“Take an event from history and write a fictional account describing a conspiracy theory about what “REALLY” happened. Or, if you prefer, write a scene about a character who believes in one or more conspiracy theories.”
[Word Count Limit]
Found out about the contest around 6:00PM PST on 04/04/2018… the day the short story was due was…. at 8:00 PM PST 04/04/2018
Around 90 minutes.
500 Words, cut down from around 680.
Started from a Lee Harvey Oswald bit to this:
Down the Highway 285, just about when drivers would think they’re in the middle of nowhere, there was a diner. It looked like an old chrome box and during the day it glistened under the blistering sun and at night it lit itself up with the bright red neon sign on its roof that simply read: “DINER”. They figured no one cared about the name of the place.
It’s 1969. The time was 1 AM.
Jim sat at his table with his coke bubbling through the ice cubes. He scratched his head with its crew cut and pushed his thick black-rimmed glasses back on to the top of his nose with his index finger. He opened his mouth to speak to the lanky man in his fancy suit and matching fedora before closing it to gather his thoughts again.
“I’m telling you it’s all true, Jim,” the man in the fancy suit said. “All those people who’ve told you that you were mad… they were wrong.”
“But…” Jim still couldn’t find exactly what he felt was wrong.
“How long were you searching for us?”
“…for 23 years. Jesus. That’s two wives and three children.” Jim sat back a bit and sipped on his coke.
“I’m here to tell you that we’re real,” The man gave Jim a kind, comforting smile.
The man removed his fedora. Four green tendrils shyly poked above his thick, black hair. He then pointed his finger at his forehead where a third eye opened stared at Jim’s reluctant face.
“What is it, Jim? What’s wrong?” The man asked.
“You can’t be real,” Jim said sternly.
“I’m saying, where’s the MIB? The boys in the shadows? The Men in Black?” Jim tried to keep his voice down. “How can I be speaking to you right now?”
“I don’t… think they’re real.”
“They’re not real?! Ha! Then what’s the government using the tobacco industry for? What’s Vietnam for? Think man! Think!”
“I…” Worried about the commotion, the man retracted his tendrils and put back on his fedora.
“Do you really think that the government would let aliens just walk around willy-nilly? Talk to us? Let them observe us? Bullshit! That’d be utter chaos! What’s the point of paying taxes then!”
“I have… I don’t know.”
“Then who’s propagating this idea that Earth is round, man?! And that “moon” landing a week ago? Come on!”
“Earth… is round.”
“Earth. Earth is round,” Jim groaned. “Jesus Christ. I don’t know who put you up to this but they at least need to do better homework.”
“You boys okay?” The waitress asked.
“Yeah,” Jim stood up. “And he’s getting the check for wasting my time.”
Jim put on his jacket and his fedora. With his briefcase clenched tightly in his hand he walked out to the cold, desert night.
He lit a cigarette and looked up into the sky. The vast black canvass of endless stars, mysteries, and other lives.
Someday, Jim told himself. Someday he’ll find the truth.
Well. There it is.
That’s the copy and paste of the story. A direct link HERE. There’s a lot of great other submissions to read as well so make sure to check out the whole thread if you click on that link.
In the end, while I had a lot of fun writing this story I wasn’t entirely happy with it. But it was good to write something from beginning to completion again and I submitted it regardless.