Todd was stuck. Sat in a hotel, huddled by the clunking heater, writing and crossing out; rewriting over and over. He was stuck: Toa was in trouble and he couldn't do anything about it, this time. Todd had written a situation he couldn't save her from.
He sighed and crossed out another half finished paragraph.
The door clicked open and The Octopus sauntered in, looking pleased with itself. It held up a plastic grocery bag with a smiling, waving Asian Cat on it. With its free two limbs, it signed: Dinner! Surfed!
"Not hungry" Todd's reply was short.
The Octopus deflated momentarily, then slid next to Todd by the rickety heater. Tentacles flicked across his screen: Trouble? Spelled out letter by letter.
Todd explained the situation. The Octopus thought for a good five minutes, then signed a solution. "No good." Todd replied, and explained why that wouldn't work.
Another five minutes. Another solution.
The Octopus seemed to sigh. It thought, motionless, for a few hours while Todd wrote and wrote and struck through idea after idea.
At one point Todd looked up, remembered where he was and said, "Hey, you should eat something." The Octopus made its honking, laughing sound and shook its bulbous head, no.
The Octopus signed, "You first." and winked and they went back to massaging Toa's solution from the ether of their minds.