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!


23 thoughts on “The Octopus Knows- Round Robin #8

  1. Barbara, that is brilliant and I haven’t even read the other installments yet. Your writing is a joy to read.

    • Hey Catherine! Abundant thanks for coming by and reading #8 of the WANA’s continuing saga. And *blushing warm and pink* at your truly lovely comment 😀

      This has been a really fun diversion from the accustomed angst of the WIP. I was afraid the biggest challenge would be keeping true to the flow of voice established by writers in the previous installments, but all have done such a terrific job of developing the personas of Simon & Ninja, these quirky characters seem to write themselves.

      Dare I suggest you jump onto the Round Robin Roster :-O There’s currently a vacancy at #20!

      • Oh gosh Barbara I don’t know if I can write long things anymore, seriously I struggle passed about 10 lines lol. Can I write a haiku lol. I will get round to reading the rest, but not on Picture Book Friday yikes 🙂

  2. I want to click the ‘like’ button six times!!! Awesome installment, Barbara. What was in the vial?!?

    • 😀 😀 😀 Thank you for reading, thank you for liking, and thank you for being such a super supportive WANA friend!

      Jeezaloo, that’s a great question–I hope Carrie knows. It’s outta my hands now, tee hee.

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I’m thinking all of us that have had a turn are in a really good place now that the pressure is off and we can sit back and enjoy the unraveling tale 😀 Carrie Dawes is next in the hot seat!

  3. LOVED THIS ONE!! This keeps getting better and better. Glad to see Simon showing a little spine finally. This installment made me like him a little better. I loved the part done from Ninja’s point of view as well.

    • Thank you so much for passing by Jennifer 🙂 I have the distinct impression that Simon and Ninja are full of surprises. I too look forward to seeing where they go from here–the possibilities are endless!

  4. I loved this section! It’s nice to see Simon getting his spine back. I liked hearing from Ninja again too. I have a feeling Simon and Ninja are a good team when they’re both on their A game. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

    • 😀 Patricia! I’ve especially loved seeing what happens to odd-ball props introduced in previous episodes. For instance that wand you gave us back in episode #4! And to think we’re not even 1/2 through Ninja’s grand adventure!

    • Hey Laird! Thanks so much for popping over in the midst of all your busyness. (It’s always a treat when the mama of Round Robin checks in!) Your thoughts are much appreciated, in fact, may I offer you a Twinkie 😀

  5. Pingback: The Octopus Knows… | Carrie Daws

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