Dead Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell

Chapter 54
Picking Up Bilbo

"So, should I just throw myself down the steps, or something?" I ask about my impending suicide.  The dog sits silently, without responding. "Well, Bilbo," the name game has recommenced, "how should I do it?" Bilbo remains silent for a few more seconds and then asks me to pick him up so I can hear him whispering. "Uh, gee," I say, looking at the disembodied head he has hanging to his neck by a plastic thread, "couldn’t I just put my ear closer to yours?"

"Pick me up!" The dog commands. I step further away, to avoid actually picking up Bilbo. "Pick me up!" He commands, once again, "You’ve done it before." I ignore him, and remain silent. Giving me his best puppy-dog eye, Bilbo starts laying on a guilt trip. "Am I so ugly to you now? So ugly that you can hardly look at me, much less hold me in your arms?" I wait for a minute, and then finally come up with an answer. "Well, actually . . . yes." In retrospect, maybe I could have came up with something a little bit better. Bilbo just bows down his neck – his head scrapes across the floor.

Revealing my sympathy for things more rotten than me, I give in and hold the dead Dalmatian in my arms. "Okay," I whisper bitterly, "how should I do it?" "Before I tell you how," Bilbo whispers back, "I need to tell you when." I roll my eyes, for about the millionth time today. "Okay," I ask, "when then?" "As I said, when you’re in this casino, you have the ability to skip between alternate realities. You’ve already been in the Ronald Reagan timeline, where teen-pregnancy is at an all-time high, and Bonnie has given birth; and you’ve jumped back into your timeline, where Bonnie has just gotten pregnant, all in the same day." "What does this have to do with me killing myself?" I ask, hoping Bilbo gets to the point, and out of my arms.

"Well," the dog responds, not really answering my question, "you actually need to kill yourself in a different timeline. One you’ve never been to before." "Oh, great," I reply, "and how the fuck do you expect me to do that?" "With these," Bilbo responds, holding out a bunch of little white pills, "they’re magic beans." "Huh?" I ask. "If you plant them, right outside the casino, they’ll turn into a beanstalk overnight, and you can climb up it, into the desired layer of reality that you’re looking for." "What is this, some sort of idiotic fairy-tale?" I ask. The dog lets out a raspy laugh. "I was just kidding," he replies, dropping the "beans" onto the floor, "these are tic-tacs. Sorry."

"Quit beating around the bush, and answer me.  How do I enter this alternate timeline of yours?" I ask. "You just need to keep working, and on your second break, which is actually coming up in less than an hour, go to the smoker’s cafeteria, and meet up with Leroy." "THE GAY GUY WITH THE FLAMING THROAT, THAT GRABBED ONTO MY BUTT IN MY LOCKER ROOM BAG?" I scream.

"Are you ever going to get over that?" The dog half-demands, "it wasn’t like you were naked." "It’s just the principle," I respond. "You really are a homophobic son-of-a-bitch, aren’t you?" The dog asks. Somehow, being accused of being a homophobe always shuts me up. The dog continues with the conversation, once he realizes that he's made his point.

"As I was saying, before you went all homophobic on me," he says, milking it for all that it’s worth, "Leroy will be there to assist you, if you have trouble skipping realms on your own, or can’t find the correct section of reality. Most likely, you will just jump over into the other reality, all by yourself. You’ve skipped realms hundreds of times before, without even noticing.  Now that you're aware, I wouldn't think you'd have any problems."

"How did I skip realms, without even noticing it?" I ask. "Simple," the dog replies, "you just skipped over, without even thinking about it, while sitting on break, or whatever. All that would change is a few particles of dust, or a couple people in the cafeteria would appear, or disappear. You’re always so busy staring at that neon ticker-tape, over and over again, that you never notice much of anything." "Hey," I say defensively, "there’s some valuable information flashed up on that screen. How else would I have know to get my flu-shot?" "You never did get your flu shot." The dog responds, shutting me up, once again.

"When you've entered the alternate timeline, you need to find the employee gymnasium." "There’s a game going on in there all day" I interrupt. "Not in the timeline you’re going to," the dog replies, "there the gym has been closed for repairs the last couple of weeks." "Oh," I say, feeling stupid. "If all works well, and you actually get there at the right time, Bonnie is going to be giving birth to Elvis’s child, Damien." The dog pauses, "this is what you need to stop." "By killing myself?!?" I yell, skeptically. "Yes -  by killing yourself, you can put an end to them," the dog responds. I laugh, but it’s a laugh derived only from fear.

Go to: Chapter 55

1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.

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