Ticket (part i)

Good day, blogfriends of all species! What follows is the first 300 words of a short story I began writing last night.

I possess a very strong editorial instinct, which ordinarily would have me picking at this passage for days. For a little leaving-well-enough-alone practice, then, I’m going to post this as it stands so far. I also figure that publishing this will increase my motivation to actually finish writing the story!

Here, then, is the first draught of…

Ticket (part i)

The sky was uniformly grey. Jackie hunched, jamming her fists into her windbreaker pockets. She was more anxious than cold.

“Do you think this is the right stop?” asked Vaanadhi, a serene Sri Lankan woman about half Jackie’s age.

“No, I’m not at all sure.” Jackie ran one hand through her mop of auburn waves before softly biting her thumb. “I keep thinking we should be on the other side of the street. On this side the bus will go north only a few more blocks, and then head for the East Terminal, and we don’t want to go there. That’s away out in the sticks.”

Vaanadhi’s dark eyes glowed like precious stones by firelight. “I will follow you.” The two women crossed the street to the west side, where they resumed their wait on the southwest corner. It didn’t seem to matter whether they travel north or south; all that mattered to Jackie right now was that she and Vaanadhi stay on this street.

As the light faded, and the sidewalks and buildings reached the same grey as the cloud cover, a large white bus eased past Jackie and Vaanadhi and stopped. It was not a city transit bus but a long distance coach, with high painted sides and tinted windows for comfort and privacy. “Charon & cie,” apparently a Quebec bus line, was spelled out in large, ropey letters.

With a soft hiss, a door opened halfway down the length of the coach. Just inside the door, a silver cylindrical container with a slit in its top jutted from the stairwell wall. Vaanadhi deposited a coin and ascended the steps. Jackie fumbled in her jeans pocket, pulled out a strange coin with a head on one side and an owl on the other, and slipped it into the receptacle. Then she embarked.

11 Responses to Ticket (part i)

  1. Gina says:

    Love it! Can’t wait to read part two.

  2. Mutual friend Jane says:

    things don’t look good for our heroines; tune in tomorrow

  3. lavenderbay says:

    Thanks, Gina! Encouragement like yours should keep me on track.

    “Oh, I’m sure they’ll be fine, Jane,” replied Turtle, coughing a little to disguise an unrepressable chortle.

  4. Alyson says:

    “large, ropey letters” are in my head now…I’ll be wiritng the menu board up with large ropey letters, just you wait and see.

  5. lavenderbay says:

    That font should work particularly well for spaghetti, Alyson… or maybe seafood.

  6. livingisdetail says:

    Fantastic first draft and I can’t wait to read the rest. What will the twist be? I love the reference to the obolus – “the strange coin”. Very intriguing and a little unnerving.

  7. lavenderbay says:

    I can’t wait to read it either, Livingisdetail, although that will mean having to write it — there’s always a catch. And you, my dear, may step to the head of the class for recognizing the obolus.
    The real-life source of this story contains the tritest twist known to literature, so I’m going to have to pick my way carefully through part ii (and maybe iii) to keep it (them) more fictional and less factual. Wish me luck!

  8. Hmm, I’m not sure I would want to ride on a bus with that name on the side …

  9. lavenderbay says:

    What (snicker) James (giggle) , you don’t like French Canadians (heeheehee) ?

  10. […] parts of my short story “Ticket”. If you haven’t done so, you might want to read part i and part ii before the […]

  11. […] Ticket (part ii) Continued from yesterday. […]

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