Creative Copy Challenge #112

Today we have Peter Shallard, the shrink for entrepreneurs, choosing our words today. Show him you’re up to his challenge or he’ll get inside your head and tell you why you didn’t. 😉

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. Truffle – edible fungi that grow underground on or near the roots of trees and are valued as a delicacy; chocolate confections
  2. Ambiguous 
  3. Sprite – A small or elusive supernatural being; an elf or pixie; the drink.
  4. Whinny – To neigh, as a horse, especially in a gentle tone; the bear.
  5. Pelican
  6. Discombobulate – To throw into a state of confusion.
  7. Gnomic – resembling or containing proverbs or other short pithy sayings that express basic truths; opaque or difficult to understand
  8. Samurai
  9. Blossom
  10. Ochre – any of various natural earths containing ferric oxide, silica, and alumina: used as yellow or red pigments

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


97 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #112”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Billy, You ever seent a Pelican whinny?”

    “Don’t discombobulate me, Bobby. You means the bear that eats that there honey, but he’s a bird instead of a bear, or yous mean a bird-horse mix breed? Stop bein’ ambiguous. Don’t you knows Peter Shallard’s readin’ this entry and he’ll be all over you like a Samurai shoutin’ gnomic chants, like, “Haaiiii,” as he cuts your head clean off. And give me my Sprite back. You ain’t brushed your tooth this month.”

    “Nevermind then, Billy. Hey, Billy. Can I have a bite of that there truffle. My hunger done blossomed into one of them there binges. I’m so hungry I could eat orche.

    “Bobby, you ain’t never been outta this holler. How you know you could eat a killer dolphin?”

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    It was a deep orche, that surprising blossom. The Samurai uttered gnomic koans – is there any other kind? I was discombobulated! A pelican soared overhead; I heard a soft winnie and sure enough, a mischievous sprite brought me a winged horse to ride. I landed at Trader Joe’s, ambiguous. Should I choose the natural truffle or the chocolate one?
    Reverse order no less 😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Anne: You sure that wasn’t a mushroom instead of a flower?  😉
      Super funny. I love these funny shorties. Write on indeed.

    • Anne, I have to say “What @Shane said!” I felt like I was reading Strawberry Letter 24! Better check for ‘shrooms 🙂
      Very nice imagery!

  3. Anne Wayman says:

    Hey, after a sprite and a winged horse, who knows what’s true. 😉

  4. Joe Passmore says:

    I grabbed the samurai sword from the wall & swang it at the Sprite. ‘Enough of these Gnomic comments’ I thought to myself.
    Well, there was nothing ambiguous about the loud whinnie I heard. When I was finished, he was well & truly discombobulated. Pelican briefs shredded, the Sprite’s truffles rolled slowly across the ochre floor, his cheeks the colour of peach blossom. ‘This Con debobulated or what?’ I noted, replacing my sword on the wall. I picked up a truffle & popped it in my mouth. Who’s Gnomic now?

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: I just changed the word winnie to whinny. Thanks @Mitchell for bringing this to my attention.

  6. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note#2:
    Some exciting changes are coming to the CCC. I’m normally scared bleepless of change, but something in particular had me excited. What do you guys think of functionality that automatically turns your submissions into separate posts? I don’t fully understand the technology and I need to tinker around with it, but it sounds super cool and I wanted your opinion on it. So basically every time you submit it would turn into a ccc blog post. Let me know.

  7. “chee kokka foo non?” Are you alive, big brother? Larkspur was still discombobulated from the tanee jawjaw, the unholy Samurai windstorm that had swept through the erstwhile bucolic Delphinium Hive two hours ago.

    There was no answering chitter from Zilal or anyone else. The little purple blossom began a keening whinny that fell upon the deaf ears of fallen brethren and twister-tossed grazer carcasses. The churned field was littered with uprooted trees with ochre-crusted roots, unearthed truffles and one extremely unlucky pelican.

    Larkspur was wounded. He could feel the seepage from various slashes along the length of his stem. One of his leaves had separated violently and lay nearby, crying its own pitiful song. He could not sense any of the hive. Being too young to resonate, he nevertheless attempted to reach out once more.

    “chee koku banya?” Is anyone out there?

    “Lawd ha’ mercy! This plant done spoke!”

    A tiny hand gently stroked Larkspur’s leaves. Sizzling energy transferred to the injuries. Larkspur felt at peace. Inquisitively, he tried to sense this newcomer, chittering tentatively.

    “Ha-ha. I don’t speak Flora, little one. But I just bet you want to know who I am. Ambiguous Sprite, at your service!” The creature was indeed pixie-like, with pointed ears and delicate limbs. He continued to soothe Larkspur, his language as foreign to the plant as its chitterings were to him.

    Larkspur didn’t understand a word, yet somehow the messages were assimilated. As his strength returned, he was able to concentrate on the gnomic monologue – picturing a shut door beside an open window.

    Larkspur lost his brother and his whole hive. But today, he met a new friend.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: I read this and said, “Some day, when Mitchell is a famous writer, people will study some of his earlier work, and come to the CCC for it.” Super write. Write that book yet?!!!

      • Thanks, Shane. Believe it or not, some stuff is percolating, trying to splatter a few pages in my mind. Larkspur and friends puts me in the right frame of mind for such an undertaking.
        Stay tuned!

        By the way, I just wanted to add that “gnomic” is an awesome word. Visual readers who don’t know what it means may think of a gnome, which is great if you need them to. (I thought that myself until I saw the definition.)
        In addition, the idea of being difficult to understand works in conjunction with the basic definition about proverbs. Loaded!


        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Mitchell: Well, you know what the song says…”It’s time for the percolator! It’s time for the percolator!”

  8. margaret says:

    An ambiguous statement I will not make
    when I say that I love chocolate cake.

    Don’t give me lectures that are gnomic
    to critique my pleasures gastronomic.

    I will attack you like a samurai
    should you attempt to deny me pie.

    I will not even try to muffle, my moans of
    pleasure when I eat a truffle.

    A mouth like a pelican it would take
    to eat all the treats I’d like to make.

    To disguise my elation at caramels like ochre
    would require restraint and a face good at poker.

    But alas, it is time to get back on my diet
    I’ll go with a whinny, but won’t start a riot.

    My mood and my routine will discombobulate,
    but CRAP!…gotta do it if I want to lose weight.

    Soon hope will blossom and clothes won’t be as tight
    and I can aim towards a body befitting a sprite!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ma: Outstanding. I believe this is your best entry yet. (I believe I need a macro for the amount of times the CCC community has made me type, “I beleive this is your best entry yet.”). When I got to the line “A mouth like a pelican it would take” I didn’t get past pelican before I laughed out loud. 🙂

      • margaret says:

        Thanks, Shane…You know how much fun these are for me!  Is there a way for me to access them all together so I can have my own little book of submissions? I still don’t know how to cut and paste stuff and have a retardo printer that doesn’t work.  (p.s….I love watching the pelicans at the beach…they are so cool!)

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Ma: I did a programming note on that a few minutes ago. Your son, Sean, chatted with me about some added functionality to the CCC that would allow everyone’s submission to become a CCC post. That way I wouldn’t have to manually create pages and update them. I need to learn more about this, but I’m also assuming that as a result of such functionality, each person’s entries could be archives and displayed like a category would. From what I can gather, it’s as if every member of the CCC is going to become quasi-administrators. 🙂

    • I love this poetic entry.
      I want dessert, now.

  9. I should have known. The many plastic, pink pelicans perched askance in the front yard of the tiny spritely cottage should have been enough of a cue that this girl was out of my league, maybe even out of her own league, if you catch my meaning.
    My steps slowed as I approached the door. Why did I ever agree to this stupid blind date? They are never a good idea, least of all when set up by my well-meaning sister. She imagines herself a samurai of skill in the cupid department, despite the fact that pretty much every single one of her so-called matches end in tears. Or flames. Or untimely accidents. I wish I were kidding.
    I rang the bell and heard it chime through the house, a sweet tolling I’d not have chosen for a doorbell, but I pressed on, taking a deep breath, and willing my courage to rise. Footsteps, small padding sounds, approached the door from within the house. In a flicker, I imagined a blossom of a woman on the other side, with sun-kissed cheeks and hair, a bright open face.
    Yeah. Not so much. What opened the door had me blinking into her face for long long moments before I could muster up a word. “Um….er. Um. I’m Dave. Nice to meet you.” I finally managed to kick some words loose as well as thrust out my hand for a shake.
    “Hey! Hi! I’m Winnie! So good to meet you!” Her voice blared at me through a mass of rather large teeth and red, very red, lips.
    I blinked again. “More like whinny,” I thought to myself, her horse-like features beckoning me at one into her house and propelling me, far far away. Clue number two, right? I cursed my sister.
    After some chit chat at her place, we sped to “Ochre,” the restaurant she’d suggested. I say we sped because after our car conversation, I no longer felt ambiguous about where this date was heading. Clearly, the only place this was going was downhill. And fast. I’m all for clever turns of phrase, and after her first malaproprism, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. But after six or seven, she’d butchered enough gnomic phrases that I was thoroughly discombobulated.
    I’m sure that for some other poor schlub, er I mean,  some other guy, Winnie will prove to be a much-sought, highly-prized find, like a truffle in the darkest part of the forest. I, however, am not that guy. So, there’s that.

  10. Hey Peter,
    My it’s a small world! Thanks for the fun words.

    I let out a winnie when Tokugawa, the samurai impersonator I picked up at the Pelican Lounge last night, called me his pretty little sprite and tucked a cherry blossom behind my ear. I returned the compliment by stuffing a truffle in his beared-framed mouth.

    Despite an abhorrence for swords, I nonetheless found him to be the perfect antidote to an otherwise dreary semiconductor convention in Detroit. We spent the early afternoon wandering along Eight Mile, a place I’d always wanted to visit but didn’t feel comfortable venturing into alone. But with Tokugawa’s face painted completely with orche and his body weighted down with several swords and a bow, I believed we’d be safe.

    Oddly enough, he became discombobulated and gnomic when a playful pitpull approached me from behind. He whirled around, took one look at the dog and started yelling 狂犬病, 狂犬病, 狂犬病 before running off like a lunatic, leaving me alone on a run down street littered with gas stations, strip clubs and check cashing joints.

    It only took me a few minutes to flag down a police cruiser. The officers  graciously brought me back to the hotel. The source of Tokugawa’s fear remained ambiguous until I googled Japanese-American translator and plugged in 狂犬病.

    The word rabies appeared.

  11. Joe Passmore says:

    That Samurai, that Samurai
    I do not like that Samurai.
    Can I see the blossom here?
    Or is it ambiguous over there?
    Drinking Sprite from a can
    Discombobulate when I am.
    Whinny at my pelican
    Truffles scoff when my belly can.
    I can play a game of poker
    Gambling on an Ace of Ochre.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Joe: That was awesome! Flowed so well, and was bleepin’ funny too. We should throw you and Margaret into a room, let the ink fly, and see where it leads.

  12. I came up with this little poem, I am a little late to the game today was busy yesterday.  When Writing this I envisioned some holy warrior who needed a vision quest to find out his purpose or what impending danger is coming.
    Future Visions

    Ambiguous ochre truffle
    diet fit more for a sprite
    than this gnomic samurai
    Upon consumption a delight
    dreams discombobulate reality
    and winds whinny an ancient whisper
    Visions blossom into the future
    path fluttering on pelican wings
    with dangers that must be avoided

  13. Isabella says:

    Sipping cautiously from her drink, Isannah gave her friend an inquisitive look. On the table before them rested a large variety platter from Long John Silver’s.
    “Do you plan on eating ALL of that?! Sheesh, you remind me of a pelican!” She said. Joseph’s eyes widened in shock.
    “So says the girl having sprite for supper.” He said, picking apart a piece of shrimp and popping it into his mouth. A wave of revelation took over her, rendering her incoherent for a short moment. This feeling felt ambiguous. She always had a tough time explaining things and especially expressing her feelings. Joseph sighed, reaching across the table and taking her hands in his.
    “There is a reason I brought you here.” He said quietly, peering around the room to find the place vacant. It was only the two of them talking quietly amongst themselves in their own little booth.
    “What I’m about to tell you may seem gnomic. Two nights ago I took a walk by myself past that old farm. A sound from the barn caught my attention; the sound of a whinny. I was skeptical seeing as this farm has been unoccupied for the longest time. Curious, I went to the library to do a little research on the property and to my dismay I found out that a man descendent from an ancient Samurai used to live there way back when. This ‘descendent’ was known to be power-hungry and relentless in his search for the sacred emblem that would aid in conquering the world. To my understanding, he blossomed into a mass serial killer in search of this emblem, killing over 30,000 people.” Isannah listened to his story intently, always intrigued by his knowledge. She nodded shortly, ushering him to proceed. Slowly he freed his hand from hers and thrust it down his shirt. He pulled out a golf-ball sized emblem attached to a golden chain. The surface appeared glossy and ochre. Her eyes darted from his expressionless face and the shimmering emblem in the palm of his hand. He opened her hand, placed the emblem in , and closed her hand around it.
    “I need you to promise me that you’re going to help me keep this safe. Not only do we depend on it, so does the rest of the world. Whatever we do, we cannot allow the spirit of this man get a hold of this emblem!” A waitress broke into their little reverie, brandishing a black book from her apron. A truffle resting on a napkin a table to the right caught Isannah’s attention.
    “I hope you guys enjoyed your meal!” The waitress said. Isannah then focused her attention on her big smile at Joseph.
    “Oh don’t worry, we did.” Isannah chimed, muttering words of contempt under her breath. The petit waitress placed the black book on the table and skipped away. 
    “Did you have to discombobulate me?!” She asked, playing with the emblem in her hand. She raised it above her head and watched in awe as the light refracted off of the shining stone onto the wall; creating a crescent shaped reflection. It glistened like the sunshine on a vast sea.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Isabella: You made it! Welcome to the CCC. You weren’t lying. You love to write. Excellent 1st submission. I LOVE how you placed this in a Long John Silver’s. Neat seasoning to this story. What did you think of the process? Let me know, and I hope to see you every Monday and Thursday from now on.
      I’ll add your name to the CCC Community Links page next (You don’t have a website either? PROGRAMMING NOTE TO ALL: Get your bad selves blogs and post your talent for everyone to see. 🙂
      Again, well done.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Shane-something funky going on with the font-1st it was bold on every word-now it’s teeny, teeny-not nice for baby boomer eyes. 🙂
        @Isabella-Welcome to CCC! Hope you can read this.

        You have come across the delectable truffle of the internet. CCC is a sweet confection of creativity and a smooth, warm embrace. At CCC, words and their meaning are often ambiguous as we weave a story of our own telling.

        They may dance with the lightness of an enchanting sprite or whinny with laughter as they tumble in comic refrain. Each week we come by and scoop up the challenge with a pelican capacity for more. Sometimes they discombobulate, while other times they set our minds racing as we search for a gnomic verse.

        But, with samurai resolve, we blossom at the challenge as we cover our creative souls in an ochre warpaint to battle this sweet addiction.

        Welcome to the madness.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: I sent an email to our tech dude so hopefully we can resolve this. I’ve been having some weird problems with my keyboard and sticky keys. Somehow, the accessibility options are going haywire on my computer. I’ve turned them off but they keep returning. I believe somehow these sticky keys activated while I was inside the admin and it decreased the size of the font. But, your actual entry reads fine on the page thankfully.

    • Welcome to CCC, Isabella. That was a very intriguing first entry.
      I wonder what happens, next? Will you leave us hanging? 🙂

      • Isabella says:

        @Mitch: Thanks for the warm welcome! I do plan on taking these short stories I make and kind of putting them together like one big puzzle. We’ll see what I come up with! 🙂

        • I’m glad to hear that! I’ve seen some awesome “series” on this site and they’ve inspired me to do a couple. I look forward to yours!
          The series are linked in the CCC Community Links, if you haven’t been there yet.

          • Isabella says:

            Sounds good to me! I am happily booked with taking on more challenges, preparing for school play, and all the while getting ideas for my story! Thanks guys ❤

  14. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: You know…if a person were to go back and start reading from CCC1 to present they’d pretty much know the entire chemistry of this site and its members. An amazing thought and an amazing aspect of this place. We lay it all out in our own unique ways, and interact with each other in the same fashion. Doing this exercise would be a fascinating project for someone studying the dynamics of community and personal interactions. #EndDeepThoughtsHere

    • I didn’t know it started out as a voting site. I’m glad that’s not part of it.
      On, I hated having to pick the best of a great crop – besides, it became a popularity contest.
      If I were doing that project, the first two questions I would ask are, “Besides Shane, who from among the original posters has made a submission on the 10th? The 100th?”

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Mitchell: In the beginning, we thought competition would increase incentive to participate, but to our delight we had plenty of participation. At that point, I didn’t think it was necessary. And it might have put out the wrong vibe.

  15. Khaver says:

    The Samurai trudged along. In the distance, a Pelican saw him approach and tilted its head in an ambiguous manner. The Samurai paid it no mind. His feet passed the ochre covered path as his mind reeled with discombobulate thoughts.

    “I can tell what you’re thinking,” the whinny sprite said. “And your mind is nothing but a mess.”

    “Spare me your gnomic speech,” the Samurai exhaled. “Just tell me where the truffle blossoms.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Khaver: Welcome to the CCC. I love your style with this 1st submission. Well done.

      How’d you stumble on this place? Just curious. Thanks for playing along (we do this every Monday and Thursday).
      Everyone welcome Khaver to the addiction.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Khaver: ps. I’ll add your name and url to the CCC Community Links page next.

      • Khaver says:

        Thanks Shane, I believe I clicked on a tweet by Anne Wayman to get here. And yes, please go ahead and add my name on that list. There are some pretty kick ass contributes here.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Khaver: Cool. Yeah, some super talented folks call this their creative retreat. Check out the CCC community links page. Some folks have extra links linking to series they created with the words. Super stuff. Also reading some of the older challenges is eye-opening too.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @ps: Love the cat video on your site..and your tagline.

  16. Khaver says:

    Thanks again Shane. I’ll have a peruse shortly. A mighty fine site here, indeed.

  17. Anne Maybus says:

    We were first to find the elusive truffle!  Quick, let’s hide it from the others.  Sprinkle it with blossoms.  Let the  ochre coloured petals cover it like protective sprites.  Quick, he’s coming! 
    With a whinny of laughter he spots us.  He struts to us in ambiguous ease designed to discombobulate any watchers.  With one samurai move the petals are gone and our prize revealed to the world. 
    There it goes, tossed into the bag of fungi which swings like a pelican’s throat as he struts away muttering the gnomic chant that we could never udnerstand.  We only knew that it meant that he had won again.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Anne: Such an enjoyable red that was. Well done. Can you believe it’s been 8 challenges since you last visited? Time flies.

    • I checked my email history for previous “Anne Maybus” submissions. Gotta love Google Desktop 🙂
      I am going to be your biggest fan. I love the way you write! I swear there is a whole sensual subtext throughout this entry. Poetic prose at its best.
      You rock!
      P.S. Just before hitting “Submit”, I noticed Shane’s remark. I do hope 8 more weeks don’t pass before your next entry. 🙂

  18. nebunia says:

    A long time ago, in the village of Konokahaua, while enjoying a truffle, the samurai and protector of the peasents was put to sleep using a plant that posseses incrdible magic, the ochre,symbol of the power of the earth.

    He woke up at the whinnying of a horse and saw himself in the forest surrounded by ten magicians of chaos. Our samurai realised that he couldn’t take them down by mere force, so he called upon his ancient gnomic powers. A bright light blinded the magicians and gave our hero the power of elfic magic. All the mages were discombobulated by a powerfull spell used by the samurai, called confusion. When he used it, all the flowers blossomed and the forest was instantly green, because of the conection between the gnomic magic and the forest.

    With another spell he crushed all ten magicians and captured the sprite of one of them for his ambiguous purposes.

    The story ends with the samurai making a pelican really big and flying on his back to return to Konokahaua.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Nebunia: Welcome to the CCC. Great 1st submission there. Loved the world you created. What did you think of the challenge?

      Everyone welcome our 216th member.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Nebunia=Welcome to CCC!

        Where words are the truffle of life. To some their meaning is ambiguous. To others they are jewels to treasure and bring sprite-like joy and a whinny of delight. They expand like the wings of a pelican even as they discombobulate our minds. Our gnomic recitations take on samurai grandeur with the simple beauty of a blossom, shining with the ochre kiss of the sunlight’s warmth.

        Welcome to CCC.

  19. Three thousand people.  Most of them were there for the fireworks, but it was nice to have a crowd.  He’d been a Pensacola Pelican for two months.  They called him back after Mendola signed his AA deal with the Angels. 

    He was sad.  He was supposed to be too good for the independent leagues.  He dug in.  Some no-name, throwing out the stretch with a runner on first, delivered.

    Three thousand people froze.  The ball stopped on its way to the plate.  Everything motionless.  Except him.

    He could move.  He turned around and around marveling at the still life world when she zipped by his nose.

    She was a tiny little sprite.  A winged little Tinkerbell clone with a blossom in her hair wearing a tiny thimble of a dress.  She landed on the ochre yellow nose of the Pelican mascot. 

    He dropped his bat and walked toward her.  She spoke.

    “Let me tell you what’s about to happen, Ross.  You’re going to get back in the box and let that changeup go right over the plate.  Strike one.  Then, you’re going to take a meaty fastball for strike two.  He’s going to come back with a slider low and away.  Let it go.  Then, he’s going back to the change.  I know.  It’s not his out pitch.  But he’s gonna do it.  Get ready for it.  It’ll be good for a one-hop double to left and an RBI, okay?”

    He smiled at her.  He loved her. 

    “I’ve missed you.  It’s been a long time.”

    Her expression was ambiguous.  “I’m not big on keeping track of time, Ross.”

    “I know.  But I like seeing you.”

    “Of course you do.  The box scores look a lot better when I’m around.”

    Ross knew she was right, but there was more. 

    “It’s not just that.  I really care about you.  I miss you.  I miss the whinny of your unicorn, the pictures of your truffle house, the way you can discombobulate the whole world with one little shake of your head.  All of it.”

    She wasn’t convinced. 

    “You like knowing the next pitch.  You like knowing the future.  You always have.  Even back when you were playing Pee-Wee ball.”

    He was about to respond.  She cut him off. 

    “Get in the box, Ross.”

    He followed orders.  He picked up his bat and was about to take that straight change.  His muscles tensed.

    “All right, baby.  Let’s go.”

    Nothing happened.

    “Ross?  It’s gonna get worse.  You’re two weeks away from turning in that ugly uniform.  You’ll try to play for Warren Cromartie on a god-awful traveling team called the Samurai Bears with a bunch of Japanese players who’ll hate you.  It won’t work out.  You’ll go back to Youngstown.  Then…  Well, it gets really rough.  I just thought you should know.”

    He didn’t move. 

    “It doesn’t need to be that way.  It wouldn’t be that way if you’d stick around.”

    She whispered a gnomic reply stolen from Drayton:

    Get up and let us see
    What beauty it shall be
    That Fortune us assigns

    He looked in the ugly Pelican’s direction.  It was dancing.  Three thousand people were watching.  He heard the ball smack the catcher’s mitt. 

    “Strike one.”

  20. Ember Bianco says:

    Re done with the words in bold:
    “Did you know that a Pelican is an ambiguous creature,” Rose stated. “Well it is.” She confirms out loud to no-one in particular. “Yeah it’s kinda funny what the mind conceives when you’re just sittin’ around hittin’ a Sprite and a plate of Truffles she thinks to herself… “HEY! I just got an epiphany.” Rose blurts out in a very matter-of-fact tone. Rose’s mind starts to float off as she goes on “AAHHH YES, a fine blend – Especially when you catch the first blossom and ‘specially when it’s in full bloom.” In the corners of her mind whinny exasperations strive to find their place upfront with zero success, as strong hues of ochre begin to fasten heavily onto the back of her eyelids. “As I was saying,” “It’s weird how your body starts to discombobulate, well it doesn’t really ya know, it just feels like it.”

    Jasmine sits down on the couch next to Rose and says “Hey, we’re ordering Papa John’s what do ya want on it.” Doesn’t seem to have affected Rose too much for all the while a gnomic mystified pretense endures like a mighty Samurai. “EXCUSE YOU!  I’M RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EPHIPHANY, DO YA MIND!!???” She barks without opening an eye. Then immediately snaps back “Ham and Pineapple and Mushrooommms.” “Now back to my epiphany, isn’t it the coolest feeling when you can just sit back while catchin’ a little R&R with nothin’ else ta do, but not just any R&R, R&R Cheech and Chong style.” “BOOYAH!” She cries out. 

    Rick turns to Rose and says “What the hell is wrong with you? Rose glances at Rick with a glaring stare and retorts “Uhhh SHroOOmmms silly.” Eli chimes in mockery “Uuhhhh NOoooOO – More like spiked Sprite.” Except for Rose they all start cracking up laughing; disgusted and feeling a bit stupid Rose stumbles outside for some fresh air.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ember: That was good. Almost thought the piece was an Alzheimers, but when I saw Cheech and Chong I knew better.

  21. Ember Bianco says:

     Thanks Shane,
    Though I would have thought that the pizza and the illusion of an epiphany would have given it away.
    I hope your feeling better lately, if not, when it’s time to take the meds, instead of starting with a Percocet, try over the counter 800 mg of name brand Motrin 2 hrs before taking the Percocets. (That would be 4 pills) with lots of fluids and no more than twice a day.


  22. The ochre truffle was in full blossom. They stood among and on the tree roots, tiny gnomic Samurai on guard. They reminded me of discombobulated pelicans. I imagined wee sprites tending them, riding on miniature unicorns, each emitting a tinny whinny. The Field Guide was ambiguous, but upon reflection I probably should not have eaten all of them.

  23. Kelly says:

    Ochre. I definitely want the kitchen to be oche. Not too far toward topaz, though. That would be silly. The entry hall—apple blossom. Anything else would be too much, because the living room is going to be truffle-colored—go all the way with it, and make sure it’s a very smoky brown, you know—and that’s about as much boldness as the downstairs needs.”
    Though I was not at all ambiguous at all in my description, my painter looked discombobulated. I smiled the most understanding, sprite-like smile I could manage, and when he seemed to warm to me again, we ran over the colors for the upstairs—pelican, caramel, sea salt, spring chive, maize. Thank goodness he gave me not a whinny of disapproval—I had too many things on my mind for that. Instead, with a wise sigh like a samurai before battle (with my walls!), my painter looked at me and intoned, gnomically, “You interior designers really know how to make a house a home.”
    And so we do.   😉
    *With apologies to Muriel Blandings, who preferred red, green, blue, yellow, white.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Haha. Super fun read. I noticed I was smiling the whole time reading. Love when that happens.
      ps. You’re so close. Hopefully you catch up by tonight so that you can jump in tomorrow when MogulMom chooses the words. Very large following. Good exposure for you.

  24. Avenged in Blood Chronicles Part 54
    The floor suddenly fell away under my feet. I knew even as I fell that I had hit a trap and I needed to keep my weapons. As discombobulated as I felt at that moment, I held tight to my pistols and braced for the impact of a floor I couldn’t see in the darkness.
    Cherry blossoms perfumed the air as a gentle breeze brought the Winnie of a horse faintly to my ears. I was reclining on an ochre blanket eating truffles as the sun set. Darkness settled its inky cloak about me and I looked down at myself composing gnomic prose. It was ambiguous, but I could almost swear that I was wearing Samurai armor.
    It had to be a dream. I knew it when a pelican brought me a Sprite with a little umbrella in it.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin: Ha! I was not expecting a dream sequence in the middle of reading these last several submission. Love when that happens.

  25. I don’t actually remember being tossed, unceremoniously, from my trusty steed. I vaguely remember the gentle whinny in my ear, Pelican‘s warm breath as he tried to nudge me after the fall. The poor, gentle horse, named after the odd sea bird due to his strangely shaped head and neck, had been startled by the sprites hiding in the Felouric blossoms along the trail. Damned mischievous pixies, they rarely intended to cause serious bodily harm or injury.

    This time, though, they’d gone too far. Pelican had stomped on them, silencing their chittering forever. I was discombobulated, wavering in and out of consciousness, unsure of whether I was rightside up or wrongside down, and pretty sure the earth itself was hanging in the balance by the string of ochre snot connected loosely to the tip of my nose.

    Having flipped over the horse’s head and landed on a downed tree trunk in a bramble bush, I felt as though I’d gone a round with a samurai warrior. I heard gnomic words escape my lips, and was pretty sure I was speaking in tongues, as those near death are wont to do, so as not to reveal the mysteries of The Great Beyond as they caught glimpses of it. My feelings about imminent death were ambiguous: On the one hand, I loved life; on the other hand, I wanted the pain to end – NOW.

    The last thing I recall, before the world was set right, was the voice of the Mage: “I said to feed her the truffles, you little fool – not the ‘shrooms.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Holly: I went on a horse trail once in South Carolina. A 13-year-old girl got thrown from her horse when two deer jumped up from the brush and ran. She probably broke her shoulder, but had to wait two hours for her parents to come back and get her when the trail ride was supposed to end.

  26. Laurie says:

    I stood staring at the little sprite who was standing by the truffle that I had my eyes on. It kept requesting payment, some wine for me to take the truffle and enjoy its delight. When I refused it set to discombobulate, reciting poetry or other Gnomic sayings. At this moment it was talking about the Samurai whose horse liked to whinney and how he would never catch the pelican as he couldn’t move until the rose was in full blossom as he had left home without his ochre that would have granted him passage if he applied it just above the brow. The sprite kept chanting ambiguous words that sought to keep my attention from that truffle, what about a ruffle then the pelican can whinny and the Samurai can blossom and get on his way.

  27. Aaron Pogue says:

    The First Myth (part 2)
    Addan threw his whole body forward at a full sprint. He was young and fit, with all the natural grace and speed of a hunter who must outrun his dinner if he hopes to eat tonight. Now, he put that strength to other purposes, rushing toward the edge of the cliff so that he, alone among all men, might learn to fly.
    If only for a moment.
    But the flame was still there, like some damned sprite, dancing in the air. Distracting. Addan tried to put it from him mind, but on his first mighty stride, Addan imagined the flame speaking into his mind. “Wait!” It spoke with an unambiguous authority, a tone Addan had only ever heard in his father’s voice.
    Addan didn’t wait. His second stride slammed into the ochre earth of the ledge like thunder and he flared his nostrils, tasting the ocean air so far below.
    He imagined the voice again. “You little fool! I have not waited a thousand thousand years just to see you fly over this ledge.”
    The words were gnomic and Addan’s eyes widened in surprise. He wondered where he might have made up such a bizarre exclamation, but his resolve didn’t waver. His body and mind were wholly dedicated to this task, like some sort of samurai. (And how much would this poor boy have given to hear some of their stories?) His third stride propelled him to his full speed, stretched out and almost flying already….
    And then the voice of the flame made a sound very much like a sigh inside Addan’s head, and he heard the words, “Very well!” An instant later, it flared.
    The flame blossomed. It transformed from a fist-sized ball into a great billowing wall, taller than Addan and wider than it was tall, and the great sheet of flame came toward out to meet him. For all his determination, Addan couldn’t ignore the fire, and the survival instincts that he’d suppressed before took control now.
    Mid-sprint he tried to stop, tried to turn, tried to run away…and all he managed to do was trip and fall, skidding forward in a wild, uncontrolled tumble that bore no resemblance to the graceful dive he’d intended.
    And then, at last, he felt the fear. He understood what it was he’d meant to do, and he could feel the impetus of his three strides carrying him the rest of the way. He scrabbled, grabbing for something to slow him, but the desperate panic was enough to discombobulate him, and even when his hands did find the ground they could find no purchase in the loose, wet soil or the patches of moss and truffle that grew here.
    Despite himself, he cried out. And it wasn’t the battle cry of a hero on the verge of becoming legend. It wasn’t even the frightened groan of a man in mortal danger. It was a soul-deep scream, strangled by a choking whimper — the two sounds fought each other and came out almost a whinny. Almost a caw.
    He felt his toes slip over the cliff’s edge, and then his feet were hanging out in the empty air. And he drove both hands as hard as he could into the earth, but it slipped away from his fingers like water and he slipped farther, knees and hips over the edge, and now the weight of his legs dragging him down….
    And then his left hand caught hold of a rock. It held for an instant, before it too sucked free from the mud, but it was long enough for him to latch the frantic fingers of his right hand onto the thorny root of one of those scrub trees.
    The thorns stabbed deep into his fingers, deep enough to scrape the bone, and he felt the blood wash out to slick the root, but his grip didn’t lessen. The same determination that had driven him toward death now focused itself tightly on that last handhold.
    A thousand paces below him, where man-high waves thundered against the black feet of the cliffs, seagulls soared in wide circles and pelicans danced on drafts, looking for some food. He could hear their cries, carried on the wind — could hear the wind, and the waves, and the great sucking distance between him and them.
    And then he heard the flame, speaking once more into his mind. “Better,” it said, sounding nothing less than irritated at him. “Now get up. We need to talk.”

  28. Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!
    I don’t know what those little boys plan, but I’m going to read the next two episodes of

    The First Myth!

    I caught these in the email notifications. I’m so glad.

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