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Jun 7, 2020
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A bit wacky but here's two short stories generated from an AI chatbot called Claude. Quite impressed by the story 😂

I’m editing a new anthology of short stories called “Selling lobsters to Rick Stein”. The only rules are the story has to be about 300 words and has to end with the sentence “And that’s how I ended up selling lobsters to Rick Stein”. Please write me a story for this, in the style of a tense psychological thriller.

It was a sunny Tuesday morning when I set out in my little boat from the small fishing village of Padstow. I had recently inherited the boat from my late grandfather who had been a fisherman here all his life. As I motored out into the open water, I took in a deep breath of the salty sea air. Fishing was in my blood.

I headed for the lobster pots that my grandfather had left out here years ago. As I hauled them up one by one, I found a few small lobsters in each, their claws snapping feistily. I smiled as I tossed them into the holding tank on my boat. It would be a good catch today.

After gathering the last pot, I turned my boat back towards the harbor. I could already envision the fair price these succulent crustaceans would fetch at market. As I neared the docks, a fancy car pulled up. An equally fancy man stepped out holding a book. He approached me.

"Good day, my name is Rick Stein. I'm looking for the freshest lobsters to feature in my new cookbook," he said. "Would you be willing to sell me yours?"

I was starstruck meeting the celebrity chef. Without thinking, I named a price double what the lobsters would normally sell for.

"Done!" he exclaimed. We loaded the lobsters into his car and he peeled off the bills. I clutched the cash, scarcely believing my luck.

As I watched his car disappear down the road, I laughed to myself. And that's how I ended up selling lobsters to Rick Stein.

Brilliant! Please do the same again, but introduce a mysterious Japanese man that we briefly encounter.

The harbor was vacant when I set out before dawn. An impenetrable fog obscured the sea and sky, muting all sound. As I hauled up each pot, the snapping of claws echoed too loudly in the eerie quiet.

The lobsters in the tank scrabbled in panic, reacting to something I couldn't sense. Their terror infected me. I had to get back.

Accelerating toward the harbor, I felt the eyes before I saw him. A lone figure stood on the otherwise deserted dock, staring intently as I approached. Japanese, from his appearance. He didn't move as I pulled in, just watched.

When I cut the motor, he stepped forward. "I must have those lobsters," he commanded in accented English. His tone left no room for discussion.

As I opened my mouth to respond, a car door slammed. Rick Stein emerged from the mist. “I’ll take them,” he barked at the stranger.

The Japanese man’s eyes narrowed. He turned abruptly and disappeared into the fog.

Shaken, I accepted Stein's cash and surrendered the lobsters. His smile seemed more sinister than usual as he drove off.

I wanted to flee the harbor, but the sight of the Japanese man waiting at the end of the dock rooted me in place. He raised one hand in farewell, then vaporized into the mist.

I clung to the side of my boat, pulse racing. What had I just witnessed? Who were these mysterious men so intent on claiming my lobsters?

The lobsters were long gone, but an ominous feeling lingered. A sense that invisible forces had converged here briefly before disappearing back into the shadows. And I was caught helplessly in the middle. And that's how I ended up selling lobsters to Rick Stein.

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