The Squid

The Squid likes to brag that no man has ever seen his face. It’s not true, of course: he was born, he had a childhood, he had a family, mother, father, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on, all of whom saw him, knew him, loved or hated him or were familiarly indifferent. But they don’t count, any of them, since the person they knew wasn’t the Squid, but only some one named Darrel Sweet, Lindsey Moore, Glen Baxter, Edgar Eager. The Squid likes to brag that he has no history, no past, no secret identity; he’s just the Squid, and he revels in the destruction and murder he creates. He can be anybody, look like anything: tall, short, fat, thin, man, woman, black or white, it’s all the same to the Squid. “If you’re nothing in particular,” he said once, “then you’re everything equally. Everything contains nothing and nothing contains everything.”

He’s not perfect, is the Squid, not inhuman. He makes mistakes, he fails more often than he succeeds, he’s been beaten up, shot, stabbed, blown to smithereens. He’s been captured dozens of times, but for all that no one’s ever seen the real face at the bottom of his chain of masks. They pull and tear and scrub and there’s always just one more false nose, one more tissue-thin hood drawn over a pair of angry, patient eyes.