It was a summer night. The breeze blew in relief of the humidity and the trees moved their limbs ever so slightly and leaves made their musical sound. A lone street light ahead as I walked the dark country road toward city lights in the distance. A station wagon, one of every American mothers dream in the 70s passed me slowly, only to turn off the side of the road ahead. As I approached the driver's window rolled down as a man's face appeared. "Would you like a ride to town" his foreign voice asked. "Yes, I would as I turned direction toward the passenger side of the car. I entered and really not knowing what was going on, the driver asked, "How long are you staying friend"? "I don't know", I replied. "Ah, this is a great town; you can have some fun in this town if you can act right". We descended down into a valley of lights where the urban area was. In my opinion it was not a metropolis but more of an average hometown. We came upon a street that had the style of a European feel. He pulled over and let me out, "have a good time"..."OK" I said with some confusion. The street was full of shops and pubs. Much like those I had seen in the plazas of small French, Belgian, or German towns. Behind the smaller shops was the backdrop of larger buildings...not skyscrapers but those of 4 and 5 stories.
I entered the first shop and saw all the breads and pastries. I immediately felt hungry. I was looking in the cases at the marvelous selection when a woman came up to me and asked what I would like. I told her the chocolate covered Long John looked very good, but I had no money. She just smiled, and as I looked back into the case, a baker with a big smile had one on a plate and was giving it to me. "Thank you" I said as I took the plate and went and sat down at a table looking out the window into the street. It had started to rain and I looked out at the window and watched the smear of traffic lights and city lights as the rain ran down the window. "Do you want to go to a party" I was asked. "Sure", I replied.
The next thing I knew I was in an apartment that sat overtop of one of the shops on the street. There was beer and finger food. People were sitting down and standing, talking, waking around socializing, every now and then to take a look at the stranger who had come to their town. "Would you like another beer?" I was asked. "Yes, I believe I would"' I replied. "Be careful how much you drink", a man who appeared standing next to me, the blue octopus doesn't like it". Blue Octopus, I thought. What in the hell is he talking about?
It was getting late into the night. I went out on the street and looked into the businesses that were already closed. A bicycle shop, one not unlike we had in my hometown back in the 60s including a toy shop, a clothing store, a tobacco shop, one after another with all their specialties and quaintness. I was hungry again and looked up to see a small pub. I entered and went to the bar and asked for something to eat. Immediately the bartender had a plate with a sandwich on it complete with a pilsner glass of beer. I stood at the bar and ate my sandwich and every time I took a drink of my beer the bartender would top off at the tap. There were two older men standing on each side of me. Both drinking beers and one smoking a pipe said, "Don't get too drunk, the blue octopus doesn't like it". "He really gets mad if you curse, or curse at him". I said, "What is this blue octopus you're talking about and where is he?" " He's down to the bay, comes out only at night, many of men has gone down there to antagonize him but they just make him mad and he takes them away". With that I finished my sandwich and downed the topped off beer and walked out the door. I walked the street till it ended into an emptier road with old Victorian type houses on one side and just fields I think on the other. I was not sure however since it was dark and there wasn't hardly any lights, but I know it reminded me of a street back home.
I arrived at the bottom of a hill and could see lights reflecting off the night water of the bay. I did feel the beer I had drank but was not intoxicated. There was a pub up overlooking the bay which was closed but I saw a couple of guys sitting in patio chairs alongside of the pub. "I'm not scared of any blue octopus" said one of the gentlemen in a slightly slurred speech. "What the hell are they talking about blue octopus, octopuses are not blue anyway" he continued. "Ah Jack, you're crazy, we've been here since nightfall and seen not a break in the water much less a sign of an octopus much less a blue one".
As I stood there the men kept arguing in their drunken state getting braver and more belligerent as time passed. They said nothing to me or even acknowledged my existence with them. There were concrete steps across the walkway from where we were that descended down into the water. As the minute I stared at the last step that entered the water is when I heard the bubbling stewing of the water. AS I strained my eyes to see better there rose the head the circumference of a standard merry-go-round. Then its eyes...mean glared glowing in the dark white with black pupils. Eight arms rising up and all blue in its glory. Then it screamed...the scream I had heard from monsters in the old movies of Godzilla and such. The men were dumbfounded silent with eyes wide in their horror. As one snapped out of his state his new found courage had him stumbling across the walkway and taunting the monster and exclaimed, "You big, ugly son of a bitch...I'm not scared of you". The other went chasing after him "Jack, come back here you damn fool". Jack started down the steps, how he didn't fall down them in his drunken stupor I'll never know. "Big ugly blue fish you're nothing but hot air and a loud roar" Jack foolishly taunted. "Jack....Jack!" his friend behind him yelled. As soon as Jack was at the bottom step one of the arms of the octopus extended outwards towards him. Jack didn't notice in his stupor and continued to loudly taunt the beast. It seemed it was in slow motion how the tentacle slithered in his direction and quickly wrapped around Jack's ankle. Once it was attached the arm quickly went up in the air picking Jack up and dangling him upside down. "Jack" cried his friend in horror, "put him down you damn beast". The octopus' arm went back towards the head, and in the darkness I could not see but when I looked at the arms slithering about around his head Jack was gone. His friend now crying began calling the octopus names, taunting, and threatening. These guys are crazy I thought as I watched in horror. My heart pounding so hard I could feel it in my head as well as my chest. Then again the tentacle came sneaking across the water...slowly but surely until he too was snatched at the ankle. At this the man pulled his foot away and turned to run back up the steps but the tentacle came faster after losing his prey. The man had run about 4 or 5 more steps up but the tentacle caught him at the ankle again. It gave a yank and the man fell, face first onto the step above where he stood. I looked down and could see the bloodied nose and lips where the man's face had kissed the concrete step. He looked at me in and horror and pleaded, "help me", with half crying voice of despair. I went down the steps; cautiously not fast like I should for I could hardly move from the sight I was beholding. The octopus pulled again and the man slid down the steps on his stomach face smacking every step on the way down. I found some courage and bolted down them. I felt dizzy with both fear of the beast and courage to help one's fellow man from such an end. I got to the bottom and the man had disappeared much like Jack. I felt anger, I felt like I could kill the beast myself. I looked into his eyes as they angrily stared into mine. "You bastard", I yelled, realizing at once my fate could become as theirs. I took a step back and noticed the tentacle inching forward...a few yards away from the bottom step I back stepped a couple more times. The octopus screamed his terrifying scream and a chill ran down my spine. The tentacle was on the bottom step now coming towards me...I turned to run back up the steps and my feet felt like they were in quicksand...How awful it is to be in a predicament where all you need to do is run and you'll be safe but for some reason you cannot do it. Finally ¾ the way back up and I turn around. The octopus is mad, his eyes are so mad and full of hate, yet he's run out of room and his tentacle cannot reach any closer to me...I looked down on the next step down and watch as his tentacle tried it's best to stretch to reach me. Again like a trumpet blast played over the loudest speaker system in the world, he roared in anger as his arm began to retract...back into the water. We stared at each other both in anger, and the last thing I remembered before he descended back down into the dark water was the tentacles that squirmed and worked like snakes above his body that floated on top of the water.
At the break of dawn I worked my way through the morning mist back down the road to where the bay lay and home of the monster I had first-hand experience with. I wanted to tell someone that there were two lives he took the night before. Someone ought to know I thought, they may have had family, a wife and kids, or maybe someone would try and kill this problematic beast that I was warned about. Why were the people putting up with such a monster in this age? With all the modern technology, explosives and weapons surely there was a way to rid this hamlet of a monster.
I came down out of the mist and looked into the amazement and astonishment of what lay before me. The bay had no water in it. Where the beast came out of the water was now a metal base for a structure that set on it. Men were hurriedly working around the base and in the area where water was the night before. I walked down and stood at the bottom of the steps which now was at the very bottom of this shallow 15-foot maximum deep bay. Another man was there standing nearby and looked at me and asked "Did you sleep well Laddie" in his Irish accent. "I...I guess" I replied. "The blue octopus...is it...a machine??!!" "Of course it is Laddie" said the old gent. "The constable uses it to round up drunks. We tell all visitors to watch out for the blue octopus and not get to belligerent drunk so they don't disturb the peace. Once curfew falls any yelling or loud behavior by the bay triggers the octopus to gather them up...there's a trap door on the back of his head. The drunk gets thrown into the door where there's a slide that goes down into the tunnel. There officers wait for them to come sliding down and they arrest them for Public intoxication and disturbing the peace and make them spend the night in jail to dry up and think about what they've done. However the poor gent last night had to receive a few stitches above his eye. We're trying to work out the kinks now so it doesn't happen again. That's why he's not on his base, he's in the shop for repairs"...I heard you almost got arrested yourself??!!" I didn't even answer. In my amazement on what I was hearing in relation to what I was seeing I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I guess for now on in my life, when or if close calls come my way or someone tells me of them happening to them...I will say..."Well that was a blue octopus wasn't it??"