I wanted to start writing short stupid stories in different formats. And this week I decided to write my own fairy tale. It’s not like we have any good new fairy tales, right? It’s all pigs and wolves and shoes and beanstalks and other crap. Let’s get some new blood in there. I’m sick of seeing books and movies about those same characters over and over and over again. So I’ve taken it upon myself to write a new fairy tale. Let’s see how it goes.
Long, long ago in the days of old, there lived an Octopus. A sad and lonely octopus. His parents left him at an early age, which may or may not be normal octopi custom, but nevertheless he had no family. He was also a different color and smell than the other octopi in his community, which meant he had no friends either. He was a social pariah. So one day, after years of being neglected by society, the Octopus left his cove in search of a new home. The first day of his journey was long and arduous, and the Octopus was desperate to find a place to stay. Eventually he stumbled upon a bed and breakfast called The Cozy Coven. Elated, the Octopus made his way toward the door, only to hear a loud locking noise. The Octopus looked through the window and saw the owner of the B&B glaring pointily at a sign that read clearly in large, bold letters, the following: NO OCTOPI ALLOWED. The Octopus slunk sadly away and spent the night in a nearby bush instead.
A few days later the Octopus came upon a large house made entirely of gingerbread and candy. This was enticing and troubling for the Octopus, who was both an avid architecture enthusiast and an eternally suffering diabetic. The Octopus decided to ignore his better judgement and made his way through the door, which was wide open. But he quickly fled after witnessing the chaos occurring within. Two very blonde children were violently shoving a screeching old woman into an oven that very much appeared to be on. As the Octopus made his way back to the path, he decided that despite how curious he was to know what had just happened, he would need to forget what he had seen to keep his sanity intact. And so he did. About an hour later he found a trailer park full of friendly-looking families. The Octopus was ecstatic. Surely one of these tenants would be willing to take in a lonely cephalopod. But a former tenant’s dog had the propensity to relieve itself on the doorsteps of others, which resulted in a blanket ban of pets of any kind.
The Octopus was now reaching the one month mark on his search, and his absolute inability to yield any results was absolutely crushing his usually sunny disposition. He was about to give up when he found his first stroke of luck. While dining at an Olive Garden, the Octopus made the acquaintance of a travelling salesman named Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a crafty old soul, and he recognized a kindred spirit in the Octopus. So he made him an offer: the Octopus would help Jeremiah sell his blenders and Jeremiah would help the Octopus find a home. The Octopus gleefully accepted. And for a few months, this is just what they did. Or rather, tried to do. Neither Jeremiah or the Octopus were good at selling anything, and nobody seemed interested in taking the Octopus in. But after a while it didn’t matter as much. Both of them secretly came to realize that the Octopus had finally found what he was looking for. However, Jeremiah was deathly afraid of commitment. So one day he surprised the Octopus with the news that he would be leaving for Portland, Oregon to pursue his dream of becoming a train conductor.
Jeremiah’s departure left the Octopus feeling hollow and broken. He made a habit of drowning his feelings at the local dive bars, blacking out, and leaving Jeremiah angry voicemails. It wasn’t long until the Octopus decided to give up. So one night he made his way to the edge of a bridge, fully intending to end it all. But before he could jump, he was netted by a nearby fisherman. The Octopus spent that night feeling cold, lonely and afraid at the bottom of a very wet and unfriendly boat.
The fisherman sold the Octopus to an aquarium the very next day, and the Octopus was put on display in a small corner tank that no families ever really visited or knew existed. The Octopus, surprisingly, was not entirely upset about this. It wasn’t exactly a home, but at least here he could forget about Jeremiah. And, he thought, here people would be forced to be around him. This was not the case. The other octopi quickly lost interest in him, the visiting families couldn’t care less about him, and the aquarium staff resented that they needed to do more work. The Octopus eventually fell back into his old, depressed routine. Except now it was worse because he couldn’t leave. But soon a great opportunity fell right into the Octopus’s lap. The aquarium staff forgot about him altogether and stopped cleaning his enclosure. So the Octopus jumped on the opportunity immediately and sued the aquarium for $7 million in a very high profile court case. Jeremiah heard about the lawsuit on the radio and realized his mistake. The two of them reconciled, and with the winnings the Octopus bought a condo in Portland for himself and Jeremiah. And the two of them lived happily ever after.
So this was my fairy tale! I hope you liked it. Next week I’m going to continue my writing experiments and try and write my own classical myth! Or not. We’ll see. If people like this then I might. That one probably won’t be about an octopus though.