“Matt! You little creep! Come back here!” Lizzie screamed in the background as her mother opened the front door. Gordo and Miranda got a glimpse of little Matthew McGuire barrelling across the hall, with his big sister hot on his heels. Dark-haired Matt had a huge grin on his face; a sure sign that he had just indulged in some sort of mischief, at Lizzie's expense.
“Lizzie! Hi! Bad time?” asked Miranda as Matt took a corner fast, and blonde teenager failed to make the turn as a rug slipped out from under her.
“Ouch!” Gordo commented, looking down at his friend. He looked up and spotted Matt halfway up the stairs. The younger boy stuck out his tongue at his sister, then gave his “successful prank” grin before disappearing upstairs.
“Ooooh, that little rat!” Lizzie fumed as Miranda helped her to her feet.
“What'd he do?” Gordo asked.
“I don't know for sure yet, but I have my suspicions,” she said, giving a withering stare towards the stairway where little Matt had disappeared. “My lipstick did something funny today while I was at the mall. It made my lips all numb and rubbery. I was talking like a babbling idiot for twenty minutes. When I told mom about it, Matt giggled. That's when I started after him, until you guys came,” Lizzie explained.
Gordo pondered for a minute. He remembered how Matt had danced away, giggling one time when he had jabbed the younger boy in the sides, and it gave him an idea.
“I think I know how to find out if he did anything. Give me a few minutes.”
Saying nothing more, he headed up the stairs, leaving Lizzie and Miranda to look at each other, perplexed. The girls were used to Gordo somehow “handling” things, so they shrugged and went into the kitchen to get a drink. As they entered, Lizzie's mother walked in from the other way. She was holding her purse and the car keys.
“Lizzie? I have to go out for a couple of hours. Can you keep an eye on your brother? And try not to kill him, please,” she said.
The blonde girl rolled her eyes. “Oh, okay,” she grudgingly agreed.
Just as the girls were finishing their drinks, they heard Gordo call them. They went into the other room, as saw Gordo standing casually, halfway down the stairs with an inscrutable little smile on his face.
“I believe you wanted to have a talk with young Matt,” he said suavely,gesturing for them to follow him up the stairs.
He escorted them into Matt's bedroom. When the girls got there, they were surprised by what they saw.
Matt was lying on his back on his bed. Each arm and leg was stretched out and tied to a post at the corners of the bedframe. The younger boy was struggling mightily to try to get free. When he looked up as saw the two girls enter, his eyes got wide with fear.
“No! Not them! They can't come in here!” the boy shrieked, as he pulled harder on the bathrobe belts that stretched him out, to no avail.
“Lizzie has some questions for you,” Gordo said to the restrained boy, giving a small smile.
“Gordo! How did you get him like this?” Lizzie asked, astonished. She watched her little brother struggle futilely, grunting with effort,but Gordo seemed to have bound the younger kid tightly, but also so that Matt wouldn't hurt himself pulling.
“A man must have his secrets,” Gordo said enigmatically.
Lizzie sat down beside Matt, on the edge of his bed. Matt flinched away, but seemed to have given up on trying to pull free.
“Now that I've got your attention,” Lizzie said, smiling darkly at her defenceless little brother, “let's talk about something strange that happened at the mall today.”
“I wouldn't know what you're talking about,” replied Matt quickly, trying his best to look innocent.
Lizzie raised her hands slowly above her little brother's chest, as Matt watched nervously. He started struggling again, but got the same distressing lack of results.
“Something made my lips and mouth all numb today when I used by lipstick,” she stated, her hands still poised over top of Matt. “Are you sure you don't know anything about that?”
Matt blinked, pulling his gaze away from his sister's hands, and formed an obstinate expression.
Lizzie smirked at Matt's reticence. She dropped her hands to the younger boy's sides and dug in her fingers. Matt's eyes opened wide in shock, and a strained moan escaped from his nose, although his lips were clenched tightly shut. Not to be beaten that easily, Lizzie walked her fingers along Matt's sides, and up and down his skinny little ribs. Matt moaned louder, his face starting to flush a bit pink from holding in his reactions.
Lizzie figured that her little brother was trying to convince her that he wasn't ticklish, hoping that maybe she would give up, but he wasn't fooling anyone. Lizzie had tickled Matt all the time as the two grew up; fleeting pokes at the lad's sides whenever he annoyed her, but she had never had him completely immobile and helpless, totally at her mercy.
She was going to enjoy this!
Matt had his eyes clenched shut as he shook his head back and forth, trying to ignore, or dispel the insidious tickling sensations from his sides, but he knew he was losing the battle. He should have realized that Gordo's bet that he couldn't escape from his tie-up job was a ploy to help Lizzie, but the ten dollars that the older boy offered if he had escaped was so tempting. See where his greed and naïveté got him now!
Lizzie decided it was time to get more than suppressed grunts out of her little brother. She grabbed the hem of his shirt, and pulled it up,baring his stomach and chest. Matt gave her a scared, moon-eyed stare, silently begging her not to tickle him now, but Lizzie was having too good a time to stop now. She touched the tips of her nails to the youngster's bare skin, and started skating them all over his sides and stomach.
Matt's rebellion of silence broke with a high-pitched squeal of protest, followed by wild laughter and giggles as she continued stroking his helpless abdomen. Lizzie followed up by trailing her nails all around his navel. She got especially screeching laughter when she skated her fingernails over the part of his stomach between his belly button and the waist of his jeans, so she devoted several seconds to treating little Matt to that ticklish agony.
“No-hohoho!! Na-ha-ha-hat there!! Heeheeheeheehee!!” Matt squealed.
“Do you have something to tell me?” Lizzie asked, a playful drawl in her voice as she continued playing with her little brother's bare abdomen.
Matt rebelliously shook his head, still laughing helplessly.
Miranda moved to the other side of the bed and sat down, watching her friend torture her mischievous little brother. “Mind if I help, Lizzie?” she asked.
Matt's eyes shot open, staring at Miranda with fear. He tried as best he could to look cute and innocent, hoping that he could silently convince her not to add to his torment, but Miranda was not one known for showing mercy. The brunette girl grabbed the hem of Matt's shirt, and pulled it up over his head, effectively blindfolding him with it. It also bared his armpits, for they were Miranda's targets.
Matt could only see shadows through the material of his shirt, and that made him nervous. He didn't know what to expect next, so when fingers started spidering in his exposed armpits, he flinched hard, his ongoing laughter catching in his throat for a second before flowing out even more intensely than before. With his sister scourging his sides and stomach, and Miranda treating his underarms to a ticklish finger-dance, Matt could feel that he was losing all control.
Now, Matt was a boy who enjoyed getting tickled. He'd often taunt Lizzie at times when he was bare-chested, just to goad her into retaliation, hoping that she would tickle him in revenge. It was only seldom that she'd tickle, so he ended up having to tease or annoy her every chance he got, in order to get the tickling he craved. This time, it seemed he had succeeded beyond his wildest hopes. In fact, he was starting to think that he had bitten off more than he could chew when he accepted Gordo's obvious ploy to get him helpless for Lizzie. He had put on what he thought was a pretty good act of seeming afraid and resistant when Lizzie had started tickling him, but his fear wasn't entirely faked when Miranda joined in. This was more tickling than Matt had ever received before. It was fantastic, but he couldn't help but be afraid of just how much they would torture him. The boy had envisioned only Lizzie tickling him. Two people were mind-blowingly ticklish, and as the two girls continued their efforts, Matt could feel his resistance eroding under the onslaught of relentless sensation.
“Feel like talking yet?” Lizzie taunted over the sound of Matt's laughter.
Matt just shook his head. He was determined that he was going to get as much as he could out of this situation.
“Gordo, we could use your help,” Miranda stated. She paused for a second to pull the shirt off of Matt's face, and tucked it behind his neck. Then she drove her fingers into the small boy's armpits again, making Matt mewl with laughter.
Gordo was generally more of a planner, than a participant in the girls'schemes, but the laughter was so infectious; and he was wondering just how ticklish Lizzie's little brother was. He moved to the foot of the bed and deftly tugged Matt's runners off his feet. Matt felt the cool air on his feet, and looked down, apprehensively. The older boy gazed back, as he proceeded to peel the ankle socks off of the little one's feet.
Matt was seriously panicking now. He had no idea if his feet were ticklish or not, but if they were, then he knew he'd be completely out of control with laughter. He was just barely suppressing his urge to confess with Lizzie tickling his belly and Miranda tormenting his underarms. Still, a part of himself told him that this might be the only chance to get a phenomenal, horrible tickling like this, and to enjoy it while it lasted. The boy focused on that voice, and steeled himself to withstand what he was sure was going to be an unbearable tickling of his soft, warm and incredibly defenceless feet.
Gordo looked at Matt's clenched toes for a second, and then reached down and gently but firmly pried back the toes on his right foot. He ran one finger down the taut skin of his sole, and Matt's laughter gave way to a high-pitched shriek in response. He tried it again, and Matt again howled in laughter.
“A bit ticklish there, are we?” Gordo taunted drolly. Matt shook his head vehemently, his eyes glistening with ticklish tears.
“Oh, you're not?” Gordo asked. “Well, then I guess you won't mind this!” and with that, he dug into that soft sole with all his fingers.
Matt squealed so loud, that the kids were sure that even the neighbours heard it. The boy was going ballistic, straining frantically at the belts that restrained him. His wild, high-pitched laughter filled the room as tears seeped from the corners of his eyes. Lizzie had never seen Matt so out of control, and she liked it. It served him right for what she was positive was his latest prank against her, and all the other pranks over the years that parental intervention had prevented her from getting revenge on. She kept tickling his heaving stomach with much gusto, making sure to wiggle her little finger in Matt's shallow navel from time to time.
It was too much. Certainly, Matt loved the tickling attention, but his foot turned out to be agonizingly ticklish, and the sensory overload of all three teens tickling him at once was well beyond his endurance. He tried to talk, to bark out a confession, but all that came out were nonsense syllables, and lots and lots of laughter. The panic that he tasted before now had him full in its grip. How could he get them to stop when they were dedicated to tickling him so hard that he couldn't even beg for them to stop? Tears poured from the corners of his eyes from the heavy laughter, flinging about from him shaking his head back and forth. The tickling sensations seemed to surround his mind, overwhelming it, and yet at the same time seeming to cradle it. Despite the incredible intensity of what the three teens were putting him through, a part of him still loved it.
Finally, after what seemed like forever locked in a heaven/hell of tickling sensation, they stopped. Matt just panted as hard as he could,getting back his breath. Through bleary eyes, he could see that they were all staring at him. Was he imagining it that Lizzie looked a tiny bit concerned?
Lizzie looked down at Matt. He was a mess. Face flushed from all his laughing, tears running from his eyes and hair tousled from squirming against his bed. She had let her frustration and rivalry with the boy get the better of her, and had been quite merciless in her treatment of his stomach and sides. She worried for a moment if he was okay, since he was still really red, and was panting like a racehorse. She didn't worry long, though, since before long, a very coy, Matt-like grin came to his face.
“Ready to talk?” Lizzie asked, relieved that he seemed okay. She was quickly remembering her irritation at him, as she poised her hands over Matt's recently tickle-ravaged abdomen.
“NO, No!!” Matt gasped, his eyes opening wide as his eyes fixed on her hands. Miranda similarly held her clawed hands close to the boy's armpits.
“Confession is good for the sole,” Gordo quipped, drawing a finger up the bottom of Matt's foot as he drew out the word “sole”. Matt giggled and flinched again at the sensation.
“Okay, okay! I soaked your lipstick in some of that toothache-numbing medicine,” Matt admitted, his breathing starting to return to normal now, and the flush slowly receding from his face.
“There, now was that so hard?” Lizzie stated, triumphantly. She lowered her hands into her lap, watching Matt's bare chest rise and fall with his calming breaths. It had felt really good to let go on Matt like that. The little fink was always trying to get under her skin, and he usually got off scott-free for his pranks. It occurred to her that tickling the heck out of him like that was revenge she could get on him without getting into trouble for beating him up.
“Yeah, yeah, sure,” Matt agreed, starting to sound more and more like his cocky self again. “Well, are you going to let me go, now?”
“Are you kidding?” Lizzie asked, getting a wicked look on her face. She was still irritated and embarrassed by the episode at the mall. “That was just the confession. Now we've got to punish you for the prank,” she added, including a corny 'evil laugh' at the end. She caught Gordo's and Miranda's eyes, and the playfully wicked look quickly spread to them.
Matt gaped in disbelief. He never thought he'd get another tickling so quick after that ordeal. He was just starting to feel a craving for the return of the dancing fingers to his stomach, sides, armpits and feet. Anxiousness built in the pit of his stomach — no longer fear, but akin to the excitement that builds as you ride up the first big hill of a roller coaster. He wasn't sure if he could even take any more tickling, but the part of him that loved it was rejoicing, revelling in the fact that he was about to get tickled to death… again!
Gordo placed his fingers on the soles of both small bare feet this time. Matt seemed too worn out to clench his toes this time, and the older boy was actually eager to start tickling him again. Not only had both he and Miranda suffered their share of Matt's pranks,but there had been something so appealing about Matt's laughter while he was being tickled. Dare he admit it, even just to himself, that it was really, really cute? He schooled his expression to his typical 'cool' look, and looked up at Lizzie. The moment she started, both he and Miranda joined in again, tickling Matt's smooth, sensitive skin, making the lad roar with laughter.
Could it be, Gordo noted, that there was only half-hearted begging coming from Matt between bursts of laughter?
By the time the two children's mother returned from her errands, Matt had been tickled to oblivion, untied, face cleaned up, clothes unrumpled and none the worse for wear. Lizzie and her brother were down in the kitchen with Lizzie's friends, chatting animatedly over drinks.
“Well, it's nice to see you two getting along for a change,” their mother observed, setting down the bag of groceries.
“We came to an agreement,” Lizzie said cheerily. In fact, what she had done was threatened Matt with another restraining and merciless tickling if he ever played a prank on her again. She doubted that would rein her little brother in, but they were all in such a good mood from the afternoon's activities, that she didn't really care.
“Matt?” their mother asked as she walked over near the table and looked down. “Where are your shoes and socks?”
Everyone looked down at Matt's still bare feet, and broke into giggles.
Lizzie's mother just gave a confused smile at their reaction, and shrugged her shoulders.