Forty years ago something happened in a field in Wisconsin.
Something horrible that left one person dead, horribly mutilated, and another ... simply vanished with no trace. The other seven people who were in that field had their lives changed in ways that nobody will ever understand. At the heart of it is Spencer Mallon, the strange, charismatic guru who brought them to that place and lead them in a strange ritual.
Four decades later, the survivors are scattered and one man, armed with a handwritten manuscript -- the diary of a dead detective who was unable to solve the greatest case of his career -- sets out to discover what happened, and what manifested itself in that field so many years ago.
Here's how it goes:
To win this book, mailed to your door, write a short story in 350 words or less that involves Roswell and any mix of the following:
a) a mysterious man named Spencer Mallon
b) a creepy, lonely field in Wisconsin
c) a shadowy serial killer
d) college buddies
e) hidden pasts
f) apparitions and monsters
g) strange rituals
(If you're new to all this, Roswell is my cat.)
Roswell, photographed with book to enhance value
Post your entry here in the comments. The final winner may possibly be picked by Peter Freaking Straub, we shall see.
Contest goes until midnight TUESDAY, February 16th 2010. Continental US only. In the event of a winner from outside the con. US a substitute, but equally cool prize may be awarded.
Now get writing. And feel free to repost this in your own LJ's.
* Note -- he hasn't actually signed it yet -- so in the event of some catastrophe like Peter suddenly joining a fish-cult, moving to Antarctica and refusing to sign autographs, you'll get the book and some other Thing of Coolness.