Belle worked as a waitress at the diner on Route 30; she had four shifts each week, each ten hours. She was thirty-four and had been married once. Now, she just worked to get through the days until the idea of what to do with the rest of her life came along.

She was closing up near ten o'clock on a Thursday. Most of the customers were regulars and the last of the night, Jim Trumble, the local sheriff, had just walked out. She was going for the keys when an enormous man walked through the door. He wasn't tall but he was globular and obese, and wore stained overalls and flip flops. His arms were bare and his shoulders hairy, and the way the overalls pinched and stuck to his body suggested there was nothing was underneath. He was bald except for a crooked mustache and a fringe of hair above his neck; the head was too small for the rest of him.
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Carl was chewing on a microwaved breakfast croissant and watching the news. It was raining outside, and when he turned his head towards the window, he saw the back of man standing in the alleyway behind his apartment, urinating out a word on a brick wall. When the man zipped up his pants and walked away, Carl saw the letters: PENUS.
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January 2015

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