With a shrill, even effeminate scream, the guard tried to evade the arms that reached for him. Like an adult with a small child, the thing seized him, lifting him off the ground. A monstrous, disproportioned hand clamped over his face. The guard ceased struggling.
“Fuck!” the driver yelped. “Fuck! Fuck!”
“…respond?” the voice over the radio spoke amidst the static.
“Double zero!” he spat. “Double zero! Oh, fuck!” He grabbed the shotgun from its mounting beside his leg, leaping from the car. The creature trudged toward him, leaving the second man sprawled beside the road.
The officer fired. Handfuls of mud were blown away from the thing’s chest and abdomen, yet it did not even stagger. A second and third blast produced no better results, and at last the officer, succumbing to panic, swung the gun like a club at the effigy’s head. The creature yanked the gun away and flung it aside, then seized the man and, an instant later, dumped his limp form on the roadside.
Dave realized then what manner of creature they had encountered. He watched as it approached the car, helpless to flee or search for any weapon. Not that a weapon would be of any use. This being must surely be the Golem of the Jewish mystical texts, he reasoned. And against the Golem, there could be no defense.
With a heave, the Golem wrenched the rear passenger door from the police car and tossed it aside. As it leaned into the back seat, Dave could see the words of life carved into the Golem’s featureless face. The inhuman hands lifted Dave from the back seat, then stood him on his feet beside the car.
Dave noticed the other vehicle, the SUV, pull to a stop behind them. He glanced over as a man stepped from the driver’s seat. The Golem stood unmoving.
“Mr. Davidovitch?” The man spoke with a peculiar accent. Dave looked at him. “You are Sidney Davidovitch, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” Dave said. He released his breath, his eyes on the Golem.
“Oh,” the man said. “Don’t worry about him. He was sent to free you.”
“Free me?” Dave repeated the words. “Who are you?”
“We are friends,” the man said. “Now, if you would be so kind as to accompany us, we can be off before the cavalry arrives.”
The nearest of the patrolmen groaned from where he lay in the ditch.
“He’s still alive,” Dave said. “We can’t leave him.”
“They are both alive,” the man said. “Rendered unconscious. But they appear to be coming around. If you’d come with me, please?”
The Golem did not wait for Dave to comply. It lifted him off his feet and carried him to the SUV, placing him inside. Then, much to Dave’s consternation, the homunculus climbed into the seat beside him.
“You sure he’s tame?” Dave said.
“Oh, very,” the man replied, driving away, skirting the derelict police car.
“Who are you?” Dave demanded a second time.
“My name is Julian Garnier,” he replied. “Please call me Julian.”
“Dave. Now, what is it you want with me, Julian?”
“We need to ask you some questions, to begin with,” Julian replied.
“Who the hell is this ‘we’ you keep mentioning?” Dave shifted, inching a little further away from the Golem. “You and handsome, here?”
Julian grinned at him from the rearview mirror. “We are but two representatives,” he said. “You may be surprised to learn you have many friends.”
“Good to know,” Dave said. “Please allow me an official greeting,” Julian said, “on behalf of the Brotherhood of the Blue Lotus!”