Richard was unceremoniously dumped by the slide into a pool of water. Gasping, the boy made his way to the surface. He climbed out of the pool and looked around, water pooling at his feet. Nearby, he saw a beach towel and a bathing suit, just his size. Quickly, Richard slipped off his sopping wet sneakers and socks, followed by the rest of his clothes, and pulled on the dry speedo. He towel dried himself, then spread his sailor costume, underwear, and socks to dry. Only then did he dare to look around.
The ten-year-old's blue eyes went wide and he gasped; he was in a medieval torture chamber! Richard recognized the stocks, a wooden device designed to immobilize an offender's wrists and ankles. Next to that was a table, with three jugs of water, a bottle marked "itching powder", some brine, and several long feathers. The bleating of a pair of goats made his head spin in that direction, droplets of water flying from his wet blond hair. The other stuff he understood; it was for torturing the poor boy trapped in the stocks (which Richard was afraid would be him) but what were the goats for?
Richard decided he'd better not find out, and ran for the only exit, a locked wooden door. It was iron-banded, with a small barred window. He tried the latch, but it was bolted shut and locked from the outside. That mean man, Dr. Tickle's laughter echoed throughout the chamber.
"Leaving so soon? I wouldn't hear of it!"
The boy swallowed. "Great. Now he's quoting the wicked witch!"
"No, little boy," a face suddenly addressed him from the little window in the door. "We're worse."
a key was fitted into the lock, and the door creaked open. Dr Tickle and two big thugs came in, grabbed the struggling, skinny boy, and carried him over to the stocks. They tied Richard's thin wrists behind his back, then used more rope to bind his arms together behind him, cinching the knots tight. His ankles, as expected, were secured before him in the wood frame, and a shiny padlock snapped shut. The boy was completely immobilized, his bare feet presented for tickling. Worse, wearing just the bathing suit, every part of his skin was exposed. The boy looked up at his captors with a little fear in his eyes. "You're gonna tickle torture me?"
"what a bright little boy! Don't you think so, Boris?"
"Ja, mein herr," the thug said in a thick German accent. He was holding a jug of water. Then, he lifted the boy's chin, and forced Richard to drink it all.
The evil man droned on. "We are called the Illuminati, my boy. You've been chosen to join us. However, your young mind must be conditioned first. Torture does that most effectively."
As Richard finished swallowing all three jugs of water, the other thug started to liberally apply itching powder to the boy's exposed skin. He started to squirm uncomfortably. "That itches!"
"It makes your skin even more susceptible to tickling," Tickle explained, taking a long white plume, and demonstrating.
Richard tried to hold back the giggles as the feather probed his ribs and tummy. The two brawny men each grabbed a feather or used their strong fingers to dig into Richard's belly and into his neck.
"NO!PLEEEZHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The boy wriggled and squirmed, but the ropes were too tight. He had no hope of getting free. As the lad's laughter built into hysterics, Tickle nodded to Hans, who started on the boy's feet. Richard curled his toes, but there was no escape from the endless tickles.
"No! Hahahaha! Not my feeeeet! Hahahahahaha! Please! Gasp! Not both feet at the same time! Hahahahaha!"
"Are your tender tootsies ticklish? Too bad, stripling! I promise it'll only get worse."
Richard couldn't imagine it getting any worse than this! Tears ran from his eyes, he couldn't breathe, and his ribs hurt from the strong adult fingers probing his chest. Then, he felt it. All that water they made him drink was settling in his bladder. The urge to go was getting uncomfortable, harder and harder to resist.
"AH CAN'T STAND IT! HAHAHAHAHAHA! AH HAFTA PEE!"
"Awww, is the wittle baby boy's bladder bursting? My, that didn't take terribly long. Hold it, boy! Don't wet your shorts!"
While Boris and the good doctor continued tickling poor Richard's ribs, tummy, and neck, not letting up for a moment, Hans began to paint the soles of his bare feet with brine. That in itself was ticklish, but it was nothing compared to what came next! While the German got the goats and tied the leashes to the stocks, Tickle explained.
"We've learned a great deal over the centuries, how to break a willful child and make him submit to accepting the dark god as his master. You'll do anything to make the torture stop. My, your bladder must be close to exploding by now. If you don't hold it, the tickles will go on for another hour." the goats began to lick his feet, which was ticklish beyond belief! The boy couldn't breat