Meh'Yam, (The Vampires)
by Gloria E. Evans
Three Eatonvillle City garbage collectors rushed about grabbing loaded trash cans in the back alley off Kennedy Avenue. The early morning was cool, and all three men wanted to get as much work done before the Florida noonday sun became unbearable.
The threesome laughed and ribbed one another in a good-natured manner. They often worked he same route together. All three men loved to gossip about their on and off the job lives.
The men jumped onto the back of the garbage truck and punched the “drive” button on the console panel from the rear, causing the automated vehicle to lurch slightly before slowly moving forward.
“They have got to work on this thing some more.”
“A machine will never replace a human.”
“Still, it frees us up to do more. I like the automatons.”
“The automatic CUV-drive-14’s are as slow as hell, I tell ya.”
“We’re getting paid all the same.”
“Its still slow.”
As the six ton, automated garbage truck came to a complete halt; the trio jumped down and began throwing the emptied boxes into the truck’s feeder. All three men screamed and jumped when they saw a dark-skinned hand reach from beneath several boxes.
There lay Wilma Cranshaw, mouth still covered by the strange, white, gelatinous, fleshy film and unable to speak. She moaned up at the men as tears streamed down her face.
All three men moved to help Wilma, who was half naked, her lower extremities still covered beneath a large, black mass of thick, plastic-like sludge. The viscous, gooey substance that covered Wilma as well as the pavement suddenly began to move about.
“Don’t touch her! Don’t touch her!”
“What the hell?”
“Call the cops.”
One of the men rushed to the automaton to call for assistance.
Wilma shook her head wildly as she lay half frightened out of her wits and disoriented on the ground. She was unable to sit up completely as she reached out for the men, whimpering woefully for them to help her.
The men backed away from Wilma as the black, rubbery matter began to move towards them.
“Don’t let it touch you.”
“Hey, man…what is that…that…that shit?”
“I don’t know…but whatever you do, don’t let it touch you.”
When Wilma tried to roll onto her stomach, the black ooze slid up her body and over her head. It expanded until the thick matter had completely covered her. Wilma struggled with the rubbery slime, murmuring all the while for the men to help her.
“Have mercy, Jesus!”
The tallest of the three men reached down and grabbed a box and began moving towards Wilma.
“Wait, Lennox! You don’t know what you're doing, man.”
“Whatever that thing is, it’s trying to kill that sistah. I just can’t stand here and do nothing.”
The two men stared at one another for a second before picking up a box in each hand.
All three men made certain they were out of range of the mysterious goo before throwing their boxes at the black substance.
The black goo hissed, then squawked loudly, but only withdrew from Wilma’s legs and thighs.
“Oh, my God, look at her legs,” Lennox whispered.
Wilma’s once physically fit and extremely muscular legs were now two shriveled, gray twig-like limbs. Her feet had fallen off and lay almost disintegrated a short distance from her body. The black goo covered Wilma’s vaginal area, hips and upper torso as it increased and decreased in size.
“It’s trying to suffocate her,” said Lennox.
All three men picked up even more boxes and threw them at the shimmering, black sludge covering Wilma’s small head.
The black ooze shrieked before retreating away from Wilma’s badly bruised face. It traveled back down her chest and stomach until the sludge had completely recovered Wilma’s shrunken legs.
Lennox reached into his back pocket and pulled out his cell phone. He hurriedly dialed a familiar number. “Cuz, you won’t believe this…but you need to get down here right now.”
“Right where?” asked a feminine voice.
“I’m in the alley off of Kennedy Avenue…you know where Mr. Johnny’s Jerk and Barbecue Chicken Shack is?”
“I’m two blocks east of that. Come right now, Retiya.”
“We found a woman…she’s badly injured…maybe raped. There’s some kind of black tar on her and its alive.” It’s trying to kill her. Her legs are dried up like twigs. There’s this white stuff over her mouth, and her mouth is swollen really big.”
Retiya halted in her hurried dressing. “You’re joking, right?”
“Not this time, cuz. I’m scared. We all are. This stuff tried to come at us, too. We called the cops and all…Retiya, please hurry. There’s shit going on here that the people in Eatonville need to know about and since you’re majoring in journalism, I think you should see this.”
“I’m out the door.”
“If something happen to me…I can’t allow this thing to kill this woman. If…something happens…tell mama not to worry.”
Lennox screamed and hurriedly hung up the phone as the black sludge suddenly leapt at him and his coworkers.
Retiya shook the phone as she screamed, “Lennox! Lennox! Lennox!” She dropped the cordless phone, grabbed her handbag and cell phone and ran out of the house with her heart in her throat. Her first and absolute favorite cousin was in trouble. She could feel it down in her very bones.