Short Story: Baby Octopus

It was always a little suspicious when things were quiet in this house.

Franz was a man that lived with his niece, and what some would call his odd choice of a pet, his baby octopus, Berry.

While certainly the young creature had a good heart, it was also still just that, young. Mischievous, always craving attention in any way that it could get some.

On this night, Franz had just hung up his white coat on a rack close to the door, and fumbled his hand on the wall to flick on the light switch. This room was the biggeset in his house, one of the walls was entirely occupied by a huge tank of water, there was a very cute little set of steps that led into it on one side.

There wasn’t much else to this room. Clean solid tiles on the floor and a very cutesy wallpaper, themed around cute cartoon aquatic life.

The blonde man wandered in, now free of the flowing white coat just left with a blue shirt rolled up to his elbows and a pair of slick, blank pants. His hair was quite a mess and a pair of goggles sat in it, a pair of scars tore through his eye. His face was totally rounded off by a rather fluffy beard, too.

He brought his attention to the huge tank taking up half of the room, leaning closer to scan his eyes around it until he could find his little culprit.

Some of his research papers had ‘mysteriously’ vanished, but really, he knew what had happened. If Berry wasn’t satisfied with the amount of play time that he got that day, then the rest of the house was going to know about it.

“Berry,” Franz started. While his voice was lightly scolding, he never sounded particularly angry. Rather calm, honestly. “If you’re going to run off with my papers, could you not make it my research, please?”

Movement swished around in the water of the huge tank, a rubber toy got bumped out of the way a little before the tiny red creature popped onto the surface of the water to look up at his carer.

Berry always looked rather happy, just by the shape of his eyes. The slits that would be his pupils always seemed slanted, in a way that made him look happy. There wasn’t much to his rounded body and short tentacles, other than the fact that the one at the very front of him was metal. It matched the others in length, though.

He stayed there quietly.

Franz folded his arms and raised a brow. “You know what I’m talking about!” he added insistantly. “Well, this is better than you taking Krista’s homework. You know how hard it is to convince her teachers that a baby octopus stole her work and got it all ruined in the water?”

Right as he finished, one of the tentacles wiggled around to drop a very wet clump of papers on the ground.

It just took Franz one little glance to see that the ink was ruined, and if he even tried to touch them they were probably just going to shred up right in his hands. He rolled his eyes, at least it was all stuff he could reproduce rather easily.

He reached into the tank to take the small creature out of it, holding him carefully in his arms. “If I play with you before bed, you’ll be good until the morning, right?” he asked unsurely. The wriggling he could feel in his arms only told him ‘yes’, so it was motivation enough to keep the young one entertained for a little while.

Perhaps if he had time to stay on top tomorrow, all of his work could stay in tact for once!

At the corner of the room that wasn’t occupied by the tank was a plastic box, full of various toys. A lot of plastic toys, more than anything. Franz carried his little friend over there before gently placing Berry back on the ground.

The little red octopus waddled off, his metal leg clicking against the tiles of the ground quietly as he rushed over to the toy box. He seemed spoiled for choice, shuffling his tentacles around the box trying to find something to grab.

Franz crawled over to look into the box too, trying to remember just which toys kept the octopus the most occupied. He always seemed to enjoy the little cars for some reason, perhaps because they were such an alien concept to his species in the first place.

Seemingly right as he thought about it, a little bright red truck was dragged out of the box and placed on the ground. Berry pushed it back and forth a few times, before pushing it at Franz.

It bumped into his leg, he looked down at it with a little smile. “Hold on,” he started. He shuffled his own hand through the box and grabbed a little plastic toy of a man. It was very thick and blocky, but a lot of them were.

“The truck can’t drive if it doesn’t have a driver.” Franz grinned a little as he opened the tiny door to the toy and placed the man inside the truck, then pushing it back across the smooth ground for it to land back in Berry’s tentacle.

It seemed to thrill him, he was even happier to push the toy around now. Not even stationary anymore, using the rest of his legs to waddle around the big room as he guided the little truck under his ‘arm’.

Franz watched closely.

Of course it was some sort of precious watching the little guy enjoy pushing the thing around so happily, it was like watching a human child play with something in a way. Octopuses were very smart creatures, one thing that Franz aimed to prove to the world.

After all, why else would Berry steal his research and drag it into his tank if he wasn’t so smart? He knew exactly what he was doing.

It was just a little while of Berry playing around with the toys, and picking out a few more and pushing them at Franz to help him get started with them until enough time had rolled along.

It ended rather instantly honestly, Berry just stopped playing and sat on the ground instead.

Franz rolled his eyes a little before he came over and picked up the little octopus, holding him carefully as he wandered over to the opening in the tank again to carefully place his little pet back down into the water again.

He stood back to admire the little creature having peacefully started sleeping so quickly…

“Good night, little guy.” he mumbled softly. “Sleep well.”


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