Last week we asked the recently updated AI writing tool GPT-3 to weigh in on the proposed Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola. After that seemed to receive a positive reception, this week we’re branching out further into some Arlington fanfiction.
The following do not quite reach the creative heights of the Jane Barcroft novels of the mid-aughts, but if you’ve followed some of the comment section’s favorite topics over the years these short stories and poems might provide some dreary-December-day amusement.
The original prompt (written by humans, for the record) is noted for each story.
Write a story in the style of Charles Dickens about Arlington, Virginia facing a shortage of peppermint mochas at local Starbucks stores.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in the beloved city of Arlington, Virginia. It was a time of great joy and excitement, as the holidays were just around the corner and people were in a festive mood. But it was also a time of great despair, for there was a shortage of peppermint mochas at the local Starbucks stores!
The citizens of Arlington had come to depend on their peppermint mochas to get them through the long, cold winter months. But now, without their beloved peppermint mocha to keep them warm, they were feeling lost and forgotten.
The shortage was due to an unexpected surge in demand for the seasonal favorite. Starbucks had underestimated the demand and didn’t have enough supply to meet it. People had been flocking to their stores in search of the elusive drink, only to be disappointed.
The news spread quickly across Arlington and soon people were talking about little else. Everyone had their own opinion on what should be done about the shortage. Some people suggested that Starbucks should increase production, while others argued that this would create other problems.
No matter what people thought, it was clear that something had to be done to bring back the peppermint mocha to Arlington. After much debate, a compromise was finally reached. Starbucks would increase production and offer discounts on drinks to help make them more affordable for customers.
This solution seemed to satisfy everyone, as people were eager for their beloved peppermint mochas once more. The shortage was soon over and Arlingtonians were able to enjoy their favorite winter drink once more.
The citizens of Arlington learned a valuable lesson that day: that when faced with a challenge, it is important to come together and find a compromise. They may have lost their beloved peppermint mochas for a time, but they gained something far greater in the end–a sense of community and unity.
Write a noir story about Vernon Miles, an local intrepid reporter who reports on crime and restaurant openings in Arlington, Virginia.
Vernon Miles was an intrepid local reporter with an appetite for justice. He had been reporting on crime and restaurant openings in Arlington, Virginia for the past five years, and he was starting to get a reputation as the go-to man for all the dirt.
Vernon had recently received a tip that there was some shady activity going on at a local restaurant. He decided to investigate, so he put on his fedora and grabbed his trusty notepad and pen.
The restaurant was located in a dark alleyway, which was not the best of places. As Vernon walked closer, he could hear voices coming from inside the building. He decided to take a risk, and he slowly opened the door.
Inside, he saw three men in suits sitting around a table with a pot of coffee and a bottle of whiskey. They were obviously up to no good, and Vernon knew he had stumbled upon something big. He got close enough to hear snippets of their conversation–they were talking about laundering money through the restaurant, and one of them mentioned something about a shipment coming in from overseas.
Vernon quickly jotted down all the details he could in his notepad before making a run for it. As he exited the alleyway, he was sure the men had spotted him, but thankfully they didn’t come after him.
When Vernon got back to his office, he wrote up an article detailing everything he had heard in the restaurant. He knew it was risky, but he also knew it was his duty as a reporter to bring justice to those who were trying to take advantage of the system.
The next day, his story was printed in the paper and it caused a stir throughout Arlington. The police began investigating the restaurant and soon enough the criminals were caught and arrested. Vernon Miles had done it again–he had uncovered the truth and brought justice to those who needed it most.
Write an X-Files-style script about paranormal activity at an Arlington County Civic Federation meeting.
EXT. ARLINGTON COUNTY CIVIC FEDERATION MEETING – DAY
The Arlington County Civic Federation meeting is underway, with the members discussing the upcoming budget. Suddenly, the lights flicker and a strange hum fills the air.
INT. ARLINGTON COUNTY CIVIC FEDERATION MEETING – CONTINUOUS
The members of the Federation look around in confusion and fear as the hum grows louder. The lights flicker again and then abruptly go out.
What’s going on?
I don’t know, but it doesn’t feel right.
Suddenly, a strange mist appears in the center of the room and the hum grows even louder. The members look around in terror, not knowing what to do.
The mist begins to take shape, and a figure appears in the center of the room – a figure that appears to be a ghostly woman with long white hair. The members gasp in shock and fear.
Do not be afraid. I am here to warn you of a great danger that is coming to this county. You must use your power and resources to protect the people from what is coming.
The ghostly woman fades away, leaving the members of the Federation stunned and silent.
What was that?
I don’t know, but I think we should take her warning seriously.
The lights come back on, and the members of the Federation look around in confusion and fear. They know they must act quickly if they are to protect their county from whatever danger is coming their way.
Write the inner monologue of Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette, frustrated with an ARLnow local news expose about how he had not shoveled the sidewalk in front of his house after a snowstorm, in violation of a new snow removal ordinance that he voted against. Jay was working long hours and his spouse was on vacation when the snow fell, and it hardened to ice by the time he was able to address it.
I can’t believe this! I just got back from a long day of work and I’m already being attacked by ARLnow for not shoveling my sidewalk after a snowstorm. It’s true that I didn’t shovel, but I was working long hours for the county when the snow fell and it had already hardened to ice by the time I got back. How can they expect me to be responsible for this?
I understand that I voted against the new snow removal ordinance, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to follow it. This is clearly a case of selective enforcement, and it’s unfair for them to target me like this. It’s one thing to criticize my decision-making as a County Board member, but it’s unacceptable to go after my personal life.
I think this is a clear example of why we need more transparency in local government. We need to ensure that our elected officials are held accountable for their decisions, but we also need to make sure that those decisions are based on facts and not on personal agenda. This whole incident has been a huge distraction from the important work we do here in Arlington County.
Shifting to poetry, write a poem about the virtues of Arlington, Virginia.
Arlington is a place with so much to see
The monuments and the memorials — sure to please
The Air Force Memorial, honoring those in the sky
The Tomb of the Unknown, a place to remember why
The Iwo Jima Memorial, a tribute to those who gave
And the sites of Arlington, so much to save
So if you’re in Arlington, it’s a place to explore
There’s so much to learn, and to see so much more
It’s a place that’s so special, with a history so grand
And it’s a place that will always be in demand
Finally, write a poem about the under-construction Amazon HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia, in the style of Robert Frost.
The site of Amazon HQ2 sprawls,
A yet-unfinished dream of Amazon’s calls.
It stands in Arlington’s midst,
A monument to Amazon’s risk.
The cranes and scaffolds tower tall,
Concrete and steel rising up to the sky’s wall.
The neighborhood’s future, so bright,
As plans for the HQ2 take flight.
The workers build with haste and skill,
Fashioning Amazon’s future will.
The gleaming tower stands tall,
A promise of Amazon’s rising star.
Amazon’s HQ2 will soon be finished,
A symbol of strength, hard work, and ambition.
Its legacy will last for years,
A reminder of Amazon’s ability to inspire.
Want to try your hand at local AI fanfiction? Generate it here and post your creation in the comments.
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At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Join us at Church of the Covenant on Military Road every other Wednesday afternoon from 4:00-5:30pm beginning on October 18th for The Backyard: After-School Kids Club. Cost is free! The program will provide recreation, snacks, Bible stories, and other fun