Undersea Dreaming, Pompeii

In 79 AD, the Roman city of Pompeii was completely buried in ash by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, then completely forgotten until it was rediscovered in the mid-18th Century. Many of its citizens attempted to flee but few made it.

This image is a fanciful telling of a fugitive from Pompeii who dove into the sea and was changed by Neptune into an octopus. He now drifts in the depths, dreaming of his former life.

23 thoughts on “Undersea Dreaming, Pompeii

  1. Oh, don’t you just love octopi?

    When I was younger, I used to go to a bar in the French Quarter called The Dungeon. There was an second floor and you had to climb a ladder against the wall and go through a hole in the ceiling.

    When you got “upstairs” and turned around, there was a big octopus tank against the wall. Very cool. :-D

    Here’s an octopus scene I wrote about a pair of twins who went to a pet store (to buy a parrot) with their mom;

    The pet shop was a fun place to visit. There were the sounds of puppies, cats, and many varieties of twittering birds to keep things lively. A waterfall served as a nice centerpiece for the numerous tanks that contained dozens of species of fish and turtles, and even an octopus, the store’s star attraction.
    Nicola and Nora immediately headed for the octopus tank. They stood patiently by waiting for it to emerge from behind the amber bottle on the limestone ledge in the corner of the tank. Mrs. Catlain, who’d stopped for a moment to look at some angel fish, came over to join the twins. They were staring mesmerized into the tank when the store owner happened by.
    “They certainly make interesting pets,” he said, as the octopus finally made an appearance.
    The twins looked up at the pink-cheeked, bald-headed man in the seersucker jacket and red bow tie.
    “Do they get very big?” asked Nicola.
    “Actually, they only live a year or so,” said the owner. “They’re very curious though. He thinks he has a meal coming.”
    “You mean us?” said Nora, backing away.
    “Oh, no,” said the man. “Inky — that’s his name — Inky is used to being fed around this time. He probably thinks you’re bringing him some goldfish. They’re very shy and usually hiding.”
    “Do you feed him live fish?” Nicola gasped.
    “Some will take frozen seafood,” said the man. “This one’s pretty fussy.”
    “Did you ever have one escape?” asked Nora.
    “Nicola laughed and poked Nora in the ribs.
    “Not so fast,” the man said. “When I was in high school my brother and I shared a room. He was fascinated with marine life, and kept an octopus in a makeshift tank on the dresser. He’d always leave a crack open at the top to let in fresh air. Late one night, I heard a plop, and discovered that the octopus had climbed out and was creeping across the top of my brother’s dresser.”
    The twins squealed and then started giggling. Mrs. Catlain, who was standing off to the side, shivered and then rubbed the back of her neck.
    “Please, no more details,” she said laughing. “Did that really happen?”
    “Twice,” he said.

    Hope you liked it.

    • I like Nick Bantock. His images are more flat and print friendly. They make nice books. He goes even smaller than I do sometimes. Postage stamp size. I’ve been working on making pieces that size for a project and it is difficult.

    • Thanks. I get these odd notions and have to exorcise them. Can’t have octopi chimera refugees from Pompeii, flowers that whisper, and trees made of letters and dragonflies with their intestines hanging out floating around in my head…especially that last one. :/

        • True. I guess it depends on what they are whispering about. Innocent flower gossip and giggling about bees is okay but those diabolical flower plots can be disconcerting. :)

      • Speaking of flowers that whisper (I own that one, the one that is on the old book cover) – how about submitting that for the Interstitial Arts cover contest? Just a thought. :-)

        p.s. did you get my emails?

        • I just answered your emails.

          Do you have the whispering flowers? I don’t keep track of these things as well as I should. It’s nice to know where those are now. I had no idea.

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