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.
Allison wiped up with a handkerchief, cleaning her hands and face, and sat looking, for the second time that day, at Todd pacing around, barking into his phone. When he had finished and walked back within earshot, Allison started in. “What did they say?”
“Not much,” Todd replied. “They agreed with us that your vision falls into the high alert category, but they have no idea what is the best way to respond to this. They’re going to call back in twenty minutes to tell us what they have come up with.”
“What do you think is going on down in that hole?”
“You are better equipped than I to answer that question. Want to take another trip with that voodoo you do so well?”
Allison hated that expression that Todd used to describe her talents. “I’m a little hesitant to try again.” She looked down and away from Todd. After a moment of silence she mumbled, “ I've heard stories of incidents like this, and the places that surround them. Psychics don’t usually fair well in this sort of environment. The visions get extreme.”
Todd sighed quickly, rubbed his head, looked off into space, and after numerous other nervous ticks had been tallied off of his awkward silence check list, he decided on a response. “Alli, I’m going to be honest with you, so try not to take offense.”
“Todd, I’m psychic," said Allison. "If you are going to tell me about how you've had a crush on me since we toured those Incan ruins, I know.”
“No, it isn't that," said Todd. "Although thank you for bringing up yet another uncomfortable thing.”
“It’s okay. Look, I didn't used to put a lot of stock into your visions and premonitions, didn’t put a lot into any of the psychics, but Wilton is my friend from college and he is down in a hole with god knows what, along with his wife, who I introduced him to. Allison, I need you do to whatever it is you do, and help me find my friends.”
“You don’t know-.”
“Correct,” Todd cut her off with a pointing finger. “That is the whole problem, I need to know. You can do this, you know you can, and you are going to do something right now.”
Allison looked up at Todd, knowing she had to try. “You know, pep talks like that don’t usually get a guy laid.”
“ I've shot pirates, repelled down cliff sides, and saved you from drowning. If that stuff didn't get me laid - and it didn't - I question why a pushy pep-talk would. Now, close your eyes, and get going into the wherever.”
Allison closed her eyes, and started screaming.