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.
“My name is Allison. Can you help me out here?” said Allison.
“Okay,” said Maxwell started to shake a memory loose in his head, a sticky note he had forgotten about until now, “You know, I know an Allison, she and her partner were supposed to come down here with my friends and me. Guess I forgot to give Wil that message.”
“Don’t worry about that now. I’m going to do my best to get you back on track. First let’s-"
“Hello again, Maxwell!” the voice was cold, wet, and gargled almost beyond clarity, but the tone was filled with malice that Maxwell remembered. The Clown with a smashed face, bloody and dented from bat impact, wandered forward into the purple haze of the crooked room. “You didn't play fair that last time. But to answer your question from before, yes I do believe in God, but here his gaze can’t reach. The shadow of this place is too cold and dark for him to risk coming down for a visit.”
Maxwell positioned himself between the clown and Allison. He wasn't going to let down the first and only friendly face he had met here, (well, unless you count Ernie, but he had been having his own issues at the time). Maxwell wasn't going to let the clown hurt her. “Why don’t you go to Hell, you fucking freak?”
The clown smiled, or at least twisted the gurgling mass of the half formed skull into what might have been a smile or a snarl. It then turned away laughing and wandered off through a doorway, his laughter echoing through the crooked room, then vanished.
“I didn't expect it to be so easy," said Maxwell. "To think all I had to do was ask.”
“He didn't go far, just off to get some friends.”
“Yeah, well, I've got a lot of bullets for this.” Maxwell drew his pistol from the back of his waistband.
“Okay," said Allison. "If that makes you feel better about the whole thing, but we really need to get going.”