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The Octopus (standard:drama, 849 words)
Author: Lucia VeronaAdded: May 02 2001Views/Reads: 2177/1370Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A man has a dream of an octopus stranling him. Everybody thinks he's nuts, but in the end...

Lucia Verona 

The Octopus 

- A dream, nothing more - 

It all began with a soft touch, like a caressing, on his neck. Then he
saw its eyes, round and shining in the dark. It was perhaps Post, the 
tomcat he had adopted two years earlier, in the evening of a winter 
day. He had succumbed to the appeal of a former colleague: 

- Now, wouldn’ you like a splendid and awfully clever kitten? Ada – it
was the name of his former colleague – possessed a cat, Sissi by name 
and a glorified mum of the feline kind, who, in seven years of thorough 
activity had given birth to over one hundred kittens. Every three or 
four months, Ada pestered her kith and kin, friends and foes, 
acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues and so on, trying and eventually 
succeeding to get rid of a new generation of Sissi’s offspring. 

It wasn’t Post, it was something long, wet and cold; snakelike tentacles
getting closer and closer to his neck, around it; he stayed motionless, 
almost paralyzed by the off-white indefinite creature who  didn’t lose 
its grip. He was choking; he wanted to cry out, but couldn’t utter as 
much as a word, nor a sound. Then the grip went lose, the tentacles 
disappeared and he found himself in a small street, no, it was a big 
boulevard, full of cars and buses, he was reading  the names of various 
shops and the posters on the pillars he was passing by. “Il n’y a rien 
au dessus de Président” read a big poster showing an enormous camembert 
cheese. “Rotonde”, “Coupole”... So he must be in Paris, on Boulevard 
Montparnasse. What the hell was he doing there? He got off the bus and 
entered the “Coupole”. He asked for a coffee and a pudding. The waiter 
recommended a “Crème caramel à la cannelle”. And then he awoke, still 
with an after-taste of cinnamon in his mouth and an after-feeling of 
the cold tentacles around his neck. 

All day long, he was obsessed by his dream of octopus and Parisian café.
His wife Muriel, scrutinizing herself in the mirror and carefully 
pinning up her hair, said coldly: 

- Too much dinner last night. I told you not to go to bed on a full

- But I don’t care for cinnamon, not even in your famous apple pie. And,
as you are well aware, I never eat sweets, don’t like them. Kids’ 
stuff. As for the octopus... 

But his wife had already done her hair and was getting ready to go to
her school; she was a teacher and she couldn’t be late for the sake of 
an imaginary cephalopod. Nor a dream one, either. 

- You looked at a TV show on corruption, most likely, voiced his opinion
one of his colleagues at his work place. Or on anti- corruption. 

- Anti-corruption? 

- The Mob, the octopus, “La piovra”, don’t you remember that Italian

- Or maybe you have read “Octopussy” said another man. 

- Octopussy? 

- “Greetings from Jamaica”, the James Bond story. It has an octopus, her
pet name Octopussy or Pussy. 

- I didn’t read it. And I don’t see what it has to do with the crème

Two nights later, he had the same dream again, with the octopus but
without cinnamon and without Paris. Then every night. Sometimes, 
another dream followed in the wake of the octopus one. A stair he had 
to climb. Or a door which he had trouble to open, but he knew he had 
to, because something good was waiting for him on the other side. 

Night after night, the octopus was throttling him. He was now afraid to

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