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When I was a boy, I fantasized a lot. It was the result of reading sci-fi comic magazines, savoring and digesting their content.

They fed my imagination, gave rise to many weird notions. One of them was my morbid fear of picking up a penny if I saw one lying on the ground. I wouldn't do it. To do so, I was convinced, would have detonated a mad alien's explosive device and result in the destruction of the world.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I saved the world by not picking up stray pennies.

At last, in my very late years, I decided to shake my strange fear of picking up pennies. After all, I was a mature, reasonably intelligent man who had to shake this childish fantasy.

My chance came when I spotted a penny lying in my driveway. "Why not?" I said as I bent to break a habit of many years.

I reached down but my hand stopped inches away from the coin. I stood, smiled. I felt good, like any man who had saved the world once again should.

Story by:

James Lamanna, Jr.

submitted at 2:14am

28 July 2010