In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
--T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men
When the world ended, it wasn't by frogs raining from the sky, and sky net didn't take over. It wasn't artificial intelligence, it wasn't robots, it wasn't dinosaurs.
It was rats.
So, the downfall of the world wasn't something hi-fi, with a killer soundtrack and special effects, it turned out to be more The Pied Piper of Hamelin than Terminator. Instead of losing our children, we lose everyone.
Everyone who isn't in Vegas, that is. As far as Bible stories go, I would've thought that Vegas would be the first place to wipe off the map. As far as towns, it makes Soddom look like Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
I'm Barbie, by the way. Let's get that out of the way so you can make your jokes about my name, and we can move on.
Barbie is my honest-to-God name. Maybe my parents could see into the future, where I would be a high priced escort. Maybe they had a sense of humor. Or maybe I was a bet they lost. Either way, I'm the one who's going to get you through this.
I'm a call girl, first off. Call me a whore, call me a prostitute, call me a fuck Barbie, I've heard it all. And none of it bothers me. A thick skin is one thing you have to have in my line of work.
The one thing common factor from all the men I've known is that they all think they're the one. They're the one who can fuck me into love. They all think that, and part of what I sell is that I let them believe it, for a price.
Between you and me, it's all flesh. It's all the same. Sometimes it's dressed up, sometimes it's dressed down, but when we get down to it, flesh.
Since everything that's happened, I've changed. I guess the same can be said of everyone else.
I'm no longer that same Barbie.
Which is my way of telling you that I don't fuck strangers for money anymore. I figure, with the world ending and all, maybe it isn't too late for a girl like me to change my ways. Plus, there's not a whole lot of reason for people to want to bury themselves in sex, at least not that of the store-bought variety, because there are bigger things to worry about. Like the rats.
Now, if you're laughing and probably wondering how the holy fuck could the world be destroyed by something like rats, that's fine.
Get your laughing out of the way. Believe me, you're not the only one who thought it was fucking ridiculous.
I mean, rats? Buy some rat poison, sets some traps, right?
If it were that easy, I wouldn't be writing this, and you wouldn't be reading it.
These are the rats that managed to wipe out New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Ontario. These are the rats that ate their way through buildings, cars, concrete. These are the rats who are feeding on the people who have no way to get to Vegas, where we've managed to get together, to find the only thing that works to kill those fuckers.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
For now, go ahead and laugh. I'd laugh with you, if I were in your shoes. In fact, I wish I could laugh.
So, you've bought your ticket and paid for your ride. Are you ready?