Last challenge: “Bad Parents“
AND WE’RE BACK.
Sorry — little holiday interruption last week.
This week, a bit of a quirky one.
You ever play those old-school Infocomm text adventures?
(Zork: “You are eaten by a grue.”)
I was a huge fan.
Now, there’s a Twitter account / bot that, if you tweet the word “inventory” to this particular Twitter bot — @YouAreCarrying — it will tweet back at you a randomized list of inventory items, taken, I believe, from old Infocomm games.
@ChuckWendig a chair, a broken clockwork canary, a green eyed rock, a veil, a skeleton key, a ransom note, a pretzel, a manhole cover.
— YOU ARE CARRYING: (@YouAreCarrying) July 11, 2014
So, I want you to do that.
(Or, if you don’t have a Twitter account, go pluck a tweet from the YouAreCarrying page.)
Take all the items listed in the response tweet (your “inventory”) and use them all — in some way, oblique, abstract or overt — in a flash fiction. We’ll up the word count to 2000 words for this one. Due by next Friday (7/18), noon EST. Post at your online space; drop a link below so folks can follow it back. And that’s it. Go forth. Get your inventory. Write a story.
112 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: @YouAreCarrying”
I like this sort of flash… I still have 3 hours left at work 🙁
Well, now. I tried a different genre for this flash. I don’t have twitter, so I just grabbed the result of Wishbringer’s tweet: an old bone, a letter, a rusty key, a white lab coat, a broom, a ticket, a dead branch, a gold coin. I finished at 1,836 words:
That was wonderful. I’m glad I clicked that link. Keep it up!
That was nice. I wanted the old hag come back though…
Brilliant story. JJ
Neat. I guess this gives me a reason to finally create a twitter account….
My list of items was: a crucifix, a jade figurine, a soccer ball, an ionic diffusion rasp (!), a veil, a coin, a pearl necklace, a manuscript, and Chaos (capital letters included). That’s right, one of my items was CHAOS.
Anyway, another dark one, and my apologies if it doesn’t hold together as well as I thought it did — I have been on some pretty serious painkillers for the past forty-eight hours. They may have affected my judgment and / or creativity and / or ability to tell if what I’m writing is any good or utter crap.
“Powdered Chaos” is here: https://pavorisms.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/powdered-chaos/
*slow claps* loved it.
This was really great–the pacing was quick, which I think worked really well.
Thanks for that — I was afraid it moved a bit slowly, actually.
I feel like I hit some kind of random inventory generation jackpot:
Bourbon! A BRASS EGG!
Here’s the story, a touch long at 2070-ish words: http://www.jpjuniper.com/stories/2014/7/13/the-brass-egg
That was fantastic!
Superb historical fiction. JJ.
(I tried to comment on your website, but didn’t want to create yet another account!)
Beautiful beginning. You packed a lot into this one. It would be a lovely novella. As always, I’m a fan
Wow, this was amazing! Your description of the bourbon and the brass egg were so vivid without being overdone.
a gold coin, a platinum bar, a key, a tool chest, Emergency Oxygen Gear, a shim, a ZORK owner’s manual
Going to have to sleep on that one. ZORK owner’s manual is very specific!
And here’s my final story, a little bit post-apocalyptic: http://suziehunt.co.uk/fiction/flash-fiction/zork-owners-manual
Some really lovely turns of phrase and twists of plot here. The Stupendous War might be my new favorite phrase.
Haha, thanks 🙂 It was a lot of fun to write.
This was a fun read even if I’m not entirely familiar with ZORK! I liked the meta aspect.
Haha, I couldn’t really think how else to do it, with that ZORK OWner’s Manual. Glad you enjoyed it anyway, even without the background 🙂
Yeah, that one is pretty specific! The post-apocalyptic setting lent itself well–the character didn’t understand what ZORKs were either!
Wonderful! I loved the way you built the world with such ease. I loved the robot, the man, and their fractured relationship. The phrase to caught my attention was: Often just a small interbred family. There’s a whole world in that phrase alone. JJ (tried to comment on yr website and git a 404 error ?!)
Thank you! I love post-apocalyptic worlds, they are my favourite 🙂 (I’ll have a look at what’s going on with the comments!)
Chinese food, a chalice, a steel box, a note, a gold rod, a gold leaf scroll, a stiletto, a silver bullet.
This will be interesting:
a lamp, a black pearl necklace, a safety line, clothes, a wand, a manila folder, a curved metal bar.
OK, I’ve got:
A pair of sticks, a business card, a brass bell, a pumpkin, a massive chain, your gown, an earthworm, a key, a bearskin rug.
Here it is, “How The Determined Earn Their Admittance.” I totally cheated on the business card, though. Oh, well, the rest is solid.
It took me longer than it should have to figure out Ella–but I LOVED the twist when I did.
A good story. Great writing! JJ
Oh boy, how fun this is going to be!
So my inventory is: a screwdriver, a maid’s note, an ID card, a mysterious envelope, a pinch of spices, a jeweled brooch, and a flag of Quendor.
Lots of the things to play with! I’ll be back in a while with the results. 🙂
Oh, now this is awesome. I have a feeling I am going to be pulling an awful lot of prompts from this. I practically learned how to read playing Zork…
[…] Key By Mark Gardner Well, now. I tried a different genre for this flash. I don’t have twitter, so I just grabbed the result of Wishbringer’s tweet: an old […]
This is a very cool FF project. The response I received is even better:
YouAreCarrying: @Decaying_Orbits a red boot, a flexible black circle, a chest, a camera bag, a white hemisphere, a telegram, a green aluminum Yale key.
A guy could have a good time in Vegas with all that stuff.
YouAreCarrying: @Zenkrak a yellow punch card, a cup, a packing crate, a saucer, a perfect rose, a disk, a towel, a ribbon, a loose pile of junk mail.
How did they know?!?!
YouAreCarrying: @mari_no_yumei a broken brass lantern, a red match, a lantern, a hermit, a diamond cluster, a screwdriver, a book of riddles
Well, I always wanted my own hermit to carry. Looking forward to writing this story.
Some paranormal adventuring and normal swearing.
For lack of a better title at this time…
How do you fit a hermit into your pocket? Or does he ride on your back? Maybe the answer is in that book of riddles. 😉
Could be a crab.
Here we go: a fragment, a thin piece of paper, a bag, a bottle of cough medicine, a fiery orb, a green silk ribbon, a dark potion
Should be fun!
Almost two hours late and I apologize. It was a fun challenge 🙂
OK got a cane, a clear potion, a cloud of orange smoke, a blood-stained paper towel, a battleaxe, floor wax, a wet overcoat.
This looks like a job for Quicksilver, Elf of the Urinals…
My items: a glittery orb, a broken brick, treasure, a can of grue repellent, a brass latern, a limp weed, a silver ornament.
The orb sounds like the beginning of many an adventure.
Woo, I had a strange list. I may have taken a loose approach to using my items, which were:
a six-pack of beer, spices, a clear crystal sphere, a suit of armour, Orkan of Thriff, a pacquet of paper, a torque, a memo.
And the resulting story-thing is here: http://booksishouldhavereadalongtimeago.wordpress.com/other-stuff/flash-fiction/great-acting/
Too bad Peter didn’t stay long enough to learn a lesson…
Okay, I don’t have a Twitter account ,but made do with what Chuck suggested….
I got Deidrie’s necklace, a magazine, the second clue, a tourist brochure, the second contact lens, a maid’s note
Let me know what you think!
Oh! And look out for my niece who is having a go at this flash fiction Friday thing too… she loves to write.
Great mystery! We don’t really know how it ends for you protagonist…
And guys there’s another one there I wrote last week… I thought Chuck’s blog had stuffed up the flash fiction date thing again, so I wrote one myself called ‘Due Date’ which nobody has looked at yet… go! Look! Let me know what you think! 😀
I wanted to leave it up to you guys to wonder about that… does she die? Doesn’t she die? Does he run, or not? After all he’s a cop doing the dirty and she has him cornered… if he commits another crime, his Captain will know exactly who did it and how to catch him. 🙂
Gears are turning:
a rusty bucket, a morgia root, a cigarette case, a green lance, a Robot Use Authorization Form JZ-59-G, a skeleton.
My first time doing one of Chuck’s flash fiction challenges. I got: a pair of muddy boots, a broken brick, a detonator, a garter, a letter, a large emerald, a knapsack, a four-gloop vial, a note.
Now just to figure out what the hell a “four-gloop vial” is…
I got: a pair of rubber boots, an orange wire, a blaster, a train ticket, a purchase and sale agreement, a black cable.
And here it be.
I really liked this. I had to go back and read the first part, and now I want a third! Great job 🙂
Thanks! I didn’t intend to do a part two on that story, but it just fit so well. I’m seriously considering writing an entire novella based on those short stories.
I don’t have a twitter so I picked one at random with my eyes shut. Hit the jackpot! I am carrying: A cane, a wicker hamper, a muddy handgun, a notice, wild oats, a bottle of cheap scotch, a veil, a dead skink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skink (click link for skink) and a spade.
I’m thinking grave-digging witch, with a limp and a fondness for budget booze. Posting story later 🙂
Okay, here’s my story, just in time 🙂 It’s called The Gravedigger’s assistant : http://the-room-of-lost-things.tumblr.com/post/92148644079/the-gravediggers-assistant
[…] challenge this week: Infocomm Inventory. This one really called to me because I enjoyed the heck out of these games back when I was a […]
I have: a bar of food, an elephant prod, a blue cable, a shipping carton, a rump roast, a longsword, giant nail clippers, a steak knife.
This should be…interesting…
[…] Wendig at Terrible Minds is based on a text adventure game made interesting with a Twitter bot: @YouAreCarrying. After tweeting ‘inventory’ to @YouAreCarrying, I received the following list of […]
Ok I got a flexible black circle, a recipe cartridge, a clove of garlic, a matchbook, a wristwatch, a chair, a hermit.
Should be interesting…
[…] story was written for Chuck Wendig’s @YouAreCarrying prompt. A tweet later, I’d been granted an inventory: @drew_krull a pair of cotton balls, a ladder, […]
I feel like I’m late to the party, but here’s my piece, A Kerrnish Birthday. As a light-hearted fantasy piece, it’s a bit of a step outside of my comfort zone, so insights and critique are appreciated.
I loved the imagery. Great job!
I can’t say I’m terribly familiar with Zork, but I think going post-apocalyptic was a good way to use the Owner’s Manual.
I’m just glad all of the items in my inventory were generic.
I had to swipe someone else’s list, as I don’t have a Twitter account. I’m not listing the items because it’s more fun to make you guess. 🙂 Checks in a 1,920 words.
[…] Flash Fiction Challenge this week from the ever amazing Chuck Wendig was to create a 2000 word story using the list of items you received after sending […]
My list was: a nightshirt, a tail, a handful of aspirin tablets, a canvas bag, a powder horn, salivating hedge shears, and a horseshoe
And here is the finished product: https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/the-forest-behind-my-house/
[…] Wendig over at Terrible Minds has a new flash fiction challenge up. You can read about it here. Without re-hasing his whole post, the basic gist is to ping a Twitter account called […]
I really enjoyed this one.
My list: a bike, a battered lantern, a sheet of paper, a bottle of cheap scotch, a key, a shovel, a large key, a magic boat
My story: http://scottlyerly.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/inventory-flash-fiction-challenge/
[…] week’s Terribleminds flash fiction challenge is to retrieve an inventory from the @YouAreCarrying twitterbot, and use those items in a ~2000 […]
A bizarre mix of sci-fi/fantasyhorror.
My words were: a pile of napkins, a blue punch card, a dark potion, a broom, a small machine, a hardhat, a flashlight, a diploma.
[…] response to the Chuck Wendig challenge this week. My words were a pile of napkins, a blue punch card, a dark potion, a broom, a small […]
[…] an earlier Challenge on my own, just because) this week we’re back to normal. Our new Flash Fiction Challenge is to write 2,000 words using a list of items given to us at random by the @YouAreCarrying […]
For better or for worse, I think I may like this one as much as anything else I’ve written here for the last year. I went into my adventure game holding “a piece of ripped fabric, a shiny key, a big stick a piece of paper, a nasty knife, a black pearl necklace.”
Under the wire, crazy week. Here is my offering as it were. Haven’t written fantasy in along time. I call it Sucks to Be You.
Fun read. Loved the “dwarf hardener.” Good job.
A fine sliver of toves! Amazing. JJ
Arriving almost late to the party… here’s my entry. I don’t have a title for it.
Ah, this is what I got: “a black rod, a walkie-talkie, a clear potion, a banknote, an earring, a matchbook, a silver rod, a wooden key.” I twisted almost all of those…
Hi Vicente, Fun story. IMO could use a polish. There are three colons relatively close together, one of them making one sentence a run-on. “You mad her go mad.” I assume this is “You her go mad,” thought
“You made her mad,” is simpler. I would have liked an explanation of what the clear potion was since it was used to threaten the troll.
In fact, I was frequently interrupted when writing it and should definitely have given it a second pass at least. The original intention for the sentence you mention was probably “You made her go mad”. Quite possibly your option is better.
And actually, in my mind when both men (unnamed on purpose) sit together, the clear potion would have been revelaed to be gin… but I forgot about it completely! Whatever it was that could affect a troll would have been left unexplained anyway, however. 🙂
Thanks for your comments, they’re much appreciated.
Whew, actually made the deadline this time! 🙂 My inventory: an arrow, a teapot decorated with sad bats, a brass token, a cake frosted with blue letters and a wooden life ring (preserver).
Here’s my post: http://nixdesk.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/artemis-rescue/
Tough set of inventory items to work in. But you made it work. Charming story.
[…] Chuck Wendig put up his latest flash fiction challenge I couldn’t resist. But, here, I’ll let me explain it in his own words: This week, a bit of a […]
I’m carrying a grouper nest, a quill, a dead rat, a white cable, a flashlight, a molecular hyperwave pincer (yay hitchhikers guide!), a lobster and a green rod.
This is fiction, but it’s based on a rather large kernel of truth: http://www.karenbmccoy.com/images/Best%20Man.pdf
Hi Karen, Geez, we’ve all been there haven’t we, facing the one “that got away” and finding well, what your character found. I like the beginning very much. I would have preferred the ending a little subtler. Instead of her saying those things, thinking them, and then giving the Best Man an enigmatic smile sliding away from him. Solid story.
My inventory: a two liter bottle of Classic Coke, a trash basket, a cake, a glass analysis, a pound note, a leaflet, a granola cluster
Cake–The Continuing Adventures of Alice Out of Wonderland: http://bethturnage.com/?p=136
Great Alice retelling! I love all the cultural references you use–and loved the suspense at the end. There were a couple spots that were a bit more telling than showing, but overall, a wonderful story!
P.S. I agree about my ending–could have been stronger. I also got word-count confused, thinking 1,000 instead of 2,000. This will teach me to follow directions more closely. 🙂
[…] Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge from last week involved tweeting @YouAreCarrying to receive a list of random inventory. This list of items must be […]
Squeaking in last minute with “Dirty Secrets”
Disclaimer: I hate titles. Hopefully the story is better than the title.
Hannah, I thought the title was perfect. And for so few words you got out a lot of story. Good job.
Thank you! I got to about 1700 words and realized I needed to wrap it up soon–sometimes I think having 2,000 words is trickier than 1,000. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!
Over a couple minutes. I’ve never done one of these before, so there’s that. Be gentle.
Anson– Second person is always hard to carry off. Brave move. I think you did okay with it, though personally I thought it was a little jarring. My preference though. Couple small typos “dinner” for “diner”, “You’re employer?” for “Your employer?” “He’s seven Mr. Glade.” for “He’s seven, Mr. Glade.” “Noon” for “noon”. I know it’s a piece of flash but the ending felt to me a little unfinished. Someone paying off such a large debt? There’s gotta to be more to that, and more to the story. 😉
Thanks Beth. I usually go through a few edits but I just finished at the wire. I do appreciate the keen eye. And second person was jarring for me. I kept wanting to drift into first. I may apply the edits and credit your assist. 🙂
[…] an exercise, I’m going to tackle a few of writer Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds flash challenges. Step out of the box and go where the words take this rambling […]
[…] week’s Chuck Wendig challenge was ‘You Are Carrying’ – where you had to tweet to the bot @YouAreCarrying, and it would give you a randomized list […]