"The Sea Raiders" tells of an unusual occurrence in which a shoal of large, aggressive cephalopods, Haploteuthis ferox (translating as "singularly fierce squid") enter English waters and begin attacking boats and people. The story concerns itself with a single incident during which the squid are encountered and human survivors escape to tell the tale; specifically, a retired tea-dealer named Fison, taking a holiday along the coast, spots a flock of gulls and jackdaws fighting over something pinkish in the surf, surrounded by several large, dark rocks. Deciding to take a look, he soon discovers that the pinkish thing is a half-devoured human corpse, while the "rocks" are in fact swine-sized squid that regard him evilly and continue eating. Deciding, in that wonderfully stolid middle-class Victorian English way, that the body should be given a proper burial, Fison throws a rock at the squid, hoping to drive them away. This angers the shoal of ferox, which give chase, pursuing Fison up the beach right to the foot of a series of sea-cliffs, only retreating when a pair of workmen join Fison in throwing stones at them.
After this incident, the Haploteuthis return to whatever unknown depths spawned them, never to be seen again...right?
I think part of why I love "The Sea Raiders" so much is its utter timelessness and plausibility. For a story that was written 117 years ago, it's held up remarkably well; much of Wells' fiction has become fairly dated by this point, but "The Sea Raiders" feels like it could take place tomorrow. And given advances in marine biology, we're now much more aware of the speed, strength and intelligence of cephalopods then were scientists in Wells' time, making the notion of large, aggressive squid preying on humans more frightening then ever.