Flash Fiction Draw for December 2021: The Finale!

As the song asks, how do you measure a year? If I measured it in stress, this year was slightly shorter than 2020, but only slightly. If I measured it in happiness, I’d say I’m pretty damn happy, all things considered.

If we measured it in stories, this would be the 12th and final one for 2021. It’s been my privilege to carry the ball after Cait Gordon and ’Nathan Burgoine did for the past few years, and next year I hope to hand it off to someone in whom it’ll be in good hands.

So, in case you’re new around these parts, the first Monday of every month I create a writing prompt by drawing three cards, each from a different suit, which give us our genre, setting, and a random object to include in the story. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to write a 1,000-word (max) story by next Monday, send me the link, and I’ll post a roundup of all the stories created using the prompt.

Here’s what we’ve used so far (grayed out ones have been used):

Card drawnGenreSettingObject
1RomanceSpaceshipRay gun
2Science FictionRestaurant kitchenKey
3Fairy TaleStudio apartment in a big cityHairbrush
4HorrorAuditoriumLength of rope
5MysterySewerPendant and necklace
6ThrillerHighway tollboothPotted plant
7ComedyFarm fieldTablet computer
8FantasyPawn shopFountain pen
9Ghost StoryMarshDecorative pillow
10SuspenseTulip fieldVacuum cleaner
JCrime CaperTrunk of a carBouquet of roses
QAction/AdventureToolshed / Utility closetA stray sock
KHistorical FictionShopping mallSuitcase

And here’s what I drew after shuffling these now very thin stacks of cards:

Three playing cards—a five of clubs, a six of hearts, and an ace of diamonds—laid against a red marbled background form the basis of a writing prompt: a mystery, set in a highway tollbooth, featuring a ray gun.

So! By next Monday your goal is to write a 1,000-word:

  • mystery,
  • set in a highway tollbooth
  • featuring a ray gun

Post it somewhere online and send me the link, and next Monday I’ll post a roundup of all the stories.

(And have you noticed that there were 13 cards to shuffle during this year of 12 monthly writing prompts? Obviously, if there hadn’t been 13, December’s prompt would have been a no-brainer after the November draw. But that means there are three cards leftover, which create a nice little bonus prompt should you feel so inclined to write a thriller set in a shopping mall featuring a bouquet of roses sometime. You’re welcome.)

Thanks for coming along on this ride with me through 2021.