It was nighttime at Kadic Academy, and after a long, hard day of schoolwork, all Elizabeth Delmas wanted to do was get to sleep, as soon as humanly possible. Clad in a silken pink nightgown that left her arms bare and passed down to just below her knees, the black-haired girl sat at the foot of her bed and admired herself in the mirror mounted against the opposite wall.
"Well, Sissi, it's been a long hard day and you've certainly earned your beauty sleep," said the girl, smiling slyly to herself. "Not like you need any beauty sleep, of course..."
Sissi slid back into her bed and pulled the sheets over her body, turning on her left side and nuzzling her head into her pillow. She'd barely even begun to close her eyes when she heard a loud ripping noise from just outside her room. The first and second times it happened, she ignored it, thinking that it might just be a problem with the building's ventilation system.
"I'll have daddy get someone on that right away! I can't have it keeping me up at night..." Sissi shifted slightly under the sheets and closed her eyes even tighter, only to hear a third ripping noise, even louder this time, coming from right outside her room. Annoyed, the girl let out a loud sigh and reluctantly got up from her bed, stomping over to the door and preparing to give whoever was on the other side a piece of her mind. "How dare they make noises when I'm trying to sleep! Whoever it is had better have a good explanation for..."
But when Sissi threw open the door, she saw the last person she ever expected to see. Standing on the other side of the hallway was a boy in a purple shirt and pants, with long blonde and purple hair spiked into a single point on top of his head. The boy had a roll of duct tape in one hand and a stack of papers in the other, and just as Sissi opened the door, the boy was ripping off a strip of tape in order to secure one of the papers to the wall.
"Well, that explains the noises I was hearing... Odd, what the heck are you doing here?"
The boy let out a startled yelp, dropping his stack of papers to the ground. On each of the papers was printed an identical image, a crudely-drawn portrait of a dog, accompanied by the words 'LOST' and 'BIG REWARD'. The boy immediately turned to face Sissi, still holding the roll of tape in his left hand.
"Odd Della Robbia, answer my question!" shouted Sissi, her hands immediately going to her hips. "You shouldn't even BE in the girls' dormitory area, and whatever those posters are, you're not allowed to put them up on the walls!"
"Aw, c'mon, Sissi..." said Odd, bending down and picking up one of the posters for Sissi to see. "My dog Kiwi's lost, and I was just trying to see if anyone knew where he was..."
Sissi's eyes narrowed, and she bent down toward Odd, clearly even more annoyed than she'd been just a second before.
"Your dog? You're not even supposed to have a dog here, Odd! That's like... one, two... three rules you've broken in the span of about ten seconds, but what's even worse is that you woke me up! If I wasn't so tired, I'd be getting Jim or my dad over here and you'd be in big trouble!"
Odd backed away slightly, dropping the poster and pressing his back up against the wall. A nervous look appeared on his face, and his voice took on a pleading tone... Sissi was the LAST person Odd wanted to help him find his dog, but he was desperate, and he made one last appeal to Sissi.
"But Kiwi's been lost for like six hours, I don't know where he is and I'm really worried about him... I know it's against the rules to put up posters and stuff, but-"
Sissi raised an eyebrow, somewhat puzzled by Odd's behavior. He'd disturbed her sleep, and now, he was expecting her to help him find his dog? Sissi wanted no part of that, and she quickly began to let Odd know.
"I don't care, Odd! I want you to take all your stupid posters and get out of MY hallway right now!"
Sissi picked up the posters and stacked them into a neat pile before drop-kicking the stack of posters with her bare right foot, scattering them all over the hallway.
"Hey, I'm sorry I disturbed your ugly sleep, Sissi, but you didn't have to do that..."
"UGLY sleep? UGLY sleep?" Sissi balled her hands into fists, debating to herself about whether to punch Odd's lights out, or to go back to her room. After about a second, Sissi's urge to sleep prevailed, and she dropped her hands, turning back toward her dorm room and shooting back one last angry glare. "For the record, I hope you never find your dumb dog, do you hear me? NEVER!"
With a loud 'hmph', Sissi walked back into her room and slammed the door shut behind her, leaving Odd standing in the middle of a scattered mass of posters. He blinked his eyes for several seconds, one of his fists clenching beside him.
"Who does that girl think she is, anyway? Just because she's the self-proclaimed most popular girl in school doesn't give her the right to treat people like that! Why, I have half a mind to..."
Odd clenched his other fist, his fingers wrapping around the roll of tape that he was still holding in his left hand. As soon as he felt the tape, an idea began to formulate in Odd's head... an idea that might, if it worked, knock Sissi down a peg, and, at least for a while, take Odd's mind off of his missing dog.
"Hmmm..." A devilish grin appeared on Odd's face, and he looked down at the roll of tape clenched in his left hand. "Does Sissi deserve this?"
After a few seconds of deliberation, consisting of Odd weighing all the times that Sissi had mistreated he and his friends, against all the times that Sissi was actually nice to them, he received an answer.
"Yeah, why not?"
Inside Sissi's room, the girl was again sliding beneath the covers of her bed, a smile on her face. She hadn't heard any noises for over a minute, and as her eyes closed, she giggled to herself, surprised that it had been so easy to make Odd go away.
"I guess I showed him... that's probably why his dog left, Odd annoying it so much, it couldn't get to sleep either..."
But just as Sissi again started to fall asleep, she heard another noise. A knock at her door.
"You've gotta be kidding me! If that's Odd... maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away."
A second knock. Letting out a quiet growl, Sissi rolled out of bed and stomped over to the door, throwing it open and yelling out into the hallway.
"For the last time, I'm not gonna help you look for your dumb dog!"
But Sissi was yelling to nothing... there was no one in the doorway. She stepped outside, her hands on her hips.
"Hello? I KNOW someone was knocking at my door, and I demand an explanation! No one wants to explain? Okay then, I'll find you, and when I do..."
It was at that moment that Odd, crouching down to the right of the doorway, took his chance to strike. With a long strip of duct tape already stretched out from the roll, he leapt forward and seized Sissi's arms behind her back. Before she could even react, Odd had bound her wrists tightly behind her, and was now backing up, dragging a furiously struggling Sissi into her dorm room.
"What the...? ODD! You little... HELP!!! SOMEONE HELP!!!"
Odd continued to pull Sissi back until she was clear of the doorway, and then reached forward, pulling the door closed and locking it behind him. While Odd was doing this, Sissi angrily stomped her foot down hard on Odd's right toe... but it was an action that hurt Sissi worse than it did Odd, for while Sissi was barefoot, Odd was wearing his sneakers the whole time.
"Geez, Sissi, quiet down... you don't wanna wake everyone else up, do you?"
With a smile on his face, Odd stretched out another strip of tape. Not one to be outwitted so easily, Sissi clenched her teeth and launched a kick at Odd's head, only to have him duck just barely out of the way. The speed of the kick caused Sissi to lose her balance, and she fell to the floor hard, landing on her behind.
"Unnnf!" Temporarily stunned, Sissi could do nothing but watched as Odd wound duct tape around her ankles to bind them together as well, rendering Sissi almost totally helpless. She scooted backward against her door and looked up at Odd, who was standing triumphantly over her, beginning to chuckle. "You think this is FUNNY? You're gonna think it's really funny when my dad comes in here and sees me like this! Then you're gonna get kicked out of school, do you hear me?"
"Yeah, you're gonna tell your dad, and then everybody's gonna hear about how I tied you up and humiliated you. Face it, Sissi, this time, somebody actually got the best of you. No, wait, that happens all the time... like the time I made that movie of you, you remember?"
"Oooooh... that does it, Odd! I warned you, now I'm gonna scream! I'm gonna scream so loud that everyone in the school will hear me!"
As Sissi tried to intimidate Odd into letting her go, he was busily ripping another piece of tape off of the roll.
"Did you hear what I just said? Or are you even dumber than your runaway dog? Answer me, Odd Della- mmmmph! MMMMMNNNMPH!"
Odd pressed the piece of tape down over Sissi's lips, which only served to infuriate the bound, black-haired girl even further. She began screaming loudly into the tape, her muffled insults clearly audible despite the fact that her lips were now sealed together.
"Geez, you're even louder than I thought, Sissi..." said Odd, ripping two more pieces of tape off of the roll. He pressed them down over Sissi's lips in the shape of an 'X', and then stepped back to admire his handiwork. Sissi's yelling was still loud, but certainly inaudible to anyone outside the room. 'There we go... I guess what they say is true, duct tape really DOES fix everything!"
Sissi narrowed her eyes and clenched her fists behind her, furiously attempting to struggle free of the tape binding her limbs. She rolled around on the floor, screaming into her gag and flopping around like a fish for nearly half a minute, desperate to burst free of the tape and tear Odd limb from limb.
"This is insane!" thought Sissi, who could hear Odd laughing as she struggled to escape. "Even after all those Pencak lessons I took to impress Ulrich... oh no, ULRICH!!! What if Odd tells him about this? I have to get out of this somehow and make Odd pay!!"
As Sissi continued to struggle, Odd stopped laughing and began to think. Part one of his plan was completed, now what could he do that would make Sissy absolutely squirm?
"Hmm... I hadn't really thought about what I would do AFTER tying her up... maybe I could shave her head... no, no, Sissi's annoying as heck, but even she doesn't deserve that, plus she's kinda cute... let's see... I could paint her face like a clown! No, no... she could wash that off, and I forgot to bring my camera anyway..."
Odd continued to think, while Sissi continued to struggle. When he glanced down at her, he noticed that she was in a nightgown, and that her feet were bare. As soon as he noticed THAT, a lightbulb went off in his head. He knelt down beside Sissi, who angrily kicked at him with her bound feet. Catching her legs by the ankles, he used one arm to keep her feet against his lap, and with his right hand, began brushing his fingers lightly across Sissi's soles. Her eyes widened, and she let out a loud squeal, yanking her feet back and shaking her head.
"Nmmmmph! MMMMM! Don't you DARE tickle me, Odd! I'm warning you, I'll make you sorry!"
With another wide grin across his face, Odd scooted forward and reached down toward Sissi's soles, only to have her again yank them away. The process repeated itself several more times, with Sissi using a surprising amount of dexterity to escape Odd's tickle torture every single time. Clearly, something would have to be done...
"Okay, Sissi, I don't want to do this, but you leave me no choice!"
Odd stood up and walked beside Sissi, then bent down and hoisted her up. She wasn't a very heavy girl, but then again, Odd wasn't a very strong boy, and it took all the effort he had to get her over his shoulder and carry her across the room to the wooden chair near the dresser. The whole time Sissi was being carried, she struggled and screamed, letting out the loudest scream of all when Odd set her down in the chair. He quickly reached over and picked up the roll of tape before Sissi could push herself out of her sitting position, and began wrapping the tape around her body, pinning her torso to the back of the chair with several more layers of duct tape.
"There we go!" said Odd, ripping off the strip and watching as Sissi began fighting against the chair. "Geez, I thought by now you'd have learned that you're not gonna get free, but-"
"Mmmmph mmm, mmmm! Cram it, Odd, I'm gonna get out of this chair and shove that roll of tape down your throat!"
As Sissy struggled, her legs kicked up and down, and though she was pinned in place, it was clear that she'd still be able to resist most of Odd's tickling efforts. He could tickle Sissi's armpits, but he doubted that they'd be anywhere near as sensitive as the soles of her feet. He walked over to Sissi's dresser and opened it up. There, along with several assorted trinkets, were two large spools of white thread. Odd picked up one of the spools and began unraveling the string, all to Sissi's great bewilderment.
"Okay, now what's he doing? First he wants to tickle me, and now he wants to mess with my stuff? I just hope he doesn't find my diary..."
But Odd wasn't thinking of Sissi's diary... instead, he walked over to the girl and knelt down, then began tying the string tightly around her two big toes, binding them together. Sissi's eyes widened, and she again began to struggle, attempting to kick up her legs to knock Odd away.
"Hold still, Sissi, this'll only take a second..." said Odd, swinging his head out of the way and pushing Sissi's feet back down so he could continue dexterously winding the string around them. After about ten seconds, he had Sissi's toes bound together, and had several long pieces of string extending outward from each of them on either side. "I hope this works..."
Odd picked up the strings and walked around behind the chair, yanking them tightly back and forcing Sissi's feet up into the air. She tried to struggle, but Odd's grip and the strings were too strong, and she found her feet held in place as Odd secured the strings together behind the chair.
"MMMMMPH! MMM MNNNNNMMMPH! MMMM!" Now rendered almost completely immobile, all Sissi could do as Odd came back around in front of her was to glare and scream... and she gave Odd a look of pure anger. Her eyes were narrowed into slits, and she trembled angrily in her chair, about the only motion that the tape and strings securing her would allow.
"You know, Sissi, you sort of had this coming... I care a lot about Kiwi, and you just showed no compassion at all!
Sissi issued a series of muffled protests, then watched as Odd's fingers slowly lowered toward her feet. She shook her head and let out a scream... and then began to laugh hysterically as Odd's fingers danced across her soles. Her head jerked wildly as she laughed through the tape, and after about a minute of tickling, tears began pouring down her cheeks.
"This has to be... the worst... most humiliating experience of my life!!!" thought Sissi, her every thought broken up by the wild sensations now fluttering across her feet, triggering uncontrollable, muffled laughter from her sealed lips. She was completely helpless, and the person who'd done this to her was arguably her least favorite person in the entire world... save for perhaps Yumi. The thought of Yumi again brought Ulrich into Sissi's head, and again, she began to think of what might happen if Odd ever told Ulrich about this. "He'll never let me live it down... NO ONE will..."
For nearly half an hour, the tickling continued. Odd laughed, of course, but the real laughter came from Sissi, involuntarily of course. She cried and cried until there were no tears left... not out of sadness, or humiliation, but from sheer laughter. Finally, mercifully, the tickling stopped. Odd's fingers relented, and Sissi was given the chance to catch her breath, breaths that came in rapid succession, air whistling in and out of her nose. She pressed her body against the back of the chair and stared up at the ceiling. Was it finally over?
"Oh... that was too much..." said Odd, bent over and chuckling loudly, his right hand against his stomach. "I gotta go get a feather or something... you just sit tight, I'll be right back..."
Still chuckling, Odd unlocked the door and stepped outside, walking down the hallway without even bothering to pick up the posters he'd left.
Sissi was left alone in her room, still gagged and still bound tightly in place, her feet held firmly in the air. She blinked her eyes for several seconds and stared straight ahead, her mind trying to get a handle on the whole situation.
"He just... he just left me here?" thought Sissi, continuing to blink rapidly. The door was wide open in front of her... helpless as she was, she couldn't possibly hope to reach it, but... maybe if she screamed loud enough, someone could come untie her. "MMMMMMMMMMMPH!"
And a second later, someone did come. Someone with fur and four legs... it was Kiwi, and he hadn't come to rescue Sissi, he'd come looking for Odd, following the scent of his friend all the way to Sissi's room. But Odd wasn't there... just Sissi, her feet dangling tantalizingly within reach.
"Mmmmmmph! MMMM! Go away, you dumb dog! Shoo!"
Kiwi just stood there for several seconds, blinking up at Sissi, his tongue hanging out. Then, he licked across Sissi's feet. This, of course, was the LAST thing Sissi wanted. She screamed loudly and began to laugh, and Kiwi licked Sissi's soles again, even harder this time.
"No, don't tickle me! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW, I AM ORDERING YOU TO STOP!"
But Kiwi didn't stop. For ten minutes, he licked Sissi's feet, tickling her twice as hard as Odd had done before. By the time Odd returned, Sissi was in hysterics again, tears rolling rapidly down the sides of her face.
"There you are, my little diggity dog!" said Odd, dropping the feather he was holding and extending his arms for Kiwi to come to him. With a bark, Kiwi stopped licking Sissi's feet and turned around, leaping into Odd's arms as the boy wrapped him tightly up in a long, affectionate hug. Kiwi's tongue began lapping across Odd's cheek, causing Odd to laugh nearly as loudly as Sissi. "Trying to get the taste of Sissi's big ugly feet out of your mouth, huh?"
"Grmmmmmmmmmmph! My feet are NOT big and ugly, and when I get out of this chair..."
Odd looked over at Sissi and smiled, walking to her dresser and pulling out a pair of scissors.
"I think you've had enough," said Odd, walking around behind Sissi and placing the pair of scissors in her hands so she could cut herself loose. "See, I can be a nice guy when I want to be... and Kiwi's back, so I don't have any reason to be mad at you anymore!"
Sissi growled even harder, while Odd simply walked around her and toward the door, holding Kiwi in his arms.
"Seeya later, Sissi!" shouted Odd, waving and closing the door behind him. As soon as Odd left, Sissi began screaming insults again, not even bothering to cut herself free with the scissors. After about ten seconds of this, she let out a sigh and slumped back into her chair.
She no longer felt tired anymore... after about an hour of tickling, she'd gotten a lot of her energy back, and while she HAD been humiliated, she didn't feel nearly as badly as she thought she would. For some reason, she knew that Odd probably wasn't going to tell anyone else about this... though it would probably be something he'd always hold over her. Despite the fact that Odd had gotten the better of her and had totally humiliated her, Sissi felt... good. She'd never in her life laughed as hard as she had over the previous hour, and while she was being tickled, there were times when Sissi felt totally euphoric. She didn't have to worry about grades, or about being popular, or even about Ulrich... for one hour, she'd been totally free of any sort of worry or responsibility whatsoever.
But the fact remained... Odd had totally humiliated her. She wasn't going to tell Jim, or even her dad... she was going to get revenge herself, in her own special way. She would humiliate Odd twice as badly as he'd humiliated her.
"I'll get you, Odd Della Robbia..."
And as the last of the tape and string fell away from the chair, and Sissi stood up, stretching out her limbs, a free girl again, she ripped the tape from her mouth, her lips immediately curving into a smile.
"And your little dog, too."