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.
Maxwell continued to wander the carnival. Lost and without real direction, he would pick arbitrary points of reference to navigate. Get to the Ferris wheel, and he did. Get to the Log Flume, and he did. Get to the Super slide, and he did. But no matter how much he managed to map out in his head, how good a grip he got on the place itself, he couldn't formulate a plan, a meaningful place to look. He called their names for a while, called for help after that, until eventually he just sat down on a random bench in a random set of shops, and thought.
He was there for a short while, beaten and tired, and holding his head in his hands. Then Maxwell felt someone sit down beside him. He was nervous, and angry at himself for not being aware, for letting himself be stripped of his edge because he hadn't run into anything.
“You can look at me, you know,” the voice was friendly it seemed, and very different from the clown Maxwell had killed, and so he looked at him.
The figure that sat next to Maxwell looked like a rich guy who had been going on vacation, but somewhere along the way had decided to put on clown make-up to audition for the circus. Failing to be accepted into the circus fold, he had then stabbed himself in the eye with a kitchen knife, right up to the handle, then a little further. “Hi,” Maxwell said.
“Hi,” the clown said, “My name’s Ernie.”