Sophie thought she had been fine. Unlike her peers going stir crazy during the quarantine, she was doing rather well in forced isolation. She hadn't been the most productive, hadn’t learned to bake sourdough or organize her cluttered apartment KonMari style like some others -- but her high score in Tentacle Space Invaders raised her clan level to Platinum Elite, and wasn’t that what really mattered?
Staying home and not having to see anyone was great. In fact, the only symptom she was missing human contact at all, was the rather imaginative daydream she had entertained about a hot guy with tentacles. She really needed to get laid. No way that was happening though, staying six feet away from everyone and all.
Sophie thought there was no harm in online flirting, except the messages with her buddy had been getting less casual. Mr. Tak, with the foreign accent, who lived super far away, that she met randomly in game, kept mentioning wanting to meet In Real Life. If it weren’t for the global pandemic, sure she’d be down to f...feel him out as a serious life partner, but everything was kind of on hold. Indefinitely.
So when Tak said he’d be in town on business, had an actual date of arrival, with questions about touristy things to do, and asked would she like to come with? She did the responsible thing and ghosted him.
She was fine. She was being good and stopping the spread. Wasn’t one of the only upsides of this stupid virus thing happening that she didn’t have to deal with awkward social situations? All she needed was to chill and play videogames. The familiar loading screen of Tentacle Space Invaders welcomed her from her desktop.
She scanned her clan messages, then couldn’t help re-reading the ones from Tak. Even while she ignored him, he continued to reached out. All polite. Smile-inducing, even. No cringey ‘nice guy’ hate or desperate spam. Honestly she kind of missed chatting with him.
Then a new message popped up. It was from MyTentacleGuy, Tak’s screen name.
[How do you make an octopus laugh?]
She thought a moment, then rolled her eyes as another message appeared.
[You give it ten-tickles!]
Her voice chat request to connect was answered in time for him to hear her groaning.
"Still got it," he chuckled smugly. "Did I flay your mind with my unearthly mental powers?"
"I suffer. Yes, you horrify me." Her giggles turned to hysteric laughter. Then the silence stretched and -- hopeful as she was to just drop the subject -- she realized she had to say something. “Listen, Tak... Sorry I disappeared.”
“From where? You don't exist on my plane.”
“Ha-ha. No. Seriously, I'm sorry I didn’t get back to you about meeting up, it--”
Tak cut her off. “I shouldn’t have kept asking if it made you uncomfortable. I was busy with work stuff anyway.”
“That’s all done then?” she asked, relieved he was gone.
“Yeah, it wasn’t much of a take over.” He sounded bummed, and guilt twisted her gut.
“You didn’t miss anything, it’s not like there are any cafes open to grab dessert. It would have been so boring.”
“Oh, I could think of a few things we could do to make it interesting.” The suggestive tone was not lost on her, and sadly she was pent up enough for it to be working.
Still, Sophie snorted at the idea. “I hate the outdoors and I am not hosting. You do not want to see my lame tiny ass apartment.”
“What if you came to my place? It’s big. Some have described it as indescribably awesome. I could pick you up.”
“Yeah, sure.” Sophie thought she was fine. She thought he was talking in hypotheticals. Like 'sure I'll hit the gym when it reopens' and other reassuring future fancies. She thought he was a million miles away. She was wrong.
There was a knock on the door.
"I'm not opening the door, you might have the virus," she repeated.
"You know, where I come from the virus is totally under control. If anything, you would be giving it to me."
She was still not impressed. Outside came a shuffling, and then Mr. Tak's familiar accent began to echo strangely as he continued, "Look, I'll keep my motorbike helmet on."
She peered through the peephole, and sure enough, a mirrored black visor was staring back at her, one step down from her doorstep.
"Fine." For a moment she felt self-conscious about not having any make-up on, then she realized she just didn't give a rats ass anymore. In her baggy sweats and crumb covered hoodie, she opened the door.
The slouching man who totally wasn’t a 7 ft tall Cthulu like tentacle monster in a trenchcoat and motorcycle helmet waved at her. "Wanna go for a bike ride?"
Sophie frowned. Then she shrugged, grabbing a cloth mask and tying it on. Joining him on the sidewalk, they turned towards a misshapen, slightly damp motorcycle.
"You don't find it weird walking with me?"
"No," she answered, despite his walk being more of a slither.
"Not even the helmet?" His sleeve came up, and a lumpy gloved hand gestured vaguely towards his head. On closer inspection, green-grey tentacles were in constant motion behind the glass, a fringe of suckers actually holding the rim of the plastic helmet in place.
"Naw," she shook her head, replying. "Makes me feel like I’m on a date with Daft Punk."
"Really? Well, I have been known to work people harder, better, faster, stronger." He chuckled as her eyes rolled.
Knowing her grimace under the face mask was not lost on him, she consoled herself watching the ripple of green muscle flowing between the jacket flaps. Abs and tentacles. She could work with that. "Did you come all this way just to torture me?"
"Honestly?" He sighed. "I'm an Elder God." The visor lifted, and out of the writhing mass of coils, the black abyss of two soulless vanta black orbs regarded her.
She raised an eyebrow, waiting patiently. "And?"
"And you should be shaking like jelly! Soul melted for rendering in my ever-thirsting interdimensional conquest... The dark harvest..." Tentacles flailed wildly, wet gloves dropping to the asphalt. "Gah! Nothing makes sense anymore Soph. What the fuck is happening."
"Shh…" Sophie reached out and took his tentacle cluster hand appendages. "Tak. Tak. Reality is scary enough," she soothed. "No one's afraid of you."
"I mean. I still do it for you though?" he asked hopefully.
"Your cheesiness pains me to my very core," she admitted with a tight smile. "I fear for my sanity."
Tak laughed. "You Love my craft."
There was a squelch as Sophie kicked him.
To be continued in
Consentacles: A Sweet Romance with a Cthulhu like Tentacle Monster
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