Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hole in a Field, Chap 37

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.

(This is the last chapter.  If you want an epilogue explaining everything, please comment on here and tell me so.)

Chapter 37:
Maxwell was standing alone in the attic of an abandoned house.  The whole place was dark but for a glow out of the window. There, three cords hung from a hole in a cavern ceiling and down into the darkness of the cavern floor.  As he peered around the room tiny metal figures made themselves clear to him, miniatures of clowns and Ferris Wheels, of a little town… and more clowns.  The room had a bed, fallen in on itself from decades of being in the moist underground, and lying across it was a skeleton, juicy and covered in clothing with a long faded clown motif. Wrapped around the skeleton’s neck was a cord or rope.

Maxwell left the room untouched and wandered down through the house that seemed to fill this hole for the most part.  It was dark and smelled of earth but it was a house, and not some twisted little dimension filled with stairs and undead clowns. It was a place, and Maxwell wanted to leave.  He wandered a stairwell and saw more bodies, mummified with age, in different clothes and with different looks, all ancient and moist from the underground. Maxwell’s reaction was blankly distracted.  He felt something on the edge of his mind, a dizziness, or sickness, like he was sleepy or the world was pressing down on him. He felt like he was breathing through a sheet, stifling and uncomfortable.

Maxwell reached the front door and lying rigid on the threshold was Clair, cold and dead.  A few feet away Wilton’s body was splayed out.  Just outside the circle of light were the bodies of Todd and Allison.  Maxwell climbed out of the hole and into the field where he found the cars they had all rented, alongside another car, which Maxwell saw belonged to the guy he had only been introduced to as Ernie (minus the knife in the eye). All were sitting outside around the hole and the nearest road was on the horizon.

Maxwell popped open his rental car and dug his phone out from inside the central console, dialing out.  “Hat Rack, this is Maxwell," he said.  "Hey Jenna, yeah, I know.  Listen, something weird is happening. I need help.”  He then let the phone drop to his side and looked out at the field a Merry-Go-Round turning slowly. He blinked and focused his eyes, and it was gone.  He pressed the phone to his ear. “Be quick.” 

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