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.
One could see a very large hole in the logic of actually approaching the carnival. One might also state that approaching a carnival in the current circumstances actually had no logic, that the sanest course of action would be to walk back down the dead-end cave, lean against a poorly lit wall, and chat, while waiting for starvation and thirst to take their toll, allowing a gradual death free of the logic-less course that passed into the carnival. The White Hats, having experienced logic-less courses of action in the past, and having so far had relative success with them, decided to be illogical, and visit the ticket booth. Confident that in doing so they would at the very least then be able to clearly discern their location… they would be at the ticket booth.
“Anyone here?” Maxwell cupped his hands over his eyes against the glass of the booth and peered through, choosing to ignore the prominently posted ‘back in five minutes’ sign that hung in the window.
“While I admire your desire to offer payment for entry,” said Wilton, “I am fairly certain we can get over or around the turnstile without difficulty.”
Maxwell looked back at him with a perplexed expression, “We aren’t going to try to anyone here?”
“Max, do you really want to find someone down here?” Clair looked at him with the sort of look that says ‘you wouldn't really want to live in the wild west, there were lots of guns and STDs, and very little gold in spite of what the movies lead you to believe.’ The look made Maxwell feel foolish, realizing that finding more people down here would be a sure indicator of other people not being able to get out.
Wilton had climbed to the top of a turnstile and was surveying the surroundings. “Personally I would be very happy to just walk through this scene from a Lewis Carroll story without incident or contact of any kind.”
Maxwell shrugged, and walked with Clair to the turnstile where Wilton helped lift them up and over before jumping down after them and once more taking the lead.
As Wilton began to take a closer look at the various empty game stands and store fronts, Maxwell asked, “Do you guys think we should maybe look for something to defend ourselves with?”
Wilton looked back at him with raised eyebrows. “That is a good idea.” He stepped over to a game stand, sat on the counter and swung his legs over into the booth. He began searching through loose bric-a-brac, including a heroic pile of stuffed animals. He eventually pulled out a pair of baseball bats and tossed one to Maxwell.
Clair, seeing she needed to provide her own weapon, walked over to a Strong Man Hammer Strike Game, picked up a mallet, turned and struck the launcher plate at the base of the bell slide. The ring that quickly followed drew and impressed whistle from both the men. Clair struck a Rosie the Riveter pose and then slung the mallet to her shoulder with a cocky head jiggle. “Not exactly a Kit-provided weapon, but it still has a sort of ‘God of Thunder’ appeal to it.”
“Clair, your appeals are numerous," said Wilton. "And hardly limited to your choice of weapon.”
The three continued into the Carnival, winding their way deeper into a place they would never have expected to be in.