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Laughing Secrets

Thinking quickly, you lean in close to the young, pretty Princess' contorting face and pretend to listen to her tell you something. Turning to the spider maven, you tell her, "The Princess confesses that the gold has been spun into fine hair that is being worn by virgins in the nearby village, all of whom are terribly ticklish and will relinquish the gold at once if confronted by your talents."

The Spider, her minions already streaming off the Princess and heading for the door, seems dubious that beautiful Lola has said quite that much to you, but grunts and follows, too obsessed with gold lust to stop and think things through.

Lola, pale from her exertions and panting for air, says, "Thank you so much, good sir." She trembles slightly against the strands of the web. "My ticklishness is unbearable for me, I fear. Another moment of that torture and I would have told all!"

You consider that interesting bit of information.

"You will free me now?" she asks, hopefully.

"I would be delighted to liberate you, Princess," you begin, "but I also have need of the gold and..."

Lola tenses. "I cannot speak of it, I am sworn by a family oath."

You move your fingers toward the creamy soles and fidgeting toes of her bare feet and say, "I am not above resorting to this."

"Please, no!" she shrieks. "I will tell you anything else! There...there is a vial on my bedstand with a potion that will make you invisible. Take it! Just, please, no more tickling!"

"If you cannot speak of it, can you show me, without breaking the oath?"

Lola's mind was awhirl. "Yes," she concedes. "Yes, I may."

You pocket the vial and free the waifish Princess, but not before a playful tickling of her captive soles.

Written by Cathal

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