There Is No Dog
by Meg Rosoff
Mr. Emoto Hed
We have no idea what Mr. Emoto Hed looks like, what he does for a living, or what his favorite food is, but we know this: he is a mean, mean man/God/being/thing/capo. He has "something of a reputation for creative cruelty where unpaid debts were concerned. People disappeared, leaving behind nothing but very long, very piercing screams" (14.22).
We also see him in God mode more than anyone else. Look what happens when Mona upsets him:
"A noise emerged from Hed's throat; it increased in volume, like an avalanche. His features twisted; his words exploded in the air around her; he was everywhere and nowhere at once, inside of her and out." (14.7)
That's some pretty scary stuff. We'd suggest that he take some anger management classes, but … we don't want to make him angry. It's a catch-22.
The funny thing is, somehow Emoto Hed is also a dad. A dad who is wrapped around the finger of his little girl, Estelle. She is possibly the one being in the known (and probably unknown) universe who isn't afraid of him. Check out what happens when he starts threatening her about Eck:
Hed's eyes darken. Black smoke rolls off him in stinking waves. 'A deal,' he rumbles in a voice deep as death, 'is a deal.' Estelle does not flinch. Her father's presence becomes a devastating absence, a malignant Hed-shaped void sucking all light and heat into its core. But his daughter is unfazed. Everywhere Hed looks he meets her gaze. At last he sighs, ceases to smoke, becomes manifest once more. 'Only, you know what an old softie I am. He can have a reprieve.' (10.41)
Snap. Bested by your daughter. When she goes off traveling he misses her, and he's pleased when she stands up to him. And, hey: with a daughter as nice as Estelle, can Hed really be all that bad?