Glenn and Walker's idea was to invite people to write stories about thrift store trinkets and then post the stories on eBay to find out how much people will bid on the objects. (There is no intent to deceive — that would ruin the purpose of the experiment. The eBay descriptions for the objects include a disclaimer that "The significance of this object has been invented by the author.")
Here's the first three paragraphs of my story:
Matt saw the tiny blue bottle on the third step of the main entrance to the Los Angeles Central Library. It was next to a sleeping man, obviously homeless. A $100 bill, rolled-up, was protruding from the bottle's open neck. Matt slyly scooped up the bottle on his way into the library. He hid the bottle in his fist until he got to a desk with side partitions.
A chipped decal on the bottle read, "Arrow De Luxe Apricot Flavored Brandy." He pulled the rolled-up bill from the neck. When he unrolled it, it was a just note printed on what looked like a $100 bill. He'd picked up these phony bills before. They were religious tracts. What kind of religion tries to win members by pulling a dirty trick? he wondered.
Matt dropped the note on the ground and pocketed the bottle. It looks like an antique, he thought. I might get some money for it. He barely made it to the computer card catalog when the bottle appeared in his mouth. The oddly ribbed neck protruded from his lips, while the rest of the bottle uncomfortably occupied his mouth, pushing his tongue down and preventing him from closing his jaws completely.
Read the rest of the story here.
(The eBay auction for this miniature jug ends on July 14 at 5:21 am PDT.)