Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | 5 p.m.
Two years before John O'Brien's "Leaving Las Vegas" was published, and six years before the author killed himself, O'Brien wrote a short story about a man callously facing his demons in a Las Vegas neighborhood.
The short story, titled "The Tik," is O'Brien's last known Vegas-based story and came to light via his sister, writer Erin O'Brien, after she had been approached by editors putting together "Las Vegas Noir," an anthology of crime fiction.
Accompanying the book's release, O'Brien, who finished some of her brother's books after his death, wrote a very personal and loving and story about her brother's life through his work for the Cleveland Freetimes.
In the article, she weaves together family history, sobriety, alcoholic ruin and death as seen through her memories and her brother's books and realizes "The Tik" for what it really was.