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

Chapter 57
In A World Of His Own

"You want to go to the bathroom?!?" Richard asks, nearly yelling. "Use the fucking TROUGH!" I grow more and more confused, as Richard’s voice grows louder with its every word. "WHY THE FUCK AREN’T YOU DOWNSTAIRS, ANYWAY?" Richard screams. "Uh," I respond, lost once again, like I’ve been so many times before, during this day, "I was just asking to use the bathroom. I decided to wait a few minutes before taking my break. Why would I be downstairs?"

Richard smiles, devilishly. His eyebrows seem more upturned than they did seconds ago. His face redder than before, clashing harder than ever with his jet-black mustache and hair. I feel my stomach knotting up, and the sudden urge to vomit.

"First of all," Richard begins, "you spend your life downstairs. Second, you don’t ask to go to the bathroom, you just go; that’s what I made the trough for. If you have to defecate, well, your pants look to be in better shape than most. Use them. Everybody else does, and I don’t hear them complaining."

My eyes try to find another employee, for support, and I see that no one else is in my area. That’s when I notice the chilling silence, once again. Only, this time it’s much more ominous than it was when Lisa came back, and put the world on pause. More permanent. A silence that will outlive eternity, itself.

I slowly turn my head the other direction, already knowing I won’t like what I see. The once bustling casino is empty, like a ghost town. The slot machines are covered in dust. Not a single light is on. The room is only dimly lit by the sunlight that’s making its way in through the front doors. I expect to see tumbleweed blowing through, at any moment. Where did everyone go?

"’Downstairs,’ is that too hard a concept for you to grasp?" Richard’s commanding voice pulls my attention back from the barren casino, to him. I open my mouth to confront him, and quickly change my mind when I see the insanity lurking behind his eyelids. "Yes sir, I’m going now," I reply. I can’t believe I’m starting this "sir" crap up again. I begin walking toward the staircase.

I open up the door that leads into the basement, half expecting some sort of gremlin to pop out in front me, or at least a derogatory comment from Richard to come from behind; I get neither. I begin walking down the gray, cement staircase. I can hear moans coming up from below, hundreds of them. It’s sorta like in fifth grade, when there was this stomach-flu epidemic and three or four miserable kids at a time would come down with intense nausea during class.

With every step, the moaning grows louder, more distinct. Some people are crying for help. Others are just crying. I notice a horrid stench coming toward me. It smells like an equal mixture of piss, shit, vomit, and hopelessness. This is no stomach flu . . . it’s more like walking into a concentration camp.

Go to: Chapter 58

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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