Charlie was lonely, which was unusual for someone capable of architomic reproduction. In the past, it had been enough for him to drop off one of his tentacles and let it grow into another Charlie to keep him company. But these little Charlies had a habit of moving out once they reached adolescence and lately these unceremonious departures had left him feeling even more bereft than before.
He had tried dating (of the speed and internet varieties). Neither had gone well. He suspected it was something to do with his dress sense: fashion was not his forte. He had also tried alleviating his solitude through the quaint human custom of keeping a pet. Myrtle, his octogenarian neighbour, had a hairy little creature (cat? dog? he wasn’t sure) that she seemed to love and gave her some measure of love in return. Sadly, Charlie’s pet experiment had been a failure: fungi, no matter how large, were resolutely taciturn and unaffectionate.
His loneliness was beginning to infect the very house itself, penetrating and rising up the walls like damp. He needed a friend. Someone who could tolerate his less than endearing habits – his snoring, his epithelial shedding, his crippling self-doubt. He knew he wasn’t the ideal housemate – far from it. But he had heard there was a housing crisis in this part of the universe and that young humans would put up with a great deal for an affordable monthly rent and this gave him some hope.