Author: Rachel Sievers

The sun baked the earth creating a wafting air current that reminded Regina of what the ghost of bacon would look like. “Damn it is hot,” she whispered to herself as she moved over the black of the abandoned road. She could move to the side of the road but the cactus seemed to reach out and grab her with every step. It was hotter but slightly less painful.

The use-to-be of the city rose miles in front of her, its black silhouette rising like a black witch’s fingers on the white background of sand. She looked around at the city that used to be Las Vegas. “What I wouldn’t give for it to be twenty years ago.” Adjusting her goggles, she moved towards the city on the highway, she’d be there by nightfall.

The before of Vegas danced in her mind. Bright lights lit up the mini beauties of the world, the pyramids, Italian canals, and the Eiffel tower. Travel the world in a night. Regina would give all her numbered days to see those sights in all their glory again, instead as the sun set behind her she saw the ghosts of what had been.

Time had not been kind to Vegas. The sand seeped into the streets and the hot sun bleached everything into a faded version of itself. The bodies, which had littered the streets, were small versions of what they had been. “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes,” Regina whispered to herself as she moved around the corpses as she entered the Las Vegas Strip.

Crawling through the broken glass of the front door of The Flamingo Regina was happy to see the interior had been saved from the bleaching of the sun, but not from the bodies. She moved through the casino and up the stairs in the back.

Thirty years ago, she had been a Flamingo girl. Dressed in pink and white cheap lingerie she had taken pictures with tourists for five to twenty dollars a picture. She smiled as she moved up the service entrance and into the best of the guest rooms.

Taking a crowbar from her backpack she broke the suite room doors until she found one that had not been filled with the dead. Regina had been around enough death for a thousand lifetimes and she was willing to go down in luxury to have a room that was unoccupied.

She emptied her backpack on the floor and took inventory of her supplies. The mini fridge had long ceased blowing cool air but hard alcohol kept forever. The snack bar was another matter, Regina had learned that the hard way.

Laying back on the bed, she picked up the first of the mini bottles and tipped it back. “To humanity,” she said and took down the burning liquid. Vodka was her favorite and so she took those first. She saved the whisky for last for when she would be the drunkest so she wouldn’t taste it.

She sipped the fourth and fifth mini bottles enjoying their flavor and thinking. She had lots of time to think now. “It came so quick,” she whispered to the bottle. “The day it all ended.” It was her favorite subject to talk about when she was drunk. The end of the world. No one had predicted it, they were too busy with false elections, wars overseas, and North Korea getting nuclear warheads to see the real threat.

“They weren’t green,” Regina laughed as she sent the seventh mini down and the laughter sounded strangely like a sob. Then she laughed for real because she was sure that when hostile aliens from the outer galaxies came they would have been green.