There it was, again: the unmistakable outline of a cuttlefish, all eyes and tentacles beneath a looming mantle. Drawn in what seemed like chalk but indelible and raised to the touch–a paint pen, perhaps, or something similar. Like the others, it was on metal rather than the surrounding pavement, a street elevator door this time rather than a drainpipe or capped steam radiator.

I added another pin to the map that was evolving on my cell. Since seeing my first cuttlefish graffiti a month ago near the Modern Times bookstore, I had noticed them proliferate across the city where I worked as a delivery driver. Always on metal, always on white, always more and more of them.

Once, I delivered a package to a deli whose owner was trying to scrub one of the glyphs off of a standpipe. It resisted his best efforts with rubbing alcohol, turpentine, and even sandpaper. I lent him a bottle of the Goobusters liquid we use to get rid of sticker residue, and not even that potent petroleum distillate made a dent.

What initially started as an idle way to pass the time on my various delivery runs quickly became a mild obsession. As I saw more and more of the things, always on metal, always on something connected to the ferrous sinews that ran beneath the city, I began to feel increasingly uneasy.

The pins on my map were beginning to resolve into a discrete form, and it was not a form that bespoke a crude campaign of stick-it-to-the-man scribbling.

It was a form that suggested the closing of the world in a maelstrom of madness.

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