Hello. My name is… Splat. I have light skin, violet eyes, and, then, bright, hot pink tentacles.
Yes, tentacles. Not hair. For those of you who don’t know, I am an Inkling. We Inklings have the ability to change ourselves into little squids.
There is some debate about whether we are squids or kids, so most have just settled with Squidkids. A couple I’ve known have ended up in therapy because of the Squidkid debate.
It doesn’t bother me now and it didn’t bother me then.
That day was pretty exciting for me. I had just arrived. I was one of those late arrivals. So much had been going on when everyone else went.
I lived on a coral farm with… my… with my family… my mom fell gravely ill around the time when the Turf War Training in Inkopolis craze hit our village. All my friends had gone, but I stayed behind. I was the only Squidkid who didn’t go. I had something more important.
… we were losing my mother. My father did all he could for her and I helped too. She was like this for months. I took over all her chores.
When I wasn’t working or helping with mama, I was out in the field. I would take daddy’s old-time Splattershot and practice. I got pretty good, but soon my practice had to stop.
Mama was getting worse. Then… we… we lost her… she died.
For the next couple months we were paralyzed with grief. Father changed. Before he had always been so gentle. Always so kind. He would never raise his voice. He would laugh and always smile. I’d never seen him frown before.
Now, though… he would yell at me if I made too much noise. He would punish me more. I don’t really know what I’d done half the time. He never ever laughed or smiled. He would stay out late into the night and come back tipsy.
I took over everything. All farm duties fell to me. Dad would just sit in mama’s favorite rocking chair, so I ran the farm. It was hard work, but it made me strong.
Then, one day, dad wasn’t all wobbly. He sat me down and looked at me. I was scared to death, but then….I saw his eyes… they weren’t the eyes of the hard man he generally was now, but the eyes of the father I once knew.
“Splat…,” he said. He was the one who’d given me that name. I knew that he would be kind when he said that, because he hadn’t called me that since mama’s death. “Splat, I know I have been a horrible father recently. I am so sorry.”
Tears came to my eyes. He continued.
“You have been so good, taking care of the farm and putting up with me. You could have run away at anytime, but you stayed. I… I am so thankful… I am very proud of you. You have been so strong.” He touched my cheek. He seemed to have a hard time going on. “I… have been… and am… the worst dad in the world…”
“Nu-uh! You were just sad about mama.”
“No…” he contradicts me, “no, hun’… I’m about to be the worst father who ever existed.”
“What do you mean?”
“… I… can’t take living here any longer.”
I stared at him. “You’re leaving?!”
“We both are.”
“Where will we go? The woods?” I knew dad liked it there.
“… I will be going to the woods.”
“Wait… What do you mean? I’m going with you. I-”
He shook his head. “No… I… you remind me too much of your mother.”
“You…you… you mean… you can’t bear to look at me?!” I gasped.
“I… I guess you could put it that way.”
I was stunned. Father couldn’t take the sight of me. My heart was crushed.
“Wh- where will I go?!”
Then, he did something I hadn’t seen him do in months. He smiled. I recognized that smile. It was the “I have a surprise you are gonna love” smile.
“Inkopolis.” He told me. My eyes grew wide.
“Inkopolis?!” It was the one place I had dreamed of going to. I would learn to use weapons in turf wars. I would make new friends. I was excited, but sad.
Part of the dream was to come home with the maximum level and show my skills to father. That would not be happening. “I’m sure you’ll love it there.”
“… no! I don’t want to lose you.” I threw my arms around him. He hugged me like he used to. Then he picked me up and carried me to my room. He put me into bed.
“You need to sleep, Splat.” He picked up his guitar and played one of the songs that were famous in Inkopolis.
“… I love you daddy.”
“I love you too, Splat. Oh, my little Splat.” He set down the instrument, kissed my head and went downstairs.
I fell asleep.
When I woke, it was morning. I went downstairs and to the kitchen. Father was not there. I peeked out onto the porch, assuming he was sitting in the rocking chair. He wasn’t.
I turned and was about to go look for him, but stopped short when I noticed a package on the table. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. Written on it were the words “For Splat.”
Curious, I opened it. First there was a yellow shirt. I recognized it. All the Squidkids wore it when they left for Inkopolis. There was a pair of white shoes and a grey headband too. Also, a Splattershot Jr. Taped to the gun was a letter.
I opened it and read it twice. When I finished, I sank into a chair. Dad had left as soon as he put me to bed. He had taken his Splattershot with him and would not be coming back. Included in the letter was a one way train ticket to Inkopolis. He wanted me to go.
So I did.
I had no other choice. I got dressed, ate breakfast, then got my gun, and headed to the station. Later I arrived.
Now that you know my background, my story shall begin. I will start at the time of my arrival in Inkopolis.
This is the story of me and the three people who matter most to myself. The one who I can always count on, the one who showed me what a family truly is, and the one who taught me that betrayal is worse than death.