Continued from this post
Dean swallowed, feeling afraid despite all his training. The voice that had chilled his insides like a winter gust came from a figure seated in the middle of the room. The figure was very tall, top half towering over the table in front of him. His skin was alabaster tinted with blue, darkening as it moved up into the long tentacles that made up his head. Across his broad, muscular shoulders and stretching onto his forearms were blue markings like Nordic tattoos. He had no discernible eyes, but Dean got the sense that he was surveying him with interest.
“Ah, hello,” said Dean. “I’m a supernatural psychologist. I’d like to talk to you for a bit, if that’s alright with you?”
He didn’t expect the menacing chuckle that emanated from the tentacled being, tentacles twitching and reminding Dean of snakes.
“How sweet of them,” he commented. “They’ve decided they care about my mental health, have they?”
Dean took a deep breath and sat down across from the being. As he leaned forward, he noticed that cutting into the pale wrists before him were handcuffs. The flesh around the metal bonds was dark and angry looking, blue giving way to a deep purple.
“My God,” he whispered in disbelief. Though he had no great fondness for government agencies, he had never imagined that they would stoop so low as to bind the entities that they had sworn to take protective charge of. Immediately, Dean searched for something that could function as a lock pick. His clipboard fell into his lap as he moved his arm to rummage through his pocket. On his clipboard were two pieces of paper held together by a paper clip. The clipboard clattered to the floor as Dean’s fingers fumbled to unbend the tiny piece of metal.
“I’m so sorry,” Dean said, holding up the unfolded paper clip. The entity in front him raised a tentacle in a manner that seemed inquisitive.
“May I see your wrists? With any luck I can get those cuffs off.” Dean took the offered appendages in his long fingered hands as gently as possible, avoiding the blotchy injured skin as best he could. Upon closer inspection he could see that around the actual cuts in the skin were bruises that bloomed like Rohrschach ink blots. Holding his breath and biting his tongue between his teeth, Dean set about sliding his makeshift lock pick into the keyhole in the handcuffs. Tense moments passed as he wiggled it until he got it just so and there was a satisfactory click. He gingerly removed the cuffs from the gouged skin, hoping he was causing as little pain as possible. The entity’s tentacles flicked upwards in a movement that looked like a flinch, but he said nothing.
“My God,” Dean said again, staring at the metal he held in his now shaking hands. He looked the entity in the figurative eyes and said, “I am so very sorry for what they’ve done to you. Do you have any idea why they’ve done this?”
The entity scoffed and flexed his newly freed hands, which were large, webbed, and tipped with pointed nails. “They’re afraid of me. They can’t control me, and that scares them. It’s why they called you in, after all.”
“And they bound you because of that?”
“I suppose,” said the entity with a shrug. “Little good, really. They forget — I am Kraken. I can do this —”
As he finished that sentence, he waved his hand in slow, lazy motion. From the table rose a column of water that spun upwards to meet his outstretched index finger. With a sharp flick of his finger, the water swirled off of the table and Dean coughed loudly, water burning sharply as it went up his nose. The self proclaimed kraken waved his hand again and the feeling completely disappeared. Dean stared at him accusingly.
“What the hell was that?!”
“That,” said the kraken, leaning forward so that his shadow fell completely over Dean, “was nothing. I control water — all water. Even tiny molecules of it, in the air. If I wanted to, I could drown you just by snapping my fingers.”
Dean looked alarmed. The kraken waved his hands disgustedly.
“Oh, don’t make that face. I’m not going to drown you. But the point is, if I wanted to, I could. Cuffing me does absolutely nothing.”
“I’ll bet they don’t know that, though, or they wouldn’t have cuffed you in the first place,” Dean said. The kraken nodded, folding his webbed fingers together.
“Correct. And I’d appreciate it if it stayed that way,” he said. “Who knows what they’d do, should they figure out I can kill them with the humidity in this building alone. And it is very humid.”
Dean rubbed his eyebrows. “If I keep this secret for you, you have to promise me you won’t ever use your powers against any of the agents who come in this room.”
Even with a face full of tentacles, Dean could tell the kraken was giving him a dark look. “Talk to them about those godforsaken handcuffs, and then we’ll talk.”
“Okay, deal,” said Dean. He sat back and reached for his clipboard and his pen. Before he could write a single word, the whole clipboard was soaked as if a bucket had been upended onto it. He glared at the kraken.
“I need that,” he pointed out. The kraken leaned back and shook his head dismissively.
“No, you don’t,” he said. “You said you were here to talk to me — you don’t need a bunch of papers to do that.”
“It would have been useful to have your history for reference,” said Dean.
“As a man of science, I would hope that you value objectivity in your case histories. I can assure you, Dr. Doubleday, that there is nothing objective in those papers.” The kraken leaned forward, hands splayed wide to reveal the translucent membrane between his digits. “Whatever you want to know, you ask me.”
Not seeing much of a choice, and still hoping to have a productive conversation with the kraken, Dean nodded. The kraken sat back down, satisfied, which was a relief to Dean since his tentacles had been much too close to his face for comfort.
“So. What do you want to know?”
Dean pulled a piece of scrap paper from his pocket and shook the water off his pen.
“Let’s start at the beginning. What’s your name?”
The kraken’s tentacles fanned out on either side in a motion that almost mimicked a smile.
“Volker. My name is Volker.”
Word Count: 1098
© M. Lai, 2014