Lexi awoke with a start - and a laugh. “Hey!” she exclaimed, squirming away from the finger that was lodged in her innie belly button. She jerked her head up to see her friend Silk’s laughing face. Lexi sighed, but smiled back at her friend. She had fallen asleep on a large patch of seaweed, and what she had though would only be a few moments of rest had apparently turned into a short nap. When Silk stuck out her hand and gave Lexi’s belly a quick tickle Lexi didn’t move away, but she giggled and covered her mouth with a hand, rubbing her belly with the other.
“Hey Lexi!” Silk said. A second later Lexi’s other friend Tashigi popped up beside Silk, grinning.
“You like tickling, don’t you Lexi?” Tashigi asked.
Lexi raised her eyebrows but nonetheless answered, “Sure. Why do you ask?”
Silk and Tashigi shared a grin and a knowing look. “Wellll...” Silk began. “We like tickling too, and we were thinking - wouldn’t it be fun to set up a tickle booth?” Lexi blinked, while Silk and Tashigi just grinned wider. Lexi’s mouth - which had opened into a surprised “o” - twisted into a thoughtful frown. She loved tickling, especially being tickled. With the idea of a tickle booth planted in her head by Silk and Tashigi, she had to wonder...
Sensing that she was won over, Tashigi giggled and did a flip in the water, while Silk just grinned. “We’ve got a tickle booth all set up and everything,” Silk said happily. “It’s down by the coral reef, and all we’ve got to do is test it out.” Lexi gave a hesitant smile, which Silk immediately returned. “Come on,” she urged. Lexi turned towards the reef and followed Silk and Tashigi as they began to swim, feeling more and more excited about her friends’ tickle booth.
Silk, Tashigi, and Lexi swam towards the coral reef. The three mermaids together were a rainbow of bright color. All had light skin, pale from being under the ocean with hardly any time spent on land for their entire lives. Silk had long blonde hair pulled up in a ponytail. Her top was blue, and her tail was a shade of tan that was only somewhat darker than her skin. Tashigi’s hair was blue, and partially up in a ponytail. She wore a tight purple top, and her tail was a beautiful bright blue color. Lexi had long dark brown hair that flowed behind her as she swam along through the water. She had on a pink top that shimmered a little, and her tail was deep green. Each one wore nothing but a top, leaving the rest of their skin exposed - from their bare arms to their thin, fit bellies.
“Here we are!” Silk said excitedly.
They were back by the coral reef, and had swam down, down, down to the ocean floor which was covered by rocks of all shapes and sizes. Silk, however, was pointing at one rock in particular. There were chains attached to the rock; it was very flat, and larger than Lexi’s entire body.
“This is the tickle booth?” Lexi asked uncertainly. Though she was was very interested in the idea of a tickle booth, mermaids were quite strong and Lexi was unsure if the chains would be able to hold her. They looked sturdy, but... well, she might as well see for herself. She lay down with her back pressed against the cool, hard rock. Silk pulled Lexi’s arms above her head and chained her down, starting with her wrists and moving all the way down to her tail.
“Can you get out?” Silk asked.
The chains pinned Lexi’s wrists above her head to the rock, tightly enough that though it was not uncomfortable, her wrists had no leeway to move. Her torso was also chained to the rock - above her belly but below her breasts - to prevent her from wriggling or squirming around too much. Her green tail was chained in three places. One chain was wrapped across her waist, pinning down the upper portion of her tail. There was another chain over the middle portion of Lexi’s tail, and a third chain held down the very bottom portion of her tail. Lexi struggled in earnest, thrashing her tail and pulling her wrists. Even as she tried to move around and get free, her entire body hardly budged.
“I can’t move,” Lexi replied, a few moments later. The tickle booth was working very, very well. Silk came a bit closer to Lexi and hovered over her. Glancing at Silk, Lexi saw a proud smile spread across her friend’s face.
“Perfect!” Silk exclaimed happily. She whirled around to face Tashigi. “Your turn Tashi.”
Giggling, Tashigi lay down on a second rock, right next to Lexi. Looking over, Lexi saw that the rock was flat, and nearly as large as the rock she was laying on. Within minutes, Tashigi was chained down in the same was that Lexi was. Tashigi tested the chains, unable to move any more than Lexi had been. Lexi and Tashigi turned their heads towards each other and shared excited grins.
Silk laughed and rubbed her hands together eagerly. “Now that our tickle booth is all set up - looks like it’s time for the two of you to get tickled!” She lunged forward and started to wriggle her fingers over Lexi’s belly. In the next instant Silk adjusted her body so that she was floating above the two chained mermaids. Her fingers still kneading and squeezing Lexi’s soft belly, Silk began to tickle Tashigi’s belly with her tail.
“Wahaihaihait! Silk thahahahahat’s nahahahahahaat how a tihihihihickle booth wohohohorks!” Lexi protested through a fit of helpless giggles. Tashigi nodded in agreement, her own mouth open as she too giggled from the tickling. “Ohohother people ahahahahahare supposed tahahahahahaa tickle uhuhuhuhus!”
Silk just grinned and ignored Lexi’s words, continuing to tickle the two defenseless mermaids. Lexi couldn’t help but wonder if it had been Silk’s idea all along to tell her and Tashigi about a tickle booth, only to plan on tickling Lexi and Tashigi herself once Silk had them both chained down.
Cheeks pink from laughing, Lexi was given a brief reprieve as Silk removed her fingers from Lexi’s belly for a moment. Looking up, she saw that Silk had glanced back. Moving her tail from Tashigi’s belly, Silk poised her tail over Tashigi’s vulnerable armpit, and began wiggling her tail back and forth to tickle Tashigi. Tashigi began laughing again, harder than she had been before. Satisfied, Silk resumed tickling Lexi’s belly.
“Hahahahahahaha, hehehehehehehehehehee! Silk, that tickles! Hahahahahahahahaha-” Lexi giggled, squirming in the chains that bound her. Lexi could hear Tashigi’s laugher coming from the rock - “tickle booth” - next to her and Lexi laughed harder, wondering if it was better or worse that she was being tickled with Silk’s fingers rather than her tail.
Though her eyes were squeezed shut as she laughed, Lexi opened them just in time to see an unfamiliar mermaid and two mermen swimming over the coral reef. When the three strangers spotted Lexi and Tashigi chained to the rocks and mercilessly tickled, they stared in surprise for a few minutes before swimming down to investigate the odd sight.
“What is this?” one of the mermen asked, his voice thick with amusement. He had darker coffee-colored skin, and short spiky black hair. There was a shark-tooth necklace lying on his bare chest, and his tail was navy blue. He swam closer to the two chained mermaids.
Silk moved her tail away from Tashigi’s armpit and took her fingers off of Lexi’s belly. She swam up to the strangers and greeted them happily. “Hi!” she exclaimed with a smile, paying little attention to her friends, still chained to their respective rocks and giggling even after Silk had stopped tickling them. “These are my friends, and we’re doing a tickle booth,” Silk explained. “They’re both very ticklish,” she added with a wink.
The three merpeople swam closer to Lexi and Tashigi, until they were right next to them. The second merman had pale skin - even lighter than Lexi’s, Tashigi’s, or Silk’s - and sandy hair. Like the dark-skinned merman he was topless, and his tail was salmon-colored. The mermaid had beautiful, vivid bright red hair and her skin was tan, as if she had spent much time above-water in the sunlight. Her top was sparkly gold, and her tail was light purple.
“I don’t suppose we could participate in this tickle booth?” the redhead mermaid asked, staring at Lexi’s belly.
“Of course!” Silk said quickly. “And best of all, it’s free of charge.”
Lexi and Tashigi both squirmed as they realized what was going to happen next. However, the chains held just as well as they had the entire time Silk had been tickling her two friends, and Lexi and Tashigi were unable to escape.
“Excellent,” said the dark-skinned merman. Without any hesitation he plunged his finger into Lexi’s belly button and she shrieked with laughter. The redhead mermaid quickly joined in, wiggling her fingers all over Lexi’s exposed belly.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Lexi laughed, squirming as her belly was attacked by the two tickle-loving strangers. The tickling she was receiving at the hands of the unfamiliar mermaid and merman was even more intense than it had been while Silk was tickling her, since now there were four hands working over her belly. “HAAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAA-” Lexi wriggled helplessly, mouth open with laughter.
Twisting her head to the side, Lexi saw that Tashigi was being ganged up on too. The merman with the sandy hair was tickling her belly and belly button, while Silk had gone back to tickling Tashigi’s exposed armpits. Tashigi was howling with laughter, her eyes pressed shut and her mouth agape. “HEHEHEHEHEE, AHAHAHAHAHAHA, NOOHOHOHOHO! SILK PLEEHEHEHEHEHEHEASE! HAHAHAHAHA, BAAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAA!” Tashigi cried, writhing.
Lexi turned back to watch the dark-skinned merman and redhead mermaid tickle her unprotected belly. “HAHAHAHAHAHA, AAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! AHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” she laughed, watching twenty fingers scrabbled over her belly and sides. One finger dipped inside her belly button, jabbing and poking around at the sides of her belly button and the small knot at the bottom of her belly button. “AAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA-” Lexi laughed, watching in fascination as her belly was tickled by the two strangers. Although she definitely enjoyed tickling, Lexi was gasping and had to admit that she could use a break. She wasn’t sure how much of the tickling - especially belly tickling! - she could take.
Without warning, the dark-skinned merman lifted his hands off of Lexi’s belly and swam away.
“Hahahahahahaha, ahahahahahahahahaha! Naahahahahahahahaa, ahahahahaha, aaaaahahahahaha!” Lexi’s laughter softened a little with only the redhead mermaid tickling her. Though relieved that she was getting a kind-of break - one tickler was better than two, after all - she felt butterflies quiver in her belly as she wondered why the dark-skinned merman had left. For a while the redhead mermaid tickled Lexi’s sides, eliciting quiet laughter from the chained-up brunette. After about five minutes, Lexi turned her head to the side only for her eyes to widen in surprise and a tiny bit of dread.
The dark-skinned merman had returned, an octopus trailing behind him. The octopus was gray with blue and yellow splotches, and it appeared to be on the smaller side, with a mantle of about one foot and arms that looked to be around four feet in length. At the sight of the octopus, butterflies fluttered in Lexi’s belly; half from nerves and half from excitement.
Though the redhead mermaid was still mercilessly tickling Lexi’s belly, Lexi had to know what the dark-skinned merman had brought the octopus back for. “Whahahahahahaha, whaahahahahat are you doohohoing with thahahahahahahahat?” Lexi asked through her laughter.
The dark-skinned merman smirked. “This is my pet - I thought he would be most helpful with this tickling business.”
“NO, DON-” Lexi shrieked. Before she could finish the dark-skinned merman made some type of hand gesture towards the octopus and it swam directly up to her, immediately placing all eight of its long, strong arms on her belly. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAA, STAAHAHAHAHAHA, NAHAHAHAHA STAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA-” Lexi cried. Four of the octopus’ arms were running up and down her sides. Two were tickling her ribs and another was tickling her lower belly. The tip of one arms was also probing around inside Lexi’s belly button. The octopus’ skin was tough, but also soft and somewhat slimy, and its suckers pulled gently at her skin. It tickled Lexi’s belly more than the fingers of any of the merpeople who had tickled her earlier. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, NAHAHAHAHA! NAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Lexi laughed uncontrollably. When she had first agreed to Silk’s tickle booth idea, she had no idea that there would be so much tickling involved.
The redhead mermaid laughed. As soon as the octopus arrived she had moved away from Lexi; realizing that she likely would not get the chance to tickle Lexi’s belly again anytime soon, the redhead mermaid cheerfully moved up behind Lexi’s head and began to tickle her armpits.
“NAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA, PLEHEHEHEHEHEEHEHEHEHEHEHEE, AHAHAHA, NAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-” Lexi begged, feeling like her belly was about to burst from laughter. Her cheeks were flushed bright red and her face hurt from laughing so much.
Lexi’s head lolled to the side and she saw that the dark-skinned merman was helping Silk and the merman with the sandy hair to tickle Tashigi. All three had their fingers wiggling over Tashigi’s belly. Silk was floating above Tashigi, her tail tickling one of Tashigi’s armpits while her fingers tickled Tashigi’s belly. The merman with the sandy hair was mimicking Silk, and was tickling Tashigi’s other armpit with his tail. Lexi could see that Tashigi had given up trying to struggle and was laughing loudly, her face red and her eyes squeezed shut.
As the tip of the octopus’ arm explored deeper inside Lexi’s belly button, her focus returned to her own tickle torture. She squirmed as all eight of the octopus’ arms ravaged her vulnerable belly, leaving no skin untouched - or untickled. “HAAHAHAHAHA! NAHAHAHAHA, STAHAHAHAHAHAHAP, STAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-” Lexi was made incoherent by her helpless laughter.
Lexi was not sure how long the tickling went on, but she lay chained to the rock, listening to her own laughter and Tashigi’s, as well as the many comments being made by all the merpeople tickling Tashigi (“Coochie coochie coo!” - “Tashi, I didn’t know you were so ticklish!” - “Tickle tickle tickle!”). The redhead mermaid who mercilessly stroked and prodded Lexi’s armpits seemed content to just tickle the poor brunette, and let out an occasional gleeful chuckle over Lexi’s predicament.
After what might have been either ten minutes or sixty, Lexi became suddenly aware of a tickling sensation covering her entire belly. Jerking her head up to see what was going on, she saw a flurry of movement on her belly. Though laughing so hard her whole body was shaking, she realized that perhaps as many as twenty or thirty small fish were swimming over her belly between the octopus’ arms. There were a few yellowtail clownfish - small, beautiful fish with black and white stripes and orange-yellow fins, a species that Lexi saw often when she visited the coral reef - and the rest were small light blue fish that Lexi couldn’t put a name to. As the fish swam over her belly, weaving between the arms of the octopus, their fins brushed against Lexi’s belly. “FIHIHIHIHAHAHAHAHAHA, FIHIHIHIHIH, FAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHA-” Lexi stammered through laughter, in disbelief that she was being tickled by a mermaid, an octopus, and a school of fish as well. She was overcome by even more hysterical laughter and she lay chained to the rock, unable to do anything but laugh.
The tickling continued, for what seemed like forever. Though Lexi had given up struggling long ago, she felt a small burst of energy and began to squirm, wriggling her tail and twisting her head back and forth as she continued to laugh. As her head turned to the side, she saw that she was not the only one the fish had decided to tickle. Silk, the dark-skinned merman, and the merman with the sandy hair were all tickling Tashigi’s belly with their fingers. More of the small blue fish were swimming around Tashigi’s upper body, tickling her underarms and neck with their fins. Tashigi was laughing hysterically, and Lexi knew that Tashigi probably felt as breathless and tired as she did.
“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-” Lexi laughed, pulling and tugging futilely at the chains that pinned her wrists to the rock. “HAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!” Though she struggled desperately, the tickle booth really was escape-proof. She could do nothing but squirm and laugh as her belly and underarms were tickled without pity.
Eventually the fish seemed to tire of swimming around Lexi and Tashigi, and slowly made their way to a different part of the coral reef. As the fish left her belly, Lexi felt some of her ability to speak return to her, despite the redhead mermaid and the octopus that persisted in their tickling. “STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! PLEEAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, STAHAHAHAHA, NAHAHAHAHA! NO MOAHAHAHAHAARE! I CAHAHAHAHAHAHAN’T TAAHAHAHAHAHAHAKE IT! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-” Lexi cried, hoping against hope that the many merpeople and creatures tickling her and Tashigi would have mercy and give them a rest. “STAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-”
Looking reluctant but happy the redhead mermaid took her hands out of Lexi’s armpits and swam back a few feet. The dark-skinned merman swam back as well, and with a snap of his fingers the octopus wreaking havoc on Lexi’s bare belly halted and swam quickly over to hover behind the dark-skinned merman. After a few moments the merman with the sandy hair took his fingers off of Tashigi’s belly and moved away to float next to his two companions. Silk was the last to stop tickling, and she swam up a little to stare down at Lexi and Tashigi with a wide grin on her face.
“That was fun!” the redhead mermaid exclaimed. Tilting her head back, Lexi saw that the three merpeople who had helped tickle her were all smiling cheerfully.
“Yeah!” the merman with the sandy hair agreed. “You should definitely have another tickle booth. It was a blast!” With a grin and a wave, the merman with the sandy hair swam off, followed by the redhead mermaid and the dark-skinned merman, as well as the octopus.
“That really was fun,” Silk said, a gleam in her eye as she freed first Tashigi, and then Lexi. “Maybe next time I should charge for it - I bet anyone would pay money to get to tickle you guys!”
“Next time?” Lexi repeated incredulously.
Silk slowly began to swim backwards. “Well, yeah, I mean... I know Tashigi was having fun, and it looked like you were too, so there’s really no reason you both shouldn’t be in another tickle booth. I know I liked it, and...” she trailed off, watching Lexi and warily.
“Ooooooh,” Lexi said. She had enjoyed the tickle booth - a lot, actually - but Silk definitely deserved payback for the tickle torture she had helped give to Lexi and Tashigi. “We’re gonna get you, Silk!”
“It’s payback time!” Tashigi announced. Silk squealed and swam furiously away. Lexi and Tashigi laughed, before chasing their friend around the reef with their outstretched fingers wiggling threateningly.