Creative Copy Challenge #75

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Sleepy
  2. Ascend
  3. Acidic
  4. Sugar
  5. Retain
  6. Contract
  7. Outdated
  8. Comment
  9. Estimate
  10. Original

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


79 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #75”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    I’m too sleepy to ascend to your acidic level of sugary giddiness this morning, Mr. appraiser.
    My muscles retain their last-night ache, and our refi attempts to better our contract with the bank completely sucked our brains out.
    Your outdated glasses and pants are funny, but I’m too tired to laugh and too scared to comment, least you mark down my house’s estimated value.

    “Hi. Nice weather were having today huh?” is all I could muster as I shook his hand.

    Not original, I know, but it was all I had left.
    In order. I’ll let you know if how it went when I find out.

  2. margaret says:

    Please don’t think it creepy that after sugar I get sleepy.
    A  contract with myself I’ve penned to unhealthy habits end.
    And from excessive salt refrain, so I water won’t retain.
    I have to estimate, my acidic  PH is too great..
    My outdated diet plan said to include a daily man
    to assist in exercise, but he must be pleasing to my eyes.
    My original course of action is to be open to abstraction…
    and I have no further comment, and  my heart I am quite content.
    In my head I will pretend, that when I’m skinny I’ll ascend…..
    to my reward in dessert heaven
     where the goodies never end.

  3. Cathy Miller says:

    Death & the Detective Series
    Maggie listened to the fading sound of the car driving away from the complex. She wouldn’t be having any sleepy dreams tonight. With her heart pounding, she slowly approached the sliding glass door on her bedroom’s balcony.

    She didn’t know why she was so frightened. There was no way to ascend to the second floor without a long ladder. That’s what her brain told her, but the fear left an acidic, coppery taste in her mouth. Her pulse raced like her worse case of sugar high.

    Reaching out trembling fingers, Maggie pushed one long slat of the blinds aside, desperately trying to retain some form of dignity as she grasped the front of her nightshirt. It was so dark. The light from the parking lot did little to illuminate the night. Bolstering her courage, Maggie felt her breath contract into a strangled hold.

    She reached for the door, releasing the outdated latch. She’d have to replace that – soon. The door groaned in an agonizing comment on the early morning hour. Maggie’s best estimate was it was around 3 AM.

    “Get a hold of yourself,” Maggie chided herself.

    Why was she so frightened? She was a strong woman. Her friends called her the original Lone Ranger.

    Sliding the heavy door along its track, Maggie shivered with the chill from the fall ocean air.

    She stumbled back, gasping as her eyes landed on the sightless mass that was once a woman.

    “Oh my God, oh my God.”

    The blinds crashed through the opening, as if their long-fingered reach would pull the body in from the cold. With tears streaming, Maggie felt hysteria snatching at the vision captured in an eternal vault of horror, now pressed into the recesses of her soul.

    “911. What is your emergency?”

  4. Cathy Miller says:

    @Shane-thanks-go take of business, Dude, and get some rest!

  5. sefcug says:

    Too ill and busy last week to participate, will go back if I get the chance.
    Here we go in order today though, one of my shorter ones:

    I was so sleepy it was very hard to ascend through the acidic clouds. The sugar was there at the end.  

    I was only able to retain it due to a contract, outdated though it was, due to a comment made on the estimate referring to the original offer of a sweet life.


    Always read and take advantage of any fine print in your favor.

  6. A. Hamilton says:

    They were all alone, just the two of them and yet they went and committed the original sin. Why?

    The estimate as to how long  they diddled in that acidic apple garden without loincloths or pasties, gawking at each other, has been the topic of debate among religious scholars since the beginning of time. Most of them are outdated, old farts with funny hats who retain the notion that it was the need for sugar from an apple and not the depraved gawking that caused the two to break their contract with the Man, therefore causing the rest of us to ascend into the wild blue yonder at tender, early ages.

    Personally, I think the two were chewing on garden variety hemp and just got hungry for a Twinkie and a little sex. Other than that, the only serious comment I can make is that the biblical version of their fall from grace is a good bed time story that makes my kid Lucifer sleepy every time.


  7. Sara says:

    As I attempt to ascend somewhere outside my sleepy state, I find myself doing nothing but retaining my original tiredness. Even the acidic sugar rush I’ve attempted to contract in my veins seems outdated; and though I’d like to estimate a time during which I won’t be exhausted, pressed for time, and trying to do more than I can, I’m simply left without a comment. But then again, isn’t everybody?

  8. Cathy Miller says:

    @Sara-short, sweet & right on-well done!

  9. Mike stood in the freshly plastered hallway, a sheaf of papers in his hand. “It’s in the original contract, ma’am.”

    “But, Sugar, having a staircase ascend out of the living room is so outdated.” Honey Hayes waved her wine glass at him as if to offer him a drink. “I thought there’d be room for a bit of negotiation.”

    “Ma’am, the time for negotiation was when we sent you the first estimate.”

    “Well, I’m gonna retain the rest of the payments until you come good.”

    Mike sighed. Mrs Hayes had been a pain in the rear since he first started this job. His tone became acidic. “We have excellent contract lawyers.”

    “I’m sure you all do but there’s no need to get grumpy now.” Her voice was sleepy and her look suggestive. “I’m sure we can come to an agreement. We haven’t looked upstairs yet.”

    “That kind of comment isn’t going to help.”

    Honey widened her eyes and held out a hand to him. “Pass me your cell, Sugar. Your boss knows how to treat a lady, even if you don’t.”

    That’s it, Mike thought, I’m going to kill him. If he wants any more adult film actresses as clients, he can take them on himself.

  10. Cathy Miller says:

    @fairyhedgehog-welcome to CCC!

    Welcome to our sleepy, little secret that is CCC. Now you can ascend into our world of fun, intrigue and all kinds of crazy prose. We have acidic villains and a sweet cast of characters that give sugar a run for its money.

    You’ll want to retain a space and it’s easy as can be. No contract required, just drop on over when you need a creative burst. All are welcome, no story is outdated or too silly to write. We welcome all to leave their unique touch to the challenge and to add a comment wherever you like.

    We estimate our numbers will become legion, as others hear of our fun. Your words are an original and welcomed by all.

  11. Cathy, that’s absolutely brilliant, and thank you for the welcome!

  12. […] a Sentence Challenge 73, on dads and first sleepovers Challenge 74, on lawyer-client relationships Challenge 75, on being sleep-deprived Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The “Freshman […]

  13. Patsi Sota says:

    Sleepy sat at the small table going over his contract, an outdated one at that. This is the Prince’s fault. He had to go and kiss her while she slept. Everyone thought she was dead for Christ’s sake. What is this guy anyway? Is he into necrophilia or just a freaking weirdo?

    “I think you may have to retain a lawyer for this,” said Doc. He sat on the other side of the table eating porridge.

    “Sleepy, hand me the sugar would you please?” asked Doc.

    Sleepy slid over the sugar. As he read he realized this agreement is outdated. The estimate of Snow’s sleeping time was 100 years. She was awake and spending his money, after the prince died, within a year of the spell being broken. Surely the contract had been broken, yes?

    “May I make a comment?” asked Dopey.

    “No,” said Doc.

    “No,” yelled Sleepy.

    Sleepy thought he would never climb the ladder of fortune. In order to ascend he needed to be rid of Snow White. She was overbearing, bossy, sarcastic. When she speaks to you move out of the way of her spittle, for it is acidic and will surely burn you where you stand. No one would cast a vote in his favor unless they were just stupid or stoned. The only reason I got stuck with the wench is because I was passed out through the goddamn vote.

    “Sleepy, call your lawyer. The only thing I can think of is to dispute the original contract,” said Doc. “At least you guys weren’t wed.”

    “I would like to say something,” said Dopey.

    “Okay, what do you want?” asked Sleepy. 

    “I’ll take the bitch; I’m running out of my dope supply. I’ll get her stoned, hooked, and dope sick. Afterwards I can put her in the woods to make money. I already have customers; Big Bad Wolf, Jack Horner, Peter Pan, and all three of the pigs. There are a few others. Right now I have Miss Muffet, Mary, the lamb got ate by Big Bad, and both Gretel and Hansel hustling for me. Peter Peter would eat Bambi just to have a bang at Snow White.”

    “Throw in a bag of skunk and you got a deal.” 

  14. @Patsi I like your unusual take on the prompt!

  15. Karetha says:

    Just a short snippet, in order:
    In a sleepy haze, I watched the steam ascend from my mug of tea.  I added a slice of acidic lemon, then some sugar to help retain the good flavor.  My hand trembled as I lifted my beverage to my waiting lips.  Liquid spilled over the edge, dripping on the contract in front of me.  I did not care, since it was outdated anyway.  “Oh well,” was my lackadaisical comment.  I estimated that I would receive a new original document within the hour.

  16. Devin Jump says:

    “Let me tell you something”, Mr. Macmillan stated firmly “I am not allowing myself to fall into a sleep beyond my control, yet I allow myself to ascend above myself drifting apart from within my mind”.  Mr. Macmillan was more than your average ontologist that one might be familiar with, he was the original student of self and being.  Mr. Macmillan was speaking at the vastness of an undefined white expanse with no knowledge of an entity that would listen to him.  There was a light sound surrounding him that resembled a slight breeze that would rustle through the branches of a forest of pines serving as the only response to his statement.  Mr. Macmillan believed that he was truly in control of his own faculties, however this would prove to be no more than another delusion of the place he had entered.  It frustrated him that the only response to his comment was that of an unknown origin.  He continued to assess his surroundings begging for something to prove itself to him, and a flavor made its way to his mouth ascorbic acid was the element he noticed, something of quite an acidic nature he believed. “When life gives you lemons, just add water and sugar is what I always say.”  Mr. Macmillan once again attempting to retain a sense of accompaniment.  “I was never sleepy, I am much more an aware man than that, I am not incapable of recognizing what you are doing to me.”  A brilliant thought instantly struck him as if to knock him out of his previous dialogues, the realization was in what he had just said, by saying the word “you.”  The ability to recognize the boundaries of his current setting became very present.  He was in a room, white noise was indeed what he was hearing, there was still no determinable source for the light that made this room so blatantly white, but he knew now that he was indeed in a room. Laying on what gravity determined to be the ground was a document that would later to be determined as a contract.  The contract was outdated so far as he could estimate, including language that was barely intelligible. 
    -DR JUMP

  17. here is my story!
     The Original Sugar outdated the sleepy comment to estimate the Grand Marshmallow for $100,000,000. If one gets the money, the other has to ascend the largest building to sign a contract to retain who ever loses his Radio Station. If no one signs the contract, whoever was suppose to sign the contract has to go in acidic and their goes the Original Sugar and the Grand Marshmallow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Leatha: Welcome to the CCC. That was super creative! Well done 1st submission.
      Everyone welcome Leatha to the fun.
      I’ll add your name and URL to the CCC Community Links page next.

    • Leatha is my 10 year old!  She thinks these challenges are great fun.  She did another one a while ago, but I am going to have her do more.  She comes up with some fun ideas!

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Justin: That’s awesome. I thought I knew this name somehow, but when I did a search on the email address it came up as the only comment. Didn’t Leatha make a comment before some time back?

        That’s awesome she’s doing these.

  18. Cathy Miller says:

    @Leatha-Welcome to CCC!

    Wake up those sleepy hopes and dreams and ascend to the writer’s paradise of CCC. Ban the acidic and feel the welcome as sweet as sugar from all of us at CCC.

    Retain some time each week to drop on by, but if you can’t make it each week, that’s okay. There is no contract here and we will always welcome you back. The challenges last forever and are never outdated, so do them whenever you please.

    Share a comment or two when you see something you like, but we warn you – this place is addicting and by our estimate, you are already hooked. CCC is the original captive challenge.

    Welcome to CCC!

  19. Kelly says:


    The drive was incredibly rough.

    The original plan was to make the move from Omaha to Albany in three days, but the outdated truck the rental company stuck them with didn’t make it 50 miles before the first breakdown. They spent those three days in the sleepiest of sleepy Iowa towns, calling constantly to get an estimate of when the truck would be ready to continue, before they were able to get back on the road.

    This time it made it to Iowa City before smoking and sputtering to an embarrassing halt as they ascended a miniscule midwestern “hill” on the interstate. Local police stayed with them on the side of the road, lights flashing, to make sure they wouldn’t be hit by a trucker blasting by them… making all his deadlines perfectly while their own deadlines passed.

    Now laid up for more repairs, they twice had to call the lawyer in New York to postpone signing the contract. Neither the man nor his wife could retain any sugar in their tone when they called to find out what would be done about this mess, which probably made no difference to the acidic-voiced customer service folks back in Omaha whose comments verged on accusing them of sabotaging their own trip. “Who on Earth would do that?” the husband screamed, at last out of patience.

    Two more times, the truck would break down on its way to Albany. They arrived almost a month after they left their old home behind, full of foreboding about this move.

    If there was a higher being trying to tell them to stay put, he couldn’t have telegraphed it any clearer. But the die was cast.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Fantastic. I love your way with words. I’m super eager for you to catch up. I’m like a fan watching a marathoner from a car. 🙂

      • Kelly says:

        Shane–Puff, puff, puff, I’m almost caught up. Then I want to catch up on my CCC reading–where can I get an extra hour in my day?

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Kelly: You have to steal it from something else. For the last three weeks I’ve been stealing time from tv time and movie-before-sleep time and wake-up-and-do-nothing time in the morning. I read instead. I’ve been able to magically find a way to read two more hours each day. And I got a library card, so now I listen to audio books in my car each day. Each day this totals 3 hours. So, I’ve been able to steal 29 hours and put it toward something I love. I’m super happy about this.

          • Kelly says:

            Shane–Alas, thief that I am, I already stole ALL of those. At this point it’s steal from eating-time or steal from The Kid.

            Though stealing from eating-time might not be the worst idea, lol…

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Kelly: Or do what I think I will do next year; sell the bigger house, move into something smaller and only have to work part time since I’ll have a super small mortgage. 🙂

  20. Hey Guys a bit behind but back and kicking it strong!
    Avenged In Blood Part 32
    The sun was warm on my face as I tried to estimate my actual worth in the world. I was trying to be good. I was leaning back on the bench there in the park, eyes closed, letting the sun make me sleepy when I felt something hard strike me on top of the head. Everything faded to black in a millisecond.
    “The boss said don’t kill him.” A gravelly voice coming somewhere from my left said waking me. My head was on fire, pounding and aching, threatening to explode my eyeballs. “Screw that.” A particularly acidic voice replied. “There is a contract for this….” His words faded with my consciousness as I passed out again.
    Light assaulted my closed eyes moments before cold water slapped me in the face. I blinked water from my eyes as I looked around and tried to get my bearings. I was dazed and my head still hurt. I struggled to find something solid to get my brain back on track. I tried to raise my hands to wipe water from my face and found that they were tied behind me. That brought some focus.
    A deep breath and a strong effort brought me around to look at this room I was in. Talk about outdated and cliché. I was in a cleared space in a dusty store room. Crates and boxes ringed the cleared area as dust motes hung in the air, floating in shafts of sunlight that seeped through boarded up windows high on the walls.
    A single light hung above my head framed by a large tin shade. I was tied to an old wooden chair in the center of the cleared area, two men casually leaning against boxes behind me, two in the front, and Johnny “Pipes” Mueller sitting at a battered wooden table, staring intently, right at me.
    “Pipes” Mueller was one of the original toughs in the city that worked his way into his own crime syndicate. He was on the radar when I was a cop but was either too well lawyered or spreading sugar to cops and judges alike to ever be caught. He was barely investigated.
    That was not to say he didn’t have a reputation for violence and power. People said he was likeable, but I was sure he was actually scary. Scary in that crazy, doesn’t care way. His nickname came from his penchant for beating his victims with a length of steel pipe. You knew when “the pipes were playing” John Mueller was working. And we could never prove it.
    He ascended quickly in crime, eliminating people as he needed, taking what he wanted. I wondered at the truce that must have existed between him and Cabrese, to allow both of them to retain their respective syndicates at the same time.
    He began to speak. “I know who you are Mr. Stamper.” My mouth was dry and any comment stuck inside.

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