Springer Fiction: Buying Tickets

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It used to be that if you wanted tickets to a show at All Access, you either stopped by Guitars by Gus or at All Access. You handed over the ticket price and walked away with a ticket. An actual, honest-to-God, printed up ticket. All professional and shit.

Springer knew he wasn’t the only one who didn’t like the way All Access had signed on with TRA. He’d heard from damn good sources, folk who’d stop in after they finally kicked the last drunks out, that they hadn’t wanted to use TRA at all. Problem was, they didn’t have much choice. No one did anymore. Not if you wanted to sell tickets to things.

He guessed he wasn’t the only one who’d gotten the early word about tickets going on sale a day early. He’d sat down at nine-thirty, getting up at nine so he could be awake after another all-night shift filled with plenty of coffee and not nearly enough pick-me-ups of the illegal variety. He’d made his TRA account, gotten his brand-new credit card approved and on file. He hadn’t wanted to get a card; Springer preferred cash. He’d seen too many people come into the store and hand over credit card after credit card, hoping one of them would be approved so they could buy their groceries. Credit cards got people into trouble. Springer didn’t want to be one of them. This card was for a twenty-dollar ticket. Nothing more.

Credit was the only way to get tickets, and dammit, he was going to be there. Everyone was talking about Deadly Metal Hatchet. About how cool The Hatchet was. About how they were doing this show here in Riverview, their first time this far North, as a thank-you to ShapeShifter. Rumor had it they’d be opening for ShapeShifter on their next tour. Given that the guys in ShapeShifter turned out for shows all the time, it was certain they’d be there.

Springer knew it was stupid, but he wished he’d be able to hand Eric a demo of his own one day. First he needed a band, then the cash to make a demo. Not to mention the music. But he could dream. And besides, musicians needed to go out and hear other musicians. They needed to sit and dream about when it’d be his turn up there.

Right now, there was no dreaming. Just a lot of pushing the F5 key, waiting for the screen that he’d use to buy the tickets.

And then, it happened. The dreaded white page with the little box near the top. Connection Interrupted.

He’d been disconnected from the TRA site.

He couldn’t buy the tickets.

For half an hour, he clicked on the button, getting more and more frantic.

And then he got through. One ticket, twenty bucks. It was his. They were charging his credit card … Two hundred eighty bucks? What the hell?

He looked more closely. Somehow, all those F5s had loaded seven tickets into his cart. For a second, he thought about buying them and scalping them. With his luck, he’d probably get caught and thrown in jail. Besides, what if he got stuck with them? He wouldn’t have two hundred eighty bucks for months.

Springer logged out and logged back in. Ten more minutes of Connection Interrupted. And finally, one ticket in his shopping cart. He hated the whole shopping cart idea; cool people didn’t use carts. They loaded up their arms and dumped everything on the belt.

The ticket price caught his eye just before he pressed the confirm button. Forty bucks?

He logged out and back in, getting frantic. It was well after the time the tickets had gone on sale. They’d be gone fast. But forty bucks for one ticket? No way in hell was that right.

He fumbled for his cell phone. Trinity was going to get her own ticket. Long story why.

“Forty bucks?” Trinity asked. “Do you believe this shit? TRA, man. I fucking hate them.”

“I get why.”

“Let me try two… see if it’s cheaper… Holy fuck, it’s more!”

“You can get through? I keep getting disconnected.”

Just then, Dad yelled up the stairs for him. “Your grandmother needs you. Stat!”

Springer curled his upper lip. Dad cleaned bed pans. He had no reason to use words like stat. But he did; he thought they made him sound smarter.

“Let me finish this, Dad,” he called through the closed door. “One second and I’m Grandma’s all day long.” Grandma napped every day after lunch. She liked it when Springer stretched out on her couch while she laid down in her bed; she said it made her feel safe. She’d made noises about Springer coming to live with her because we all knew that those home invasions never happened where there were young kids in the house. Not that a young kid who worked the late shift would be around when most home invasions happened.

“Now!” Dad thundered up the steps.

Springer told the computer to charge his credit card.

Connection interrupted.

He screamed and dropped the cell phone, Trinity still on the line, into his coffee cup. Dad came running.

It wasn’t just TRA that Springer was disconnected from.

Time for some Sunday Scribblings! Be sure to see what the DISCONNECTED prompt inspired in others. And gang? Leave a comment. Let them know you were by.

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