Babysitting a Kraken

by AJ Hartson and Wakey Nelson

Kira swatted at the mottled green tentacle curling around her waist.

“Knock that off! I already told you we’re not wrestling today.”

She turned to glare at the creature behind her. Babysitting sucked at the best of times—and babysitting a kraken was definitely not the best of times. She didn’t know how she had been volunteered for babysitting duty again. Voluntold was more like it. She supposed it was the downfall of being the only creature in a 10,000-league radius who was able to put the baby kraken to sleep.

Speaking of…

“Come on,” she said, grabbing the end of a tentacle. “It’s past your bedtime.”

The kraken made a sound somewhere between a blowing conch shell and a high-pitched whine. A second tentacle tugged half-heartedly at Kira’s ankle.

“None of that, I already let you stay up late. I’ll sing your favorite lullaby if you behave, though.”

The bribe seemed to do the trick. The tentacles retreated, and the kraken jetted into the cave that served as its bedroom.

Kira settled herself on a rock next to the bed of seaweed. She began singing an old shanty that she had overheard from a passing ship when she was a child. The kraken purred contentedly, and within a few short minutes it was sound asleep.

Kira finished the song and shook her head fondly at the sleeping creature. It was sort of cute when it was like this, and she almost didn’t mind having to babysit.



© Copyright AJ Hartson and Wakey Nelson

AJ Hartson (they/them/theirs) is a queer kanaka maoli writer currently based out of Minnesota. They grew up on a steady diet of fanfic, horror, fantasy, and science fiction, and they have a soft spot for stories that push us to collectively imagine what a different world could look like.

Wakey Nelson is half of a small screen printing business called Chibi Yeti, and they are dedicated to getting their art out into the world!

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