An Octopus Named Kraken - By Rosy

   She gazed out from atop her tower, her nesting spot that allows a complete three hundred and sixty degree view, if you walked around her spacious room, opening drapes and peering out windows all they way around. She watches and has set comfortable chairs at each of the four directions to help enable her watching although it should be said, watching is not her main work. Not even close. What she does is write. She creates images and episodes that are visible through words. Word art, you could say.

    Through her windows, when ideas may linger, she watches the world, its changes, its seasons and its people, who, although somewhat distant, her abode being atop a three-story building which she owns and rents through an agent, are still fairly clear to see and curious to watch. She recognizes some as her tenants although they wouldn't know her, just her agent. Still, she recognizes them by their coming and going. She has a private elevator that they're probably unaware of, so they wouldn't place her as a neighbor. She likes this anonymity.

   Besides writing and watching, her passion is to cook. Her weight problem began perhaps as a function of loneliness, a coping tool for imagining that her life would end alone. Now she's sensible about food and exercise and is slowly returning to her ideal weight, because she's not alone. The love of her life appeared a few years back and now he lives on the top floor, just below her nest.

   He's actually a sasquatch and was glad to find not only a comfortable burrow that's well out of sight but a wife to be by his side as he gets older. He spends a lot of time on the lawn-covered deck around her tower that's only visible to someone flying overhead. He lies in the sun without fear of being seen, something he's curiously concerned about.

   She has also hosted a pteranodon with the help of her husband. Curious times in a curious world indeed. She remembers Tonker the pteranodon with affection and their amazing adventures on the Great Yudonke River. Captain Rosy Rivitir commanding the magical All-Vehicle Rivitir.

   Brak Hero, the pilot, brings the Rivitir in for a smooth landing, as always. Jant Hero, Brak's sister, is watching the radar.

   "Something big up ahead," Jant cautioned.

   "Hmm, I don't see anything," Brak replied, peering intently ahead. Then suddenly a big kraken like creature rose up out of the water and blocked their way. "Okay, I see it now," Brak reported. "Uh, Captain?" 

   "I'll see if I can wake her," Steddy said as he walked over to my door.

   Steddy is one of two robots on the crew, the first being our 11:11BS service bot who we call Ellim. The BS is Ballistic Sensory meaning Ellim can read minds. The other is Steddy, or Stedfast Troo, an 11:11007 (pronounced eleven eleven double aught seven) detective robot with a programmable hero function.

   I'm awake, of course. Any disturbance with the Rivitir I'm instantly aware. I opened the door just as Steddy was preparing to knock.

    "Looks like a kraken," I stated, taking in the situation at a glance. "Good work stopping the Rivitir Brak."

   "Uh, yes, ma'am," he replied, staring ahead at the kraken.

   "Why don't you pull us over to shore and we'll camp here," I told him. "Looks like a nice enough spot and I'm not in any mood to mess around with a kraken."

   "Yes, ma'am," he repeated, clearly relieved.

   It was a good spot and we set up a nice camp. I hoped the kraken would move on during the night. We enjoyed camping on the banks of the Great Yudonke, and did so whenever we could.

   The kraken watched us with a petulant look and after a while settled back into the water. Apparently awaiting his next victim. I wondered what he wanted from the people he stopped. He never said anything to us.

   That night we had a big fire and roasted marshmallows. It was a fine evening and we began star gazing as the fire died down. It is curious that Yudonke's sky is very similar to earth's. Exactly the same was how Rover, our navigator, described it. Rover was once a detective who had worked with Inspector Gee and Sgt Goat, well known detectives in Elvenstead. People were quicker to believe Rover and, doubting my own recollection, we all agreed; identical night skies. Steddy, being a robot, had no trouble being awake and on guard at night since he never slept, something we had to take turns doing before, and guard-duty was never a popular post. I didn't think about the kraken until the next morning. I could see he was still lurking in the water, watching and waiting. I walked down to the water's edge.

   "Hey Kraken!" I yelled.

   There were ripples in the water as it rose up to look at me. "What you want, elf?" it asked.

   "No kraken, that's my question. What do you want?"

   "I asked first."

   "Okay. I want passage forward on the river to continue our journey," I stated. I paused as we eyed each other. "So what do you want?" I repeated.

   It looked at me with wary skepticism. "What do you mean, what do I want?" it demanded.

   "You must want something or you'd let us pass," I said, in a stern voice, much like my Captain's voice wherein everyone jumps to obey.       

   "Want?" it asked.

   "Yes, so that we can pass. You know, I give you something and you give me something," I smiled.

   "Nah, that ent right," it snarled, giving me a disbelieving look. "I don want nothing."

   "Then why are you blocking the river?" I asked. Some of the captains from other stalled boats were there and they wanted to know too.

   "'Cause it's fun," the monster murmured, giving us a cursory dismissal.

   Flummoxed, I returned to our camp, as did the other captains to theirs. After reporting everything to the crew we decided to pack up and return to the Rivitir. Unlike the other boats stalled here we could easily fly over the kraken but I was loath to do so. I didn't like flying away and leaving them to their predicament.

   "Crew," I said, "these people here, stalled by the kraken, need our help to continue. I'm sure there's upstream traffic on its other side looking to get through as well. Any ideas?" 

   "We could take turns confronting the kraken near to shore so that someone could slip by on its other side. I don't think it can block the entire river at once," Brak offered. 

   "Hmm, yes, good idea, Brak," I said, nodding encouragement.

   "Those tentacles are awful long," Rover commented. "Looked like it could possibly span the river, but I'm not sure."

   "Does sound risky," Jant agreed. "How about we offer it something more fun?"

   "Hmm, now that's an interesting notion," I said. "But unless any of you do, I have no idea what krakens like."

   "They like blocking things," Rover stated.

   "That's certainly true, but I don't see how we can use that," I answered.

   "I think there might be some negativity in the kraken's thinking," Jant said, "so that means it's not totally happy."

   "Hmm, yeah I think maybe you're right, Jant," I said, nodding agreement. "So what do you think would make it happy?"   

   "A mate," she replied with a smile.

   "Two of them could totally block the river with ease," Rover noted.

   "But I don't think that'd be what they'd opt to do," Jant replied. "They'd have each other. At least to start."

   "Later on they'd totally block the river?" Rover asked.

   "I, uh, well, I guess they could," Jant admitted.

   "Gosh, it looks like we don't have any options," I said, feeling discouraged.

   {You haven't asked me.}

   "Zingellawabix," I said, out loud.

   "You hearing him?" Rover asked.

   I was the only one who could hear him. He's a magic wand that's older than our solar system and somehow we connected in the fight against evil, or what he calls the anti-life. 

   "Yeah," I answered Rover, "he says I should ask him about the kraken." I closed my eyes and concentrated.


   {Yes Rosy, I've been waiting.}

   {What is your idea?}

   {Remember my powers, to bind and to shrink, especially to shrink. I can make the kraken small, as small as an octopus, smaller if need be.}

   "Zingellawabix can make the kraken small," I told the crew.  "But I want to confront the kraken first."

   I returned to the water's edge, followed by the crew. "Hey Kraken!" I yelled. 

   There were ripples and the giant form of the kraken rose from the water. "What you want, elf?"

   "Listen here, kraken. If you don't move out of the way I'll use a magic wand and shrink you down to the size of an octopus," I stood heroically, serving a just cause. Some of the other captain's were watching with the crew.

   The Kraken's eyes went round, then its mouth went round. "Oooooh," it said. "You can do that?"

   I thought it might be mocking me so I stood taller, "Yes, kraken. I can do that." I was firm in my solid Captain's voice.

   For a long moment it looked at me. Then it smiled wide. "You can make me normal? Make me so I'm not a monster anymore but just like any other octopus? Huh? You can do that?"   

   "Yes," I said. I didn't expect this.

   "Well then do it!" it shrieked. "Oh my oh golly yes do it! Make me normal like the others!"

   Zingellawabix heard, through me, and began the shrinking. For dramatic effect I raised my arms and made magical gestures. In just a flash a regular sized octopus sat in the water where the kraken had been. It smiled a huge smile at me. "Oh thank you, thank you! I am so thrilled to finally fit in. Now I can go to octopus school and become important!" It blew a kiss at me and yelled, "I will love you forever!" then it swam away. The crew and the other captains began applauding. Then the captains ran off to their various ships and boats.

   I was really glad it ended well for the kraken and smiled, gazing at the now unobstructed river. Already boats were resuming their journeys. Several of the captains saluted me as they passed. I smiled and waved, before returning to the Rivitir with the crew.

   Later I sat in the bridge with Brak watching the sunset. We each have incredibly comfortable chairs here, chairs that will turn and tilt and lean back and on and on, so we're comfortably watching. Ellim keeps us supplied with whatever we think of before we can think of it, but, despite the amazing panorama of a Yudonke sunset,  I am dozing . . .

   She gazed out her window at the darkening skies, imagining them to be Yudonke skies. Her sasquatch husband who'd been gardening in the grassy area around the tower, came in and sat on the sofa. He smiled at her and asked, "A story?"

   She grinned and nodded. "Yes, it's about a kraken."

  "Tell me," he said. 

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