She was such a tiny little thing. Ensign Chang found her stuck to the inside of one of the torpedo tubes while doing maintenance after an exploratory in the Mariana Trench. She looked up at him with that big puppy dog eye, and turned bright pink when he touched her. So he named her Rosy, and kept her in a little fish tank under his bunk. It was love at first sight.
Chang knew better than to let anybody know about Rosy. He kept her covered with a sheet when he was away, and she didn’t seem to mind. When he returned to his room and uncovered her, she always gave him a warm greeting. She loved to put on a show, dancing around the tank, puffing up and changing colors, she’d even give him a kiss through the glass if he got up close to it. And when he fed her some chum or a hermit crab, she’d sit still for a moment and blink at him in a way that made him sure she was actually thanking him for it. She was adorable, no two ways about it.
Though she changed colors and had tentacles, it was pretty clear that Rosy wasn’t any ordinary octopus. For starters, she just had that one eye, and it looked almost human. And then there was the way she seemed to be able to grow and shrink at will. She could just about fill up the tank if she wanted to, or shrink to fit herself into the smallest crab shell. Also, Chang started to get the uncanny feeling that she understood everything he said to her, and not only that but that she sympathized with him.
An ensign’s life isn’t easy. Because he was the lowest ranking member of the crew, Chang had to put up with a lot of abuse, and he seemed to take the blame for just about everything that went wrong. Before Rosy, he didn’t have anyone he could open up to, and he had a lot bottled up, to say the least. He always felt better after talking to her, and it wasn’t long before he was telling her everything.
One morning there was a fire in the galley, and a cigarette butt was found in the smoldering trash can after the sprinklers had put out the blaze. It didn’t matter that Chang didn’t smoke, somebody had it in for him, and when word got around to Lieutenant Hui that Chang was responsible, he ordered a search of his bunk. Smoking was strictly forbidden inside the sub, and Hui wasn’t about to let it slide, especially since Chang was already in hot water over a recent maintenance report error.
While Chang was topside scrubbing the deck, Hui and a couple of MP’s stormed into his room and began tearing it apart. While the MP’s were upending Chang’s desk and rifling through his things, Hui’s eyes fixed on the tank on the floor under his bunk, and he pulled away the sheet covering it.
Pitch black, Rosy sat motionless in the center of the tank, and as Hui stared at her she began to shake. Glowing red spots appeared on her back.
“What the hell is this thing?” Hui asked, looking over at the MPs.
They stopped for a moment to check it out, and when Hui turned back around Rosy was still and black again.
He leaned in to get a closer look, but she didn’t move. So he tapped on the glass.
Red cracks formed along Rosy’s back, and her eye opened. It was the last thing Hui ever saw.
In a split second she surged to fill every corner of the tank, and after the glass shattered she quickly grew to fill Chang’s room, smothering the three men and continuing unabated into the hallway. Soon the entire submarine was filled with Rosy’s rage.
Outside, Chang was thrown off of his feet and landed hard on the deck. He held onto the guardrail as the sub bucked and swayed, and then the hatch blew open. A black tentacle emerged, and Rosy’s eye opened out of it. When she saw Chang, she turned bright pink.