NAYDA AND THE GARLOPUFFS Nayda walked through the forest, her bow and arrow at her hips. The Warrior Maiden scout had been through most of this area, but somehow how it seemed as if it was different. As if someone had taken a piece of forest on some other area of Third Earth and placed it here. For one thing, the foliage was so very different. There were plants here that should not be here, that were never in her people's kingdom. The auburn frowned and knelt down to the plant life, touching it, her face turning as its slimy skin stuck to her fingers. "What is this?" she asked to no one in particular. Nayda stood up, the warm Spring sun brushing against her bare skin, her bare stomach her bare arms, and her soft, pink bare toes. "This doesn't make any sense at all, I wonder if Mumm-Ra is behind this? I'll have to talk to Willa about this. Maybe even the ThunderCats." The nineteen year old turned and rushed backwards, back to her homeland. The leaves under her feet crackled and snapped, as she ran, the wind brushing against her skin and hair and brought smells of nuts and berries with a few musty smells as well. The forest seemed larger as well with trees so large that they almost looked as if they were going to touch the stars. Nayda stopped and frowned for a moment. She turned to the left and to the right and blinked. "I know I came this way, but … where did this turn come from?" She leaned gently against a tree, collecting her thoughts. "Now I know that there is something wrong here." Nayda cursed herself for not bringing a communicator that the ThunderCats had offered to all their allies. A good deal of the Warrior Maidens were carrying some, now that they were part of the League of Third Earth, but Nayda liked keeping true to nature, the way her people had always done. The girl decided to move forward, and as she did, a sharp screech filled the air, sending birds and animals racing through the forest, away from the girl. Nayda looked to her back, and craned her neck. "What is that?" Sitting on a stump was a medium sized thing that looked a big fuzz ball with massive eyes. Nayda ****ed her head and blinked. "What in the world?" The thing screeched again, although where its mouth was she had no idea. There was a shuffle of movement and then before she knew it there were other, smaller fuzz balls all coming out of the foliage. They were multicolored, some with tiny little wings, others with small claws coming out of their fur. They looked at her and cooed. "What are you guys?" she asked, inching toward them. They were definitely out of place, and anything alien would have sent alarms in the young girl's mind. But the auburn simple inched closer, putting her boy away. "I do have to say, you are rather cute." The little puff balls purred and leapt in the air, as if happy for the compliment. The larger screeched again, but less severe this time. Its yellow body bobbed and weaved as if it was dancing. Nayda knelt down and rested her hands her legs. The little puff balls rolled past the larger and surrounded the girl, cooing and singing. Nayda laughed and weaved to their singing, closing her eyes. They were very gentle and their song was very sweet. The teenager nearly lost herself in the melody. She was so lost that she didn't notice the little puff balls inch nearer to her and rub the bottoms of her feet with their bodies. Nayda opened her eyes and jumped, squealing as the puff balls rubbed her soles. "Hey, that tickles," she giggled. "Don't do that!" The puff balls looked at each other curiously, and came closer at her, rubbing her feet again. The young scout squealed and pulled her feet back, shaking her head. "Now, now no tickling!" The puff balls surrounded her more, cooing and rubbing at her. A small blue one was rolling around her middle and fourth toe on her left foot, making the scout howl and try to pull it off. A green and silver puff tickled her other foot, their fur brushing across her ankles. "Now, now!" The scout leapt to her feet, and brushed away the puffs. "I said no tickling!" she snapped. She inched away, but the sad little eyes of the puffs made her stay longer than what she possibly should. The large one shrieked again and pounced at her, knocking her down. Two blue arms grabbed her hands and held them over her head. "What are you doing?!" the scout cried. The large puff shrieked out at the younger ones, whose eyes had grown bright with excitement, and before Nayda knew what was happening, she was completely surrounded by fur puffs. The tiniest of them once again swirled around her toes, as the other two continued brushing up against her soles. A black puff rolled up to her sides and tickled them quickly, making Nayda inch away. "Stahahahaop!" the young woman cried. "Let me go!" A pink puff climbed up on her belly and seemed to vibrate against it, making the scout howl. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THAT TICKLES SOHOHOHOHOHO BAHAHAHAHAD, PLEASE STAHAHAHAHAHAHAOP! OH GOODNESS NOT THE NAHAHAHAVEL TOO!" A blue puff seemed to laugh with a high pitched squeak and rubbed against Nayda's underarm, twirling its fur in an x form across the sides of her hollow. Two other silver puffs with white hands raced their little claws across the center of her other arm pit. A red one tickled her right ribs with its own claws. "AHAHAHAHA COME OHOHOHOHOHON STOP TICKLING MEHEHEHEHEHEH, NOT THE KNEEHEHEHEHEHES, NO NO GET OHOHOHOFF MY WAIST! AHAHAHAHAHAH STAHAHAHAHOP!" Nayda shook her head back and forth, trying to push her way up from the ground. But the big puff held her still. "YOU ARE HORRIBLE AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, STOP TICKLING MEHEHEHEHEHE!" The little puffs seemed hurt at her words, and inched away with big sad eyes. They cooed at the larger one, who shrieked and nodded at the scout. They seemed to contemplate what it was telling them, and looked at each other. Nayda was just thankful that the tickling had stopped, at least for a moment. But she couldn't but feel horrible herself at her words. "I didn't mean to call you horrible," she said as she took in a big breath of air. "Really I didn't, but that was just so much, I couldn't take it like that." She frowned at their little sad eyes. Then she realized something…. The big one must be the parent. Mother or father? These little ones must be kids. Or younger at least than this big one. </I> She didn't have much time to think further, as the big puff shrieked again, and the little ones' eyes light up at her apology. They again pounced and flew at her. Four of them tickled her ribs and stomach, another one managed to inch to her back and wiggle there, tickling Nayda's backbone and shoulder blades. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAH NOT THE SHOULDER BLADES, OH HOW I HAHAHAHAHTE THAT! ITS MY WORST SPOHOHOHOHOHHOT! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" She attempted to say other things, but her words were drowned out with a sharp 'kkkkkkkkk' sound as she laughed harder when the one tickling her back concentrated on her shoulders. A puff so small it looked the size of an insect scamper up across her abdomen, and slipped into her navel. It bounced and wiggled, its little legs scraping the inside of Nayda's navel, making the scout howl and shriek with a girlish laughter. "GEHHEHEHET OUT OF THERE, YOU LIHIHIHIHIHITTLE SNOHOHOHOHOHOT!" Nayda closed her eyes and screamed, and burst into laughter again as it ignored her. "Thahahahat TICKLES SOHOHOHOHOHO MUCHCHCHCH! A HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!" Occasionally the large one tickled her as well, on her neck and in her ears. One time it tickled her nose, making Nayda lose it as she screamed and tried to bite at the tickling puff. "AHHHHHHH NO MOHOHOHOHORE COME ON STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHOP!" The sun never seemed to set as they tickled her, so Nayda had no idea how long she was being tickled like this. She tried to raise her legs but the puffs held tight keeping them to the ground. One time she did manage to get a leg free, and lifted it into the air, but saw there were so many puffs rolling and rubbing on her sole that she could barely see the skin. Another time she pulled free of the large one's grip and managed to push back a few that were tickling her armpit, but shrieked as the large puff clamped tight around her wrist and yanked the arm back up. Nayda shook her head wildly as the puffs teasingly approached her once again defenseless hollow, crying no over and over with growing rapid shrieks before once again it was the 'play thing' of the puffs. The building tension of having her armpit tickled and watching the tickling puffs grow closer made the sensations rush through her body when they finally did start their tickling again. It was as if someone the tension had made her armpit even more ticklish than what it was before. "Why are you DOHOHOHOHOHOING THIS TO MEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE?" she cried out. Because its our way of feeding. </I> Nayda blinked as she heard the voice in her head, and frowned for a second before her lips ignored her mind and turned upwards into a forced smile and laugh again. Had she heard things? No, you didn't hear things. I told you it was our way of feeding, and thus, it is. </I> "WHOHOHOHOSE THERE? A--AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Nayda looked around but all she could see were the tickling puffs. A bright blue one nearly the size of the one holding her arms was brushing against her knees. Nayda felt her arms tug violently, and she looked up into the eyes of the large puff. I'm right here. You're looking at me. </I> "Who AHAHAHAHARE, y… yo…you!" I am the elder of the Garlopuffs. We are a race far from our home planet. We feed on merriment. Especially on what most races call laughter. That is the strongest of merriment and a rare delicacy in these times of evil. "THEHEHEHEN YOUR GOING TO TIHIHIHIHICKLE ME TO DEHEHEHEHEATH? I'M JUHUHUST A MEAL?!"</P> You're laughter is, yes. But we do not tickle to make those whom we symbiotically feed off of suffer. Nor do we kill those who we feed off of. The puff shrieked at the little ones, who retreated from the scout. The large one's hands released Nayda. I do apologize for this. We were starving. We landed here not more than two days ago and had not eaten for more than three months. </I>"Why did you pick me?" Nayda asked, rubbing her body. You were the first, truly sentient creature we've seen. The animals on this planet work as a good snack, but their laughter isn't all that strong. </I>One of the puffs rubbed against the scout, but its body didn't tickle as much as when they were feeding. Nayda looked down and lifted it up, holding its warm body against her's as it cooed. "And how were you sure I was ticklish at all?" We can pick up the sensations of the nerves in those we approach. It comes to us in visions of color. You're was white, which meant you were exceedingly ticklish, and thus your laughter would make a wonderful feast for us. And to answer your past question, no… I am neither mother nor father to these little ones. Just an elder. </I>"But are you…," she started to ask. I am a male, yes. The Garlopuff said, nodding his head. My name is Jast. I do apologize again for taking it that far, Nayda of the Warrior Maidens. But please do understand how hungry we really were. </I>"What will you do now? Tickle everyone you see?" Nayda asked with a blink. "And how do you know my name?" No, no we don't tickle everyone we see. Usually a good dose of laughter will last us a month or so. As to how I know who you are… Naia told me. He nodded toward the puff she was holding. As to how she knows… I can not say. She will not say. She has some kind of powers, perhaps that is how. </I>Jast nodded his head, and little Naia leapt from the Warrior Maiden's arms. But we must be going. We will meet again, young warrior. No worries, we are friends. </I>The puffs turned and slowly disappeared into the forest. Naia was the last to leave. Good bye for now, Nayda! It was fun! I hope we can play again one day! Then she disappeared as well, leaving the confused but interested young scout to find her way back home, to tell of these new figures. "Are they a threat?" Willa asked. "Only a threat if you're afraid to lose your voice from laughing so hard," Nayda said with a giggle. "I didn't think I'd be able to stand much more… but they're not evil. Just… unique!" "You're sure?" Her younger sister nodded her head. "I am." "Well then, I'll just make sure that our other scouts know to be careful in that area, as well as other peoples of Third Earth, and the ThunderCats. We don't want these puffs attacked simply because they need to feed so harmlessly, nor do we need innocent people passing out from laughing to exhaustion." "Sounds reasonable," Nayda admitted. "I perhaps I'll try and see if I can't get them to bring relations with the other people here." An ambassador?" Willa smiled. "Well, that is a good idea. But are you sure you can survive another dinner date with them?" Her older sister winked. "Oh, if they decide to have me for dinner, I just might fight back a little bit," Nayda giggled, wiggling her own fingers. The two laughed long and hard.