I just finished the 2nd draft of a short story I began almost a year ago. It’s called, “The Choice,” and I am marketing it as a religious horror story. I decided to share a short excerpt of the current draft in this post. It is currently out in circulation to friends for editing.
This is also my first story I am going to send out for publication (a.k.a. rejection letters).
Does anyone know any horror short periodicals that solicit pieces longer than 5,000 words? I was hoping to send this to Cemetery Dance, but they have a 5,000 word guideline, and the current version is clocking 8,628 (I might be able to get it down to 7,500-8,000, but 5,000 is just not possible!).
Cobwebs covered the monitor. She hadn’t noticed earlier. How was that? She had watched through a complete cycle of the screen saver. It was like the silky strands had appeared while Lacy was staring at the stereo. Feeling slightly uneasy, she decided she must still be sleepy, and took a sip of her juice.
However they had gotten there, the cobwebs were definitely bothering her. They were thick; Lacy had never seen cobwebs so thick, and they seemed… wet.
Carla had many faults, but lack of cleanliness was not one of them. She was meticulous about dust, and never would have overlooked large cobwebs draped around the monitor. She pushed them aside with her hand, disgusted at how they clung to her skin, and decided to grab a paper towel for the rest.
Coming back from the kitchen, she dropped the towel.
The cobwebs were gone.
A quake passed along her spine. She peered back into the kitchen, suddenly concerned that she was being watched, but there was no one there. She stared at the monitor, trying to find some bit of web leftover. She had washed the stickiness off her hands, and without that small proof, it was difficult to shake the feeling that she was losing it, her sanity that is. She waited a while then picked up the paper towel. She wiped the monitor and checked the towel: meticulously clean.
Unsure what to think, Lacy decided to continue as though sane. She fired up Internet Explorer, Solitaire, I-Tunes, and her email program, unconsciously hoping her fear would drown in activity.
The first one ready was the email. It fired up almost instantly. The other programs sputtered along, hourglass spinning, and refused to load despite several re-attempts. She cursed, resting on her earlier prognostication of Jed’s successful virus hunt. Pulling up the email program, she clicked on the inbox, and saw she had a new message.
“One message? Freaking loser friends. Where is everybody?”
To add to her annoyance, she didn’t recognize the sender. [None] was written in the subject line, usually a dead giveaway for virus-touting marketers. But feeling impatient from fear, and annoyed by the small inbox, she opened it.
“What?” she said.
The message had only three words:
Look Behind You
So she did.
She turned very slowly. Jokes weren’t Jed’s kind of thing – they took valuable time from gaming – but it was possible her friends had gotten Jed to let them inside. Lacy could imagine his response, “Whatever man, your funeral,” as he let them in. Wondering who it might be (praying silently that they wouldn’t spray anything on her new skirt), she turned around.
It was Carla.
She looked dead.
What do you think?
I’ll keep you posted on my query attempts in future posts.
Cross your fingers, say some prayers, and wish me luck!
(and yes, this is not a Wednesday Watercooler post, but a Friday one. I’ve been running a bit slow these days)