I fed ChatGPT the background notes on Colin Blaze and asked it to write a Colin Blaze story. This is the resultant story. It bounces around from good writing to hilariously terrible storytelling and back again. It captures the Colin Blaze universe quite well but cannot pace a plot especially well. We writers are not out of a job just yet.

It was a typical Monday morning at Colin Blaze’s office, or as typical as it can be when there’s a seven-foot-tall alien sitting in the waiting room. The alien was pacing back and forth, his long tentacles flailing as he muttered to himself in his native language. Harry, Colin’s assistant, offered the alien a cup of tea and a biscuit, but the alien just grumbled and continued his pacing.

Colin emerged from his office, rubbing his eyes as he tried to shake off the cobwebs of sleep. He looked at the alien and then glanced at his assistant. “Harry, did you forget to mention that we don’t serve decaf to the aliens?”

Harry looked confused. “I didn’t know that, Mr. Blaze. Do aliens have different coffee preferences?”

Colin sighed and shook his head. “Nevermind, Harry. What can I do for you?” he asked, turning to the alien.

The alien explained that he had lost his prized possession, a small device that allowed him to communicate with his home planet. He had searched everywhere, but he couldn’t find it. Colin took the case and promised to do his best to find the device.

He started his investigation by retracing the alien’s steps. He went to the park where the alien had been walking the day before and asked around. Most people ignored him, but one person caught his attention. It was a woman dressed in all black, wearing a wide-brimmed hat that hid her face.

Colin approached her and asked if she had seen anything suspicious. The woman looked at him for a moment and then laughed. “You’re the famous Colin Blaze, aren’t you? The one who only gets cases that nobody believes?”

Colin nodded. “That’s me. But I take my work seriously. Have you seen anything that could help me solve this case?”

The woman shook her head. “I haven’t seen anything. But if you’re looking for something that nobody believes exists, maybe you should look in the last place you’d expect to find it.”

Colin thanked the woman and continued his investigation. He thought about her words as he walked back to his office. The last place he’d expect to find the alien’s device? That could be anywhere. But then he remembered something the alien had said when he first came to his office.

The alien had mentioned that he had been to a coffee shop before coming to Colin’s office. Colin retraced the alien’s steps to the coffee shop and asked the barista if he had seen anything unusual. The barista, a young woman with a nose ring and a friendly smile, nodded.

“I remember that guy,” she said. “He was looking for something. He was all flustered and kept muttering to himself. I thought he was going to rob the place or something.”

Colin asked her to describe the man. She did, and it matched the woman in black. Colin thanked the barista and headed back to his office.

He confronted the woman in black, who finally revealed her face. It was Maggie Jones, his probation officer. “What are you doing here, Maggie?” he asked.

“I could ask you the same thing,” she said. “But I think we both know the answer. You’re chasing another wild goose, and I’m just trying to keep you out of trouble.”

Colin smiled. “Actually, I think I might have found what I was looking for.”

He explained his theory to Maggie, and she looked at him skeptically. “That’s a bit of a stretch, even for you, Colin.”

Colin grinned. “Maybe so, but it’s the only lead I have. And you know what they say, Maggie. When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

Maggie sighed. “Fine. Let’s go check it out then.”

They followed Colin’s theory and arrived at an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town. Colin cautiously made his way inside, and after a few minutes of searching, he found the alien’s device. He quickly grabbed it and signaled to Maggie to follow him out of the warehouse.

As they stepped outside, they were surrounded by a group of armed men. Colin and Maggie raised their hands in surrender, but before the men could do anything, the alien burst onto the scene, tentacles flailing.

The armed men quickly retreated, and the alien, overjoyed to have his device back, thanked Colin and Maggie. As they watched the alien disappear into the distance, Maggie turned to Colin. “You know, sometimes I forget that you’re not just a troublemaker. You actually do some good in the world.”

Colin chuckled. “Yeah, I guess I do.” And with that, he headed back to his office, already looking forward to the next case that nobody believed in.

Colin Blaze is a (possibly private) detective cursed by a witch to have only cases that no right-thinking person would ever believe were real. The witch hoped that Blaze would be discredited and forced to quit. Instead, Blaze is the champion of the bizarre and marginalised oddities of London.