Posted By Mark on April 22, 2013
While preparing for new projects I seem to always go through old sketchbooks, notes, files and random papers in some sort of attempt to mine them for any residual value. In one such exploration (today actually) I ran across a five page story called The Ticket. It was originally going to be part of an anthology that I had been working on called City Yarns, which was very Eisner-esque, in the sense that it was just a bunch of human stories all centered around the city. How it could be a source for bringing people together, tearing them apart and everything in-between. I actually finished the first volume, Closing Doors and other City Yarns, which the main story focused on a failing record store and how it brought people together. The second was Through the Cracks, which upon later reading is very schmalzy, focuses on an old musician that has as the title suggests, fell through the cracks. The final story, Say it in Slugs (taken from an Entombed song) followed a young reporter as he began to uncover the truth about shading politics and business. That was a rather pedestrian take on noir, but still has some good moments. Anyway, the Ticket was meant to be included in the further volumes of the City Yarns series, but at that point I had burned myself out on those types of stories and it stayed on a hardrive for 8 years until I found it again today.
The story focused on a very lonely main character who lived in a flophouse motel in the city. He filled his days with drinking and sleeping and the highlight of his night was listening to the lottery numbers on the radio. Each day was a celebration leading up to that event, which always brought his hopes crashing down around him. At this time I was reading an watching a bunch of Rod Serling projects, so the O Henry endings were really doing it for me at that point, so it ended as most Twilight Zone episodes did… with a cautionary tale about human greed or something.
The reason I’m not explaining the whole plot is I’m actually considering redoing this story again and don’t want to just put it all out there. So go through your old junk! You may find something worth a shit.