Flash Fiction Challenge: Must Contain…

Last week’s challenge: Describing one thing ten ways.

This week’s pretty straight forward.

I’ve got two lists at the bottom. Pick (or randomly choose with dice or a random number generator) one from each list, then make sure your flash fiction contains each of those things.

That’s it. Easy-peasy, Ramona-and-Beezy.

You’ve got an upgraded 1500 words. Due in one week (March 14th). Post it at your online space of choice. Drop a link to your completed story in the comments below. Any genre.

Now, the lists…

Must Contain #1

  1. A lover’s betrayal.
  2. A dead body without a face.
  3. A mysterious — perhaps even magical — photograph.
  4. An antique gun.
  5. A terminal illness.
  6. An ancient tree.
  7. A time machine.
  8. A monster.
  9. A faithful hound.
  10. A talking cat.

Must Contain #2

  1. A distant outpost.
  2. An infernal bargain.
  3. A pair of detectives.
  4. A stolen treasure.
  5. A forgotten manuscript.
  6. An escaped prisoner.
  7. A hard drive filled with secrets.
  8. A plane or train ride.
  9. A piece of lost technology.
  10. A comatose patient.


141 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Must Contain…”

  1. 3 – A mysterious – perhaps even magical – photograph

    6 – An escaped prisoner

    I should not be distracting myself, but at least I’m writing 🙂

    • Technically, this won’t be published until tomorrow. Maybe I should’ve rolled again, to see if ‘time machine’ was going to come up. This link will work, in case you want to read it now.

      • Great story! I’ve put more of a comment on your blog but didn’t want to add any spoilers for anyone one who hasn’t read it yet!

    • Sigh. Good news and bad news. Bad news is, I was not able to keep this to under 1500 words and it’s not finished. Good news is, I *really* like what I have so far, and I’m expanding it to what will probably wind up being a 5000-7000 word short story that I’ll wind up sending out on the submissions trail. So yay me! 🙂

    • I don’t know if a twist was intended, but I totally expected the story to go in a different direction. I love it when an author challenges me, so +5 internets to you.

      • Woohoo, +5 internets! A few more and I can level up. 😉
        Thanks for the praise, I’m glad you enjoyed the story and that it went a different direction than you expected. I wasn’t trying for it to be a twist… I was just enjoying slowly building the character and the scene so that the audience wouldn’t know what was actually going on until he was standing at the cross roads.

    • Strange POV is often difficult to pull off. This reminds me of the short from the Disney/Pixar movie, “Up.” I have two dog companions and I found the internal processes you wrote to be completely believable and accurate. This is definitely a sad story, but I expect dog owners and dog lovers will give their companions an extra squeeze after reading this flash.

  2. Got a monster and an infernal bargain, ended up with a story I liked so much I’m going to keep going with it. Any help or advice (whether it be story suggestions or ‘yeah, maybe don’t keep going on this one’) would be greatly appreciated!

    Bonus: I tied this one into a character from my first flash fiction friday I ever did here 🙂

    The Cerberus Protocol


  3. Long time listener, first-time caller… as they say on the radio (not sure what they say in blogland).

    I generated my prompts and let them stew until a 3am nappy change (not mine, I might add) saw the whole thing come gushing out *I mean the story and not baby poop*

    I got 3 & 3 for my prompts: a mysterious – and perhaps magical – photo, coupled with two detectives. Here it is:


    Now I can get around to reading what everyone else has written!

    • Enjoyed reading this one. Can’t tell if I’m sad for Genevieve, or think she’s awesome — but it’s definitely a good read. 🙂 …and a good prank. I seriously have to get a Polaroid.

  4. 1. A lover’s betrayal.
    10. A comatose patient.

    The idea formed immediately, and now that I’m mired in it, I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull it off. We’ll see what happens by the 14th.

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