Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell
I'm Left Holding the Bag
I pull the zipper down a little bit farther, still hoping that all I'm smelling is a months worth of used socks. What I find is the dead Dalmatian I drove past everyday. The canine someone left rotting by the side of the road. The one that always seemed to be staring at me, watching me become one with it.
My chin trembles like a miniature bowlful of "Jello" when I see the decaying animal inside my locker room bag. It turns to look at me and I see that its left eyeball has been completely eaten out and all that's left is a few maggots and wiggling veins.
I drop my bag on the ground and glance at the people beside me to see their reaction. No reaction comes. The Crusher is on my left changing into his Blackjack uniform and some guy on my right farts. Crusher and the farting guy both laugh and continue dressing themselves in their company-enforced uniforms. Neither seems to notice, or smell, my little dead dog.
A pain in my leg pulls my eyes away from my fellow locker room companions and back down to the floor. I see the dead Dalmatian is half out of the bag and biting my ankle. I kick him away, detaching his body from his mouth and leaving the entire jaw attached to my body.
"I'm not quite as sturdy as I used to be" the dead canine begins to tell me through a raspy-cough that could only originate from a dead-dog of some sort. How can it talk? Do dogs actually gain intelligence and verbal-skills after death? I notice he looks a bit like my grandpa when I see his lips curling over a toothless mouth. I shake my head in disbelief as the dead dog continues his sentence. "But then again . . . neither are you." "Oh great," I think to myself, "a dead dog that's as bad at metaphors as me."
I check my pulse to make sure it's still beating and continue the odd conversation I'm having with a rotting Dalmatian. I see that Mr. Crusher and the fart guy both finished dressing themselves and have left. I am alone with my stinky pet. I decide to humor it, being that its deceased, and all. "What do you mean?" I ask, feeling a little bit goofy talking to a dead thing that still has it's jaw attached to my ankle.
"I mean, neither are you . . . neither are you . . . neither are you . . . neither are you . . ." I kick the dog slightly and his needle jumps over the skip. He thanks me politely while coughing out a chunk of coagulated blood.
These are the first three things I learn about the afterlife, dogs can talk, your jaw is easily lost and you speak by means of a record player settled deep inside of your stomach. The dead dog continues; "you're not nearly what you used to be. Once you had dreams, now . . . you have lots of nickels." "Jeez," I whisper to myself, "kinda melodramatic, for a dead thing."
I pull the set of teeth off of my ankle and deny the dead dog's accusations. "I still have my dreams, I just need to work here for a year or two and save up the money to move somewhere that I can fulfill them." The dog laughs at my comments for at least fifteen minutes, until I kick him and realize it was only the record skipping.
"There's only one way to get out of this change-selling Hell." The dog's voice seems to go from 45 to 33 RPM as he solemnly speaks these twelve words. "How?" I desperately ask. "How?" I repeat when I get no answer. For a second I wonder if I developed a skip. "You," the dead dog answers. "You?" I question back, "what is 'you'?" I get no further answer. The "A" side is over and the dog disappears.
Go to: Chapter 8
©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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