Kraken Earth

Written during Flash Fiction Month 2019 as a challenge entry (and, as it was exactly 1000 words long, it qualified as an entry for Prose-ject‘s Little Prose, using the day’s flashback promtp from OnLinedPaper (from 2016): He told her no one would hear her screams. He didn’t count on her yodeling, though.

The challenge requirements were:

  1. The story must involve a cryptid.
  2. The cryptid must have a fairly common vocation.
  3. The story must include a romance or love of some kind.
  4. Bonus: The story is set in an alternate reality where humans are considered cryptids.

“I love you,” Tony said.

“I know,” Miranda replied with a smirk on her face and kissed him. “I’ll be back.”

“Stay safe.”

“You too.”

When Miranda stepped through the Multiverse Gate, she did not expect to see krakens. Yet there she was, at the shore of an island, staring at krakens who took their cameras out, shouting, “Hooman! Hooman!”

Not knowing what she had stepped into, Miranda fled into the forest.

Miranda giggled at Tony having a hard time lighting the fire at the fireplace. “Here, sweetie, let me show you.” She took the matches off his hands, rearranged the wood and lit the fire. “It only takes a bit of science.”

“You know I’m a humanist, not a scientist,” Tony noted, smiling.

“I do, but that doesn’t mean you cannot learn anything scientific,” Miranda said, put the matches away and leant against Tony. They spent the rest of the evening cuddling in front of the fireplace.

Once Miranda had set up her tent in the middle of the forest, she tested her phone. To her utter amazement, it worked – there was even a decent internet connection! None of the social media worked, though; they could not find their servers and instead resorted to whining about “no internet connection” even though the browser worked – whenever she found a website, of course. Google, to her dismay, did not work.

“Miranda! Have you messed with my computer?” Tony shouted to the kitchen.

“No! Why are you asking?” Miranda shouted back.

“The browser’s on a fritz again!”

“Try rebooting!”

A while later, Tony shouted again, “It worked! Thanks, love!”

“You’re welcome, sweetie! Remember, always reboot if your computer’s acting up!”

After a while of poking around, Miranda found a search engine: Burgla. Through it, she found an underwater rabbit hole. The Earth she had walked into was inhabited by krakens while humans were basically their… krakens. Or yetis.

To boot, pictures of her were already going viral on social media, especially Facebubble.

Miranda could not help snorting at that obvious lookalike of Facebook.

Since she had an internet connection, she had to set up her solar panels so that she would not run out of power. After all, she could not visit the actual world of Kraken Earth without a swimsuit and an oxygen tank, so her only connection to it was the World Wide Web.

With a laugh, Miranda wished Tony was there to see this world. He would definitely love it!

She had to take pictures at some point.

“What are you working on, sweetie?” Miranda asked.

“A commission. A lecturer at the university wanted some art for his introduction course,” Tony told.

“Who?”

Tony turned to look at Miranda, smirking. “Your old programming lecturer.”

“Jones?” Miranda asked and started guffawing. “That must mean he finally understood that his courses are boring!”

“Yet there you are, working as a programmer,” Tony noted, snickering.

“Programming is fun. Jones’s courses? NOPE!” Miranda said, still laughing.

The krakens’ programming style was strange, but luckily to Miranda, it was close enough to what she had worked on for the last ten years that she could easily get the hang of it. Soon, she had already created a game called Spot da hooman!

Apparently, it was written correctly among the krakens.

With a sad smile on her face as she released the game online under the name Kraggleb, Miranda could imagine Tony losing his mind over that title if she did this in their world.

“Could you please spellcheck my article, please?” Tony asked.

“Sure,” Miranda replied, sat down at the computer and read the article. The immaculate grammar put her own to shame; while she could code decently, her human language skills had always been mediocre at best.

But that was one thing she loved in Tony: his immaculate built-in spellchecker could always catch anything and everything she wrote wrong.

As money started to come in from the game, Miranda set up a PayGulp account for it, then proceeded to mine some local cryptocurrency on her laptop. She could not do much without money, so she had to earn some.

Once the mining was in progress, Miranda proceeded to hunt for a job. It turned out that just like Human Earth, Kraken Earth had a shortage of programmers. Miranda got a remote job almost immediately after applying for one. Then she realized what she had done.

She had gone on an exchange on another world!

A little tear escaped her eye when she wished that Tony was there with her.

“Miranda, I’ve been thinking of going on exchange,” Tony said.

“Where are you planning to go?” Miranda asked.

“To Canada.”

“That’s far.”

“I know. That’s why I wanted to ask for your opinion.”

“If you want to go, it’s not my place to stop you.”

“Are you sure? We won’t see each other for months.”

“I can handle it if we keep in touch.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“Besides, you’ll definitely still hear me yodel all the way there!”

Tony laughed. “As long as you don’t try to scream as loud, I’ll be fine with that!”

Some weeks passed as Miranda grew increasingly lonely in the waterproof tent. As a human, she could never integrate into the kraken society and she knew it. Besides, she missed Tony a lot.

When the project at work came to its end, Miranda resigned, sold all her cryptocurrency and donated all the money she had earned in addition to the rights to Spot da hooman! to charity.

Then she packed up and returned to her world. Tony rushed to meet her.

“I’ve missed you so much!” Miranda said and embraced her love.

“Me too,” Tony whispered.

“Come, I have lots of stuff to show you! You won’t even believe half of it!”

“We’ll see about that!”

Miranda already knew that she was right, so she smirked and led Tony away from the Multiverse Gate.

The adventure was over and now it was time to report what she had seen.

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