Creative Copy Challenge #91

I’m super excited to have Chris Brogan chose today’s words. Show him some comment love.

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. Reinvest
  2. Sustainable
  3. Preemptive
  4. Badge
  5. Obfuscate – To make so confused as to be difficult to understand
  6. Bourbon
  7. Unsubstantiated
  8. Relinquish
  9. Kings
  10. Credence – Acceptance as true or valid

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


43 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #91”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    Ain’t no credence to those unsubstantiated claims I screwed the landlady.

    I don’t need no more badges of dishonor.

    Yeah, I asked my married buddy if I could stay with him, and I relinquished my rental responsibilities by preemptively obfuscated the landlady, but what else could I do?

    I’ll tell you what I DID do. I found a stool fit for Kings at the local bar and reinvested my rent money in some Bourbon, a tad bit of scotch, and a little bit of beer.

    This was sustainable for at least three choruses before I passed out.

  2. margaret says:

    An unsubstantiated claim, by someone I shall not name
    that bourbon was the thing to blame
    for my behaviour……that’s insane!!!

    A kings‘ ransom I would  reinvest to put this story to the test
    because my alibi’s sustainable… booze was not to be blamable.
    This story has no credence, and I have a major grievance.
    A preemptive move is needed, so my good name’s not deleted
    from guest lists sorely needed.

    The facts I will not obfuscate
    For the church picnic I was running late.
    I’d baked rum cakes all afternoon
    inhaled the extract, flew to the moon

    Oh, my gosh, was running late….Lots to do, but feeling great….
    Grabbed the cakes and grabbed my coat, drove my car like a speedboat!
    Ran two lights , then a siren heard, saw a badge, and thought, “aw, turd”!!
    I smiled and  said “no speaka English”, when asked for  my license to relinquish.

    But, no, he wasn’t buying; thought that I was lying.
    Let me go with just a warning, when he saw my face forlorning.
    And I wouldn’t say he was on the take, but I had to give him one rum cake!
    So I’ll just be grateful he’s a snake!

  3. The initial efforts were easy. I had so much to say! So many complexities that I could un-obfuscate for the masses, so many unsubstantiated rumors to quash, so many pearls of widsom to polish and reinvest in the online community. I was all set to be one of the new Kings of the Blogosphere.
    I was certain that my efforts were sustainable, and it was only a matter of time before I gained the credence and acceptance that I knew was my due. I generated wisdom at double speed, no time for fancy titles or spell-checkers, I had to publish publish publish!

    But after 400 posts in my first month, I finally got one comment. I suppose it should be a badge of honor that it was from Chris Brogan, but I think it was a preemptive strike. All it said was “Don’t drink and blog.”
    Relinquish my bourbon? Never!

  4. Cathy Miller says:

    Death & the Detective Series
    In his own form of keyword search, Detective Brett Connors scribbled the words across the lined, yellow tablet with the curling pages.

    Jane Doe #1
    Slender build
    Die whore
    Drug user
    Mission Bay
    Tongue cut out

    Jane Doe #2
    Slender build
    Electrode burns
    Drugs in system-user?
    Doc’s balcony
    Eyes cut out

    “You know if you would reinvest your paycheck, you could probably get a second-hand laptop.”

    “You’re a real card, McNeill. What do you want?”

    “Aren’t we the cranky one,” his fellow detective, Pat McNeill, responded. “Have another run-in with the lady shrink?”

    “McNeill, some of us are working here. So, unless you’ve got a sustainable reason for being here, don’t let the door hit you in the ass.”

    “You don’t have a door. Okay, okay,” he said, raising his hands in surrender at Brett’s curled lip. Tossing a folder on Brett’s desk, Pat remarked, “I think this will give me a preemptive pass to your undying gratitude.”

    Moving the folder off his badge that lay on top of his desk, Brett flipped open the folder.

    “We got a hit on the DNA.”

    “Our killer finally made a mistake.”

    “Well, maybe, maybe not.”

    “What the hell does that mean? Are you purposely trying to obfuscate this discussion or does it just come naturally?”

    “Obfuscate? Have you been reading again? I told you that was dangerous for your health. Okay, shit, you used to have a sense of humor. We got a hit on the DNA, but here’s the thing. It’s some dead guy’s.”

    “Someone they just brought in?”

    “No, someone who’s been dead for five years.”

    “Have you been hitting the bourbon again, McNeill?”

    “That is an unsubstantiated rumor. I would never relinquish my love affair with the King of Kings’ Beer for rot-gut whiskey. The rumor holds absolutely no credence.”

    “%#& you, McNeill.”

    “I’ll pass, if it’s all the same to you,but thanks for the offer.”

  5. Stacia says:

    The Quest for a Leader through The Art of War and the War of Rights
    What if in the olden days, them Romantics Bourbon kings relinquished their preemptive badges against their own conflicting natures, as the monarchs that they are? And with them selves full of pretentions! Acts upon acts of far-off images painted in light-hearted tones, even after the highlights of Napoleon days! They buried within their arts that merely flourished because of their individualism, standing in their pompous Royal titles as self-expressionists, supporting their feet only by unsubstantiated allegations, but never succeeded speaking in a Scientific light. It then came the inescapable – from the self: An era of Revolution where shortly after they try again to reinvest on restoring their old priceless badges, yet serves nothing but pretentious acts of escapism.  Talleyrand ranted that these kings “learned nothing and and forgotten nothing” in his own polarizing mindsets while sipping his own American bourbon, and then he choked himself.
    If this to be true, then maybe it’s just as today, when credence stands no chance for the Pope, as there are nowhere and no-one to escape to when our unforgiving media and its continuous rants and raves obsfuscate the Church’s traditional religious rites through mixed reviews, and then recreate unsubstantiated politics.
    Any recommendations for a sustainable future?

  6. Mandy says:

    (My story is a little depressing, but I did enjoy the challenge 😀 )
    I love watching Law & Order. There’s just something about the badge and the claims of unsubstantiated evidence. It’s almost…magical. But for some reason that night, I knew watching it was wrong.

    After a particularly wonderful episode, I picked up my glass of bourbon and poured it down the drain. Enough of that. I’m being preemptive. Stop the destruction before it starts.

    Kings didn’t have this much self control. They relinquish the throne and bow their heads in shame. I decide to pour the bourbon down the drain to stop my transformation into my father, who also has a love of crime TV. Credence is sweet.

    My lifestyle just wasn’t sustainable. Sure, taking time to just relax was great, but I knew I needed to reinvest in my education. Get back on track. I knew she only wanted to obfuscate the situation. Make me think that things were OK. But I knew they weren’t.
    Time to call Sarah…and maybe Dad, too.

  7. “Reinvent yourself.” Naomi took a long, slow drag off her French cigarette and eyed Chris smugly.

    “Are you kidding me?” He looked down into his glass of bourbon and swirled the ice around dejectedly. “It’s not sustainable. Besides, it’s just pre-emptive. I have plans and reinvention just doesn’t fit into it all. They love me as I am.”

    “Can’t relinquish old habits, Chris?” James grinned as he arched an eyebrow. “Besides. All those fears are unsubstantiated. Come on. We’re trying to be kings here, and you’re throwing it all away.”

    “It’s not a badge of honor, y’know,” Naomi added, and she nudged her chin James’ way. “The guy’s got a point.”

    “No. Out of the question.” Chris downed his drink and set the glass firmly on the table. “It’ll obfuscate the trust they have in me. It’s just not part of my credence. I’d have to reinvest everything I’ve put into my brand to pull this off. Besides, what’s in it for me?”

    James and Naomi exchanged a long look over Chris’ head. Clearly, Brogan was missing the whole point.

    And then James leaned forward. “Cocaine and hookers,” he said softly. Then he smiled wickedly. “And the Copyblogger throne.”

  8. The dentist

    His tooth hurt. That was no wonder really because there was only a little blackened stump left of it. Not enough to protect the nerves from direct contact with the outside world. Randolph did not believe in the preemptive strike method of dentists so he never visited one. You went in for a check-up and went out with a completely reworked rack of teeth costing an absurd amount of money that would have bought him a small house. And according to the stories, most dentists did some business on the side while you were out as well.

    It had not always been like that of course. In the old days dentists were well respected members of society doing a remarkable job in keeping the city-world’s teeth healthy. In those days dentists wore the badge of honourable medicine men and women. These days however Randolph put much credence in the stories that dentists were an evil race that pulled out teeth to sell to the highest bidder. On top of that there were many unsubstantiated stories of dentists obtaining other facial parts while they were up there. These parts were obtained while the patient was under heavy sedation and sold to even higher bidders. Mostly members of crime syndicates that needed their faces changed. Or restored.

    No, Randolph knew what to do with his money: by not visiting the dentist he saved a fortune. A fortune he tended to reinvest in large quantities of bourbon which helped keep the pain the tooth was causing him to bearable levels. A much more pleasurable arrangement as far as Randolph was concerned.

    Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew this method was not a sustainable one. His senses became accustomed to the large intake of bourbon and he needed ever more to obtain the required result. This did his health no good. The pain began to spread and he began to use his alcoholic painkiller earlier in the day. Almost as soon as he woke up he took a swig and hoped it would do the job long enough as he told himself: not another drop till noon! But an hour later the pain started to rule his every thought and action to such a degree that he had to relinquish his tight grip on resolve and he submitted to the drink-devil a few hours before he had allowed himself.

    The day in question, the day this story achieves its climax, Randolph decided enough was enough. He was a respected data entry executive at the most respected legal firm in the city-world. He could not allow a stupid tooth to threaten his career. Many cases were won by him purely on the basis of his creative use of words. Most cases he entered into the world-city terminal were so well put, so ingeniously worded that they never even reached court. He managed to obfuscate the legal snags and simplify the diplomatic outcome to such an extend that the parties involved almost always came to a settlement. He earned his company a lot of money. A court case could be won or lost and a lost case did not bring in any money. A settlement was doubly profitable as both parties received hefty bills for administrative services rendered. To retain such high standards and personal success he needed his brain and his brain was rather befuddled by all the booze. Not to mention the pain.

    So he called Dr. Wenzinger. This dentist was reckoned to be the king among dental kings. People travelled from the other side of the city-world to visit this practice. Randolph believed that if the horror stories he had heard were true for the lesser dentalists, they were probably not true for the well respected, highly regarded Dr. Wenzinger.

    The assistant pointed him to a seat in the waiting room. The announcement that the doctor would see to him presently did only half please him. Cold sweat pricked his skin and he felt the urge to scratch his scalp constantly. The tooth was hurting him in an unsurpassed fashion as he had refrained from his usual alcoholic alleviator this morning.

    Randolph heard a door open and some muffled talk in the reception area. Suddenly the king of kings stood before him. Dr. Wenzinger was an impressive man. His bulk could have easily provided two men with ample girth and there would have been leftovers to share around. A massive hand was outstretched, gripping Randolph’s sweaty palm.

    “Mr. Randolph Spines?” the doctor bellowed mightily. “I am Dr. Wenzinger. You may call me Max. Not that there will be much name calling, eh? Follow me, please,” his laugh almost shook the doors out of their hinges.

    Randolph followed his shoulders hanging down in the fashion of a convict being led to the gallows.

    “Sit down, my man,” the doctor bellowed. “Now what seems to be the trouble?”

    Before Randolph could answer his mouth was opened by two immensely powerful fingers and a look of displeasure and disapproval came over the doctor’s face.

    “Tsk, tsk,” he voiced. “Mary,” he shouted at the assistant who was only a couple of feet away. “Prepare the general anesthetic, this one is a doozy!”

    “Djenewal awefwefic?” Randolph tried to cry with the doctor’s fingers in his mouth. “Ifs owy a bwowy toof!” he added.

    “Do try not to speak while my fingers are in your mouth, Mr. Spines, it makes my work rather difficult. Ah, here’s the anesthetic. Only a little prick and you won’t feel a thing,” Dr. Wenzinger said, giving Randolph no chance to interject.

    Randolph felt the little sting and then all lights went out.

    As he came to, Randolph still lay in the dentist’s chair. He blinked his eyes at the light that disturbed his pleasant dreams. Then he opened them fully. He remembered where he was. He groaned as his head seemed to swim away from his body and then swim back again.

    “Ah, Mr. Spines,” the assistant said as she heard him groan. “The doctor says the operation was a complete success. You may need a few moments to wake up fully but then you can go home again.”

    Randolph turned to the assistant. She was looking at him from behind a small desk. The telephone rang and the assistant occupied herself with the caller. As his head seemed to return more or less to the correct position and seemed to stay there, Randolph slowly raised himself out of the dentist’s chair. He walked to the door which went surprisingly well. Anesthetics were amazing these days, Randolph thought. Out like a light for however long it had been, he looked at his watch, four hours! And seconds after waking up he was able to walk out of the practice. At the door he waved at the assistant who was still on the phone and as she smiled back at him he left the room and a minute later, the practice. There was no sign of Dr. Wenzinger anywhere.

    He walked to the Urban Transport stop and waited for the next UT train that would take him home. A woman, standing at the stop moved away from him a few steps. Randolph huffed internally. He wasn’t going to bite her was he? As the smooth glass panes of the UT train glided in front of him he saw why the woman had moved away. His face was completely smooth except for the sutures where his nose, ears, eyebrows and lips used to be. As he screamed at the reflection, the train moved away smoothly, taking the horrible image with it.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Henk: That was outstanding. I couldn’t even imagine that happening.
      I got my wisdom teeth pulled and the surgeon left a gauze pad under the stitches. A week later I couldn’t even open my mouth. I told my employer I had to go to my regular dentist. He refused. I said, “Fire me, but I’m going.” My dentist discovered the problem and removed the most infection he said he’s ever seen in his life. He said if I would have waited another day, the infection would have traveled into my head and I’d be in a world of hurt. The next morning I had to get the gauze pad taken out, BY THE SAME SURGEON. He must not have used anestesia, because It hurt like hell. It took everything I had not to beat his ass right there in the office.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Henk – with me sitting here with a front tooth knocked out – that hit a little too close to home for comfort. 😀

  9. @Shane and @Cathy  Thanks. Believe me, it is close to the skin for me as well. This afternoon a piece of one of my molars broke off spontaneously. So that was the inspiration for the story. Just a case of writing the cold sweat of a Friday dental appointment off of my back. I don’t like dental work – and yes that is an understatement – even though most dentists are quite nice people generally. I hope…

  10. […] This was a submission for Creative Copy Challenge #91 […]

  11. Kelly says:


    The Kings of Leon in my ears, a fresh swallow of bourbon in my mouth.

    Savor it, savor it.

    I’d almost relinquish my badge of utter pathetic-ness tonight.

    Maybe the liquor obfuscates my terrible ennui. Maybe it lends credence to it. Kind of depends where you stand…

    …and right now I’m not standing. Wouldn’t be too wise, I’m thinking.

    Well, thinking isn’t really the right word, either. I’m counting the mistakes the painters made when they repainted the ceiling yesterday. Enumerating all the little places where they could have preemptively used their tape to make things easy… could have put a crisp edge on the marriage

    of ceiling and wall… but instead let their rollers take tiny swipes at my beautiful terra-cotta-colored bedroom.

    You hated deep colors on walls, I remember with a crooked smile.

    I swirl the last teaspoon of earthy lightning in my glass, and wonder how long the glow on my chest is sustainable without a reinvestment from the bottle… rooms, and rooms, away.

    I’m pathetic, but not allowing myself to be sad, I mumblingly chide myself. Tottering through several rooms to get to the liquor on the sideboard is no challenge for me, newly single and free of all your doggone constraints! I can float back to the half-empty bottle now, Boy-O!

    As the night began I made attempts at smiling (at the annoyingly flawed ceiling), knowing I was nowhere near as drunk as I wished I were. Bravely demonstrating that the rumors of my bottomless yearnings were entirely unsubstantiated.

    I s’pose I can admit it, now. Those smiles were purely faked for the audience.

    Now, we laugh together. We positively giggle. We chat, the ceiling and I. I give a wink and a nod to every Rorschach-test of a paint dribble at the very thought getting up.

    How many minutes go by in not-quite contemplation? Neither of us knows.

  12. KathleenL says:

    The bourbon obfuscated the unsubstantiated thought that she was making eyes at him. The bourbon made him think reinvesting energies in her direction would be beneficial. He ordered up another double and a glass of red wine… he wore his intoxication naively like a badge of courage.  But she was preemptive, and cleverly relinquished her seat to a gal who had just walked in. Half way to her table, gliding like he held a King’s ransom his sustainable smile changed into a bewildered frown. 

    He broke into song… “They all get prettier at closin’ time.”  It was a credence he and many others lived by.

  13. A new short number 29 if you are counting!
     “I must reinvest my powers every now and again.” I said.
    “This isn’t self sustainable?” She asked.
    “No,” I replied, “You must be preemptive and reproduce a few times.”
    “Are to trying for some ‘top vamp’ badge or something?” She asked.
    “ I am just trying not to obfuscate the facts like was done to me.” I said.
    “I could use a shot of burbon” She said.
    “No longer needed.” I said, “But you can still drink it. Rumors of only blood are unsubstantiated.”
    “When do you relinquish the mortal control?” she asked.
    “You don’t have to,” I said, “The old kings still haven’t.”
    “You give such credence to the stories…” she said in wonder.

  14. And now, Avenged in Blood part 48
     “Nick you burbon soaked lump of crap how have you been?” I began. A preemptive strike was the only thing that kept me on the good side of Nick.
    Make him laugh and he would relinquish the stick up his ass and be more like a real person.

    “What do you want Steve?” he asked smiling. I had done it. He continued, “You don’t have a badge anymore you can’t push me around. Well at least not without the wheelchair.” We both laughed.

    “Well, “ I began, “I am not going to obfuscate here. You are pretty well connected with the underground. “ He nodded. “How much credence do you give this contract on me?” He looked between me and Lola. “Safe?” He asked. “Partner.” I said. He nodded again.

    “There is an unsubstantiated rumor that you were rude to and consequently pissed off Pipes Mueller. The kings of the underground say you have a ‘bring him alive or dead I don’t care’ contract on you. Rumor says you have foiled a couple of guys already.”

    I smiled and jerked my head towards Lola. “Yea.” I said. He looked intrigued. “I am going after all of them. All of them.” I emphasized. I need a sustainable source of ammunition for this. It will be a lot for quite a while.”

    “You aren’t employed anymore dude.” He said. “How would I get paid?”

    “All of those assholes have more money than they know what to do with. I will keep a small stipend for me and Lola here, and reinvest the rest into your business. Hard to lose with that.” He nodded.

    “Ok.” He finally agreed. “What do you need?”

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