Author: Patman PM
Pennies, pennies, pennies. Is this guy nuts or what?please note i made a mistake and don't know how to fix it. In the 6th paragraph, it says FRANZ turned to his speaker instead of WALTER. I don't know how I missed that one when I was proofreadingRated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Words: 1,135 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-22-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2265080
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Walter wouldn't have even noticed the penny had it not been an exceptionally sunny spring day, the light reflecting off it making the cheap coin into a copper droplet of sunshine. He stooped over and held the thing in his fingers for a moment before slipping into his back pocket. But before his fist had even relinquished the token, he felt a strong tugging at his wrist. Before he could turn to see who it was, he was ripped several yards through the air. He finally saw his attacker; a large, squid-like tentacle protruding from an open manhole. Unable to see how this could be happening, he allowed himself, mouth agape in shock, to be pulled into the black sewers. Only a short distance away, an extremely puzzled little girl dropped her candy bar and ran to the other end of the schoolyard.
"I am terribly sorry about all of this, Franz was only supposed to grab pennies, I didn't mean for any people to be dragged into all of this."
The thirty year old man huddled on the wet floor slowly opened his eyes and turned to the man who spoke.
"Who are you, young man?" the figure inquired.
"Walter. But I do think it's me who should be asking who are you?! What was that all about, and where is this-" he turned around and suddenly saw a large heap of flesh, with several tentacles reaching into to sewer network turn one of it's eyes towards him. As one may have expected, Walter let out a loud scream. The man laughed,
"Don't let Franz bother you, I keep him well fed. I just need him to collect a few extra pennies, to keep my collection growing." He motioned to the jar of change by the creature's side. One of the tentacles came back into the room, dropped in another copper coin before showing itself back out. It was only now that Franz took a good look at the speaker. He wore a pair of fishermen's boots, a tee-shirt with a slashed "c" emblem on it, a high protruding and ruffled collar as well as a black cape. The man was probably in his late 40's balding to the point where it was visible even though he wore a large and ornate copper crown.
"But who am I? Come, I'll show." The copper laden, mild-aged man grabbed Walter's should and with a limp, briskly led him out of the room, down a cavernous hallway.
Walter was astounded. Huge piles of pennies were at various points in the hall. Along the hallway were large wooden doors, some opened just enough to reveal the vaults and hordes of the metal tokens concealed within.
"I am the penny-man. As you may or may not have guessed, I LOVE pennies." Walter didn't doubt it. "It's amazing, that no one really seems to care about them, but they are beautiful things. People just discard them, but why? People don't drop twenty dollar bills on the ground, nor fifties, do they? No, the idea seems ludicrous, so what makes pennies an exception? It's still legal currency. And unlike bills, where you just go by what it says on the little piece of paper, you can actually feel your wealth accumulating. I just can't get over it. I've written a song about them, would you like to hear it?"
"Great!" he turned to a boombox in the corner of the room (apparently he had it all preplanned) and began to accompany the synthetic orchestra. He held the last note with a vibrato, and with a swift timpani roll the tune was done.
"Well?" the penny-man inquired
"Haha, that's OK, I'm still editing it. Though I do like how that bit at the end sounds. You'll have to excuse me, I've got a cold."
"Sure…" said Walter, "But how did you get all these pennies? I mean, even if you keep all the change when you grocery shopping and stuff, it wouldn't amount to all of this." The penny-man thought the answer was obvious.
"Of course not, you silly-willy head! I had to get them everywhere I could. When I passed a jar that said 'take-a-penny', I did so without a moments hesitation. I worked as a cashier and asked the people if they really wanted the change for their 99 cent bag of chips, and kept the coin. I converted my whole life savings to pennies, and sold everything I owned to obtain more." He sighed, "But even all of this wasn't enough, so I followed a dark road; yes, I AM the infamous penny-bandit! I robbed banks to get more! But I could only take so many at a time, so to get any real money, I robbed as many as six hundred, perhaps more, banks; repeatedly and independently. So as you can see, my criminal record isn't great. And I hope you realize it's nothing personal when I say that now I have to kill you." And with that, he drew a revolver from his side pocket, pointing it coolly at Walter.
"WHAT?!" Walter screamed, "I'm not going to tell anyone, honest! I've never even HEARD of the penny-bandit!"
"Your desperate lies only make this more pathetic… no, I can't bring myself to do it!" And with that, he dropped the thing to the floor. Walter gave a sigh of relief, before he heard what the penny-man said next. "Franz!" he called. The squid like beast from before approached, saliva dripping from its undernourished beak.
"Lunch!" the penny-man said, before turning away and limping down the hall.
Walter had managed to escape back to the sewers, but the thing was now close behind him. The beast pulled itself along by its muscular tentacles, Walter always just out of reach. Finally, he saw the open manhole from which he came, sunlight streaming in. He scrambled up the ladder, but just as his fingers hit the asphalt, he was yanked back by Franz the monster. It had him now, Walter realized, and there was no way out. But suddenly, he felt something next to his arm. He lifted it up: a large, sharp axe , probably left from picking ice by sewer maintenance the previous winter.
"AHA!" Walter bellowed, raising it up high. Franz gasped, he knew what Walter was going to do. Walter swung it over his shoulder and hacked off his own leg.
"Can't get a cripple!" he laughed, the monster watched helplessly as Walter covered the wound and climbed back up to the sunlit metropolis above.