Many years ago I entered one of the quarterly “24 Hour Short Story” contests at Writers-Weekly.com. Essentially, the idea was to write a story based off of a single first line, no longer than the given word limit (1,000 words in the case of that particular contest), within 24 hours. Now I am by no means a fast writer. It may or may not have taken me forty-five minutes just to write the last three sentences. But it sounded like fun, and 1,000 words was surely doable.
The website’s primary tip was this: The judges have to read over 700 stories, all with the same beginning, so for the love of GOD, be creative and give them an unexpected ending. I took that to heart, worked backwards, and at the end of the contest, turned in something I called “Finding Victor.” (Okay, so originally it was called “Meeting Victor,” but the title got mixed up along the way and wound up as “Finding.” It’s a shame, because I liked “Meeting” better, but it’s my own fault, so, oh well.)
My story took 2nd place, netting me $250 prize money and a nice little ego boost, especially since a number of Internet-strangers who read the story wrote to me afterward to say they liked mine better than the 1st place winner. So I call that a moral victory, at least. Yet that wasn’t the end…
Years later, my buddy David Taylor at SciFiCommons was looking for some short stories to turn into audio-plays for a project called Reality’s Edge, intended to be something of a modern, audio-only answer to The Twilight Zone. He and a few others took “Finding Victor” and made it into a reality.
Or nearly so. Technical and scheduling difficulties, unfortunately, ended the Reality’s Edge project before its time. Still, “Finding Victor” was mostly completed, and I have to say that everyone who worked on it did a fantastic job. I didn’t want to let that effort go unheard, so today I present to you the mostly-complete version of the audio-play adapted from “Finding Victor.” All that’s really missing is the intro, and I understand a little music was intended to be added as well, but I think the acting and sound effects stand on their own, and the lack of music works to make it just that much eerier.
So here it is! Give it a listen, and please enjoy…
Michael G. Munz
Man in White/Sound Editing
Amy Herndon and Freesound.org
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