It was sundown on the Friday before Christmas. The weather was ice cold and foggy in Detroit. As Demond drove his hooptie Chrysler 300 past the boarded-up houses and abandoned small factories on Saint Aubin Street, he and Chikae sang:
"Now on the first day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me
A sack of the Krazy glue and told me to smoke it up slowly.
Now on the second day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me
A fifth of hendog and told me to take my mind off that weed.
Now by the third day of Christmas, my big homeboy gave to me
A whole lot of everything, and it wasn't nuthin' but game to me."
Demond turned down a deserted street and parked behind the Queen of Sheba Automotive Machine Shop.
They both checked their guns. "No witnesses," Chikae said.
"Absofuckinglutely. Those Somalis are going in the dustbin."
On went their ski masks and up went their hoodies. They walked in through the loading dock of the shop, drawing their guns. "Alright, everyone. Nobody moves, and nobody gets hurt."
The shop had only the loading dock in the back and a front door. They didn't have a front office, just desks on one end of a large room. Two huge, fat women in full-length Somali jalabeebs with giant scarves sat at a long desk that was the counter. All Demond and Chikae could see was part of their faces and hands. Both considered them so chicken head ugly that nobody would ever bang them. On the other side of the room, skinny little African men worked on giant machines. Several of the workers burst into cackling laughter as they chirped in their African language. Chikae found it unnerving. After inspecting them and their guns, the men just cackled again and went back to work, further insulting Chikae and Demond.
"All you shut the fuck up. Now close those doors," Chikae said.
Without another word, the workers began pulling the chains that closed the rolling steel service doors. What surprised Demond was that the workers slid the locking bolts and padlocked them. "Stupid Somalis," he thought. Locking the doors made it easier to shoot them.
Chikae pointed his gun at the fatter of the women. "Are you the Queen of Sheba? This place yours?"
She stood up, towering above both Demond and Chikae. They both watched her as she locked with keys the many double deadbolts on the front door. She even pulled down the "Closed" shade, conveniently blocking any eyes on the outside. "Yes, I am the Queen of Sheba," she said in a booming bass voice. "And this is my daughter, the princess of Sheba."
"Just keep your tongue in your pocket and open that safe."
She giggled in that the same bizarre cackling sound that the men made, but her laughter was a deep rumble, like a crocodile. "What safe? We got no safe, silly boy."
"Everyone knows you got the cheddar."
"What do you think this is, 1950? Everything is electronic. The big business deposit to our account. We pay everyone by direct deposit. No cash."
Demond looked at the counter and saw that there wasn't a cash register. The Princess of Sheba stood. She pointed at a sign on the back of her computer terminal that read "No personal checks and no cash." Then she joined in the cackling, her laugh as deep as her mother's. "They charge us at the bank if I deposit more than a thousand dollars cash a month."
Demond turned to Chikae, furious. "You said this place is just dead presidents. You said we would get 30 large."
Chikae shook his head. "That's what my cousin Malik said. He saw the bands."
Chikae looked around the room. All the little men were undressing and neatly placing their clothes on their big machines. "What are you doing that for?"
"We are sloppy eaters," one of the men said.
Chikae looked at the faces of the workers. A few were still smiling, but most were drooling with hunger. He heard stomachs gurgle and growl. His stomach filled with butterflies and he could feel the goosebumps rise.
The queen and the princess took off their clothes. "Blood is so hard to wash out," the princess said. They definitely were female, but they looked like no woman either Demond or Chikae had ever seen. Their pillowy bosoms came off with their outfits, and their thick necks and huge arms were solid muscle. Both had marathon runner's pumped calves and washboard stomachs.
"I had wondered where we were going getting dinner tonight," the queen said. "And look, dinner comes to us."
Demond and Chikae heard the groans and stretches of the men as they could see them change in front of their eyes. Their jaws and necks grew. Tawny spotted fur sprouted on their skin. They became beasts with huge teeth. Chikae recognized them from pictures at school. "Those are hyenas, from Africa." He couldn't help it, but he screamed and trembled with fear. His mind went blank as if he were watching everything on TV. "You aren't real. You can't be real."
The animals all laughed, circling both he and Demond. As Chikae froze and filled his pants with explosive diarrhea, Demond shouted "Get back. Keep back." Shaking in terror, Demond and Chikae fired at them. They shrugged off the bullets like baby bitch slaps. One of the animals leaped and crushed the bones in Demond's arm, slicing his hand off. The gun fell, but Demond's hand was quickly gobbled down like fast finger food. Another mouth snapped through Chikae's wrist and proudly trotted away, clutching the hand between his teeth.
Demond collapsed in shock and struggled for each breath, trying to stop the blood spurting from his wrist. The queen knelt beside him and removed his shoes and pants. She held his penis with fur covered fingers that had sharp claws at the tips. "My, what a little sausage you have. And these meatballs are much too tiny." She punched her thumb claw through his penis and his testicles. He screamed in agony as she licked up each drop of blood. "I like to play with my food," the Queen said, then she savagely bit all his junk off and swallowed. The pain exploded so violently that Demond vomited. His heart hammered. As her claws lengthened and she grew a short tail, she undid his jacket, lapping up the fountain of blood spurting from between his legs.
For the first time, Demond realized he was going to die. He called to Chikae for help, but his answer was tortured screams amid the frenzy of snarls, snaps and cackling laughter. He felt himself becoming dizzier and weaker with each drop of his life's blood that was draining away.
The queen bit into Demond's stomach, shaking and tearing his insides apart, cracking his ribs with her great teeth like breadsticks. Then she pushed her jaws into his body and gobbled down his liver.
The pain became too horrible to bear. Shock and blood loss made Demond and Chikae's worlds fade to black. The Queen and Princess ate their insides, from their kidneys up to their hearts. Then all the workers joined in, ripping them apart in a frenzy of eating. Their arms, legs, and heads were twisted and snapped off. Their heads were pulled off and cracked open by massive teeth. It wasn't just their muscle and organs that were eaten. Even their bones and teeth were crushed by powerful jaws and gobbled down.
Within fifteen minutes, nothing was left of Demond and Chikae. After dinner had settled and everyone had belched contentment, all the remaining signs that either of them had ever been there were carefully scrubbed away with industrial cleaning chemicals and power tools.
Written by DrBobSmith