Concept Art Writing Prompt: Rocketing Octopodes take flight

Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: Rocketing Octopodes take flight

They emerge from the oceans, tentacled creatures blasting from the seas toward the skies. What's behind this octopus air show? Tell us your story.


Artist Aaron Jasinski's painting "Rocktopi" is currently showing at the Tentacle Show at LTD Gallery in Seattle (via Ian Brooks). Come up with your own tale of high-flying octopuses, octopi, or octopodes, and post it in the comments.

Here's mine:

Shanna and Shannon had been sitting on the shoreline since the earliest light, when their brothers had boarded the fishing boats and left them behind. Once the boats had disappeared over the horizon, off to supplement the day's octopus catch with shrimp and tuna, the girls had each tossed a handful of silver beads into the water, plopped onto the sand, and pulled out their handcomms. It was a few minutes before twin octopodes blasted from the water, tentacles flailing as if in surprise.

"Ooh," Shanna cooed, crouching over her handcomm. "You got a big one."

"We'll see," said Shannon, her fine network of curls bouncing in the sunlight. The girls held their collective breath and the octopodes arced, slamming into one another and rebounding back. Shanna's octopus dropped almost straight down, but Shannon's flew backward, crashing into the water with a showy splash.

Shanna shot up. "Woo! First score of the day!" She pumped her fist into the air until Shannon grabbed her shoulder and shoved her back to the ground. Shanna whooped a laugh of surprise.

"Just the first score." Shannon called up the calibration screen on the handcomm. "Could be your last."

They took a break before lunchtime to collect the dead octopodes that had washed up, and had just started up again when the man appeared. He flashed his ID in his handcomm. "Keith Sun," he said, "People for the Ethical Treatment of Cephalopods."

Shannon arched an eyebrow. "You're kidding." A sudden explosion in the octopus population had choked the coastline. The government had put a bounty on the creatures, and even the inland regions dined on the endless supply of fried octopus, octopus salad, and octopus pie.

"You can't do that!" Keith Sun pointed toward toward the water, where two more octopodes had just butted bodies (Shanna was still ahead, although Shannon was sure she was on the verge of a surefire strategy). "It's one thing to fish for them, another entirely to turn them into aerial sumo wrestlers."

Shanna caught Shannon's eye and the two burst out into giggles. Keith Sun growled. "Animal torture is a serious thing, ladies."

Shanna wiped away a tear and held out her hand, clicking together a few silver beads. Before Keith's eyes, the spheres transformed into tiny robots. "We modded some fisher bots," Shanna said. "Things are dead before they break the surface."

Keith Sun looked down at the program running on the girls' handcomms. Then he squatted to the ground, swatting Shannon's handcomm with his own and swiping the program. "Shove over," he said.

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Kevin Barrett

I hope you're ready to explain yourself, Lauren.