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 flicked open his phone. “Hi Jenna, I’m kind of in shit creek right now, and I think it’s about to turn into shit rapids before ending at a shit fall onto pointy, shit-covered rocks.”
“Todd, what happened?” Said Jenna.
“I… You know, I’ll tell you later. Can you give me some advice for what is going on?” Todd needed backup. Or more guns. Or an airlift out of this nowhere.
“Yeah, is Allison with you?”
“No.” Todd really did not need this conversation right now. “She’s dead.”
“Stop!” Todd felt the scratches on his face and chest burning. He needed a way out, not more of this. “I am in mortal danger right now. I need an out, I need a rescue, I need something. And anything to improve the situation would be fine.”
“Todd, I… we, can’t help you,” said Jenna sadly.
His heart dropped a little. “Explain.”
“We can’t find you, at all," said Jenna. "A few hours ago you dropped off of the GPS. We called the cell phone network and they can’t find your phone on the planet. We can’t even figure out how you got through, we've called a dozen times.”
“You know where I am, you sent me here.” Then Todd thought back, he remembered the call but not the directions he was given, not even where he had come from to get here. He wasn't anywhere. "Jenna, I can't remember how I got here. Where am I? Why does my compass say everywhere is north, am I at the south pole? Where am I Jenna? Help me."
He was Nowhere.
“We looked for the directions we gave," said Jenna. "Nobody around here can even remember what state you are in, where you were traveling from, or the name of the place you and Allison rented your car. We can’t find Maxwell, Wilton, or Clair. You’re all gone, and we don’t know where you are.”
Todd decided then that he was on his own. “Well, if I manage to get out of here, I’ll give you a call alright?”
“Todd? What did you say? You’re breaking up, why are you laughing? Todd?”
The phone went dead, and Todd snapped it shut.