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

Chapter 56
Getting Jumpy

"One of us meddling kids?" I ask, "there’s more?" The dog looks completely uncomfortable, and then disappears. "Typical," I think to myself, as I walk up the rest of the staircase, and open the door leading into the casino. The first thing I see is a load of peanuts flying at me. As I look back up from my flinch, I see Jenny, the incredible human peanut . . . one of the most beautiful girls in the world. I rub my eyes. This isn’t the incredible human peanut that I know; this is the Jenny from years before. The one spoke about in lustful whispers, outside in the dark, as you wait for the shuttle. "How could it be?" People whisper amongst themselves, eyes scanning the area, making sure she’s not standing in the shadows. "What could have happened to her, anyway?"

Here she is, directly in front of me, and she’s not holding any peanuts. She’s not fat. There’s no chocolate coating drooling out of the sides of her lips. There’s just a girl that nearly rivals Sue in her beauty. "Where’s your peanuts?" I ask. "I hate peanuts," Jenny responds, in a voice seductive enough to make me grow halfway erect. "You made those few words sound like poetry," I say, as I walk back toward my bank, feeling like a complete imbecile. Jenny giggles, it’s eerily similar to the giggles that come from her psychotic self in the future, after her great aunt dies of pork chop poisoning.

"Don’t be embarrassed," Jenny says, as I arrive at my bank, "it was sweet." I turn thirteen shades of red. I can’t believe the incredible human peanut is turning me on. "Are you new here?" Jenny asks, "I’ve never seen you before." "Well," I return, a bit facetiously, "I’m new to this area." "Oh," she says, as I begin loading my belt up with change, "where did you work before?" I try coming up with an answer, as I lock up my bank. "Um . . . I used to work in the back." This seems to please Jenny, and she changes the subject.

"You’re kinda the nervous type, aren’t you?" She asks. "Well," I lie, while trying to make my voice sound calm, "not really." "C’mon," Jenny says, "I can read people. Something’s really bothering you. It’s like you’re not entirely here." "You wouldn’t believe me if I told you" I return, as I walk toward a change light that’s glowing from years before.

"Try me," Jenny kindly commands, as I turn off the customer’s light, and ask what he needs. The customer responds with a, "I need you to quit talking to your little girlfriend here, and do your job, buddy." I smile. It’s comforting to know that the prick might actually be dead, as we speak. "Sorry, I say – what do you need?" "Give me two-hundred dollars in dollar tokens." I look confused, and this asshole in front of me picks up on it, immediately. "What? You don’t haaaave it?" "Um," I return, "this is the nickel area, you would have to go to high stakes to get that kind of change." Like an angel, Jenny intervenes, and hands the man the change. "My friend is new here, and doesn’t quite know his way around. Here you go, sir." "Thanks, missy," the man says, before giving me a dirty sneer, and turning back toward his addiction.

"What the hell is going on?" I ask. "We’re in the high stakes section," Jenny responds, in a pleasant voice, before stopping to ask my name. "Wayne," I say, sort of embarrassed over my name, as always. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYNE!!!" Jenny screams, throwing another bunch of peanuts into my face. The incredible human peanut is back. Overweight, annoying, and totally nuts (in more ways than one). "Hey, Jenny," I return, depressed to see what a few years, and a big tragedy can do to a person.

I look around and I’m back in the nickel section, in my own timeline. Although it should be a relief, it actually feels kind of sad. It’s not as though I’ve really accomplished anything in my life, and maybe I’m doing better in some other world. Maybe I’m dating the nice, sexy Jenny of yesteryear. Then again, maybe I’m dead. I think Michael J. Fox did a lot better than this.

I look back toward Jenny, and she’s not even there. Disappeared. In her place is a frantic Richard, running toward me at the speed of light. "What are you doing?" His trademark words melt their way into my weary brain. "I’m working," is all I can come up with. "Why aren’t you checking on high stakes?" He asks. "Bonnie’s in high stakes," I reply. "Bonnie’s in the hospital, giving birth," Richard responds, sardonically.

"She’s giving birth, NOW?!?" I half ask, half demand. "Of course she is," Richard replies. "But, it’s too soon." "Too soon for what?" Richard asks. "Oh," I slowly respond, trying to keep track of timelines, and making sure that I don’t screw up again, "I don’t know. I just thought she wasn’t due for another month." "Well, she’s due," Richard replies, "it’s that time."

I nearly start crying; it all happened too fast. I can’t believe "that time" is already here. I take a deep breath, preparing myself to ask Richard if I can run to the bathroom. This has got to be the most terrifying moment in my life. Suicide doesn’t give you time to come back, and in a few minutes, it looks like that’s where I’m going.

. . . All on the word of a dead dog.

Go to: Chapter 57

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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