Mike the Beast: East of, or Glass Bridge (ii)

“I do not like this hill,” commented Mike.  His inflexible body cut into the soft substance beneath him, leaving an unsightly groove to mark his passing.  The human, negligible of weight and possessed of grabby appendages, had no such trouble.

“Metal,” mused the young man, “is not always hard.  People just needed something to make money out of, that wouldn’t fizz or react if someone fell into water or got rained on.”

“That’s real useful,” drawled Mike.  It is a dry land anyway, he thought, struggling.  Privately, he was concerned they were following a heat haze, an illusory wetness just ahead.

“Hey, Mike,” said the human.

“Yeah?” said Mike, attempting to ignore an embarrassing screech as he heaved himself at last onto the iridescent surface of the bridge.

The young man followed lithely, a soundless parallel.  He tapped the crystalline coating speculatively with a once pristine shoe and stretched his senses for the scent and sound of water.  Ducks had lived upon the pond by his apartment; he had liked that.  But first, he weighed too much for this glass bridge.

“Hey, Mike,” said the young man.

“Yeah?” said Mike, delicately crunching as he turned to face his human.

“What do you think it was, that damaged you?” asked the human.

Mike the Beast, suddenly gnawed by a gluttonous past, affected nonchalance.  “Why, it must have been a beast, even greater than I, that caught me and ground me in its teeth,” he replied.

“But, you don’t look like you were chewed.  You look like you were cut,” insisted the young man.

Mike the Beast reared up to his full and frightening height and bluffed, “What sort of creature could cut a beast?”

“A man,” said the young man, meeting Mike’s gaze.  “It was me.  I cut you.”

Mike the Beast uncoiled from his position like a cobra and fell upon the young man, catching a leg between terrible teeth.  The human screamed as he was whipped through the air and wrenched pieces from Mike’s body.


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