The last Flash Fiction Challenge should have been a cakewalk. It turns out that cakewalks are more challenging than I thought.
1) Generate random title: "Sustainable Greediness"
2) Giggle, because it's a marvelous juxtaposition. Imagine doing something based on an Ayn Rand story.
3) Immediately discard any Ayn Rand related ideas as cheap and not as much fun as they initially seemed.
4) Get an idea stuck in your head linking the title to the game "Monopoly."
5) Spend a day trying to get that connection out of your head. Fail.
6) Start writing. Create a potentially fantastic setting involving a hidden Atlantic island, trained Monopoly-playing animals, and a cast of professors and students at a secret university.
6a) Research the setting in great detail, including triangulating the latitude and longitude of the university and fabricating the secret history of Monopoly.
7) Two drafts later, fourteen hundred words into a one thousand word story, realize that all you've done is create the setting and introducing the characters. Recognize that there's no actual story in anything you've written.
8) Save as draft. Hope that you can salvage something.
9) Spend another day trying to get the Monopoly thing out of your mind. Fail again.
10) Start anew, simplifying the setting and the characters but retaining the basic "idea."
11) Write it.
12) Realize that it's seventeen hundred words and it's not going to get any shorter and it's probably still not properly a story.
13) Link it anyway, because it's stubborn and the way to get the blasted thing out of my head is to hit the "publish" button.
That is to say, this one wasn't fun, but it was a good workout. I'm suspicious of any story so good it just writes itself. I'm not thrilled with the result, but it was good for me to get through it and I think there are some salvageable bits in there.
As a wise man once said, "They can't all be winners, kid."