Chapter 1 : A Squid of a Story
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It was those two troublesome boys. If it wasn’t for their abject stupidity, I would still be swimming in the colorful depths of the lake with the rest of my family, my mother would have never left me, and Malinda wouldn’t have taken off with that other horrid squid, François. I hate french cephalopods.
Father was never really around, I overshadowed him from the start and took over his pearl business before he reached the young age of 129. Mother said that he had taken up reef climbing and scuba diving in his old age. She would sometimes see him at the local market, bartering with the grocer for his next meal. I would pity him except that I firmly believe he had recieved his just deserts.
Selene was never my biggest fan. I was always the overprotective brother that beat up any squid that so much as raised a tentacle in her direction. I can’t say I blame her for not sticking around once I grew into my current size. Without me watching over her every move, she could hook up with Harold, or Simon, or Kim Su, or Richard, or whoever else struck her fancy.
And Malinda! Oh, Malinda. She takes one look at me and swims away! I thought our relationship was more meaningful than that. I put on a few extra pounds and it sends her to the door! Sure, I wasn't always the most capable or devoted suitor, but I thought it was the inside of a squid that counted, at least that’s what I told all of my less attractive fans. And the poor suckers believed me.
Mother had warned me to stay away from the surface, she had said, “Frank! That surface is bad news, and one day your curiosity is going to get you into big trouble, and I’m sure not going to be the one to fix it.”
She was right on all counts. She claimed it was the family business that kept her away from me, she had to take it over after my unfortunate accident, but I knew that the mere sight of me would send her into a panic attack. She fell unconscious the first time she saw me- well, thanks Ma, thanks for all the motherly support.
It took me a while to come to terms with my girth, but I finally admitted that I was partly to blame for my current situation. My psychologist, Kenny the Sponge, told me that admittance was the first step. He maintains that my suicidal thoughts and violent streaks are due to abandonment issues. He informed me that I had post traumatic stress disorder and gave me a crap load of medicine. I abandoned him after that. I hope he develops abandonment issues.
I still hold that those two boys were primarily to blame. I should have listened to my mum and stayed away from the surface- but they should have learned long ago not to litter. Let this be a lesson to all of you impressionable children out there, littering ruins lives!
So I was swimming close to the surface, watching the rays of the sun refract across the water and fan out into a kaleidoscope of colors, and getting close enough to feel the warmth of spring-time high noon on my delicate skin, when I heard harsh voices sound above. And, being the curious, surprisingly wise beyond his years squid that I am, I had to investigate.
One thing should be noted here, I love eavesdropping on humans; they argue about the most trivial of things and have the most violent natures I have ever seen. Their stupidity can be quite entertaining and they make a sport out of dumping each other into the lake and competing to see who would freeze to death first during the first days of winter before the lake has completely frozen over.
These two land dwellers were arguing. I could just catch the words, though they were muffled due to the foot of water separating me from the surface. They were students from the world above. I could tell by the size of their shoes and the pitch of their voices that they were older and of the male variety.
“Al, you could get into a lot of trouble for this! And we both know that won’t sit well with the headmaster after last week’s exploding cauldron incident,” said the first boy.
His voice had an unpleasant, nasal undertone that was hard on my untainted ears. Ma had always insisted that anything that sounded worse than a grindylow on weed was not worth listening to, but I was struck by the urgency and annoyance in his voice and my curiosity froze me in place.
“Come now Elphy! Nothing will come of it, it’s a rather simple potion, it can hardly go wrong,” replied the boy called Al.
“You said that about the last potion! And remember the spell that should have gotten rid of foot odor? I’ve still got mushrooms growing out of my feet from that.”
This Elphy boy was rather annoying. He struck me as the type of creature that rode on the back of more intelligent, successful creatures- like the Al boy seemed to be. We get a lot of those kinds in squid society; I've always tried to discourage them, they belong at the bottom for a reason.
His whining was beginning to irritate me and I was just about to turn around and swim back to catch up on some pearl harvesting, octopus tipping, bubble riding on the hot springs- the likes, when the Al boy spoke again.
“Look here Elphy, I’ll just add a drop of it to this little flower and we’ll see what happens,” insisted Al.
The Elphy boy seemed to consider this, because I didn’t hear a reply for a while. What was it they were playing with? I could just make out the shape of a small vial that had a silver liquid in it. It was a rather mesmerizing fluid that sparkled magnificently where the sun’s rays hit it. I wanted badly to reach out and grab it.
“Alright, but just one drop! And by Merlin, if my hair gets singed again, you’ll sorely regret it!”
Al appeared to nod, although I couldn’t well be sure from this distance. I swam closer. He bent over and tipped the silver fluid onto the ground, and a small daisy stretched and expanded, rapidly filling up space that was recently empty.
“See, it works well! It’ll need some tweaking to allow for more control mechanisms; it enlarged a bit too fast.”
I marveled at this little bit of delinquency and wondered vaguely if I could turn it to my own profit- produce bigger pearls, bigger seaweed, bigger kelp to eat- the possibilities were endless and my enterprising mind was itching to get a closer look.
“Can we go back inside now? I wasn’t done eating my lunch and I really wanted to get one of those miniature chicken sandwiches.”
The Al boy nodded absentmindedly, probably still thinking about ways to improve the silver enlarging liquid. I flailed my tentacles around in a fit of disappointment. Then I shrugged and decided to go lay down in some seaweed before dinner. The trip to the surface was entirely too much for my delicate complexion and Ma would probably be chastising me for hours for neglecting to lug in the last shipment of pearls again.
I stretched lazily, my tentacles just breaking the water, and I saw that the two boys had come back. I pulled my arms back and lay just below the surface, watching as the whining one began to gesticulate wildly.
“He’s coming this way Al! Come on, just dump it! You know it’s not worth getting a detention over.”
And before I could properly make out what the whale a “detention” was, or what fiendish creature had them in such a stir, Al had overturned the contents of the vial into the lake. Right where my tentacles floated languidly- pores open at the ready.
And so it is that I now find myself a social pariah, too large and abominable to be of any use to squid society. After the silver liquid had been spilled over me, I grew at an alarming rate and hid myself in shame. Ma didn’t go looking for me until about a week later- which is when she actually began to notice I was missing. Melinda ran off and eloped with some unfortunate foreign squid, and Selene was too busy fathoming over the predicament of being in love with three squids at a time.
They were quite glad to be rid of me, and it’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally come to the realization that I had ostracized them to begin with. Kenny the Sponge would be really proud of my psychological advancements if he were here. I’ve lost all sense of companionship, but I’ve evolved into the creature that I was always meant to be; a lazy, prodigious squid whose independence became his downfall. That, and as my Ma always said, curiosity only leads to trouble- and don’t litter.
A/N: Biologically speaking, this story makes no sense since Giant Squids are a species on their own so Frank would’ve always been that size. But I’ve always imagined that The Giant Squid wasn’t just one among a population of Giant squids, but that he was renown for being a much more prodigious squid who may or may not have been associated with the actual specie’s after which he was named in the books.
I apologize for Frank's condescending views- I do not share them at all. Anyways, hope you like it! please review and let me know what you think.