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.
Todd jumped back and tapped the trigger twice as soon as his sights were aligned on the clown's face. The glass shattered, and the clowns brains blasted out the back of its skull. It was at this point that Todd became entirely clear of how dangerous the world he lived in really was, and how he now had fewer and fewer bullets with which to deal with it all. His body was relaxed but alert. He assumed a staggered stance prepared ready to fire again.
He couldn't remember the name of the town he was in, and realized how nothing in this place had a name he could remember. Aside from the clown he had just killed he remembered no people, the plaques on the commemorative park benches were blank because there wasn't anyone who ever lived here to commemorate. This place was empty… except for whatever the hell was up with the clowns. Honestly, Todd didn't know what the hell the clown thing was about, but he knew that this town wasn't a normal town, and that whatever it was he was standing in, he needed to get out.
He fished through his pockets and found the Kit Manual. He flipped though the index finding sadly that there was no cross section on clowns and possession. He also couldn't think of how to look up towns without names, he searched selective amnesia and found nothing related to what was going on. He flipped through each little bit of tips, and then just flipped to the first page. The catch all page for bad situations, it had three steps. Step One, keep yourself and your surroundings as safe as possible, and secure the area as best you can.
Upon reading step one Todd mad a dash through the doctor's office kicking open doors and sweeping them with his handgun. After clearing the whole place drawing every shutter to the outside world, and locking every door he could find, he sat in the only windowless room. The room with a single door with no name on it. A desk with no photos. Walls with no pictures or diplomas. It just had the sort of junk that looks like a doctor would have, like a fake skeleton, and posters telling the reader about infection and condoms.
Step Two, think about what is happening as carefully as possible and compare to any experience that seems remotely similar.
Todd began flashing through all of his experiences, he had seen a possessed girl, but he was sure she had been crazy; he had been in small haunted towns, but not with clowns; he had been in a place where he didn't know where he was... but that was different, he had known where he had been before getting there, and he knew how he got there, he had only been lost in the traditional, normal sense of the word.
He looked at the compass on the face of his wrist watch, something nobody else wore anymore. He then spun in place the chair turning. No matter where he faced the compass said north. "So I'm at the South Pole now."
Step Three, don't panic, learn; don't panic, think; don't panic, survive.
Then his phone started ringing.