Henry was a scrawny sixteen-year-old Sophomore in charge of the laundry for the Central High Panthers football team. His height, which just barely scraped five-foot eight, and his undeveloped body assured his job would be the closest he would ever get to the school team.
He finished wiping the steam from his eyeglasses. But they clouded up all over again. The showers in the locker room were pumping hot steamy water out full blast as the dozen team members scrubbed off the dirt and sweat generated by their just-finished practice. Through the haze on his glasses Henry could make out the forms of the beefy players. Two Henry Ferguses put together wouldn't begin to make up the smallest of the huge athletes.
The hiss of the rushing water was soon silenced to be replaced by the clang of the metal lockers being thrown open. Henry darted around the naked guys, handing out towels and collecting the rank and dripping practice clothes. None of the players paid much attention to Henry. He was there to serve them and should feel privileged to serve them.
The din of noise was rising to echo off the damp cement walls. Revived by their showers,, the players' exhaustion was being replaced by teen-aged high spirits. Wet towels were snapped at exposed butts and lewd remarks flew back and forth.
Suddenly Henry found himself in a fierce head lock. Dan Barrow the team quarterback was once again harassing the hapless Henry -a boy he outweighed by some one hundred pounds. The Senior enjoyed tormenting anyone he could make squirm. He hollered at the Sophomore without letting go for a second.
"Hey Henry! You been working out? I can almost feel you trying to get away from me! Look guys! One hand!" Dan released the wrist that closed the head lock. He held the towel boy pinned with just the strength of his arm muscles. Henry was starting to turn purple as the quarterback's bicep closed off his windpipe.
"Very funny. Very funny." the towel-boy gasped. His arms hung limp at his sides. He knew things would only get worse if he tried to resist.
"Yo Barrow, let the guy go so's I can get my towel." The voice belonged to Wayne Park, or as he liked to be called, "The Incredible Hulk". Wayne was not green like his comicbook namesake, but a coal black Tackle made more of fat than muscle. Wayne was the biggest thing to ever set foot on a Central High football field. Just by looking at the opposition, he caused several to faint dead away.
Dan released Henry just in time to prevent total suffocation. The towel boy fell to his knobby knees while Dan strode away to dress
There was no love lost between the QB and his Tackle as demonstrated by their chilly tone of voice. While Dan was tugging a fresh Jockstrap over his muscular thighs, Wayne was using the towel he received from a grateful Henry. The big black athlete felt protective toward the runty Henry. He wished he could think of a way to let the kid get some revenge on the arrogant, bullying Dan Barrow. An idea came to Wayne. He spoke to his team captain.
"Yo Barrow, you should be glad Henry ain't got no mean streak in him. He's only playin' with you. Otherwise..."
"Otherwise what, Park? Henry knows I could snap him in two pieces like a tooth pick.
"Barrow, my man Henry could wreck you."
Dan Barrow stared in disbelief at the man mountain standing across from him. He saw the serious look in Wayne Park's ebony eyes.
Barrow stopped where he stood wearing only his Jockstraps sweat socks and sneakers. He called his beat pal Frank over to him. Frank was the second largest guy on the team next to Wayne.
"Frank," Dan began, "Give me yer best fuckin' shot. Right in the gut." Dan tightened his midsection into a rigid wall of muscle until the wide supporter band seemed ready to burst. Frank's burly arm smashed into Dan with enough force to rattle the windows set high in the locker room walls. But Dan was undisturbed as he let out a breath and turned to Wayne. "See Park, unless I was tied up and Fergus here took a baseball bat to my balls, I wouldn't feel a thing.
"Yo Mistuh Quarterback, if you was tied up, Henry here could get you screamin' with nothin' but his bare hands. Let's give it a try." Though he was big, Wayne Park was also fast, as Dan Barrow found out.
Wayne wrestled the Senior onto the trainer's massage table. He had help from a few of the other bulky footballers who were fed up with Dan's pointless bullying. Dan received no help in his struggle. When a guy like Barrow is on top, he has plenty of friends. But when he is on the bottom his pals vanish.
While Wayne pinned Dan to the vinyl padded table, another player ransacked the equipment room to find four exercise jumping ropes. In no time they were knotted around the writhing QB, holding him tightly spread-eagled.
Two red spots flamed on Dan's pallid cheekbones. The thick muscles of his diaphragm worked up and down as he breathed hard in frustration at his helpless position. But his cockiness was intact. He fixed his cold gray eyes on Henry and sneered. "Whatcha gonna do now, Superman?"
Henry was paralyzed with terror. He had almost fled the locker room when the struggle began, but he was too frightened to move. He gaped at Wayne Park, wondering if his protector had betrayed him. What did the big tackle have in mind?
Wayne sauntered over to the quaking towel boy. He put one meaty paw on his shoulder to steady him and leaned over to whisper in Henry's ears just two words.
Light dawned in Henry's eyes. His fear vanished and he seemed to grow a few inches in height. Henry straightened his eyeglasses and strolled toward the athlete bound to the table.
Henry threaded his way through the dozen boys who crowded around their former leader, all eager to see what would come next. Dan was getting ready to fire off some biting insult when he stopped. The look of power in Henry's eyes caused cold sweat to start drizzling down his spine. Was this puny wimp able to make good on his threats?
Henry reached out and rested his small hand on Dan's muscular stomach. Dan's voice broke the taut silence. "What're you gonna do - feel me up, Fergus faggotface?"
"No.." Henry smiled, "I'm going to tickle you."
Dan gasped and pulled and pulled at the ropes holding him down. But they didn't give an inch. It was inevitable now: Dan Barrow, the high and mighty football star, was going to be tickled.
Henry brought his other hand to rest on the smooth skin around the Senior's navel. Dan's body was almost totally revealed by the skimpy supporter. His skin was very nearly hairless. Henry suspected this would make the tickling sensations all the more intense. Good.
Henry began to twiddle his fingers along the quarterback's stomach. Dan's body spasmed and he let out a frenzied yell. Then he clamped his jaw shut, grimly refusing to laugh. But Henry was equally determined.
His fingers moved back and forth over the quarterback's middle causing him an agony of ticklishness. Dan's hair was soon matted with perspiration and little cries were emitted through his still shut jaw. Henry tickled up to Dan's ribs, tracking the clearly defined cage with his fingernails.
The athlete was groaning and pulling against the confining ropes. lie twisted his trained body back and forth to avoid the torturous fingernails, but Henry never let the contact break. Suddenly Henry lunged for the teen's exposed armpits. Probing the golden-haired hollows finally broke the athlete's silence.
"No please! C'mon guys, stop him! I'm goin' nuts here ... ha hah haha ... Please it tickles, cut it out! I Ha aha ah ahhh..." The young man's usua11y gruff voice trailed off into a frenzy of girlish giggles. Henry dug harder into the pits until tears flowed from Dan's pleading eyes. Henry wiggled his fingers in the ticklish joints until the QB was roaring with laughter.
"Help me somebody ... ha ha ha ahhh"
Henry raked his nails gleefully up and down the captive's ticklish torso until Barrow was leaping against the tight bondage. The tickling torture went on until., fearing for his victim's sanity, Henry mercifully removed his tickling fingers from the sensitive skin.
Dan Barrow was almost sobbing with relief. He spoke to the circle of his watching teammates. "Very funny. Very funny. Okay you guys, you've had your revenge. I'll leave Henry alone." Dan swallowed hard. "I promise."
But Wayne Park spoke up. "Just a second, we ain't heard you scream yet, did we? We think Henry has a ways to go yet. After all, he ain't touched YOU feet yet. And ain't feet the most ticklish of all?" The crowd of high schoolers all agreed with Wayne. And now it was Dan's turn to quake.
Henry was feeling great as he slowly began unlacing Dan's sneakers. Whistling a cheerful tune, he undid the laces and very slowly tugged the white leather hi-tops off Barrow's size thirteens. Exposed were two huge sweatsock covered feet. Despite the athlete's best efforts to still them, his ten toes twitched beneath the white cotton. Swiftly the towel boy, having a working knowledge of Barrow's filthy clothes, skinned off the socks, exposing toes and soles to the cool air.
Dan grit his teeth and shut his eyes in preparation for the imminent assault on his defenseless feet. Something indescribably soft brushed against Dan's warm soles. The athlete, expecting to be roughly attacked by fingernails, gasped in surprise. His eyes flew open to find out what was stroking his ticklish flesh.
Henry was using just the lightest pressure of his fingertips. Never having thrown a pigskin or held a baseball bat, his hands were smooth and uncalloused. Dan could not believe anyone could have such soft hands, such a light and gentle touch.
But the gentle touch was worse for Dan than the roughest, manhandling he had ever received on the football field. Henry's educated fingers stroked all across the ticklish skin of Dan's soles until the QB was laughing too hard to see.
With precise timing Henry changed tactics. He groped in the secret spaces between Dan Barrows' long and muscular toes.
He had found it.
The spot where Dan was most ticklish of all.
The young athlete rocketed off the padded table, nearly wrenching the strong knots loose. But no such luck for him. He was still a captive audience for Henry's devilish probings. Working his ten silky fingers between Barrow's ten toes proved unendurable for the macho thug. He began babbling pleas for mercy between his hysterical laughter.
"OMGOD!! Henry please stop it! You're gonna kill me with that tickling! Please...a hahahah...not the feet PLEASE! Anything but the feet! Guys...ahahhaa... please make him stop! Somethin's gonna happen...EEE M-OOOWWWW ! ! !"
Dan's pitiable scream was followed by his total blackout. All the tension in his muscles vanished as he collapsed in a heap of sweat-soaked muscles.
The ordeal was over. Henry had his revenge. The football team cheered the scrawny Sophomore and carried him on their shoulders in victory out of the humid locker room. And even though Henry banged his head on the low doorway, it didn't keep him from feeling like the most powerful towel-boy.