The Barrens

 

Light and sound assaulted his senses as he cut through the streets which were thick with sightseers, risk takers, and pleasure seekers. Neon and flashing light lured money into the casinos in the hopes of stupendous jackpots, curvaceous forms lurked in shadowbox windows of brothels with crimson lanterns hanging on broad verandas, and painted ladies stood under every street light, beckoning to passersby and whispering promises of pleasure with crimson lips.” – excerpt from The Teeth of Necropolis.

Usually, when people refer to the Barrens they mean the hub of center streets, where old warehouses have been converted into casinos, nightclubs, peep shows, and brothels. Here, neon light paints the street and beacons roam the sky, lights flash, and music throbs within the bowels of every building. In reality, however, the Barrens extended for thirty blocks in every direction from this decadent hub at its center.

Large portions of this former industrial center were completely abandoned during the last Wall Street crash, left to rats and desperate vampires who feed on the plentiful supply of vermin. As the economy began to recover, vast tracts of empty warehouses were reclaimed and put to productive use, housing new businesses and criminal empires. Still, block after block of the Barrens remained abandoned. People passing through these areas are wise to drive quickly, with their doors locked, and not to stop for red lights. These are badlands with territories carved out by gangs swearing allegiance to various football, hockey, soccer, and baseball teams, or showing their solidarity by pancaking their faces so they look like ghostly mimes, or mutilating their faces with piercings or hideous tattoos.

Once night falls, the police patrol only the inhabited portions of the Barrens and they leave the no man’s land to the gangs. Even in the daylight, they only venture into the no man’s land in strength.

 

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