The insular octopus

Through the sand, they dug and dug. They found a new world, orange and green. Flying fish glided in the air, and the giant octopus guarded the city. In its tentacles were the vulcanoes, smoking, smoking deeply and sighing noir words.

The city it brought on its back was idyllic, roads and fields sprinkled through the landscape with a residual population. The train tunneled through the invertebrate’s eyes and made way to the ocean, passing by submerse skyscrapers. Some who were lucky could provide oxygen for their plants, merrily located in the terraces of the now gloomy buildings. Most of them had orange trees and benches near platanuses. Some wisterias cascaded down structural beams, converging in complex aerial shrubs of purple, violet and white which apart from the spectacle provided shade. Orcas wandered through erstwhile avenues, dolphins invaded sunken apartment complexes, sharks bid their time in old stops.  Far away a caravel, with a symbol of the crusades in the mast, but much less threatening since it was now reduced to a mere anachronism. North of the octopus were ancient mountains, with waterfalls and cozy white peaks. Further down, wineyards that would wield sufficient wine to celebrate the end of the world. Everything looked perfect, people proceeded with their cruise-controlled lives in the village, cutting down trees to light fires. The villagers would piously pray in the church every day, begging the volcanoes not to spill and render the creature motionless. There were yet some other denizens who had escaped the aquatic disaster twenty years past, who were resourceful enough to gather patches of plants and earth from the wandering octopus and created farms in the terraces. Some blocks were endowed with planks, to make use of the adjacent sea – even though the sharks were cursed with eternal hunger. The “terrace-dwellers” would make use of crude boats to reach other platforms and there make use of the space.

Their daily life almost resembled a stasis, a niche of stillness that contrasted with the perpetual motion of the octopus, until the day of the vulcanic spill. It was dawn and the mollusc was in motion – which, proportionally to the size of the island, was fairly slow, about 40 kilometers per hour – and its visibility was negligent because of a high atmospheric humidity, yet the conditions seemed fit to keep on walking through the blue infinity. A great green shadow popped in the horizon, and what was seemingly a little hill soon grew into a gargantuan mass of land. The octopus little time had to evade it, and in a self-defense maneuver jerked the tentacle upwards to avoid an imminent collision. Sadly, the cephaloid’s logic was abstruse and the smoking red ink spilled over the iddylic landscape and charred most of it. The lava soon drained to the ocean, making its bearer heavier and less dexterous. In a matter of hours it sank, and the lava expanded as soon as it contacted the water – a new continent was born. An orange amorphous mass invaded the surface, settled itself in the middle of the ocean and everything was calm and immaculate. Everything, until the arrival of the terrace-dwellers.

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