Creative Copy Challenge #92

It’s great to have  Johnny B. Truant choose today’s words (even though they are pretty tough 😉 ).  Show him some comment love (or curse at him).

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. Reticulated – Resembling or forming a net or network: reticulate veins of a leaf.
  2. Dickensian – Relating to the English novelist Charles Dickens; suggestive of conditions described in Dickens such as poverty-stricken OR jollity and conviviality
  3. Moist
  4. Salacious – Appealing to or stimulating sexual desire
  5. Nauseated
  6. Microbes
  7. Carnal – sexual appetites; Worldly or earthly; bodily: carnal remains
  8. leviathan – Something unusually large of its kind
  9. Fractal – A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes
  10. Evil Scientist

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


76 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #92”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    He considered himself a salacious, Dickensian evil-scientist, but in reality, he was just a horny, unattractive, middle-class, freshman science major with a reticulated, leviathan of a hard-on seeking moist females to satisfy his carnal desires.

    Microbes and fractals fascinated him.
    But, math nauseated him.

    Therefore, he had no other choice than to change his major to gynechology.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Johnny B. Truant and shanearthur, Cathy Miller. Cathy Miller said: RT @shanearthur: Creative Copy Challenge #92 – @JohnnyBTruant chose the words. They're tough! #amwriting […]

  3. Cathy Miller says:

    A gnarled hand, reticulated with the veins of a long life, smoothed the young child’s ruffled hair. Her Dickensian eyes held stories that made them moist with memories.

    She had her salacious times, tucked with fondness within the folds of her mind’s journal. And she had times that nauseated her with pain, but wasn’t that life? We are all microbes in a much bigger universe, she thought. If we lived life the way it was meant to be lived, we knew the many sides of life – from the glorious carnal to the warm innocence of a child, asleep in his bed.

    She knew her time on this journey was coming to an end. She did not fear the closing of the book. She believed there was more and scoffed at the idea of a Leviathan devil waiting at the gates of hell. She gazed out the window at the fractal formation of frost on the barren limbs and knew their secret. Stripped of the warmth of their green cloak of leaves by the evil scientist of winter, there was hope – and comfort. Comfort that spring would come again and breathe life. Yes, she understood.

  4. Although it nauseated him to think about the microbes that must be festering on the slice of discarded cheese on the floor of the moist, stone-floored basement, Dr. Chaos ate it anyway. You could be evil and be sane — to, for instance, ignore floor cheese like a normal person — but being an evil scientist required that extra bit of mental instability. That and an affinity for schemes. And science. And sometimes math, or at least fractals.
    Ted, his Asiatic reticulated python, was far more discerning. Ted liked live mice and Alpo dog food… and, for some reason, the Peter Weller movie Leviathan. Ted would never eat floor cheese — not because he found it disgusting or because he was lactose intolerant (although Dr. Chaos had his suspicions about that after Ted’s encounter last month with a particularly salacious and serpentine tube of processed cheddar), but because Ted was proud. Eating discarded cheese? Far too Dickensian.

    Carnal relations with snakelike cheese, though? Totally fine.
    Dr. Chaos sighed. You could never create a rich man/python bond when each thought the other was totally revolting.

  5. KaseyS says:

    “How the hell is an evil scientist Dickensian?” My literature professor asked me as she tossed my most recent short story on the desk.
    It nauseated me to see the giant red C-minus vandalizing what I felt was my greatest work. I knew she barely spent any time reading it. The ink was still moist and created a fractal as it spread through fibers of the paper.
    What Ms. Stankowski didn’t realize was just how much that salacious story was based on reality.
    The poison was kicking in. Her insult had ignited my carnal desires. My heart pumped faster and faster as a leviathan of microbes reticulated through my circulatory system.
    It was only a matter of time.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kasey: Welcome to the CCC, man! I loved how you use these words. You made it appear easy. My fav line was the way the ink spread on the paper. Never would have thought of that, but that’s why I love this place. The creativity is amazing, and I’m glad you shared yours with us.
      I’ll add your name to the CCC Community Links page next. WE post challenged every Monday and Thursday so come back often. Everyone welcome Kasey to the addiction.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Kasey – Welcome to CCC!

        There is networking, then there is the reticulated delight of the CCC community. It’s friends with benefits – er, so to speak. Bring your Dickensian drama or comic relief – the choice is truly yours. The moist nectar of words satisfies the creative thirst in a salacious appeal for all.

        When work has you nauseated until you think you can’t go on, drop by CCC and leave your microbes of pain behind. Read about the carnal pleasures that make us blush and take on the leviathan challenges. Weave a fractal group of words like an evil scientist in search of his next great high. Whatever form they take, your words and you are always welcome at CCC.

  6. KaseyS says:

    Cool thanks, fun exercise (and it wasn’t that easy). Got my brain going this morning before the 5th cup of coffee.

  7. Cathy Miller says:

    @Johnny-Welcome to CCC!

    CCC is a reticulated source of joy from the macabre to the hugely hysterical – you’ll fit right in.  The Dickensian scenes tug at the heart strings while Bayou Billy and Margaret’s rhymes often leave our eyes moist with tears of laughter. James likes to drop by and Naomi has, too, leaving a salacious tidbit or two.

    We have been nauseated by murder and have loosened the microbes of creative genius. Carnal thoughts are between more than one line with leviathan characters following a fractal course to the unknown, waiting for the evil scientist or rising star of words.

    Welcome to the ride!

  8. Milo says:

    Microbes, my boy, that is all we are”, drawled the obese man, pressing his face so close to Trevor’s that the stowaway could see a pattern of reticulated purple veins pulsing underneath his bloated pink flesh as he spoke.
    Nauseated by the strong odour of antiseptic cream and the stench of whisky on the man’s breath, Trevor instinctively pulled away, curling himself up like a hedgehog down into the corner of his bunk.
    “How have I ended up in this Dickensian situation?” he wondered to himself. As if it wasn’t bad enough being trapped on board this ship going Lord knows where, and trying to catch some sleep on top of a suspiciously moist mattress whilst carnal activities were being carried out above and all around him amongst the brutish sailors and their two-bit whores, now he had been cornered by this salacious leviathan with the dress sense of an evil scientist (though only a fraction of the IQ).
    Anger set in, and fractal shapes began to form in front of his eyes. The fat man would have to go. He hadn’t got this far to let a lusty pervert destroy his chances of freedom.

  9. Milo says:

    Thanks Shane. It definitely makes writing more interesting when you introduce unusual words to the mix.  Will try and come back a bit sooner next time!

  10. margaret says:

    There is something rather Dickensian about preparing a turkey for the oven. I always buy one almost leviathan in weight, because once you get past the bones there is a humongous difference in amount of actual meat between a  sixteen lb. bird and a twenty-two lb. bird.

    The uncooked bird is somewhat repulsive to look at, with its reticulated flesh and bits of pinfeathers left behind still to be pulled out. The pale blue fractal pattern underneath the skin might be enough to convince some that pasta is a better choice, but something in our carnal nature wants to hold a three lb. drumstick like a primitive weapon and tear away at it savoring every bite. I must admit, I do get slightly nauseated having to stick my hand up turkey ass and pull out gizzards and other internal organs packaged neatly inside the bird, and pulling out the turkey neck, which I always have thought looked like a deformed penis, is not that appetizing to look at in my kitchen either!

    I always remember to scrub everything down and thoroughly wash the bird to keep any turkey microbes at bay.

    I am like a evil scientist, measuring, adding ingredients to different bowls and pots, all the while singing the turkey song to myself:

                    gobble, gobble, gobble…fat turkeys, fat turkeys,
                    gobble, gobble, gobble, fat turkeys are we!
                    We’re not here for living, we’re here for Thanksgiving,
                     So gobble, gobble, gobble fat turkeys are we!!!!

    (That’s why I prefer to be alone when I cook!)

    Right before my festive behemoth goes into the oven I give him a slow and almost sensuous (were he a human being) massage with an aromatic mixture of melted butter, garlic and at least eight other herbs and spices.  I assure you there is nothing salacious in this ritual, it only insures that we will have the moistest, most flavorful turkey this side of Paula Deene.


  11. “What do we do?” James whispered in the dark at the crew beside him, jostling to get a bit more space to peek in the window.  “We can’t leave him like that…”

    There was Johnny, waving a glass and quoting some sort of Dickensian prose to a salacious canvas painting on the wall.

    And James peered closer. “Naomi, is that… is that YOU?” By god, it was. The artist had created some sort of wicked fractal as a background and overlaid the potty-mouthed blogger’s body in a rather carnal pose. And the paint looked fresh, giving everything a moist appearance.

    “Get out of my way. Let me see.” Brian Clark shouldered James aside to get a closer view, earning himself a frown from Chris Brogan, who was trying to text Julien on his iPhone. Reception was poor, though, and Brogan cursed mildly under his breath.

    “I think my cell provider reticulated their towers or something,” Chris muttered. “I can’t get through.” His Twitter people were waiting. This was a disaster. But something crashed in the room, tearing his attention away.
    “What’s going on in there?” Brogan glanced up just as Johnny threw back his head and cackled to the painting in true evil scientist style.

    “Nothing.” Naomi sucked off her cigarette, looking bored. “Unless you want to count all the microbes in the air from you guys and your heavy breathing. Jesus. Get a grip. Hey… what’s he doing?” Now she was the one to squeeze between Clark, Brogan and James, pressing her face to the glass.

    “I think he’s… I…” James peered over Naomi’s shoulder. “What is that thing?” Johnny brandished the tool in his hand like an evil overlord. “Is that what I think it is?” He felt nauseated.

    “Huh. I’ll be damned.” Naomi looked impressed. “Yeah, that’s what you think it is. Motherf*cker.”

    Brian looked confused – and a little horrified. “He’s not going to use that on the painting, is he? I was going to buy that for Copyblogger… that’s…”

    “… a leviathan,” James finished Brian’s sentence, looking more than shocked. “I can’t believe he’s going to do that. Jesus.”

    “What?” Brogan finally ripped himself from Twitter and looked into the room at Johnny. “What’s he doing? He’s not going to-… Oh god.” His face went white. “He did.”

    Everyone looked stunned. And for a few minutes, no one could say anything.

    Naomi was the first to recover. “Well.” She blinked, looked at the crew and dropped her cigarette to crush it under her heel. “I just want to say for the record that if any of you assholes try that on me live in person, I’m simply going to have to kill you.”

    And she walked off, leaving them gaping at her back.

  12. Kelly says:


    We all go after the leviathan. Like Ahab
    we think we can conquer the whale in our lives
    in one fell swoop.
    Get out of our Dickensian drear;
    Easy fix.
    Lose twenty pounds!
    Find your dream girl!
    Get rich quick! Learn guitar in 72 hours and
    be a rock star! Eat the apple
    like Johnny B. Truant has been doing
    since he was a little ol’ comical blog writer when I first adored him.
    It’s easy, ain’t it, buddy?
    Tell us it’s easy.
    Regale us
    with the salacious details
    of your midnight bacchanals with Naomi and others
    that have led you to La Vie en Rose.
    the customer is always right
    and the customer doesn’t want to hear
    about work
    about nights sitting nauseated in front of a pile of nothing
    about wondering where to turn with your last dollar, your last smile
    The customer
    doesn’t want to know your success is a deeply reticulated pattern of tiny moves
    and charm and luck and moist palms from nerves and gargantuan efforts
    that overnight success is a fractal of many, many overnights of no success.
    We’re after that whale
    (and we’re lazy shh don’t tell we want carnal diversions not physical and mental exertions)
    (and we’re the stars of our own superreality shows where everyone must be a winner, mustn’t they?)
    we’ve got one gasp left to sling our harpoon at the Great Whale of Success.
    So we think.
    Didn’t Johnny have the night when he could not go one step farther?
    He’s no evil scientist, though. No magic formulae up his sleeves.
    Maybe a coupla microbes from that apple he’s been gripping for a coupla years. No more magic than we got, nosir.
    One step further.
    And so can you.

  13. KaseyS says:

    Ya know… “mustn’t” is a very underused contraction.

  14. There it stood on the kitchen table, almost glowing in the sunlight from the window. A leviathan of a cake.

    Just by looking at it, she knew that this salacious cake would be rich and moist on her tongue, able to satisfy all of her carnal desires in a way that her Dickensian husband never would.

    A low moan caught in her throat as she dipped a finger into the dark chocolate icing, disturbing the beautiful reticulated fractals on the surface, decorated in white vanilla. A single lick of her finger sent a delicious shudder down her spine, and unable to resist any longer, she suddenly grabbed a fistful of the cake, pushing it into her mouth with wild abandon.

    But mere moments after she began her feast, her stomach gurgled loudly and she suddenly felt nauseated. And she saw him standing at the door, watching her with a twisted smile on his lips.

    With growing horror, she suddenly knew. She could feel the microbes in her stomach churning with a sudden willful rage, causing her to double-over in pain. Unable to speak, she screamed silently, tears running down her face, and cursed her evil-scientist of a husband, knowing that it was all his doing.

    He had known her weakness. And as she crumbled to the floor limply, she knew that she had finally been caught in his trap.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Paige: Fantastic 1st Submission. I just ate lunch, but damn if you didn’t make me want to crush some cake into my face! Loved the unexpected twist at the end, too. The CCC regulars should love you indeed. Welcome to our addiction. We post every Monday and Thursday, so hopefully we’ll see more of you.
      Everyone welcome Paige to our little club. I’ll add your name and url to our CCC Community Links page next.

    • Kelly says:

      Paige–Oh. My. Goodness. I was just about to go break my diet, reading along, when…

      Well, I’ve got the will to resist cake a little longer now, thinking about that ending. Yeeeeesh. Nicely done!

      • Oh god. This did the opposite. I found myself getting up to search for Chocolate Cake, even though I know I don’t have any in the house. I saw the word “moist”, then visions of chocolate cake started swirling in my head, chanting “Eat me…”

        But I’m always glad to help! Thanks for the warm welcomes!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Paige: Wait till Cathy Miller welcomes you. (You’ll see) 😉

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Paige-Welcome to CCC!

            With a reticulated map of words coursing through our brains, we trip on over to CCC. We leave the Dickensian mundane behind, our thoughts moist from the creative juices that drive us. With salacious delight, we are nearly nauseated with anticipation.

            We study the random 10, sprung from the very microbes of the word challenge. Do we go the carnal route or something light and fun? The leviathan dilemma is one we gladly accept. Over and over the words rise in a fractal tumble.

            What evil scientist has taken over our souls? Ah, sweet, sweet addiction – my CCC.


          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Cathy: I’m amazed at how you string words together. I study every submission you do carefully! Flawless.

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Shane-Thank you-so I’m your teacher? 😉 f.y.i.-I leave tomorrow for San Diego & the following weekend is the 3-Day, 60-Mile Walk for Breast Cancer. So, I may be off line more than usual. Keep the home fire burning. 🙂

  15. The workshop was Dickensian in design, with no obvious function. No goods were produced here, only pain. The Count, pretending science, stood over his latest experiment: a man in black, slowly regaining consciousness.

    Fractal bastard!” mumbled the form on the table. “Evil, twisted, usurper! Wearer of last year’s dresses!”

    The Count frowned, momentarily confused by new words and obscure insults. “Come now, my good fellow. I am a scientist, and there is no such thing as an evil scientist. Evil is in the intentions, and the intention of science is new knowledge. Evil is just the occasional side-effect, and inconsequential at that. I’m sure the lab mice think all scientists are evil.” The Count smiled, and changed the setting on his machine to 11.

    The man in black remained defiant. “I am nauseated by your salacious, carnal desires, and unconvinced by your ridiculous rationalizations. I am also tied to the operating table, otherwise I would give you the thrashing you so richly deserve.”

    The Count held up a flask of water. “The microbes wiped out by boiling this river-water would claim that I am a murderous leviathan.” He took a sip to moisten his lip, the better to let the lies drip. “And I give them as much credence as you. More, even, since they are dead and you are not. Yet.” He applied a lever, and the man in black arched above the table, writhing.

    The Count released the lever, and peered closely at the man in black’s skin. “The reticulated pattern of your blood vessels is truly fascinating.”

    The man in black burst his bonds and sat bolt upright. “Microbes haven’t been discovered yet! And I don’t know what fractal or reticulated means! This is all a dream!”

    The Count pushed the man in black back onto the table. With a wave of his hand the bonds mended. “Yes, it is a dream. But it is not your dream, it is mine!”

    [with apologies to William Goldman]

  16. KathleenL says:

    No cursin’ Mr. Jimmy —

    She was unclear as to what she was seeing… is it actually reticulating? She knew it best to keep her thoughts to herself. I think I’ve read about this… a Dickensian at heart try as she may she could not remember which novel it had been in.

    As they bumped down the road the microbes in her stomach began to fight. Nauseated, she shut her eyes for a moment. She bumped her head. Upon opening her eyes she saw a fractal image of the Evil Scientist. He was… leviathan. Her mind began to swirl with salacious carnal thought. Moisture began to collect… in the eyes … you dirty minded reader!

  17. Kathleen says:

    I just read this submission to my hubby… he is still shaking his head.   But glad to bring the heat back up… after lettin’ the wind blow us around the last entry! snicker, snicker, snicker!

  18. Jenna Avery says:

    The leviathan starship hulked over the small moon.
    The gorgeous, red-haired evil scientist ran her hands down the sides of the capsule, laughing viciously. The room was filled with her adoring acolytes, whose worship of their malevolent genius leader was only heightened by her salacious attire.
    Microbes! The power of planetary destruction lurking in such innocent guise. At last!” she cackled.
    Moist air swirled through the compartment as the reticulated hydraulic lift system lowered the capsule into the launch tube.
    “Calculate the fractal diffusion pattern,” she barked officiously.
    Her worshippers busied themselves at their vision stations.
    A surge of energy jolted the starship.
    “Hurry up, you fools,” she shouted imperiously. “They’re beginning the attack.” The acolytes, unbalanced and nauseated by the blast, struggled to transmit the data to the launch tube.
    “Now!” she cried, as the capsule surged into the void outside the ship and to the surface below.
    As the small moon began to erode and crater, the cult erupted into a savage Dickensian celebration that rapidly degraded into purely carnal delights…

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