51. Under her coat she has wings

Still silent and invisible, he dodged early morning traffic and crossed a few streets. There was an almost dead man in the alley he cut through to get to George’s apartment building. He stopped for a minute to look at him, and then remembered that George had insisted that the MMCo staffers all start carrying Narcan.

Colour slid back into the man’s cheeks. He gave an almighty snort and sat up so fast he would have done credit to a Sixer.

“Hi,” Michel said. He had taken the form of a feminized angel, just for laughs. “If you walk with me now, I’ll take you to the hospital and you can get clean. If you don’t, in about half an hour the Narcan will wear off and your high will come back, and your breathing will go away.”

“Lemme die,” the man said, leaning his head back into the scummy brick.

“As you wish, human,” Michel said, like a true stuck-up ass. “I have places to be anyway.” All Sixers who dealt with humans on a regular basis knew ‘the sandwich’, which was a three part illusion. The side facing the human you were talking was real enough to trick human vision, but not quite dense enough to fool another Sixer. The side facing the outside world shows nothing but the street scene, with the human, less the Sixer; once again, good enough to fool all but the most unusual human, but as subtle as a flare gun to another Sixer. In the middle, it was your normal human illusion, or whatever suited you. If you didn’t have to move, you could keep it up all day. If you did have to move, it was easier to make a ‘bubble’, which was your normal invisibility pushed out just enough to accommodate your human chum.

“Are you really an angel from Heaven?”

“Are you really a drug addict from Edmonton?” Michel responded, having stealthily turned his new friend’s pockets. He could already feel the man’s breathing slow again. He needed a drip, in hospital, or he was going to die. “God damnit,” Michel said, irritated that he might miss George. “I gotta make a phone call.”

“You’re not an angel!”

“Jesus Christ,” Michel said. He appeared to pull off a wing feather and handed it to the man. It was actually a swan’s wing feather. He tried to keep a couple in stock. “Fine. I’ll make a phone call and you can die while I watch. This day was a write-off anyway.”

The conversation took place in Greek.

“Don’t leave yet,” Michel said.

“I have appointments all day starting in half an hour, so, no, I’m not hanging around for you,” George said. “I was about to jump in a cab.”

“Give me the address and I’ll meet you there.”

“You already met Cy,” George said. “It’s his house in North Van.” He provided the address.

“I had a different face,” Michel said.

“He’s okay with that. Explain it once and he’ll be fine.”

“One of the smart ones,” Michel said.

“See you there,” George said, and hung up.

Michel said to the man, “Let’s take a ride.”

The poor man shit himself in terror as Michel tucked him into one of his pockets and started to trot toward Burrard. They were not even a kilometre from the St. Paul’s Hospital emergency entrance. Flat out, he could make it in seven minutes, slower, obviously than it would have been if he wasn’t carrying 140 pounds of shit and regret.

As he crossed Robson Street the man passed out again. Michel started squeezing him to keep air going in and out, since humans, the poor dears, aren’t much good without air. In the parking lot Michel snuck behind a truck so that when he emerged, transferring his cargo from his pocket to his arms, he looked like a regular citizen trying to help this poor sick man. While yelling for Narcan, he suctioned off as much of the shit as he could out of respect for the staff. Then he ran down a corridor at random, found a blind spot to vanish in and a safe place to dispose of the shit.

“Finally back on my own schedule!” he said. He waited until somebody triggered the emergency sliding doors and then ran back up Burrard. 

He turned right on Canada Place and bounced over various obstacles while fare jumping, until he was balanced on one of the Seabus masts.