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'Carry the Light' Excerpt: Project Icarus

This short story, written by a high school student, won honorable mention in the science fiction/fantasy fiction category for the San Mateo County Fair literary contest. It appears in the "Carry the Light" anthology.

Editor's Note: For the first time in the history of the San Mateo County Fair, a 300-page anthology has been published that includes more than 100 stories, poems and essays from writers who submitted award-winning work for the fair's literary contest. The idea was the brainchild of Bardi Rosman Koodrin, a San Bruno resident who runs the fair's literary contest, and the anthology, titled "Carry the Light," features work from many Peninsula writers.

When an old detective investigates multiple mechanical failures, he believes he is about to unearth a government conspiracy, but when he decides to investigate, he learns much more than he bargained for.

From p. 140, "Project Icarus"

Jake’s hands subtly shook as he expertly picked the lock of the local police station. One might think, from looking at his hands, that he had some connection to the deceased girl on the examining table, and he had come to pay his respects. Had one followed that thought, two questions would immediately spring to mind, first of all, how did he know she was dead? And second, why couldn’t he come back in the daytime? Both of these questions would be answered by the idea that he is on the run from the government, either as an escaped criminal, or more excitingly, a conspiracy theorist. However, nobody did see Jake as a quiet click that was lost in the raucous snoring coming from inside the building and he pushed open the door to the station. However, had one seen him and his shaking hands and come to the conclusion that he was in the process of unearthing a government conspiracy and come, crestfallen, to pay final respects to his fallen partner, they would have been quite confused by the mischievous light in his eyes and the extensive grin on his face.

Jake entered the building, his old sneakers squeaking on the linoleum as he snuck through the hallways, confidently making his way to the girl’s body as if he had been to the station a thousand times before. He was so absorbed in his mission that he didn’t notice the snoring stop. He was standing in front of the girl’s body, his back facing the door when he felt the mouth of a pistol in the small of his back and a gruff voice say “put your hands where I can see them then slowly face me and tell me what the hell you’re doing in my station.”

Excerpted from "Carry the Light" with the permission of Sand Hill Review Press, the publisher. The book is available for purchase for $12 on Amazon.com.

Kaitlin McKinnon is a high school student and is currently working on multiple short stories and a book. More of her writing can be found at silverpavement.blogspot.com and figment.com.

Bardi Rosman Koodrin June 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I first met Kaitlin in 2011 when she volunteered in the literary section of the Fine Arts Galleria. She was a great help during our annual Author Book Day, and she also participated in a science fiction workshop presented by Laurel Anne Hill, the award-winning author of Heroes Arise who sponsors a science fiction/fantasy novel chapter contest of the same name. Just by looking at Kaitlin's rapt expression during the workshop, I could tell she had "the bug" and I was delighted when she won an award for this short story, Project Icarus.

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