“Are those tentacles?”
Aral looked down at the breast pocket of his dress jacket. Small orangey red tentacles were waving around and curling out of it. One tentacle waved a sopping wet white cloth. Aral looked back up. “Quite,” he replied.
Emiliano’s bafflement only deepened. “Well, why?”
“Ah, in my last voyage I was swept overboard in a rather sudden squall. There was a great deal being tossed about in the tropical seas, and when I managed to make it back aboard, this little fellow had a hold of my pocket handkerchief. I could not persuade him to unhand it, and, as it was a gift from my dear brother, I am loathe to part with it, so perforce, we travel together.”
Aral looked fondly down at the curious tentacles.
Emiliano shook his head to clear it. “More specifically, Aral, how is it in your pocket?”
“Ah,” Aral said with dawning understanding. “I cobbled together a flexible container out of the new fangled glasstique that the inventors keep going on about. The creature is so small, he is quite comfortable in it.” Aral reached down to the pocket and extracted a clear packet in which the orangey red octopus had climbed near the top to explore. The pocket handkerchief still clutched in one long leg, and the remaining space full of water and small glimmering flecks.
“The shimmer is a food source I suppose.” Emiliano said. “Have you found anything land based that it seems interested in and is not dangerous for cephalopods?”
“Small krill, and I haven’t tried it.”
Emiliano straightened with an enthusiastic smile. “What about the punch bowl? Would he be interested in moving around there?”
“It would probably be a bit cold for him, but we can take one of the pastry displays and grant him access. Have most of the guests finished eating?” Aral examined his aquatic companion. The octopus appeared to be tying some form of knot in the handkerchief and two tentacles still explored the air.
“Pish tosh. They can handle the novelty. Let’s see if we can entertain our most exotic guest.”
“Very well then, lead on.”
The two men and the octopus proceeded to the buffet table, where the various and sundry edibles and refreshments were quickly repurposed into a sensory amusement park. For its part, the octopus seemed entertained and apparently acquired a fondness for whipped cream.
When one does not keep their thievery skills sharp, one gets stolen from! Be on the look out for cephalopods in their stories using this first line.