"The Big Decision" by Shirley Golden
Hettie couldn’t decide which one she preferred. They were all cute, in a tentacled sort of way. And green, so green, luminous, in fact. Apparently, they glowed in the dark, which was a fun side-effect of the bio-mechanical combination. It was the latest craze – grow your own octopod. Like an octopus, except they didn’t require a tank filled with water. They were low maintenance and good guards, snapping with needle, mechanical teeth at strangers. Perfect.
Since Clive walked out over the cacti in the bathroom fiasco, Hettie wasn’t sleeping so well, but she didn’t want the bother of a dog or the walks; especially not the picking-up-of-poo-in-public part.
The lad in the shop assured her that they ate little and the recent news reports were blown out of proportion. Completely. They could be litter trained, just like a cat, he said, but had the advantage that they wouldn’t claw the sofa. They would thrive if left to their own devices whilst she went out to work.
It would be perfect for her corner apartment in the city.
‘No, they don’t feel slimy.’
She touched it with the tips of her fingers. It withdrew; all its suckers snapped shut simultaneously.
‘Yes, they can be tamed,’ he promised. ‘Female is best. The males can grow rather large…Not building-large, not like in the reports with the photoshopped images,’ he added. ‘That would be ludicrous.’
She wasn’t worried. Large sounded fun. If she’d gone down the dog route, she would have selected a big breed.
‘Here, this one’s definitely female, absolutely, assuredly female. Think about it,’ he said. ‘Unfortunately, we don’t accept returns.’
Hettie didn’t take long to decide, and settled on the one that the lad advised because she didn’t want any more cataclysmic purchases. Very excited, she took it home and fed it lots of mealworms.
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