I found a penny in a snowbank.

I feel like puking, and it's not the booze. We are all just fucking animals. Underneath the thin veneer of society, that’s all we are. Just looking at the barkeep, I feel the bile crawl up my throat. I could kill him before he knew what was going on. Just whip the service revolver up from the holster under my coat and plug him right in the head. But I won't. I have my humanity. What a fucked up name for that little voice that says stop. How can you be a human without it? Somehow, some creature goes for groceries, pays its rent and lives within the lines until it decides to ignore the voice of reason. You choose to do what he did. That's what makes me sickest of all. I can choose to stop listening too. I can hunt him down and kill him for making me see these things. Fucking animals.

It was dirty and scratched.

My shift started with the call. Alley behind the public library, across the street from that church. You were frozen stiff. Blood turns a weird color in snow. You can tell if it was warm when it fell. Snowcones still make me sick. Somebody did this in a rush, huh Penny? Tell me who did it. Just crack your lips one last time and give me a name. Glassy eyed stares are all I ever get. The fist closes on my heart again. It's too much. I have to become an animal to catch him Penny. I'm sorry. I'll cry when it’s done.

1 Cent, 1978.

Tell me your story Penny. Did you know the animal? Did he say sweet things to you? Did you take candy from his hairy paw? Did you even understand? How could you? You were a person. You tried to be like him Penny. I see you tried. The blood wasn't all yours. Your nails are busted all to hell. Your voice killed you Penny. You didn't snuff him out before he got you. The law of the jungle was dead to you. It’s not your fault Penny. I'll do it for you. I'll make him pay. I'll cage him up forever and tame him. I'll beat his animal down and break it. Then he'll meet his Big Bad Wolf.

I put it in my pocket.

It's not like the movies Penny. Dignity dies with that last breath. All that’s left is meat. You didn't want to look the way you did. Nobody wanted that Penny. It just wanted to break something beautiful. No music played for you Penny. It didn't rain. The most horrible thing I have ever seen happened on a sunny spring day. It’s all so unfair Penny. You're going to rot in the ground and it’s free. Do you think anyone loved him Penny? Do they know what he is?

It brings me good luck.

I'll get him Penny. I'll make him pay. I'll show him justice exists. Man is more than him. I'll teach him the higher truths, grind his nose in the mess he made. I'll judge him for you Penny. I just need one more to put the fire back in my belly. I need to get him Penny. I can't let him go. To you Penny.

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