Flash Fiction Challenge: It’s X Meets Y Again!

I did this challenge back at the start of the year and kinda adored it.

Therein I described it as follows:

I love that some writers describe their stories — usually in an elevator pitch or to sell the story to an agent, editor or reader — as “THIS STORY meets THAT STORY.” Right? “Oh,” the writer says, “It’s like CATCHER IN THE RYE meets SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.” And you’re like, whoa, what the fuck does that even mean.

Today, we are going to find out.

Below, you’ll find two columns, each of 20 different fairly well-known properties.

You will randomly choose one from each column either by d20 or random number generator.

Then you will literally fill in the variables of the equation:


And you will write the resultant story.

Note: your goal is not to literally mash these up in fan-fiction (though I suppose if that’s where your head goes, hey, I can’t stop you) — the goal is to take the idea, the spirit of the combination and make them into a story all your own. What is the theoretical mash-up look like and feel like? Diggit? So, what’s the story like if you get: “It’s like HARRY POTTER meets INDIANA JONES?” Or, “It’s like GAME OF THRONES meets SCOOBY DOO.”

So, get your random number generator or d20.

Pick one from each column.

Mash them together. See what kind of story squishes out.

You’ve got 2000 words.

Due by next Friday (5/1) at noon EST.

Post at your online space. Link to it here in the comments.

Ready? Steady? Go.

Column X

  1. Paranormal Activity
  2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  3. Terminator
  4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  5. War Games
  6. Hunger Games
  7. Batman
  8. Goodfellas
  9. Pokemon
  10. The Wheel of Time
  11. Robocop
  12. Dracula
  13. The Princess Bride
  14. Dirty Harry
  15. The Great Gatsby
  16. Josie and the Pussycats
  17. Ender’s Game
  18. Guardians in the Galaxy
  19. Twin Peaks
  20. Dungeons & Dragons

Column Y

  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. The Silence of the Lambs
  3. Toy Story
  4. Die Hard
  5. Pacific Rim
  6. Back to the Future
  7. To Kill A Mockingbird
  8. Ghost In The Shell
  9. Se7en
  10. The Wire
  11. Sherlock Holmes
  12. True Detective
  13. Monsters, Inc.
  14. Doctor Who
  15. The Matrix
  16. Groundhog Day
  17. The Lord of the Flies
  18. The Stand
  19. Mad Max
  20. Minecraft





113 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: It’s X Meets Y Again!”

  1. First time poster here! I’m so glad I stumbled onto your site, and I’m especially glad that this was the first flash fiction I wrote. The randomness definitely forced me out of my comfort zone.

    I did go true random here – first roll – and got Buffy and Back to the Future. They both have the obvious mentor/protege theme, but I may have taken this too literally.


  2. I ended up with ‘Pokémon’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’. While they are very compatible (both involve children on their own, children who come into conflict with each other, children who engage in pointless brutality, and worlds having suffered war), ‘Lord of the Flies’ essence (the rapid self destructive slide from polite, civilized children to savage, brutal barbarians due to the actions of a few bad apples) is a little hard to compress into 2000 words. Or even the 3000 I ended up using.

    I probably needed at least 7,500 if not 10,000 words to do this mashup justice. Oh well. In any case, I’ve posted the story below! I hope someone enjoy’s it!


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