One-Page Story: The Lucky Ticket
Detective Danny Loser was at his favourite watering hole to watch the Celtics, drink and feel bad about himself. He hadn’t solved a case in six months. Tessa, the bartender, asked if he needed another one. He just shook his head and mumbled something about needing a break.
It was then that a man who smelled like sardines sat next to him. Like, sat right next to him. The whole bar was open and this nautical-smelling bastard sat right next to Detective Loser. The stranger slid a piece of paper to Danny. This wasn’t entirely new behaviour in Loser’s line of work. By the time the detective looked over, the fishy visage was gone. He took the paper and read it: an address.
For what felt like the millionth time, Detective Loser was behind the wheel of his cruiser, on his way to a random tip and hoping that this would be an easy one. A layup. Something to end this cold streak.
When he arrived at the address, he found a for-lease space with newspaper covering the windows. Loser tried the door but it was locked. There was a sliver of an opening in one of the pieces of newspaper and Danny put his eye to it. The place was totally dark. There looked to be a lumpy outline of something in there and it was moving slightly. The detective hurried around to the back of the building.
He tried the back door’s handle. The handle turned open. That’s when the bag was tossed over his head and he was pulled away by an unknown force. Loser tried to scream but he was muffled by a meaty hand. He heard a van door slide open, which led to Loser being tossed unceremoniously into the back. The van door slid closed and they screeched off.
The bag was pulled off Loser and a scraggly Swedish man who hadn’t had a proper sleep in a month and a half was looking inquisitively at him. The meaty-handed man was driving up front. The Swede wanted to know, in a Nordic accent, who Loser was and what he was doing at that location. Loser, slightly concussed from a bang he received while being tossed into the van, could hardly focus on the man’s face. He tried to form words but apparently wasn’t getting his point across as the Swede grew angrier and angrier until he started to assault the dazed detective. The Swede even went as far as to pull out a gun and put it to the detective’s head. He demanded, in a hilarious, hollering tone, that Loser answer his questions or get what’s coming.
What was coming, evidently, was two flat tires as it was then that the front tires of the van popped. Meat Hands lost control and slammed into a telephone pole. He was later pronounced dead on impact. The Swede had flown, back first, through the front windshield and connected his spine with the telephone pole before rotating and falling to the sidewalk. Detective Loser was still in the back, his head in even worse shape after the slam into the back of the front seat. The side door slid open and a young East Indian woman reached out to grab Detective Loser. She pulled him out of the car and tossed him to the sidewalk. He laid there in a haze, seeing multiple vans and multiple women that all looked the same.
The woman rummaged through Meat Hands’ pockets until she found what she was looking for: a 50/50 ticket. She got out of the van and jumped into a waiting sedan, which burned off into the night.
After the paperwork was done and all parties were interviewed, Detective Loser found himself back at his one-bedroom apartment. He spent the next few weeks at home, drinking and waiting for his head to feel better. On the twelfth day, an envelope was passed under his front door. In it was a letter and a cheque for more money than Loser made in a year. The note said, “thanks for your help. – T.”
Detective Loser took that money down to the watering hole and bought Tessa and himself a drink.