Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scratch This Itch

I just finished a short story yesterday, a noir piece I wrote in two sittings called "The Ticket." This story was inspired by one of my co-workers winning half a million bucks a couple of weeks ago on - get this - a scratch ticket.

Now I will be the first to admit I'm not much of a gambler - in fact I have a funny story about something that happened to me when we vacationed in Vegas a few years ago that I might tell you if you buy me a couple of drinks - but I had no idea it was actually possible to win that much money on a single scratch ticket. My daughter won seventy-five dollars on a one-dollar ticket last winter and I was amazed at that, but five hundred grand? Wow.

Anyway, after my co-worker won that big prize (Congratulations Bill, don't forget the little people when you go Hollywood) it got me thinking - which is almost never a good thing - suppose the guy who won a big, fat, completely unexpected jackpot on a lottery ticket wasn't a middle-class family man with a steady, mostly respectable job?

What if the guy was a leg-breaker named Beck, working for a low-rent loan shark, wracked with guilt at doing the only job he's suited for, the only job he's good at, who comes into all this money and looks at it as his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape the crew he is working for and make a brand-new start at a respectable life?

Sounds good, right? How can you not root for this guy? Who hasn't looked at his own life and thought how much better it would be if he just came into [insert completely unreasonable amount of money here] dollars?

There's only one problem. Beck's boss, Fat Tony Fillichia, knows about Beck's million-dollar score (For the purposes of my story, I thought a million bucks sounded better than five hundred grand. Sorry about one-upping you, Bill) and he wants his share of it, which Beck is not about to give up. It was his ticket, after all.

Anyway, that's the premise of "The Ticket." I'm not about to let you in on how it ends, to do that you'll have to read the thing for yourself, and to do that, I'll have to get someone to run it in their magazine, and to do that, I have to get back to work and start the submissions process.

Hopefully someone will see this story as worth publishing, because I'm really happy with how it turned out. If and when that happens, I'll be sure to let you know where you can find it.

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