by Bryan D. Catherman
It had been five months since the satchel containing strange items had been left in my restaurant. Among them is an unsigned winning lottery ticket, the very thing causing me such grief.
The other items are a copy of the local paper, dated November 3, 1991; two spent rifle cartridges I assume to be 7.62mm; Potok's novel, My Name is Asher Lev in paperback with page 243 dog-eared, which is no rightful place to pause; two spoons; a map of Cypress; a peculiar but rather dull photo of the end of a building wall; and of course, a winning lottery ticket from this very city.
Although my restaurant isn't kosher, I'm a God-fearing man. Surely, I couldn't have claimed the ticket so soon after my discovery of the satchel, but now it has been five months and the ticket expires in exactly one week.
I have analyzed every clue and come up empty. I posted the photograph on my menu board between the soups and fresh breads inquiring of my patrons if they recognized the building. None did. The picture is my last clue but it yields no answers. If it were of a face maybe, but it's not. It's only of a depressed wall of no consequence. Why would anybody photograph it?
So it's decided; I will claim this ticket. But so as not to bar my entry into the Eternal Kingdom, I will forever seek the rightful owner of this ticket and return to him this unnerving photograph.