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

Chapter 8
The Long Walk

After my experience with the talking-dead dog, all I want to do is get out of this dank basement and upstairs, where there's life. I leave the locker-room and walk out into the long hallway that leads up to the casino-floor. The halls that employees must walk through to get into the upper-levels of the casino are dreadful. They look like the the sets you see in low-budget horror movies. The ones that are always in the sub-levels of Sanitariums, housing chronic psychopaths who like to cut themselves up.

Outside of the motivational messages, tacked up to make a lowly employee feel important, all you see is cement: cement walls, cement floor, cement ceiling. At the end of every hall is a security camera staring down at you, making sure you stay in line and aren't smuggling a nickel, or any good-quality cement, out of the building.

These cameras are one of the few things in the working day that bring me pleasure. Every day I enjoy trying to top the outrageous expression or obscene gesture I made toward the camera the previous day. Since I've never been reprimanded for this, I wonder if the cameras are really turned on.

As I begin putting my hands down my pants and creating an ugly new sneer for my traditional "posing" camera I notice that something is lodged inside the lens. It looks a bit like an oversized marble. I swallow the fear of getting caught staring into the lens or being blamed for lodging the item inside of it and begin looking for a chair to stand on to get a better look.

There is not a single chair in sight but, like a blessing from the Tiger God, there is a "Wild Tiger" video slot machine standing by the technician's door waiting to be repaired. I take a quick look around to check for any of those pesky-type humans with that bizarre urge to report anything they may perceive as "mischievous," and then start trying to push the machine underneath the camera.

It is amazing how heavy a slot machine is. Against my lower back’s wishes, I push with all the strength my small upper-body can muster and get the machine into position. I take another quick glimpse at my empty surroundings and begin to climb onto the machine.

I struggle, trying to balance myself on the slanted top of the slot machine. My right foot slips off of the top and nestles between the side of the machine and its pull-lever. I push myself back onto the top and the weight of my foot breaks the slot-arm completely off the machine.

I nervously turn to the noise I hear behind me and realize it was only the echo of the slot-arm hitting the floor. I can only hope that whatever's crammed inside the camera blocks the security team's view.

My upper body falls forward and I catch myself on the door’s overhang. When I open my eyes, I see the camera staring right in my face. I put my eye to the lens and try to look inside. I instinctively flinch back when something snuggled-within the camera moves.

No one is in the vicinity but I still have the overpowering urge that someone nearby is watching me. I take a few deep breaths to slow my pulse back down under a hundred and stare back inside. Although it is nearly pitch black, I can see a small slit three inches back and in the center of the lens.

. . . It’s the slit of two eyelids closed tightly over their ball.

Go to: Chapter 9

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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