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 fell into darkness, dropping his bat, which floated into the darkness.
He tumbled seemingly forever until he abruptly stopped falling and found himself standing on an Escher stairwell, amid a cavern of halls, doorways, ledges, and steps that mounted the walls, hung suspended in the air. The whole of the twisted room was lit by a vaguely purple glow, like starlight on a clear night.
“Does anyone want to come and tell me where I am, and why clowns are after me?” Directness seemed the way to go. “That would be incredibly helpful, because I am approaching the brink of madness, and really, I’m pretty open to any explanation as to what is going on.
“Thing from beyond the universe, psychic girl killed for no reason, aliens, Candid Camera. I’m not screwing with you, if Candid Camera were to be the ‘it’ of the whole situation, I’d be okay with that, but really I’m not sure how else to approach this whole thing from here on out.
“Where is Clair? Where’s Wilton? Where’s—"
“Hello.” A small voice intruded on Maxwell’s twisted universe.
Maxwell turned with a start and jumped back exclaiming “Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit! Where the fuck?! Where the fuck?! Why?! What?!”
The girl standing in front of him seemed just as startled. “What?!”
They stared at each other, both of them confused and put off, and considering how much younger and meeker the girl looked than Maxwell, she was really having the overall more mature and balanced reaction to the chance meeting.
Maxwell took a few breaths. His hands leveled at his sides. He calmed himself, and straightened out. “I’m Max. Who are you?”