It was a dark and stormy night"¦


"He wakes to find himself in the Indian Ocean, naked and clinging to a door; a hotel keycard is clenched in his teeth."

"It begins with a man throwing handfuls of $100 bills from a speeding car, and ends with a young girl urinating into a tin bucket."

Scenes from the next season of "Lost" and the life of Paris Hilton? Nah, they're writing prompts for a short-story contest at McSweeney's. If you write really fast there's still time to send in your entry by June 21. Too soon? Try your hand at the mag's convergences contest, essentially an upmarket take on "find the differences in these pictures." Blessedly, it has no deadline at all. (Someone at McSweeney's must be a frustrated ex-newspaper reporter.)