View Full Version : HISTORY PROJECT: A Tickle Street Story

05-01-2003, 11:32 PM
by Strelnikov
Copyright 2003 by the author

Dramatis Personae (in order of appearance)

Ashley Curtis
A.K.A Beauty Queen. She’s 18, tall and shapely, with long blonde hair and crystal blue eyes. Her mother started entering her in beauty pageants and contests as soon as she could walk. She lives with her mom, a former beauty queen herself, who always showers Ashley with positive influence on how beautiful she is. Ashley and her mother moved to Tickle Street at the end of summer. Besides being exceptionally beautiful, Ashley is also exceptionally ticklish – an ideal combination.

Morgan Ernst
A.K.A. Girl Genius. Age 18, medium height, slender, with curly brown hair and brown eyes. She gets straight “A”’s in all subjects. She’s new in town, her family moved to Tieson City at the beginning of summer. She’s extremely ticklish, but because of a horrible experience in her former town, she has a deathly fear of tickling.

Candice Wade
A little 18-year-old beauty with bright blue eyes and ash blonde hair, and a very trim and shapely body. Loves to be tickled and get in ticklish situations, but if the tickling goes too far, she's out of control. Lately her lust to be tickled has grown and grown, and now she'll do anything to get tickled. She's lived on Tickle Street since she was five, and the action has been mild… until now. Her older sister Nicole is away at college.


“Hey, everybody, check this out!” Ashley Curtis called from the computer. Her companions, Morgan Ernst and David Goodson, came to look over her shoulder.

They had gathered at Ashley’s house on this late October afternoon to work on their joint project for Senior History. The topic they had selected was women workers in early 19th Century textile mills. Mill owners, they had found, preferred to hire girls aged from about 12 to 18, because the girls would work for lower wages than family men. Some of those owners housed the girls in dormitories, and provided education as an additional incentive to stay.

The dormitories were something like the finishing schools rich girls attended. After working hours, the girls were taught “proper” speech, conduct and deportment; upscale manners; the more refined domestic skills. The illiterates were taught to read and write – Bible study was part of the program too. The grim middle-aged women who ran these places functioned as surrogate parents, responsible for the moral guidance of the girls, and the girls had to have their permission to leave the premises. Rulebreakers were fired and expelled – those women were serious about their responsibilities to the owners, the parents, and the girls themselves.

The hours were long, the pay low, the work hard, dirty and dangerous – but that was the case for everyone except the rich in those times. Graduates were highly desirable brides. It was a way for a poor girl from a farm or fishing village to better herself.

The three were well along on their project, but Ashley had just made a unique find. The owner of one such mill had thought he could cut expenses by reducing turnover. Maybe he had Biblical notions about atonement, repentance and redemption too – it was a religious time in the country’s history. In any event, troublemakers were punished, and given one chance to mend their ways. The punishment was the job of the Regulator.

Physical punishment – beatings – were common enough back then. The old Yankee had come up with something better. Morgan paled when she read the description. Oh, no! It was horrible! Mistress Regulator… tickled them!

Morgan had a horror of tickling. In her former home town, just after her 18th birthday, she and two friends had taken a dare and gone to creepy Old Man Johnson’s house with a 12-pack of toilet paper to roll his yard. He had surprised and chloroformed each girl separately and taken them inside. When Morgan came to, she was tied up with her friends in the old man’s secret tickle dungeon. He had tickled them mercilessly. Once, she asked him why he was tickle torturing them. The reason, of course, was that he was a serial fetishist. His response had been: “Why am I doing this? What else is there?”

Fortunately, their friends and families had sent out search parties when the girls failed to return. One of them found a shoe in the shrubbery by his mailbox and called the police. Old Man Johnson was now a guest of the State at the Gray Bar Hotel.

Morgan wasn’t the same cheery light-hearted girl after the tickling incident. Her parents decided to move when they noticed that Morgan’s grades were going down and she was sinking into depression. They finally found a perfect house in a nice small town called Tieson City, on Tickle Street. The street name bothered Morgan, but… It was just a name… Wasn’t it?

Morgan knew she couldn't let one bad experience ruin her whole life. As soon as they passed her old city limits, she felt a weight lift from her shoulders. She felt fresh and free, and ready to enjoy life again. Live life without tickling... At least, that's what she thought...

Ashley was still facing the computer, and didn’t notice Morgan’s reaction. Ashley was used to performing in public at beauty pageants, so she had an idea.

“Hey! Let’s stage a little play about this! We can do it for our class – no, all of the History classes! It’ll be fun, and we’re guaranteed lots of extra credit! David, you’re the mill owner… well, the mill owner’s son, I suppose. I’m the wayward girl. Morgan, you’re the Regulator.”

“The Drama Club did “The Crucible” last year,” David said. “I think the stocks we built are still in the prop room.”

Morgan sat down on the bed, shaking. “No,” she said. “I… couldn’t.”

“What’s wrong, Morgan? Stage fright?” David asked.

“No… It’s… I can’t talk about it.”

“Hey,” Ashley said. “I’m the Beauty Queen, remember? David’s in Drama Club. We’ll walk you through it.”

“Besides,” David added, “you may not need extra credit, but Ashley and I sure could use some. You’re outvoted.”

Morgan got a grip on her emotions. “OK,” she said. “I’ll do it – for the team.”


They finished their information gathering and wrote their play before Thanksgiving. Rehearsal started the following Monday, after school. They hit a snag immediately.

“No! Keep your back straight, Morgan,” Ashley said. “You’re supposed to be wearing a corset. Here, this will help.”

Ashley peeled an 18 inch strip off a roll of duct tape. She reached under the back of Morgan’s shirt and plastered it along Morgan’s spine.

“There – if you feel the tape pull on you, straighten up until the pull goes away. Now walk!”

Better, but still not right. “Don’t roll your hips. You’ll be wearing a long dress with petticoats, and it will swing like a bell. You should move like a tall ship under sail. Watch me!”

Ashley demonstrated. It looked odd in jeans – a sort of flat-footed prancing glide. “I use this in the Evening Gown events. See, no bounce, and no hip sway at all.”

Morgan tried – many times – until both girls were tired and cross. She still didn’t get it.

“OK, Morgan,” Ashley said at last. “We’ll quit for now. We’ve got two more weeks to rehearse. That’s plenty of time to get it right.”


The action sequence got off to a better start. Ashley sat in the stocks, wiggling her bare toes. “OK, Morgan – you’re on. Tickle me!”

Morgan cringed inwardly. How could anyone subject herself to this? But Ashley was insistent. The audience would recognize fakery. Morgan scratched hesitantly at Ashley’s soles, and produced a burst of ticklish laughter. She quit, alarmed.

“Why did you stop?” Ashley asked. “Keep going. The audience isn’t going to believe five seconds worth of tickle punishment.”

David crouched down at Ashley’s feet. “Here – like this,” he said, and his fingers flew over the sensitive soles. Ashley was off-the-scale ticklish – she threw her head back and laughed at the top of her lungs. He had the basics – he had practiced on his sister, much to her dismay – and showed them to Morgan while Ashley laughed and squirmed and laughed some more. After a few minutes, he quit and said, “OK, you try it.”

Morgan did her best. Tickling was different from the outside, and she was pretending to be someone else anyway. Ashley laughed her head off. When the practice session ended, Morgan decided that she didn’t enjoy doing it – not much, anyway – but it was… interesting. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. That didn’t mean she was like Old Man Johnson… Did it?


They lucked out with the costumes. David’s uncle and aunt were Civil War re-enactors. The black sack suit and calico dresses were a little too late for the period they were portraying, but most people wouldn’t notice. Ashley was handy with a needle and thread. Her temporary alterations would hold up long enough.

The black shoes – boots almost – were borrowed too, because authentic footwear was always the hardest part of costuming. Morgan’s fit her reasonably well. David’s were a little too big, but he could always wear two pairs of socks. Ashley’s were a size too small. They pinched, and she couldn’t get them on over even one pair of socks. Well, she wouldn’t be wearing them for long. Or something else might work – clogs, maybe, like the mill girls wore – she would give the matter some thought.

They rehearsed after school every night for a week. They had their lines down cold. Morgan had become an adequate tickler, and had even discovered that it was kind of fun to make Ashley laugh. But she still didn’t have the moves.

“NO!” Morgan shouted. “I won’t do it! I can’t do it!” Softly: “I’m… afraid.”

“We’re too far along to back out now, Morgan,” David said. “Ashley’s right. You just don’t have the moves. She has to be the Regulator.” He went on: “Look, you’re pretending to be someone else – someone who is scared to death. Use that. Project the fear onto her. It’ll convince our audience, believe me.”

Morgan felt trapped, but she was part of the team. “OK,” she said. “But no tickling during rehearsal. Save it for the performance.” Surely she could stand it that long… Or could she?


They staged their play in the auditorium just before Christmas break. The stage had a hardwood floor and a bare brick back wall – it looked suitably industrial. The props – the stocks, a straight chair and a stool - were Stage Center Front.

Ashley was heavily made up. She had wound her long blonde hair up in a tight bun at the back of her neck, and sprayed it with some sort of gray theatrical goop. Her makeup was shaded a little darker under her eyes and cheekbones. Thin black lines were painted across her forehead, at the corners of her eyes and mouth, down her neck. The effect was clownish close up, but from the audience she looked like a middle-aged woman with wrinkles and frown lines.

David and Morgan had a dusting of powder, just enough to kill the shine. David’s fake mutton-chop side whiskers more or less matched his hair - they looked OK from a distance. Morgan’s hair was done up in sausage curls. Under her dress, she wore light-brown plastic garden clogs - the three had decided that the borrowed shoes just didn’t work out for this part. From a distance, they looked and sounded like the wooden clogs commonly worn by the mill workers.

“Showtime,” Ashley said. “Break a leg!”

David walked out onto Stage Left Front, into the light.

“Good afternoon,” he said. “This is the Cabot Woolen Goods Mill, and the year is 1837. The mill employed about 100 young women, most of them younger than we are - their ages ranged from 12 to 18. They were housed in a dormitory that…”


“…but Ebenezer Cabot believed in atonement, repentance and redemption. The wild ones, the rule-breakers, were given one chance to accept their punishment and change their ways. Ebenezer’s son Silas supervised the punishment, more humane than a beating but just as effective. The punishment was the work of the Regulator.”

David turned, crossed the stage diagonally to the center and turned again, facing the audience from behind the stocks.

Ashley and Morgan walked onto the stage. Morgan’s hands were tied behind her back, her clogs clattered on the boards. She looked like she was scared witless – no acting was needed for that. Ashley walked beside her, guiding her with a hand on her elbow.

“Come along, Abigail,” Ashley said. “We mustn’t keep young Mr. Cabot waiting.”

They crossed the stage to the stocks, and Ashley guided Morgan to sit in the chair. Ashley raised the top of the stocks and set it aside. She took Morgan’s ankles, placed them in the holes, replaced the top, latched it shut.

“Abigail,” David said, “after Sunday Services, you left the dormitory without permission. Mistress Regulator found you idling in town with a young man of questionable reputation. Do you deny it?”

Morgan shook her head, eyes downcast.

“Your father entrusted us with your supervision and moral guidance,” he continued. “If I fail to correct you, I have betrayed that trust. Do you understand?”

A flash of fire: “Girls my age have families of their own! You can’t treat me like a child!”

“Silence, girl!” Ashley said sternly. “Do you want to compound your offense with insolence?”

“Girls your age slop hogs and gut fish,” David said. “Is that what you want? Do you want to be sent home to your father?”

“No…” Morgan said miserably.

“Then accept your punishment and learn from it!” He folded his arms across his chest. “Mistress Regulator, do your duty!”

Ashley sat on the stool at Morgan’s feet, her back ramrod straight. She removed Morgan’s clogs, exposing her bare feet, and set them on the floor.

Morgan trembled. She couldn’t really see the audience – the stage lighting was far too bright, they were just a dim mass in the distance. Behind Ashley, off stage, she saw a momentary flash of light. Reflection from a lens! Candice Wade – with a videocam!

Ashley tickled her then, on both heels, fingers flying. It was worse than she had imagined possible. Ashley scratched her ticklish heels, drew loops and circles in her arches, scrabbled fingernails on her sensitive soles as her toes twitched and curled. Morgan arched her back and laughed her head off.

Ashley spread Morgan’s toes and tickled between each pair, left to right and back again as Morgan laughed like a madwoman. She grabbed the right foot, held the toes back and tickled the soft skin underneath, flicking and scratching. Then down onto the stretched out sole, and Morgan's’ laughter went off the scale. Ashley had found THE SPOT, where her feet were unbearably ticklish – the exact center of her sole, along the crease.

Ashley drew fast circles around the ball of Morgan’s foot, forcing more loud bursts of ticklish laughter. She tickled under the toes again, side to side. And then she scrabbled in the center of the sole, in THE SPOT, tickled the ball of the foot, back across to the outside, and back to THE SPOT again. Morgan laughed at the top of her lungs, struggling against her bonds, the sausage curls swinging as she twisted and squirmed.

Ashley released the right foot and danced her fingernails in Morgan’s arches. Morgan laughed helplessly while Ashley tickled her heels, around the edges, back to the center, then back onto the arches again. Onto the soles, tickling along the wrinkles, and back to the arches again. The tickling filled Morgan’s universe as she laughed – and laughed – and laughed some more.

And now the left foot got its share of solitary attention. No preliminaries this time - Ashley held the toes back and concentrated her attention on THE SPOT and nowhere else. It didn’t last forever, but it seemed that way. Morgan howled with forced mirth, red faced, eyes closed, tears streaming down her cheeks.

David pulled the pocket watch out of his vest. “Enough, Mistress Regulator,” he said.

“As you wish, Mr. Cabot,” Ashley replied. As he walked away, she said in a stage whisper, “Pompous young ass!”

Ashley released Morgan from the stocks, helped her to stand, untied her hands. She consulted her own watch, pinned to her dress above her left breast. “Come, Abigail. You’ve missed your supper, but you still have time to attend your Bible Study before bedtime.”

She moved away, with Morgan following, then stopped and faced her former victim. “Put your shoes on, girl! You’re not back home on the farm – not yet, at any rate.”

She turned away and walked off stage. Morgan stepped into the clogs and clattered after. Ashley’s voice came from offstage: “WALK! Never forget that you’re a LADY!”

Silence from the audience – then loud applause.


There was an awkward moment when their teacher came backstage as the audience left the auditorium. They had known that they were more likely to be granted absolution than given permission, so they hadn’t troubled him with all of the details in advance. But the play had been a success, and he congratulated them. They got their “A”’s, and extra credit besides.

David went to change out of his costume in the guys dressing room, and Ashley and Morgan went to the other. Candice was waiting for them with the videocam. “Bravo!” she said. “Want to see the movie?”

Morgan was sweaty, dry mouthed, her makeup streaked with tears of laughter. But… The performance had been fun. Even the tickling, in an odd sort of way. We ought to do this performance for the Middle School too. Maybe I’ve got stage fever, she thought. Surely that’s it… Isn’t it?

“After I change, Candice,” she replied. She pulled the calico dress off over her head, stepped into her jeans, put on her sweatshirt. She saw that Ashley had already taken off the too-tight boots, saw that they had left red marks on her bare feet. She watched Ashley pull off her dress, waited until Ashley was halfway into her own sweatshirt, with her vision blocked…

…and attacked Ashley’s bare tummy. Ashley collapsed in a laughing heap and curled up in a ball to escape the tickling. But she couldn’t protect her feet that way. Morgan crouched, grabbed Ashley’s ankles in an arm lock and stood up, tickling her feet. Ashley lost it and laughed like mad.

“First, I want some revenge!”

“Take your time,” Candice said. She watched while Morgan gave Ashley a ticklish workout. Morgan wasn’t bad – Ashley was laughing like crazy.

Candice grinned. Unless she was very much mistaken, the Ancient and Honorable Society of Vellatrices (Tickle Street Chapter) had themselves a new member.

***THE END***

For those who came in late, links to the other stories in this series are here:

05-01-2003, 11:33 PM
Mill owners really did employ young girls, for the reason stated. Some really did house their workers in dormitories. A few dormitories were run about as I described - in a few others, the inmates were fed gruel, slept on a straw pallet under one thin, sour blanket, and were flogged as punishment for infractions. Most were somewhere in between. None would have used tickling as a form of discipline.

Ebenezer and Silas Cabot, Abigail, Mistress Regulator, and the Cabot Woolen Goods Mill are entirely figments of my imagination. Despite the disclaimer, I have no doubt that this story will become the source of a new internet tickling legend. If it does... Remember, folks, you read it here first.

Hope you enjoyed the story.


05-02-2003, 04:41 PM
Fine story, Strelnikov.:D I really like this series.

05-02-2003, 10:01 PM
I like your style. Keep it up!!!

05-02-2003, 10:10 PM
Good show!!!:D :D

05-03-2003, 12:34 AM

MTJ Publishing

05-03-2003, 01:18 PM
Just keep getting better and better! Great detail.....


08-09-2003, 01:36 AM