I must admit a sense of amusement when I saw the Hummer the following day. I had rather expected that anyone who would mention as a selling point the car's "thirst for the blood of the innocent" would have made an effort to make it look the part. As it was, it didn't even have a foreboding color like death black or blood red or even ghostly white. No, it was a cheerful canary yellow, with a dozen or so of those 1970s style daisy-splat decals blooming across the vast expanse of metal in a multicolored field of fake wildflowers. It looked about as threatening as a child's toybox.
"Doesn't look particularly cursed," I said to the car's owner. She was blonde and petite and looked perpetually tired in the manner that mothers of many small children have. Not coincidentally, the Hummer was parked outside of a daycare, and she was on her lunch break. Her name was Mandy, though when she introduced herself it sounded like "Mayanday."
"No, it don't, and that's the real shit of it," she agreed. "Great car. Lots of room to haul crap, might as well be indestructible, and ain't nobody gonna cut you off in traffic." She sighed out her bottom lip, making her pale bangs flutter. "And you won't believe the mileage it gets."
"66 miles per gallon."
I literally laughed out loud. "No, really, what is it?"
She shot me a sideways glance that was probably reserved for children who backtalked. "Yeah, I couldn't believe it either, 'till I drove it." She dug a ring of keys out of her purse, pried the largest one off and handed it to me. "Here. You take it for a drive. Drive it all around town, go cross-country, go nuts. You just watch that gas gauge and tell me if it moves."
I laughed again. "All that means is it's got a busted dial."
She fixed me with that look again. "Mister," she said coldly, "you just go over there and tell me if you can see a goddamned gas cap."
I shrugged and wandered over to look at the yellow beast. True enough, there was no gas cap, though a quick look under the back showed me that there was a tank attached. Short of removing it, I saw no way to fill the reservoir.
"All right, I'll bite," I said as I walked back, laughing. "What's the catch? Reserve tank in the cargo area?"
She sighed again. "The catch is the curse."
"Right, it thirsts for the blood of the innocent." I started glancing around, still smiling, looking for hidden cameras. This had "practical joke" written all over it.
She turned and started walking back to the daycare. "I'm off at six," she said. "If you don't like it, bring it back. If I don't see you again," she turned and looked back at me, "... then you've just become the new Owner. Title's in the glove compartment, already signed by me. You pay the title transfer fee out of your own pocket, and I'll eat the cost of the goddamned newspaper ad. I just want this thing gone."
So I took it out for a drive. Like she said, it handled like a dream.