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.
The White Hat organization has not existed since time immortal, nor has it existed for centuries. For that matter, it has yet to exist for decades. The White Hats began in 1997 in a small college town. Spreading through social networks and the Internet, the club that started out to study various strange occurrences, unique artifacts, and secret histories in a small (and possibly haunted) New England town grew because for some reason the Internet had made magic and the occult fringe cool.
Today the White Hats, having taken their name from a popular fantasy television show, are a rather massive academically-minded organization that combs the world for the bizarre, both for learning and for profit. Collectors and scholars run the White Hats, each taking the time to catalog and preserve the grand and shadowy history of the world, and simultaneously eliminate falsehoods from record. Regardless of the evidence they collect they remain fringe, forced to keep an online reference site that catalogs the missing information of the world's Encyclopedias that Britannica refuses to acknowledge as having happened or actually existing.
Very recently the organization has found itself more and more the first line of defense for communities, and at least one time the whole of the world, against the movements of the various unusual threats the supernatural coughs up when so closely perused. Some more noble minded individuals throughout the White Hats have claimed that the furious speed of growth to the organizations ranks, the instantaneous locating of funds, and the growing level of conflict are all signs of a cosmic need for the group. This theory has done little to sell t-shirts or a cartoon series based on the organization’s efforts.
The White Hats have few tenets, but those that they do emphasize preparedness and safety. Unfortunately those rules are being neglected more and more by the growing number of thrill-seekers within the White Hats, and frequently, they are outright forgotten by the less focused members.