DOMINICK STEPPED INTO THE pixie’s world and found himself slammed headlong into a wall of sound. All around him figures in armor clashed with sword and ax. There were bodies everywhere, and as he stepped through the rip, Dominick slipped on something unspeakable and fell to the grass.

He wasn’t alone there on the ground. Surrounding him were others, but they were all a little too still for his comfort. He tried to scream but found the sound had lodged itself in the back of his throat as he attempted to come to grips with this hack and slash world he suddenly found himself in.

Dominick tried to rise but was thrown back to the ground when a lizard man in leather armor fell atop him. Up until this very moment, he thought he had fully understood just exactly what fear was. In fact, he was pretty sure he’d learned that lesson not but twenty minutes ago in the Happy Hamburger basement.

But as he lay there underneath that heavy, stinking, unmoving creature, the only thing that kept him a hair’s breadth away from a full grown panic attack was a deep seeded depression once he'd realized that cooking french fries for a living wasn’t all that terrible of a career path. Sure, he didn’t make much money, but he didn’t need much, really. Just enough to pay the bills, eat, and pay for his comic book habit. What more was there?


Did he really need to be respected?

He needed to live, that was for sure. He’d throw respect out the door just to continue breathing.

Doing his best to ignore the din of battle that waged around him, Dominick thought of the Happy Hamburger. The worst he’d ever had to encounter on the job was the threat of Mr. Finkleton and his never ending sweat glands. When you combine that with the man’s predilection for ignoring one’s personal space and what you had yourself there was a hostile working environment. Yet, in light of recent circumstances, the idea of dealing with Mr. Finkleton’s sweat in such close proximity was like a little slice of heaven pie that he suddenly missed with every inch of his heart.

And then there were the perks for working for a company like the Happy Hamburger. For example, he had access to food all day long, and at a discounted price. As an employee of the Happy Hamburger, Dominick was privileged enough to enjoy ten percent off of any purchase, whether he was on the clock or not. You can’t beat a perk like that.

And he had given it all up. Just walked away.

He had a life of ease and comfort in the palm of his hand and he scraped it into the grease trap like a vat of day old cooking oil.

And for what? To die under the carcass of some mutant lizard thing that smelled like old feet?

No. He deserved better than that. He was no hero. He needed to get out of this place and go back home where everything made sense. He had given this Gund place a shot and it threw a corpse at him.

Dominick pushed against the body atop him but it wouldn’t budge. So he tried again, straining to the point of nearly passing out. But again, nothing. He tried to slide out from under the thing but wasn’t able to find a grip on the dirt and grass around him.

So, doing what anyone might do when finding themselves in a similar situation, Dominick had himself a good cry.

He was not embarrassed by it. No, he embraced it. He sobbed and he wept, he bawled and he howled, he sniveled and he whimpered and he squalled and he mewled. He even bleated for a time, but eventually he got it all out of his system and was then prepared to work at the task at hand.

To be continued . . .

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