The End: Story One - Bordertown By: David K. Montoya


The End:Story One
By: David K. Montoya

As we approached the border buildings that separated California from Nevada, we saw the silhouettes of the old casinos—that once housed millions of visitors and possibly trillions of dollars. But now, they have become deserted tombs, nothing more than empty, towering monuments that symbolized a time that once was.

I remember as a child, the anticipation that would build when we saw the casino lights off in the distance. This was our parents favorite vacation spot and Richard and I spent most of our school holidays here. Mom and Dad used to give the both of us handfuls of quarters just to squander on those non-rewarding videogames, so we would stay out of their hair and they could have some time to themselves. They would spend hundreds of dollars just to keep us quiet, and that was before Rose and Tina were born. I could not even fathom how much money they had spent on four kids. I took Michael and his mother once, when he was a baby, but Maria never had the opportunity, since the ‘Sickness’ hit only a year after she was born.

Once we got into the area of the first three casinos, Maria asked if we could take a look around since it was her first time out of California. At first, I was a little hesitant, but Richard assured me that this area was still safe from the Unluckys.

We pulled onto the empty parking lot and sat there for a few moments in awe, looking at the themed paintings on the building. This casino’s theme was set back in the old Klondike days of the 1800s. Even though some of the paint was flaking off from years of unprotected weathering, most of the scenes were still legible. For the most part the structure was in good condition, the only noticeable damage was the casino’s sign; it had snapped in half after the huge earthquake in Boulder City back in 2014. We walked around the parking lot for a little while and Renee said that this was the last place she and her fiancee stayed before he got ill.

Then Rose had the bright idea of going inside. Now I openly voiced my disapproval, but I was clearly outvoted. In fact, Richard and the girls were already making their way to the main entrance before I finished my sentence.


As we stepped inside the main lobby of the casino, the smell of stale cigarette smoke and old money was overwhelming. I looked around the complex and after a good decade of being dormant, everything still looked fairly new. Too bad there was no longer any electricity to run this place; I would like to see it in its full glory one more time.

Tina called me over to the bar even though she was rummaging around behind it and was completely out of sight. She finally popped up holding a bottle of old German whiskey, which was the exact brand I would drink in my younger days, but gave it up shortly after Michael was born. I told the others to come over to the bar as well, as Tina sat a line of shot glasses in front of us and started to fill them with whiskey.

Rose snatched up her glass and said ‘To Haven’, and each of us joined in the cheer. They continued to drink, as well as had a couple of laughs, which I felt were needed. I had not seen my kids laugh and smile in years and even if it was alcohol induced, it was still good for their souls.

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About the Author

David K. Montoya has been writing for nearly 15 years and during that time has produced some 200 underground comics, including "M-Team," "Ayotnom," "The Hunters-Xydus," "Lifesigns," "Smash," and continues to work on the upcoming graphic novel, "Underground to Nowhere." Along with producing his current run of poems, short stories and serials, he also did the artwork and dialog for the soon to be released, "Smash, Special Edition."
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