Let’s face it. For many erotic and transformation stories, the set-up sounds sort of ridiculous. Strangers coming on to strangers. Ancient tomes found and mistranslated. Many times some of us may overlook these tired or far-fetched set-ups because we either accept them as necessary evils or have become so accustomed to them we don’t stop to think about them. We read them and move on to the meat of the story.

Well, I know that I do stop and think about them. In many cases I consciously try and turn such set-ups on their head or just avoid them all together. But that got me to thinking; are some of these oft-used tropes oft-used because, in some way, they actually do happen? That some version of them occurs often enough that as a collective our society makes use of them and subconsciously accepts them without question?

It was while pondering this that I realized I know of two oft-used story set-ups that have, in a mundane fashion, actually happened to me or provably to someone I know.

Of course, by “mundane” I mean without the sex or transforming.

The one that actually happened to me runs along the lines of the “getting a note of interest from a mysterious stranger.” Actually, it happened twice, once in college and once a few years later. Both times involved me going out to my car and finding paper wedged under my windshield wipers.

In college I actually knew who the girl was and had no idea there was interest in me. The note didn’t lead to anything between me and her, but it was interesting to receive.

The second time happened while I was in the suburbs of New York City for a wedding. We’d parked the car, and when we came back there was a note from someone saying she’d seen me from her apartment building across from the space I’d parked in, and if I was “interested in some fun” to come up to her apartment. Amber took the invite in good humor and stride, and of course I didn’t go to find out what sort of “fun” was in store. I still have that note somewhere, and if I can find it I will scan it in.

Neither instance lead to any sexy fun for me, but the set-up is perfect for a lonely lady protagonist who begins a night of unexpected debauchery.

The next story opener that I know actually happened went down with my friend Scott. It falls under “Finding ancient tomes in a strange language.” He was cleaning out his grandparents’ attic and found an old wooden box hidden inside a large trunk. Inside the box were over two dozen old novels and pamphlets written in Serbian with the Cyrillic alphabet. The dates range from 1876 to 1909. He’s currently trying to translate them and may post some over on Exiern.

Scott didn’t actually find magic spell books (as far as he knows), but it is actually the “found a strange text in the attic and fouled up the translation” set-up for a magic-as-the-cause story…because he did mistranslate one word as “bestiality” (the book wasn’t about that).

So, my question to you all is, has anyone else actually experienced one of the seemingly absurd tropes in erotic and/or metafeminine fiction that at first seems ridiculous, but when you think about it actually turns out to be perfectly possible in a mundane sort of way?