The Squid

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None of us knows where the squid came from. It first appeared on the seventh, eighth, ninth pages of newspapers before graduating to the rolling strip of not-important-news at the bottom of the telly.

Soon people were tweeting about it, and once that ball gets rolling not even Sisyphus can push it back up the hill.

Within a few days, everyone in every town in every country was talking about the squid. A few days later, its tentacles had squirmed their way
through most of Western Europe.

The squid was first spotted in an ocean. It was bigger than a normal squid, but not huge. It soon became huge. It grew and grew and grew, until it was the size of the Eiffel Tower. Passengers of cruise ships would gawp
as passed. Planes had to adjust their routes. And as it grew bigger its tentacles grew tentacles that snaked and twisted and wormed and squirmed their way through the seas. Within a few days, its tentacles had reached the coastal towns of a country that would be a great answer on BBC1’s Pointless.

The tentacles snaked through the streets of these villages, filling every cobbled road and corporate high street. They blocked the doors so people couldn’t leave their houses. The tentacles dominated the streets, until there
weren’t any streets, only what existed under the tentacles. But the squid didn’t really matter when it was happening over there. It was when it started happening here there was a real kerfuffle.

Everyone had to stay in, and this was the worst thing that had ever happened. It turned out that all these people who went around saying there wasn’t enough hours in the day weren’t happy when they were drowning in
all the hours. People had to stock up on food – they just had to – but only the essentials like chicken and beef and fruit and veg and loo roll and yoghurts and, what the hell, they hadn’t had doughnuts in a while, they may as well
treat themselves. Then it turned out that food runs out, and when it does, you need more food. The only problem was the squid’s tentacles filled up every road. There seemed to be no way to leave, no way to go the shops.

But there was a way. Occasionally the squid would have to stretch its tentacles and to do this it would lift its tentacles high. The loud plop of detaching suckers let people know when it was safe to snatch up those Bags for Life and sprint to the nearest Tesco Express. People soon got into the rhythm. They had the run to the shops and back again down to a fine art. Gone were the days of poorly timed runs and getting squashed by tentacles. But they still had to be careful.

It seems like the squid has been here forever, even if it has only been a few weeks. Life locked in, watching Netflix and listening for squelches outside. But today, on the news, they said that in some places, the squid’s tentacles are starting to pull back into the ocean.

Maybe – maybe – this is the beginning of the end.

It’s not much, and I feel like we’ll be hearing from the squid for quite a while. But it’s a start. It’s definitely a start.

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