Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #118

Our own, Kelly Erickson, of Maximum Customer Experience and VisionPoints, The Experience Designers, is picking our words today. Show her what you’re made of.

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. Moonless night
  2. Tack 
  3. Cramming
  4. Appointed
  5. Granite
  6. Crooned – To hum or sing softly.
  7. Acid
  8. Rubberized
  9. Caramel
  10. A low shriek

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.)

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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

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208 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #118”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Ohhh, my loves…on moonless nights, I crooned to you so bright…

    “My granite…my caramel stick…you does the trick…

    “You’s the Tumms to my acid indigestion, better than that rubberized, blowup imitation…”

    “Excuse me, Billy. Don’t means to interrupt your song, but that there crooning of yours sound more like a not-so-low hyena shrieking, like a tack cramming into my eardrum.”

    “Who appointed you Simon Cowell, Bobby. Today’s Valentimes Day. Don’t you knows love is deaf.”

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    Valentine’s was a moonless night this year. The horse’s tack creaked because I was cramming gear in the saddle to meet her at the appointed time. The acid smell of the rubberized condom contrasted with her caramel scented hair. The chill of granite against my spine as she crooned her contentment, followed joyfully and noisily by a low shriek!
     
    Can I say that?

  3. Kelly says:

    MOONSHINE

    You tasted like truth, that day
    We’d seen each other through our granite center of learning
    cramming for tests
    grades tacked on the wall next day—straight
    A’s for you, of course
    Me, somewhat less
    always busy with a boy, too busy
    to worry
    You worried for both of us.
    We’d stuck with each other when
    we were appointed to be grown-ups
    ridiculous to graduate
    into the moonless nights of adulthood
    when I at least, was still a baby
    You were born old, though.
    When I crooned about my latest love you listened
    when my voice dripped acid (when it was over
    and over and over again)
    when I desperately needed a rubberized room to pound my thorn-encrusted soul against
    still you stayed
    Once in a while I heard about your Saturday nights
    but you
    you were the strong one
    if men went sour, I never knew
    Men didn’t go sour for you?
    You got sick once and I knew I loved you
    no friend’s ever meant more
    because I worried all day about losing you
    you said I just didn’t know who else I’d talk to, but you smiled
    Pleased, I think, to be loved
    with your hair falling out and your body carved up and your skin turned thin and blue
    I owed you that all along, didn’t I?
    You never said.
    You got well. You stayed well. You fucking smiled, and I’d selfishly missed that. We bought Kate Spade handbags and
    Prada suits and ate sea-salt-crusted caramels
    talked about our Saturday nights again
    It felt good.
    Cried, sometimes. Both of us, I think. I held your head in my lap and caressed your short ‘do
    it was all very nice, but you were just happy to have a life
    Spade and Prada and even Saturday nights had lost their gleam
    no more heartbreak for a while, please?
    I crooned on, enough for both of us
    maybe I still didn’t get it
    wanted to get you back to you-you-you, get me back to me-me-me (couldn’t seem to go back, though)
    and maybe you’d rather let me have the adventures.
    We saw each other through growing up.
    I picked you up from your fancy Wall Street office one day late in February
    we walked to our favorite pizza place
    had a little too much wine
    (that’s the only way to have wine)
    strolled leisurely uptown
    I issued a low shriek when some creep stepped out of the shadows and asked you for a dance
    You—
    you laughed the greatest laugh I’ve ever heard
    you shook the Earth.
    You took a spin with this ragged man down the street
    and curtseyed at the sidewalk’s end.
    Huh.
    I’m supposed to be the flighty one.
    I took you home, then, alert for other creeps in other alleys, and we sat
    down on your stoop (the weather was crazy-warm)
    we sat
    looked at the stars
    and you thought maybe adulthood isn’t so moonless after all. I wasn’t so sure.
    I leaned my head on your shoulder, your shoulder that had been so frail just a few months before
    I had planned a big dramatic sigh of resignation, but you shook me off
    “What the hell,” I said,
    pity party interrupted.
    Your eyes were huge and black and very, very full of reflected moonshine when you stroked my jaw,
    when you let one finger glide like a lipstick over my mouth
    when your perfume pulled me in
    When you kissed me hard.
    I couldn’t breathe and forgot that I should
    And you tasted like truth, that day.

  4. ellie says:

    He crooned to me on this moonless night among the
    granite crags of the campsite!  Who knew he could
    actually carry a tune!  The acid test, of course,
    would be when we tried cramming the gear back into
    the tack of the pack saddle.  Carmel colored
    leather is beautifully appointed, but I wish it
    were rubberized.  I uttered a low shriek when the
    horse stepped on my foot—ending the serenade.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ellie: Welcome to the CCC. A most excellent 1st submission. Clean, tight writing. Love seeing that.
      Everyone welcome Ellie to the fun. What did you think about the challenge? Hope you come back each Monday and Thursday.
      Everyone welcome Ellie to the fun. I’ll add your name and URL to our CCC Community Links page next.
      P.S. Love your site. I’m heavy into self sufficiency stuff.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Ellie-Welcome to CCC!

        CCC lights the path to creativity like a shooting star on a moonless night. Once you tack on your first submission, you’re hooked. Soon you find yourself cramming work in so you have more time for the wonders of CCC.

        As the self-appointed Queen of Welcome, let me say how glad we are to see you. Come join us as we chip away at the granite wall of writer’s block that hides the words you once crooned like magic. Leave behind the acid, rubberized remarks that life sometimes throws our way and bite down on the chewy, caramel delight of comments from a community that understands.

        And if you hear a low shriek when you arrive, do not worry. It is only the released joy of words.

        Welcome!

    • Kelly says:

      Ellie–Welcome to CCC. What a great scene you created!

    • Welcome to the CCC, Ellie. I guess the horse didn’t share your enthusiasm for good music, eh?
      I like what you did with the words!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Ellie – Welcome to our “Campsite” – here’s where you can sit around all day telling tale after tale, I can’t wait to hear more of your stories!

  5. Laurie says:

    She left her books on the granite counter.  She had spent most of the night cramming for her physics final.  She was tired and agitated as earlier this week someone had spilled acid on her tack and now she had to come up with the money to replace it before she could go riding again.  Carmel, her paint would become hard to handle and grow restless quickly if she didn’t do this soon.
    She threw on her rubberized boots and went out into the moonless night.  She missed him as he always crooned to her when they stood under the stars. However, she just couldn’t stand being with him after he acted like he had been appointed “God”.  She couldn’t remember figure out what caused him to change and become so controlling.  She hoped it wasn’t him who was doing these things to torment her.  She was lost in her thoughts when she heard a low shriek coming from the woods behind the barn.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Laurie: Welcome to the CCC. Love how you left me asking, “What happens next,” at the end. Love that.
      Everone welcome Laurie to the addiction. Adding your name and url to the CCC Community Links page now. Hope to see you every Monday and Thursday too.

      • Laurie says:

        It was fun!  I was surprised how much, want to play with these words now, see what else I can create!  I used to love writing just for fun, and I’m so glad I found this site!  Very inspiring!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Laurie: That is SO what I like to hear. Tons of sites exist to sharpen our writing and copywriting and such, but not much to just play and have fun. Tis a main reason we started this.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Laurie-Welcome to CCC!

        Like a thousand twinkling stars on a moonless night, each submission brightens the CCC galaxy with brilliance. We tack our hopes and dreams on our star submissions, while our words sparkle in the inky universe of creativity.

        When the mortal world comes cramming into our lives, CCC becomes our appointed savior. With its granite support and crooned messages of genius, we wrap our souls in its eternal warmth. The acid feel of rubberized platitudes is left for another sites. Here the welcome is like a caramel treat from a grandfather’s pocket – guaranteed to bring a low shriek of excitement.

        Welcome to CCC!
         

    • Kelly says:

      Laurie—Welcome, welcome! Like Shane, I love that you left me wondering who “he” is and what caused him to change! Nice writing!

    • Hi Laurie! Welcome to the CCC! Great submission! This does beg for more, more more! I’m glad you love to write. 🙂
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Laurie – Welcome to our play ground!  You had me at… as he always crooned to her, makes me want to know who “he” is.

  6. Tanja Cilia says:

    There was a time when the term  moonless night was indicative of pollution that hid both it,  and the stars. But the acid, acrid smell of burnt caramel, and the granite dust  suspended in the air,  reminded everyone that the Moon was now no more.  Well before the appointed hour, everyone had congregated,  cramming themselves inside the rubberized tunnels under the City. The chorus crooned, and brought the audience to a state of near-hypnosis. The Preacher changed tack  so often that the people were constantly  jittery; only last week, he had ordained that the catechism lessons had begun with a low shriek, which would have been inaudible had the people been still human.  

  7. Tia says:

     
    I was never any good at chemistry. Give me a tack or three and
    some granite, and I’ll build you the best kitchen counter you ever
    imagined.
     
    But throw me in a chemistry class, where we’re making – of all
    things – caramel, which is a product made of rubberized
    sugar, milk, acid, and some other stuff, and I end up spending many moonless
    nights cramming for lab exams.
     
    I gave it my best shot. And that night, my girl, a self-appointed
    expert candy tester, tasted it and crooned… just before letting out a low
    shriek. Whoops. Like I said, I was never any good at chemistry.
     

  8. A low shriek pierced the air. Moments before, the Queen of Ipil had witnessed a horrendous crash of the mysterious Briton into the Burger King on the Pan-Philippine Highway. Stricken with the conflicting emotions of schadenfreude and maternal instincts, the Queen of Ipil hastened to the scene, pushing a well-oiled wheelbarrow along the warped asphalt surface.

    As she approached the rubble, the Queen of Ipil noticed a not unpleasant odor of caramel wafting on twilight’s soporific breeze. The shrieking and the smell guided her directly to what she assumed was the Briton.

    “Are you the Briton?” The Queen of Ipil crooned in her best motherly voice. “How do you feel?”

    The wife of Stephen Hawking was indeed the Briton. Having just been blown across the Pacific Ocean by explosive mine gases, she was in no shape to answer, even if she could have heard the moronic questions – which, of course, she couldn’t. Instead, she continued making guttural noises like two dueling slabs of granite grinding against each other.

    “Are you the Briton!” The Queen of Ipil rolled the wheelbarrow into the body’s leg, looking for some reaction. There was none. Sighing, the Queen of Ipil set the wheelbarrow down, lifted the still-smoldering wife of Stephen Hawking into her arms. Gently at first and then roughly, she began cramming her rubberized limbs into the wheelbarrow. The shrieking stopped.

    “Let’s get out of here, Briton.”

    ***

    With the rise of a moonless night, the Queen of Ipil struggled to navigate the wheelbarrow along the highway. Twice, she dumped her cargo onto the road. The Briton did not protest, though she leaked a bit of blood on each occasion. The Queen of Ipil, on the other hand, swore and protested mightily. She cursed the name of Anubis IV, ashamed of her failure to remonstrate against being appointed to this gruesome search and rescue mission.

    In his absence, she was plenty bold enough. Epithets poured from her mouth. With each tortured push down the highway, she promised herself that the chamber visits would cease. She threatened to leave the Briton if the comatose mass dared eject from the wheelbarrow one more time. In a final act of defiance, she spat in the face of the wife of Stephen Hawking.

    ***

    Anubis IV was waiting inside the chamber when the exhausted Queen of Ipil entered. Cradling the Briton, the Queen of Ipil was too focused on getting to the bed to notice him. Another soft curse issued from her lips, causing him to cackle. Startled, she dropped the Briton, inches from the bed, onto the floor. The wife of Stephen Hawking bounced once and was still.

    “Well, my Queen. You took long enough. I took the liberty of heating the water and adding my special balm to the cloth strips you so thoughtfully laid out for our guest. Since you seem so disinclined to follow my orders, you may leave.”

    “Damn you, Anubis! This is my home! You can’t make me leave.” The Queen of Ipil punctuated her declaration by removing her sweat-soaked blouse and hanging it on a tack.

    “I did not say you must leave. Had I done so, you would already be gone, you frightful hag. Don’t test my patience. Place the Briton in the bed and sponge her down.”

    The Queen of Ipil glared, but she knew better than to provoke the insane Spartan dog God. Swallowing the angry acid that rose from her belly, she meekly complied.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: I’m amazed at what you did here. And I’m all smiles too. Super job.

      • Thanks Shane. It’s so much fun when the words get to tell me which story to continue. I remember what you were saying about our fictional families. Now, they’re starting to talk to me!
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Mitchell: When your fictional characters start to talk to you, it’s the same as getting a CCC tattoo. Nothing can reverse it now. 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      Mitch—I can see it all, smell it, and I am creeped out by it yet laughing.  (“… bounced once…” Eeeek and eeeew!) Very complete, very vivid picture you painted.
       
      Poor Mrs. Hawking!

      • Kelly, you could, too? Cool! I was in a rather over-heated room as I wrote this and I could feel the sweat pouring off the Queen.
         
        Never fear, the wife of Stephen Hawking is made of stern stuff!
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Mitch – What can I say, in top form as usual – I love the way you combined a bunch of the characters from different stories – really cool stuff!!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Mitch-where do you come up with such creative ideas? Loved it-again!

      • Thanks Ember and Cathy!
        @Ember, this is actually the third “episode” of the same story. It begins in CCC #113 and continues in CCC #116. Although in, #113, the Wife of Stephen Hawking does find an extremely unlucky pelican, who first appeared in CCC #112.
        LOL, sounds like I’m referring to back issues of a comic book collection. 🙂
         
        @Cathy, I got the main idea from American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. I wanted to create a couple of post-apocalyptic super-characters and see where they go.
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

        • Ember Bianco says:

          AHHH Now I get it – I didn’t put 2 + 2 or 3 in this case together because CCC  #113 was my first entry and I thought in CCC #116 it was just coincidence  so I went back to read over the other submits  – and you should absolutely start putting this stuff together for a comic book, the material is unique enough and the verbiage is outstanding.

          • Ember, you’re too kind. These things are fun – and I get to leave em be if I get bored with the direction. A comic book would actually be (ugh!) work…
             
            Oddly enough, as I was telling Shane, these characters do speak to me. However, I neglected to add that they only speak when they see me on the soothing green of the CCC.
             
            Cheers,
             
            Mitch
             

  9. Christina says:

    She was looking forward to a quiet evening at home after whining executives pulled her soul apart for five long days. On the inside, she felt like the moonless night she noticed on her drive home. Getting out of the car, she let out a low shriek. She nearly stepped on the rubberized mouse in the garage that looked like it had been eaten by acid. She dropped her briefcase in the hallway hoping to forget that she had been appointed to give a speech to the whole company on Monday. A caramel hot chocolate was what she needed to leave the week behind. She leaned on the granite counter reaching for a mug. “Ouch! Where did that tack come from?” she questioned her cat. She turned to start cramming chocolates in her mouth but that only reminded her that she was alone on Valentine’s Day. With her hot chocolate in hand, she drew a bath and crooned to the bubbles. For this moment, there was no place else she’d rather be.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Christina: Ohh, that was a jummy submission. I can tell you love words, and I know everyone will love you here (each Monday and Thursday 😉 ) Everyone welcome Christina to the addiction. I’ll add your name and url to our CCC Community Links page. You’re the 3rd new person today. Excellent.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Christina-Welcome to CCC!

        When the next moonless night draws near and the blackness seeps inside, tack on a Creative Copy Challenge and start cramming the night with words. Use the appointed challenge to inspire. Use your granite talent to succeed. And when the writing flows, like a sweetly crooned melody, you will know this was meant to be.

        Your fear will fall like acid rain, and become cleansed with the hope held inside, rubberized for you to keep. The common brown becomes caramel and laughs with a low shriek of rebirth.

        Welcome to CCC!
         

        • Kelly says:

          (Cathy—I know Shane says it all the time, but it’s true—you are a wonder with these welcomes. An absolute wonder.)

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Kelly-gee, thanks. 🙂 I take that as a high compliment from a talent such as yourself. 🙂 And Shane is my biggest ego supporter.

            I love doing them. I just wish I could get work out of the way to hang out here all the time. I have to catch up on my CCC reading!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: Now I’m getting mad. I simply can’t find new ways to tell you how cool these welcomes are. 😉

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: It’s a moonless night when I can’t read these welcomes. I love tacking them on to your welcome page, although you’ve done so many, I have to start cramming them in that sucker. You are self appointed, but officially you’re the granite of our site. One day I’ll say, “Yeah I crooned Cathy before she was a famous author.” The pride will be super strong, like a friendly acid. I’ll be all giddy and rubberized-like in my pride. I’ll bask in the caramelized goodness of having known you before you hit it big. A low shriek, my ass. I’ll shout that sh!t.

        • Christina says:

          @Cathy – You have a great gift of inspiring with your personalized CCC comment stories. Love it! Thanks.

      • Christina says:

        @ Shane – Thanks for the welcome. I just learned about your site today. It’s so much better than other writing prompt sites and I love that you have a strong community here. I’ll be here often for sure. 🙂

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Christina: That’s great to hear. Yeah, we pride ourselves on how cool our community is. I call the CCC my second family.

    • Kelly says:

      She was looking forward to a quiet evening at home after whining executives pulled her soul apart for five long days.

      Christina—That first sentence rocks. I just had to know the rest. Nice first submission!

    • Welcome to the CCC, Christina! I want some chocolate and a bath, now!
      I like the setting and the girl who is alone, but not lonely. Great scene!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Welcome Christina – Great little story!  You really knew just where to put the words where they jump out at you – very well done!!!

  10. Arengel embraced her dad who had just finished CRAMMING everybody into the only cabin yet to be flooded. About ten hours had passed since the MOONLESS NIGHT their ship had hit a huge GRANITE. Now they weren’t only on the wrong TACK, but water was knee-high in the cabin.

    Arengel shivered, remembering the day she had strayed into the laboratory belonging to her newly-APPOINTED teacher. She had mistakenly poured ACID on her hand while licking her CARAMEL, burning her flesh.

    She had sang afterward, wishing the acid hadn’t spilled, and all of a sudden, her lesion had healed and the acid had collected back into its bottle. It had seemed as if time had rewound.

    Or maybe she had been hallucinating.

    Nevertheless, she began to sing, wishing their ship hadn’t hit the rock, as the flood reached her stomach, her voice trembling with fear and sadness.

    Suddenly, the water rose to her neck. Everybody began to scream. If only they knew she was the cause of their plight…

    No! Time wasn’t supposed to fast-forward. It was supposed to rewind. If she stopped singing now, they’d still die–but slowly.

    So she sang a merrier song. Everything thus slowed, the water moving languidly. A lethargic, LOW SHRIEK escaped her father.

    Her mind jolted. Maybe if she sang a more joyous song time would then rewind.

    She inhaled and CROONED “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream”

    Suddenly, she found herself standing on the deck under a moonless night, a huge rock approaching.

    It worked!

    She ran to the uniformed man holding the RUBBERIZED helm. “Captain! There is a rock!”

  11. sefcug says:

    Another nice set of words and phrases! This time I am trying in reverse order:

    *****

    Sheila let out a low shriek when she saw all the caramel on the rubberized counter top. She immediately went to the supply cabinet to get some acid which she thought would quickly clean up the sticky mess.
     
    As she worked Sheila crooned the latest hit song she had just heard. Soon even the rubber was gone and she realized there was a granite top underneath all that rubber.
     
    Thinking that was nice, she started putting away all the debris and cleaning materials, when after about halfway through she remembered it was almost the appointed time for her important guests to arrive.
     
    In her hectic rush of cramming the rest of the cleaning materials into the supply cabinet, she jammed the heel of her hand onto a loose tack. It was jammed so hard that she had to rush to the hospital, and missed the party entirely before being released.
     
    Moral: On a moonless night, always turn on all the available lights to avoid injury.

    *****

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Steve: I love your morals. And to work those in reverse order is even cooler. What I’d like to know is do you come up with your morals and then try and work the words in, or does a word spark a potential moral and you run with it?

      • sefcug says:

        @Shane
        Sometimes one, sometimes the other as far as the morals, depending upon what the day’s words or phrases say to me.
         
        The same thing goes for the order in which I use the words and phrases, whatever jumps out at me. I never look at what has been posted in the comments before finishing up my own so everything is fresh. There are times when I have to look up words I don’t know, and their definition or usage inspires me for the rest.
         
        Always look at the words for a minute or two and then just start writing.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Steve: That’s cool. I’m sure there’s a difficulty algorithm that could measure how much more difficult doing a submission with a moral is. Love it.

    • Kelly says:

      Steve—LOL. No doubt, that’s how the caramel got on the counter in the first place!

    • Awesome! I like how you craft your story around the order of the words. Have you ever wondered what the direction would be you shuffled those words a bit?
       
      The moral is a neat addition to your entry.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Steve – I don’t know which is more of a treat your stories or the Morals I find it amazing how you come up with these ideas.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Steve-How I love, love, love your Morals to the stories!

  12. Shane Arthur says:

    Kelly, cover The Kid’s eyes.
     
    Those nights! They are heavy, moonless nights of granite frustration without its fix.
    “Get your wife to gimme some rubberized caramel crack,” a low shriek giggled and crooned.
    “Shut up or I’ll drown you with acid and end your tireless taunting by cramming a tack down your piehole.”
    “I’m disappointed in you. Is that any way to treat your penis?”

  13. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: Going off grid. I have business to tack care of. 😉

  14. margaret says:

    It was a warm and balmy moonless night.
    I had a sugar craving and needed a bite…
    of ice cream, cake or some sweet delight.
    But all the stores were  completely locked up tight!

    The bakery treats in the window crooned sweet…
    but they were rubberized props not quite fit to eat!
    Coldstone Creamery was the place  next on my list…
    and I headed that way, money cramming my fist.

    I visualized mountains of cream on the granite,
    but, CRAP! no treats to be found on this planet!
    I unwillingly let out a low shriek from my gut…
    I think God was saying”caramel will go on your butt!”
    I had appointed a friend to keep me in line,
    but it seems she was passed out on the sofa from wine.
    My mind is always as sharp as a tack….
    but when deprived of yummies, goes acid and black!

    I’ll just have to wait for morning to come
    while I mainline pancake syrup and chew bubblegum!

  15. Ember Bianco says:

    Cramming himself into a tiny hole, crouching low so as not to hit his head on the sandy granite ceiling, the rubberized looking slug stuffed himself in this tiny place just beneath the jetty, a place he called home.  He appointed himself  this particular spot sometime ago, and  would often come back on moonless nights to rest in this place that he believed he would always be safe.  To comfort himself, this lowly little lonely slug would hum the tunes his mother crooned to him when he was just a wee bit. The tide was high this evening, much worse than he’s ever seen.  And with each pounding blast of the salty acid tasting ocean, he would let out a low shriek as if to warn himself that it was time to take a new tack, and start moving his caramel colored sheath out of his safe little hut before it was too late and he would be washed out to sea. With one last pounding of the ocean, and one last thought that went with it, he was gone.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ember: That was super. Such a neat read. You made me root for this little slug. Of course, you need to let us know what happens to him.

    • Kelly says:

      Oh, the poor li’l dude! Ember, that was quite a story. The image of the slug-mama crooning to her baby was my favorite part… so precious… well, in a sluggish sort of way. What a cruel, cruel ocean tide!

      • Ember Bianco says:

        Kelly I’m glad you liked what I did with your words, as for your favorite part, I almost nixed it, but now I’m glad I didn’t let it go out with the slug.

    • margaret says:

      SOB….The mark of a great writer, ember….you made me feel sad for a normally disgusting little creature. (like my first ex-husband?)

    • Awww, too cute. I missed the subtle inference of “gone” until you mentioned it in the comments. When I re-read that last sentence, it hit me. Bawllll! (lol)
      Look on the bright side, he went out quick. Better than a slow, painful demise from salt air.
       
      By the way, I loved this phrase: this lowly little lonely slug.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Ember Bianco says:

        I know, poor little Sluggo  – actually I wanted to recant because I thought it was too mean, but it was too late for me too, I pressed the “go-submit” button to soon.

  16. Anne Maybus says:

    You can’t push a tack into granite. I learnt that too late.  I wanted to change him but some people just don’t change. 

    He said he would.  He looked at me with a smile disguising his rubberized morals and his words dripped with caramel sweetness as he lied straight to my face.
     
    I felt like cramming acid down his throat until all I could hear was a low shriek that fades into a guttural expiry.  I wanted him to disintegrate right there on the floor in front of me.

    No one appointed me as God but who made him the devil? 

    The soft wind crooned through the moonless night and sang sweetly to me of retribution.

  17. Cathy Miller says:

    It was a moonless night as I walked down the long driveway to retrieve the paper. A strong wind whirled the fallen leaves into a frenzy and I felt like a ship tacked towards my destiny. Cramming my hands into my coat pockets, I dreamed of the coffee perking inside.

    I had become the appointed retriever of a paper that got smaller by the day. The granite walls of tradition were crumbling under the weight of a different time. My heart tugged for a long-ago habit where my news crooned to me from the paper walls of passion. When had news become so acid and journalism a rubberized response?

    Opening the door, I wrapped my senses with the wondrous embrace of that first cup of coffee. No caramel macchiato for me. Give it to me straight – full octane. Silently, I offered a low shriek at the first sip of nirvana as I settled in my chair in search of words from days gone by.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: Wonderful. I know how you feel. I still like to buy the paper books so I can hold them and look at them. Old School for the win.

    • Ember Bianco says:

       Cathy I love the way you depict the sign of the times – really smart story and, I also see you had your work cut out for you yesterday with the newbies but as usual, amazing graceful welcomes for each!

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Ember-thanks so much for the kind words-we love all newbies! 🙂

        I moved a year ago from San Diego to Boise, ID where we have an acre of land and a long driveway down to the newspaper. We live on a cul de sac with very few houses and one morning I thought, “Oh my gosh, where did the street lamp come from?”
        It wasn’t a street lamp, but a full moon. 🙂 Nature’s street lamp!

    • Cathy, Shane always seems to say it best. I think that the granite walls were doomed the minute Madison Avenue breached them.
       
      I enjoyed this introspective – straight coffee, straight news. Good write!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Kelly says:

      Cathy—”The granite walls of tradition were crumbling under the weight of a different time” is so simple and so evocative. Love the way that brings the message home!

  18. Henry
    Loving you is like a moonless night. Stark, overwhelming,hard like granite. I swear last night I heard your soul release a low shriek.You my love are sadness. Rubberised, floppy with grief. Caramel in the candle light as you sit still in her chair, your glazed eyes staring through pictures of her, hastily errectd to the wall with a single tack. You ask me to play harry Belafonte. You say he reminds you of cruise ships and dances, happy times. I know you are thinking about the day you were appointed chief of staff, the happiest day of your life, until she came along.
    I remember the day I told you about her. You had been so busy cramming in every hour possible to get that promotion, you hadn’t even notice the extra curve to my breast. She suprised us both. Her face is etched in your memory with acid. Some times I look at you Henry and it’s her I see looking back. Where have you gone my love.
    I remember the day when you crooned to me over dinner in that bistro in Picadilly. I didn’t even like French food, but I was capitvated by you. You were my love song. Now my heart is broken, and our love numb, and as you wade through your wretched grief, sometimes you forget she was my daughter too.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Stacey: Damn, Stacey! What a powerful way to make an entrance into the CCC. So well done. I like you and I’m sure the CCC will too.
      Everyone welcome Stacey to our addiction (every Monday and Thursday, Stacey, wink, wink).
      Adding your name and url to our CCC Community Page now.

      • Shane I didn’t know forums like this existed, thank you and well done, this is rocking. Thanks for letting me part of it
         

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Stacey: Thank YOU. As I’ve said before, without people like you, this site is just a collection of boring bullet points.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Stacey-Welcome to CCC!

        Like a moonless night, the internet without CCC lacks shine. We tack on our stories, cramming them with feelings we want to share through appointed words of inspiration. With granite resolve, we come back each week to try our hand and to be crooned by the stories of others.

        The acid, rubberized world vanishes into the caramel road to the sweet success of challenge and the constant, low shriek of surprise.

        Welcome to the addiction.

    • Ember Bianco says:

      Powerful and Sensational!!  Very poetic and dramatic composition-  Like Shane said – You sure know how to make an entrance – Welcome Stacy to our playground   

    • Welcome to the CCC, Stacey! Pen is mighty alright! You have jumped onto center stage in a flash of lightning, a clap of thunder and lots of rising steam 🙂
       
      I’m glad you’re here!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Kelly says:

      Oh, no way!! Stacey, you completely captivated me (and had me rereading to see how cleverly you did it)! What a well-crafted plot in a tiny package. Great entrance to the CCC!

    • Karetha says:

      @Stacey:  I love the emotions evoked by your imagery.  Thanks for posting this!

  19. On a moonless night, he approached her. He had been cramming his brain with smooth lines for weeks, awaiting the appointed day. His granite voice crooned with the tack of a low shriek, “Hey baby, what’s your sign?”

    “Stop,” she said, “that’s my sign.” Then she threw up on his shoes. The acid stained the rubberized nylon a crude caramel color.

    He shuffled away, mumbling to himself, “I wonder if eharmony.com gives refunds.”

  20. Ember Bianco says:

    HAHAHA  – Clever – I would have never had the heart to do that to the poor guy  – But I’m still LOL

  21. Chris says:

    A newbie here — I like the ideas here!  Thought I’d give it a go:
    “Their Song”
    Saul crooned the familiar words of Al Green to himself and delicately poured acid onto each letter etched into the granite beneath him.  The acid helped seal the stone, but it needed to be wiped away quickly, before it could turn the monument’s surface into an illegible blob of caramel.  Thin wisps of burning stone made him twitch his nose, but he was very used to it.  At just the precise moment, once the acid had served its purpose, Saul worked his rubberized cloths across the crisp lettering, diligently removing every drop from the epitaph he’d just carved.

    “I-I-I… I’m so in love with you,” he sang softly as he moved to store the cloths in their metal containers.  One small drop of acid fell, soon to be another pockmark among the multitude on the workshop’s mottled concrete floor.  Saul stretched, feeling the protest of tired muscles and the ache of the arthritis in his knee.  He looked at the window, seeing only the blackness of the moonless night, then glanced at the clock.  Almost 10:30 — much later than he normally stayed, but he hadn’t minded cramming this last job in instead of going home to an empty house.  Besides, this one was special.

    As usual, the words he would carve were pinned to the board above his workbench with a bent tack, but he hadn’t needed to refer to them.  After all, he’d written them himself.  Well, Al Green had helped, of course.  It had always been their song.

    “Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad…”  Saul sung beneath his breath and regarded the words on the left of the headstone.  “Mildred Ruth Hammerstein.  May 11, 1948 – February 9, 2011.”  Milly would have admired the skill he’d shown on the lettering, but then she’d long ago appointed herself his biggest fan.

    Saul wiped his hands and got one last item out of his toolbox.  A bottle of pills.  He popped the lid as he looked at the right side of the stone.  “Saul Arthur Hammerstein. August 3, 1946 – February 16, 2011.”

    He only hoped that when Mary came in to open the shop in the morning, she’d only let out a low shriek.  He hated to think he’d leave her too traumatized.

    “Let’s stay together,” he hummed, echoing the words carved into the stone, and then swallowed.
     
     

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: That was outstanding. What a way to introduce youself and you love of words to the CCC. Hope to see you every Monday and Thursday.
      Everyone welcome Chris to our addiction.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Chris-Welcome to CCC!

        Like a moonless night without stars, so, too, is a world without words. We tack life into words that alone hold no passion until soon all our emotions are cramming for expression. As we take our appointed rounds on this literary shore, we loosen our granite hold on fears silenced by the crooned beauty of what is in our hearts.

        The acid feel of rubberized rejection is replaced by the praise of a community we’ve made our own. Once we visit, we know we’ll return, as CCC wraps us in its caramel embrace and we hear the low shriek of welcome home.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: insert utmost praise here! 😉

          • Chris says:

             
            @Shane:  Thanks for the kind words and the warm welcome!  After posting, I took some time to read the entries above.  Wow — truly some excellent work here!!!  This site definitely attracts talented writers.  I’m thrilled that I stumbled across it in my search for some writing prompts to try and hone my writing chops.  A host of talented posters should only help me as I struggle to evolve from an aspiring wanna-be writer to a someday-published actually-am one!  I’ll try to not embarrass myself too much in the process…

            Like… Looking back at my own entry, I realize I highlighted 11 words. Whoops!  Not sure where “concrete” comes from. ??? Maybe I was hoping it was the winning super-secret bonus word of the day…  :shrug:

            @Cathy:  And thank you too!  Your welcoming, wonderous re-use of the prompt words not only rings true (for I shall indeed return often), but highlights your amazing creativity.  Awesome!

            I’m honored to be here…  :not worthy:

             
             

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Chris-all are worthy to be here and welcomed. You’ll love this place. It’s fun, supportive and eye-opening. Welcome to our little addiction. 🙂

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Chris: I’ll post one of my favorite quotes again: Whether you think you are a worthy writer, or you think you are not a worty writer, you will be right. In other words, don’t qualify your posts anymore. You are the best writer on the planet. Think that way and you will live up to your expectations.

            Glad to have you.

    • Kelly says:

      Chris–Now that’s what I’d call a Valentine’s (week) post. Beautifully bittersweet. Welcome to CCC!

  22. Karetha says:

    ‘Twas a dark and moonless night.  Shelby unsaddled her horse and hung her tack on the hooks in the storage room.  She knew she had hours of cramming ahead of her, since the appointed hour for her test loomed early tomorrow morning.  She left the barn, passing the granite statue of her grandfather on the way to the house.  “She–lll–b–yyy!” A ghostly voice crooned as she walked through the shadow cast by the statue.  Acid rose in her throat as she fingered the rubberized chicken hidden in the messenger bag dangling from her shoulder.  Suddenly she was pummelled by a barrage of caramels, accompanied by a low shriek.  “Mark, did you raid my candy stash again??”  She set off in hot pursuit of her little brother (a pesky brat).

  23. Tiffany Hudson says:

    It was a moonless night when I first saw him,
    Standing under the low light of the street lamp.
    Thoughts cramming in my head,
    the reminder of those yellow eyes.
    Burning me like acid.
    My heart skipped a beat,
    the reminder of that granite like skin.
    I suddenly became rubberized
    at the sight of this a amazing man.
    I could almost hear the low shriek
    of my fathers voice and the crooned moans
    of my mother, her normal voice as warm as the sun,
    sing songed all the time.
    I looked back at the appointed street lamp to find the man gone,
    without a trace.
    I think back at him while I tack a new poster on my wall,
    eat caramel chocolate with my best friend.

  24. Aaron Pogue says:

    The First Myth (part 8)
    Ten short paces, past heavy locked doors, brought the prince and Addan to a broad corridor. The far wall was an exterior wall, with high, narrow windows cut into the granite that gave Addan an impression of the starless, moonless night without.
     
    The darkness was oppressive, interrupted by the eerie dance of caramel-colored firelight from countless campfires below. Addan could feel the mass of enemies gathered outside the palace walls. Seventy thousand, the prince had said, and Addan could feel their malevolence pressing close.
     
    He couldn’t help remembering what the prince had said about his arrows, either. What kind of enemy couldn’t be slain with a raven-feather shaft? As if in answer, the night outside was suddenly rent by a low shriek — a cry like that of a hunting bird, but much, much larger. Darker. Deeper.
     
    He shuddered and felt his courage abandon him. He walked close to the prince, almost in his shadow, fighting the rubberized weakness in his knees, the acid terror in his belly.
     
    The prince nodded once, approving Addan’s obedience to his appointed place, though he couldn’t have known the sudden cowardice that kept the young man there. He stopped for a moment at the crossing corridor. Men dressed in clothes of fashioned iron hurried past, right to left, and Addan saw some handful of them gathering in a formation down at the end.
     
    Even as he watched, there came the sound of a great door crashing open, torn from its hinges, and a flood of shadowy enemies came cramming into the hall. The prince’s soldiers rallied against them, and more came rushing now to throw themselves into the fray.
     
    Addan had trouble spotting any detail within the chaos, but he could sense the tide of the battle. The prince’s soldiers fought in skins of iron and with weapons like none he had ever seen, but the enemies matched them blow for blow, and their numbers were overwhelming. He saw one soldier fall, and then another, and another still.
     
    The prince spared only a glance that direction, and there was no expression on his face. He crooned something, though — strange words low and dark — and an instant later fire flared among the attackers. Addan saw the shadows that it cast, and heard the inhuman screams, but the prince did not react at all. He knew his tack — away from the fight — and Addan saw the flash of pain and determination in the prince’s eyes as he turned and strode off to the right.
     
    This time Addan followed without objection. He heard the cries of pain and death behind him, and every shout shook him with a shudder of fear, and drove him closer to the grim figure leading him into the silence.

  25.  
    It was a dark and moonless night,
    when on a granite sea,
    I took a different tack.
     
    A spider crooned a lullaby
    while cramming in her sack
    a thousand tiny eggs.
     
    I didn’t spray a can of Raid
    appointed jury while they begged.
    I reached to call a truce –
     
    My fingertip got stuck!
    The tale turns truly awful
    As she turns her gaze on me.
     
    Her web was rubberized caramel
    And as her young broke free
    I felt the acid bile rise
     
    As I uttered a low shriek.
    “I’m not the meal you seek!”
    I cried at shining eyes.

  26. […] To see the submissions of others, or to participate yourself visit Creative Copy Challenge #118. […]


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