Perci was desperate for a quick way to raise funds for the village. She went town to town for a few days until she found an advertisement for an “Old Timey Overlander Fair”. The work seemed flexible and well paying, as Perci is as tough as nails and can give a bit of elbow grease. She talked with the lead guy of the fair, who decided to put Perci into a performance act, despite her willingness to do labor. The hardest part about it to her was wearing a tattered green dress.
The next morning, Perci walked to her section of the fair and noticed a closed box with five holes in it, each surrounded by white fur and feathers. Confused, she asked a nearby gray hedgehog for help. “Excuse me, what’s the box for?”, she asked while carrying her dress. The hedgehog looked down at her dress and replied “Oh, you must be the performer to sit in this box. You’re in for a lot of laughter!” Perci raised an eyebrow, “Laughter?” The hedgehog informed Perci of her performance as a thief, a dress thief, and how it required being tickled in the stocks. Perci thought nothing of it as his words went through both of her ears and got into costume behind a bush. She was allowed to keep her red bandana and fur-lined boots, but the gloves had to go. The hedgehog opened the box for her, appearing padded and quite soft on the inside, with some holes in the back (which the audience would not see) for airflow. “Wow, this looks kinda comfy”, Perci replied with a surprised tone as she lowered herself into the softness. “You’ll be here for a while, try to enjoy it.”, the hedgehog commented. Perci was wondering what he meant, but raised her arms up to the hand holes as they closed around he wrists and neck, leaving her some wiggle room for her head. Next came the foot holes. Perci was instructed to keep her boots on for the first section of the theatrics.
Perci squirmed and tested her comforting bonds, “So... how can I be tickled if I’m stuck in this thing?”. The hedgehog smiled and put his left hand on her right boot. “When these boots come off. I hope you’re not too much of a tenderfoot, missy”, he said with a chuckle. Perci chuckled a little too, becoming nervous when she realized her boots were lined with fur, and not just on the rims. She left her socks at home, since socks were nonexistent in this time period, her toes flexing and feeling the soft bristly tingles. It was then that she realized that resisting would be futile, but still required for some of the performance. “I just realized nobody gave me a script!” The hedgehog gave a smug smile, replying “You won’t need one. The fair is opening in a minute.” Perci took a breath and tried to relax, which wasn’t hard with how she felt inside the box. The hedgehog took a giant lock and locked the stocks from the front, taking the key and setting it inside his priest robes. “May the goddess of laughter smile upon you”, he said in character before walking out of sight.
Perci heard the gates open. She was excited and nervous at the same time. At this point she was more concerned about her well being than her paycheck. As she looked her left she noted a stable containing various animals, to her right, a covered box, and in front of her: wooden bleachers. She pondered the thought of being a reverse comedian, laughing to entertain instead of entertaining to laugh. Perci waited some. The sun was coming up beating down on her boots, making her feet already feel warm. She tried spreading her toes to no avail, only pushing some fur around. The ambiance of horse carts, chatter, and the occasional clang of metal set the scene for this time period. Nothing here would benefit from a wrench. If she was born in this time, what would she be? Not a mechanic, that’s guaranteed.
The hedgehog returned with his hood up, approaching Perci. “Hey, how are you holding up?” Perci replied “Fairly good, nothing too hard about this.” The hedgehog declared “My name is Father Lektic, but you may call me Anthony”. “Well, Anthony. How long have I been sitting here?” “Only thirty minutes. Bored?” “No, anxious more than anything” Anthony promptly placed a sign below her feet reading “Thief”, before releasing her from her plush prison. “Why are you letting me out?”, Perci questioned. Anthony replied “That was to get you used to that position. Walk around the fair for a while and take in the sights. We’ll “arrest” you when it’s time for your part” as he gave a playful wink. Perci returned a nervous smile and walked throughout the fair. Aside from the realistic armored knights and kings she caught glimpses of witches and wizards. “Why can’t those fakes be tickled instead of me?”, she asked herself. She kept her head high and decided not to ask too many questions, she already had enough in her mind about what was in store. With each step she took she could feel the fur inside just a little more. She sat down at a table and had some mutton as a duo from the King’s patrol loomed over on her last bite.
“There she is!” cried a friar sitting across the table from Perci. Perci felt her arms grabbed as she yelped a little, surprised at the sheer strength of the patrol. They walked her off towards her destined punishment. The friar pointed at her the entire time, enticing a mob to follow, chanting “Thief! Thief! Thief!”. Perci hid her blushing quite well, looking straight down at the cobblestone that shifted into grass. She was close. Perci deduced that the mob moved into the bleachers, judging by the impacts of wood she heard, but she had no time to think as the patrol lifted her into the box and Anthony locked it as the patrol held it closed, preventing any escape attempts. Perci struggled, knowing it was hopeless, but wanting to sell the act for the cheering audience. She looked up and gasped. She couldn’t count how many were watching. It was more than forty though, enough to make her slowly blush. “Hear ye, hear ye! We have found a dress thief!” Anthony announced, giving a passing wink to her. “In Overland, we have a unique way to punish helpless, trapped, tender footed thieves. We tickle them into confession!” The crowed cheered. “These boots appear to be fur on the inside. I hope she didn’t run too much” he said with a playful tone as he began removing her left boot. Perci bit her tongue as the fur dragged across her foot, until the boot released its grip. Perci looked at her toes for a moment and flexed them, allowing them to breathe. This was interrupted by a finger wiggling around her bare foot. Perci jumped a little and curled her foot back in reflex. The crowd was silent, each wanting to be the first to hear her break.
Perci blushed a light pink, nervous at her unknown yet apparent ticklishness. That didn’t stop Anthony from working the will of the tickle gods, scratching up and down her sweaty arch. Perci grinned and closed her eyes, trying her hardest not to laugh. “Oh, I know just the place to make anyone crack up”, Anthony teased as he reached his fingers under her toes. Perci yelped with a quick “AHAHA!”, curling her toes in reflex. The crowd gave a slow “Oooh...”, interested in the priest’s methodology. Anthony lightly tickled her sole next, causing a river of snickers to escape from the playing thief. Perci tried wiggling her feet, but the fingers followed without end. Anthony decided that one foot was not enough and removed the remaining right boot, taking a quick and comical wiff from the rim. “By the heavens, she smells like a filthy peasant!” The crowd roared, yet Perci wasn’t amused. Anthony gave another quick wink at her, trying to comfort her in the act. Perci then wiggled her toes defiantly, proclaiming “I shall not confess”. The audience stared at Anthony, at Father Lektic, awaiting the most holy declaration. “So”, he said with a smirk. “You dare to challenge the god of laughter?” Perci took a breath and announced to all who could hear... “I won’t bow to the god of cheap tricks and tomfoolery”. A unified and agitated gasp erupted from the crowd, she made the best choice for the crowd, but possibly the worst choice for her ticklishness.
Anthony began wiggling his fingers up her feet, slowly moving from her heels to her toes. Perci started resisting, then giggling, then shaking her head with a smile. Anthony slowly scratched up and down her feet, the crowd on edge to hear Perci truly laugh. All Perci could do was chuckle and blush, helpless in the playful box. Anthony tickled her curled toes, Perci blushing deep and holding her breath. Anthony didn’t want to bring out the tools straight away, so he began wiggling his nails around her arches, hoping to get a slow release of laughs. Perci wiggled her toes and broke. “Eeyahahahahahahahaha!” The crowd cheered as Anthony snuck his fingers in between her toes, intensifying the laughter. “NOHOHOHOHOHOHAHAHAHAHAHA!”. Anthony stopped with a merciful “No?” The crowd eyed Perci, unsatisfied with the brakes she pulled on the tickle train. Perci gulped “Umm... yes? Is that what I should say?” Anthony smeared a twisted grin across his face and quickly muttered “I’ll see you after the show”. Perci had no time to process the previous sentence because the tickle assault raided her feet once more. Fingers dragging down her soles, followed by arch scratches, in an unending sequence. Perci blushed some and squirmed, screaming in laughter after realizing what she agreed to. Anthony tickled the bases of her toes, forcing Perci to throw her head back and let it all out. The crowd was amazed at how ticklish she was, not even considering the furred boots she was walking in. Father Lektic gave a bow before the fans, resulting in applause. Perci sighed in relief, believing her show was over.
Anthony then gave an attentive cough to alert Perci that the beginning was over. Perci wanted to bang her head against the wall, but being in stocks like this makes that impossible for the poor girl. The crowd interpreted this as part of the gag, not realizing that Perci is really embarrassed. Perci is overlooking her thoughts of possibly enjoying the tickling, due to the large audience in front of her being too great a distraction. Perci was brought back to reality by the unholy priest’s rambling. “Since her feet give quite the odor, she must have her feet washed!” Perci gave an annoyed look as the viewers cheered, enjoying the bonus scene normally reserved for other routines at this fair.
Father Lektic took the cover off of the box to Perci’s right, revealing a wooden box with a few smaller boxes inside. He took the one with the brush on it out and opened it, revealing it’s contents to the audience. The crowd awed and ooed. Anthony turned to Perci, “Here is your fate, miss smelly boots!”. Perci’s eyes widened at the sight of a scrub brush, a bar of soap, and a bucket. She pandered to the fans, “Oh no! That brush looks too ticklish for me!” The audience gave an approving cheer and snicker, the line delivered with some ham. Anthony made a comment to the crowd. “This bucket must be filled with water. The patrolman shall be gone no longer than five minutes.” Some of the audience walked out, taking the announcement as an intermission. Perci gave a small smile to Anthony. “You know, you’re not half bad at this”. Anthony raised an eyebrow, “Is that a challenge, wench?” he asked in a teasing tone. Perci noticed some audience members were still observing and decided to stay in character. “I-I itch between my big toe here, scratch it!” She extended her right big toe as far as she could. Anthony sat on the box and crossed his arms, “No. You’ll laugh too much.” A wizard in the audience declared he wanted the scratch to occur. Anthony shrugged and quickly scratched in between Perci’s right big and pointer toe, causing short hysterics as she pulled her foot back and curled her toes with a blush, yet not as big as previously. He then stroked one finger across the undersides of her toes. “Don’t curl, the god of tickles commands it”, he commanded with a playful wink. Perci took the challenge and smiled a little, quietly chuckling and keeping her toes spread to help the curling reflex. Anthony, still being the cruel Father Lektic, quickly tickling her arches with his other hand, making her break out in manic laughter.
The patrolman returned with the bucket and set it next to Father Lektic. “As requested, your holiness”, he commented. “Bless you”, returned Anthony.
The crowd returned after another moment and took their seats, some with ale. Anthony prepared the contents of the next act: the brush, the soap, and the bucket. “Shall the wench’s feet be washed?”, he asked the crowd. It was a stupid question, as the audience unified in a “Yea!”. Perci asked “Do I get a vote?”. The crowd laughed and Anthony poked her left arch, making her curl back in reflex. Father Lektic took the bar of soap and dipped it into the water, beginning to rub it around Perci’s left foot.
“Eehehehehehehehehehehahahahehehe!”. She was laughing, but not at full force. Anthony was slowly applying the bar of soap, letting her curl her toes against it, knowing it only made her feet cleaner. He proceeded with the right foot, holding her big toe still to keep her foot from wiggling this time. He teased, “Clean the thief’s feet”, resulting with the audience making playful tickle expressions. Perci blushed and squealed as the soap became thin enough to go in between her toes. Curling her toes did nothing as the soap was slippery and thin. “Ohohohohohohohohahahahahahahahaha!” Her slick feet bobbing back and forth in resistance to no help, Perci not realizing the brush was yet to come. The feet were clean and ready for part two.
Father Lektic grabbed the brush and brought it towards Perci’s feet. The crowd chanted “Brush! Brush!” and Perci had a nervous smile. Anthony was perplexed by the smile , but realized it was a tease, similar to his winks. He brushed around her right heel, surprisingly though, Perci was stoic. Anthony brushed the heel in circles before making his way up and down her sole. Perci her composure, “Dahahahahahahahaharn it!” she curled her feet back, only stopping the tickling for a quarter of a second. The crowd was enjoying how Father Lektic was dragging the punishment out, brushing slowly and firmly, much to Perci’s embarrassment. The cruel man of faith moved to her arch, continuing his slow, circular scrubbing. Perci shook her head and laughed openly “Mercy! AHAHAHAHAHAhahahahaHAAAA!”. Father Lektic replied with a slow “No~”, moving to her toes, bringing the ticklish hedgehog through a fit. “AHAHAHAHAHAHAT THERE! PLEASEHEHEHEHEHEHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Her toes curled only to reopen from the soapy slickness underneath them. Anthony gave Perci a quick break as he slowly moved to her left foot, “Fellow citizens. Shall I hurry this up?”. “VERILY!”, the mass declared. Father Lektic laughed evilly. “Excellent! Maybe I’ll set a new record!”. Perci panicked, struggling in her bonds and wiggling her feet. “No no NO! Let me out!”. It was unclear to the crowd if this was acting or reacting, but Anthony followed along by putting his left hand behind her foot, to keep it from wiggling too much. Perci took a breath and braced for impact. To her, the devilish brush was ravaging her foot, but to Father Lektic, it was an ecstatic exorcism. The brush made sprints back and forth in different sports. Her arch? Check. Her sole? Yea. Her heel? No doubt. Her toes? Obvious by her squealing. The crowd looked ready to do back flips as Perci was put through tickle hell, at least to this point. After about fifty seconds, it was over. Perci could breathe. Perci could stop blushing. Perci tried not to smile in front of the subjects. Father Lektic declared “The demons of foot odor have been banished from this poor, wretched soul!”. The mass approved and yelled “Amen!”, before clapping and whistling. Perci was pleased with her performance, it came naturally in this case.
A foreboding bell rang from the bell tower in the middle of the fair. Perci was not told of any bell signal she might need to know. It was four rings, but past nine in this morning. She whispered to Anthony, “What does that mean?”. He replied “Goat time”. She was puzzled but didn’t risk breaking the act by asking further questions. Father Lektic reached into the large box again and pulled out a box similar in shape to the last, but with a goat head engraved on the top. He held it into the crowd’s view. The crowd cheered even more than the first box, worrying Perci. The merciless priest opened the box, the crowd continued cheering. He turned and showed the contents to Perci: A brush, small rope, and a jar of honey. Perci was only more confused until a patrolman lead a goat into view, tying him to the side of the stocks. Anthony held up Perci’s right boot to the goat, who then smelled the inside for several seconds. Father Lektic smirked and joked to everyone, “He might like Perci, but he won’t give her any mercy!”. The only thing lacking from this punchline is a drummer to perform a rimshot, but the crowd gave no care and exploded into laughter. Perci decided to play smart and clear her throat, “Oh please, how will honey tickle?”. On cue, there was more laughter by the viewers, no card necessary.
Father Lektic tied the thief’s big and pinky toes back, preventing any kind of struggle from her soft, sensitive soles. He then brushed her heels in honey, making Perci grin a little. “Just a taste for both of you, enjoy”. The audience watched closely as the goat eyed Perci’s heels, taking laps at them. Perci made an “EEK!” and snickered, not expecting anything worse than the scrub brush. Father Lektic then brushed her soles slowly, reducing Perci to sorry snickers. Perci was anxious, nervous, at what the goat’s tongue could do against the rest of her feet. The goat worked up her left sole, causing Perci to chuckle greatly and squeal a few times, pleasing the congregation. As the goat licked around her right sole, she bobbed her head to the left as a playful gag of being too tired to squirm. Father Lektic coated her arches, “Ah, your favorite spot, no?”. Perci inquired, “What if I say yes?”, with a playful, yet idiotic smirk. Anthony responded, “Then two goats!”. At that instant, the second patrolman brought a female goat and tied it to the other side of the stocks. Cheers of deafening proportion could be heard from the stand, the audience appeared to have doubled in size since the start of this misadventure. Perci blushed a red deeper than a cherry. Father Lektic brushed Perci’s arches at a torturing slow pace. Perci breathed in between her chuckles, wishing she never spoke. Yet she was hopeful that her performance might earn several tips from the patrons. The goats sniffed towards her honey-coated arches, ready to do their duty to the kingdom. Their tongues clashed with Perci’s helpless feet, sending her into a thrashing roar. Small, quick licks can do a lot to a ticklish hedgehog. Perci continued struggling, shaking her head and blushing like a cherry for the second time this performance. Just before Perci’s eyes watered, the evil licking stopped. She took several long breaths as the crowd was almost out of their seats and rolling on the floor. Anthony took the opportunity from the distracted crowd to ask Perci, “Think you can handle your toes?”. Perci gave a shy smirk, “Maybe, but I know this isn’t too bad”.
Anthony grinned, shattering the character of Father Lektic for a short second, before slowly brushing all over her toes, under, and in between them. Perci chuckled already, “Eeheehehehehahahahahahehehee!”. Her free toes wiggling helplessly, only getting more honey applied. The mass was eager and intensely eyeing the entire event. The goats sniffed up Perci’s feet, making her quiver at the eventual licking. “So, any last words, thief?”, asked Father Lektic. Perci only said, “Damn your weak deity”. The crowd was jawdropped from the heresy, then amazed at the ensuing laughter coming from one person. Perci’s eyes watered the second the tongues lapped around her digits. The wiggling, tickling, laugh-inducing, fund-raising tongues worked their natural talents on each individual toe, in between them, and under them. Perci wished she could move her hands close enough to her head to pull her hair out in struggle, but she oddly felt pleased, like she was on a roller coaster. She would sit down, be locked in, be thrilled, scream, and most importantly: laugh. Perci saw a light, she enjoyed being tickled. Perhaps there was a goddess of laughter and a god of tickles. Then reality hit her. Specifically, the goats nibbled in between her toes, bringing her back to the physical plane. “GYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! DAMNITAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!”.
The goats finished licking her toes and slowly lapped up her arches, where some honey conveniently spilled. Perci was crying, not in sadness, but in laughter. She snickered in between her playful miserable sobs. The crowd bought every motion and sound. Perci regained her composure as the patrolmen unlocked the stocks and let Perci free. Father Lektic, the patrolmen, and Perci all bowed to the audience. Perci was filled with joy from the clapping as a result of her impromptu comedy act with Anthony. As the audience walked out and dropped coins into the donation box beside the entrance to the bleachers. Perci remarked, “I did it. I beat the tickle gods”, with a joking smirk. Anthony chuckled, “You’re tougher than me! Now let’s see what this note is”. “Note?”, Perci vocally wondered. The two walked to the box and Perci read the note: “For the release of Perci the Thief from custody in the dungeon.” Perci replied, “They really liked our performance”, with a smile. Anthony joked, “You know, they probably paid your bail so you could get caught stealing again~”. Perci snickered, “I wouldn’t mind so much next time”. Anthony was thrilled to hear the words “next time” from this first time ticklee. She was a natural at this, quite the unusual talent. Anthony then donned his Father Lektic grin and commented, “You just walked through the grass with wet feet”, pointing at them. “That’s another brushing, lass”. Perci giggled, “Just because you’re a good second half in this act”.