An Old Friend From University

jerry

One day I thought I would pay a visit to an old friend from university.

A combination of living in a crappy flat, eating crappy dinners and working a crappy job at a crappy store made me nostalgic for my days at uni. Back when getting my work done actually gave me a sense of satisfaction. Back when I went out drinking every Friday night, going out for a little dance with my friends.

One of those friends was Sarah Sumpford, a girl who attended my science lectures. I remember when I first met her; I tried to strike up a conversation with her during the lecture, but she told me to shut up while the lecturer was talking. In fact, I think she was the only one in the whole hall who listened to the guy. We both spent the rest of the lecture in silence, but afterwards, she came up to me and introduced herself. We had a chat on the way to the cafeteria, and as we had a bite, she invited me to come to the pub with some of her friends on Friday night. We hung out with each other quite often, not only going out drinking, but she would even help me with my coursework from time to time.

Remembering her and the university we attended made the stench in my present flat all the worse. Indeed, I was taken out of my halcyon days as quickly as I entered them, as I remembered where I ended up, and the fact that I microwaved a ready meal an hour ago and didn’t take it out of the microwave when it was done. Then again, that was something that happened at uni as well.

Unlike uni, however, I didn’t have that much hope for the future. I studied science, sure, but the best I could do was a job at the local store. Sarah, however, got her dream job in the scientific field, and now pretty much everyone in the world knows about her.

She came into the store where I worked. Came in for a bag of Whiskas. She looked completely different than she did in uni, but I could still recognised her. I wanted to say something to her, but I completely froze. Back in the day, I had no trouble speaking with her, yet when I saw her latter day self, my throat went completely dry.

No more of that, I decided. I was going to talk to her, despite the fact she was now more successful than me, and I knew where she was going to be. The museum had a new exhibit, and I knew she just couldn’t resist.

I waited by the museum for what seemed like hours, and sure enough she came.

From the sky, there descended a giant ship with a snarling cat face on the front. It landed on the roof of the museum, and from that, I knew all I had to do was wait a little longer. Only after a couple of minutes, Sarah burst out of the museum doors, along with a robot in a tuxedo. The robot held the Egyptian cat statue.

She looked almost nothing like she did when she was in uni. She was an anthropomorphic cat wearing a lab coat.

‘Hey, Sarah!’

Even I was surprised by how naturally that came out.

catnbot2

‘What?’

‘It’s me, Jerry! We met in uni, remember?’

‘First of all, don’t call me Sarah. You must only refer to me as The Evil Dr. Meow!’ She then let loose a torrent of maniacal laughter.

Oh yes, that’s what she had started calling herself after her transformation, as it said in the poem they wrote about her.

Some supervillains become supervillains because they feel wronged by the world. Some become supervillains to avenge a death or to get revenge on their boss. Sar-Meow became a supervillain because she thought it would be fun.

‘And secondly,’ continued Meow, ‘what are you doing here?’

As she said that, her robot glared at me, clawed hands on what counted as its hips. Looking at it only made me sigh inwardly; Meow said she wanted to build a sentient robot back in uni, so that’s another thing she said she’d do that she actually did.

‘Well, actually,’ I said, swallowing to make the words come easier, ‘I was wondering if you had any job openings?’

She laughed again, this time pointing in my direction. ‘Oh, please,’ she snorted, ‘what use would I have for you? Bert here is better than you could ever be,’ she added, gesturing towards her robot, ‘and I made him myself.’ Bert smiled at me and I’m certain he’d have stuck his tongue out if he had one.

‘I’m sorry,’ I said, ‘it’s just, you know when you came to rob the store I worked at, didn’t you see how terrible work there was…’

‘Oh, cry me a river,’ sighed Meow, rolling her eyes, ‘Music, Bert.’ Out from Bert’s stomach, there popped out a radio attached to Bert by a mechanical arm. As music played, Meow sang:

Okey dokey, my old friend, it’s time you knew the score,
I’m a famous villain, widely known and quite abhorred,
Not like you, you little worm, you’re nothing but a bore,
So, it must be said, I don’t like you anymore.

I’m a vicious murderer, I revel in blood and gore,
I plan to rule the entire world, and then a whole lot more,
You’ll soon see my face carved onto Mount Rushmore,
You’ll die unloved and obscure, I don’t like you anymore!

Yes, I’m the greatest villain, the world has ever seen,
I’ll kill all the superheroes, because I’m just that mean,
I’ll sit atop a golden throne, and I’ll be the queen,
And if anyone disobeys me, I’ll just rip out their spleen,

Oh, I’m the greatest villain, the world has ever known,
I’m the baddest ever, yes, me and me alone,
You’re nowhere near as nasty, you merely make me groan,
So if you know what’s best for you, leave me and go home.

If I see you in my lair, I’ll throw you out the door,
Or better yet, I’ll kill you, and there’ll be blood galore,
I’ll dance upon your carcass as it lies upon the floor,
Because…do I have to say it? I…

Before she could sing anymore, Bert’s radio instantly disintegrated. The cue for a muscular man in green tights and a crimson cape to descend from the sky. The Great Green Laser; most people would be overjoyed to be so close to him, but all I could do was sigh.

‘Oh, it’s you!’ snapped Bert, ‘You could have let my mistress finish her song!’

‘I think I got the point across,’ replied Meow.

‘Halt, Dr. Meow!’ he bellowed, ‘Return that statue or face…’ He looked down on me with a grimace similar to the one Bert gave me earlier. ‘Who’s this?’

Again, I was frozen.

‘Oh,’ said Meow, ‘He’s my old friend from university. Laser, Jerry. Jerry, Laser.’

Laser brought his face closer to mine. ‘Have you taken a bath recently? You should know that cleanliness is next to godliness!’

All I could bring myself to do was sniff my own armpits.

‘How could you bring yourself to even have a conversation with that monster?’ The Great Green Laser continued, ‘I don’t care if she is your old friend. She steals, she murders, that is not someone you should call a friend. Friends should be people you trust, people who are nice and kind, for only with being nice and being kind can we make the world a better place. Dr. Meow is not someone you should be “shooting the breeze” with, she deserves to be put in prison, where…hey, wait…’

The Great Green Laser had been tied up with wool. Dr. Meow and Bert were nowhere to be found.

I just ran. Ran back to the safety of my flat.

Well, safety wasn’t really the right word.

As soon as I got into my room, Dr. Meow burst through the window.

‘Thanks for providing a distraction,’ she said, ‘Maybe I have a use for you after all.’

That statement seemed to wash away the strife I went through that night, and I actually found myself smiling, finally comfortable enough to talk with her. ‘What did you have in mind?’

‘Speaking of minds,’ said Dr. Meow, ‘my new giant robot needs a human brain to power it and…’

Bert then appeared, grabbing me by the throat with his right claw as his left claw turned into a buzzsaw.

And then…well, do you know how hard it was to type this story with fingers this big?

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