Flash Fiction Challenge: Doing The Subgenre Twist, Once Again

Last week’s challenge: “The Cocktail Is Your Title

This week, again we will take 20 subgenres. You will pick two from the list either using a d20 or random number generator (or hell, divine it from the guts of a pigeon, whatever), then you will write a short story that mashes up those two subgenres.

This time, you’ll get 2000 words.

Because I’m sweet like that.

This is due by next Friday, noon EST.

Post at your online space.

Link to it in the comments below.

The subgenre list:

  1. Haunted House
  2. Dystopia
  3. Revenge
  4. Zombie
  5. Weird West
  6. Wuxia
  7. Body Horror
  8. Grimdark Fantasy
  9. Cozy Mystery
  10. Military Sci-Fi
  11. Comic Fantasy
  12. Conspiracy Thriller
  13. Superhero
  14. Erotica
  15. Heist / Caper
  16. Alternate History
  17. Parallel Universe
  18. Noir
  19. Time Travel
  20. Shapeshifters

160 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Doing The Subgenre Twist, Once Again”

  1. Zombie Haunted House… not a haunted house full of zombies, a haunted house that’s been “killed” and come back even worse. Tickles my darker impulses.

    • Oh wait, it’s randomized.
      > perl -e ‘print int(rand(20)) + 1, “\n”‘
      My first roll was “zombie conspiracy thriller”. Way too overdone with Resident Evil. So we’ll be going with the rerolled “shapeshifter dystopia”.

  2. Urk. Grimdark fantasy meets cozy mystery. I think those are the most polar opposite options I could roll. Maybe body horror cozy mystery would be harder. Well, I never back down from a challenge, except when I do. Like all the time. Let me see what I can
    come up with.

  3. Grimdark fantasy – erotica. Huh, that’s how my NaNo novel last year turned out, slightly to my surprise. Maybe I’ll reroll for something more out of my experience range.

  4. I randomorg’d 10 – military sci fi and 16 – alternate history. And all that pops into my head is Stephen King’s The Mist (the movie mainly). This’ll be interesting!

  5. Wuxia, never thought that I’ll see the genre here! But there you have it 😉 It’ll be trying out a wuxia/haunted house for me, but actually if you know the wuxia genre, it’s actually quite a natural fit… 😉

  6. Hmmmm Weird West/Noir. I sifted again through the chicken entrails, hoping for another answer, another choice. The six-shooter at my side felt heavy, drawing my attention – the acrid smell of gunsmoke mixed with cowshit as I realised just how much I hate manure…

    • Alright, was feeling inspired. Grimdark fantasy + Wuxia.
      This is an origin story for a major character of my WIP – a fire demon, who lives by his own “code” on a mission to obliterate anyone in his path (and also those that are not). I enjoyed this exercise as it helped me practice giving more depth to my characters. There is some violence and “gore” (I’m not a good judge of level or severity, since I don’t usually do the blood and guts thing) – so fair warning.

      “The End of Radiance” – https://ghostsinthemachines.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/the-end-of-radiance/

      Would appreciate thoughts or feedback. 🙂

  7. So I have an ongoing series I call the ‘Capes Universe’. It’s my own little superhero playground, and I’d been looking for a way to wrap it up as I’m putting together a collection. This challenge gave me a good opportunity. So, I’ve taken ‘superhero’ as well as ‘shapeshifters’ (although there’s only the one in the story) and maybe even a dash of ‘body horror’. (if what happens to Aspect counts. )

    “The Battle Of Sanctuary Pen”, starring my ‘Flash’ analogue ‘Fleet’, is 2000w words exactly, not counting em dashes, if Open Office Writer is being truthful. If you feel you need more backstory than the piece itself gives, click on the ‘capes’ tag in the tag list to the right and read from the bottom up. (Eventually I’m going to do a special page that collates them all together in order for easier reading)


    • This sounds fun – the noir narration style could make the description of the body horror elements really atmospheric and evocative. I’m looking forward to this one.

      • Oh my! Glad you reminded me about this – it is due tomorrow! Guess I know what I’ll be doing tonight… trying to write a story that is ‘really atmospheric and evocative!’ 😀 The pressure is on! I agree – it is a fun pairing of words for a story. I’ve never written anything ‘noir’ before. Let’s see what happens!

  8. I’m jealous. I wanted Noirotica. I have Zombies and Revenge, this is going to be a stretch of my poor brain. But I will bite into it with great voracity.

  9. Fuck. Alternate History + revenge. So not my area. Although …. there is someone I am dying to kill for revenge reasons. Maybe I’ll write her fantastic death. Might do me some good. 😉

  10. I got Time Traveling and Shapeshifters. This is my submission at 1750 words.

    Disclaimer 1: I know nothing about such subgenres as shape shifters but I do love a good time travel story. Therefore, I don’t know if I portrayed either in a passable way

    Warning 1: This is graphic and profane. Sorry, it just came out that way. It went weird. Or maybe a shape shifting Poe from the past possessed me. Anyway, be warned.


    All comments critiques appreciated.

    • Well done! An excellent read! I’d love to delve deeper into the rules of time-travel in this world, as they seem intriguing! Plus, love all the StuffBooks!

  11. Thanks, Mark – I was worried, both about the noir-styling and the choice to set it in my neck of the bush. Glad it worked, and thank you very much for the compliments!

    • Seriously, it was awesome. I love, LOVE when people set westerns (weird or not) in Australia. So many people Stateside forget that the whole world existed in that time period, and that Aussieland had a western expansion of their own.

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