There was something about Natalie that was mesmerizingly sexy. She had a Brooklyn-esque toughness about her contrasted by an unmistakable femininity all packaged up in a porn star body. The garter of hearts tattooed on her thigh peeked out from behind fishnet stockings, competing against her cleavage for the attention of men’s eyes. A study in extremes, her eyes would beckon ‘come hither’ while the combat boots loosely cradling her ankles said don’t mess with me. She was pure Vegas, pure woman, and pure trouble.
She caught Alex’s attention the moment he began his job at the casino, and after a few weeks of striking up conversations every time he restocked her bar, they began a solid friendship without the benefits he was hoping for. A couple months into the apocalypse they gave the casino a new name, calling it The Alamo, knowing it was where they would probably make their last stand together. Alex knew Natalie was dead and so did she, but they avoided that part of the conversation. Instead the game went on, and the drinks kept coming.
Alex stared at his cards; a king and a four. “Dammit”.
“What are ya’ gonna do stud?”
“Not yet, but the night’s still young.”
Alex pondered all of that for a moment, carefully considering the fact that Natalie was deceased. “Hit me.”
Grinning, she dropped an eight of diamonds next to his king.
“Son of a…”
Alex took a long sip off of his warm cocktail, ice being a rare commodity at the moment. “You’re cheating.”
Natalie placed her hands on her hips, comedically accentuating the movement. “Seriously dude? What would be the point anymore?” Reaching down below the table she pulled out a bucket full of various colors of chips, dumping a large pile of them in front of him. “How much is that worth?” he asked, briefly noticing her cleavage as she leaned over the table. Maybe it was the alcohol, or maybe they just still looked great even for a dead woman. She gently spread the chips out across the table, her pink fingernails beginning to stand out starkly against her slowly graying skin. “About a half million. Good luck finding somewhere to spend it.”
She lit a cigarette, taking a long drag as Alex shoved the chips around the table into various shapes and patterns. “Those will kill you, you know,” he said with a grin as he watched the smoke leak from the little bullet hole in the side of her neck. His smile faded quickly as he realized his faux pas. “Sorry, that was messed up.”
Natalie stared at him without expression. “Nah. It’s cool. I’m dead, I get it.” Taking another drag, she looked around the casino. “So is he, and her, and that guy. Fuck…look at him, he’s really messed up.” A few tables away a man was sitting at a roulette wheel, and every time he let go of his head to spin the wheel a large flap of skull and hair would flip down, exposing his brain until he carefully put it back in place. “It used to just be his toupee that would slip.” Natalie began to giggle even before she finished saying it, her laughter echoing through The Alamo. Death had become funny these days, now that you didn’t really quite die.
The 8th Day
Worldwide release April 2020. Pre-order HERE