Dobbs and the Boiling Pot

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

In this non-sequitur and rather disturbed tale, a lobster finds himself trapped in a beachside seafood restaurant, soon doomed to be boiled alive. He plans to escape, but he questions his ways upon meeting an elderly crustacean known as the Prophet.

On one peculiar early morning in summer, a lobster named Dobbs decided to visit the surface world. Upon reaching the shore and drying off in the sand, he let out a sigh of relief. A hard-working lobster like himself deserved such pampering once in a while. The sunlight glimmered off his vibrant red shell, and he was filled with youth and vigor that he had not matched since he was the tiniest infant crustacean in his homereef.
Dobbs, unfortunately, only had a few moments to dance and laugh and perform other joy-exuding actions before he noticed that he was being approached by a fat, cheeky red-faced human. It quickly occured to him that this man was dangerous! The lobster panicked and began to retreat, scuttling away back to the ocean in the exact opposite direction of the man. However, he felt the sand disappearing from under him, and the water was now a fair drop below! The human had caught him, letting out a hearty chuckle as he examined his prey.
"Fuck you, asshole! Let me go!" scorned Dobbs, violently, to which the chubby man simply smiled and giggled more. The lobster soon realized that this ebullient, overzealous and overweight person was a chef. As the chef slowly rotated (carelessly shaking his fresh catch in his hand while doing so), Dobbs could just make out a seafood restaurant on the horizon. The sinking of his heart was devastatingly painful, and he regretted ever leaving the ocean. He knew then that he would never see his family again if he didn't try to escape.
Acting fast, Dobbs latched his crushing claw around the chef's pointer finger and squeezed as tight as he could. The chef maintained his happy face, not manifesting even the slightest hint of pain in his shaggy sable eyebrows, bulging blue eyes, or thick lips. It became clear that the poor crustacean was outmatched as he was carried into the restaurant, had his claw run under hot water, and was then dumped into a tank with several other lobsters.
"Ah, another friend to join us in our festivities!" cried one rather small brown lobster. "Please, play a game of catch the pebble with us! That lazy old guy in the corner won't play with us. We need one more player," implored another. Dobbs took a glance around the tank. It was decorated with bright pink and blue flowers, a fake starfish, and another human, only this one was miniature and wearing a diving suit. He had a strong disapproval of this new environment he had been condemned to. One thing that did catch his tiny, beady eye, however, was a large blue lobster resting in the corner. As Dobbs scuttled towards him, he observed that the unusually-colored fellow was very old, with a worn-out shell that had been heavily freckled from years of being subjected to sun rays beaming through the waves of the sea. His slouched arms and tired pose suggested that he wore the burden and gift of great wisdom, and Dobbs surmised that he had seen his fair share of sharks. Though he did not want to wake the ancient creature, he was far too curious not to speak up.
"Excuse me, sir..." The old man, so to speak, slowly lifted his head and let out a small grunt of wonder.
"Yes, dear boy?" he spoke in a deep, lethargic boom.
"I would like to know who you are, and if there is any way out of here." inquired Dobbs, dwarfed in the blue lobster's presence.
"Those I knew in my past life called me the Great Blau Oracle, for I had forseen many tragedies and mircales in my homereef. Now," lifting a claw to reveal a tag, "I am simply referred to as Lobster No. 2145." Dobbs made a mocking noise and said, "I'm sorry, but that's a pretty shitty name." The Oracle frowned slightly.
"One should be grateful for what they have, let alone appreciative or at least accepting of what others have." Grimacing now, Dobbs simply told his elder to hurry up with the second answer.
"My dear boy," began the prophetic old lobster, "you shall never escape, and soon you will be served up on a pewter platter with a side of melted butter to some hungry human fellow." Refusing to accept such a fate, Dobbs shook his head in frustration.
"That will not happen. I have a family."
"Ah, but what became of your parents, hmm?"
"They...they got caught in a fishing net."
At this the Oracle nodded slowly.
"Do you not realize that all lobsters are intended for such a fate? We are all food, my boy. You should accept this, and be happy to know that you will fill someone else's belly tomorrow."
Dobbs was always afraid that he would end up in a situation like this, but it felt far worse to actually be in it. Gradually, his hopes that he would ever see his mate and children again evaporated, and formed into a cloud of morose acceptance that he was going to die in a seafood joint. However, as this cloud stormed, the water began to form a sizeable puddle of optimism. He now knew when and where he would die, and could decide how to spend his last living hours.
Dobbs chose to spend the last of his life talking with the Great Blau Oracle, telling stories and filling himself with knowledge. Within his small window of time left breathing, the young lobster learned more than he could have hoped to in a full lifetime. He was filled with the happiness he had possessed earlier in the day upon the shore, and for that he thanked his new, wise friend.
The next morning, Dobbs awoke to being pulled out of the tank by the chef. He thought back to how he was horrified the first time he had been locked in the man's grasp- what a fool he was then! After emerging from the water, he could clearly hear the blood-chilling shrieks and screams of several other lobsters who had been tossed into the boiling pot on the kitchen stove. He smiled and looked forward to being fed to a paying customer.
However, something was wrong. The chef froze in his tracks, his crimson cheeks were suddenly flushed white, and his smile was wiped clean and replaced with a twitching frown. The poor man let out a holler of agony, grasped his chest, and then fell to the floor dead. A glassy film swept over his eyes, creating a fog just as blinding as death itself. Clearly the man had built up his cholesterol and suffered a heart attack.
The back door was open- Dobbs could easily escape! However, he simply shook his head and smiled. He crawled out of the chef's pudgy hand, climbed up to the counter, and glanced into the boiling pot, waving to the other lobsters inside.
"Oh, thank goodness!" cried one lobster.
"Get us out of here!" screamed another. Dobbs simply let out a hearty laugh oddly reminiscent of the chef and said,
"Now why would I do something like that? We've got to feed those hungry, paying people!" As the lobsters screamed in intense rage and pain, Dobbs looked back to the tank, from where the Oracle was spectating and nodding in approval. With this, Dobbs dived into the steaming water. He felt content.
His peers continued to squeal in agony, for they had chosen to ignore and deny their fate by playing games and pretending as though their lives would always be as it was in the ocean. However, Dobbs accepted his destiny and had chosen to fill himself with as much joy and knowledge as possible, dying with what he felt was a full life. He was the only lobster in the pot who did not scream as he was boiled from the inside-out, had his flesh separated from his shell and turned to rubber, and his legs and eyes shriveled.
So the next time that you order a lobster, think of Dobbs and the many other crustaceans who sacrifice themselves for you to stuff yourself with their delicious flesh.

Submitted: July 01, 2012

© Copyright 2020 Aidan Meacham. All rights reserved.

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