I was all excited about a coming competition with Figment.com called "Defy The Dark"
The winner of the Defy the Dark contest could get a chance to be published in a HarperTeen anthology.
I was considering trying to do this context. For the past few days.
I liked the title, the theme. Defy the Dark.
So I read the guidelines:
Submission must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
Write a story that takes place at night or in the dark.
The story can be of any genre: contemporary, paranormal, horror, science fiction, romance, humor, fantasy, etc.
Deadline:1 st of September.
So I wrote the piece. right. And just when I am considering entering the competition, I re-read the guidelines again and noticed you have to be a resident in Canada and/or the USA.
So that's that.
Anyway, I decided that I should put a sample here. The rest is on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/223597
All comments are welcome.
The story is based in the USA, near New York even though I've never been to the USA. Maybe one day.
In my many layers of t-shirts and my floating jeans, I walk along graffiti walls for a few blocks. I can’t wait to reach the Wal-Mart parking lot. The streets are well lit but the night is cold and dark with no moon above my head.
There’s not even the sound of wind in the trees, just the sound of car engines further down the street. Around the corner, a bunch of graduates are laughing, punching each other as they speak. Two of them are leaning against a streetlight. They look pretty drunk. I cross the street to avoid them.
They hear my footsteps. One of them sees me and stares.
“Hey, aren’t you in Holman’s class? Com’on. Join us,” he says.
I gulp. I know these guys. Holman hates my guts. I feel the weight of my body as I always do when I want to run and know I can’t.
As one, they recognise me and spin around. They throw their empty beers in the gutter and start walking towards me.
There’s this need in me to turn around and run. But instincts tell me it’ll only make matters worse. I wouldn’t last two minutes anyway.
So I take a deep breath, push my hands hard in my pockets and curl them into fists. Big white puffs of steam come out of their mouth. They are now taunting each other to find out who’ll start with me.
I’m still walking towards them, as calm as a prisoner about to be executed.
I’m cold, numb and terrorized but something else has taken over from me.
I want it to be over with.
Maybe they’ll beat this thing out of me.
It's funny, I think. When I ask anybody around me about supernatural abilities, they immediately think of vampires.
I hate vampires. Twilight madness. These guys could be blood suckers for all I know and nobody would care. They certainly look like suckers. But as long as vampires will make people dream, they’ll keep the dream coming.
Now it’s fifty shades of grey. New phase. New dreams.
I’ve stopped dreaming long ago. But I can’t stop myself from asking people the same question.
“Why would they want supernatural abilities?”
And to anybody I’ve asked, they all answer the same thing. Nobody minds the type of supernatural abilities they’ll have, as long as they can have one. They all want the same thing.
To be a hero. To be different.
If they knew what it takes to be “different”, they wouldn't be so damn wishful about it.
They all want to be powerful: time-travellers, shape shifters, witches, werewolves, ghosts, angels, demons, gods.
The whole thing should make me laugh really. But I’ve also lost my sense of humour. And I’m only eighteen.
Phil thinks I’m a sad case.
I don't know why I keep asking “them” about supernatural abilities. By “them” I mean anyone I know at high school. I guess I’m hoping to understand what I’m supposed to do with this thing.
I shouldn't say “them” as if I wasn't part of them because I am.
In a way. A very distanced way.
I'm no angel, no demon either.
I'm “different” for a lack of a better word and wish I wasn't.
Yeah, suck it up, I know. Everybody is different.
No, I don't mean it like that.
I mean I have one of those supernatural abilities.
But there's nothing "natural" or "cool" about it.
I don't run like the wind. I can't knock down a tree or change into a wolf.
But I've felt like howling and I've been told I smell like a wet dog.
I disgust myself.
It's this thing. It makes me sweat like you wouldn't believe it.
And no amount of body spray can cover it. I've tried.