They arrived suddenly.
They appeared overnight. They say evolution progresses in cycles and macroevolution can make great, paradigm- shifting leaps when powered by the energy cycles of the sun and the alignment of Saturn. That’s why it seemed so sudden to us on land, but beneath the dark depths of the world’s oceans, giant octopuses had been silently growing ,mutating and evolving for thousands of years, veiled by the murky microcosms of the seas.
Until one day, they surfaced.
It was a Tuesday, I remember, and I was leaving the house early to head off to work. It was a rainy, dull and dreary day but the sun had just peaked over the horizon of the Bristol harbour casting a warm orange glow and I started the car in its dim light.
I drove along the main road which ran parallel along the shore, enjoying the early morning view.
But then I saw them and I just stopped the car dead, right there in the left-hand lane.
I couldn’t process what I was seeing at first. I sat frozen in the driver’s seat, with the windscreen wipers squeaking back and forth, believing I must still be sleeping and any minute now I’d wake up with the startling realization that it was all a dream.
But it wasn’t. Instead a new, weird reality played out and I got out of the car enraptured in awe.
A giant octopus had risen out of the inky waters and started to walk , eerily up to the beach. It was upright. It was roughly ten feet tall. Its eight, long, jelly-like legs, supported its huge dome-like body and it looked more like a monolithic alien creature from the outer rims of space than anything from earth. It moved silently. Floating almost, as its tentacles gracefully stepped along the sand, in a crab-like motion.
More followed, one by one they inched out of the sea.
Their eyes were black, their skin a translucent grey, and the suckers on each leg were the size of plates. The sight was both horrifying and beautiful. I was mesmerized. I was witnessing the genesis of a new species; the result of millions of years of unfolding nature, a terrifying demonstration of the power of change.
Passing cars slowed and pulled up, some crashing in shock. People came out of their homes, mouths agape, to watch- many filming on their phones as hundreds of huge walking octopuses filled the Bristol shoreline.
Then, a rustling sound. The waters got more and more agitated as something even larger emerged from the murky depths: The Queen.
She was double the size. Gigantic in proportions. Her grey and pink body glistened in the morning light. Her legs stretched out , as her stature towered against the gloomy seascape.
Suddenly, a watery high-pitched roar filled the cold morning air and they all joined in unison.
I had never heard a sound like it before:
a cacophony of piercing aquatic cries.
That’s when they started to run...