The Octopus Knows- Round Robin #8

The Octopus Knows – Part 8

And so here it is my turn to write an installment of the progressive story, The Octopus Knows, originally conceived and created by the always inventive, Laird Sapir. I admit it’s a wee bit intimidating to contemplate this increasingly sticky predicament that Ninja and Simon now find themselves in, and I can only hope my writing brain kicks in to nudge our conflicted heroes in the right direction.  After seven very creative installments to-date, the most recent by Ellen Gregory (links to all installments can be found on Laird’s round robin page) we find the heinously kidnapped Ninja being held hostage in a whirlpool tub, and Simon foolishly fishing in his unflushed toilet with his toothbrush in order to recover the card containing the address of  Braden–aka Ninja’s unscrupulous kidnapper.

As we left off:

A minute later, staring at the soggy card covered with illegible watery blue ink, Simon reflected this wasn’t his finest hour. The address couldn’t be read, his wand was in the toilet, Braden had Ninja and Mr Jones was on his way to claim him.

For the first time in over a year, Simon’s immediate inclination isn’t to eat something; although it’s possible that his reluctance to self medicate with a fistful of Oreos has less to do with any sense of renewed discipline, as it relates to the distasteful condition of the card he now held in his hand.

He dropped the paper to the floor and gently laid the wand in the sink before turning the handle on the faucet to the far left–watching as the water gushed warm, then hot, over the wand.

Okay,so maybe this was it.  This was what it felt like to hit the wall at full force. He’d spent the entire past year overeating in an attempt to forget, and yet an expanding waistline had done little to dim the pain. Nothing had changed, and now Jones was back in town, towing  Marguerite like a shipwreck that gravity should’ve sunk long ago.  No question, that dame was resilient. She had no qualms about baring her fangs when cornered, and yet, in a strange way, Simon thought he might even admire her tenacity.  He wished he could say the same about himself.  But instead he’d gone soft. Traded his soul for a Twinkie.

The truth was that whatever Braden had written on the card didn’t matter. Simon knew where to find Ninja–the very place he’d long promised himself to never return. What’s more, whether he liked it or not–and he sure as hell didn’t–he somehow had to stuff himself back into those damned pants or otherwise risk losing Ninga.

And the bag–he needed to grab the bag from where he’d stashed it at the back of the refrigerator behind the gracefully molding cheese, praying hard and fast that the meticulously wrapped package inside hadn’t expired.

Steam now billowed up from the sink and with a hard twist on the faucet handle, Simon shut off the water and grabbed the wand from the sink.  He didn’t have much time and every instant was crucial. His fingers quivered like jello on bone as he attempted to handle the wand with essential care–turning the still hot tip in his fingers as he unscrewed it from the shaft.  Separating the two sections, he slid the slender glass vile encased inside into his palm. And he didn’t stop to consider risk or consequence as he popped off the lid and upended the contents onto his tongue.

Far off,  on the other end of town, Ninja’s eyes blinked open as the water in the tub all at once began churning, rolling, sloshing wildly.  A high pitched girlish scream that could only be Braden, broke loose beyond the closed bathroom door.  

With all eight tentacles reaching to grasp the edge of the tub, Ninja held tight to keep from being pitched onto the tile floor.  And if he’d had a set of lips instead of a beak he would’ve smiled.  He almost couldn’t believe it.  At long last it looked like his boy Simon had grown a set.  High time to lock and load, baby …

To be continued…

And now I respectfully pass the keyboard to Carrie Dawes 😀  Stay tuned!

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Positively Peevish

Lest anyone assume I woke-up this morning  wearing my Grouchy Pants or have overindulged on a breakfast of Cranky Flakes, allow me to clarify that I am actually quite jolly and chipper as is most often the case in the AM hours–before the real world comes along to slap me in the face and wring-the-merry from my smiley face.

Nevertheless, there are those things that gnaw and grate.  Drive-by moments that come along to poke and  irritate, despite all good intentions. That rub against the conscience–sometimes in the background, other times in the forefront–but always there somewhere, ready to jump and churn at the first not so gentle nudge.

It started this morning with a Styrofoam coffee cup on my neighbors lawn. I spied it from my kitchen window.  A startling, heinously deposited object of stark, non-bio degradable  ugliness discarded on Mr. R’s hard-earned and carefully tended square of sod heaven.  The sight of which launched me directly into Peeve #1:

Littering boobs who seem to think trash cans were designed as unnecessary ornamentation.  Honestly, but I despise litter in all of its hideous forms. No excuses or attempts at rationalization accepted. It’s disgusting.

It is in fact the aforementioned despicable crime that leads me directly into this companion peeve to #1, which is Peeve #2:

Pet owners who walk their dogs (purposely steered their pooches beyond the bounds of their own neighborhood) with the deliberate intent of “Poop and Run.”  No doubt you’ve seen them, bag-less dog walkers who pick-up speed should they spy a previously unobserved witness to their dastardly deeds.

Of course thoughts of pooping naturally lead me to considerations of eating, thus Peeve #3:

Foods with healthy sounding names that are anything but healthy.  For example Nutri-Grain, or the uber appealing Nature Valley.  A wise choice for those in pursuit of  good health?  ACK!!!!  NO! NO! Lies, all lies!  Both contain Fructose (HIGH Fructose in some cases.)  Fructose, as many of you know, is the REIGNING DEVIL of bad horrifying  ingredients. To quote Dr. Mercola of #1 Natural Health Website, “Fructose is the NUMBER ONE source of calories in the US.  An ingredient that is found in virtually all processed foods cannot be considered “moderate.” Even most infant formulas contain the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, which helps explain how six-month old babies can be obese.”  I realize that not everyone cares to be known as the Food Nazi, as my own wiseacre family has titled moi, but Jeezaloo, how about food manufactures ease-up on the blatant trickery toward consumers who really do care to improve their diets and chose wisely. If it says NATURE or NUTRI on the label it should be a rule that, yeah,  it really is. (BTW, a good rule to keep in mind when scanning the ingredient panel–beware the “toses,” they’re all stinkers. Aka, Fructose, Maltose, Sucrotose, etc.)

Needless to say, such talk of devious deception leads me straight into  Peeve#4:

People who lecture against talking Religion and Politics and then do so themselves. You know the type. They make a grandiose point of their peacekeeping rule of excluding those potentially one thousand percent quarenteed heat producing topics from all social conversation, but then proceed to poke sharpened and poisonous barbs into aforementioned gentle and purposely civil conversation.  I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us have very strong opinions of Religion & Politics, thus there are generally no allowances for slip-in, snide references, or drop and run deliveries (see Peeve #2) of said topics.

Okay,okay, simmer down, I hear ya. Enough of the cyber whining– I get it.  Still, I know you have plenty of peeves yourself.  I can hear them knocking around in your head, so  here’s your chance to pass them along (and maybe even get a soothing touch of sympathy). Large, small, or passionately festering, the floor is now open. Let er rip  😀