Part Three- Laughter in the Dark
Vikki’s smooth soles were assaulted by skittering, emerald nails, sharp as steel guitar picks. She jumped, as the sensation of tickling met her body for the first time in ages. It was as if a powerful circuit had been closed, allowing tingly, tickly electrons to flow from Jessica’s fingertips to the helpless bare flesh displayed before them.
The victim’s eyes were squeezed shut, as if opening them would lead to the embarrassment of seeing stolen laughter issuing from her mouth. If the thief at her feet had any real concept of reality, she would have been delighted at seeing her work being paid off in spades. But since this was not the case, Jessica continued her thievery, spreading tickles over the smooth structure of Ms. Vale’s arches.
Vikki’s head swayed from side to side, her face becoming decidedly red. Her lovely, high pitched giggles filled the room, and Joker, sitting a ways behind Vikki the entire time, drank them in, becoming slowly intoxicated by them. While Jessica continued her work, Joker slowly rose from his chair, and picked up something sitting against the wall.
The fight was leaving Vikki, and she wasn’t sure she would be able to hold out any longer. Her sides were aching, her face felt hot, and her tortured feet were becoming sore. As Joker’s grinning face entered her field of vision, she knew that he was going to ask her about Batman once again. And she also knew that she would no longer be able to lie to him, lest the unbearable tickling begin once again. She hated herself for it, but she knew it was inevitable. Vikki gathered herself up as best she could, and waited for the expected.
But Joker didn’t follow through with her expectations. Instead, he did something she couldn’t possibly have anticipated. Joker placed a plastic mask over her mouth and nose, and adjusted the strap to fit her. Reaching behind him, he began fiddling with something. Suddenly there was a low hissing sound, one that Vikki instantly recognized. It was the sound of gas issuing forth from a small tank.
Her eyes widened as she realized what Joker had planned next for her. Vikki held her breath, and wriggled violently in one last ditch effort to liberate herself. The hand that had minutes ago been near freedom suddenly slipped away from her bonds, and the other hand followed suit. Joker sat back in his chair suddenly, surprised at her valiant almost-escape, but still smiling gleefully. Joker leaned back in towards her.
“Go ahead, Vikki. Take it off. Hehehe, if you still can.”
At Joker’s words, Vikki’s newly unbound hands flew to her face mask, but stopped. Despite the effort to hold her breath, Vikki couldn’t help it when some of the gas seeped into her nasal passages. She shook her head once, and raised her hands to the mask once again. Her fingers rested on the mask, but she could not gain the energy to remove it. Vikki’s head was clouding, and the smell of lilacs saturated everything.
When she raised her eyes, she saw a white, grinning, male face only inches away from her’s. She took notice of the crimson mouth, the shocking green hair, and the pale complexion, everything associated with circus clowns.
“So, how do you feel, my dear?” spoke the clown.
Vikki looked long and hard at the clown, thinking about his question. And then, slowly, there was laughter.
“Hehehehehe! I f-feel- haha- I feel scared out of my mind!” she exclaimed, her voice muffled by a combination of plastic and girlish giggles. “Hah-hah, I’ve never been more fr-frightened in my entire life! He-he-he-he!”
Vikki tried desperately to compose herself, but every time she tried to catch her breath, she inhaled more and more lilac giggle gas. She clutched her sides, guffawing loudly and profusely.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! J- joker please I- hahahaha- I can’t stop laughing! Hahahaha!”
“You know,” Joker said thoughtfully, “With you in such a condition, I don’t need another woman to get what I want from you…” Vikki caught on, and quickly pleaded with Joker.
“Hee-ha-no, don’t, I can’t- I-hi-hi-hi!” Fear showed on her face, but her voice was as cheery as ever.
Joker slid off from his chair, and crouched down next to Jessica, who had been watching this display all along. He whispered in her ear, and she got up and walked from the room in her black stocking feet. Joker took a captive bare foot in his hand, and prepared to perform.
“I’ve wanted to get my hands on these tootsies since the moment I saw you, Ms. Vale. And now I have my chance! HAHAHA!”
Vikki stared at him with wide eyes, still giggling like a drunken school girl. Joker’s wiggled his fingers, and began to slowly bring them towards her feet, savoring every second closer to her bare flesh.
Just then, there was a loud whirring noise, and a small black form sliced through the air. It hit the plastic hosing at the top of the laughing gas tank, severing it. Vikki and Joker both looked at the tank, and then they both looked in the direction of the noise.
Standing in the doorway was the giant black form of the Bat-Man. His long black cape spread out on either side of him, creating the illusion of wings. Both of the onlookers reacted, one with a look of immense relief, and one of equally immense frustration and seething anger.
“What the hell are you doing here?” exclaimed the latter.
The Bat-Man swooped in, and sliced through the ropes in one swipe of his steel tipped Bat-a-rang. He helped Vikki up, and she tore the gas mask from her face, throwing it to the floor.
“I’m here to get the girl,” Batman replied, his voice utterly serious. And then, Vikki at Batman’s arm, the two made a swift exit, leaving Joker on his knees, alone, in the darkness of his dungeon.
“It’s not fair!” he yelled to no one, “It’s not fair!” Thoroughly depressed, Joker crawled over to the laughing gas tank, its valve still open and allowing the gas to flow.
The Joker stared at it, morose, thinking. And then, slowly but surely, there was laughter from Joker. Slow chuckles at first, but then they rose in volume, and soon Joker was laughing manically.
“Oh, I’ll get you some day, Batman. But most importantly, your little girlfriend too! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”
It echoed off the walls, rose up the stairs, and reverberated through the halls of Joker’s hideout; the trademark of his character, the essence of his insanity, his manic laughter in the dark.