43 I only followed him around for a day

“How can you say that and call yourself his friend?”

He calls me friend.  From this angle it looks different.”

“What do you think his hair is?” Michel said.

“Whatever it is,” Jesse said, now forcing himself to acknowledge that he did think about it, “It’s tied to the fact he doesn’t eat. Do you know how many calories you burn through in a day?”

“I get by on about twelve hundred.”

“You learned about calories and checked.”

“They were invented before I was spawned; it wasn’t hard. It’s very strange to have watched the progress of science since before the turn of the previous century. Every time it speeds up there are these weird hiccups and waves of humans thinking the human race can be made more perfect.”

“You don’t sound hopeful.”

“I think you can get the average person to be better behaved, with a carefully selected bag of bribes and punishments, but mostly you gotta stop fucking with your own family structures to prop up capitalism. Nothing’s gonna be perfect ’til you manage that as a species.”

“No argument here. Nifty,” Jesse said with heavy sarcasm. “The client has finally shown up.”

The client was indeed visible, but there was a man holding a gun to her back as they got out of the car.

Jesse wasn’t going near the ex, who was an active service police officer well-known to be armed. “This looks like a job for Michel the Magnificent.”

“Aw,” Michel said, jumping down into the rain with a spectacular bounce, unnoticed by the couple making their unhappy way to the house. He loped up to the cop and said, “You holster that gun.”

“I’m a police officer and you’re interfering with an investigation,” the man said.  His voice was clipped and his hair even more so. He paid no attention to the rain.

“Do as he says,” the client said. She managed to sound toneless and scared at the same time.

“Naw,” Michel said. “I really don’t think so.” He stuck his finger in the barrel of the gun, and then, no matter how hard the cop tried to pull the gun away, retained a tight seal on the muzzle. The cop struggled and yelled a bizarre series of threats, but did not fire, since while he was demonstrably unpleasant, he was not, technically, stupid.  The client meantime made a run for the door like a sensible person. Michel made a jerking motion and the gun, butt pointed upward, swivelled around on his finger like a kid’s toy.

“You, beat it!” Michel said to the cop. “Let me know when you want me to come down to the cop shop to give this back to you.” He waved the gun around negligently. “S’okay, the safety’s on.”

“You’re in a lot of very serious trouble,” the cop said.

“You’re the one that’s never going to get another promotion after your bosses find out that you beat your wife, you lost your service weapon — what? No, you can’t have it —“ as the cop lunged at him again — “you screw night girls in your service vehicle, and you rob drug addicts for whatever they have, to plant on whoever you don’t like.  You may have to become a security guard or go work on your cousin’s fishing boat.” Michel had been tasked with following him around for a day and he hadn’t found much to amuse him.

“Fuck you.”

“Come at me!” Michel said with joy.

Well that didn’t last long, Jesse thought from the truck. Butthead was on his ass on the dirty wet sidewalk, and Michel had tied him up with the zip ties the cop had (no surprise) brought with him.

“Say a word,” Michel said, “And I’ll shove my hand down your throat until you choke. I won’t even mind if you try to bite me.”

The cop started to yell.

“And you’re the fuckers George wants to make party plans with,” Michel said in disgust. He picked up some goo out of the gutter and shoved it in the man’s face. It took the cop about two minutes to stop coughing and choking, and when he had spat the last of it out he said, hatred bulging out of his eyes and every straining muscle, “There’s no place on earth you can hide.”

“Fuck, you’re dead boring,” Michel said in disgust, and choked him with a tentacle, as promised. He opened the car door, shoved the cop in, removed everything from his pockets and threw it all many metres away, and then tied him to something inside the car.

The move proceeded as planned. Every half hour Michel made sure his new friend hadn’t died or had a stroke or run away. Once when he opened the door the poor bastard started screaming in incoherent rage, trying to make himself heard above the rain and wind.

“Shut up, or I’ll cut your throat and dump you in deep water. You’re not wearing track shoes so they won’t even find your feet.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“You’re right, my boss would be pissed if I killed a cop without his permission, just like the old days,” Michel said. “My boss says by the time the department’s done with you, you won’t be a cop, so it’ll be be plain old manslaughter if they can’t prove I planned it.” Michel ducked his head and seemed to be taking a good look at him. With cold contempt, Michel said, “Mebbe you can kill yourself when I let you go and everybody who doesn’t know you can feel sad about it.”

Then he forced his enormous form into the back of the vehicle and the cop disappeared.

Jesse ran up to the car and banged on it.  Michel was sitting in the back, and the cop could not be seen.

“Where is he!?” yelled Jesse.

“I ate him,” Michel said, pretending to pick his teeth.

“You’re hiding him.”

“I’m running playback, shaddap I’m busy. He’s fine, getting a little educated.”