Don’t you Squirm, Don’t you Fret, I’m Not Gonna Hurt you... Yet
statement of Jonathan Sims, in situ. On how dreadfully doomed he surely is now.
or in other words, I was challenged to write spooky, unnerving avatar tickles, and I'd like to think I managed pretty well
tw: canon typical clowns, bondage, creepy tickles, mild body horror
word count: 2436
Jon’s day was not going well.
The spotlight he was sitting under was boiling, sending beads of sweat racing down his back, cold and deeply uncomfortable, though with his hands bound above him, Jon had little relief from the feeling. He’d been like this for, well one could hardly tell with no windows and his wristwatch well out of his view. Occasionally he'd catch a glimpse of something moving out in the endless dark of the theatre outside of the view of the stage light, though no one had yet come to check on him.
From somewhere backstage he heard a large metal door swing open, slamming shut with a bang that reverberated through the empty theatre. It was followed by the incessant click of heels on the wood, and two shuffling pairs of footsteps.
“Jooooon~” a call from stage right, Jon's left. In a high reedy voice he knew was the thing that called itself Nikola. She walked out onto the stage, standing unnaturally tall, she adjusted her tophat, smiling far too widely at him, with far too many teeth to be normal. Her porcelain doll style body twisted downward, leveling her face with his, so close he would be able to feel her breath if she had been breathing at all. From this closer he could see the brushstrokes of her face, her glass eyes somehow moving as if they were real, staring directly into his own.
Jon's vision was unfocused and blurry, his glasses having been cracked and slowly sliding down his nose for what could have been minutes or hours, though he could still see as her smile widened further.
“What kind of moisturizer do you use?” she asked, as if this was a regular conversation between coworkers. Had Jon not been gagged he may have said something snarky about the notion, as it was he mostly just managed a strangled noise of confusion.
“Hmm, I thought as much, your skin is atrocious, we just bought a variety!” she gestured behind her to the two men who followed her, if Jon had not known exactly who they were he would have hardly noticed them, as nondescript as they were. One of them held up a drug store bag full of different bottles for him to see, before placing it directly beside the running tape at Jons feet. The bloody things seemed to follow him around, he was sure he had one on him when he was captured, but he could have sworn he saw it smash on the concrete before a bag was placed over his head.
Nikola seemed to notice the tape as he did, with a few sickly pops she leaned down and grabbed it, a look of dismay crossing her painted face.
“It's rude to listen in on others' conversations.” she said, more to the tape than to Jon. She turned back to him suddenly.
“Who listens to these? Is it Elias? HELLO ELIAS! Your Archivist is very rude!-” she continued on, speaking directly to the tape recorder. Jon watched her pace for a while, chattering on in a voice that was not her own. By the time she began to trail off the two men had long left, or at least, Jon could no longer see them. Nikola eventually wandered back in his direction, kicking the bag of lotion by his feet. She stopped, considering the bag before her glass eyes once again rested on him, she turned to the tape once, seeing it still rolling, and placed it gently on a table Jon had not noticed mere moments before.
“I'd nearly forgotten you were here, thank goodness I remembered, if we're ever going to make you into that frock we have plenty of work to do on your skin. Really it is atrocious, have you ever even heard of lotion?” Jon made an indignant noise, really wishing he could interject to defend himself. Nikola tutted once, before continuing,
“I don't even have skin, I'm a collector of the stuff you know, but still even I can keep it in much better condition than yours, and with all these pockmarks too, I suppose you'll be a spotted frock. Ah, well spots are nice I suppose, though there are ways to make these less noticeable you know?” Nikola said, mostly to herself as she began undoing the buttons on Jon's work shirt. Jon writhed, pulling himself backwards as much as he could, shouting through the gag. Nikola smacked him lightly on the shoulder, her plastic hand making a hollow bonk as she did.
“Quit your squirming Archivist. I very well can't fix you up with this on!” she tutted. An extra plastic limb appeared from under her waistcoat, holding Jon firmly by the waist, he jumped, surprised by the sudden contact. It held him firmly in place, and was cool to the touch even through his work shirt. Nikola worked her way down the buttons on Jon’s shirt. Her moulded-on nails scratched every once and a while through the shirt, making Jon writhe, though the hand at his waist kept him from getting too far.
Jon jolted, squirming away with a reignited fervor as the sharper plastic seams around Nikolas hands began to brush against his stomach, sending him shivering with each graze. The minute she was done Jon felt himself relax, glad it was over, until he quickly remembered why she had been undoing his shirt as two frigid, skin lotion covered hands pressed down directly on his sides. The third hand, having since moved away and seemingly slipped back onto Nikolas waistcoat, leaving Jon free to shriek through his gag and move as far away from Nikolas hands as he possibly could. Nikola pulled away, leaving two handprints in lotion on his side.
“What are you squirming about? I really didn’t want to have to restrain you so much for this part! But you leave me little choice Archivist!” She said, dismayed, she snapped her fingers and from outside the view of the spotlight, dozens of hands appeared, all severed at about the forearm and made of a range of material from plastic to wax, they crawled out of the darkness and toward him. Through the gag, Jon cried out in alarm.
Several hands clamped themselves down around his ankles, while others climbed higher to lock themselves to his knees, Jon let out a surprised laugh as they squeezed and froze as they were. With a start Jon realized he could no longer move his legs, even though as far as he had seen none of the hands were attached to the ground in any way. Nikola smiled at him,
“There, now isn’t that better?” She said, chipper as anything. Jon attempted at a muffled “no” but could barely get through glaring at her before she placed her frigid hands back on his sides.
This time, with nowhere else to go, Jon squirmed in place, huffing out barely contained laughs around his gag. Nikola continued, her ball-jointed hands were cold and solid, the small seams where the plastic had been formed scratching lightly down Jon’s sides, forming little paths of lightning down his spine that made him want to scream.
It was only when Nikola trailed her hands in, to rub lotion into his stomach that Jon finally broke. Laughing through the gag, audibly enough to finally catch his captors attention,
Nikola stopped, her head snapping to the side with a gristly pop, before she grinned, wider than before.
“Archivist, I think you’ve neglected to tell me something.” She said, an uncomfortable lilt to her voice, a poor mimicry of something close to teasing. She pulled his gag from his mouth, her nose centimeters from his own,
“Are you ticklish, Archivist?” She cooed, Jon grimaced, attempting to answer with a no, or an explanation, perhaps to get a question out before she replaced the gag. Before he could, Nikola dug her nails into his sides. Jon jumped, barking out a surprised laugh, before quashing it into a little hum he could maybe try and play off.
Nikola jumped and clapped, her joints popping and snapping as she did so in a facsimile of a happy dance. Alright so maybe he wouldn’t be playing this off then.
“Oh you are! This will make this so much more fun!” Nikola giddily danced back up to Jon, looming over him at her full height. He could feel the excitement radiating from her as quickly put more lotion on her hands and proceeded to wiggle her fingers in front of his face. Jon cringed away, making Nikola laugh.
“Ohoho! This is going to be wonderful, Archivist! We're going to have such fun!” she warbled, her tone an off tune sing-song. Jon once again tried to speak but she dug her nails into his sides, and Jon's protests were swallowed with a frantic laugh. Nikola made a giddy noise, leaning in closer to Jon's face, her plastic nose nearly touching his.
“You are in trouble now, Archivist!” she trilled,
“Wait, hold on now-” Jon protested, before Nikola pulled the gag back up and into his mouth. His muffled protests only seemed to spur her on as she dug back in, her hands migrating around his torso, watching his reactions intently. Jon wriggled, held down by the variety of hands at his legs, as Nikola scribbled her nails up and down his sides. His noises of protest interrupted by a yelp every time she strayed a little too close to his ribs
Nikola cooed with every jolt Jon made, enamoured with his reactions, she dragged her nails up his side, grinning wildly when Jon all but squealed as she stopped at his bottom ribs.
“Sensitive here, little Archivist?” she asked, faux sympathy dripping from her tone, scratching the plastic seam of her nails around Jon's lowest rib, sawing the sharpened little edge back and forth. Jon screamed through his gag, cackling through heaving gasps for air. Nikola laughed along with him, stilted and unnatural, but a laugh all the same. She shot her hands upwards suddenly, almost magnetically latching her nails onto one set of Jons upper ribs, just under his arms. Jon wailed through the gag, his laughter quickly falling silent.
Almost as soon as she started, Nikola stopped, her hands stilling, still poised dangerously over the two ribs she had been tormenting. Jon tried to regain his breathing the best he could with what break he could get.
“Perhaps…” Nikola started, goosing her fingers over the spot again, making Jon lurch forward, nearly nose to nose with Nikola
“We should save that spot, hm?” she smiled, wide and white and with oh so many teeth, and she waited.
Jon starred, taking in the ever so slight misplacement of her features, before Nikola frowned, drilling her fingers into Jon's underarms. Jon, for the first time in quite a while, reflexively tried to pull his arms down, easily stopped by the rope holding his arms aloft.
“I asked you a question, Archivist. You have not stopped talking and now you will not answer me, really how rude!” Nikola said, dragging her nails back down, raking them over and over, up and down over Jon's ribs, drawing wild cackles from behind his gag.
“Perhaps I'll just focus here then. Until you give me an answer, Archivist” Nikola dug her nails into Jon's ribs, returning to the upper set, Jon writhed, letting out a short scream before his laughter turned to frantic head-shaking and silent cackles.
“I'm not hearing an answer, Archivist? Shall I just have my fun then?” Nikola teased, an extra hand or two joining in, scratching sharp nails ever so lightly across Jon's hip bones. Interjecting short screams into Jon's silent laughter. Nikola tutted, clawing her hands around Jon's ribs, drawing various screams and muffled pleas with each set. Up and down, over and over.
By the time she was satisfied for now, Jon had long since screamed himself hoarse. He hung limply from where his arms were suspended into the rafters, breathing heavily through his gag, still recovering from Nikola’s fun. He was just distracted enough that he barely heard the tell-tale squeak of hinges as a bright yellow door opened in front of him. Nor did he notice the thing that called itself Michael, that called itself friend, exited said door with a heavy sigh.
“You, Archivist, are lucky I owe Sasha a favor,” the thing that was and was not Michael said, slicing the rope holding Jon aloft with a single swipe of its claw. Jon collapsed, startling Michael, as he scrambled to catch him before he hit the rickety wooden floor and alerted the whole circus of its presence. Another quick slice and the gag around Jon's mouth fell away easily. Leaving Michael with an armful of exhausted Archivists and no hands left to open his door. He sighed again, rapping on the door three times with a twisted knuckle. The door opened slowly, its handle turning a bright fuchsia, contrasting its usual black as what was once and never was, Helen Richardson opened the door to the corridors.
“Hands full, Mike?” Helens grin fell off her face sloppily, still unused to her new form.
“If you call me that I really will shred you,” Michael muttered, feeling Jon bury his head into Michael's jumper as Helen laughed, just a little too out of control. It doubted that would make Jon feel better, considering his jumper was hardly any more normal than Helens laugh, though it tried to make the jumper less static-y and disorienting for the time being, turning it a regular olive green, perhaps the jumpers original colour, but Michael could hardly be expected to remember such a thing.
“Do you think you can manage to find the archives? Or even his flat?” Michael asked, giving Helen a look as he crossed her threshold, his much more refined control over the spiral calming the wild fractals of Helen and his shared domain. Helen stuck out her tongue, letting it curl like a snake before pulling it back.
“Of course I can find the archives!” she said petulantly.
“I'm sure you can,” Michael reassured sarcastically, saying nothing on her ability to navigate the halls and hiking a nearly deliriously exhausted Archivist up his hip, and beginning their trek through the corridors. Glad Jon wouldn't be remembering this with much clarity.
Later, Michael found a tape recorder in his pocket, long since silenced, having captured what it needed to. It delighted in turning every word uttered on it to a static-y mess before returning it to Jon later.
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