Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

Keep Pretending · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 7



... Poni?

Aw yiss~
#2 · 4
Ooh, I don't think we've had a Draw-->Write in a while. Maybe this time I'll finally partake in one.
#3 · 5
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Anon Y Mous
So the point is, you look at the art gallery, pick one, and write a story on it, yes?
#4 · 3
Yep! The art will be based on the prompt being chosen right now.
#5 · 2
Oooh, a draw followed by a write. This is exciting!
#6 · 2
If only I had known that last time...

*Flashbacks to me following the original prompt to a T like I would die if I didn’t.*
#7 · 2
I'll do my best to draw and write this time around.
#8 ·
Whoa, one of these again! Cool!

I'd say I might try to do something this round, but... chances are I won't.
#9 · 6
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>horizon
… holy moly, my weekend’s actually free.
#10 · 4
My body is ready (to get whipped by the best (I mean at writing (geez, all this subtext)))!
#11 · 6
· · >>horizon
Wow, folks seemed to have posted a lot of song names for prompts this round. Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Despacito (2), In the Summertime, Ain't No Sunshine, and a few others.

Guess y'all are feeling musical this week.
#12 · 9
· · >>MLPmatthewl419
Despacito (2)

wait what
#13 · 9
· · >>MLPmatthewl419
The World Beyond Our Doorstep: There is a House in New Orleans, Fifth Ace; Keep Pretending. In The Summertime, In the Distance… Hurricane Daydream.

Unleavened Dread. It’s too Early for Nightmare Night; Where Did All You Zombies Come From? “The Wolf Off?” Within Acceptable Error, It Stirs the Forest Darkness.

Draw My OC. Please, Draw Me a Pony Beanis Catching Fire. The world burns. Now what? Mare vs. Nature.

The Cobbler’s Children Have No Horseshoes. Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone). The Ethos Knife. Shirtless man stares down Hurricane Despacito.

A Dream I Had–The Letter G, The Number 5, Mixed Massages, And da Booty Goes: “Buck The Police!”

Black Ships Ate the Sky. Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). It’s a Long Way to the Top, Easily Amused Alumni; We’ll Have Tomorrow.
#14 ·
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Lol, that's amazing...

Why am I so tempted to change my prompt submission just to irk you after making that? Anyway, amazing as usual! Highlight of the prompt process, if I say so myself.
#15 ·
· · >>MLPmatthewl419
Prompts are locked in when voting starts and can’t be edited. Your threatened irk has become mirk.
But thank you. :)
#16 ·
· · >>Moosetasm
It may be locked, but I can sure try :P
#17 · 7
Fine, just Keep Pretending, there. :B
#18 ·
· · >>MLPmatthewl419 >>CoffeeMinion >>Baal Bunny >>Miller Minus
So just a bit of clarification as this is my first writeoff and the FAQ doesn't cover this:

Drawing is from the 19th to the 22nd and writing is from the 22nd to the 23rd. Right?

If I was planning on just writing, do I have to submit a drawing?

On the 22nd I would pick a picture from the gallery and base my story off of that, right?

Thanks. :D
#19 ·
· · >>MLPmatthewl419 >>CoffeeMinion >>Baal Bunny
Following up on n3k1dsk1llz's post, I would like to know this as well. I'm unsure if things have changed since the last time I've been here.
#20 · 3
· · >>n3k1dsk1llz >>Baal Bunny
You can do either art or writing, or even both. It all depends on what you want.

Yes, on the 22nd you would pick a picture, any picture you want, even multiple if I remember correctly, and write a story off of that.


Also >>Kritten
#21 · 3
· · >>Kritten >>CoffeeMinion >>Miller Minus

I'm dealing with some issues, mainly depression (though ketamine treatments seem to be helping again), but also I feel I've done things that mean I don't deserve to participate here.

I'm going to try to fight that feeling, and maybe I'll contribute something this time. But if I do, I'm going to avoid interaction outside of reviews and my post-mortem.

Best of luck to all.
#22 · 1
Good luck fighting that fight my dude. You got this.
#23 · 4
Hang in there, Trick. You belong.

Yeah, sometimes we do art based on the stories, and sometimes we do stories based on the art. In the past I've grumped about it disrupting the "normal" order of things, but over time I've come around to liking it. Some of the art we get is amazing.
#24 · 2
#25 · 4
· · >>Miller Minus

The other thing to remember:

If I'm recalling correctly, is that you can't write a story based on any artwork you submit. You have to pick another picture to write about. Is that right?

#26 · 1
· · >>Kritten
I can't believe this website is still alive and the same cuckoos are haunting it (as we say in Switzerland!) :P
Ooh there's even a picture competition now?
#27 · 4
· · >>Miller Minus
Honestly I'm surprised too after being gone for almost a year. I'd think that at least the population would half but nope. Really shows the passion in writing colorful cartoon ponies some people have.

Here's to another year for this site.
#28 · 2
Welcome to the writeoff! You can go to the Art Submission or Fic Submission pages for a better idea of when the deadlines are, depending on which you'd like to submit for.


>>Baal Bunny
You're right; you can't tie a story to your own art.

Howay the Writeoffs!

#29 · 5
· · >>Haze >>GroaningGreyAgony >>MLPmatthewl419 >>Anon Y Mous
Well, I've got a piece of art in! So GroaningGreyAgony Haze will have something to base a story on while the rest of us try to choose between his 37 submissions.
#30 · 1
· · >>horizon
hey, that was me :(
#31 ·
Aw dang it

way to ruin the joke by misremembering, me D:
#32 · 1
Easy there. Don’t want to get a rep as a premature illustrator, do you?
Seriously, welcome back. We only ruined the whole Writeoff a little bit while you were gone.
#33 ·
That is... a stupidly accurate description of the arts xD xD
#34 · 1
This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.
#35 · 2
· · >>CoffeeMinion
*sees 29 writeoff entries total under the BlueChameleonVI account*

*sees that it is the minific round this week*

*cracks knuckles*

*grins evilly*
#36 · 2
· · >>Bachiavellian >>BlueChameleonVI
Uh oh... it's gonna be like that one time that SharpSpark(?) wrote half the fics... D:

(Tho tbh if I had the free time to crank out more than one I think that'd be gutsy and fun) :D
#37 · 1
· · >>PinoyPony >>Haze
If you're talking about I Regret Nothing, that was Everyday, it looks like.
#38 ·
· · >>Haze >>Not_A_Hat >>MLPmatthewl419
Just looking over that competition, I could tell with the 100+ entries there was a lot of sleepless nights for both writer and reader.

Also, isn't posting multiple entries a good way to rack up negative points? I thought I saw one person do just that, though I can't recall who it was off the top of my head.
#39 · 1

The more I look at FamousLastWord's contest having a deadline of Oct. 6th and with PaulAsaran scheduled to review my still-unfinished-after-four-years story "Grouchisaurus Rex" on Oct. 21st, the more I think I might focus my time this weekend other places than here. If any of the artwork grabs me by the brain, of course, all bets are off... :)

#40 · 6
· · >>CoffeeMinion
the record for multiple entries without getting any disqualified stands at 16
(and one of them won)

someone should reverse what I did, and write one minific for every picture. or 17 minifics all based on the same picture.
#41 · 3
· · >>MLPmatthewl419 >>PinoyPony >>CoffeeMinion
Only if you do poorly! The negative points thing comes from a 20% (of total possible - the score first place gets) point penalty being subtracted from the score of secondary entries. So as long as your stories do better then the bottom fifth, you won't get negative points - and even if you do get negative points, they won't be more than 1/5 the score of the top entry. (edit - you'll have to do better than above the bottom fifth... I don't understand scoring. Still, do well enough, and you'll still get positive points on a secondary entry.)

To be honest... I think, as long as your writing skill isn't far below average, submitting multiple entries is more likely to gain you points than loose them, especially because with more stories, you're more likely to average our to your 'true' writing level.

Well, maybe concentration or time demands would balance that out... Dunno. But writing multiple decent stories can be a great way to climb the leader board.
#42 · 1

Anyway, pretty much what Not_A_Hat said. It can go either way provided you aren't terrible at writing... and seems as though you're more likely to gain points, in theory.
#43 ·

Broadly speaking, yes, though I would not aspire that high.
#44 ·
Thanks! When in doubt, ask questions. The more you know!

Knowing my luck though, if try to pull that stunt, it'd land me in the hole. I'm a rookie after all.

Though, it has worked for me in the past. Maybe I'll give it (another) whirl. Who knows what will happen?
#45 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Pascoite
Ahhh yes, that's the one I was thinking of!

I've only posted multiple stories twice. I lost points both times, though. Ever since the second experience I've been pretty hesitant to try again.

Of course, there's an argument to be made that both "second stories" were legitimate stinkers. I envy those with time enough For Love to spend properly fleshing out multiple stories!
#46 · 1
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Urrghh, art takes so long to make :\
#47 · 2
The harder it is for the creator to make something, the easier it is for the audience to enjoy it.
#48 · 4
>TEFL mentioned

For everyone playing the Writeoff Drinking Game, that's another shot.
#49 · 4
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Another way to get negative points is to write something that doesn't tend to do well with voters, even if it's up to the author's normal standard. Say, something incredibly violent or a random comedy or a feghoot. Doesn't matter how good they are, they just rarely do well, because their appeal isn't universal enough. This is also why I don't vote by how much I enjoyed a story but by an attempt at a more objective evaluation of how well it was done, though often the two line up reasonably well.
#50 · 3
Usual reminder: I'll be in #mentors Saturday, off and on through the afternoon, but pretty solid through the evening, until about 2 AM Eastern. You can also reach me via PM. The earlier you ask, the more attention I can pay to your entry, as things can get a bit stacked up later, and I'm trying to get through them quicker so I can go to bed.
#51 ·
I'm gonna +1 this because I think it's important food for thought.

I can't pretend to be fully objective with my voting. If a story hits me square in the Author Appeal, I'll probably nudge it upwards. I've also had an instance where I struggled to decide if I should bottom-slate something that really didn't work for me or just abstain on it, and I ended up doing the former. So I'm far from perfect.

But even so, I agree with the general principle of trying to judge a work more on its execution than on personal taste, and I think it's an important thing to try to hold to. I doubt we'd want the Writeoff to stagnate into just what's popular among the crowd; we've gotta find ways to reward people who take risks and come at things from funky angles, as long as they do it well.
#52 · 6
Alright, got the arts in! This was refreshing, I needed a little creative fun. Looking forward to seeing all the entries tomorrow!
#53 · 3
I arted.
#54 · 4
Hooray! I submitted art and it didn't crash the site!
#55 · 4
Yeesss..... art turned in.
#56 · 3
My art is all in. And so am I. Good night, and good luck!
#57 · 2
I apologize to all the romance writers.

my last minute sketch of Applejack pretending to orgasm didn't make it in, because I was seconds too slow at uploading it from my phone. I'm sure it would've inspired hundreds of minifics.

I am 100% serious, PM me if you want it anyway
#58 · 2
· on It's Only Just Getting Started

This is so fucking funny. Its nine o’clock in the morning and I’m waking up everyone in my house. Bless this picture.

But I digress.

I love the detail of evil Starlight and Twilight. The sweat trickling off of her face is magnifique. And the sly looks they’re giving Chrysalis is perfect.

My little critique about this is the sparkles on Starlight. Typically sparkles are more transparent and don’t have outlines to them, they’re just drawn on. If you just draw them on and increase their transparency (only by a little, though, it’s very easy to make them almost clear) it would help a ton. ;)

This will be going high on my slate. Keep drawing!!!
#59 ·
· on But I didn't listen!
And the world is better because you didn't listen.
#60 · 5
· on But I didn't listen!
Using my CSI computer, I used Zoom and Enhance on this image to read the reflection on the back of the paper, and I'm afraid the artist's identity is clearly revealed in the typed correspondance. This may have to be disqualified.

Thought you'd get away with it, Twilight Sparkle?
#61 · 1
· on Bleed
Sweet and soft exterior with an even sweeter filling!
#62 · 2
· on First Rise · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Chubby vampire Celestia? Sure, I'm in.
I like the rainbow look of the mountains and the sky, though it makes me wonder if that's actually the sun or a nuclear blast.
Nevertheless, it's a cute piece.
#63 · 5
· on Wo Free · >>Hristabilicus
That's what you get for abandoning the comfiness of WriteOff pone butt.
#64 · 1
· on Proud
"Even with your ear extensions, I'm still proud of you, Twilight."
This is probably my favourite piece this round. Celestia's loving expression, Twilight's regretful smile. Solid work all around.
Though, for a second I thought Celestia was grabbing Twilight's jaw with her other hoof.
#65 · 4
· on All Aboard! · >>Moosetasm
They should go for freight hopping cutiemarks. I'm sure that'd be an adventure.
This is really cute. It makes me want to grab a box and sit in the back of the train. I particularly like Sweetie's panic and Opal's fed up expression.
#66 · 3
· on Confrontation · >>CoffeeMinion >>Anon Y Mous
Judging by the black sky, I'm going to assume it's a Hunter's Moon. I wonder what would it take for that phenomenon to take place in Equestria. I mean, I once read that it was product of Luna's massive period tinting the moon red while she was up there, but I don't think that was your aim here.
#67 · 2
· on She's Looking Through You · >>Zaid Val'Roa
This one immediately hooked my eye with the glowing green eyes contrasting the darkness. She positively commands your attention with those eyes. I also love the extra care you took with her hair in making the strands flow and stand out

Where the highlight shows on her shoulder and hair, it's slightly diminished by a bit of a black outline, which might be my only minor complaint in an otherwise stellar piece. Great work indeed.
#68 ·
I was planning on doing a story this round, but my schoolwork built up and I've already planned on doing some traveling today. I'll sit this one out creation-wise, but I'll be sure to actually review stories this round.
#69 · 1
· on Pony Up? · >>Moosetasm
Stop right there, criminal scum. You just drew my wife. I'm confiscating this picture and any other picture you've drawn of her.

No, but seriously, nice drawing. Fits with the theme and everything. I even like the metal gear exclamation mark above her head.
#70 · 1
· on Some Call it "Blue Fairy" · >>Samey90
Not only does this have a ton of writing potential, it's also mildly funny. Pretty nice. I'd give it a thumbs up.

Only real complaint is that you missed the opportunity for an even more extravagant background than just the copy-pasted bar of poison joke. However, I still have to say that you sort of reached a weird background state, so I guess it sorta works.
#71 · 1
I'm in for real this time!
#72 · 2
· on Cap’n Pip
I'll hop on this one before anypony else comments!

Nice work artist! I Like the art style and how it fits the style with a children's book. Top of my slate for sure.

Although, the idea kinda reminds me of a story on Fimfiction. That fact will make it (maybe) a teensy bit harder to make a story of it. Although, I'm excited to read the stories connected to this!
#73 · 2
· on Mrs. Fix-It · >>Zaid Val'Roa
I miss the old sweetie bot memes that used to go around from one person to the next, but hey, at least we got new memes with our time here.
I'm confident enough to say that I have no idea what the hell is going on in this picture. But still I like it because it covers the topic pretty cleverly. A pony created out of what I assume are the signs that make electrical circuits. But enough of that, what in the ever living hell is that caption?! Are you sending bomb codes? Or do you just need help with your physics homework?
#74 · 3
· on Pony Up?
Prompt relevance: very relevant to prompt
Style: smooth, clean style, shaded well
Background: single color, not abrasive
Story potential: high
Result: Top tier

I like this one a lot. Wallflower blush can keep on pretending she’s an alicorn princess if she wants.

What was that noise?
Eh, I fall asleep
#75 ·
· on All Aboard!
Prompt relevance: very relevant to prompt
Style: uncolored, shaded well, proportions kinda wonky
Background: no background
Story potential: high
Result: Top tier

I love the story potential from this one, as well as the expressions and personality exuded by each of the CMCs. Scootaloo is just having a ball, Apple Bloom is taking tickets in a... Heisenberg hat... and Sweetie Belle is packing far too much for such a short cardboard box trip.


>>Zaid Val'Roa
Cutie-mark Crusaders Train Hobos!
#76 · 1
· on Cap’n Pip
Prompt relevance: very high relevance
Style: crisp lines, good proportioning, nice shading
Background: multicolored, accentuates the subject
Story potential: high
Result: top tier

Lil Pip the Pirate is ripe for story ideas, even if some have been done before. Execution is nice, though his head looks a little hamstery.
#77 · 2
· on Toy Chest
Prompt relevance: very relevant
Style: clean inked lines, varying line widths, some inconsistency in line widths
Background: no background
Story potential: high
Result: top tier

The evidence points towards youthful G&PT, What with the hat and cape and star wand from her cutie mark. I like the potential here, what foalish adventures did Trixie have that lead her down the path of becoming Great and Powerful?
#78 ·
· on Some Call it "Blue Fairy" · >>Moosetasm
Is this a reference to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?
#79 ·
· on A Novel Fantasy · >>MLPmatthewl419
Prompt relevance: high
Style: pencil shaded, nice color definition for most of the image.
Background: background is nice except in the parts where it interferes with the title visibility.
Story potential: extremely high
Result: strong contender

This could go many different ways, whether it be a story gets made about the prompt within a prompt on the cover of this book, or there could be a story revolving around escapism into this book itself.
#80 · 1
· on Wo Free · >>Hristabilicus
This piece makes me feel like the artist had drawn an awful lot of ponies' butts, and now makes the foray into drawing whole horses, and even humans!

I look forward to more experimental art styles in the future, possibly even including human butts.
#81 ·
· on Fraud
Prompt relevance: very relevant
Style: paint on canvas, kinda messy, but good variation in brush stroke width and perspective
Background: single color (I assume the medals & trophies are all part of the subject)
Story potential: high
Result: strong contender

This sounds like imposter syndrome, a medical condition in which someone has the irrational fear that they are a fraud and that at any time, if anyone just “knew the real them” that they’d be found out and exposed. I’ve had irrational fear, but never had this. I can only imagine how incredibly stressful it would be to have the condition and be constantly fearing about everyone near you suddenly turning against you by “discovering” something about you.
#82 · 1
· on First Rise · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Prompt relevance: very
Style: clean lines, chubby subject is chubby
Background: rainbow sherbet mountains ftw
Story potential: high
Result: strong contender

I love this one. My thoughts are that this is a little filly pretending that they’re raising the sun, even though they are not. Maybe it’s Celestia, maybe it isn’t. Either way, it’s adorable.
#83 · 1
· on Pony Up?
I, too, would trade my legs for pony ears.
#84 · 1
· on Confrontation · >>Anon Y Mous
Ok, I gotta comment on this boi. I really love this. I love how Luna's seat is ever so slightly lower than Celestia's; how Luna's crown is the only one on the table; the expressions (though perhaps unintentionally) making Celly look stoic, whilst Luna looks more downtrodden and sad...

Basically, phenomenal work, artist. Absolutely phenomenal.
#85 · 2
· on Mrs. Fix-It
They're instructions on how to build and run your very own Mrs. Fix-It.
#86 · 1
· on Sky Stingray · >>CoffeeMinion
........that caption. Perfect.
#87 ·
· on It's Only Just Getting Started
Prompt relevance: relevant
Style: clean lines, nice effects
Background: confusing yet intriguing background, it looks like they’re in one of the Tardises
Story potential: unknown
Result: strong contender

I say story potential “unknown” because I am sure there is a story here, but I just can’t connect the dots in my head to form anything other than “Villain jeopardy, with Starlight, Evil Twi, and Chrysalis... and Chrysalis knows nothing, John Snow.”
#88 · 2
· on i wish I had a scanner · >>Anonymous
Intricate ink work. We have four quarters of a moth's wings, one for Celestia, one for Luna, one for Twilight, and one without a cutie mark on it. The fourth quarter is not colored like any of the alicorns in the show, but with colors complimentary to Starlight? I'm not sure. It could be any pony, really.

But the whole thing is overlaid on a light sketch of another, identical moth, oriented a quarter-turn from this one. Surely the artist would have used a clean sheet of paper had he or she wished to do so, and we can only conclude that this ghost of a moth is relevant to the picture. But what does it mean?

I don't know. But this work is clever and executed well. There's a few places where the ink lines get a little sloppy, but we were all pressed for time. Look at the clean, crisp lines on the orange Celestia wing - beautiful, with a clean border between the outline of the wing and the precise crosshatching there. If time hadn't run out, I suspect the Luna and Twilight wings would have benefited from the same precise linework.

This is beautiful, and I second the notion that I wish you had a scanner.
#89 · 1
· on Confrontation · >>Anon Y Mous
Prompt relevance: moderate
Style: pencil shading, solid lines, stylized
Background: some background elements mix with foreground elements, done in a manner to draw attention to certain pieces of the work
Story potential: high
Result: strong contender

This one speaks to me in several ways, but only a few that fit the prompt. Are they pretending nothing is wrong with that blood moon outside? Are they lying to themselves about something else? Lots of questions pop up from this work, and the artistic style is very good; the way the background is laid out, especially at the bottom, draws the eyes to certain parts and elicits feeling.
#90 · 6
· on But I didn't listen! · >>Kritten
I like that the artist went to the trouble of typing up a grad school acceptance letter for Twilight Sparkle.

Transcript follows:

State University of New York
1 College Circle
Geneseo, New York, 14454
Web | www.geneseo.edu

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

Congratulations! We are delighted to offer you admission to Geneseo in General Studies for Fall 2027 as a Graduate Student. Your hard work and determination have earned you a spot in the Geneseo Knights Class of 2032! Since admission to Geneseo is a selective process, you can take pride in your accomplishment!


The rest is a standard acceptance letter that you can find online.
#91 ·
· on Proud · >>Bachiavellian
Prompt relevance: moderate
Style: good lines of varying width, good coloration, good expressions on the characters
Background: varying colors and details
Story potential: moderate
Result: strong contender

This is a very good picture, and would be at the top of my list if I saw more relevance to the prompt. The title is “Proud”, and Celestia is clearly proud in the picture. So to try and connect to the prompt, is Twilight the one pretending that she’s proud? Or not proud?
#92 · 2
· on Sky Stingray · >>CoffeeMinion
A young man went walking out one clear and sunny day
Hoping that inspiration would come along his way
With deadlines looming ever close and with no time to draw
He looked up to the heavens high and up the clouds he saw

Cloud Stingrays in the sky

To be honest, though. It kinda looked like a wing to me.
#93 · 2
· on All Aboard!
The faces is what really sells this one.
#94 ·
· on Sprouting Rainbow
I love this one as a photograph. I'm not sure as a writing prompt, but I love the photograph.
#95 ·
· on Nellie Takes Her Bow · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Prompt relevance: very high
Style: roughly penned, some overlap and some layering issues
Background: none
Story potential: high
Result: strong contender

I love the story potential on this one. Just wishing it was a little more cleaned up.
#96 ·
· on Some Call it "Blue Fairy"
Prompt relevance: moderate
Style: show style, clean
Background: that’s a lot of layered poison joke
Story potential: high (like, tooootally high)
Result: strong contender

I can’t stop to review this! This is batpony country!

Lots of potential for drug trips, though I don’t know if I consider that “pretending.”

Pretty sure it is
#97 · 1
· on But I didn't listen!
You know, first time I looked at this, I thought this was submitted as a mistake or something. Shoutout to >>Hap for this shocking revelation!
I'm still not entirely sure on where I'd place it though...
#98 · 1
· on She's Looking Through You · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Prompt relevance: moderate
Style: good colors and blending
Background: concrete bunker?
Story potential: moderate
Result: mid tier

This image is fantastic, but the relevance to the prompt exists only through the fact that Chrysalis is a changeling, not through anything presented in the image. It just feels like it should be side by side a picture of Chrysalis’ ponysona.
#99 ·
· on Fraud
Watercolor, nice. I've always wanted to get into that more.
I'd like to see a story be made out of this. It has a lot of potential not only from what's been shown in the picture, but from what also could possibly be added in the future. I'm on board.
#100 · 1
· on A Not So Secret · >>Paracompact >>Anon Y Mous
Prompt relevance: moderate
Style: pencil shaded, good variety of colors and contrasts
Background: multicolored, accentuates the subjects
Story potential: high
Result: strong contender

I unfortunately can’t relate this to the prompt, maybe because I don’t know the characters well enough. The artistry and style is very good though. I also think there is potential for story here, especially with the mystery letter being torn up.