Science Fiction and Fantasy Romantica* Novels
From Forbidden Darkness into Enchanting Light
Here's a Short for you
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Fall 2003 24-Hour Short Story Contest
TOPIC! September 29, 2003 - Use the sample below and incorporate it into your story.
"I must have taken a wrong turn after the river, Dad. The pavement stopped awhile back and there's nowhere to turn around."
"Hold on, honey, I'm trying to find it on the map."
"You're starting to break up some."
"I don't see any dirt roads in that area. I'm hearing another voice on the line. It's like a whisper, can you hear it?"
"No, I'm just hearing you and static."
"hang... now... mine..."
"Did you hear that?!"
"Did I hear what, Dad?"
MSWord Count: 998
Kara had to find the Gem of Araro before the Corporation did, and her father knew exactly where to find it. He was already at the location and had sent her a cryptic message on where to meet him.
Jumping into her jeep, Kara headed to the coordinates written on a note she clutched in her hand. She had found the crumpled piece of paper in the waste basket near her bed when she awoke. It stuck out from the rest of the trash, making her take a second look at it. _Something told her to pick it up._ Scribbled numbers in her Dad’s handwriting was written on it; and she new exactly what it meant.
The coordinates led her to a bar on the outskirts of the city. She entered, looking around for her father, but only a few strangers turned her way. I guess I should wait, she thought. There wasn’t a specific time on the piece of paper, and, knowing her father, he could arrive at any time. She headed towards one of the booths, but _changed her mind suddenly_ and took a seat at the counter.
“You Kara?” the bar tender asked as he wiped the countertop.
“Yeah,” she glanced around.
The bar tender held out his hand. “Someone left this for you.”
It was another note with coordinates.
“Thank you,” Kara nodded, and rushed back to her jeep.
The second set of coordinates led her to a gas station, which was quite convenient because she needed the gas. She pulled up to the pumps noticing that one of them had an “Out of Order” sign on it. As she filled her jeep, curiosity made her look back at the sign again. Written in small print on its edge were two words. “Turn Over”.
Kara glanced around, her eyes spotting only the attendant who sat in his booth with a newspaper lifted to his face. Turning her eyes back to the sign, she inconspicuously turned it over.
“Check under your jeep” it read in the same scribbled writing as her first note.
Kara’s heart sped up as she finished pumping the gas. She then got her tire gauge. Feigning to check her tires, she checked the underside of the jeep, and strapped there was a small radio. She immediately grabbed it, stuffed it into her pocket, and started driving back down the road.
“Dad?” she said, speaking into the radio. “Dad? You there?”
It took a few moments before she heard a response.
“I’m here, honey, just keep driving in the direction that you’re heading. I’m tracking you.”
Kara couldn’t hold back her excitement. “Did you find it?”
She heard her Dad’s chuckle. “You know I did. It seems to be in a maze or something, that’s what I need you here for. Take a right.”
Kara saw the turn as soon as her father said it, and made the right.
“A maze?” she asked. “Where?”
“The Tianti Mountains. I found a scroll, and it gives the exact location of the gem. But we have to be careful. It warns of traps. You should see a river on your left. Just follow the road and then use your radio when you get to a cave. We’ll have to be on radio-silence until then, okay?”
“Gotcha,” Kara smiled. “You did great Dad. See ya then.”
“Love you,” he said and the connection dropped.
The river ran parallel to the road for some time before she turned at a curve. Soon, the pavement ended and she was driving on a narrow dirt road with trees aligning both sides. _Something told her she was going the wrong way._ She clicked the button on the radio.
“Dad? You there?”
She heard some static before her Dad’s voice said, “I’m here.”
"Dad, I must have taken a wrong turn. The pavement stopped awhile back and there's nowhere to turn around."
"Hold on, honey, I'm trying to find you on the map."
Static broke up his last few words. “What’s that? Say again?"
"That’s strange. I don't see any dirt roads in that area.”
“Was that you?”
“What?” Kara said.
“I'm hearing another voice on the line. It's like a whisper, can you hear it?"
"No,” Kara strained to hear. “I'm just hearing you and static."
_hang... now... mine..._
"Did you hear that?!"
"Did I hear what, Dad? . . . Dad?"
The jeep jerked as it rolled over something in the dirt, and then she heard an explosion behind her. Kara snapped her head around to see smoke and fire.
“Dad!” she screamed as she was jerked to the side and another explosion set her jeep on fire. She didn’t have time to scream again . . ..
# # #
“Stupid!” Angela shouted out her brother. “You shouldn’t have yelled!”
Kevin glared at his sister. “I didn’t yell, I just told her to ‘Hang a right now. There’s a mine.’ ”
“Kara’s father heard you, didn’t he?” Angela grabbed the microphone. “They’re not supposed to hear you at all. They’re just supposed to “feel” the suggestion, not “hear” it!” Angela made an exasperated sigh. “If you had used the INTUITION feature and used some finesse in your voice, she would have seen the hidden path off the dirt road and had made the right turn!” She looked at the burning jeep on the screen and hit the RESET button. “Okay. Let’s try again. We’ll get her to find the notes her father left with the SECOND LOOK action. And then we’ll use the SECOND THOUGHT feature to get her to talk to the bartender again. This time, I think we should try INTUITION at the river as well, so that she won’t end up on the dirt road heading towards the mine. Okay?”
Kevin folded his arms defiantly. “I didn’t yell.”
The computer sounded its introductory musical theme and displayed the title: V.O.I.C.E.S.
C ONSOLE for