Octopus Wisdom

“Hey, can we talk for a second?” Chris gestured her into another room.

Zoey looked up at him, expectant, curious— although, she had an idea of what he was about to say. Sounds of laughter and drinking drifted in from the living room.

“I don’t think I should go with you to Monstro’s tonight,” he said, in serious tones. “I’m pretty tired, getting up hella early… I think I’m just gonna go home.”

She gave him a smile, a nod, and a hug, then found herself alone in the bedroom. The twenty or so people getting drunk in preparation for the punk show at Monstro’s had drifted into the backyard; things were relatively silent in the house.

Zoey wasn’t surprised at Chris’ sudden departure, not even though he’d been so enthusiastic about the show earlier in the night. She knew he wasn’t really cut out for such sweaty, noisy things; she knew he had only been trying to show his love. The question now was, should she still go herself?

If Zoey was being honest, she didn’t really care about Gruk’s music, didn’t really love the people she was partying with. “Well, you know what to do then, Zo—just check in with your heart!” she murmured.

She closed her eyes, felt her way inward. She was mildly surprised to feel her feet lift off the ground, her head tilt back, her body floating, face-up now, and drifting towards somewhere… else…

When Zoey’s feet touched down again, she was a little confused, and a little delighted, to find herself in front of a very large, VERY wise octopus. He was purple. He was slurping a smoothie, slowly, contentedly. He wore a monocle.

“Excuse me!” She called. “Excuse me—unless I’m mistaken, you’re very, VERY wise, right?”

He took another slurp of smoothie, then raised a tentacle to grasp his monocle, give it a little flourish in the air, and return it to his eye. “Hm. In the matter of my wisdom…” The octopus paused, thinking hard. “Well, there can be no doubt that I have a LOT of wisdom.”

With a smile of relief spreading across her face, Zoey related her quandary: the punk show, the house party, Chris leaving. “So, do you think I should still go?”

A long silence, then the octopus took another great, long slurp of his smoothie. “Hm… Well, as to all that, ah… Yes. Well—you should go. If you WANT to.” A couple tentacles folded in front of him in a conclusive gesture.

Zoey raised her eyebrows. Wise, maybe, but definitely not helpful, she thought. She turned and walked away, back to where she’d come from… Opened her eyes… Found herself alone in the bedroom again.

“An interesting creature, to be sure,” she said to herself, “but I think I already knew my answer.” Zoey slipped silently out the house’s front door and rode her bicycle back home, leaving the house party and the punk show for another day.

Art by Logan Kruidenier

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Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.