All his adult life Joe had been living an alley life. Taking from others. Eating others remains. Not willing to spend out of his pocket, but interested in hoarding what was his.
He could not see himself as anyone but the richest man in the city.
The only way this creature could figure out how to get that is to steal and connive.
Everyone hated him. People gave soured looks when they heard his name. Innocent became damaged. Trust was taken out of his dictionary. All that remained was evil, theft, hatred, jealousy. This was his dictionary of life.
He had grown up poor. His Mamma took in ironing. His Pappa had worked the mines but had ended up paying a high price and died of lung cancer. His sister ran off with the first man who sugar-coated his words.
Now it was up to him to make a life for himself. He swore to himself he would be damned if he was going to live as his family. He wanted more and no matter how he had to do it, he would wear blinders.
He knew the good word. He went to Sunday School as a child. But no one could get him to accept the idea of worshiping a man who had never been seen. Who was so crazy that they would grasp at the imagination, cling to empty words? Well, not him. He would work hard, he would become rich. He would own the city when he was done.
One day as he had just taken another bag of money from an unknowing human he was racing down the streets. He had his routine. He knew the favorite hide-out. It had worked each and every time.
But this time his game plan failed. The people he had stolen from knew his name. They offered him to dine with them before he left and went on his way. The food was delicious. He had seconds. He took the food. He took the goods.
He ran but he started cramping. Running became a slow pace. Power became weak. The once clear skies became black with birds. Vultures ready to pick the life from his bones. He tried to run faster but his body fell to the ground. The birds feasted. The town returned to quiet. The man who had offered him food was sitting on his porch smiling.