Creative Copy Challenge #116

Today we have CCC regular, Ann Wayman, of About Freelance Writing choosing the words for today’s writing prompt. Show her some love and crush the challenge. Now on to the show.

Writing prompts cure writer’s block. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying 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, do those too.)

  1. Queen
  2. Jaw 
  3. Overalls
  4. Peach
  5. Long johns – also a type of doughnut in St. Louis area.
  6. Boil
  7. Ipil – a small town in the Philippines
  8. Villain
  9. Senses
  10. Wok

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


150 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #116”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Billy, she’s my queen, the peach in my apple cobbler pie.”

    “Come to yo’ senses, Bobby. She’s a villain. Don’t you remember she done stolt your overalls, put fire ants in your long johns, and threw boiling water in your face? I should slap ya in the jaw.”

    “But she’s changed, Billy. Honest she has. She done got a telemarketing job and she’s promising me a free wok, a trip to Ipil, Philippines, and a new pair of britches if I just gives her your credit card number.”

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    What Shane didn’t tell you is I picked these words playing hangman on my iPad 😉
    The queen had a lantern jaw that looked perfect with her overalls and peach-colored long johns. Her temper came to a boil when news arrived from Ipil that her favorite villain had lost his senses and began cooking with, of all things, a wok!
    No, I didn’t write this in advance, I promise.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Anne: I think this will be a great challenge to see how people work in Ipil. This word should dictate where people take these words. I had a great time with it…and so did you it appears. Well done.

    • Tia says:

      This was my first time here. I wrote my “story” before looking at everyone else’s. LOL Now I can say with certainty that my technical writing major was a much better choice for me than literary writing.
      All’s well. It helped with my writer’s block!

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Tia: I wouldn’t say that. This is your first challenge and honestly I thought it was great. Perhaps it’s your technical writing, but you made it a smooth, tight read. Well done.

    • What a great way to get words! I love how you got all those words in such a short story!
      Anne, I also have thank you for giving me the purrrfect set for my weekly exercise.

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Ann – Great words for this challenge and great stories – I’ve had as much fun reading as I did writing.

  3. Anne Wayman says:

    It was fun. I deliberately didn’t save the words so they were almost new to me.

  4. Jace McCoy says:

    Wow, these words are out there. I don’t think I’ll being doing this one because I like to try and make a legit story and I don’t think I can with these words.

    Liked both of your posts. They had some humor. Rock it out!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jace: I understand completely. Some words just don’t do it for some folks. When I get words that don’t seem to fit into any legit story, I twist them until they are more workable. For example, someone could use Ipil as The Ipil Tower. In the past I’ve told people that if they are working on a series and the word list is too much to work into it to just skip it and pick up with the next one. I knew Ipil would be the tricky one, but I bet you could work up a story where one of your characters went to this place on a hit, for example. (reminds me of Jason Bourne stuff). 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      P.S. @Jace: Forgot to mention. Another thing that helps me when I get a word list that I’m not terribly fond of. I imagnine someone I hate gave it to me and said, “You’ll never do it!” 🙂

  5. Thanks to Ann and Hangman.
    Two days after being hit in the upper jaw with a bag of Peach pits my cracked front tooth still ached.
    The little village of Ipil, Phillipines, a place I’d come to complete my Anthropology Thesis on “Makeshift Thatched Roofs in a former Prisoner of War Camp Setting” had no real dentist. A witch doctoress the villagers called, “The Queen” helped deflect the pain a little bit when she brought me a poultice of julienned plantains and bamboo wrapped in the tattered remains of a dead Viet Nam War soldier’s faded long johns.
    She waxed in her native Ipil that the secret to a perfect poultice was to boil the ingredients for 3 days in an earthen clay wok while chanting over and over in a falsetto voice, “kill the pain Villain.”

    Before the poultice remedy, I almost lost my senses and came really close to pulling my own tooth out with a pair of rusty pliers I found in the decaying overalls that served as a makeshift roof for my little hut. I’m glad I didn’t. Call it vanity, conceit or whatever you like, but the idea of staying another year in this mosquito infested jungle with a missing front tooth was more than I could bear.
    I should have listened to my mother when she said, “Major in English …Aah, the folly of youth.


  6. It wasn’t the Queen’s fault.  Her senses were dulled thanks to a distracting boil on her jaw.  She had mistaken the Villian’s invitation to Ipil for the latest Apple gadget: i-pill, a revolutionary cure-all that simultaneously plays music and does your taxes.  Ordinarily this distinguished lady was a peach, but when her ladies informed her of her mistake she went quite mad, prancing around her bedchamber in overalls, donning a wok on her royal head.  A trip to the Philippines, and with a villain?  Why, they don’t even serve chocolate long johns* there! It was too much, asking such a distinguished lady to survive even a day without her favorite breakfast pastry.
    *Here in the St. Louis regional vernacular, a long john is a kind of doughnut.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jessica: Fun, funny read. I-pill…too clever. I’ll add that 2nd definition to the page. Thanks.

    • Hey Jessica, good thing Shane is on top of his game, else we’d be left wondering if you were making some twisted, oblique reference to Hershey squirts. LOL
      That i-pill was clever. I need one before I tackle this year’s return.
      Thanks for the funny read.

  7. Hi Shane, I just discovered your site.
    The prompt idea sounds fantastic. I can hardly wait to delve more into other blog posts as well. Thanks!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @I write: Wait till you try it. Then you’ll see why were refer to this place as our wonderful addiction. 😉

  8. Kelly says:

    ADVERT 4

    “Who’s the villain in all this?” your boss says, voice barely hovering at a simmer.

    He’s looking for someone to boil in oil—and man, if you don’t keep your senses about you, it’s gonna be you. You can just feel it.

    He can’t tackle one of the suits—the board watches him for vindictive moves at the C-level. But you guys in overalls, doing the real work to keep the company going? If there’s an i that didn’t get dotted or a t that missed its cross, it’s always you guys who fry for it. Nevermind that you have no more direct impact on crossing and dotting than a guy in Ipil, Philippines, making woks does on what’s on the menu at the China Dragon across the street from your plant.

    What can you do? Think your queen is going to want to sit on your throne if you don’t have a j-o-b? Something tells you your sweet honeyed peach won’t find you too sexy if your big commute is from the bed to the couch in your long johns. So you keep your jaw wired tight for another day, and you hope a whole lot of Yes, Sir, No, Sir, will make you look like foreman material instead of like wimpy unemployment-line fodder.

    You’re living on the frayed edge of your nerves.

    And you’re Sick Of It.

    Time to man up and get the heck out of this scene! With our six-week training in computer data entry, and hands-on employment office—our staff are relentless about placing graduates like you in the job of your dreams—you can’t go wrong. When you’re ready to be better than all those coworkers who are just sitting around hoping for scratch tickets and beer to save ‘em or drown ‘em—fill out this simple form. We’ll help you get up, get out, and get going!

    Not too bad. Elise leaned over and scratched Max’s head behind his ears. The poodle was trying to catch any ray of sun that might pierce the clouds and dart into their living room-slash-office, but it was clear that today Elise’s petting would be all the warmth he’d get.

    She said it would be a cold day in Hell before she’d write another get-fabulous-quick ad for her so-called “friend,” Rob, but Rob did have a way of helping her pay the bills at moments when paying the bills looked iffy. And with a massive heating bill staring at her last week when Rob’s emailed request came in….

    Max and Elise looked out at the snowdrifts in their backyard. She could swear she heard the dog sigh.

    Well, at least it was a very cold day.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Outstanding. A story within a story. So glad you caught up. Everyone: Kelly has been trying to catch up for months now. She finally did with this submission. Congrats!!!!!!

      • Kelly says:

        Hee hee hee.

        *Takes small bow*

        Lordy, I hope I can keep from having this happen again… so much easier to BE caught up than to GET caught up, LOL!

    • Way to go, Kelly! You arrived with a splash, too! I can so relate to those freelance “opportunities”.
      (Blogitive was the original fiverr, if you ask me…)
      My favorite line is the wok. It’s hysterical because it’s so true.

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Kelly I love the way your stories are so power packed with rich wording I think that the way you spin your stories and use your words encourages someone to be introspective,  really nice read.

  9. Shane Arthur says:

    @Jace: This one’s for you, man:
    Ipil, Philippines was far, but not far enough… and James knew it.

    He knew they’d never let him be.

    He knew they’d come looking for him.

    Even expertly disguised as an overweight, peach-shaped tourist in overalls and long johns didn’t ease James’ tension.

    His senses were on high-alert-boil, his jaw clinched tight, his grip on his pistol beneath his shirt even tighter. The scent of Philippine wok flair was strong…the scent of nearby villains even stronger.

    “Can I buy you a drink, James?” asked the Filipino beauty-queen as she placed a manila folder on the bar and sat in the stool next to him.

  10. margaret says:

    I’m glad that I’m a California girl and don’t live in some weird place like Antarctica, Ipil, or Washington D.C.  I’m very laid back and casual with a low boiling point, like to live in my comfy overalls during the day and wear warm and cozy long johns at night because I don’t like the cold.

    I am the queen of thrift shopping, love to cook all types of interesting dishes, whether it be homemade peach jam or veggies from the local Asian market that find their way to my wok.
    I love to craft and get great joy out of making weird and wonderful jewelry from old, discarded vintage pieces and found items and take great pleasure from making floral arrangements with the
    jaw-droppingly beautiful flowers that nature has provided.

    Life is to be enjoyed and feeding your senses at every opportunity is a joy and a privilege, with how
    short life is the only villain.

  11. The QUEEN of IPIL craned into the kitchen, her JAW tightening as the king lifted down the WOK of BOILing meat over the grill and threw the OVERALLS and LONG JOHNS in his hand into the fire.

    She flounced inside, her PEACH face reddening. “Are you with your SENSES? I bought those for you.”

    He spun. “Kings wear majestic gowns and mantles, not such idiocy. Long Johns…” He chuckled. “Isn’t that even a person’s name?”

    “Is that so? What did you call that rubber you bought me?” she said. “Ahem, G, um, G-string. In what world does a queen wear that–a slingshot?”


    “It has the shape. And it’s elastic too. I could set a stone into it and shoot down a dragon miles in midair. God, Angelo, my backside is marred by stretch marks now.”

    “Come now, those abominations were there when I first unwrapped you. So don’t even think of making me the VILLAIN here.”

    “Oh, you are the villain. And if you want me to see you otherwise, buy me something baggy next time you visit the market.” She tossed her hair and waddled away.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Walter: that was FANTASTIC! From the start you took me to what I thought was a far away land, but you brought it back into the all to familiar husband/wife relationship. Great job.

      • Thanks Shane. I was wondering…all the comments I have seen so far are but encouraging, but I believe pointing out both the beauty and flaws of each contribution would make these exercises more powerful and valuable.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Walter: Considering I edit ( I could offer a ton of suggestions in this place, but I don’t believe it’s the place for it. The main goal of CCC is to crush writer’s block. I understand what you mean though. I can’t stand when people are being super nice and positive in real life interactions when it’s clearly not warranted, but that’s not the case here. When I read each submission, I try to get into the head of each writer, and what I’ve found is each person’s head is a wonderfully creative place, even if they don’t have top-knotch writing skills to relay it. That’s what I encourage. Hope you understand.

          • I do understand. Thanks. 🙂 Will check out the other site you mentioned.

          • Kelly says:

            Walter, Shane—I think one of the nice things about accentuating the positive in people’s CCC submissions (besides encouraging the crushing of writer’s block) is helping people discover what IS working in their writing… for instance, if someone’s very good at setting the scene, or very good at hitting the emotions, etc.
            Realizing what you do right, when you’re only spending a few minutes trying to bust out quick pieces, can tell you where your writing *instincts* must lie, and gives you a strength to play up and work from.
            Plus I love Shane’s rah-rah attitude.   🙂

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Kelly: I’m envisioning myself in a cheerleader uniform. 😉

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Walter: P.S. And the CCC is like family to me, so I suspect that I’m like that parent that can see no wrong with his kids.
          As for small proofing errors, though, I try to change them when I see them.

        • Ember Bianco says:

          Walter I too seek praise and constructive criticism, but you know what, here  @ CCC when you can whip out a story and separate yourself from the crowd which you clearly seem to do along with every other talent here, that’s no easy feat week after week. And I also think that the praises are just as real and heart felt as the passion that every one puts into their stories – So in the immortal words of Shane – Write on!      

    • Walter, you crack me up. The image of a g-string as a slingshot…strechmarks and being unwrapped were just too funny. Following up with the ending as you did, that was great!

  12. Requiem for a Season
    I am the Queen of Terrible Towels, the nuts and bolts of the Steel Curtain. I root for my team, come hell or high water. I paint my jaw yellow and gold, I don the long johns for those late December games with the wind blasting like a taser into Heinz Stadium.
    Oh, but last night! Last night! The horror to my senses as I watched, possession after failed possession; the Steelers were unable to defeat the mighty villain in Green Bay garb. Our staggering loss left me feeling like a boil on the face of the much vaunted fanclub. My team, those perfect peaches of physical form, fine specimens of manliness all, defeated.
    I want to give up. Go on extended hiatus from Steel pride.  I’ll throw on some overalls and move to Ipil where I will eat worms from a wok and worry until next season. Or at least until Draft day.

    • Kelly says:

      Jennifer—People didn’t have The Fever quite so bad out here Philly’s way, but we feel your pain.
      And laugh at (with) your CCC. Love this!!

      • Kelly, are you a Philly Girl? Cool! That’s my hometown.

        • Kelly says:

          Mitch—I’m a transplanted northerner, so it’s my adopted hometown (well, a wee bit south of Philly these days, but I’ve lived north of, in, and around for years…). I love love love the place, except that usually it’s too toasty for my blood here.
          This year—brrrrrr—Philly weather’s awfully accommodating to northerners, so I’m all smiles. And all boots.   🙂

          • Well, as long you know not get get those fake cheesesteaks from Geno’s, you “a’ight”. 🙂
            I’ve transplanted south. Those northern winters were too much!

          • Kelly says:

            Mitch—You can take the man out of Philly, but you can’t take The Great Cheesesteak Debate out of the man, eh?
            That’s actually one of my favorite conversation starters. (“Pat’s or Geno’s?”) Folks can go on for ten minutes about their fave. (And defend it to the death, of course!)

    • Awww, so sorry your team lost. What a fitting epitaph you have written, though.
      The alliterative worms from a wok and worry really lets us know the depths of your despair.
      But Jennifer, please stay. There’s a new CCC challenge coming. Maybe you can weave a tale where the Steelers actually win.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jennifer: Outstanding. Never in a million years would have thought to take this into football. So well done.

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Jennifer-  this was seriously clever and, yeah it was a shocker – stealing a win from the Steelers  Nawh  say it aint so!

  13. Tia says:

    Thanks for this!

    It happened in Ipil – a notorious villian told the story. We don’t know if we can believe him or not.
    Anyway, we’re not sure why, but the Queen, wearing overalls over long johns, issued a statement that in order to cure lock jaw, a condition affecting many residents, they should all boil one peach, using a wok, to wake up the senses.
    Supposedly, it works.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tia: Welcome to the CCC! You knocked it out of the park on your first submission. Super job. You made it look like it was nothing. Sorry for the moderation delay by the way. Had to do kid stuff.
      Everyone welcome Tia to our fun. I’ll add your name and url to our CCC Community page.
      ps. What did you think of the challenge?

      • Tia says:

        I LOVED it. I have Mitch to thank – he caught one of my tweets about writer’s block and sent me this link. I really enjoy reading everyone’s responses. You guys seem like a tight bunch!
        Thank you for letting me join!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Tia: Thank YOU. I’ve said before, If you guys didn’t leave comments, this site would be a collection of boring bullet points. 😉 And it is truly and addiction for many here. It ends up being about 40,000 words per week that I read as the moderator and I’m secretly craving double, triple, quadruple that.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Tia-Welcome to CCC

        The Welcoming Queen is glad to see you as her jaw drops at another great submission. We love the word challenges that are the overalls for creative genius, just waiting to be pulled on.

        CCC is a peach of a place where all are welcomed like the warm, sliding embrace of a pair of long johns on a cold winter night. Let the words provide the heat as they boil over in their desperate need for expression. From Ipil to Indiana, writers of every kind take on each week’s challenge to create villain and hero, laughter and tears, all to rattle the senses.

        So, welcome to CCC and thank you for adding to our wok of culinary word flavor.

    • Hi, Tia!
      I see you cured writer’s block, too! Awesome.
      Welcome to CCC. I am glad you came.
      What I like about your entry is that you’ve embodied the spirit of playfulness found on this site.
      Imagine a Queen in long johns…

      • Tia says:

        Actually, what’s funny is that I WAS imagining a queen in long johns. My son has this silly kids book, and it shows a picture of the Queen of France wearing Polka Dotted Pants and they look just like long johns to me! 🙂

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Tia, I believe you wound a tight little story – Welcome indeed!

  14. She dressed the kill, seasoned it and wrapped each in edible leaves. She reached for her tinder and flint. The first spark caused a peach-colored plume of fire to snake out from the Wok-shaped cooking pit. As her training had never included chemistry, the wife of Stephen Hawking merely clenched her jaw in concentration and struck the flint again. The explosive gases beneath her hut escaped, appearing briefly as a villain in orange overalls, before her senses mercifully boiled away.

    Anubis IV cackled. He loved strong humans. When he picked up the scent of the cataclysmic explosion in Mystic, Iowa, he had just finished ravaging the self-proclaimed Queen of Ipil. Pulling up his long johns, he casually glanced back over his shoulder and announced,  “The Briton will be arriving on the trade winds, shortly. Tend to her.”

    The self-proclaimed Queen of Ipil was so shocked that she momentarily forgot her coquettishness. “I thought there was no one left?”

    “And yet,” Anubis IV observed dryly, “you call yourself ‘Queen’.”

    Thus chastened, the self-proclaimed Queen of Ipil prepared her chamber for the Briton. She laid out strips of cloth, balm and a bucket of cool water. She would not be embarrassed again.

    The sun was descending into the Pacific Ocean when the self-proclaimed Queen of Ipil saw a speck in the darkening eastern sky. It grew rapidly, trailing thick black smoke, until it crashed into the last fast food restaurant still standing on the Pan-Philippine Highway. The thing did not move and the self-proclaimed Queen of Ipil feared the Briton was no longer among the living. Such a thought! To die so soon after having been discovered alive! Were there more? The self-proclaimed Queen of Ipil hustled off toward the now flattened Burger King.

    The wife of Stephen Hawking blinked. She couldn’t see, but habits die hard. She rubbed her eyes until they began to ache.  Satisfying herself that she was indeed blind, she focused on the rest of her body. She quickly determined that she couldn’t hear, smell or wiggle her big toes. For the first time since beginning her training, the wife of Stephen Hawking burst into tears.

  15. Overalls, I waddnt too updet by wad i jaw
    Bud I took a long wok to tink aboudit.
    I been a peach‘r senses i was a lad in queens
    ipil jes don’t depreciate it any mo
    if i boat two long johns, i’d be villain to share won
    good book boil down to simple kindness, mos’ly
    walk eneded onna peer
    shore is preddy, tink i’ll go fission

  16. Sara says:

    After the queen had stuffed enough long johns into her mouth to feed the entire town of Ipil, she daintily wiped the chocolate frosting from her jaw and went on with her demands. “Boil them, wok them, whatever, I want those villains cooked! Imagine, peaches in my kingdom. And dearest, come to your senses; overalls are simply not welcome in my court.”
    Frank rolled his eyes at his wife’s makeshift tiara and weird language, but he figured that Mother’s Day was only once a year, so he set to cooking those peaches.

  17. […] Copy Challenge Challenge 116, on the things we do for love LikeBe the first to like this […]

  18. Here is my contribution to the CCC Game today and is something very different than my previous entries style wise.

    “A queen in her Long johns and a king in Overalls?”
    “What nonsense fabrication is this William” Jacob chuckled while tending to a sliced peach in some cream as it came to a boil in the wok.
    “Honestly Jacob, I tell the truth here” William continued with his story about the royal family brought to their senses after surviving a harrowing attack by some hired villain.
    Jacob’s jaw dropped mockingly as he shook his head at what most definitely was another fabrication, yet another attempt at grabbing attention.  There was little else to do after all on the lazy weekend days living in Ipil.
    In a few moments after William finished recanting his tale of heroism and how he saved the royal family which in turn saved a kingdom Jacob just smiled and said.
    “You are most definitely an entertainer William, most definitely”.
    Ironically this was kind of inspired by the Frog and Toad series of Children’s books which I have read recently to my kids.

  19. Tanja Cilia says:

    Hiding in the cave in Ipil, Peach was wearing threadbare Long johns, overalls, and nothing else.  The villain, his jaw still aching from its encounter with the fist of the Queen’s bodyguard, knew that she and her entourage would be there within the hour. His acute senses told him that the soup was on the boil and the bear-meat was sizzling in the wok. It was time to wreak revenge; the poison would do its work and they would all die before they ate the last mouthful.

    I remember sitting on Gram’s front steps, watching her peel those apples with her paring knife. Same as when I was five years old, except some question Gram’s senses and wonder if she should still be allowed to use that old paring knife. I watched her jaw harden, determined to hold her trembling hands steady. It was one of those first warm days at the end of winter, and I could hear the water start to babble, melting down the hill to the The Yellow Creek. Cold enough that I still had on my longjohns, but still I shivered and pulled my legs close to my body.
    “Some people prefer a peach,” Gram said, slicing that apple thin as can be. “But ever since that year, about this time in 1942, when Queen Whatshername from Ipil visited, I just can’t see straight to eat one.”
    “Why Gram? Why? What happened with that queen?” I knew the answer to this story, but I just loved to hear it from her mouth.
    Gram reached into the pocket of her overalls and pulled out what looked like a peach pit. “See this here?”
    “Yep, it’s a peach pit.”
    “NO! It sure is NOT a peach pit. This is the gizzard of a villain from that small town in the Phillipines, cut out with this very paring knife.” Gram held up the knife in front of her face, squinting at it. “Then it was boiled to a shrivel in that Queen Whatshername’s wok!  Sure, it looks like a peach pit now, but that’s exactly what happens when you boil a fresh plump gizzard! And that’s why I prefer apples to peaches still to this day!”
    And with that, Gram popped the thin slice of apple into her mouth and held one out to me. “Want one? Or would you prefer a peach?”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Julia: That was bleepin’ outstanding. Super 1st submission here at the CCC. Everyone’s going to love you. Hope you do more of these (every Monday and Thursday).

      Everyone welcome Julia to the fun. I’ll add your name and url to the CCC Community Page next after I give the little one’s baths and get them to bed. Sorry for the earlier moderation delay by the way.

      • Thanks! And no need for apology — enjoy the little ones — boy do I miss those days!! 🙂

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Julia-Welcome to CCC!

        Soon this place will be your own special Queen of Hearts with jaw-dropping drama and side-splitting humor. The cast of characters has something for everyone.

        From Bayou Billy in overalls fun to James the Assassin in chilling details, they all entertain in their own unique way. For words are the messenger to all who hear their call, whether delivered with a soft peach drawl or a raucous, long johns shout.

        Let the emotions boil and join the Ipil party where boredom is the villain and the senses are set free on the great wok of creativity.


    • Kelly says:

      And I loved it. Welcome to CCC!

    • Ember Bianco says:

      WoW! what a juicy entertaining story. Welcome Julia to our world of words.

    • Welcome, Julia, though I must temper that by saying that I hope this doesn’t kill my insane love for peaches. LOL
      Seriously, though. Welcome! That was a great write. As this was at least the third time I’ve seen a reference to peaches being cooked in woks by Filipinos, I typed the following in Google:
      philippine wok peach
      Imagine my surprise: CCC is #1 for this veeeeery long-tail phrase. 🙂
      So, is it just the words, or is there a culture reference? I always enjoy learning new things. (There appear to be some recipes calling for peach relish…)
      I hope we’ll see you later on today!

  21. Ember Bianco says:

    Well guys, I wanted to do something different and, this is kind of goofy but it was all I could come up with for now…

    Finally aboard the Queen Elizabeth, a beautiful cruise ship, from one end to the other it would take a full week to walk it. This was a necessary vacation, a long needed vacation after taking a vacation to visit my in-laws in Ipil, if ya know what I mean. Then it happened, the nightmare struck “My Lil’ Peach! My Lil’ Peach!” I hear a shriveled little voice in the distance coming closer and closer by the minute. OMG this can’t be happening, running in my direction, oh no it couldn’t be, I just boarded an hour ago, I turned my head to the right and running towards me at full speed ahead, in her white cotton summer Overalls flapping against her funny round shape was my neighbor Mrs. Villain– No really, that is her real name except its pronounced Vil – lane. She actually is a sweet little old lady but weird as hell and boy can she talk your ear off, and when she’s around you can’t get rid of her, she kind of sticks to you like a Boil on your big toe. My Jaw dropped, again I’m thinking I can’t believe this is happening, my vacation hasn’t even started and it’s already over. Ever since losing her husband last year, my husband and I sort of adopted Mrs. Villain, helping her out whenever we could. My senses went from exuberant to numb in less than 6 seconds flat, and all I could think of was what the hell am I going to do with her around all week? If we hadn’t already set sail I would have “Jumped ship” and ran away as fast as I could. Alright pull yourself together I said out loud to myself, you have to think of something. It took about a few hours and then it came to me “Oh thank you Lord Jesus,” I blurted out loud. The answer to my prayers. Okay, you know how I mentioned how Mrs.Villian is really weird right, well this was a long shot, but it was the only idea that came to mind and I was desperate. Back at home Mrs. Villain had this Wok, not just any Wok but a special Wok (Or so she thought it was, and as long as she thought so, it was good enough for me,) and she would use this Wok like a witch uses a cauldron, mixing potions, chanting spells and pretending to do her magic disappearing act, she was so sweet, she would pretend to disappear and then an hour later she would show up with a pie she baked. Now this might sound a little mean, but like I said, I was desperate. I told Mrs. Villain that I had a surprise for her over at the buffet. We went and found a table, and had a long chat (Actually she chatted and I just listened,) over tea and Long Johns which incidentally is one of her favorite pastries. After our chat I went up to the buffet and I asked the chef if I could borrow a Wok, I promised I would return it in perfect condition in a little while, the chef looked at me like I was nuts but lent it to me none the less. When I brought over the Wok I asked Mrs. Villain if we could go to her quarters and if she could do her famous magic act just like at home, she was so happy to oblige, and with that we were off – Back in the privacy of her room she was on a roll “Hocus Pocus Smokus Nokus Don’t You Love The Way I Dook This,”she would chant and chant and chant until she put herself into a trance, soon she laid herself down on her bed, closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep, I tucked her in under the covers, locked and closed the door behind me, and just like that “Abracadabra see you Latter” I was gone, and the rest… is history.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ember: Silly, but neat too. That was a fun, relaxing, easy read. Love that.

    • Ember, that was pretty cool. And different. That’s material for a children’s book, for sure.

      • Ember Bianco says:

        Thanks Mitch – it turned out to be a fun piece to write but in the beginning I had a hard time. I must have changed the storyline like 3 times and, I almost ditched it altogether until I wrote the first line with the Queen Elizabeth.

  22. […] Click on the link to take part in the Creative Writing Prompt #116. […]

  23. Ember Bianco says:

    Thanks Shane  : >  Im glad you liked it.

  24. Karetha says:

    “I feel like I’m going to boil in these longjohns!”  Peggy squirmed on the seat next to me as we drove towards Ipil, PA. 

    “Well, Peggy, I think you’ll be happy for the extra layers when we get there.  Overalls aren’t exactly warm, you know.  This winter is the coldest one that Pennsylvania has endured in 50 years.”  I looked at her briefly before turning my attention back to the road.  I knew Peggy was the queen of whining, so I clenched my jaw tightly to avoid saying anything too harsh.  As I expected, the complaints continued.

    “I think you’re a villain for making me come on this trip with you.  I keep hoping you’ll come to your senses and turn around to take me back home to Georgia.  Remember you always said I was a Georgia peach?  That’s where I belong, not in this backwoods Pennsylvania country town in the dead of winter!  I’ll even make you a deal.  If you’ll take me back home right now, I’ll dig out the wok and make you that chicken stir-fry that you’ve been asking me to make for months now.  Can’t you smell it cooking?”  She looked at me and inhaled as if her imagination could stir up the genuine smell of stir-fry.

    “Nope.  You can make it for me when we go back home, after we pick up this load of Christmas trees and deliver them in Tennessee.  Now please drop the subject of going back home!  I’ve told you all day, we’re doing this job and that’s final!”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Karetha: I love the psychology going on in this piece. Sounds like the classic family-with-teenager road trip huh!

      • Karetha says:

        @Shane–I actually couldn’t decide if it was a father/daughter, a husband/wife, or a boyfriend/girlfriend.  It’s hard to tell just from this little snippet!

  25. Laurie says:


    My jaw dropped when I arrived in Ipil and checked in at the hotel.  There stood the queen in peach overalls eating long johns and watching water boil in a wok. She told me as soon as I came to my senses I should join the search party and help find the villain that stole her bandanna!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Laurie: I see you’re going back and doing some older ones. Excellent. This one was funny indeed.

      • Laurie says:

        Yes having fun, needed to get out of my head and just play for awhile!  That’s good maybe losing some of that darkness but who knows where it will slip back in!  😉

  26. Aaron Pogue says:

    The First Myth (part 6)
    The heat from the flame exploded through Addan’s body. It wasn’t just a burning in his hand, but a ripping agony in his chest. He clenched his jaw, determined not to cry out, but that resolve lasted less than a heartbeat.
    He felt himself break, but even though he wailed all his misery, he heard no sound. He opened his eyes, but in the grip of the pain he couldn’t focus — could see nothing but the pulsing red of flame. It baffled his senses and wrenched at his heart, and after a moment he snapped his eyes closed against a building nausea.
    That pain lasted a very long time, until Addan felt sure his skin must be cracking from the heat, his blood boiling in his veins. He fought to catch his breath, but his lungs wouldn’t work. He felt his knees give, felt himself start to topple forward, and in a moment of clarity he remembered his precarious perch at the edge of the cliff. He knew he had a long fall before him.
    Instead of fear he felt relief. All he could think of was the cold, deep water far below. He sighed, his breath escaping him, and he fell forward unafraid.
    And hit the ground hard.
    Then there was a new pain. Not the soul-searing agony of magical fire, but a more mundane misery in his knees and chest, a sharp stabbing brightness when his forehead cracked hard against a stone floor. He groaned — and heard the sound of it this time — and then pushed himself up onto his bruised knees. He blinked and looked around.
    He was not on the cliff and not among the rocks below. He was nowhere in all his world. His first impression was of a vast cavern, and then of a lair, because it was was clear something lived here. But the floor was smooth and even — worked stone, not the floor of any natural cave — and in the dim distance the walls looked the same.
    Dim, but not dark. An unnatural light filled the chamber, soft and friendly flames of peach and honey. dozens of them, bound in the air and burning throughout the room. Addan took them in, turning slowly, until his eyes fell upon the throne standing tall and proud behind him.
    The throne was made of gold, its back inlaid with elegant silver scroll and climbing a full pace above the crown of its occupant. And there, sitting on the crimson velvet cushion of its seat, was the prince.
    Not a living flame, but a man — like Addan and his people, and yet unlike anyone Addan had ever seen. His skin was the lovely white of fresh milk, his eyes were blue as the sky on a summer day, and his long, flowing hair was the color of gold, touched with traces of fiery red. Addan’s eyes lingered on him for some time, and then a shiver shook his whole body. The prince smiled, and spoke with the voice of the flame. “Welcome to my memory.”
    Addan looked at the room again. “You live here?” he asked. It looked different in that light — not cold and confining, but warm and opulent. He saw richly embroidered tapestries draped along the soaring walls, and rows of worked-wood chairs with velvet cushions. He saw the great double doors in the wall opposite the throne, three paces tall and three paces wide — and made of the same gold as the throne.
    Addan’s entire village could fit in this room. All the gold in all the Keys wouldn’t be enough to cover the throne, let alone those massive doors. And all the people he’d ever met….
    At that thought, his eyes settled on the dancing flames that lit the room, as many of them as there were women and men within his tribe, and all of them bound as the prince had been in his world. His jaw dropped and a deep sadness settled in his heart.
    He turned back to the prince, hopeless, and gestured toward them. “Are these your people?”
    For a moment confusion creased the prince’s perfect brow. And then came understand quick as lightning, and he threw back his head with a laugh that filled the whole vast chamber. When he was done, tears shone in his eyes and his chest still heaved.
    “No,” he said, shaking his head. “No, those are not my people. Good lord, you haven’t even discovered oil lamps yet. What a hero I’ve found! I would’ve been better off with some Allegheny bumpkin in long johns and overalls, or an Ipil street rat cooking roadkill in a hubcap wok. If only that villain conjurer could have found me a pathway to that world!”
    The words writhed and twisted in Addan’s head, few of them finding any recognizable shape at all, but he felt the sentiment in the prince’s voice and he drew himself up tall.
    “Grant me some dignity, stranger, or send me home. You are not my prince, to speak to me so. My people own our lands in prosperity, without the need for king or queen. And I have no desire to hear slander from you, who have called on me for help.”
    The prince smirked at Addan’s first words but as the boy went on the prince’s smile faded until, at the end, he was nodding gravely. “Forgive me,” he said. He stepped down from the throne to face Addan as an equal, though he still stood a hand taller. “I am grateful for your company and indebted to your tribe. Please, grant me grace.”
    Addan blushed at the formal apology and ducked his head in a nod. “Of course,” he said. “This…this is a strange world. It has me baffled.”
    “This is only the stage,” the prince said. “I am holding the memory at bay. But soon — all too soon — the play will begin.”
    Even as he said it, Addan became aware of sounds beyond the great golden doors. They were faint at first, but they rapidly grew louder. It was the sound of metal ringing against metal and another, sickly sound — like a stone ax burying its blade in a rotted trunk.
    And through it all, over and under it all, was the sound of men. Men shouting orders and grunting in exertion. Men thundering defiance and crying for mercy. And men wailing in pain.
    Addan knew the sound. It was the sound his heart had made within the pain of the flame. It was the sound of true agony, and when Addan turned back he saw that pain reflected in the prince’s eyes.
    “And that is our chorus,” the prince said. “It begins.”

  27. Hi Aaron,
    I like the technique you are using to bridge the language barrier between Addan and the Prince.
    I’ve experimented with this a bit. It’s interesting that we think of language in a tactile sense.
    Of course the storyline is excellent. I feel as though I had uttered “XYZZY”. 🙂

  28. I almost had a crisis of confidence, climbing into the small, peach-colored wooden fishing boat that would take me to Ipil Beach. But what was the alternative? Admit defeat and go back to my comfy world of suits and cell phones and endless busy-ness? That’s where we got the word “business,” no doubt. If I sat on a park bench, staring at cloud-shapes for an hour or two, I’d be branded a slacker.
    No – I had to journey halfway around the world to escape the rat race, if only for a few days. I nodded to the fisherman. He spoke no English – but he had nodded when I showed him the photo I’d printed from the Internet. He knew the place. He counted out some money, gestured at it – did I have a matching sum in my pocket? Yes. Within minutes, we were off.
    I felt silly – all I had with me was a backpack, some freeze-dried meals, a liter of water, a lightweight rope hammock, a cheap wok, some matches, long johns and overalls in case it got cold at night, a small first aid kit, a pocket knife, and a bathing suit. I figured the wok could be used for cooking or to boil water. I didn’t want to drag more junk around with me than I absolutely had to.
    As we approached the small, isolated island, my jaw dropped. I had never seen such clear, blue water. The photos didn’t begin to do justice to the pristine, sparkling white sands of Ipil beach, surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush greenery. The fisherman helped me off the boat and waved as he pushed back from the sand. I stood there, feeling like Queen of the Jungle.
    Only the next morning, upon discovering that villainous monkeys had stolen all my supplies, did it occur to me that the fisherman and I had not discussed a return trip.

  29. Thank you, Shane! I have to give credit to “Journeying James” at – his story and photos inspired me. (I don’t even know if Ipil Beach is anywhere NEAR the town of Ipil – but THIS venue captured my imagination!)

  30. […] tweeted about my writer’s block, and received a tweet back from Mitch Allen about the Creative Copy Challenge. Now I have a new place to go every week and write silly things – writing in a way I never […]

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