Gurblegesh grabbed the wheel, terror causing his tentacles to tremble. The beast fought to take the wheel from the human, but his rubbery limbs were no match for the man’s muscle. The man gripped the wheel tight with one hand, reaching for the radio dial with the other. Gurblegesh tried to take that opportunity to get his car back under control, but soon had to cover his ear holes to stop the painful influx of soothing religion-based music that came through his speakers.
“Got to help build an orphanage before I go volunteer at the soup kitchen…” the human muttered, sticking his hand out the window to indicate to the other drivers that he was making a turn.
Gurblegesh flailed his tentacles at the man’s face, leaving small welts all over it. It was the company car, loaned to him by his boss at Shivering Horror & Despair, Inc so that he could devour the young of a small, isolated village. He was running late, giving the people enough time to finish the invocation that would banish the Octoloids from the world’s surface for a thousand years, so he’d taken a shortcut through a nice neighborhood. His boss had warned him about that, something he wouldn’t be shy about reminding him if he blew this job.
The mowed lawns and singing families had set him on edge, and he’d locked the doors. He’d slumped down in his seat whenever he passed by a group of them, smiling as they walked, hand in hand. He tried not to make eye contact, since he’d heard that roving gangs of these people were prone to anything if you looked them in the eye. One false look and you’d be drowning in dinner invites, friendly hugs, and baby pictures.
But he’d been stupid, all the same. He’d stopped his car to run over a group of children playing in the street, slowly backing up to put himself at the angle where he could hit the most of them in one go. That had put him right in this man’s driveway, pulling up right beside the clean-shaven human. The man had looked right at him, and Gurblegesh found his eye drawn to the glint of light on steel at the man’s hip, his holy symbol shining in the waning sunlight.
It was a blur after that. Gurblegesh didn’t know how the man had gotten in the car, wasn’t sure whether he’d released a cloud of poisoned quills from his slippery flesh and one had accidentally undid the door lock, or what. All he knew was that the man was in here, hands exactly at ten and two o’clock on the wheel, driving him toward a church group that was building an orphanage. Once Gurblegesh was there, it would be all over for him. He had to get away, and now.
He reached for the door, tentacles grasp for the handle, but the human slowed the car and held it shut. “Easy there, buddy. You can get out once we’ve gotten to the Veteran’s Hospital. With all those hands, you can probably empty out quite a few bedpans.”
Gurblegesh felt acidic tears dribbling from his thirty eyes, unable to beat the human’s strength as he got the car rolling again. The human began to hum along to the tune on the radio as Gurblegesh sobbed. The octoloid’s worst problem was far from what would happen at work on Monday. Between helping veterans, feeding the poor, and housing the needy, Gurblegesh would be lucky to live out the day.
He looked around for a weapon, but saw that one of the human’s hands came free of the wheel, falling on his holy symbol. He stroked it, shaking his head at the octoloid. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I’d hate to have to use this on you, especially since we’ve become such close friends. Besides, I need you in good shape so we can go sing at the hospital with our choir in a few hours.”
Gurglegesh saw the last road leading to the bad part of town coming up. Filled with muggers, murderers, and car thieves, it was his last chance to get away with his life. He watched as it crept up, tensing himself for the explosive movement he’d need to get away.
The man reached for his holy symbol just as Gurblegesh started to move, pining him to the seat with barely any effort. Gurblegesh felt like his chest was caving in when the metal made contact with his skin, wondering if the human had punctured one of his breathing sacs. He gasped for air as the human opened his mouth to speak.
Instead, he hit the brakes, his sentence crumbling as the car came to a halt in front of a multi-headed creature. The monster’s eyes all shot to the human, its dead baby nunchuks spinning in its hands.
“Get away from my fiancee!” it cried.