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

Chapter 59
Up Against the Wall

I see there’s an open spot left in this wall of people, and run as fast as I can to reach it. Every step Richard takes seems to boom in my ears. I hear his feet shuffling, and realize he’s arrived on the basement floor. I throw myself into the empty spot, between two soiled humans, and fall to my knees, arm up against the golden post, trying my best to look as though I'm chained to it. "What are you doing?" I cringe when I hear Richard’s condescending voice. He couldn’t have reached me already, could he have? I don’t dare stick my head out, to look.

"What are you doing?" He asks again. This time I notice his voice sounds distant, and dare to move myself into a position where I can see him. He’s on the opposite end of the hall, leaning over one of these chained up "slaves." "Nothing . . . Richard . . ." The crying slave is cut off by the harsh smack of a whip. "Is doing ‘nothing’ in your job description, hmm . . .?" "I’m sorry, sir – I’ll try harder. I swear. Please don’t send me to him." Richard smiles, and moves on to another person. "What are you doing?" "My job, sir . . . I’m doing my job." Richard walks to the next one in line, seeming pleased.

I begin smearing dirt, feces and piss over my clothing. On my face, my arms, my legs, trying to make myself look a part of this filth. I just hope it convinces Richard that I’m a hard-working slave, like everyone else he has trapped here. "He doeth thith a lot," the man next to me says. His lisp is familiar. I turn to face him.

"Greg!" I can’t help but smile, even if I don’t know anything about last night’s game, "you look . . . uh . . . good." I can’t believe how terrible he looks. How skinny. How small. His trademark cheeriness is gone; in its place lies a bitter soul, and empty eyes. "He got all the railingth, and thtuff, from upthtairth. Then he chained uth to them, and trapped uth all down here.   Now all he liketh to do, ith athk ‘what are you doing.’ That’th all. He getth off on it." Greg stops to wipe a tear from his eye. "We die in our own filth down here. And we jutht hear him athking that, day after day. If we come up with the wrong anther, he whipth uth into thubmithion, and we admit that we’re doing ‘our job.’ He liketh to hear that, and he uthually leaveth uth be, if we thay it."

Greg’s voice starts shaking heavily, and I notice his entire body trembling. A part of his panic begins rubbing off on me. I just want to start the day over. Call in sick. Avoid seeing this suffering. "I don’t know what he’th going to do with uth, but I know he hath thome thort of plan. Him and . . ." "What are you doing?" Richard’s voice is getting louder. He’s coming closer. I lean my head even further into the wall. "Who?" I ask, "him and who, have this plan?" "We better not thay anymore," Greg replies, turning away from me, "he can hear thingth. He’ll know. He alwayth knowth."

Go to: Chapter 60

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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