A post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi love story, a little weird; a little kinky.
Lexus’s first impression, when he first laid eyes on her by the unsteady glow of his kerosene lantern, was that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. His second impression was that her attire was absolutely inappropriate for the task of scavenging for food in a rat-infested warehouse. Sure, he was turned on and all that. What man wouldn’t be by the sight of this gorgeous petite blonde babe wearing only the skimpiest of nighties? Still, an abandoned warehouse with a floor strewn with broken glass and rodent feces was no place to walk around barefoot wearing only sexy lingerie.
“I’m Lexus Highscraper,” he said.
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you, Lexus Highscraper!” she said. “I’m Trixie.” A touch of glitter adorned her cheeks, causing them to sparkle in the glow of the kerosene lamp. The smile on her face as she said his name was warm and sincere. She melted his heart instantly. The crate in which he had found her had her name stamped on it, along with an apparent date of 2061. She had been in storage for sixteen years.
Lexus held his canteen out to her. “Drink,” he said.
“No thank you,” she answered.
“No really,” he insisted. “You’ve been in hibernation a long time, judging by the date on your crate. You’re bound to be pretty dehydrated.”
“Maybe later,” she said, still smiling.
Lexus held the lantern high and spun slowly around, surveying the Amazon warehouse he had spent the last three hours scrounging through. It was hard work, and dangerous. In it’s day, this would have been a brightly lit place, humming with electricity and busy with robots scurrying every which way, pulling items from inventory that stretched all the way up to the ceiling far above. Now abandoned, there were no robots to help retrieve items from locations only built for robots to access. Worse, any inventory list that may have once existed was locked away in the burned out computers of the place and therefore completely inaccessible. Searching for anything here was purely a trial and error process, and finding anything that the rats hadn’t already gotten to was a challenge. In the three hours he had been climbing the stacks and trying to read labels by the glow of his lamp, the only untainted edible thing he had found was a stack of maltodextrin containers.
“I think I’m giving up for the night,” said Lexus. He sat down on a crate and held the lantern high once again to gaze at the glittering aura that was Trixie’s smile. “Sixteen years in hibernation,” he said. “You and I have something in common then: We both missed the apocalypse.” As Trixie took a seat opposite him, Lexus noted that her thighs also sparkled from a splash of glitter. She seemed an eager audience, so he went on. “When I was a kid,” he said, “I used to hear that when people went to prison for long periods of time, the world would be so different by the time they got out that they wouldn’t be able to cope. That was a common theme in movies and TV back then. When I got locked up in Attica back in sixty-three, at least there was a world to come back to. I sure wasn’t expecting the world to change this much.” He raised the lantern up a little and glanced around again at the empty shell of the warehouse.
In 2069 — six years after Lexus was locked up — the Earth was struck a rare double-blow from the Sun: A catastrophic coronal mass ejection coupled with an equally intense proton event. The CME, which was first to reach the Earth, did a thorough job of crippling the world’s electrical grid and destroying the thousands of satellites that enveloped the planet. Countless electrical fires were still blazing three days later when the proton event reached Earth. The death toll in less than a weeks time was in the billions, and since the planet’s ozone layer was pretty effectively destroyed in the disaster, the apocalypse was far from over.
When Lexus heard of the disaster that had been dealt to the outside world, he fully expected to be released from prison. What was the point, after all, in keeping people locked up after the end of the world had begun? He wasn’t released though. Instead, the outside world seemed to go into a collective state of denial. It was as if they thought that, if they just continued on as normal, everything would work out in the end. But that didn’t happen. Crops failed, extinctions rose, and humans, who might otherwise have been occupied with the tasks of restoring power and communications to the planet, were too busy in the futile attempt to bury stinking corpses faster than they were produced. With the corpses came disease and tainted water supplies, which brought on more disease. Then came the rats, which seemed to be the only creatures on the planet who benefited from the situation. The rats brought more disease and more tainted water supplies, which brought more corpses and so on and so forth. It was a death spiral, and for humans, it was a death spiral in darkness, for humans became nocturnal. By day, people hid indoors and underground from the ravages of the Sun’s lethal ultraviolet radiation. By night, when it was safe to come out, life became a struggle to find food and stay alive.
For years, the inmates of Attica were sheltered from the realities of the outside world. The cells there used to have narrow windows, Lexus thought, but those windows were sealed up long ago, perhaps in the 2030’s or so. Daylight to the inmates of Attica became little more than an abstract idea. If you asked a prisoner there if he would like to go outside and see the Sun, he would have looked at you like you were crazy. You may as well offer to let him take a spin in your new Lamborghini: Neither one was likely to be real.
Lexus, like the other inmates in good standing at Attica, heard what was going on outside. He got bits of news and heard the stories that were told by the guards. Still, it was an abstraction. The real world was inside the walls of Attica; everything else was a fantasy. It was a full eight years after the apocalypse when the staff of the prison, now less than a tenth of what is was previously, opened all the cells and bade the remaining prisoners farewell. Less than three weeks later, Lexus Highscraper found himself in an Amazon warehouse chatting with a nearly naked glittering blonde object of pure uninhibited erotica.
Lexus lit a cigarette and offered the pack to Trixie, who declined the offer. “Wise choice,” said Lexus. “These things will fucking kill you!” He laughed at the irony in that. “I haven’t seen the Sun in fourteen years,” he said. “Looks like you beat my record by two years. Ain’t that a bitch.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Sun,” said Trixie with a perky cock of her head. She seemed surprisingly frisky and at ease for a person who just came out of a sixteen year slumber to discover the end of the world came as she slept. Lexus began to suspect something was wrong with her. Perhaps she was addled by some rare mental illness? She may have been packed away in the crate in the hope that a treatment would one day be discovered that could help her. He looked down at her now empty crate and the thousands of packing peanuts that littered the floor where he unpacked her. In addition to her name and the date of May 11, 2061, the box was labeled ProstiBot 3000. Lexus wasn’t sure what that meant, but then he had been in prison a long time. There was an awful lot to the world that he wouldn’t have understood even if he came out of prison to a functional civilization.
“We’ve probably got another four hours before the Sun comes up,” said Lexus. “We should try to find you some proper clothes.”
“Wouldn’t you rather me take my clothes off?” teased Trixie.
“Hmm,” said Lexus. “Well, yes I would, but you’re going to need clothes. You need something on your feet to begin with, and you need skin protection in case you get caught in the Sun. That means full body protection — neck, face, and hands as well as your arms and legs. You’re going to need a hat with a brim and sunglasses. It’s probably not enough to stop all the lethal radiation, but it’s better than nothing.” Lexus eyed Trixie’s invitingly creamy and glittering thighs by the light of the kerosene lamp. “You wouldn’t want those legs to be damaged by the ultraviolet, now would you?”
Trixie followed Lexus’s gaze down to her thighs. “They’re thermally active Viton-Silylex copolymer,” said Trixie. “I don’t think they react to ultraviolet.” Trixie scrunched up her nose and looked back up at Lexus.
“I don’t know what that means,” said Lexus as he led Trixie back to an area of the warehouse where he had previously found some clothing. “You sound like you must be a scientist or something. That’s pretty cool, but we still need to find you some clothes.” He led the way with the kerosene lantern but he couldn’t keep from stopping every now and then to peek at Trixie’s body. “You’re also going to need pockets in this world. The planet has pretty well gone to shit, and if you find something of use, you’re going to want some place to stick it to hold on to it.”
“My anal aperture can dilate up to six centimeters if that counts,” bubbled Trixie.
“Hmm,” said Lexus. “Six centimeters, huh? That’s quite a trick. Still, you’re going to need pockets.” Lexus suspected he was right about Trixie being put into hibernation in the hopes her mental illness would one day be curable. She clearly wasn’t all there. Poor thing.
Lexus located an area of the warehouse he had found previously that was filled with women’s shoes. He frowned down at Trixie’s bare feet on the filthy warehouse floor. “Shoes are definitely a priority,” he said. “Maybe you would like to pick some out while I hunt for some socks? Go with boots or sneakers — no high heels or anything like that. You need something you can move around in.”
Lexus randomly opened crates looking for socks while Trixie surveyed the shoe options. He found some shirts and pants that might work for her in the process. “You know,” he said as he pried off the top of a crate, “I saw somebody about two weeks ago. The person was kind of far away — I couldn’t even tell if it was a man or a woman. I started to walk in his direction to talk to him (or her), but he ran off. Everyone is so scared now: I could see it in the eyes of the guards at Attica when then let us free three weeks back.”
“How about these!” said Trixie, showing off a pair of cowboy boots.
“I like them!” said Lexus. “Are they comfortable? Do they fit? That’s the most important thing.”
“I think so,” said Trixie.
“Wait until we find you some socks to be sure. I’m still looking for those. Why don’t you try on the jeans and shirt there while I keep looking.”
“Okay,” Trixie bubbled.
While there seemingly was no need for Trixie to remove her lingerie to try on the pants and shirt, she did so anyway and stood proudly buck-naked in front of Lexus as she casually picked up a pair of folded jeans and looked them over. He reached over to the lantern and quickly operated the air pump, hoping to improve the lighting. He then forced himself to tear his eyes away from her body and go back to looking for socks. He looked down into the dark interior of a freshly opened crate, but as Trixie needed the lantern to try on the pants, he pulled the LED flashlight that he kept for emergencies from his pocket and used it to explore the interior of the crate. They were going to need a second lantern, he realized. Flashlights were more convenient by far, but since batteries had not been made in over a decade, finding ones with a decent charge left in them was a challenge.
“Anyway,” said Lexus. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to the person. It was only a little ways from here. I haven’t seen anybody else. You’re the only person I’ve talked to since the guards at Attica said goodbye.” He turned to face Trixie as she tugged the pair of jeans up to her waist and buttoned them. “I’m sure glad I met you,” he said. “Those look good on you, by the way.”
“Thank you!” said Trixie. She came over, still bare-chested, and snuggled up tight against him as he peered down into a freshly opened box.
“And what do you know … socks!” he said. He pulled a variety of socks out of the freshly opened box for Trixie to try on. God she smells good! In the three weeks that he had been exploring the post-apocalyptic landscape that was Earth, it was rare to find a location that wasn’t adulterated with the stench of decaying flesh. Even eight years after the solar event that brought death upon the planet, there were still enough people left alive to keep the landscape stocked with freshly rotting corpses. One day, the stench would go away as there would be no one left to die. In the meantime though, the scent of Trixie’s neck, and the warmth of her nude torso against him, was a welcome respite from the constant reminders of death. “You smell incredible,” he said as he buried his face into her neck. He reached an arm around her and pulled her in tight until her breasts were pressed firmly against him. “And you feel great!” he added.
“That’s the magic of thermally active Viton-Silylex copolymer!” said Trixie with a smile and a quirky tilt of her head. This woman says the strangest things! She leaned in and playfully nibbled the lobe of his ear.
“You must have been a chemist or something before they put you into hibernation,” he said. “I don’t understand half of what you say. But I love hearing your voice even if I don’t understand … it’s been so lonely these past three weeks.” He checked himself and very gently pushed Trixie away from his ear. “Go put your shirt on,” he said. “And try the boots on again with some socks to make sure they fit. I’m going to keep opening boxes and with any luck I’ll find a hat and some sunglasses for you. You would be a knockout in a straw cowboy hat and sunglasses.”
“Okay,” said Trixie.
“You hungry?” asked Lexus. “I have some canned beans and fruit in my pack there. And don’t forget … you need to drink something.”
“I might have some water in a little bit,” said Trixie as she pulled a shirt on over her head. “I don’t really need food,” she added. “I get all my energy from a thorium fission reactor.”
“M’kay,” said Lexus. “I suppose next you’ll be telling me you don’t sleep,” he teased.
“Oh no,” said Trixie, “I have to sleep. That’s the only time my thorium reactor can recharge my lithium power modules. How do I look?” Trixie held her arms out to her sides and showed off her new attire.”
“Absolutely stunning,” said Lexus. We still need to find you a long-sleeved shirt though. Unfortunately, it’s Summer and all I’m finding are short sleeves.”
“What do you want to do now, Lexus?” Trixie mischievously asked.
“Hmm,” said Lexus. “We need to keep looking for clothes, I think. You still need a hat and sunglasses, and maybe a backpack. Plus, we could use another Coleman gas lantern should we happen to stumble across one. Unfortunately, it’s a huge warehouse and I don’t know where most of those items might be located, although hats will probably be here with the apparel. If we don’t find anything within an hour, we’ll leave and see if we can get those items someplace else, maybe tomorrow.”
“Okay,” said Trixie.
One thing that Lexus observed about Trixie was that she did not seem to complain about very much. She had taken the news of the calamity that the world was facing in apparent stride, and was willing to indulge Lexus in the continuing search of the warehouse despite the bleak condition of the place and despite the fact that she must surely have been thirsty and famished by now.
“So, what do you do for a living?” Lexus asked. “I mean, what did you do, before you were put in hibernation? I’m assuming you were a scientist of some kind?”
“Oh, I was never a scientist,” said Trixie. “I know a lot about science though, and about other subjects. I guess you might say I’m a people person, by design.”
“How do you mean?” asked Lexus.
“Well,” said Trixie, “It’s sort of my job to make people happy. That usually means sexually happy.” She gave Lexus a playful wink in the gaslight glow. “But it doesn’t have to mean that, or it doesn’t have to mean that exclusively.”
“Oh?” said Lexus.
“Sometimes that’s not what people want, or it’s not all people want. Sometimes, people just want companionship: Someone to listen to, and someone to be listened to by. I know a lot about things like science and history so that I have plenty of things to talk about.”
“Interesting,” said Lexus. “So you’re like an escort then?”
“I guess you might say that,” said Trixie. “I’m like an escort.” She again grinned mischievously and shot Lexus another playful wink in the glow of the kerosene lantern.
“Well, I’ll say again,” said Lexus, “I’m so glad to have found you.” Lexus broke into a spasm of coughs and was suddenly dizzy for a few moments. He had been having such spells ever since his release from Attica. “I was beginning to think … I was the last … person alive,” he got out between coughs.”
“Are you okay?” asked Trixie, sounding concerned.
“Yeah, yeah … I’m fine,” said Lexus, recovering. “It’s the dank humid air of this place, I think. That, coupled with the filth of the rat turds and the stench of corpses that now seems to cover almost every inch of the planet … it wears on you Trixie.” Lexus gazed into Trixie’s concern-filled blue eyes. “I shouldn’t have awoken you,” he said. “It was wrong of me to bring you into this world. I should have left you to sleep in peace.”
“But then we wouldn’t have met,” said Trixie, “and that would just SUCK!” She broke a broad grin as she said it and Lexus couldn’t help but break out in laughter in spite of the misery of it all. It was the first time Lexus had laughed since he had been released. Since long before, actually: He couldn’t remember the last time he had laughed in earnest.
“We should leave this place now,” said Trixie. “Go somewhere more comfortable. You need air.”
Lexus agreed, and he and Trixie gathered up their belongings, new and old, and headed for the entrance to the warehouse. There were still many hours left before sunrise, but they would be wise to find a safe haven now — preferably one with a comfortable bed that didn’t stink too much of corpses — rather than wait and have to scramble to find safety at the last minute.
They entered a neighborhood of medium-sized houses and, as luck would have it, the third house they entered appeared to be ideal for their needs. The house was lifeless of course, as were all of the houses, but this one seemed devoid of the ubiquitous corpses that otherwise littered the world. Upstairs, the master bedroom looked clean and the bed inviting. More important though was that this house had a full windowless basement that had been converted into a proper living space by owners long since dead. This would be a living space that would offer them shelter from the Sun’s lethal rays while at the same time affording them the amenities of a nice couch and comfortable chairs. In a further bit of luck, the former owners were apparently campers and they had both a Coleman gas lantern and an ample supply of kerosene.
There was of course no running water, but they had found within the house a supply of bottled water sufficient to hold them for a day or two. They would need to scout for a creek or pond soon, but it was by no means urgent. For now, the bed upstairs beckoned them, and they let themselves be drawn to it like two giddy teenagers about to enjoy sex for the first time. For Lexus, it was a welcome charade: An opportunity to experience a rare semblance of normalcy in an otherwise decaying world. When they were done, they lay naked in each others arms and allowed just a hint of dawn to illuminate the bedroom, enjoying a taste of long forgotten sunshine before escaping to the relative safety of the basement.
They ended up staying at the house and lived very much as Lexus remembered couples once lived long ago when the planet was peopled. But they both sensed, even before they arrived at the house, that their marriage would be short lived. The people of the Earth were dying, if not from one affliction then from another. There was no escape from it: Even the cleanest water was just a little tainted and the safest air to breathe was not altogether safe. The ever-present stench of flesh rotting somewhere nearby was a constant reminder that the Reaper awaited those who had stubbornly managed to evade him thus far.
Lexus’s cough became more persistent and his dizzy spells more numerous until, on the morning of the fourth day after their having moved into the house, he was too weak to move. Trixie held Lexus tightly that morning and patted his forehead with a damp cloth to alleviate the heat of his fever. As the Sun rose above the horizon, he looked to her in wild confusion. We should be heading to the basement now. “Shh,” she said, and she left the bed to open the window fully, allowing the light of a new dawn to pass unfiltered into the room. She returned to the bed where she again held him, and sung to him, and kissed him about his cheek and mouth in the warmth of the morning Sun, and allowed him to take his last breath in her arms.
Trixie continued to hold the corpse of Lexus an hour after he passed away. She had no tears to shed, of course. If she had tear ducts though, tears would have flowed. She got dressed, gathered a few items into a backpack, and walked out of the house in search of others dying alone in the waste of the world.
— R. S. Huber