Odd Prompts: Beware the Pink

“How was it?” 

Having a seven-foot-tall octopoid hovering while you ate was a bit weird. Having him wringing a pair of tentacles while he watched you consume food he’d prepared was  a whole other level of strange. Steven didn’t think he’d ever get used to this. He put his spoon down, and contemplated his bowl before answering Bob’s question. 

Fitz beat him to it. “It tasted pink!” 

A visible ripple of pleasure flashed through Bob’s chromatophores, like watching fireworks go off under his skin. 


“Oh, yes.” Steven assured him. Having their boss speak first meant he didn’t have to worry about diplomacy. “Very pink. Almost, er, fuchsia.” 

Fitz gave him a look, and Steven shut up. 

She leaned her elbows on the table, and made a face. “Bob, you’re looming. I can’t talk to you while you are looming.” 

The octopoid, abashed, sank into a chair next to Steven and across from their gremlin boss. At something less than four feet, even the human scientist loomed over her. She looked up into the big golden eyes with their strange pupils, and smiled. “Bob, food shouldn’t taste like a color.” 

“But, orange?” He darkened, his chromatophores closing in his stressed state. 

“Oranges are orange, yes. Pink is… what was in this?” She gestured at her bowl. “Wait, no, I don’t actually want to know and you,” She shook a finger at Steven, who’d opened his mouth to say something. “I do not want to know the chemical composition, stay out of it.” 

Steven closed his mouth again. 

“Bob, what have I said about cooking?” 

“Bob cleans. Caf staff cooks.” The octopoid was drooping so much he was practically on the table now. “But boss, Bob wants to cook.” 

“Then follow recipes, please.” Her voice softened. “It’s not bad. It’s just… pink. Very, very pink.” 

Steven nodded emphatically. He was a little concerned that the pink would come out on the other end, if he ate more of it. 

“Pink is a color, not a flavor.” Fitz repeated herself. “Bob, can you taste food?” 

Bob’s big eyes couldn’t blink, but they would narrow when his big head wrinkled in thought. “Food is different colors. Taste is… color?” 

Fitz covered her face with her hands. In a very muffled voice, she asked, “Steven, do octopus have taste buds?” 

“No,” Steven answered. “I’m sure he has some ability to do chemosensing, but it’s more likely to be in his tentacles than his, er, mouthparts.” 

“Right.” Fitz lifted her head out of her hands and locked eyes with Bob. “From now on, you have to touch food, and make sure you touch it while you’re cooking… I can’t believe I’m saying this. I’m asking you to put your fingers in the food I’m going to eat.” 

“You’ll eat my food?” Bob got much brighter and sat up a little. “I didn’t touch this…” 

“Here.” Steven shoved his bowl, with the remains of what looked like pink soup in it, over to the octopoid, who happily plunged the tip of a tentacle in and swirled it around. 

“Oh. Oh that is… I’m sorry.” Bob blushed brightly, his chromatophores firing all at once. “This is not good.” 

“Right. Now you know.” Fitz stood up. “Get a cookbook, Bob, and next time finger the food, will you?” 

Bob clicked his beak in delight. “Yes, boss!” 


My prompt this week came from the spares over at More Odds than Ends. This is a scene from the Lab Gremlins world, if you want to read how these three met. 

If you want to take part in the Odd Prompt challenge, head on over to find out more about it! 


4 responses to “Odd Prompts: Beware the Pink”

  1. Aimee J Morgan Avatar
    Aimee J Morgan

    I would like to learn more about Bob’s adventures in cooking, please.

  2. Oh, you tease!
    Would that there were all the time in the world for you to do the work that pays, the work that pleases, and the writing that enchants!

  3. Becky Jones Avatar
    Becky Jones

    LOL! You NEED to put your fingers, er… tentacles in the food! This is wonderful!