nagging feeling—one you wanted to swat, to shoo away, to slap, but she couldn’t. She shuddered as the feather dawdled on her toes and lingered on her arch with a ghost-like touch.

“Your reactions are really rather different, but I still see similarities,” he said. “Isn’t that remarkable? She would bite her lip too. It was very cute… And it never worked, for the giggles would always come spilling out before long. But she would always try to fight, even thought she would always lose.”

“S-shut the fuhuck up!” Alex said, stuttering on the words as she tried to fight off the feather. She wouldn’t lose to this monster. She would free herself and her sister no matter what.

“The feather made her squeal so much around her toes,” he said and treated Alex’s toes to an agonizing feathering to emphasize his point. They sawed in between them again and again, the soft bristles stimulating the sensitive flesh on the undersides repeatedly. It was only by some miracle that Alex didn’t scream and manage to keep her giggles under control for the most part. “But I guess you’re made of tougher stuff. I can’t say I’m pleased about it, but I understand that you have less time than your pampered sister to spend on pedicures and foot treatments.”

He put the feather away, and before Alex could even breathe a sigh of relief, his fingers were attacking her soles, just scratching them as quickly as possible anywhere to try to overwhelm her with sensory input.  Alex arched her back and screeched through gritted teeth—it was a noise that was less a laugh than howl of agony, interspersed with occasional throaty chortles. After a particularly long one of these, he stopped his scrabbling and chuckled. Alex did everything possible to stop a smile from forming on her voice—she still had her pride, and she would not give him the satisfaction. She chewed her lip, she ground her teeth, she bit her tongue, she shook her head wildly, but all of it was not nearly enough to stop the tight ticklish grin from making persistent appearances.

“But the feather really made her make all kinds of funny noises when I twirled it around her breasts, or I teased it along her pussy.” He smirked, and he looked Alex right in the eyes, utterly unafraid of the fire that was burning away in them.  “She loved it, in fact, so much that she begged for more.”

“Bullshit. There’s no way Vanessa would do that.”

“Well,” he said, bending over her feet again. She immediately scrunched up her strong toes as best she could at his looming approach, but he was stronger than she was, and pulled her toes back, peeling them open like he was eating a banana. “It took a little coaxing, that I shan’t deny.”

And then Alex got a taste of exactly what kind of coaxing her poor sister must have gone through. The sudden feeling of something wet and warm made her gasp in surprise, especially as she had been expecting the sharp skitter of fingers or the soft lick of the feather. When she saw his head by her feet, she was disgusted at herself, so disgusted that her first reaction that not been pure revulsion. Fuck, fuck, fuck, it didn’t feel bad. She hated so much to admit that, but the feeling had its own stimulation to it. Her anger, her hatred, her sense of justice numbed most of it, but there was a tiny, tiny part of her that knew and accepted that the feeling of tongue on toes and soles was very effective in putting her on-edge and hypersensitive nervous system on overdrive.

“Enjoying yourself?” he mumbled, as he was literally talking with his mouthful.

“F-fuck no!”

“Okay, let’s make it worse, then.” While his mouth engulfed her toes with electric resuls, one or two at a time, his fingers continue to attack the soles and the tops of her feet. Alex shuddered and writhed in her binds, thrusting her body in side to side as if to deny the sensations that were pulsing through her.

“Your sister loved this so much,” he said, pulling his mouth aside so he could speak more freely. His fingers now attacked the toes slick with saliva, ensuring that they would not remain unattended for a moment. “After a few minutes of this, she was as wet as the month of September. Oh, she was begging for it. Her moans were adorable.”

“Nohohoho, nohohoho!”   

 “You don’t want to hear about this, detective, why not?” His face was a mockery of wide-eyed innocence. Hmmm, I think I understood.” He sprang to his feet. “You don’t believe me! A logical-minded officer of the law, you aren’t swayed by my words—you’re thinking they might be empty boasts, no? You require hard evidence. Well, I’m happy to provide that, my dear Alex.”He left her to stew in a sullen silence as she got her breath back. That should have been a blessing, but his words pricked at her mind like an itch you just couldn’t reach. What was he talking about? And he seemed to be setting up some kind of home system device. He wheeled in a projector—it was on a trolley and he spent some time hooking it up to a laptop and putting it into position. He was going to blare it across the white wall in front of her.

“Apologies for the delay,” he said in a cheery voice that seemed oh so very incongruous with the demeanor of the sadistic torturer. “Had a few buddies come over yesterday to watch the game. I don’t suppose you’re a hoops fan? What do you think of the Dubs this year?”

“Seriously?” Alex spat, shaking her head in disgust. She strained even harder against her bonds, seeing how loose she could get them while his back was turned. “You’re trying to make fucking small talk with the woman you’re torturing in your basement?”

He gave a nonchalant shrug. “There’s always a bit of time for chit-chat,” he said as he grunted and stood up after plugging in a final cable. “Alright, here we go. A recent thing I’ve been experimenting with is putting a camera around a fun spot and then putting the screen right in front of the lee’s eyes. Wouldn’t want to deprive them of the action, you know? Maybe we’ll give that a try later… anyway, without further ado.” He flicked off the lights and then tapped a button on his computer and the screen flickered to life. The first few seconds were of a black screen—he must have turned on the camera by accident.

Ah.” He sounded embarrassed. “Perhaps let’s skip forward to the good bits.” A few clicks later, Alex’s heart sank at the sight on glorious HD across the wall. His laptop had strong speakers, and the sounds of Vanessa’s pitiful wails and cries sent every fiber of Alex’s body into a frenzy.

“No, no, no! Turn it off!”

“But why? Have you seen this movie before?” He chuckled and tapped at the projection, as if he were tickling Vanessa all over again.

Alex twisted her head away as far to the side as it would go, but he tsked and forced a set of goggles on her.

“Check out these VR lenses. It’s like you’re right there, isn’t it?” The video was projected to the goggles, and now there was no escape from the sight in front of her. Alex could see in detail how her helpless sister looked like a real mess. Her ever-immaculate hair was a disheveled mess, like she had just gone on a roller coaster, and her eyes were red and puffy from tears. Yet her mouth was forced into a ticklish grin that made her look half like a corpse twisted by rigor mortis. The rictus was awful to behold, yet Alex couldn’t look away. Her eyes were constantly darting between that terrible face to Vanessa’s pale feet with the toenails she always painted a childish, cheerful pink. The feet were quivering, straining against the string that tied those toes back. The feet had always gotten so red, clearly as a result of the thorough administration of the hairbrushes the tickler was using to devastating effect on her poor feet.

The sound of the raking of those brushes across those crimson soles was audible in between Vanessa’s shrieks, a steady trrrrrk, trrrrrk, trrrrrk sound that was horrendous to behold. Alex wasn’t honestly sure which one was worst. After a few more moments, she tore her eyes away and shouted at him, screamed and screamed at him to turn it off. She didn’t want to see, didn’t want to know, didn’t want it. “Take it away, take it away, take it away!” He said something to her, but she just shut her eyes and turned away, shaking her head again and again. She would do anything to shut her ears off, shut off her brain, but she couldn’t.

And then suddenly something was being jammed into her mouth. Her eyes sprang open. The item was hard and the shape of a ball. She coughed as she tried to turn her head aside, but he was too strong for her and the back of the gag tightened around her head to choke away her words. She tried to moan and grunt through it, but it wasn’t loud enough to drown out the sounds of Vanessa’s anguished suffering. And like those televisions that always played commercials on public transport, her eyes kept wandering towards it.

She watched the screen, watched those bristles ruthlessly pummel those pink soles, and then she screamed into her gag as she felt bristles—the exact same brush—rampage across her own soles. “Empathy is a lovely thing, isn’t it?” he whispered in her ear as he continued punishing her feet with the brushes. He licked her ear, and she shuddered. She swung her head wildly to try to headbutt him, but he was gone, chuckling as he stepped up him scrubbing to drive all the fight out of her.

Time slowed to a dragging, limping, stumbling gait as Alex lied there, torn between the agony of her dear sister’s torment captured in high definition and the torment of her own feet. The brushes bit into her feet, the little round plastic nubs of stimulating her skin so she felt as if hundreds of tiny, sharp fingernails were raking along her feet with every swipe. And he gave her so many different flavours of brushing—he would take it slow with drawn out strokes along her sole and the tops of her feet that felt like thousands of ants were scampering about. He would launch ferocious back and forths like he was dealing with a particularly stubborn stain that made her feet feel enflamed with ticklish suffering.

He would attack one foot with the brush while his tongue took the other, swapping every now and then to give the other foot a taste of the contrasting sensations. The warm, damp tongue was so devastatingly different from the sharp bite of the hairbrush’s bristles. He started making comments about how her feet had a musky scent to them, how they tasted similarly yet different to her sister in a way that he just couldn’t quite put into words. He kept droning on in between licking and nibbling her feet while the hairbrush unless ticklish damnation on the other quivering foot.

Perhaps there is something masochistic about human nature, Alex wondered as her glassy eyes watched the screen. There was this illogical desire in everyone to peel of a scab, poke a mouth ulcer, rip off a bandage, jump off a building. Was it because we were unable to let go of our curiosity? Alex didn’t have the answers, and watching Vanessa get the shit tickled out of her didn’t provide it. She knew half an hour had passed because of the Windows Media Player timestamp when the video ended and he removed her gag.

“Tell me, did you find that educational?”

“You fucking creep, you fucking monster!”

“Huh.” His expression did not flicker, not even for a moment. “You had plenty of time to come up with a retort, and that was the best you could come up with? That’s disappointing, detective.”

Alex chewed her lip and stared at him. He just laughed.

“Come on, tell me, who do you think had it worst? You or your sister?”

My sister didn’t have to see that, that, monstrosity taking place to her beloved sister, Alex thought, but she did not give him the satisfaction of a reply.

“Awww, stiff upper lip and all that?” His voice took on a moping drawl like the pout of a child. “Don’t be a spoilsport. I’ve heard you grunt and groan into that gag for the past half hour. I want to hear that lovely voice of yours.”

She turned away.

He laughed. “There’s the defiant detective Alex I like to see."

She said nothing.

“So, you think you can keep silent, huh?” His voice took on a hard, steely quality, tinged with frustration. “Yeah, we’ll let’s put that to the test. If you speak, you lose the shirt, and I see what you’ve been hiding under those pajamas.”

Alex steeled herself for what was to come. How long had it been since she had been abducted, she wondered. Three hours? Half a day? Surely she had been missed by now, perhaps by someone like Stevens. Time was on her side. He would need to feed her soon, need to let her use the toilet, and all of those were opportunities to escape, opportunities to overpower her captor. And as she twisted her wrists from side to side, she felt a slackness that had not been there before, despite the scrape of pain from her chafed arms. They were looser, no doubt about it.

“We’ll be using this.” He latched open his toolbox and pulled out a plastic vibrator. He pressed the button and it hummed and whirled hungrily. She gasped when it hit, pressing hard against her womanly areas—it had a powerful thrum that she felt acutely, even through her pajamas bottoms and underwear. It turned on a tap that Alex wished she could turn off, a leaky faucet that refused to be repaired.

Torn between feelings, Alex huffed and stifled a groan as he pulled it away. What was wrong with her? She was Detective Alex, a fighter, a warrior, a feminist, a take-no-nonsense get shit done sort of person. Why was her body reacting in such a way? She remembered conversations with her sister about sensuality, which invariably seemed to be spurred by whatever trashy romance novel she was reading at the time. Vanessa had insisted, with a strong blush on her face, there was love in everyone’s heart, a shy, sensitive soul waiting to be ravished. Those words had seemed over-simplistic and downright offensively sexist to Alex at the time, but perhaps there was a trickle of truth to them. And deny it all she wanted, Alex’s entire body was alive with feeling—admittedly, a lot of was heart-scalding fury, a tensing of her muscles, a flash of anger in her eyes, but there was a sighing, moaning, eyes-rolling-back and body slumping thing going on as well, ever competing with each other.  

However, when the large vibrator, which was about the size of a tennis ball, settled into the nook in the arch of her right foot and hummed away, Alex tossed her head back, gnashing her teeth at the roar of ticklishness. Fuck, this was bad, she thought, worse than she would have imagined. It wasn’tt he kind of thing you really expected to tickle, but tickle it did. Oh, tickle it did. The vibrations, the buzzing, all send shockwaves of sensate streaming from sole to brain, and the brain ramped up the signals to her throat, as surges of laughter clashed against her mouth again and again. They wanted to burst out so badly, but Alex had to keep her composure. She had to.

She shut her eyes and tried to think of being anywhere else but here—she was at the station, doing paper work. She leaned forward at her desk, popped her foot out of her shoe, and something crept along her socked foot to shred that vision and bring her back to reality. She shook her head and tried again, pathetic whimpers yowling up her throat. They turned into angry grunts of exertion. She was at the gym, hitting her biceps and back on one of the machines. She heard footsteps behind her, and at the end of her set of twelve reps, a hand squeezed her side. She shrieked and slapped her gym buddy in the chest as she was brought back to her situation.

Alex’s mind was in tatters as her left foot was vibed as her right foot had to try to fend off the tongue. Two sensations on the opposite end of the spectrum, both equally setting her feet and body aflame with sensations too confusing for her worn mind to comprehend. She laughed, a guffawing laughter that she hoped would drown out all her feelings and leave her empty. But it didn’t. It was an everlasting fountain as he kept stoking her higher and higher, the vibrato and tongue swapping places ever so often. Then they were both gone, and his fingers scampered across her arches or wedged into her toes, while he made more snide comments about her ticklishness or that of her sister.

“Fuck you, stop, stop, stahahahap!”

“That’s the wrong sound to make, detective,” he said, and he went straight at Alex’s armpits. He drilled his fingers hard into her armpits or squeezed them rapidly up and down, really rubbing in with his thumbs at the centers. Then, quickly as his new attack had started, he leapt down to her ribs, using a poking and grabbing approach. A fresh reservoir of energy became known to her as she screamed and shrieked, and she threw her body from side to side to try to avoid his fingers—up, down, right, left, but there was no escape. If the chair hadn’t been bolted down to the floor, she was certain she would have knocked it over.

This tickling had a different flavor—it was that of the intense workout. The heart-pounding, sweaty, thrusting, gyrating, exhausting aspect of this torture, which she was starting to understand had a distressingly number of variations. Perhaps it was because it was less a scratchy tickling and more a grabby, muscle-stimulating one, but Alex found herself flinching and twitching, responding even more to his actions. Perhaps it was the arson attack on her womanhood that fueled her body’s reactions. She so desperately needed an outlet for all these conflicting feelings, so here it was. Knees, hips, thighs, bellybutton—none were spared. And when he finally stopped a rested a hand on her disheveled face, she was so sore, so fatigued, so tired that every bone ached that she didn’t even shake it off or try to bite it.

She closed her eyes for just a moment and tried to catch her breath, but her eyes widened in shock and horror as he shaved something cold and hard into her mouth. It was a ball gag!         

“I’ve got an idea for something special—something new.” He left the room and before Alex’s breathing had even returned to normal, he was back, with a black package in his hands. He unwrapped it to show it was a pair of black nylon stockings—the kind you slipped on like socks. “I took these from your sister’s house. I know it’s awfully dangerous to keep evidence from, well, I guess you’d call it a crime scene, but what’s the point of all this if you can’t have a little fun? Pick up a few fun trophies and souvenirs on the way?” As he spoke, he ran his fingers through the smooth, velvety material, which make Alex dread whatever brilliant innovation he had in mind.

“I saw this in a video the other day,” he said as he began to put the nylon stockings on Alex’s feet. He put it on the right foot, lowered it about halfway, then reached for an electric toothbrush. He gave her a malevolent grin, turned it on, pressed it against her foot—right on the ball of the foot—, and rolled the stocking up her foot. The electric toothbrush was now trapped against her foot, encased by the thin, material, and no matter how she twisted her foot, she couldn’t get it out. And every movement just moved the brush around so it was tickling a different spot instead.  “Clever, eh? I was kicking myself for never thinking of this,” he said as his fingers darted to some other spots on her foot that the toothbrush didn’t already have covered. He tickled her through the sleek, sheer material with light, long strokes. Being tickled with nylons on was another dimension to the tickling as every sensation seemed to be emphasized despite the fact nylons were ostensibly a layer of protection.

But Alex didn’t have time to muse on this for very long as she howled laughter into the gag. He had another toothbrush, and he put it to work on her other foot, wrapping it around the other nylon stocking so it stayed right where it was—buzzing away maddeningly under the pads of her toes.

He stepped back to admire his handiwork, and she laughed and laughed. “Now that that’s taken care of, it’s time to see a bit more of you.” He pulled out a pair of scissors and begin snipping away at her clothing. He did so slowly and with great care, pulling and stretching the garb well away so there was no risk of nicking her accidentally. “You’re probably wondering why I didn’t do this before putting the brushes in. The answer is I would hate for you to be bored while I was doing this.” When he was finished, she was left with nothing but her panties on, and from the cool air in the room, she could feel the wetness that must have been visible on her underwear. Damn him, she thought. Damn him to hell.

“Time for the grand finale,” he said in a tight, breathy voice. The vibrator hummed its siren song and Alex screamed as it pressed on her womanhood. It was delicate and gentle and first, then firmer and firmer till she was howling with anger, with ecstasy, with rage, with lust, with confusion, with sadness at being brought this low, and with everything in between those messy distinctions.

The vibrator was a good one, too, the lascivious side of her mind did not fail to note. It had a nice, deep, powerful thrum. Vanessa had once ‘accidentally’ left a little package in her overnight bag— a small, discreet chrome ‘boyfriend’.

Alex had tried it, only for a few seconds out of idle curiosity, but it was not even close to the one pulsing away between her thighs. Orgasm was rearing its eager head, and much as Alex tried to shoo it away, there was a part of her that welcome the all-encompassing, jellying pleasure that it would bring. Though that quiet, guilty, shameful voice in her mind kept whispering how it was a dirty, disgusting thing to be enjoying this, to want that, to tolerate what was happening to her because of him. These contesting, polarizing, paradoxical sensations manifested in her tugging ever harder at her binds, which she could definitely feel were looser than they were. But they also manifested in a heatwave emanating from her womanhood, one her body tried to quench with wetness, to no avail.

And that bastard wasn’t about to make it easy for her. The toothbrushes were still buzzing away on her soles. The only consolation was that she had somehow twisted the toothbrushes around during her frantic convulsions, so it was on its side—that meant less ticklish surface area of the brush to need to deal with.

He also had another toothbrush that he was applying on her bare torso and making her shiver. This one was of the old-fashioned, non-rotary variety, which should have made it better and easier to endure, but he wielded it with such consummate, delicate skill that Alex couldn’t honestly say it was any better or any worse than anything else he had thrown at her. It was just different, a different hue against the colorful collage of sensory exploitation.

This toothbrush currently stroked gently around on her sensitive bare breast, circling a single areola to make her shudder in twisted pleasure. Every now and then, he would use the smooth plastic end of the toothbrush to nudge her tingling nipples, which she could feel were embarrassingly erect, and no doubt those swollen and sensitive buds were standing out from her small, firm breasts.

But he only did this occasionally, as he seemed to dislike the husky tone her laughter took, and he would only change courses and sent it tunneling into her navel, scrubbing in an armpit, brushing her ribs, or worst of all, teasing in slow circles around the stiff tips of her breasts. Sometimes, he would even change course and bring it along her inner thighs or under her knees. At one point, he even put the toothbrush into his mouth, laughed, and used his saliva as toothpaste as he scrubbed and scrubbed.

At that point, Alex the strait-laced police officer was a phantom of herself, a shade of raw, unabating sensations which ruled her body and poisoned her mind with twin prongs of sensuality and suffering.

“I hope you’re enjoying your first tickle-gasm, virgin,” he said and winked at her.

She did not. When the first shuddering orgasm hit, he laughed and ran to the camera to make sure he caught in it fabulous HD. Every nerve was standing on an end as a result of the sensory overload, and he took full advantage of this. Using both hands, he brought her up the new height of ticklish hysteria and sent her crashing, hurtling back down to earth after the high afterglow of her euphoria, laughing through the tears trickling down her cheeks.

When the second screaming orgasm hit, she flew at him, biting, screaming, straining, but he just chuckled and tickled her even harder. Foot tickling pacified her, breast tickling melted her mind, stomach tickling kicked the wind out of her, and armpit tickling made her almost rip her shoulders out of their sockets.

“You’ve still got energy, I see. Your sister was ready to curl up and sleep by the second one. I bet you’re loving this, aren’t you, Detective Tickleslut?”

When the third, fourth, and five orgasms made their aching mark… Alex would have thought she would be done. She was too tired, too sore, too out of laughter. But she found more strength when he started licking and nibbling her toes. Even through the nylons, she felt everything, and the electric toothbrushes were still whirling away happily along within them.

He laughed. “And you still taste so delicious.”

She managed to strain her foot enough so that she was able to kick him in the jaw. She had no room to swing to gather up force, but it felt satisfying to pop him in the mouth, even if it hadn’t been half the wallop she wanted to give him.

“Ouch,” he said and rubbed his lower lip. “Ingrate.” He glanced at his wristwatch. “Well, as much as I could suck on those tasty toes all day, I’m afraid I’ve got a hunger of a more mundane variety right now. Time for some lunch. I’ll bring you a sandwich or something, don’t worry.” He reached for her feet and gave them a pat. “I was going to turn off those toothbrushes,” he said with a cruel sneer, “but now I’m thinking how I wouldn’t want to be bored while I leave you alone. Toodles!” He re-adjusted the toothbrush in the nylon stocking of each foot so it was humming away right under the balls of her feet and left the room, whistling.

Alex smiled as he left, and not just because of the tickling. Her straining and struggling had paid off. Her right wrist was agony from how the bonds had chafed her, but she had rubbed and rubbed it looser and looser that she was able to get an arm free. He had left the scissors he had used to snip open her clothing, so she reached for that and made quick work of the other bonds binding her to that godawful chair. Afterwards, the first thing she did was rip those accursed nylons off to save her poor feet. She crouched and hugged her knees as she felt feeling return to them as her blood began to circulate more freely. She had got out, but now what was her plan?

She needed a weapon. She was not going to let herself be back in that position. Never again, she promised, not her, not Vanessa, not anyone ever, ever again. The scissors weren’t ideal—they were small and with a rounded edge, like the kind kids would use for arts in craft in school. Not to mention, they fitted awkwardly in the hand due to their handle. She looked at the rack of tools, feeling a shiver of remembrance at what they had done to her. The vibrator might have made a decent club, but she doubted it had the incapacitation effect she was looking for. The laptop and wires weren’t really suitable, either.

Alex picked up the toothbrush that mere moments ago had been pillaging her soles. It was one of those where the brush heads were removable, and beneath it, she saw it had a thin two-inch long metal tine protruding from the handle. She ran her thumb across it. It wasn’t really sharp, but with enough force, it could do some damage. Some clothing would have been nice, but her pajamas had been reduced to rags so there would be no consolation for her modesty.

She tiptoed to the door and gave it an experimental push. It swung open with a soft creak that made her heart pound hard in her chest as she waited, squeezing her makeshift weapon in her hand to see if he had heard. Up the wooden stairs, she heard the faint noise of a television—from the roar of the crowd, it sounded like some kind of sports game.

When she reached the top of the stairs and stood in his living room—it was the typical man-cave, with movie posters, gaming consoles beside the big screen tv, and soft-looking armchair—she thought what an absurd sight this must be. She was in nothing but her panties with a toothbrush in her hand. He was buttering a slice of toasted bread by the counter as he watched the game. He was smiling. Then, his eyes glanced over to her, and the smile widened. Somehow, the lack of fear, the lack of respect, was what brought the scream of frustration to her lips. She flew at him, stabbing and stabbing, daring him to stab her back with the butter knife in his hand. But he didn’t. He yelped and groaned as she supplemented jabs with kicks and knees and elbows. Her hands were wet and sticky with blood, yet she continued.

“You did well,” Superintendent Matthews said an hour later. Alex stood on the sofa with blankets wrapped around her body. Vanessa had been taken away to the hospital already. “But did you need to kill him?”

“You weren’t there,” she said. “World’s a better place now. I don’t regret anything.”

Matthew sighed as she turned away.

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” Stevens observed. “What’s done is done, sir.”

“It is. Till the next one comes along. And there’s always more, Stevens. Always.”

Percy Jackson TK: Annabeth and Percy

O-O-O

Not for the first time, Percy Jackson found himself staring at his girlfriend, Annabeth Chase. You would think that after being together for so long, the awe would have worn off, but he had learned that in every relationship, no matter how long it had endured (or dragged on for, in some cases), there were moments that took you straight back to those budding first moments of attraction.

This was one of them. She was lying on his bed, focusing on a thick leather-bound book. Resting on her stomach, her tanned legs would slowly sway up and down. There was something about her studious cuteness with the way her mouth moved silently as she read, the way her bed-head blonde curls crested across her forehead, and the way she would turn those pages so eagerly,. Even clad only in an orange t-shirt and short grey shorts, she was still stunning. The book in Percy’s lap was no contest for his attentions. He abandoned it and sidled up to her.

“Reading anything good?” he asked, resting a hand on her back.

“Yes, actually,” she said in a quick voice. To anyone else, that might have been interpreted as a polite way of saying ‘go away’ because of how engrossed she was with her book, but Percy knew her better than that.

“Tell me more,” he said.

“I’m having a hard time believing this one,” she said, stroking her chin with one slender hand while she turned the page with the other. “It feels like it has to be apocryphal or fictitious.”

“What’s the story about?”

“Well, it goes something like this. There was once this talented mortal—a great inventor, a keen astronomer, a savvy huntsman, and, uh, bit of a ladies man. Can you see where this is going?”

“Not really, no.”

“You see, he was a bit of a polymath—dabbling in a bit of this, and a bit of that. But the problem was, he had the potential to be a real pioneer in whichever direction he wanted to go. So a few The goddesses Artemis, Aphrodite, and Athena got involved.”

“I imagine wacky hijinks occurred.”

“Sort of. They all wanted to have him, uh, devote himself to their chosen… I suppose you could say, ‘subject’, for lack of better term.”

“So they had a catfight over this guy?”

Annabeth frowned and her face scrunched up. “My mother would never get involved in something as childish as that.”

“But it was basically a catfight, wasn’t it?”

She punched him in the shoulder. “They squabbled over him, fine. But I resent you using that term!”

“Noted,” Percy said, chuckling as he rubbed his shoulder. “Then what happened?”

“Well…” She scratched the back of her head. “This is where it gets weird and frankly, a little unbelievable. I mean, I can’t imagine Athena ever agreeing to something like this…”

“Come on, the suspense is killing me.”

“Well, they decided to settle things with a tickling contest, of all things!” She broke into a wide, incredulous smile and spluttered with laughter. “I mean, how absurd is that? I’m wondering if it’s some mistranslation, or some garbled account, but it’s all right here, in illustrious detail.” She prodded repeatedly at the page.

“Tickling, huh?” Percy examined the page. They read the next page together in silence, while Percy pictured it all taking place in his mind.   

He imagined Athena, who was an older, taller, more striking version of Annabeth, only with shoulder-length ink-black hair and piercing silvery eyes. She donned flowing white robes under ornate silver battle armour, with her heavy boots discarded by the wooden stockade her pale, long bare feet were bound in. She hissed and cringed as vines sprouted from the ground, courtesy of the mistress of the wild hunt, Artemis, to attack her trapped feet.

Silky smooth tendrils stroked across the soles of her feet, causing her legs to jerk with each touch. Athena tried a variety of defences, but all proved ineffective as the predatory vines were one step ahead each time. At first,  she tried to catch the marauding vines between her toes, but the vines was too slender and far too quick, easily dodging her clumsy grabs and tickling all over the base of her toes and in between them with impunity. Athena then tried to keep her toes firmly closed to protect those sensitive spots between them guarded--a sensible strategy, but one that proved ineffective when thin, worm-like vines snaked through the toes, wrapped around each one, and yanked and spread their prey, allowing the vines to quest all over the taut long feet with ease. Laughter was soon leaking from the corners of her pursed lips.

He visualised Artemis, who was all scowls and fierce determination. Her mahogany-brown and hair was slung in a ponytail and she wore a green tunic, looking like the picture of the deadly huntress. Only today it was her thin bronzed feet which were the preyed upon, as Aphrodite’s servants attacked them with relish.

There were two of them, handsome bearded youths in crimson-red robes who planted sloppy, ticklish kisses on her pale toes. Tough brown leather boots lay discarded next to the wooden stockade as her tanned feet flapped and scrunched and kicked and flailed and splayed. They licked and nibbled those long digits as if they were in a trance, while their nimble fingers caressed and stroked her arches and heels. Their bristly beards would brush along the feet too, especially when the Goddess kicked in an attempt to escape. Her low laughter was disjointed, with more gasps and grunts than giggles but more and more guffaws slipped out with every passing second from the sensuous attack. Soon, however, those guffaws turned into a great ticklish roar cry as Aphrodite’s amorous attendants began paying special attention to her balls of her feet with teeth and tongue and fingers.

He pictured Aphrodite, who was all curves and raw beauty. Her auburn hair was a cascade of immaculate ringlets, her bold eyes as blue as the sultry summer sky, and in a red satin dress which showed off all her assets magnificently. Her flawless feet had high arches and perfectly applied pink nail polish. Her

Artemis had sent a flock of quills to pester those pretty petite feet. They blemished those gorgeous feet with spidery Greek writing. One foot was written on by the floating literacy implements, while the other was cleaned by a diligent scrub brush. It was mockery, wise Athena's mockery of Aphrodite's pursuit of physical perfection. And it was effective, for although Aphrodite’s smile was radiant and her laughter was lusty, but from the way she shook her head, she was not enjoying this one bit.   

“Who won this little contest?” Percy asked.

Annebeth shrugged. “Doesn’t say. But probably Athena. I can’t imagine my mother falling to pieces because of something like that.”

“Oh? Why?”

“It’s just tickling.” She shook her head dismissively.

“So you’re not ticklish?” His hand on her back stroked lightly down her spine.

“Course not!” She shivered and wiggled at his touch.

“What’s wrong? Surely that doesn’t tickle?” He stuck out his tongue so she knew he was teasing.

“N-not at all!” she insisted, but her squirming suggested otherwise.

“Well, since you clearly aren’t ticklish at all, I suggest we do a little challenge of our own. For educational purposes, of course.”

She turned her stormy-grey eyes on him. “Oh?”

---

And that was how they ended up in this situation that they were. Yet for all of Annabeth’s vaunted intelligence, she couldn’t quite work out how she had allowed to be talked into this. Percy had wanted to tie her up, too, though she had retained the sense to overrule him on that. She felt plenty vulnerable as it was—every single nerve was quivering to attention while she laid there on her back with her much bigger boyfriend straddling her hips. Her hands were gripping each other and tucked behind her head, though keeping them there was sure to be a challenge, and they already wanted to fly down to protect her exposed armpits, which were only defended by a light short-sleeved Camp Blood t-shirt.

“You know, I always thought you were fearless, Annabeth,” Percy said, looking down at her and grinning. “I mean, I’m sure a tough girl like you has no trouble if my fingers go here….” She tried to keep contact with his piercing green eyes to show she wasn’t afraid, but her eyes kept darting to his fingers, which were starting to perilously close to spots that might be a little… ticklish.

He lowered his hands, which had their fingers outstretched like talons, to wiggle them an inch away from her armpits. Annabeth flinched, a little half-chuckle catching up in her throat. She could feel her heart thumping hard in her chest. She looked at his smug smile as he lowered his fingers again. Here the attack came! 

She tensed up as soon as the fingers drew close, but it was just another feint to make her fidget. He placed his palms flat on the mattress beneath her and smirked. She glared at him, and suddenly let loose a little squeak as he poked her in the sides. It wasn’t a giggle, more a yelp, but that tiny touch filled her with trepidation.

No, no, she was being silly, she told herself. She hadn’t been tickled in forever, so it simply might not have any effect on her. Unfortunately, empirical evidence to disprove this hypothesis soon made itself hysterically apparent.

Right when Annabeth was about to snap at Percy to “just get on with it, Seaweed Brain”, he struck. One finger from each hand wormed under the sleeve of her t-shirt to scratch lightly. And it tickled more than she would have believed possible. It was just one finger, slowly scritching and scritching at the very centre of her pits, but it made her buck like a minotaur beneath him. She kept her lips pursed tightly together, but that much meant she ended up snorting laughter through her nose! After about thirty seconds of this, she was huffing and gasping. Her hands desperately wanted to reach down and save her armpits, but they had agreed if she couldn’t sit and take it, she’d need to be tied down…

“Are you sure you’re not ticklish?’ Percy said, removing his fingers. “Because you sure could’ve fooled me.” He chuckled and began to roll up her t-shirt to reveal her tanned stomach.

“Just… just caught me off guard.” Annabeth could feel sweat trickling down her brow. She was grateful for the ventilation by him rolling up her top, but was less pleased about the fact her toned tummy was now exposed to the ticklish elements in play.

He began rubbing her stomach. It felt nice, a bit like a massage, but Annabeth found herself dreading the moment those fingers did smoething a bit less pleasant.

“You ready?” Percy said, raising his hands and making spidering motions with his fingers.

“Bring it on,” she forced herself to say. This would tickle. A lot. If one finger in each armpit had been this bad, how could she handle ten fingers on her belly…

“Grraaaahahaha!” Annabeth spluttered, cringing as Percy raised his fingers and wiggled them right above her helpless torso, which pinned in place by his entire body weight pressing down.

“I didn’t even touch you!” Percy said, slapping his knee at how she was already laughing before he even tickled her. Annabeth blew a stray strand of blonde hair out of her face and grit her teeth. She could feel herself flushing with embarrassment. She forced herself not to react like that again, but as soon as his hands drew dangerously close, she found herself gasping and trying to shy away as best she could. Her hands rubbed against her neck, eager to defend her body from marauding fingers, but she couldn’t move.

She was almost relieved when Percy stopped his teasing and just got on with it. Almost. 

Her back arched as far as it would go as his fingers hit. They felt like a pair of mischievous spiders scampering around. They danced and circled around her tummy and dawdled on her abs before skittering to the ribs, then, they hopped down to her sides before finally going full circle by scrabbling into her armpits, where she promptly confirmed ten was infinitely more awful than two. Every now and then, those wild fingers would even trickle along her neck and ears. It was rare that Annabeth was ungrateful for new information gathered in her mind, but this was one of those times.

Annabeth threw her head from side to side, which combined with her forward lunges whenever Percy’s fingers squeezed a particularly tender spot, must have made her look like she was doing some innovative sit-up workout. Her abs were certainly starting to feel sore from the laughter bursting from the corners of her mouth despite her best efforts to keep her jaw clamped shut.

The worst of it, Annabeth realized, while Percy began to count her ribs in a loud, obnoxious voice, purposefully losing count so he would have to start again, was how badly she wanted to pull her arms down and wrench him away from her. But no. She couldn’t. She just had to sit and take it.

And with the new information rampaging through her sensory receptors, she was beginning to change her opinion of the efficacy of tickling as a torture method.

“How you doing, girl?” Percy asked, pulling his fingers away from her.

Annabeth coughed and blew a lock of blonde hair that fallen across her mouth. “It’s, uh, not quite what I expected.”

“You sure you want a bit more? I understand if you’re too ticklish to take it…” He gave her a wolfish grin that made it plain that she would never hear the end of it if she gave up.

So all she could do was grit her teeth and say, “bring it on.”

As soon as the final word escaped her lips, he brought his hands to dangerous territories. His hands blurred with the same powerful alacrity she had seen so many times on the battlefield as they dove at her bare hips.

She hadn’t been able to steel herself in readiness for the attack, so she found herself gasping and giggling in anticipation before the fingers even struck. She tensed, not even daring to breath as she stared at those fingers wiggling so perilously close by to her sensitive torso. And they stayed there, , the fingertips waving half an inch away. It was then she took her eyes away from those fingers to look at the smug, knowing grin on Percy’s face and she realized he had been messing with her again. And by squeaking and wailing before the fingers had even struck…

“You’re too cute for words sometimes, Annabeth, seriously.”

She was about to say something rather rude when the fingers lightly scratched against the sides of her belly. She had taken her attention away for just a moment, yet somehow that was enough to unleash maximum ticklishness. She positively spun in place as Percy’s fingers pillaged into her sides, her ribs, her stomach—somehow, the act of being wrong-footed and faked out had increased her sensitivity. It was the kind of physiological response she would have liked to investigate, though she really didn’t have the mental capacity at the moment on account of Percy’s fingers squeezing her armpits now.

The underarms were too much to bear, and Annabeth was too much of a fighter to just sit and meekly endure. She grabbed Percy’s wrists and steered his hands away.

He looked at her and grinned. “You know what this means, don’t you?”

Annabeth groaned as he sat across her shins with his back to her. He was crouched across her feet, and she gasped as she felt something soft fiddling with her toes. This set-up had its fair share of pros and cons. With his large frame blocking her view, she couldn’t see quite what he was doing, though she extrapolated her feet were to be the next target. The soft thin object that was going around her toes was a cord of some kind, she felt, and she quickly realized it might be the one that went around Percy’s shorts. That being said, he couldn’t tell if she kept her arms upright in this position, but she had the feeling of intense trepidation that he didn’t mind because he thought she wouldn’t be able to free herself from this situation regardless.

“Your toes are cute,” he observed after he finished tying her big toes together. A few days ago, Annabeth had painted an imitation of the zodiacal constellations on her toes with midnight blue nail polish for the ether of the galaxy and sparkling gold and silver for the stars. It was a bit of a vanity, but she found it therapeutic to unwind with such behavior. She felt Percy wiggling and playing with round, bubble-like toes, and she tried not to giggle, so as to not giving him the satisfaction. Though her rationality was starting to formulate rather concerning hypothesis based on the new data that even such light movements, which could be scarcely considered earnest tickling, was having on her hyperstimulated immune system.

“Th-thanks,” she said through gritted teeth. The reason for typing her toes together with the cord was starting to make more sense. Her bronzed feet couldn’t really wiggle very far away from each other. She became acutely, horrendously aware of this limitation as he felt Percy’s fingers begin to dig into the soles of her feet.

“Gahahaha!” She grabbed a fistful of her hair as she felt ten fingers fly across her squirming feet. She wanted grab at his shoulders and pound on his back, but if she did, she had a feeling Percy would happy use that an excuse to increase the intensity of this even more… though there was a part of her that thought maybe that wouldn’t be quite so bad. It was a very small part though.

“Aww, is this too much for you already? Poor girl… I’ll be nice, then. Just one finger. Surely you can take one finger without going crazy!” Feeling herself flush, Annabeth shouted back an “of course!” and curled her small toes down, leaving her sole awash with wrinkles.

She could feel Percy working her way through those pale wrinkles in question right now, chortling as he worked on studiously outlining each and every one of them. He went from the slightly calloused heel, through the crevices in her high arch, and ended up at the rosy ball of the foot. Annabeth never made it through one trip without spluttering with laughter and her haywire toes opening and closing in rapid succession.

Percy was muttering something about how adorable her foot was when it was all wrinkled up and how fun they were to trace, but Annabeth refused to let his taunts get to her. She knew he had discovered that the soft ridge just under her toes, near their bases, drove her absolutely insane, and he was trying to get her to keep her toes open so he could exploit that area.

It soon became a new game. Still just using one finger (he had only been using one the whole time, making her shudder to think what would happen when he used all of them), he would trace all her wrinkles, always spending an inordinate amount of time stroking along the ones near or on her arch. Whenever the tickling got too much there, her toes would spring open and splay, which was his cue to strike at those toes, his finger slipping in to tickle that ridge beneath them or their sensitive undersides.

Percy didn’t tire of this game for a long time, though Annabeth had decided she’d had about enough after around ten seconds. He found a good spot on her arch, right near the very middle of the sole, so he tugged on the string and her lassoed toes were stretched back till they were taut. In this position, the arch was extended to emphasize the Achilles tendon, and it was here that Percy began scratching with the tip of his index finger, so constantly that she found herself screeching.

Her toes fought like wild horses to escape, but the string was too tight, and she could do nothing but strain against it was he worked on the exact same maddening spot on one foot, then the other.

“Who’s a ticklish girl, huh? Who? Is it you? Is it you?” Percy was using that infuriating tone of voice reserved for pets or babies, but Annabeth didn’t have the energy to give him the verbal chastising she wanted. She kept trying to cover her mouth with hand as if that would silence her embarrassing hysterics, but giggles kept sleeping out, proving indeed that she was a rather ticklish girl, though she wasn’t about to admit that reluctant fact.

Annabeth had never imagined tickling this be this intense—nor exhaustive. She found herself sweaty and gasping from all the forced laughter, with her blonde hair in a great messy tangle. Her tummy was sore and even her feet felt tired from all the wiggling. Percy must have noticed the lack of resistance from her toes, as notice how they were barely twitching against the rope, he released the rope to unleash a two-handed, ten-fingered onslaught on her bare feet. His fingers scrabbled up and down the sole, from toe to heel, and even when Annabeth found fresh reserves of energy to squirm and shriek. Her feet were still trapped helpless beneath him, and all her struggling seem to do was change the spot on her unilaterally-sensitive feet that was tickled. Instead of her arches it was the balls of her feet, instead of the pads of her toes it was the tips, instead of the sides of the foot it was the tops.

And suddenly while she was flopping back on the band, slapping her thigh with laughter, Percy sat up. He straddled her torso again. His green eyes were aflame with mischief. They shared a long kiss that was as refreshing as a gulp of ice-cool water on a sultry summer’s day. The kiss was broken when Percy’s hands scampered down to her sides and made her squeal with laughter.

“That wasn’t that bad, was it?”

“Maybe,” she said. She wasn’t going to let him know he was right, or she would never hear the end of it.

“You know, you never answered my question.”

“What?”

Percy’s grin grew. “Who’s a ticklish girl? Come on, admit your weakness”

Annabeth’s eyes went wide and she sprang to escape, but Percy caught her in a hug that brought her back down to the soft bed with a thump. His strong hands wormed into her armpits and began teasing her there again as she began laughing anew.

He tickled her there for another mini-eternity, and as she lay there, half-comatose from the laughter, she found Percy binding her wrists together and ankles to the bed post with belts, tape, rope, and other improvised bondage items lying around the cabin.

“Stop, stop, it’s meeheehee! I’m a ticklish gihihihirl!” Annabeth found the words slipping out of her mouth as she realized her predicament. She found herself turning crimson immediately afterwards, praying no one had heard.

“Hmmm,” Percy said, smirking. He scratched his chin. “You’re a clever girl—cleverest I know—so can you solve this riddle?” He hopped off the bed and sat by her bare feet, which curled up in ticklish dread. He began giving her a worryingly-soothing massage. “What do we do to ticklish girls?”

She squeaked with laughter as Percy’s thumbs pressed into her spot under her toes.

“You tickle them!”

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The Inker Part 3

O-O-O

Alex had never thought a video could scare her. She had been dragged to so many horror movies on dates, though she knew this was probably because they thought it might give them a good excuse for body contact and to feel her up. Her relatives had sent her ‘scary’ video clips, and she had always rolled her eyes when the over the top jump-scares took place. After firsthand witnessing gruesome crime scenes, violent shoot-outs, and dens of vice, the tidy, overdramatized world of horror failed to have much effect on her.

But this video was scaring her. It was black and white, with a tied-up, blindfolded, and gagged girl as the starlet. Samantha, the goth girl who had so nobly stepped forward to tell Alex about what had happened to her. Alex slammed her fist into her couch as she forced herself to watch the shady figure torture her. She had to watch it, in case the mask he was wearing came off. She had to listen in case he said anything incriminating. It was her job, she told herself, as goosebumps crept up her arms. She clenched her hands into fists as she watched and watched as muffled wails of agony echoed across the room. She had to watch Samantha’s pale feet being feathered up and down, up and down, the tied back toes writhing in unspoken anguish.

The video was over three hours long. The monster. The fucking monster. And she had to watch all of it because she was the detective who was going to put this fiend down and stop him from ever doing this to some poor, lost woman again.

Samantha had spoken to Alex at length about her suffering at the hands of this cruel, heartless man, but seeing it was another thing. Reading a book and watching the movie were always a completely different assault on the senses because of how the same message could be shown in such different ways.

Thirty minutes into the clip, Alex’s indignant snorts had reduced as she got used to the fact the Inker did not stop even when Samantha was on the brink of hyperventilation, and she should no longer expect anything different from such callousness. He did not give her breaks. When he discovered his madly effectives feathers were between Samantha’s toes, he did not stop using them, weaving them from each toe, one at a time, always stopping in between the second and middle toe to give them an especially thorough feathering because of how high Samantha’s muffled squeals would get.

The Tickler always found ways to impress Alex by the sheer ingenuity of his depravity, it seemed. Samantha’s gag had been removed, all the mouthy defiance having been tickled out of her during the last hour, especially when he had introduced the hairbrush to her oiled up, toes-tied back, pale white soles.

But now, a different kind of sound was coming out of Samantha’s lipstick-smeared mouth, and Alex could not honestly say which sound disturbed her more. The muffled squeaks had fuelled Alex’s righteous fury, the screams had stoked her anger, the laughs made her want to do the opposite, but this? Moans? It was beyond demoralising to here such cooing noises, such shuddering gasps, such giggly breaths as the Inker plied the next cruel tool in his arsenal.

It was his tongue. Alex shook her head, wanting to spit as she sat there and watched the tongue and the pale mouth work over Samantha’s small feet, covering it in glistening saliva. The ooohs and aahs could be brushed aside, but the way Samantha arched her back and gasped, murmuring, “oh, my toes… right there, yeah, yeah, yes, oh, there, there, thahahat tihihickles, ohohohoho, stahahap nibbling!” and a dozen variations of such exchanges chilled Alex like a snowstorm, as she wondered what horrible, traumatised thought process must have gone through the abused woman’s mind to recognise such an invasive tongue as anything resembling pleasure. She supposed that after such intense tickling, anything else would have been a relief, but such reasoning did little to ease the hand that choked Alex’s throat at the sight of this victim begging for more, begging for more licks up her arches, begging for more suckling of her big toes, only to turn to ticklish shrieks as he cruelly subverted her desires with devastating implementation of his hairbrush to sensitive soles.

It seemed to be a sick game he was playing with her, and he was very good at it. A stray thought nested in her mind which Alex didn’t even want to consider this: he had gotten a lot of practice from all the women he had tormented over the years. His tongue would tease and tease, drawing out sensual moans from Samantha’s giggles, as he accentuated his wet, slithery attack with light strokes from his fingers. Yet once the moans got too pronounced for his twisted taste, the hairbrushes would return, driving Samantha back into horrendous howling hysterics. After a bit more of this, the tongues would return to the reddened soles again, coaxing breathy gasps and moans back out before long.  Alex thought back to her dream, the tongue that had felt so real attacking her foot, and felt an icy tingling down her spine. 

The most demoralising thing was that Alex had been hoping for a glimpse of the Inker’s face, a reward for sitting through this unwatchable torture, but aside from the back of his head, she saw nothing. There were no slip ups, no turns to the camera. Every time he stood up to get another tool, he replaced his mask. He was wearing a black balaclava with a hole for the mouth, enough for that villainous tongue to creep out. 

Alex could only watch with dismay as the tickler grew more and more familiar with Samantha’s soles, eliciting ticklish agony from his victim with more and more nonchalant ease. He mapped the expanses of her pale, slender feet, and like a master cartographer, hedid not miss any detail. The side of her right foot was one such spot that was thoroughly examined, as was the spot along her Achilles tendon on the left foot, which needed the foot to be pulled taut to be properly plumbed. Alex had to spend fifteen minutes watching this fact be demonstrated as Samantha frantically tried to curl her foot up to create the usual ridges of skin to defend that heinously ticklish spot which only revealed itself when the foot was unwrinkled.

The nudity of Samantha’s bare soles had been bad enough, but the Inker soon decided he would make her truly naked, pulling and cutting away her clothes. Alex tasted bile rising up in her mouth as she saw the tickler stroke his fingers across Samantha’s quivering, moist body. He traced along the tattoos on her body, chuckling to himself.

Then, he equipped himself with two devices with he used to bring Samantha to a new height of absolute agony. In one hand, he held an electric toothbrush, the devilish little thing tunnelling into armpits, worming into the bellybutton, to sneaking its way through toes. It looked like a savage sort of tickling device, but it was being used for more than just tickling. It was circling the nipples, too, teasing and tantalising those engorged, stiff buds with circular motions. For several minutes, he would torment the breasts and Samantha’s toned tummy in turn, turning moans to laughter and laughter to moans.

That alone would have been a cause for concern, but in his other hand was a vibrator. Alex didn’t know what to think, didn’t want to think, when the HD camera picked up all the moisture leaking from Samantha’s womanhood. She couldn’t really be enjoying it, could she? That was beyond any kind of mental conception Alex could formulate. Who could be getting off on this? Yet there was no denying the mixed cries as the sicko vibed and tickled, and tickled and vibed. Alex had dated her fair share of worthless, premature guys, and she knew how much it sucked to be left wanting. But the game of cat and mouse he was playing with Samantha went beyond this. It was being taken to the edge and then back down again. Every time Samantha would glimpse Nirvana, it would be within touching distance, and then she would be yanked back with the toothbrush pillaging into another spot, accompanied by marauding fingers.

When the Inker finally gave Samantha an orgasm, with five minutes left in the video, Alex felt just as exhausted watching this ordeal as Samantha must have felt experiencing it. And the poor goth girl was fatigued, based on the distraught wail of pleasure that burst from her lips as she was finally granted release.Alex was glad that the video was over, and she assumed the last few minutes would be nothing of importance. Then again, maybe it would be something like the tattooing? Taking note of his tattooing tools could be a pivotal lead. She sat down in front of her TV and leaned forward, preparing to turn it off in case her hunch was off the mark. But it seemed the Inker had one last surprise left.

At the very end of the video, a picture appeared on the screen. The picture was grainy, low-quality, like a rushed shot taken by a camera phone, but there was no mistaking the people in it. It was Vanessa and Alex sitting in the coffee shop. Alex remembered the cream-coloured top her step-sister had been wearing yesterday. How did he know about her? What was the meaning of this picture? What was the point of showing her this? All the questions spun about in her mind, twisting and thrashing around like a tornado. She rubbed her temples and closed her eyes as her heart hammered in her chest.

“I’ll be paying your sweet sister a visit,” drawled a voice from the TV. Alex looked up, her breathing suddenly ragged and out of control. “In fact, she’s with me, right now. I left you another present at her home if you don’t believe me…”

Alex leapt to her feet, ignoring the pins and needles in her legs from sitting for the better part of three hours. She knew she had leads to follow. The Inker must have been in the café, so he might be on CCTV, especially if her intuition was correct about him using a camera phone. She had a voice sample. The video tape might have DNA. These were all valid and logical paths to take.

But what good was cold reasoning when your family was at stake? Alex hopped into her car and turned the ignition. Music came blaring from the speakers, but Alex punched the stereo off. She didn’t even care if she might have broken it. She drove. She would call her sister at the first red light.

Please be okay, please be okay, please be okay… Or I swear to God… Alex’s knuckles whitened on the steering wheel. She could feel her service revolver pressing against her hip. She took a deep breath and sped away, five miles over the speed limit. Alex wanted to believe she would arrest him if she saw him there, but if he did anything to Vanessa, ANYTHING, then… well, she honestly couldn’t be sure.

Alex stopped and pulled out her phone, scowling at the long line of traffic on the motorway. Typical. Fucking typical. She dialled Vanessa’s cellphone number. It went straight to voicemail: Hello, you’ve reached Vanessa, leave me a message at the beep… Desperate rationalisations flooded through her mind. Maybe she’s in the library and doesn’t want to be disturbed, maybe her phone is out of batteries, maybe she dropped her phone in the toilet. Or maybe she was taken, whispered an urgent voice in her head. Alex jumped at the loud honk from the car behind her. The line had moved.

“Fuck you!” Alex screamed, looking out the driver’s window and giving the finger to the person behind her. It wasn’t a very professional thing to do, but Alex wasn’t feeling very professional, right now.

As she spun into the parking lot near Vanessa’s home, Alex let out a wail of despairing frustration. Typical. Fucking typical. There wasn’t a space to be had, with several other drivers conducting slow circuits around the car park in the hopes of snatching up a space as soon as it became available. Alex had half a mind to whip out her badge and commandeer a parking spot, but after a brief moment of frantic contemplation, she came to her senses. She parked her car right on the curb. It would be much easier to talk her way out of a ticket than force someone into giving her a parking space. She barged her way past the concierge and other people, ignoring their grumbles as she pushed past them. She tapped her foot and crossed her arms, gnawing on her lower lip while the elevator made its slow, tedious descent to the ground floor. Her eyes tracked the decreasing number on the elevator: 24, 23, 22, 21… it stopped. Why was the damn thing taking so long? She paced from one length of the room to the other. Her eyes roved over the mailboxes, the flowers, the mirror in the room, the elaborate light fixtures, and the management’s announcement posters, all without really taking them in. She considered taking the stairs when she saw the elevator hadn’t moved after her frenetic lap around the room.

She grunted back a “fucking finally!” when she heard the soft ding of the elevator’s arrival and its inhabitants slowly filed out. Alex fixed them all with a fierce stare as they walked past her.

Three people wandered into the elevator with her, and naturally, because the universe was conspiring to make things as maddeningly slow as possible, they all get off before Alex, with the police detective shooting daggers at them the whole time. At least they had the sense to shut up inside the lift.

Alex sprinted through the elevator doors before it had even fully opened. Her heart was in her throat when she reached Vanessa’s door and heard the sound of laughter coming from within. She raised a white-knuckled fist and considering pounding on the door, but thought better as she wouldn’t want to give that freak, who had the audacity to send her a letter mocking her of his intentions, any hint of her arrival. She drew her service revolver in one hand while pulling out Vanessa’s spare key with the other. Yet they key wouldn’t fit into the lock, despite the fact Alex had done this a hundred times. Her hands were shaking too much. Gnashing her teeth, Alex dropped her shoulder and smashed through the door.

“Freeze, police!” she shouted, waving her gun around. She huffed and huffed, filled up on fear of what she might have found inside, but what she found was… nothing. The television was on. It blared the latest show from Comedy Central, which explained the lusty laughing Alex had heard. Her heart still thudding in her chest, Alex checked all the rooms. There was no one here. Had this been some kind of false alarm? Shame and embarrassment began to sepe through her bones as she imagined explaining to her sister about the damages, explaining to her boss about the parking ticket, explaining… Wait. Vanessa’s phone lay on the tabletop. She would never have gone anywhere without it, Alex knew. With quivering hands, she unlocked it, and what she saw almost made her throw up. It was unmistakably a picture of Vanessa. It was a close-up of her face with a blindfold and gag. The picture had a caption: “Come find me, detective ;)”  

The phone slipped from Alex’s numb fingers to clatter on the wooden floorboards as the audience from the TV show roared with laughter.

O-O-O

“Police, open up!” said the voice, punctuated with frantic knocking at her door. Vanessa looked up from her book, slipped a bookmark in, and jogged to the door. The police? Her first thoughts were to her sister and if something had happened.

She peeked through the door’s peephole. It was plainly-dressed man with a badge in his hand. “Official police business, ma’am,” he was saying to one of Vanessa’s neighbours, who had opened her apartment door out of curiosity. “Please return to your home.”

Vanessa opened the door. She eyed the man and quirked a suspicious brow. “Who are you?”

The man gave her a polite smile. “You must be Vanessa Jones. Your sister sent me.” He flashed his badge at her quickly, then tucked it into the pocket of his sports jacket,

“Did she?” Vanessa paused. “You don’t look like an officer.” 

He scratched his neck, where Vanessa saw hints of a colourful tattoo creeping out of the hem of his collared shirt. “I’m not exactly a beat-cop. I do undercover work.”

“I see… and how do you know Alex?”

“We went through the academy together. You might’ve heard of me: I’m Captain Stevens.”

“Oh!” That name set Vanessa at ease, at least a little. Alex had definitely mentioned that name before, though she hadn’t been entirely positive about Stevens. She said he was a glory-seeker and a bit of a ladies’ man, but he wasn’t a bad guy.

“May I come in? Alex was concerned you might need police protection.”

“Police protection?” Vanessa repeated as she moved aside to let him walk in. “From whom?”

“Well,” he said, turning to her and waving a hand, “all kinds of people.” He looked around the apartment, stroking his chin. “Do you keep any weapons here?”

“No, Alex says it’s sometimes safer to just call the cops instead of trying to play hero.”

“Sometimes, it’s better to act yourself as opposed to waiting for someone else to save you.” He smiled. In a blink, he had a hand at her throat, choking away her words. With his other hand, he held a revolver and put it to her head. “People like me.”

Vanessa swipped at the rough hand gripping her throat and tried to find the air to scream, but even breathing was proving difficult.

“Don’t you even try,” he said, jabbing the gun in her face. It poked her in the cheek, the cold metal chilling her to the bone. She was shaking so much that she was afraid this imposter officer might even shoot her by accident.

Steering her with the hand at her neck, he forced her into the bedroom. Thoughts of rape and murder filled her head and were accompanied by tears as he threw her back onto her mattress. The plush surface had never felt so uncomfortable as she began imagining the horrible fate that would befall her. “If you try to scream, this’ll only get worse for you. Nod if you understand.” What else could Vanessa do but nod? He let go off her throat as he turned to shut the bedroom door.

She coughed and spluttered for breath. “What… what do you want with me?” She hugged her knees as she sat down, unable to stop the pathetic whimpers from slipping out.

He quirked an eyebrow at her body language. “Not that,” he said, chuckling. “I’ve got bigger and better things in store for you. If all I wanted was someone to fuck, I wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble.”

She didn’t know what to say. What was there to say was someone said something like that? Thanks?

He reached into the pocket of his grey sports jacket and took out a syringe. “This will knock you out. Now, I am going to inject you with this, whether or not you cooperate.” He patted his gun. “The only difference is if you come out of this in a world of pain or that. I’m not above slapping bitches when they get dumb.” He turned the pistol around so he brandished it like a club and raised both hands. In one hand was the syringe and in the other was the weapon. “What’s it gonna be, sweetie?”

---

He whistled tunelessly as he jogged out of the building. The first part of his plan had gone off without a hitch, but that didn’t mean anything: the tricky part would be transporting the detective’s little sister out of that apartment complex without anyone raising the hue and cry. It really was a lot easier when he dealt with inebriated girls in seedy establishments, but he hoped the quality of his latest toy would more than make up for it. She looked sweeter than sin and more innocent than an angel, this detective’s little sister. He felt his heart race and his throat go dry as he imagined the taste of her soles. Would her feet have a sweet taste to them? Would she be ticklish? Oh, he hoped so. Maximising sensitivity was something he prided himself on, but he still liked it more when he had someone substantially ticklish to ‘work with’.

But he couldn’t let that distract him, even as his body tried his best to draw his attention to his lust. There would be no good counting his ticklish chicks before they hatched.

He got to his truck and pulled out one of those foldable lightweight wheelchairs and his backpack. He fixed an unconcerned, carefree smile on his face while he waited in the lobby, fortunately ignored by all the other people there who continued their own conversations or stood silently and stared at their smartphones.

Back in Vanessa’s apartment, his sleeping beauty was still lumbering. He lifted her to her room and took a look at her wardrobe. It was tempting to take a few socks and other garb as souvenirs, but time was of the essence, here. He found the frumpiest, ugliest cardigan he could find and dressed Vanessa in it, resisting with all his might to tear her clothes off and see what the lovely little lady was hiding under them. Patience, he told himself, that would come later, and he would savour every second of it…

After fixing her in the hideous cardigan (which had undoubtedly been some Christmas present from some unfashionable relative), he opened his backpack and took out the grey wig he had prepared earlier. He added a pair of big dark sunglasses and took a step back; at a glance, the young girl had transformed into a grandmother, though her lack of wrinkles meant it wouldn’t stand up to closer examination. He had brought a make-up kit, but he wasn’t sure how much time he really had, so he decided to abandon that portion of his scheme. He took a little duvet from Vanessa’s couch to hide her dainty hands under and stepped back to admire the effect. Now, instead of a psychopath with his latest victim, he looked like a man taking his elderly mother out for a walk.   

He continuously reassured himself of this fact, though that didn’t stop his heart hammering at his chest in the elevator on the way down. He was lucky no one else came in the lift with him. At the door, when he saw the security guard give him a look, there was a fleeting moment when he feared it might all be over, but the powerfully-built man just gave him a nod and even opened the door for him. Trusting fools, he thought, laughing internally as he rolled her to the chair. Too easy, truly. They really made it too easy, almost.
He pulled into his garage where he could transport the lovely Vanessa to his playroom without risk of prying eyes. Once he pulled off the wig and the clothes he had dressed her up in, he saw how enchantingly beautiful she was, in the light of his favourite room in the world.

Once he had seen the two sisters together in that cafeteria, a lifetime or three ago, he had known he wanted them. Together would be the dream—the two lovelies side by side, teasing one’s responses then the others. He knew the pair of beauties would be capable of bringing such melodious music to his humble quarters. His comfy chambers weren’t quite big enough to accommodate too, but in the event the detective fell into his lap… well, he was perfectly willing to spring some dosh for an upgrade, just for her.

But he had a feeling life would rarely be quite so accommodating—life tended to give with one hand whilst taking with the other, but he found he was okay with that. He would enjoy his time with the innocent younger sister and show her things she had never dreamed of, and once that had run its course, he would taste the darker, more fiery flavours of the detective herself.

Yet he was getting ahead of himself, wasn’t he? He should savour this moment, this girl. No use getting ahead of himself. He eyed his sleeping beauty, remembering how ravishing she had looked in the café. She had worn open-toed brown sandals that accentuated her slender, smallish feet excellently, and had worn a little yellow and pink leather anklet on her right foot that he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off of. She was still wearing it now, he had been delighted to observe. Her toenails had borne the sunny gleam of a fresh pedicure, with each toe as yellow as summer love.

She was wearing socks right now, tacky striped orange and white ones. Tempting as it was to rip them off immediately and examine the treasures within, he decided he wanted to save them for last. You saved the best for last, didn’t you? That was always how he had been—when eating, you ate the vegetables first and saved the meat for your reward. But was this lithe, slim girl waiting to be strapped down his vegetables and the detective coming to save her his main course?  

The answer was yes, but he couldn’t let that spoil his appetite. He brought her wrists to the padded cuffs, adjusting the length for her short stature. She was several inches shorter than the last guest he had entertained. Afterwards was the strap around her midsection to keep her from see-sawing from place to place, which he was pleased to see went tightly across a trim stomach. He wasn’t a fun of girls with chubby stomachs. He considered undressing her here and now to see what goodies lay beneath, but he decided that cutting her clothes away later would be much more fun. Oh, he wondered what her reactions to that would be… 

---

She must still be dreaming. What else could this be but a nightmare? Vanessa thought as she woke up in some nefarious bondage lair. She yawned and tried to rub her eyes, only to find they were stretched out and tied above her head. She was on some kind of table , some flat soft service with fuzzy cuffs and straps binding her to it. She clearly had been reading too much 50 Shades lately… it was even invading her dreams. Christian would come strolling in any moment now to take her and tell her what a naughty girl she was.

Then he appeared. Christian. Or was it?

“Good morning, Vanessa,” he said in a tone that lacked all the sensuality Vanessa had been hoping for. It was a slow, gravelly voice, unsexy, unremarkable, and unassuming. “Do you know who I am?”

“Christian?” Vanessa said, though the man who appeared looked nothing like Christian Grey. She’d had dreams similar to this before, and this tended to be the script. This man wore a Halloween mask of the grim reaper.

He laughed. “No.”

It was as Vanessa blinked in confusion that she glimpses the tray of items at his waist. It wasn’t till she saw the feathers that everything clicked into place. The officer that had come to her door. The struggle that had taken place in her apartment. “You… you’re… you’re…”

“Your sister has taken to calling me The Inker,” the man said, his voice muffled under the mask. “I think it’s because she’s a little embarrassed to call me The Tickler, which is what I am. The inking thing is just a nice little touch at the end.” He waved to a tattooing needle in the corner of the room. “Has your sister mentioned me?”

“Uh, not really.”

He laughed. “How irresponsible of her. She didn’t even tell you what to expect. I hope you understand that I bear you no ill will, Vanessa.” He picked up a feather, twirling it through his long fingers. “It’s your sister’s fault you’re here. She’s the one who, like a mad dog, had to keep chasing me, I mean, I wasn’t hurting even those girls, so why?” He spread his arms wide.

“Because you’re a criminal,” Vanessa said in a quiet but firm voice.

“That was a rhetorical question. I’m not going to waste words debating the morality of my work—no one died, end of story. Don’t even know why your sister wanted to waste so much time on a small-fry like me.”

“Because you’re a monster,” Vanessa hissed as she strained against her bonds. “We are not things you can just play with, touch, brand!”

He shrugged. “You know this really isn’t about me, so how about we change the topic.” He kept talking before Vanessa had a chance to say anything. “Let’s talk about you, Vanessa. Would you like to leave?”

Even though she sensed a trap, she nodded.

“Wonderful!” He clapped his hands together, the ringing sound echoing around the room. “Then perhaps we can help each other. I hope you don’t take offence to this, honey, but I’m not really that interested in tickling you.”

“Thanks…?”

“I want to know about your sister. If you’re willing to tell me what I want to do, you’ll be back before you know it.” He put down the feather and admired a fine-toothed comb. “All this is only here if you want to be uncooperative. I’ll try to make the most of it, enjoy it as best I can, but you understand, it’s a means to an end.”

Vanessa bit her lip. “What do you want to know about her?” Perhaps if it was nothing too incriminating she could answer a few questions…

“Shoe size, if she had been tickled before, where she is ticklish.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. “And some boring stuff about her passcodes, where she keeps the spare key to her apartment, her schedule this week, that sort of thing.”

“I can’t tell you that!” All those things ensured Alex would be where she was now, and she had to keep her sister away from this freak by any means possible.

“Well, I hope I can change your mind.” She could hear the smile in his voice as he picked up his first tool and began his work.

---

He would save her feet for last, he decided, if only to break the monotony. The first thing he did before beginning was tying a thick blindfold around her scared eyes. As enjoyable as it would be to see the fear in them, he was well aware of the effect that being cut off from sight had on one’s sensibility.

He hummed to himself as he scraped his stool across the floor of his basement and noisily transported his tray of tools over. From his own extensive experiences, the more he delayed, the more he put it off, the more he made her wait, the greater the effect would be. There was just something fundamentally impatient about the human mind—with no ‘stimulation’ besides the harsh squeak of the stool or the rattle of the tray, the brain would begin to imagine, to formulate its own situation. She would imagine, dread, tense anticipation seeping into her bones like a miasma. 

He watched her for a moment, smiled at the trembling of her lower lip and the way her body shivered before he had even laid a finger on her. He had scissors and could have started cutting around the t-shirt and yoga pants she had on, but he decided he would work around them, first. He would let her revel in her sense of protection and then yank it away from her. He reached out and flick one fingertip against her bicep—not even properly a scratch. But the slight contact was enough to make her mouth twitch and a little gasp slip from her lips.

“You seem sensitive, Vanessa. I do hope such ticklishness is genetic.”

She began to beg, sweet murmurings that only let him know he was on the right track. He began trailing his fingers along the backs of her arms as she shuddered and twisted to try to pull away. Then, he snuck his fingers under the thin fabric of her shirt, sneaking them into the warm hollows of her armpits. The two index fingers lay there, motionless, as Vanessa squirmed from side to side, almost tickling herself with her fidgeting.

“Are you going to try to hold it in? Brave, stupid girl…” His fingers began to wiggle ever so slightly—they weren’t scratching, just moving and prodding around her underarms gently, but that was enough to get her huffing and giggling.

“Sure you don’t want to tell me about your dear sister?” He waited a few moments for a response, continusing his gentle pawing, but when she made no attempt to talk, he decided he would stop being so nice. His fingers curled into talons, tunnelling and spiralling deep into the soft flesh of her armpits. She let loose a high-pitched squeal which transitioned adorably into a stream of bubbly laughter as his fingers wiggled and wiggled away. She was trying to desperately to rock her body from side to side, but every time she moved more to the right, she was just letting him go deeper with the finger in her left armpit, and vice versa.

“You’re laughing this much from two fingers,” he said, speaking a little louder than before to ensure she could hear him over the sound of her wild splutters of laughter, “how do you think you’re going to handle all of my fingers? Or my tools? And trust me, darlin’, I’ve got a bonafide arsenal over here.”

He pulled his fingers away to let her catch her breath—and linger in the ticklish sensations emanating from those exposed armpits of hers.

“I’ll never betray her,” she said finally, after several deep breaths.

“You’d be surprised how quickly the word never can change in this room.” He took out a pair of scissors. “Hold still. I wouldn’t want to cut you. That’s not what I’m into.” He heard her whimper in understanding, and he cut away at the sleeves of her shirt till her smooth, creamy armpits were fully exposed. Then, he picked out a feather and a toothbrush. “Tell me which one tickles more, Vanessa, dear. I’m doing a survey.”

With that, he put his tools to work in those bare underarms. The light, dancing, fluttering touches of the feather were in the right armpit, while the insistent, scratchy, bristly toothbrush took care of the left. Her reaction was pure ecstasy to him—a fresh splutter of laughter, more pleas to stop, and her body twisting and yanking in every direction to try to escape. There would be no escape, though. None of his playthings had ever been able to get out of his straps, and none of them ever would. He was the not the kind of person to make mistakes at such a critical junction.

“I’m waiting for an answer, sweetheart,” he said over her wild giggles of laughter. He slowed down his strokes to one at a time. A flick of the feather, a swipe of the brush, a flick of the feather, a swipe of the brush. Squeak, turn to the right, snort, turn to the left, squeak, snort, squeak, snort. Oh, he could have done it for days. He did it till he were certain it was the feather that drew a greater reaction from her, which was surprising, as it tended to be the other way round in terms of weapon efficiency.

“Let’s give this a try, then,” he said, picking up a second feather and putting down the toothbrush for now. She gurgled some incoherent objection as he put the two feathers to work. He dusted up and down the taut, stretched out armpits like some maid with a feather duster, working over every inch of armpit and tricep with a meticulous touch. Then, he spun the feathers around and applied the shafts to her delicate flesh there, scratching deep into her pliant, hairless flesh. He wielded them like pens, etching symbols, numbers, letters, words. It felt reckless to write his name, social security, and phone number into her ticklish underarms as he did, but it felt satisfying to indulge in something so heedless every now and then. “I’m not going to stop if you don’t talk to me,” he said, feathering even more furiously. “Come, come, no need to be so coy, my dear Vanessa.” He gave a low chuckle, barely audible compared to her spluttering howls of mirth. “Feathers or the toothbrush? Which one do you despise more? If you can’t decide, I’m not against spending twenty minutes refreshing your memory.”

“I hahahate the feteheheaters sohohoho muhuhuch!” she wailed, which was his cue to step up his feathery assault even more. 

He introduced a new weapon to his attacks, which proved to be disgustingly effective. While Vanessa’s mind was in tatters from her armpits being hit with feathers and brush, she felt her captor’s warm breath suddenly lean closely. His tongue slithered like some foul serpent into her armpit. It wiggled and slid across the warm, quivering flesh of her soft underarms, the novelty of the sensation making her gasp. It felt hot and alive, compared to the cold, ruthless efficiency of the toothbrush and feathers, and it was a… oh, Vanessa didn’t even want to think about it. It was a welcome change of pace. For a few tantalising moments, it almost felt like a revitalising massage before the ticklishness hit.

Like everything this diabolical mastermind seemed to do, it had more than one malevolent function. One was obvious—it tickled, and the contrasting sensastions of that probing tongue frazzled Vanessa’s fragile focus. It was just so different, so strange. Tongues reminded her of a lover’s kiss, not… whatever this was. The tongue left a wet trail as it went, which he would use as a natural lubricant, allowing the cruel touch of toothbrush and feather (he would use the shafts of the feather primarily henceforth, to avoid the feathery end getting damp and deforming) to skate across her ticklish flesh with ease. Whenever the tongue made a surprise appearance, it always made her gasp, switching all her nerves in a different direction—this would cause her next reaction to the feather or toothbrush’s reappearance to be even more destructively effective. He once spent a mini-eternity alternating licks and flicks of the feather to her left armpit, each swipe and lick making her nerves stand on-end.

After that, he granted her the briefest of breaks, but he knew it was not out of the kindness of his heart. She heard the scrape of his stool and felt him refocus his efforts on her midsection. It was not a comforting realisation. For all the supreme ticklishness of her armpits, she knew her stomach was far worse. In her high school days, she had liked wearing crop tops, and no shortage of mischievous friends had taken a great delight in poking her sides or teasing her belly with passing prods and scratches. She had a disconcerting feeling that her sensitivity had no abated, not one bit.

She felt her shirt being rolled up several inches, till it was just short of exposing her bra. The fact he would probably get to that later was one of those frantic thoughts that made her struggle all the more. Oh, Alex… hurry up, hurry up! She didn’t know how long she could stand this, how long she could hold out, especially when he kept whispering in that low, comforting voice of his that all she needed to do to save herself, save her ticklish armpits, tummy, and feet was tell him what he wanted to know. 

Until she did that, all she could sit there was wait as she felt goosebumps begin to appear on her exposed skin. He gave her quivering bare stomach a few long, slow licks, tracing wide spirals around her navel with his disgustingly slimy tongue.

She gnawed on her lower lip as a few giggles begin to slip silently beneath her breath, then spluttered again with laughter when his sharp fingers flew over all her tummy with rapid fire skitters. He could feel his saliva cooling her skin and aiding his fingers as they glided effortlessly across her tummy.

“Do you like my technique? I'm trying something new. Saw this method in a video the other day.” He sounded so earnest, so casual, as if she were his tennis partner and they were discussing groundstrokes. It made her want to laugh, till she remembered where she was, and that laughing was perhaps the last thing she wanted to do in this cold, cold confines of this chair. 

But choice was something being ripped from her again and again, here. He made her laugh, made her stomach spasm and twitch as if she were some exotic belly dancer. The feathers made their reappearance. They danced up and down her sides, fluttered along her ribcage, and twirled inside her navel, dusting and dusting every spot on her body.

He didn’t spend as much time with her stomach as he had with her armpits. Perhaps he was eager to move down to her feet? He didn’t strike with the same patient, methodical touch, and after the initial licking, his pawing seemed less effective, though she wondered if it was maybe just being she was getting all tickled out. Or had the heat of the moment just had worn off. This might be her chance to try to talk her way out of this.

“Why… why don’t you just lehehet me go? Let’s forget about all thihihis?”

He grunted and drew his fingers away from her torso, and for a brief, divine moment, Vanessa thought that her words had reached him.

“I hear you, I hear you… I think we both need a break.” There was a creak from the stool as he stood up. He whistled. “Wow, would you look at the time? It’s already been an hour! Don’t the minutes just fly away?”

It hadn’t for Vanessa, not one bit. She thought it had been at least three hours since her ordeal had begun.

“Anyway, you sit tight for a bit. I’m gonna have a quick pit stop. I’ll bring you back some nibbles on the way. Don’t go anywhere.” He laughed at his own joke and left, slamming the door shut behind him.

Alone with her thoughts, Vannesa’s first plot was that of escape. She struggled with a fresh vigour, straining and wiggling against the ropes, but she only succeeded in rubbing her skin raw.

There was naught that could be done but wait, alone with her thoughts, her memories of ticklishness, and the lingering guilt that all she needed to do to win her freedom was betray the person she loved most in the world.

---

Whistling, he relieved himself, ate some nibbles, checked his social media and came back to check on his guest. When he returned to sweet Vanessa, he decided it was time to stop fucking around and actually get to the meat of things. He needed all that delicious information on the lovely detective, and he was going to pull out all the stops to get it.

“I’m back, sweetie. Have you missed me?”

She made no reply but only struggled further, which made him chortle.

“Your fruitless attempts at escape are only wearing you out, my pretty little fool.” She huffed at these words, but there was no denying the layer of sheen on her brow or the perspiration that had formed under the armpits, along the collarbones, and her stomach. Being tickled was vigorous work, even if it didn’t first appear to be the kind of intensive cardiac exercise a doctor might recommend. He had never been tickled, not the way he was tickling his lovely guests anyway, but he never failed to note the dishevelled state of so many of his ladies during their sessions with him. Maybe one day tickling would have its moment in the sun where it would be reincarnated as an exercise fad. All that laughter probably was really good for the abs!

He pushed that amusing direction of thought aside as he reached for the scissors and begun cutting away Vanessa’s clothing. She yelped when she thoughtlessly moved and got herself pricked in the process. He sighed, finished cutting, and reached for the first aid kit he kept lying around to apply a plaster. He had no doubt what kind of person  he was—he would tickle the shit out of these girls, break them down into tears, and expose every inch of their bodies, but he was not out to hurt them, per se. That was one of the things he prided himself on, that these girls always went back to the streets when he was done, even though he knew it would perhaps be tidier and safer if he just disposed of them in a more permanent fashion. It helped soothe the guilt he felt sometimes when he reflected what kind of person he had become. But that wasn’t the right kind of thing to focus on when he had such a spirited specimen in front of him to experiment on.

He finished snipping away her shirt to reveal of pair of apple-sized breasts, with small dark nipples. He had seen better, but the shocked gasp as he pulled away her clothing to reveal them and the shy, scandalised expression on her face more than made up for it.

He circled the little nipples with a light touch, alternating before spidering along the areoles with a slow, gentle, lover-like touch, and itching more insistently on the undersides of those small breasts. Every touch made her squeak and wiggle, making them jiggle. She seemed shocked at her own sensitivity there, which was not surprising, as it was hardly a commonly tickled spot. Most people might know if their feet or navels were ticklish, but the nipples were less of a target. Their stiffening buds showed she was not immune to the sensuality of being teased there, either.

 Few people ever were. He always imagined that most of his targets thought of themselves too strong-willed, too self-disciplined, too mighty to have their minds broken down by something as trivial as tickling, but so often their own bodies betrayed them, not only with their sensitivity, but with their own mechanical reaction to stimulation. It was all carefully constructed to ensure this—the ropes, the blindfold, the tools, his technique, everything.

When he took his tongue to those mounds, she gasped and huffed, interspersed with ragged denials and pleas for mercy. He didn’t reply, for his mouth was far too busy to waste his energies with reminding her that she had the power to free herself any time she wished. When his fingers spidered over those ripe areas, she howled and squeal with an explosive burst of fresh laughter, once again proving his hypothesis that when it came to tickle torture, life, and everything, variety was the spice that gave life its tangy taste.

He took a pair of stiff, starched feathers from his tray of tools and began applying them to those, dark, longingly stiff buds. The touch of those soft bristles made her arch her back and moan, half-giggling as the feathers worked their magic on that sensitive spot. He felt much like a conductor, micromanaging his retinue of musicians with a meticulous ear. When her frantic laughter began to abate, and she began to sound a bit too happy for her current situation, he would direct one of the havoc-inducing feathers elsewhere—to dust about in her stomach, to dance into an armpit, or to flutter up and down a quivering bare side. When her laughter devolved into wails and he wished to hear the sound of her mixed moans, the delicious sounds of a trapped body in conflict with itself about what was being felt, he would refocus his attack on those breasts once more.

After his latest stroke left her damp chest heaving as ever more oohs and aahs were stripped from her lush lips, he put down the feathers. He pulled his stool over to her socked feet, and he again felt her whole body tense up, positively blooming with fear. Oh, what a precious sight, he thought, caressing the socked feet ever so lightly with just the very edges of his fingers.

“I’m going to gag you,” he declared, “because once I get started on your feet, I don’t care what you have to say. I’m tickling you till I’ve had my fill, and it’ll make the rest of this seem like a walk in the park, I promise ya.” He chuckled. “So, last chance, darling. You want to tell me all about your sweet sister?”

She began to sob, a pitiful sound, but he let her. He recognised that defeatist tone in her voice. She would talk. Then, he would tickle her anyway.

                                                                                                                             

 

Harry Potter TK: Rirebatons 1

O-O-O

“So this is the fabled tickling academy.”  Lavender Brown eyed the crumbling structures that once been the respected magical school, Rirebatons, shaking her head at the fallen towers, broken stone bridge, and statues overgrown with ivy. “Doesn’t look like much.”

“Well, neither do you,” Daphne Greengrass muttered. Daphne had thought that she, Pansy Parkinson and their best friend Millicent Bulstrode had been the first pioneers of the method of tickle torture for interrogation, but when they discovered a whole school had been dedicated to this system, she felt a strange kinship towards her ideological comrades and had to protect them; if she didn’t stick up for them, who would? The ruined fortress filled her with a strange melancholy. It must have been a beautiful place once, even if it were just ruins now.

“What was that?” Lavender sneered.

“You heard me. Can’t you feel the magic in the air?” As the sun shone and the wind wafted gently through Daphne’s long blonde hair, she could definitely feel a tingle on her bare skin, as if tiny feathers were brushing it over so slightly.

“Feel this?” Lavender’s arms struck out and made contact with Daphne’s ribs. The Gryffindor girl grabbed and scrabbled at them with no concern if she poking too hard. Daphne tried to slip free or even tickle back, but Lavender’s ferocity quickly overwhelmed her — her own extreme sensitivity was one of the reasons she made such a good tickler. She understood what it felt like to be tickled.

“That’s enough, Lavender,” came the dreamy voice of Luna Lovegood, Daphne’s unlikely saviour. “Be nice.”

“Why?” Lavender snarled. “She’s our hostage. She deserves to be tickled for all the friends of ours she’s tormented in her stocks back in Hogwarts.” Her hands were digging painfully in Daphne’s armpits, so the Slytherin girl’s face was a mixed mask of discomfort and giggly mirth.

“This here world has a habit of rightin’ scores,” said Nymphadora Tonks with the air of a veteran member of the Order of the Phoenix.  “What comes around comes around. Also, she laughs loudly. Best we not draw to more attention, eh?”

Lavender gave her fingers one last twist and stomped off. She stood with her arms crossed, glaring into the horizon.

“Are you okay?” Luna asked Daphne. She put a pale hand on Daphne’s shoulder. Somehow, Daphne couldn’t quite work out if the ditzy Ravenclaw girl were doing some ‘Good Auror, Bad Auror’ routine or if she genuinely cared. In either case, Daphne shrugged off the hand. She couldn’t forget why she was here. They were using her for her knowledge in the tickling arts, and that was it.  She had to escape as soon as she could. “We aren’t all bad people, you know,” Luna said, and for a moment Daphne feared she might be a Legilimens, but surely not. She couldn’t imagine a carefree klutz like Luna Lovegood being capable of such power… could she?

Daphne discarded those thoughts while they made their way through a thoroughly rusted gate that loudly creaked upon their arrival. The spells that kept the muggles away were still intact, but nothing could keep the rain away, nor the other eroding forces of nature.

C’est fantastique,” Fleur Delacour said as she stepped through the gate, with her wand out. “Looks like ze school still recognises magic, even after all zese years.”

The rest of them followed her, pointing at the shadows with their wands, except Daphne, of course, who had been disarmed during her capture. Daphne’s ears picked up a low murmuring in French as they walked past the gates into an overgrown courtyard full of weeds, brambles, and gigantic blooming flowers.

“What’s that mean, Fleur?” Tonks asked as she looked around for the source of the noise. It seemed to be coming from everywhere at once, an insistent whisper that grew louder and louder with each step.

“Please report to reception, students and…” Fleur frowned in confusion and brushed a lock of silvery-blonde hair out of her eyes. “Guardian?”

Tonks gave a throaty laugh. “Well, I’m certainly too old to pass myself as a seventh-year, eh? Even one who’s been held back a few years.” She shook her head, flapping her mane of wild auburn hair from side to side. “I think it’s best I stay back and guard the exit.”

“You shouldn’t be alone,” Luna said, “there might be Nargles or goodness know what else here. Not to mention Daphne’s friends.”

“I’m not sure about ze Nargles, but I agree,” Fleur said. “Stay with ‘er, Lavender.”

“Why me?”

“Because you’re the least important,” Daphne said, smiling smugly. The decision made perfect sense to Daphne; Fleur was essential because she knew French, Luna was more experienced, and Daphne herself, well, wasn’t reliable. It was a perfectly reasonable decision, but that spoilt brat took it like some personal affront, based on the way she was pouting.

Lavender shot Daphne a scathing look and for a moment, Daphne thought the other girl might lunge at her again, but Luna swiftly interposed between the pair. “Tonks needs someone to watch her back. We appreciate you doing this, Lavender.”

“Fine…” Lavender grumbled and followed Tonks as they stood by the gate, wands out and ready.

“Do you need to be like that?” Luna asked Daphne in a low voice as they trudged through the grass towards a pair of mossy great doors that must have been the entrance to the castle.

“She started it.”

“Actually, you did. When you put her in your stocks back in Hogwarts. I was there, too, remember?”

“Well… that was different! I was just doing my job! It wasn’t malicious!”

“Lavender probably feels that way, too, you know,” Luna said quietly, her gentle tone somehow making Daphne feel absurdly guilty.

They then wandered into a dusty reception room where an indestructible magic barrier prevented access to ‘foreigners’. Fleur had the tedious task of filling several forms to allow them to ‘apply’ as exchange students from Hogwarts to Rirebatons. Daphne hadn’t known Hogwarts had been around that long, but History had never been her strong suit. After Fleur pushed the forms through a slot, there was the sound of a lock opening, and the doors of the real Rirebatons Academy opened.  “Now it is time for ze sorting.”

Daphne had a tingly, tickly sort of feeling down the back of her neck that the sorting here would be a bit different that the Sorting Hat in Hogwarts…

O-O-O

“This sorting is bollocks. Absolute bollocks.”

Pansy Parkinson couldn’t blame Amanda Voss for the profanity. They had pushed past the initial wave of strange tickle defences this creaking, crumbling school had, yet it turned out all that had simply been a teaser, a warm-up, a preliminary to the real event.

“’The genuine challenge starts now’?” Voss was reading the words that floated above the door to their ‘sorting’, which had re-arranged from French to English once Rirebatons’s innate language conversion spell to assist exchange students had kicked in after entering the school ‘officially’. “What the ‘ell was the rest o’ that, then?”

Pansy could understand Voss’s discomfort. Being a Snatcher who had dropped out of school, she wasn’t exactly in her element at a school designed to train girls in the womanly arts of being demure, speaking properly, and apparently, tickling.

“While I don’t like myself agreeing with that one,” Victoria Lestrange said, with an indignant sniff, shaking her long, midnight-black hair. “I’m inclined to say she may be right. And needing us to dress in these rags? Talk about adding insults to injury.” The school had also required them to change into the school uniform, and several robes (only slightly moth-eaten) had Apparated in front of them.

The uniforms were blue short-sleeved robes that cut off at the knee and the elbow and brown gladiator sandals that went up to the knee. Pansy couldn’t say she found them especially fashionable, but considering how much Madam Malkin had charged for school uniform, Pansy thought rather highly of an education system that was kind enough to provide uniforms free to all students.

“You should really take those stockings off,” Milly Bulstrode suggested, after Victoria tried to walk through the door only to find the sign flashing its warning that all students must be correctly garbed during the sorting and reluctantly began to change.

Victoria glanced down at her luxurious silk stockings, which Pansy recognised as being from an expensive brand she had seen advertised in Knockturn Alley—she had always wanted a pair of them, but it had been far out of her price range.

“Why?” Victoria demanded.

“They make you more ticklish,” Milly said, with the air of an expert’s judgment. Indeed, Milly and Pansy had been the first ones to determine how useful a tool tickling could be. But Victoria Lestrange wasn’t the kind of person to take good advice.

“I can handle it,” Victoria said stubbornly, lacing up the school-regulation sandals under her dark stockings. 

A few minutes later, the girls took turns to step through the door to be sorted, but when Pansy walked through the door way, a brief light engulfed her, and she felt herself be tugged into another room, feeling the telltale lurching feeling of Apparition in play.

Pansy shakily got to her feet in a new room and found herself greeted by a ghostly feminine voice. “Welcome to the trial of elocution, new student. One is judged not only by the words one says, but how one says them. Thus, a true lady must keep her composure at all times, and strive to always speak in a way that reflects her good upbringing and education. This trial will test those skills.”

In the room was a desk, which Pansy sat on. When she placed her feet flat on the floor, she felt the curious sensation of stepping into water, or perhaps quicksand. When she glanced under the table to take a look, she saw that the sandal-clad feet had been seemingly submerged into the stone floor, all the way up to the ankles. To indicate the tickling was about to begin, the bottoms of her sandals had also apparently disappeared, as Pansy couldn’t feel them at all. She couldn’t feel much of her slender pale feet, in fact, as if they had fallen asleep. They weren’t exactly numb, but she found she couldn’t move them, either.

Sentences began floating in front of her eyes—mundane sentences, recipes, descriptions of plants, historical events, and even some poetry. Pansy recognised some of it, but couldn’t help but miss Daphne. Her friend had always been much more interested in this sort of thing than her, and she had even been able to stay awake in Professor Binns’s lessons some of the time, which was no small feat.

Even with her thoughts distracted, Pansy had been able to handle the initial wave of teasing tickles to her feet. She was no stranger to such business, after all. Pansy, Milly, and Daphne had drawn straws when it came to ‘experimentations’, and although Daphne was the most sensitive of the three, Pansy knew where her spots were, and so far, it was nothing she couldn’t handle.

Presently, she felt what was likely a pair of scratchy quills working on her soles—one for each foot.

They would start low at the heel, wander up Pansy’s high arches, circle the pink balls of the foot, dart across the ridge of the toes and then go back down. It was a very slow and methodical way of going about it, very meticulous, though Pansy personally held a different philosophy of tickle torture. Surprises were the name of the game, and some rigid and inflexible just led to predictability. Pansy’s voice trembled at times, rather wishing she could curl down her emerald green-painted toes when the feathers approach the little ridge near them, but there was nothing that could be done about it but focus on the words in front of her.

Then, it turned out Trial of Elocution did have a surprise for her, as one of the quills Transfigured into something Pansy had never felt before. Something warm, wet, and long slid down Pansy’s arch, making her gasp. It was a different kind of tease, something that battered at her composure because it felt, well, almost nice. As the tongue treated her right foot to tender licks, Pansy felt her concentration wavering, the sentences blurring from the new sensations emanating from her licked foot. Pansy would have curled her toes if she could and not just in ticklishness. The gentle kisses and nips felt almost like that of a lover, and Pansy had never known tickling like this before.

Pansy jiggled her legs, her body twisting and turning though her foot continued to be immovable and unresponsive. They still felt everything though, without a doubt. It was unmistakably a mouth, not just a tongue, and Pansy knew because of the sharp little nibbles and bites that were being delivered to her helpless foot.

“A true lady must always speak clearly,” the voice chastised, forcing Pansy to repeat the sentence because of the little titter that had slipped out. It also didn’t help either that the sentences were getting harder, longer, with more tricky words in them. She clenched her fists and stared intensely at the words at they came up in front of her, but steady giggles were starting to creep past her resistance.

The other quill didn’t give Pansy any respite either. It had settled itself around Pansy’s plump toes precisely scratching along those sensitive ridges under them or drawing incomprehensible symbols on the toes themselves. Occasionally, it would even plunge through the gaps between the toes, treating the undersides to a thorough feathering as the fluffy plumage snaked its way through the immobile digits. This always made Pansy jump

“A true lady must speak with the appropriate intonation,” the voice chided when the mouth suddenly took Pansy’s little toe in and suckled it gently, the tongue swirling over the pad of the toe. The novelty of the sensation had forced a mixed moan from Pansy that she hadn’t quite been able to muffle.

When the other quill was replaced by another hungry mouth, all pretence of fulfilling the trial went away. Overwhelmed by the sensation of having both her big toes sucked, Pansy let loose a shuddering groan, only for her cry of ecstasy to turn into a roar of laughter as the teeth nibbled at the pads of her toes. She pounded the wooden desk with her fists and squeaked, squealed, gasped, and moaned. Her lungs found fresh energy for laughter when the tongues migrated to her high arches, leaving the toes for the predatory quills which had returned to weave all around them. All the while, the sentences floated in front of Pansy as if mockery, waiting for her to speak with an elocution that wouldn’t be possible with her feet under such pressure.

Pansy made a few more attempts at the sentences, but she soon found she didn’t mind being in the lower percentile. She might as well enjoy what was happening while it lasted… she would have to ask Draco to try this when she returned to Hogwarts…

O-O-O

Victoria Lestrange had not imagined that something as simplistic as a pronunciation challenge would present much difficulty. She was a Lestrange after all, pure-blooded from the highest Wizarding stock, and a brilliant witch with multiple years in the top school in Europe. Yet two minutes into the Trial of Elocution, she was having second thoughts.

As her trapped nylon-clad feet were subjected to all manner of ghastly utensils, there was nothing she could but sit at the desk where the trial was taking place like a good girl and continue to recite her lines.

She gnashed her teeth and pounded her fists while what felt like a pair of makeup brushes dusting away at her feet. Victoria was no stranger to such brushes, though not in the weird way that Parkinson or Bulstrode might be—Victoria used it properly for its intended purpose! But Victoria would never have imagined that the brushes she used every day for applying blush or powder could have such a devastating effect on the smooth surface of her soles, which were accentuated by the softer, pliant fabric of her expensive stockings. Oh, why hadn't she listened? Why had she kept those blasted things on? The answer was fashion, of course, and Victoria knew she would choose fashion over inconsiderate concerns like practically over it any day of the week. After all, what was good about victory if you didn't look marvelous while doing so?

Her feet responsive yet unresponsive, paralysed in place yet every nerve receptor still working in full capacity (and then time), there was nothing Victoria could do but scream in frustration as makeup brushes (probably chosen intentionally to mess with her, the most fashionable of the group by far, she bet) continued to have their with her helpless, immaculate soles.

Victoria felt some very bad words forming on her tongue and plenty of them came bursting out when the two makeup brushes made their way to her black-painted toes.

“A proper lady must mind her language and never speak obscenities,” the nagging feminine voice echoed in her ears, sounding more insistent than usual. And it become apparent why, as the makeup brushes directed their ‘pampering’ efforts on her big toes and migrating to the little one and back again, taking their time to work from toe to toe, one at a time, spending eons in the gaps in between as well, the impossibly soft, feathery strands of that blinking brush touching the sensitive flesh everywhere with big sweeping motions.

Some more profanity later, Victoria shot up like someone had stabbed a fork in her back, as two more eager brushes took to swirling up and down her high, buttery arches. Her arches might have been even more ticklish than her long toes, something she would have vehemently insisted was impossible several minutes ago, as nothing could possibly tickle more. Howling and squealing, she was shaking her head so much that her carefully sculpted hair was being ruined, with even more cuss words erupting from her.

“A proper lady must reflect her schooling and never speak such base profanities.” The voice sounded smug, Victoria was sure. How much longer would this ghastly trial last?

She tried to focus on the words that came floating up in front of her, but her eyes were bleary, and she hated to admit, but damn, it tickled so much. 

O-O-O

If you told Millicent Bulstrode that her entry into a prestigious school hinged on a physical aptitude test, she would have said her chances were good—much better than they would have been in a normal series of events. She had always been strong and tall for a girl. Some people mocked her for being stout, and some even used the f-word, but they soon changed their tone after Milly put them into a headlock. She had suffered vicious teasing even at him with her older sister, Margaret, but that had soon changed once Milly towered over her, too. She had never shown much prowess in the precise niceties of magic, all that memorising and technical knowledge being quite confusing, but she had gotten tickle magic quite quickly, probably because of the physical component, and once she had, no one dared cross her. Her sister certainly hadn’t, after Milly invited her good pals Daphne and Pansy to a sleepover at the Bulstrode household.

The Trial of Agility was a Quidditch broom race, and although Milly had never tried out for the Slytherin team, it was more because of her lack of interest in such vainglorious activities than because of her lack of aptitude. Oh, and the practises were such a bore, as she remembered Draco once talking about in the Slytherin Common Room with Pansy in his lap.

An interesting bit of flavour to this challenge was her competition—scowling opposite her on a broomstick was none other than that brown-haired slattern, Lavender Brown. If it weren’t for the fact magic didn’t work here, she would have hexed the haughty Gryffindor at first glance, but Milly had tried that, and had been chastised by that annoying French voice moments later, and likely the same thing would happening if she actually physically went over and tried to give Brown the throttling she so deserved. So thrashing the arrogant Gryffindor girl in the contest would have to suffice for now.

She climbed onto the broom, threw some trash-talk Brown’s way, and waited for the race to begin.

As soon as they set off, Milly began to realise there was something rather special about these brooms. She hadn’t made much attention to them when she had gotten onto them. She wasn’t really knowledgeable in the ins and outs of broomsticks beyond the big brand names to make keen judgments. She had just known that the broomstick looked a bit old, had a pair of stirrups to sit your feet in, and the varnished wood was a dark brown. Her first few moments of flying had been unremarkable too, with the only notable thing was that the broomstick didn’t quite accelerate as quickly as her broomstick at home, but that was unsurprising with the new charms and aerodynamic design that must have been put into more recent models.

But within a few seconds of flying, she realised there was something amiss when what felt like the stiff end of a quill stroking across the side of her right foot. She glanced down and saw that the stirrups had turned into clamps which held her ankles trapped in place on the broomstick, and the bristles from the back of the broom had morphed a pair of thin bundles which turned forward to tease at her feet, which were only protected by the school regulation sandals. The thin bundles could cluster together to dust over her spots in such a way that reminded her of a basting brush, which Milly had once discovered was an exceptionally devilish tickling tool with Pansy playing the eager volunteer (it worked maddeningly on the tips of her toes). These bundles flittered along the insteps, the tops of the feet which were unprotected due to some seriously shoddy sandal design and the sides of the feet. For the soles, thinner, slender bristles slipped in the gap between shoe and foot to wreak havoc within, sliding and brushing all over the arch and heel.

Milly fidgeted and reached down at her ankles so much that she realised she was veering off in the wrong direction and was miles behind her competition. Gritting her teeth, she forced the tinkling tickles from her mind and corrected her path and jetted off. Lavender Brown wasn’t riding with very good form—she shook and quivered on her broom, based on the spluttering giggles that came from her mouth. Her ruby-red nail polish glinted in the sunlight as Milly caught up with her superior technique. The two of them were almost neck and neck, and they were only inches apart on their rocketing broomsticks  in their respective lanes. Milly would very much have liked to throw out some witty comment or one-liner, but she straining too hard not to laugh, half-muffled chortles clogging up her windpipe like a persistent cough that just wouldn’t go away. From Lavender’s flushed face, she must have been experiencing a similar sensation, but she seemed to concentrate harder as the finish line appeared in the distance.

It was then Milly came up with a cunning idea to ensure her victory. She stretched her hand out like a Seeker making a daring catch, and tunnelled her fingers into Lavender’s armpit. The brown-haired girl squealed and twisted away, the instinctive move decelerating her broom just enough to give Milly the lead.

Milly burst into laughter as she streaked past the finish line. It wasn’t just the reflexive laugh of the sensitive, but the triumphant laugh of roar of victory on her own terms, victory with her own ingenuity!

O-O-O

The Trial of Endurance, well, this was sure to be an interesting experience, Luna Lovegood thought, unlacing her shoes, slipping off her socks, and sliding her bare feet through the holes in the wall. The wall tightened around her ankles, but it wasn’t uncomfortable, fortunately. It felt soft, a bit like having your legs trapped around cushions. It really was a school that put the welfare of its students first, Luna realised.

While she sat upright in a plush and padded chair, the wall directly in front of her had a pair of dials—one over each foot. It was pure conjecture, but Luna’s shrewd Ravenclaw mind extrapolated that the dials would move in response to the tickling. Once they went from one side to the other, it probably meant she had reached her maximum tickling endurance, and her trial had ended. At least that was all she could hypothesise. Luna found herself more thrilled at the concept of her limits being nudged than daunted. After all, what was tickling but chuckles and giggles? She jiggled her legs and wiggled her feet beyond the wall in anticipation. She started to realise her pale petite feet felt rather warm, as if they were placed in close proximity to a flame. Was there some incendiary charm in place nearby? An old-fashioned lit brazier?

In any case, it certainly wasn’t hot enough to burn, but it was more than enough to set Luna’s soft soles to tingling with warmth and start to work up a sweat. Luna realised with a start that this would only accentuated the sensations, with her perspiring, blushing soles provided its own natural lubricant. It was clever, very clever. Oh, this was so exciting! When would it start?

Soon enough, it turned out. After a few minutes longer of the heat getting her feet nice and toasty, Luna heard a rumble from the other side of the wall. It seemed she was about to have company. She waved with her feet at the newcomer, unable to stifle the giggles that were already coming to her mouth.

She snickered as she felt a pair of curious hands stroke and examine her feet, as if doubting their veracity. Luna snorted as the fingers brushed from spot to spot like a cheeky massage.

A distorted voice could be heard from the wall, but she wasn’t able to ascertain what was being said: either a bit of playful trash-talking or compliments on the beauty of her feet, perhaps? Ever since she had discovered her fondness for being on this side of the feather, as it were, she had taken care to keep her tootsies in tip-top shape. She had no doubt that her tiny feet, with their pale, pinky complexion and bubbly toes painted in bold Ravenclaw colours of silver and blue would be quite enticing targets (silver on the right foot and blue on the left, just to be tastefully asymmetrical). And that was just the way she wanted it.

Luna had been hoping for bare fingers skittering across her slick soles, which was why the feeling of soft bristles made her burst out a quick squeak of laughter. The warmth of the flames definitely had a heightening effect on her sensitivity, combined with the fact she couldn’t see what was happening. 

The brush, or whatever it was, continued its merry dance across the left foot, leaving the right foot a tickle virgin for now. A strong hand held the flexing foot firmly in place to enable the brush to leisurely explore everywhere and anywhere. It slowly slid across the top of the sole, along the instep, which was such an unfrequented tickle spot that Luna had almost forgotten how ticklish she was there. Then it went for quick staccato swipes across the arches, where Luna had always been astutely aware of how powerfully sensitive a spot that was. Oh, the person behind this wall was good, very good, Luna thought with glee, as the bristles slowed to crawl across her helpless foot with a maddening slowness, now slithering under her toes.

As the soft brush took to exploring every one of her prettily painted toes, the firm hand ensuring her feet wouldn’t be wiggling free, Luna noticed through bleary eyes that the dial in front of the left foot was almost at the midway mark, while the dial in front of the right foot remained at its lowest level. This piqued Luna’s Ravenclaw curiosity enough to almost block out the toe tickling for a while, at least until the spot under her the pad of her little toe was discovered.

She could hear the girl on the other side of the same wall say something. Probably something along the lines of how she hoped the right foot was as ticklish as the left. It soon became abundantly clear that it was, as the brush made a prompt introduction to that foot too. The skilful brush-wielder used the same strategy of holding Luna’s sensitive foot in place while she worked, and she was thorough to plumb all the spots. She took particular care in returning to the same spots she had teased so thoroughly on the left foot, just to see if the right foot was equally ticklish on those identical locations. (This was the case almost all the time). Whooping and squealing with laughter, Luna’s eyes glimpsed the dial on her right foot slowly rising up to the same spot as the one on her left foot—about halfway. Oh, no, so she was almost half done… but it was hard to feel too disappoint when the girl’s took turns scrubbing one foot thoroughly then the other, constantly mixing things up so Luna could never quite get used to what was happening, squeaking in surprise every time the foot under ticklish duress was changed.

Oh, boy, this was fun.  

O-O-O

Privately, Fleur Delacour had never quite understood what all the hullabaloo was about tickling. Sure, she knew it tickled a little when she got a pedicure, and she had gotten into her fair share of tickle fights with her little sister, Gabrielle, but how viable was it a weapon? I mean, it would hardly work on He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, would it? But she supposed that any kind of protection against the dark arts would be useful.

With that in mind, Fleur wasn’t sure what she expected during the Trial of Skill.

She walked through a torch-lit corridor, the faint, muffled sound of laughter in the distance doing little to quiet her nerves. Her school-regulation sandals slapped against the stone floor till she found a stool waiting for her, and a pair of feet sticking out of the wall.

There were a set of what looked a little like light bulbs perched over each foot, and the calm, reassuring French voice explained that the Trial was to extract enough laughter from those trapped feet as possible in twenty minutes, with the lights being a reflection of one’s ability. 

Well, that was simple enough. A tray slid out from the wall, and Fleur got to work. The pair of feet were, in a word: uncouth. Fleur’s own feet were shapely, slender, and soft, with elegant-long toes and the natural pale pink base and bright white tips which many of French descent had. These feet were tanned and slightly callused, with roughly-cut toes. There was a slight sweaty, overripe cheese scene emanating from them too, which suggested this girl was not exactly the type to wash her feet in rosewater. 

The girl was either the sporty type, or more likely, the kind who didn’t care much about her feet. Who was she? Fleur had noticed the other girl’s feet when they were all changing into their sandals, and it certainly wasn’t one of them. Fleur felt a bit better knowing she wouldn’t be tickle torturing one of her friends.

After an experimental scratch down the feet were both fingers barely garnered any kind of reaction, from the feet or from the lights, an idea popped in Fleur’s head. If tough girl’s feet were too tough to feel the tickling, then perhaps a pedicure was in order… Fleur always giggled like crazy during her monthly pedicures, biting her lower lip and giggling like crazy under her breath.

Rummaging around in the tray, Fleur was happy to find that a pumice stone, a foot brush, and several bottles of oil that would be perfect for what she had in mind.

Fleur began with the lotion, squirting liberal amounts of oil all over the soles. Then, the foot brush came into play and waged a furious war with the calluses on the flapping pair of bronzed feet. The girl beyond the wall started to laugh and struggle, just as Fleur hoped she would. She scrubbed away and brushed those rough feet up and down the arches and underneath the flailing toes like no tomorrow.

A fresh squirt of oil later, Fleur reached for the pumice stone, and began rubbing it around the yellowish ball of the right feet. Already, the foot felt softer and smoother to the touch. The girl behind the wall clearly was not a fan of the pumice stone, as the foot writhed and kicked in Fleur’s grasp. The light above the foot glowed with approval as Fleur went down to the arches, relentless pumicing away. The fact that the girl’s feet would be much softer and more sensitive for the remainder of her time in Rirebatons brought a smile to her face, especially as Fleur had a sneaking suspicion this girl was one of the Dark Lord’s followers.

“I ‘ope you are enjoying your pedicure…” Fleur said, reaching for the other foot. 

O-O-O

There was no mistaking the pair of feet that awaited Milly Bulstrode in her trial of skill. After all, she had tickled this pair of pale, smallish feet with the birthmark under the arch dozens and dozens of times.

“Oh, Daphne,” she said, and gave the feet sticking out of the wall a little rub. “Wish we could be meeting under better circumstances, but here we are. I hope you’re okay. We miss you. They aren’t mistreating you, are they?” Daphne’s velvety-soft, immaculate feet did not make any response, except for some wiggling in response to the gentle fondling. It seemed her friend could not hear her.

Milly sighed. Well, what to do now? She gave her best friend’s big toe a little pinch and wiggle, and she was able to make out a little muffled squeak from beyond the wall. She knew Daphne Greengrass’s alabaster feet like the back of her hand, and she could have tickled them silly with her eyes closed. After all, the art of tickle torture was very much about information—what was the most effective tool you could use? Where was your lee’s worst spot? Blindfold? Verbal teasing? Milly wanted to win, wanted to demonstrate her prowess in front of all these others, but at the same time, she was not about to put her dear friend through unnecessary torment. That bitch Lavender Brown was probably doling it out and then some.

So Milly decided she would win, but in a way that wasn’t going to be too traumatic for poor old Daphne. She took her index finger and traced it down Daphne’s arch, the right foot, then the left, then the right again. A few times was all it took to get the feet wiggling and giggles to come floating through the wall. The lights above the feet started to glow. Now that her feet were warmed up, Milly cracked her knuckles and went to work.

--

There was no mistaking that whoever or whatever was tickling her terribly sensitive feet, they were very good at it. They knew all the spots. Daphne knew her tender feet had no particular shortage of sweet spots, but it was still a surprise when her unknown tormentor made a beeline to the tops of her feet, and slid and skittered long fingernails all over the flesh there.

The insteps weren’t a commonly targeted location, and Daphne had hoped her (marginally less) arches would be enough to hold her tickler’s attention, but nope, whoever was on the other side of the wall had to be a mind-reader or something like that.  Long nails spidered along the ankles and sides, and Daphne’s splayed and flexed her feet in a desperate attempt to get her feet away. The best she could manage was pointing her toes forward, but that proved ineffective as it was almost like she was holding her feet still on purpose for an easy stroke from top of the ankle all the way to her toenails.

She almost jumped out of her seat when she felt a feather began to brush ever so gently along the sides of her feet. An uplifting realisation gripped her as her shrewd mind calculated the odds of someone else knowing that was her favourite way to be tickled. She shivered at the feather’s kisses, now dancing along the insteps, the light bristles setting her toes to curling and opening in rapid succession. The tickling suddenly stopped to give her a quick foot rub. It was then, she knew for a certainty this had to be one of her friends.

After a few seconds of bliss, Daphne jolted and squealed as she felt the nails scratch the tops of her feet, but after a moment, she realised it was the same symbol being repeated, over and over again. It was a letter M. Milly. She smiled and laughed. Nothing was better than being tickled by your friends.

O-O-O

Well, this was a bit of an odd ending to one’s exams, Fleur thought. It was customary in Beauxbatons during the end of examination season to bring out some fine French sherry spiced with just a drop or two of Firewhisky, but it seemed things were done a bit differently in Rirebatons. She had been transported to what apopeared to be a beach within the castle, as the large expanse certainly hadn’t been visible during their preliminary reconnaissance of the area. It didn’t make a lot of sense, but it was common knowledge that magic always found a way. Wherever she was, it was definitely a beautiful scenic locale—the sun was high and blazing in the sky, with a faint salty breeze rustling through her long hair.

The only thing which prevented him from enjoying her situation a bit more was the fact she seemed to be buried in the sand, with only her neck and bare feet sticking out. She looked and her bare feet and gulped. Having endured trial of endurance, where some dastardly witch did unspeakable things with a hairbrush to her soles (her feet still tingled at the thought) she had a good inkling of what awaited her. She seemed to be alone on this pictueque beach, but she had a feeling that would soon change.

The familiar voice which had accompanied her throughout her trials spoke again, but this time, the voice had a distinctively displeased tone. “New student, your performance has been below our standards, as you have no displeased the required elegance, aggression, and skill required of all those who attend her. We hope you reflect upon your shortcomings and strive to improve yourself in the future.”

“B-but why?” spluttered Fleur. “I did not do zat badly, did I?” Her trial of skill had gone well, at least—she had definitely got the girl with the unsophisticated feet laughing quite a lot by the end of it. She had stuttered a bit during the trial of elocution, yes, and her trial of motor skills had been a disaster, and her trial of endurance had reduced her to tears, but still!

The only reply Fleur received was the sound of light scuttling in the sand caught their attention. What looked like a pair crabs were scurrying their way towards her. When they drew near, making a beeline to her exposed, bare soles, Fleur’s long toes immediately curled down in fright at what ticklish fate awaited her. One crab was silver, glinting in the sunlight. Each of its legs and claws had little silver wheels with sharp, pin-like points. The other one was brown, with legs and claws with serrated teeth that reminded her of combs.

Fleur remembered one time when she was younger, perhaps thirteen or fourteen, she had gone on a beach holiday with her family to Urville-Nacqueville in Normandy. Fleur had been at that age where she was starting to realise how much attention boys were paying to her, and she had strutted on the beach with such confidence in her new swimsuit. The sun had felt so nice on her skin, much as it did now.

Gabrielle had pestered and pleaded to play buried in the sand with her, and after putting it off for a few days, loving sister that she was, Fleur finally relented. Of course, the little trickster had neglected to bury her ankles. She had shown her sister a pair of seagull feathers she had found on the beach and began helping herself to Fleur’s very ticklish feet.

The first brush of the feather sent young Fleur giggling, and when Gabriella whisked the wispy all around and between her toes she let loose several high-pitched squeaks. Fleur tried to clench her toes shut to protect the undersides, but her sister would just wave her feathers along her wrinkled soles until she got too tired to keep them tense. Then the feathers would dance all over the toes again.

Before long, her parents come over to investigation the cacophony, but to Fleur’s embarrassment, they joined in instead of stopping her! She still remembered the flush as several of the cute boys who had smiled at her came along to watch and chuckled behind their hands. Sure, Gabrielle had gotten her comeuppance the next morning, when
Fleur had tied her up with blankets while she was still sleeping and they had played a new game involving a lot of laughter and a hairbrush, but still. Would this be worse?

Fleur squealed as the crabs made first contact with her soles with all their innate quarter-Veela-sensitivity, jarring her from her reminiscence. 

She glared down at her bare feet. Like every part of her body, they were perfectly in proportion, and she had the same natural French tips which came to many of those of French descent.. The sight of the two peculiar crab-like creatures scrabbling over them prevented her from appreciating their inherent aesthetic appeal, however. The Witches of Rirebatons must have shown some aptitude in Transfiguration, as the crabs were apparently based on pinwheels and combs, which were both tickling tools Daphne Greengrass had demonstrated the effectiveness on (they had drawn straws to see who would be the ‘test subject’, and Lavender Brown and her pampered pink soles had experienced firsthand how devilish such tools could be).

It was hard to say which foot bore the worse brunt of the tickling. Most tickling was easy to understand, to an extent—it was either of the itchy, scratchy variety or the tingly, fluffy variety. Feathers and toothbrushes were the two sides of the spectrum Fleur understood it. The combs were easy enough to comprehend, though of course, that did not mean they were any more bearable. The crab was equipped with very fine-toothed combs for claws, and it was an expert at scritching and weaving them all over the place, particularly under and between Fleur’s flailing digits, where the French Witch had quickly discovered she really did not like them being anywhere near. The claws were not that much bigger than toothpicks, yet that only seemed to make them more effective, as it allowed them to easily scamper under and between toes. Fleur kicked and flexed her feet as much as she could in her sandy confines, but every time she successfully nudged the crab away, it only brought her half a second of respite before it tirelessly went straight back to its task of tormenting her slender toes with aplomb. It was focusing its efforts especially on the base of the littlest toe of Fleur’s left foot at the moment, which was proving to be a special kind of agony.

The right foot experienced the strange touch of the sharp metal wheels. It was here that the clear dichotomy between scratchy and tingly began to grow a bit blurry. The second crab’s claws had little wheels which rolled easily up and down sensitive flesh, stimulating all of it with prickly sharp touches. The pins of the wheels ran along her arches, but they could hardly be said to be scratching. It was more like the sensation you got when someone ran a finger down your back, only magnetising a thousand-fold with pointy prongs that drew screaming attention to every nerve as they wandered past. For all her vaunted intelligence, Fleur couldn’t actually work out how it tickled so terribly when the pinwheels glided down her high arch or the pads of her toes. Fleur had to keep her right foot tightly curled too, because reflexive swiping of her foot was a much more risky proposition with the uncomfortably pricks of those pinwheels, though they did not quite seem sharp enough to pierce the flesh, they were still no fun to be hitting with bare soles.

All in all, it was too much, far too much. And there seemed to be nothing poor Fleur could do to abate the sensations, either. All she could do was was laugh there, trapped with the thoughts of her failure during the trials. Reflection was perhaps the cruellest thing, and it showed that Rirebatons had their own unique approach to learning…

---

“I can’t believe they bloody painted my toes pink,” Voss moaned as she and the other winners—Pansy, and Milly sat on chairs to ‘reflect’ upon what a good job they had done. She cringed a bit as a pumice stone worked on the bottom of her foot. A pair of disembodied hands were working on each girl, either massaging  or wielding a variety of foot pampering implements.

“Don’t complain,” Pansy said. “After all, you’ve no idea how others might have it…”

O-O-O


Harry Potter TK: Rirebatons 1
Imagine how flattered I was when :iconnecromansara: wanted to commission me to continue my HP series from so long ago!


To make a long story short, it's various HP people in a magic school of tickling.
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oneortheother
Otto
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
I do a bit of writing.
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Do you prefer upperbody or lowerbody (feet) tickling? 

70%
92 deviants said Lowerbody
30%
40 deviants said Upperbody

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:iconcodeman52490us:
codeman52490us Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016
Happy birthday!
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:icononeortheother:
oneortheother Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :)
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:iconcodeman52490us:
codeman52490us Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017
No problem.
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:icontdonkey:
TDonkey Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016  Student Writer
Happy Birthday man, love your stories ^^
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:icononeortheother:
oneortheother Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Glad you enjoy them!
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:iconsunking88:
Sunking88 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016
Happy Birthday
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:icononeortheother:
oneortheother Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, man!
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:iconsunking88:
Sunking88 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017
:)
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:iconfootlover2011:
footlover2011 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016
Happy birthday 
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:icononeortheother:
oneortheother Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks!
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