This is the New Plan giveaway

Today the review for John Xero’s book, This is the New Plan, went up (link here). Well, I’m excited to say that John Xero has been generous enough to offer one of our readers a free copy of the book (in e-book form)!

John wrote 33 stories for this book. (Well, 33 that he included in the book. I’m sure the original short list had quite a bit more stories.) Now, it’s your turn to get creative.

To win a copy of This is the New Plan, you will need to write a short piece of fiction. Really short–it only has to be 250 words long (or less). But! Your 250-word piece of creative genius must include the following words: zombie, evil space monkey, diving board, tipi, the Rapture, seventeen, contagion, telepathy, egg, Chevy.

To enter the contest, post your story as a comment. If you have problems posting, email your story to char(@)incaseofsurvival(.)com (but remove the brackets) and I’ll post it for you.

How will the winner be decided? Well, when I stopped editing I decided I was going to stop being the Crusher of Dreams, so I’ll leave this up to a vote. That’s right, people, YOU get to decide the winner of the contest! On voting day, go to the voting day post and leave a comment with your vote for the winning story. (The voting day post will go up on–you guessed it–voting day. Which is Thursday, August 30.) (This paragraph has the words “voting” and “vote” FAR too many times.)

The contest will run until 11:59 PM (Eastern time) on Wednesday, August 29. Voting will run from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM (Eastern time) on Thursday, August 30. Any stories posted on Thursday will be immediately disqualified. Winner will be posted on Friday, August 31.

Got that? Good.

Now what are you waiting for? Get writing! And may the best story win!


8 thoughts on “This is the New Plan giveaway

  1. I’m an idiot, didn’t realise I could jut post it here. Here you go 🙂

    ​I came to and instantly regretted regaining consciousness, the inside of my skull feeling like it had been hit by the Rapture. A word of advice; you never find the answer to your problems at the bottom of a bottle, but seventeen of them almost gives you enlightenment.

    I stumbled over to the entry flap of my makeshift tipi and surveyed the morning. The world was a mess. The contagion had spread quicker than anyone had anticipated, and in the early days it was all you could do not to become zombie chow. Now the whole town was a burnt out husk, and while most folk leapt off the diving board of sanity and high-tailed it out of there like a bad Chevy Chase movie, I stayed put. This is my town.

    I smelled burning flesh on the wind and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Bandits still passed through the town from time to time, and it doesn’t take telepathy to know a good egg from a nasty son of a bitch who would gut you soon as look at you. The only thing worse than the dead are the living.

    I checked the clip on my 12-gauge shotgun, lovingly christened “Evil Space Monkey” and smiled. There’s nothing like a bit of casual murder to settle a hangover. This is my town.

  2. Just for fun, here’s my entry. (I’ve already read this book, so I’m not really entering. I just wanted to write a story.)

    Seventeen eggs. That was all that was left. I counted them again, hoping that somehow, the missing seventeen had shown up. How could half the eggs have disappeared? They were there this morning. If I didn’t find the missing eggs by the time the evil space monkey got back to the tipi, I’d be tossed off the Diving Board of Doom into the zombie pool. (Which would be bad. I mean, I know those guys have to eat and all, but I’d really rather not be their dinner.)

    Maybe someone had already loaded an egg or two into the hover-Chevy. Doubtful, but maybe one of the monkeys had decided to be useful for once in their sorry evil lives.

    Honestly, ever since the Rapture happened and the monkeys took over, life has just been hell. At first it wasn’t so bad; the monkeys were kinda cute, in their weird adorable way. But then they unleashed that contagion of telepathy and then everybody knew what everyone else was thinking.

    And then we learned that the monkeys have this weird obsession with eggs. And that they’re evil. And from space.

    And then things got REALLY bad.

    Ugh, life sucked. Especially since, at that moment, I heard the boss monkey’s voice asking where the eggs were.

    They were…they were…right in front of me! All thirty-four of them! Waving a white flag! Wait, what? And was that writing on the flag? I crept closer.

    Written on the flag was, “Welcome to the Xeroverse.”

    1. I will add my just-for-fun entry once judging has finished. I, too, have an idea but don’t want to confuse the issue.

  3. Well, here’s my entry.


    The tipi smelled of sweet incense and sour illness. The old man sat across from me, wearing a stained white coat – the sign of the healer – and an evil space monkey grin. I didn’t like him, didn’t trust him, but didn’t have a choice. I had carried the girl in my arms seventeen miles to the Chevy Chase commune to see him..

    “She is ill?” his voice cracked like old leather.


    He moved so suddenly I gave a start, and he pried her from my grasp. I almost protested. Almost.

    “A nasty contagion…” he said, smelling her breath, feeling her temple – you could fry an egg on her forehead “You can pay?”

    I had already pulled the small vial of powder from my pocket – call it mercantile telepathy. The last of my stash. My palms itched as I threw it to him.

    “Pure Zombie – best in Maryland.”

    He scoffed, palming the vial with practised ease. Soon he was mixing herbs and liquids into a bowl. He gently – almost tenderly – poured a small measure down her throat, and held the rest to me.

    “I don’t -”

    “Where she is going” he cut me off “She will need a guide.”

    I hesitated – only for a moment – and drank. Sweet-sickly vertigo filled my head. My mind fell from the diving board into the rapture of the medicine.

    “Guide her well, or you both die…”

  4. 250 onna nose!

    My twin sister: same womb, different egg, utterly different outlook. She was always the one that got away.

    She escaped Nebraska at the age of fifteen, sick of a homeschooled life that was one part DMT, one part the Rapture and one part invasive honesty; no life for a teen.

    “Cultist,” we’d whisper to each other in the dark. “No, you’re a filthy cultist.”

    She was sweet sixteen when she cracked her head on the diving board of the Hollywood pool she cleaned for summertime bucks and never woke up. I became a listless zombie, unable to speak because I kept looking round for her to do it for me.

    I thought she’d lost. But now I know she won; she’d got away yet again. I’m glad for her. I was an umami seventeen when the contagion took and spread like seeds on the wind.

    We’d never had that twin-telepathy you hear so much about, but as my parents grew sick and loosened their grip on crosses and guns, I looked up into the Pleiades and pretended they were her.

    “What shall I do?” I whispered.

    “Start running,” she twinkled back in morse-code.

    The next morning I took dad’s keys as he slept, crept out from the tipi and revved the Chevy engine. Snapped the evil space monkey or religious totem or whatever it was from the wing mirror and started to drive, ignoring my newly-purpling sores.

    But we both know, the Pleiades and I, that I won’t get away.

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