Sunday, May 4, 2014

Prompt: Octopus Games

I rolled into the parking lot a little later than I meant—4:20am—But there was no sign of the fish market delivery truck, so I was safe. Rick wouldn’t hesitate to call my boss even at this hour if I kept him waiting. He was good like that.

As I entered through the kitchen, I turned off the alarm systems and tossed my gear on the counter. I’d have to scrub everything down before I started food prep, even though it had all been scrubbed down the night before. I’d worked in fast food and a few fancy restaurants during college. They had nothing on food prep safety here.

Still no sign of Rick—I couldn’t be late, but he kept his own schedule. I unlocked the back door and went out to say hi to my aquarium favorites. Trudy and Nelson, the nurse sharks, were snoozing against the sandy bottom of the big tank. Elvis, one of the green moray eels, bobbed in and out of his hiding place in the rocks, but he didn’t come out to see me. Snagglepuss, the sawtooth shark, was resting on top of the glass tunnel as usual. I walked on through, enjoying the quiet.

Yogi, the green sea turtle, looked up from his nesting spot and blinked sleepy eyes at me, then tucked his bill back under his flipper. I laughed, thinking he looked like my roommate, Sam, complaining “Five more minutes! Just give me five more minutes…maybe ten…”

Ah, Janis, another of the green morays, swam along the tunnel to greet me. I waved my arm in a slow circle, and she followed the motion, undulating her long body in a loop, keeping her head exactly the same distance from my hand. Unnerving, really. I was glad to be out here. I wiggled my fingers and slid them off the glass as I left the tunnel, heading for my favorite morning greeting.

As I approached the two-story glass, I stretched my arms wide and leaned against it, pressing my forehead on the cool glass. Aurora appeared through the dark water, and as she swam toward the glass, I felt her sonar thrum down my body from head to toe. She swam up and dropped her tail down so we were almost even, her fins stretched out opposite my arms. Her rounded melon quivered, and her mouth was open in the familiar beluga grin. I smiled back and waved my arms up and down, imitating her fin stoked. “Good morning, gorgeous. Now, I better check on Harry.” Aurora backed away and nodded her beak up and down before swimming back into the dark water. I headed for my last stop on my morning circuit, the octopus tank.

And, great. No sign of Harry. I walked around the tank and pulled out my pen flashlight to shine in his coffee can cave just to be sure. Damn, damn, Damn, An octopus can get through any opening its beak will fit through. We had yet to find a tank that Harry Houdini couldn’t escape. Trouble was, one day it was going to get him killed. Now, where was the sneaky fellow? I felt a drop on my head and looked up just in time to see Harry stretched out, falling onto my face, and wrapping his tentacles around my head…


Dogs in House

Time writing
40 minutes

May word count

No comments:

Post a Comment