'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Forty-one:

Forty-one:

   "Hey!  What are you doing?!  You're not allowed back
he--"

                                 - A Death Adventure
rent-a-cop--just as Roy
hit him over the head with
a large brick.


   Dressed once again in his ninja stealth outfit, Roy
Bluehaul carefully paced towards the main Games building
which was hidden behind a fence near the perimeter of the
Games circle.
   He hid behind a pine tree, searching for any renegade
Death Adventure employees.  There were none about; most of
them already had their lunch break many hours ago.  Sensing a
clear coast, Roy sailed on and ran over to the broad side of
the small building--the same building that housed the Games
area's main cash reserves and surveillance systems.


   "What do you call those Jap dudes all dressed in black?"
a newly trained surveillant asked, pointing at the black
figure in his color video monitor.
   His manager walked over and peered into the screen.  
"Hmn..." she mumbled, searching for the right word.
   "Hmn..." the surveillance-man agreed.
   The manager shook her head a minute later.  "I don't
know.  I've always hated those cheap karate flicks.  How did
you get channel five on your screen?"
   "I didn't.  I think it's going on outside this
building...  See, he's edging towards the door."


   Roy edged towards the door.  It was standing open.  He
shrugged and read the sign tacked to the inside.  It read:

         "Please Keep This Door Locked and Shut!!"

   Typical Death Adventure employees, Roy thought.  This job
ought to be a piece of cake.  He walked in and spied two
hallways--one leading to the video surveillance room and a
smaller, more secure hall, heading into the Games office.


   "Now he walked inside.  Gee, I wonder if this is the
Sunday afternoon movie, real-life, or what?"  He looked to
his manager for guidance.
   She frowned.  "What the hell do you call those guys?  I
hate that!  Now you got me thinking of that stupid word!  I
hate you."  She threw a stuffed pink pumpkin at him,
intending as much bodily harm as one could expect from a
stuffed pumpkin.
   "Ouch," he feigned, kicking the pumpkin back with his
official Death Adventure sneaker--paper thin and cheap
looking.
   "I got it!" she yelled, ignoring the pumpkin attack for
now, "They're called--"
   "Ninjas," Roy answered.  He waved his squirt gun at them.
   "Hey, I would've gotten it!" she whined, plopping back
into her chair.


   Roy tied the two of them up (they were very
willing--anything to get out of working) and left them to
their own desires.  But not before asking them, "Who was
Jan's boyfriend in the bug episode of "The Brady Bunch?""
   "Aaaa, I know it!  Its, its... oh, I hate you," the
manager complained before Roy gaged her.
   Roy closed the surveillance room door behind him and
walked towards the locked steel door leading into the Games
hallway.  He turned the knob.  Locked.
   Roy heard footsteps.  He jumped behind a file cabinet.
   "This box it too damn heavy!" someone yelled as he walked
into the main room from the outside door, not bothering to
close it.  He dragged a World War II ammo box behind him.
   Roy watched as the runner pushed the heavy box towards
the hallway door.  Then the runner tried to open the locked
door.  Still locked.  He patted his Death Adventure issue
blue slacks, feeling for his keys.
   "Oh, shit," he mumbled, checking all available pockets.  
Roy watched, leaning over past the edge of the cabinet for a
closer look, as the runner opened the box.  He pushed aside a
few rolls of quarters and a stack of bills.  Then he sighed,
withdrawing a set of keys on a fake chicken foot key chain.
   He unlocked the door then dragged his box into the
smallish hall, leaving the door to swing shut behind him.
   Roy quickly but quietly followed, catching, entering and
then shutting the metal door behind him.
   At the end of the hall was another metal door, though
this one had a pane of safety glass set into it.  Through the
glass, Roy saw a glimpse of the inside of a cramped and messy
office.
   The runner tried this door and, upon finding it locked,
pushed his nose into the glass window and exhaled, smudging
it up a bit.  He waved to someone inside the office.
   Buzz!
   The door swung open, almost sending the poor runner to
the floor.  He caught himself then dragged his ammo box
inside.
   He turned to shut the door but met Roy's fist instead and
beat a hasty retreat onto floor, face first.  Roy squirted
him, just to be safe.
   "Who the hell are you?" screamed the manager, slamming
his hands down onto a stack of papers on his desk.  He stood
up, revealing his red tag--"Ira" it read.  "What the hell do
you think yo-"
   "Oh, shut up," Roy cut in.  He swung his Dumbo water
rifle into his hand.  "Hasta la vista, buddy," he recited,
coping the line from a current rap song.  He pointed the gun
at Ira's big nose.
   "What are ya gonna do--squirt me to death?" Ira sneered.  
He picked up the phone and started to dial.
   Squirt.
   "Wha--" Ira mumbled incoherently.
   Squirt.
   Clunk--Zzzz...
   Ira slept uncomfortably on the desk top, his arms
sprawled here and there, with his rather bulbous nose
cradling the phone receiver.
   "Ever heard of liquid sleep?" Roy asked Ira, not
expecting an answer.  He got one, though, but not from Ira.  
It was a knock at the other window.  Roy ignored it, looking
about the room instead.
   It was a squarish, blandish sort of room with only one
exit that led back into the small hallway, with its large
metal door resting open against the Games employee's
unconscious head.
   Actually there was another exit, but since it involved
shoving one's body through a very small opening under a large
double pained picture window, I deemed it inappropriate.  I
mention it now only because an annoying blonde girl stood
behind the window--in the small anteroom reserved for
non-management Games employees--tapping the window with a
gold coin.
   Tap-tap!
   The blonde girl tapped again, impatiently awaiting
assistance.  "Come on!" she yelled, knocking the coin harder
into the glass--again and again.  Forget her for now, we'll
get back to her later.
   Aside from a few tables along three of the four light
green walls--covered with paper money envelopes and scribbled
messages respectively, a small row of lockers set in the rear
wall beside the door--with white stickers on the lockers
identifying ownership(one looked recently removed), and a
couple million cameras set into the ceiling--pointing in
every conceivable direction, the room contained little of
interest.
   Aside from the safe, of course.
   "Come on!  I'm not in the mood for this!" Mary yelled,
scratching the window with the gold piece.
   Roy reluctantly turned his attention from the safe to the
dirty blonde haired girl dressed in Death Adventure green.
   She tapped again then noticed a stuffed bunny propped up
to the window.  Taped above it was a small paper message that
read:

  "Remember your till number or this will happen to you!"

   A blue arrow pointed back down to the decapitated bunny.  
Red magic marker blood dripped from its soft furry body down
to a few scattered limbs on the desk.  She cackled, laughing
at the stuffed dead bunny.
   Meanwhile, Roy removed Ira's red tag from his sleeping
form and pinned it to himself.
   Tap!
   "Well?!" Mary yelled.
   Roy walked over to the window and assumed a management
position.  "Yes?  May I help you?" he intoned.
   Mary held up her gold coin.  "Some clown gave this to me
instead of a buck.  See if it's good," she whined, slipping
the coin into the opening beneath the window.
   Roy nodded then scooped up the coin.  "A gold piece?" he
thought outloud.
   "Yeah, that's what the clown said," said Mary.  She
plopped down onto a large desk, ignoring a large sign that
screamed with huge letters, "DON'T SIT ON THIS DESK!"  She
crossed her stubby legs then added, "Make sure I don't get in
trouble for doing that...  I want a dollar back so I won't be
short any money."
   "Yeah, yeah," Roy replied, not really listening.  As an
avid role playing gamer, he instantly realized that if this
gold coin turned out to be a real specimen, it would be worth
a whole manure load of money.  "A clown you say?" he asked,
biting the coin.
   Mary frowned.  "Who cares!"  She yawned then said, "He
looked like one of those Dragons and Dungeons nerds... I
don't know!"
   Roy boiled, holding back a scream of annoyance.  D&D
nerd?! he thought.  Stupid bitch.  He pocketed the gold coin
then snatched a Susan B. Anthony dollar from one of the
desks.  He threw it at the window; it bounced down into the
opening.  "Get to work!" he yelled.  "You bitch," he added
under his breath.
   She snatched up the dollar coin then stomped out,
slamming the solid anteroom door behind her.
   Bitch!  Roy thought that as well.
   He turned his attention, once again, back to the large
safe set into the corner of the office, behind the large desk
that Ira was using for a sleeping cot.  Roy quickly dreamed
of all the money contained inside, all the ways he would
spend it, and most importantly, all the girls he could pick
up with it.
   He also wondered if it was locked or not.
   It was.
   Then a perfect idea hit him.  Actually it hit me, but
he's going to act it out anyway.
   He grabbed the phone receiver from under Ira's nose,
looked upon the handy telephone number chart tacked on the
wall above another sign, then dialed the main Cash Control
department, figuring it to be the best source of new and
helpful information.
   Bring...  Bring...  Bring...  Bring...
   "Uh...  Flume of Doom, uh, the manager isn't here right
now--but there's no problem--none, uh... this isn't Security,
is it?  But even if it was, it wouldn't matter because
nothing happened.  Nope, nobody hurt that bad--I mean dead,
uh, right now...  Uh, no accident--not even a little one...  
Bye."
   Click.
   Roy shook his head, checked the list then dialed the
number again.
   Bring...
   "Yello; Main office--Mike here."
   "Get me extension 2-0-6-5, please."
   "Yep--"
   Bring...  Bring...
   "Hello.  This is Cash Control; Kelly speaking..."  She
sounded fat to Roy.
   "Oh, hi Kel, this is--" he glanced at his name tag, "Ira,
yeah.  I seem to be in a spot of trouble right now.  Think
you can help me out?"
   "Sure, what do ya want?"  Definitely fat.
   Roy smiled to himself; "This is going to sound really
stupid, but I forgot the combination to the Games safe and
I've got a line of employees all here waiting for their
money..."
   "Oh don't worry about it; that's what the spare key is
for.  Don't tell me you forgot about the key, too?"
   Roy blinked.  The key?
   Sure enough, a key hung on a little nail in the wall
below two signs; the bottom sign read:

                 "Don't touch!  Safe key!"

   "Thanks a lot, Kelly.  I owe you one."
   "How about tomorrow nigh--"
   Click.