Creative Copy Challenge #107

Today we have  Steven A. Lowe of choosing the words for our writing prompt challenge. Steven will give away 3 micro-consultations to the people who submit his top 3 favorite submissions. He’ll choose his favs by next Thursday and contact you.  Now, on to the show.

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. Bush
  2. Flush 
  3. Hush
  4. Percolate – To drain or seep through a porous material or filter; To become lively or active; OR the dance I do to warm up for an edit job. (cover the kid’s eyes, Kelly 😉
  5. Plush
  6. Shush
  7. Slush
  8. Wastrel – One who wastes, especially one who wastes money; a profligate; an idler or a loafer
  9. Whoosh
  10. Wondrous

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

154 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #107”

  1. Shane Arthur says:


    Shush, shush shush, or I’ll flush these slushies down the drain and whoosh your percolating butts to bed.

    “Don’t give me those wondrously sad, puppy-dog eyes either, and who gave you these sugar-laden treats anyway?

    “Dear, did you…Oh. Wake up, honey. You’re beat as a bush, a wastrel half-asleep on a plush couch, still clutching your laptop and mouse.

    “Go to bed, all of yous!”

    I love nighttime — the only time everyone’s too tired not to follow daddy’s orders.

  2. Here is a bit of prose I wrote, pretty dark I thought:

    Spending aimlessly again it would seem as you kill time wandering malls like an explorer in the bush. Those would dismiss you as a meager wastrel understand not the joys plush purchases can bring.
    You percolate at the sight of yet another bargain, weakness found in 50% off.  Spending habit a fix, a need to fill the void of all the emotional slush inside.  Let those judge, those who had to witness the horror of indignation and keep hush to avoid losing a career and family.  You do not hear their unkind remarks or hear the whoosh as you flush the wondrous shush money down the drain.

  3. I crumpled up the page – tossed it into the circular file with twenty of its friends. Writer’s block be damned; the words were flowing fine, but if I couldn’t captivate my own interest for five blasted minutes, how could I hope to engage a reluctant reader? My editor wanted wondrous books for school literacy program, not another bit of boring pap for the slush pile. I put the coffee on; while it percolated, I went to check on my son’s homework. I found him in front of the TV, playing a video game – no doubt rehearsing for the part of the wastrel in the school play. “Homework finished?” I asked.

    “Just about. Thought I’d take a break. How about you? Book finished?” he shot me a knowing glance over his shoulder and raised a questioning eyebrow.

    My fingers curled around the coffee cup. I might have thrown it at him, but it was rather heavy and it had once belonged to a famous writer I met many years ago. It was my talisman. Or maybe that was the coffee it normally held. In any case, I set the cup down and grabbed a plush parrot from the couch, tossed that at his head, instead, and growled, “Hush, you. If you haven’t finished your homework, you have no right to criticize me. Just shush your mouth.”

    As the stuffed animal whooshed by my son’s head, he deftly caught it, laughing. He wound up the parrot – it had a little recording and playback device buried in its chest – and it began to squawk – “A bird in the hand’s worth two in the bush! Awk!”

    “Just what I need – two smart alecs. Get your homework done, kid, or I flush the parrot!”

    “Okay, fine, but you’ll have to pay the plumber!”

  4. Anne Wayman says:

    A wondrous woosh, found by a wastrel working from a slush fund of shushed money buying the plush. Eventually it percolates and the hush causes a blush flush when the fire is in the bush, begins to speak…
    working from the bottom up as it were

  5. Cathy Miller says:

    Jason crawled through the bush, careful not to flush out his prey. A hush came over the forest as his heart began to percolate in anticipation. He had waited his whole life for this.

    The plush, green carpet of foliage wrapped him in a world far from home. His mind uttered a silent shush as he slowed his breathing in calculated control. He watched his prey, a human slush, a wastrel not worthy of life.

    With a barbaric cry, Jason rushed from the closet to the sounds of screams. The whoosh of the pillow was a wondrous sound as he smacked his sister in the head.

    “Mom, Jason hit me,” she whined.

    Victory was his.

  6. Tiffany Hudson says:

    Hush a-bye-baby on the tree top” My wounderous mum sang to my baby sister Lilly. “When the the wind blows the cradle with rock”
    ” I was that baby and what bovered me was why did my mummy stick me up a tree” I butted in.
    My mum flushed red.
    “Sorry mummy” I giggled “couldn’t help it”
    “I’m guessing you want your pocket money.” She said, she knew me so well.
    I became slightly moreer percolate at that minite and nodded happily, grinning.
    “You not having this weeks” She stated.
    “What why?” I shouted.
    “You need to learn not to be a wastrel
    And whoosh went my best friends birthday present. AND any chance of getting into the nightclub tonight. She’s so not fair.

    I nodded and walked around to one of best friends Yaz’s house. I have only been around Yaz’s a couple of times, the first being a couple of weeks ago. She’s rich and the house is amazing. From the outside it’s beautiful, large and white with bay windows and large doors. The front garden is like a dream – and the back is even better – holding almost perfect bright green grass and dark green bush‘s. Right now there was what was left over of the snow storm last night melting into slush which made the place look even better than normal.
    Kelly opened the door.
    “You late!” She said quitely. “Okay you need to be shushfull because Yaz and her dad are having a fight. Yaz spent to much yesterday and he’s cutting her off. she’s angry.” Kelly exsplained. She always said things like ‘shushfull’ which some think is weird but hey, she’s is so not normal.
    We walked into Yaz’s room, full with plusheys (Cuddleys) as she calls them, which sounds a hell of a lot better. Yaz her self was standing near the large window looking out into her back garden.
    “I hate my dad. Looks like we are not going out tonight” she moaned. I was kinda relived

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tiffany: Loved when you asked why they stuck the baby in the tree top! Why IS that, huh! Too funny. As for the clubs; it is better they didn’t go. I’d waste a good $70 each time I went. With that money, I could have paid someone to admin the CCC for a year! 😉

      Write on!

    • Shane Hudson says:

      @Tiff, Another great CCC! You really are getting into these aren’t you? Good. It is one thing writing in notepads and quite another to publish to an active website on which many commenters will give advise.
      I must admit, I was shocked to read that version of hush a bye baby when looking through the comments today! I did not think of it for one second, so well done haha.

      • Tiffany Hudson says:

        @ShaneH, Thanks. It was the first thing that came to my head, though that version has always been my faverate. : )

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Tiffany-some of those nursery rhymes and songs can be downright scary! 🙂 Well done!

  7. Shane Hudson says:

    Ugh! Does anybody know of any good (and free might I add) writing courses that may help me improve on a style? I have been trying quite a few and do not yet feel comfortable with any!

    With a flush and a slush,
    Plus a wondrous whoosh;
    The wastrel opened the door.
    Time for coffee.
    With percolater on,
    Still keeping hush and shushful,
    Little plush-like garden creatures,
    Tasting the smell through their nose,
    Appear from the bush.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @ShaneH: I never like pushing my viewpoints, but since you asked, I’ll give you mine. The best writing advice I every learned was READ, READ, READ! Plain and simple, and the library is free. When you come home at night, don’t watch tv. Read. When you go to sleep, don’t watch dvd’s, read. When you drive to work, listen to audio books and visualize the words, punctuation, and style as you listen.

      And as for style. To hell with “styles.” You find the words that you personally know represent the person you are. Don’t label it, just know it, and nurture it. Eight billion humans live on Earth, yet for some reason, nobody has your fingerprints, never have and never will either. Isn’t that something! I’d say by default you have your own style. Now, just transfer it to paper.

      • Amen to that!
        Best advice to novice writer seeking agent: “Just write the damned book.” (Tom Clancy) Amazing how many writers want to skip that step entirely (don’t even get me started on the editing phase) and jump right into the whole “how do I find an agent?” and “how do I get published?” process.

      • As for style, I agree with Shane Arthur, again (big surprise, huh?). The only time I’ve known of a writer to lack style is when he’s trying to imitate someone else’s – or thinks his isn’t good enough, and tries to force himself to sound like someone he’s not. Write the way you talk isn’t necessarily the best advice – but write the way you’d tell a good story aloud may be. Minus any verbal punctuation, like “um,” and “like,” and “errr.” 🙂

      • Anne Wayman says:

        Shane, want to turn this advice into a guest post for me? email me.

      • Shane Hudson says:

        @ShaneA You have a very good point about the reading. I did a Facebook Quiz thing and it told me I had read 7 out of 100 books, so since then I have been reading my Classics collection and it is surprising how even my talking has changed to an older style. Currently I am reading The Railway Children, started it last night and it is nearly finished – which is strange as I really did not like the film!
        “Nobody has your fingerprints, never have and never will either” this is so very true but still remarkable that it is possible, a very good way to get your point across!
        Thank you very much for answering. One thing I am actively trying to do is when writing to use less onomatopoeia (I cannot believe I spelt that correctly!) such as haha, as well as less emoticons like :).
        @Holly Jahangiri, thanks to you also for the very useful replies. I was trying to get a publisher last year for a book about Young British Entreprenuers, eventually I realised that it is best to just write. However due to college I ended up not writing the book at all yet! I will write a book someday, maybe it will be this year.
        To be honest, I have never been good at story telling. Whether making it up or reading from a book, I often struggle with speaking outloud. Luckily about 6 (has it really been that long?!) years ago I joined an Ametuar Dramatics group that has really helped to stop any stuttering I used to have and to improve my confidence, which is obviously a big help when reading outloud. My biggest problem is that I read a lot quicker than I can talk!

      • sefcug says:

        I agree with the READ, READ, READ, I try to read as much as possible, in different genres. I read during my breaks, lunch, instead of watching TV, while at the doctor’s office, even at long waits for a train to pass. There is always a book with me, and I even carry a spare.

        Reading is what made me want to start writing, and I enjoy doing so.

        In fact, my wife and I are off to the library when she gets home from work. I also pick up paperbacks at yard sales and flea markets for 25 or 50 cents, just to have around in case I need something to read. I read all kinds of fiction, except for romance, and quite a bit of non-fiction.

        As for style, my opinion is that if you are satisfied with what you have written, style does not matter.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Steve: Couldn’t agree more. As for style, I’ve written stuff where I felt I was in the zone. I’d put my editor hat on and think it didn’t make sense. Then I’d override myself and say, “No, this FEELS right,” and I’d keep it. Nobody can tell me it isn’t right. It felt true to me, so it was right to me. 🙂

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Shane @Steve-great point about reading-I hadn’t really made the connection, Steve. but you’re right, reading is what got me wanting to write. If you write from the heart, how can it be wrong?

          • sefcug says:

            Have been running my Mom around for the last two days to specialists, and medical centers for preop functions, for her partial mastectomy scheduled for Friday.
            Finished Richard Castle’s Naked Heat, and am about halfway through James Lee Burke’s The Glass Rainbow. Both homicide novels but with very different styles, the first concentrating on the relationship between a writer and a homicide detective in NYC, while the second is down and dirty deep south policing, involving more than one writer.
            Castle’s is relatively light reading, while Burke’s is deeper and darker.
            Just a couple of examples of differing styles within the same genre.
            I read almost anything except for romance novels, but have been known to read them too if they are all that is available.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Steve: Sorry to hear your mother needs such a procedure. I’ll say a few words for her.
            Take care until then and thanks for checking in with us.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @ShaneH: P.S. If you want to see a concrete example of style though, I’ll show you a paragraph of text that is my all-time favorite. It’s from John Caples “They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano But When I Started to Play!” piece. (Google it). This one paragraph shows how words can jump off the page and dance as if in a trance of classical music. Stunning. The cadance, repetition of words, alliteration, varying sentence lengths… is beautiful. Let’s see it normal first, then I’ll break it down in bold underneath.

      I played on and as I played I forgot the people around me. I forgot the hour, the place, the breathless listeners. The little world I lived in seemed to fade — seemed to grow dim — unreal. Only the music was real. Only the music and visions it brought me. Visions as beautiful and as changing as the wind blown clouds and drifting moonlight that long ago inspired the master composer. It seemed as if the master musician himself were speaking to me — speaking through the medium of music — not in words but in chords. Not in sentences but in exquisite melodies!

      I played on and as I played I forgot the people around me. I forgot the hour, the place, the breathless listeners. The little world I lived in seemed to fade — seemed to grow dim — unreal. Only the music was real. Only the music and visions it brought me. Visions as beautiful and as changing as the wind blown clouds and drifting moonlight that long ago inspired the master composer. It seemed as if the master musician himself were speaking to me — speaking through the medium of musicnot in words but in chords. Not in sentences but in exquisite melodies!

      • Shane Hudson says:

        @ShaneA Wow. After reading your extract I had to find the article in its entirety ( and it completely revealed to me why this website is called Creative Copy Challenge. Most CCC’s are stories or poems, but this article completely captures the meaning of creative copywriting. Unbelievable.
        You are spot on when you say the words jump off the page, truly exquisite! I have bookmarked that website and may well print it off soon too! Thank you for showing me it.
        Aside: I have a little trouble with spelling, go to see whether it is “truly” or “truely” I googled. I thought it was the latter but realised it was not. However I came across a peculiar article: which suggests that variants of words should be allowed. That is fine with me for English and American (okay fine, “American English”!) with words such as colour and color. However, I cannot possibly agree with allowing (and it specifically mentions universities) words such as “ignor”, “thier” and “twelth”. (Though some of the others such as truely and speach I do not find quite so bad, especially the former as it is how I thought it was spelt!) What are your opinions on this?
        Sorry to hijack the post Shane!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @ShaneH: If I may, I’d like to suggest what was a 4 month long project for me. I read the entire 6 year archive of a wise copywriter named Clayton Makepeace. I learned a ton about persuasive writing, and it’s where I found the Gables example I mentioned earlier. Visit the site, and read every article there. You will be valuable to millions of small and medium sized businesses out there.

          As for spelling, keep a journal or file handy and write down all the words that always confuse you. And the more you read, the more you will see these words used correctly. It will sink in. I’ve edited for writers in England and Australia. They use different spellings for various words. Just takes practice in knowing the particulars of how different folk use language to communicate. My favorite book on English by far is The Little, Brown Book. Best $60 I ever spent. I highly recommend it.

          • @ShaneA – words are not so easily confused, but they are adept at confusing some of us.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Holly: Haha! You got me. I take my editor hat off in the CCC. If not, I’d drive myself crazy. 😉 Fixed though. Thanks.

          • I couldn’t resist. My Red Pen of Death made me do it.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Holly: ohhhh, I likey!

          • Feel free to nominate someone. It’s an award that has no set timetable or number of recipients – but they must be truly WORTHY. No sappy, sweet, reciprocal validation type award is this!

          • Shane Hudson says:

            @ShaneA To be honest that website looks extremely untrustworthy – just goes to prove that a good website design strongly effects how trustworthy people believe it is. But I believe you and shall have a good read through the archives, thank you for linking me to it!

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @ShaneH: I understand what you mean. These guys are what you would consider the “yellow highlighter crowd” where they use more in your face, traditional direct mail” marketing techniques. Their designs need to catch up with the times in my opinion, but as with anything else, don’t let the appearance fool you. You’ll learn a ton there, and it’s free.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @ShaneH: Forgot to mention. Read the entire archive of too. Many of us here have belonged to this “tribe” for a long time. They show you how to write persuasive copy but with more of a CCC community feel. Best out there.

          • Cathy Miller says:

            Two Shanes-copyblogger has superb writing-love it!

          • Shane Hudson says:

            @ShaneA – I have been a ghost on CopyBlogger for many years now. I love the posts there, as some authors have such great styles themselves. Johnny B Truant (I think that is his name? May be wrong) is one of those that stick in my head!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Shane H-you are waaay too hard on yourself. I loved this!

  8. margaret says:

    I like when there’s a hush
    after all the toilets flush
    and parents quickly shush
    screaming brats with toys of plush.

    I love to eat a cherry slush
    but I really shouldn’t gush
    about matters so inane
    when the world  is so insane!

    I think it’s wondrous Bush is gone
    and we at last can see the dawn
    but I pray and flare a nostril
    Obama will not be a wastral.

    I feel my spirit percolate
    and with God negotiate
    that the years won’t whoosh on by
    before I have to die.

    There is much life left to live
    and creativity to give
    and I want a peaceful, happy world
    with no drama that’s unfurled!

  9. Hush Up: A Soldier’s Story
    Privately, I was hoping nobody would hear me flush. Hearing the whoosh would certainly invite corporal punishment. I was known as the wondrous specialist who could create the best slush to percolate through the magnificent Eljer Euro-9000.
    Sadly, Sargent Bush and some low life Lieutenant decided that my endeavors cast me as a wastrel. “Captain, you simply must shush when you flush – stop whistling” they demanded. I felt no compunction. Eating Colonel Sander’s chicken always causes this reaction. It was a major deal for me! It was a plush assignment and generally I was happy.
    And then …

  10. The sting had gone sour, the hit not showing as expected, and he’d hung around too long, waiting. But that didn’t mean he’d been idle as a wastrel in the meantime.

    Not at all.

    The idea had to percolate, he decided as he lounged in the plush hotel lobby, the winter slush on his boots long since dried into the white, salty remains the city streets left behind. That was his final thought before the hotel door opened. It let in a whoosh of cold air, and his head turned instinctively to look.

    And there she was.

    The flush on her face was becoming as she took her bearings, wide-eyed and charming in the fur-rimmed hood of her long coat. James was frozen, caught in the moment between rising and staying extremely still in the hush of time. Shit, shit, shit… He was suddenly very aware of the gun strapped to his body. The metal burned his skin.

    Then she saw him. Her face lit up in wondrous delight and she was already moving his way as he cursed silently in his mind. But his mouth knew what to do, and it curved in a welcoming smile.

    Now if only his eyes held the same expression.

    “You waited.” Her first words, warm and friendly, and she leaned forward to kiss his cheek.

    Shush. You knew I would.” Smile, keep smiling… good, like that. “Cold outside?”

    “Nothing like it was back in the bush.” Delicate hands pushed back her hood, her dark, shining hair tumbling down her back. “I swear to god, James, I’m never taking a trip north again. Alaska was crazy.”

    Nothing like the crazy happening here. “I bet. Come, let’s get you some coffee to warm you up, sound good?”
    “I’d love that,” she smiled up at him… and he wished he’d followed his first instinct and left the hotel long ago.

  11. “But this is wondrous strange,” thought Marvin as he paused his work, feeling the surrounding silence percolate through his body.  Houses, even uninhabited ones, tended to talk to him, at least a little; they would make some little noises.  He liked to think that the wooden walls and floors recounted stories of their former lives in the bush, before people like him forced and reinforced their domesticity.  

    He felt a coldness run through his veins as he took in the vacant hush of the house.  This should have been a routine refinishing job, the kind of thing he did several times a week.  The pink Victorian on Ashland avenue was a good job for him; three stories worth of maple that was in dire need of resanding and staining.  The previous owner, a little old woman had certainly not been a wastrel, and she was loathe to part with her money over aesthetic concerns.  Each winter she hired a neighborhood boy to shovel the deep snow and Chicago slush from her front steps, but that was the extent of her expenditures on the house.  Or so her son had told him, since the old woman was now a dead woman. 

    And since her son wanted to sell the aging building, turrets and porches and all, for a plush sum, Marvin returned to his work, pushing the reluctant machine across the hardwood floor.  Today the grind and whoosh of the sander had a curious overtone.  Most days he could only hear the floor screaming in agony as he methodically ground down the wood.  Through his dense earmuffs, sounds seemed to reached him: the distant flush of a toilet, the gentle shush of a grandmother comforting a child.  He could even hear the rhythmic cracks and creaks that issued from the old woman’s wooden rocking chair.  

    Reaching the far wall, the uncanny sounds grew louder.  Now Marvin could hear dishes and utensils clattering in a kitchen sink, a child crying, and some footsteps shuffling.  He turned to recross the empty room, awkwardly maneuvering the sander for another pass over the floor, when he thought he saw a figure–slightly hunched, moving slowly through a darkened doorway.

  12. Steven thanks for the words and prizes!
    I flush the toilet over and over, but the small piece of plush carpet with the bloodstains coagulated on it will not go down.

    Damn. If I don’t get back to the party soon, the host Herr Yorman — a complete wastrel in my opinion — will send his killer goons after me.

    I scan the bathroom. My eyes land on the Burning Bush in the gaudy planter.
    Reluctantly, I stick my hand in the ceramic throne and retrieve the nasty carpet. I dig a hole the size of a sanitary napkin and stuff in the carpet, now almost the consistency of slush. It takes me a few minutes to cover the evidence sure to convict Herr Yorman.

    The goons will never notice.

    I stand up to hear a whoosh sound wafting down from the air vent.

    “Miffona,” I say in a voice slightly louder than a hush. “Is that you wearing a water amulet?”

    Shush,” says Miffona. “The goons are already standing outside the bathroom door with chains to wrap around your neck.”

    “What should i do?” I wince, unable to percolate an escape route under such pressure.

    “Do you see the book titled Wondrous in the  magazine rack?”


    “Open it and swallow the bright pink pill taped to page 35,” instructs Miffona. “You’ll be invisible for ten minutes and can leave the bathroom unnoticed.”

    I open the book and nearly collapse when I see the inch long capsule.

    My fear of swallowing pills is going to cost me my life.

    • Cool, like the fantasy imagery thrown in.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Giulietta: Super, super, super. Especially loved the last line. Excellent way to mix impending death with deathly phobias. I like that formula.

    • Awesome entry! I felt like I had opened up a novel to a completely random page.
      You ever do that? ‘Cause if you had, you’d know what a thrill it is to find something that makes you exclaim, “I’m am totally buying this book!”
      Being new here, I have no idea if Miffona has ever made an appearance before.
      Please let me know CCC #s if there is a thread 🙂

      • Hi Mitch,
        Been writing non-fiction exclusively since I returned to writing after a long hiatus.
        It’s so much fun to write fiction. Appreciate your comments (And Shane and Justin!). Miffona made her first appearance in this CCC # 107. She may appear again …
        Thx! Off to buy more water amulets …

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Giulietta-wow-I just love the creativity mixed in with a dose (pardon the pun) of reality!

  13. sefcug says:

    Today my submission will have the words in out to in order, number 10, then 1, then 9, then 2, etc.
    It was a wondrous bush that burnt up with a whoosh flush against the building.

    The wastrel had been hiding behind the building, sneaking a smoke, when I came upon him, and tried to engage him in a conversation. He said: “Hush up will you? You are going to get me fired if someone finds out I am here instead of doing my work.”

    After my traipsing through the slush, with it starting to percolate through the soles of my shoes, I was in no mood to shush up, and I told him so in no uncertain terms, and left before an altercation occurred.

    I returned to my plush office, which is one of the perks of being the new company president, and promptly filled out the necessary paperwork for firing him. Also, I cut him a check for all funds due to him, up until the time I returned to my office.

    If he had been honest, and less confrontational, I would probably only given him a written reprimand and had him watched very closely from then on.

    Watch carefully what you say, how you say it, and to whom you say it, because you never know when it might come back on you.


    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Steve: That submission was among your best. And the pattern. Love that. So glad you’re back in action.

      • sefcug says:

        @Shane: Thanks, I enjoyed writing that, and I thought all the “ush” words got me really going today. I will try to keep doing these each time, but we will have to see what special projects come up. Can’t wait to retire, so I can write more, maybe in four or five years I will be able to do that.

        @Steven: Great batch of words for inspiration.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @sefeug-moral of the story? so glad you’re back-

  14. Shane Arthur says:

    Programming note: Going off grid. If you get caught in moderation, I’ll free you later tonight. Be good!

  15. “Hush, little baby, don’t say a word. Momma’s going to buy you a big plush bird.”

    Gemma giggled. Her mother was cute when she was drunk. Being only three, Gemma didn’t actually think of her mother as being drunk. In her mind, Momma was a slush. That’s what Daddy called her. Gemma thought it was funny, because Daddy called Momma a big old cup of Cherry Icee. But Momma had her own big old cup. Whenever she poured the water from the funny bottle under the sink into her big old cup of orange juice, Momma would whisper, “Shush…don’t tell Daddy. He’ll call me mean names, like ‘wastrel’, ‘privileged brat’ … ‘lush’ and we don’t want to hear that, do we Gemmie?”

    “If that plushy bird don’t sing, Momma’s going to buy you a diamond ring.”

    Gemma couldn’t control her tittering. Momma was swaying around the kitchen, stumbling into the kitchen table, careening off the counter, doing a bump and grind on the refrigerator. When, suddenly, Momma dropped her big old cup and fell headlong into the kitty litter, Gemma howled with delight.

    After a moment, Gemma settled down and toddled over to Momma, who hadn’t moved. Momma’s face was flush, though Gemma just thought she looked very red. As Gemma bent over to peer into her mother’s face, Momma farted – a long, angry whoosh that emanated from deep within her bowels. Gemma wrinkled her nose, uncertain of the source of the putrid odor that began to percolate in a brown fog a mere two feet above the floor.

    “Momma, get up.”

    Momma didn’t get up. Gemma, in the wondrous way that immature intuition sparks a child into heroic action, rapidly connected the image of Momma with the nasty dog she had found in the neighbor’s bush. She ran into the living room and dialed 911.

  16. I lay half-awake, suddenly recalling the sound of feet leaving my doorstep. The mailman, maybe?  How long ago was that!? With a whoosh, I rushed to open the door. Brrrrr! Ah HA! Behold! But, oh no! A sudden hush! Water dripped from the bottom of the box. It had been sitting outside for the slush to percolate in the sunlight. I opened it up in a rush… but to my relief, all was good… a wonderous sight! Political figures on toilet paper… what a concept! Call me a wastrel — I could just buy the normal stuff from Walmart like everyone else – but before I flush, I like to shush George Bush as I wipe my plush tush.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Adam: Welcome to the CCC, and thanks for a great submission. I wonder if toilet rolls have enough squares to get every current politician on one roll. If so, I’m buying! Hope you stick around to do the others. We have them every Monday and Thursday. Did you like it? Let me know.
      Everyone welcome Adam to the club. Adding your name and url to our CCC Community page now.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Adam – Welcome to CCC!

        No bush league at CCC. Here we flush out the talent that lies in each of us. A hush comes over us as we read each submission. The silence may be shattered with laughter or tugged into tears as emotions percolate with the plush joy of words.

        We shush the critics with their slush of ignorance as the wastrel of our creative time. We feel the whoosh of excitement as we have found our place at CCC – the wondrous home of dreams.


      • Welcome, Adam! What a great way to get involved in the political process.
        This entry was a fun read and I look forward to your future submissions!

    • Great to see you here, Adam!  What a fun story and hope you’ll write more.

  17. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: If you have a writing dream, or any dream for that matter, get out there and do it!
    No excuses:

  18. KathleenL says:

    “I whoosh you would stop hushing me,” she said from behind the bush where she was emptying the not-so wondrous contents of her stomach.  
    “I’m not a slush…” she said as he escorted her to the door.
    “Don’t you mean lush?” he said not expecting a rational answer from his flush faced friend.
    He helped her stumble into the gallery as their partner’s blood began to percolate upon their tardy arrival.
    “This is just great,” he said as he half-heartedly threw up both hands. “What did the queen of wastreling end up spending our money on?”
    “Cahab….hair…nahay,” she proudly slurred as her babysitter settled her into her plush chocolate colored leather armchair.
    “A 1901 Robert Mondovi no less.”
    “Well… in that case….”

  19. […] about it? Have any new words to add to the list? You might like these too…2011: All Things in ModerationHappy New YearBreathe Easy. First Baby […]

  20. The quality of the submissions blew me away – thanks to everyone for such entertaining creativity!

    Since I promised to choose 3, I picked the 3 by gut reaction – usually laughter. Here they are in no particular order:
    Giulietta Nardone
    Shane Hudson
    James Chartrand
    But, like Darth Vader, I’m changing the deal. The top 3 now get 2 micro-consultations, and everyone who submitted as of now gets 1 micro-consultation. You may use them yourself, give them away (personally or on your blog), or wrap fish with them, as you see fit.
    To redeem your prize, go to and sign up in the box at the top right. Instructions will be sent via email. Reply to the how-it-works email with a description of the problem/opportunity and mention the code CCC107 and your CCC community author name. If you give it away, have the recipient mention the code and your CCC author name.
    Thanks again for such a great time!


  21. Oh, that’s very cool, thanks tons! I’d like to pass the consultation on to someone who may have less access or need it more, if that’s okay? How about anyone who’d like to have it just drop a reply here and let me know – I’ll choose random, what does everyone think?

  22. Hello!  It has been a while but I am back.  I am also writing more “Avenged In Blood Chronicles” so I thought I would recap from CCC #91.

    Recap of 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?”

    Avenged in Blood Chronicles part 49
    A moment of indecision. Which wound to staunch first. The blood running its crimson river into my eyes was more annoying, but the bullet gouged canyon in my deltoid was more serious. The shoulder won.
    I tore a strip of my shirt and tied it the best I could around my shoulder. Blood began to percolate through the material but I couldn’t care for the moment. I didn’t know what had happened to Lola. She was almost shell shocked.
    The assault on Pipes Mueller was only 20 minutes or so old but so far it had been as bloody as I had imagined. Lola and I had made it to the doors of the compound unseen. We were hiding in the bushes at the electronically guarded gate when the first wave of soldiers came to investigate something. We must have tripped a sensor somewhere.
    It didn’t matter though. Lola and I were ready with our modified Molotov cocktails. Milk cartons filled with gasoline and oil, a gas soaked rag poking from the restapled tops. When the first guards passed through the gate we ignited the rags with cheap Bic lighters and tossed them into the crowd.
    The cartons burst as planned when they hit and the gas ignited with a loud whoosh followed by a wonderous fireball that engulfed all of the 12 men. The gas burned, the oil kept it going. Flesh melted, men screamed and died.
    When the fire was almost out, Lola and I stepped from behind the bushes and around the charred corpses, into the compound that wastrel Mueller kept in the nice part of the hills.
    The driveway was long between the gates and the house. The drive itself was wide as well, two cars could easily pass each other on it. Bushes lined each side of the drive and we each took one. The sun was still high enough that shadows were not our enemy yet, and there was a….hush to the grounds that was very odd knowing that there were at least 4 dozen men protecting that pile of dung Mueller.
    Our slow and careful stalk to the house seemed to go unnoticed by anything human. We flushed a pair of quail and Lola had to shush her scream of surprise but no one with a gun showed up.
    We got within a hundred feet of the front door. 75 of those were bare gravel and concrete, covered with men. Large men with automatic weapons, but only about a third of them were paying attention to the surroundings. The rest were talking idly to each other. I counted 30 men. I didn’t know how many more were within easy range.
    I checked the loads on my 3 pistols as well as the small submachine gun that Nick had given me. I had 2 spare clips for that, enough lead for each man if it only took 1 shot. I knew it wouldn’t. Lola was similarly armed and she knew we had at least an even chance.
    I stood first and let loose an entire magazine on full auto. Men screamed and went down. I reloaded and stood again spraying lead towards the bodyguards, Lola doing the same. Bullets came back at me, tearing at my clothes and splintering trees and rocks around me. One caught me in the shoulder. I screamed and dropped the machine gun as I fell.
    I was right back up with my trusted .45 in my hand though, picking the few targets left and dropping them where they stood. Lola was crouching the bushes covering her head. I couldn’t tell if she was hurt or not. I ran across the road firing blind at the 4 remaining guards. One screamed, three kept firing. A chip of concrete flew up in front of me and cut my forehead before I reached Lola.
    She was terrified but seemed unharmed. I asked her if she was ok and she looked at me with relief. She then stood and fired 4 times. There was no return fire. All of the guards were now dead. Mueller had to be scared, or at least I hoped he was.
    After a few painful moments the blood began to adhere to the makeshift bandage and stop flowing. My head was no longer bleeding when I reloaded my .45 and looked to Lola. “Are you ready to finish this?” I asked. She just nodded and checked her pistol.
    We waded through blood soaked gravel and stepped around bodies headed towards the front door of Mueller’s plush estate. I picked up a couple of the machine guns dropped by dead men as we hit the door. I kicked the door and it flew open.
    Two quick bursts from my right hand gun dropped 2 goons as I went through the door. Two more fell to Lola’s guns before I could squeeze the trigger on 3 more. It was quiet for a moment. We moved further into the house, our senses almost hyper aware of any movement, of which there was none until I turned the corner towards a kitchen/bar area.
    A heavy man was making a drink. I startled him and shot before he could clear his pistol from his holster. My bullet had gone right through his drink before going through him. I looked in a morbid fascination at his body slumped over the bar, broken glass and crushed ice mixing with blood and burbon, making some kind of satanic slush, ready for a demons refreshment. I had to find Mueller.

  23. Kelly says:

    [[AHEM. Dear CCCers, Please accept my humble apologies re: the overt politics below. ‘Twas the fault of the Challenge—the words made me do it!!]]


    What a wastrel was our man Bush
    Though he did put a wondrous hush
    Over D.C. and all of its slush
    With his promise to flush
    Evil out of the bush
    Swooping through the Middle East with a woosh

    Forget the debt
    Too late to percolate
    We were not meant to think
    About whether such plans stink
    Of a man who’s lived life in the plush
    Caring not of the cost of his rush
    Both the dead and the debt-laden, crushed—
    Now shush!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: no need to apologize. Although people may not agree, your inclusion of a disclaimer at the beginning shows class…and you can’t argue with that. 🙂

      • Kelly says:

        Shane – I’m not even necessarily saying I agree completely (after all, I’ve probably written way stranger CCC stuff that had nothing to do with me personally)… it’s just where the words led me, but I don’t believe in starting debates at someone else’s “house,” hence the disclaimer.


        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Kelly: haha. Besides that, I was wondering when someone would bring up Bush anyway, since that was one of the words.
          But, folks can fire away here with whatever slant they have, as long as writer’s block gets destroyed in the process, I’m happy as a clam. 🙂

  24. with a wondrous whoosh I shushed through the slush
    never the wastrel, ever the wanderlust
    ideas did percolate, both hush-hush and plush
    when i tripped on a bush – how my face did flush!

  25. Laurie says:

    He was a wondrous wastrel who with a whoosh jumped into a bush just to flush that thrush trying to percolate through all that was plush he was told to shush but he wouldn’t hush and landed with a thud in a pile of slush.

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