"Our top story tonight comes from the city of Zootopia" The lion news anchor spoke in his calm yet commanding voice.
Alex enjoyed watching the news about Zootopia, it was always playing on the small, dusty TV in the upper corner of Mr. Diez's shop. Like everything else in the dull convenience store it was old and battered and way overdue for an upgrade. The fact that the ancient thing still turned on amazed him. It wasn't fun, but it helped to kill time while he slowly wasted his life away making minimum wage.
"A generous individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, has graciously donated several rare, classic paintings the Zootopian Museum of Art and Design."
Although working for the old porcupine was less than ideal, Mr. Diez provided Alex a stable job, which was hard to come by in his struggling town. With businesses closing left and right, the only thing keeping the little shack from going under was the abundance of overpriced alcohol in the back.
"These beautifully preserved works include pieces by Vincent Ram Gogh and Lionardo Da Vinci."
Alex had been trying to save what little money he earned while working at the shop. One day he hoped to get away from this abysmal place and attend the University of Zootopia. After all in Zootopia, anyone can be anything.
"The display should be open to the public by-" The quiet background noise was interrupted by a familiar voice.
"Hey Alex!" Mr. Diez called from behind the counter, "Looks like we got another drunk outside. Take care of him, will ya."
The young Jaguar looked up from where he stood sweeping up at the front of the store.
Outside, stumbling around in the parking lot was a grey wolf. Great. Out of all the species why did it have to be a wolf? Alex had dealt with these situations many times before and readied himself to confront the notoriously unpredictable animal.
"Alright," Alex responded to his boss, "let the police know, I'll keep him busy until they pick him up."
He stepped outside into the empty parking lot. The single light on the side of the building illuminated the now stationary wolf as Alex approached with caution.
"Good evening, sir" Alex greeted him politely.
The wolf looked up at him and right away Alex knew something was wrong.
"Are you alright?" He questioned with genuine concern.
The wolf was ragged in appearance, wearing ripped sweatpants and an orange shirt with far too many holes in it. He was hobbling along on what looked like a broken ankle, and had a strange collar around his neck.
"It's not…" Alex heard the wolf struggle to speak. He looked exhausted and must be in unknown amounts of pain.
"Sir, please sit down, we'll get you some help" Alex tried to help the wolf over to the bench outside the store, but as he moved towards him, the wolf suddenly jumped backwards with a surprising burst of energy.
"NO!" exclaimed the fatigued wolf, as Alex could see his remaining strength draining by the second.
"You mustn't trust the spots." He said faintly, between wheezy breaths.
Just then a police car pulled up and two officers got out.
"Quick, get an ambulance!" Alex called over to them
He turned his attention back to the wolf to see an expression of pure terror wash across his disheveled face.
Before anyone could react, the collar around the wolf's neck began blinking.
"It's the s-" he cried, but it was too late
The wolf's words were cut short as he dropped to the ground, motionless.