• Kali Kuzma

Stranded: The Subscribers Choice Random 'Phrase' Generator Short Story Challenge

Subscriber Generated Short Story

You read the title correctly. This month's Random "Phrase" Generator Short Story Challenge was picked by the subscribers! After sending out a very short survey in my monthly newsletter(subscribe to the blog if you haven't yet!) subscribers were able to vote on a total of 5 categories including story length, character's names, the main picture, genre, and lastly word/sentence/or phrase which all needed to be included in the story.

Let me tell you... when I saw the results I knew I'd bitten off more than I could chew. This was going to be a real challenge!

So what are the results? Let's get into it.

Which word/sentence/phrase should I have to include in the story?

-I'm so happy 'Wouldn't harm a fly' was chosen. It's been awhile since I've had to include a phrase into one of my stories. I think it should fit into my writing style.

How long should the story be?

-300 to 500 words is going to be difficult. The last time I did this I wrote A Prayer in the Forest and used all 500 words. It was a challenge then, and I'm sure it's going to be a challenge now.

What genre should this story be?

-I don't know how someone did it, but they manually added in Fantasy which I left off on purpose. After fixing the issue Mystery was chosen which I think is a hard genre to write in(at least for me).

Pick a boy name.

-Sorry Elijah and Landon, Avery won this survey. Maybe next time!

Pick a girl name.

-Since Madeline and Amelia tied, I decided to go with Madeline so I didn't have two characters starting with the same letter.

Based on your answers above, what title would you give this short story?

Here's a small screenshot from the long list of titles. I chose one I thought went well with the picture also selected by the subscribers.

I told you this was going to be a hard challenge! But I guess that's why it's called a challenge. Wish me luck!


“Madeline, did you hurt him?”

She glanced over gritting through her teeth, “You know I wouldn’t harm a fly.”

“Then where is he?!” Avery shouted hitting the dash with his fist then leaned in to get closer to her. “You were the last one with him. Don’t you think that’s odd?”

Madeline huffed digging her nails into the steering wheel.

Intensely, Avery watched in hopes the silence would force a wanted confession, but Madeline’s gaze didn’t faultier from the road. He, for a split-second, let the anger dwell, then sat back with arms folded in defeat.

Peering out the window, Avery watched as the shadows of the forest whooshed by. The glare of the headlights revealing the way of the unfamiliar road. He was certain Madeline knew what happened to his best friend. She was his fiancé for Christ’s sake.

Avery sat up when he felt the car begin to slow. Out of habit, Madeline signaled to turn even though no one was around for miles. Avery felt the dirt road before he saw it. If they weren’t talking before they weren’t talking now as the gravel drowned out any chance of speaking. They jostled down the path, every once in a while a pair of glowing eyes would peek out from the depths.

Suddenly, Madeline stopped the car aggressively pulling the gear into park and unbuckling. Avery followed suit jumping out of the car, close on her heels. He was surprised when she whipped around to face him. “Here you go.”

Avery looked around, but the headlights only went so far. “What bullshit is this Madeline?”

“No bullshit here, Avery. This is the last place I saw Michael,” she pointed to the untouched ground. Madeline saw the look of confusion spread across his face, but before he could speak she whispered, “He found out about us.”

“What?” Avery shook his head.

“The affair. Michael knows.”

Anger built up again, but this time Avery let it take over. Reaching out he gripped Madeline by the shoulders, “Where’s Michael!”

“Get off me!” She twisted pushing him away. “I’m a cheater not a murderer, asshole!"

“Where the hell is he then?!”

Madeline turned stocking towards the car, “F- you, Avery! I hope whatever happened to Michael happens to you.” She peeled out leaving Avery stranded in a cloud of dust in complete darkness.

“Shit,” His phone was in the car.

Avery hadn’t been stumbling in the dark for very long when he saw the headlights reappear. Boy, was Madeline going to hear a mouthful from him.

Three days later…

“I left them both here,” Madeline pointed to the spot she’d seen Avery and Michael last. The sheriff squinted, questioning.

“Sir, you might want to come see this,” a second officer called out from behind, “We have two sets of tire marks.”

The sheriff turned towards Madeline eyebrows raised.

“I told you, I’m a cheater not a murderer,” She folded her arms across her chest. Maybe someone would listen to her for once.

Final Thoughts

Holy cow was that a fun one to write! I don't know how many times I had to delete a word here or there to make sure the story fit in the parameters of 300 to 500 words.

But I did it! 500 words to be exact with the phrase being in the third sentence. I definitely feel I hit the genre on the head with it being a suspenseful mystery. What happened to Michael and Avery? Who was in the second car?

Tell me in the comments below what you think happened to them. Do you think Madeline is involved?

If you want to be involved in more of the writing process make sure to subscribe to the blog. I send out monthly newsletters in which you can participate in fun activities such as this one.

Here are some of my most recent Random Generator Stories you might be interested in as well!

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