I hate being tickled. My body goes into a near paroxysm of pain when I am tickled. But despite the pain, I laugh. When I heard of the Mahaha I felt a spider crawl of fear up my spine. I was in Northern Canada working on a photo series of the Arctic. I was staying at a small motel near Ungava Bay. The bar down the road stopped serving dinner early so I went to the vending machine in the motel office to search for food. The wind was whipping like crazy and the temperature had dropped. Ungava is tundra and there are no trees. There was nothing to block the wind.
It was warm in the office and I eyed several chocolate bars in the vending machine.
“You should be careful,” said the motel clerk. He was a tall Inuit with long hair.
“Why?” I put my money in the slot.
“Nights like these the Mahaha comes out. He’s thin, the color blue, and cold to the touch. He likes to tickle his victims to death. He has long, sharp nails. He’s very strong. You won’t escape him. If you die he has you for eternity to torment with tickling.”
I laughed but I was afraid. “What should I do?”
The man shrugged his shoulders. I went back to my room in the frigid wind. I stuck my key in the door. I felt an even stronger blast of cold behind me. I turned around. An ice blue man with black eyes was staring at me. He propelled me into the room. I fell onto the thin carpet and he jumped on me and tickled me with his horrible nails. I laughed and screamed. This went on for some time until I felt nothing. I stood up and looked down. I could see myself with an awful twisted smile. The Mahaha offered me his hand to roam the tundra. I would be tickled for eternity.