December 6th, 2005

THE COIN

The other day I was walking to campus and I found this coin on the ground. I stooped down to examine it. Much to my surprise, the coin was made of pure gold, with a large X scratched into the back. Embedded in mud, I had to pry the coin loose by first warming the soil around it. The scent of cold mud lingered in the air as cars drove by quickly along side. At last, the coin was mine! Protective I felt instinctively, I hid the golden coin deep within my parka pocket, and ran into the nearest lecture hall to inspect it further.

Upon arriving in the wash room of the basement I found a rusty sink. Lined with corroded lime deposits, the basin reflected iridescent puddles of oily goo. I was hesitant to turn the faucet. Much to my surprise, there was no cold water. Unfortunately while waiting for the hot water, I used the last of the cold water queued in the pipes, forcing me to mildly burn my fingers washing the coin. To the right was a particle board storage unit with various cleaning agents, and so I took one that looked suitable, plus a dirty shop cloth, and began to wash the coin. After several minutes of pinching my thumbs into the metal disk I had the success I desired. The coin was now good as new, with the one exception of the scratchy X. As I further studied the X, it became to cause me a great dismay.

For the X was now a plus sign.

Half intruigued, half horrified, I ran from the building, heated coin in hand. To my great fortune I found a sewage grate in the road and quickly tossed the coin within it. Hearing a satisfying plop in the sludge below, I startled an old woman, laughing, knowing I had won the challenge against this demonic currency from hell. Signing in relief, I slowly walked to my bus stop, chuckling all the way.