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critterlord
04-27-2003, 11:47 PM
The Furry Friend Part Two
The Fur Will Fly

It was just a small forest, with a small clearing in the center. Yet, in this small grove of trees, a sound never heard there before filled the air. It was loud. It was strange. It was... laughter?

“HAHAHAHAHA STOPPIT-TT YOU FIEND! HAHAHAHA NO NOT THEREEHEHEHEH NOOOO! I CAN’T-T-T-T- TAKE IT HAHAHAH!”

Silvia laughed and giggled as her normally serious face contorted with smiles and dimples. Her tormenter was her partner in crime, Peek the half cat-half human girl. Peek was quite young, which meant that her claws and fangs were not yet very sharp. But her claws had just enough point in them to be super-tickly. The dip in the secret pool had made Silvia’s feet soft and ticklish for several days, but in the weeks of travel, it had worn off. As odd as it may seem, Silvia had grown to like being tickled, ever since meeting the Furry Friend. So, she had decided to actively make her feet, the most ticklish part of her, as soft as she could make them. She had taken a piece of pumice to them, scrapping away every lasts hint of calluses from them. She had then bought a costly ointment to take away any sign of scars on the soles of her feet. She made sure to apply smoothing lotion, (bought from a rather obnoxious teasing female apothecary.) She still wore her old armored boots, but she had lined them with three layers of soft griffin fur. Not only did the fur keep her feet from callusing or scaring, but also the extra warmth was useful traveling in the cold lands.

A small part of her mind couldn’t help, but regret all the softening she had done right now. She was tied up hand and foot with several silk cords (purchased just last spring for this very purpose) and her now hyper-ticklish bare feet were being mercilessly tickled by the little claws on the end of her partner’s tickling-skilled fingers. But Silvia was completely enjoying herself, despite the fact that she was pleading for mercy (it was a game she and Peek had invented, where they acted like it was the worst torture in the world, when it was actually the most fun thing imaginable.) So she pushed the regretting part of her mind into the very back and shut it up and proceeded to enjoy the tickly feelings crawling up her feet.

“HAHAHAHAHA I’LL GET-T-T-T YOU FOR THIS-S-S-S-! JU-JU-JUST YOU WAIT! HAHAHAHAHAHA.”

Peek just smiled and continued her tickling. “You can’t tickle me until tomorrow, so tonight your all mine. Purrrrrr.” Peek and Silvia found that if they each got tickled on the same night, they would be too tired to travel the next day. So only one person was tickled per night, and the other helped the tickled one travel during the next day. Peek decided it was time to unleash her not-so-secret weapon. She purred again and addressed Silvia in a mock terrifying voice. “I think it’s time for little Silvy to get it on her dimples.” Silvia’s worst place to be tickled was the dimples on her arches, which she of course paid special attention with the pumice stone and her lotion.

Silvia got in a single resounding false NOOOO! before the claws descended. Each of her terribly ticklish dimples was carefully scritched by the points of a single claw. Silvia struggled in vain against the unmoving silk bonds as her head was thrush back in silent laughter.


Later that night, Silvia lay down and slowly started drifting off to sleep. It was a warm night, and both girls were lying on top of their bedrolls. Silvia was tired from the tickling she had just had. She had yelled at Peek earlier that morning for dropping their provision in the stream they were crossing. Peek had started to cry and Silvia immediately felt sorry and apologized. She was a little unnerved by the knowledge that three months ago she wouldn’t have even noticed Peek’s tears. Peek, however, had accepted the apology and skipped away, apparently forgetting the whole encounter. Silvia remembered the extra hour long tickle fest she had just experienced and thought that maybe Peek hadn’t forgotten the altercation so quickly. Silvia grinned in memory of the first fun she had ever had three months ago and was just about to fall into slumber, when Peek’s muffled talk woke her up.

“Silvy?” said Peek, in a hushed and worried voice.

Silvia smiled at the nickname her partner had given her when they had first met, even though three short months ago, the nickname would have brought Silvia to rage, for she used to hate what she believed to be lack of respect. Now the nickname held more sentimental value than even Silvia could explain. She answered in her best soothing voice, a newly discovered talent. “What is it, Peek.”

“Are we friends?”

“Of course we are friends! What kind of question is that?”

“I don’t know. It’s just that you always used to yell at me all the time and it really hurt and I thought that you only liked me for my nose and that you really didn’t like me very much and then we met the nice tickle monster and you changed and then you liked me and we were kind of like friends and then you yelled at me to day and I am so confused.”

Silvia didn’t quite know how to respond. It was true that the only reason Silvia had originally brought Peek along on her trips was because Peek could smell magic. That was essential for a magic artifact hunter, or Itemhunter as they were called, like Silvia. But now, Silvia knew that she and Peek were friends. No, more than friends. They were like sisters. Silvia couldn’t imagine a world without Peek in it. She heard snuffling coming from behind her and realized that Peek was crying. The icy shield around Silvia’s heart melted. The words just seemed to flow from Silvia’s mouth.

“Maybe I didn’t used to like you, but I like you now. I only yell at you because I have never like anyone before and I am not used to it. But no matter how I yell, we really are true friends. The best of friends in the world. After all,” Silvia said as she flipped over and looked Peek right in the tear-filled eyes.” “Would I let anyone except my best friend in the world tickle my arch dimples?”

Peek smiled a little and said, “I guess not.”

“Of course not. Now you fall asleep and forget all the mush I just said.”

“Nope, I won’t forget it. I love you Silvy,” and she reached over the bedrolls and hugged Silvia hard. Silvia was glad that the darkness covered up her red face. Then Peek turned over and fell instantly asleep, another gift of being part cat. As Silvia looked on, Peek giggled and wriggled her toes as she slept. Silvia grinned.

“Silly cat,” and then she too fell into a deep slumber and dreamt about golden bracelets and furry hands of pink.


Silvia yawned as she awoke. She pulled her pack over to her side and pulled out the map she had of this area. It was time to find a town and restock on food. She didn’t mention this to Peek, who was just waking up and stretching her long back exactly like a cat. Silvia knew Peek would feel bad about the lack of provisions, since it was her fault all of theirs was right now sailing towards the ocean. Luckily there was a town very near buy. It wasn’t very large, but if Silvia’s memory was not playing tricks on her, it did have a pub that sold supplies to Itemhunters.

Silvia turned to Peek, who was pulling on her big floppy boots that she always wore.

“Do you want to visit a town.”

Peek squealed and started packing in a haphazard fashion. The whole purpose in Peek’s life was to make as many friends in the world as possible. And the best place to find new friends was in a big city. In a matter of moments, she had her pack on crooked and was shaking all over.

“Ready Silvy,”

Silvia couldn’t help but laugh at her partner. “Okay, okay. Just give me enough time to pack my stuff.”

The town, Marrelhaven, was crowded for this time of year. It was the start of spring. Itemhunter season. The streets were filled with minor mages and bulky swordsmen. Peek fairly shook with excitement. Around every corner were interesting people and animals. She wanted to talk to them all. Being half cat, Peek could talk to any natural animal, a talent that had saved Silvia and her on many occasions. Peek looked at Silvia anxiously. Silvia knew that look well.

“All right, you can go make friends. Just don’t tell any strangers our secrets and be sure to find your way back to the tavern in about an hour.”

Peek ran off in pursuit of a camel that had just lumbered by. Silvia shook her head and started walking towards the pub.

The pub was noisy and crowded. Silvia looked around. She saw a lot of familiar faces. In the Itemhunter business, you were either a partner or competition. The only person Silvia wanted to talk to was the owner of the tavern.

The owner in question was a larger round woman of great age by the name of Hilda. The fact that Hilda was round made most people believe she was fat and lazy. Being fat had not slowed her down an inch. She was more muscle than fat. She served as her own bouncer, and woe betide anyone messing around in her pub. Her one good eye and a face she had learned to make while being an Itemhunter herself kept most trouble from ever starting. Hilda hired only female servants to wait tables, but she would crush the first man who so much as look at her girls without the barmaids permission. It was easy to see why Silvia liked her. Silvia also had a deep hatred of all men. Growing up an orphan had forced her to obey the commands of men since she could remember. She considered herself lucky that she had earned her freedom before one of her “fathers” realized that she was becoming a woman. She had worked hard to where she was right now and didn’t deal with any men if she could help it.

Hilda caught sight of Silvia and recognized her as one of her favorite customers. She waved Silvia over to the bar and handed her a cold mug of Dwarven Ale, which she remembered Silvia preferred. Hilda could guess exactly what Silvia was here for.

“I be assum’n yal be want’n a pack o supplies. Da Ale won’t cost ya see’n as you bei’n an ald frend. Will ya be a want’n a room width dat.”

Silvia smiled at Hilda’s rustic speak. “Yes, I will be needing some supplies, but I’m in a bit of a rush, so I’ll just take the supplies and run. And thanks for the ale.”

Hilda nodded and went out back to get the supplies. A sword man at the other end of the bar saw Silvia and was stunned by her beauty. He walked up towards her, intending to ask if she cared to share a drink. Silvia didn’t look up, but she slowly placed her hand onto the large broadsword strapped to her back. The sword man took on look at the number of notches in the handle and visibly gulped. He went of in search of some less hostile company. Silvia couldn’t hide a smug smile.

Back in a far corner at a darkened private table sat a pair of unusual figures. They were both female and they each carried about them a feeling on danger. The first was a young pure human, with stunning features and long red hair. By the long robes and tall staff, anyone could tell she was a magic-user. Her companion was part snake. She wasn’t half snake because true half snakes have tails instead of legs. She definitely had long shapely legs, but they were covered with scales. In fact, every inch of flesh visible around the black leather armor was scale.; even the eyelids had small hinging scales. Her eyes were narrow and slitted, like a snake’s. A forked tongue hissed in and out every couple of minutes. Only the fact that her visible fangs were only an inch long betrayed her actual youth.

They were Felicia and Venus, Itemhunters. Felicia had studied the magic arts until she grew tired of bookwork. At the age of 15, she decided to set out for adventure. Three years of item hunting had taught her enough practical magic to be quite dangerous. Being magi, she needed no hybrid to sniff out magic. What she needed was someone to defend her as she prepared her magic spells. Venus fit the bill perfectly. Venus had been banished at the age of six from the lands to the east for killing her betrothed. This is not as earlier age as one might think. Partial snakes mature faster than normal humans. Since then, she had trained herself in all the forms of combat. She particularly loved swords and knives. She carried no less than twenty blades on her at all times, not counting the twin thins swords strapped to her back. She had meet Felicia and found a perfect leader. Venus was now nine in chronological terms and 15 in mature terms. Her youth made her faster than most hybrids and her scales provided natural armor. There were only a few places not covered by scales, and she was careful never to let them become a target. Bare snake flesh does not form calluses and stays soft.

Felicia had been in the Itemhunter business long enough to know not to be above stealing. She pointed out Silvia to Venus.

“See that little tomboy, Silvia. Last time at the item market place she was wallowing in gold coins and I know for a fact that she had that gold on her before she arrived. Now, where do you suppose such a terrible Itemhunter got all that gold?”

Venus had a very quick and clever mind. She instantly knew the kind of answer her partner wanted. “Ssshe mussst have ssstole it.”

Venus’s hissing was caused by her tongue flicking in and out of her mouth as she pronounced her Ss.

Felicia smiled, “Yes, but from where. I had a few of my sources tell that she made an unusually long stop in the Cauldron Mountains this year. Local legend has it that there is a terrible monster in a cave up there guarding a cauldron of gold that refills itself every night. That is why they call them the Cauldron Mountains. Now, one thing that Silvia is good at is killing monsters. She must have found the monster’s cave and killed it. She probably hid the cauldron in the cave, and only goes back when she runs out of money. So, do you know what we will do?”

“Yess. We will follow her, kill her when ssshe reachesss the cave and take the cauldron for ourssselvess.”

The two laughed at their plan. Felicia took one last look as Silvia got up to leave.

“I would have loved to have seen her face if she had actually heard us.”

Unbeknownst to Felicia, she was actually looking at the very face she imagined. Silvia had spent the early years of her life crawling around pitch black caves hunting for treasure and dodging traps with nothing but her sense of touch and her sense of hearing. She had developed remarkably acute ears. Since Felicia first said Silvia’s name, Silvia had listened in on the conversation and caught every word. She wasn’t especially worried about being followed. She had run in to Felicia and Venus before and knew how they tracked. She could ditch them easily. What really galled her was to think that a few short months ago, she had been exactly like those two, greedy and conspiring. Too bad they couldn’t have a really good tickl...

Suddenly a wholly formed plan burst into her head. As she walked out the door, she realized that all she needed was to warn Peek not to blurt out anything and spoil the surprise.

Luckily, Peek came running straight for her as Silvia left the tavern.

“Guess what, Silvy. I just made nine new friends and one was and elifant and it was big and gray with a huge nose and,”

Silvia held up her finger to her mouth in the quiet gesture. Peek immediately hushed up. Silvia only made the quiet gesture for something important. Silvia saw Felicia and Venus walking out of the pub, doing a bad impression of not being interested in what she was doing.

“Just be quite and don’t say a word. I’ll explain at tonight’s camp, hissed Silvia.

Peek nodded once solemnly and suddenly hugged Silvia to show it was all right she was being rude. Silvia didn’t have the cover of night to hide her blush. She really, really hoped Felicia and Venus hadn’t seen that.


Later, at Silvia and Peek’s usual night camp, Silvia knew by the prickling on the back of her neck that she was being watched. All of Peek’s fur was standing up straight, which meant she too felt the watchful eyes. It was time to let Peek in on the plan.

“Alright. We need to plan out our route to the cave in the Cauldron Mountains,” said Silvia, just a little too loud. That should erase any lingering doubt about where we are headed, thought Silvia.

Peek had excellent hearing and was smart enough to know that Silvia was putting on a show for who ever was following them.

Peek nudged right up next to Silvia so that they could talk just quiet enough to block out their followers.

Peek said in a loud whisper, “Who is following us?”

“Felicia and Venus. You remember them?”

“Yeah. I don’t like them. Venus said she eats cats. So what are we doing?”

“We are going to lead them to FF’s cave.”

“And then what?”

“You know what.”

“Oh, oh, OH! Hehehe! So what are we going to do now?”

“Well, I know what I am going to do.”

“What?”

“It’s your turn.”

With that, Silvia grabbed Peek, who squeaked and tried to run. But Silvia was strong and she had been hiding the silk rope in her lap. A few quick knots and Peek was completely at her mercy. Silvia literally tore off the floppy boots and pulled out something she had found a few days ago and had been saving for Peek’s turn. It was a huge Pegasus feather, the tickliest feather in the whole world. Silvia had told Peek about it and Peek definitely recognized it. She started giggling even as she started mock pleading.

“Mehehehew not that. That looks so nasty. Please no not that. Mehehehew.”

Silvia knew that Felicia and Venus were still watching, but she didn’t care. This was too much fun. Besides it would give those two a pretty puzzle to figure out.

She hooked Peek’s toenails with the hand that wasn’t holding the feather and pulled them apart and back. This was a trick she had learned from FF itself. She began to run the feather between Peek’s furry toes.

“MEHEHEHEHEHEW MEHEHEHEHEW NO ANYTHING B-B-B-UT THAT STOP-P-PP-P-P THAT REALLY TICKLES-S-S-S” giggled Peek, wiggling her toes, which only made the tickling worse. She knew this and that’s why she did it. To her and Silvia this was the best fun on earth. To anyone watching, it looked like pure torture, and that is exactly what Felicia and Venus thought.

Felicia grinned. “I have to admit, Silvia knows how to keep her hybrid in check. Maybe I should start using her methods.”

Venus just shuddered. Her feet were one of the only places where she had no scales. They were super tender and that feather looked more dangerous to her than all the torture devices in the world.

Silvia finally finished and untied Peek, who was still giggling. As the two went to bed, Silvia felt glad that they were going to reach the cave tomorrow before it was her turn. The embarrassment along would probably have killed her.


Silvia knew that Felicia couldn’t track for spit. Venus had an underdeveloped sense of smell for a hybrid and tracked only by sight. So her way of dodging the followers after they reached the Cauldron Mountains. With the help of Peek, they would jump straight up from the path into the trees branches hanging over the path. Then they could climb from tree to tree to the edge of the tree line. Silvia could only guess at the look on Venus’s face when all of a sudden, the two tracks stopped and vanished into thin air. The climbing was quite easy for Peek, but fairly hard for Silvia. By the time they reached the cave, night had fallen. Silvia smiled with remembrance as she saw the soft green glow coming from the cave. Suddenly sounds of shrieks and giggles reached her ears.

Silvia recalled that FF had told her that it had some friends in the form of peasant girls from a village near the mountains. FF must be “entertaining” some of them right now. Silvia didn’t want to interrupt, but this was important. She and Peek walked right into the cave and became washed in memories. The cave hadn’t changed a bit. The same glowing moss covered every inch of the cave. And in the center of the cave, sat FF, if you could say something without legs could sit. FF still had a cute little face right in the center of his round pink fur-covered body. He had already formed a host of hands and was in the middle of tickling three very pretty girls, all dressed in plain homespun cotton dresses that continently left their bellies and armpits open. Silvia had a sneaky suspicion that they had made these changes themselves. FF noticed his new arrivals at once and gave them a hearty greeting.

“Well, well. Look who’s back. Welcome again, my friends. Hanna, Betty, Alice, stop giggling and welcome our guests.” Of course he didn’t quit tickling their sides and feet and so they couldn’t stop giggling long enough to even hear FF’s joke. FF turned back to Silvia and Peek. “You really must forgive my friends. They can be so impolite at times.” Then FF, Silvia and Peek all broke out in laughter.

After the peasant girls had been released and regained their composure, the six friends sat in a circle and introductions were handed around. Silvia pointed an accusing finger at Hanna.

“I remember you. You told me to avoid the mountains when I first arrived here.”

Hanna giggled, “Of course, I did silly. I knew you would do the exact opposite of what I told you, so I told you to avoid FF’s cave. If I hadn’t, you wouldn’t have met him and that would have been a shame. You weren’t very nice before you met him.”

Silvia grinned and took another look at the girls. Betty was the oldest at 15. She had brown eyes and matching brown flowing hair. Hanna was the middle in age, around 14. She had brown hair, but it was shoulder height and she had blue eyes. Alice was the youngest and most unusual. She had long flowing hair, but it was green. Her eyes were green as well. Green heads were even more rare than blue heads. All three were smiling.

Silvia decided it was time to get to business. “We have been followed by two very dangerous Itemhunters, both female. They will try to find this cave. I think we should let them.” She grinned slyly.

The three peasant girls turned to FF and said at once, “Can we watch, pleasssssse?” They gazed at him with three pairs of multicolored pleading eyes. FF smiled.

“Of course you can. But you’ll have to stay in the far back of the cave, just incase either of the Itemhunters tries to pull anything. And it is going to charge you an extra hard tickling after they have left.”

Silvia asked, “Won’t their parents be worried if they stay that long.”

Hanna giggled. She liked to giggle. “Oh no. We all told our parents we were going for a hike in the mountains and wouldn’t be back for a couple of days. The rest couldn’t come because they couldn’t get permission.”

Silvia nodded, glad that one complication had been solved. She turned to FF. “We need to find out where they are now, so we can lead them hear. And we had better hurry before they give up and leave the mountains.”

FF thought about it for a minute. “You know, I have a mirror in the back that shows other places of the mountains. We could see them in an instant.” A hand appeared out of the dense fur of FF’s body and went to grab something in the back. He pulled out a small hand mirror. As the five girls huddled around it, FF spoke several strange sounding words.

“Loknova swarium protanta soliviaria SHAKIR.” The mirror began to swirl and suddenly a moving picture formed, showing two small figures camped below a huge rock that looked like an eagle. One of the small figures seemed to be yelling at the other. Hanna piped up.

“Hey, I’ve been there before. It is on the other side of the mountains. What are they doing over there? Oh, they must be lost.” Hanna giggled at the thought of strangers being lost in a place she was so familiar with.

Silvia smiled. “This is perfect. We don’t even have to hurry. They wouldn’t leave the mountains because they can’t.”

FF grinned as well. “So we don’t have to get them quite yet? Do you know what this means?”

Little Alice scrunched her face in thought. “No, what does it mean?”

“It’s tickle time!” roared FF grabbing each girl by the ankles and wrists. Silvia’s armor and Peek’s boots and tunic flew off, leaving both girls in nothing but their underthings. The tickling fur-covered hands descended quickly on all five girls and the cave quickly filled with laughter.

As Silvia’s ticklish skin quickly became the target for twenty hands, she glanced at her fellow ticklees. Peek’s worst place, under and between her toes were already getting the famous treatment of FF’s tickle trick. Betty was the first girl Silvia had seen whose worst spot was most obviously not her feet. It was her ribs. Many velveteen hands gently counted and recounted and re-recounted each rib, sending Betty into hysterics. Hanna’s worst spot seemed to be the space just below the balls of her feet. As the furry hands gently poked the tender space, tears of laughter and joy rolled down Hanna’s face like a stream. Alice had the most unusual reaction. Her worst place seemed to be her feet in general. Her feet were mercilessly tickled by five hands each. The odd thing was, where ever Alice was tickled, that place changed from pink to light green. The tears running down her face were bright green too. It took several minutes for Silvia to realize that Alice wasn’t a peasant girl, but a dryad, a tree nymph. She must have borrowed the dress, seeing as dryads wore leaves and leaves certainly wouldn’t have stayed on her body with all the wiggling she was doing. Silvia grinned as she realized that her estimate of 13 years was more like 130 years, for dryads never lost their beauty, youth, or innocence.

Then Silvia’s dimples were horrendously tickled and her thoughts became rather incoherent for the rest of the evening.


Morning found Peek wandering towards the eagle rock she had seen in the mirror. It had been decided that either Peek or Silvia had to lead the two Itemhunters to the cave, and Felicia would expect Silvia to rather die than give away limitless amounts of gold. Thus, the responsibility fell squarely on the shoulders of Peek. Hanna gave her directions to eagle rock and Peek had set off before first light in order to be captured before Felicia and Venus left the camp.

Just as Eagle Rock was coming in to view, something jumped up behind Peek and Peek felt a cold line of steal touch her throat.

A hiss reached her ear. “Be ssstill or be ssslain. Walk forward.”

Peek withheld a sigh of relief. She had to remember not to be happy about being captured.

Peek was forced to march right up to the camp, where Felicia was trying to remember a complicated locating spell. Felicia was delighted that Venus had caught a guide for them. That made up for that silly snake losing the trail so easily, then pretending she hadn’t. The trek through the mountains had been tiring. Felicia summoned some magical ropes that completely bound Peek hand and foot.

“Okay, listen her kitten. You are going to show us to the cave. If you do, I won’t hurt you. But if you don’t I’ll make you wish you were dead. Do you understand?”

“Yes I understand and I won’t lead you false and you can count on me and I promise to be a good guide and please don’t hurt me.”

Venus walked up and looked at Felicia. “Ssshe ssseemsss to eager to ssshow usss the way. Maybe we ssshould give her sssomething to think about ssso ssshe won’t lead usss assstray.” With that, Felicia began to remove Peek’s boots.

Felicia realized what Venus had in mind and grinned in wicked pleasure. Peek had had her floppy boots removed enough to know exactly what was coming. She thought it was funny that these two were about to threaten her with something fun. She decided to just relax and enjoy it. Venus reached down and placed her long sharp claws on Peek’s now bare and immobile feet. Peek realized that Venus had six claws on each hand.

Peek immediately started giggling so hard that she couldn’t even beg for mercy. She had never been tickled by claws before and it was an exciting new experience.

“MEHEHEHEHW MEHEHEHEHEHW MEHEHEHEHEHEHEW!” she giggled in her special way. Venus found this surprisingly fun. She found it so fun, that she tickled a lot longer than she had originally intended.

“Don’t forget her toes,” said Felicia, who was also enjoying herself.

As Venus’s sharp claws descended on Peek’s helpless toes, Peek hoped that all the joy she felt was undetected by her capturers

Afternoon found Peek tied around the next with a magical leash, slowly leading Felicia and Venus up to the surprise waiting for them. It was only a matter of minutes before the caves soft glow came into view. Peek pointed towards the cave, the magic collar preventing her from speaking. Felicia had grown bored of Peek’s prattle and place the collar on to prevent escape or any noise. The three advanced on the cave, Venus whispering exactly what she would do to Peek’s bare feet if they were lead wrong.

As Felicia entered the cave, her quick eyes digested everything immediately. Silvia sat in a corner of the cave with her hands on a big pile of gold. A big furry ball with a face was in the center. Felicia realized that Silvia hadn’t slain or vanquished the “terrible” monster, but had befriended it. Her disgust for Silvia rose several notches.

She pointed a finger at the furball and yelled, “Tell me how to make endless amounts of gold, or I’ll kill you where you stand.”

FF looked very serious. It formed a hand and reached into the back of the cave and grabbed a golden bracelet from the back. It flung it at Felicia and said, “All you half to do is put on the bracelet and it will give you all the gold you want.”

Silvia was puzzled. This wasn’t part of the plan. She kept quiet though. She was interested in what the bracelet she had found several months ago really did.

Felicia had a moment’s doubt. It was supposed to be a cauldron, not a bracelet. But greed overpowered caution and she put the bracelet on. Suddenly she was trapped inside a huge round cage made of golden magic.

Venus yelled and threw Peek up against the wall of the cave hard.

“You tricked us, you cat,” was as far as she got before Silvia was on her like lightning. Silvia grabbed Venus and flung her with all her might into the waiting grasp of FF. Silvia didn’t look to she what had happened. She raced over to Peek. If anything had happened to her she’d...

But Peek sat up and grinned a little. “I’m all right. I have a really hard head and the moss cushioned some and...”

Silvia grabbed Peek and hugged Peek close to her. Peek felt the wetness of tears on Silvia’s cheeks. Peek awkwardly patted Silvia on the back, and the two of them turned to look at what was happening to Felicia.

They hadn’t missed much. Felicia had just thrown a rather powerful spell at the cage. The spell struck the cage and vanished. Felicia gasped. That was the most powerful magic destruction spell she had. She was starting to get a little scared.

Suddenly, ropes reached out of the cage and grabbed Felicia by her wrists and ankles. Now she was very afraid. Suddenly she felt a huge pulling all over her body. It was the cage, pulling at her cloths from all sides. Her boots and stockings came off without a hitch, but her robe couldn’t take the strain. It finally tore into several pieces and was pulled into the golden cage, where they promptly vanished. Peek giggled.

“Look at her underwear.”

Everybody in the cave could now see that Felicia’s two-part underwear was covered with pictures of little horses. Felicia blushed as she felt part of her dignity going away forever. But the biggest shock to her dignity was yet to come.

Suddenly, a huge feather, longer than her arm, appeared in the cage with her. She vividly remembered watching Peek and the feather and couldn’t stifle a giggle at what was coming, even as she was trying to keep it away.

“No, please anything but that! What is this stupid bracelet? How do you get it off?”

She began to tug at the bracelet strapped to her wrist, but the bracelet seemed to have latched itself onto her wrist. As try as she might, she couldn’t remove it.

“By the power of this band, thou shall be vastly more ticklish and shall feel the joy of the feathers. That is what the band is. As for getting it off, that is another story. You can’t take it off until you don’t want too.”

Felicia looked frantic. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Suddenly, there appeared all around her twenty new feathers, each longer than her arm. She began to literally claw at the bracelet on her wrist, before the ropes holding her pulled her wrists and ankles until she was all stretched out to prepare her for what was coming. One of the feathers gently moved to her side, and pulled its tip from her armpit to her waist. Felicia shrieked and started giggling.

“AHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH STOPPP-P-P-P-P P-P-P-P-P-LEASEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE.” To her complete amazement, the feather stopped. She gasped and was trying to take advantage of the break to pulled her hands close enough together to pull the bracelet off, when another feather began to approach her left foot.

“No please not there. Any place but theEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE HAHAHAHHAAHHAHAI-I-I- CC-C-C-C-CAN’T SS-S-S-TAND IT-T-T-TT-T-, HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.”

The feather seemed to focus on Felicia’s heel, which Felicia quickly learned was her worst spot. After years of walking slowly and wearing only the fanciest high-heeled boots and softest heel-reinforced stockings, her heels were the most ticklish part of her body. The sight of her giggling and laughing seemed to drive the other feathers into a frenzy. They all moved in and began to tickle her weakest spots with glee. Her heels and toes received most of the attention, as well as the space right beneath the balls of her feet. Feather tips gently bumped along her ribs as other feathers slipped in and out of her armpits. One feather even tried to get inside her belly button, with ticklish results.

“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Y-Y-Y-OUR DD-D-D-D-DRIVING MEHEHEHEHEHEH MAD-D-D-D HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!” Indeed, Felicia began to wonder if she was not already insane, for a tiny thought had begun to creep in her mind. Maybe she didn’t want it to stop. But she shoved this thought aside as she tried to think of any spells that might help her. Suddenly, a feather found a particularly ticklish spot right behind her knees, which dove all thoughts of spells from Felicia’s mind and allowed some strange new thoughts to surface.

This wasn’t so bad. Felicia had faced death many times in her line of work, and had come face to face with horrible and terrifying creatures. This, this tickling, it wasn’t scary at all, once one got used to the idea. It was like a practical joke, the kind even the victim had to laugh at (literally.) In fact, said a little voice in the back of her mind, that sounded like the little girl she had once been, this was fun.

Fun!! Thought Felicia, you think this is fun. She would have said it out loud, except that the tickling was so bad now, that she couldn’t talk for laughing. How in the world could this be fun? But she began to realize that this was the first time she had laughed, really laughed, since she had left her mage school. Arrogant and mocking laughter didn’t make you feel like this laughing made you feel. It made you feel like you were filled with little bubbles of light.

Felicia couldn’t help but truly laugh at her predicament. She had bested the worst monsters to be found on land, sea, and air. And what had bested her. A pile of feathers! Real laughter of pleasure mingled in with her ticklish laughter to form harmonious music. She began to understand. She began to believe, this was Fun.

She bracelet loosened its grip, but Felicia wasn’t ready to stop, now that she was having fun. She planned to test her limits. Now the feathers seemed to obey her thoughts. She directed them until they were only tickling her absolutely most ticklish spots. Her heels were now bright red and her breaths came in gasps. Being new to being tickled, she had no idea what her limits were. The feathers kept tickling and she kept giggling. Soon, it was more than she could handle. Just before she passed out, the bracelet slipped off her wrist of its own accord. She fell to the soft mass in a giggling pile. Her robes, in one piece fluttered down beside her along with her boots and stockings. Felicia couldn’t even move seeing as she was still recovering from the residual feel of the tickling.

Silvia couldn’t help but be jealous. That looked like it had been so much fun. How dare FF not share its secrets with her and Peek first. After all, they had found it.

Silvia turned to FF. “Why did you tell us we couldn’t yet know what the bracelet did? It seems okay for Felicia to use it!”

FF smiled. “I couldn’t show it to you, because then you would have wanted to keep it. You see, I had a little idea since I first saw that bracelet. I placed it in my gold-replenishing cauldron to see what would happen. And the cauldron replenished with bracelets, all with the same spell! Luckily, it only fills up with bracelets when I put a bracelet in there. But now I have enough bracelets for everyone, yes even you three,” he said, directing the last line to the three girls in the back, who had been watching Felicia’s trial with glee. FF grinned again. “Now you don’t even have to come all the way out to my cave to get really good tickling. But right now, why don’t the five of you come over here and help me with this snake girl. Would you believe that every place on her body is covered with scales except her feet and armpits? What luck!”

Peek and Silvia joined Betty, Alice, and Hanna as they walked over to where Venus was being held in the all to familiar spread-eagle hold. All her leather armor had been removed, leaving her wearing underclothes that were covered with black fish scales. The underclothes clearly left her armpits open. She was shaking all over and struggling like mad. FF gave a sigh.

“I have been saving her for you five. I think she could use a smile.”

Hanna and Betty each took and armpit as Peek moved in on a foot. Silvia and Alice found themselves both on one foot. Alice grinned shyly.

“I’ve never tickled before,”

Silvia pulled back Venus’s toes and smiled. “You can take the arches and heels. Just run your claws all over her feet and you’ll do fine.”

Venus looked close to tears. “No pleassse. I’m begging you! Not that. No NO NOOO!.”

FF looked around. “Everybody ready? Okay? TICKLE!!”

The five girls went to it with a vengeance. Hanna and Betty each managed to cram all ten wiggling fingers into each of Venus’s sensitive armpits. Silvia was scraping the undersides of Venus’s toes with her fingernails as Alice found out it was just as much fun to tickle as be tickled. Peek had found a new game. She tried to mock write everything Venus said into her bare feet with her little tickly claws. This drove Venus absolutely up the wall. Venus’s laugh was even stranger than Peek’s. It was half giggle as she opened her mouth and half hiss as she closed it.

“HEEHEEHEEHISSSSSSSS HEEHEEHEEHISSSSSSSS SSSTOPPIT-T-T-T PLEASSS-SSS-SSSE NOOOO! HEEHEEHEEISSSSSS.”

Hanna and Betty, while still tickling her armpits, leaned her head close to Venus’s ears and began to chant in a singsong voice.

“Isn’t this fun? Isn’t this fun? Isn’t this fun?”

It took a long while of tickling for Venus to begin to realize. Every since she had killed the nasty boy she was going to be forced to marry, she could count the number of times she had smiled on one hand. She had never truly had fun in her entire life. Snake people just don’t have fun as a general rule. They think fun is silly. So it wasn’t surprising that it took her awhile to realize just what she had been missing all her life. She had rebelled against her people’s laws. She had rebelled against her people’s beliefs of nonviolence. Now she rebelled against her people’s mindset. She liked being silly! She liked having fun! But most of all, she like being tickled!

“HEEHEEHEEHISSSSSSS! NO D-D-D-ON’T-T-T-T-T SSSSSSTOP! MMORE, MORES YESSSSSSSSHISSSHEHEHEHEHISSSSSS!”

The rest of the girls were happy to oblige. Finally, FF was forced to go against his nature and stop it.

“Enough, enough, before you make her pass out. She’s close to it, I can tell, I have had experience. Go to sleep. You’ll all need you rest after such a big day.”

Silvia needed no extra biding. As she lay down on the soft moss and closed her eyes, she didn’t even notice Peek whispering to FF and the others.

Felicia woke up later that night. She still was smiling after her delightful tangle with the bracelet. She knew that it must have taken a lot of magic to make it. Suddenly she sat up.

It took more magic than anyone had ever possessed to stop a spell like the one she had used! No magic on earth was supposed to be able to stop that spell! She crawled over to where FF sat. FF never slept, so he just looked on and smiled as others slept. FF turned to look at Felicia as she came over.

“Well, well, little one, you are still awake. What do you want?”

Felicia picked up the bracelet. “I want you to tell me all about the person who made this.”

FF smiled in fond memory. “That would be the Veiled Woman. She made me too, you know. Let me tell you all about her.”

The two talked long into the night.

Silvia woke up to the sound Peek giggling. Silvia turned to look and Peek thrust a huge pear into Silvia’s face.

“Look, I found breakfast. There is enough for us all.”

They all gathered in a big circle and had their breakfast.

Felicia turned to Silvia with a guilty face. “I’m sorry I planned to kill you. Can you ever forgive me?”

Silvia smiled. “Of course I can forgive you! What are friends for?” She looked at Felicia’s puzzled face. “After you have been tickled in the cave, you are best friends with all of us for life.”

The rest of the girls nodded. Felicia and Venus looked around at all the friendly faces. A new warmth filled them. They had never before felt like they belonged.

“So,” said FF, “I know Betty, Hanna, and Alice can hang around for a few more day’s, but what are the rest of you going to do?”

Peek giggled. “Me and Silvy are going to look for the Lost City of Peekopalis.”

Silvia grinned at her partner’s antics, “I’ll Peekopalis you! Actually, we were planning to go hunting for some more items. We may not need the money, but it is still fun work. What about you two?” she asked Felicia and Venus.

Felicia grinned. It made her look ten times more beautiful than before. “Me and Veny have decided that we are going to find the Veiled Woman. I am hoping that she will apprentice me. FF said that he would finance our trip if we bring him back news of what we find.”

Silvia nodded. “I hope you have luck on your trip. Just don’t put on anymore bracelets until you know what they are.”

They all had a good laugh at that one, especially Felicia.

FF shook himself and said, “Speaking of which, is everybody done? I have decided that since you have all been such wonderful sports, I’ll give each and every one of you a bracelet of your very own. But first, I think it’s time for a little surprise.”

With that, he grabbed a hold of Silvia by her wrists and ankles and lifted her off the ground.

“Hey, what gives?” demanded Silvia.

Peek grinned mischievously. “Hey Silvy, guess what. Its your turn.”

Peek and Venus each took a foot, placing a claw over her incredibly ticklish arch dimples. Hanna and Betty each took an armpit as Alice and Felicia positioned themselves at her sides, one hand raised above her ribs and the other above her belly.

FF looked around. “Everybody ready? Okay? TICKLE!!”

As twelve pairs of hands began to tickle with all their might, Silvia was able to get one thought in before laughter drowned out all of her thoughts. This was going to be ticklish. This was going to be extreme. The was going to be FUN.

The End
(For Now, Heh, heh, heh.)