Alan Wake is a writer. But can Kotaku readers be writers, too? You had to prove your writing credentials to win an Xbox 360 console and a copy of Alan Wake.
Thanks to Microsoft we are giving away a copy of Alan Wake and an Xbox 360 Elite console (which, along with a 120GB hard drive, also comes bundled with Forza 3 and Halo 3: ODST). Two runners-up will also each score a copy of the game.
Throughout the game, Wake stumbles upon page after page of a manuscript from a novel he can't remember writing. Yet the manuscript has his name on it, it's all about him, and it describes events that have happened to him - or are just about to happen. Spooky!
We asked you to write a page from a horror/suspense/thriller novel. We were looking for the cleverest, creepiest and most creative manuscripts.
Reading through all the entries, I noticed a few recurring themes: Mario, Pac-Man, red-ringed Xbox 360s, Justin Bieber and plenty of mirrors. There were surprisingly - yet blessedly - few mentions of Chuck Norris.
Plenty of you opted for colourful descriptions of some unexplained fear or gruesome violence. My preference, however, was for those seemingly mundane scenarios where normality was punctured by the odd and the uncanny. High commendations are reserved for Christian McNeill, El Phantasmagoro, Dean, Dooga, Azanode, Cat, Jodie and Daniel, Riley Gray, Jimmy Howlum, SelMonella, Tom FitzGerald, Dante Oberin, and Al Christie.
But they did not win. These are the winners.
The second runner-up is Aidan Dullard:
Clyde pursued his quarry down yet another hallway, ignoring the scattered remnants of a feast that had long since been forgotten. The chase had no meaning, no purpose, but they did it anyway. An unending dance, move and counter-move, ploy and trap and snare. Playing with their desperate enemy had become something of a game. An amusement.
He stopped at a corner, glanced around it; noticed a discarded apple core on the ground, its flesh torn away by an insatiable, ravenous hunger. This was bad news. His stomach tightened, and he readied himself to run. The spectre of his doom neared ever closer, its gaping maw burned into his eyes from an eternity of combat.
It was almost lyrical in its irony. The hunters became the hunted.
Irony was no comfort, however, when Pac-man devoured him.
The first runner-up is Ethan Iacobozzi:
Some public sanitation authorities estimate that there a hundred thousand pieces of graffiti at any one time in any given city. Most of these are tags by any individual, gang or group. Most of these. Some are vulgarities, slurs or drawings. Some are even scribbles, the result of pure emotion - drawings that represent insanity, incarnate.
But some are messages.
Some of these messages are innocuous statements, scrawled upon the iron face of civilisation.
Not all graffiti is graffiti. Some of it is a message. If you ever see a message - and you will know it - please, do not ignore it.
I need all the help I can get.
And the major prize winner is FatShady:
There was a pungent smell of mangoes and fish in the air. The light was fading but all around him, the shadows seemed to be luring him in deeper. It was about half past six in the evening but he felt tired, still weary from the night before. The letter had indicated that at this exact time, at this exact place, he would finally understand all of this. It would finally be over. He sat on a window sill of that dilapidated, old house. He thought to him self that it was run down to the point where the rats had even left. His attempt at humour only reminded him how far he had come over the past 24 hours. Only yesterday he was with his wife on the boat, fishing. How pointless an activity that had been for what may have been their last time together. He sat, staring out at the lake and wondering what would happen next.
No more than 5 minutes went by when the creaking of the wooden flood boards made him turn, quickly. It had startled him out of a light daze, but when he had turned around, only darkness. He noticed a cool breeze that gently touched his face which was surprising soothing he thought. It relaxed him. He turned back to the window and then he saw it, crisp and white, amongst the cob-webs. It was another letter.
Congratulations to our three winners, and commiserations - but a big thank you! - to everyone else who entered. Guys, I'll be in touch later today to organise your prizes.