A little while ago I wrote a short story for the L. Ron Hubbard "Writers of the Future Contest". I did not win, and I know why, my story is really more horror than Science Fiction or Fantasy. But I decided that I will post each chapter here on my blog. There are 37 very short chapters, for a total of 15,000 words, about a fifth of a modern novel. Here is the start.
“Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!” A voice boomed down the line of games and ticket booths. “Come play my game, if you dare!”
Wilton and Maxwell stalked down the line of game booths and food stands each brandishing their bats, following the challenging invitation of the voice. Both were filled with anger and purpose, and neither knew what to expect.
“So what should we be expecting?” asked Maxwell.
“I don’t know,” said Wilton. "I suppose I could tell you to be ready for anything, but that should be a mantra at this point."
“So what is the plan?” said Maxwell.
“Beyond following the sound of this voice, and kicking its ass," said Wilton. "I don’t have much of a plan.”
“Wil, you know how I sometimes say that you think too much?”
“Can you go back to that?”
Wilton didn’t stop moving toward the voice, but his thoughts began to grind differently, and he decided to take stock of assets. “Max, what do you have a degree in?”
“Theology," said Maxwell. "With a minor in folklore. Why?”
“What is the most common religion of the town around here?”
“I don’t know," said Maxwell. "I don’t really remember. What are you aiming at?”
“Have you ever looked through and read up on what is in a White Hat Kit?”
“Inside is a mini manual that gives helpful tips for dealing with zany shit like.” Wilton paused and gestured outward to the carnival surrounding them. “One of the things they recommend for supernatural nonsense is appealing to a higher authority.”
“God?” Maxwell was a little taken back.
“You’re the expert," said Wilton. "Which one do you think we should be asking for help?”
"I don’t know," said Maxwell. "This falls a little outside the purview of typical religious imagery, don’t you think?”