Well its been a month, and what better way to celebrate the first month of my blog (and a rather late Halloween) with a short piece of Flash Fiction for you guys.
This here, was one of my first attempts as writing Flash Fiction and I think it comes across as one of those stories that’s a bit of fun, but still clearly written by a young, raw, hack, who is still searching for his craft.
The story is entitled ‘Vegas’ and comes from my own experiences of holidaying in the self-titled ‘City of Sin.’ It’s a strange tale of many mixed feelings for me. On one hand, the story comes from my own personal love of the city, yet on another, this is juxtaposed against some of the more negative aspects that I couldn’t help but notice about the city. A place that if you peel away the surface of the glitz and glamour, you can’t help but see its true form, in all its ugly, sordid and destructive finery. Vegas, more than any other city, is a paradox.
I spawned the story from the most obvious question: “How can people tell the time in a casino with blacked out windows and no clocks?” It became clear that time had no meaning in Vegas, and with that, I began to wonder who would benefit from such an environment? This in turn, set the seeds for the short story that you now see before you.
So please enjoy, and tell me what you think!
NOTE: Please be warned there is some harsh language and descriptions that could be seen as disturbing…and that’s not even mentioning the command of the English language!
Most people come out at night here in Vegas.
Not that you know what time of the day it is; most of the casinos haven’t got any windows or clocks. It’s always been like this. I should know. I’ve been living here for the best part of forty years.
Every night, I ride along the strip; cursed to cruise under the bright lights and signs of capitalism’s big, pulsating wet dream. The lights flicker above me. They tell me from the sky it’s like a little circuit board of LED’s and metal. I’ve never been on a plane before. Too dangerous.
It’s come a long way since I first remember it. All the girls, the booze and the tourists. Oh and the casinos! Caesar’s Palace, Treasure Island, The Bellagio – they’re my favourites. I like them because their existence is a con; a grotesque simulacra of over six thousand years of civilisation. Just like me.
I get out of my taxi cab and enter the MGM Grand. A postmodern city of gold, guarded by Lions. A doorman welcomes me inside and I glide through the glittering mania of fruit machines, marble columns and roulette. Gambling has no thrill to me. I’ve been around it too long. Instead, I thirst for a different kind of thrill than its clients.
There are victims a plenty here; people that the world, and Vegas, for that matter, won’t miss. The locals I don’t care for. Too weird, too strange for my tastes. It’s the tourists I like. Eyeing out the weak; preying on those who cannot handle what this town has to offer.
This time it’s three frat boys. Abercrombie nightmares with the words ‘University of California’ emblazoned across their chests. I’ve been stalking them all night.
They stumble out into the casino’s entrance. Loud, boisterous and stupid.
‘Where ya headed?’ I ask, when they finally get into the cab. The answers rarely differ. Anything with tits, cards or booze.
‘Fremont Street!’ One of them says, under the drunken mayhem of laughter. ‘I think it’s called the Golden Nugget?’
‘Sure thing. Buckle up, boys.’
The strip is busy, traffic jammed at each stop light. Outside, Tourists litter the streets, punctuated by the many drunks and homeless; people whose American dream has been destroyed under the plaster obelisks of the city of sin. We drive past The Bellagio’s water fountains; neon graffiti dancing to the sound of generic Italian tenor music. Where else would such garbage be acceptable?
‘Hey buddy, how long we gonna be?’
‘Depends,’ I say, ‘usually takes about fifteen-twenty minutes.’
‘I need a piss,’ the fat one says. ‘Can you get us there quicker? We’ll slip you an extra coupla bucks?’
This is it. It’s usually much harder. I take a right turn down a side street; moving away from the strip.
‘Where we going?’
‘Short cut,’ I say, parking up. The street is isolated, my cab drenched in the bloodied neon of a dilapidated strip club.
The boys are confused.
‘Are you serious? What the fuck is this?’
I reveal myself quickly; doing what I need to survive. They scream like pigs as I rend and tear their flesh to pieces; crimson running down the side of the cab. The back seat is an abattoir, but the taste is enriching. Just my kind of high. I take their money, before ejecting them from the cab. Their corpses stagger off as they fall into the shadow.
I drive back to the strip.
More blood to consume, more dollars to make; all under the bright lights of the boulevard of broken dreams.
As the great Don King once said, ‘Only in America.’
(c) Copyright 2015 Craig Thomson. All Rights Reserved