Carl wasn’t having a good day to begin with, and getting lost in an unfamiliar coastal city at night promised to be the cherry on the cake of his day. When he walked down an alley which turned into a dead end, Carl was disturbed to hear footprints growing louder behind him. He turned to see an approaching male figure in a hoodie close on him, produce a handgun, and demand money.
“Let’s not start this,” countered Carl. “I seem to have lost my way, and made a wrong turn. Let me pass, and I’ll be on my way. No foul, no error,” he offered.
“Fool!,” replied the confronting man. “The guy with the gun makes the rules, not you!,” he taunted. “Now give me your wallet before I mess you up!,” he demanded, waving the gun for emphasis.
Carl raised his hands in a disarming gesture of apparent surrender. “I can feel your anger and your need,” Carl recognized, “and in a sense, I can identify with them,” he continued. “You see, I’ve got a dark side myself.” The gunman failed to comprehend his victim’s remarks, and was baffled by the slight smile which briefly crossed Carl’s face.
So intent was the would-be robber upon his gun and his intended victim’s hands and face that he failed to notice a tentacle, perhaps the thickness of a thumb, snake down the Carl’s pants leg and slither silently in the deep shadows along the ground towards the gunman. The inhuman appendage wound its way undetected around the robber’s feet, rising thereafter to the height of his extended gun arm. With a fast, snake-like movement, the tentacle then whipped itself repeatedly around the man’s arm.
“What the…” marveled the gunman, uncomprehending even as the tentacle began its contractions. The muscular organ pulled the assailant’s arm back, then further back still beyond the arm’s intended range of motion. The arm held for a short period of time, then a crack was heard as the bones within broke. The gunman screamed as he suffered a compound fracture, his weapon dropping from a now useless arm.
“You’ve got me right where I want you,” mused Carl as a second tentacle emerged, this one from the juncture where his shirt was tucked into his pants at the waist. Not trying for stealth, the tentacle snaked its way through mid-air at chest height, and wrapped itself firmly around the other man’s torso, holding him in an iron grip.
“It really was helpful when you presented yourself to me,” said Carl to the disabled and struggling man. “It’s been a long and frustrating day, and I was growing rather peckish” confessed Carl. “I really wasn’t looking forward to hunting this late. Making a wrong turn down a blind alley turned out to be rather serendipitous for me. And I do so love the irony that you intended me to be your victim whereas you became mine!”
“Man…or whatever you are,” pleaded the victimizer turned victim. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have messed with you,” he cried. “Just let me go, man, I promise I won’t say nothin’,” he begged.
Carl shook his head slightly in the negative with a faint expression of amusement. “I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way,” he corrected. The tentacles held the man tightly, almost in a lover’s embrace. A suckered pad sprouted from one tentacle and stroked the man’s cheek slightly in almost a tender gesture before the pad attached itself tightly to the man’s head.
“Ah, the sweet aroma of fear,” observed Carl, his animal senses delicately sniffing the air. “Sauce for the goose!,” he enthused. “And now, I’m afraid that it’s time for you to die! ,” stated Carl matter-of-factly as he slowly began to unfasten the center buttons on his shirt.
The robber watched uncomprehendingly as Carl’s skin beneath the opened shirt was exposed, and then seemed to momentarily pucker inward. With explosive force a third tentacle then erupted from the indentation, this one as thick as a man’s fist. It instantly bridged the gap between Carl and where the robber was held immobilized, piercing the hapless man’s chest cavity. There were wet, sucking sounds as body fluids and liquified internal organs were transported from the robber as nourishment into Carl via the tentacle. The thief’s face registered a few moments of agony and astonishment before he succumbed to the sweet mercies of death.
In a short while the feeding had been completed, the drained husk of a man was cast aside, and the tentacled arms retreated back into the body of the creature which passed in the world of men as Carl. He closed his eyes and basked in the feeling of the fresh infusion that he had just received. He would need to return now to the sea, where Carl would cast off his human appearance and swim joyfully in his cephalopod form. Evolution had provided Carl with some peculiar and useful adaptations, but it would yet be some time before his kind would be ready to openly challenge the land-dwellers for dominance…