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

Chapter 60
Whip it good

When I bow my head down submissively, trying to avoid Richard, I notice a body lying on the floor. It must be the person who was chained up in the empty spot that I found. Its stench is obvious, it’s decomposing, and some sort of animal has chewed out its eyeballs. I try to see if I can recognize the face, but don’t have enough time before hearing Richard’s voice cutting into my brain. "What are you doing?" He asks. I hope I’ve done an adequate job smearing myself with filth, to avoid being recognized.

"Nothing." I answer, in my typical fashion. Not more than a second after the word leaves my lips, I realize the mistake that I made. I turn slightly, and see Richard’s palm squeezing tighter around the whip’s handle. It squeaks as he does it. "Is doing ‘nothing’ in your job description . . . hmm?" I can feel the people chained up around me cringing. "Really, sir Richard . . ." It’s as though I’ve just addressed royalty, "I’ll try harder. I didn’t mean ‘nothing,’ as in nothing, I meant that I was doing ‘nothing’ . . ." SMACK! I feel the blood caked leather tear through my shirt, and into my flesh. I guess I could’ve made my explanation a little less wordy.

"Now, Mr. Ziekel," I cringe over hearing my name slithering out of his lips. "Let me ask once again, what are you doing?" "Um . . .working? I’m busy working, Richard. I won’t stop for anything. Well, maybe a whip, but that’s about it. Then again, there was that weird dude in the ski mask. His belt seemed to put a damper on the working day. Wow, can you imagine? A belt and a whip, all in the same day? Man, if there was ever a time for Icee-Hot, this would be it." WHACK! I’m smacked again, but this time with the whip’s handle. I guess I could’ve made my apology a little less wordy.

"Let me ask you again, Wayne . . . what in the fuck are you doing???" Throughout his anger, Richard sounds almost panicky; he’s never used this tone with me, until now. I make my answer as brief as possible. "I’m only doing my job, sir." In retrospect, I decide the "sir" wasn’t necessary.

LASH! Richard isn’t satisfied. "Maybe you don’t understand the question, Mr. Ziekel. Or maybe the consequences of the answer are far too great. So, let me make it simple for you; what-are-you-doing-alive?!?"

I look toward Richard, and over to Greg, my mind desperately trying to make sense out of what I’ve been asked. After what seems like an hour, but is actually more like a minute, the best answer I can come up with is, "huh?" At least it was short.

"Do you have a twin, Mr. Ziekel?" Richard asks. "No, at least not that I know of." Richard grins. The devious Grinch of a grin that stretches from one ear to the other. "Then who is that?"

My eyes follow his pointing index finger down to the corpse I had been staring at moments before. Once again I notice the rotting, the stench, the eyeballs chewed out. Only, this time, I notice a detail that I seemed to have missed . . . the corpse is mine.

Go to: Chapter 61

1997/98 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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