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by Taylor McGill

     She put the crab on her head and said, "I am an octopus."

           But he said, no. She was a woman with a crab on her head.

           "No, I am an octopus." She made spaghetti arms in his direction and wiggled her head.

           "With that crab on your head, you have too many limbs to be an octopus," he said.

           So she plucked off the crab's front claws and two pairs of legs. She placed it back on her head.

           "Now, with this crab on my head I have 8 limbs total. An octopus."

           "Ok octopus. Where is your ink?" he said.

           She spit on him and pecked a hole in his forehead with her beak. Red brain-leak left a long trail behind her as she dragged him by the legs to the lip of the ocean. She tucked him under a tentacle and crawled along the sea floor about a mile in. When she let him go he hung mid-water, blood still spouting from his forehead like a sick whale. The octopus buried herself in the sand.

           She waited.

Large octopuses have been known to catch and kill some species of sharks.

Author's Note

This story is not based on events true to my life. I firmly deny, despite allegations, that I am an octopus parading around in human skin or that I was once an octopus in a past life or that I associate with mollusks of any kind. I cannot swim for one thing. Additionally, I am morally aligned with pacifism and therefore, even if I were an octopus or affiliate thereof, I would never commit the acts portrayed in this story. In fact, this story was inspired by the following photograph while perusing the internet using my human hands:


Upon viewing this photograph, I was reminded of something I had just read about octopi (or octopuses or octopodes). I was also intending to compose a series of falsely informative, DID-YOU-KNOW fictions- an endeavor inspired by a photograph of a man tenderly resting his chin on his fist beneath the caption "DID YOU KNOW?" on the cover of a church pamphlet I took right out of a laundromat.

Taylor McGill is a nice girl. She lives in NJ. Her work has appeared in Metazen and is forthcoming in Timber.

Permalink: Octopus

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