View Full Version : Still So Ticklish: Mallory's Annual (Nightmare) Physical

04-25-2015, 06:01 PM
As she opened the passenger door and stepped out of her mother抯 air conditioned car, she could almost feel the heat of the steamy asphalt of the parking lot through her Adidas sneakers. As they walked toward the doctor抯 office on this humid, June day, Mallory had the urge to kick off her shoes then and there and walk barefoot梩hough she opted not to, knowing her mother would be appalled at her lack of sophistication. She had the same thought again that she抎 had many times already since she抎 bought the shoes a few months earlier and started wearing them without socks: I抦 not sure if looking cool in these is worth the cost of the discomfort. She loved the way the white, low-cut, stylish shoes showed off her ankles when she wore them without socks, but she hated how sweaty her feet got inside them and how the inside material just didn抰 feel hospitable to bare feet. But she was eighteen, and therefore style won out.

She wore jean shorts and a white tanktop and as she strode into the building, she drew glances from men and women alike, much to her mother抯 chagrin. Her mother almost said something, but then decided she didn抰 want to acknowledge out loud that the torch had been passed and her daughter was now the undeniable young beauty that she once was. Mallory was slim, tall𧇗敆with light brown, straight hair to her shoulders, and brown eyes. Her long legs seemed to attract the most glances of all梩hough it may have been those slick white sneakers on her size nine feet.

It was the summer before starting college and Mallory was going for her annual physical. She hated going to the doctor梖or many reasons梐nd was annoyed that her mom still insisted on coming in with her, even though she was now officially an adult. As they sat in the waiting room, Mallory fidgeted nervously, placing the toe of one shoe on the heel of another and pushing, so that her heel almost slid out of the sneaker and then slid back in. Her feet were so hot and she wished she was wearing shoes she could slip off.

Her name was called and the two of them stepped inside to the office, where a nurse took Mally抯 blood pressure and measured her height and weight. A few minutes later, Dr. Larimer entered the room. Mallory had been seeing her for years, and Dr. Larimer was amazed and excited to learn that time had flown by so fast that Mallory was now heading off to college. The doctor was in her mid-forties, with wavy brown hair to her shoulders, standing 57, wearing black slacks, black flats, and a blue and white striped blouse.

After some chit chat with Mallory and her mom, followed by some questions about her general health and habits, Dr. Larimer said she was ready to begin the physical exam, and asked Mallory to get undressed. The doctor stepped out of the room momentarily to give her privacy to do so, though her mother remained with her.

It felt great to kick her shoes off, as Mallory repeated the action she抎 done in the waiting room except this time carried it out, sliding her hot, soft feet out of each shoe. She wiggled her naked, unpainted toes to help cool them down and to enjoy how free they felt. Mallory抯 toes were relatively long, her second toe reaching just shy of her big toe, which was big, and beautiful. In fact, all of her toes were quite beautiful.

Mallory took off her shorts and tank top, self-consciously sitting on the table in her bra and underwear, waiting for the doctor to return, hoping her mother wouldn抰 comment on her appearance. There was a quick knock at the door, and the doctor stepped back into the room.

After some quick checks of the eyes, nose, ears and mouth, the doctor said, 揑抦 going to listen to your breathing now, and placed her stethoscope on Mallory抯 back first. Mallory tensed up. This was one of the parts she disliked. The stethoscope was always so cold, and the way the doctor slid it from spot to spot always tickled. The cold metal sliding around on her back wasn抰 too bad, but it gave Mallory chills. But when Dr. Larimer placed the stethoscope just below her breasts, Mallory flinched and quietly gasped. As the doctor slid the stethoscope to another spot slightly lower, Mallory flinched noticeably. When the doctor picked it up and placed it on her side, Mallory jerked her whole torso abruptly. She blushed, but chose not to make eye contact with the doctor. She knew it was going to be acknowledged at some point, but she would delay it as long as possible. She just felt so embarrassed about it.

But when Dr. Larimer asked Mallory to lie down on her back, she knew the part she hated most was coming. She had tried not to think about it in the days leading up to the appointment, and when she did she told herself it probably wouldn抰 be as bad. She had to outgrow her ticklishness at some point, and it seemed totally reasonable to expect that this would start to happen now that she was eighteen. Hey, she told herself, maybe it抣l barely tickle at all.

Just hearing the words made Mallory shiver. 揑抦 going to feel around different spots in your abdominal area now. Just let me know if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Well of course I抦 going to feel discomfort! Mallory wanted to say. Instead she held her breath and closed her eyes as Dr. Larimer placed her hands on her flat tummy. The initial contact made Mally flinch and her abdomen automatically retract. Then, for a second, as Dr. Larimer pressed firmly, it felt fine, and Mallory was relieved. I抦 finally growing out of it, she thought.

But as Dr. Larimer抯 hands slid upward across her skin, Mallory gasped and flinched again, and she experienced the familiar sensation of trying to control her laughter but knowing it would be a losing battle. A few years prior, she had devised a few strategies for moments like this梬ays to 搈ake herself less ticklish by trying to relax and control her breathing. Unfortunately, these methods proved pretty much ineffective.

Mallory tried again anyway, breathing loudly and slowly, as Dr. Larimer slid to a new spot and began pressing. The tickling was making Mallory more and more tense and she felt the laughter bubbling up. She bit her lip. But it was too much. The first series of 揌a-ha-ha抯 slipped out in bursts of air that Mallory had tried so hard to hold in. But once the doctor抯 hands slid downward, closer to her waistline, there was no holding back. Mallory couldn抰 help it any longer, and burst into heavy laughter.

Her mother, squirming in her seat with some seemingly odd mixture of delight and embarrassment said, 揝he抯 stilllll ticklish.

Now that she was losing control, Mallory found herself squirming with each touch of the doctor抯 hand in a new spot. Her laughter slowed down momentarily, then picked up again. The spots along her waistline, where Dr. Larimer was now headed, were going to be unbearable, she could tell.

揑 remember now, said Dr. Larimer.

揝he always has been quite a ticklish one, Mallory抯 mom said.

Mallory felt herself blushing as she squirmed and wriggled all over the exam table, laughing, hearing the two older women commenting on her ticklishness. She couldn抰 believe she was still this ticklish. Only little kids should squirm and laugh like this at the doctor抯桰抦 eighteen! She even started kicking a little because she didn抰 know what else to do梚t tickled so much.

揥e抮e almost done, Mallory, you抮e doing great, the doctor said compassionately, clearly starting to feel bad for the helpless, writhing girl underneath her fingertips.

Mallory nodded and managed to get out the word, 揙kay厰 through her laughter. Why am I so ticklish??? she thought to herself, feeling incredibly vulnerable and exposed as the doctor抯 touches seemed to grow even more unendurable as her hands moved away from Mallory抯 waistline but closer to her sides. Mallory wasn抰 sure which was worse.

She hated that her mother was witnessing all of this, too. It was bad enough to have to endure it, and to have the doctor see how girlishly ticklish she was. But she had to have her mother watching and commenting on it, too梐nd she was sure to bring it up again and again over the next few weeks. She could hear it now: 揗ally, you were just so ticklish at the doctor抯! I can抰 believe you抮e still that ticklish! She would have to hope and pray that her mother didn抰 mention it in front of the rest of the family梬hich would surely serve as a reminder of their ability to torture her mercilessly梑ut she almost certainly would.

Finally, the doctor pulled her hands away from Mallory抯 belly. Mallory抯 laughter died down and she sighed with relief. It was over. For another year. She had once again survived her annual unbearable stomach tickle torture.

揙kay, Mallory, you can sit up now, said Dr. Larimer. 揑抦 just going to do a few quick reflex tests. Mallory felt her body relax more. She sat up and let the doctor bang the reflex hammer on her knees as her legs dangled off the edge of the exam table.

揟his next one is called the Babinski test, Dr. Larimer said. 揥e may not have done this one before. I usually don抰 do it with kids, but since you抮e an adult now, seems like a good time to start. She crouched down so she was level with Mallory抯 bare, less-hot-but-still-very-soft, feet. In her hand she had a pointy metal tool. Mallory stared down at her nervously.

揙h, Mally, this one might be a little haarrrdd for you厰 her mom said in a singsongy voice, half sounding like she was genuinely warning her and half like she was teasing.

Mally instinctively pulled her foot away as Dr. Larimer moved her hand toward it.

揋reat reflex, the doctor said jokingly, 揵ut you have to wait until I actually touch your foot.

Mallory cautiously put her foot back, clearly willing herself to do it.

Dr. Larimer placed the tool on Mallory抯 heel. It took all of Mallory抯 might not to jerk away again.

揧ou seem nervous, Dr. Larimer said, removing the tool from Mallory抯 foot and looking up at her. 揑t抯 true, it will probably tickle a little. But don抰 worry, it抯 very quick. What I抦 going to do is run this little point tip up the sole of your foot to just beneath your toes. It抯 棓

Mallory shivered, visibly.

The doctor gave her a look, then continued. 揑t抯 a reflex test. A positive response is when your toes curl like this. She placed her hand on Mallory抯 toes and pulled so they spread laterally. Mallory yelped and pulled her foot away.

揙h! the doctor exclaimed with surprise. 揑 forget just how ticklish you are! I抦 sorry! Well, this will only take a minute.

She placed the tip of the tool back on Mally抯 heel. Mally cringed in fear and anticipation. The three seconds it took for the pointy tip to travel across her sole from her heel to her toes was three seconds too long and Mallory shrieked and burst into laughter, pulling her foot away.

Dr. Larimer smiled. 揙ther foot厰 she said and repeated the test. 揙hh!! Mally exclaimed, as if somehow she were surprised at how much it tickled, then broke into a giggle.

揝he keeps telling me she抎 like to come with me for a pedicure sometime, her mother said to the doctor. 揂nd I keep telling her, 慚ally, you抮e way too ticklish for a pedicure! You抣l be kicking and screaming the whole time!

Mallory turned bright red.

揑t抯 true, said Dr. Larimer. 揚retty feet do come at a cost.

Then she looked down at Mallory抯 feet. 揃ut yours are already so pretty, Mallory, and soft梱ou don抰 need a pedicure yet. She ran her palm along Mallory抯 left sole as if to illustrate her point. Mally抯 foot flexed upward uncontrollably and she tried to stifle her giggles. 揧ou抣l have plenty of time to get them later on when you抮e closer to my and your mother抯 age!

Mallory wanted to say, 揌opefully I抣l be a little less ticklish by then厰 but she couldn抰 bring herself to say The Word out loud.

揥ell, Mallory, you can get dressed now. We抮e all finished, Dr. Larimer said with a smile.

Mallory sighed. 揙kay, thank you very much. She got dressed, forced her feet back into her tied shoes, and walked out the door with her mom. As they got back into the car, of course, the comments began.

揝till just as ticklish as always厰 her mom said in the same teasy, singsongy voice she had used in the doctor抯 office.

揧up厰 Mallory said, annoyed. 揑 wish I wasn抰, but I am厰

揑 think you laughed even more this year than last year!

Mallory turned red and looked out the window.

揑 don抰 think I抳e ever seen you kick like that at the doctor抯, either! Maybe you抮e getting even more ticklish! Is that possible??

揢m匢 really, really hope not厰

揥ell gosh, for your sake I do too! It seems like it抯 hard enough for you to endure being touched at all right now! Massages aren抰 much better!

Mallory felt so shy. Talking about how ticklish she was made her feel incredibly vulnerable. She wanted to disappear. But she also didn抰 want to show her mom just how uncomfortable it made her. The last thing she needed was for anyone to really know just how ticklish she was.

揧up厰 Mally said, trying to seem disinterested but not distraught.

揃ut really, Mally, you know, I know you want to try a pedicure but I really don抰 think you抎 be able to take it. Your feet are so ticklish, and they scrub the bottoms of your feet with a pumice stone, really vigorously. I think you抎 go out of your mind!

The image made Mally cringe. She almost felt a tickling sensation on her feet inside of her shoes, and she wiggled her toes to try to get read of it.

揃esides, her mom continued, 揇r. Larimer is right. Your feet are so soft, and naturally pretty. You don抰 need much help with that! You can paint your own toes or I抣l do it for you!

Mallory had painted her toes before, but no one had ever done it for her. She imagined her mom, holding each toe while painting them, and she shivered yet again. She would never willingly put her feet in her mother抯 lap like that. It would be a death wish.

揗aybe厰 Mallory said in a non-committal tone, still looking out the window.

揑t would be fun! Or you could let your sister do it! But you getting a pedicure桰 mean, gosh, Mally, honestly, you抎 be laughing the entire time. You抎 never even be able to hold your feet still for them. Really, I mean, Mally, I know how ticklish you are.

Mally couldn抰 take it anymore. 揗OM can we talk about something else?

揥ell you don抰 need to get uppity about it! I抦 just trying to tell you this for your own good. You keep talking about wanting to do this, and seeing you laughing your head off at the doctor reminded me to make sure you understand what you抎 be getting yourself into.

揑 don抰 慿eep talking about pedicures! I抳e mentioned it, like, once. Maybe twice. I just thought it would be fun. But obviously it wouldn抰 be.

揧ou don抰 have to be embarrassed about being so ticklish, Mally! her mom said, sensing her daughter抯 disposition. 揂 lot of people are ticklish.

Literally every time she heard that word it sent shivers throughout her entire body. A lifetime of being tickled mercilessly had made the simple sound of the word torture in and of itself.

揑抦 sure they are, Mom厰 Mallory said, squirming in her seat.

揑 mean卪aybe not that many people are quite as ticklish as you, but still厰

Hearing the word, especially in reference to herself, was almost like being tickled. Mallory literally梬ithout realizing it條eaned as far over toward the door as she could, as if her mother were lightly running her fingers up and down her side and she had nowhere to go.

揝o did you play tennis this morning? Mallory asked, desperately trying to change the subject.

揧ou really don抰 like talking about being ticklish, do you?? Her voice resonated with intrigue.

揢m, not really!

揚oor thing. Who would抳e thought you抎 still be just as ticklish as you were when you were a little girl, now, at your age? I can see why you抎 feel a little embarrassed about it, gosh!

Even though the air conditioning was on, Mally found herself sweating. Again, she could feel the sweat between her toes inside her shoes and she wanted to kick them off, though she didn抰 dare do it with her mom抯 long, red fingernails inches away.

They pulled up to the house. Mallory practically leapt out of the car and ran into the house. She kicked off her shoes梩he shoe brushing against her foot as it slid off tickled like crazy梐nd she ran up to her bedroom and shut and locked the door. She put on headphones, turned on Radiohead, and tried to think about anything else other than







ticklish she was.

This story is based on true incidents. I like to honor true stories to their form, and there抯 enough artistic license in here to post it in the fiction section, but the reality is that it抯 somewhere in between.

If anyone else is as big a fan as I am as some of the themes in this story or others I抳e written, I抦 always interested in hearing from you協eel free to send me a message.

04-25-2015, 06:58 PM
Very nice story. :feets:

04-26-2015, 12:03 AM
Poor Mallory! Another great edition to your fine story collection!

04-27-2015, 03:44 AM

04-27-2015, 04:00 PM
Great story! I remember discussing many of these ideas with you hun, a familiar situation indeed! :)

05-12-2015, 07:01 AM
Great story!

You capture the feelings and the fear so well :)

05-16-2015, 02:36 PM
Thanks all :) I appreciate the feedback and comments always.

05-16-2015, 03:54 PM
Nice story. Like I've talked with you about before, my sisters and I always seem to end up talking about our feet when we're together. And my friend Leigh when she comes to visit.

05-16-2015, 07:31 PM
Lovely story thank you for posting it.

05-17-2015, 04:09 AM
What a lovely little tale... It's short, but you've really managed to capture quite a cute quirk to this character of yours