Worth Every Penny 




It looked so shiny, lying there, neglected. It seemed so lonely I picked it up. A shiny brand new penny sat in my hand.  I was rich !!  At least I was a penny richer than when I'd left the house.

         All I had in my pocket was a £1 coin, exactly the price of a carton of milk. That was my latest daring adventure, to buy a carton of milk. Such was my life in the fast lane.  As I approached the shop I noticed a guy standing outside.  He looked harassed and angry.   He was pacing, first one foot would hit the floor then the other, but he was only succeeding instanding still.  I caught his eye as I approached the door. Not usual to my nature I asked him if he was ok.

        " No ! " he said forcibly.       

          I immediately regretted asking him. I was in no mood for sob stories.

         " Bloody fool "  he continued.

       " She won't sell me a pack of cigarettes. I'm a penny short of the price and she won't let me owe her a penny. Bloody jobsworth ! " he sneered.

        Oh Jiminy Cricket be quiet ! I told my conscience. I won't, I can't ! Too late my conscience took over.

        " Here " I said, and handed him my shiny new penny.

He vanished into the shop. Not a word of thanks, he never even looked at me, he just grabbed my precious penny. Or should I say, his precious penny. I stood there like an idiot. A blur flashed by me, it was him, smiling broadly, clutching a packet of cigarettes.

         " I won't  forget " he shouted as his glistening silver sports car screeched away from me. A thousand expletives tried to force their way out of my mouth, but all I ended up with was a carton of milk.

           Next day, I must admit, I wasn't looking for him. I was trudging towards the bus stop on my way to work when I saw him scurrying  from the direction of the shop. Oh god, I thought, I can't even afford to give him a penny today, what's he going to do, mug me ?  He muttered something unintelligeble, smiled, thrust a piece of paper in my hand and drove off. I glanced down, what was this ? A ransom note, his will naming me as sole beneficiary  ?

           It was a crisp, brand new £5 note ! I kept staring at it. My shiny penny was now a crisp fiver. I strolled in to the shop a man of substance. I could afford nearly everything. Should I save or spend my new found wealth ?

On impulse I bought something and walked out.  A fool and his money ........

         I'd bought a lottery ticket. I had no idea what possessed me to do that. I'd never bought a lottery ticket in my life. It was a new world to me. A world of million to one odds that defied description. Oh well, tomorrow was Saturday. Just a few hours to wait and I would be a millionaire. I forgot about the lottery ticket in a matter of seconds. Easy come, easy go I suppose. Saturday night saw me stuck in front of the TV as usual. The usual mix of games shows, movies, wannabee pop stars and reality shows flashed across the screen. I started to drift off to sleep when I heard the words.... and the winning lottery numbers are blah, blah, blah.   Hang on I shouted. I've got a ticket...somewhere.  I found it crumpled in my jacket pocket, I unfolded it and began to check.

          1......Yes,  5......Yes, 12...... Yes, 33....... Yes  42......Yes.

The world stopped for a moment.

          48 ?????????   YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I took a deep breath, somewhere in the middle of it I fainted, but more of that later. Right, it's a mistake ? Just ring the claim line, we'll have a laugh and a joke about the 10 seconds I'd been a millionaire.   I   cursed my heart for beating  so loudly.   The phone fell to the floor.

                 I.....Was.....A......Winner !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

She couldn't tell me how much it was but I was the only person with a winning ticket.  Please call round tomorrow and remember to bring the ticket with you.   WHAT TICKET !!!  I panicked  but the  ticket was still in my hand.  I won't make you too jealous with all the details but the cheque worked out at £8, 843, 632 - 57 pence. Advisers were on had to tell me what to do with it.  I told them they could do what they wanted  with five million as long as it was safe but I wanted 3 million to blow on anything I wanted. They quite happily obliged.  I somehow still wished I had the shiny penny to say thankyou to, but I supposed I could live without it.

           £3 million pounds  !!!  How my mind played with the possibilities.  I still didn't believe it properly but boy was it fun.  I picked up the newspaper which fell open on my lap, I was staring at a picture of an Aston Martin F77.  I think my heart skipped a beat.  It was poetry.  Poetry on wheels with a blood red body.  The most expensive car in the world, shouted the paper.  Coming in at a cool $2.2 million dollars.  What that was in real money I had no idea but the symmetry of the figure appealed to me.  

          Monday morning saw me standing outside the Aston Martin dealership I had  found on the internet.  Silver, red, blue and black starred at me throught the sparkling windows.  Was this Nirvana ?.  An automatic door slid quietly open.  I entered the halls of Valhalla.  I had purposely dressed up for the occasion.  Faded jeans, T shirt with a mickey mouse log that I thought added panache,  jacket that had seen better days and trainers with a hole in  the toe. I forgot, I also had £3 million pounds in my back pocket just to round things off.

       A guy in a suit cut wth sharp razor blades stared at me.  I thought at first he was going to ring for security or

the police but he sauntered over.  He eyed me up and down with the precision of a surgeon.

       " Yes...........Sir ?  he sneered quite eloquently.

        Screw you, I thought, now lets see you earn that suit.

       " The F77, released Friday, I want one.  In red if that's no too much off a problem " 

       I'm not sure if it was a guffaw, sneeze or expletive which left his mouth.

      " I want it by Friday, gift wrapped and ready to go".

      " And how, may I ask. Does sir expect to pay for the errrr   F77 "  he said in a politely insulting way.

      " Cash. I have it on me now. " I insulted back.

       " A hundred thousand pounds in you back pocket if you can deliver on time.

        He stumbled away clutching my cheque book.  I saw him talking on the phone, continually glancing in my direction. His eyes growing wider each second.  He walked back as though in a dream.

        " It will be here Friday sir " he said bowing so low his chin hit the floor.

         " Heres your hundred thousand " I said handing him a cheque. Don't spend it all at once ! Oh that felt so good.  

         " Make sure its full of petrol " I said.   Throwing him a last look of contempt that hit him  squarely beteween the eyes.

          Friday saw me pacing outside the show room again.

Then it happened. A red bullet, roaring with bestial power cruised round the corner towards me.  It shone, no, it bled,

the the most vibrant red I had ever seen.  Every curve was a masterpiece.  It pulsed and vibrated as I approached.  The sharp suit got out and handed me the keys.  He tried to form words but the look of  jealousy sufficed.

          I slid into the fromnt seat, that shaped itself round me.  I caressed the steering wheel as a lover.  Into gear, clutch down, pray to god not to stall and movement.  I cruised.  Oh how I cruised.  Every head turning towards the tinted windows.  Cars stopped to let me passed , acknowledging the master.  Every gear change a symphony, evry touch of the accelerator a mini tornado.  I cruised round streets I knew so well. $2.3 million dollars and me.

I went past every shop, bus stop and stret I knew.  I was in paradise, but as yet the monster had not been unleashed on the unsuspecting  public. I  slowly sauntered up the entry road to the motorway.  I  cast glnces as at the  boy racers

straining to out boy race the next one.  Then I inleashed fury.  Cars jumped out of my way.  I flew, Pegausus reborn.  And still we were untested.  Slowly the throttle eased it's way to the floor.  I hit an open stretch of road and purred with pure venom.  120 mph  ! 150  ! 175  I was the fastest thing in the world.   190 !   196 !! ..just a few feet more.

          The newspapers said the truck driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.  I wasn't to know that. All  I saw was a fleeting glimpse of the huge truck crashing through the central reservation.  They say your life flashes before you in your last seconds.  Bullshit.  You haven't got time to blink let alone relive 30 years.  They said I would have known nothing about the impact as I was doing 202 mph as the truck hit me head on and killed me outright.


So that's my tale.

Was it worth it you ask ?



Oh hell YEAH  !!!!!!!!


Every single penny !!!!






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